September 2003


I went to the Bear’s Lair, which is the student pub here (brighter than the Thirsty and more zealous about carding), and had a pint of porter while reading neuroscience papers. I rather like the place in the early evening hours — I think I’ll go there more often, maybe become a regular. The music is pretty good, and when it’s not so crowded it’s quite pleasant, like an uncrowded coffeeshop that serves beer.

On the walk home I had a really fun conversation with Adam about comedy, which made me miss him all the more. Of course, I wasn’t hit by a car on the way back, which would have probably made me miss him even more than that, but that was probably a good thing, all told.

Neuroscience is an odd field — reading papers about how they anaesthetized a cat with halothane, dilated its pupils, mechanically fixed its eyeball, and flashed lights and white noise in front of it while measuring neural responses is simultaneously revolting and intriguing to me. The experiments carried out were approved of under the humane treatment of animals guidelines for UC Berkeley, but what does that mean, exactly?

Now that the dust has cleared from the housewarming party, I have to say it was a rousing success. We will clearly have to throw more parties. And I danced some, even. That was fun.

I find myself wanting to learn Bhangra now, not because I like the music particularly, but because it seems like something completely absurd to do at parties. Is this just parading my own ethnic identity monkey-in-a-zoo style? I think so. But then again, so is doing ridiculous accents, and I like to do ridiculous accents.

And even though I’m supposed to hate Stanford (or as they say at Berkeley, “Stanfurd”), this site (courtesy of MeFi) is doing wonders for reducing my productivity. The amount of math out there that I would like to know is so vast, and the amount that I know is so little in comparison, that I despair sometimes. That’s why it’s good to have smart friends.

I saw part of the documentary Dark Days last night, due to Geeta’s mad shopping spree at Amoeba. It was really interesting, but I got too tired to finish it. It’s all about the homeless who live in the NY subway tunnels, how they make that place their home, and how they survive in New York. It was a real eye-opener, especially because I’m in a place with more homeless people than I’ve seen outside of India.

On the complete other end of the spectrum, Cowboy Bebop is winning the “best anime series” award for me. On the other hand, I’m not an expert, and have no plans on becoming one. But it’s damn good. Especially the music.

Last weekend I saw a play called Thirst, by Neena Beber, who used to write for Clarissa Explains It All. A loose adaptation of a Henry James story, it tried to say a lot about art and the desire to possess things, in a very theatrical way. As Cheveda put it, it was a play that you could only really see that theater company doing in that space. It reminded me of the not-so-thrilling productions I’ve seen at Aurora. Maybe I’m alone here, but I want to go to theater that picks me up and throws me against the wall, breaking my ribs. Either violently or playfully, but I need to sit up and take notice of things. Of course, seeing new plays is always good, I think, because you learn different things than you do from old plays.

But the best of all is when they teach an old play new tricks.

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