Sunday, October 09, 2005

I appear to have got myself into a bit of a vicious circle. Having surprised myself at the lack of stress of writing a thesis, I seem to have saved up most of that stress for the viva. This along with several other current concerns including the fact that I still have to learn Mandarin, I have to have two of my wisdom teeth out in a week, I've still got lots of admin to do for China, many people to seen around the country, insurance to organise, a haullage company to contact....etc. means that I'm currently a bit stressed. I do anxious quite well a lot of the time but it's rare that I genuinly feel stressed. This means I'm not sleeping well at the moment and so I'm waking up in a foul temper, then not actually getting anything done during the day. My success today, other than shredding paper, has been my second Mandarin lesson, it's difficult to know how much is going in at the moment without frequent structured practice but I guess I'll find out in three weeks. Three weeks!

The other positive thing at the moment has been that in putting off everything that I need to do, I finished Candide by Voltaire. It's an interesting little book about the ultimate optimist's misadventures and calamities as he searches for his first and only love Conégonde. Candide is Quixotic in his activities though, in contrast to Don Quixote, Candide's love is reciprocated (In Don Quixote, Dulcinea finds her stalker somewhat bemusing). The book is about Candide's reaction to suffering and in contrast to Metamorphosis which is about external reaction to other's suffering, Candide, though dark in many places, treats the subject more light-heartedly. The other positive side is that whereas Don Quixote, which I've yet to finish as everytime I restart I get exasperated by his stupidity, is 1000 pages long, this is almost a tenth the size and he only makes each mistake once (or sometimes twice) in contrast to DQ's constant misapprehensions. I may finish it one day!

I've now started Sweet Thursday by Steinbeck which is the sequel to Cannery Row. Only a couple of chapters in but I'm hooked already. Cannery Row is probably Steinbeck's greatest comedies and though also containing tragedy ends up as an uplifting story. Anyway, more to come on this.


Anonymous said...

Let's hope this Thursday is a 'Sweet Thursday' for you Jon 'The Boy' 'Shockolate' 'Choc-Chip' 'Ship' 'Flip' 'Shock Jock' Shock. I for, one, will be walking, breathing and eating some food on that day. I await it with glee.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jon "Jon Shock" Shock,

Today I asked myself the question "is high energy physics less socially acceptable than low energy physics in the physics tea room"

Anonymous said...

Does this stuff get screened first or just posted.

Anonymous said...

I really don't think that boredom will set in after 2 years of posting rubbish on the site.

Unknown said...

I have the power to remove anything should I so wish. However, unless adverts start popping up on this, I'm going to leave comments as they are. What the Chinese will say about this, I don't know, mainly becuase I'm yet to learn Chinese. However, keep the comments coming.

In reply to the sociable acceptability of high and low energy physics, you must remember that drinking tea is generally a communal activity and therefore involves interaction with other people. The title of physicist automatically procludes this activity.