Archive for December, 2005

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December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas, dear reader. Many books have come my way, so far, and that is all good. Also new sheepskin slippers, and a certain DVD, and many other good things too. I feel loved.

And I feel sleepy. There is a warm bed a-waiting – and Santa brought me a new pillow! I really wanted a new back, but what the hey.

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December 19, 2005

A new GROW! game has been released, and a very topical one, too. Much easier to solve than the previous ones, but still immensely satisfying once you get it right. (Don’t close the window immediately when you’ve solved the game, or you’ll miss the Christmas greeting.)

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December 16, 2005

There is more to Christmas gifts than giving, I’ve come to understand lately. Judging by some ads I’ve seen, the most important thing about a Christmas gift is that you, the person who is giving it away, will benefit by it. Some phone companmy or other, for instance, asks in a brochure that was thrust at me when I walked through a mall today “What Does Your Sister Want?” (Picture of underwear or a pair of earrings.) “Will That Make You Happy?” (Picture of happy sister and sulking giver.) “You should give her a phone instead” (or maybe a phone card from some particular company? I didn’t pay that much attention, I just know a phone was involved.) “Then she’ll be able to keep in touch with you!” (Picture of giver, in bed, sleepily answering phone.) “Come to think of it, maybe you should go with the earrings.”

Sure, it was humorous and it did make me remember it – which is of course the only objective of advertising. It would have been more of a success if I’d remembered whether it was Comviq or Motorola, but still.

But really. I mean, really. I don’t think I’m a particularly generous or good person, but I like giving things away, and Christmas provides a good excuse for squandering lots of money on presents for people I like. It’s probably partly the kind of feel-good hormone that is released by shopping for oneself, and of course also the selfish joy from seeing other people getting happy. I do like receiving as well, I can get ridiculously happy by material things. But I’ll reserve the right not to give away things that will mostly benefit myself, and I don’t particularly like that kind of advertising or what it implies.

So my sisters are not getting mobile phone cards from me this year. Sorry, Ulrika and Pyrola.

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December 8, 2005

Unmissable link: Panda Cam at San Diego Zoo. (For Mac OS X 10.4 users: there is a Dashboard widget with the cam – I have used it for months now. It’s brilliant.)

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December 8, 2005

The PhD Dissertation Explained:

“‘What is it, then?’
‘Nothing.’
‘What do you mean, nothing?’
‘Nothing of importance.’ […] ‘I’d rather not talk about it.’
‘Come on, professor, out with it.’
‘It’s, er, a doctoral thesis.’
Smyke laughed. ‘That’s a relief. I thought it was some frightful disease.’
‘So is a doctoral thesis, in a way.'”

Walter Moers, Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures, (p 142).

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December 6, 2005

So I went to see my doctor, because it’s perfectly ridiculous to have a stupid cold for three weeks. He drew blood and poked me in the throat with a stick and didn’t come up with anything. Sigh. But at least he prescribed a couple of good cough medications.

Then I popped by work, since my doctor’s office is just across the graveyard from the dept of English. My supervisor is great, she really is – she suggested that my planned seminar before Christmas be moved to January, and that I study some Old English now, not with any set exam date or pressure, but just to make it less frustrating having to be home. I feel much better about my work situation now.

I read recently that cocoa is good against coughs, so I popped by the chocolate shop on the way home (both my supervisor and Terry told me I should, so I did!) On the bus home I started coughing, and ate a couple of chocolate mocca beans, and the fit subsided immediately. Yay chocolate!

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December 5, 2005

I wasn’t being intentionally obscure in my previous posting, as a matter of fact. I received in the mail today a delivery from Amazon (ha, after I bad-mouthed them yesterday!) Not having ordered anything from Amazon UK, and not expecting the delivery from .com to arrive the day after I ordered it, I was very confused indeed… turns out it was a book from my wishlist, one I really REALLY wanted, as well as a CD I’d never heard of but like instantly.

I’ve been ill for a long time, now. Nothing serious at all, just a string of colds, which never go away and get worse the moment I try to step out of doors. I’m trying to work, but it’s not that easy from home, and I’m getting rather worried about the state of my thesis. In addition, the weather is very grey – we don’t have a lot of sun hours at this time of year, on the 60th latitude, and although it can be brilliant in December when the sun is out, it has been very overcast lately.

So getting unexpected presents really cheered me up. A lot!