Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Day 23: You know you're procrastinating when...

I think that ABDs should compete in two Olympic events: Advisor Avoidance and Procrastination. I'd medal for sure in at least the second category. What's the craziest thing you've ever done? I'm sure we've all done the obvious (cleaning, gourmet cooking, laundry, litter box scooping, gardening, closet organizing, etc.) -- all those things that just have to get done, and then we'll surely be able to concentrate much better! (and yes, I'm aware of the irony of blogging about procrastinating.)

Probably my best example was at some point during grad school (perhaps even during coursework, but I think that counts) I was wandering across campus and I started to wonder: when was the last time I'd had a tetanus shot? I mean, I wasn't planning any big adventures involving rusty nails, but you never know.... perhaps I'd better get a tetanus shot instead of doing my seminar reading. Yes, of course I should, that's the only responsible and healthy thing to do. So off I went to health services instead of the library. And then I just had to go home and nap because my arm hurt and I felt yucky.

I guess compared to that, today wasn't so bad. Since working on my introduction was going painfully slow, I decided to face the music and call my dentist to schedule a cleaning. There must be something worse than writing a dissertation, why, yes, it's dental work! I'm a dental-phobe (or an anti-Dentite in Seinfeld-speak) so making the appointment is a big first step. Well, turns out they had three options: today, the morning of my first day back to school (yeah, right) or sometime in September. I thought about it and decided that spending an afternoon at the dentist was a marvelous way to procrastinate. The only problem is that my husband had our One Small Car, which meant that I'd have to either take the bus or hop on my bike. I opted for the bike. (my husband also had the map, the cellphone, and my sunglasses, but I forged ahead.)

It only took twenty minutes to get there, but somewhere along the way I managed to pop off the chain. But thankfully I put it back on, otherwise I would have been stranded there. Very greasy work, of course. When I got to Fancy Adjoining Suburb and my dentist's office, I'm sure I was a sight to behold, as I wandered past the Boutiques and Shoppes, dodging the groups of Ladies Who Lunch. I knew my hands were covered in grease but didn't know until I got into the bathroom to "freshen up" that my face also had grease all over it. But this all has a happy ending in that I cleaned off the grease, survived my cleaning, and had no cavities! And got a nice bike ride out of the deal. The only side effect will, of course, be a bad case of Tender Bike Ass tomorrow morning.

Otherwise, it's hard to get back on the wagon after taking several really nice days to relax out of town and then one day (yesterday) to handle the inevitable Trip Hangover which involved unpacking, grocery shopping, and using that $25 certificate from DSW that was going to expire. (scored a pair of Born clogs for fall semester and my usual Slightly Frumpy Yet Professional wardrobe. Those Scandinavians sure do know their footwear.)

All in all, the intro is coming along. I re-read it today and made a list of the Problem Paragraphs, which number 12. So I can work methodically through them over the next few days and move on to the next phase of revising. One pitfall for tomorrow is that I'm going out to my office to unpack (new furniture, etc.) so that will eat into my day. But I guess it is good to get organized and get my feet wet before we have to report for duty. And we're having some colleagues for dinner tomorrow -- I'm making some fancy embellished burgers from Epicurious. Reviews will be forthcoming.


At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh God, you're me.

But I may win--I think I get a medal in Adviser Avoidance because I moved out of state (moved back home, actually) to write my diss. But gourmet cooking, yes! And amateur astronomy (I'm in literature, so it's no help to my work) and weight lifting. And now bicycles-- I mean, you can't really write or think well if you don't work off some of that flab and/or excess energy, can you? Of course not.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Stewgad said...

I love the idea that going to the dentist is better than the dissertation. Only dissertators will get that one. I mean, who else would be mad enough to WANT to go to the dentist instead of doing the major thing they're supposed to be doing? And I totally laughed out loud at Tender Bike Ass. It is SO true!

How were the burgers?

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