May 6th, 2019

South Park Self

five shall be the number of the things

  • It is fortunate that this particular period of the year is characterised by holidays (Easter, Worker's Day, voting day) which means I just had three four-day work weeks and another next week, which is just as well as fatigue is kicking my butt. I am feeling on a more or less ongoing basis as though I'm coming down from a codeine hangover, which is profoundly unfair given that I never got to enjoy the actual codeine high. Possibly the Vitamin B injection is wearing off. Fortunately the next one is scheduled for this coming weekend. Maybe it'll help.
  • University Open Day didn't help yesterday. While I can now deliver detailed, reassuring, technical, occasionally amusing curriculum talks in my sleep, and possibly do on any given night, and emerged from Saturday's with a vague sense of "hell I'm actually good at this", they are draining, the student questions are draining, the huge crowds are hella draining, and the traffic congestion on campus both arriving and leaving raises my homicidal misanthropy levels to beyond draining and straight into "beaten with sticks and then chewed". Also, I have an uneasy suspicion that my talk may have cordially outshone the efforts of the actual acting dean, who spoke immediately before me. While I have undoubtedly seduced a small but real number of otherwise vacillatory students into Humanities study, it may not have been a politically acute move. Then again, I really don't care.
  • The weekend tried to add to my exhaustion levels by presenting me with a recalcitrantly blocked drain at home, affecting drainage from the loo and all other water-based conveniences, but fortunately an innocent question to my right-hand neighbour to see if he was affected and thus locate the blockage, had him leaping into his garden with random plumbing equipment and effectively, if only after half an hour of swearing and ominous "glub" noises, unblocking it. Note to self, I owe the man booze or chocolate cake or something. The process has also revealed that there is no actual drain access visible in my courtyard, which transpires is because the landlord buried it under the astroturf.
  • I have been whiling away the afternoons at work by writing a book chapter on fairy-tale adaptation, which is actually inching forward respectably. This is courtesy of the discovery, about halfway through the first sentence, of the incredibly freeing and energising effects of apparently having decided, subliminally on some level in the last year or so, that I am kinda done with this being-a-serious-academic racket, will never be a serious academic, and possibly don't actually want to be a serious academic anyway. This means that I don't have to worry about what Those Real-Academic Bastards (nebulous, unspecific) think, so can simply write this damned thing to say what I want to say, rather than saying what I think I ought to say. It is enormously, astonishingly, freeing, and bestows upon my characteristically wibbly and self-doubting self a strange element of confidence. It may also, paradoxically, be quite a good piece of analysis as a result. Go figure.
  • Holy Hand Grenades notwithstanding, it occurs to me that Five Things don't actually have to be Five Things, they could be Four or Three things, or Six; rather like the paper-writing, no actual authority is involved, when you get down to it. However, adding this comment has indeed brought this day's random selection up to five, so it's not really that great a strike for freedom. Oh well.

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