Iron Ring and Saint Patrick's Day
I have not written here in several weeks. There is no need to apologize for the reasons, there simply have not been any worty of mention. Work has been busy, model has been progressing, yadda, yadda, etc, etc.
However, this evening is a special occasion. Not only it is St. Pat's day, it's also Ring Day for a whole new year of Engineers. I felt it important to attend all of the post-ceremony activities. I'm still inebriated from the whole experience... I find that makes for the most honest and interesting writing.
The first thing I attended immediately after work was the Iron Ring reception at Olivers. There were very many familiar faces, free beer, and good times to be had. It felt, frankly, like I had never left Carleton.
After everyone had left (mostly for the Honest Lawyer), I decided to explore the newly redesigned Unicenter. I believed it to be an unfortunate redesign, employing modern "blue glass" architecture. It most certainly was disappointing. However, music from upstairs drew me in. It came from Mike's Place, the only good pub on campus. After walking around some of the new, highly acclaimed facilities (which were, in my opinion, crap, as in, "Ooooh, it's shiny!"), I walked into Mike's Place. Indeed, a fantastic duo consisting of a guitar and tenor sax were playing great music. This pub has not changed at all in my time at Carleton. Even now, a whole 6 years after the smoking ban, Smokleen machines are still on the ceiling. The original appearance of the Unicenter, with exposed dark brick and brown trim, is still there. I ordered a Guinness. Efficient "Cool White" light poured into the dark lounge from outside as the two musicians played in the classic yellow incadescent bulbs. It was unbelievably nostalgic. Modern architecture is a disgrace.
Eventually I pulled myself out to join everyone at the downtown pub. I met so many people I haven't seen in about a year. It really doesn't feel like so long. Does time slow down more and more as we get older? It seemed that most of the people there were of my vintage. I estimate that I knew 80% of the people in the room. One of the conversations that is worthy of mention is with Edwin, who wanted to set his MSN-Messenger buddy icon to an Iron Ring in light of the ceremony. He searched Google Images for "Iron Ring". On the first result page, my entry from precisely a year ago came up. It pictured my hand holding my then new ring. It's been a year. A whole year. Where am I going with this life? Why does it not feel like 365 days?
Words simply do not describe what I felt tonight. Relief, as though nothing's changed in the last year. Sorrow, missing university and all of the people. Accomplishment, regarding having a job that I like, not monotonous. Jealousy: does everyone have a steady girlfriend now? Renewed pride: I have the ring; it's a symbol of what I believe, and others cherish it as well. Seeing and talking to everyone was simply great, plain and simple. The only emotion left to describe tonight is joy: I really, really enjoyed catching up with everyone.
After getting home, I wrote this. While doing so, I finished off a bottle of vodka received at graduation last year. Appropriate.