home sweet home

here are good things:
1. my request to defer my acceptance to phd school was okayed, i have another year to save up monies and reconsider, i am relieved and delighted.
2. in the meantime, i'm going to take an undergraduate math class on monday nights
3. and i think i'm sending myself back to kickboxing? maybe brazilian jiu-jitsu? because i told adam that i want to have an afterwork learning time and an afterwork sporting time.
4. oh man, today at work i found a briefing note from january 2012 in which somebody called someone else completely incompetent and this is just not done in government, i don't know who wrote this but right on. it was so magical that i printed off a copy to show my colleague and she was aghast because of the content and also because the note claimed to be for a deputy minister meeting but, in addition to being contentious, it was quite poorly written, oh man.
5. we're moving on saturday, i am so excited so excited, i have hated this apartment so much.
  • Current Mood
    the adverts - 'bored teenagers'

who'll be my role model...

1. skyped with former roommate max tonight and on monday. max is worried that his fellow students will think he is a german stereotype while he's on his semester abroad in scotland, he means the german stereotype of being a serious/no-sense-of-humour dude and i did not have the heart to tell him that this is not the main german stereotype1. the point is that max is reading joke websites to practice telling english jokes but they are all the worst/best puns and dad jokes and i kept laughing but also saying DO NOT TELL THAT ONE but oh man, he is going to rock this. he is also reading harry potter to be able to discuss british literature, max is the best.

2. max asked how i ended up in the government again since i moved to germany to get away from the government, and i know i know i know; we blamed capitalism. my job so far seems kinda like a better version of every other government job i've had: a group of super dedicated workers, management seems surprisingly strong AND supportive, and there is a whole lot of work getting done; but, it's still government and ultimately i am not sure if this is for me. it's not bad, though, and i don't know what else to do.

1i said this to adam and adam said that being a serious/no-sense-of-humour dude is definitely the most well-known german stereotype and i disagreed because: nazis, ostis, techno maniac, pervert nerd, come on dudes DIETER FROM SPROCKETS. adam got the last word by saying that dieter was the definitive serious/no-sense-of-humour dude, so, okay.
valentina tereshkova

no free lunch OR money talks OR not all dreams can come true OR at least i would work with emily

the best thing about today's interview was the free lunch but the second best part was being told that i might get hired in part because clients have complained that this office doesn't seem to hire women outside of admin positions.

in related news, i might not get to be a phd student in september, i might get to be a yuppie.
  • Current Music
    greg macpherson - 'good times'
let's dance

we've since seen things that we thought then impossible

1. adam never told his sisters that we got married last month, he wanted them to think we will get married in august, they were understandably mad when someone spilled the beans on saturday. adam's aunt deb seemed pretty pleased, though, she told me that she didn't tell anyone that she was married for three years. she kept snickering and repeating 'it's nobody's goddamned business'.

2. adam's uncle paul told us very seriously that we need to follow our dreams, but i am pretty sure that is terrible advice to give anybody.
  • Current Music
    matthew maaskant - 'you only dream to test me'
bionic woman

is the billy bragg show in toronto sold out?

1. last 72 hours in town. today: closed my bank account, notarised copies of my diploma, finally mailed this dumb box of stuff that doesn't fit in my suitcase, confirmed the time for my phd candidate interview (over skype !), ate sweet potato pizza, confirmed last meeting-everybody times. i really like berlin. i would like to live here again, but i would also like to live in edinburgh, maybe living in toronto will be great too.

2. came back from the north sea by train yesterday. when i left berlin for the coast, i had a persistent patch of icky dried skin on my thumbs, a really gross rash on my right hand that f side-eyed me for googling ("why is rash on my hand?") (the answers were not very helpful), a maybe swollen thyroid. one week later, i am cured, even the rash, EVEN THE RASH, which let's be honest started back in january when i was stressed about my thesis and i thought it was never going to go away. f's hometown is one of the traditional spa destination towns, there is still a swanky spa somewhere, but breathing the clean air is free, looking at the sea is free, wandering around cute little towns eating cute little brezeln costs €0,90. we went to the beach, to the wind turbine factory, to the town's jewish museum (there are currently zero jewish people listed in the census for the entire district, f's village priest was the volunteer who led us around the museum and he was lovely, the museum itself was grim), we oooohed and ahhhhhhhhhed in the rescued sea lion centre (for injured or abandoned seals, sea lions and walruses!! this is not a zoo, the animals are not performers, they are at a tiny chic recovery centre!). i really like the north sea.
bionic woman

hi livejournal

1. so my final assignment as a research assistant to a prof is to write the first draft of her poster for a conference, without instructions regarding the audience or necessary content, the prof just sent me a link to her website and my questions re: her expectations went unanswered, only the deadline is certain and that is tomorrow. so adam gave me Professional Writer advice and i have googled How To Make a Social Science Conference Poster for ideas and i guess that this is academia.

2. my other job is even more of a gong show, i'm copy-editing for a marketing company, my boss called me 'too pedantic' last thursday and this was fantastic for a number of reasons including: he is already dieter-esque but can you imagine dieter calling your copy 'too pedantic' and, as a follow-up question, how would you ever stop laughing?

