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December 11th, 2002

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11:29 pm - Something for everyone
The last part of tonight's dream was another subterranean special. Specifically, I was travelling on a very long escalator within a station on the London Underground; inevitably, the escalator did far more interesting things than real ones do, changing from going downhill to going uphill, going round corners gradually, going round sharp corners, changing directions at 90°, having different parts at different heights and so on. Lots of fun. At the platform, I found that the London Underground train had been replaced by one from the Tyne and Wear Metro. I could tell this mostly because the internal map (cf the one addedentry posted) had been replaced by a hastily-doctored Tyne and Wear one.

Staying on the same train, it later turned out that I was travelling on the Tyne and Wear Metro system after all; there was a part where the train went down into a little dip and splashed through the sea which was particularly fun to travel through. After the dip, it turned out that there was an oncoming train on the same track with a car in front of it, but we slowed down to a near-stop and bounced harmlessly off the car. (People pushed the car off the tracks sideways; there was cosmetic damage to it at worst.) We then reversed into the sea-filled dip and took another track out to continue our journey. The only other items of any incident were a particularly nice view of a sunset over the sea and fellow traveller (and famous mickey-taking comedian) Jonathan Ross ingratiating himself with the locals on the train with a quick routine.

Now this might have come conveniently close to a comment that "Oh, this is what I regularly dream about" and look like a by-the-numbers assembly of frequent dream-sequence inclusions, plus Jonathan Ross, but that was how my dream last night concluded. Pretty good as they go.

I don't frequently post test results or the like, but the_maenad posted a very entertaining game-doing-the-rounds with which I was very taken. The idea is that I post a comment to, or about, each member of my Friends list without telling you which comment refers to which Friend. Then you can have the fun of trying to work out which comment is yours. You can then get it wrong, respond to a completely different comment and let me have the fun of working out which comment you think I thought of for you, and so on and so on until we all end up in a great confused (and quite possibly offended) heap. Fun for all the family.

Naturally, some of the comments are quite similar and there are occasional bits of overlap where I write something for one person but parts or very large parts apply to other people as well, which only adds to the jollity. It's all very coy - a 21st-century version of passing anonymous notes in the classroom, if you will - but quite charming in practice. I am bound never to reveal which comment refers to which Friend, whether your guess as to which is yours is correct or not and so on. The comments are in alphabetical order, not the intended recipients; whoops - even I haven't kept a list of which one refers to which person and will probably have forgotten by tomorrow.

  1. Always full of interesting content, though it's rather unexpected to see you here. I wish more people read you!

  2. Can't work out how similar our senses of humour really are. All the same, I'm happy to have been able to help.

  3. Glad you're having lots of fun - which makes your LJ a joy to read - and happy to help when I can. After all, I first heard of you when you were helpful to me!

  4. Haven't heard from you for a while. I hope things are well and that you're settling in. Still thinking about you!

  5. I always enjoy what you have to say, but wonder if you're making yourself work harder than you need to for relatively little result. If it suits you, though...!

  6. I always feel I'm letting you down. I hope that in the end I can do my thing really well and that that's "enough".

  7. I don't know if you know how highly I think of you, not least just for turning up that time when so few others did. Lasting happiness to you!

  8. I don't know you well yet, but I've enjoyed reading what I have about you and disagree with your negative-seeming assessment of yourself.

  9. I feel I don't know you at all, but I like what little I've seen.

  10. I feel that I've got to know you a lot better through LiveJournal and that I'm very privileged to have been able to do so.

  11. I know you think very hard about what you say and I've enjoyed discussing things with you in the past.

  12. I like your attitude, your writing style, what I know about the way you think and act - oh, and your accent!

  13. I look forward to continuing to work with you and hope I prove to be a good colleague!

  14. I ought to write to you far more often than I do. You're talented, dedicated and generous with your time and thoughts.

  15. I wish you didn't feel you were necessary, but I'm glad you're there if - perish the thought - you turn out to be needed.

