My Social Weekend,and other stories

I went to sleep, woke up with a start and then realized my Fitbit Versa’s battery was dying. So while it charges, here’s a blog post!

The first week of the semester started midweek. We had a four-day weekend, followed by a three-day week, followed by a three-day weekend. Despite all this, I am pretty tired. The four-day weekend was heaven. I got a lot of work done in my monograph, the article I’m submitting tomorrow, my novel, wrote a bunch of poems, read storybooks, cooked, and even started drawing for a new watercolour painting.

The first week of the semester mostly consisted of academic writing/research, and coordinating course slots/timetables for what is going to be my hugest intake for creative writing this semester. Not due to any popularity or knowledge of who your humble writer is, but because students are (1) required to take this course for the TESL programme (2) trying to fulfill their liberal studies credit hours. But hey, it’s great that the TESL ppl made my course compulsory, I’m grateful for it.

I also had to do various errands and shopping stuff this week. Things that run out (like meds, toiletries etc) tend to run out in batches. Soon I really need to buy new shoes (I hate shoe-shopping with a vengeance). Then came yesterday, my social day. So social I spent most of today recuperating from it. Being me, that’s angstily recuperating.

I went for a feminist reading group w/ awesome new friend and was introduced to her old friend whom I thought was quite delightful. It was a mixed bag, the reading group. I met the moderator whom another new friend and this new friend wanted me to meet. I liked her well enough. I was at first skeptical about the selected chapter from Mohanty but then warmed up to it and wanted an in-depth discussion about it. It wasn’t helped by the fact that most people either had not read the chapter, or had not understood the chapter. It kind of disintegrated into a kind of academic-bashing which really pissed me off. I was quite vocal and punchy. Partially because I was feeling a bit protective of the moderator — I am such a mama bear and I dunno why these younger academics make me feel protective. I don’t think they’d appreciate my protectiveness at any rate, they’re grown-ups and look after themselves.

So after that we (new friend and newer friend) went to Tiffin Food Court. I’d wanted to check out the food and had asked a couple of new friends if they were interested. They were. So new friend was not so happy with the wristband system and was quite vocally unhappy about it. I probably should have rescued her but I was ranging around absorbing all the things — must remember not to be in lala land when hanging out with people, I guess. I kind of like the idea of the food court but mostly I was driving myself dizzy trying to figure out what I should eat without going waaay above my calorie maintenance level. I mean I have cheat days but they’re very mindful cheat days.¬†I was okay with the wristband system but was quite flustered about the BOOST app because I tried and tried to get the TAC and it wouldn’t work for me. The nice girls at the booth helped me figure it out and then I was ready to go. I guess like most events by this company there’s always a gimmick or thing and this one is the wristband as payment system. I sometimes wonder what came first, music festivals and food coupon systems or Burning Man. But I dig the alternate culture vibe at these festivals and I’m used to it. I probably should have explained it to friend but I think she’s giving it another go. I said I wanted to check out the food again, and apologised for not explaining stuff to her beforehand but she was all “Aiyah, small matterlah”. And that was that. ūüôā

Speaking for me, I’m happy to see the foodcourt up and running after what happened last year when they had to shut down due to red tape (been there so many times within the academic context I couldn’t help a huge twinge of empathy) — I was also mildly bummed because I wanted to check it out last year. But last year I didn’t have people to go with me, and this year I do. That’s cool because it also means I can share food and won’t eat so much. I want to go again because there are some other popup stalls with food I wouldn’t be able to eat on ordinary days — places I’m too shy to go on my own. This time around, I really loved the iraqi falafel served up by Picha project. But the real hit for me was the truffle yakiniku by Tanuki Raw which gets two thumbs up from me. Also, that banana yogurt cake hit the spot (the coffee stuff looked real good but I am decaf girl and they don’t do decaf). My only real complaint is that I wish they hadn’t mass-plated up some of the food in advance because it meant the food was cold and I’m quite particular about that.

