Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beautiful, Lovely Freedom!

I have this week off, which means four (4) days free for me (about 28 hours).  This is  my first time to have a real day off where I don't have to be anywhere or get some project done (and with toddler in day care!) in over three years.  Well, actually, since I was also in grad school before that, probably since 2001.  (I wish I was kidding or exaggerating.)
I made a list last week of things I've been considering doing "on my week off." I included time estimates, which it turns out added up to about 96 hours.  So I guess I won't be doing all the things I imagined.
While blogging is one of the things I wish I had more time to do, I've been staying away from the computer for the most part, because I know I could all too easily get sucked into surfing away all 28 of those beautiful, lovely hours.  (I currently have a timer on for 10 minutes to write this!)  I have so many IRL things I want to do that I will feel terrible if the week is over and I haven't done them.
However, I may do a bit more blogging or at least emailing later this week.
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Neologism of the Day - Practiculous

We have had to move all the festive bits to the top 1/3 of our Christmas tree because Limelet insists on pulling off every glass ball he can and dragging them around the house.  So we have a very well-decorated (or should I say highly decorated?) tree top, and then the bottom 2/3 of the tree is minimalist.  This is a look I call "practiculous" -- practical, but ridiculous.  

It is a very familiar style to me, as it has been my fashion byword for decades.  However, I can't think of specific examples right now. Perhaps you have some of your own.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Winter Solstice!

I've never been here, but I hear it's madness at any solstice anyway.

Snuggle up and have cocoa and something fire-like.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Explaining Parental Activity Trauma, Plus Some Saved-Up Randomness

We finally all seem to be getting over our marathon illness that spanned most of October and November. It didn't seem as severe as flu I've had in the past, but cold viruses don't last longer than 10 days, right? Anyway, it really put a damper on our lives and we were all bloody well sick of it (metaphorically speaking) by the time it was over.

I think all the time in blogoform, but rarely actually sit down to execute it. I forget that in pre-motherhood days I would not have known or possibly even believed how many parts of my life would be restricted or curtailed by having a little person around, including just sending emails or blogging.

A long time ago (but possibly just this past year) I was reminded of this by an exchange I had with a child-free relative who had posted some interesting things online. I hope that person will forgive me for using this email publicly (but it's not like it's something terrible). It's just such a good opportunity to explain this phenomenon.

ME: I want to see them both [interesting items], but can't do it at work and it's very hard to do so at home (mainly for Limelet reasons, of course)

CHILDFREE RELATIVE: Perhaps you should put "headphones" on your Amazon Christmas wish list this year!

ME: Oh [Childfree Relative]. If only it were that simple. I have headphones; it's that I can't be on the computer at ALL if Limelet is awake. And he sleeps precious little other than when we're also asleep. By the time he finally goes to sleep, we're both exhausted and I still have to shower and pack my lunch for the next day. When I do steal some computer time, it's usually doing something I can only do from the home computer (like uploading the obligatory birthday pix).

CF: Obviously I am ignorant about the whole havin' a kid thing. The phrase "I can't be on the computer at ALL if Limelet is awake" baffles me, quite honestly.

So, perhaps you are as baffled as CF was. And as I said I think it would have baffled me, too. But perhaps a thought experiment will help, at least it will if you're from a large family.

Okay, imagine the sibling you had who was most annoyingly clingy* and who just had to do everything you did, usually a younger sibling ("Jimmy" or "Janie"). Now imagine yourself as you are now, sitting down at your computer. Imagine that sibling standing right next to you, trying the entire time to grab the mouse, hit the keyboard, and begging loudly (okay then, shouting!) to view his or her favorite sites instead of your Gmail or Youtube or bank account.

Now in the old days, when you were fed up with this kind of thing, eventually you might shout "Mo-o-o-mmmm! Jimmy or Janie won't let me check my email!" and Mom might come in and take the now-crying Jimmy or Janie away. Depending on your mom. At any rate, there was probably some point of time in your day during which you were away from Jimmy or Janie.

But today, you're the grown-up. You are Mom! Allow the ramifications of this to sink in. No one will come to take Jimmy or Janie away no matter what he or she does. In fact, unless you have something arranged with someone else, you may not have any time that is not Jimmy or Janie-filled, at least if Jimmy or Janie sleeps as little as Limelet does.

Forget those ads you've seen (at least I've seen them) in which a nicely dressed woman sits at her easel painting in a spotless home while her baby sits on the carpet near her playing with blocks. I still laugh about that ad. The baby would play with those blocks for about 20 seconds, given Mama's super-intriguing activity so close at hand. That kid isn't even trying to eat her paints, let alone smear her canvas! Also, how on earth did she get a shower that early in the day, and have time to do her hair and makeup? Who cleaned her house?

This morning I washed my face and brushed my teeth and put on my pants as hurriedly as possible with the bathroom door open, while Limelet cried and shrieked horribly and writhed in TheLimey's arms nearby, because he wanted me to hold him, not Daddy. I daily put my lipstick on and brush my hair at work for more or less that reason.

So I hope the non-computer time thing makes more sense now. In fact, I am writing this on my work computer at lunchtime, though I usually go home just to get out of the (garden-level) office.


Today it is spring for some reason, but we did have snow the week before Thanksgiving. And it turns out that Pennsylvanians do the same thing that Michiganians do, which is to criticize one another's snow driving as soon as snow threatens. Naturally, the criticism is for opposite types of driving. It starts like this: "Around here, as soon as the first snow falls, there will be a bunch of accidents, because every year people forget how to drive in snow."

So far, this sounds sort of reasonable: a social observation of some kind. But it turns out that it actually means one of two completely opposite things. One is that the criticizer is someone who does not modify the way they drive for weather changes of any kind, and they believe that since others do, they must have "forgotten" how to drive. The other is a criticizer who is petrified of snow-related accidents and is upset when others do not modify their driving for weather, so the criticizer believes that those people have "forgotten" how to modify their driving for snow since the previous year.

