I’ve been working at my…

I've been working at my computer for the last couple of hours. Periodically, my back would start hurting and I would get up to take a break, wandering into the tv room where Kevin was working in front of the tv. It amazes me that he can actually do real work with the tv going. Then again, it amazes other people that I can do real work while listening to music, music with lyrics, even. It's all in how we tune things out, I suppose. Fill up portions of our brain so that other parts work better. Hard to explain.

Anyway. Usually when I wander in he's watching a sitcom or Charmed or some such. But we've used up all our recorded tv, and there's nothing decent on live at this time of day. So the last time I wandered in, he was watching The Hobbit (animated, Rankin & Bass). I find this inexpressibly charming. It makes me feel lucky, to have a boyfriend who turns to Tolkien for relaxation. Who can argue with me about whether there were twelve or thirteen dwarves. (Thirteen; he was right. I was forgetting Bofur. (I also thought Nori was Noin, but that's not relevant to the counting.)) Who has opinions on just how much Bilbo cheated in the riddle game. (I'm inclined to excuse Bilbo, 'cause he was already carrying the ring, which was working perniciously on his spirit. Kevin thinks it shouldn't have had much effect yet, since Bilbo hadn't yet put it on when the cheating occurred. Kev argues that Frodo kept it around for a long time without being affected. But it seems clear to me that Frodo was a stronger soul from the beginning than Bilbo was; look how easily Gandalf bullied Bilbo into going with the dwarves. Of course, now it seems like I'm actually arguing Kevin's side of the argument...but I do think there's a different between actual character flaws and weakness of spirit which makes you more susceptible to evil influences. They're closely linked, but not quite the same thing.) It was nice, is what I'm trying to say. And I have now revealed, yet again, just how much of a geek I am.

***

I sent out invites to that little pre-Thanksgiving thingie. If you'll be in Chicago Saturday the 23rd and want to come, drop me a line. I'm generally happy to meet new people...

A lot of what I spent this morning doing was shopping. I puttered about on Amazon, buying used copies of all the novels and short stories and poetry I need for my exams. $330, oof. That's almost half shipping costs, but I think it's worth it; I've spent a while in used bookstores looking for this stuff, and it's surprisingly hard to find that way. And certainly, considering I bought about forty books, it's a lot cheaper than buying them new, even with Amazon's free shipping for orders over $25. Within two weeks, I should have all of them, and I expect December to be an orgy of exam reading.

In January, I'm planning on starting the critical reading. I don't have most of these titles, and they're kind of pricey. So what I'm going to do now is go add them to my Amazon wishlist -- if you were planning on buying me a Christmas present, one of these titles would be a most helpful gift. I realize titles like The Nature and Context of Minority Discourse aren't likely to be as much fun to buy me as children's books, but for just this one Christmas, they'll be muchly appreciated. Used copies are totally fine as long as they aren't falling apart or painfully marked up. Occasional marginalia are fine; massive paragraphs of underlining are annoying.

I'm doing okay on finances, paying off those nasty credit cards, but it does require being a bit careful with funds. I spent a while yesterday picking out gifts for friends from a catalog yesterday -- and then realized that I'd spent (theoretically), about $400 on presents for five people. Not in my price range this year, sadly. Someday I'd like to just be able to buy whatever presents I want for people without worrying about price. When I sell that bestselling novel, I suppose. I think I might try putting together a little chapbook for Christmas this year; I had an idea for a short story sequel to The Poet's Journey, currently titled The Poet and the Mathematician. To do it properly, I'd need to get Kevin to contribute some math (which will just read as gibberish to me and most of my friends, but my math friends will appreciate it being accurate if possible). I'm not sure if Kevin will cooperate; I haven't mentioned this idea to him yet. We'll see.

It's time to start thinking about Christmas presents -- hooray! I love the holidays.

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