Other things I enjoyed: The general ambiance, and the music was spot on, though there may have been a wry laugh or two from yours truly. I also enjoyed the conversation muchly. It is nice to be around people who exist on the same level of silly as me, and with whom I can talk norty stuff. Very refreshing. I’m surrounded by people who take themselves too seriously at work and I always worry I’m going to be out of step or something, I never know when people are going to be offended. There were a couple of those offendable sorts at the reading group — youngsters who snapped at me so much my heartrate went up to 150! Gosh! Not going again, sorry. Even though I was assured that I was quite mannerly and mindful in my rebuttals, I don’t think I can say the same about a couple of those punters (who hadn’t read the set texts, mind).

ANYWAY, it’s nice just to be silly and laugh. Can’t remember the last time I laughed so much at a social gathering. Maybe during my PhD student days when I was also unusually social — when I finally found people to hang out with. It took me 6 months in Australia. It took me what, 7 years in Malaysia? That’s right. This month, it’s been 7 years since my return from Australia. And I’m only now having a semblance of a social life again. The year my father died. Life’s really odd like that and I wonder what Daddy would make of it. I’d like to think this pleases him. He was always so worried I was such a loner upon my return. It kept him up at night worrying about me.

I still sometimes reach out to the phone to call him out of force of habit.

#

This week, I am teaching a full week, and then there are a couple of events I haven’t decided if I am attending or not. I did say I might go for the SF talk, we’ll see. See my fatigue levels first. Also taking mother out for dinner on Friday night. Then Saturday I am crashing. Initially was going to go for a talk with friends¬† but since Sunday is our fairytale salon, have excused myself because I need an introversion crash day. Otherwise I’ll be a bear with a sore paw and no good to anyone. Also, I am still made of glass. I sometimes feel like a Victorian cliche with my delicate nerves, sigh. But if I weren’t so sensitive I wouldn’t be the poet/author that I am, I guess. For what it’s worth. Also why you won’t see me fooling around with guys even if I ever got thin enough for that to be an option. I sometimes think back in wonder — that there was a time in my early thirties that I finally dated. I was a different person in Australia. Or maybe I was just so stressed with my PhD I decided that dating would be an excellent method of procrastination.

Now, the thought of it freaks me out. I guess I’m just a nice and timid auntie now. Nevermind that ladies older than me seem to be having such happening love lives. Oh well.

Later when I wake up, I submit this psychogeography x postcolonial Gothic article. This is the one I worked on during my birthday weekend, my ridiculously expensive birthday writing retreat that should have been used for my novel. Anyway, rereading it has revealed I repeated myself too much and it reads like I wrote it drunk even though¬† I am straight edge. So, now no more mystery as to why it was rejected. It’s a sleeker and more lucid paper now and I have achieved emotional closure. Hoping to submit it in time. Then work on monograph. Next month, I submit the M&T article that got a peer review in 2015. A punishing peer review. Also need to submit the revised monograph proposal and the two sample chapters the very nice editor bro requested. Don’t want to let myself OR the editor bro down. So, must make it good.

Hey, I’m still learning to be an effective academic writer, here.

Right. I think my Versa should be charged enough now.

Back to sleep.

Listening to: Blood Red— The Colorist Orchestra, Emilliana Torrini

A Small Refuge

It’s amazing what I’m able to do when I don’t have to interact with other human beings or commute to work! :p

I retweeted a bunch of things on twitter to keep the algorithm from sleeping on me. Don’t want to lose my numbers there but not really in the mood to chat on twitter right now. Anyway, I have so many things I want to accomplish by year’s end so it’s good to be sparse. By Wednesday I’ll think of something safe and inane enough to tweet.

Things done today

  • Watched Masterchef Australia. Made me somewhat nostalgic.
  • Wrote a poem.
  • Started a design for a new watercolour painting.
  • Edited my Gothic article for submission. There’s a September 15th deadline but I have things I’m attending then, so I’m aiming to submit it by Friday.
  • Worked on my monograph Chapter Two AND revised my proposal yet again.
  • Wrote about 749 words in Rosemirror.
  • Did Laundry.
  • Finished reading two books from start to finish, started reading a third book.

