Friday, 29 August 2008

The Open Road

It suddenly dawned on me just now that I hadn't shared a very important piece of news on this blog! I mentioned it on my 101 Things in 1001 Days blog earlier this week, but it's too cool a piece of news to keep to just one blog: next summer, me and my friend David will be going on a road trip across America!

As it says over on that post, details are coming together, mainly because David works abroad and it's easier to have discussions now while he is here rather than at other times in the next ten months while. We have a basic itinerary together; the broad strokes of the route we have planned is "New York, Washington, Nashville, Memphis, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco" but there's time for this to change. I've insisted on Denver because I have a friend in Fort Collins; David has insisted on Memphis because he wants to go to Graceland.

We've both insisted on Las Vegas: neither of us really gamble, but we have heard from too many friends who have been there before that it is just a great place to visit.

We're very open to suggestions of destinations along that route, and if anyone has suggestions or advice on good/cheap motel chains to stay in then we'd be very happy to hear from you!

More on this in the coming months...

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Almost!

This is an almost Wordless Wednesday, in that this one paragraph directs you to do one thing: go to this location, download the recording of Clair de Lune, allow yourself to take five, sit back and listen.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Christmas in August

Christmas might be many months away, but when I saw this yesterday I was just tickled so much that I had to share. I talked a little bit about Karl Pilkington recently over on Racing Entropy, I just love the way he describes how he thinks about things, especially stories about his own life.

In other news, I took my thesis to get bound yesterday, should get it back by Friday at the latest! Looking for holiday possibilities - four and five star resorts on the Costa del Sol seem quite nice, and aren't that expensive as all-inclusive things. Only problem is that none of them say whether or not there is complimentary wi-fi access in guest rooms...

Monday, 11 August 2008

Seal of Approval

After nearly four weeks of waiting on my examiners to get back to me, I decided to write to them last Friday and check how things were. The word came back (promptly) and told me...

...that everything was fine! They're happy with my corrections!!!

My internal is going to sort out the paperwork tomorrow, and after that I just have to get three copies bound and submit officially. Oh, and then graduate in December - but that's just the formality really, to all intents and purposes my PhD will be over.

Four years is a long time. And yet it seems like no time at all. I remember turning up for the first day of my PhD - heck, I remember turning up for my first day of university, remember the start of my first lecture (the lecturer said, "There's an Arabic proverb: three things come not back; the said word, the sped arrow, and the missed opportunity. Don't waste your time while you're here!") - and now all of a sudden four years has gone by. What happened?

I have a few things that I have to take care of here, some of the things I mentioned before, and then things like talking to my supervisor about publishing papers and so on. Will start moving some of my stuff home today I think. Job hunting has not been successful, but in a way I was hoping that it wouldn't be, I was hoping that I could take the time to take a holiday in September. It looks like I'll get my wish!

No plans yet, although I've started to look. noisms, as per usual, has failed to get back to me about whether or not there is a good time to visit in September, so am looking elsewhere. Had thought about doing a whistlestop tour of various US states, but then stories about border policies concerning laptops, digital media and books has put me right off.

So now I'm toying with the idea of just going to a resort in the south of Spain for two weeks. Lie by the pool every day, read a few good books, do some writing, maybe work out a bit. Just something relaxing... I'll let you know what I decide!

Oh, and over on Racing Entropy I've finally gotten around to doing some flash fiction writing! It's amazing how much time writing a 250-1000 word story can take... I'm going to have to really try hard to reach my goal of writing another 100 of these before I turn 30. Anyway, my first piece is up here, and feedback is most definitely welcome.

More soon!