OK, I already know the answer. It's "a lot". But my biggest flaw is a complete inability to handle most social situations. My only real coping strategy is to take myself out of the situation entirely but sometimes that isn't possible. On Friday we had our staff Christmas party. It was during a work afternoon so I couldn't exactly just vanish into the sunset after we'd all eaten. The food was good but having to talk made it a lot less enjoyable. I hardly drank anything because I was babysitting my cousin's kids that evening, giving me a good excuse to miss the after-party. Four hours were more than enough for me. I'd have much preferred four hours stuck at an airport - yes there are lots of people at an airport but you don't have to talk to any of them and you can at least pass the time by reading a book or staring at all the Rolexes you'll never be able to afford. I just wish I could get something out of these sorts of events, or at least not find them hellish, but it's been this way for nearly twenty years.
The Auckland autism group had its Christmas party last Saturday. It would have been a far more enjoyable (and meaningful) occasion for me than the party I did attend the previous day. I was delighted that they introduced an annual Emma Foster Award to be given out to somebody who has shown a number of positive qualities such as courage, perseverance, initiative, helping others and helping the environment. Fittingly Richard won the inaugural award. I suggested to Jen Birch that they name something after Emma to ensure that she is never forgotten, and this is a wonderful way of doing just that.
I've still got plenty to do to ensure that my offer goes unconditional before Christmas. Some of that will depend on the council getting the LIM done on time (and that the results are all OK). Going unconditional pre-Christmas would enable me to can move in three weeks earlier than otherwise (and crucially before the lease on my current place expires). Then I'll have to finalise the terms of my mortgage, which is where the title of my blog really comes into its own.
On Wednesday I'll be going a meeting at the local tramping club with a woman from the autism group. Hopefully I'll get to see a bit more of Wellington (and the rest of NZ) in the new year while meeting people and burning a few calories (which I need to) at the same time.
I'm flying down to Christchurch (unfortunately I couldn't get a flight to Timaru) on Thursday evening. The break should do me good.
Edit: Kim Jong-Il isn't just ill, he's dead.