All of this was made easier by the fact that mostly all I had to do was heat up food today. I did fancy up a dessert earlier though: pan-grilled figs w/ a small scoop of Haagen Dasz ice cream, half a teaspoon of double cream, half a teaspoon of raspberry jam and 3 medium strawberries sliced and plated fancy-like. I took a pic of it, when I feel like uploading it I’ll append it to this post. Blame Masterchef Australia for putting ideas in my head. I also added a tablespoon of low-fat coconut milk to my curry mee gravy for dinner.

What I ate today:

  • Breakfast: Oats (0.25 cup of dried oats, 0.25 cup of low fat milk, mineral water, vanilla, lakanto) + 1 Granny Smith’s apple (small). French-Pressed Illy Grani Deca Espresso Decaffeinated coffee (I grind a batch of beans every five days or so to save time).
  • Lunch: Chicken Balti w/ 1 cup of long grained basmati rice, a quick salad of diced carrots, cucumber, onion, mint leaves w/ lemon juice, lakanto, salt and pepper. Dessert: Aforementioned pangrilled figs w/ ice cream, 3 strawberries, 1 teaspoon double cream, 1/2 teaspoon raspberry jam (sugarless)
  • Tea: 1 raisin scone, 1 teaspoon double cream, 1 teaspoon raspberry jam.
  • Dinner: Curry laksa
  • Supper: 1 mug milky decaf (using the Boncafe freezedried decaf grains) sweetened w/ Lakanto, 3 hup seng crackers.

Calories: 1678

I’ve learned that it’s okay to have a cup of rice at lunchtime because it keeps me from being too hungry and I snack less. Today was optimum because I had 6 meals. Two substantial ones, while the rest were in small servings. So my blood sugar’s good.

Listening to: Under Wraps — Her’s

What I’m Doing This Long Weekend

  1. Resting and catching up on sleep: Man, I am so exhausted. I really pushed myself this academic summer and it seems important to really rest and heal before a super hectic semester begins. I thought of swimming and working out but even the thought of it sends me to sloth mode. Okay, body. I’ll listen to you. Though I’m active enough at home because I can’t keep still. I only have sloth mode and go go go mood, haha. So I’ve been puttering about doing housework, and cooking1
  2. Cooking (and eating!): I made curry laksa tonight — a lower calorie version of last weekend’s glory. It’s therefore not as tasty but cannot be tasty all the time! I also made sardine curry, my favourite Sri Lankan eggplant dish, and cooked basmathi rice. Today I also threw in chicken thighs, a jar of M&S chicken balti paste, red onions, a skinned tomato and a green chilli into the crockpot and had that merrily cooking while I worked on the curry laksa. Nothing more soul-healing than cooking. Looking forward to eating the balti tomorrow with long-grained basmathi rice and a quick indian salad (cucumber, tomatoes, onion, salt, mint leaves and lime).
  3. Watching Television: I finally watched Infinity War which I know people loved but I found it rather clumsy storytelling and pointless, sorry. Also WTF DID THEY DO TO WAKANDA GTFO¬† WAKANDA I SWEAR TO GOD. But reserving the rest of my judgement until I watch the sequel. I did like that Thanos was a complex arch-villain, and there were some other things I enjoyed about it. But it just didn’t seem to hold well together as a story. I have also been watching cooking shows and catching up on Masterchef Australia 2018 which is quite exciting. I don’t know if the finals have finished and I don’t dare to google because I don’t want to be spoilered. I’m rooting for Sashi, obvs but bro, hold it together, man. But I could totally see myself making the same mistakes and bungling about kitchens. I could never do Masterchef, I tell you. I’m just a home cook who has problems cutting things finely.
  4. Leaving the Apartment Only To Take Out The Trash: This is quite glorious. I really badly needed the introversion downtime. But today I got my groceries delivered because I needed scones and didn’t want to steal my writing time away by making scones. Also needed taugeh and eggplant for my curry laksa. I also cancelled my cleaners for Monday because Introversion Weekend. May reschedule for Thursday, we’ll see. S’not like I don’t clean up after myself. I do like that they do a deep clean and spare my knees. Also, it’s just comforting to have people about the apartment. I caved and ordered food from that company but then cancelled it because of introversion. May try again in a couple of months or so. But I also have a lot of yummy (and lower-caloried) food to eat.
  5. Slowly cleaning and organising stuff in the apartment: Wiping down counters, reorganising the fridge etc.
  6. Singing along with Tori Amos: Cathartic, man.
  7. Writing: Poetry, short fiction (I’m still trying to write things for Clarkesworld and The Dark. The thought of having only one Clarkesworld story this year feels quite upsetting!), Rosemirror, the monograph¬†and this Gothic article I want to resubmit this week. There’s a September 15 deadline. I also am rereading Elleke Boehmer’s Postcolonial Poetics, since my Editor-in-Chief not only approved my pitch but is interested in giving me a slot. Must push myself to do this. I’m excited to do this!
  8. Reading: To be quite honest, I don’t think I’ll be able to read 100 books this year but not, I hope, from lack of trying. Currently rereading Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet — the boxed set. I love her little afterwords! Also reading various things for my articles and monograph.
  9. Apparently still losing weight!: ūüėģ Lowest night-time weight! Night-time weight tends to be heavier than morning weight. I log both in an excel spreadsheet, and measure my waistline for corroboration. I lost another inch there too. Have to keep motivating myself.

