The best medicine

Nervous Systems Plasticity-induced boredom and screaming heebie-jeebies is much alleviated by conversations like this:

[1:58:07 p.m.] Anna : Think I’ll suggest morphine, not heroin, since there’s a lot more research about it
[1:58:27 p.m.] Anna : or heron. No-one’s done research into the effect of herons on the mouse nervous system
[1:58:39 p.m.] Anna : i mis-typed it to begin with, you see
[1:58:51 p.m.] Sam : Excellent! It must be done!
[1:58:56 p.m.] Anna : i don’t think herons would be very good for them
[1:59:02 p.m. | Edited 1:59:07 p.m.] Sam : The hidden dangers of snort[h]ing heron!
[1:59:06 p.m.] Anna : they eat fish, mice aren’t very different
[1:59:16 p.m.] Anna : SNORTHING!!!!
[1:59:22 p.m.] Anna : HAHAHAHAHAAAAA
[1:59:35 p.m.] Anna : that’s when you try to snort something but you have a blocked nose and it just goes all down your shirt
[1:59:57 p.m.] Anna : <giggling aloud in the silent lab trying not to disturb other student>
[2:00:18 p.m.] Anna : Imagine having heron all down your shirt
[2:00:25 p.m.] Anna : <crying with silent laughter>
[2:00:36 p.m.] Anna : my tummy hurts now
[2:01:05 p.m.] Sam : 😀 My job here is done
[2:01:09 p.m.] Anna : Awesome
[2:01:15 p.m.] Sam : <flies off to rescue some other poor soul>


It’s all over

When the wolves come out of the walls, it’s all over… Have you read that book? You should.

Anyway, my essay is finished, a day and a half early, at 11.30 pm, after some very helpful input from my wonderful husband, and an evening in the zone. I even cracked 3000 words, which I did not think possible yesterday!

Thanks for your prayers. Next hurdle: Drugs test. This time I’m going to use my coloured pencils and draw pictures so I don’t get the drugs all mixed up with each other. Wish me luck.

Peace and sunshine

I’ve “finished” my “essay”. I have 2808 words, which I think meets the definition of “about 4000”. Right? I’ve tweaked the margins a bit, to 3.1 and 3.15 cm rather than 3 cm each, and added an extra empty line to the header, so it now comes to 9 pages with 2 pages for references. (Not 2 pages OF references. One page plus one extra reference on the next page.) The process of getting it this far was something like herding cats, and something like pulling teeth, and something like sculpting jelly. Or all three at once. I have asked Sam if he would please:

read through my essay, which I’m just finishing off now, and write lots of notes on it in red pen saying “I don’t understand this connection, can you add more here please” etc?
[3:22:27 p.m.] Sam Barham: ok
[3:22:34 p.m.] Anna Barham: thank you
[3:23:03 p.m.] Sam Barham: But not “This part needs to be taken out” 🙂
[3:24:11 p.m.] Anna Barham: EXACTLY

It’s a glorious warm sunny day here in mid-winter Dunedin (huh, exactly midwinter, how about that?) so, figuring that since I now have till Friday afternoon and I only had the conclusion and revisions to go, I could spare some time to take Miss 5 to the Gardens. Mr 10 is playing at a friend’s place and Mr 8 didn’t want to come, so it was just me and the girl. It was nice. Time to potter along the paths smelling all the leaves and the few flowers still out on the “scented border walk”, and push her on the flying fox, and show her how to put seed for the duck on her flat palm and hold it out very still, so the ducks would eat from her hand. Even though they must have been completely stuffed, on a sunny day in the middle of the winter school holidays! We got icecreams on the way home.

I can’t afford to just switch off, now that the essay is more or less out of the way (though I’m sure Sam will give me some more to add to it, since I’d be surprised if it makes any sense at all to a lay reader), because I now have homework for my mentor, whom I meet with tomorrow, and a test on Monday. (Have you heard about “Bath Salts” that turn you into a crazed, super strong flesh-eating naked zombie who doesn’t feel pain? FREAKY.) My time is parcelled up by these deadlines for chunks of stuff I need to cram into my head or onto a page. I have that feeling once again that I’m waiting for “real life” to begin. I have felt like this for most of my life, which is halfway over, according to the Biblical span.

Do you feel like that?

Also, for homework:

Form a mental image of the combination of herding cats, pulling teeth and sculpting jelly. (Jello, for you Americans out there.)

Don’t do drugs. Or bath salts. Or bubble bath either, for that matter.

Go sit in the sun. You’ll feel better.

