Tag Archive for 'neil gaiman'

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Car Aches

Today I drove the whole distance between Ithaca and my parents’ place in NC by myself and made it in one piece. This essentially means that I left Ithaca before the sun was completely up and it was well dark by the time I got to my parents’. There was a bit of car trouble–flashing lights, buzzers, and a loss of throttle control–but restarting the car seems to have fixed that, at least enough that I was able to make it the last fifty miles or so without incident. But I will definitely be taking the car in to a dealer before I drive the 630 miles back.

I think a large factor in my ability to have driven so far and so long in one go was listening to Neil Gaiman reading Fragile Things the whole way. The audiobook claims to be 10.5 hours, and, though I’m near the end, I’m not quite finished, which seems to indicate that I did actually drive less than 10.5 hours, which surprises me because I’d been pegging the drive between here and there as 11 hours or so. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. The audiobook definitely helped, though, because I didn’t find myself growing sleepy and easily distracted like I normally do after, say, six straight hours behind the wheel. And, being Neil Gaiman, it was all brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him do all the different accents and voices–so much so that I think I may listen to the whole thing again on the way back instead of listening to music like I typically do. If that’s not a shining recommendation, I don’t know what is.

Haven’t had a chance to see my parents really because they were on the way out the door to a Christmas party when I arrived. I did see enough of them to be extremely disturbed by the sight of my father with a full beard. (With few exceptions, my father has had either a mustache or a goatee my entire life.) I think the only thing more distressing than my father with the full beard is him with no facial hair. Ah well. I suppose if he doesn’t get the right to complain when I cut my hair, I don’t get the right to complain about his facial hair. Which, mind you, does not mean that I won’t give him a hard time about it. 😛

Plans to drive to Arkansas for Christmas have been scrapped, and, I must admit a certain relief. After today, I really don’t need another 14 hours of driving. I’ll be sorry to miss seeing my extended family–I so wanted to hear my uncles’ remarks on my Cornell “Actually, I am a rocket scientist” t-shirt–but life goes on. And on. And on.

I think I’m ready for a nice, relaxing holiday now. I doubt I’ll get it, but it’s nice to delude oneself every once in awhile.

Happiness Counts

I fear that I’m falling into one of those traps where my blog posts turn into massive bullet pointed lists (or maybe that’s his influence), but I figure that lists of random bits and pieces are better than dead silence, right?

Since I’ve been feeling down more than I’d like to the past few days, it’s time for a list of the good things going on right now:

  • My NSF letters of recommendation have been turned in, leaving me free from contemplating my fellowship application until the results come back. This is a serious load off my mind.
  • Classes are over. I still have finals hanging over my head, but the part of my life where I have to waste time listening to lectures is over… until January.
  • In the finals category, I got my fluids take-home final this morning. It is due December 11th, and I have already finished one-third of it. This is happiness which cannot be counted on one’s fingers.
  • Who got a bunch of Christmas shopping done at the big Cornell store sale today? Yes, that was definitely me.
  • The rent has been paid for the month, and, because I picked up my paycheck, I’m still coming out ahead.
  • My research group meeting today has convinced me that I am very lucky. Not only am I going to get to start playing in wind tunnels in two weeks, but my advisor actually seems to care about his students having lives outside of doing research. Win!
  • Current plans are to go to the theater to see Casino Royale this evening. I’m not much of a Bond fan, but the last day of classes is a good time for some mindlessness.

Neil Gaiman has a really sweet post involving his daughter Maddy that made me smile. In particular, he writes:

“You forget the things you were certain you would always remember, especially the tiny things, and all too often they’re the things that matter.”

I think that’s what I’m always upset with myself for failing to do when it comes to keeping a journal or a blog. In the end, it’s usually the tiny things that really bring back a memory for me, and those are usually the things that don’t get recorded. I wish I could tell my thirteen-year-old self that.

Where Have You Been?

In site news, I have the coding for the redesigned main site finished and it’s going up a little bit at a time. The first five story excerpts have been posted and more will follow. I thought I’d give everyone’s RSS feeds (and eyeballs) a bit of a break. Here’s a run-down of my current state-of-affairs:

  • I am glad beyond belief to be back at school. I really missed this place and everyone in it. Thinking about having only five months left is depressing beyond belief.
  • Today was the first day of classes, and, aside from having a class moved to 8:30 a.m. and having two other classes (in a row) in the Most Uncomfortable Classroom Ever, things look pretty good.
  • I bothered professors until letters of recommendation got uploaded. Thank. God.
  • I have now seen every episode of House. I am thoroughly obsessed, but, on the bright side of things, I’ve got at least two other suitemates enjoying the show, so there should be no trouble claiming the television in the name of House every Tuesday at 9 p.m. I knew Mark would appreciate misanthropic sarcasm on a whole new scale.
  • The 250 GB external hard drive my parents gave me for Christmas makes me happy. I still have lots of stuff to transfer off of my laptop’s drive (mostly music), but I’m definitely enjoying the freedom to, y’know, save things.
  • Have finished reading American Gods. I nearly picked up Anansi Boys in the bookstore yesterday because it was 50% off, but I resisted. Considering that I spent almost $300 on books tonight and will be spending an addition $126 tomorrow, this is probably good. Textbooks are quite expensive, but I figured it was about time I start collecting some fluids texts that will be useful in graduate school.

There’s something a bit skeezy about writing my update in bullet format. It feels very LiveJournalish, but I think I may need more of that, to be honest. Here’s to a new semester.