Registrations have opened for the BC in DC convention, and I’m so tempted. I’ve been investigating costs, and I reckon it would be about NZ$3000 for flights and the cost of the actual convention (registration plus hotel), and I’d probably have to allow the same again if I wanted to stay a bit longer and do some travelling around (and it would be crazy to go all that way just for a weekend!). I could afford that, but it would mean I’d definitely have to scrap any idea of going to Dublin in 2012. Plus of course there’s things around the house that I really should be spending money on instead of holidays…
I’d so love to go back to America. It’s funny – before I my bookcrossing world tour in 2008, I had no real interest in America. There were a few bits of the geography that interested me (like the deserts, and I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon), but as a nation it held no appeal at all. But then I visited and fell in love with the place – it’s such (and please, my American friends, don’t take offence at this, because I mean it in a good way) an utterly mad country! I love how completely over the top everything is, and the total lack of irony about how over the top it is (“Welcome to the home of the World’s Biggest Frying Pan!”). If I lived there it would drive me mad, but what a wonderful place to visit!
Someone tell me this is a really dumb idea and that I can’t afford it, please!
Anyway, other news. Still getting aftershocks – they said in the paper a couple of days ago that we’ve had over 1300 so far. We’re only getting two or three a day now, and most of them are small enough that you only notice them if you’re sitting still, but there’s still the odd largish one. There was a 4.4 that woke me up on Thursday morning (MrPloppy only woke up enough to mutter something about George wanting to come in, and when I said it wasn’t George scratching at the door, it was an earthquake rattling it, he rolled over and went back to sleep…) No matter how many we have, they still give you a bit of a fright.
Work has been incredibly busy – with the university being closed for two weeks we’ve had to rearrange the rest of the term to fit in all the teaching before exams, which has a flow-on effect to all sorts of other things. Study is keeping me busy too – I’m trying desperately to get my final assignment done before I go to Sydney (although the lecturer has given me an extension to hand it in the week after if I need to :-)), plus catching up on all the mini homework assignments… I do this for fun, right? (Actually, the course really is fun, even though it’s a huge amount of work – I love syntax, working out what a language is doing at the deep level is like being a detective!)
I got two parcels in the post last week. One was from lytteltonwitch, who’d obviously been to another market, because it was full of random cat items – a seriously cool scarf covered in cats (actually, it’s seriously warm, not seriously cool – I might have to wait until next winter to wear it now), a cat book (of course), a little cat wearing a witch’s hat, and a “spooky cat” halloween costume, plus bat earrings and some puzzle books. The other parcel was a bit of a mystery, because there was no return address, and when I opened it I immediately smelt sporting equipment (no, not sweat – I mean the smell of new equipment. I grew up in a sports shop, so it’s a smell I recognise immediately). For a moment I thought it must be from my brother, but then I pulled out the contents and discovered… a rugby ball??? Eventually I found the little scrap of paper tucked in the bottom of the bag congratulating me on being a winner, and I remembered that I’d entered a competition they’d had on the bread wrappers a while back. The main prize had been a trip, so of course I’d entered, but I hadn’t paid much attention to what the consolation prizes were. So yay, I actually won something, but not so yay, if you asked me the prize I’d be least interested in winning in the whole universe, a rugby ball would probably be it. I hate rugby, I don’t know anyone who plays rugby, and I can’t even give it to my nephews (they play soccer, and even if they did play rugby, their father has a shop full of rugby balls they could have). Anyone out there want a rugby ball?