the grid

the grid

Saturday 9 December 2017

Week 14 - the push before finish

We're approaching Christmas, the end of semester and the end of the latest instalment of Top Left Quadrant.   Next weekend will be the final check-in for this round.

If you are interested in hosting the January - March iteration, leave a comment. 

So, a theme for the week - what would you most like to find in your Christmas stocking? 

-revise 2 PBs
-MF work (scenes in order, character sketches and cheatsheet, map, timeline, list of what's next)
-write 1 blog post
-menus/grocery shop
-mediate for 5 min each day

Contingent Cassandra
--Move a little, somehow, sometime
--Finish book order & course description

Dame Eleanor Hull
Weekend goals:
1) Self: keep up the good work on exercise, stretching, food, and language prep. Good on food, minimal on exercise/stretching, no languages.
2) Teaching: comment the grad drafts, start on final exam. Drafts commented and returned. I may cancel the final exam, depending on news today.
3) Research: try for 2.5 hours a day, in 1/2 hour chunks if necessary. An editor is breathing down my neck, with reason. No. Have explained circumstances to editor.
4) Life: Do something fun with my husband. We tried; it was just TV after dinner, and every time, I had to take phone calls about my father.

Minimal goals:
1) Self: stay healthy via exercise, stretching, safe food.
2) Grade undergrad lp2.
3) Life stuff: deal with the bills and parental issues.
4) Resolutions: Live with uncertainty, work the process, show up, be kind.

heu mihi
1. Finish the novel??? (Or get close. I can have until the 15th if I need it.)
2. Grade everything pre-finals.
3. Order books for second class (due a month ago, but there were scheduling snafus and I wasn't sure whether it would run).
4. Get organized for next week's UC meeting
5. Schedule a room for February lecture

1 Read articles and organize information for meeting next week with other co-author
2 Really, send that query letter about February article
3 Write task list for Tiny project (which is, of course, huge)
4 Sort out plans for Snow blogging

1) write and print two posters for a conference
2) remember to fetch my tickets for said conference (which have to be purchased from the approved supplier by the faculty office, who refuse to use the internal mail to deliver them to other buildings on campus, and for no doubt VERY LOGICAL reasons the faculty office is on the far side of campus from the buildings of the constituent departments/schools/centres/institutes of said Faculty, so I keep not getting around to going over there to get my tickets (I also have to coordinate with THEIR closing hours...). I don't get why they don't use the post!
3) I should look at ProblemChildPaper2, but I don't want to
4) I need to send some emails related to SocietyThing and GallimaufreyPaper
5) grading, present wrapping, card writing, self care, the usual.

1. marking
2. prepare lectures for the next couple of weeks
3. work more on ethics forms
4. carry on with Christmas stuff

1. Write abstract for collection of essays
2. R & R footnotes: 1 hour
3. Read job applications (this is TRQ, but I need to list it)
4. Pay some bills
5. Get back into exercise at least 4 days
6. Do some decluttering (it's bothering me, so it's time.)


  1. This is very literal (except for the fact that it wouldn't actually fit in aastocking), but: I want a new pillow. I've picked one out, I'd decided to buy it (it's pricey--$100 or so--but supposed to be great for tension headaches and neck pain), but then I didn't have any tension headaches for a while, and $100 is a lot of money.... But I still want it.

    Last week:
    1. Finish the novel??? (Or get close. I can have until the 15th if I need it.)
    NOT DONE. I wrote something like 3600 words this week, none of it since Thursday. I just need to write the ending, even though I don't like it very much, so that I can be done.
    2. Grade everything pre-finals.
    3. Order books for second class.
    4. Get organized for next week's UC meeting
    5. Schedule a room for February lecture

    Actually, that's a lot better than I thought. I was feeling like I hadn't done any work at all in days. I'm reading a novel for fun, and that's kind of taken over. Plus my last day of classes is tomorrow.

