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solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris
So I’ve been messing around with the theme again because that signifies something productive and perhaps some kind of commitment to writing something somewhere down the line. Or I’m listening to Thrice and procrastinating.
What’s frustrating about this kind of mindset is that it’s very difficult to shift, despite proving, time and time again, to be a great fucking waste of everyone involved’s time. When has starting anew ever worked? Take New Year’s resolutions. They’re stuck to precisely no percent of the time.
‘This year I’ll actually do something! ……Oh wait, no I won’t. I’ll feel vaguely productive for, oh I don’t know, a few hours or so, and come to realise that meticulously going through my ludicrously large music collection making sure each artist is correctly tagged (should Alcest be ‘post metal’ or post black metal’? Or should that be ‘post-metal’?) is what I’ll actually end up doing instead of reading something useful. Fuckstickles, I hate my life’
Rinse & repeat.
The (empirical) evidence suggests that you’re much more likely to make changes and stick to them if you do it gradually. So, instead of quitting Skyrim (seriously, help me) like every smoker sort-of commits to maybe cutting down every New Year, I should gradually try and reduce the amount of times I wake up and think ‘Oh, I’ll just do a few quests to wake me up and get me in the mood to work’ (seriously, what kind of fucking idiot must I be to think this might make sense?!). The problem with this is, and I can’t stress this enough, that it involves having a schedule, however wishy-washy it might be. I’ve tried having schedules, I really have. Well, I made an account on Wunderlist, and if that doesn’t indicate the presence of a serious work ethic, I don’t know what does. I keep getting emails from that site, light-heartedly rubbing in my face that I’ve missed every single deadline I tried setting. But Wunderlist doesn’t realise that I am the master of reasoning myself out of my own deadlines. Sure, giving myself a few days to make a phone call to the council so I can sort out my council tax gives me way more time than is necessary, and –in fact– any reasonable person would have just phoned them instead of going on to a website and making a task out of it, but what I forgot to factor in was that the council are a bunch of totally incompetent, utter, utter cunts, and that the process of phoning & dealing with them is akin to repeatedly smashing one’s bollocks with a hammer . So I’ll give myself an extra month to psyche myself up to it (it’s only fair).
I’m a serial last-minuter. If it isn’t the night before the deadline, I probably won’t think about doing it. Actually, that’s not true. I will think about doing it. I’ll think about doing it a whole lot, and I’ll get right on to it just after this cup of coffee. Whilst I’m drinking that coffee I might just check Diaspora or Google+. Oh and have a peek at imgur whilst I’m at it. OK now I’m ready to…. oh hold on, it’s 11 at night, well I can’t do any work now. That would be irresponsible (? ). It would be much more sensible to relax now, write this day off as a no-show and get up early tomorrow, start work as soon as I get up and have an extremely productive day. In fact, it’ll be so productive I’ll have a guilt-free porn fest in the evening as a reward for all the hard work I’ve done. To be fair, between those two things (work and porn fest), one of those will definitely happen (no prizes for guessing which). So Wunderlist, Evernote, Google Docs and the myriad of other things I don’t end up using have provably helped me get my work done. I would (/should) get really quite angry about this, but this is pretty much a daily thing, and is as effective as Cnut’s attempts at tide-taming.
The only thing that makes me feel vaguely OK about this ‘way of life’ is that I’m not alone in living it (actually, if you read this and can’t relate to it on any level, I hate you and all that you stand for). I know professional academics who, the night before, are busy finishing their paper for the conference the next day (the night before I was supposed to give a talk at my first conference -which was early in the morning, mind- I got blind drunk, I don’t recommend doing this because you, unlike me, are not a champion). I’m confident that if I applied myself all the time and worked as hard as was physically possible, I could achieve quite a bit. As it happens, I don’t; I just have to figure out who or what to blame for this (and at some point down the line, I may or may not post a rant about how it’s moronic to medicalise every single behaviour ever).
‘Oh sure, he didn’t work as hard as he could, but he had super-serious chronic fatigue syndrome. It’s a miracle he did anything at all. We should get round to building a statue in his honour.’ -I imagine this is probably what will happen when I die, that is, once the ground has stopped splitting, the skies have stopped roaring with thunder and the entire animal kingdom has stopped mourning.
Now, I’m off to make a coffee and get some work done.
 If I was copy-editing this article, I would rage about the length of that sentence. But I’m not. So I won’t.
 OK, I should probably point out that for any normal person with a normal sleeping pattern, this would be fairly decent advice. I, however, do not have a normal sleeping pattern; I will probably be up for another 4 hours or more, which is more than enough time to get some work done.
It’s that time of the year again, when all the doe-eyed freshers come to spend their ludicrous amounts of student money on copious amounts of drugs while I sit green-eyed in the corner. Or something along those lines. The point being I’m now officially a bitter postgraduate with no money and writing this post with a hangover after drinking too much red wine and saying ‘fuck’ too much in the company of my head of department. Come to think of it, that last comment sounds creepy, so I’ll just add in the clause that sex was not involved.
This roughly translates to the reality of being chained to any location that has a copious amount of caffeine and books for horrendous amounts of time while I try to secure a distinction for my MA, the benefit of which shall mean that I then have a crack at getting a fat paycheck from the taxpayer allowing me to pursue a PhD. Of course, this means that my already bleak social life will become a thing of the past as I snuggle up with more books than the Pagemaster.
