Yes. A Billy Joel quote. Deal with it.
In eight days I return to the fabulous Winter Wonderland known as the New York Metropolitan Area. There are three primary reasons why this is amazing, in ascending order of importance:
1. Weather. Dear God do I miss having actual weather. My fingers are starting to get chilly and immobile at temperatures upwards of 60 degrees Fahrenheit; this is unacceptable. I demand to see my breath, and not just when I stick my head in the freezer to figure out where the hell those strawberries went.
2. End of the quarter. This academic quarter, as noted elsewhere, is made entirely out of shit. Soon, it will be flushed. And followed with the mental, metaphorical equivalent of Drāno. After which, the toilet in which this process took place, along with all affiliated plumbing, will be removed to an undisclosed location, which will be carpet bombed.
3. People. Most of the people I have so desperately needed to see are in or around NY, or at least within hailing distance. People here are very nice, for the most part, but I have known them for less than 18 months, and that can't quite make up for years of accumulated familiarity. If you are in/around NY, or will be between 16 December and 2 January, please let me know. I want to see you. If you are also Jewish (or otherwise available), I want to eat Chinese food for lunch with you on Christmas Day.
Aside from the big three reasons, there are many small reasons. Free food, for one. Homemade candy. Corduroy pants, which are currently in deep storage in the parents' basement. Etc., etc., etc.
I have begun the Final Paper Grading Process. The number of papers remaining is smaller than 120 now, possibly smaller than 110 if the number of non-submissions is substantial. Details will not be posted, of course, but you are free to imagine what you will about the quality of writing.
Today I am going to grade another 25, I hope, and then go to tea and walk along the beach with The Mysterious X, Violesbian, and 'Nald. After tea, we will be returning home to experience one, two, or all of the following: Zardoz, FART: the movie, and that perennial seasonal favorite, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Gris, Z2, and the She God of Shark Reef will be joining us, as will Glen Moray, a new addition to my whisky collection, courtesy of Z2. This looks to be a good day.