3. turns out that getting a masters in economics has not made me any more or less employable, i am just more prone to wincing when i read or watch david cameron's speeches, more critical of economists in general, i am actually still a huge fan of taxes, and yes i would love to explain why increasing public funding into higher education (and training!) is a valuable investment which will benefit the entire country, in other words i am maybe more or less insufferable.
junior sceptic

only into it if if it is french-canadian folk music or andrew wk

1. josie bought my ticket tonight, my computer crashed while trying to book my ticket and we didn't want to miss the seat sale, we are going to dublin from march 1-4. in addition to writing our theses side-by-side in the library, we are working at a ridiculous internet startup together, we never received any job training and we do not have a sense of direction regarding our job's purpose or understand what our german coworkers are saying to us, but we are getting paid €11 an hour, which is quite a lot in berlin where there is no minimum wage and, to give context, my entire monthly expenses (inclduing rent! INCLUDING RENT) are less than €500. the point is, we are stressed about school and what comes after school, and we are making monies at a job that might just be an industrial psychology experiment in dysfunctional workplaces, and we are looking forward to spending a small portion of our monies on greasy potatoes and maybe a hike to a castle.

2. adam bought my ticket, i don't have a credit card and he loves me, i am flying back to toronto, via copenhagen and reykjavik, on april 15.
junior sceptic

dear livejournal,

1. applying to phd programmes. this is hard and i don't know what i'm doing.
2. writing my thesis. this is hard and i feel pretty great about what i'm doing.
3. my boss offered to extend my contract as a research assistant. this is good because it means that i will not run out of money in march, as i suspected that i might, and it is great because the prof thinks i'm worth keeping on, but it's a mixed bag because it means that i'll stay in berlin until mid-april instead of mid-march.
4. also, this is an issue because the dude whose room i'm subletting is coming back april 1.
5. so, i asked my friend f if i could stay with her for two weeks, and she was enthusiastic.
6. then my flatmates said that moving is silly, i could just keep staying here (here being the apartment, i would probably camp out in the living room). to be determined, but options are nice.
7. getting a cold, drinking three litres of sage tea per day. what is up with germans adding sage to everything, this is amazing. it almost makes up for how i can't just buy neo-citran or generic-citran or nyquil or anything i expected to buy for my cold, because germany frowns on many things which i never considered as frown-worthy before moving here, but maybe they have a point (see further: germany's ban on antiperspirant, most of youtube is blocked, there's talk of banning bubble tea because tapioca balls are questionable). sage tea, sage throat lozenges and sage-smelling dish soap are still pretty great, though.
  • Current Music
    barry louis polisar - 'all i want is you'
junior sceptic

had another dream about a song, had a dream that you died, had a dream that we fought about a movie

1. got a letter from the government today, opened it and read and it said that i am officially recognised as a thesis-writing student, i am expected to complete my studies this spring, i am expected to succeed.

2. taking a 10-week intensive german course, mon-thur, and it is way hard. my housemates have been helping me with my homework, in between making fun of my homework and teasing me for not having learned very much german during the past year. maybe we will be back in germany next year, maybe not, but i doubt that i will ever regret trying to learn.
junior sceptic

she's smart for a woman, i wonder how she got that way

1. thought i had bedbugs! every fall i think that i have bedbugs and every fall i remember that i get hives on a fairly predictable schedule. this time, the bedbugs theory seemed more plausible since i had slept in six different beds over a ten day period, three of those beds were in my own place while we shuffled around sarah&nick, max's girlfriend& a guest, plus stephan's grandparents, along with beds in prague and hannover and a pre-hannover sleepover. i don't seem to have bedbugs; i still seem to be allergic to autumn.

2. my thesis is underway. and by that, i mean that i have secured two supervisors and my proposal has been approved and i have read more than the titles of a few papers. the first supervisor is my favourite professor, he is the loveliest, and the second supervisor was a prof i didn't know, and he is maybe great and/or completely bonkers. i met the second guy this morning after exchanging emails yesterday afternoon, he is (a) very enthusiastic about my topic, (b) passionately dedicated to studying class conflict, and (c) confident that i can succeed despite my concerns that i am maybe not really an economist. we talked about how i may have to redefine success if i have trouble finding enough current data in one of the subheadings, though, meaning that i might need to decide that the conclusion is Increasing Tuitions: Bad for Human Capital Reasons, although i hate the term 'human capital' and also this is pretty much just a high-falutin' way of saying Limiting Education Opportunities: Bad Economics, which is a very obvious and kind of bland conclusion, especially when what i really want to say is Why Is Britain Trying to Stop Me from Getting a PhD: I HATE YOU BRITAIN.

dudes, tuition is set to triple from this year to next year in britain. tuition is still fairly recent development for britain and so their bursury & loan system is wacky, and by wacky i mean really gross. this is a separate issue from how i am pretty sure that phd programmes should not have any tuition; students should be paid as researchers and not be required to pay for the privilege of providing high-quality reports and acting as low-paid teachers. oh, plus i found two great programmes for me, one in england and one in scotland, so this affects me, i am so full of eye rolls both for the british tertiary education system and for myself.

3. assorted brags: i had a dinner party on sunday and it was maybe a success; with one grade still outstanding but unofficially known, it appears that all my marks from last semester are all A+s, meaning that maybe i can be more confident about looking at phd stuff; adam keeps coming up with really great and adorable wedding ideas.