The eve of Christmas Eve.  Two nights in a row in the belly of the beast foraging for jewels.  Down the mall, up the mall, obeying only the cruel tug of gabo, disbelievingly watching the present0's money supply slowly and surely convert into evenly divided (yet ever decreasing) packets of pain-relief.  Temporarily of course, or they'd be out of business.  Imagine a permanent gabo.  One shot and you never need score again.  The thought's too ghastly to bear for the "lords" of the world.

On to presents.   Have chosen most, though I do despair at this formalised gift giving exercise.  Going to Ninderry for Christmas lunch, fist one away from my parents, ever.  Hope to see them on the day, however briefly.  My sister cannot make it back this Christmas, she is perhaps only going to come every second one now.  It's a long way just for the heat of Brisbane.  

What else has passed my mind lately?  Well i finished The Algebraist, Iain Banks' latest sci-fi work, and I loved it.  Though it did not cover Culture it was still breath-taking.  To be able to do so after so many books is amazing.  My mind wis indelibly marked with Dwellers, gascraft and Seer Task's lonely odyssey.   Books do things to us that no-one can undo, no torturer, no dictator.  They land in unsullied and unsulliable parts of ourselves.  For this I am thankful.

I have asked for a couple of P K Dick books for Chrissie from my parents - 3rd Stigmata and Confessions of a Crap Artist, but they may have been a little outré for Indooroopilly bookstores.  I wish Sim luck 2moro hunting for them.   Her half-bro is pickling himself as we speak to remove the knowledge of his forebears indiscretions.  What he always knew has become incontrovertible knowledge, after he got the courage (Dutch?) to ring half-sis V and ask her.  She told him the truth and now our Christmas plans have re-arranged with the mum to both halves rushing to protect the male's delicate id.

It's still a strange world.  I'd like to start seeing it straight, but who knows if that will happen ever.  I try, then fail, then try again.

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