-  The measuring of time is fine-tuned in accuracy down to the leap-second, on New Years Day of this year. The epoch of this scale however goes back to midnight, January 1st, 1970. The scale also measures time before 1970, but in negative numbers. At 15:30:08 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), on Saturday, December 4th, in the year 292,277,026,596, sixty-four-bit versions of the Unix timestamp will cease to work when they overflow the largest value that can be held in a signed sixty-four-bit number. But long, long, long before that, the Sun will reach out and swallow us whole.
- Elizabeth Zvonar is born May 22nd, in Thunderbay, Ontario.
- One day in the future, in an interview for Here and Elsewhere, Zvonar will say: “I once went to a number of future tellers to work out questions I had regarding the potential future of the Voyager I and Voyager II spacecrafts for a project I was making. In order to garner a reading, I derived an astrological birth chart for the space probes based on their launch time, date and geographic location. I booked appointments with a tarot reader, a psychic, a dilettante astronomer and a nutritionist healer who is planning to exit the matrix on a different kind of Voyager than I was there to inquire about, in the year 2018. However, he did have some interesting things to say. The thing I took from the nutritionist healer that I sometimes still think about is that he described how time operates by referencing a painting. He pointed to a figure in a landscape hanging on his office wall. He then said to focus in on a section of that painting, any tiny portion of it. This, he suggested, is a life. That painting is an entire life from beginning to end and it’s happening simultaneously, all the time. We’re born, we grow up, we live a life and then we die, all at the same time. We’re only able to function by dealing with the tiny section we focus on at any given time.”
- I (D-L Alvarez) love both my parents, though their own love for each other is more often fraught with differences than harmonious. They argue almost daily about things that seem trivial, however one day when I am in my teens there will be a bout where Dad accuses Mom of having a lesbian affair. He won’t be the first to wonder about her sexuality. Mom is tuff and travels in cliques of tuff women, some of whom are indeed lesbian. My childhood is spent amongst tribes of politically minded, forward thinking females. There’s the subcommittee of educators who are part of the Farm Workers’ Movement, the nuns for peace we sometimes camp with before marches that are too far from Stockton to sleep at home, the gossipy klatch that hangs out at the local woman-owed doughnut shop, and her old crew from when she was a meter deputy. The only social group she’s part of that is not exclusively female is the motorcycle club where she met Dad. This will be the case up until the early Eighties, when she will join me in getting involved in the local community theater, thus widening her social circle to include gay men.
- (But back to 1972…) Mom takes her first plane trip with her best friend Dee Dee Blank. Dee Dee is one of Mom’s former co-workers as a meter deputy, as well as the friend who introduced her to The Port Stockton Motorcycle Club. They are plus-sized women, both with a brash sense of humor and polyester stretch pants, happily married to biker-hubbies. But this vacation is a girl’s only outing.
They go to Hawaii.
This same year, U.S. airlines begins mandatory inspection of passengers and baggage. Yep: before December 1972, you could walk directly from the ticket counter to the tarmac and onto the plane without being stopped. Which is exactly what Mom and Dee Dee do.
Dad, my younger brother, and I see them off from the small Stockton Airport.
A week later we return there to welcome them home. The trip also marked Mom’s first time in a plane. She talks about the flight more than she does about the tropical island, and her photographs reflect this screwed excitement: shot after shot of clouds taken from the airplane window. She retells the story so often that she makes it one of my memories. I start dreaming about looking down on clouds, and for years to come on into my late teens, I will carry the memory with me of my first flight at age seven. In truth I will not see the inside of a commercial plane until I am twenty-three and going to Europe for the first time.
- From the same interview sited above, Zvonar adds, “It’s a simple example that suggests a complex layering of possibility. I do wonder about how concrete time is and I question the history we’re privy to based on the basic understanding that the loudest and strongest voices are often the bookkeepers. Published history is a by-product of the fittest’s ability to survive.”
- Two days before the end of this year, is the last flight for one commercial airline going from New York to Florida. It crashes down in the Everglades on a clear chilly night. The fiery burst is witnessed by some men out gigging bullfrogs.