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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax

Now I grok why Abby likes Greg so much. They think in the same randomized, convoluted way. I went to pick up Greg at his school, and he hopped into the car. I asked him how his day was, and he said, "Great! As always. Except when I'm sick. Or before I moved to Seattle. Did you know that Seattle - I mean Washington - is always like this? It doesn't rain all the time, but it's cloudy most of the time because the clouds get stuck on the mountains?" <insert adult's explanation of rain shadow; the clouds get stuck between the mountains, not on them like wool on a spindle>.

Then Lizzy asked if cheese made him sick and he said he didn't think so; he's eaten lots of cheese and he doesn't get sick very often and his aunt has asthma that sounds different from my asthma (I coughed in the car). Then we wandered from mountains here to mountains on Mars, through whether one still calls it an earthquake if it's on Mars, and how this one guy refused to leave when Mt St Helens blew, to how we haven't proved the existence of alien life (his grasp of the difference between evidence and proof is a little shaky).

At this point Lizzy fell asleep in the backseat and I lost track of the different topics - it was very Walrus and the Carpenter - and launched into how he likes "the science of musical instruments". I asked if he meant the mathematics of music, and he said, "no, the way that musical instruments work, like sound waves coming out of them" and I told him that was called "acoustics", the science of sound, and he went off on a tangent for a while about when he's in 4th grade should he choose a string, woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. And then we were back on Seattle area weather and his dad's T-shirt with the weather joke and I told him the old one about "don't like the weather here? wait five minutes" and he laughed and laughed.

And I thought now I get why Abby likes him so much. And sat back to see if he would talk about whether pigs have wings.