  16. I wish you felt about yourself the way I feel about you. You're great!

  17. I'm looking forward to hearing what I'm sure will turn out to have been some excellent news. You deserve it!

  18. If only I lived much closer to you, I'd bet that we'd enjoy each other's company just as much as theory dictates. You're fascinating and fun!

  19. If people ever attack you or your works, it's only because they're jealous of how hard you've worked and how much you've achieved. Keep up the great work!

  20. It would be wonderful to hear more about the exciting and daring things you're up to!

  21. It's a joy to know you. Sometimes I have naughty thoughts about you, which I hope might be realised some day.

  22. It's a thrill that things are turning out so well for you and I hope that you get some longer-term stability in your life.

  23. Meeting you was one of the highlights of the year; I hope to get to meet you again and again.

  24. My opinion of you has changed over time, noticeably for the better. You're a hard-working, honest, talented guy and deserve your success.

  25. Nice to get to meet you again after so long! Looks like you've really found contentment; I hope you find happiness too.

  26. Things are looking really good for you, especially the next six or seven months, which is super news. I hope the promise turns out to be true.

  27. Very many fascinating, well-written articles here, plus something brave and sexy which gave the world a wicked smile. Great stuff!

  28. We have little in common, but I enjoy reading what you have to say. The best of luck to you for your exciting near future.

  29. We may have more in common than you think - possibly more than we're both prepared to put our names to.

  30. What you've written so far is impressive, virtuous and sensible. I look forward to whatever more you want to share.

  31. While I only know you a little, I like your sense of humour and am impressed by your writing.

  32. Would that there were many others like you in the world. Fingers crossed that you find the fulfillment you richly deserve soon.

  33. You always seem prickly to me, which is a shame; I'd like to get to know you better. I hope you find people to trust.

  34. You do so much! I hope all the stresses on your life don't burn you out - and that it turns out to be the real thing.

  35. You have so much fun, which is great to read about, and I'm shocked by how many similar things we enjoy. I'd love to meet you!

  36. You impress me very much indeed and I'm glad that the recent upheaval seems to have turned out for the better. Long may things continue!

  37. You work tirelessly and selflessly and I wish you would (could?) allow a little more "me" time for yourself.

  38. You work very hard for your family, which is possibly the most difficult and most rewarding job of them all. I'm glad I got to know you!

  39. You're a lot of fun to be around and have a good heart. It'd be great to get to meet you again some day. (Slightly worried by the silence; are things well?)

  40. You're an endless store of joy and wonder. Some day I dream of being able to contribute myself.

  41. You're awesome - impressive in so many different ways. Long may your versatility continue!

  42. You're cool, but I sometimes wish you would use your coolness more constructively. (Or is that why you're cool?)

  43. You're funny, thoughtful, kind and hard-working. You deserve your happiness; may it last forever and only get bigger over time.

  44. You're going to be an excellent investment!

  45. You're kind - very kind - and your heart is definitely in the right place. I wish I could do more to inspire and help!

  46. You're on another level compared to almost all the people I know. I'm glad I know you and I enjoy hearing from you.

  47. You're so brave! I'd love to get to meet you some day. Are you going to be gone by the next time the action comes to town, though?

  48. You're so busy these days! I always enjoy reading what you have to say and look forward to meeting you again so I can find out what you've been too busy to say!

  49. You're working honestly and hard to cope in difficult circumstances and doing a good job at it. You know things will be difficult for a while, but I know you'll cope.

  50. You've settled into a very good routine because you're so good at what you do, but sometimes I wonder if you're really satisfied. I hope you are!

  51. Your sense of humour is wild and has been for years; your achievements are fantastic. I like you a lot and love hearing about what you do.

51 comments to go among 58 Friends, but it's probably reasonably obvious which Friends are automated or otherwise inhuman and so don't require a comment. Have fun mixing and matching.

