Archive for January, 2005
We have three little pigs! Before, we had only Louis, and we worried that he might be lonely. So, for more than a year we considered getting him a friend. Finally, having read and heard more about it (mostly through guinea_pigs), we decided we should try it. Of course, me being me, I planned ahead for their deaths. I knew that it would be easier to move after I graduate if we didn’t have any pigs then, so I wanted pigs of Louis’s age, so they’d all die around the same time. It’s really amazingly callous to plan like that, but it’s not completely unreasonable.
So, we went to a guinea pig shelter in the Bay area. They didn’t have one male pig Louis’s age–instead, they had a pair that was used to living together, so we tried to see if he’d get along with them. He did (though they’re still sorting out who gets to be King Pig), so we brought the two of them home with us. To give them room to scamper, we had to expand the cage, which is now quite large–it’s the main feature in the office. They seem to like it okay, and we certainly like them. Milo has long hair and is very shy, while Chester has hair sticking every which way and is curious and bold.
I won’t post any pictures of them here. You can see pictures in my photoalbum, and
Kate says I haven’t been keeping my journal up to date. Well, I haven’t.
Anyway, life is good. Really good. Sometimes, when I have some time off and get to just relax with Kate, I get the feeling that this is the best period of my life. We get along well and we live well. We have a comfortable routine, and we do things we like. We have several cuddly pigs (see the next post), who we take care of as children. My work is probably about as fun as it will ever be, and I have to admit I enjoy the Berkeley weather (though the weather I enjoy most–windy weather–doesn’t come along often).
It’s sad to think that this time can’t last forever. Someday there will be kids, compromises, and random personal disasters, but I’m enjoying the good life while it’s here. It’s weird, though; I have difficulty mourning (I didn’t cry when my pair of guinea pigs died), but I can mourn the end of this time before the last days of it are even near. It’s this melancholy, bittersweet, adult feeling of both appreciation and loss. It can almost make me cry, thinking about how nice my life is. I guess this means I’m growing up.
I lost my damn contact! I’m not sure whether it went down the drain or not, though I can’t imagine where else it would have gone. The story goes as follows.
Because the water in the sink was draining slowly, I took out the little many-holed cap from the drain. It was holding a bubble of air, so when I removed it, the bubble came up and the water went down. But then, instead of putting it back in, I thoughtlessly just set it in the sink. When I tried putting in the contact, it fell and I couldn’t find it. I searched for that contact for a few minutes, but I needed to get to class, so I just went to class without any sort of corrective eye-wear. I have a second contact, but I didn’t want to spend a while trying to find it in the closet.
There went $40, literally down the drain.
I’m a GSI (aka a TA) this semester. That requires not only having office hours, but also having recitation sections, where I review stuff with the students. That’s hard, especially because I have a conflict with the class. Fortunately, there were only around 10-12 students present at last night’s session. All in all, I think it went pretty well. I wasn’t amazingly great, but I was decent, and the students interacted with me (well, some of them, anyway). Once it started I got more into it, so I wasn’t quite as self-conscious. I feel (quite possibly wrongly) that I’m pretty good at presenting myself one-on-one, so once I was more comfortable I was useful to them. I got a good idea from Arel–I handed out Russell’s brief introduction to Lisp. I think that will be helpful to them, and will give information in a more durable form than I could have presented.
I woke up in a good mood, and I’ve felt hopeful all morning. Why that should be surprising requires some explanation.
I’ve been visiting my family in Johnson City for about a week, while Kate has been at home working. It seemed like something was wrong from the very first time I called her, but I figured it was just that she was upset that I left her alone, working, to go have vacation. When she didn’t respond to my email, I assumed that I would just have to call to hear anything from her for the same reason.
However, when I called Kate on Saturday night, she announced that she was breaking up with me and hung up on me. I didn’t want my family to think that we were having troubles (or that Kate would ever hang up on me), so I couldn’t call back or race to the computer to wait for contact from her. Instead, I tried to go to sleep, though it took me at least an hour to fall asleep because of the nervousness. In the past, Kate had threatened to break up with me without any real intention of doing so, so I wasn’t really worried, just nervous. Also, it was that time of the month when Kate has a tendency to say things she doesn’t mean.
Then, in the morning, I checked my email. Kate had written two emails saying I’d better call her back or else. Also, she wrote in her journal that she was breaking up with me, which suddenly made me realize that she was not just kidding around. She said that she had been thinking about this for weeks (!), and this was her New Year’s gift to me. Needless to say, I was shocked. I hadn’t noticed anything of the sort, and it hadn’t occurred to me that she would feel that way. I had observed that Kate was having less fun lately, but I attributed that to a combination of dissatisfaction with work and a failure on my part (I had been very busy recently, so I hadn’t been very good company).
Immediately, I had my standard “we’re fighting” reaction. My heart began racing with panic, and I became nauseous with worry. Unfortunately, there is little privacy in my house, and I didn’t want my parents to think we were having difficulties, so I was unable to call Kate. What could I say that wouldn’t seem like we were having troubles? “Please don’t break up with me” doesn’t seem like something my parents should overhear. I came out of the computer room, and I think my dad could tell that something was wrong. I always have a terrible time disguising any emotions. I tried to put on a good face, and when my mom suggested that someone had to go to the store to get some groceries for making chocolates, I jumped at the chance to get out and have some privacy. At the store, I called Kate, and thankfully she answered. She said she still loves me, and I know I love her. She said that we’ll at least talk about it when I get back. This was good news, and I was able to go back to my family with some hope and even enjoy my last day at home.
I am very hopeful. As far as I can tell, nothing drastic has changed. We still love each other. We still have fun together. I still want to be with Kate. It just seems that she thinks we don’t belong together, but I can’t understand why, and because I can’t, I assume that there’s no good reason to think that. I know I might be missing something, and maybe the talk when we see each other this evening will be much more horrible than I had expected. But honestly, I think we just need to reaffirm our commitment, love, respect, and all that for each other. We belong together; you can tell because we love each other and we enjoy being around each other. I have a lot of fun being with Kate, and we connect with each other in a way I never had imagined I would with anyone. I never expected to be that trusting or familiar with anyone. There’s no reason this love shouldn’t last a lifetime.
Anyway, that’s what I keep telling myself. Tonight I will find out, and I have many reasons to expect the best.
I’ve even realized how I should start our talk tonight–by reinforcing some basic facts. “I love you. You love me. We’re a happy family.” I don’t plan to talk about hugs, but if things work out well, the talk will end in hugs.
So Kate, if you read this (and I hope you do), that’s how I feel. We belong together. There is no one else whose company I enjoy more. I love you. Please stay with me.