Wrapped Up In Books

Yo la tengo [Language; not the band]
July 9, 2009, 3:43 pm
Filed under: A, Filmology, potpourri | Tags: , , , , , ,

I subscribe to a ‘Spanish-word-a-day’ kind of thing and sometimes the sentence in which the word is used is accompanied by some anecdote. Today, it’s a joke:

Suena el teléfono a las 6 de la mañana en la recepción del hotel, y dice un borracho a la recepcionista:
Señorita, ¿Me puede decir a qué hora abren la barra?
Ella le contesta:
A las 5 de la tarde, pero déjeme decirle que con la borrachera que tiene no lo van a dejar entrar.
Y el borracho le contesta:
Si yo no quiero entrar, lo que quiero es salir, pues me quedé aquí anoche.

¡Ay, ay, ay!

(That’s basically a guy, who’s drunk, phoning the hotel receptionist and asking, at 6am, what time the bar opens. She replies that it doesn’t open until 5 in the afternoon, and that in his state, he wouldn’t be allowed in. His rejoinder is that he doesn’t want in, he wants out, for he’s spent the entire night there.)

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.

Oh, and don’t see Year One. It’s pretty terrible.


Life is good.

Things seem to be going well at the moment.

1) I have a place to live next year. It rules because it’s in a good area of the city (Rosemount, if it means anything to anyone); it’s less than a mile to the hospital and I get to walk through a gorgeous park to get there. Also, it’s probably less than a mile into the city centre which means getting home from nights out costs less. It has a backyard and it’s furnished, which is a foreigner’s dream. I’m almost too excited at the thought of buying bedding.

2) Yesterday, I finished my discussion chapter of my thesis. It’s now in the capable hands of my supervisors who will surely dissect it, but that’s what I rely on them for. So, as it stands, I have a finished first draft of this m-fer. Now I need to edit my lit review which hopefully won’t take me much longer than a few days (though productivity is waning today).

3) Monday is a bank holiday and I’ve been told not to go to the office. I am overjoyed and don’t know what to do with an entire day off. Go to the beach and do laundry, likely.

4) I booked a flight home and will be in Ancaster/Toronto for an entire month from August 29. I’ll be back in Aberdeen the day before my PhD begins. I’m usually jetlagged for as much as a week when I fly back and forth anyway, so I figure giving myself one day to acclimate is no worse than a week. Quite excited to fly British Airways as I hear their veggie meals are delicious (Air Canada’s have, um, too many beans), and I managed to get the shortest travel duration both ways which also happened to be the best price (still $827 CDN).

5) I’m seeing Year One tonight and I’m psyched.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.

Fact: I frequently wear my earphones at the office but am listening to nothing.
June 24, 2009, 4:11 pm
Filed under: A, potpourri, Rants | Tags: , , , ,

It’s only so that I can get work done without people bothering me.

So, it’s nearly the end of June which means I have just a little more than a month left to polish off my thesis. I’ve been plugging away at this thing since the first Monday of February (I had just a weekend between finishing exams and beginning this project), and at times it’s been wearing me down.

I’ve run into a bunch of unforeseen issues with my thesis. Whether it’s accidentally including women who haven’t completed the menopause in my analyses (it’s menopausal age that I’m studying, and the factors contributing to it, and some other stuff), realising that I needed to use 99% confidence intervals instead of 95% (and not keeping a syntax file!), running a ton of analyses we later saw as pointless (to be absolutely blunt about it), or whether it’s a near-complete derailment of our original aims.

I frequently use ‘we’ when talking about the progress of the study; I’m extremely fortunate to have two ultra-supportive supervisors. Unlike other people in my programme, I have a standing weekly appointment with both of them. Whenever I churn (or, rather, print) something out, I hand it over for their deconstruction and editing. It’s probably the best learning experience because rather than waiting until I finish this magnum opus, I get to see what they expect of me all along the way.

This, however, has been sometimes irksome. Whether it’s finishing my methods chapter and thinking it’s completely hunky-dory, then getting it back with the margins completely filled with inky scribbles, or finally thinking I’m done with SPSS only to have to re-do 6 of my 15 tables (currently each table has at least 7 previous versions). However, this has taught me patience (which means they’ve cracked me! I thought it’d never happen!) as well as a ton of humility (had some of that before).

