Master’s degree

I have finished my master’s degree.

One day on, I find myself bored.  I certainly knew how to waste time while I was writing my dissertation.  I don’t know what to do with my time now that I have no life purpose.


Gay Sex! Intrigue!

Sometimes archaic translation can be so rewarding.

                                            Heton lædan ut

of þam hean hofe            halige aras,

weras to gewealde,           wordum cwædon

þæt mid þam hæleðum             hæman wolden

unscomlice,                      arna ne gymden.


They called [Lot] to bring out of that miserable temple the holy messengers, men to possess, and with words said that with those warriors they would shamelessly have sexual intercourse; they would not observe honour.

Ac him se mæra mod getwæfde, bælc forbigde.

[and he, the most high, troubled their minds and humbled their pride.]


I know I probably shouldn’t feel productive, but I do. 

I got two-and-one-thirds pages translated so far today, and I started at about 11.  And I took a lunch break.  And it’s only 5pm now.  That’s, like, 100 lines. 

Hm, when I write it out like that, 100 lines doesn’t seem like that much.  Not when one considers the epic 2937-line length of the poem, at least.  When I started this dissertation endeavour, I never fooled myself into believing I would actually translate the entire goddamn thing, even if Clare has faith in me that I can.  I can only do my best.

Maybe I shouldn’t count my chickens and all that.  But I definitely feel as if I’m getting better at translating.  I’m starting to learn the vocabularly a bit better, so I don’t have to look up every. single. word.  I know with time I will pick it all up.  Sort of like I did with Middle English but much harder because barely any of the words even remotely resemble what they do in Modern English in Old English.  But I’m sure it will come.  Better yet, I’m getting the hang of Old English poetic grammar. 

Thank. God.

A not-food post.

So it was cool outside today.  Is it cool in my flat, though?  Negative.

I am keenly aware of just how much heat my laptop gives off because of this flat in the summer.  It’s almost encouraging me to just turn it off.


Not quite.


I received my copy of Veganomicon in the mail today.  I was really excited about it until I started looking through the recipes and realizing just how much time they each seem to take to prepare.  That and the fact that they feed, like, eight people and dividing American recipes by four is really fucking difficult.  I’m beginning to appreciate the metric system here in the UK a little at this point.  Also, a lot of the recipes call for quintessentially American products, like liquid smoke.  I finally got my hands on some vital wheat gluten and now I have to find some liquid smoke?  Give me a break.

But I’m still pretty stoked about Veganomicon, I’m not going to lie.  Maybe I’ll make some baked goods from it.  Surely I’ll have enough ingredients in the cupboards for that. 


I had a dissertation meeting with Clare this afternoon and have come off of it with renewed dissertation vigour.  She was genuinely excited about my project after reading my critical evaluation, which is a great thing, and she essentially gave me permission to ignore criticism for the time being and devote my time and effort solely to translating and musing on the Junius 11 Genesis.  This is a good thing.  I really need to focus more on it, but there was that researcher in me that didn’t want to give up her secondary sources.  Even when there are no secondary sources to be found on my dissertation topic.  So, starting tomorrow, it’s translate, translate, translate. 

I need to find a good workplace.  Somewhere that has wifi, is comfortable, doesn’t mind me being there all day and preferably has some refreshments for purchase.


Internet Procrastination

So I’m sitting in bed with plastic wrap over my head.  

I decided to henna my hair this morning, and the process takes a minimum of four hours.  When I started the process at 10:30am, I thought it was a brilliant idea.  It was gray, raining and dismal outside, you see.  Now at 11:16am, the clouds have begun to part.  I can see a blue sky.  I think the sun might be coming out.  Three more hours to go.

Actually, I probably should use this time of house-confinement to read through Anne Klink’s article ‘Female Characterisation in Old English Poetry’ as the last bit of reading that is absolutely necessary for a well-rounded critical evaluation on my dissertation topic.  I should also start proofreading and revising my critical evaluation that is due to be handed in on Monday.

But what am I doing?  Watching To Buy or Not to Buy on television and blogging.  

Me = winner at life.

I think it’s just that this flat is often a black hole of productivity for me.  At least when the bed is down.  ‘Then put up the bed,’ you say.  That would just be too logical.


No, seriously, I’ll do that right after this blog post, I swear.