Yeah, staying away from social media comes with a huge sigh of relief. I want to stay away longer but then my followers will drop off like flies :/

I could just do random retweets after this hiatus, I guess.

Listening to: Girl — Tori Amos

A Cautious List of Accomplishments for 2018 (so far)

As the year begins its gradual slide into the next quarter, I thought it would be a good idea for me to list down my accomplishments for the year. It’s easy to dwell on defeats and I’ve been feeling very defeated by life. And this has been a year of bereavement and disappointment. But, other things have been happening as well. It’s just like 2016, that other year of bereavement — and I felt I was bloody under-performing for most of it but I had publications nearly every month. I look back in awe at that year but it was also really emotionally exhausting and harrowing. I had less publications in 2017 which was my year of illness, but two of those publications were in Clarkesworld and that’s definitely something to write home about. No meteoric rise to fame, me. And I still don’t have an agent. But I haven’t done too badly, all’s said and done.

Fiction/Poetry

  • 2 pro publications, 1 semipro publication (Fiction).
  • 4 fiction acceptances¬† (2 pro, 2 semipro)
  • 3 queries for a full for Watermyth, which I finally finetuned enough to be ready to be sent out as a full.
  • Reached 80k in Rosemirror in about a fraction of the time it took me to get there with Watermyth. I’m counting that as a triumph since I’d like to be a novelist who completes a novel a year if I could just bloody get an agent argh.
  • 1 poetry acceptance
  • 16 poems written so far.
  • The most poetry submissions in a year. Pity they’ve almost all been rejected.
  • 7 new short stories drafted or partially drafted so far.
  • 2 interviews this year for me as an author: 1 podcast/radio, 1 in the national papers

Academic

  • 5 sole-authored academic articles submitted (one was rejected)
  • 2 co-authored academic articles submitted (one as corresponding author, the other submitted by the student)
  • 1 book chapter written from scratch and submitted.
  • 2 conference papers written from scratch and presented (with very positive feedback)
  • Monograph proposal submitted¬† FINALLY and now in the process of finalising sample chapters to be sent for peer review. I guess that’s an achievement even though I feel very unsure/insecure about my chances? But at least I pushed this through the door, I guess.
  • Making connections with other universities through conferences and collaborations.
  • 2 research grant proposals submitted (one rejected, one pending). I’ll likely submit another 2 before the year is done because I need to head a research grant or 2 again for academic survival.
  • 3 PhD students submitted their dissertations. This one is HUGE, I feel.

