Thursday, 22 December 2011

it's beginning to smell a lot like cookies

I do love an excuse to bake molasses cookies! I made up a batch of dough several days ago and have been baking a few every night. The last of the batch got baked last night (which leads directly to bad jokes about cannibal cookies with the munchies, unless you stay focused) and the last ones are sitting on the kitchen counter, calling my name.

Jocelyn... JOcelyn... screw your work, come eat us!

Introduction: done. Lit review: done. Performance analysis chapter: done. Design workbook: KILLING ME. Not the designs - I'm not giving myself an iota of time to work on any actual new or improved designs. I'm just trying to make the silly thing look halfway decent. And man, oh man, is that not my strong suit. I just need to tough it out today and tomorrow, finish it off, and then I can kick back for a few days.

Or I could eat cookies.

Or I could eat cookies and then run out, and bake more.

Or I could tough it out.

OK, maybe tough it out while eating cookies...

Sunday, 11 December 2011

inverse law

The chunk of work I am currently engaged in (read: slogging through uphill through the snow both ways) is my confirmation document. I Freudian-slippily just wrote 'conformation', which is true, in a way. For a year, I've been writing notes to myself, read only by my supervisors and mostly without commentary. Now I've got to put together a document that's intended to be read by someone without access to the inside of my brain. More importantly, it's going to be read by someone who is part of a large institution situated within a centuries-old, global(ish) network of mutual policing and boundary work.

This thing I'm writing needs to accomplish a set number of tasks in a pretty narrow field: it needs to convince a lecturer or professor, with his or her own set of pressures and expectations, that I can eventually complete a PhD in a discipline that this person is not familiar with. And completing the PhD will mean having convinced two different lecturers or professors, one of whom *is* in this discipline, that I won't make them look like jerks if they agree to give me the degree. It's a wild game of whether or not it's in each person's interest, or the interest of their institution, or of their discipline, or of academia as a whole, to put their money on me not being a jerk.

And how do I prove I'm not a jerk, or going to turn into one? By writing sensible, moderately innovative, competent prose about a sensible, moderately innovative, and sufficiently doctoral-level idea.

Well, the bits that I thought were going to write themselves have proven to be absolutely beastly, taking me almost twice the time I'd budgeted. And the bits I'd thought would be the death of me are skipping merrily along in about half the time. This means I'm wildly misjudging *something* - hopefully just my time, and not the quality of what I'm coming up with.

Meanwhile, I've come up with some ideas that seem like they might actually be the first steps towards the kind of framework I've been groping for. And Connie and I came up with something that *could* turn into a crazy fabulous little paper. All we need to do is invent a thirteenth month and we'll churn it right out.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

ho ho ho

The video's finished, at least as far as I'm concerned. There are requests for a couple of small tweaks, which won't be the death of me.

Ploughing ahead on the lit review. The two hardest bits went like a dream, and the bit that should have been easiest is being an absolute beast. It's a lovely, chilly December Sunday, and I'm going to be devoting my afternoon and evening to the attempt to kill the damn thing off. God forbid I have two days off in a row without being deathly ill.

Hopefully I've got a new silver bullet, though. My funding body and I went into London yesterday, an afternoon at Camden Market and an evening of spoken word, Old Me by Polarbear at the Roundhouse. As to the latter, WOW. Wow wow wow. I think I found my knocked-off socks somewhere around Aldwych.

As to the former, we got some frankincense and myrhh and a wee burner, and now the flat has the most gorgeous undertone of scent. Other than mold, that is. Mold, limescale, mildew - those we have in spades, here. Something healing and warming, that's new! If you believe the salesman, I'm about to achieve a new level of consciousness as I slice effortlessly through my tasks.