Tuesday, August 14, 2007


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....


Sisyphus said...

Hooray for the internet! And procrastination!

"But that's haaaard. It means I have to think about things. And take risks."

Heh heh. No, that is the laugh of recognition, not the snicker of shadenfreude. On the plus side, I usually need to have some sort of inspiring moment to bring out a conclusion with Implications, and that takes time and lots of plugging away at it, which you wouldn't be able to do if you had put the bulk of the writing off until right before the conference. So if you just keep at it, you should eventually have a brilliant realization! (or a clever approximation of one.)

medieval woman said...

Glad you're back among the fully connected internets! I can't wait to hear your paper - it will RAWK!

P.S. The Dutchman will be in town too - but I doubt he'll come to the conference!

heu mihi said...

MW--cool! It'll be great to see you and (hopefully) TD, too!

Sis--you're right; time will give me a statement of pseudo-significance, if nothing better occurs to me. Feh. Why is it that hard work is what usually pays off, eh?