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thursday, 30 november

quoted: "you can't x straight boys" -brennan, drunk

low grade malaise. that's what i'm feeling. i'm nervous about something. or, more accurately, my stomach is nervous about something that i can't put my finger on.

today is the feast day of st andrew, and the kinda-sorta-pretend start of advent. which is great, because i've been listening to christmas carols since sunday. also today, microsoft is launching vista pro. sigh.

gotta run. catch ya in december.

wednesday, 29 november

quoted: "he never washes himself" -post 4s head party

haven't updated for a week. i'm a complete reprobate. skipping out of work for two days last week left me buried in emails and tasks when i returned. who knew the end of a holiday could be so stressful. then again, it was hardly a real holiday.

thursday went really well. andrew and i bought and cooked more than enough food for our twelve not-hungry-enough thanksgiving diners. i snuck out early without doing enough to help clean up, but i really did need a proper night's sleep before my viva. which i did indeed get, full of turkey and delicious mashed potatoes and a small fraction of the 8 lbs of sausage that we bought for to make stuffing with.

friday went well. i totally didn't mean to keep anyone in suspense by not posting until today. i passed...though i do have a hefty list of corrections that need to be made in the next week or so. ugh. but then it will all be over.

friday night is a happy blur. i remember the turf, and last night i was re-informed of our subsequent, futile efforts to go out out out. apparently i'm "totally respectable" even when i'm hammered out of my gourd. go figure.

anyway, work really is crazy busy, so i should get back to it. sigh.

ps - taro is no hi sushi, or so my stomach declared repeatedly between 3 and 4 this morning. double sigh.

wednesday, 22 november

quoted: "i just can't imitate chinese sex noises" -dottie

sorry about the late (and short) update. it's been a crazy busy day. and tomorrow will be crazy busy with COOKING. hurrah! four days off begins in 15 minutes. and by off i mean i have a ridiculous amount of stuff to do, but i won't be checking my work email.

have a happy thanksgiving, y'all. i'll try to put together a list of things i'm thankful for to put in monday's update. right now, it will have to suffice to say i'm thankful for my family and friends and everything they teach me.

tuesday, 21 november

quoted: "i think of you every time i sneeze" -coworker, to me

one day a few weeks ago, one of my coworkers sneezed three times in a row, and i giggled. and she looked hurt until i admitted that i was jealous because i think sneezing is one of best free ways to have fun...unless you're driving, when it's the scariest thing in history. so now another coworker thinks of me every time SHE sneezes. i've warned her that this is a self-perpetuating habit, since she'll develop some sort of pavlovian link between me and sneezing. and that's just a little bit odd.

i like sneezing almost as much as i like pandas. which is why i think
this is the best video on youtube.

i went to this event at new zealand house last night. what an amazing view! of course, all the kiwis seemed to confuse the "formal dress" on the invitation with "please wear lots of denim". which is probably par for the course.

thanks to everyone who is rooting for me this friday. i'm feeling a tad bit less nervous since i finished reading the ol' monster.

i need a new book to read. maybe that can wait until after this weekend; andrew and i are cooking thanksgiving dinner for somewhere between 8 and 12 of our friends plus one of my coworkers who went to stanford with one of my cousins. small world.

monday, 20 november

quoted: "unless you wow them with your delicious sauce" -keats

that was definitely the best weekend i've had in a long time. it seemed to go on and on. of course, i didn't get to bed until 1 last night, so now monday just seems to be going on and on.

friday evening my team leader took me and ollie out for a beer, after which i scurried off to the stockpot with jon and his friend danielle for dinner. that was in turn followed by drinking more than i ought to have drunk at the walkabout on shaftsbury. which is in an old church.

saturday i shook off the hangover, went to the gym (where i had a GREAT workout) and then tried to do some christmas shopping before going to 4s head. i flatly failed to find what i was looking for, though i did succeed in other areas. 4s head was FREEZING, but pleasant enough to see alex's boat do well, and then a little drinking in putney, followed by a lot more drinking in putney. may have climbed over a wall into someone's back garden, then (of course) fell off the wall trying to climb back to the street. minimal bruising; thanks for asking.

yesterday i tried and failed again to find a particular christmas present, then i cleaned the flat and put together dinner for brennan, keats, dottie and nick, who all graciously agreed to be my cullinary guinea pigs for the evening. i thought dinner itself went very well, though it was followed by my being ruthlessly attacked by a sea monster.

today i'm sore and tired, and i have a black tie party thing to go to tonight. it will take all of my energy to actually iron a shirt AND sew a button back on my tux. sigh. life is rough.

oh. one final thing: i finished reading my thesis yesterday, and while there are certainly some rough points and some acknowledged weaknesses, and the whole i was impressed by its strengths. which isn't tooting my own horn, because i can say without hesitation that i wouldn't be able to do it again, even if you gave me another three years.

