Anyway, we made it a fun meeting. We worked for a few hours, stopped to have a potluck dinner (Adam brought bruschetta, I had stuffed veggies, Sarah had homemade applesauce, and Ali had rice and beans), worked some more, and then celebrated with Adam's Creme Broulee (probably spelled wrong). Holy crap. I'd never had Creme before, but it was divine...thick, soft, rich, golden, buttery, and sweet, with a light eggshell layer of burnt brown sugar on top. I think I could eat that in the afterlife.
Yesterday was also fun. I spent the morning studying for Tolkien, then mountain_child and I made stuffed vegetables and took them to Pam's house for the Herbarium party. Most of the Herbarium staff were there, along with their spouses, dates or children. We ate great food, played a raucous and half-drunk 20-person game of Cranium (our team won), and had lovely desserts. Lisa and Mary made Pam a crown that she wore all evening, and we all had a triumphant toast when Pam announced that the Stillinger descendants were so impressed with the tour that they got a few weeks ago that they want to send us more funding ("...signed, Richard Stillinger, Millionaire")! That's very important now, with the way the money situation is at UI. It makes us less assailable.
Everyone started heading home around 10:30, but Tyler and I actually ended up staying and talking to Pam (Herbarium Director) and Steve (Forestry Prof) for about an hour about all sorts of stuff...research projects, coastal disjuncts, the debates, and the current state of politics. I'm glad we did, because I really need to get my research interests fleshed out if I'm going to stay here, and making positive connections with people like Pam and Steve will be really important for the future...hey, that's how I came to live with Doc and Carrie.
And now...to study for Tolkien.