Friday imtboo and I rented a car and drove to Anacortes, and thence took the ferry to Orcas Island and spent the long weekend together in a lodge on Orcas Island. Was really relaxing and settling for me -- and for her -- to have time just for the two of us, with no distractions -- no internet, no homework, no wondering whose house we're sleeping at tonight. It's so quiet out there on the island; we just spent those two and a half days relaxing, getting a chance to feel each other; to take small risks with each other, and to reassert what good things we have together.
We communicate really well. I felt comfortable and safe there with her; some things that evoke fear and concern for her, she was able to bring up with me. In the way these things always are, they turned out much smaller in the warm sunlight of sharing them with each other, and were replaced by strength and more love.
Coming back Sunday night, we both wanted to go home. Sadly, our homes are still different. But we each wanted to go home, and we did -- but it's clear to us both that we want our home to be together. We've known that for a while, but this just reinforced that feeling -- now we're looking to move together at the end of January, and this trip together makes me even happier that we're doing it.
I'm very happy. It was a lovely weekend and I'm looking forward to having more time like that. And also to have more time like that here in the Pac-NW urban life as well. It feels so good to be happy in my life.
It felt quiet and peaceful, but i was wishing she was there. Then I found a little love letter she had written me and left on my backpack before she left, and I felt quiet and peaceful, and full instead of empty.
I feel lucky.
- I got back from the conference on Monday and was completely beat. Met lots of nice people, including gangs of grad students from OGI, MIT and UMass Amherst, who were all very well represented.
- I was invited to join the AARP yesterday. I find it hard to imagine I'm really eligible. And they're bastards anyway.
- I am one of the vice presidents of our graduate student organization this year. This means I
have toget to arrange speakers for the Friday colloquia and then stand up and welcome them.
- It looks like I may be researching work on transliteration and language-of-origin identification for Chinese-to-English MT this quarter.
- the new comp-ling master's students got very upset at one of the faculty today because they don't know what their internships will look like. I understand their frustration. My internship wasn't much fun, either. Their panic was no fun to watch though and I'm not sure it's useful or productive for them to pick on the faculty.
- imtboo made me dinner. On the way there, I got to go to the comic book store, and talk to my brother on the telephone. imtboo and I are sitting around the dining room table together on laptops. She is [re]writing her play.
imtboo's first comment in my journal was a recommendation to go visit Neah Bay, along with a mysterious hint about her identity. In the ensuing thread (over two days), she flirted with me, I flirted back, we discussed Romance languages and romance -- appropriately enough -- bloomed as she asked me out ("I am not hitting on you", sheesh) and I accepted (after, I think, this hint from caracola), leading to this date, and we're together eleven months next Friday.
I miss her. This is the longest I've been away from her since then. We still haven't visited Neah Bay.
[As a postscript: I discovered today that if you google for lj imtboo, my journal comes up as the first link.]
In addition to my hosts, I saw cleverpig (just filed her PhD, yay!) and bicoastal (backing slowly away from LJ, seems happy, may get a chance to see her again while I'm here), also S. who's busy looking for sales engineer work in the Bay Area; greymalkin42 rounds out the list of LJ name-checking I can do from this party.
Both apollinax and bicoastal seem to have grown in some way since I last knew them -- I doubt that they're actually taller than I remember, but both of them seem to carry themselves with a quiet confidence in their lives that I envy (and that I think they have always had, but only in the last years grown into). apollinax is definitely going to be the sort of faculty that all the starry-eyed undergrads imprint on -- he's handsome, softspoken, and super-smart. But it will break the heart of those impressionable young things when they find out he's with bicoastal, because they'll know there's no hope.
To take a page from beckyb: the grilled asparagus was spectacularly good; a small plateful was in front of me and I think I ate quite a few.
And of course, my old dear friends IZ and AA were there. IZ and AA are the sort of friends that I don't see for two years and then suddenly we're in a room together and there's no catching up to do -- fun experiences to share, but none of the sense of "I must see how this person has changed before I can be comfortable with him". I've known them for more than ten years, and that confidence is still there. It's really quite wonderful to find that feeling every time it happens. AA's boy and IZ and I have matching hairstyles now, which I was startled by -- I asked IZ "how long have you had long hair?" and to my relief it was only a few months. (I had this awkward feeling that it was how it had been for five years -- it has been a long time since I've seen him -- and that would be strange.) But our bubbly language-geek/theater-geek rapport was there right away, starting off immediately with breaking down the semiotics of the Star Wars movies, just like old times.
That conversation made me wish even more that imtboo was there. I know she would like that conversation; IZ is a fellow playwright and equally interested in the headaches and victories of being a writer and an actor and a director, and equally good at the rocketing back and forth with the techies and staying afloat. You'd like each other. And Boo, I miss you. I wish I wasn't staying away from you this long.
AA offered me the chance to crash in her spare bedroom in Berkeley rather than drive back to Palo Alto, and I took her up on the offer. We chatted for a while, and her boy C. came over, and he went straight to bed. She followed him, and I made my way to the spare bedroom and crashed out hard.
The next morning, AA made waffles and we ate them with nectarines (yum) and jam. We walked to C.'s house, and I played with his friendly cat Tilly-of-the-small-eyes while AA did some vegetable garden work. We wandered over to AA's parents' house, a few blocks farther, and I contemplated my envy that she lives so close to her folks: lapartera and trombo2, I wish you lived in the same town as me, only fifteen blocks away; I could come over (as we did) to hang out, sit on the back porch in the sun by the lemon tree, have tea, and talk about politics, indigenous art, and the origin of knitting (C is learning to knit; apparently all the cool boys are doing that). I debated with AA's dad about the Nostratic theory, which I'm quite skeptical of, and we sat on the washing machine to keep it from running through the house on its own. IZ came by on his bike, and eventually (after three hours!) all us kids left again to go to the wine shop. We bought two bottles of cider and a bottle of wine and met IZ's girl (M) back at C's house; we sat in the yard there and ate expensive potato chips with sourcream while we drank the cider, and then rolled back to AA's house.
