Spent the evening with IMSA (high school) friends: Shreyas, who's a physics PhD student at Cornell (and home for winter break) and Sharon (my high school roommate) and her boyfriend Michael. After the requisite gentle ribbing over me still not having a boyfriend (it's been a running joke since we were teenagers - technically, the betting pool is still on), we stuffed ourselves silly with Olive Garden breadsticks (and yes, food too) and went back to Sharon and Michael's place to play Rock Band - Beatles edition, of course. Sharon and Shreyas were the two who got me into Beatles music back in high school; I am nowhere near as big a fan as they are, but due to the sheer repetition of John/Paul/George/Ringo songs being played and sung in my vicinity during the entirety of my high school career, they're the only band whose songs I know all the lyrics to. And the music is good. And the company was wonderful. Before dinner:
"See, we can't even say 'pick a number.'"
"Well, I'm picking a menu item modulo 3, and I'm not going to do floor."
"It depends on whether I pass my quals. If I pass them, 3-4 years. If I don't, then..."
"What's the expected value of your graduation?"
"The expected... oh, 3 years."
"So you'll probably pass, then."
I got advice from the guys on grad school, which can be summarized as follows: (1) What social life? (2) TAing will give you war stories, and (3) Make sure you have something that isn't school in order to stay sane. After dinner, we duct-taped the last Rock Band mic from the ceiling so that Sharon and Shreyas could simultaneously play guitar and sing. It's been a long time since I heard them harmonize like that - I used to love to hear them sing as we walked back to the dorms after class, or when Sharon and I would stand outside Shreyas's window and listen to him and his roommate Adam play guitar. My contribution for the evening was to squeak up from "medium" to a reasonably decent showing on the highest level in bass and the second-highest level in drums (my Rock Band gaming philosophy: if I'm not madly scrambling to figure out what notes to hit, it isn't hard enough).
And when I sprawled back on the couch after Rock Band, Shreyas elbowed me. "Hey Mel, you're tired? Sharon, look - she's tired!" "No, really?" "The little girl who could never sleep!" "Ah, I still don't." "How is this possible?" "Chocolate martini. I'm a lightweight."
"You know what's funny?" Sharon said. "We've known each other for almost 10 years." And so we have. 3 years of high school, 4 years of college (at 3 different schools), and now 2.5 years after college. The length of our friendship is almost exactly the same as the length of my social life, and this is not entirely a coincidence.
Huh. I feel old tonight.