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Friday, January 13, 2006
Driven to Distraction
Articulate Dad * started a new meme, one that asks bloggers to list five things they do to distract (or amuse) themselves. Little did AD know that he was asking this of the Distraction Technique Expert, me.
Five Things I Do to Distract/Amuse Myself:
1.) Read blogs or write blog entries. I don't write nearly as much as I read. I simply LOVE to read about other people's lives, other struggles, other successes. I like to start with the site of someone with a huge blogroll (like Brightstar, Profgrrrrrl, or Jo(e)) and then pick one random blog each day, something I've never read before. This is great fun, but it also leads to further distraction. Sometimes I find blogs that I really like and then feel compelled to start reading them regularly. (I sense this is happening with Russian Violets.)
2.) Laundry. I freely admit that I like to do laundry, and I think that's because, unlike writing this stupid dissertation, I feel like I've achieved something when I've done even a little bit of laundry. I like the way it smells, I like the sight of empty clothesbaskets in our linen closet, and I really like to fold clothes (especially ST's small clothes because they're just so cute). This love of laundry also explains my newfound obsession with this candle scent: Clean Cotton from Yankee Candle. It honestly smells like awesome laundry detergent, and I could smell it all day.
3.) Read. I will read anything and everything, and I really like to do it. And if it's not related to the dissertation, I like it even more. My current read is William T. Vollmann's Europe Central, and although it is taking me ages to get through and calling on all of my knowledge of history and music, I am thoroughly enjoying each page. I don't usually read fiction until I'm in bed, though, so reading is only a major distraction for me when I'm supposed to be working at night.
4.) Bake. T can always tell when I'm really stressed because I stay up late and bake. For example, I returned from Europe on November 30 and left for campus visits December 4. During that short time at home I baked almost all of my Christmas cookies (four varieties), two cakes, a loaf of banana bread, made a dinner-to-go for some friends, and a batch of orange-nut biscotti. I did all of this not only because I was a nervous wreck, but also because baking is a fun thing to do with ST (he tastes each ingredient, right down to the baking powder!). To feed this baking obsession, I just joined a cookbook club (you know, sort of like the 12CDs-for-$1.00 type club, but for cookbooks). Of the five books I got for $1.00 each, three of them were baking books: The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, More from Magnolia, and some book devoted to biscotti. I justify this cookbook obsession in a few ways: 1.) time with ST is always good; 2.) T loves treats and so do I; 3.) I give a lot of what I bake away, so I'm building social capital everytime I bake; and 4.) someday I want my kitchen or dining room to be decorated like this (click on "View in Room" to see what I mean).
5.) Clean the kitchen. Because I cook and bake a lot, my kitchen is the center of our house. If I am not in my office, T and ST know that I will be in the kitchen. And since the kitchen is my favorite room, I like it to be in perfect order at all times. This means that I cannot reasonably be expected to work on my dissertation if the kitchen is messy or if the sink, especially, is dirty or has water-spots on it. I can easily distract myself, then, by doing dishes, polishing our dining room table, cleaning the sink (I have a sink obsession, as I've mentioned before), disinfecting the counters, doing kitchen-related laundry (see #2), sweeping or mopping (which I hate to do, but heck, both are more fun than dissertating), or making a new meal plan or grocery list. Because T knows of this method of distraction and how I have turned it into an art form, he usually helps me clean the kitchen every night after dinner.
That's it. Now I have to work. (Yep. Work!)
* Articulate Dad, thanks for your email. I really appreciated the information!