Hello? Yes, this is Dog.

August 4, 2012

Oh hey, you there. Yes, you! Internet, isn’t it? Yeah, yeah, I THOUGHT it was! You might not remember me. We used to see each other here a while back. Y’know, I was the one wearing mostly black? My clothing...full of holes… you remember? Hair…dishevelled?  Yes, the ADHDer PhDer – that’s right — that’s me! Wow, it’s been some time hasn’t it? So how’ve you been?

It’s been a fair old while. Let’s just get the excuses reasons for that out of the way dead quick shall we? Last time we chatted I’d just handed in the PhD thesis. It’s all good. I had my viva on the 15th June and am pleased to say I passed. Very relieved, delighted, over le moon etc etc. But the trauma that was “writing up” (a trauma resulting in neuroses that I treated you all to in (ir)regular instalments) has left me with an actual hatred/aversion/perhaps even full on phobia to being alone with my computer. I can just about handle a quick consultation with Professor Google in an attempt to work out what the odd little creepy beasties who are colonising my kitchen might be.* But only just. And only then if there’s somebody with me. I really need to sort this shit out a) because it’s sort of inconvenient and 2) because it’s a really lame kind of crazy.

So, in a nutshell, that’s what’s new with me Internet. I have passed the PhD and I have a newly acquired anxiety to add to my little collection. I may be a total fruit loop but at least I’ll soon be Dr Fruit Loop and you’ve got to admit that has a certain ring to it.
Here’s some other stuff I’ve done since then:

1) Went on a weekend away with 7 friends. Fun, frolics and hangovers were had by all. I also got some injuries from playing badminton in a bikini. Mostly injuries of the sunburn variety but one which I think is a hamstring injury (never located my hamstrings before – didn’t think I had any).

2) Grumbled incessantly about the Olympics. Again, another post for that one.

c) Noticed that the only people not banging on about the Olympics this summer are people getting married. People who are getting married don’t care about the Olympics. They care about tablecloths and other small details. But they do so with all the enthusiasm, energy and focus of Team GB. I find it all very tiring. But I am a bit of a bah-humbug about this kind of thing (y’know romance and that) and as I am more than happy to have sex out of wedlock I guess I am unlikely to ever be bitten by the wedding bug. Or is that not how it works?

4) Celebrated Yorkshire Day by skeptically raising one eyebrow and muttering, ‘Waste of bluddy time’ under my breath. Ah, my people, *sigh* I do miss you sometimes.

*more on that later. I am untidy but I am not unclean. I have no idea what these little fuckers are but I cannot eat in that kitchen until they’re gone. Every night I exterminate, every morning they’re back. It’s like that scene from that film with that guy and all the insects  – yeah, that one, Indiana Whatjamacallhim.

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Mirror of the mind

April 17, 2012

‘But as computers become common-place objects in daily life – in leisure and learning as well as in work – everyone will have the opportunity to interact with them in ways where the machine can act as a projection of part of the self, a mirror of the mind.’

This was Sherry Turkle in 1984. If this screen is a mirror of my current state of mind, and the reflection is to be represented in text:

hgghrhagiogi[mamf hrrhup qp939

Despite rereading my argument that we’re not disembodied in virtual life, I have to admit I feel weirdly disembodied in real life today. Or wrongly embodied. As though somebody switched with me in the night and my hands and legs don’t feel quite right. That sounds very dramatic. I’m just tired – but probably no more so than most new parents (and I have the promise of uninterrupted sleep in a few days – win!). I am making a fuss here because it makes me feel better. It is the mirror of my mind, after all, and if the great Shezza Turkle says it, it must be true 🙂

The British Library has quietened down a little. It always thins out after 5pm.  Just the hardcore crew left now. The desperate. Or maybe they just brought packed lunches so they weren’t a) forced to pay £6.95 for a sandwich, or b) driven home by starvation. There’s a few of them though with that ‘deadline look’ – the one i see in my face when I look in the mirror. The real mirror that is – not the mirror of my mind.