Personal

  • My 6th month of calorie-counting every day, despite sourpuss naysayers (there’ve been many!) and various temptations.
  • I have lost 13kg since last year. It’s not a constant because I might have lost more had I not had weeks when I was travelling, at buffets, or had more than 2 cheat days in a row. But I’ve learned to forgive myself for these days and just get back on that horse.
  • Weightloss has resulted in: looser clothes, blood sugars reducing to the point that I no longer need insulin, a better heartrate, regular periods (albeit scanty-ish) again after having a fright for two years. I think my days of heavy periods are drawing to a close though, and well, I’m 43 so that’s to be expected.
  • I don’t know if I want to call my most social year to date a “success” because I feel grief has made me more social and that could be me running away from sadness. But it is true that I have been able to make more connections this year because I’ve been able to let people in to a degree I haven’t been able to since my return from Australia in 2011. I don’t know if it’s because grief broke me or what. But I finally feel like I can cautiously have friendships again and don’t feel like I’m going to implode. But careful, open communication and checking in with people seems to be key — so far. Also I guess, having people understand I’ll need to go off the grid every now and then as we grizzled introverted hermits need to do from time to time. I also need to acknowledge that I am bloody paranoid and can be quite skittish and that is something I need to constantly check in myself. But I do feel that I have climbed a huge mountain in terms of interpersonal communications this year and came down on the other side. So a cautious pat on the back for that?

I suppose at some point I’m going to look back in awe at what I’ve achieved this year. But right now what I’m feeling is tired, and frustrated because I don’t have more fiction/poetry acceptances, that my academic submissions have not been accepted, that I still don’t have an agent (I’ve been querying for over a year now). I also feel like I haven’t lost enough weight but that’s good because it’s motivation to keep going. I have a lot of weight to lose. It’s not a vanity thing — it’s because I want to ensure I am taking good care of my internal organs and not putting too much of a strain on them.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Reading a bit, writing a bit, and then to bed.

Listening to: Sheherazade: Ouverture de feerie — Maurice Ravel

Monday Late Night Updates

Okay, I submitted the hauntology article, and the slides. The paper is not really finished yet but if not done on conference day I can wing it with the slides though I would rather read a finished paper. For right now, I suspect it’s more important that I pack and sleep. Yup. Yup yup.

After my conference paper is presented, I’ll work on submitting the other article. Sigh.

Also, it’s easy to ditch twitter. Slack seems impossible. Heh.

 

Listening to: Titus Alone — Aldous Harding (which seems to be today’s theme)

 

 

Monday is Never a Funday, is it?

My mood is quite bad today. I think it’s partly because of the whole Worldcon mess that sploded all over twitter, partly because of frustration because I’m not achieving the productivity and results I need.

But there have been other results, I suppose. My body, for one.

Anyway, I ate a good dinner and I’m halfway through doing the slides, so there’s that. Planning on submitting an article tonight as well. The hauntology article. I’ve been so stuck in panic when it comes to the NK Jemisin article that I haven’t been able to unravel myself out of that knot. But I’m slowly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel there.

I’m going to TRY to take a one week break not just from social media but from Slack. Not because I don’t love it but because I need to step away for a bit to see the bigger picture of myself in the universe. I’m quite negative right now and I don’t want that to affect other people especially not when I founded the community. That wouldn’t be right.

So, here’s hoping I’ll heal my body and soul when I’m back on my home island. Well, island where I grew up, at least. In terms of place of birth I’m totally a KL girl.

Anyway. Here’s hoping.

