06 December 2005

Permafrost

I'm back. I'm back from my one-day hiatus. I have learned quite a few important things during the weekend, and that ties in to why I was absent. But since those are too personal, I'd rather keep them for myself and not blog about the details here. Let's just say I had an intercontinental altercation.

Anyway, that aside, I am finally looking forward to the end of classes this semester. I only have four days left. I am thirty percent into my last paper, and I have one last presentation to make, and one last homework to turn in. So it seems that everything is drawing to a close. Which is good.

But aside from that, I still have some paperwork to do. I need to revise my conference paper by the end of December, so it would make the deadline and thus be published. This is my Taipei conference paper. The institute there is publishing it in their journal. So I guess this will be my first trace in the academic literature. A paper in the pragmatics and syntax interface in Tagalog.

I also need to update my curriculum vitae. In this business, if one does not update it often, one forgets, so I don't want to forget what I have done for the past six months, so I need to update it soon.

For a change, I went out last Sunday, which was yesterday, with some friends to eat out. Usually, on Sundays, I attend a religious service in the morning, but then for yesterday, my friend invited me to another religious meeting, except in the afternoons. This is basically the same thing in the mornings, only that it is conducted in Mandarin Chinese. Of course I do not know how to speak Mandarin. But then, since I can understand Japanese, and Japanese and Mandarin uses the same characters, I can somehow decipher the material that they use. Even if I don't know how to pronounce the characters, I can discern what the characters mean.

After the meeting, we went to Applebee's in Delaware Ave. I don't eat out much, due to the fact that I live alone, so I joined when I was invited. I had Beer-Battered Fish and Chips. Frankly, I was disappointed. I was expecting the British-style fish strips dipped in beige-colored batter, deep-fried and oozing, to be dipped in tartar sauce, but then I got something that I didn't think was deserving to be called fish and chips. Well, given the company I was with, I didn't mind. I didn't mind eating animal products either, as having good company was more important for me than my personal dietary beliefs.

Anyway, I went home around 10 pm last night. The wind was blowing hard and we were all shivering. I looked at the weather report for this week, and for most of the time, it will be around 25F/-2C. Wow. At least, it is not the same in Yakutsk, where temperatures there reach to -36F/-38C. Amazing. My classmate, who happens to be from there, actually told me that houses there are built on top of concrete piles, because the ground is in constant permafrost. So the ground is frozen, but then, when summer comes, it melts, so if one doesn't have a concrete structure beneath the foundation, the house will collapse.

Oh well, I still have things to do tonight. I'm signing off.

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