Now, I probably fall more closely into the latter group. However, I don't really believe that people "forget" how to drive in snow each year, I just think they have that illusory sense of safety that comes from being in a large vehicle with anti-skid brakes and airbags and so forth. (Studies show that people drive to the limits of the safety of their specific vehicle, whatever that may be). I've experienced way too many events in which someone overestimated their traction or their brakes and got into some kind of collision, to have that illusion myself. I've also tended to have teeny tiny cars that didn't have automatic anything, so I could feel all the slithering and sliding all too clearly. (Plus I've researched driving attitudes.)

So, just for the record, stop telling yourself (and others) that others have forgotten how to drive in snow. Either they have a tiny car that can't drive fast in snow like yours can (or so you think! Ha!), or they have a big vehicle that makes them think they don't have to change their driving habits for snowy roads. Nobody's forgotten anything.

We actually have holly bushes in the front yard, so we have built-in decorations (as long as I keep it up high, since it's poisonous). There's also a huge holly tree next to my work building. I didn't even know holly became a tree when left to its devices, but there it is. Huge and shiny and bright with berries.

Okay, pie. I love pumpkin pie**, and tend to eat it for breakfast the week after Thanksgiving. At least the kind that I make, which is heavy on the eggs and spices, especially cloves. After all, it's squash, eggs, and milk. Sounds like a healthy breakfast to me! Originally TheLimey did not like pumpkin pie at all (nor peanut butter for that matter). But he's gradually begun to like it more each year, so now when I make pies they don't last nearly as long as they used to. This last batch disappeared almost instantly! (And we can't keep peanut butter in, either). And, oddly, I've started liking apple pie because he likes it. Well, I didn't dislike it before, I just found it kind of non-exceptional. But since I was making it each year, I started experimenting with the recipe (with some help from America's Test Kitchen, of course) and ended up with something that I can't restrain myself from gobbling down. The ingredient that makes the biggest difference is the zest of one lemon, as insignificant as that sounds. It's well worth the hassle of zesting that dang lemon, which is always a pain.

And finally, something that's almost a swear, but is a real place, apparently. Zesus Chrest !

*That sounded terrible. I don't mean that Limelet is annoyingly clingy. He's appropriately interactive and dependent for his age. But in the example, I'm picturing how a slightly older child might react instead of how a parent might react. (When in fact I'm a much older child.) This is not to say I'm never annoyed, but it's not because he's being anything other than he should.
**I noticed for the first time this year that my cheesy Classic Christmas Songs CD contains not one, not two, but three references to pumpkin pie. It appears in Sleigh Ride, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, and There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays. Was pumpkin pie originally a Christmas staple that migrated to Thanksgiving, or what?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Internets Advice

A friend of mine who still thinks that I am somehow internet savvy recently posed this question to me:

"My close friends from high school, mostly the wedding party at my wedding, are hoping to return to [party town] this year to celebrate [wife] and I being married for five years.  Anyway, I'm looking for a site where they can all be members, we can chat about who wants to drive, who wants to get hotel rooms, etc. . . and then possibly have an ongoing survey to see where the next get together will be.  "

Now, I'd probably just use eVite myself, because I already know about it.  But perhaps some of you have used other sites to this end and have better ideas.  I promise I'll give you full citation for the advice.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Almost the Meaning of Life

I think I worked like nuts on my birthday last year, too. But this
year I have even been too busy the past two days to tease TheLimey
about his being two years older than me, and now I've lost my chance.
Back to being just one year younger than he is.

I locked my keys in the house when leaving the house after lunch.
Darnit. It doesn't mean anything practically speaking, but I hate
having my keys, phone, or wallet out of my reach.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Be More Grateful"

I don't know how this email-from-Google-RSS will work in Blogger, but here goes.

The other day I was reading an advice column by Cary Tennis, in which a woman expressed her guilt about stealing something. His reply included a suggestion that she examine her life for feelings of deprivation (perhaps her past). I thought that his linking of stealing to feelings of deprivation was exactly right. 

Then a day or so later I was thinking about r@pe, a topic that comes up frequently in my line of work, (not to mention just in being in my gender group). And I thought of r@pe as a form of stealing, and then I recalled the deprivation link. At first thought that sounded terrible to me. "Those r@pists, they're just deprived"? But then, deprived of what? 

And then I considered that only a sense of (undue) entitlement can create a sense of deprivation about another human being. Why are most serial ki11ers white males? Sense of thwarted entitlement, as the theory goes. So, yeah, if we as a society go by the understanding that men "deserve" women (or even a woman), of course we're creating an atmosphere conducive to r@pe, because we're creating a sense of deprivation.

But from this thought came something bigger. It occurred to me that no sense of deprivation can occur unless there is a sense of entitlement. Even in areas of life where it seems that there "should" be some entitlement, such as health and safety and so forth, let alone areas like material belongings. And if we feel entitlement, then we are unlikely to feel gratitude, because we take whatever-it-is for granted.

So I guess it's all related to itself in a convoluted way that as I talk about it is beginning to sound Buddhist to me (in my limited understanding).


Sent via Google Reader:


Want to quickly improve your happiness and satisfaction with life? Then the pen may be a mighty weapon. Researchers recruited students from six courses to explore the effects of writing letters of gratitude to people who had positively impacted the students' lives. Over the course of a six-week period, students wrote one letter every two weeks with the simple ground rules that it had to be positively expressive, required some insight and reflection, were nontrivial and contained a high level of appreciation or gratitude. "I saw their happiness increase after each letter, meaning the more they wrote, the better they felt," says the lead researcher.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I realized today why I am already tired by the time I get to work.  

