Thursday, December 31, 2009


Resolutions are stupid. Yet here I am making some. Why use the new year as a starting point for improvement? Why not just do it now? Well, I guess better late than never.

1. I am addicted to paper towels. Meaning, I still use paper towels when I should be using rags. I need to stop that, so I can justify putting the extra cash toward fully recycled paper products.

2. No more corn syrup-based sodas. Which basically means no drinking soda except in my house, where I will limit myself to organic sugar-based sodas, and those only on burger or pizza nights. We'll also be cutting back a little on processed foods, like making our own veggie burgers instead of buying the Boca burgers.

3. A more regular yoga practice. I will justify a new video or two with a promise to myself to actually practice yoga regularly, instead of just using it as a backup for days when I don't feel like running.

4. A little more self discipline. As in, a regular sleep schedule, a self-enforced workout schedule, a more efficient use of time. No more shitting around for no reason and wasting hours at a time (though that has primarily occurred over the break, so I guess it's not all that bad of me).

5. Finally, since I should probably have something career-related in here, I'm going to re-start my attempt at writing regularly, in small pieces. This worked pretty well for me when I made it happen, but I also let it slide quite a bit. I think if I can get this going I will make a lot more progress, which is needed.

Happy resolution-making and a Happy New Year to you!

Monday, December 28, 2009


December continues to fly past me, and I've about given up trying to get things done. We celebrated a nice xmas (as well as my near-xmas birthday - this seems to be common among people I know, as well as within the "spring fever" babies I guess) with Partner's family despite the bad weather, and were very glad to be driving a short distance instead of flying somewhere and likely getting stuck at an airport in the process (can't every xmas be relatively travel free?).

Things I learned (or relearned) over the past week:

- People with stuffed animals in the rear window of their cars are either extremely slow or very bad drivers
- Sometimes having an SUV is actually useful and potentially life-saving
- Napping is a bad idea
- I hate plaster walls with a raging passion
- Partner is a very patient and forgiving man

In addition to doing nothing useful, I have stuffed myself to physical discomfort at least twice, and my house is still a mess. However! This week will see the end of projects (no matter what), a mad cleaning frenzy, and a panicked return to the office where I will face the work I've been neglecting with a heavy heart. Or, maybe with relief, depending upon the house project status.

I hope you all got some time with friends and/or family over the past week!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Today: meeting in-between cookie baking. No house work accomplished, even though I really wanted to get some done because I can finally see the end of this project.

Tomorrow: maybe some house work before we head out for the xmas visit. Sometimes, such as now, being only a few hours away from (Partner's) family is nice (well, it's usually nice. But particularly now).

Xmas "time off": I have job apps to read that will be coming with me. I have revisions that I've only barely started to deal with, and my laptop is coming with me. Likelihood of doing any of this work? Minimal. For some reason having it with me makes me feel less guilty about it; if I leave it at home I just feel lazy for not bringing it. This is probably a pattern I should try to break.

Next week: Syllabi, paper revisions, phone conferences, class scheduling, department and committee meetings, lab preparations. I also have some serious lit searches that need to get done before the term begins, and I'm doing some field work in about a month and I need to get organized for it. Likelihood of being well-prepared for the beginning of term? Minimal. Que sera.

This year, Xmas really just seems like a distraction.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


- Got the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines this afternoon on a whim (more specifically, on a last-minute realization that the clinic was giving H1N1 today). I'm wondering if the fact that I feel icky right now is a direct result (likely).

- Went to the post office and mailed the few boxes that are going out this year (hooray for internet shopping). The line was long, but nothing compared to mailing xmas stuff in City. Hooray for Small Town.

- Progress on house stuff since last week: zero.

- Drama in immediate circle of friends and peers: up 60%. Stop having babies, people. Seriously.

- Spending a lot of time on service stuff. Might have to rethink this "no field work in December" thing if it means I get to deal with a lot of service obligations instead.

- Next week is Xmas. Holy crap, how did that happen!?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


In my brilliance I decided earlier this year that I was going to get some house stuff done over this break - home maintenance kinds of things that have been on our list since we moved in but haven't been accomplished.

And so, of course, the project I began last week has already become a much larger beast than we anticipated. Not all that unexpected. Except that now I have a great little guilt spiral going, wherein if I'm working on the house I'm worrying about all the shit I was going to get done at the office, and if I'm working on WORK, I'm worrying about how I'm going to finish the house before the next term begins. Because the house is a disaster area, and if I don't get it done before classes start we'll probably just live in the disaster area until Spring Break, at least.

Friggin home ownership. Friggin academia. Frig.

Monday, December 7, 2009


The term, it is over. And I recently received my stats for the reserves I had in the library. Number of times a review book was used: 1. Number of times students claimed that they were trying hard and keeping up with the course using the books in the library: multiple. Little lying bastards. Not that I'm surprised. Next term I might just say something like, "look people, I get to see how many times these books are checked out, so don't even bother lying to me." Same deal with our online management space - "I'm following the lectures online!" turns out to be a load of hooey - though in that case I can actually look up each student's activity history.

The term is over, which means an immediate regression to my non-work sleep schedule. Which is very similar to the one I had in college. Which is fine, except that getting up at 10 and going to be at 2 am makes it a little bit difficult to function in the real world, and I have some morning meetings to go to later this week, so that's going to hurt.

I've always been a heavy and late sleeper - my parents hated dragging me out of bed during high school, my various college roommates could start a support group to complain about my snoozing habits (I was usually not the one who eventually turned off the alarm clock) and every once in a while Partner ventures the term "sleep disorder" when things get particularly skewed. Hey man, it's the rest of the world that's disorderly. I truly believe that if I were locked into one of those windowless basement sleep study rooms and allowed to sleep on my body's schedule I would sleep for 12 hours, stay up for 14-15, and progress my way around the clock every few weeks. That type of sleep schedule doesn't fly, unfortunately. But, screw it. For now, I'll just deal with a few 9am appointments and let myself sleep in the rest of the time.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Pile of grading, conquered! Now it's finally time to go make sure my lab is a little