A few weeks back I got email from a guy I met back when I was in grad school, probably a decade ago. (And let me just say: OH MY GOD, grad school was a decade ago?!?) I met him at this gay mens' potluck I'd occasionally go to, and he recently ran across my name in some article and looked me up (which isn't hard, since the first five pages of Google hits on my name are almost entirely me) and sent me email. It took me a little while to place him (thankfully, he sent a picture with one of the emails, because my nameserver is overloaded and I need more clues than just a name to place someone, because I have met way too many people -- plus he used to go by his middle name, Aric, but now he goes by his first name William), but my memories were positive, if fuzzy, so we made arrangements to have dinner with him on Friday.
We met him at Pho Duy, near our house, a few minutes late because he'd busted open his lip running electrical conduit just before he left, poor guy. I had a soda lemonade with my pho that was nearly perfect, and I think if it had been salty also, it could have replicated the fantastic stuff we had that first time. We spent a long dinner chatting and catching up and being sociable and had a fine old time. He's a funny guy, and I'm hoping we'll get together again before too long. (He's also kinda cute; Greg thinks they might have flirted with one another at the Wrangler in drunken days of yore.)
Saturday, I picked up a package from the post office (Pratchett books and a Killers CD from Amazon, bought with birthday gift certificate, hurray) and dropped off the laptop at Best Buy. The AC plug is loose, and I have to carefully wiggle it about until it connects when I plug it in. The service tech requested a junkout because it's had so many problems, which means that I might get a new laptop, and that would be really cool. The fact that she made the request without any prompting on my part goes a long way towards making us happier with them.
I also picked up flowers and chinese food and took them to my Grandmother. Grandma is 93 and does not need more stuff, so for Christmas this year I gave her a gift certificate for a cashew chicken dinner, which is her favorite. So I had a lovely visit. As usual, she did most of the talking, which is fine. I worry about her, because 93 is very old, but she seems to be going along just fine. She was pretty cheery this visit. I also put a drawer back in her refrigerator for her.
On Sunday, I lazed about and didn't take a shower until zalena had actually arrived at 5 in the evening, oops, because I am a total slacker, and then we watched Brick for Noir Night. If you haven't heard about it, it's about modern high-school students, done in the noir style. It was quite good. I probably wouldn't really have appreciated it before watching all the other movies that we've watched, because I wouldn't have seen what it was trying to do. But it does it quite well, I think. It made me simultaneously feel like my youth was pretty boring, and very glad that I'm not in high school anymore. I worked out some of the twists in advance, but not all of them.
And then, this morning, I did a study for people collecting data to improve handwriting recognition on tablet PCs. It was pretty cool, except for the part where the computer I was using took literally five minutes to load up each exercise. By the end of it, my wrist was starting to ache a little from resting on the edge, so I don't think I'll be using a tablet PC unless they get much thinner. But I really can't complain, because I got a copy of MS-Office 2007 out of it. Even with the extra time waiting (I was the last one to leave), that's about $200/hour in compensation.
(If you're local and interested, the study's going through June. http://www.handwritingstudy.com/ for details. And if you mention my or Jerry's name, we'll get a shiny $5 bill come August...)