Wednesday, September 15, 2010

little grey cells

Everybody loves a good murder, so everyone who is anyone is celebrating the 120th birthday of the Grand Dame of Mystery. There's even an official logo:

  • London hotels that once boasted Christie as a guest are having special teas.
  • ITV is having an Agatha Christie marathon all weekend
  • BBC4 has commissioned three new radio dramatizations to play this week
  • Even Google is in on it, quite cleverly too:

I decided the best way I could celebrate was by exercising my little grey cells by setting my

to work on my dissertation for a few hours.


Of course, I also took a lunchtime walk through

then rode home on the

After that, I murdered a delicious stuffed pork chop and washed it down with some non-alchoholic

which pretty much killed every last ounce of productivity in me, so now I've no choice but to head off to bed in my 8'x10' little room.

Because as Poirot always says, "There are those who have to exercise their little grey cells and some who lock people in them."

Apparently, I can do both.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

drip, drip, drop, when the sky is cloudy, your pretty music can brighten the day

Yesterday I was so freakishly productive I hardly recognized myself. But that may have been partly due to the fact that the first time I looked in the mirror all day was at 2 o'clock in the morning and with all the eye-rubbing and hair-pulling and pyjama-wearing of the previous seventeen hours I looked more like this:

Needless to say, that's not a good look for me.

So today I returned to my usual dissertation put-offing habits. (off-putting?)

This meant that I was mostly curled up on the couch of our little garret lounge with my snuggie and laptop catching up on work, but throughout the afternoon I was distracted several times by sound of the rain falling on the skylight across the room.

So I finally gave in around 7 o'clock, put the kettle on for a nice cup of cocoa, turned on my latest Agatha Christie audio book, and spent discs 2-5 watching this:

I might be slightly nauseated at the saccharine tableau of describing the last two hours if I wasn't so completely and blissfully content.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

Be our guest, be our guest!

So I decided to take a break from blogging about procrastinating my dissertation, to procrastinate my dissertation by writing about books. And now I'm procrastinating my dissertation to blog about that.

Still with me?

I took up an offer from The Blue Bookcase to submit a guest review of a book of my choice and they posted it here today.

I wrote about one of my favorite YA quick reads, Eva Ibbotson's The Countess Below Stairs, which has also been helpful in taking my time up in decidedly nonacademic ways (:

So if you feel like it, take a look at it, or any other reviews, and please leave some feedback!

(After all, if this dissertation schedule keeps on its current track, I may be looking for another profession...)

Friday, September 03, 2010

I am not an expert in this field but I do try to keep up to date with the Bundesliga. -Angela Merkel

First, some disclaimers:

1. I had to google like 10 things about this blog title.
a.I had no idea what a Bundesliga is.
i. But I think it sounds awesome.
ii. And according to Wikipedia it is, in fact, quite awesome.
b. I have no idea who Angela Merkel is.
i. But Merkel sounds like Urkel, who is awesome.
ii. And according to Wikipedia she is the Chancellor of Germany. So...awesome?
c. Okay, so maybe not 10...
2. I read a quote earlier this week about not being an expert but still being entitled to speak on a subject, but I couldn't remember where, so I googled to find said quote, couldn't, but came up with this one instead.
a. It says basically the same thing.
i. Non-expert = should stop right there
ii. But = carry on anyway
b. I have nothing to say here, but one of the few things I remember from learning to outline is that you have to have at least two items in each level of an outline for some reason*
3. I'd like to stress that I am so not an expert in what is about to come next, so continue at your own risk.
a. If you want to stop, for a safer (and let's be honest, funnier) version what I'm about to say:
i. Read this.
ii. And this.
iii. And this.
iv. And maybe this.
v. And this.
vi. And even this. (Bet you didn't think math would ever come into MY blog, did ya?)
vii. And now you can just leave me like this.
b. If you're brave enough to stay on board, here goes...

So I have this theory called Procrastination = Good Grades. I've formed this theory over years of research in the areas of putting off, postponing, ignoring, and delaying, and all with good to excellent results.

For example: Freshman Year, Physical Science 100

I signed up for Physical Science 100 as an online class. There was a once-a-week session with the professor in a classroom at the ESC, but I never went. There were tests every three weeks or so, but I never studied. Thus, I approached the final sporting a solid C-.

Unfortunately, a C- wouldn't cut it, as I had a GPA to maintain, so on the last day of finals, after all my other tests were done, I took my textbook to the library and read it from cover to cover, literally, then ran to the JSB and word vomited all over a bubble sheet.

I walked away 30 minutes later with an A in the class.


But it's not just academics that prove this theory to be true (and here's where I get to the part I know nothing about). Life also give us numerous proofs.

For example: Growing a Baby

Now obviously I've never had a baby myself, but I had Stace Salmans for health so I actually did work in that class. Also I've had enough friends who write enough blogs that cover every. little. detail. about the process that I feel like I at least have a rudimentary understanding. To wit:

The longer you cook it = the better it tastes.

(And by tastes I mean has all its fingers and toes, is fully developed in its various systems, and the more you just want to eat it up. I can personally attest to this fact in that my lungs were still doughy when I came out of the oven, and have been pretty unappetizing ever since.)


So when it comes to my own baby of sorts (I shall call him Baby D), I believe the same logic holds. The longer I keep him inside, growing, and changing, and circling, and forming, and reforming, the yummier Baby D will be when I let him out. Makes sense right?

I mean, I can do all my research months in advance, find the right name (thesis), build a sturdy crib (outline), gather people together to give me lots of perfect little clothes (quotes), accessories (statistics), and blankets (a September 28th appointment with a heat binder), and that's all well and good.

Only, my supervisors want Baby D now. They want to poke him and prod him and take him apart piece by piece, put him back together again, but in a different construction. And have me cook him some more.

And that's just not natural.

And so I procrastinate.

*Pathetically, I do believe this outline is more complex than the actual outline for my actual dissertation, that I should actually be working on...