So with a hangover courtesy of the philosophy department, I’m well on my way of getting that distinction.
If I am to succeed this year I’m going to have to become more organised than an army drill sergeant, so Google has come to my rescue with a helpful combination of Google Sync and Google Calendar. The fact that I liked the novelty of syncing my phone with my online life has nothing to do with it. So I now have all my tutors’ email addresses, my timetable and any upcoming events on my phone without the hassle of messing around on a micro QWERTY keyboard to do this. As an aside, I’d recommend doing this to any student who has a phone that can run the Sync app.
In more interesting news, I was bitten by a spider a few days back and still haven’t gained any super powers. I used to be quite the arachnophobe when I was younger, but more recently I’ve become fairly nonplussed by their presence. So when my girlfriend pointed out one climbing up the wall in the hallway I decided to pick the little guy up to take him outside when the bastard decided to bite me. This may be somewhat ignorant of me, but I was under the impression that spiders found in the UK didn’t bite or, if they did, you wouldn’t notice. I did notice and I still have a small red mark where it did it. It was either this spider or this one. As far as I’m concerned, this was an act of war. Hencefourth, all spiders entering my house have now forfeit their lives and will be met with a swift squishing upon being discovered (apart from the one I burned alive, which was official revenge for getting bitten).
Though this all relates to my other worry that my new housemate is actually the Spider Queen. Since moving in, our house now has more spiders than the entire cast of Eight Legged Freaks. Our house is surrounded by a myriad of webs and I often find the big brown-legged bastards nipping round the walls and floors of the house, usually in my room for some unknown reason. Not only has my cat failed to do anything about this other than occasionally patting them on the head, but dangerous levels of Raid haven’t managed to stop the invasion either. I’m not sure screaming ‘GET AWAY YOU EIGHT! LEGGED! FREEEAAAKKKSSS!’ whilst wielding a shotgun would really get me very far either, but the idea is sounding more and more palatable every time I find another multi-legged infiltrator.
Given that my housemate claims to be terrified of spiders and always asking for help to get rid of them, I’ve come to the conclusion that the spider population has undergone some kind of anti-monarchist revolution and is intent on deposing their current queen. I’m no fan of the royal family myself and have no qualms about spiders wishing to form their own republic, but I do protest to my house being the apparent Bastille that they are hellbent on storming. Especially as they keep getting the wrong fucking room.
I’m having to content myself with the levels on the latest Castlevania game that feature giant spiders that I can pummel into being my bitches with my multi-talented cross….weapon….thing. Riding around on top of a huge spider, forcing them to do my bidding before I choke them to death with a spiked chain does feel like the cathartic equivalent of blowing up a spider farm but with the added bonus of not involving acquiring knowledge of amateur explosives and the whereabouts of spider farms. I guess you could take out the spider section of your nearest zoo instead (which, presumably, is easier to find than a spider farm), but at the cost of potentially hurting animals that aren’t bastards and having to deal with the subsequent police investigation, I’d stick with the PS3 option personally.
Oh, and if you happen to know what ‘The Spider Queen’s chambers are this way’ is in spider language, please drop me a line.
This month I think my main conclusion about whatever-it-is-I’ve-been-thinking-about would be that the films released in the past two or three years have, on the whole, sucked. I’m not claiming to have watched all the films that have been released, nor have I the inclination to buy a magazine like Empire and follow ‘What’s hot’ and so on, but what I have been doing is failing to watch films for free.
I have a lot of spare time at the moment (if it’s not at all obvious) so most of my evenings have been spent watching films. I don’t see most of the day so I only need to worry about passing the time in the evenings. This isn’t because I’m busy during that time, rather because I’m a lazy shit and spend it in bed. Having exhausted my blu-ray/DVD collection, I decided to download the odd film to keep me company but found I couldn’t actually be bothered. Rather than conclude that this is further evidence of my self-pitying slothery, I’ve decided to blame the entertainment on offer. Hollywood has failed to entice me to watch their films even when I could have gotten hold of them for free in less than ten minutes.
I can think of a lot of things I wouldn’t really consider doing but if it were free I might give it a go. In fact, here is a quick list of things I wouldn’t normally consider but might if it were free:
All of which I’d rather do than sit through an hour and a half (or however long it is) of Dinner For Schmucks.
After half an hour of trawling through releases and deciding I couldn’t be fucked with any of them I ended up mindlessly watching garbage on Youtube praying for my screen to explode, saving me from the realisation that I’m utterly boring. Tell a lie, I went to comfort myself in the warm glow of quality British programming; I watched documentaries about Beowulf and old episodes of Doctor Who.
On the other hand, if I do want to search for a film at least Google can now search for it INSTANTLY. That is, next time you search for something it will start beaming guesswork directly into your face, as if Google is an excitable puppy that gets bored with waiting for you to finish typing your query and just runs with the first keystroke it gets hold of. Throw it a bone and it’ll come back with the Natural History Museum. I’m undecided if that’s a good thing or not, though admittedly it’s less of a kick in the nether regions when Google returns results saying at the top ‘You typed ‘pteradactyl’ but I’m searching for ‘pterodactyl’ as you’re clearly a fuckmook’. Maybe not in those exact words. Sure I lose a few precious seconds of my life by clicking on a link that says ‘Did you mean ‘pterodactyl’?’ but at least I feel like less of a twat for making a spelling mistake.