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[Comments] (1) Wishlist update 2: I also need a light blue (with plenty of purple in the hue so it complements my skin tone) button down oxford shirt to wear with my brown suit with the blue stripies to my conferences!

[Comments] (5) Nothing sacred: Someone just came into the house. Just--walked right in. I was laying in bed reading the appedix to Suite Francaise when Tonks the guard cat alerted me to the sound of someone barging into the house/ Caught red-handed, the realtor (she must have been or she wouldn't have known the code to the lockbox... right?) claimed she'd called the number and they said to go right in. "Buyer" backed up this story, which is complete bunk because why would they say that when a) it's pending so there's no point and b) they know I live there and wouldn't tell someone to go in without chekcing with me first. Plus I called the office and they said they had no record of her calling, and it sometimes happen that a realtor is out showing, sees a house is for sale, looks like no ones hoem (with a car in front? hello?) so they barge in without checking. This explains the feeling I would sometimes get on returning, that things were not exactly how I left them, door open that I always kept shut, etc, when supposedly no one had been by to show the house. How incredibley creepy is that? Unfortunatley I was so disturbed by the whole thing I didn't do what I ought to have done and asked for a business card or at least remembered the name she rattled off to me (I was never good at remembering names). I did take the key from her tho, so at least it can't happen again. I feel so horribley invaded.

Off to class to complain about this to real people. Hmm... at least it wasn't the Nazis come to get me?

[Comments] (1) In better news: Little Dave has been all fixed and is ready for me to pick him up. (I told the guy I was in the middle of my MA thesis and I think they might have rushed the repair.) He has a new motherboard or something. Unlike some people I don't feel the need to rename him just because he has a few new parts. After all people don't get new names when they have kidney transplants. Also my data is apprantly safe, which is a relief. L is generously givning me an old external harddrive when I go to NY so I won't have to worry about losing everything.

My lecture on WWI in the women's history class went really well. Everyone liked it and it was fun to do. Plus I got to talk about my own research and the dynamics of south east europe before and during the war (ever so briefly) and feel like an expert. I am so so tired and I feel like there is something I am forgetting to do other than the papers. LAST week I forgot to enter the csub research competition which is unfortunate as I think there was a cash prize. OH well.

[Comments] (5) Hello to Pisces: I'm an aunt! My little niece was born early this morning. We all got some sleep but I can't wait to go back and see her because she is so so so so cute.

Bad Timing: I want to be lounging around the hospital holding a cute baby, not self-banished to the apartment to work on a paper (and eating all of Susie's pretzels). Oh well.

[Comments] (6) 175 emails: Finally I have my little Dave back and working online. From what I can tell, he has a new motherboard, battery, and key board! And he is all sparkly clean! hurrah. I am very tired.

[Comments] (1) And I get one every year: Please please please let the British system have different dates. I want this to be my last birthday during 10th/finals week. Like 5 of the last 6 birthdays have been. 2 papers to finish and one to write before tomorrow. I ran out the house to get my french final turned in by 5, and now I'm not wearing makeup and I don't have my camera for my birthday dinner at Red Lobster. Oh well.

Ack, I was just deluged with 3 voice calls in like 3 minutes. I won't be one of those people who talks on the phone in the library... though I did pick up once to whisper.

I had two attempted deliveries from Amazon via UPS when I got home (along with 3 very nice birthday cards). So I stalked out by the door all day today, convinced it was some mysterious present because they usually just leave boxes of books on the porch (though I'm glad they didn't after the stolen Christmas present fiasco) but actually it was just my Lonely Planet guide book. All that fuss over a $15 book! They wouldn't even let me sign the paper and leave it, it required signature IN PERSON. And it was only the London one, I ordered it with the Eastern Europe to get free shipping but the publication of Eastern Europe is mysteriously delayed, huramph.

[Comments] (2) I'm rich: I just took some books I'm not going to keep to textbook buyback. I got $13.50! Wahoo. It's always depressing to get $5 back for a book I paid $50 or $60 for. But then I can use $5 more than I can use a book I don't want, and I don't have the patience to try and sell them online or wait till next quarter to see if they'll fetch more because of classes being offered, etc. And there's always the chance another edition will come out and I'll get nothing.