    This week:
    1. Figure out something to do in final classes. (Really. I have no idea. I'd thought it likely that tomorrow would be a make-up day, but I didn't cancel any classes, so there's no need.)
    2. Actually finish the draft of this terrible novel.
    3. Grade All The Things for Big Class.
    4. Relaaax! Have a massage (--already scheduled)! Go Christmas shopping!
    5. And, okay, start reading the book that I was supposed to have reviewed this fall.

    1. Your pillow might fit in a very big stocking! $100 does seem pricey, but not sleeping and having tension headaches is also very pricey, and very cantankerous-making, at least for me.

      How great that you finished everything but the novel. I neglected to respond, but I appreciated your crediting my lead for writing a synopsis on NaNo. I hate writing synopses, so I was surprised I bothered.

      Enjoy the massage, and enjoy finishing the novel. A friend of mine always says, one can't edit a blank page, so don't worry about the first draft.

    2. The pillow is one of those buckwheat deals.... I confess that I kind of like the idea of a 10-pound pillow, for some reason! And it comes with a 60-day warranty. Hm hm hm....

    3. Not to egg you on, but it's hard to beat a 60-day warranty. :)

    4. 60 days is plenty of time to find out if it works for you...

  2. Where did the semester go??

    I want an extra month in my stocking! Or a very large bottle of something which means that other people aren't affected if I don't care about stuff (and don't do it). Magic slimming potion? The university suddenly deciding to decentralise, and working out how to allow me to mark on paper again? A transporter?

    Chocolate covered premium marzipan, some good tea, wool hiking socks and a couple of books of poetry would do in the meantime!

    goals last time
    1) write and print two posters for a conference done. Although... I kind of messed up and didn't accredit everyone properly on one of them... I feel like an idiot. Such an amateur mistake - such a typical, not enough time mistake.
    2) remember to fetch my tickets for said conference done
    3) I should look at ProblemChildPaper2, but I don't want to didn't
    4) I need to send some emails related to SocietyThing and GallimaufreyPaper didn't
    5) grading, present wrapping, card writing, self care, the usual.caught up with grading, wrapped presents, no card writing, presents not posted...

    Right now I feel lousy. I was woken up in the night by a migraine-like headache requiring multiple bathroom rushes, which totally threw my plans for the day, and I still have most of the headache and some of the nausea/need to rush to the loo, despite sleeping most of the day. I've managed to deliver the furry one to the cattery, but that was all - and I intended to post parcels, write cards and do the Gallimaufrey work stuff.

    I'm psyching myself up now to go and pack for the conference, knowing that all the bending over will make my head worse, because sometimes pretending all will be fine MAKES it fine... 07:00-ish train tomorrow, which will get me to near continent destination about 7pm assuming trains aren't disrupted by the weather (we have a small amount of snow in parts of the UK which always leads to very large amounts of chaos in the transport network). Today I definitely couldn't have done that (not being a fan of gastric distress in public, and having been in the aargh that paleish cloud is so bright it is stabbing me in the eye stage of the headache). I suspect this is one of those situations where either decision will be the wrong decision (I want my transporter. If I could just go from say local station to the street with the hotel, then I could spend most of TOMORROW sleeping/stretching (there's a muscle-spasm component from horrible on-line marking system definitely present) and probably be conference-fit by the evening.


    The rest of the week was kind of OK, really, just one of those where there was a great deal to do and only the most urgent stuff got attention, and that not sufficient (see - messed up poster, bah!).

    goals for next week:
    1) If I go to the conference, go to the conference, make the most of it, and feel entirely free to refuse evening activities if I don't feel like it. If I don't, do Gallimaufrey stuff and organising stuff which I've been putting off.
    2) Stay in the office for minimum hours on Friday - priority is to attend a couple of meetings, then post parcels etc.
    3) self-care and not wasting energy telling myself I've not done enough, indulging in self-blame or listening to any other Bugges with their nasty shrill mean needle-y voices

    1. As an American from the Northeast, I remember being stunned when a train was delayed because "the points were frozen"> Seriously? British Raid (as it then was) would never survive in the norther US!

