I had a good piece of fun Friday when Julie R made it by for a visit during the afternoon, as part of a weekend trip back to Milwaukee from Long Island, where she has started work on a Ph.D. in Psychology, focusing on her taste for research into cognition itself. She was aglow with energy and excitement, reminding me of what starting graduate studies was like: the pure pleasure of being able to sink, unrestrained, into your own field of studies and no longer have your attention spread out in more general studies. So we talked about that, what work she had already begun doing at SUNY Stony Brook, how cute bohemian Jewish grad students can get her involved in university activities, my applications adventures, teaching and student reviews, Chopin's Nocturne No. 8 in D Flat Major, if I recall that name correctly, and Mozart's Requiem. Just good, fun stream-of-consciousness conversation. That was the extent of my recreation this last week, other than a last-minute dinner invitation from Dan and Amy to join them and the kids in checking out Joey Buona's, where we tried out a pair of their family-sized dinner platters. (My Signature Steak: nothing great; the Chicken Marsala: extremely good.) Mostly our conversation ended up being a lot of updating them about the application business, as well as a bit about my trip to Chicagoland. Anna and Owen were not content to leave us to grown-up conversation, though, and so we spent a certain amount of time talking about drawing, choo-choo trains, and tic-tac-toe strategy, too, just to even things out.
I also received photographs from Jules and from Emily that, along with my pics from the other week's visit with my nieces, let me properly illustrate my entries from Julie's departure from Milwaukee back in August, and from my dash down to Chicago to visit Emily at her Jane Austen conference and to see some of my family, too. So that lets those journal entries finally feel complete to me.
And, sadly, I cannot really think of anything else in my life other than a salmon-like desire to return to my dissertation work. I'm listening to Mark's CD Simplicity right now: was there really a time when everyone around me just broke out spontaneously into incredibly cool rock music?