The VAX party was a lot like the last few VAX parties. The same people get drunk and loud, the same people were talking, but a few people were less lonely (one friend got married, another is now in a long-term relationship). I was also reminded, against my recent intuitions, that it is possible for some people to be loud and yet still fun to be around (there were two loud people, this was the first). I drank a decent amount myself, but just became lethargic, smiley, and social. Normally I'm thinking about too many things to really give people my full attention, and I'm too self-conscious all the time - alcohol turns that mostly off, and so when I hit the right level I'm much better company. That's true of most people, I suppose. The party felt like a finale -- I *think* that's more than just what was in my head based on knowledge of everyone's plans, giving a nod to the "not with a bang, but a whisper" phrase.. Anicca is difficult for sentimental people like me to deal with. Also, alcohol gives me heartburn.
After I made it home, I found Volume 2 of Mao in the canonical place for lost items -- under my bed. Yay. I'm pissed at my mom though - whenever I'm not sure on going to some holiday, she always has everyone in the family email me, making it much less likely that I'll go. Meh. I also have a new virtual server to configure - dachte.org (not blog.dachte.org) is moving from being virtually in Dallas to being virtually in Austin (I think), and my new VPS is up. It has more RAM and disk, which is pretty nice.
I've been having strange daydreams of very visual small turning moments in my life.. stepping into Insomnia for the first time, sitting there and just having people I knew coming in and leaving.. back to the brick column at Outland.. there's something about non-work places that draw large numbers of interesting people that appeals to the psyche. Such places become capital-P Places - they are precious and rare, eventually intimate if the atmosphere is right and the company constant. A society or individual without them is in a certain sense lost in a way lightly similar to the homeless. CMU's clusters are a bit like that. The foundation of society is opportunities for people to meet and learn to care about each other. Some near-public area, easily reached by most people, that's comfortable and welcoming, these need to be built everywhere communities are. I suspect churches gain a lot of their draw because they accidentally meet this basic human need.