Hmmm... I should be doing some research now. But I'm not. I will! But I'm dreading the next couple of days.
I meet up with Herb tomorrow in the morning (9:30ish?) to chat about my research - this kind of phrase always makes my gut sink even though I usually come from such meetings feeling somewhat inspired - and then I have lunch with "the group" followed by my Learning Centre hours and likely the gym thereafter. Ah, the gym... what would I do without you? Friday is gonna be a loooong day, because the class I'm TAing has their second test in the evening. I'm in charge of one of the lecture theatres, and then all of us will go and grade the tests until midnight or so. (Why Friday night, seriously!?) Saturday, my family is coming up to the market, possibly, early in the morning, and we have possible plans to have dinner with some old elementary school friends of mine; on Sunday, we head down to London where my sister is holding an "Epicure" party, so that day is shot. And then bammo, it's next week!
I dunno. It's a whole lot of little, busy, not-really-that-stressful events chained together. I really want to just get to the point where I'm writing my thesis, so that I can FINISH my thesis, so that I can DEFEND my thesis, so that I can get my Ph.D., so that I can teach again. Teaching brings purpose to my life. I don't even care about the money, though it would be nice. I miss it.
The big race I was training for was two weeks ago! I started off very strong, in the top ten out of 62. The course, however, was unbelievably hilly, and a particularly awful hill took its toll early on in the race. I dropped back gradually, and wound up in 26th... not bad for a first official race. It was a lot of fun, though I couldn't sleep the night before, and (I think) as a result felt kind of sick for several hours afterward.
In gaming news, I finished Blue Dragon a couple of weeks ago. What a dull, average RPG with a generally poorly-told story and a battle system that is hideously unbalanced. Got someone that's good with magic? Slap the accessory that GUARANTEES THEM THE ABILITY TO GO FIRST and you are pretty much invincible. The game was a joke. The pacing was terrible, too, and only because anyone with even a streak of "treasure-hunter" in them will feel compelled to search EVERYTHING for items. It isn't just treasure chests... random items are hidden in chairs. Yes, chairs. And barrels. And jars, tables, paintings, plants, cupboards, drawers, vegetable platters, weapon racks, decorative screens, fireplaces, crates, wheelbarrows, debris piles, rocks, pipes, vents, bushes... and even though most of the items you find in such places are usually nearly worthless, you can often find "Nothing". Sadly, these are the most valuable things to find, because there is actually a guy who gives you rewards as you find more and more "Nothing"s... making a guy like me feel like the constant search of EVERYTHING is somewhat obligatory. It would be with a deep sigh that I arrived at every new town... because it meant that the next two hours would be spent pressing the A button against every possible point of interest in the entire area. Lots of fun... yeah...
Dragon Quest IX continues to be addictive, only because as a former DQ-lover, there is incredible incentive to unlock certain special grottoes. The downloadable quests continue to be at least somewhat interesting, and the character building has been much more mesmerizing than it ought to have been from first glance. My time logged is becoming ever-closer to breaking the record that is currently held by Pokemon Ruby. Stay tuned for more...!