Having said that, both reflections are equally horrifying just now.

 

 

 

10

April 16, 2012

10 days ’till hand in

8 days ’till binders.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I started counting sheep. Little fluffy lambs jumping over a gate. I got to 640 which is, I think, the highest I’ve ever counted in one sitting. Achievements a-plenty here in Wonderland, I tell you. After 640 the sheep stopped jumping over a gate and began to mill about in that way sheep do until I couldn’t tell which ones I’d counted and which ones I hadn’t. I guess that’s why sheep have splodges of paint on them. Anyroad, there were a shit load of sheep in my head before I finally fell asleep.

It’s no wonder I can’t sleep. On the one hand I feel tired to my bones. Like that feeling you get when you’re sickening for something and your legs ache like bastards from walking up a flight of stairs. On the other hand I feel constantly like I’ve had about 15 cups of coffee.

I am currently wading through my proofreaders’ corrections and comments. Obviously it’s reassuring that they have picked up on them before the examiners scrutinise it all but when I re-read some of my 3am typos and sentences all mangled like a game of twister I wonder how I was ever allowed to enrol on a PhD in the first place.

An additional hindrance is that Audrey has taken to howling loudly (yes, howling, not meowing) unless I let her sit on a) my proofread chapters b) my laptop or c) my shoulders. However awkward it is to write with a cat on your shoulders, it’s less detrimental than the first two options.

Enter title here

February 10, 2012

As the morning tips into the afternoon I have, as yet, nothing to report other than that my cat has a bout of cystitis and now hates me for dragging her to the vet in the slushy snow. Other than giving me the cold shoulder, she is in fine spirits now but I think it will take me a little longer to recover from the snarling Alsatian with a taste for frightened cat.

I hate going to the vet. It’s distressing for everyone involved. Plus, the vets’ waiting rooms of south east london are full of some of the noisiest and smelliest animals you can imagine. Thankfully, their pets are a delight *BA BOOM!* (thank you, watch me as I take a little bow).

Anyway, I am now back in the warmth of my study with an instant coffee (damned economy drive – more on my church mouse-ness another day) and a sulky cat, I am turning my attention to the thesis abstract I need to send off today in order to register my ‘intention to submit’ the actual thesis at some point in the (hopefully) not too distant future. As the thesis is mostly written, this shouldn’t take too long to write a one-page abstract, but I also have to submit my final, actual, definite title for the thesis and this is causing me to chew my lower lip into a bloody pulp of indecision.

I am crap at titles. Absolutely crap. I can’t even choose a blog title without making a chamomile tea and drawing up a list of pros and cons. As you may have noticed from our long-standing relationship, Internet, brevity is not my thing.  And titles need to be short, snappy and accurate. Ideally, they should have an element of wit, and yet failed attempts at this end up sounding like a Daily Mail headline and, as I’m sure you’ll agree, that would be a “Pun-damental” flaw in my plan to convince my examiners I am worthy of a title of my own.

Fortunately perhaps for me, academic studies tend to make full and frequent use of the colon as a way of marrying catchy but pointless title with boring but descriptive subtitle. Something like:

Alluringly Alliterative Accolades: the boring story of some lesser-known public figure 1847-1888

or

The Rise and Fall of Someone or Something: the thesis sounds more interesting if presented as a rise and fall even if nobody cares about the rise and fall therein.

or

Bold but Irrelevant Statement: How I intend to make my fave quote relevant to actual content of thesis.

It’s not the bracket (my puntuating weapon of choice) but it’ll just have to do. Or, sometimes, the colon is replaced by the question mark as follows…

Rhetorical Question? It may be rhetorical and out of context but I’m going to answer it anyway.

 

Ok, now I’ve had a bit of a practice, I’m going to try to fit my thesis topic into one of the above templates. Wish me luck!

 

Seriously wordpress? Stop moving things about. Don’t you know some of us have ADHD? Sort it out.

