May 13th, 2011

ку-ку

(no subject)

I am a very strange person. I tend to like things most people don't. For example, being in school and airports.

Right now I am sitting in the Orlando airport and wondering what there is not to like. I have internet, food, water, an electric outlet, air conditioning, and a restroom nearby. I can name great many places where I would NOT have one or more of those things. The only downside is that everything in the airport is overpriced - but then, so is everything in the general vicinity of New York City - but I still live there, don't I?

And speaking of being in school, I am stuck with a summer class, unfortunately. It was the least evil option - taking classes 4 days a week in the Fall, staying in school for another year or so (taking a class in the Fall and then waiting for next Fall or even the next Spring for the last class), or taking the summer class. Of course, there was another option - taking a class other than Patents or Trademarks, but that thought I didn't even entertain. I went to school to learn specific things, and I am not going to study something I don't care about just to have an easier schedule. I never have, and I am a bit too old to start now.

Also, I am immensely proud of myself that I doubled the distance I am able to swim during this stay. Which is still shameful, as I swim barely better than an axe, but still. Also the first time I actually felt water was going to support my weight, normally I am extremely mistrustful of non-solid substances. I have never even had flying dreams.

Maybe it had something to do with yesterday's "fall from 13th story height" Disney ride. Even when you know you are securely strapped in, some primeval fear kicks in and makes you scream when you fall like that. It was a lot of fun. Of course, one of the attractions did fail where I was there (the guy manning it said in 20 years he has never seen a power failure there - so it must have been just in my honor), thankfully, not the crazy dropping or roller coaster one, but just a theatrical show.

The most shocking discovery of the month: Moroccans eat their shish kabob with rutabagas. Steamed rutabagas. See, when you are Russian and grow up with proverbs and tales of steamed rutabagas (though as far as eating them goes, I always liked them raw when they are young and tender), seeing that vegetable served in a restaurant as exotic as Moroccan is shocking. I asked my server whether it is a common vegetable there, and she said, it was one of the most traditional ones. Where is North Africa and where are steamed rutabagas...

The other discovery was a mere confirmation that proper pronounciation of most Dutch names is still well beyond my linguistic abilities. There are only two languages that utterly defied my attempts at pronouncing most words properly - Dutch and Apache. And I must say, they are surprisingly similar phonetically, sharing the awful throaty h/r sound combinations.

Conference was very good, too. Learned some really, really cool internet searching techniques I can't wait to try. Also, a very interesting method of scenario tracking and also hypothesis testing. Met some really cool people and also reconnected with some old acquaintances. Somehow, I rarely remember both face and name for a person, but I forget both equally rarely. Overall, very nice. And at the very last session, yours truly won free hotel stay for the next year's conference. Yay.

It must be the lizards. To someone from the Urals, lizards are a good sign - and whenever I see them, they never fail to bring me good luck, usually expressed in monetary equivalent (no complaints on that part!). Saw one this morning too, so I think my lucky stretch should continue a bit longer. I always liked this kind, tiny grey ones with the brown stripe along the spine. Pity it didn't want to come and sit on my hand, but it did sit right next to me on the edge of the hot tub.