baratron: (bunches)
I haven't managed to send Christmas cards to friends for the past two years, due to exhaustion. So I have a pretty big collection of them waiting to be sent now. Who wants one?

There are two options for cards: an amazing winter London scene supporting the Princess Alice Hospice (total: 7 cards) and a cute fuzzy brown bear in a jumper supporting the British Heart Foundation (total: 20 cards). My plan is to send the London cards to people outside the UK and the bear cards to people inside the UK, but this may be thwarted by the mismatch in the number of people I know in each location. I meant to add an option to the poll for people to say which card they would prefer if they have a strong preference, but I forgot - feel free to mention this in comments if you want to.

I do not send e-cards because my purpose for sending out cards is to prove that my imaginary internet friends are real, and e-cards don't prove anything.

[Poll #2059472]

All comments are screened so you can leave your address below. Please do it a.s.a.p. so the cards have some chance of getting to you :)

Please be aware that in asking to receive a card from me, you are NOT obliged to send one back. If anyone is able to understand low energy/disorganisation/a total lack of spoons, then I can. I send cards because I like to do it, not because you must reciprocate! Although if you do want to send me something, here's my address.
baratron: (endurance)
I'm afraid that I utterly, utterly failed to send out any Christmas cards this year. I was supposed to be doing them on 18th December, but then I found out about [livejournal.com profile] meirion and spent the whole day crying instead. Then I promptly went down with the kind of cold which turns your brain to snot and spent several days doing nothing more strenuous than lying in bed. I dragged myself out of bed to have Christmas dinner with my parents and went back to bed before pudding (which, if you know me at all, is quite shocking).

I'm better now and was going to send them out as New Year cards instead. I wouldn't have to change anything because they're American and thus extremely non-specific about which particular holiday they're for, but - in some sort of wonderfully modern irony - my printer is refusing to print because it's decided it needs a new yellow ink cartridge. Even though there was nothing wrong with the yellow ink cartridge the last time I finished using it, and even though the labels are in black ink only. Having to write twenty or so addresses by hand is just beyond my ability to cope.

So I've sent cards to the handful of relatives who would complain if they didn't get one, and I am just going to have to apologise to the rest of you. It really isn't that I don't care about you, it's that I was too upset about a friend who I hadn't been in contact with enough lately, and then too ill to cope. I'm going to keep the cards and send them out next year.

My plans for New Year's Eve are glorious. I am going to London to buy cake and then I am going to sit at home playing Elder Scrolls Online. Nice and warm, and no need to be around drunk people on the train. One of these years I'll try to get an invite to a party where I can stay overnight, or host people here instead, but one of these years I won't be ill and exhausted.
baratron: (grinning)
My generic holiday cards with an awesome BEAR on arrived on Saturday, meaning that it's well and truly Time To Get Organised.

If you believe the Royal Mail, it's already too late to send cards almost anywhere to actually arrive in time for Christmas, but the earliest I've ever managed to ask for addresses was 8th December. While my cards usually arrive by January 3rd even if they're going halfway round the world :)

The options are a generic holiday card with a photograph of a live yearling BEAR, or nothing. This is because my purpose for sending out cards is to prove that my imaginary internet friends are real, and e-cards just don't do that for me.

[Poll #1992192]

All comments are screened so you can leave your address below. Please do it a.s.a.p. so the cards have some chance of getting to you :)

Also, feel free to receive a card from me without feeling obliged to send one back. I send cards because I like to do it, not because you must! Although if you do want to send me something, here's my address.
baratron: (endurance)
Just a reminder about my Christmas card list for 2013. There's a few people who I usually send cards to who haven't replied to say if they want one this year. I don't want to send cards to empty flats if people will be elsewhere over the festive season. I'd rather save the card and send it in the New Year when you'll be there to enjoy it.
baratron: (bunches)
Who wants a Christmas card?

