Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Officially ancient

Listening to: Radio 1

OK I'd like to start off by saying, I have nothing against teenage girls OR continental Europeans. And consequently, I have nothing against continental European teenage girls. But I also have to say, I don't understand them. Why do these beings (especially those of the French or Spanish variety) feel the need to walk down a narrow Cambridge street with arms linked? Are they attached at the elbow? Did someone threaten them with torture if they lost physical contact for more than 0.001 seconds? Will they fall down if they try to walk by themselves? Has no one taught them that people walk down the street in both directions and sometimes it might be necessary to let the other person pass? No? Hmm...well that explains it.

These girls are at least 14...I thought only six yr olds did such things. The last time I walked with my arms linked through a friend's was...was...was...well, you get the picture. Although I guess six yr olds don't walk about with one arm linked through a friend's arm and the other arm attached to a hand carrying a cigarette.

Sigh, I don't get teenagers.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Here's to you, Seeya

Listening to: '1234' by Feist [The Reminder]

Hmm...I can't get this song out of my head. I can't remember any of the words after "1234 tell me that you love me more"...but the tune is on repeat in my mind, and I find myself skipping to the beat. Picture Tobey Maguire in his Peter Parker guise, skipping along sans spectacles to the tune of 'Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head'...yeah something like that, but with less sunshine. A lot less sunshine.

I miss him. When someone is in your life for all 24 years of it, they assume a state of pseudo-immortality. And then you get the call. I mean the call. No amount of preparation can set you up for that moment. Nothing can prevent the tears, or the heartache. Yeah I miss him. And I'll miss him even more when I go home next, whenever that will be.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Anicca vata sankhara - uppada vaya dhammino
Uppajjitva nirujjhanti - tesam vupasamo sukho

Mahaparinibbana Sutta
Digha Nikaya

"Impermanent truly are compounded things (conditionings), by nature arising and passing away. Having arisen when they are extinguished (with insight), their eradication brings happiness."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Piled Higher and Deeper: The Power of Procrastination

Listening to: 'Just a Little Bit' by Mutya Buena [Real Grirl]

If you're a grad student, chances are the title of this post might sound familiar. It is, in fact, the topic of a series of talks being given by Jorge Cham, creator of the comic strip Piled Higher and Deeper. Today, Jorge was in Cambridge, and spoke to around 300 postgrads at the Engineering Department, courtesy the Graduate Union.

It was one of the most enjoyable talks I've been to. I wasn't sure what to expect...I mean how much can you say about a comic that the entire audience follows anyway? I was pleasantly surprised, for the most part. Jorge explored the anxieties and insecurities common to most grad students, and I was amazed to see how much of myself was in there. What I was saddened to hear was that 1 in 200 grad students at UC Berkeley have attempted suicide (don't quote me on that, but that's what he said). In a twisted sort of way, it tells me that things aren't so bad for me after all. It is scary though, to think that it could get that bad.

But yes, I bought a book and got it signed by the man himself. And in due course I will buy the other books (there are currently three) and safeguard them for future generations of masochistic postgrads.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I'm not dead...yet (but I'm getting there)

Listening to: 'Young Folks' by Peter Bjorn and John [Writers Block]

And so I return to the blogging world, in an attempt to regain some of the normalcy I've lost over the past two months. I can safely say that the past two months have been the most tumultuous of my life so far. What have I learnt? Well, for starters, complacency is a bitch. In the eyes of your superiors, you are incompetent until you prove them wrong...and then you're barely competent until you mess up again. And finally (and probably most importantly), good friends are all you need to get by. I won't go into details, but it'll suffice to say that now I'm back on track. Sort of.

The experience has changed me, though. The once highly gregarious PseudoRandom now dreads gatherings of more than five people, in the fear that someone will ask her about work. The one time Procrastinator Extraordinaire now works on weekends, and hasn't responded to Facebook wall posts for two months. The term 'social recluse' comes to mind.

Still, the time has come for me to get my life back. Having spent a mini fortune on M.A.C. cosmetics, I am now rarely seen without the magic of concealer covering my sins. A suitcase full of hand-me-downs has provided me with an array of stylish attire, and yours truly is no longer sporting the 'lazy student' chic at work. And from tomorrow, the university gym will become my hang out. I still don't think I deserve weekends or holidays, but the new me will have to accept that. I'm still pretty certain that I'll grow old overworked, underpaid and alone, but I suppose I'll get used to it.

Anyway, time to get ready for work.