i watched 13 minutes of a football game

No, really… it was the Michigan vs. Wisconsin game. And by “13 minutes” I mean “approximately for fucking ever” since football transpires in some parallel universe where time has no meaning and the network’s idea of entertaining me is a bunch of shots of people pacing around looking pissed. I would get bored and look away, only to have my attention drawn back suddenly by shouts or wails—when I did this, I would see perhaps several consecutive seconds of activity on the field, chased by more pacing. Truly a riveting game, that.

This was the prelude to Ali’s party he was throwing at his new apartment. I’m in Ann Arbor visiting, partly in celebration of being a post-prelim individual, partly because the tickets were dirt cheap. The party was fun—in poor yet excellent taste someone brought the parts for making hurricanes, which I tried. Rum… such a strange thing, foul by itself but laid low by a splash of pineapple juice. I proceeded to get Not Very Drunk while many people around me got Quite Drunk Indeed, and I discovered that in Ann Arbor, if the party is not entertaining enough, the guests will not leave. Instead, they will seek out and ingest ever increasing amounts of alchohol until the party becomes fun. You have to admire the determination, or desperation, or whatever it is.

It’s not actually cold here at all. In fact, it’s detectably warmer than in Berkeley—I constantly delight that places like Michigan exist where it is both too hot and too cold. Suckers.


I don’t know what it is about that pun… I just can’t resist it. So, Monday at 5:30 I had my big test, the Ph.D. prelim exam. In truth, it was a bit of an anti-climax. I kind of set it up to be… I had 4 mock prelims with very gracious graphics students who grilled me much more severely than my actual examiners. I scheduled the test to be in the same room that I had been practicing in, so it all felt very natural. Things kicked off with questions about a techinical paper I’d picked (this one if you must know). This was supposed to take about 10 minutes, but actually took more like 40. People had told me things like, “if they have 4 questions, and you only get to 1, you get at most 1/4 of the points,” so I was panicking a bit (on the inside). We moved along for a few questions on light an color, and that was it. This test that I’ve been getting ready for all summer, that, if failed, I would have to wait another semester to take again, that, without passing, I couldn’t move forward toward finish my Ph.D.–done. Well, that’s a relief.

So… the plan for tonight is to take all those folks who made me ready for this thing and buy them beer at a great nearby pub, Triple Rock. I should review that one soon…


So, despite my breathless promises, I’ve reached the end of another week without having taken my prelim. No, indeed, with all my frantic studying last friday Carlo came in to tell me that it had been pushed back a week. So next Tuesday it will be and perhaps a less stressed and/or more prolific Bryan you will find me then.

berkeley food #14: taste of the himalayas

I posted a while ago about Kurry Klub, a great Indian place in the gourmet ghetto. I loved this place, and now it has been replaced by “Taste of the Himalayas,” and equally tasty if more northern Indian-focused restaurant. When we were there, we had several dishes, including curries, samosas, and momos. We ordered plenty of garlic naan to eat it off of. The food was delicious, and heavy. We didn’t come close to finishing off all that we ordered, and took home leftovers. Not many options here for a light meal, but if you’re down for some delicious (if not very spicy) N. Indian, check it out.