Here's my annual poll about such things. The options are a paper card (with either BEARS or a picture of London on), or nothing. This is because I never, ever get round to sending e-cards. My main purpose in sending Christmas cards is to send and receive proof that my Invisible Internet Friends are real - which I don't get from an e-card.

[Poll #1947953]
All comments are screened so you can leave your address below. Please do it a.s.a.p. so the cards have some chance of getting to you :)

Also, feel free to receive a card from me without feeling obliged to send one back. I send cards because I like to do it, not because you must! Although if you do want to send me something, here's my address.
baratron: (cn tower)
Richard & I are being Amazingly Organised by our standards and have bought Christmas cards already! I thought this was the earliest we'd ever managed it, but according to my livejournal tags, I did ask for addresses as early as 8th December one year. I must have been incredibly healthy by my standards.

If you've been on my friends list a while, you may recognise this poll. I've taken the e-card option off it, because I never, ever get round to sending e-cards. My main purpose in sending Christmas cards is to send and receive proof that my Invisible Internet Friends are real - which I don't get from an e-card.

[Poll #1884568]
All comments are screened so you can leave your address below. Please do it a.s.a.p. so the cards have some chance of getting to you :)

Also, feel free to receive a card from me without feeling obliged to send one back. I send cards because I like to do it, not because you must!
baratron: (cn tower)
Apparently, last year, when I was really ill with chronic fatigue and didn't know it, I managed to send the grand total of 10 Christmas cards. That's quite appallingly awful.

This year I have 22 cards to send. Update @05:39: I have 2 cards left, speak now if you want them. It's already past the last posting date in the UK (and several weeks past the last posting dates for anywhere else in the world), but if you don't mind getting a card in mid-January, please fill in the VERY FAMILIAR poll below:

[Poll #1804331]
* This year's cards say "Happy Holidays" because they were bought from an American charity. They have BEARS on them. Two live Ursus americanus.

All comments are screened so you can leave your address below. Please do it a.s.a.p. so the cards have some chance of getting to you :)

Also, feel free to receive a card from me without feeling obliged to send one back. I send cards because I like to do it, not because you must!
baratron: (Luka)
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. I have been Ill and have not left the house since last Friday. It seems that wretched snot diseases are going round. Not sure whether this is a very bad cold, or flu modified by having had the flu jab, but it's nasty nonetheless.

I haven't managed to send Christmas cards to anyone due to a combination of my literature report and illness. I didn't even manage to buy Richard a Christmas card. So I drew him one instead. It's us in fuzzy animal form, with dino. I hope you like it.

Here are your Christmas presents:
Cute Explosion from Weebl's Stuff. Excessively adorable video with a catchy song... and a moral?

"Oh Come All Ye Faithful" by Twisted Sister. What? Glam Metal version of hymns, definitely recommended ;)

Hyperbole and a Half: The Alot is Better Than You at Everything.

Will write more when I have energy again.
baratron: (goggles)
Blah. I have various people that I'm supposed to be emailing or otherwise contacting, and I don't have enough energy. I'm sitting on irc watching conversations happen because I don't feel up to saying anything.

One of the things I need to say is this:
If you are a person who would normally buy me a Christmas present, don't bother this year.

Normally I love buying presents for people, and matching the present to the person; but I'm so short of energy that it'll eat spoons I don't have available. Also, I'm really short of money at the moment, and I want to spend what little I have on a holiday because I desperately need a break.

I know it's sorta rude to put this in livejournal instead of in personal email, but I'm just Too Tired right now. And I think it's important to tell people as soon as possible, because some of you have to start budgeting for Christmas several months in advance.

