Thursday, November 18, 2010

Books and places

Jenn's post today was a simple one about her day reading. But reading it brought up so many memories for me. Jenn's been reading LM Montgomery's Emily of New Moon and I remembered my childhood desire to visit Prince Edward Island and see where Anne (and Emily and Rilla and all the rest) lived.  To tread the ground my fictional friends trod on, see their sights, feel a snatch of their lives.  I had a list as a kid, of character's places I wanted to go to.
- Prince Edward Island (because of Anne)
- the Hudson Valley and the Catskills (because of Trixie Belden)
- the Lake District (because of Swallows and Amazons)
- Berlin (because of Emil and the Detectives)
- Sweden (because of Emil and the Soup Tureen)
- the Norwegian countryside (because of Mrs Pepperpot)
- the forests of Finland (because of Finn Family Moomintroll)

When I got older, I expanded my character's-places list to include TV and film friends.

- Crabapple Cove in Maine (because of Hawkeye Pierce)
- Monte Carlo (because of Herbie goes to Monte Carlo)
- Rome (because of La Dolce Vita)

One of those dreams is coming true in 5 weeks. Italia, sto arrivando!

Editing to add: if you don't already read Allie at Hyperbole and a Half, today is a perfect day to start - I LOLed so hard I cried while reading her latest post :D

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bugbears about grief

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was wrong.

That's it, that's my bugbear and I'm so incredibly sick of reading/hearing/talking to people who truly believe that there are predictable patterned stages to grief and that acceptance is the final stage.

Shut the fuck up people.

But sorry if I've just been rude to you, I don't mean to be rude per se.

The final stage to my grief is just plain coping. Resilience sure, but never acceptance.  Why the freaking hell did secondary infertility happen to me and why the freaking hell haven't I gotten pregnant yet.  There is NO acceptance in my heart or body.  I want a baby with my husband, I can't have a baby with my husband and I will never, as long as I live, accept that.  I will, however, cope.

I will also attempt to trick the universe.

See Universe, see! I have "gotten on with my life" ... I have "given up" ... I am "relaxed" and I am even drinking beer I'm so relaxed, which is helping me to relax EVEN more! So what do you think of that eh? How's about you come along now and foil my careful coping plans with a surprise miracle pregnancy.

Anyhoo, Mind Hacks agrees with me and so does the research.

"Evidence-based Findings
  1. Not all people experience grief in the same way
  2. Some grieving people do not report feeling distressed or depressed
  3. Some people experience high levels of distress for the rest of their lives without pathology
  4. Repressive coping may promote resilience in some people
  5. Resilience, growth, and/or positive emotions may be associated with loss"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


200 applicants for the Masters.

50 interviews for 20 positions.

I got one.



Eeeeeek. It's going to be a lot of work.

In other good news at my house, work wants to make me a research fellow, which means more money for less work. And paid leave.

Most awesome.  In fact it's beyond awesome, it's beyawsome.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's beer o'clock at our house

I have developed a fondness for beer! Who would have thought it? Not me, because vino has been my drink of choice for about 10 years now, but I've started getting ill from it - I think it's the acidity, but whatevs, I'm lovin' the beer. Especially this beer, it's soooo yummy.

OK. Update time for teh crazy shemozzle of teh Ph.D in crazy.

So, you'll all be pleased to know that the admissions officer for the Mas.ters and the post-grad research admissions officer have been communicating. Because of moi!!! You see, the website that bosses potential students around and corrals them into the appropriate online/hardcopy applications wuz WRONG. And no one knew this 'til poor ol' me applied for the WRONG thing in the WRONG form because the CAPTAIN-WRONGY-PANTS webpage told me too. (Possibly that's enough virtual shouting.)

I submitted my spiffy application for the Ph.D/Mas.ters combo just like the page told me too, with exactly the right eligibility requirements it told me I needed. But the day after the applications had closed (for every post-grad course across my state!) the AO emailed me to tell me that I wasn't able to apply for it, I needed to apply for a standard Mas.ters first, get straight As and then apply for PhD candidature at the end of first year. Oh, and no scholarship for the Mas.ters because it's coursework, not research. I couldn't understand how I had missed the vital eligibility requirement stating that I had to start a Masters first until I went to the webpage to check and found that I'd read it right the first time - according to it I just needed first-class honours to apply. Which I had, so howdy doody to that. I got back in touch with the AO and explained my findings and he said "Ooooh, it's a new course, I'll have to check that out!" Which he did, but his reply was still the same. Masters first, webpage WRONGO.

I could keep relating the back-and-forth exchanges, which involve a couple of prissy women with too much power and cats-bum mouths, but I'll stop there because of the boring awfulness of those exchanges and the result is what matters.

I have applied for the Masters course (late, but that's ok, they're letting me do that because of their wrongnosity). My potential Ph.D supervisor said he'll just pay me the cash he would have used as a top-up scholarship so at least I'll get $20,000 for first year. After which if I excel (eeeeek, I'm sick of excelling, the pressure is unbearable and a B is not a bad mark in the real world) I can apply to change over to the Ph.D, get the proper moola and sally forth. He also said that he's the one who decides whether the topic is suitable because he's the supervisor and he says it is, so there. He also said he'll get the Dean of the Faculty onside so it'll probably be fine.

So it's turned out to not be all terrible awfulness. Just kinda messy and shemozzley, but finalised for now.

And as for my Mama, her appointment with the GYN specialist is on the 1st December and she'll get a plan of action there. Her abdominal/low back pains are possibly colon-related (colitis or diverticulitis maybe) so she's off for a colonoscopy Friday week. I hope they figure it out because she's sick of the pain and sick of feeling crap.  Thanks for the kind thoughts.

In other news we have a chickeh who lays soft-shelled eggs (Sparkles we think). They're usually broken when I go to check the egg box, but today there was an intact one.  They're very weird to look at, they feel so very strange and we can't figure out how the chickeh manages to squeeze them out with breaking them on the way down the vent.

Good egg- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Bad egg

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

no bloody PhD for me

Stupid university website with its misleading course information.

Stupid Psych Association with their stringent and dumb requirements for exact PhD topics that have to fit right in with Masters' groups.

Stupid no scholarship for first Masters year.

Stupid everything.