I just disappeared on you, didn't I? House guests are absorbing. :-)
It's been a very nice couple of days. Jason arrived on Friday around noon. We ducked over to Cucina for a quick lunch, and then walked to campus. Crocuses blooming! I had a budget meeting with Paul and a dean, so I just dumped Jason in the lobby; he was very patient. After the meeting, Paul and Jason and I walked up to the ASUU offices, and then swung by the department so I could show Jason where I (occasionally) worked. It's kind of a cool building, but my cubical is not so exciting. Ah well. We walked home, getting slightly lost on the way -- I don't walk to school in winter, so it's been some months, and there's a particularly confusing bit with lots of curving streets. I felt like a bit of a doofus, though -- getting lost on a twenty minute walk that I *have* done many times before.
We just hung out for a while, chatting, getting to know each other better. Jason's someone who I knew casually when we lived in Philly -- the boyfriend of Heather J., Kevin's ex-girlfriend. All mathematicians. He had a motorcycle, which I thought was amazingly cool. (He doesn't have it anymore; got in an accident, decided it was too dangerous. This appears to be the fate of people who own motorcycles...) I only saw him a few times there, but we had some good conversations. Then, when I lived in California, he came out to a math conference at Berkeley, and we ended up spending some time together then. It was oddly reassuring talking to him, in some ways -- he and Heather J. were about to get married, and somehow it alleviated a fluttering little anxiety that had somehow stuck around -- for the first year or so that Kevin and I were dating, he was still very much in love with his ex-girlfriend. She was slender and smart and beautiful *and* a mathematician; she understood what Kev was talking about when he talked about work, which I never would. I was fiercely insecure about her for a while -- even though I knew and liked her. Odd situation. That all resolved itself in time; Kevin and I grew a lot closer, and he and Heather J. became much more clearly just friends.
The last few years have been so odd. Y'all have heard what's been happening with me and Kev. On Jason's end, he and Heather J. recently divorced. Very sad. It drives me crazy sometimes -- that people can clearly love each other very much, and yet not be able to work things out. I hope they both end up okay and happy in the long run.
So, as you can imagine, we did a fair bit of comparing notes on what it's like when your serious relationship ends. It was a little comforting, I suppose. A little saddening too. I was glad when it was time to start dinner; Jason was a great sous-chef. He stirs like a fiend. :-) Paul and Marcia joined us, and we had a really nice time; one of those dinners with good wine and great conversation. Marcia was especially sparkling.
On Saturday, we decided to go out for brunch. We walked to Oasis, where I had cranberry-walnut french toast, and Jason had a massive burrito, with potatoes -- and then ate half of my french toast. He was hungry! I did steal some potatoes. We walked for a while afterwards -- stopped in the new age bookstore next door, then walked downtown. It had started to snow, and I wasn't wearing a heavy coat, but somehow it wasn't all that cold. I guess it often isn't when it's snowing. Still, we were happy to reach downtown and take refuge in the Beehive House. Jason has a close friend who's LDS, and he was pretty curious about Mormon stuff. I just think the Beehive House is cool, with beautiful architecture and furnishings; I'm always happy to do one of their free tours. Though it's a little disconcerting how they go through the entire tour referring to Brigham Young and 'his wife, Abigail' and 'their children' and somehow never mention that next door, in the Lion House, lived all his other wives and their children...
We walked through Temple Square too, ducking into the Tabernacle briefly. Lovely building. Then to Borders for some chai and resting. I'm enough out of shape that an hour of walking makes me a bit tired. We were considering a movie, but the times weren't so good, and as we were talking, Jason suddenly announced that what he really wanted to do was go to Deseret Industries! Which is a thrift store, much like Goodwill. Umm...okay. So we got on the light rail and went. He got a cool shirt; I ended up buying two. At $4 each -- how can you resist? I have a real weakness for men's white button-down shirts. Jason also ended up getting a small powder-blue suitcase, and a bunch of drinking glasses. Not items I would choose to buy while out of town, but what the heck...
Leftovers for dinner, and early bed. Neither of us had been sleeping well the previous two nights, and we were both kind of groggy by nine-ish on Saturday.
Yesterday was just lovely. Woke up to a heavy snowstorm, blanketing the street with at least a foot of snow. Cleaned up and cooked for potluck brunch. I made some potato sambar and idli -- sadly, the idli didn't quite work. Too much water somehow, I think. Luckily, the sambar was thick enough to eat by itself. I also made a onion and bell pepper frittata; that came out pretty well -- plenty of salt, pepper, and dill in the eggs. Various and sundry people came: Paul and Marcia and Lisa and Eric and Sarah and Peter and Brian K. More would have come, but were prevented by the snow. Ah well. They stayed and chatted until 3-ish, I think. I'm glad Jason likes my friends here, and vice versa.
Somehow in conversation it came up that Jason had no good recent photos of himself. I am always happy for an excuse to use my digital camera, so after people left we put on big boots and tromped through the snow. We went up to the cemetery (only a block away), and spent an hour walking around, taking photos madly. We took about a hundred photos, mostly of Jason, and I think got about thirty decent ones, and about five stellar ones. He's very photogenic, and it's still amazing how many bad photos it takes to get a good one. Hooray for digital cameras. :-) It was very peaceful walking through the mostly-untrodden snow, pausing to consider tombstones. Odd items would catch our eyes, here and there. A pinwheel in the snow. Silk flowers. A massive Japanese tombstone. A sheltered copse fairly high up, where stone benches lay with only the lightest drifting of snow. Afterwards, we came home and watched tv for the rest of the evening. Simpsons, Star Trek. Really nice day.
Photos on the next page.