So I went to the chiropractor this morning and discovered that the weird ‘creaky door’ feeling in my left foot is due to a ‘locked arch’.  Which is most likely due to me traipsing around town in my not-worn-in Birkenstock sandals with the straps too tight, thereby restricting the movement of my entire foot because the footbed is still very stiff.  



I still love them, my new Birkenstocks.


I also got a whole 400 more words written for my Critical Evaluation due May 11th.  But I also straightened out my notes and went to the library to get some more reading done when I’d realised I really should have some more research done for this thing.  I’m going to bring my work with me to Essex this weekend.  Red and I are going home to get our suitcases for the upcoming America trip, you see.  Except we found out that his parents are actually going to be in France this weekend.  They went because of the bank holiday on Monday.  So it’s just going to be me and Red all by ourselves.  Ah, room to stretch out and work in the peace and beauty of the conservatory rather than the flat in which all I can think about when I’m trying to concentrate is all the crap that could be cleaned up.

Also, going home this weekend means Fish and Chips!  Whee!!!

Except since Red doesn’t get home until 6:30pm and it will take at least an hour to get to Witham and then we’re going to have to walk a mile and a half home (unless we get a cab) to get the car, I won’t be eating dinner until at least 8:30pm.  This is not a good thing.  You see, I get quite cross when I haven’t eaten.  Blerg.  Never mind that.

Winning at Life: a How-To Guide

Okay, so rather than hash out everything that’s happened between now and October of last year, here’s the really brief recap.  Brevity, it’s my new thing.  (But don’t hold me to that.)


a) I got married.  Lots of you weren’t there.  Including my father.  In case you’re wondering, no, I won’t ever get over that.

b) It snowed here.  A lot.

c) I got merits on both of my essays from last term.  Apparently, that’s really good at this level.

d) I discovered there’s probably more of a chance of an iceberg thriving in hell than of me getting funding let alone a studentship for a PhD next year because of the economy and my ‘International’ fee status despite proven ability.  I am jaded and in huge amounts of student loan debt.

e) I am currently an illegal immigrant held hostage in the UK.  The Home Office has my passport, and I’m still waiting to hear back about my visa.

f) The elevator has been mostly not working for the last two months or so.  Probably three at this point.  I’ve stopped keeping track.  I live on the fifth floor.  That’s the sixth floor to you Americans.  This has so many levels of awesome-in-the-completely-unawesome-way that I can’t even enumerate them all.


Those are the highlights.  


I have just come home from one of my seminars.  There’s one more in the term, and then I have to write some essays.  I find that I get less schoolwork done now than I ever did back in Orlando when I worked nearly full-time hours and also went to school full time.  This is sad.  I cannot account for the paradox involved.  I wish I could get a job to see if maybe I begin spending my spare time more wisely (instead of watching really bad television programming at night), but, alas, see e) above.


See, look at me here.  Not spending my time so wisely now, am I?  


I suppose I’ve been feeling a bit worn down by my attempts to translate the Anglo-Saxon Genesis A into modern English.  It is taking forever.  I seriously have spent at least 4 hours on it to date, and I’ve only translated 64 lines.  64 LINES!  For those of you who like to feel accomplished in the tasks that you undertake, you should forgo translating one of the oldest Old English poems into Modern English when you have comparatively little formal training in this art.


You want to hear something funny, though?  I’ve chosen to focus my dissertation on Genesis A, thinking it would get me as familiar with Old English as I am with Middle English for my PhD topic proposal that spans the entire medieval period from the Anglo-Saxon to the late-medieval times.  And, this poem, it’s nearly 3000 lines long.  




I win at life.


I suppose I could just rely heavily on reading the text in translation, but that’s just all sorts of academic cheating, isn’t it.  Plus, it’s not really handy for how I work, inspired frequently if not wholly on the philological moves of texts.  And it doesn’t help that the last translation of the entire text of Genesis A was in fucking 1915.  Christ alive, I don’t even want to think of the implications this has on the ‘modern’ rendering of the text.


And I’ve been eating a lot here, and despite f) above, I seem to have gained at least five pounds.  I know I shouldn’t care about this, but I think about it more than I should.  This hasn’t stopped me from eating chocolate on a normal basis, so I suppose that’s something.  (For the record, I don’t think I’m categorizing this paragraph under the ‘failing at life’ heading of this blog entry, because weight should never have anything to do with life FAIL!s.)


And I’ve been sucked into the world of internet memes more frequently than I otherwise would have liked.  (Also for the record, this is a life fail.)