It's because I awake at 5:50, spend 10 minutes prying myself out of bed, then 10 minutes getting myself ready (Wash face! Brush teeth! Throw on clothes! Hurry hurry!), and then spend 2 very focused hours getting Limelet up and awake and ready and off to daycare.  And that's all before breakfast [Larabar], which I hork down at work as soon as I get there, usually while applying a smear of lipstick and tying my [unbrushed] hair back.

So, tiredness, I understand you.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Good luck

I'm heading home now. With some luck perhaps I may catch a few glimpses of Argot/Eph's skypecast election room...thing.

Anyway, here come the nerves*.

*(My next band name, though doubtless taken.)

Election Coverage Online

A better roundup here than I have the time to do myself.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not Recommended

I spent a lot of last week sick with some kind of GI bug.  If I had known how long it was going to last, I would have gone to the doctor, but as it was I kept thinking that it was surely over, and then it repeatedly wasn't.  The worst part was really just how exhausted I got after days of no appetite and all...er, output.  And then when I was my most exhausted, Limelet got sick. Best of all, he couldn't bear to be more than two inches away from me at any given time. Somehow, he managed to get a completely different thing than I had, lucky for us all.  But he was still stuck at home for three days with a mother who mostly laid on the floor (not out of dejection, but because we don't have a couch.)  I lost four pounds in about four days, but it's not a method I'd recommend.  What a miserable weekend. I'm still feeling depressed just from the accumulated misery of it.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Another Gap

While I could be using this (probably brief) respite to unpack the remaining box in my office, I am choosing instead to write the blog posts that I always have in my head but never get a chance to write. Every time that something big happens in my life (wedding, baby, moving), I am desperate to blog about it, but end up not being able to blog about the most important or interesting parts because of them actually happening and taking up all my time.

So... way back in July, then.  June was so very rainy and horribly hot, that a bumper crop of mosquitos invaded the campus the next month.  It was extremely itchy for everyone.  We didn't like to take Limelet outside except at certain times of day when they seemed to be sleeping.  However, the other aspect of the heat and wet was that there was also a magical outpouring of fireflies that July.  The lawn outside the  back windows of our squalid hovel blazed with the little critters in the way that I remember them being when I was little.  (They're disappearing, as you probably know, so you can look up online how to encourage them if you wish.)  But when we got here, there were no fireflies at all, though my coworkers claim there are some here.  Somewhere.  But what this place lacks in fireflies, it makes up for in cicadas.  TheLimey had never seen one before; only their empty shells.  He sure got a chance here.  Limelet was really excited when we found several warming on the back pavement one morning.  And our back yard is positively pockmarked with cicada-sized holes where they hatched and crawled out from.

I did somewhat say goodbye to the old campus, but a lot of it was rather hurried as we had so much to do, and for me to go anywhere pretty much requires that I bring Limelet along.  I also didn't say goodbye or even hello to some of my old haunts in town that I was hoping to see, just because it was impossible to do anything at all, that entire year.  (I know, you think I must be exaggerating, but I'm not.)  It was a bit sad to leave, because I've lived in and out of that town off and on for the past 20 years, and I came of age there.  Plus the campus itself is really beautiful.  I was really sad to leave all those magnificent old oaks and sycamores that had become my reliable herbaceous friends over the years.

So it was with great delight that I discovered that our new place across from this new campus is right across the street from even bigger oaks and sycamores!  (Although I'm still unacquainted with them personally.)  This campus, while much much smaller, is very lovely and quite a bit older, too.  TheLimey, who fell in love with the last place when we were living there, fell in love much more quickly with this place.  He says it's like the previous campus, but condensed down to the most beautiful parts and buildings (all the ones from the '70s taken out).  I'd have to agree with him.  It's really quite historic (for the U.S., anyway) and verdant.  It looks like other campuses' brochures try to make them look.  And we live right across the street from it!  From the (American) football field, actually.  

We rented the house sight unseen from the college itself, and crossed our fingers that it would be okay.  And it is OH-KAY, alright.  We have been positively giddy with spaciousness.  We even have a fenced-in back yard, and a little tea-room (as we call it) overlooking the front (football field) that has  windows on three sides.  Limelet has positively blossomed since we moved.  If we had stayed in that previous hovel much longer, he was going to experience that thing where if you tether an elephant, it learns to only walk in tiny circles even after the tether is gone.  He likes feeding tiny bits of stick to the poor Boston Terrier living next door, the  patient creature.

So my walk to work is really, really nice.  TheLimey used to (pessimistically, I thought) declare that the last location was going to be the best walk-to-work experience I'd ever have (although it was a bit of a hike), but he's since recanted and can't believe that I found one that's even better.  If I actually lived and worked inside some kind of gorgeous garden, maybe I could improve on this.  Maybe.

Which reminds me, I really think that one way this country could save gas and reduce health costs would be to put showers in more workplaces.  I can't tell you how many times people have said to me (and I've thought to myself), "I'd just jog/bike to work if I could shower there."

Anyway.  Not only is our new home great, and our view, and my work site, but the whole town is just really cool.  (For people our age, anyway.)  We found an honest-to-goodness teahouse within walking distance, and it's like we designed it ourselves somehow.  It's in the bottom floor of an old townhouse, which has been somewhat opened up.  It's very eclectically decorated  with paintings and knick-knacks, and every tea setting is a different pattern.  They have a wonderful tea selection (though one does have to specifically ask for milk), as well as soup, sandwiches, pastries, etc.  So far everything I've tried has been absolutely delectable.  

We also visited downtown one weekend morning (hurriedly), and the (traditional-style) market is chock full of gorgeous-looking vegetables, fruits, dairy, meats (if you like that sort of thing), spices, teas and coffees, candies, and then also some of the usual handi-craft-y kind of stuff.  If you like that sort of thing.  In the building next door is also a little shop selling British  imports, so I got to try Marmite flavored crisps, which I now want a lot more of. 

