I thought I should probably write something a little more substantial this time. My last few entries have been entirely poker-focused, and I’m sure most of you probably aren’t interested... so what am I doing now other than poker?
The truth is, not much. I’m in the middle of Ph.D. stuff which is frustrating the hell out of me because I’ve come back to that place where I just feel like I’m marking time, even though Andy continues to tell me that I’m doing alright. I’ve basically done all of the crop history research I think I can do (on the major crops, at least), and now I’m going through the annual reports of the site, trying to work out exactly what I’ll be looking at. I’ve also been trying to pull together some theoretical ideas – I’m considering using Tom Loy’s old manuscript on purposeful systems theory as a part of my theoretical background, because I think the idea of purposeful systems and choice-outcome might be a useful framework to describe the Ottoman system around the time of the Spanish discovery of the Americas. But on the whole, I’m not as far ahead as I would like... ah well, if my supervisor thinks I’m doing OK, that’s the only thing that really matters. Plus I can run faster than he can at this stage, so he can’t chase me if I miss a meeting!
In truth, these bloody disc problems have caused me more trouble than just four months out of the loop (and on top of the pains in my legs that come on every couple of days or so, which may wnid up ultimately resolving or they may not). Four months really has set me back more than that - it's just so difficult to regain my focus. I want to keep going, I really do, but I'm still all of a muddle as to where it's all heading. I'm supposed to have a research question more or less sorted out by April so that I can write my confirmation document by May, and I'm really not confident about it. Obviously Andy's knee injury means he knows exactly what I'm going through, so I have the feeling that he'll be really helpful, but... Anyhow, I've also been given the job of convening the Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series this semester, and with any luck that should help me get back into the swing of things (as well as start getting back in touch with people - I've dropped out of contact with so many that it's just not funny!). That's been irritating yet oddly pleasurable so far - it's annoying having to chase people up for talks (I've lost count of how many times I've asked Chris for a date and topic), but each time I confirm someone for the talk, there's a quiet thrill of achievement. So far I've got definite positive responses from Carney, Jon, Marshall and Steve as well as a few of the honours students from last year, on a range of different topics, so hopefully they'll all go well. And jaydeyn_sitari
, I expect you to be there without fail every week, understood? :)
On the topic of archaeology, I still really can't express how fantastic it is that there's a new Indiana Jones film coming out. No idea what it'll be like - after twenty years, there are sure to be some differences that'll keep the continuity freaks picking for decades - but the first three are all favourites of mine, and of archaeology students everywhere. I even snuck an Indy quote into my honours thesis! So there's some very definite anticip...........pation going on there. Who wants to go and see it with me?
Additionally, work on the dictionary is progressing extremely nicely thank you very much. Thanks to a kind soul, Suleyman Sarıhan, whom I met through Facebook, I've acquired another half-dozen or so new Ubykh texts, and discovered among them the previously-mentioned-at-this-journal names for seven of the months of the year! So for those (not) interested, here they are:( Collapse )
Along with several other new words, they've all gone straight into the dictionary - I'm really very impressed with it at the moment, and it's gradually moving towards publishable form. Maybe I might even have it done before I
But other than that, not too much is happening. I'm still tragically single, which Valentine's Day did its usual nothing at all to alter (although I am going to lunch on Friday with someone I like - we'll see how that goes). I'm doing a little gardening at the moment; the kidney beans are doing well, the cucumbers going nuts (we've picked half a dozen every two days for the last week), and the button squash not doing so hot, but we've done a bit of weeding around them and with any luck they'll come good soon. We hope.
And poker is beginning to frustrate me just a little bit. It’s not that I’m playing badly – in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve changed my strategy for the last few freerolls I’ve played in; instead of sitting out for half an hour to let three or four hundred suckers bust out, what I’ve been doing is playing a highly aggressive style right from the get-go, stealing as many blinds as possible and making strong raises pre-flop with virtually any two cards. I’ve come to notice that in the early stages of these cash-prize freerolls (as opposed to play chip tournaments, where people will move all-in with raving speculators), people are much, much less willing to commit any chips at all unless they’ve got an absolutely premium hand, and almost no hands go to a showdown. So if you can make a substantial raise from a good position after the flop, you’ve got an excellent chance of winning the pot. I’ve been taking advantage of this, and as a result I’ve been in the top 5% of chip stacks at the first break in the last three tournaments, and on the whole I’ve been extremely happy with the development of my game. But there are a couple of things I'm thinking about changing, viz:( Collapse )
So yeah, that's what I'm up to at the moment. I'm also hoping to catch up with various people for lunchy-type things (suyongli
, tomorrow still on?), and I'm enjoying life, on the whole. I'm thinking about using the uni pool, too, getting myself back to fit again and losing some of the weight I put on when I was on the floor. Looking forward to living life again!