This weekend has been remarkable for several reasons. Chronologically:
1. On Friday it was announced that Jimmy Buffett will be performing not one but two shows in Europe this year, both in small venues. July 5th he will be in London in a theater that seats ~2,000 and September 26th he will be in Paris in a jazz lounge that seats ~900. Last year’s show in a jazz lounge in Paris was UNBEATABLE. If you really consider yourself a parrothead, come join me one of these shows!
2. On Friday I finished J.R.R. Tolkien’s Book of Lost Tales. It was very long and slow going but it provided amazing insight into how Tolkien arrived at the stories that were ultimately published in The Silmarillion and laid the foundation for The Lord of the Rings. It’s not for the faint of heart but I recommend it for any die-hard Tolkien fans.
3. Many of you know that I have never been shat upon by a bird before in my entire life. Walking to and from IMD every day last year, I always had this fear that my streak would be broken as the paths through the woods around campus were coated with bird poop. Miraculously, however, I made it through unscathed and reached my 30th birthday still unsoiled.
Saturday morning, one of my coworkers, Bogdan, and I went to IMD to play ping pong. Bogdan is a good athlete; he was a soccer star in Romania and he has picked up beach volleyball very quickly, providing me with a much-needed partner who is consistently available. It turns out that he is pretty good at ping pong too; he beat me 5 games to 3, but most of our games were settled by 2-3 points and a few of them went to deuce.
During one game, as I was winding up for a forehand smash, I felt something on my shoulder. After putting the smash away for a winner, I looked back and was surprised to see what was obviously bird poop. On May 23rd, 2009, at approximately 11:30 AM, 30 years and 2 months to the day after I entered this world, my great streak was finally broken! It’s actually kind of a relief. Bogdan and I already share a special bond because we went into the cold, cold lake together after beach volleyball earlier this year. Now we shall truly be united forever–thebrotherhood of Poken sports and bird poop!
4. After ping pong we went to play some beach volleyball and then met up with another coworker, Dave, for a late lunch. Dave and his family had arrived in their boat so they took us out for a quick tour of the lake. I’m embarrassed to say it but, after almost 18 months in Lausanne, this was my first time actually out on Lake Geneva. Crazy! Better late than never, though. It was fun looking at Lausanne from the outside in. We traced all the paths I usually run along and it felt like I was looking at them from the other side of a mirror.
5. I beat Military Madness and am now starting over, playing as the bad guys. I really don’t have any time to play video games, but it really is therapeutic to devote brain cycles to strategy in a context other than Poken.
6. Rice baseball is undefeated in the C-USA tournament and will play in the championship game tonight. Go Owls!
Bogdan and I are off for some more ping pong and volleyball then this evening I’ll work on a presentation for a talk I am giving on Tuesday. If anyone will be in Geneva on Tuesday, come by for the panel on new media and the future of social networking.
Pics of the above are in my facebook album.