Apparently I was planning to blog something about birds, but I don't remember what specifically.  Oh, unless it was just that I finally got my  bird feeder up and have been happy to see my familiar chickadees and cardinals.  Although there is some kind of something singing a lovely song I don't recognize.

Oh yeah, and we have actually had an autumn here!  Already!  By that I mean that it didn't go from 90-degree weather to 40-degree weather with only 16 hours in between.  No, we've actually had nearly two weeks of the kind of proper autumn weather that makes one want to wear a corduroy sport coat, preferably fawn-colored with leather patches on the elbows.  Unbelievably nice.

The only bad thing is that every few Saturdays, there is a fireworks display somewhere nearby that begins without warning exactly when I am tiptoeing over to the bed with the finally sleeping Limelet.

A Very Long Day

Today has been a really long day.  There was a de@th on campus last night, so I've been in crisis-counseling mode for 12 hours already.  I feel like I, myself, have been crying all day just because after a certain amount of exposure feelings "rub off" on the therapist.  (This is why we don't work 12-hour shifts normally!)  

There just happens to be a brief gap in the walk-ins this minute.

I miss my husband and son, but there are some who have it way worse than me today.  At least I know they are okay and I get to go home to them (eventually).

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ha! Romance.

TheLimey got the job offer from his top pick job, so we have been attempting to celebrate that.

We tried having a takeout crab dinner from a local fishmonger, but neither of us had ever had crabs before (yes, ha, ha) so we didn't realize that it was completely inappropriate for a household with a 2-year-old. At least one who is awake, which Limelet always is.  We didn't realize how low the meat-to-shell ratio is, and how much whacking and picking would be involved. The mallet provided by the fishmonger turned out to be so much like Limelet's little wooden hammer for his peg-bench, that we just ended up using that, too.  Despite how frustrating and complicated it was to us, Limelet became immediately distraught because he wanted to whack crabs, too.  I couldn't think of a reason why not to allow it, but you can imagine the results. We ended up clearing everything away and having noodles (Limelet) and crackers and cheese (us).  Maybe we should have done that in the first place.

Limelet may be teething again, as he still has at least another set of four to come in and seems to be showing a  lot of the usual signs.  At any rate, this weekend was a trainwreck as far as sleeping goes.  We are all simply exhausted.  Also cranky, especially me.

At any rate, we went out for a nice rainy walk on campus yesterday to try to tire out Limelet* (and just get outside), and we stopped at the coffee shop mid-campus.  One of the employees (I'll sexistly guess the female one) had left on the counter their current reading material, a romance novel called A Baby in the House .  I was flabbergasted that it could even be remotely considered as romance novel material.  Maybe birth-control novel material, but definitely not romantic!  When we left the coffee shop I told TheLimey about it, and we had a good, if hollow-sounding, laugh.

*It didn't work.  He was up until midnight again anyway.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

For no reason

I was taking a break at work, Googling "sour deans" (as one does)  when I came upon this page that is linguistically interesting, in a fluffy yet obscure sort of way.

Monday, September 22, 2008


That last post has been temporarily recessed for--er, political reasons.  Hopefully it will be back up soon to further enrage others.
Meanwhile: What do people do who've had their undergrad studies in, say, Germany and want to apply to grad school in the U.S.?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


McCain's campaign visit here was today. There was a lot more advance notice and you had to have a ticket.

It poured rain.

The campus was not overrun as it was last week.


So we went to see Obama the day he was here. When we got to the site, stroller and all, there was a hujambous line that snaked all over campus and then south for about four or five blocks.  And it was in the 90s that day.  Ambulances were at the ready, and we saw people being loaded into them before they even got to the fenced-in area.  We decided to people-watch instead.  

Conveniently for us, as we were walking on the other side of the street, Obama's motorcade came sweeping in, so we saw him in his car. Unless it was a ringer, of course.  TheLimey joined the rush up to the fence when Obama began talking, but reported later that all he could see was people's backs.  Meanwhile I slinked sadly away with Limelet in the stroller, but then magically saw a spot near some campus buildings and trees where a couple of people were taking photographs.  Where there are photographers, there is a view.  So I was able after all to catch a glimpse of the white-shirted dot that was Obama behind the miniscule podium draped in patriotic bunting.  I left after al while because I really couldn't hear anything, and a toddler only has so much patience for that sort of thing.

On the way home, also magically, we saw Daddy, who had left his spot at the fence at about the same time we left.  And once we got home, we were just sitting around debriefing when I heard an odd kind of siren and went to the front window--there came the motorcade again, this time up our street and right in front of our house!  So we got to see him (or the ringer) again.  We ran out and waved our hands, but didn't have any flags or anything. Oh well.  It was still cool.

And Limelet was thrilled with seeing the la-la cars, anyway.

Moving Right Along

I almost forgot to mention this:

Yay!  My dissertation revision sign-off sheet was signed by the most unpredictable of my committee members.  (Remember intra-committee drama from my defense?) This is important because I am not officially Ph.D. until they all sign off on the blasted form, and then the dean of the grad school signs it.  The moment she signs it, I am officially Ph.D. and can do official doctor stuff, within licensure limits, of course.  And what is very important, is that the postdoc work I am currently doing does not count towards my licensure hours (I need a year's worth) until it is actually postdoc--until then, it's just basically more internship.  So I've been frothing at the brain about getting that dang paper signed, all the while needing to carefully manage Some People's moods and perceptions about it.  

Although, even when it's signed I still have to apply for graduation to get the actual pretty paper for my wall.  And I will probably not be "walking" until next spring.  I wasn't going to do it, but then TheLimey reminded me that it's not too often in a lifetime that a person graduates, let alone gets a Ph.D., and I should at least do it for the photos for posterity (Limelet).  (Then I will have a fancy robe and hat for festive occasions, such as convocation at my current place of  employment.)

