anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

Happy Birthday, Dad

It's my dad's birthday today. I called him on FaceTime while I was in the library last night; it was about 7am in Singapore. I wished him happy birthday. He asked why I was still in the library so late and said to hurry back home as it was late and it could be dangerous. I told him that my room is just 30 seconds away from the library so it was all good.

My mom sent photos of him and his two little pieces of cake today. It made me miss him - and her - very much.

So it's a good thing that I had French class and my homicidal paper to occupy my mind, thereby preventing me from sinking into a state of melancholia.


I have to finish the paper tonight. I think I am on my last point, so if I remained in the library till midnight today, I should be able to do it.

I am honestly incredibly stressed out by the fact that this paper will be read by people other than my supervisor. I know there will be at least 4 others: Tom (the other convenor), Barry (who said he's going), Josh (who's probably gonna go) and W (who also said he's going). John, too, if he's back in Cambridge next week. I am so insecure about the quality and rigour of this paper that thinking about it being read by others makes me rather sick. So I really have to finish the first draft today and give myself the next two days to revise and polish it. Ugh, so much stress.

At the same time, I kind of get off on stress of this nature. Barry and I were in Fitzbillies over the weekend and it was mad crowded as it usually is on the weekends, and we both agreed that we could not deal with that kind of stress - that is, of an endless stream of customers expecting to be served within a certain time period, barely having enough time to take a breather for hours. I couldn't deal with that kind of stress; in contrast, the PhD stress is quite manageable.


French class was fun, as always. We revised grammar. It made me realise that I hate grammar. The Chinese language is great in this regard: it has no grammar. My learning English as a child is also great in this regard: I have no recollection of learning grammar, and I don't know what the grammatical terms mean; it is all intuitive to me. Because it is intuitive, I don't have to learn the rules; I just know them.

But French grammar is such a pain. It is just rote learning, I know, but oh my god, it hurts my brain.


I am feeling really, really, really sleepy, which is very worrying.


I cheated on Fitzbillies today and bought a flat white from the new cafe that opened opposite the Round Church. Matt wasn't working today so there was a high chance that my FB flat white would not be as good, so I thought I would try the new cafe. It's one of those typical hipster establishments, and the aroma of coffee that wafted through the little shop space was rather heavenly.

The coffee, too, was amazing. Just amazing. It hit the perfect blend of milk and coffee, with a suitably delicious sour aftertaste. Unfortunately, I let it sit in the library untouched for 10 minutes while I took a walk around the fellows' garden with Barry, and when I got back to it, it had gone cold and wasn't as nice anymore. So next time I will drink it as soon as it's made to keep the flavour.

I don't foresee myself going there more than going to FB though, if only because this new cafe is further than FB and I can't be bothered to walk all the way there for coffee when I can just cross the road to FB. 3 minutes vs. 5 minutes. I think it makes a difference.


I had a quick chat with Matt yesterday about his uni life. Well, by that I mean I asked him what he studied at uni, and when he said 'film', I said, 'Oh wow, that's really interesting!'

'That's the usual response I get from people,' he said wryly. 'Essentially they mean that it's not a real degree. Well, it's got me really far, hasn't it?'

In actual fact, that was not what I meant; it wasn't even what crossed my mind. What crossed my mind was, 'Wow that's really cool, because there was a point in my life when I thought of studying film, too.'

I was 16, I think, and watching a bunch of movies because I was really into them at the time. But it didn't stick, just like how music didn't stick; the only thing that's stuck is literature. The power and beauty of the written word.
Tags: coffee, french, matt, parents, phd

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