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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Time Event
12:10a
"Four and twenty years and I been trying to make some sense"
Today was less productive than I had hoped for, but I did finally get the stuff I needed from Prof.B., and (again) I have stuff in place to get the remainder taken care of tomorrow.  So I went to the Community Holiday Party an hour late (as per yesterday).  Prof.B. asked, "Are you okay?"  I said I was just tired, from a month and a half of Recruiting, and I was very ready for my Break, and that I wasn't upset at him (the latter is a bit of a lie, but it wasn't a conversation we needed to have at that moment).

In mingling at the party, I got chatted up by a guy from Physical Plant (Glenn).  That was a little weird.  He claims we see each other around all the time (exchange hellos even); I did not mention that I have no recollection of seeing him ever.  It quickly became clear that he's very much not my type, and at a lull in the conversation I made my excuses and went to mingle elsewhere.  I saw him again at the end of the party and he offered me a ride home and I politely declined and he (smiling) said, "Well, I had to try."  I laughed and we parted amicably.  I pretty much always refuse rides, though (though obviously I was also purposefully declining this one).

Edit: I completely forgot to mention: in conversation I said my parents lived south of Boston, kinda near Foxboro (my new stock answer), and Glenn said, "Oh, Norwood area," and I was just flabbergasted, because that is in fact the exact town, but people almost never know the town (except for the Auto Mile). /edit

Emily was talking about getting a gift for one of her profs and yeah, fond as I am, none of my profs inspire that feeling in me.  (Of course, I'm kind of Grinchy generally.)  I am such an English Major, though.  She and his RA were talking about his big vocabulary, and she said something about a word on the exam today and the word was "idiosyncratic" and I was like, "That's a perfectly normal word."  RA mentioned "mellifluous," which while I don't think I've ever used it in conversation I can define unhesitatingly (I even know the mel=honey root).  Apparently he also uses the word "punctilious" like every day.

In other work news, the stressful craziness aside, my workplace is kind of fabulous.  For example, most any conversation involving Peter.  And I'm so glad to have Katie around to be on the same wavelength as me.

In non-work news: Ari is a little bit of a rockstar.  (I'll post the stuff that made me glow after the secret_slasha name reveal -- 'cause it's from her beta of my fic.)

I have put the majority of personal library collection up on LibraryThing (though I have definitely not yet completed the tagging).

Problems I have found:
* using the Author tag Cloud is clunky -- click on an author and it takes you to the author page and then you can get "You have books by [author] ( [hyperlink] see yours [/hyperlink] )."
* I can't find a way to sort alphabetically by author in List View.  (It took me a pathetically long time to realize that Cover View -- which I love -- is also sorted that way.  I am just such an inculcated librarian; alphabetical by title is an almost never thing -- the one exception is sorting within an author if it's not a set series.)
* "Enter 200 books for free, as many as you like for $10 (year) or $25 (life)."
Okay, not a serious complaint since I'm used to LiveJournal, which is significantly more expensive, but that just seems like such a low number to me.  I think of my personal library as moderate-to-small, and I'm right near 200.

I was telling Katie about it and she asked what the point of it is and, uh....  I pulled out the Suggestion option (It makes me sad that the UnSuggester will only work for specific titles not your whole library) but honestly, it's all about the fun of the organizing.

Edit: 12:38am I get an e-mail from Tim from LibraryThing.  Appearing on Google Blog Search = Rockstar!  (No, I don't know why "rockstar" is my current word of choice for things made of win.)  He said:
you can sort by author by clicking on the word "author" at the top of the column. This works with most of the columns—anything in blue. You can reverse-sort by clicking again.
I admit to feeling a little abashed that I hadn't already thought of that.
12:23p
Your PSA for the day.
"Immaculate Conception" DOES NOT EQUAL "virgin birth."

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Mary, not of Jesus.

(This rage brought to you by the Star Tribune headline linked to by thistlerose.)

[I am so not Catholic and actually hate the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception -- and am moderately indifferent to the doctrine of the Virgin Birth -- but this is totally one of those errors that makes me twitchy.]
6:30p
Rockstar.
We narrowly avoided hotel disaster ::praises God:: and I feel like everything is sufficiently wrapped up that my not going in to work at all tomorrow will be fine.  [Hotel is top of the list for Things To To Right the first time around next year, seriously.]

