Life has a way of throwing you curve balls occasionally, just to keep you on your toes. Sometimes the twists aren't so pleasant, but then again, sometimes they lead you in an exciting new direction you might not have otherwise explored. Case in point: When I moved to New York City after finishing college in Seattle, I had no idea I'd end up writing about physics and related sciences for a living -- and that it would be the perfect career for me.
Something similar happened when I started a blog called Cocktail Party Physics back in February. Among the many emails I received welcoming me to the blogosphere was a friendly missive from Cosmic Variance's Sean Carroll. Sensing a kindred spirit, we struck up an intermittent email exchange, eventually meeting at the APS April Meeting in Dallas. It was an unlikely setting for love to bloom, but nonetheless, bloom it did.
I now find myself engaged to this very same Sean Carroll -- as in, to be married. (Sean's own blogannouncement is here.) Past dating advice to geeks notwithstanding, my new fiancee status is quite the novelty, and I'm still navigating the unexpected twists and turns of the new fork my Road of Life is taking. But I promise not to turn into Bridezilla: wedding frenzy will not take over the cocktail party. (Jen-Luc Piquant, on the other hand, has been reading far too many back issues of Modern Bride, and is losing her Cyber-cool just a bit.)
Some may wonder: why Sean Carroll, and not some other bloggy physicist or science type? I could provide a laundry list of reasons stretching into infinity, since one rarely needs an excuse to sing the praises of one's beloved. But I'll spare my readers. Let's just say that the man has his very own bag of plush plagues, stuffed toys that represent the biblical ten plagues of Egypt. There's even a tiny black cube of darkness. With eyes. I covet Sean's bag of plagues, and figure the best way of sneakily appropriating them for my own is to enter into the bonds of matrimony. Community property and all that.
But the real reason is best illustrated by this: On Wednesday, after I'd finished my blogging duties at the Industrial Physics Forum in San Francisco, we drove to his new home in Los Angeles via the "scenic route" along the coast. At sunset, we stopped briefly to refuel and to admire the brilliant orange, red and purple hues stretching across the horizon, and savor the peaceful sound of waves lapping against the shore. It was the perfect romantic setting to cap off a long and tiring several days. Sean is nothing if not romantic. So he put his arms around me and whispered, "Wouldn't it be fascinating to take a Fourier transform of those waves?"
I will never listen to ocean waves or view a beautiful sunset in quite the same way again. He is always doing this, surprising me with an off-the-cuff observation, confronting my too-pat assumptions, challenging me to consider things from a variety of angles rather than the easiest or most obvious, and joyously inviting me to share his passion for discovering as many mysteries of the universe as we can manage in our comparatively short time here on earth. I can't imagine anyone else I'd rather have by my side as I take this new fork in my Life-road. Who knows where it will lead? All I know is -- I won't be bored.