Listening to: Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation — Revealing the Tones — Michael Harrison

Re-Learning How To Swim and other tales

I’ve done three days of swimming, so the next three days will be rest days and under 1700 calories (hopefully) days. The swimming days necessitated over 2k calories. Even so, I ate beneath the range and being under-caloried/lacking in sleep caused my form not to be so good in the pool. Thursday wasn’t too bad. I had a nice 16 minutes with minimum panic. Yesterday was terrible. I had that moment again when I forgot to swim. But I realized I’d had a full working day, 5 hours of sleep and had not eaten in a few hours before I swam. So I was likely tired.

Today I went swimming after being fully rested, working on my conference paper, and having eaten heartily (see food notes below). Managed to do 21 minutes and 21 half laps. The previous days were all 16 minutes w/ 16 half laps. I’m not doing the length of the pool this time because I get really disoriented and scared these days. Unsure if maybe it has to do also with my astigmatism and¬† vertigo, or if I’d correctly identified it’s aquaphobia due to last year’s health scare. But apart from that, it’s also because when I was doing the length of the pool (before my two week swimming break), I was still holding or needing to touch the side of the pool. Not very efficient swimming and actually quite dangerous.

The past three days I managed to swim without holding the sides, just concentrating on my form. Well, yesterday I regressed because of aforementioned fear but I still managed to do 15 half-laps. I also did on all three days calisthenics, 4 minutes on the first day, 3 minutes yesterday, and 6 minutes today. This involved the usual leg exercises, lunges, side lunges, squats, stretching, wall pushups and exercises to work my obliques. I do them better in the water obvs because gravity, but the effort on the muscles are the same. I figure if I don’t swim too long but also do calisthenics that’s a sort of circuit training in the pool and I’m not over-exerting myself.

So, onwards to three days of rest days while focusing on my academic work. I’m not touching my fiction until I’m in Penang because I need to finish the conference paper and submit two articles.

Food Notes

I went to Crocodile Farm on Friday Night after my swim and jacuzzi soak. I ordered the wat tan hor for one person, half a roast chicken which I ate over the course of breakfast, lunch + 2 snacks! Plus, that garlic broccoli that I love, soup, and pineapple juice. I ate what I considered a decent share — half of the wat tan hor, half of the broccoli, about 1/3rd of the amazing salt roasted chicken, and then I tapau’ed the rest to bring back. It’s a family restaurant so there were no airs and graces. So I ate the rest of the wat tan hor for breakfast, the broccoli was Friday night supper. And I finished the rest of the roast chicken in three meals! Having said that I’ll always treasure how awesome the staff at Lai Po Heen were despite my bad experiences elsewhere in the hotel (mostly the staff were lovely, I shouldn’t judge them by 3-4 ppl I guess). But The Emperor’s staff are also very lovely. So there. I know where all the quality halal chinese food can be found!

So anyway, that fueled me up nicely. I had thai food tonight after my awesome swim and another jacuzzi soak: green chicken curry, about 1/3 a bowl of rice, and tom yam. Still eating slightly below swimming range.

Sunday’s Agenda

Tomorrow I am not leaving the apartment as I’m stocked up (and I need to finish fruit/vegetables). Hoping to eat under 1600 calories but we’ll see. The plan is to finish the paper, email the slides and then work on re-submitting the hauntology article which I withdrew because of a miscommunication. Having chatted with the Editor in Chief who did not know what had transpired, she gave me permission to re-submit (I am very very grateful). I had to eat humble pie but you know what, I just want the paper published and I probably shouldn’t have been so emotional (same old same old). I’ll submit the psychogeography paper to an international journal after I get back from Penang. Maybe after Malacca also because I might get some ideas when I’m doing the psychogeography thing there. I guess I’m so obsessed with psychogeography right now because of the awareness that yes, this is what I’ve always done as an author and poet. I have an intimate relationship with cities. I breathe them in — their numen, their layers. And being able to explore what that means as a scholar — that’s heady stuff right there.

Anyway. Time for bed. I’ve been off insulin for nearly a week now. Morning blood sugars still happily low. Not being on insulin makes food/calorie management easier, to be honest. It makes me even more determined to keep trucking on this fitness journey.