That said, it’s been a few weeks since I blogged regularly. I don’t like the interruption of regularity. Blogging, like moving one’s bowels, should be a business of regularity and routine. Otherwise I find everything gets all backed up, I spend the intervening time grumpy and bloated, and what finally emerges is either a small, mean, wizened offering, or else an unstoppable rush of, well….the metaphor speaks for itself, surely.

I also find that without the regularity of what we might call (for these purposes), the ‘brain dump,’ I have little appetite for new thoughts, and so the whole gastrointestinal tract of thought (what? people totally say gastrointestinal tract of thought, no?) grinds to a halt. Indeed I haven’t had one new or interesting thought since New Year, as evidenced by this scatalogically themed post.

You know what though? I’ve been dead busy, Internet. Really, truly, actually busy. You know that new job I started back in November? They work me hard. They seem to think I am quite competent, but do you know how many hours of covering my mistakes and waving my hands either side of my ears in panic it takes to cultivate that impression, Internet? Many hours. Many many hours.

It’s not just the job either. I have been writing my PhD. I’m just going to go ahead and say that once again because the novelty of productivity has by no means yet worn off. I have been writing my PhD. It is getting written and I am the one writing it (just to be clear, no one else is writing it. It represents entirely my own endeavours etc etc).

Other things I have been doing aside from the above:

1) Planning the bloody deaths of all those who ask ‘Is the thesis done yet?’ ‘Have you finished now?’ or variations on that theme.

2) Obsessing about the following note written by one of my downstairs neighbours (she has a seperate entrance and post box and I’ve never met her):

‘Please bring down the weekly Grazia magazine when it is delivered upstairs by mistake. Thank you.’

That’s it! No name or anything! I mean, all the necessary ingriedients of a polite note are there (mainly the pleases and thank yous) but it still reads more like an order than a request. Or an order that’s supposed to sound like a request. Such as,

‘Please use the sanitary bins provided. Thank you.’

‘Please do not park on this driveway. Thank you.’

Or, I dunno,

‘Please come up and get your cocking weekly Grazia magazine when it is delivered upstairs by mistake. Thank you.’

I think I might find therapy to be greatly beneficial. Until then dear Internet, I have you. 🙂

C’est ne pas une pipe

December 8, 2011

Good afternoon, Internet!

Actually, you know what? It is a good afternoon here. In fact, it’s been a good few days here in wonderland. Here are some reasons why I am in a good mood:

1) I finished a first draft of my PhD thesis.

2) I Finished a First Draft Of My PhD Thesis

3) I FINISHED A FIRST DRAFT OF MY PHD THESIS.

4) I FINISHED A FIRST DRAFT OF MY PHD THESIS THANK FUCK !!!!!!!!!! (whew, yep, that’s the one)

Here are some other significant things that have happened over the last few days:

1) I went to the Central London ADHD meeting. It was bloody brill. So nice to meet people of the Internet (yes, people of the Internet, I did not mean to type people off the Internet, since if that is what I meant I would clearly write people from the Internet. Sorry to be a stickler about this, but people have drawn my attention to missing ‘f’s before and because I can’t stand the thought of anyone reading this and thinking about that missing ‘f’ which is, in actual fact, not so much missing as purposefully excluded from the party, I thought I ought to clarify the point early. We all sorted now? Good. Off we go.) Where was I? Oh yes. So it was wonderful to meet people who previously I had only met on the Internet. Shiny was every bit as shiny (in personality, I mean; she didn’t look like she needed a wash) as I expected her to be and more so. Indeed it reminded me that I love ADHDers for their sparkle and the way the everyday world goes into their brain, gets all mashed up like a play-doh fun factory and then comes out of their mouths in weird and unpredictable arrays of colour.

What I loved about Tuesday was the way I could look around and recognise familiar little expressions or patterns of speech. I could tell that people were already thinking about what they wanted to say next when they were listening to somebody else, I could see them biting their lip so as not to interrupt. Of course we are all different people with different lives, backgrounds, and personalities, but it’s like there’s a base level of shared understanding that can be taken for granted and doesn’t need to be explained. There’s something incredibly comforting about that, and something very refreshing too. It’s like a cold lemonade in summer, and a cup of hot bovril in a storm. Not together, obvs. I feel like I really need that at the moment (the ADHD meeting, not the lemonade/bovril cocktail. Bovade. Lemonvril. Ugh). It did me good, and I had a fantastic time. Top bloody banana!

