After being sick last week, and mostly worthless, I feel like I'm finally getting back on my feet. Friday night I went to the astronomy club, like always, and Magali did a presentation on astronomy in the Middle Ages in central Asia. It was very informative, and we were a bit bummed that we didn't get to see the Geminids because it was cloudy. Ah, well, next year I suppose.
Saturday I went to Brest and just kinda hung out with my friend Emma and walked around. It was nice to leave the apartment and Morlaix for a bit. I bought a phone card and talked on the phone all evening long to family and friends back in the States, notably my friend Nik. I think we may have talked for longer than an hour, which will probably cost me more than an arm and leg but was worth it.
Sunday I did laundry, rode my bike about 30km and started working again on some UT articles. That's the plan for today, as well, as my class was canceled and it's cold but nice outside.
As for my vacation, I finally got some tickets and nailed down some dates yesterday. I'm going to Paris the 21st-24th, to see my friend Nicolai the 24th-28th in Auch (near Toulouse), and to Barcelona the 28th-1st. Then I'll come back here for the last 4 or 5 days and ride my bike, because by then I will have no money left for sure. I also have to start buying tickets for my vacation in February to (hopefully) Budapest and St. Petersburg.
Speaking of vacations and biking, I think I might try to start planning a European bike trip. I thought it would be neat to ride my bike from here to Köln or Berlin when I'm done with my contract, maybe passing through Belgium. Anybody want to come with? This depends, of course, on how much money I can manage to save between now and then.
And now, a bit of holiday cheer, thanks to Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy: