7.10.2009

Didn't make sense not to live for fun . . . your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb.


If it's Friday and we've set a precedent earlier in the week, it must be a good time for another visit with "Pearls Before Swine" by Stephan Pastis, right?








There was a line in the new Woody Allen movie we saw last weekend (Whatever Works) that I just loved -- well, there were a lot of great lines, but for some reason, this one I remembered.

Boris, the main character and an intellectual snob of a kind rarely encountered even in a Woody Allen movie, describes himself something like this:

"I am a profound and sensitive being with
an enormous grasp of the human condition."


(If I ever say something that ridiculous, will somebody please leave me a comment?)

Actually, while Boris is extremely intelligent, he's also blindlingly ignorant when it comes to some of the weightier aspects of the human condition --
the pursuits of hope, meaning, love and happiness.


I was looking through a quote book the other day and it got me wondering how some people get to be so darn smart.



I mean, I talk talk talk but nothing really extraordinary ever comes out -- nothing that makes people get out their pens and start writing so they can put it in a book later.


I don't think it's because I never have deep thoughts, but I suppose profundity is a gift, and like many other gifts, no one showed up with it at my initial birthday party.

(I also can't throw a ball, arrange flowers or do the splits, but I don't spend time worrying about those things.)

It's all a fine balancing act



between being happy with what's in your brain and realizing there's an awful lot of wasted space up there -- between watching The Price is Right and reading physics textbooks.

After all, you can't expect anything
very spectacular to come out



if you don't put much in to begin with, can you?



Russ once came upon his grandmother reading a physics textbook (she was hovering somewhere around 90 at the time) and said, "Grandma, what are you doing?!"

She had a perfect answer, something along the lines of:

"I figure I'm going to have to learn it sometime."

That's why I begin and end every day with my friend (and nemesis) the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. Because it's good to be reminded that there are approximately 7 billion things I still know nothing about.

For instance, this morning I learned (before breakfast!) that the "Proto-matter from which the universe was made" is called YLEM.



Who knew? (Besides Boris and the NYT puzzle editor)

Maybe Proto-matter is common knowledge, but I, for one,
felt enriched by it.

And it made me feel much better about the Froot Loops I ate
shortly thereafter.

Get out your pens because here's your
Small Works Weekend Homework Assignment:


put some good stuff in.



I'm planning to try for some delicious FOOD,



some mind-expanding FACTS,



and some relaxing weekend FUN.


But one question before you go . . . anybody happen to know the first Prime Minister of Burma?

Three letters and it starts with "U" . . .


8 comments:

Allie said...

Oh Susan you crack me UP. On schedule. I still wish you'd write a book!

Amelia and Justin said...

I know the first Prime Minister of Burma, now - but only after I googled it, so I don't know that it counts...but I've been enriched, right??

Such a great post. And a great reminder to put good stuff in, all the time. Russ's grandmother was right - we're going to have to learn it at some point!

susan m hinckley said...

Thanks, Amelia -- I try to avoid googling for crossword answers but have been sorely tempted on numerous occasions.

But upon reflection, I believe that you're right . . . if I LEARNED the answer, I'd still be enriched so technically we couldn't really call it cheating.

And it would certainly serve me better than crumpling up the puzzle, yelling or throwing it against the wall, which are usually my other options.

april said...

"I don't think it's because I never have deep thoughts, but I suppose profundity is a gift, and like many other gifts, no one showed up with it at my initial birthday party."

that's a quote i would right down and save. like that word: profundity.

i was going to be mad at anyone who knew the prime minister of burma. so glad it's not in the comments yet.

susan m hinckley said...

I confess, April -- I know the answer because I finished the puzzle (without even cheating!) The first P.M. of Burma is Unu. Everybody write that down . . . it may come in handy sometime.

april said...

since you earned the answer, i won't hold any grudges. way to go on finishing hte puzzle!!! i'm sure knowing who the first P.M. of Burma will be so handy. maybe i could start to use it in daily conversations - something boris would do i'm sure.

april said...

holy smokes! i used "right" instead of "write". i really should proofread the comments i leave!

Pam said...

Unu -who knu!!

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