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L.A. Story [Feb. 23rd, 2004|12:30 am]
[mood |contentcontent]
[music |Big Sonic Chill]

This last weekend, I was up visiting an old friend in Pasadena. I had a great time.

I’ve known my friend D since high school, so over 15 years at this point. He’s one of the few classmates I keep up with, and we’ve occasionally ended up in the same general area. Back in 1995-1998, he was in Golden while I was in Denver, and now he’s in Pasadena while I’m in San Diego. Being able to hang out with him again has been lots of fun.

Some of his friends were leaving to go back to their homeland of Australia, so a big party was planned for Thursday night. I didn’t figure that I’d be up for driving home, so I took Friday off. The party was lots of fun: fascinating and extra-smart people to chat with (grad students at CalTech), yummy beer and other booze, and some fun music.

Friday, I biked over to see D’s work, and ended up going to lunch with him and some of his coworkers. Most of us have played with OK Cupid, so we amused ourselves by making fun of the personality test. “Random Gentle Hack Master”!

Later that evening, I tried to help one of his roommates’ friends study for the CBEST math portion. Not sure if I actually helped or not, but she’s extra-cute, so it was time well-spent regardless. :)

(It is also quite strange to talk about math with someone for whom math was not easy. Most of my friends are geeks; as a rule, we’re fairly mathematical. Here was someone who wasn’t, and trying to describe processes that are second nature to me is actually pretty challenging...)

Saturday morning, D and I went on a bike ride with two of his buddies up there. The couple, R and P, were on mountain bikes, and D rides a recumbent. This is particularly important, because our route took us up a pretty steep road; I didn’t have sufficient leg strength and/or low gears to make it, so I wussed out about halfway up. (I ride a 12-speed road bike, and my lowest ratio is 42:24 on 700C rims.) We had breakfast at a charmingly retro coffeehouse in Sierra Madre, then biked back home.

From there, D and I went to the Museum of Jurassic Technology, an extremely bizarre and entirely fascinating place: equal parts true scholarship, tongue-in-cheek analysis of our society’s quirks, and an expression of how the future might look back at us now. Well worth going to, if you have a few spare hours the next time you’re in Los Angeles.

Since we were already over in the L.A. / Hollywood area, we had dinner at Canter’s. Very yummy.

We had made vague plans to get together with some of D’s friends that evening for gaming, but they all bailed out. We ended up just hanging out and geeking. (Yes, it is a verb.) I got drunk on Skyy Vanilla Vodka, and wrote up some b-spline based polygon smoothing code. A good time... as well as deciding that “drunken coding” is as good a game as any. :)

Sunday, D & I met up with my friend N over in Hollywood, only a few blocks from where we had dinner Saturday. We had a yummy lunch, then stopped by Amoeba Music. The three of us continued our conversation (mostly about music) back at N’s place; she eventually had to leave to pick up someone stranded at LAX.

We wandered back to his place in Pasadena, grabbed some dinner, then practiced juggling. He’s trying to teach me club passing, while I’m trying to coach him through doing torches. Neither of us were having a great amount of luck, sadly.

I finally headed home about 8:00 p.m. ... only to have one of the most harrowing drives I’ve had in a long while. It had been raining off and on all weekend, and it decided to go to “on” while I was driving home:

nasty weather

There were at least five multi-car accidents on the drive home. I still managed to average about 50 mph (80 km/h), but I had to concentrate the whole time. Nice to reassure myself that the little Subaru does handle itself gracefully in the rain.

It was a great time. I’m so not looking forward to work tomorrow.

[User Picture]From: rockit_grl
2004-02-23 02:05 pm (UTC)
sounds like a good time. coffee houses are fun and of course I bet it was interesting teaching that cutie some math tricks and I'm sure you had a few tricks of your own you wish you could show her ;)

I hear to teach is the final state to enlightment. You can learn a lot just teaching someone what you know. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Students often come up with problems that you may not even think of or different ways of thinking about or doing something.

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[User Picture]From: tkil
2004-02-24 07:52 am (UTC)

Re: tricks

coffee houses are fun

Yes, they are. :) Although they might be more so, if I drank coffee... They did make a pretty yummy breakfast, and as my friend D pointed out, food always tastes better after you’ve “earned” it by exercising or accomplishing something.

and of course I bet it was interesting teaching that cutie some math tricks and I'm sure you had a few tricks of your own you wish you could show her ;)

Eh, not really. :-/

I’m pretty much a disaster in bed* (and in romantic relationships in general), and have disappointed myself (and others) enough in the past that I’m not interested in trying any more. I enjoyed her company, tried to help her (probably more than I would have if I hadn’t found her attractive) but never entertained any thoughts of anything more for longer than it took to dismiss them. Really.

* You did say that there was no such thing as TMI... :)

(Yeah, I’ve thought this way for a while now. Usenet is forever, it seems.)

I hear to teach is the final state to enlightenment.

I think that it forces me to pay attention to processes that have become second nature to me, and forces me to justify and explain them. Which improves my understanding of the process, and so it goes.

It also makes me wonder how it would feel to have an intuitive grasp of emotions that’s as second-nature to its holder as I find elementary mathematics. I can come up with all sorts of theories as to why someone is acting or reacting in a certain way, but I feel lost trying to figure out which are valid.
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