What I didn't discuss much with TheLimey until recently is that in order to get my licensure, I have to not only have a year of supervised postdoc work, but I also have to pass a superduper exam , kinda like your GRE or your Microsoft certification exams and so forth.  A person only gets a couple of chances to pass the EPPP, and the minimum useful study time, as they say, is six weeks.  Most people begin studying months beforehand.  And did I mention it's expensive?

So you see why I didn't extensively discuss this aspect of my career with him yet, as this whole process has already just about killed him as it is.

On the sword side (which is supposedly the even-obscurer counterpart term to the obscure distaff side), TheLimey spent the first week after we moved at an intensive IT boot camp sort of thing, where he studied for and took not one but two Microsoft cert exams, both of which he passed.  Only half of the attendees passed both, so he did pretty well if you ask me.  He's had a lot of interest from recruiters and has several job interviews coming up, one of which is tomorrow.  It looks like a pretty cool place and is very close, though most of them do look pretty cool.

Having recently gone through the job apps process myself, I sympathize with his nerves.  It will be really great when we can all just settle in and get to this daily life that we've spent so much time--years really--setting up.  We are both frickin' tired of all-work weekends after three years solid of them.  I still haven't even unpacked my suitcases from moving, let alone all of our boxes.  I only just yesterday found my graphing calculator, for Pete's sake!

So, wish him luck, send vibes, whatever it is you do.  Hopefully I will be able to pass mine on to him.

Friday, September 05, 2008


I've been really tired the past couple of weeks, and I can't decide if I'm more tired than I was all of last year, or if it's just more noticeable by comparison because now my husband is less tired than last year.

Factors possibly influencing my tiredness:

1. Not a single night of uninterrupted sleep for two years straight
2. New tap water doesn't have iron in it
3. Transition, new job, moving stress kind of thing
4. No (or extremely little) time that I'm not "on duty" (either job or Limelet)
5. No self-care, including no exercise / yoga or similar
6. Hurried and thus often poor eating habits
7. Just getting over a cold
8. Drained by excessive heat lately (we didn't install the AC here)

I guess I should address each one of them.

(When I have the energy and time?)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


We just found out that Obama will be appearing literally just down the block from our house tomorrow, so of course we plan to attend.  It's history in the making!  (Whether he ends up winning or not.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mac Mouse -- Bleh.

I never knew how often I used to right-click until now, when I have no right-click button.  The whole dang mouse is one big button. 

The internets say that I can simulate a right-click by using ctrl-click, but it doesn't seem to work with my mouse at all.  Which sucks, because apparently one of my great joys in life has been to right-click on images and put them on my desktop (even my own images from Flick'r, for example.)  Now I don't know how to get an image off the web at all.  I hate being ignorant!

Also, I can't close an open window with a simple right-click of the bottom of the screen.  Dammit.

We're Here

We got here; it's really beautiful. It is probably the most flippin' picturesque US city/town I've ever  seen.  

The train trip was 27 hours of hassle, but still not as bad as taking Limelet in the car would have been.  At least he slept and ate.  The really annoying part was that the first leg of the trip was changed from 4 hours of train to hours of bus--train--bus; this meant that I had to get off and on numerous conveyances wityh a toddler and all my luggage and drag it all around in the sweltering heat three times instead of just getting on a train and spreading out.  Still haven't had a chance to call Amtrak and ask for some kind of recompense as the conductor suggested we do.  We have so many different kinds of administrative crud to do--paperwork and phone calls and picking things up and dropping things off to take care of, it's insane.  Moving out of state means administrative crud, renting a new home means administrative crud, starting a new job means administrative crud, putting Limelet in two separate day care facilities means double administrative crud, and...gah.  Stuff that's impossible to do while looking after Limelet, I might add.

We love our new place a LOT, and the campus is also wonderful, historic, and treeful.  The squirrels, however, are not as friendly as I'm used to, and they are a different type, though small and cute.  TheLimey had to go out of town this week for a training thing immediately after we got here, so the place is still full of unpacked boxes and I'm on my own with Limelet.  I started my new job yesterday and therefore have internet access again there, but I don't want to overdo it right away.  The computers are Macs, so I'm a bit at sea with a lot of the hardware and basic commands, although they run virtual Windows.

Limelet is accepted into the college-run day care, but not until they move to their new location on September 1.  So he's in a chain day care place, and I don't feel very comfortable with it (day care in general and this one in particular).  Not as many workers per child as the last place, which means that when he's upset, they don't have time to comfort him.  And I hate making him have all these transitions.  He was crying his heart out when I came in to pick him up last night, and he immediately burst into tears this morning when I dropped him off.  He's had reduced appetite and digestive problems for the past two weeks from (presumably) the anxiety and stress of moving.  Home is gone, Daddy's gone (he doesn't really understand that he'll be back), day care (that he had just barely gotten used to anyway) has complete strangers in it, and he's spending longer days there.  I want to get him into the new place (which is nicer, and two blocks away from us instead of 5 miles), but it will mean yet another transition to strangers.  Poor little tyke.

Basically,  we love the place and I think it was a good move. However, we are having some culture shock and no time to even process it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Offline For the Nonce

I may not have much internet access for the next few weeks.  In fact, I don't exactly know when I will have internet access again.  So call, don't email!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nasty Chocolate

My advice for the day:
Don't eat cheap, nasty chocolate.  It will just make you desire real, lovely, buttery chocolate, which you will then have to get. 
Then you've eaten twice the refined sugar and stuff, for only one dose of chocolatey deliciousness. 
So go for the good stuff the first time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Limnal Time!

I so rarely post, but I constantly have a mental thread of things I'd be posting if I happened to be online, but then when I get online I completely forget all of them. I don't know why. Sometimes I can capture it if I post from Gmail. Unlike just now.

We're moving pretty soon, and it's a little weird. I'm excited to go, but of course worrying about some of the arrangements. I noticed I've begun detaching from some things here, such as being trained on new things that will only be applicable for the next week. We are not sure when we will get internet at our new location, so we'll be looking up local information before we leave. Hopefully we will remember to look up all the important things, because I no longer know how to look anything up without the internets.