Today, I’m in the midst of writing up my discussion chapter. And it’s sinking in how lucky I am to have gotten this topic: my study strengths overweigh the limitations by a landslide and it does seem that most of my findings are congruent with the literature.

Still, I don’t think you’ll find a happier girl at noon next month on the 30th.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.

Where Melville meets Melrose Place.



Via Slaughterhouse 90210.

More, now, again [Elizabeth Wurtzel]

One of my favourite authors when I was a teenager (and probably still now if I read it) was Elizabeth Wurtzel. She’s the clever and acid-tongued wordsmith who penned Prozac Nation for which she received international acclaim (and criticism).

I think I read three of her four books in the same summer – once I had a taste of one, I lapped up the next (More, Now, Again) and then another (Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women [and my god, was I ever a difficult teenager; nay, I’m still difficult]). I read The Secret of Life: Commonsense Advice for Uncommon Women some years later and it made less of an impression on me than did its predecessors.

In all likelihood I was so touched by Wurtzel’s words then because I felt, probably like any other teenaged girl, misunderstood, full of some inexplicable angst, and somehow stifled by my all too familiar surroundings. I did not know then that the key to what I thought was me being so complicated was held by any female who had lived beyond adolescence and realised the error of their ways.


It was a bit like stepping back into this memory lane when I learned that she had written an article for Elle magazine, which fortunately was published in its entirety online. Its most Wurtzelian title is, of course, Beauty Fades, Loneliness is Forever. Instead of viewing her as a peer, this time round I’m taking in what she says as wisdom I have yet to acquire (the trials and tribulations of my future should teach me well).

She has not lost that trademark inherent bitterness, but even she is not immune to hindsight being something closer to 20/20 than some glossed-over glaucoma (doubtless because her past is not so sweet).

“…Age is a terrible avenger. The lessons of life give you so much to work with, but by the time you’ve got all this great wisdom, you don’t get to be young anymore. And in this world, that’s just about the worst thing that can happen—especially to a woman. Whoever said youth is wasted on the young actually got it wrong; it’s more that maturity is wasted on the old. I was both emotionally unkempt and mentally unhinged—deeply depressed, drugged, sensitive, and nasty all at once—during the years I was supposed to be spousing up. My judgment was so lousy, I probably deserve plentiful wedding gifts—Tiffany silverware to serve several dozen—for all the people I didn’t marry, because the men I dated were awfully bad choices, and I was not such a good bet myself.

These days, I am a stable adult professional—a practicing attorney, capable of common sense—but I still know how to live life on the edge. I was a terrifically brooding and mature teenager, then a whiny and puerile adult, and now I may finally approximate the grace of a person who has come of age. But it took a very long time—probably far too long. Now that I am a woman whom some man might actually like to be with, might actually not want to punch in the face—or, at least, now that I don’t like guys who want to do that to me—I am sadly 41. I am past my perfect years…”

Read it. She’s flawed but I still admire her.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.

‘I put my new shoes on and suddenly everything is right!’ [Paolo Nutini]
May 21, 2009, 7:25 pm
Filed under: A, potpourri | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One of the few things I never had in childhood were jellies. In case you’re not aware, jellies are rubber, sweat- and blister-inducing sandals, and were a serious highlight of a born-in-the-’80s upbringing. For the reasons explained in their description, I was not allowed to ever own these.

In spite of this, I bought a bronze pair that are sort of gladiator-style from Office online last week as a good-job-on-the-PhD-funding as well as an early b-day present to myself. They arrived today and I’ve been wearing them since I got home.


It's more difficult to take a photo of my feet than I thought.

They’re perfect for the beach because no sand can get stuck in them and a quick rinse is enough to clean them off! So happy!

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.

Oh, to switch places with that girl. [Bon Iver & Wales]
May 15, 2009, 8:10 am
Filed under: A, Biomusicology, photography, potpourri | Tags: , , , , , , ,

But instead I’ll be in Wales this weekend. Have a good one, everybody!

bi cape cod

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.