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I gave money to a man singing Good King Wenceslas today, because honestly, how could you not?
I also retrieved my bicycle, which is good, because I'm now at my parents' place for winter break and it's convenient to have a bicycle when you live in Newton and want to spend time in Cambridge. Though who knows if it'll actually be even remotely sensible to bike anytime soon.

As Christmas gifts, I am making socks for three of my immediate family members and baking something for the fourth; I am not giving any other Christmas gifts because I have sort of run out of money. My apologies if I've given you gifts in the past and am not doing so now.

My semester is OVER and I survived it but gosh five courses was a bad plan. I mean, not that I'll know quite how bad until I get my grades, probably not terribly bad, but it didn't feel great. I ought to do significant work on my thesis over the break and have brought books home in order to enable this. (The bike also enables this, as it allows me to quickly and easily head to the local library, either to get more books or to work; after this summer I think I have learned not to try to work from my parents' house.) Next semester: three courses. I already know what they all are. The only way this could change would be if the English department unexpectedly offers another better poetry course that fits the requirement, or if Peter Kuper's graphic novel class out of the VES department turns out to be about making, not analyzing, comics. I am having to miss out on taking a class with Gayle Rubin, which is sad as she's kind of a big deal (you can look her up on Wikipedia yourself, but tl;dr she is an important theorist of sexuality and she's visiting Harvard this spring).

I finished watching the anime Black Lagoon and loved it desperately and confusedly. It's all about terrible people doing mostly terrible things! The central theme is the slow corruption of a good person! But I don't find it depressing, for complex and personal reasons. Also it's very funny and charming, that helps a lot. I need to watch a lot more TV because I have all those socks to knit, so recommendations are appreciated. I'm on a bit of an animation kick lately but I have eclectic tastes. (Also I somewhat prefer shows that I can watch legally, i.e. on Hulu or the network's website or I can get the DVDs from the library.)


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This is me recommending Baccano!, which is anime and which I have on DVD. A year ago I would have said it was not your sort of thing, but I think it might work at this time because while there is a lot of violence (a lot a lot) the people in question are almost entirely immortal, which rather changes the dynamic. It is one of my favorite anime and ludicrously well-written and this icon is from it.

Well done, getting through five courses! I would not have missed you as Cleopatra for earth, water, fire, and air.

Knit well.


Were you at a different sort of school, you might have turned running a literary conference into an independent study for credit. But then, were you at that school, you would have neither the budget nor the interest in an alternative Vericon.

So, even without formal college credit, do continue to put on a great convention and write about it: it's definitely something for the resume. Wish it did not conflict with the ICFA (International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts).

Homemade gifts are **awesome**, and socks and cookies especially so. Your family will love you for them. (Well. Your family will love you regardless, but they'll really love those socks and cookies!)

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