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That Was The Year That Was, take 2

So I'm sat here, supposedly writing an essay on the Chaos Game (deadline: early January). I have Winamp cranking out the latest Chili Peppers album on repeat, so I know it's not a problem with music. I can find plenty to sate my requirements for research material on the Internet, and I can find them easily. That's not the problem. I've got most of my packing done already for tomorrow's trip, so I know it's not that... I figure it's just that I can't get into the working mindset in this old folding chair in my bedroom, a converted box room, without any of my books around me or anything to remind me that yes, I am a student, and yes, I have work to do. And I've never been able to knuckle down to academic work on the lapdog. I can write till the cows come home. I just can't write anything with regards to the dizzying fields of academia. At least not today at this precise moment in time.

So bollocks to it. Here's my weird set of thoughts about the year that was, in no order whatsoever.

The Christmas haul was so/so. In addition to the new Chili Peppers album, I got another new talisman-type thing, a rather interesting wristband-type thing (of course with my thin arms it's up around the middle of my lower arm), an incense burner (fi-fucking-nally), the Pratchett diary for '03 (which despite people's bad comments, I actually liked), the newest Pratchett (Night Watch. Buy the sodding thing. It is a fantastic book), the BttF Trilogy DVD set, a fair amount of booze (Sheridans is gooood), and the usual sundries of socks and boxers and other miscellaneous crap. I also got to see Hull City play at their new stadium, the Kingston Communications Stadium. It'll seat over 24,000 when fully open. Boxing day, for their first league match there, they opened just over 22,000 seats. 22,319 were in attendance, to see a Third Division football match. The nearest attendance in the Third was Oxford with just over 8,000. Several First Division clubs had an attendance less than ours. And it was a good game. We were against the top of the league, who had come looking for easy points. There was some nice football, the fans and team in a symbiotic relationship, and when all was said and done it was a good spectacle. The lead-in was much fun, seeing the small, isolated block of Hartlepool supporters, their chants dwarfed by just one stand of the Hull crowd, trying to keep up with the happy chants of "Who are you?". Oh, and we won two nil. A convincing two nil. o/~You're not singing any moreo/~

The first semester went quick this year. I think it was because of two modules being entirely up to me (half of the Project), and the ways with which I could avoid one lecture of the others and still slot in the next week without a problem. My mind works like that. That's what makes me a renegade mathematician, a rebel without an equals. But that made the semester seem short. To be fair, I didn't have to worry about getting online, but I was still finding my feet in October. This worries me, thinking about it. I should have been there, in the swing of things, before November hit. But no, I was barely ready for November. Deadlines crept up on me and scared the living shit out of me. I wasn't prepared and I wasn't caffeinated enough. This semester is going to be different.

The reason I didn't feel settled whilst almost mid-November was that by the time I got to university in late September, I had spent four weeks in Britain (I'm being specific about that for Paul's sake :)). Since new years 2002, just four weeks. Four of the weeks not spent in Britain were over with coaldustcanary, and were four of the best weeks of my life barring none. Even dealing with the odd culture shock, amplified by a lack of exposure to people that spoke a dialect of English as a primary language, couldn't change that. It was as near to perfect as the year got.

Moving further back puts me back in Germany. This was the time when the only diary I had was Enemy Territory and believe me that was well named. The country was a fantastic place, and I got to meet up with Astrid and was generally very happy with living in Germany. Unfortunately, the job sucked. I'd do systems admin again as long as I had any kind of flexibility. If I didn't have to learn four new programming languages in six months it would be very nice as well. I'd like to do the job, but not on the bottom rung. That job gave me the stress and the stomach condition I still have with me today as well as expanding my gaming library significantly (a brief shout to Games In in Munich for being hands down the greatest gaming store I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. Those guys were amazing). For those keeping track of my age, I hit 21 in May replete with the big party and the expensive gifts and the "Right, now piss off and stop costing us money" undertone to the whole thing. It's weird to think that now I've hit the last milestone before I have to start acting like a responsible adult (that's 40, not a fucking day before).

Working back even further, Hogmanay was in Edinburgh, as it was the year before. I'm hoping to keep that as tradition, that me and Paul meet up every Hogmanay in Edinburgh and catch up with each other in the flesh for a change. It's one of those traditions that just works on a fundamental level.

Speaking of which, I'm almost packed for this year's trip. Cigs, how I have missed ye whilst at home. I won't be updating for a few days whilst there, probably on account of being a bit too shit-faced to manage, but I might try to crank out a little holiday missive whilst I'm there. We shall have to see. I'll try to keep in touch, but as always e-mail is the best way to reach me when I'm away.

On the subject of e-mail, and as a reminder to those still subscribed to it (and to any sick bastard that wants to subscribe to it): Enemy Territory is not being closed down. It's just being very, very slow. ET gets all of the harsher stuff, where I get so annoyed I just have to tell the whole world to give itself a razor blade enema or when I'm so depressed that I don't want just anyone seeing it. In amongst all this is biting sociopolitical commentary and observations on little things in the real world that people take for granted but that are really, really stupid. It's all written in a rather gonzo style, and at present is averaging around 2 e-mails every three months or so. As opposed to this journal, which carries my general thoughts about stuff, Enemy Territory is for things I don't want Avery Tom Deacon Harry (one for Goons fans there) reading. It has brilliant thoughts about how to reinvent the world, and not so brilliant moments when I wonder if life is falling apart. As opposed to this, you have to come to me to get it. You have to find the mailing list, and you have to subscribe. Ask and ye shall receive, but if you don't put some effort into finding the list you don't deserve to be on it. The only constant thing in every single Enemy Territory mail is that it's something new, and it's hopefully got enough of an attitude that people get the message. There's a new one going out before the end of the year. Hurry and you might catch it.

In addition to this entry, I also updated that horrible little bio box on the profile page. Hellfire, I really don't want to work. I might go read Demon a bit first...

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