Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bits

are all I'm good for at the moment.

* Am up sharp pointy end of Adelaide book, lurching from one paragraph to the next as deadline looms. One's student days come back to one at times like this: have vivid memory of sitting on my bedroom floor in 1971 crying over Philosophy 1 essay requiring all-nighter (FAIL) and of the four other long-essay all-nighters -- on Trotsky's Literature and Revolution, American Southern Gothic, medieval church music and psycholinguistics (not together, though it's an intriguing interdisciplinary proposition), and all the all-nighters writing lectures over the years, and wondering why the bod won't do that any more, just because it's in its late 50s and I don't feed it properly or give it enough sleep and exercise. Text yesterday from younger sister: 'Don't make yourself sick. Better the wrath of your publisher than the wrath of Mother Nature.'

* Wonderful piece by John Birmingham on what the Brisbane floods are telling us about human nature here.
Delicate, porcelain-skinned little vegan girls in bonnets with flowers muscled their way into the thickest, filthiest torrents of river mud next to bogan footballers, Army engineers, and tough-looking tattooed lesbians. This being West End there were travellers, too. Three French backpackers somehow managing to make their accumulated filth look stylish. A couple of Americans who'd come to Australia to surf and instead found themselves running wheelbarrows of grey, stinking ooze down to the water's edge from where it had come.
Gorgeous.

* New post at Read, Think, Write on second-guessing the publication process if you're interested.

* Garden spider that spins its gorgeous orb directly across path from front gate to verandah every non-wet and non-windy night is twice the size it was on Christmas Day when my friend R came to dinner and as she was leaving I had to take the torch out to show her why she needed to avoid the path and jump off the edge of the verandah in order to get to her car. Goddess knows I too have put on a kilo or so since Christmas but doubling in size in less than a month is awesome. I know for a fact that the insect pickings in that part of the garden are pretty good; the other night the web snared an entire moth. (No doubt the spider equivalent of a tub of Sara Lee Irish Cream and no I can't believe I bought it either. I'm as shocked as you are.) It's all a bit red in tooth and claw out there.

* Speaking of claws, the tortoiseshells are well, as is Papa Cat, who will be 84 on Feb 1. I'm told that for the birthday dinner we're having Chinese, which my adventurous ma taught him to like at the Silver Dragon Restaurant in Rundle St, Adelaide, circa 1955. Sadly she is now long gone, but his pleasure in Chinese food lives on.

14 comments:

Stephanie Trigg said...

Three words for you, borne of a nasty surprise this morning, necessitating three hours extra work:

Back Up. Carefully.

Otherwise, I am feeling your pain (mental, bodily, etc). Race you to the finish?

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh, Stephanie, no!

I see you have four days in hand. I on the other hand have what must seem to you the unutterable luxury of two weeks. But wait: I have more than you yet to do. A great, great deal more. As I'm sure you know all too well, saying 'It's all written in my head' doesn't necessarily translate into ease of production.

Now excuse me while I scrounge around for that new thumb drive. I know I put it somewhere around here.

Stephanie Trigg said...

Two weeks! Luxury indeed.

I am most behind on the picture credits: will do a blitz on this tomorrow.

21 pages of double-spaced bibliography so far: last chapter entries still to be added.

But I do have two research assistants working with me, so mustn't complain...

But I never have anything written in my head. It's not real till I can see it on the screen in front of me (and even, then, if I don't back up properly...) OK, back to it!

Mindy said...

Feeling grateful that our orb weavers seem to have calibrated to our heights so that we can, generally pass underneath their webs unscathed. But then they do have more structures to choose from. Although I have copped a face full from the one that spins between the trampoline and the retaining wall, which for some reason I now need to access on a fairly regular basis.

Best of luck with getting it all down.

Mindy said...

Link in post is broke. Link in sidebar is not.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Thanks Mindy, fixed now.

Web full in the face? NO NO NO GACK ARGH SPIT EEK PATOOEY YUCK GET IT OFF ME.

ThirdCat said...

Great Imaginer of the Unimaginable back again...do not be content with backups, also email it to trusted person. And if you are the only person you trust, email it to your gmail account, or set up a gmail account pacifically for this purpose.

ps from time to time, I do allow myself to think happy thoughts and to imagine a future without nuclear fallout or the need to jump on a plane at a moment's notice, but such times do not make for interesting comments

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

And/or there is www.dropbox.com, not only a super backing-up device, but rather nifty if - like me - you do a bit of something on one machine and then want to keep working on it on another.

(And hooray for orb weavers of ample girth! Not to mention papas of capacious appetite!)

Stephanie Trigg said...

Yep, I agree about drop box. Am total convert. I just messed up my "save as" processes, I think.

David Irving (no relation) said...

Ah, the Silver Dragon! We (my ex-missus and I) used to eat there lots. (In fact I think that may have been where I proposed to her.)

One time, we were sitting near the stairs, and the bloke who was carrying a rubbish bin full of empty bamboo shoot tins, etc, managed to dump the whole lot on her. I think that may have been the last time we dined there ...

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh dear, what a sad story! I can remember being taken there when my sisters and I were kids specifically for a bit of how-to-behave-in-a-restaurant training.

Of course in the early days they knew better than to try to get Australian diners to share, and to this day my father refuses to believe that it's standard practice in a Chinese restaurant to order a bunch of stuff that everyone likes and spin it around on the Lazy Susan.

Emily said...

Digressions were my big thing when faced with essay deadlines - not that I'm suggesting you are having a lot of fun with orbs and so on as a means to avoid facing the job in front of you!! Philosophy I loved and could prattle on for pages and pages (incurring a penalty for exceeding the set length). Psycholinguistics I loved and still do but with other subjects the all-nighter was standard. With Research Methods I could find any amount of other jobs to do, or thoughts which intrigued me so much that I had to explore them - never the beauty of a spider web though, or the thrill of celebrating the 84th birthday of a beloved animal.

Mindy said...

Discovered this morning that my clever orb weaver has recalibrated her web so that I can go underneath it with about 5cm to spare, as long as I walk through the middle of the space and not near the sides where the web is anchored. No more web in the face for me and no more tedious rebuilding for her. If only the little ones that look like the spider version of horned devils were so thoughtful...

David Irving (no relation) said...

Not so sad, Kerryn. It was nearly 40 years ago, and I think we've moved on.