Bats in Canada, Briefly.

Wow... it's been a long but mostly enjoyable couple of days. Looking at the past four weeks, I have been on the road for 16 days (including the Florida trip and the Cleveland & Oberlin trip). I should be getting some rest instead of blogging, but I figure I needed to update everyone.

Anyway, this current trip to UW was for my thesis presentation and to submit paper copies to my readers. As a Master's student, I don't have to do a defense (i.e., not pass/fail)--just a presentation. I printed out several copies of my thesis (all bloody 300 pages of it...ugh), and got on a plane to Canada.

I stressed about the presentation for several days leading up to it--making PowerPoint slides until midnight before a 7:15 AM flight, tuning them on the plane, downloading some final data from my field site during the day, up to midnight editing more slides, and then adding some final tweaks the morning of the meeting.

And as per my usual pattern, I stressed a lot, worked hard, and the results were pretty good. Whew. I'm glad it's over. The wickets I have left are: incorporate the edits from my three readers when I get their comments back in three weeks, and fill out the last of the paperwork. So it is pretty close at this point.

After the presentation, it was high time to celebrate. First, a few beers with my colleagues in the group:

During the trip to the grad student pub, I had a bizzare small world moment. R. mentioned that she knew another MIT student who came to the grad house regularly, and he happened to be there that day. She introduced me to him--"Hi, I'm K," I said. To which he replied, "Yeah, you're Batman, I know--I'm Hooligan."

Holy crap.

For those who don't know him, he's another tEp (from after my time)--if it places it, he was Edgar's Junior Lab partner. He's at the right in the photo--he looks completely different without shaggy hair, doesn't he? If you're curious, he's doing quantum computing over at UW.

Anyway, much beer was consumed, followed by dinner with a pitcher of sangria. Followed by hanging out at R's place (i.e., my former apartment), and polishing off a bottle of wine.

This in turn was followed by an invitation to a "Crips & Bloods" party--just some friends of friends throwing a wacky theme party. Everyone dressed up the part of gangstas (well, as best as a bunch of white suburban Canadian grad students can), put on their do-rags, tattoo'd "THUG LIFE" in magic marker on their bellies, and drank fo'ties out of brown paper bags. Why yes, ethnically insensitive, but still pretty amusing.

Of course, I had to put on my part of the Mexican gangsta:

Yo yo vato! Qué onda, you badass chollo motherfucker?

One funny moment at the party: somebody came up to me to ask, "Uh... how much Spanish do you actually speak?" At that point I dropped the sunglasses (-> Asian), and replied, "Um.. not much, really."

I managed to drag myself home to Dan & Daniel's (where I was crashing) by 2 AM.

Spent the next day and a half hanging out with Dan & Daniel--including a trip to St. Jacob's Farmer's Market (picked up a few bottles of Ontario maple syrup as gifts):

And we have a lovely evening out seeing the Da Capo Chamber Choir (20th Century, mostly a capella music. Many thanks for your kind company and hospitality, guys!

Overall, it was wonderful seeing everyone that I did up in KW, and wandering the town again, however briefly. On the negative side, I had to burn two vacation days to take this trip, yet I feel even more tired this week. Argh.

Anyway, I am looking forward to a weekend of just puttering around the house... perhaps something as adventurous as an IKEA run.


At 10:02 AM, Anonymous aj said...

IKEA?! Um, want some company? [no, I do not have a problem, I can quit any time I want, thankyouverymuch]

r.e. gangsta bats: change the trucker hat for a bandanna and add that pose to your LJ user pics. please. We can use my jalopie for the shot...

[no, still haven't pimped my ride. Just fuzzy dice.]

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Bats said...

IKEA?! Um, want some company?

I'll give you a yell if I'm going this weekend. Not sure at this point.

r.e. gangsta bats: change the trucker hat for a bandanna and add that pose to your LJ user pics. please.

Heh. I actually prefer to do that with the bandana, but I had a limited wardrobe choice while travelling--I was expecting to give a PowerPoint presentation, not to get down with my vatos.


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