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(5-14 February 2005)

14 February 2005
-Going back to work a day after returning is much better than the same day one returns, as was the case last time we came back from Nuevo in January.  I'm not looking forward to work or in space to work, but at least I've had some hours to rest.
-Gulp.  Rumors are right.  This could be a pretty sudden change for me.  & I'm just not at liberty to discuss it on this page, sadly.

13 February 2005
-Heard a whopper of a rumor late last night, but don't know if there's much substance to it.  Only thing to do is to see.
-After a great reunion lunch with Drew, Becky, Beth, Alan, Justin, & even HWhitty, I got back on the commuter rail to say goodbye to 'Deis for who knows how long.  It was, again, so much sadder than I would've expected.  Spent quite a bit of time at Logan once I got there, which has really been spiffed up since the run-down airport I remember from college.  On the JetBlue flight back, there was actually a Counting Crows concert on one of the stations, which was mind-blowing & amazing.  It was from a show a few days after we saw them in Konocti Harbor, but they closed this show with "A Murder of One", as all CC shows should close.  It was overwhelming given all the emotions I've been contemplating on this jaunt back through, & catching up with all those friends & places.  I'm also a little concerned about slipping into that nasty "nothing-to-look-forward-to" phase after big trips, where the anticipation is spent.  It's like a prolonged feeling of December 26th.  Especially given that Em will be away for Valentine's Day & almost all of my birthday.  But so it goes.  It is nice to be back & see Fish.

12 February 2005
[from Waltham]
-The BU Saturday was mighty long, but it was a blast.  Judged some great rounds & then we broke 2.5 teams to octos, only to have them all drop in octos.  I was drafted into judging the whole time till finals, when we skipped out & had a mock round with Jordan Segal & myself taking on Andy Bragin & a current Amherst debater.  I ran a falsism that even Segal didn't know before the round & many jokes were made.  It was great to do something debatey again, even though it wasn't anything like a real round.  It was still as close as I've gotten since Nats 2002.  Anyway, we ducked back in for the rebuttals & awards & now I stand facing a lack of debate again.  Back on campus for the night, in Adam Nir's Ziv, contemplating when I'll see 'Deis again & putting this whole chapter one step further behind me.  I'm sadder than I would've thought... strange given how artificial this little East Coast Tour has been anyway.  But memory is curious that way.

11 February 2005
[from Boston]
-Actually got to hang out with Greg (Wilson) after all earlier today, as we ended up at a bar shooting pool with this horribly drunk old guy who Drew latched on to.  It was a classic Drew moment, in so many ways.  Then Drew, Becky, & I swung up to NYC in the car not known for having bleach in the back seat & I got to see Barrett for a goodly while.  There's apparently this great new Mexican place in Harvard Square that's open late... it must've opened after I left, because I would've remembered this place.  It was packed & vaguely reminiscent of Chipotle.  Anyway, it's been great hanging out & perusing Barrett's New Yorker submission cartoons, an apparent new hobby of his.  Tomorrow, back to the debate seen at BU.

10 February 2005
[from New York City]
-Lunch with Lisha early this afternoon, after I finished Lolita & started This Side of Paradise in a cafe in B'more.  Was great to catch up with her, though I'd at least seen her in Nuevo a month or so ago.
-Met up with Drew in the City near Columbia & it was crazy to see all the old landmarks from the fateful Novice tournament of 2001.  Didn't make it into Tom's, but still got a good long look at the memorable neighborhood.  Drew & I had many good long talks about many things, old & new.  So little has changed in my friendships despite the passage of a great deal of time.  That's always a relief, & shouldn't be as much of a surprise as it sometimes seems to be.

9 February 2005
[from Baltimore]
-Reading & trains continue to be big themes of the trip, & I'm almost done with Lolita, which has been a shade on the disappointing side.  It's well-written, but not to the degree that so many of the book's fans have upheld.  I almost caught a movie at Union Station, but there was nothing well-timed with what I wanted to see & it would've made me a little late to B'more anyway.
-Freez & I ended up finding a poker game after all, which was great fun.  We played tourney style with 4 others, 2 places paying, & I was third after going all-in with a QQ over-pocket-pair.  My opponent had a 53 down & a 53 on the board.  I was stunned, & spent the rest of the night over-analyzing my decision.  Regardless, I played well against some tough opponents prior to that blunder.  Was also the third poker game of the trip, which is great by me.

8 February 2005
[from Washington, DC]
-More trains early today, wending our way down the coast.  We briefly contemplated whether we could just take local metro-area trains the whole way down from Princeton, but ended up on Amtrak as originally planned.  We then jaunted out to a Chevy's to play trivia with Kate & her friends after hanging out at her office for a bit.  Seems like forever since I've seen her!
-Tomorrow I'll be leaving to head back up the coast while Em stays here for her conference.  It's been great to spend an actual week with Em, but the next week or two without her are going to be tough.  It seems we have so little time together in the big picture.
-I also discovered that I lost my debit card, leaving it at Winberrie's in Princeton.  I'm altogether too upset about this, mostly because I never lose important stuff & I feel really irresponsible about it.  Ah well, it was easily cancelled & the people on the phone at Wells Fargo were very nice about everything.  If only it weren't on a trip!

7 February 2005
[from Princeton, New Jersey]
-A fun day, that's done for Em what our day back at 'Deis did for me, methinks.  It seems she misses college more than I do, but I sure miss debate more.  We hung out with the modern Princeton team after lunching at PJ's with Dom & Sep.  We also went back to Winberrie's, where they made the nachos for me even though they're off the menu now, then we saw "Hotel Rwanda" at the old Princeton theater.  Finally, we had a big poker game in the basement of Whig, where I didn't do so well despite slow-playing a great full house to double into Greg.  Just a solid fun day overall.

6 February 2005
[from Princeton, New Jersey]
-More things fell through this morning, but it ended up working out.  Hung out with Amy & then wound up at Jeff Williams' Superbowl party, of all places.  It was actually another opportunity to bury some old hatchets & move forward, which was really nice.  Then we took a late train into Princeton to see Greg & Sara, whose place we're at now.

5 February 2005
[from New York City]
-All day at the tourney, like Saturdays should be.  We got housed with the entire PC team, which was disappointing, but at least they didn't talk about how our team bankrupted theirs so many years ago.  Got even better rounds today, one of which was fantastic & all but impossible to decide.  The uber-novices broke to novice semis, then finals, & the judging pool was good enough that I pulled myself out to watch those rounds.  After actual finals were over, I was kinda shell-shocked that it was over so fast & felt like the debate world was being wrenched from me again.  We'll see if I can make it back up for BU next weekend.  It's been so great hanging out with the team, but there's so many folks I want to see on this coast.  We shall see.
-It's a good time for mending fences.  If not for high-stakes poker, after all.

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