Mercifully, the format of Netscape's "Find" function that that become mostly the work of a click, as far as searching and highlighting the correct text for deletion, but it was a certain amount of plodding, with more to do, of course. But LJ let me go back 15 months in the regular format, and that let me catch a lot of the key entries, particularly such long travelogues as my Geneva, Venice, and Florence trip last year.
Meg and Julie were over Thursday night, opting for a quiet night in to talk rather than going out somewhere in town. We just ended up drifting into the kitchen and sitting around the table together with a bottle of 2003 Villa Calcinaia Chianti Classico, some dark chocolate, and a mix of chocolate chip and Danish butter cookies. It was a very casual and light evening of conversation. The biggest topic of the night was their curiosity about my upcoming high school reunion. Reunions in general, the looking-back perspective at high school, and then my high school experience in particular were all opened up. They especially started tearing through my old yearbooks with glee, with particular attention to hair and clothing styles. Having friends who were born in the eighties, and who mostly know that time through television-watching and theme parties is funny from my side of the equation, too. I shared a few key stories with them that they'd not heard, like the whole senior year saga with Tim. The strains of friendship in a variety of forms was something that we all knew something about, and everyone shared thoughts from various struggles of that sort from the last year. Julie tried to peg the social status of people from the yearbook photos and, sort of interestingly, was only able to run about 50% accuracy at best. Meg pegged Lisa in one guess as my primary high school crush and I entertained the two of them with stories of the bizarre and unspoken strain of geekish competition between me and Tim as we would both take her out on various social occasions. I got points from the girls for taking her to the Beach Boys concert, but pretty much lost them for going to McDonald's for food, afterward, as was utterly just.
Bob got hold of me yesterday, with Friday being his last night in town before heading home to Michigan, and wanted to know if I was available to hang out. Unfortunately, I wasn't working very well, as I'd woken up with my tonsils flaring up again. It was time to give in and make a medical consultation and so I'm starting up antibiotics. So I was achy enough to be crap at writing, but not so sick that I'd pass on socializing. (And even I cannot tell whether that's rationalization....) So he invited me to a chess rematch from our last engagement. This photograph is from last year, but it was pretty much the same scene, except that this time we met at dusk, and that the jacket I brought (the one I'm wearing in the userpic, in fact) is one that I gave to Bob because it really fits him much better, and because I was so under-using it because I had misjudged the fit. He doesn't wear coats of the sort so much, although he agreed that it's always good to have such, professionally and socially, and so I gave it to him on the condition that he soon take Carmen out to dinner wearing it, so that it can contribute to the wooing of his wife. Also in contrast to the photo, this time we had a bottle of a Charles "Two Buck Chuck" Shaw Shiraz he had bought from Trader Joe's. (Less sweet than the cheap Australian Shirazes we've bought, like the Alice White. Or maybe it just tasted that way to me because my sense of taste has gone all screwy with this infection.) It was dim and secluded enough with the hedge that we had no bother from Security on that issue, and on a largely-empty stomach, I was much sloshed by the time we finished. I won after a long match when he pressed an attack with his queen, taking a rook of mine (he already had done well in taking both my knights and a bishop), but in doing so left a position unthreatened to which I was able to move my queen and checkmate him in one unexpected move (for the both of us). We caught one another up on the news that we hadn't shared at dinner at the Lloyds', more of the personal stuff appropriate to a quiet night. A huge group of students, who turned out to be InterVarsity members, were playing what turned out to be a robust game of Capture the Flag on that half of campus. I called a few of them over to find out what they were playing and we ended up talking with a new grad student in English who turned out to be a Tolkien scholar, among other foci. I just thought it was fun to see a large group of undergrads who could dream up a fun Friday night not dependent on getting smashed.
Up early this morning, mostly dealing with puttering projects and some cleaning. I took a bit of a walk around 9 or 10 and the air was just slightly crisp, enough to pass muster as a symbolic first day of autumn. I've got 1200 or 1300 negatives from 1989 through 2003 ready to be converted into digital files, as I've been wanting to get all my photography in digital format. But in the meantime, back to the dissertation.