But that’s not to suggest I don’t stop to have fun every now and then. Allow me to present: Battlestar Galactica Pumpkin!
Mike visited me a couple weeks ago, too, and a good friend from high school, Heidi, visited last weekend. As wonderful as visitors are, I was elated to have absolutely nothing that I had to do today! So I slept till noon and caught up on boring things like vacuuming, dishes, and laundry. Then I went and bought a pumpkin, and carved it. In an hour or so, I’ll don an outfit that appropriately coordinates with my pumpkin and head over to a party at a fellow grad student’s place.
What else have I been up to? In a nutshell – learning stuff about astronomy. It’s awesome. And complex, and annoying, and beautiful, and elusive. I have been generally performing at or above average on homework assignments and exams, which is in welcome and refreshing contrast to Harvey Mudd. I also feel like the work here is legitimately difficult, but that I have finally seen enough material in enough different contexts to just begin to grasp how astrophysical phenomena truly work.
So that’s cool. But boy do I miss Mike. And goodness can the minor, trivial bits of life that get pushed aside when one spends 12+ hours at school each day add up quickly. One thing we don’t get at NMSU is a fall break, and this past week I reached the breaking point of needing one. I lapsed into being late for, well, everything, and just sitting mindlessly at my computer when I had a few minutes between obligations rather than doing grading or homework. The week-long Thanksgiving break (in which I see Mike!) cannot come soon enough.
Minor grievances aside, though, living here rocks. I maintain the trifecta of things I miss – Mike, the cathedral, a semi-professional orchestra to play in – but I mean it when I say everything else is awesome. I even found a decent Thai restaurant, though it’s a bit of a drive away.
I suppose part of my exhaustion stems from knowing folks who are going through a lot. I learned recently that an acquaintance from college died. And a good friend of mine is going through a divorce. My “trifecta of things I miss” is pretty weak in comparison, and it’s good to remember that life can throw one hell of a curveball when you least expect it. All the more reason to live it up, and to be the best person you can be.