Holiday Roundup

I noticed yesterday (as [Char]( finally got around to posting on her blog) that I have been remarkably lax in updating here.

Bad Chris!

Well, in order to fix that, here's an update.

First things first: Congratulations to the pair of people who know exactly whom I'm congratulating and why. No more details, of course, but there it is.

(note, the above sentence is intended to make little sense. Don't worry if you don't get it. If you don't, odds are you weren't meant to. If you spend too much time analyzing it, before tossing off an e-mail to me asking what the hell it meant, well, that increases the odds that you're the one it's aimed at ;) )

I see looking at my last post that it was just after the hardest exam of my university career... Or more to the point the one that I expected to be hardest. My final mark is back in that course, though, and my concerns were... unjustified. I have now received four of my five course marks back, and I anticipate the last arriving sometime in the next week. I'll post a mark roundup then, but the news is (generally) good. CLIT 342 is the one exception, but I knew it would be.

I have, in the last week, spent a lot of time with the family up at Mir's house. This was a nice way to spend the holidays, as they good-naturedly tolerated my solitary habits when I got away from them, and I had a great time when I was sociable. It was, all told, an excellent Christmas holiday.

On an slightly tangential note to that, I've noticed that Christmas is becoming a dirty word nowadays. Has anyone else? (stupid question, of course) Anyway, it occurred to me, though, that there's two sides to this. On the one hand, I hate that the annual holiday of the Christian religions has been subsumed into a cultural celebration of rampant consumerism that goes so far as to arrogantly strip its name from it. If this were to happen to Channukah, or Ramadan, do you think there would be so little comment? No, it's only acceptable to do this to the Christian holiday. Faugh. Even as an atheist, I find this offensive and disrespectful. I've read in a few places here and there that it may be policy at some large retailers now _not_ to say "Merry Christmas" anymore, to avoid offending non-christians. Who the hell cares?!

On the other hand, the effect of this dissociation has been to make it much more comfortable for those of us who are not christian to exist at this time of year, as well. I am no longer left with a feeling of _obligation_ to wish people a merry Christmas at the till or whenever I greet them. The net effect of all of the removal of meaning has been to make it acceptable for me to simply say my usual "Have an excellent day," or some other such greeting. It's nice, and it's lower stress for me. I only wish that the price was not so ... crude.

Hrm. Other things of note, in the past week or so.

Well, I got bored and frustrated with the lack of instructions for writing [Azureus]( plugins, so I wrote my own [tutorial for Azureus plugins](/projects/azureus-plugin-tutorial/) for those who come after me. I'm fairly proud of it, since this is not something I ordinarily do, but as far as I can see nobody is looking at it yet :(

Char and I are getting packed. Moving sucks.

Not much else. I'm working through learning SWT and Java network programming just because I can and I want to. Geekiness is of the good.

Anyway, if I missed something ciritical, I'll trust Char to know about it and chew me out ;) Take care, all, and have a Happy New Year!

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