I'm starting to pack my office up - preparing to move all my stuff there back home. Feels kind of odd to be doing so. I've been in this research group for so long, at CMU for longer still, and the closer the office comes to being pristene and bland as another pot, toothbrush, poster goes into the bag feels like it's erasing a bit of my past. The other night when I was walking through the cut homewards, I had a moment where I recalled all the times I passed that way over the last five-and-something years. Two girlfriends passed, a few friendships born and died (and a small number survived), many acquantances flew by. It feels odd that the buildings sit there unchanging over all these experiences, that they've stayed the same unless and until people decide to knock them down, although I know that's the most natural thing in the world. It's funny how emotion leads us sometimes to have such specific, bizarre needs that the world can't possibly fulfill - that our experiences physically change an area and be reflected in it, that each one of us leave a mark in places that have meaning to us - perhaps we personify places and expect them to be changed like people.. and nostalgia becomes a kind of private faith that we share with other people with the same experiences. I don't think I've actually made much of a mark here, and the last few years have been more like a (civil, not nautical) dusk than anything else, but it's at least been amusing on some level.
Amusing: watching MMO games on the internet and trying to think about them in terms of game theory and ideal strategies. Watching people on opposing teams attempt to coordinate attacks, using a wiki as their communications mechanism (while attempting not to allow opposing teams "Perfect Information" through codewords, delays, etc) is really amusing, as are the struggles between people who see these things as a game, an opportunity for roleplaying (You wake up in a whoopee cushion factory!), and a social forum.
Strange dreams about the basement of the old house on Tanager Trail in Brecksville - basement is expanded vastly, I am in cellar near crawlspace, trying to navigate through nonobvious passages to escape the place without bumping into my father, my mom is down there looking for me too. I have the feeling that if I navigate correctly, it connects to a number of the other houses of my dream landscape..