July 4

Sat Jul 6th, 2002 05:12:02 PM EST

Diary Entry 101
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Yesterday was July 4. Holidays suck, as usual.

The big problem with holidays, from my perspective, is that everyone is expected to spend them with family. I don't have any family nearby, so that doesn't work out for me. I end up moping around my apartment. Sometimes I try to go out to coffee shops or bars, but that doesn't work out either because either they're closed due to the holiday or empty because everyone else is with family.

July 4 was no exception. Well, I guess it was, in a way, because Stanford's Graduate Student Council organized a barbecue right next to my apartment. I went to it and it was actually packed with people. I had a hamburger and wandered around for a while looking for anyone I knew. When I realized that I was alone and in a crowd at the same time, I walked home.

Later I went back to buy a copy of the PhD comic book from the booth. I got it signed by the author.

I called up Joel in late afternoon, and we went skating around campus. We had to stop early when a police car pulled up by us and the cop told us off. We weren't being destructive or bothering people, in fact the campus was almost completely empty. And we're students here besides. I guess he was only doing his job, but still.

Today, Friday the 5th, was pretty much a total loss. I didn't think it was an official holiday, so I went into the office in the morning. Around noon I tried to go to lunch, but the usual places were either closed (due to the holiday) or too crowded (because the other places were closed), so I gave up. By two o'clock I figured out that no one else was coming in, so I went home and had lunch there.

A few days before I had learned that Klutz had an actual store in Palo Alto. They're the company that makes all those crazy books that teach things like juggling and actually come with the things, like beanbags, that you need for whatever activity it is. Anyway, the store is just a few minutes' bike ride from my apartment. I'd bought the juggling book some time ago and wanted a few more beanbags so that I could learn to juggle four at a time, so I went out there and browsed and eventually bought a couple and came back.

In late afternoon I decided to go out and do a little shopping. While looking through a menswear department I overheard the oddest conversation between this guy and his girlfriend. Actually, the girlfriend was talking very quietly, so all I really heard was the guy: "Why do you want to buy men's underwear? ... No, it's really not normal for women to wear men's underwear. Talk to your girlfriends... That's a brand I wear, I really don't want you getting it too... No, we are not going to get matching patterns!" Amusing really.

In the evening I decided I wanted to go out. I called Joel, but he was working on a paper. I called Tal, but he was in Sacramento with his family. My roommate Bernard had a lady friend over for the weekend, so that was a no-go, too. I went out anyway and as usual it was a disaster. There is no way to meet anyone in this area. Why do I even bother trying anymore?

I came home to find that Ethernet was down. It hasn't come back up yet, so I guess this will get posted whenever it does, or when I get frustrated enough to bike in to the office, whichever comes sooner. Sucks.

I finished reading this sci-fi book I found in the free bin outside John McCarthy's office (Iain Banks, The Bridge). I kept hoping there'd be a point, but nope, it just ends, like a Stephenson novel without all the fun.

Last updated 03 Apr 2004 21:17. Copyright © 2004 Ben Pfaff.
May be freely redistributed, but copyright notice must be retained.