I'll still be doing Christmas cards, probably late as usual :)

Also, I should get in the post the various things that I've been meaning to send for weeks/months :/
baratron: (Default)
I am ridiculously amused that I managed to write a post that had 24 comments before I even got round to looking at it again - and it's about Brussels sprouts ;)

If you had Christmas dinner today, what was it? Richard & I did roast beef, roast seitan, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings (normal & vegan), roast parsnips, carrots, white cabbage, baby corn, roasted red peppers, peas, vegan cauliflower cheese and gravy. (After typing that list, the word "roast" now looks like it's spelled wrong even though it isn't). The vegan cauliflower cheese was terrifyingly popular and disappeared quite quickly - I was expecting everyone to be freaked out by it. Then we had a break from eating and opened presents. My mother has bought us a cuddly polar bear that is ALMOST AS BIG AS ME!! (Pictures to follow). Dessert was, variously, Christmas pudding, chocolate cheesecake or vegan chocolate mousse cake, with cream, custard (dairy & soya) and vanilla ice cream (soya). Om nom nom.

In the morning, Richard has to go to work, even though it's Saturday, and Boxing Day (debatable), and there are no trains. He got an automated email from the server at work saying that the power had failed in the building. So he has to go in and spend about three hours rebooting machines in the correct order so that they can talk to each other properly. Oh, the joys of being a senior sysadmin in a firm that is absolutely dependent on computers...
baratron: (Default)
Something cool I discovered today: Waitrose have walking stick holders on their shopping trolleys! How awesome is that? I'm used to having to balance my stick over the handle and hoping it doesn't fall off as I go round the shop (because I really don't want the end that touches the ground lying in the trolley alongside my food). I expect they also work for umbrellas - some shapes of umbrella, anyway.

Richard and I had an "argument" last night about the number of Brussels sprouts that a person would consume at Christmas, given all the other vegetables we are preparing. I thought that 4-6 would be the right sort of number, my mum thought it would be more like 6-8. Richard won by pointing out that the number that a "normal" person would consume is zero.

[Poll #1503127]

If I was feeling more brain-full I could extend the questions to ask about other cabbagey things (I personally love white cabbage in raw or cooked form, and red cabbage raw, but don't care for cooked red cabbage or any kind of green cabbage), but that would take Effort which I should probably be spending on tidying up the house before our visitors tomorrow. We have decided not to make it TIDY (because that is impossible with the time available), but there needs to be enough chair and table space for everyone, and currently all conceivable surfaces are covered with books, tv and video game controllers, plushie toys, cameras, bits of circuit board, screwdrivers...
baratron: (nemesis inferno)
I am grumpy about the fact I ordered some t-shirts from the US at the end of November to be Christmas presents, and I still don't have them. They were posted on 11th December, with an estimated arrival date according to the US Postal Service of 17th-22nd December. I'm absolutely certain the problem isn't with the USPS at all, or even with the "extreme weather" - rather they are sitting in Mount Pleasant Sorting Office waiting for someone to decide how much VAT and import duty I need to pay on them. I know this is the most likely source of delay because Mount Pleasant stamp parcels when they arrive there, and I frequently observe a lag of 4-5 working days before the parcel turns up on my doorstep! This means Richard, Tim and Peter are all minus one of their presents, and we won't have another postal delivery until Tuesday. Bah.

In contrast, I ordered a monster for my mum to be sent via CityLink. I ticked the "PM service", and was mildly surprised to be woken by the parcel at 11.30am. Checking my email, it turns out it was supposed to have been delivered the previous afternoon, and I had a highly apologetic email explaining the delay. That would have been a turnaround time of less than 24 hours. I know you can't really compare international and domestic mail, but Richard often orders stuff internationally to be sent by courier, and typically the packages arrive within 3 days. A lot of the courier companies manage email or a phone call first, so you can pay the Customs fees by credit card before the parcel's delivered, or have the right amount of cash ready.

Note to self: Unless the price difference is astronomical, or you're not in a hurry AT ALL, always tick the courier option when ordering from abroad. At least then you get a tracking number and can find out WHERE ON EARTH IT IS.

Last call!

