Wednesday, May 9, 2007


I spent yesterday at a huge industry conference.   It's not my style (too many sales types, in suits, huckstering, and talks about technology I don't care about), but the trade show definitely rocks.    But it certainly wasn't worth driving fifty miles through nasty traffic.  

What also sucked was being approached by someone I didn't ever  care to see again.   A fellow from my graduate school department, four years behind me,  came up to me, shook hands, and tried to make small talk about where I was working, how good it felt to be out of school, etc.   The trouble was, the last time I interacted with him, he was leading a girl who I'd gotten together with a couple times (but wasn't yet 'dating', and who had really turned my head upside down) away from a party we were all at.   She'd told me straight to my face at the party that they'd been hooking up.    She was incoherent and drunk, but it was that kind of party.  This was at the bottom of thesis hell, to boot.   I'm actually kind of glad it happened when it did- if I was trying to get data, or something, I would have been useless, but just writing and banging out the thesis was doable, even when a wreck.    She was trouble with a capital T and I was lucky to wash her out of my hair, but at the time, holy crap, was I a mess.

Anyhow, independent of this triangle, the guy was a real shitbag, and I had disliked him before this all happened, which made it even worse.   I'm sure he got wind of my state, because we had mutual friends, and I saw him staring at me at the local dive several times in the following months.    The triangle didn't last; he was (long-distance) engaged, the girl was moving to a large Midwestern state, and I was leaving for the other coast.    Even at my most charitable, I wouldn't ever want to see him again if only to not be reminded of a crappy failed coupling.   I won't mention what I think of him at my less charitable.

But here he was, chumming it up with me at an industry conference?   I don't get it.   We probably didn't exchange more than three words back in school.    We're not even in the same subfield anymore.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

And your little dog, too

I've been compulsively watching tornado videos all morning, beginning with this one and moving on to a larger archive.   That first link is to an article, and the link is buried, apple-F for "Oklahoma."   Fucking CNN, unable to provide permalinks for videos.    Old media sucks.

Cricket (not her real name, by the way, to correct two e-mailing lurkers) is out of town on business this weekend, and instead of tearing it up with the boys, of which I essentially have none, or tomcatting about in unrestrained debauchery, I'm at work, mostly because my entire career hinges on the next month yielding positive results.   

I haven't blogged much about what I'm reading lately.   I finally picked up Kavalier & Clay, as my distaste for universally adored books usually lasts until around such time as the author puts out another book.   It's all right so far.   I'm rereading some Marlowe mostly for comfort, although I don't like it as much as I used to.   The autobiography of Simone de Beauvoir is actually quite good, and I can't put it down.   You'd think reading someone talk about their childhood in a ridiculously self-absorbed fashion would be annoying, but I love it.   It's the sort of thing I'd probably end up doing if I ended up doing something with my life.

I also picked up The Oxford History of the American People but it's slow going, mostly because I just read it while I'm eating.   I'm only up to Henry Hudson.