Chris Dickson loses! Twice! Wah! #1 seeds Alinghi Challenge lead yachtsman-Chris-Dickson-skippered Oracle BMW Racing by 2-0 in the sort-of-semi-final of the Louis Vuitton Cup. However, Chris' second loss was by a much smaller margin than his first and so he must still fancy his chances in the rest of the best-of-seven series. Even if Alinghi should - unthinkably - win, the loser of this race challenges the winner of Prada Challenge - OneWorld Challenge for the right to face the winner of this semi-final in the final. So this might well be a warm-up for a real Alinghi-OracleBMWRacing final, the one which counts.

Luke McShane wins! Four times running! Wah! British chess grandmaster Luke McShane, nineteen next month, is taking part in the World Junior Chess Championship in Panaji, Goa, India. 88 boys (under 20, I think) and 51 girls compete over eleven (?) rounds of Swiss-format competition. Four rounds in, Luke McShane has gone 4/4 and the other 87... haven't. (In fact, McShane leads by a clear point with a sixteen-way tie for second.) I make Luke joint-sixth seed so the championship, while not out of the question, would be somewhat of a surprise. It also helps that the scariest prodigies (15-year-old Teimour Radjabov plus world-top-12 19-year-olds Alexander Grischuk and Ruslan Ponomariov) have outgrown the junior ranks despite still being technically eligible.

Tomorrow Luke plays white against top seed (world #98) Bu Xiangzhi of China who turned 17 on Wednesday. (Aside: the Icelandic-language gossip suggests that Luke will be headed for University College, Oxford from next October. Nice one!) Good luck, Luke - I'll be following your progress with interest!
Current Mood: friendly
Current Music: video game remix mp3s

(21 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2002 03:55 pm (UTC)
I identify myself as your #28.
Date:December 11th, 2002 04:10 pm (UTC)

Interesting exercise

I have no idea which one refers to me, but I can list quite a few that certainly *don't* refer to me! :-)
[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2002 04:36 pm (UTC)
OK, I've eliminated a fair number that don't make sense if applied to me, and a fair few more which my modesty prevents me from thinking could apply to me. Of those that remain, some are just plain nice (in which case, thankyou!), some hit a little too close to home, and one or two might be seen as you unjustifiably putting yourself down.

OK, I admit I don't have the slightest idea which one, but if I'm #21 then you're finding a new roomie for Nimbus ;-)
[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2002 06:38 pm (UTC)
I might clarify that #21 implies that at the moment there is exactly one Friend to whom I wish to reveal some naughty thoughts in which they feature. This does not mean that there are no other Friends about whom I have naughty thoughts.

Have a nice day!
[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2002 08:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, my. I suppose it could any one of a dozen or so.

I will guess at #31.
[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2002 09:41 pm (UTC)
See, with my personality defects the way they are, I'll be coveting someone else's entry (if I ever ascertain which is actually mine). So maybe I shouldn't guess :).
[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2002 10:06 pm (UTC)

As for me,

I would guess that I am #18, although a few others probably fit too. I fervently hope that I am not #21. Thank you for your Christmas card, which arrived today.
[User Picture]
Date:December 11th, 2002 11:13 pm (UTC)

Ooh, I know, I know!


I've gotta be #3. And thanks again; I caught the 10pm train out of London and got home at 6am without a hitch. :D
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 05:53 am (UTC)

Re: Ooh, I know, I know!

Thrilled to hear it!

I'm looking forward very much to hearing about your trip, but I know you have lectures to attend and sleep to catch up on first. :-) Did you take the Euston -> Man Pic route or the St. Pancras -> Sheffield -> Man Pic route in the end? Did you get any sleep on the train, or did you just read lots of books? (Also, was it cold in the train overnight?)
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2002 09:29 am (UTC)

Re: Ooh, I know, I know!

Sleep? Sleep is for wimps! I'll sleep when I'm dead. Actually, I did sleep in late when I on Thursday and missed the 10am lecture that I was hurrying back for. Whoops.

