Saturday, July 09, 2011

My House is Like the Saddest Night Club

Recently I have purchased over $200 worth of electronic dance music on iTunes. As The Topologist is off mathematizing at some sort of multi-week conference that encourages the building of new collaborations by having mathematicians hang out at a resort and go hiking, I am spending my weekends home alone with the music playing a bit too loud and working on my summer plans of perfecting my signature cocktail. As I am poorly situated in my time zone, it does not get dark here until far too late, so I am drinking and dancing alone without the benefit of darkness.

The only thing that could make it sadder would be if I spent Saturday night dealing with figuring out how to classify the 499 people that Google+ is suggesting should be in my circles. Making this harder, Google+ keeps egging me on to connect with people who I should not be talking to, especially when drinking. Instead I will be working on making slides explaining memory locality and performance trade-offs in cache-coherent, non-uniform memory access architectures. (While working on my signature cocktail.)

I am all about giving the talks these days. I am giving a talk every week from now until the start of the semester. Catch me at the online school for grad students, the disappointing conference, Cambridge, MA, the senior center (don't ask), or the Kumbaya Computing Resort Workshop. No two talks on the same topic! And then the semester starts, and I will be teaching freshmen. Fortunately, I have learned that the cocktail party strategy of asking people to talk about themselves can also be applied to the seminar-discussion class, so I should be able to hold my own with the freshmen. Plus I have figured out that the ideal book to assign in one of these courses is the one where the author has the strongest point of view, not where the author makes the most sophisticated, information-filled arguments. Strong point of view is a much better catalyst for discussion. Maybe we need a field trip, too?

And on top of all of this talking to other people, I have a crapload of work to do at work. Even more to do now that my intern quit. (My intern quit!) I know that I am a bad boss, but I've never had a minion quit before! I make lots of excuses for being a bad boss, just like freshmen make excuses for being bad at math. However, I know my problem is the same as theirs: I am lazy. Being the responsible person who is in charge is a lot of work.

I am going to make myself another drink now and then get back to work while bopping around to dance music.

If you'd like to contribute to my efforts to develop my signature cocktail, I will reveal that I am leaning towards something gin-based (because gin is yummy), but that vodka is still in the running, due to my slavic heritage. Tonight I have been drinking negronis (gin + sweet vermouth + campari), but I also have a fondness for many gin-based drinks that I've been sampling this week. If you'd like to buy me a drink, my travel schedule may bring me somewhere near you.

And my very sad night club needs more European dance music. Definitely we have a north american bias in the current rotation. Asian music (including south Asian) is also welcomed. Really, anything except anglo-american is good.