Dec. 20th, 2009 03:29 am
baratron: (lego)
Last call for Christmas cards - I'm sending them tomorrow. I notice that about half the people who wanted a card last year haven't said they want one this year. If that's because you can't afford to send me one, don't worry - I'm not bothered about reciprocity. Just let me know that you want one and I'll send it :)

If you hate Christmas and/or don't want a paper card this year, there is the option on the poll to say "No thank you" or "I prefer e-cards".
baratron: (what's this?)
Apparently I forgot to screen comments on my Christmas Card post (oops), so if that was putting you off, you can answer the poll and leave your address now.
baratron: (Luka)
I'm rather annoyed because the vegetarian roast I wanted for Christmas Day has been discontinued. If I'd known they were going to discontinue it, I'd have stocked up... but I've actually been trying to stock up on it for months now. Just couldn't find it in any real-life wholefood shops, and I'm rather leery of online ones. (Principally because a lot of them don't have their online ordering system linked to their stock information, so you can order something and then find it'll be out of stock for the next 2 months). So I'm going to have to find something else to eat, and the other seitan roast I know of is 20% fat for no apparent reason. I might have to... make one. (Possibly more effort than I can be bothered with considering we're already going to be cooking a lump of meat and as many different types of vegetable as possible).

The rest of this post is almost exactly a copy-and-paste of my post from last year. Yay, livejournal tags!

[Poll #1496033]
*Most of this year's cards say "A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". But they are super-awesome and have a beautiful wolf on them. One that I have actually met in real life :)

I like getting cards at least as much as I enjoy sending them. But I don't care about reciprocity - if you can't afford to or don't have the spoons to send a card, then I'm happy to send you one without you needing to feel guilty about not sending me one.
baratron: (cn tower)
Extremely amused by all the comments on my Christmas card poll saying "if you don't mind late cards, I'll send one back" considering how late mine are! If you live anywhere other than the UK, then you're unlikely to get my card before 29th December at the absolute earliest! So of course I don't mind cards turning up whenever. Clearly, I am the Queen of Late Cards.

So feel free to send cards addressed to me (and [livejournal.com profile] wuzzie) at this address. Richard has gone ahead and signed all your cards even though he kept complaining "I don't know who these people are". I pointed out that you all know who he is, so he should shut up and sign the card anyway ;)

I've posted cards to the following people:Read more... )

If you are not on the list and want to be then please answer my poll and/or drop a screened comment into that post. Though please note that the Post Office will now be closed until Monday 22nd, so I doubt you'll see your card before the New Year. Well, it's the thought that counts...
baratron: (grinning)
I am rather amused that last year I was posting on 12th December to say how very behind I was with the sending out of paper Christmas cards. This year it's taken me until today, 19th December, to get organised enough to send out paper cards. It is to laugh.

I shall attempt to plough through the past few months of my best-friends-on-the-internet's journals to find out what you all said about sending or receiving cards, but really, that will take more time than I have available. Personally, I love paper cards with their accompanying acknowledgement that the people I've met on the internet are as real as the people I've met in my walking-around life. Of course, I like getting cards at least as much as I enjoy sending them. But I don't really care about reciprocity - if you can't afford to or don't have the spoons to send a card, then I'm happy to send you one without you needing to feel guilty about not sending me one.

Last year I offered to send e-cards as well but didn't get round to it. Um... I'll try to send some if people want them?

[Poll #1317957]
* Note that most of the paper cards I have this year do in fact say "Seasons Greetings" (Season's? Seasons'? Hmmm) so are appropriate whichever festival you are celebrating or trying to avoid.

Oh yes, and it's perfectly fine to give me a URL to a post with your contact details in.
baratron: (latte)
Yesterday I was supposed to say happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] stellarwind, who was "levelling up". Except I didn't get online all day. So here is an apology along with an actual post in my journal, to make it extra apologetic. (Normally I only post happy birthday in people's own journals, or on forums, or by email.)

