Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

don't blink. . . .

Yes, a salute. On video, no less! And yes, I see where the "MacDonald's" descriptive comes from.

yours truly,

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

the end

Tomorrow, I leave for an undisclosed European destination where I will don Academic Regalia and parade to solemn music, line up in a gorgeous old-building-setting, and eventually walk forward when my name is called. I will return to my seat bearing a document of some sort, which I hope is beribboned, with stamped insignias and flowing calligraphy, on parchment.

Instead, it will probably be a cardboard tube, with a laserjet-printed A4 sheet telling me that my certificate, "suitable for framing", will arrive by mail in 30 to 60 days. This is Ireland, after all. They are not known for speedy anything, let alone mail delivery.

I had not been looking forward to this journey until I received the following email from a fellow postgrad, who was a year ahead of me:
Did you book your gown? A. calls it the "McDonalds" gown. Very apt really. Do take lots of photos and send us one. We should start a gallery, last year I know for the first time a photo of the Seniors was taken for wall hanging, just like the Medics do traditionally. So hope to catch up, and so happy for you. Well and done and enjoy the pomp and ceremony (there is lots of that, but you might be familiar having worked in Law?), it's well earned and it is quite a spectacle.
So who knows? Perhaps you'll get to see a picture of the little-p 'prophet' in the McDonald's gown. . . . What do you think?

Anyway - I am suddenly excited to be going, and that's a gift.

Yesterday, the bluebird of happiness came calling. I was sans camera, and didn't want to miss bluebird time to go get it so there is no photo this time. He sat on the back of a chair out on the portico. Then he fluttered up against the window. Then he flew to a hole high in a snag tree I'd never noticed out back in the woods. Then he flew back and fluttered at the window closest to me. Back, then, to his home.

I know now where the bluebird lives.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

another late night. . . . writing

I'd forgotten how much I hate late night command performances in front of a blank word.doc screen with only the prospect of having nothing to say to those expecting to hear a presentation of your paper to goad you on.

I sit and jiggle my legs.

I get more tea.

I check email.

I wrestle three more sentences onto the screen.

Inevitably I remember Annie Lamott's Bird by Bird and her command to write a "shitty first draft" and then hope you don't get run over by a bus before you can get to it the next day and revise it before other people read it and think "what a crapola writer she was, after all!"

I write something here and wonder if I should look for a picture to ease the nakedness of the words.

I stretch my neck and back muscles - looking upwards - and notice that the chandelier has cobwebs in between the candelabra lights. The feather duster is 7 steps away tucked into the bookshelves. Maybe I could dust it real quick and then take a look outside to see if Jupiter and Venus are still visibly aligned. The cold air would revive me.


The house alarm is on. Setting and unsetting it makes loud beeps which will wake up the king, who's asleep.

And I want to be asleep!

Okay. So push "PUBLISH POST" and return to pulling words out of hiding and push-pinning them onto paper. 22 hundred of them so far - a little more than half the amount that proved too much for the last academic conference I attended not too long ago. That was a real academic presentation, though. The thing tomorrow is supposed to just be an informal 'work-in-progress' discussion among colleagues. What's more, the head of department has already edited the blurb describing my work to cut out the more academic references. "Don't want to scare anybody off before they get there!"


For this, I'm still up at midnight, agonizing.

I'm considering forgoing the ubiquitous powerpoint presentation as a mute protest. Thinking is not about entertainment, it's about thinking.

"Physician, heal theyself?" Philosopher, think thyself! Stop looking for rest and entertainment.

Then, maybe I can get some sleep.