A conversation

[11:22:59 a.m.] Anna : this paper is relatively easy to read
[11:23:01 a.m.] Anna : which is nice
[11:23:06 a.m.] Anna : it’s still not lots of fun
[11:23:16 a.m.] Anna : though it does involve living animals, which makes it more interesting
[11:23:30 a.m.] Anna : cos you can imagine the critters running round and exploring things
[11:23:38 a.m.] Anna : which you can’t when it’s slices in a petri dish
[11:23:48 a.m.] Anna : well, you could, but that would be disturbing rather than cute
[11:23:51 a.m.] Anna : 🙂
[11:24:34 a.m.] Sam : 🙂
[11:24:44 a.m.] Sam : you’re strange
[11:24:49 a.m.] Sam : I like you
[11:24:52 a.m.] Sam : can we be friends?

Sam’s at work. I’m at home trying to read Li, S., Cullen, W. K., Anwyl, R., & Rowan, M. J. (2003). Dopamine-dependent facilitation of LTP induction in hippocampal CA1 by exposure to spatial novelty.

We’re both working really hard.

I write a sentence or two and then take a break. I can’t speak for Sam. He’s probably actually working really hard because that’s what he does. He scores highly for conscientiousness. That’s one of the Big 5, in case you didn’t know. Also he’s a J.

Actually, I only assume he scores highly on conscientiousness. Surprisingly enough, I haven’t done any real psychological testing on him.


A new me?

I just entered the new millennium, only 13 years late. That’s right! I bought skinny jeans! They will ONLY be worn under dresses and tunics, I promise. Husband and I are going to a gig at a pub together tonight for probably the first time… ever, actually. This chick was FANTASTIC live on New Zealand’s Got Talent, and I am so delighted she’s made it this far south. So in honour of the occasion, I decided I should probably try to look a little more trendy. The jeans are green. I’ll let you know how it goes. Maybe.

I’ve had a dreadful cold which meant I couldn’t sing Allegri’s Miserere for Ash Wednesday at St Paul’s Cathedral (Dunedin, not the famous one…) because I sounded like either a teenage boy or a 90-year-old chain smoker, or both at once. I was very sad. But now I’m getting better – I woke up this morning keen as mustard to get to the gym. I’m liking this new energetic me.

When I was getting ready for bed last night I discovered I had lost my ear spike. It has a narrow centre piece (so it’s not really a stretcher) with about a 2cm long metal spike screwed onto each end. I went looking in body-piercing shops today to see if I could replace it and they didn’t have anything identical, so I’ve bought a real spike instead. It’s not hurting, so I assume it’s not going to stretch the existing hole too much. It’s 2.5mm at its widest. I would have preferred something longer though. There is something, some very deep, rebellious, difficult, spiky aspect of my character which is appeased by wearing dangerous-looking jewellery. When I have my ear spike in I’m much less inclined to rebel against things that actually matter. Like housework.


On a side note, Husband and I have been asked to speak briefly this evening at a couple’s Valentine’s Day dessert night our church is putting on: two minutes each on the main things that have contributed to our marriage (fourteen years and still going strong!). He’s going to talk about our similarities, and I’m going to talk about how good we are at fighting and dealing with the difficult stuff. I might get into it here some other time.


Soul Mates? REALLY??

There’s no such thing. And as this article says, nothing has produced more unhappiness than searching for one.

I love watching Castle. I love the chemistry between Castle and Beckett. It’s hyper-real. And then I go and sort out the house, brush my teeth and go to bed with my husband, and really, good enough is good enough. Good enough to last forever.

You know, when God created the world, he never said things were “Perfect.” He said “Good. Very good.”

That’s good enough for me.

Pretty Murderous Today

I’m in a bad mood today – or at least a bad mood seems to be very close to the surface, prepared to break through at the slightest provocation.

It seems to be a day of being told off by people who don’t usually tell me off. My song choices this morning for leading worship at church were a little controversial, and my Aspie twin brother made several digs while he was here this evening for tea and choir-music practice. He normally just rolls his eyes at me.

I have a bad cold so I can’t sing properly, which made both leading music at church and practising for tomorrow’s choir rehearsal difficult, and now DH is getting to read Harry Potter 7 to Mr 9. It’s the chapter where they end up riding a dragon. Darn it!

I haven’t had any decent amount of exercise for a long time.

It’s still another month and a half until I quit work, so my motivation is low but I still have to get stuff ready for my successor. At the same time, as I wrote about yesterday, I’m nervous about next year and all the stuff I have to do for it.

The house is a mess as we try to fit the same amount of furniture in a reduced amount of space so the fire can go in. The tiler hasn’t finished his job – the hole in the carpet is still raw-edged. DH finally got round to finishing painting the boys’ bedroom skirting boards today, so their room was also a complete shambles, so they had to play either in the untidy living room or in their sister’s room, as it was cold, wet and windy outside. Which means we have a rack of laundry in the living room as well.

And it’s that time of the month.

But I’m sure that has nothing to do with it.