Thursday, June 30, 2011

I suppose it's not so bad, since…

…since I'm finding out for certain that the documents that once existed no longer do.
…since I'm getting a chance to visit some towns in Blargistan that formerly were only places on a map.
…since I did, after all, find one marvelous cache of highly relevant documents (about 100 of them), even if it only took me three days to page through and photograph the parts I needed.
…since I've discovered a fabulous new restaurant in each of the towns I've visited.
…since I got to spend a week in a sixteenth-century mansion.
…since I've gotten a chance to spend more time with friends.
…since my resolution to work more intensively on my Blerg has had fantastic results: I wouldn't call myself "fluent" or even "proficient," but I can carry on a decent conversation now about more than just my research, and in a full 5 verb tenses, with the occasional tentative foray into the subjunctive.
…since I've been eating extremely well,** yet can still somehow fit into all the clothes I brought with me (though I still have five full days here, so don't hold me to that).
…since both my presentations went relatively well, and one of them is even going to pay me, once I get the bank stuf sorted out.
…since I got to meet up with some friends & colleagues from the states who were also here.
…since I've been taking pictures again.
…since the view from the current archive window looks like this:

…since my one carry-on suitcase managed to get me through a five-week trip (though I'll be porting back more books than I came with).
…since I've discovered that ordering iced coffee has become a common and acceptable thing to do here, and I can now do so fluidly in both Blarg and Blerg.
…since there might be a Fabulous Seminar Thingy to take me back here next summer to hit some of the "I should have gone there instead!" places.
…since having found only 100 or so documents means that I'll have less to process when I return in a week or so, because really, I still haven't finished the ones from my sabbatical last year.

Still, I'm sure that some of you will identify with that part of my brain that calculates time and (considerable and personal) expense versus the measly three "productive" days I had, and starts to feel like this trip has been a colossal waste of time, money, and effort. Hence, the list above, to remind me that I have, indeed, gotten something out of this trip, even if it's not precisely the something I was hoping for.

**For the Comrade, and others who focus on such things: Last night's dinner was squid-ink tagliatelli with calamari in a medium-spicy white wine/butter sauce.


J. Otto Pohl said...

I do not think I will be able to check in for the writing group tomorrow. It is a big holiday in Ghana and most things will be shut down. Between writing a conference, proposal, sorting through grades, and preparing to travel overseas I only got about a 1,000 words written this week. I am going to concentrate on getting whole sections finished from now on. This next week I want to finish up the section on the actual deportations of fall 1941. Again if anybody would like to read over the manuscript drop me an e-mail.

j.ottopohl [the at sign] gmail [dot] com

Comrade PhysioProf said...

For the Comrade, and others who focus on such things: Last night's dinner was squid-ink tagliatelli with calamari in a medium-spicy white wine/butter sauce.

Fucke, yeah! Pics, please?

BTW, as to the bigger point, the whole purpose of life is to enjoy oneself and be a net source of pleasure to other people. So it sounds to me like your trip was 100% successful!

Notorious Ph.D. said...

What can I say, Comrade, but that I'm a fretter by nature, especially when it comes to getting myself deeply in debt.

As for the picture: I was too busy enjoying the damn thing. But I highly recommend it. Both the pasta and the calimari were done to perfection. I don't know what they spiced it with, but I'd probably try red pepper flake, and... maybe a bit of lemon?

Comrade PhysioProf said...

It must have had some herbs in it, too. Any idea what ones? Oregano? Sage?

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Comrade, I didn't see any herbs, but my recommendation would be some fresh parsley, minced very fine. The spiciness was fairly delicate, and you don't want to overwhelm the calamari themselves, I'd think.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

Okey, dokey. I'll give it a shot, at some point. I'm on a risotto craze right now, so it might have to wait.

Anonymous said...

You're having a researcher's holiday, that's fine. You have what you need to move on with the research and you sure as hell needed the holiday. So it's cool. That's my advice, anyway.