It's really frigging hot in the library. Apparently there is some rule about they can only turn on the air after a certain date. I would have thought whether or not to turn on air should depend on the temperature, but that is typical.

Me (helpfully): If you guys are going to study together they have rooms for that upstairs.
Them: Sorry, we didn't know you were the library police today.
Me: Well, someone has to do it. *puts in earphones*

Of course they are still talking, but at least not as loudly. Thank goodness I can work with music. Actually I think library police would be a job that would suit me quite well. If people are going to chat they should go to those rooms or to starbucks. I know this makes me sound up-tight and bitchy, maybe I am, but I don't care. I blame the lack of a rigorous academic atmosphere. Certainly I am being rigorous. No sleep & I'm exhausted, but I have to make up for a weekend of Maggie-cuddling instead of paper-writing.

Oh crap: This has to have been the fastest week ever. I have SO MUCH TO DO STILL. Please don't bother me unless it is something uplifting. I am feeling very low & discouraged and wonder how I will possibly get it all done, even if I don't sleep.

Thank you "Becks": A wireless signal has been discovered on my bed. Weak but present. Probably the next door neighbor's. I hope I'm not cursing fate by posting this... It's not strong enough to be a distraction, but can be used to send and check important emails! Hurrah. Of course I have received no important emails in the last hour. Oh well.

[Comments] (2) Walk out that door: I have survived the quarter and now I am in New York with Leonard & Sumana, poised to have fun! Only It's very cold here. I suppose I ought not to be such a wimp, and get used to it.

[Comments] (3) But don't we want the mummies to come alive?: --A vindictive nanny, overheard at the Met.

I am having a really great time in NY and seriously considering relocating here if my moving to Britain permenantly scheme fails. Yesterday

Today was just as fun. We were slow moving in the morning, my poor California feet & legs having trouble adjusting to all this walking, especially having spend the last few weeks only walking to & from the library, and a few phd-related things coming up. On the way into manhattan poor Leonard started feeling sick because of the anti-malaria pill, so we got out and walked through Times Square, which we agreed mom would refer to as "a racket." We met Leonard's friend Evan at the farmer's market in union square, got some snacks, then walked to the strand, a really huge bookstore where the customer service is below par. I was unimpressed by the history books in their rare book collection but I got really lucky in the "normal/used" section and scored a reprinted edition of a book called The Serbs, by a Cambridge historian based on a series of lectures he gave while with the British Motor Transports attached to the Serbian Army in Salonika! We stocked up on fresh homemade goat cheese and walked to the Shake Shack, a very popular outdoor burger joint that just reopened. The lines were long despite the fact that it was freezing outside, so I made Evan & Leonard wait in it while I sat my california feet down and read my new book. We frooze while we ate but it was really. Afterwards we took the subway down (up?) to Sumana's work, Fog Creek, where she generously let me use her computer to fill out "one last" funding application. I followed her up to Columbia, touristed around for a bit, then took the bus back. L. is in the process of fixing a fancy meal. All in all I am not having too bad of a break! The cold is not so bad so long as there's no wind and one keeps moving. and I think my feet are starting to toughen up.

[Comments] (2) Woot the wanderer: I had another phone interview this morning and the interviewer basically suggested that I'll never get a job. I started to panic--what if she's right?--and Leonard and I decided that I should start a travel company as a backup/ alternate source of income in case academia doesn't work out: TOP SECRET.

Speaking of travelling things, I managed to do something very clever. I was anxious about using a 20% off coupon on rei.com so after much agonising I bought my silk travel sheet, thanks to the generous giftcards... and I forgot to use the stupid coupon! Which was the whole point of buying the thing. Now I'm trying to decide if I should use it on something else or just buy another and return the first. Very annoying. I'm so clever.

[Comments] (1) I didn't get where I am today by not having holidays: My vacation is almost over. First, however, I am being treated to a reflexology massage. How fun & nice! Of course, I have never had a massage before so I don't really know what that means...

