ok.. last nite was absurd. yesterday morning, after a nice long swim (first one in over 1.5 months!), i ran into my formal mentor from Intel at the Lab. she’s pretty darned cool but i didn’t expect to see her there; i am, afterall, flying out to Portland to spend a week with her next week. but her vacation plans got fouled up and she ended up here to work with one of my colleagues. she asked if i wanted to do dinner and of course i agreed – how can one possibly pass up free food as a freefooditarian?
so i spent the day successfully doing nothing. where the hell is my mind? why do i have no concentration or desire to work? this needs to end soon or i am fucked. i hate this weather with a passion – can i even work in winter? i was thinking back and i don’t remember a winter where i was able to concentrate on anything academic. last february, i went from taking 5 class to taking 2 classes (only one of which i passed). given, things that didn’t require thought, but required action were quite easily finished (i.e. silly concerts). the year before that, i was in Amsterdam and didn’t need to do any thinking in the early months because it was a bunch of bullshit. the year before that, i wasn’t thinking; i was doing software engineering mindlessly. the year before that, i was miserable taking thought-based classes and that was the semester i went insane and locked myself up for 2 weeks. hmm.. i think i need that i light.
anyhow.. back to dinner.. so, this kid at my lab chose the restaurant, a place called Clio; only better restaurant in Boston is the Four Seasons. ok.. sure.. whatever, i can behave and eat in the class that i definitely don’t belong to. sure. so, we order.. first, nice red wine (similar in the fruitiness and smoothness to last nite). fancy salad involving blue cheese and a vegetable that i don’t remember the name of – something like elive or something weird like that.. next, suckling pig. ok.. this is all fine and well.. dessert comes around and i order a nice port and mint mousse. no problem right? well, right before we order dessert, the kid who arranged the dinner told the waiter to say hello the chef and that we were from the lab. oh boy. next, comes this pineapple jello-like stuff with a frothy coconut topping. then, a fancy after dinner drink with citrus in it. next, a big chocolate egg filled with liqueur where the waiter poured hot chocolate liqueur on top of it until it split apart, melting. next, these funny “mints” which were slivers of a mint-like substance that melted on our tongues and were to be followed with this other fancy chocolate. by the end, i was the stuff pig and thought that you would be humored, especially given my inability to actually explain in detail any of what i ate..
can i ever actually think of this as normal? at dinner, i was constantly in awe.. and i stated that shock, mostly in my expression. the think is that my mentor joked that it is now her goal to teach me how to spend industry money and not think about it. ::the table laughs:: the thing is – will that ever just settle well with me? do i really want it to be a no-brainer? it goes against everything that i think of as normal, all of my goals for doing this grad school / elite class bullshit. i don’t want to be a part of the system, as much as get inside, behave as i should in order to change things. that’s always been my goal. what will the impact of the greed into normalcy type thing be? will i just think of it as normal to have a $40 dinner a nite as so many of my advisors and friends seem to encourage? maybe this is why all of my housemates were so appalled that i would go on to academia in the hopes of changing industry. or even the thought of me going to industry.. erg. mental debate.