A cavalcade of discontent

You know how sometimes you just get into a mindset where nothing seems to be going right? Where no matter what you do you can’t stop being in a deep, fuzzy funk? I’ve got that right now. So what’s pissing me off at the moment: let’s try and list the crappy things at the moment and maybe they’ll seem more manageable.

First: This book chapter paper-expansion job is crushing me. I hit a point where I realised that the initial idea I had in the paper was actually shit and rubbish and the so expansion turned into something like an attempt to salvage anything from the flaming wreckage of what I thought was a plausible original idea. Ha! So much for that one. Hey, guess what, actual originality is even harder than I thought it was (and I already thought it was pretty damn hard). I guess either I’m doing shitty research (hello!) or not doing enough (hello!) or my standards are too high (hello!) or I’m not playing the bullshit publishing game right (hello!).

Second: My actual PhD research – it’s basically the same deal as the chapter above. I mean, it was meant to be something preliminary from the body of my PhD. Which means, hey, my PhD research must not be doing too great I suppose yeah maybe. I need to get back on those interviews and stuff but I feel like at the moment all my time needs to go to this stupid chapter (see first issue) because it’s due soon. But all the time I’m supposed to be spending on it I’m really just wiling the fuck away anyway so maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe I’ve got heaps of time for it.

How much do I actually still have left to write? I need to write: an introduction, a literature review-type chapter (reviewing what’s been said about internet communities I guess; my methodology as well?), a chapter on my own take on internet community (how to talk about internet community), a theoretical chapter on the nature of the internet or digital environment (although every time I think about this one I kind of cringe and go “really? wasn’t that also just another bad idea I had?”), a chapter I had planned to write attempting something like a mashing together of object-oriented philosophy/ontology and J Gibson’s “affordances” but I think that’s probably not going to be a successful endeavor now, a chapter of ANT-style case studies of certain bloggers who did a lot of linking, i.e. community building (Maggie Green, Michael Walbridge, N’Gai Croal), that last chapter could almost be two or maybe three chapters with the amount Maggie and N’Gai wrote. And finally a chapter on some events that elucidate some aspect or other of whatever the hell is interesting about the community formation aspects of the critical videogame blogosphere. Perhaps at the end of it all I go “Well actually, it’s important not to overemphasize the importance of this stuff”, particularly if I’m not particularly convinced myself by my fanciful claims at the end of it all.

Third: I fucked up pomodoro. Guess that’s not working out for me at the moment either. No idea when I’m going to get back into that, but this more free-style blogging I’ve been doing is at least keeping up my sheer writing quota.

Fourth: If I get another bout of tonsillitis I’m going to murder someone, possibly myself.

Fifth: If I don’t stop coughing soon I’m going to murder somebody.

Sixth: I am frustrated by constantly being reminded of an ex.

Seventh: I haven’t gotten out enough lately. I probably should have gone to the gym today at some point to de-stress and work off some energy.

Eighth:  I had a rather crappy SC2 game that got to me. Some unnecessary ‘advice’ from my 2v2 partner got on my nerves. We were outplayed, massively.

Ninth: I’ve run out of really good TV shows that I want to watch. I’m up to what’s been screened in the US now with The Walking Dead, Misfits Season 3 is on-balance disappointing. I finished Deadwood. Game of Thrones isn’t till April and I can’t drag up the enthusiasm to watch any of the great shows that everyone else seems to love (I’m looking at you Breaking Bad, you horribly depressing mess).

Tenth: I still have really itchy hands as a reaction to the penicillin.

Is that all? I think that’s all. it’s pretty clear that the research and the book chapter are two big-ticket items really bringing me down at the moment.

After a shocking list like that, I think it’s probably time to think of some positives.

I am looking forward to GDC a lot. It’s coming up really soon, but it still seems pretty far away somehow. GDC is literally my favourite week of the year. It’s better than Christmas. It’s better than all those other activities you enjoy. It’s like having all your best, longest lost friends all in the once city all at the same time. Who cares if the talks you go to are good or not? That’s not what GDC is about for me anyway.

Even though I had a really shitty last game, I’m also really enjoying the challenge and the learning process involved with Starcraft 2. I missed the GSL Code S matches tonight because I was actually playing SC2 but I can always go back and watch them later. My 2v2 bro and I played an amazingly tenacious game  earlier in the evening in which we won by the skin of our teeth against slightly favored opponents. Ghost play is essential. And with ghosts, my late-game has slightly improved – just by asking myself the question: “do I have everything I want?” which is what Day[9] suggested as a good thought process for that mid-late game where money is no longer an issue.