Tag Archives: dissertation

Low Density Depression

This may or may not surprise you, but here at Easy Realism Towers, we are prone to bouts of depression.

I have been trying to come up with a rationale for this most heinous of downers (yes, I am trying to cheer myself up with Wayne’s-World-esque turns of phrase) for the past couple of weeks.

Am I doing too many shifts at my shitty job? No. I am doing maybe two shifts at the weekend. Hardcore shifts, one may argue: six or ten hours of “serving” the undeserving rich for less than minimum wage; building up serious pressure headaches from having to stare at these people through the disdain.

Am I making enough money from this otherwise needless weekend stress? No, but that doesn’t bother me too much. I make around £250 a month at present. I don’t have to stop myself from going out whenever I want as long as I don’t ruin my earnings on food* clothes or the much-lusted-after DSLR camera.

*Freudian slip: I just wrote “ruin my earnings on food”. Since this post is, for me, some surrogate psychology session; I may as well let you know that I have – at least partially – admitted to having a problem with food, after a thousand empty arguments with Kathy. Not a disorder. Not a serious problem. Just a minor problem. I have started buying more fruit to counter this minor problem. It is easier to imagine finishing a few slices of melon than some massive pasta, then the stomach demands more without feeling overwhelmed by a full on meal.

Speaking of arguments with Kathy, we had a huge fight – a battle – about smoking in the house. She said she was fine with me smoking outside, just not in the room in case of deaths (even though that is totally not going to happen). She reassured me lastnight that she was not “getting on” at me, then slowly built up a barrage of nip nip nip nip nips about how there are no benefits to smoking; how I am damaging myself; how she treats long term smokers on a weekly basis, and so on. Right now, I find “long term” an absurd concept. I have no long term.

Speaking of long term damage, I managed to find a supplier of these fancy cigarettes I have always wanted to try: Native American Spirit. I think this may be an invented memory since I cannot find a source of this information anywhere, but I am sure I read that these are the type Joni Mitchell smokes. I also bought these fancy bastards because I was incredibly tired when I found this site and thought I had money to burn. How foolish of me.

I am trying to get some work done with a function band just now but am not giving myself enough practice time and therefore holding everyone back. I don’t have time for this commitment right now.

I am experiencing dissertation panic as the whole thing is due in maybe two weeks. I wanted to go to Spain to see my dad before he moved back to Scotland, but because of the work load and making less money than I would like to, I can’t afford to go.

As blog catharsis goes, this has been rather good. A permanently recorded snapshot of low density depression. Surrogate psychology works better than the real thing. Thanks, doc; just don’t let anyone read my file.

Destination Unknown: Notes on a Mental Breakdown

I think I am experiencing acute information overload. My brain is becoming as blunt as my observations; my memory failing me like Sarah Palin’s debating skills minus the cue-cards.

I first noticed the symptoms a few weeks ago – I would think back to a conversation, remembering some scant detail or a quote; but not be able to place who I was actually speaking to. The paranoia started to set in at this point, because my life has been profoundly affected by Skins. I always think back to that episode where Chris died, his brain exploding after not being able to remember his girlfriend’s name. Plus massive drug intake. Plus actual brain disease. But I have no guarantee that my brain is not physically afflicted by some memory tumour. Do you see where I am going with this?! And as for drug intake, well, I ate Mexican food once.

So these conversations with no people began to increase in frequency, to the point where all of my social life just merged into one big ball of anonymous soliloquays which I happened to overhear; my brain compounding them into one massive, confusing, Modernist ramble of text.

So with all form of speech completely lost to me, the next thing to go was stimulating books. Because of my uni work, I have been physically unable to read anything beyond media theory for the past month – as previously ranted about. I’m surprised people even speak to me any more, considering I have nothing in my brain worth talking about outside of academia. Case in point – my mum’s boyfriend tried to pull me out of my week-long “bad mood” the other night (I was already out of it by then, but cheers…) by striking up a discussion about Aldous Huxley. He had stolen my copy of Point, Counter Point weeks ago and, by his own account, has read the first five paragraphs of it (I finished it in nine days the first time I read it – the man’s a genius); but found the conscise biography of Huxley at the beginning of the book very enjoyable. So I had this confused, Modernist ramble about Huxley’s experimental use of LSD and mescalin with a man who thinks gays should be shot and that my mum hanging a golliwog with a noose round its neck on her kitchen window is acceptable. I was completely unable to keep my argument on track, just spouting potted facts about Huxley’s defense of recreational drug use, ending with me calling my parent and lover-of-parent-who-steals-my-books fascists. I was not impressed when L-O-P-W-S-M-B thought his backchat-reference to The Young Ones went over my head. Who does he think I am!?