I got to talk to imtboo just before we had dinner, and hung out with the whole gang there for a while longer, until it was really so late that I had to leave in order to make it back to PA before midnight, when my rental car turned into a pumpkin (okay, not really a pumpkin -- I just didn't want to be up too late driving in a strange town). Late night, slightly tired driving is not much fun, and I got back to the hotel tired and ready for bed, with a sore neck from driving in heavy traffic. I checked my email, and went to sleep.
Hoping not to steal silamander's thunder, but really looking forward to visiting with that crew, which I haven't seen all together for a long time.
Nevertheless, I miss imtboo, who would enjoy the company of many of these people.
Still way behind on livejournal; I'm on Aug 8 right now and moving forward.
A far-too-irregularly scheduled summer vacation is also imminent. I will probably not be keeping up with LJ for the next ten days or so; if there's anything you think I'd really like or need to see, please send me email at [the obvious user name] at g mail . I still won't get back to you fast, bein' on an island in coastal New England with lousy internet access -- but I might be more likely to get back to you when I return.
Love to you all.
- i have a two-page set of comments from my advisor, and she thinks I'm going about the approach of an entire section wrong, and wants me to reorganize the rest of the chapter as well.
- the printer is broken; I can't even print them out to cross off the comments I feel like I've dealt with
- somebody's blowing up working-class commuters in London.
- I have no results from an earlier round of experiments; they'll need to be revised again
- my eye itches
- my department is eliminating all space for TAs; all the grad students will be in trailers except for the traitors to other departments like me
- i've invaded the privacy of a very dear friend, due to my own thoughtlessness
- i didn't finish the sections i wanted to rewrite and expand yesterday (on why CFGs are unsatisfying but they're what we got, and on lexicalized CFGs)
Say, completely unrelated...how did you get into your field? I was thinking about it earlier today and wondering what lead you to where you are now....
huh -- I'm flattered that you asked. I have a BA in Linguistics from [data embargo: pretentious Northeast school], and when I moved to upstate New York with my wife (er, now ex-wife) I was looking for work in Ithaca New York. This was back when Google had just risen over the horizon, and I was an early adopter thanks to my little brother the CS geek, and I tried it out:
but it *worked* then. I found a job listing at [no-longer-existing-company], which -- at the time -- wrote speech synthesis software. I moved (with [ex-wife]) and applied for a job, interviewed, and was given the job. I was just a linguist, with a knack for computer-y stuff. I spent two years working there, learning my way around and programming linguistic knowledge into a specialized language that [erstwhile-company] used for encoding linguistic understanding. But as the job went on, I learned a bunch of the hard-core geek stuff by hanging out with the programmers in the office and wound up being the person who spoke both dialects: linguist and geek. I am sure that going through a divorce around this time made it very easy to throw myself into the kind of single-minded focus that learning-to-program requires.
Then one of my co-workers got head-hunted to work for [another erstwhile], a startup company out here. He left, without much notice, and I missed the nearly-daily lunches we used to have together. Two months later, he called me and told me I should apply "if nothing else, you'll get a free trip to Seattle, and you can visit me!" I did as told, got offered the job (at about double the salary, which in real dollars was a substantial but not nearly 2x raise, because Seattle is much more expensive than Ithaca), and moved out to take a job in Redmond. At the new place, it was much clearer that my job was to be both a programmer and a linguist, and I thrived (throve?) on the work but hated the politics. The money was nice too -- until it started sputtering out. I had seen the writing on the wall, and had already submitted my application before they laid me off, and I wound up in school.
Over the last two years, I've pendulumed back and forth between thinking "I know everything the academy has to teach me" and "oh my god I'll never catch up"; so long as I'm in the swing between I'm okay, but when I reach a maximum -- on either end -- I think about dropping out. But usually I'm pretty happy as an academic for the time being.
Extra bonus: the previous tenant was moving out but didn't know what to do with the moderately-nice [Ikea-class] sofa she couldn't use in her new place. So I get it -- for free. It folds out into a bed!
Biggest negative (not huge): it's in Cap Hill, not East Cap Hill or the CD. I've been looking in general for a place farther east and not in the middle of hipster alley. ah well. as a
Big uncomfortable moment past: calling current landlord to explain that I'm moving out and he may expect a reference call from my new potential landlords. They didn't answer, so I left a rather awkward message explaining that due to some complicated circumstances, I am moving out and K and A are staying in the apartment. I of course am staying on the lease and told them my cell number so they could get a hold of me if there was ever a problem with the lease. I'm trying so hard to be responsible about it, but I know it's going to make the landlords at the current place nervous.
ah well. I am happy to have chosen a place. Hope there's no big nasty blowup with the old landlord.
I miss you writing about your life in your journal. What is going on in your life ? We'd love to know.It's nice that
Unfortunately, I've been lax about posting, and as the events pile up and the amount of astoundingly good writing comes from my friends list who are amazing writers, I've gotten a little intimidated to write about prosaic stuff like what's going on in my life.
But that's no excuse, really: y'all must find me a little interesting or you wouldn't friend me. I love that that's a verb.
well then.( work... )
( home... )
( love... )
( friends... )
( geekery... )[EDIT: oh yes, and I'm fighting off a cold.]