Saturday, 11 October 2008

Note to...

Why do you automatically assume it is about you having made a horrendous mistake/ fallen short/ not done enough/ not been enough??

It took four point something billion, long, jam-packed years to get here - and you think you have a single flaw? Mother Nature would put her hands on her hips and pout if you told her you thought that about yourself!

Can't you imagine that it is all about you, but hello! It's that you were enough (more than enough), you did not make the horrendous mistake and the universe is not trying to punish you for it. It is about you - about what is best, highest, deepest, truest, strongest - what you said you wanted, you're on your way to getting. So please if some of the cities inside you must be ravaged, some of the forests burnt to cinders, it's just the way it gotta be.
Quit whining. You're fine. Get on with it. Deal.

Friday, 10 October 2008

The angels (should) weep for (them)

... and here's what's really in Colchester...
Hats auff to everything that's wrong with the world, encased in under 3 minutes of video.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Undergraduates (bless them, the young, the untainted (not), the unbismirched):
Why do they shout like animals? Primal youth or just plain bullshit behaviour?

things on the autumn breeze

  • The trees have begun to turn. Outside my office, in the sunshine (the glorious, glorious sunshine!), there is: a golden tree, an emerald tree and a silver tree. There is a peridot tree set in silver bark (a birch?). But that golden tree puts them all to shame. It is burning, burnished, old gold. With silver bark. Like in Lothl√≥rien. If I could stand under it and banish the sounds of undergraduates, of workmen, of chainsaws (they are building something next door. Even less space for the rabbits next year), I would cry for joy at having found Middle Earth.
  • Near the park, by the mill, in the raging sunset yesterday, there is a tree that is turning left and right at once: green green deep green on some branches, like the brightest days of summer. And deep, deep crimson on others, like a stain, like a heartburst, like a pinprick from the intuition of coming snow.
  • On the grass, tiny yellow daffodils, still.

The summer shines down, yes, but the earth seems to drink it right up, and the honeyness seeps out slowly, slowly, richly, thickly. I want to go out! I want to breathe it in! I want to find someone with whom I can drink in the light of these trees.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Uh Oh.

'Soon, Govinda, your friend will leave the path of the Samanas along which he has travelled with you for so long. I suffer thirst, Govinda, and on this long Samana path my thirst has not grown less. I have always thirsted for knowledge, I have always been full of questions. Year after year I have questioned the Brahmins, year after year I have questioned the holy Vedas. Perhaps, Govinda, it would have been equally good, equally clever and holy, if I had questioned the rhinocerous or the chimpanzee. I have spent a long time and have not yet finished, in order to learn this, Govinda: that one can learn nothing. There is, so I believe, in the essence of everything, something that we cannot call learning. There is, my friend, only a knowledge - that is everywhere, that is Atman, that is in me and you and in every creature, and I am beginning to believe that this knowledge has no worse enemy than the man of knowledge, than learning.'
Hermann Hesse

and yet, foolish enough is she to sit, at 23:11 with wiki open, trying to understand, trying to stay awake, trying to make him proud.
sad little clever girl, all he will say next week is uh huh
God. The power of that uh huh.

Teachers' Pet?

So. Yesterday, I listed, pruned, crafted and drafted way into the night. Tappity-tapped my way to a comprehensive list of to-dos, did-dos, should-dos and can't-dos for The Shark (whose tan is faded, upon closer inspection. Poor dear. He was the object of my insanely poisonous envy until this morning.) The Shark raised an eyebrow one sentence in and pointed out that:
a.) He was pioneering the use of a new statistical technique and I would be his - gulp - co-pioneer.
b.) A paper is to be produced by this time next year (gulp) using this new technique.
c.) Of course I would be applying for a post-doc, on the strength of this (highly potential) publication.

This entire plan rests on an intricate web of potentialities flimsier than a lace doily.
I am scared of the words mean, median and mode.
What the fuck good is it to tell me of an advanced statistical technique that originated in computer science and with the good will in the world, I firmly believe should have stayed there.

On the one hand, I am most amazed he thinks I can grasp the stuff. On the other, am most annoyed that I should be steamrolled into this. The approach is interesting, and the thinking behind it does excite me, but I resent it being plopped into my lap and I resent being the pawn in the great war on Methods: all three supervisors have strong (divergent) opinions, and in every meeting, I am convinced by one of them that this is the best way to go!
Thanks man, but I'd like to decide it from now on.
Still, flattered you asked.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

A chin-up list

  • It's fall. Leaf-peeping season, wellie season, new coat season, take the bus season. Stay at home with M. and kiss near the radiator season.
  • Meeting with Scuba Shark tomorrow. For those who do not already know, Scuba Shark is my clever-as-pins co-supervisor who has the nasty habit of turning my most poetic, intricate thoughts into an uncertain jelly simply by asking: 'Uh huh, are you sure?'
  • In order to not sound like a complete fool, will have to be up all night preparing. How do you prepare for a meeting that you scheduled because his door was open and he caught you openly envying his newly acquired tan (ah summer! the departing summer!) and you thought you should say something intelligent and professional so you strode in and requested a meeting?
  • A house-guest at the end of this week! We will, we will: Go to the Jazz club up the street, I will, I will, take him to the park, I will I will show off my new hausfrau expertise! My first guest in the new house. Which, thanks for asking, is just purr.fect. But more on that later.

*rolls up sleeves and prepares sharp crisp meeting notes with one hand, does the laundry with the other, and wills the dinner to make itself by just imagining the kitchen. Bring it on!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Apparently, I am...

"... the Liberal Feminist. This means that you tend to think the women's movement would best succeed through legislative changes to the system as opposed to radically restructuring our governments or ideas on gender. You tend to be mainly concerned with sexual liberation, and think that much of the oppression of women is leveled against them as a result of oppressive sexual morality. Men who sleep around are pimps and women are whores. You would claim that the negativity associated with a female's sexual freedom is only a blatant attempt to repress femininity into a submissive role. Also, you probably believe women should have access to reproductive controls such as abortion and contraception. You most likely embody the ideals of the typical American Democrat: you are pro-choice, sexually liberated, and politically active (though your political views aren't very extreme)."

Uh oh kay then, if you say so.