Thursday, July 28, 2011


This week my primary field project is meeting as a group to talk about goals, grants, databases, publications, students, etc. etc. - basically everything we could ever worry about or talk about, and we're getting it all done over seven days. It's amazing how much more useful it is to sit down in a room with people and talk, as opposed to scheduling topic-specific phone calls or emailing. It's been extremely productive, and we're not even finished yet.

It is strange to be holding a workshop at "home", though, as I'm helping to host this entire endeavor. For some reason I didn't expect it to be quite the same as a normal workshop. I thought I might still have time to exercise, for example, or get some other work done. I was completely wrong. The only difference is that instead of stumbling into a hotel room at 10 pm, I stumble into my own shower and feed my cat. Partner is off visiting family this week, which was a good call on his part - I wouldn't see him anyway!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


- I have fruit flies in my office, for no reason that I can discern. I'm hoping that a nearby colleague's office is producing them, not mine. But they're driving me nuts.

- I really need to figure out which books to use in the fall. Committing is difficult.

- I have to start getting up at a reasonable hour, starting tomorrow. Not looking forward to that.

- The heat wave leaves me torn on doing laundry. I want to do it in the afternoon so I can dry things on the line, but I don't want to use more electricity during peak hours. So far, I have just not done any laundry.

- I have yet to clean my mess of an office. Not that I think there are fruit-fly producing items in here...but it is a mess. It really needs to happen before Fall term.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


So what is new here in mid July? Heat, both outside and inside my sick-for-no-good-reason self, but I am enjoying the clean house that is a nice side effect of hosting guests for the weekend.

My student is kicking some laboratory ass and will be done with everything I had set out for her before her hours are done, which means I get to make her do some of the data analysis too. My other student is barely finishing what I request, but I guess adequacy is enough to hope for from summer students. Progress, in any case.

My own efforts are far more lame: I have one negative result that I'm not sure how to publish, pretty limited initial data that will have to create a few conference abstracts, and some very early-stage grant planning going on. But nothing written, or even very writable, at the moment, which is frustrating. Also, MIA colleagues don't help.

I should probably just give up and paint something in my house. At least then I'll have something to show for July.

Monday, July 11, 2011


- Do not break your datasets into multiple excel files without making a note somewhere in big purple sharpie. It really sucks to discover that you are not actually finished pulling data from your old excel sheets, because there's an entire additional file you had forgotten about

- Field notes from six years ago are hilarious

- Abstract deadlines account for exactly 64.3% of summer productivity

- People who interview me come away with the weirdest things, and never what I intended

Sunday, July 10, 2011


We just got back from another fun weekend somewhere more exciting than Small Town. Our cat seems to be dealing with these short absences pretty well, surprisingly, and I think we've been making the most of our free time this summer. I could get used to having an unemployed husband who is free whenever I don't have to teach...but I probably shouldn't.

The next few weeks I've designated as serious work time - I lost a lot of June to stupid details and equipment purchasing, and that plus travel has led to very little accomplished now that it is almost mid-July. The next few weeks are open, and I really need to get my ass in gear.

To do! More for my own reference than anyone else's interest:

- Abstracts #1 and #2
- 1st-authored manuscript (dear lord SOMETHING needs to get out there this summer!)
- Editing for 2 project manuscripts
- Small grants #1 and #2
- Internal funding request
- Large grant prep and quotes
- 3 syllabi, two of which are almost ready to go
- Watch 4 different movies and decide what I should show my freshmen
- Send in security forms for winter field season
- Run exercises for computer-based fall course and edit as needed
- Analyze data currently being obtained by student

So...totally doable by mid-August. Absolutely.

Friday, July 1, 2011

life without timestamps

It's 11 pm and I'm completely motivated to clean out our closets and repaint the water damage. Right now. Partner is not so keen on this idea, despite the fact that I just found him two nice jackets that he had forgotten about, buried in the back of a closet.

The summer continues to be a struggle between the schedule my body really wants to follow and the schedule that works if I want to interact with the rest of the world. Were I on my own, I would probably go to bed between 1 and 2, wake up around 11, eat breakfast for lunch, do some work, exercise around 4 or 5, eat a late dinner, and then the most productive part of my "day" would be from 8 to midnight. As it is, I try to get myself to bed by 1 at the very very latest, and to drag myself out of bed at a reasonable hour. If I wasn't sure that I would be so far off of reality that it would be painful to put myself back on real time at the end of the summer, I might just let myself do whatever I wanted to do. What else is summer for?

There would be the downside of seeing less of my husband. I guess there are motivators for maintaining a "normal person's" schedule, as well.