I had a perfectly good weekend imperfectly capped by a crappy movie. My life is an unending stream of irritants.
My uncle came and visited on Friday. He's a biochemist, and of the previous generation, and as such has some odd ideas about my own (not biochem) area of science. Granted, he's nowhere near as bad as the retired engineers are; he knows what energy is, and he knows when to acknowledge that just because something doesn't make sense doesn't mean it's not true. He's a good guy, and among my favorite relatives; for my high school graduation he bought me Kip Thorne's brick of popularization, Black Holes and Time Warps, and even went so far as to have it autographed. I hope he didn't walk up to Kip's office at Caltech, as he lived in Glendale at the time, but I wouldn't put it past him, as he is/was an academic and would not think it weird. The book didn't really change my life or anything, which is ironic as it's much, much better than the poorly written Brief History of Time which had a much greater effect on me earlier in high school, but the gesture really impressed me at the time.
Come to think of it, my other uncle had given me Hawking's book. And his old XT, which got me into computers, and saving my paper route money for a 386 instead of a jalopy. These dudes were seriously influential on my course of life. I'll have to let them know one of these days.
Friday I showed him my lab, and we had dinner at Luigino's near Metro Center, which was reasonably expensive and totally forgettable. The caprese was flavorless and my risotto's texture was screwy. Mental note: never order a risotto in a high-throughput restaurant, no matter how fancy. It's too easy to screw up. At least the calamari wasn't rubbery. Saturday we caught up in my apartment, having coffee over my grandfather's (his father's) ancient desk, and talked about the science business a bit before decamping off to Acadiana, which was unbelievably good. I had a Sazerac before dinner, which blew my mind. I've been looking for Peychaud's bitters for so long now I'd forgotten why I wanted them. And now I know.
The upshot is, the next day found me watching The Illusionist with the girlfriend. And it was terrible. What a lame, lame movie. Visualize me shaking my head with wonder just like the Sideways guy does at the end, only I'm shaking my head in wonder that the movie could be so bad, not at the awesomeness of Ed Norton's caper. Boo, hiss.