Thursday, 20 September 2012

long live the deadline

Those crossed fingers worked a treat! We had an amazing weekend, made loads of progress, and got even *more* excited about this project, if that was possible.

And it has a name: Recalibrate.

Cool, huh? Stay tuned! Coming relatively soon-ish to a venue of some sort possibly near you!

As soon as I got back from Dent, I threw myself into a paper whose deadline was yesterday. I'm actually pretty pleased with what I came up with, so fingers crossed that the reviewers feel the same.

But here's the thing: I'm part of the Digital World Research Centre, right? I learned BASIC when I was 10. I've built websites. I've been an information architect, working with developers all day. So why, WHY, does all the terrifying and impossible technological crap in the world rain down on my head? When I worked at the new media agency in Shoreditch, the IT guy (who at first certainly thought I was a moron) finally came to see with his own eyes that in my hands, computers do things that they simply should not be able to do. In a bad, bad, bad way.

I could write a few hundred words, easily, just describing the facts of all the terrifying and impossible things that have gone wrong with my computer in the past two weeks, up to and including the complete refusal by Microsoft Word to stay open for more than three seconds without crashing. Bit of a problem, that, when you're trying to submit a paper.

And why is it that the fantabulous Sente, which just about does your dishes while you mind-meld your reference list into the correct format, has decided to put some of my references in this kind of format [1] and others in [2006], when they're the same type of material in the same paper? And why does printing to PDF sometimes split my document and sometimes not, when the only difference between the two is that I changed a typo, from 'Alan' to 'Allan'?

If I had more money than sense, I would buy a brand new computer and set it up from scratch with all new software.

Actually, given the amount of sense I have, the above condition might hold true anyhow...

Friday, 7 September 2012


This will be more like a tweet than a post, but I'm off to Dent for a long weekend of writing and planning and general mayhem with the lovely and talented Claire Morgan. Fingers crossed there will be all kinds of good stuff coming out Sunday night!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

no time like the present

As in, no time. I have no time to be writing this blog post. Why? Because I decided I wanted to write another paper. This clearly indicates that I am rampagingly insane.

It also indicates that I'm on the verge of swooping through my entire 2nd year of my PhD on the same surge that I started with two years ago. Everyone who's done a PhD says that halfway through, you're guaranteed to lose the will to live as the long, hard slog approaches its solstice - the longest time yet endured, coupled with the longest time yet to go. Instead, I'm all fired up to do another chunk of writing! That's on top of nailing down my design, preparing for my first study, putting together the class I'm co-teaching this fall, and co-creating a performance.

I guess it also means I'm ambitious. I've always preferred to think of myself as utterly uninterested in ambition, or in competition, for that matter. I still stay away from competition whenever possible - nobody needs to see me get red of tooth and claw, least of all me - but I suppose I have to admit that I'd like to be taken seriously and play with the big boys, and girls, in the big pond, with the big fish, and all those things that have got People Of A Certain Age humming a certain Peter Gabriel tune right now.

Come on, sing it with me! I'll be a big noise, with all the big boys, so many... papers... I will publish...

So why am I blogging about this? First of all, because I needed to take a break. Second, I wanted Peter to get a little spike in his downloads today. Third, I wonder if I'm the only one who's in month #24 of a full-time PhD and still giddily happy about it, even if a bit stressed out. Anyone else?