    2. I hope you made the right decision for taking care of yourself, whether it was to go to the conference or to stay home and recover further. I hate being ill in public, so I sympathize greatly.

      And use that Bugge spray liberally! (I say that as a fellow champion self-blamer!)

    3. I didn't go - turns out I had a "winter vomiting bug" not just a wierd migraine... so MANY things are not getting done, I've been sleeping, nibbling on plain crackers, and re-reading a "comfort book"...

    4. I have to say that the important thing is getting done--you are taking care of yourself and getting better. Sleeping and a comfort book sound just right.

  3. Oy. I did, after all, drop everything to go help family. Taught one class, cancelled everything else. Somehow finished revising one essay (not MMP, the other one) and sent it. I hope that will stay done and that I didn’t make it worse.

    How I did:
    1) Self: stay healthy via exercise, stretching, safe food. Ow. Something I should not have eaten got me while traveling.
    2) Grade undergrad lp2. No.
    3) Life stuff: deal with the bills and parental issues. And how.
    4) Resolutions: Live with uncertainty, work the process, show up, be kind. Yes.

    Next week: same again, plus grade grads’ final papers and assign grades for everyone.

    1. Hoping you are able to maintain self-care and patience in the midst of managing crises.

    2. Oh no, hope all is going fairly smoothly and you are able to look after yourself as well as your loved ones...

    3. I'm sorry. This is just always HARD.

    4. Susan said it well--this is just hard. As humming42 and JaneB said, try to take care of yourself. I used the mantra of the airplane folks--put on your oxygen mask first . . .

    5. Thank you all! In many ways it's easier than dealing with my mother was in her last years, and yet it's still stressful. I'm back, but couldn't get to sleep till 4:00 a.m. (hi, JaneB!), so I'm trying to figure out what to do with myself today.

    6. There's little I can do when stressed and tired. I think JaneB's doing exactly what I would do in both your situations.

  4. Building on JaneB’s request for an extra month, I would like a Hermione Granger time turner in my stocking. Too many projects, not enough time...and only because I have far too many things I want to do. If I have a new year wish, it’s doing a better job of saying no to myself. In the meantime, getting all the grading done and trying to clean up, especially in my office at home.

    Last week:
    1 Read articles and organize information for meeting next week with other co-author: no, now TRQ
    2 Really, send that query letter about February article, yes
    3 Write task list for Tiny project (which is, of course, huge): no
    4 Sort out plans for Snow blogging: kind of

    Analysis: I have no excuse, since I really don’t know what I did last week. I’m back to time tracking this week. And while I kind of loathe documenting my every half hour spent, I recognize that it makes me more responsible about what I do.

    This week:
    1 30 minutes recherche (reading, writing, research, project admin) every day
    2 Write first Snow blog
    3 Write task list for Tiny project
    4 Finish all grading!

    I wouldn’t mind sharing the next round of hosting. Wishing you all the goodness.

    1. I unabashedly stole your idea of the time turner. I need to start saying no to colleagues, as well as myself. I ended up co-chair of yet another committee last week, which doesn't begin to address the knitted socks for the husband and the sons and all the rest that I want to do; the writing, the reading, UGH!

      I plan to take some of the time during the holiday to look long and hard at what I REALLY want to accomplish, and to pare away the stuff that I don't (except the stuff that may get me promoted, I guess).

      Your snow blog sounds interesting--what is your blog entitled, if you don't mind telling me?

    2. I wish I could just hand out time turners to

      Snow blog is one of those fun code names for projects...I've been collecting anecdotes and information about snow globes for awhile and trying to find someplace to write about them. The H-Net list on material culture has a blog series called "Occasional Objects" and I've committed to writing a few posts for them. I'd like to get the first written and posted quickly, before the holiday season ends.