And while my mum and her boyfriend are sailing away in their utopia of red wine, premarital sex and ignorance of anything beyond the Daily Mail dictated status quo, my dad has decided that he is going to come and visit – for an entire month. Last time he was in the country, I only had to see him for five minutes before he buggered off elsewhere. This time, I don’t know. We have a strange set-up for Christmas, with my mum, my sister and myself visiting my paternal grandparents for dinner: with my dad here over the holidays, me presumably working and my mum busy burying her head in the Daily Mail letters page during premarital coitus; I am not sure how I will be able to avoid a few run ins with Big Davie.

I am not sure what percentage of my brain has been used to deal with these mounting problems, but I sure as hell know it is trying to cram in even more than that. For some reason, my tumultuous-cum-non-existant love life seems to be taking up more space than is really necessary. In fact, ever since I read an article about people defining themselves based on who they are with at a certain time, I have been needlessly convinced that I fit into this category. The only problem is that I am perpetually single, and therefore CANNOT exist! I need a new solipsism. Dark thoughts. Dark, dark thoughts.

Building out of the dark thoughts seems to be my dissertation, but there is really no point in even talking about that right now. What is really getting to me, though, is that I have OTHER classes at uni. When did that happen!? I am only now, six weeks into fourth year, realising just how much work I need to do in a very short space of time. I am trying to set up some decent interviews to use in a large portfolio, but I am finding it incredibly difficult to – for one thing, set up interviews; and for a second thing, actually motivate myself into doing the work. I got a blow to the professional side of my brain today when the local paper used a piece I tried to sell to them as a tip-off as opposed to a completed story. None of my (good) quotes were even used; and I certainly got no recognition for finding the story. I was well and truly scooped; I am well and truly gutted.

At most, I have managed to box all of my individual problems off – the Modernist, plagarised ramblings of my inner poet; the lack of stimulating reading material; the issues with my ever-expanding list of parents; the mutual hatred between the local newspaper editor and myself; and my complete inability to apply myself to anything productive – have all given their own topic headings under the umbrella term of information overload.

My first attempt at a remedy was some bastardised form of Cartesian meditation – trying to clear my mind of every intricate thought to leave only proof that there is a God (or so the theory goes!). This didn’t seem to work very well, but that may have been something to do with having downed a bottle of gin before making my attempt. At least that method relied only on my own initiative: my current plan is wholly dependant on outside influences – namely the Passport Office.

Today, regular readers Chris, Max and myself (yes, I include myself as a regular reader; even if my Number Of Hits Today ticker does not!) decided on a whim to book flights to Paris for our Christmas uni night out. If all goes to plan, we’re going to get loaded on the mainland five weeks from now! The only slight problem here is that one of us doesn’t have a passport, and of course, that would be me.

I have applied for a passport, but according to the leaflets, I should wait until I receive my documentation before booking any flights. Well guess what, I did, all right!? I’m not even interested in your “interview” or your “passport” or whatever! I just want to get the hell out of here!!

So regardless of how much I complain, I have to wait six weeks for a passport unless they decide off their own backs to do their job effectively! Any passport officials reading this – drop me an email. I will totally sleep with you or whatever if you fast-track my application.

Anyway, after I get loaded in gay Paris, miss my flight back and have to pawn my winter coat in order to afford the obligatory £15 worth of jellybeans, requisite for any good uni trip; I plan to make damn good use of this new-found freedom of world travel. My dad tells me he has moved out of his old apartment building (“it smells of cats and pee!” – his words), and into somewhere bigger (“this flat has more than one room!” – his words).

I’m excited, I must say. Wherever it is my dad lives in Spain is bound to be warmer than this icicle-riddled excuse for a country – which will work wonders for the Seasonal Affective Disorder I have double-think-ed my way into believing I have; and I will get to meet my dad’s girlfriend – for purposes of further stoned-out-zoned-out discussions of English Literature and firey blog-material of course! And who in their right mind wouldn’t want yet another unstable parent??

As soon as that Passport Office cheque clears – screw Rene Descartes, postmodern parenthood and thinking for myself, and let the world tour commence!!

Oh, Pisomojado At WordPress, You Could Have Been So Much More!

In some deep, dark recess of my psyche resides The Things I Regret. I have lived for 20 years, and thankfully, I have built up very few of these regrets. This week, however, my short list seems to have had a new addition. This regret? This blog.

