Today I dug my car out of deep snow and drove down the mountain into town, to have a swim, buy some groceries, eat a burger, and remind myself what other people are like. The people I happened to see were primarily those in the 3-hour apocalyptic epic, 2012. On the whole they were beautiful and heroic, conducting love affairs in limousines speeding through the lobbies of crumbling skyscrapers, and having heart to heart talks inside parked Bentleys in the cargo bays of Russian airplanes coasting over the high Himalayas and quickly running out of fuel. Those same Himalayas were soon drowned by tsunamis that smashed into mountaintop monasteries, washing away the wise old Lamas living inside. Whenever I think about the end of the world (and I think about it pretty often), I'm never quite sure what to do next. There is this train of thought which is thrilling and urgent and conspiratorial and important, but once you put it down for a moment, for one reason or another, you realize you're hungry and need to go make dinner, or call your Mom, or go for a swim, or get some work done. I never know how to reconcile these two scales of attention, and always feel a bit stunned after a movie like that &mdash blinded from the path I was previously on, which then inevitably seems small and myopic. Usually only sleep, and the infinitely richer world of dreams, can reset and restore me.