Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I have an office! With a lock and a computer (ok, well, a computer without a network connection) and furniture. Sweet. I admit that I will use that office more often once the network connection is functional.

Today we hauled the giant pile of boxes that were my "office stuff" over to the office, providing us with a much emptier front room. Who knew I had so much office stuff? Also, make friends with the warehouse guys, because they can get you stuff. Awesome stuff.

There's a lot of "stuff" in that paragraph.

Otherwise, I should be working more but am largely just taking advantage of the last remnants of pre-semester freedom. And watching (or sometimes even helping) as Partner makes amazing progress on things like establishing a compost pile, putting up a (collapsible and removable! it spins! I am still obsessed with laundry!) laundry line, and priming the back bedroom for the most amazing paint job this house has ever seen (I assume this because the previous residents had heinous taste. I know very little about color, and even I can tell that they sucked).

This weekend there will be another trip to the hardware store. And maybe I'll even do something work-related. Or go camping.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the "not a two-body problem" problem

Lots of people I know, and read about, and hear about, have the typical two-body problem, wherein they and their significant other are both academics, sometimes in the same field. This makes it difficult to impossible to find adequate (read: fulfilling and career-relevant) employment for both of them in the same town/university/region. I feel for you guys. That totally sucks. And as Partner is a non-academic I originally thought, "awesome, this is going to be so much easier because he can get a job anywhere". Which while true in theory is not so true in practice.

Small Town is a decent place to land, it seems, since it's only a few hours from places we have called home and it's within a not-too-ridiculous drive of bigger places if Partner got a job he felt was worth the commute. However, the pickings are still relatively slim compared to City, where Partner held off on getting career-relevant employment following his most recent schooling because he knew we'd be moving to whatever random place decided they wanted to employ me. And now that he's free and clear to get whatever job he wants, he might find it more difficult to find a job he wants.

I've been told that I could have asked the Dean to help Partner find employment, but I think that's kinda silly, really, since there are positions he could take at College but none that would be his ideal, or even near the top of his list, and I think he would feel awkward in that situation. I also somehow feel that this doesn't qualify as an actual two-body-problem, but maybe it does, and maybe I should have treated it as such when looking for a job. But I don't think I would ever have had the balls to say to a Dean, "so, I have this significant other who works in industry, think you can make a few calls?"

I'm ok with him not working, maybe forever, and at the very least for the short term. The guy's been dragged from apartment to apartment for the past few years and lived in City (which he hated), so I owe him some down time, and we'll be doing fine on one salary, if perhaps not buying a summer home on the beach. But I can understand that he might end up feeling a little aimless without a job, and I know he has his own hobbies that he'd like to fund. So we'll see what happens, but I'm hoping he keeps his standards high, because it just isn't worth a two-hour commute if he's working somewhere with shitty managers or making peanuts.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

kinda blah

My on-campus space is not yet finished. I'm starting to figure out the administrative avenues required to get the gear I need for my first few weeks of labs, but I'm not sure it'll come together in time. Ah well, I will live without fancy stuff if I have to, but things are kinda up in the air. I finally picked a textbook. Yeah, cutting it close.

A manuscript revision I resubmitted earlier this summer with the expectation of rejection has in fact been rejected. At least they were quick about it. I have hope that I can resubmit elsewhere with minimal changes.

I spent today scouting a field trip, and have a few workable options but failed miserably at finding a few things I had hoped to see. This makes it likely I'll have to re-scout before the trip actually goes. Damn.

Nothing too exciting going on. I'm hoping to get things rolling soon.

Monday, August 11, 2008

oh yeah, there's work to be done...

We've gotten to that "oh those few boxes can just wait" stage of unpacking, which may potentially last until Christmas. Especially because Partner is antsy to get painting. Which is fine with me, because I have this class to teach pretty soon, and it looks like the rest of academia may be gearing up as well.

My session in the big _____ science meeting this fall was just moved to early morning on the very first day (Gah!). This makes me very glad I had already booked a hotel room for the night before the start of the conference, but also makes me sad that I'll have to get my shit together and be a functional scientist so early on my first day in Conference Town. But at least I'll get my talk out of the way.

I also got some reviews back on a manuscript from my dissertation, which gives me more to do during the next few weeks. And that's great, except that one of the reviewers is on crack, writing totally stupid (read: if I didn't have to respond they would be amusing) things about my research area and generally driving me crazy. I'm afraid I'm going to fail in my efforts to keep the attitude out of my reply; I guess I'll have to go back and edit my editorial responses before I send them. Thank you to the sane reviewer who actually wrote insightful, useful criticism. Wherever you are.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Finally, I am somebody

Partner thinks I'm a little ridiculous, because I tend to get really excited about small details and am comparatively calm when it comes to huge life-altering events, like getting my Ph.D.

So I guess this gets filed under "ridiculous" as well, but tonight I did my very first load of laundry in my new washer/dryer in my very own house, even while wearing pajamas. I was so excited I took pictures.

I'll spare you the action shot (oh yes, I took action shots). In my defense I've been lusting after my own laundry equipment for several years, and finally buying these and putting them in my house makes me feel more like an adult and an actual home-owner than anything else so far. I mean, I'm still paying someone else a pile of money every month to get to live somewhere, even if it is a large step forward in quality and size.

I'm also quite impressed by the leaps and bounds made in washers and dryers while I was off using the quarter machines. These things don't have load settings, they figure out how much water or drying time is needed all by themselves. I am amazed. And will end my laundry talk before I have more people questioning my sanity.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

walk the walk

As seen (a while ago) at the Aspiring Ecologist

The walk score of the new place in Small Town: 57 out of 100 — Somewhat Walkable. This is down from my previous address in City, which scores an 86 out of 100 — Very Walkable. So goes the price of downsizing. No wonder I could survive once my car was stolen! The balancing point: Small Town is much more bike-able.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


We're in, and full of boxes, but slowing digging ourselves out. I'm finding that being finished with the move has done wonders for my stress levels...I guess I'm not so nervous about the new job, after all!