28 November 2005

Oh, to sleep...

Sleep. I want sleep so much, I need sleep more than anything. The Little One is sick, he coughs all night, wakes me up, and then wakes up between 5 and 6 because his throat is too sore. My brain, I think, had turned into slush, mush, grey congealed porridge. The only coherent thoughts I have revolve around giving medicine three times a day, feeding the rest of the troups, and ordering Christmas presents. If I try to introduce any thesis-related thoughts to the mix, everything stops, like an old engine coming to a slow halt. The only positive thing – I can actually manage to keep my eyes open. Small mercies.

24 November 2005

Lists and more lists

‘tis the season to start lists, and lists are on my list of Things I Like to Do But Whose Ultimate Usefulness I Sometimes Doubt. But then again, I may just have a naturally doubting mind, and it won’t stop me from making lists. As a procrastinator, I must admit they are an amazing gift. Make a list, feel you accomplished something, and leave the rest to tomorrow. As a pathologically untidy person, they are the rock on which my world revolves. Make a list, and put some semblance of order in the chaos that surrounds you.

Every day starts with a list of Things to Do Today. Strangely enough, I often end up copying yesterday’s list, albeit with some minor adjustments. Then, there is the list of Things I Would Like to Avoid but Put on a List to Feel Virtuous. Dentist appointments tend to figure prominently on that one, as well as cleaning the windows.

And we come to Christmas Lists, separated into Food List, Presents List, Christmas Cards List, What to Pack for the Holidays List, and Books List. Those tend to figure on every list of lists. Books that I Want for Christmas. Books that I Will Buy for Christmas. Books That I Will Take With Me In Case No One Gives Me Books for Christmas. Yes, book lists are in a special category, they are both numerous and endless. We have the Books for Thesis List, divided into Books Read, Books to Read and a list of Books not Entirely Necessary But Much More Fun Than Some of the Others. They are then sub-divided into books according to disciplines: adolescent psychology, discourse analysis, internet research, itself subdivided… but I’ll stop here.

Yesterday, in the course of my reading, which occasionally interrupts the list-making, I came across a snippet about lists. A bell sounded in my brain, and a little bulb lit up over my head. It said, I think, that one of the earliest occurrences of lists in the written word was the Index. Surely there were earlier ones… The 10 Commandments, for one, and did the Pharaohs not keep lists of everything they wanted with them in the afterlife ?

Things have gone slightly out of hand, though, and I blame Channel 4. They seem to resort to lists every Saturday or Sunday Night. The 100 best films, 100 best videos, 100 most ridiculous moments, 100 top lists (ok, that’s mine, but it could work…) On the internet, try googling “list”, and you’ll get a list of 708.000.000 items. That’s some list! There is a site dedicated to shopping lists at http://www.grocerylists.org/100/ . As for blogs, let’s just say I am amongst kindred spirits. Lists of books read or to read. Lists of links to other blogs. Lists of links to other sites. And they often include, at some stage a List of 101 Things About Me. Methinks this goes straight onto my list of Lists To Do.

21 November 2005

Is this it?

Age has caught up with my baby finger. I might have sprained it – how does one sprain a baby finder? However, I have decided that this is no sprain, this is IT. Rheumatism. Old Age. Slippers by the fire. A slow retreat from the world. I may be a tad dramatic here, and ever so slightly over-reacting – it’s not even the whole finger, for Heaven’s sake, and who’s been covering grey hair with brown for the last ten years? But it is symbolic, a cruel reminder that those around me, in their Ugg boots and loose Levis, are ever so slightly different from me. I like college, but for odd reasons: I like the books, the learning, the researching, and the studying. The enthusiasm for drinking, angst sessions and the desperate search for a soul mate was all used up the first time around, for which I thank my lucky stars, for these weighty matters seem to still weigh heavily in the *real* students’ minds. I hear about it, I read about it, and sometimes, in the midst of some “he loves me/he loves me not” tale of woe, I find myself thinking “For God’s sake! There’s more to life than this!”And then I shake my head and realize that no, probably not. Social interaction, philosophical questions and love. That’s it, really. Plus a sore baby finger and the slow decay of the body…

17 November 2005

Chocolate and blogs

I spent the whole morning travelling from blog to blog, compulsively following links. Strangely, it leaves me with the same feeling I'd get from eating a whole box of chocolates (not that I would, but if I did...); the first chocolate is heavenly, the second one even better, and then the hand keeps going from the box to the mouth until the chocolates are gone and you are startled back into reality - and a slightly nauseous feeling. This also happens to me after reading chick-lit or watching TV during the day (again, not that I would...)as if reality needed to assert itself physically.Ironing, anyone?

15 November 2005

Blogging and ironing

Today I need to stand back and think.

Most days I drive to college, sit at my desk, turn on my computer and find myself led by searches on who has written what in the budding yet prolific world of Internet research; or I read and read, and take notes and more notes of more books to read until the future is an endless list of unread books.

So today I needed to think. Others might sit at their desk and type their thoughts, then stare into their screens and type again. Not me. As far as I can remember – all the way back to my first-time-around university years, the way to reflection was either through walking in the streets, or standing in the shower. Washing my hair always seemed to precipitate thought. Years and experience have added another setting propicious to thought – ironing works for me. And let me add that this is indeed a Good Thing, for the ironing pile had started its invasion of the study and unchecked, might have reached the sitting room.

And look, I wrote a second entry!