Saturday music: Cigarettes After Sex, Aldous Harding, Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions. Laid-back, dreamy music after the intensity of two Tori Amos days. Much needed, lovely for a Saturday evening.

Listening to: Let Me Get There — Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions, feat Kurt Vile¬†

Thursday of Getting Much Work Done

Today I:

  • Woke up the earliest I’ve woken in three weeks. Still not early enough, by my reckoning.
  • Made a gorgeous breakfast: Truffle toast, truffle fried egg (basically just 1/3 a teaspoon of truffle oil greasing the same pan where I toasted bread and fried an egg), salmon and avocado on the toast, 6 strawberries, and french press decaf grounds with hot water infused with rosebuds (did you know they are naturally caffeinated? Yeaaaah. No wonder I am so¬† pumped!)
  • Went swimming. Just 16 minutes of swimming and 4 minutes of pool calisthenics because I didn’t want to eat too much, and had a lot of work to do today.
  • Walked 7466 steps. Whoa. Also climbed like, 10 flights of stairs up and down?
  • Went to get the extension of my prescriptions, collected my prescriptions from the hospital pharmacy.
  • Stayed at work until 6:20pm to make up for going to hospital and my lunchtime dim sum escapade.
  • Edited and commented on two PhD student dissertation chapters.
  • Worked on my conference paper.
  • Worked on my monograph: I aim to do a little a day rather than kill myself over it by doing a manic rush. So it’s been 2-3 important paragraphs a day and Chapter One is looking quite finished-ish. So I’m pleased. But I will be away for over a week so we shall see. And another conference in August too. Yikes!
  • Sent out Truancy accceptances.
  • Ate dim sum for lunch and dinner.
  • Sang along with Tori in the car. Was surprised. My VOICE is back. I mean not just general singing voice. But the voice. THAT VOICE. What do I do now that the VOICE is back? I don’t really have time to write new songs, what. But the VOICE demands new music. We shall see.
  • Ate over 2k calories but within the range given me due to swimming/calisthenics.
  • 5th day of no insulin. Blood sugars remain brilliantly good. I LOVE this.

A productive day but now it is time for bed.

Listening to: Photo With Grey Sky, White Clouds — Johnny Nash, Suzanne Kraft

Baby’s Monograph Is Still On Fire

Maybe all I needed was a good steak. Nailed two paragraphs in monograph Intro chapter which connected the theoretical considerations that have been giving me grief. The one thing I needed to distinguish this from my dissertation. Done. It’s a bit tricky expanding research from two authors to six authors but I hope it will prove rewarding.

I have a good feeling about this monograph of mine. I hope they accept it :/

As for the psychogeography article, I looked through it today finally after nearly a week of being in a state. I see room for improvement but I still think it’s a jolly good article. But I feel keenly that glass ceiling between us developing world academics and the first world that tends to look down their noses at us. I mean I am sure there are many universities with shady practices so you know, I can’t blame some of the misapprehensions but it’s really rough to have to fight against those preconceptions CONSTANTLY. Nevermind. I shall take a deep breath. I shall do the work. I shall try against the odds to get some publications this year.

Also got 659 words in Rosemirror which is now at 72065 words.

I think I can sleep without angst now. I hope.

Listening to: Dance of the Praying Mantis —¬† Makiko Hirabayashi, Marilyn Mazur, Klavs Hovman

Of Rosebuds and Rue

Yes, yes. I deleted the last two posts. I keep forgetting this is Growing Fins version 2. But you have to understand I’ve been feeling sorry for myself on version 1 since 2005. Old habits die hard.