On Tuesday, Prof.B. said something that implied I was in fact getting a Christmas gift, and yesterday he explicitly said it, so indeed this morning I came in to a giftbag on my desk chair.  Trader Joe's assortment of chocolates, and Trader Joe's gingerbread men.  I prefer last year's tower of chocolate covered almonds (also from Trader Joe's), but I'm not gonna quibble (aloud).  The note on the bag says (in part), "Thanks for your great work."

Also today, Mary Alice brought in homemade peanut butter fudge (as per last year).  YUM.  Fudge (and chocolate pizzas) are my two Christmas concessions to non-vegetarianism.

Actually, Wiki tells me:
Marshmallow Fluff and some other non-firm marshmallow products, either the commercial product or homemade, are suitable for vegetarians as most contain no gelatin, which mainly serves to allow the familiar marshmallow confection to retain its shape.
One of these years I'll get my act together and order vegan mini-marshmallows for my mom to use for the chocolate pizzas.

Ranjan got got me a chocolate bar (he correctly figured me for a milk chocolate person) and tied it up in nice ribbon :)

FormerUnitHead was heading out to do Christmas shopping, and I quipped, "Get me something nice," -- adding immediately after: "I was kidding."  Turns out he is in fact getting me something -- it's one thing he hadn't taken care of before he left for Tokyo :)  So because I'm a greedy ho, I'm stopping in briefly tomorrow to pick up my gift (rather than waiting until we come back after New Year's).

Eric said it's almost decided that New Year's will be at his apartment and he promises he'll e-mail me.  So we shall see.  I'm mostly not getting my hopes up, but as I told Katie: when we come back I'll either have stories about the party or a story about why/how the party wasn't.

No CAUMC next week (unless someone volunteers to lead) 'cause Trelawney's out of town, so that additionally frees up my week (not that a lock on 7-10pm on Thursday night was a huge deal, of course).  Will probably call people on Tuesday, but feel free to get in touch with me earlier than that.

Oh, and obligatory comment on the HP Book 7 title reveal: I love the title and have no interest in zombies.
11:28p
[CAUMC] Christmas [2006-12-21]
On my way to CAUMC tonight, I passed a house on Powder House that had strings of blue and green lights up on the giant bushes in its front yard.  I approve.  Their upstairs porch railing had red and green lights so it actually looked like holly draped (well inasmuchas lights can), which I also approve of.

Dinner included these amazingly yummy biscuits -- low-fat whole-wheat.  I also tried yams -- which I had once more than ten years ago; still not a fan.

I learned that Trelawney shares my "My family didn't do Santa, and I'm glad about that."

Edit: Forgot to mention, during dinner conversation I mentioned how I'm going in to work briefly tomorrow to pick up my present, and I ended up talking about how when it comes to my family and friends I don't feel any particular desire to get presents from them, but at work I very much want presents from my bosses, which is an irony I hadn't thought of before -- though on reflection it makes sense because in neither case do I want the actual stuff so much as I want recognition/appreciation, which I already get from loved ones. /edit

I was wearing my patchwork-looking shirt and she complimented me on it; I mentioned that I got it at a thrift store, with my usual comment that it's usually the thrift store clothes that I get compliments on.  She Affirmed that I shop at thrift stores -- that I'm not controlled by trends etc. -- and said, "You must really love yourself a lot" to be comfortable enough with my body to do that, which I found interesting because I don't really think of the two as connected (nor do I think of myself as having a particularly great relationship with my body).

We watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which I think I saw once as a youngster.

I was reminded that I have such suspension of disbelief issues (as well as issues with things being pastede on), though I was crying laughing at a lot of the physical comedy near the beginning.  I can't help loving the dog, and I like the Grinch at the beginning a lot -- see myself in him, what? ;)  "You're a Mean One" has some of the best lyrics -- "You're as cuddly as a cactus, you're as charming as an eel. [...] With arsenic sauce."

Afterward, Trelawney talked about how Christmas can be a difficult time and how there are traditions that bring us joy and traditions that are stressful [she actually segued from the ending of the film, with the "Christmas means more than just presents" thing] and opened it up for people to talk about that as they felt moved.  It was just her, Eric, me, Michelle, and Meredith, and she started off by going around and acknowledging the ways in which the/this holiday season is/can be difficult for each specific person.  She did me last and said she doesn't know much about my personal history with (Christmas) traditions and commented that, "You're very cynical about a lot of stuff, but other times you take simple joy in things."
My favorite part was totally the acknowledgement of my cynicism :)

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