Friday, 17 November

quoted: "rachel is my preferred stevens" -brennan

so many things to say today. i finished reading the lust lizard of melancholy cove last night. it was alright, as novels about sea monsters that eat bad guys and fall in love with crazy has-been B movie actresses go. i thought the exposition was wonderful and hilarious and true to form, but the last fifty pages seemed rushed and poorly thought-out. it was very jarring after the easy, natural flow of the first part of the novel to feel like i was getting the bum's rush away from the fascinating, gross relationship between steve and molly. sigh.

i woke up at 6.30 tonight to clean up my flat, because i'm going for dinner with jon and one of his friends (from fordham, maybe?) tonight, and tomorrow i plan to be hung over and/or in hammersmith watching people row past me. but at least it's not supposed to be rainy tomorrow.

newspaper headline of the day: "Denis Finnegan should never have been murdered". that really differentiates him from other murder victims, no?

ten point to katie for pointing out a new
pandacam! and minus ten points from my coworker ollie for greeting the glorious news with a declaration that "animals are boring". yes, the baby panda has been asleep for the past many hours, but i'm not sure that counts as boring.

remember that sesame street segment on how crayons are made? do you remember it now?

highlight of waking up: an email from my 95-year-old grandmother, who writes very sweet emails about autumn in spokane and everything else. definitely looking forward to seeing her next month.

finally, i've started having nightmares about my viva, which starts precisely a week from right now. scared? yes. confident? not quite. have one more chapter to read of the thesis, and then lots of pretending i know what i'm talking about to do. slanty face.

Thursday, 16 November

quoted: "does it have something to do with cigarettes?" -w14, on fag hags

such a cute question.

in case anyone was thinking "i wish i could watch a really depressing webcast of an investigatory telejournalism show on disgraced former mayor jim west"...have i got the hyperlink for you:
click here!

i'm sure there are other interesting things to say. but it's a busy day at work, so maybe i should leave it at that for now.

Wednesday, 15 November

quoted: "i'm sure there are some people in new zealand who don't live in translucent concrete houses" -nick

yesterday was a day of major failures and minor triumphs. thankfully, the day ended with triumphs, so i went to bed in not too bad a mood. early evening, though, i was way more grumpy than is strictly safe for people near me. the aggravation was caused by a very busy colleague who stopped responding to my emails while i stuck around work for an extra two hours waiting for a reply.

in the process, i almost cancelled dinner plans with my friend nick. low blood sugar is one of the major factors in grumpiness, so that would have just deepened my funk. for the mathemeticians out there:
grumpinessanthony = 3×hungeranthony + 2×tirednessanthony
that's a rough guide, anyway. hunger and tiredness are on scales of one to ten, which leaves grumpiness on a one to fifty scale. hunger matters more than tiredness, as you'd expect.

anyway, small victories: a very nice thai dinner with nick and a bottle of wine, marred only by a bus strike yoinking my ride home from islington. sigh. but the other, big victory was also bus related: i decided to leave work at about 8 and head up to dinner with nick, but i needed to get my blackberry from my flat so that i could keep checking up on whether my coworker emailed me back. well, the 38 bus runs from work to islington past my flat. i got off the bus at the royal academy, ran up the street and through 4 locked doors and up two flights of stairs to my flat, grabbed toy, and made it back down to the street just in time to miss the SAME #38 bus as it pulled away from the stop outside the virgin megastore. so i bolted across piccadilly circus and managed to catch that same 38 bus at the stop outside the shaftsbury natwest. how's that for studly? i KNOW.

so yes, see
this artical from yesterday's san jose mercury news, which declares that (contrary to popular opinion), only 1% of the internet is for porn. who knew?

ps - the song "read my mind" off the killers' new album is my favorite. fyi.

Monday, 13 November

quoted: "it's probably because you're gay that you seem italian" -dinner friday

ok ok. what a weekend. thanks to my parents for being tricky and ordering extra furniture from the shop that delivered my table and chairs saturday. birthday gifts are the best when they're surprising enough to be rejected by the recipient. when the movers started to unload a coffee table and an end table from the truck, i strongly protested that i hadn't bought any such items. but they had stickers with my name on the boxes, and i figured out that it had probably been my mother's doing. so that was exciting.

saturday i spent all day putting together that furniture and then sorting the ridiculous amounts of stuff that came out of storage on saturday. who knew i had so much clothing. some of it has to go to oxfam. there's just not room in my new, adult-y flat for it.

highlight from stored stuff: having my real speakers back. in the past 24 hours they have single-handedly changed the way i feel about my flat.

there's a great article in the new york times today:
As Sonics Pack to Leave Town, Seattle Shrugs. brilliant. well done seattle! my favorite quote from the piece: 'Seattle “turned its back on the N.B.A.,” Mr. Bennett [chairman of the group that owns the Sonics] said in a telephone interview, and gave up its chance to build a “multipurpose” arena suitable for basketball, hockey and conventions.'

oh. another great quote: 'Citizens in Seattle look around and see Microsoft and Boeing doing fabulously, the Port of Seattle is booming and trade with China is going to define this city’s existence for the next 50 years. Seattle has said, We can be a big-league city, we can be an international city, without kowtowing to professional sports franchises.'

enjoy the sonics, kansas city. suckers!