I will be taking the train overnight with Limelet, while TheLimey drives our car. Limelet is NOT a good car passenger, and is definitely not one of those babies who fall asleep in the car. No matter how sleepy he is, and whether I nurse him immediately prior to a trip, and it's exactly his naptime, and we play his sleepytime CD on the car stereo, he just can't fall asleep in the car. Even if it's several hours. And like many adults, he becomes really cranky and miserable when he's exhausted and can't sleep, so then we have three miserable people including one shrieking, strapped-in toddler. So that's probably the main reason we aren't taking him on a tri-state trip in the car. Also, I just wanted to take the train there.

Our possessions will be driving themselves, with the help of Upack. Our neigbors used it to move to Florida. It's kind of like PODS, but it's moving instead of storage, and also you only pay for the volume you move, so smaller amounts than a train carload are practical. One of my intern cohort will also be using it, it looks like.

A lot of our stuff is still in storage in the last town where we lived, and will stay there a while, waiting for us to send for it in a year or so. I wish that some of the stuff we brought with us was in storage instead of crammed into our current tiny smothering filthy hovel, and some of the stuff that's in storage was with us instead of alternately melting in the summer and cracking in the winter, but...oh well.

Must try to get some more wrapping-up work done here at work now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Some clients are just hard to figure out. Some, I'm not even sure why they are attending sessions. Maybe just to talk some things out, or just to have human contact, or...I don't know.

When a person doesn't even have a particular thing they wish was different about their lives or themselves, theirs can be a difficult case to approach: "...a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma..." (Wrapped in buttered bacon, no doubt.)

A friend working in a multinational setting stated, "I thought my client was alexithymic. After a while I came to realize he's just Scottish." An anecdote with a very narrow target audience.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Some Explanation Required

Do kids even really know what a pimp is?  If not, why would a parent dress them like one?  If so, why would a parent allow them to dress like one?  Why does this even exist ? 
If my kid asked for this costume, there would be a big research project about prostitution in store for him.  Assuming, of course, that he at least already knew what sex was.  And if not, then it'd have to be couched in terms of human trafficking / slavery. 

Monday, July 07, 2008

Stats Text

From an email I recently sent to my advisor--but I think others should know about it, too.  This is my desert-island stats book now.  (And I have bought a lot of stats texts.)
"...I highly recommend the Handbook of Univariate and Multivariate Data Analysis and Interpretation with SPSS (2006) by Robert Ho. 
I wish I had it when I started [my dissertation], or [was] even halfway through.  I will totally use it if I ever get to do any further research.  So if you have any students who are doing their theses or dissertations and are not stats experts, it's really clear and practical.  They can even look at pages of it online to see if they want to buy it, at http://books.google.com/books.  (Search for Robert Ho.  Within the book reader, the title page is unavailable but scroll down--lots of pages are available."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Glad Midsommar!

Glad Midsommar!
Originally uploaded by LellePelle
True, this photo(and caption) is Swedish, but It's pretty much the same as the Norwegian tradition.

If we were all there right now, we'd go out on a boat and loaf about under the midnight sun. Ah well.

Happy Solstice!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Red Humor

This is so me.
(Click for T-shirt.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Internet Conferences

I've been looking into online conferences since seeing screen shots on a news piece about a green energy conference that was held entirely online.  It looked more or less like a Second Life sort of affair.
I haven't found anything comparable being done in psychology, though there are a number of other kinds of online conferences such as this, this, and this.  Have any of you participated in any online conferences that leaned more towards the "virtual conference" than the "list of papers and chat rooms"?
...Man, is this post going to attract spam.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bus Post

[I've started using a PDA again to eke out a few posts while on the bus from time to time, as that's my "me" time.]

I've started walking to (and sometimes from) work in addition to busing it. It takes about 25 minutes if I walk really fast. The experience reminds me that a lot of the meat of my life has occurred while walking: the observation, the nature, the emotional processing. I've missed it more than I realized.

The first blooms here were the magnolias near the Counseling Center, and as they faded the cherry blossoms and then lilacs exploded all over campus. That explosion was at its height around Mother's Day. Except for a few late-blooming shaded lilacs, those are now gone, succeeded by the sweet trailing black locust blooms and cottonwood fluffs. The combination of blooms, scent and fluffs drifting on the breeze gives campus a "Legend" meets Maxwell Parrish feel.

It's weird thinking that this will be my last spring in this town. It's the first place I lived after leaving home. I've lived here (or within an hour or two's drive) for the past 21 years. I didn't even mean to do that: I wanted to actually seek out a place to live instead of "ending up" somewhere. Well, I've finally done it; finally planned a place to be. But I'm sentimental, and any "the last ever" is melancholy.

The familiar smells this spring bring back my early twenties. All the freedom, all the angst. All the cruddy jobs just to pay rent. All the skinniness! At this distance even the depression seems romantic in memory. But I sure am glad to be older.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


See, this is why I feel creeped out about having a background check. Even though I have never been fired from anywhere, never had any arrests--not even a speeding ticket that I can recall. But I don't have the best credit rating ever, though it's certainly improved a lot over the years. And they talk to your friends, family, and neighbors? How the heck do they know who my friends are?

And if they (manage to find and) talk to my family, they'll either get a good story or a bad story, depending whether they talk to certain malevolent persons [with whom I have no communication, and who have told all kinds of bizarre stories about me, such as that I left home a) because I had an abortion (?!) or b) because I was on drugs (?!), both of which are completely made up, presumably to hide the fact that I actually left home because I was 18 and didn't enjoy being abused]--or whether they talk to the people who are in my life today.

And I don't have that many "ex" friends, but I do have one or two. What would they say about me?

