Winding up to wind down

December 24, 2004

Well the Christmas rush is about to hit with full force. I have not finished my thesis, bummer. Brad and I went to have some Christmas drinks with Henry last night and it all escalated. First we went to KK’s to meet Henry. Simon Willis was there – few years since I’ve seen him. He tutored Brad in a Materials unit a few years ago, and recognised him since Brad was at the time a 4th year in a 2nd year subject, so it was all pretty easy for him. He remembered me, then was spun out to find that not only do Brad and I know each other, we’ve been together for several years. He then spent about 20 minutes telling us how awesome ebay is, and went off back to his mates.

After a drink, we decided to go down to Steve’s to meet up with Valdi, who was kicking on after his work Xmas party. Simon saw us leaving and came down with us. I had been planning to go home and do some work, the rest of my Thursday quota, but it did not eventuate. Around 11ish I (still well below 0.05) managed to get everyone out of the pub. Yes I could have just left but I was driving, and people wanted lifts. Just not yet. Bad luck. Took Valdi and Megan to his house, while Brad and Simon went back to Henry’s. Then came back, got the 3 boys, and went to Simon’s place up near Claremont. That dude has some cash, he has a very nice car, RX8. The purpose of the visit was to listen to Billie Jean backwards.

Simon is a DJ and has tens of thousands of dollars worth of vinyl, including an old copy of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. Believe it or not, when played backwards, the line “with heads that turned and eyes that dreamed of being the one” (which never made much sense contextually) becomes “I believe in child raping”. It really does. It’s so clear, it really pops out from the usual cacophony of backtalk. However, no-one seems to have published this gem. I couldn’t find it with Google, which means it’s impossible to find. Actually, update, some people who can’t even get the song’s name right assert that there is no such backwards phrase in a song they refer to as Billie Jane. I suggest that if they can’t spell it, they probably haven’t seen the actual vinyl and probably haven’t actually heard it. Whereas I have, and it’s there. It doesn’t have to be intentional to be valid, it was probably just some jokey sound engineer if anything. Who knows. Anyway it’s amusing, and that’s enough for me.

So with all that excitement and late-bedtimeness, I didn’t get up very early this morning. Got to uni and checked my email to find a completely unconstructive email from one of my supervisors. I’d sent him a first go at my thesis abstract, so that he could send it to one of his mates, with a request to examine my thesis. He replied along the lines of “what a stupid project, what did you do that for, and how can you draw those conclusions?” Well hello? I’ve been doing this project for almost 4 years now, perhaps these issues of yours could have been drawn to my attention somewhat earlier? His idea of being constructive is to tell you what else you should do to prove things. However, what he clearly needs to learn is that at this late stgae his focus should be on helping his students to make the best of what they have. Grrr. No wonder his quickest PhD student completion over the last decade or so has been 5 and a half years. Bearing in mind that the university now gives us a maximum candidature of 4 years. Grrr. Anyway I went and had a whinge to Giles (who agreed with me on the “he’s such a tool”), and had an espresso, and regained cheerful composure. Then it was morning teatime and Secret Santa. By the time I got into some writing it was about 12pm, at which time everyone went home and the building was locked down. Worked until about 1.30, at which point I got a bit sick of being here with no-one else around, and rang Brad to say I was coming home. This evening we are having Christmas Eve celebrations at Brad’s grandparents house, which is always low-key and good.


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