Home > Archive: December, 2012

Archive for December, 2012

Demo Model?

December 29th, 2012 at 09:12 pm

We're buying a new laptop for me to take to the UK. Just back from Best Buy (ugh) where I tried to buy an ASUS that was out of stock. I wanted it based on reviews, and now the clerk has offered me the floor model for $80 off. What do you all think? They'd send it over to the Geek Squad to have it checked and the demo software taken off. But that's almost 25 percent off the already sale price?

Back from Christmas and Now On to the Next Thing

December 27th, 2012 at 09:16 pm

We came back from MN last night. We had a lovely Christmas with my brother and his family. My only mishap was our thrice-repaired tire gave it up on Monday morning when I was driving to have breakfast with my girlfriends. I didn't want the uncertainty of it, so just got the darn thing replaced. Another $120 in a very heavy-repair-bill season, but I felt so much better having it replaced.

We all got great gifts. My nephews have started brewing their own beer, and we enjoyed their home brews. Even DD was happy with her gifts. We slept late this morning (8!) and lazed around, spending part of the afternoon at the dentist. I'm looking forward to a few lazy days, cleaning up around here, and then getting ready for England.

I Miss Christmas

December 21st, 2012 at 05:12 am

I have plenty of good news; I'm halfway through my grading. I only have a few more gifts to buy. Unlike last year at this time, DH is pretty secure in his job. Our house is paid for. We're off to England soon. We're all healthy.

But I miss Christmas. Every year I have to get my head around the face that being so busy with the semester's end, we never get the Christmas I long for. I suspect it's a fantasy anyway--my mom worked like a maniac to make Christmas full of baking, parties, homemade gifts, gorgeous outfits, etc. I have box after box of Christmas decorations, old Martha Stewart Christmas magazines, but I rarely get even one-third of it out. The house is only sort-of decorated. The tree is up, my Swedish lights are in the window, but there are piles of papers to be graded, laundry to be done, and just plain stuff that needs putting away.

We JUST finished our Christmas letter, so I guess they can go out tomorrow. Maybe. Could someone send over either Santa's elves or the shoemaker's elves to help?


December 14th, 2012 at 02:34 am

Have any of you been to Barcelona? Some friends want me to meet them while I'm in the UK--and we'd welcome any advice you've got.

Feeling Reconnected

December 14th, 2012 at 02:32 am

I'm feeling reconnected. We received Christmas cards for a couple of long-lost friends today, the call from my aunt the other day, and lots of random encounters at the university make me feel more in touch with life than I've been for a while. I'm now officially glad classes are over.

I spent four+ hours at a Study Abroad Faculty meeting today, complete with scary stories about disappearing students, assaulted and assaulting students, students off their meds, students drunk, students left behind in foreign countries, etc. But the university handed me the official packet today with everyone's flight information, passport copies, medical emergency forms, and a UK-compatible phone. I guess we're going! As a matter of fact, we're going in five weeks.

No money spent today; I've just been grading and grading.


December 13th, 2012 at 02:40 am

I suspect there was a large, loud chorus of hallelujahs today because fall semester classes are over. Usually I do a huge happy dance, and I'm indeed happy, just a tiny smidge of bittersweet. This is the first time in 15 years I won't start teaching again in January at my regular shift in my regular classroom. And my last two classes of the day today are my favorites of the term--I was sad to see them go. We really only had about 20 minutes of work and evaluations to do, but most of my last class hung around for over an hour. They like each other, and I sure like them. As I left, I turned out the lights and just looked at my regular classroom for a while. As much as I whinge sometimes, it's really the best job in the world.

But on to less bittersweet things. I had a lovely hour-long conversation with my 95-year-old aunt last night. I can't believe how sharp she is. Christmas and London both beckon--after the grading is done.

I have meetings all day tomorrow, so as much as I'd like to spend the day grading and get it done, it won't be done until the weekend.

That Same Refrain

December 7th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

I made myself go to the university library today to grade papers; this in an attempt to disallow distractions and get more done. It worked pretty well, except the person seated next to me was a German professor giving oral exams to her beginning students. I tried to tune them out, but their German was so awful, I started laughing a couple of times.

All I spent was $2 on coffee and $$ on the postage for my ebay sales. Yes, CCF, I finally sold some stuff!

Forecast for the weekend: More paper grading.

Early to Bed

December 6th, 2012 at 04:10 am

After all the flu talk on the news, I'm finally getting a flu shot tomorrow. How about the rest of you?

And I've been beat, excited about London, tired from the semester, overloaded literally and figuratively, and haven't been sleeping well.

So, I'm off to bed. No significant other news.

Lovely Lunch

December 5th, 2012 at 01:07 am

The spending today was limited to taking my colleague out to lunch. I've worked with her for years, she about to retire, and she's the one who clued me in to the study abroad in London. We had a great chat, she offered some useful tips, and it really made the day.
I also bought her a bottle of wine as a thank you for all her help.

These last days of the term are always such a slog. But by this time next week, one of my classes will be finished, with the other four finishing the following day.

I'd like to leave the semester on the side of the road right now and start Christmas and London planning, but I'm happy that it's all so close.

Christmas planning can start on Friday?

Oh dear--very spendy

December 4th, 2012 at 03:12 am

I hesitate to even begin my litany of recent spending. It's been ugly, but mostly necessary.
While we were in MN Thanksgiving weekend my car window decided to come off the track. I kind of freaked out since I was merging onto the freeway when it happened, but I returned to my brother's house and we managed to at least get the window up to fend against the 18 degree cold. That was fixed with a new motor and lots of work to the tune of $600.
Next? Our scheduled three window installation. We expected that, but the additional $1200 left after the deposit was not the best timing.
Next? Our hot water heating in our family room went out. The tank leaked in the basement, drained the system, and knocked the whole thing out. Chock up another $1400.
Need more? The Tuesday before Thanksgiving the blasted dishwasher (always troublesome) started smoking and burning. A service call would be at least $200 according to the repair service, and then the wheels snapped off the bottom shelf too. It's only 10 years old, but we've had nothing but problems with it. I went out on Wednesday and bought a new one.

I think that's enough ugliness for now, but the university did manage to pay me. Except now it's all gone.

Another 10 days before the semester ends. Even all that spending, as wretched as it is, pales in comparison with the joy of my impending freedom.