I took the Euston --> Man Pic route; the other wasn't allowed on the ticket that I had. I slept on the E -> MP train, because I knew that it ended in Man Pic. From there I caught a bus to Preston (something about the trains not running), and then took the train from Preston to Lancaster. The only place that I was pretty chilly was at Preston (the waiting room was not particularly warm, and the company was a bit scary) and on the train from Preston to Lancaster. Took a nice warm cab back from the train station to my dorm, because waiting an hour for the first bus was just not going to happen!

Thanks again for all the useful info! As predicted, you were indeed far more helpful than the train guy at Uni-Travel -- he wouldn't even just tell me the phone number to call for train info, prefering instead to let me figure it out on my own from the five numbers listed on the train timetable brochures. Whatevah.
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2002 10:04 am (UTC)

Re: Ooh, I know, I know!

Train not running from Manchester Picadilly to Preston? News to me. At least the fact that you went by bus instead means that you will have (...probably?) had to spend a little less time waiting at Preston for the last leg of your journey.

I've only ever been to Preston station once. It was in November of 1999 (maybe 2000?) when the floods were really bad. I had just attended MidCon (sorry, MidCon) in Birmingham and was trying to travel back by train, but the main cross-country service wasn't running; I got home by a very strange route, which was something like Birmingham -> Preston -> (somewhere tiny and completely unlikely as a place to change) -> Doncaster [but the rail line in Doncaster flooded about ten minutes before we would have got there, so we stopped about three stations before Doncaster and had to wait for a coach to arrive...] -> York -> Darlington -> Middlesbrough.

Unfortunately I don't seem to have been keeping track of things in my offline diary at the time, so don't have the exact details. Shame.

I did meet a nice lady, a little older than me, in Preston who was travelling to Newcastle, so we ended up travelling together and enjoyed far more conversation than I normally ever would with someone who I didn't know. (Never spoke to her again after that day, though. Think she might have been called Catherine.) Preston station didn't seem like a great place to spend time by choice, though.

Date:December 12th, 2002 12:34 am (UTC)

It would be the height of poor taste to assume that I'm #51, but when did that ever stop me? And in the guaranteed absence of any evidence to the contrary... thank you! :-)
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 02:46 am (UTC)
#42 is how I think of myself. #25 is nearer the truth.

But then I spotted the disclaimer: 'automated or otherwise inhuman'. Some people call me inhuman every day...
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 03:43 pm (UTC)
You immediately leaped to my mind when I read 42, and not just because of the number.

Me? 10 or 12, but I may be flattering myself. Still, I don't think there are any nasty comments in there so whichever one applies I'd still be preening.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 04:34 am (UTC)
Perhaps number 34... that seems like the closest to me, anyway... :p

What an original idea, by the way! I like it very much! :)
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 06:40 am (UTC)
I narrowed it down to two... but I think it's #8.

Still, this is quite fun and I think I'll have to steal it for my own LJ at a future date. Or today.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 12:06 pm (UTC)

Fun Game !

Well #26 actually applies pretty accurately. But wait ! I don't think you had enough data to know that, so I'm guessing I'm #5 instead.
Date:December 12th, 2002 12:18 pm (UTC)

On further inspection...

..."You've been doing too much thinking lately. Go and work off some stress down at the gym." wouldn't be out of place as a #52 in this list. I dread to think what this is going to do to the graph.
[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2002 12:32 pm (UTC)

*splutter* *chortle* *remembers the gym in Dubai*

No. You are not allowed a write-in #52 for yourself. Bad Erick.
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2002 09:40 am (UTC)

And the winner isn't...

For myself, if I were forced to pick a number of two, they'd be 24 and 26. Number 51 would be a third guess, but that's strictly a vainity choice on my part.
Date:December 16th, 2002 03:56 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I don't know which one is me! Several of them are strong possibilites!

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