I was considering Grad School…and then I saw this. HILARIOUS!

I am in the process of PhDing and this is a rather good portrayal of my the grad school life.


A new gift idea for your loved ones: Graduate School Barbie (TM).

Graduate School Barbie comes in two forms: Delusional Master’s Barbie (TM) and Ph.D. Masochist Barbie (TM).

Every Graduate School Barbie comes with these fun-filled features guaranteed to delight and entertain for hours: Grad School Barbie comes out of the box with a big grin on her face that turns into a frown after 2 weeks or her first advisor meeting (whichever comes first). She also has adorable black circles under her delightfully bloodshot eyes.

Comes with two outfits: a grubby pair of blue jeans and 5-year-old gap T-shirt, and a floppy pair of gray sweatpants with a matching “I hate my life” T-shirt. Grad School Barbie talks! Just press the button on her left hand and hear her say such upbeat grad school phrases like, “Yes, Professor, It’ll be done by tomorrow”, “I’d love to rewrite” and “Why…

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No Nonsense November (NoNoNo)

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix. I take these things for granted in my life. They are like chewing gum. I check my facebook page but I realise I am not actually reading it. I watch a show I have already watched on Netflix 3 times just…because.

It’s a habit. A compulsion. An addiction?

Social Media

So I have decided to have a No Nonsense November (NoNoNo). I pledge to the readers of my blog I am going to have the most productive November in history. Okay, maybe it won’t be that monumental but it will be good! I’m entering the third year of my PhD and obviously I have a lot of work to do. I am not going to lie (unless my boss reads this then of course I’m lying!) I am a procrastinator. I am easily distracted and lead astray by people, food and shiny objects. This is probably why I am still overweight and can’t kick the chocolate habit! I need to make myself focus. I work well on a deadline which is why my life is dictated in small self driven deadlines.

So this November I am giving up social media and on demand tv to help kick the procrastination and get the most out of Nevember. Bye bye to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (don’t really use it so won’t be a great loss), LinkedIn (I can almost justify this as work but its going), BBC iPlayer, 4OD, Netflix, Lovefilm etc.

Part of me is really not looking forward to it. I almost don’t want to post about it because them I am actually going to have to do it. But on the other hand it is probably a good thing I give it up for a while. It will let me focus on my work and my social life. The real one I have away from the internet. I can phone people. Go out. I can focus on my experiments which will take up a great deal of time but will hopefully make up a large part of my thesis. Speaking of thesis, I plan to spend a good part of November writing my first results chapter as well as getting a good deal of reading done for my introductory chapter which is due at the end of January. Another draw to NoNoNo is this is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. So I can link NoNoNo with NaNoWriMo.


Yes, reading this back it all does look a bit of a mountain to climb. A big experiment (plus lots of little experiments), a thesis chapter, reading for another thesis chapter and NaNoWriMo…plus you know normal things like talking to people, eating, seeking the LF, sleeping. Lets see if it happens…


3 days to go….




Art in Cardiff

Art is everywhere right now, at least in my life. I bought my first piece of actual art yesterday. It’s a depressed pigeon. I just felt rather a lot of affection to it so decided to add it to my art collection, which until this point included a painting of Cardiff Bay at night I won in a raffle to raise money for ACE Cardiff.  I was told the artists name but my memory is like a sieve, however it was signed MP.

Depressed Pigeon by MP
Depressed Pigeon by MP

Cardiff Bay at Night
Cardiff Bay at Night

Before I bought my Depressed Pigeon I stumbled upon an art exhibit in Cardiff city center. I mostly just went in because I felt sorry for the woman handing out leaflets who almost no one was paying attention to. So I headed down to see some art. It was an amazing exhibit by chinese artists looking at the oppression of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist party.  I learned a lot from attending the exhibit and I intend to look into the subject more. It’s going to be that the Capitol Centre until the 6th of November and I would highly reccomend people in Cardiff visit it. Not just for the political message but also very beautiful art.

Who I Am by Xiqiang Dong
Who I Am by Xiqiang Dong


Determination Under Pressure by  Qing Xin
Determination Under Pressure by Qing Xin


I also bought my first art books in a charity shop for £2 each. They show amazing urban art for Brazil and worldwide.

My First Art Books
My First Art Books


And finally last week was Made in Roath festival which is a local festival with loads of art, music and literature events around Roath, Cardiff. This has resulted in lots of new street art all over Roath. My favourite is a dragon on the side of the Poets Corner pub. I will probably post more about Made in Roath later as I attended a few literature events and had a midnight stroll to look at a skip.


Urban Art
Urban Art
Urban Art
Urban Art

The Dragon on the Poets Corner
The Dragon on the Poets Corner



Dear 16 Year Old Me – Poetry

Dear 16 year old me
Yes, at the age of 24 you are still overweight
And you’re still wearing those same glasses
You never really became cool
Although at the age of 19 you had a hair crisis
And just stopped caring

Dear 16 year old me
That music really sucks
You know you don’t like deathmetal
Go put some B*Witched on your iPod
Go on…you know you want to
And stop wearing that black lipstick
You secretly know it doesn’t look good

Dear 16 year old me
Remember when you read that book
And assured yourself it was a phase
It wasn’t
So stop kissing boys in bars
And when someone tells you they live in a castle
Don’t believe them
You will lose not only a significant amount of dignity that night
But also a very nice cardigan

Dear 16 year old me
Someone will call you beautiful
Even when you have a spot the size of the moon on your face
And some friendships will last 400 miles
And some days the world will be absolutely perfect

Dear 16 year old me
You will make some mistakes
Being catatonic in the knife capital of Europe
That’s a low point
And breaking your ankle on Hogmanay another
But in all honesty
Don’t worry to much
At least this far
It’s been alright


Shockingly this friendship has lasted 400 miles
Shockingly this friendship has lasted 400 miles

My 16th Birthday Party

My Worldview – Poetry

My Mother is upset with me
I’ve not captured her in verse
I’ve written about my stepfather who she loves
And my grandmother who lost the man she loves
I’ve written about the boy who held my heart and shook and shattered it
And the girl who fixed my heart and showed me how it works

I’ve never written about my mother because there are no words
To describe the women who crafted me
Unintentionally moulding me in her vision
Who showed me how to look at the world
Who allowed me to question
Who gifted me everything I am

I write about my Mother in every single verse
Because she is in everything I see and say and do
And even when I forget to phone
And forget to say the words
You are with me
Because you taught me
How to look at the world

Mum and Graham enjoying a chocolate fountain
Mum and Graham enjoying a chocolate fountain
Me and My Mammy
Me and My Mammy
Mammy and Blair
Mammy and Blair