(Original title:) Insufferable Idiots Academics
So, I know I didn’t blog about it before we left, but Mandy and I are on “vacation” right now. We had considered a long road trip, including the RoboGames last weekend in SFO, plus fun road-trip attractions such as Hearst Castle, Yellowstone (her father lives near there), Devil’s Rock, Mt. Rushmore, et cetera… but decided (primarily because of money) that we would instead go straight to Laramie & Cheyenne, WY where her family and friends live, and come straight back. Not just saving on gas, but on admission to attractions, inevitable hotel costs in SFO (it’s reasonable to sleep in the car overnight at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere, or a WalMart parking lot in a small town, but less so in a major city like SFO), and the additional cost of so many more days of eating on the road (we’ve been eating a LOT of PB&J, but one can only take so much of that…), we decided that whatever much fun those things might be, for less than 1/3 the cost we could still visit her family (I’ve never met Mandy’s mother, and Mandy wants to meet her new niece while still a baby) and buy Rock Band, which has already provided more hours of entertainment than one day & night in SFO (ie: the cost of just a night in a hotel room and a meal for two in SFO). Anyway, we looked at maps a bit and the “fastest” route (per Google Maps, and our own reckoning) straight to Laramie and back is about 2200 miles. So, I fiddled around, got us off interstates for the most part, added interesting stops like Roswell and Los Alamos, NM, and Moab, UT (read: Arches and Canyonland National Parks) to the route, and still came up within 1/2 a gallon of gas of the original 2200 miles, with less stress (ie: aggressive interstate drivers) and prettier views, and things to look at.
Right now, we’re in Laramie, WY, where Mandy’s friends from University live. She did two Bachelor’s degrees here at University of Wyoming, and lived with some of these people for much of that time, so they’re “like family” to her. I’ve met Tessa before, she came to Phoenix last year, she’s pretty nice, we get along fine, we have things in common and can speak intelligently about a variety of topics freely. Today we hung out with her, walked around part of “historic downtown” Laramie together, and had a nice day of it. Tessa’s sister seemed nice, if quiet, as well.
Then there are the others. The boys. Linus and Flynn. We have a lot of shared interests. They do an online comic (I’ve done 12 different online comics at various times, myself, plus collaborated on several others), they’re mac users, sci fi geeks, Linus is interested in religious studies, philosophy, Japanese culture, et cetera, and Flynn is an artist as well… And these are just a few of the things that came up in conversation in a couple of hours today; from talking with Mandy there’s a lot more that we (theoretically) have in common. Even a lot of political and economic ideas, which I rarely can speak about without raising ire. And yet.
And yet, most of the time today, when they got to talking, all I could do was keep my mouth shut. Continue reading OR: Why I can’t stand your University friends