December 11th, 2006

amused, smiling


I'm in Aruba with boobirdsfly. I'm here as part of SLT 2006, but she and I are taking this as an opportunity to enjoy the tropics.

It's 8:45am here, but that means it's 4:45am at home on the West Coast; I have had two cups of coffee and just barely feel alert enough to watch the presentation (currently on "partially observable Markov decision processes for dialogs"; I don't fully understand it and I think I wouldn't do much better even if I was fully awake). boobirdsfly is probably still asleep; I got up at 6:45 local time, showered, and dressed up as a professional for the day.

We had the privilege of making our layover in Atlanta, so we could spend the night with lapartera and trombo2, and enjoyed tapas with mojitos at Pura Vida, walking distance from their house (my childhood home)! (boobirdsfly said "it feels like we're getting a head start on the vacation!" and of course we were.)

I'm still operating at something less than 100%; between recovering from being sick (I still have an occasional itchy cough) and landing in my emotional space, I'm not fully grasping what's going on at the conference, even though I'd like to be. Our poster goes up this afternoon, and I feel confident that I understand how to present (defend?) it, but I'm not doing the socializing that I could be, and that's about 60% of what these conferences are supposed to be. But being upset about it doesn't win me anything, so I made some polite conversation at the (included) breakfast and met some nice guys from Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Melbourne (I think).

I'm very happy to be here with boobirdsfly. We're both a little overwhelmed by the five-star-ness of this hotel and we're both amused and made slightly uncomfortable by the service and swank. Last night we went for a walk on the beach and discovered where the dancing happens at night -- most of the tourists are retirees, but the people under 50 go out to MooMba. Maybe once the conference is over -- or I'm a little less jet-lagged -- I'll be more up for going out dancing.

love to you all.