What would your family members and friends say about you? Would you want your new boss to hear them say it?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Be Vicariously Relieved

I got a job!
It's a postdoc at my #1 choice.  Partly it's #1 because of its location, which is a town in which we have both been really interested.
Now I can stop sending out apps, doing interviews, and so forth.  I can't believe the process has been going on for four months.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


From an application to join my Yahoo Freecycle group:
"I have lots of used items and love to recycle."
(Guess how I read that.)


We planned once again to have me do my dissertation revisions one day over the weekend, but what I forgot to take into account was the fact that my office building is locked on Sundays. Especially Sundays of holiday weekends. So instead TheLimey worked on his work stuff, as he is getting to the sending-out-resumes point now, too.

I took care of a ton of house stuff that has been driving me insane. Well, it wouldn't have been considered a ton in pre-baby days, but now a half-hour of housework is an improbable dream. I did some of it when Limelet was sleeping soundly, when I should also have been sleeping. But never fear, he only sleeps so long before he stirs and needs my presence to remain asleep, so it's self-limiting.

I cleaned the bathroom, and the kitchen floor, and washed Limelet's laundry and nappies, as well as my laundry. I made couscous and froze it in cubes (for Limelet's lunches), I made his pea-and-rice dish and ditto, and I bagged and tagged some previously frozen foods. I made lemon and yogurt ice pops for the grownups (dairy, y'know). I washed dishes, I threw out some things from the fridge.

Monday we were going to play, and maybe have a playdate with a colleague's toddler, but TheLimey became horribly, horribly ill (did I mention the degree of horribleness?) with some kind of GI thing. It seemed likely not food poisoning this time for various reasons, but he was completely out of commission.

Luckily he is feeling more human today, because I have a video-conferencing interview at 10:30. I don't know what we would have done had he been that sick today. We just don't have any back-up or wiggle room. There's no way he could have taken care of Limelet. All he could do all day was to hold still and try not to throw up more.

So, it's a good thing he's somewhat better today.

I'm feeling pretty optimistic about this interview this morning, but I don't want to jinx it. Or become prematurely attached to a successful outcome and thus reduce my motivation to succeed, which is the same thing. I am trying to project an image of "Deanna Troi meets Ivy League professor" for this particular site. except my hair's not that curly.

My new snack find: Larabars. It's hard for a bar food to wow me, but these do. Especially the lemon.

*** Update:

Did I mention that Skype rocks? The site with which I interviewed was going to use AOL, but my computer here at work couldn't use it. Plus, I mean, it's AOL. I suggested we try Skype video chat, and it worked great. So hear that, HR people? You can Skype a job interview for free instead of spending $1000 to fly your candidate all over the country, flagrantly spewing emissions and whatnot.

The tele-interview went great. I am pressing my thumbs, crossing them, and all such. It sounds like they are interested and view me as compatible with their goals. At any rate they will make a decision in the next couple of days, which is good, because I grow impatient of the application process, and stressed out, too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Given my coulrophobia*, this is my nightmare!

*Yes, I know how to treat phobias. This one's really not that high on my to-do list. I'd say it's pretty ego-syntonic.

Both Dumb and Geeky...

...in exactly the pie-chart proportions that appeal to my sense of humor: Graphjam is my new obsession.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Not much computer time, so I haven't posted and this will be short.  The interview went well, as far as I know, though since then I have been second-guessing myself a lot.  But either they like me or they don't, at this point.  I liked the town a lot, and the are in general. so I think that we will like being in that state (regardless of town).  Three of my four planes were prop planes. A little swoopy, but I kind of like that.  It's like a roller coaster. It was hard being away from Limelet--also TheLimey but in a different way--for that long and I was really glad to get back.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I'm Off

I'm flying out out to my on-site interview in a couple of hours. I'm discovering that job search out-of-state is kind of a hassle, but I am glad to have an on-site interview. The hassle will be worth it if I get it. Of course, the other candidates are probably all thinking the same thing. It will also be my first time away from Limelet overnight, which will be weird for all of us. Wish me luck on the prop-plane leg of my journey. Oh yeah, and the interview itself.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Okay...We Are Officially in The Future Now.

I can't wait to regrow my own body parts, but I'm not looking forward to the part where something gets cut off.

But the thing I really want to do is grow some new teeth.*

*But not like this.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Mean One

I have a proper on-site interview coming up, with the site paying for my trip and all.  Exactly which day is not certain yet, but it's narrowed down to two.  So that's good.  I considered the train as a way to bring Limelet and his Daddy too, but because the US has starved its train lines into skeletons that would be completely impractical. 
According to Google maps, the drive to the site would be 10 hours (straight through, which I wouldn't do, but anyway).  Meanwhile, taking the train would mean driving to a near-ish town in our state, taking a train to a major city in the opposite direction from my actual trip, having a layover of several hours, then taking an overnight train to a large city in the other state, then having another layover of six hours, then another train to a sort of near-ish town, then a drive to the town where the site is.  The train trip would take nearly two days. 
I am trying to imagine four days (round-trip) on and off a train with a toddler, with my job interview sandwiched in between.  Right.
We had our last supervision sessions with our supervisees recently.  My supervisee told me that when she found she had been assigned to me, she thought, "Oh, great, I got the mean one!"  Apparently the organized way I presented their training seminar, complete with handouts and other kind of OC things, led them to believe I'd be really strict.  Well, that's good.  It's better to start out mean and get nice than vice versa.
Anyway, I thought it was pretty funny, since I sometimes feel like I'm kind of a pushover.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Political Prediction Time

I'm going to take a little leap here.  Well, actually, it doesn't seem like a leap to me.  It seems depressingly obvious.  Here's my prediction for next prez.
The Man has played the social system again.  Women vs. Blacks.  Sexism vs. racism.  Hierarchy of oppression, bell hooks be damned.
So regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, people are going to vote "personality not party", and McCain is going to win because many who typically vote Democrat will be buying into the racism and sexism and thinking their feeling really is about the candidates.
Yeah, people are sick of Republican government at this point, but they think McCain is different, so this will be a different Republican administration.  Forgetting that McCain the individual comes with a whole bunch of other Republicans who will be advancing the usual Republican ideals and goals.