In other news I am a little ball of fuzz and stress. Still very, very tired which is now coupled with not sleeping properly. Since Friday night I've been having what I can only term "very loud" dreams, so I wake up having dreamt so much that I don't feel rested. Ugh. They have not been entirely bad dreams, but some of the ones that weren't nightmares were so odd that I've felt disturbed by them nonetheless. Also, why do I keep having nightmares about cake?

I am completely disorganised with regard to Christmas (which, in turn, means that the "me + Richard" entity is completely disorganised, because it's my job to do holidays). Apart from the presents that I've bought through the year as I've seen something that would be perfect for someone, I have absolutely nothing. While college was happening I was too busy, and now it's so dark all the time... Christmas shopping & organisation does not combine well with SAD. Whose stupid idea was it to put Christmas in the middle of winter? Those Southern Hemisphere types have it the right way round. At least in the summer I'd have enough energy to deal with it. But then my birthday would be in midwinter instead, meaning it would be dark and cold and I wouldn't enjoy it. Bah. And yes, I suppose I could spend half the year in the Northern and half in the Southern Hemispheres (including at least a month in Iceland when it DOESN'T GET DARK), so I'd never have to deal with winter, but I don't have enough money to maintain multiple homes. Nor do I fancy moving to the Equator, which is the only actual "cure" for SAD - unless someone is planning on moving a civilised place like London, New York or Seattle to the Equator.

I have about 30 hours of coursework to do over the holiday (if I get it all done right first time - otherwise it'll take longer). Half of this is from one lecturer, the rest is from another four lecturers combined. I think lecturer #1 needs to learn what levels of work are appropriate. If everyone else is giving us one problem sheet, I don't see why she gets to give us three huge lab writeups (which she wants bound into a folder!) AND another two problem sheets. I am actually worried about getting it all done, because of aforementioned darkness and lack of energy. It's discrimination to make me do work at the time of year when my brain doesn't function - isn't it?
baratron: (sleepy)
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and Happy Tuesday/Bah Humbug to everyone who doesn't.

Today we went out for what is becoming the traditional Christmas lunch in this household - to the Riverside Vegetaria restaurant in Kingston with my parents. They didn't follow us back home because my mum is ill with a bad cold, and the house is far too messy for us to have space for them to sit here. Convenient, eh? ;) Of course, the house is messy because this is the first day off we've had for weeks and weeks. It wasn't actually deliberate.

So this evening, despite being very tired, I've done a couple of hours of tidying/recycling. I've sorted out all of the old bedding to go to the charity shop, plus several items of clothing that are unlikely to ever fit me again. We've also "archived" all my summer clothes in one of the new cupboards above the bed, so they're not taking up space in the drawers at the moment. (Richard wears the exact same clothes all year round, just with an extra layer in the winter. It must be nice to be homiothermic!). I've also recycled all of last year's and some of this year's Christmas wrapping paper for presents that we're giving. I love wrapped presents (and hate getting a present wrapped in the plastic bag it was brought back from the shop in) but hate the waste, so it's a good compromise.

We still have much more battling to do against entropy, but I'm running out of spare energy, so plan to collapse with my new Pokemon Battle Revolution game any minute now...
baratron: (wolfy)
The Christmas State of Anchovy is so very amusing to me that I'm posting the link. Keep scrolling right until you reach the end of the image.

[livejournal.com profile] epi_lj's contest this year is driving me insane. He takes covers of things and Photoshop(R)s them to remove all the words. This year it's books. I swear I read books - I have several hundred of them in this house, even! But you wouldn't know it from my pathetic entry in the competition.

I have 3 points so far. Anyone want to join brains with me? We can form a team! I don't care about winning, and I don't need the prize - I just don't want to come last!!

I'm rather disappointed with the main thing I've bought for Richard's Christmas present this year. Cut just in case he breaks the habit of a lifetime and READS my LIVEJOURNAL. )

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