Yesterday was my 30th birthday. Alison threw me a surprise party (just the two of us) on Friday night and made me a bunny cake! Yesterday she gave me a bottle of really nice tequila, and I had some with breakfast ;-). My brother got me a book, and there are more gifts on the way that I don’t know what they are. Alison and I had a nice visit to our favorite boba tea place in Long Beach, then headed over to Anaheim to see the Angels play the Mariners, and I got a proper Angels hat. It’s made of really light, breathable material and it was very comfortable. It also represents some sort of turning point for me, as I do not change baseball allegience lightly, though eventually I guess I always do.
This past week, my wife’s dissertation was aproved by Columbia’s dissertation office, meaning the printouts had the right margins, her paperwork made its way from the Art History department, her library fees were all paid, her account was in good standing, and 12 years of your typical bureaucratic wrangling has sorted itself out.
I’m very proud of Alison for seeing this project through. It was a long project, beginning back in 1997 when we took our first trip to Cahors in southern France and she got the idea of doing a massive geographic survey of Romanesque architecture. But it’s not just the length, it’s the fact that she did it on her own (with a little technical and minor logistical help from me, but my whining cancels that out), often against hardship imposed by lesser or more jaded minds. If anyone had thought that academics was about the pursuit of knowledge and study, to understand our place in history and in the universe, they would be pretty much wrong. Academics is dominated by small minds and people who try to stop the proliferation of great ideas, just like in other pursuits. There really is no good home for people who want to pursue true, pure knowledge and understanding.
I actually had time to play some Gameboy games today! I have quite a backlog, which will surprise no one who knows me, and it felt good to give it some attention.
My father-in-law got me Advance Wars for Christmas, and I love it! I was afraid it would be confusing, but the designers have succeeded in making it very accessible. Any game that hides complexity with an accessible and fun interface, and especially good tutorials, becomes addictive — it’s a rule somewhere.
I also picked up Zelda: A Link to the Past again. I was somewhere in the middle, and when I couldn’t immediately remember what had already happened, I decided to start over. (Aside: people like me who like big games, yet have little time to devote to them often end up in the position of having to start all over to keep continuity. It adds that extra level of frustration to the sense of lost time.) Well, it turned out I was only about three minutes from the beginning! So that was a relief. Anyway, it’s also a great game with very interesting maps and buildings.
Soon I hope to get Pokemon Advance, and to get back into Golden Sun.
Bob Frankston, co-creator of the original spreadsheet VisiCalc, has recently written down a postmortem, 25 years later!
Not that you care, but I’m going to merge in all my work content into a category, and see how it coexists with my main category.
My birthday’s coming up, so head on over to amazon.com and check out my wish list! 🙂