Monday, July 10, 2000


When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord, in his wisdom, didn't work that way. So I just stole one and asked him to forgive me.

The other day a woman came up to me and said, "Didn't I see you on television?"
I said, "I don't know. You can't see out the other way."

I went to see Emo Philips a couple of weeks ago. We sat at a table right near the stage. I was sitting in a chair up against the stage, so close I rested my elbow on stage. So I got to be in one of these:

  • "What's your name?"
  • "Jon."
  • "What do you do?"
  • "I'm a mathematician."

Emo then told a joke about Stephen Hawking. What I should have said is, "Dude, he's a physicist." Unfortunately, all I could think of to say was, "He's a physicist." At least I was clever enough to realize that wasn't funny enough to say. But while everyone else is sitting there enjoying the joke, I was just sitting there thinking, "I can't believe he's telling a physicist joke. I'm a mathematician." I mean, really.

Sunday, July 09, 2000

You Say You Want a Revolution

I went to see The Patriot with George last weekend.

You know that old cliche, "If you only see one movie this year..."? Well, for George it isn't a cliche. He sees one movie a year. Last year it was The Phantom Menace, a few years ago it was Braveheart, and a couple of years before that it was Multiplicity (he had to kill time while getting his truck fixed, and that was what was playing). Anyway, since George does Revolutionary War re-enactment, and since he really enjoyed Braveheart, this seemed like an appropriate choice.

We had settled in for the (long series of) trailers, when one came on for the movie Pearl Harbor. It opened with some kids playing ball, then all of a sudden Japanese planes started streaking across the sky. Scenes from the attack on Pearl Harbor ran while FDR's "Date Which Will LIve in Infamy" speech played. At the end, "Memorial Day 2001" flashed onto the screen. George turned to me and said, "I was afraid I was going to get screwed up."

Back to this year's movie. I found it somewhat enjoyable, although towards the end, it got to be too much, "You Klingon bastard, you killed my son." And this Salon article raises some disturbing questions about certain of the movie's historical inaccuracies. And really, I would have so much preferred a historically accurate movie. George pointed out that the exploding shells in the movie were also anachronistic.

But, still, it was nice going into the 4th to be reminded that Independence Day is not just about fireworks. It honors a sacrifices made in the birth of this nation, too. And I'm sure "Pearl Harbor" will be a good reminder of other sacrifices.