2) Right, I’ve totally run out of time now (am going to buy a small Christmas tree in a minute. I only have six baubles so it is not going to be an extravagant affair) but I do want to briefly tell you about SuperCoach Bev. She’s ace too. I had my first coaching session with her by phone yesterday and not only is she Northern and very nice, she has also proved to me already that ADHD coaching is not the waste of time I feared it might be. In fact, I am feeling quite hopeful. Short of getting myself medicated again, I think SuperCoach Bev might be the answer. I will tell you more about this tomorrow, when I also have some other things of importance interest value total pointlessness to tell you.

In the meantime, I had to share this with you. The other day I got a sign. A sign it was going to be a good few days. I am a great believer in the universe giving us signs. Actually that’s a complete lie. A massive lie. I am not at all a believer in the universe giving me signs (why can’t I tell a lie on the Internet without confessing? What’s the Internet for if I can’t pretend the universe sends me signs???). The universe prob does not give us signs, people. If it does, it should probably be targeting someone a bit more influential than me. Like Obama or Cameron or the people who invent internet memes. It should be telling political leaders to stop fucking up the planet and killing and torturing people. It should be banning Littlewoods from advertising on television and the radio until they can produce something that doesn’t make my brain vomit out of my eyes. Yep, the following, which I saw in the remnants of a vegetable stir-fy, was probably not a message from the universe, but it did make me smile:

Read the rest of this entry »

December? Already?

December 4, 2011

According to Chaucer, April is a fine month for a pilgrimage. According to T.S Eliot, April is the cruelest month. According to my calendar, it is also the longest:

 

So I was rather startled to find myself in December. Not feeling the Christmas cheer right now, Internet. In fact, all I want for Christmas is a completed PhD thesis. Sadly, it’s not the kinda thing you can put on a wishlist. Or is it?

Does it count as plagiarism if Santa writes your thesis?

 

 

Sunday Night Observations

November 28, 2011

1. Sunday nights are cack. Why is it that however old I get, I still feel as though the weekend has slipped by and I suddenly realise that it’s Monday in the morning and I haven’t yet done my homework. Oh yeah, because I’m nearly 29, still have time management issues, and (whichever way you dress it up) I still have homework. Progression fail.

2. Search terms: “fucking littlewoods advert” I applaud you, whoever you are – you restore my faith in the general public. And mostly I hate the general public. Hate them. Go away, general public, leave me out of your generalness. I infinitely prefer people who are both specific and private (clearly I do not practise what I preach since I am blogging publicly and indiscriminately about random crap. Gah! I AM the general public! Please excuse me while I have a brief existential meltdown).

3. M came over today and cleaned the flat. WIN. I am in the unusual Sunday night position of having a presentable flat. He didn’t come over specifically to clean the flat but that was a highly pleasing by-product of his visit. In the same way that chaos follows me, order and cleanliness follows him. He did however rebuke me for two cups of mould he found at the bottom of the pending pile of washing up. They weren’t always cups of mould. I think they used to be cups of coffee. Or possibly chamomile tea. I like it when M wears a hat because I can measure the frequency of his shock-disgust response by the number of times I can’t see his eyebrows. Without the hat, I have to guess.

By the way Internet, M is taking part in Movember which is now nearly over. I don’t usually use this blog to chug but it’s for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men, and it’s a very good cause. If you feel you would be prepared to sponsor him (even a teeny weeny little bit) you would be doing a very good thing. You can see his moustache, and donate in its honour, here. Thank you x

Hello there, people in the Internet.

