Birthday Present from Outer Space

Today is my birthday. Here is a list of things I “got” today.

  • A text from one of my best friends that simply read “BIRTH”.
  • Two black holes smashing the heck into each other three billion lightyears away. Or, more specifically, LIGO’s (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) announcement of its third official detection of gravitational waves – from those two black holes. (If you don’t get why that’s absolutely mind-blowing, I invite you to click here and poke around a bit.) This is particularly exciting because this year I became part of my university’s gravitational wave astronomy research group, a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, so like – my professor (she’s kind of my new hero) is one of the authors of the official scientific paper. It’s really damn cool.
  • An email informing me that I have moved on to the next stage of what is essentially an interview process leading to a professionally published book and a great deal of business structure and training around it.
  • A run-in with another teacher who’s in that aforementioned GWA research group who I’m now going to be meeting with at some point soon to discuss the possibility of helping him research quantum physics or machine learning or something amazing like that.
  • A truly heartfelt card from my mother.
  • Coffee.
  • A breakfast burrito.
  • Laughter at my jokes from people I admire.
  • News that I will soon be able to retrieve a car battery from a family friend and thus (hopefully) get a well-deserving car working again.
  • A highly enjoyable conclusion to my final regular class of my first full year at college (it’s been a long road getting here).
  • A chocolate-chocolate cookie and a ginger blueberry lemon fizz from the coffee shop I used to work at (along with hugs and an impromptu happy birthday dance from my former co-workers).
  • The sight of an adorable husky-mix dog in the back of a car.
  • A moment to appreciate the weather.
  • An impressive run of green lights.
  • The chance to do something I’ve been wanting to do for literally most of my life: select and purchase a bottle of wine based almost exclusively on the design of the label. Also it tasted rather nice.
  • A companionable gust of wind. Many, in fact.
  • Salmon.
  • Cheesecake.
  • A shiny pen I found in a parking lot that still has ink in it.
  • A convenient napkin.
  • A real nice episode of Star Trek.
  • The most thoughtful, sweet collection of songs ever assembled for me (once again, from my awesome mom).
  • The scent of cinnamon candles mingling with early summer wind.
  • Cuddles from my cats.
  • The opportunity to just relax and watch Let’s Plays on YouTube until I get tired.
  • Owls and frogs and the wind conversing me to sleep.
  • And, of course, the ability to record the intricate, beautiful details of the day.

From here, I go.

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