I have decided to base my dissertation on Scottish political blogs – that newly insitituted and incestual hub of comment and jokes about Oor Wendy (thank you, internet) – and as part of my research* I have come across links to my own blog on serious political blogs. Now, let’s face it, I don’t keep anything near a “professional” blog. These scrolls of tripe would never be affiliated with a newspaper. So, every time I have been linked back to my familiar banner, I feel a tinge of regret. Had I planned this situation a little better, I could have been writing a dissertation on myself – anyone who knows me will understand how difficult it is for me to communicate in any form without talking endlessly about myself. Had I planned to actually write a dissertation, I could have established this place as my own sanctum for political commentary.

*Essentially, just reading the blogs I read anyway. This decision, I am proud to announce, is a tactical move. Cut down on as much extraneous work as possible.

Oh, Pisomojado at WordPress, you could have been so much more! I should perhaps take the time to defend my original raison d’etre – many readers find this place by googling “define:piso mojado”. I can tell you – it is Spanish for “wet floor”. It is also my colloquial in-joke term for getting blind drunk in the Scottish fashion that Alex Salmond wishes to obliterate (See what I did there? This is so obviously a political blog!). Thus, my blog was originally conceived as a place to write horror stories about “OMG read about what I did lastnight PLUS pics of the slutty blonde one spewing up the Steak and Cherry window” or similar. Go on, start using my term. Let’s get it in the OED.

I am having some serious problems getting the dissertation actually started: although I am back in classes, I am in the middle of a month-long holiday from work, so I cannot get back into the usual swing of actually working. I have other work mounting up, but because my schedule is messed up, I cannot get into it. On the plus side, I got paid the other day after three weeks of not working – and blew the lot on a new HP laptop! I intended originally to use this new machine to write my dissertation, but an entire day spent attempting to install MSN messenger suggests otherwise.

Pisomojado is now brought to you from about two feet away from where it has always been written. Exciting!

Did you just diss me!?

Oh my god! It is like the middle of august already! What a horrible realisation I have just had: this summer has been CRAP!

I decided outright that I was not going to work full-time this summer. Instead, I was going to work part-time because, frankly, I make more money working part time than I need to get by anyway; but I planned to do at least SOME fee-less schill-ing for some newspaper. My original idea was to work with the Sunday Mail, but it didn’t work out. I know one of the high-up journalists at the newspaper, and she has tried to help me out, and apparently someone sent me an email from the news desk, but I never received it. Because I am so self-doubting and lazy, I never pursued it any further until now. Hopefully I can get some work with them during back-at-school time* to help with my dissertation.

*I still have no idea when I go back to uni. In fact, I don’t even know if I will be able to get funding for my final year. Yikes.

So anyway, I have worked part time at Gatsby’s over the summer. I did the same last year, so why is this year different?! Last year, I had Housesitters Anonymous to keep me happy; but this year – what with Bert’s broken collarbone, Angela’s refusal to live in this god-forsaken town anymore and my unfruitful plans to get out of here for at least a few days to clear my head – I have just been bored out of my brain.

I have, however, written loads of poetry and various fragments because of my discovery* of the Moleskine notebook. I have also read a lot of books, owing to my drunken and/or sleep deprived binges on Amazon. In an attempt to get through as many of these books as possible before getting back to uni, I have set myself some very loose deadlines. I originally thought of these deadlines as strict and set in stone, but I have not been penalised thus far for breaking my pledge to finish one part a week in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. The most harrowing part of this anecdote is that I broke the pledge during my first week. God I wish I was a more prolific reader.

*Is the word “discovery” apt here? I sound as if I have found raw ore in the world of consumerism.

So anyway, during my non-reading, non-working hours (yes, essentially most of my time); I have set about trying to come up with some genuine, workable, viable (easy) ideas to base my dissertation on. I cannot wait to get my teeth into this thing, because for one thing, I am a total geek; and for a second thing, I don’t really think 18,000 words is that big a deal. I mean you only need to type six buttons to express it – three if you knock out the doubles!

Anyway, of all the ideas I could come up with, there are two which I think I could pull off. Maybe.

The first is an exploration of the agendas of free newspapers, such as The Metro and the 5pm Daily Record; looking into how they are made up, why they are distributed, how they make money, political alliances, etc. etc. Basically, I just want to force myself into finding answers deeper than my usual “advertising revenue” put-down. As far as I can see right now, that is the only reason for these newspapers. I am a disdainful, scorning marxist.

The second idea, which would perhaps be easier to write about – perhaps even more suitable for a dissertation – is an essay on how Scottish Politics are reported in the media; especially focusing on the biases of newspapers versus election results.

Any arbitrary information on either of these from complete strangers on the internet would be very much appreciated.