I realized today that I have exactly two weeks of school vacation time left, before the honeymoon is truly over. On January 2, I begin work at a new job. Tomorrow , as a matter of fact, I already have to attend an afternoon "workplan retreat" with my division (that's the Public Affairs Division at the Ministry of Education); part two of the retreat continues on Thursday afternoon. I don't think it can be too exciting of an experience --- for all that it'll be a novel one for me --- when the person who contacted me from the division about attending noted that, "[W]e'll first do lunch [at 12:30 pm] and then make everyone pay for the lunch during the retreat."

I shouldn't be complaining. I agreed to move over to work with them and I'm sure as hell sick of teaching. I also need something to do. I also figured out today that what's been bugging me lately is a strong sense of ennui since I don't have the routine of work or school or anything at the moment to keep me going, just this vague awareness that I ought to finish writing those damn testimonials and clear out my desk before December 28. Sad as this may sound, I need work right now. Too much unfocused leisure time --- and now we see what a pathetic creature I am, that I'm no good at even managing my leisure time --- is bad for this girl's soul.

On the other hand, I will conceivably have very little leisure time over the next two weeks. In addition to the Christmas engagements I mentioned before and the anticipation of friends and family coming home, throw in one more Christmas party this Saturday night and another good friend coming back from Baltimore for two short weeks. And don't forget those pesky testimonials I still have to write (did some today, five more to go, three of which have to be written from scratch), the editing job and general end-of-year madness. I suspect, after I case out my future colleagues tomorrow and get the scoop on the office dress code from them, that I may have to go shopping for some new work clothes too. I don't mind shopping, but I'm not sure how fun shopping for work clothes will be. I need the Miffy to consult on this; she's excellent at jazzing up office wear, though she's also got an impenetrable smile and will get away with denim jackets during business meetings, among other things.

And I might need new brown shoes.

Did I mention the new shoes I got last week? Before the wedding rehearsal, Isetan tempted me and I walked out with two new pairs of, well, slippers. One's black and casual; the other's silvery and sparkly. The black pair has served me well as casual footwear for the holidays; the silver pair did well at the wedding on Friday. I'm happy. Now if only I could sneak the black pair in to work...

So today, I went to school and threw some testimonials together, then Terz picked me up after he was done with his school errands, and we went downtown to get his pictures developed from the wedding. He's having A4 contact sheets done ($10 apiece) so that he doesn't have to pay to develop photographs that didn't turn out well. I'm not sure how much money that will save him, but he's the photo guy. We had lunch at a new sushi place at Funan Centre (next to the Watson's) which was nice, except that he ordered too much, then I had to eat it, and then I felt pretty sick for the rest of the afternoon.

When we got home, I set to reading more of The Corrections but even though I've progressed to page 220-something, I have to stop. It's too depressing. These characters are all misreading each other, yet it's perfectly understandable in a human sense why they're misunderstanding each other, and everyone's getting more and more depressed (including moi, the reader) and I felt so sad this afternoon I had to just put the book away. Doing something comparative mindless and less involved like editing that journal was much better for my system.

I will finish the book someday --- maybe next week, or when I've started work, to put some distance between what's going on in the book and undistracted life --- and it is fine, fine writing, but it's also just so sad. And I'm barely halfway through!

So as of now, I've edited, we've skipped dinner due to the abundant sushi still settling in our stomach, and I'm working on some photograph pages for the website (coming soon!). Soon there will be Buffy, then there will be sleep. I'm going to be well-rested for tomorrow's workplan retreat, if only because we have tickets to the The Lord of the Rings at 6 pm --- which means a real dash for me, assuming the retreat ends punctually at 5:30 pm at the Carlton Hotel so that I can hop on the MRT and sprint to Lido. I figure if things run over, I'm going to mutter something about a family/religious engagement and dash off. Come on, it's The Lord of the Rings! I admit it's not (yet) quite the same as if I had tickets for the preview of Attack of the Clones --- which I will see despite its stupid name --- but I'm not kidding when I say it's family and religious. Terence is pretty hardcore.

Wish me luck.


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