So I got my DSL up and running this morning! It only took me two hours, because apparently I am a complete idiot who is incapable of following simple instructions (of the "Don't do B until you've done A" variety. After twenty minutes of panicking over my mystification with B, I finally went back and realized that I was supposed to do A first). I also had to swear roundly at the voice-recognition helpline menu, which I'm sure sent it into a tailspin, but REALLY, if it's going to hear "installation" as "billing" TWICE, what can I be expected to do?
I've noticed that computerized stuff makes me rather foul-mouthed. I don't swear much in the ordinary course of things (although I'm not an especially clean talker, either), but yesterday, when I was having some trouble doing something on my new office computer, I caught myself hissing "motherfucker" and "fuck off" more than once. Which wouldn't be that bad, but a sweet old emeritus was right across the hall, only two open doors away, and, while I'm pretty sure he didn't hear me, I might want to tone it down a little.
Anyway. I'm very happy to be back. I'm almost caught up reading most of my blogs (could you people write any more???? But never fear; once I get back into full-on procrastination--I mean, work--mode, my appetite for your doings will be insatiable). And I started working on my conference paper again today. Not that I needed the internet for that--if anything, it's slowing me down (see the preceding parenthetical)--but somehow the events coincided. Perhaps I need the possibility of distraction in order to start in on more difficult work? A disturbing thought, but oh well. Can't fight city hall.
I'm pleased to report that the paper's not that bad, although neither is it especially exciting at this stage. I have a hard time adding the thrilling finish to papers that make people, well, want to hear/read them. I'm good at finding an interesting little phenomenon and talking about it, and I usually start out with some grand "Here's how the field will be changed by my paper" type of statement, but then I just peter out at the end with a "and, yeah, look, that was interesting" conclusion. Implications, that's what I need. Go back to that grand introduction. What have I shown? What can the reader/auditor who doesn't work on this particular text take away from my argument?
But that's haaaard. It means I have to think about things. And take risks.
And here's where the internet comes in handy. Nothing to say? Write a blog post! Ta da!
On the upside, I think I've just shamed myself in getting back to my paper. Or...hey, there are still a few blogs I'm not quite up-to-date on yet....