Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Procrastination has clearly become my favorite sport (who's kidding who, here -- it's always been a favorite!). Since arriving home from our trip late Sunday night, I have had a day and a half of work time available to me, and have managed to a) dig out from under the accumulated email of a week, and b) start a blog. Note that item b is not a work-related item. In the least. It is, however, excellent procrastination material.

It is also helping me to procrastinate on the non-work front. For example, well over a month ago, I found out that one of my graduate school advisors was retiring. There was to be a party, a big party, at which I, among other former students, would have a chance to stand up and talk about her, about her effect on my research, etc. In front of people. Now, I realize that, as a professor, it is the case that I stand up and talk in front of people regularly, for a living. This doesn't make it any easier, especially when it comes to writing and delivering a meaningful, touching, humorous, and academically rigorous speech in front of a large number of former professors. Lucky for me, my university's graduation was on the same day.

So, I resorted to knitting (you were wondering when knitting was going to come into this, weren't you?). And, I knitted this beautiful scarf (from Victorian Lace Today; at some point soon, I promise, I'll get all this year's FOs up in the side bar, with pattern and yarn notes, etc -- more procrastination material!). See?

Nice, huh? I knitted my ass off, and had it done in days. In plenty of time to FedEx it to her so that it would arrive on the day of the big to-do.

It's still sitting on my desk at home.

Why, you say? Why the procrastination? Well, there are two reasons. No, make that three reasons (shades of the Spanish Inquisition, here). First, I'd have to wrap it. This doesn't seem like such a major obstacle, given that we actually keep the wrapping paper in the den, right next to the desk upon which the scarf is ensconced. Except I have children. Small children who enjoy crafts. Small, devilish children whose entire joy in life comes from taking and misplacing every pair of scissors in the house (including the four, count 'em, FOUR pairs of designated kitchen scissors), and then, just for good measure, absconding with the tape. Now, I'm a good present wrapper, but it's much more difficult to wrap presents without either of those (because, without the scissors, it's hard to do the ribbon-ful, tapeless form of wrapping -- my teeth just aren't strong enough to cut through that silly wrapping ribbon).

So, there's one problem. Of course, once I got it wrapped, I'd still have to go to the post office to stand in line, get it weighed, and send it off (assuming I can find the address). 'Nuff said.

But even that's not enough. Before steeling myself to go to said post office (with the mean people behind the counter), I would need to write A Letter. You know, the sort of letter that says meaningful things about how much this advisor has meant to me, the ways in which her teaching and example have caused me to develop as a professional and as a person, and which does it without being maudlin or dorky. Like that's going to happen. I've been telling myself that I'm not writing the letter because my computer isn't hooked up to the home printer, and that therefore I could write my fingers off and still not be able to print it (we won't talk about how easy it is to install printer drivers). But here I sit at work, connected to printers galore, typing not a letter, but a blog entry.

You've just gotta love this procrastinating gig.

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