I'm at the stage of my PhD where I am doing the boring but necessary groundwork. It is actually rather challenging to bear in mind not to make unsupported statements, even if they are about things that I know are true. The challenge in doing research or writing about your own country is that you know it so well that you make assumptions without even realising it; but therein lies the fun, too, sort of: sometimes you read things that question these assumptions, or sometimes your supervisor points out that a certain claim X based on assumption Y doesn't really support the broader argument, because the situation that X and Y are supposed to describe isn't that peculiar after all. In any event, all I know now is that I know very little about everything that I'm supposed to know anything about, and it's thus a humbling and frustrating experience so far.
Anyway, I spent Tuesday evening working on this side project in Dominic's office. We stopped working at about 10.15pm, then hung around while he attempted to explain to me what 'partial differential equations' were. I was quite pleased to realise that I hadn't forgotten everything about differentiation from A Level maths; at the very least, dy/dx and the rest of it looked familiar. When he started talking about four dimensions (?), though, I was simply lost.
I like that he's not a lawyer. I like being told about different things, even mathematics-related things, even if they are too abstract for me to grasp.
Sunday wasn't such a good day but it ended quite well. I was at the height of my PMS. I was in such a bad mood the whole day, even when I arrived at Dominic's. I was supposed to work on this project but I just couldn't be bothered, and everything annoyed me. Dominic told me very nicely and apologetically that I was typing a bit too loudly, which he'd never done before, and that annoyed me. At about 5, I gave up on trying to do anything productive and spent some time texting Mag, which was nice. I really missed her and Rui then; having solid good friends in your life makes life more bearable.
I tried to get over my bad mood, and I was mostly not-grumpy when we left for dinner before watching Deadpool at 8.20pm. I think it says a lot about my level of self-control and how I don't want him to see me at my worst and then not like me anymore that I really tried to keep the moodiness at bay. It was difficult but I think I managed it, more or less. We ate at the Chinese Snacks place with delicious dumplings. I ordered the ones with prawns this time (having only had the vegetarian all the previous times) and oh my god, it was amazing. It was so juicy and delicious. I'm definitely getting that again the next time!
We were too early for the movie, and so we walked around the houses opposite the cinema after dinner. At one point, he asked if I was feeling better. I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'Because of the food?' I said, 'Yeah, but not just that.' He said, 'Because of the good food?'
I laughed, looked at him, and said, 'Because of you.'
The movie was just okay. It was rather gory, but that wasn't too disgusting for me. The humour was just a bit too low brow. Dominic's office mate, who was also in on Sunday, said that the movie was too low brow for him (i.e. Dominic) when we said that we were going to watch Deadpool. His office mate was right. The sex jokes were obviously unsophisticated, but also not very clever. We agreed afterwards that the movie simply went for the low lying fruits which doesn't really impress.
I did like the meta jokes though, and the pop culture references. It is rather sad that I understood the references because they mostly came from a bygone era, i.e. the 1990s. I especially loved the 'Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret' reference when Deadpool sliced off his own hand or whatever; it was actually funny. And of course, I read Judy Blume religiously when I was a kid, so that was extra nice. I also liked the movie's use of Chicago's 'You're the Inspiration'. Oh my god, that song was overplayed to death in primary school; worse, SNGS kept using it for a bunch of things, like performances and whatnot. It certainly brought back memories.
Also, seriously, how hot was Ajax?! That's all.
And of course, the opening credits were awesome. Finally, a movie that gives due credit to the writer!
We wanted to go to a pub that serves Belgian beer after the movie because he remembered that I like Belgian beer. Alas, it was 10.30pm on a Sunday, which is of course super late, and so the pub was closed. We went to another one, a really local establishment that smelled a bit weird and was quite small and really not at all classy (then again, pubs aren't classy by definition) with a less-than-friendly barmaid. Although the place was less than ideal, the company made up for it.
On the way back to Magdalene, we walked past one of the three or four clubs in Cambridge. He said, 'We should go clubbing one of these days!' After this, he started talking about how dangerous it is for one's hearing to go clubbing, even irregularly, because of the super loud music. I was a bit disbelieving, but he suddenly said, 'It's fucking dangerous!'
That certainly caught my attention. Here's the thing about Dominic: he doesn't say 'fuck'. He just doesn't say 'fuck'. It is simply not part of his natural speech. Once over dinner, he was imitating the way this other person spoke and kept saying 'fuck' which definitely made his point. His saying 'it's fucking dangerous' on Sunday night also made his point. I was so surprised that I was all, 'Oh my god, what did you say?!'
He said it again, and then refused to say it once more, choosing instead to say 'bloody dangerous' instead of 'fucking dangerous'. Tonight, he said 'fuck' again, but only in the context of my telling him about this stupid quiz on Buzzfeed that I did about 'how fucking French are you?' He pointed out that I'm always excited when he says 'fuck', which is true. I find it so funny and cute.
On Tuesday morning, I woke up really early to go to Dominic's office so that I can use his phone to call this number to apply for a National Insurance number. I could call with my phone but I didn't want to because I would have to pay for the call. He had to call the same number a few weeks ago for the same reason, and he was put on hold for 45 minutes, and if I had to pay for that, I would cut someone, so I thought it would be best not to risk that. As such, I went over at about 9.40am, which had to be that early because his office mate usually comes in at 10.30am and obviously it wouldn't be nice to disturb him.
I was still slightly PMSy and I didn't wake up on time and hence didn't have breakfast, and I was running late and I didn't know what to wear and so I wore some crap, and I was kind of irritable when I arrived. Later in the evening, when we met at the plodge and went to his office, he said that he could tell that I was grumpy. He also said, 'You looked very glamorous [because I was wearing my shades as it was sunny and the sun is too bright for my poor eyes] and very French, so I thought your grumpiness was fitting.'
He really does know me a bit now. I really, really tried to hide my irritation but he saw right through me. I'm an open book, I know, but I tried to control my facial expressions. I really did! I guess next time I just wouldn't bother, eh? I think it's okay as long as I don't take it out on him.
Lastly, I think I need to buy a back pack. Carrying my computer and charger and water and wallet on my right shoulder seems to be taking its toll; the portion just below my right shoulder is hurting. Of course, I will need a glamorous backpack, so maybe I will buy this one.
Lastly for real, it is insane what the arrival of my period does for my mood. I feel so good once again!