Friday night, a former colleague who's still here had a party at his house for the bunch of us. My ex-advisor had, by my count, 12 PhD students, a couple who took Masters' Degrees, and another guy who post-docced for him for a number of years. A couple of those are dead; three couldn't make it for one reason or another. The rest of us were here. $advisor was rather overwhelmed.
It's a very odd thing, seeing somebody you haven't seen in years. In some ways, the relationship takes up right where it left off, with the intervening years just forgotten for the time being.
A number of the local faculty types came to the party as well, as did a Latin American string band, which one of my co-students had founded (if I recall correctly), and which played at the wedding of $advisor and his wife, twenty-five years ago now. I was there for that. I remember Paco, and it was odd, seeing him with greying beard, peering at the music through the bottoms of his bifocals.
The Madison bus system works remarkably well.
Saturday, we did the Farmers' Market thing, picked up some cheese for friends and neighbors, and a few other trinkets. $post_doc was having a housewarming, since he and his partner had recently bought the apartment they've been living in for five years.
I had printed out the e-mail with the address, phone number, and directions, and then lost the printout. Along with a map of the Madison bus system. Since I had it printed out, I hadn't copied it into my calendar book.
We had the foresight to buy day-passes for the bus system, so when we found ourselves in the right neighborhood with no options, we took the bus back to the hotel, looked up the e-mail using their wifi, and bussed back to the party. Still got there before everyone left. We've found another comic-book lover.
Hotel. Nap. Terrace for beer, followed by dinner with $advisor and the gang at a decidedly American faux-Mexican restaurant. In a space I remember being a Greek restaurant back when.
The most $advisor-like moment was at the end of the evening, when he ordered Kahlua and cream, to demonstrate some kind of a reaction. He couldn't quite get it to go the way he wanted. Lots of folks took pictures, none of them with my camera.
The evening was completely delightful.
Sunday morning we slept in, met bo for brunch which didn't come in a timely fashion, so we were late for the toasted-cheese.com writing chat (ask for details if you're interested). But we got there, wrote, and left bo sitting there as we returned to the hotel for yet another nap. I like vacations. :-)
In the afternoon, LFT and nstenz drove down to see us. Was fun, and we took advantage of their wheels to drive past my old house in Middleton. Following, as it turned out, the present owner up the street, and pulling in across as she turned into the driveway. Yeah, I'd be suspicious, too.
Down the street to the Capital Brewery beer garden, for a wheat beer. And thence to the east side for food at Ella's Deli, the kitschiest place this side of the House On The Rock. Which, I'm told, we'll have to be visiting sometime.
Walked around the square and hung out on the Olin Terrace, which was built since my time. Nice view of the lake.
This morning, we're being lazy, in preparation for sitting around in airports and on airplanes and stuff.
We should do something like this again sometime.
A tip of the hat to bo, LFT, and nstenz, for the hosting and tourguiding. And to $ex-colleague and $post_doc for organizing the shindig. And best wishes to $advisor on the occasion of his retirement.
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