Friday, 10 November

quoted: "use me, but don't chew me" -cheeky pen

first things first: congrats to rufus on getting her first med school acceptance! well done, future House MD. way to go! i'm so proud of you!

i think my life has become a bit to surreal. last night included dinner with the chancellor of the exchequer and miss england followed by (the more exciting) watching pirated, two-day-old election coverage. ho hum. and then had a great night's sleep.

the blog roll has been updated to include brandon and jon's blogs, along with slag patrol. maneater live. hurrah. happy weekending, all.

Thursday, 9 November

quoted: "life is full of tossers" -sw1

even a stainless steel kettle will reflect black if pot is standing too close. that's all i'm saying about that...except self-important, rude people who take themselves too seriously drive me nuts.

short drive, i hear you all saying. you may be right.

i booked my flight home for christmas this morning. i get in on the 21st and fly out the evening of the 30th. my flight for LHR leaves SEA at 8.45 pm. isn't that great?

on a completely different topic, there's this josh ritter song called "wings" that i really really like. i mentioned it a couple months ago, but i heard it on pandora yesterday and recalled how much i like it. it reminds me of how much i like people. i mean, not individual people, but people in general. i'm not nearly eloquent enough today to describe the feeling...finding god in all things, perhaps?

there's an ignatian method of praying called the examen. practicing the examen is pretty simple: recall that you are in the presence of god, look at your day with gratitude, ask for help from the holy spirit, review your day (where did i experience the divine? where did i fail to recognize, accept, or show love? what patterns can i see in my behavior?) and then conclude.

i can't say i pray the examen as often as i'd like, but i do acknowledge its usefulness.

on to lighter matters, it's two weeks until thanksgiving. yay! best. holiday. ever. of course, that means that tomorrow is two weeks until my viva. which scares the dickens out of me. EEK!

Wednesday, 8 November

quoted: "i apologize for touching you in places i probably shouldn't" -dinner last night

went for all you can eat sushi with a bunch of yalies last night. yale boaties, even. and yet it was exceedingly pleasant. and filling. go figure. not that i dislike yale boaties. as a general rule i'm very fond of them.

today is a day of jubilee. the first election to truly celebrate since 1992. and to be totally honest i don't remember that one all so well. i was in mrs. jokerst's 6th grade class at cataldo catholic school. we were little monsters to that poor woman. i wonder if she's recovered yet. we were really bad.

anyway, the amazing (depressing?) thing about the win is that it happened without any semblance of coherent political organization on the democratic side of the aisle. which is to say that it's not our win so much as a republican loss. either way, i'm excited. my brother is excited. my coworkers are excited. the folks from dinner last night are excited. and that is what we like to hear.

so now the dems just have to (as one of my friends so eloquently says) sack up and show some leadership without becoming ideologues. get to it.

tuesday, 7 november

quoted: "is that fancy in the case behind you? no, it's bird skeletons" -restaurant review

my coworkers think i should send out a daily review of the lunch food in the canteen. they think i'm the only person in the office who takes a healthy enough portion of every option to make a fair assessment of the day's offerings. i think the catering staff wouldn't like me so much for that.

in more shocking news, my friend yannis accused me of not being into food last night. i almost slapped him. really. who says such things about a house? he's also been giving me handy tips which i feel free to ignore: put shelf-liner down in your cupboards; don't wear flip flops; you should play a team sport. he's like the overbearing mother i never had.

speaking of which, i have a darn great mother. and i
rasterbated a coolphoto of my siblings for one wall of my flat. going to put it up tonight. i'll let y'all know how it looks. i have a color version and a black and white version. not sure which will work better. also in the cool wall decorations file: check out these wall decals from blik.

gotta go home now. please vote. against people like rick santorum.

monday, 6 november

quoted: "feel her boob!" -bad idea bears

i went to see avenue q on friday night, and it was brilliant. clever, irreverent, funny, and spot on. i think it helps that i was raised on sesame street. i think a lot of the things on screen would have seemed less brilliant if i weren't super familiar with the format and tone of sesame street. "come. mittmant" for example. or "school crossing guard! manicurist! birthday party clown!" or "purpose is direction for your life". hilarious. and followed by ice cream, which makes everything better. well, mango sorbet makes things better. ice cream makes me want to take a nap. naps are good.