Yesterday we rode the Staten Island Ferry which was really great. There really are a ton of foreigners here, I love it. It makes me feel like I'm in Europe. I seriously haven't seen so many French people outside of France. Tons of Brits, too. We got a Scottish guy to take our picture with the Statue of Liberty... I am working on putting up photos on my yahoo photos page, I will do all of them when I get back. My feet are finally starting to feel more capable of New York (just in time, haha) so we took the subway to Astor Place and got some Chickpea falafel. Actually I had a "shawafel," which was a combination falafel and shawerma. Delicious. Then we walked up to Union Square, got some pretzel croissants from City Bakery and some eggs and bread from the greens market. Leonard popped into a computer store to get my birthday present--a case for an external hard drive! yay--while I admired the New York City Public Library from the steps. Then we explored Grand Central Station a bit before coming home and watching about five hours of a t.v. show, as we are wont to do.

A few years ago we watched almost all of the first Arrested Development in one weekend. This time it is The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin, a hilarious old 1970s British sitcom about a guy who fakes his suicide and comes back as someone else to marry his own wife again, and all the adventures that ensue. I know that probably doesn't sound funny, but it truely is, and it employs me with many little catchphrases that I can use to make myself laugh and no one else (unless Leonard happens to be around). Luckily I have all the episodes on my new hard drive!

: Now that I am safely back and the excitement of greeting kitties who missed me and opening up all the packages I received in my absense (I seem to order a lot of books… but they're for school! Some of them…) I realize how much I have to do, and I don't even know where to start. Shower? Clean? Laundry? Finish unpacking? Grocery shopping? Or just dive straight into the quarter? I'm not taking any classes per se this quarter so I have to figure out when I'm going to meet with my professors for independent studies. And I have to figure out how I'm reasonably going to complete my thesis in the next 2 months. Yikes. Well, I'm hungry now so maybe I'll start my scrounging up some lunch with what's in the cupboard.

PS, I wrote that at 11:30, now I am at the library slowing wading through some of the stuff I need to do.

How will I ever survive motherhood if I'm this paranoid?: I'm worried about my Tonks… He's been out and I haven't seen him since I left for school, before 2. He's usually not gone that long. I called and called, then walked around the block calling. He usually comes when I call. I know I am probably being paranoid but in my mind's eye he is dead in a ditch somewhere… only I don't know which ditch, not anyone close. I never thought he went too far but he must… To make matters worse I am worried about Jelly Bean too.. she is getting that fur and bones feeling and look, squeaks worse than even, and smells funny. And her eyes are looking weird like becoming more deep set or her fur around them is becoming bald… I'll take her in for a check up tomorrow, assuming Tonks wakes me up around 2 am wanting in. Which I'm sure he will. Unless he is being mauled by wild dogs. WHERE IS MY BABY????? I'm convinced he's dead or dying.

[Comments] (3) : Tonks didn't come home last night... now I am very worried. He has been almost a whole day without food! Very unlike him. I walked all around the neighborhood calling his name and asking people if they had seen him. Later today I will bust out my bike and go further afield. My little baby! Where could he be! Now I am afraid to take Jelly to the vet for fear of bad news that will break my heart...

[Comments] (2) With reason?: Poor little Jelly Bean. I was right to fear taking her to the vet. She didn't come back. Her little heart was failing and she was having difficulty breathing. The vet said she wasn't enjoying life. Of course I am selfish and I have difficulty believing any moments cuddled weakly next to me are not enjoyed! But I let her go. My little baby. She has been with us for so long it is hard to see her go but she had a good long life.

In better news Tonks is home. He showed up about ten minutes ago at the door saying "Meow. I'm home, please let me in." And he walked in as if he hadn't been gone for two days! Oblivious to my consternation. Typical boy. He must have been eating from someone's porch because he didn't run for the food dish. Now he is asking to go out again! Yeah right! He is in so much trouble. He is grounded AND on a DIET! My little boy, I am so glad he's home.

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