Friday, January 29, 2010

Abstract writing makes my life sooooooo hard

I might start posting drafts on this blog just to
a) prove that I am working on it
b) beg feedback in a friendly place
c) record drafts so I can see that I am actually making progress.

To those who doesn't want to slog through 500 word chunks of clunky, incomprehensible prose, come back in a month. If I'm not done by then, I'll be uploading revisions of my résumé and looking for a big-girl job.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Draft of the Dissertation Abstract

I've felt like I was in time-out all week as I put off my dissertation abstract. Then I was grounded, and didn't attend margaritas & mariokart, didn't go to my voice lesson. Then I punished myself with chores, scrubbing everything that could bear scrubbing. The only thing I missed (whew!) was a spanking!

It may have worked. I began scribbling notes for an abstract last night which, when I type them up (after this post) will at least become a draft of an abstract. Then I even reworked the introduction to my chapter/proposal, adding more than 700 words with hardly any effort.

If only I still had that book - the one upon which you see me standing in the photo at right. It was some sort of textbook. The title (blurry in this photo) was Rainbows. No one knows why I stood on it while in time-out. The defiant hands-in-back pockets is a nice touch, and, had I not needed them for typing (and scrubbing), I may have tried to strike just this pose while I contemplated my project.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How not to write a dissertation abstract

Then the author, who could not have been thinking clearly, threw her earrings in the toilet. After a moment's hesitation, fished them out again and decided to be thankful she'd just cleaned the toilet (and the rest of the bathroom)

Apparently I do not want to write this abstract! I will do so, however. I will write it. Maybe even tonight. Even only a draft of an abstract. Just so I have something to show MW Thursday. So I'm not a complete waste of time.

I did just finish my second power-point presentation, and should be in good shape for the workshops tomorrow and Thursday. Ask me anything you want about formatting. Just don't ask me what my dissertation is about ....

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nerdy Record of Fun

Let it not be said that that this budding academic makes no time for fun.
Indeed, all work and no play makes philosophotarian a dull gal! I am holding two formatting workshops later this week and am creating the world's longest powerpoint presentations for them. Guh. Ugh. Blech. For amusement, I distracted myself with this fun new game, in which I can turn any thought, event, memory or fantasy into a library catalog card. What a completely nerdy way for a completely nerdy lady to record completely nerdy fun?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In which I am held accountable

Things I have not done:
- finished draft of proposal
- added paragraphs on responsibility or traditional moral theory
- written a conclusion
- the last few dishes from last night's dinner
- exercised in the past week
- permitted myself to fully enjoy free time I have stolen

Things I have done:
- purchased new mattress
- finally cooked dinner (with kale! and quinoa! and beans! and a sweet potato! and bacon!!)
- three loads of laundry, much of which was from last year (egad!)
- sent in review of monster biography

Things I must do:
- somehow make it look as though I have done more significant work on my draft than I will have time to do.
- somehow learn to keep myself awake long enough to get work done in the evening and then drag myself out of bed at a reasonable time in the morning.
- somehow motivate myself to achieve some minimally healthy level of physical activity to keep myself from having the energy level and physique of a squishy dumpling.

To that end:
- a clever and motivating To Do list calendar is en route to my home as I type. It will be the lasso with which I wrangle my beastly duties in a dissertation rodeo (how's that for a ridiculous conceit?)
- philosophotarian was just called "lame" by boy yesterday for not liking (and therefore not using) her new laptop. No joke. Tune in for the enthralling tale of "HP* and Me: A Love Story"
- It may be that a tape measure will be dug up and measurements taken. It may be that measurements will be updated. Whether they will be posted is to be determined. Philosophotarian loves** word counts and measures progress thereby. Perhaps measurements can be like word counts but for my physical dimensions.

* as in, Hewlitt-Packard. These are not the initials of He Who Called Me Lame.
** as in, excessively

Friday, January 8, 2010

In the words of the prophet Isaiah. Revised.

With a new semester beginning on Monday, Philosophotarian has much to do!

1. Finish review of that biography of Mme. Chiang Kai-Shek. This would be easier if the book were better written, better organized, better explained .... um, better in general. At least the pictures are interesting

2. Ladies' brunch on Sunday. I will try out that recipe floating around for yeast-free, cottage cheese dough (vile-sounding, isn't it??) cinnamon rolls, which can be found either here or here. The pictures just look so lovely, and what could be more brunch-y than a communal pan of warm, straight from the oven cinnamon rolls?

3. Mattress shopping. Yay! and Ugh! My current mattress sags so deeply in the middle, and has so many springs poking at me in that detestably irresistible middle, that sleep eludes me until about 2 hours before my alarm tries (and fails) to rouse me into waking life.

Comfort me. Comfort me, my bedding. I will speak me comfortably to my aching back and tell her her warfare is accomplished. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight and the rough places made plain. And the glory of a heavenly sleep shall be revealed unto me and all flesh shall feel it together.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

food blog for the lean of larder or meager in motivation

When one has popcorn for dinner and Maria cookies with Nutella for dessert, there are several things that may be the case:

1. One may not have done the required shopping to make either the nutty anchovy pasta or the olive-caper pasta she was going to make

2. One may be too lazy to make the braised lentils with kale she has the ingredients to make

3. One may have prepared to do serious dissertation work only to find that she did not actually save her most recent draft of her proposal to her flash drive and so has lost the will to cook

4. One may have an 800 page biography of Madame Chiang Kai-Shek to finish (…) and review by Sunday and so has determined she hasn’t the time to cook a full meal.

When one has popcorn for dinner, several things must be the case:

1. One must make a sufficiently large portion of popcorn for it to count as dinner. Otherwise the popcorn is still a snack and dinner must still be decided upon and procured

2. One must drink a correspondingly large quantity of juice, water or herbal tea in order to mitigate the effects of salty, fiber-filled popcorn.

3. One must actually have either a lean pantry or accomplished a great deal of work in order to justify the popcorn dinner after the fact.

When one has popcorn for dinner and Maria cookies with Nutella for dessert, several things should be the case:

1. One should season the popcorn with some delectable herb, perhaps rosemary. This increases the ingredient list and strengthens the fiction that one has prepared a meal and not a snack.

2. One should crush the rosemary in one’s hands before pouring it into the pot. It may be the case that crushing the rosemary releases some oil and flavor from the dried herb. It is the case that it makes one’s hands smell of rosemary, further strengthening the fiction that one has indeed prepared dinner.

3. One should attractively swirl the Nutella on the Maria cookie, avoiding the lazy, tapering-off smear at the end for maximal chocolate-hazelnut-crispy cookie satisfaction

4. One should select the number of cookies one will eat and immediately swirl the Nutella attractively atop the selected number of cookies, even going so far as to place them upon a plate so as to avoid eating the whole sleeve, or finishing the jar of Nutella (whichever comes first).