do you know what word i hate even more than i hate the word 'front'? meme. it makes me want to puke up my pancreas. i'm just saying.

the weekend seemed long and wonderful. i went to oxford yesterday (watched half of an inconvenient truth on the way up), which made the weekend seem super long in some way. and it was definitely nice to be back in oxford for the first time since i moved down to london. i didn't realize how much i missed the place until the (red, wifi-laden) bus started down headington hill. i had lunch at chch with fiona, followed by coffee dates with ed and yannis and then new college high table with tamson. i can't imagine a more pleasant day. walking from chch to new college for dinner i went through radcliffe square, where a violinist was at it, his back against all souls college. there is something very staid and sad about the sounds in oxford, bouncing off all that stone. it was a cold night, which added to the feeling of contented, autumnal melancholy.

jumping back to saturday, i hoodwinked my andrew into going to the wembley ikea with me. well, not totally hoodwinked. he recommended that i do some furniture shopping there, so i asked him to join me. i got two of
these chairs with matching footstools. and let me offer you a bit of advice: dragging two chairs (even flatpacked chairs) home from ikea on the tube is a bad, bad idea. trust me. bad idea. having a huge lunch at carluccio's after dragging two chairs home from idea on the tube, on the other hand, is a good idea.

also on the plus side, i do now have two chairs in my flat. what more could a young man want? bowls, you say? yeah. i agree. that's on the list. john lewis, here i come. but it's amazing how happy the simple luxury of chairs can make me.

why do marketing firms have the worst websites on the internet? i'd say irony, but i don't think we should give them that much credit.

two words: monkey costume. an almost painfully adorable thought.

thursday, 2 november

quoted: "i really feel it more in the wrist than the fingers." -sw1

as i was telling someone or other lately, the problem with this cold that i'm just about over is that it changed my work/life balance concerns into work/sleep balance concerns. today is going thankfully quickly, though i have no plans for tonight, so i may well regret the day's slipping away. sigh.

tuesday i drank a cup of tea for the first time in ages. those of you who know me well will know i almost never consume caffeine...alcohol being my drug of choice. so cut to me sipping at my organic, fairtrade tea. i could actually feel my heart rate increase. i experienced mild euphoria, and spend the next ten minutes hoping no one would call me on the phone, since i couldn't be sure what i would say or do.

so there you have it, kids: don't shoot up or smoke out. drink a cup of tea once every few months, and go CRAZY.

life lessons.

it's champagne thursday. i own champagne flutes now. but no chairs. who's in?

my mother very kindly sent a CD full of photos from rome along with my ballot, all of which i received tuesday. well, they've been cycling through the photo gadget on my
google desktop sidebar for the past couple days, and i've noticed one thing in particular: i look very wide from the back. not fat. just wide. i'm not sure how i feel about this. i'm open to suggestions.

shameless plugs: my best friend brandon has a new blog, which i heartily recommend, since he's going to be, well, someone's daddy soon. also, my friend jon has a blog. both will be added to the sidebar links asaigam. yeah.

wednesday, 1 november

quoted: "i hope i wasn't too offensive about canada" -nick

welcome to a new month! it's november, and i've decided to start november with a list. so here goes:
1) today is all saints' day. (oh how i love the litany of the saints). catholics: go to mass.
2) i didn't get enough sleep last night, but it was my own fault, and i have no regrets about being a bad influence on others.
3) it's flipping FREEZING in london
3a) as a consequence of number 3, i got to wear my new scarf to work today
4) as a corrolary to number 2, andrew and i finished watching the 5th season of 24 last night. they left lots of loose ends, no? like what about those blue-tooth-using terrorist masterminds?
5) someone owes me a remix of jump. i'm not naming names.
6) lots of news about mail: 1)thanks to andrew for stealing my pidge post and bringing it me in london. and i mailed my ballot back to the US today. hurrah for voting. and my landlord or someone threw away the giant pile of post in the entry of my building, and things are getting put in my little mail slot instead of just piling up in public view. so that's very exciting. oh. and no battels yet. mom: did they get sent to spo? prolly. hurrah!
poor sony. full stop.
8) there's talk about facebook's declining traffic in september. has everyone's brain fallen out? when kids go back to school, the really do talk to to their friends in person instead of just talking to them online...duh.
9) i got a national insurance number...and in the process, the UK government decided to add an "L" to the end of my surname. whoops.
10) it's massage day at work. too bad i don't like strangers to touch me.

and all house-generated lists must end with...
b) you da ho.

email [a.ho]
housea ... gmail.com

tom - sea
ccc - chch
slag patrol - ab
brian - gtown
drew - gtown
brandon - gtown
steve - gtown
dave - chch
mr mcgee - london
jeff&chris - sea
jon - spo
joe - spo

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