The beautiful lull, the dangerous tug

I have this theory that people who prefer The Joshua Tree to Achtung Baby also prefer The Bends to OK Computer with high probability, and vice versa (preferring Achtung implies preferring OK Computer). What do you think?

Saw Idlewild Tuesday night at Slim’s. The opening acts were pretty terrible (The French Kicks were marginally entertaining only because they were such obvious Strokes wannabes, right down to the scruffy pseudo-formal clothes and the half-knotted tie — as if being the Strokes is something to strive for, anyway) but we got close to the stage for Idlewild and they delivered. I haven’t been to a good, solid rock show in a couple of months, and it felt good.

My sickeningly good mood continues. I think my friends are perplexed by this :). I had office hours today, and I was in too good a mood to discuss the latest problem set, so I kept interrupting the students while they tried to figure out the problems: “What other classes are you taking?” “Are you guys going to go to grad school or become code monkeys?” “Where are you from?” “I like Radiohead.” I think they were annoyed but I was too happy to care :).

This despite the oppressive amount of work I have this weekend: a big problem set, section next week, and, oh yeah, a 90 minute presentation on Monday on papers I haven’t even read yet. Oops. That’s gonna kill me. But who cares? heh.

One problem with IHouse is that you never see any children or animals. Dude, since I’m in such a good mood, I’m going to tell you how much I love kids, even if it dispels the last shred of manliness from my already epicene image. Hmm, maybe just two memories instead. A couple of weeks ago I was waiting at the Durant Food Court for a friend, chilling on a bench, and this little kid, maybe two years old, came up to me. Ridiculously cute. He was holding this big piece of bread in one hand, and with his other hand he took mine. I just sat there grinning like an idiot, as I always do when there are children around. We looked at each other, me smiling from ear to ear, he probably fascinated by my lunacy, his perfect hand against my rough, ungainly one, for maybe half a minute. Finally his mom called to him from the sidewalk; he let go and started to walk towards her. After a couple of steps, though, he slowed down in contemplation. Arriving at some kind of decision, he turned around and walked back towards me, proffering a piece of his bread. Jeez, my heart just melted right there. I took the morsel and thanked him profusely and he, mission accomplished, walked off to his mom and they left together. I sat there for a moment, struck by my immense good fortune — that single gift went further than a thousand loaded adult “thank you”s towards changing my views about human nature — before putting the bread in my mouth. It was, of course, delicious.

The other story is pretty similar. I was taking the shuttle up to the Quad one night in college, and this father and his little baby girl got on. He sat two seats over and placed her between us. She was tiny — so tiny that her feet barely reached over the seat. Again, my lunatic grin manifested itself, and I must have looked like the Cheshire Cat when her miniature hand reached out to me. Actually, her hand was so small that she couldn’t grasp mine; instead she wrapped her fingers around my pinky. We rode the rest of the way to the Quad just like that, and I think for the first time in my life since I learned what “cynicism” meant I felt none at all.

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