Guess what? Actually, no don’t. The announcement is never as exciting as the guesses. Well, you know how I’m usually telling myself off in this blog, giving myself a stern talking to etc etc? Well, reader, Jeg700 (hiya! *waves*) pointed out that negative reinforcement might not always be the best plan so I had a think about my Point=Rewards system and realised that it only works if it’s about actually rewarding myself for good behavior rather than punishing myself for bad behavior. I’m not sure what to do about that other than make sure the rewards are sort of bonus activities rather than things like going to the pub on a Friday (which I tend to do anyway). Aaanyway, the point is that that got me thinking that I should  balance out the somewhat pessimistic nature of this blog and stop being so snarky at myself for being totally crap not as efficient as I might be. Sooo, I am going to list my achievements since yesterday’s blog post:

1. Wrote 600 words yesterday, thus achieving target word count for the day.

2. Went to the pub BUT…..left before last orders (this represents a BIG achievement. If I was a cat, I’d give myself a little treat from the cupboard under the microwave for this. Good girl, Rose. Etc)

3. Did 45 minutes of exercise this morning, despite waking up late AGAIN (keep forgetting I’m supposed to be focusing on the positives today). As an aside, it was a home exercise DVD that requires you to dance about like a total dick and I have no curtains. And my window is on a level with the upper decks of the buses outside. And there are traffic lights directly outside. Oh well.

4. Today’s goal is 800 words (therefore 8 points) and although I currently only have 400, I am optimistic about reaching my goal in the next hour or two. Funny how it takes me about 256billion hours to start writing and then all the words just sort of tumble out at once. (I don’t know if this achievement counts until I have the full eight points, does it? It’s kinda like counting chickens before they’ve hatched. Weeeel, perhaps it’s only like counting chickens before they’ve all hatched. Which is quite a different kettle of fish. Fuck. I have 8 eggs in a kettle and 4 of them have hatched into fish and I’m starting to wonder whether drinking 2 cups of coffee to every 100 words was a good idea)

5. Notice that end-bracket there ^ at the end of the bit about eggs and fish, the bit successfully enclosed within parentheses? Usually I forget the end bracket. Achievement number 5 – Booom!

 

 

Progress (anticipated)

October 31, 2011

Morning, Internet!

Well today is the first day of my week of unemployment before I start my new contract. The plan was to get up at 7am, do some exercise (healthy body, healthy mind blah blah) and then sit down at my desk and not leave it until 5pm Friday (or until this chapter draft is finished, whichever happens first).

Needless to say, that didn’t happen. I woke up two hours late. Or maybe just one hour late depending on what time it actually is. I do think that the fact that the clocks change twice a year is time’s way of mocking ADHDers. If it wasn’t for the fact that, after six months of having to mentally add an hour to the clock on my microwave, it now reads the same time as my laptop and phone (which I think update automatically) then I would be totally confused. So really, it’s a good thing (yet not a particularly astonishing thing) that I never got round to changing it. Actually, I think this should be included somewhere in the ADHD diagnostic self-assessment. If your microwave clock is wrong for six months in every year, there’s a good chance you have ADHD.

Anyway (predictably), I digress. Despite the (probable) lateness of the hour, I am going to be a good little PhD student today and make some Progress (note capitalisation – that’s how much progress I shall make). I have devised a points system with M, who I think is as desperate for me to finish this PhD as I am, and so has become my unofficial second supervisor. For every 100 words, I get 1 point. I have to get a minimum of 30 points by Friday or I can’t go out. I know this sounds like a Primary School Approach to Getting a PhD, but at this stage, it isn’t just the ADHD causing the inertia – I’m just feeling a bit stale with it all. Making good Progress this week will help get me out of this rut and hopefully see me to the finish line. Thank you, M, you’re definitely going in the acknowledgements (if I ever get that far).

So today is likely to be a bit slow. But I did have two very late nights this weekend. Oh, Halloween drinks on Friday were good, btw. I still have Halloween decorations up, but all food and empties have been disposed of. I’ll get round to packing the Halloween decs away this week at some point. But if not, they can just stay up. It’ll be Halloween again next year, and that’ll save me a job.

Now, to work!

Happy Halloween, Internet.