Friday, March 28, 2008

Why Research?

Why research indeed?

Apparently, you can dance your PhD. The writing up of the damn thing is so 2007.

The winner of the postdoc section is nothing on my rendition - famous in pubs and dinner party venues across the country - of The 1929 Stockmarket Crash in New York Interpretive Dance. I thought the student winner was pretty good, but that might have been due to the loincloth.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Food For Thought #2

Why research when saying it is so much quicker?

Monday, March 24, 2008

D is for Drunkard

Possible titles for a PhD dissertation on drugs and alcohol:

Citizen (co)Kane: Orson Welles and the Hollywood Years, 1939-1948

Journeys on the Porcelain Bus: Health Implications of Binge Drinking in Teenagers

Scotch on the Rocks: The Precarious Position of the Scottish Centre for Drugs and Alcohol, and Political Implications of its Potential Demise

Castle GraySKULL: Juvenile Drinking Chants and Games, A History

Pissed As A Newt: Comparing The Effects of Sustained Alcohol Consumption on Mammals and Amphibians

Snow White, Happy, Dopey, and Doc: An Investigation of Systemic Drug Use in the Disney Company

Thursday, March 20, 2008

C is for Cnut

This is a short post, because I don't have much time. I am very busy with all my procrastinating and whatnot. As a matter of fact, someone asked me today if I would like a cup of tea, and here is what I said, in a panicked tone "Quickly! I have to translate the koran into Icelandic by bedtime."

A confession: I didn't really say that, Quadruple Professor Adonis Cnut, (aka Rik Mayall) did. It's my very lame attempt at making the post connect to the title, which I thought up the other day and determined to use no matter what.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

B is for Biatch

This is the story of how I outsmarted a Biatch. In fact, I would go so far as to say that she is not a Biatch, she is La Biatch. La Biatch is one of those women you come across every now and then who hates all other women and sees them as competition. As a friend of both NLJ and GD (both male, and both my former flatmates) she was someone I tried to get along with initially, until her biatchiness and exclusion and attempt at snobe-ishness* all got too much.

This is an image of La Biatch. She is the pair of shoes at the front right of the picture.

The final straw was when I heard from LM (another male and therefore someone she liked, even though he didn't like her) that La Biatch was planning a surprise party for NLJ. I waited 3 days for an invitation, and when it didn't arrive I asked NLJ what he was doing the following Saturday (the night of the party). Since it was supposed to be a surprise, he had no idea about it, so he and I planned a wine and cheese night of adult conversation (to counteract the gleefully childish behaviour I had exhibited). Even if La Biatch suspected I had deliberately undermined her plans, she couldn't do anything about it because she would be forced to admit that she had snubbed me on the invitation.
Score? Zosia = 1, La Biatch = nil.

*A difficult term to define, since I just made it up then, but it's worse than snobbishness and a bit like totally try-hard tragic

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A is for Anarchy

I am allergic to things not being in alphabetical order. I was in a bookshop a few weekends ago, in the only instance I can think of when it is cool to be in a bookshop on a Saturday night - Gould's on King St in Newtown, because you are waiting for a gig to start at the Vanguard.

( I love and hate the Vanguard in equal measure. I love the flocked wallpaper, the feathers and beads on the little lamps, and the beautiful people who hang there. I hate the sound. It is the worst acoustic in the world. Singing into a paper bag full of mushrooms would produce a better sound, even if that singer happens to be tone deaf and suffering from a cold. And this is a real pity becasue the other cool thing about the Vanguard is that they attract lots of cool bands. So you end up being seduced by the name of the act into paying x amount for a ticket (unless you have a friend who reviews for street press), x amount for drinks, and then whining about the crap sound while sipping your French Sauvignon Blanc and gazing at the red and gold wallpaper... )

Anyway, so Gould's is basically next to the Vanguard, and open quite late, so it's the perfect place to waste some time before the gig starts. It is the kind of bookshop that you think only exists in 1980s made for TV movies - full of dusty piles of higgldy-piggldy books on all kinds of topics. It drives me nuts. Nothing is properly filed, and while I can see the charm in the idea of browsing through shelves bending under the weight of dusty books to find a long lost treasure, it is an idea that nauseates me. Literally.

For example, while I personally would separate the performing arts into separate sections, I can understand the notion that gripped the filer in about 1963 of putting them all in one spot. However, I'm adrift in a sea of confusion when it comes to the choice that led to linguistics, religion, psychology and reference all sharing a row. I had to leave before the dizzy spells got out of control.

I could go on and on about it all, but I am like the nameless children of the Dylan Moran sketch - lying listlessly on the lawn drinking a latte; disaffected, morose, and suffering from a migraine and the knowledge that I can dress myself up and do my hair, but no one will ever see the real me.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Off Her Trolley

I have this colleague. It is pretty well understood that she is not quite normal, but I always thought she was perhaps just very shy, and therefore a bit of a loner, and therefore a little bit strange in company but nothing more than odd yet harmless. It has come to my attention that she is not just odd, but in fact completely in-her-own-world-bonkers.

She recently arrived back in the country for some work, and went straight from the airport (East) to our uni (North West) with all her luggage, to use a computer in the postgrad room. Why she couldn't find an internet cafe is something only she knows the answer to. I first thought this was a little giggle story, but I now realise it was the warning clarion announcing the traveling freakshow to come.

I am a little unclear on exact dates and details, but apparently she currently has all her belongings in a shopping trolley in the postgrad room. Why? Well, because she has been sleeping there for the past three days.

I think we can all agree that this is beyond odd, and in a completely new category. There are several things that make this utterly creepy in its level of bizarreness.

1. When I say "postgrad" room, I am not talking about one of those common room deals with armchairs or a couch. There are desk chairs and desks and filing cabinets.
2. Perhaps I am being unfairly picky, but she isn't a postgrad anymore, so technically shouldn't be using the room for anything, let alone a bedroom.
3. It's a shopping trolley.

I talked this over with Juicebar, who offered some excellent tips on squatting, none of which she seems to be aware of (not only is this strange behaviour, this is strange squatting behaviour):

a. There should be a certain amount of non shopping trolleyness
b. Find something disused or under construction, that is frequented by other squatters
c. You dress like you don't belong there so people don't attack you
d. Don't share the alcohol on offer, BYO beer
e. Brick yourself in for the night

Question: Is she a suitable nemesis for me, or is "Looney" not an adequate category? Please share your thoughts.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Food For Thought

I know that the VPL (Visible Panty Line) is a fashion no-no, but is it really that bad? Socks and sandals are clearly a crime, as are numerous other things like denim shirts with jeans and denim jackets. I'm sorry, but I still hate crocs, and I am not a fan of plumber's crack. I think there are far worse fashion crimes to be worrying about.

I was walking behind a rather large and very unattractively dressed person the other day, and quite frankly, I was glad to know that she wasn't walking about commando style. My thought for the day is this: Sometimes, a VPL can be a community service announcement.