At any rate, I am home. The flight was packed but not too bad and, as it was a 777, I had a choice of movies. I contemplated Mamma Mia but decided on Bottle Shock instead. Which was disappointing, as I thought it was too slow paced. It wasn't terrible, but I was glad I saw it for free and didn't pay to see it in a movie theatre.
Since I haven't done anything much except work and travel for the past couple of days, here is a meme that has been making the rounds.
1) When did you know what you wanted to do (as a career)?
As a person who has built my career around having a short attention span, I'm not sure I can say even now I know what I want to do. While I found space fascinating even as a child (the first book I remember reading was titled You Will Go to the Moon) and I always wanted to do research, I changed my mind about specifics a lot. I was well on the way to my doctorate before figuring out that I didn't want an academic career.
2) What's your favorite line from a book or movie?
"Who, cher monsieur, will sleep on the floor for us?" - Albert Camus, The Fall
3) What was your childhood ambition?
I wanted to be an astronaut, but didn't think women would ever be allowed to. (Remember, I grew up in the dark ages.) So I settled on wanting to be a chemist and, when people told me girls didn't become chemists, I pointed out my comic book biography of Madame Curie. There were also periods when I wanted to be a writer or an actress. I don't think I would have had an idea what an aerospace engineer was, so I certainly never thought that was what I'd end up doing.
4) Who is your favorite superhero and why?
I like Batman on the grounds that he became what he is via his own efforts, not an accident of birth.
5) What are your top ten favorite songs of all time?
In no particular order and assuming tunes (i.e. musical pieces without words) count:
Southern Cross - Crosby, Stills & Nash
Glen Kabul / Trip to Pakistan - Old Blind Dogs
Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra
Nice Work If You Can Get It - hard to pick a recording of this Gershwin standard, but perhaps Billie Holiday. Or you can never really go wrong with Ella Fitzgerald
Give Paris One More Chance - Jonathan Richman
L'Oranguta - Pepe & the Bottle Blondes
The Sound of the Drums - Angelique Kidjo
Plastic Roses - The Chenille Sisters
Yo Hanino - The Voice of the Turtle
Baby It's Cold Outside - Frank Loesser (the best known recording is the one by Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer, but there are lots of others, including one of Loesser singing it with his wife)