tofu skins in Stone Ridge
Monday, September 23 2013
The client who was coming over to see my progress on his Lightroom plugin was on his way when there was some small glitch with my caching system on a game in that constellation of business simulation games I've been working on since February. I say "small" because it was small, but you'd never know that from the phone calls and the emails and possibly other forms of communication that came my way from the professor who had hired me to work on these games. It doesn't how much people pay me (and this woman has seriously underpaid me), they always act as though I am their only client and they have paid me handsomely to do the things I have done. I don't multitask well, but in this case I had to, carrying my laptop to the brownhouse when I had to take care of some other business, and then leaving up a window to those stupid games as they were played in real time during my meeting with my Lightroon plugin client (the error that hair had caught fire about never materialized on my screen). As for the meeting, it went well. Though I'd only really been writing Lua code for maybe eight total hours, the resulting plugin prototype was good enough that the client was convinced I really was doing my job.
This even Gretchen and I drove to Momiji (the good Japanese restaurant in Stone Ridge) and met up with Deborah and her latest boyfriend (whom neither of us had yet met), a gentleman named Chris who currently lives in Springfield, Massachusetts. Chris is geeky enough that occasionally he and I would have side-conversations about techy stuff (he's a sound engineer or something). One such conversation was about the various phases of ingeniously-improvised technologies that predated more familiar versions. Chris mentioned a form of sonar-in-air used by the British to detect distant airplanes before the invention of radar, and then we talked about "black box" flight data recorders and their very conservative evolution (since they have to work). According to Chris, until very recently they still recorded data on wire instead of tape. Of course now they probably use Flash RAM like everything else (from MP3 players to seismographs). "Under the hood, everything is the same now, just some generic computer," I said. To hear us having a side-conversation seemed to delight the ladies. Gretchen said something that she often says of how my techy talk sounds to her ear: "Wah wah wah wahwah." There are, of course, some oddities about Chris. I'd been warned that he could be a bit conversationally elliptical and had obsessive-compulsive tendencies, though if I detected any of that it wasn't the least bit irritating. I did note an undercurrent of Chris presenting himself as something of an overachiever with somewhat fussily-refined tastes, which is something I'd also noticed in Deborah's preceding boyfriend. But that might just be a normal way for men to present themselves to strangers. One of Chris' most unusual traits was his tendency to mispronounce certain words. For example, he pronounces "jalapeño" as "haliapenno." That was too trivial of a difference for me to even notice until Deborah pointed it out. But when he pronounced "rhapsodic" as "rhapshodic," I didn't parse it as "rhapsodic" but thought instead that he was tossing around a word borrowed from Hindi.
As always, the food was great, though we did stumble into something one should never order at Momiji. Chris ordered "tofu skins," thinking they would be the delicious semi-crunchy savory food he remembers from other Japanese restaurants, but what we got instead was a cloyingly-sweet thing spiced heavily with fennel. It was absolutely inedible.
Deborah and Chris came over to our house after the Momiji so that Gretchen could give Deborah some Ambien to help her sleep on the flight she soon will be taking to California. They didn't stay long, though it was long enough to give Chris a brief tour of the wackiest spaces in our house, particularly the laboratory (where I turned on the colored lights and the motor to turn the disco ball).
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