    3. How fun--I will head over there to see some of the other offerings, and keep and eye out for snow globes. :)

  5. I want a magic motivator that will help me use the time I have well. Best laid plans and all that.

    -revise 2 PBs--1. Oh, actually I stumbled into another revision too.
    -MF work (scenes in order, character sketches and cheatsheet, map, timeline, list of what's next)--scenes, map
    -write 1 blog post--finally!
    -menus/grocery shop--yes--thanks very much to a grocery delivery service with prepped meals.
    -mediate for 5 min each day--a few times

    Analysis: It's December. And I avoid things.

    For the week:
    -revise 2 PBs
    -finish MF stuff by Thursday pm
    -exercise 4x
    -mediate daily
    -figure out and execute work time

    1. I want that motivator too!

    2. I'd love something that would reduce the time I stare into space because my brain stopped working. Please share if you find one!

      I hope the coming week holds less avoidance and more sense of accomplishment!

  6. I have to vote for Hermione’s time turner, like Humming42 mentioned. I would use all the time turning for myself, unabashedly selfish. I would freeze almost everyone who comes into my offfice, at work or at home, so that I could finish my sentence, chapter, row, thought. My sons are exempt, because they only come to talk to me when something is truly bothering them. Otherwise, they hug me, drop a kiss on my head, and saunter on about their lives.

    I disappeared about Thanksgiving time, laid low by a nagging cough and recurrent headache. I was rallying until I got my yearly infusion to keep my bones from disintegrating, which gave me a week of flu symptoms and brought back the raging headaches.

    On the positive side of things, I won NaNo for the first time, and have been able to keep up some momentum, even if I had to dictate or write longhand at times. My colleagues and I finally sent off the article that one of the authors procrastinated on for more than a year. It feels wonderful to have it off my plate, so much so that I don’t even dread the R&R or possibility of rejection.

    Many weeks ago goals:
    Write Faculty Council report (TRQ) Yes.
    Sew Christmas stockings. Yes, but only one.
    Plan Thanksgiving for myself and sons. Yes
    Get to 50K words on NaNo--for the win. Yes, yay!
    Tai Chi ten minutes a day. Yes
    Leave more comments than last week. Utter failure.

    Next (This) week's goals:
    Get completely well.
    Finish second stocking.
    Plan for holiday travel.

    As for co-hosting, I will probably be in better shape to do so in the summer/winter iteration, when I am on sabbatical. I hope everyone is finding a comfortable pace to keep moving through the holidays. Excelsior, everyone.

  7. Ohhh, a stocking? I like Amstr's Magic Motivator. I think I want a buddy - especially a walking buddy who would get me out of bed in the morning. It made such a difference when I was meeting someone to walk.

    Anyway, last week:
    1. Write abstract for collection of essays NO
    2. R & R footnotes: 1 hour NO
    3. Read job applications (this is TRQ, but I need to list it) YES
    4. Pay some bills YES
    5. Get back into exercise at least 4 days NO
    6. Do some decluttering (it's bothering me, so it's time.) A LITTLE

    Well, it WAS the last week of classes, lots of meetings & angst. And those job applications took a long time. it's always so painful because there are so many talented and interesting people, and we have one job.

    This week -- I have all my grading to do, and am throwing a CHristmas party, so. . .
    1. Write abstract for essay collection
    2. Finish footnotes on R &R
    3. GRADE
    4. At least one walk
    5. Party preparation includes decluttering & at least tidying.

    1. Yes, I could use that motivator, too. Job applications are so painful. I was on a search committee for a Comparative Literature position a couple of decades ago, where there were at least 50 well-qualified applicants for a single position. It is depressing.

      I can usually get my dog to walk with me, but the snow has descended in my neck of the woods. Unfortunately, I can't bring her to work so that she could do the building to building tour that I do in the snowy months. A companion does help immensely!

      I hope you enjoy the party!