Sunday, May 14, 2006

Random, loosely-linked neuron firings

Lots has happened in the past few weeks that I could be blogging about, but by the time I sit down on the couch and pull up the laptop I can barely remember what sites I want to read, let alone what I want to write about. And the old episodes of Doctor Who are piling up on the PVR too quickly for me to burn them to DVD. It's hard out here for a geek.

Three of my best friends from high school have been in touch recently; one of them, J., even came to visit (albeit far too briefly). You never make friends again like the ones you have when you're 14, and it's really quite marvellous to fall back into a conversation as comfortable as ones had more than 20 years ago. R. commented on one of my Flickr pictures today; that's how I got back in touch with her. She's a diplomat in India these days. She's always been a richly talented writer, and her blog (Esquivalience, linked on the right) is some wonderful reading.

I dropped by the old job on Friday (not, of course, going inside) and saw several of my former students and co-workers. S., a tall, gorgeous French speaker from Cameroon, and I congratulated each other on our bellies. She's at seven months now, and has an older daughter who has the best case of Skeptical Small Child Face that I think I've ever seen. Everyone seems to be doing well; I still miss them all a lot.

In other news, the anatomical ultrasound went well. We got to watch the whole thing on a monitor on the wall in front of us. Evidently there really is a baby in there. We saw a head, a heart, a healthy spine, kidneys, arms, legs, hands, and as the technician put it, "two tiny feets." The femur was 2.4cm long (about 1"). The still pictures they give out afterwards don't come anywhere close to conveying the visceral thrill that comes from seeing a tiny little hand open and close inside your belly. This baby is very active and seems to enjoy the energy that comes after I exercise.

On the other side of the circle of life, though, we got word this week that Stephen, my first officemate at IBM when I came here in 1992, died a couple of months ago. Stephen was a true Renaissance man, with collections of books and LPs that could probably have put some universities to shame. He was kind and funny, goofy and generous to a fault. He loved opera, cooking, doggerel, bad jokes, and his partner, Edward, who predeceased him by at least a decade. I'd been meaning to get back in touch with him for years. Dammit. Peace be with you, Stephen. Your presence is much missed.

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