20 June 2011

Reinstalling, fathering, or a space to call home

Having troubles with Endnote from Friday, I decided that what I needed was to re-install it from the server when I got to work, so today, I got to work and set about what I thought would be a simple task. Well, it was more-or-less a simple task once I realised I was using a version of Endnote that was, it seems, about 3 versions old. I went about upgrading until I got to the newest version that seemed to work with Word 2003 and I thought, great, I’ve solved my problem.

After an hour or so of getting nothing done but a bit of reading, I thought, you know, I should probably just update Word as well because I have been using 2003 (still on XP) and, what the hell, I should go up to 2007 at least so that I learn how to use it as I’ve heard horror stories about changing over and how hard 2007 was. Obviously, at this point, 2007 is obsolete, so I updated to 2010: the whole office suite. I removed 2003, sat around (well, stood around) for about ten minutes waiting for 2010 to install and… it opened. Endnote worked. My documents looked the same. I started using it a bit, got acquainted with ‘the ribbon’ (lame name, dogs) and… There was no drama. It was a very Apple-like experience. Everything is just… working. My e-mail stuff works without any changes to settings. My .pdf exporter works. It all just… works.

Strange, I thought. No drama means that I guess I have to get back to work.

Well, yes, I did get back to work and found a couple of very good articles. Well, ‘found’: a couple of people I have met in my wanderings have pointed me to important places and an article came out last week in the Journal of Pragmatics that is about YouTube and antagonism: perfect, right? The literature review in that article is really pretty much what I need to do in my thesis, only expanded to include everything else I’m interested in. A couple of people got back to me about my ESRC bid stuff too with some good potential contacts and a ton of good suggestions for reading. More work to be done, for sure, but someone used the word ‘worthy’ in describing my idea: ‘worthy’ is a very, very important thing for getting funding.

Yoko’s mum came on Friday which has really been great. Someone to help take the stress off, another person for the girls to play with, particularly as Yoko edges closer and closer to the birth and because increasingly more miserable and ready for the baby to be born. Yoko's mum is also an incredibly easy person to have around: she has a servant's heart in the truest sense and establishes a sense of security and stability. Things are suddenly taken care of.

I have been anxious though and short with everyone, locking myself in my office, not sure of what to do if I leave. This will pass as the summer passes and we normalise, but for now, I’m just an ass to be around, grounded in a deep sense of insecurity: lose/lose.

Yesterday, the womenfolk went off to church and I went to the bike store to acquire new tyres, which my parents are getting me for my birthday. I also got new brake pads, even though I wasn’t convinced that I needed them, but after installing everything on the bike, it was clear that everything I had added was quite needed. Suddenly I was going much faster, stopping much better—generally much, much more secure riding which makes for more relaxed and faster riding. Having done so much work on my bike over the years, I’ve also gotten a bit better at fixing problems that in 2008 would have taken me an afternoon to get through. Now I know what to tighten, how much to tighten, which screws to check, etc. The bike, now with 700x28 tyres, as opposed to 700x32, is thinner and lighter. Very nice riding, to be sure.

I am also, believe it or not, turning 29 a week from today. With the baby coming, the uncertain future and the feeling of slowly getting older, I’m in a funk. My weight has been higher although I have not been eating more: the worst of both worlds. You care for yourself, you don’t eat when you feel like you’re entitled to and still, this morning, a rolling average of 71.68kgs. Up 400 grams over the week. Really? It should normalise this week, but the equation is not working anymore. kCals in is not kCals out. My body is not working in the way I want to it.

What could be more frustrating than that. Nothing, I’ll tell you what. Nothing.