A bit over two weeks ago, I went to the airport to meet Alex oniugnip's flight from Indianapolis. There, on the ground floor at SFO, next to baggage carousel 18, he got down on one knee, took my hand, slipped a ring on my finger, and said, "Will you marry me?" Even though we've been publicly engaged since last November (and less publicly engaged for rather longer); even though the ring was the one that we picked out together and ordered several months ago; even though wedding planning is long since under way; even though "Will you marry me?" is something we say to each other on a more or less daily basis anyway -- it was still pretty great to be Proposed To, there in a crowd of people. I'm pretty sure it all happened so fast that hardly anyone around noticed, although one middle-aged lady did nudge me and say "Congratulations!" as she was rolling her suitcase away.
So, Alex has been out here for a bit over two weeks now, and for a bit over two weeks now I've had a sparkly thing affixed to my finger that I still feel rather self-conscious about even though no one has said anything, and for a bit over two weeks now, we've been living together in my apartment in Mountain View, which, if we fold the bed up into the wall, is just big enough for us to have exactly three people over, as long as they don't mind the lack of chairs. Right now, we're on our way back to that apartment, on the last train south from the city, having just been to an incredible dance performance with Martin and Lauryn. Alex is in the seat next to me, listening to Tool in headphones and reading Metaphors We Live By, which he brought out here with him; it had been on my bookshelf back in Bloomington for some time, but I'd never gotten around to reading it. I think he may have decided that being George Lakoff when he grows up would be an acceptable backup plan in case the whole machine-translation-researcher thing doesn't work out. I don't even have a Plan A for what I want to be when I grow up, let alone a Plan B. Maybe I ought to read more books. It's a shame about the headphones, though; if it weren't for them, I'm pretty sure Alex would be experiencing nearly as much delight as I am in the conversation that the three guys in the seats in front of us are having, which as far as I can tell has been entirely in German except for the words "garbage collection", "namespace", "GPU", "Froyo", "Gingerbread", "Honeycomb", "Ice Cream Sandwich", um, "T-bone", "pot roast" (well, okay, now they're just being silly!), "bootstrapping", and "California".