Monday, 1 December 1997:

Back To Work

No matter how long a vacation you take, it's always rather jarring to head back to the office. Ah, well.

I had to go up and get all my held mail at the post office, so I got in a little late; I usually do, after vacations. The day was a fairly mellow one, involving catching up on my e-mail, filling out a document on the end of the development cycle, reviewing some specifications, and going to some meetings. I also laid the groundwork to do some programming (mostly fixes) tomorrow.

After work I did some Christmas shopping. I also picked up this year's STATS, Inc. Major League and Minor League Handbooks, which I buy every year. I guess this means I need to update my Boston Red Sox minor league info page sometime this winter. It will basically take me a weekend to accomplish, but it's kind of fun, and wins me some accolades from the diehard fans out there. I've clearly gone through my baseball fanaticism phase and come out the other side, but I still like poking around at the sport.

Boy, going through all my mail tonight was a bitch and a half. I had to pay off my whopping big credit card bill, process all my receipts from last month, and pay all my beginning-of-month bills. Still, an hour and a half isn't too bad for such a chore, and it left me time to knock down another 70 pages of Startide Rising. Happily, I also got my cash-back check from my credit card, which will help pay for some of the stuff I bought on my trip east, and the damage there wasn't too bad, either. Go figure; I finally get financially responsible just as Christmas season hits overdrive.

The rest of my mail was pretty boring.

On the radio tonight the local prog-rock station played "The Mummers Dance" from Loreena McKennitt's new album, The Book of Secrets. I had a yen to listen to the rest of the album, and found that the tune on the album is substantially mellower - or so it seemed - than what I'd heard on the radio. I'm going to have to hunt down the revved-up single version; I like it!

McKennitt, by the way, is a Canadian vocalist and harpist who performs lush Celtic folk music. Her best album is the Visit. Since then, McKennitt has been falling into the same trap that's gripped Peter Gabriel for his last few albums: Her music has become too lush, and over-arranged, sacrificing focus and emotional power for some sort of artistic sophistication that ends up just sounding muddled. (Ironically, Manu Katche - Gabriel's primary drummer for the last decade - also works with McKennitt.)

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