Almost on the Road
I am losing track of my various last-minute activities, however. My sibling has taken up use of Dragon Naturally Speaking due to incipient carpal tunnel, and reports that it is an impressive piece of software. As I happened to have an unused disk for Dragon Naturally Speaking sitting around, I gave that to John since he is more comfortable lecturing than writing. It is to be hoped that it proves useful.
Cesar, meanwhile, persuaded me into trying a samba class. While I would not mind learning to samba, our class brought back recollections of why I used to abhor and avoid dance classes... I do not do well with "all levels" classes where everyone else already has a pretty good idea what they're doing and the instruction mainly consists of trying to follow along what you can see in the mirror. How am I supposed to "do four samba steps in each direction" if I don't yet know what a samba step consists of? I was disgruntled about this, but admittedly the attempt to catch on did involve getting plenty of exercise. I decided to regard it as a workout rather than a lesson, but I would have preferred to get some idea what I was supposed to be doing. Cesar had a better idea what he was doing, having seen more samba performed, but thought that the male body is really not designed for this dance. We concluded by drinking beer, and then, when John showed up after his Russian conversation class, drinking more beer. I gather the Russian class was more satisfactory, although John did think that it would have been hard to handle if he hadn't studied Russian previously.
The Spotted Pair has been repeatedly told about our upcoming trip, but as neither Ms. Spots nor Orion has any real experience with lengthy car trips, they have not shown any apprehension about it. Ms. Spots has, however, been preparing herself by molting. She has evidently been paying attention to the weather reports.
Many of my friends have inquired what prompts me to move back to Pittsburgh. The answer is actually relatively straightforward, if not all that brief. Apartments are considerably cheaper there than in the Bay Area (although not as cheap as sleeping on my parents' couch); most of my furniture and many of my books are there; my dissertation committee is there; I can get free interlibrary loan there; and I have friends there too. I can't say I am crazy about the weather in Pittsburgh, but other than that I tend to like the place.