I’m super stressed right now because I need to write a full paper for next week’s conference and the slides have to be in by Friday. I also need to resubmit my Psychogeography and hauntology papers. I feel like I am falling to pieces but I think my definition of “falling to pieces” is probably milder than most people. One student this week has already been in hysterics and was talked down by the other supervisor (not me this time, thank goodness). No, my idea of “falling to pieces” involves epic twitter rants that I delete, writing posts on this blog that I delete, cooking good meals, drinking hot drinks and crying over weird things, and then curling myself up in a ball and falling asleep. When all’s said as done, I’m dead boring in that category. Even when I was a PhD student. When I was angry I’d scold people, rant a bit, then I’d go eat a good meal and cry myself to sleep. Nothing so extreme. I’m grateful for that I am of a phlegmatic nature. It’s that survivalist instinct in me.

I’m still struggling to keep abreast of all my things on deadline. Today I mostly read PhD student chapters, was an evaluator for a PhD student from another team who was presenting his findings prior to his viva/defense which is not too far away. Three of my PhD students have to submit their dissertations by August, it’s…rough on everyone. Especially the students but also the teams involved.

#

What Ninny Did Today

Today after the student’s presentation, I had my lunch at Sushi King, bought some quick groceries for dinner etc, and then went to get my hand cream and hair conditioner at L’Occitane. My shea butter hand cream is running dry and my right hand is extremely dry (apparently hereditary) to the extent that if I don’t continuously moisturize the skin will crack open. It’s annoying and only developed in 2014. Then I went to Urban Decay because my face powder ran out a few weeks ago and the weather’s been pretty hot which means my face has been pretty shiny. I rounded it all off with a visit to Sephora to get creamy hand wash (since my hands are so sensitive and I think that the Method handwashes I’ve been using haven’t been helping), and to the pharmacy to get the glucose strips. Then I came back to the office, worked on my PhD students’s chapters (TWO STUDENTS), and then left early because my room was so damn hot and stifling and I couldn’t get more work done and was scared of migraines.

Sat myself down here (at home) and opened documents, doing edits. Stared at them, and felt sorry for myself. Whined on twitter. Bought a Gothic monograph ebook which will come in handy w/ my current research. Then pulled myself together. Then made a quick, and divine dinner.

I love my juniper, lavender and thyme (doesn’t that sound magical?!) rub for steak so much I have zero desire to eat steak that is not home-made. I smack my lips, I roll my eyes in ecstasy. So good. Was going to eat half a steak but decided that I probably shouldn’t change my mind about today being a cheat day. So, I ate ALL the steak, the amaaaazing truffled mash I made (just about 1/3 a teaspoon of truffle oil worked so much magic!) and quick salad with 1 truss tomato, a handful of mesclun greens and a dash of balsamic vinegar which made the tomatoes so sweet. I also had apple juice watered down w/ mineral water and added three raspberries inside. Also ate a square of Sugarless Confectionary’s sugarfree chocolate (dark chocolate with orange cream). Damage of a square: 46 calories. So I’m at 1965 calories for today. It’s day 8 so it’s okay. Tomorrow and Friday will be over 2k days though because I’m working out. Not by too much. I may perhaps keep it at 1950-2000 calories. Just enough to keep me fueled.

Now that I am done with that, I’m sitting down to work before it is time to check my blood sugars.¬† I’ve already done some sprucing up of the psychogeography paper tonight. Some things don’t need to be in there but was requested by those peer reviewers who were rather old-fashioned in their thinking. I’ve also growled at my monograph. I’m just going to hammer in a couple more paragraphs in the intro of the bloody monograph (clearly we are out of the honeymoon stage) before I sleep. But looks like the editors are going to get everything in August, not now. I feel really bad but no point sending in work that won’t make the cut, right? I’ve already negative self-talked myself into anticipating a rejection :/

**sad sigh**

I feel like such a failure at everything right now. ūüôĀ

So now I’m going to do a bit more of monograph work, also write a few hundred words in Rosemirror because I am fretful and impossible if I can’t write at least a little bit of fiction. Then I am brewing myself a mug of rosebud tea. And then I shall sleep. Next two days I am focusing on the conference paper and the slides. The slides should be done by Friday. I’ll work on the paper over the weekend. Okay. Gnight world.

Listening to:¬† Pay Attention — Sudan Archives