This afternoon I received an email from one of the exceedingly-knowledgeable and helpful secretaries in the Grad Studies office at school.
(Seriously, why is that the case? At Waterloo, the smartest person in the Physics building wasn't a professor; it was Pat, the department secretary. You want to know who's doing what, where the people are who you need to talk to, what's going on, what's going down? You talk to Pat. In an issue of darkmatter, we once compared Physics department people with characters from WKRP in Cincinnati, and we compared Pat to Jennifer Marlowe, the friendly (and sexy) secretary for the radio station. While Pat wasn't particularly alluring, she sure as hell was friendly and helpful.)
Anyway, the email stated that my vice-supervisor person (my "committee member") had just been released from the hospital — he had pneumonia; get better soon, man! — and wondered if it would be okay to proceed with the defence or wait until he's well enough to come to the defence.
Now, don't get me wrong: my committee member is a brilliant guy, an interesting and funny fellow who's so well-read it'd make that dude that read the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica look like, well, George W. Bush. But in all seriousness, he hasn't really helped me along too much, other than attend a couple of meetings back in late winter, read over an early draft of my thesis (and make remarks on a couple of chapters), and... um... well, that might be it. So, obviously, I emailed a reply suggesting that, yes, we will be going ahead with the defence.
But it almost got derailed. I swear, this thing is jinxed.