Condensed matter weekend special

Last night I was too swamped by data science and Game of the Throne to commit scrap minutes for blogging. So I will set the record straight by artificially inflating the length of this one, contrary to what the title suggests. The single most remarkable episode of Saturday was an amorous encounter with a neighboring stray cat. One score and five years ago, I wrote my famous debut piece on the adventure of a cat, which I briefly observed in the looming darkness of one moonless and starless night, and concocted the whole spiel half-heartedly mainly out of imagination. It received round applause and what was perhaps equivalent of a middle school classroom Pulitzer, greatly emboldening my foray into the literary realm. It is in no way incomparable to Mark Twain’s celebrated jump frog of the Calaveras county, and I tend to despise the latter for indulgence in vernacular cowboy English, not the most pleasant to the ear or sense of nobility. My little piece, however, had an epic dignity, embellished by interwoven literary devices, and exemplified the kind of creativity under standardized constraint that was widely sought by college-expectant students.
Last night, however, the cat was real, not an apparition of a literary excuse. She approached me with the eagerness of a lover, and scrubbed against my feet in a way that completely immobilized me. My first reaction was to verbally plead for my release, but in the end only a more aggressive feet shuffling help keep her at a small distance, enough for me to close the latch door that separates the two mammals. My wife, however, was struck by both fear and sympathy. Her highly rational fear of the cat dying in front of our house compelled her to offer a plate of milk for the poor fellow. I did the delivery, under the duress of another foot besiege. Later we figured that she had consumed all there is to that shallow paper plate, I offered a second. To my dismay, however, the plate was practically brimming still, leaving me at a loss for the wasted milk. Alas, the food is secondary, but companionship is clearly what keeps the cat awake at night. Being a new dad, I had little incentives to adopt a new family member. Other than that, yesterday was somewhat of a work day.
Today’s adventure really started in the afternoon, when I met with childhood best friend at his place, took an extra 20 minutes to collocate ourselves, in front of the japanese supermarket, of some quickly forgotten real name. We then went straight to the contemplated destination, Fremont Old Public Preserve, a pristine land of 100 + acres, with a mound comparable to that of mission peak. The word “Old” turned out to be the surname of the original land owner, an unexpected twist that reminded me of another word I learned reading Macbeth today, “weird”, coming from middle English “wyrd”, meaning fate.
The drive up the parking lot was a bit treacherous, with a one lane road defiantly used for two way traffic and a sign that says no stopping at any time (even if that means you crash into the incoming car): parenthetic statement added myself. As soon as we parked, we bore straight to the road with an entrance sign that says residential and emergency vehicles only, confident that we wouldn’t be run over by tourist drivers. The uphill chitchat lasted all but 5 minutes, at least that was how long it felt. We stumbled upon a private mansion, surrounded by blocked roads with no trespassing signs, and a enticing foot path that led to nowhere except some highly private-looking garden entrance. Disappointed, we backtracked to the parking lot, only to spot another less conspicuous soiled path up hill, with tourists streaming down like deers.
Half way through the trail, we were greeted politely by a police lady sitting in her hallowed vehicle. She smiled so professionally that we didn’t feel any interruption to our heated conversation. She warned us of the upcoming park closure in half an hour, with the hilltop still half an hour away. The latter seemed slightly exaggerated, though her intention was all good and just. A few panorama later, we headed down, along with other hikers. At a critical triad juncture, we made the wrong turn, and ended up on a two-lane drive way down the mound. My friend blamed the other hikers we followed, and was visibly reluctant to go back uphill, as the sun was completely set. Up we went in the end, and it turned out there were more than one turns that we got screwed by. He made the right call the first time, and I the second. So after a few more minutes of tiptoeing and imaginary avoidance of mountain lions, we ended safely in my Toyota, and vroomed our way back to his apartment.


About aquazorcarson

math PhD at Stanford, studying probability
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