journal for 2002-05-27

memorial day weekend

Our friends Katie and Jerome just bought a house, and we went over there on Sunday to visit with them and some other mutual friends. The company was good, but they have cats, and my allergies are getting even worse. I had hives all over my neck by the time we went home. Fortunately, they stopped itching by the next morning.

We got lunch (which was also dinner) at Buca di Beppo, an Italian place that Gloria and I hadn’t tried, yet. Apparently, it’s a chain. Their gimmick is that the portions are huge. We ordered two entrees, a small salad, and one dessert. By the end of the meal, we were all pretty well stuffed. It was pretty good, and ended up being pretty cheap, too. If nothing else, it’s a good replacement for the awful, awful, awfulness of the Olive Garden. (Actually, it’s not so much that the food there is awful. It just has no redeeming qualities.)

Katie and Jerome’s place was nice and really spacious. I’m not sure what we would do with that many rooms. (They’re not in a sprawling villa or anything, but we’ve only got like six rooms, two of them very small.) Jerome had quite a few pieces of art around the place, including a table, the top of which had been carved to look like swiss cheese. It was pretty cool, but was the kind of thing that I could probably never own, because I’d be annoyed at having my pens always fall through the holes.

Yesterday, Gloria and I did our laundry and then went home to watch A Whole Lot of Sex and the City. Sunday night, we’d gone out for pie and stopped at Blockbuster. I picked up two used GameCube games to tide me over until Mario, and she picked up a used DVD of Singles, which I have yet to see. We also rented the entire third season of Sex and the City. The first three episodes, we watched that night, but the rest we watched on Monday, after doing the laundry—except for the last three, which Gloria had to watch alone, while I went out cycling.

John wanted to hit the trail, so I went with him out the towpath toward Easton. We made it all the way out to the end of the towpath and decided to turn around. John suggested that we could try one of the alternate return routes, and, thinking it would be fun, I said we should. Within fifteen minutes, we were hopelessly deep into a never-ending thicket of poison, nettles, and bugs. It wasn’t so bad, except for the total lack of a way back to any recognized trail. The thicket, into which a faint trail had been blazed, was about thirty feet above the trail, and the drop-off was way to steep to climb, especially with a bike. Going up was even worse: at the one clearing where we found a climbable surface, there was just another cliff at its top. Finally, we found a clearer, more gradual decline, lined with bright orange gas line markers. Thank you UGA! Today, I’ve got mosquito bites all over my arms, but I’ve had worse.

I didn’t do much else worth noting, which is OK with me. I did a little poking around with Ruby’s native XML parser, REXML, which was promising. I want to make a dedicated effort to use more Ruby. It’s fun to use, but I’ve got so much stuff already started in Perl that it’s hard to change. My father pointed me to a somewhat preformatted edition of the Complete Sherlock Holmes, which reminds me that I really want to finish a good first draft of the book server.

For now, though, I will try to be content doing work-related work.

Written on May 27, 2002