Monday, April 21, 2008

If This Syndrome Didn't Exist

Someone would have had to have invented it. Someone with an exploding head.


Got a rejection email from a site that I'd begun to not only think of as "mine" but had started to look forward to.  At least I was one of their four finalists (for two positions), but that still doesn't get me a job.  So far that's three out of the eight sites I applied to that have rejected me (or listed the position as filled).  One of those eight was...sort of last-ditch for me, and one is, shall we say, penultimate-ditch. 
So that means that I had six earnest applications out there, so three out of six---bust. 
Oh yeah, another site gave me a phone interview, but I dithered for a long time about whether to even apply to that one. Therefore my application got in right before the deadline, and they had already gotten onto site interviews with some applicants so I'm basically second-tier with them already.  I'm not holding out much hope for that one.  
So maybe two out of six left.
And one of those two sites lost two of my three reference letters (or, okay, so I suspect, since I mailed them at the same time and where the heck would they go?), and then they sent me letters telling me that applications that were complete by the deadline would be given "full consideration" and mine was not complete--meaning, "you didn't get all your stuff to us, so you're second-tier."  Poo. 
Turns out one of my colleagues here applied there too, and she did get an interview with them.  I guess they didn't lose her letters, and she's at least as competent as me.  I guess a lesson here is that each site to which I send apps, I should actually call them to make sure they got everything.  (And that they still have it.)

Friday, April 04, 2008


Just had my first interview, it was by phone but was good nonetheless.  Now that I have half a dozen apps out there and some others are showing interest, I am already worried about how to navigate accepting versus doign more interviews.  Who knew I'd be so popular?!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Heh. Foolio.

I wish this existed.
Actually, I wish it existed for my VHS tapes at a non-exorbitant price.

Speaking of April Fool, don't forget to get your dose of ludicrosity.

Okay, wait---this one's better!

UPDATE: Well, having not known about the homophobic history of the Rickroll, I can say I am disappointed. I love things that are a) about '80s music and b) silly and have no apparent reason at all. I thought that the surprising aspect of the video was that Rick was visually a skinny White guy who was singing in a voice and style that people usually associated with medium-sized Black guys.

So here's the replacement.

However, I think the poster missed the most important viral aspect of the Rickroll, which had to do with how insanely catchy that song is, which makes you need to infect others with it. So it should actually be this song or this song instead.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Was Your Day Better Than This?

Last night Limelet was awake from 3:30 to 4:30, which all things considered is really not the worst night ever, but still I had a really hard time getting myself up in the morning for work and an even harder time getting out of the house.  He's really cranky and clingy when he's tired (got it from me, most likely.)

I had a client right at 8, and made it to the Center just at 8 myself, minus makeup as usual.  So there I was in my somewhat dark office, trying eat some string cheese (breakfast) and add a dash of makeup before the client arrived.
"Your client has arrived.  Your client has arrived," announced my desktop computer, as I hastily applied lipstick and darkened my eyebrows.  As I stood up to go to the lobby to get her, I checked my application in my powder mirror by the light of my coffee table lamp. 
It was then that I realized that instead of my usual subtle brown eyebrow pencil, I had grabbed a blue eyeliner pencil.  My eyebrows were a lovely bright blue.
Just as I assumed a horror-stricken expression, a colleague knocked on my door asking questions about some project we're working on.  I shielded my eyebrows with my hands while impressing on her that I was in a hurry.  This probably looked really odd, which you can tell if you try doing it yourself.
I think I managed to get most of it off before seeing the client, but who knows.  Maybe she just thought it was a new therapy trend, or (more likely) that it was a weird "old people" trend for the over-40 set.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Pat's

Happy St. Pat's
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo

You know it wasn't really snakes that were driven out of Ireland, but indigenous religions, right?

Slate pretty much explains it all here.

Just FYI: I'm not a big fan of human sacrifice, whatever the denomination.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Savings, Schmavings

I'm a little late for my yearly rant about Stupid Daylight Savings. It's much worse now having a kid. So, anyway, consider it ranted upon.

Now, for my alternative (I finally have one): we set the clocks back one hour 24 times each year, giving us all an extra hour to sleep in every few weeks or so, and coming 'round to the original time once per year. I realize it means that we'll be getting up when it's getting dark (or is dark) out for part of the year. But I think that the gain in restedness we'll all have will make up for it.

No more of this getting up an hour earlier during the springtime. This year it was just when we were all feeling vastly relieved because it was finally getting light when we got up. Then, BLAM! Now we have to get up in the dark again while still feeling tired.

Which more or less blows my alternative suggestion out of the water, but I don't care.

Friday, March 14, 2008

In A Circuitous Way

Pi Pie
Originally uploaded by megpi
Happy Pi Day.

glazed pi
Originally uploaded by VROG in Bristol

There are a lot of these. Why don't we have one?!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Public Figure (?)

I'm realizing that people see me and recognize me in public, so I better make sure I walk my talk.
A young woman came into my office today with a big hunk of fabric today asking me how to wrap her baby in it.  She'd previously been to one of my babywearing talks, but I guess the thing that led her to try it out for herself was seeing me at the grocery store wearing a contented Limelet in one of my wraps.  (Her baby had been teething and doesn't want to be put down, which in my experience makes it hard to even go to the bathroom.)
And TheLimey told me that a woman from the library playgroup recognized--well, not me, but Limelet, and assumed (correctly) who I was.  Again at the grocery store.
So if those two people saw me, then I'm sure others have as well: I just heard about those two. 
Gosh, does this mean that I have to try to look good, or at least less bad, before going to the grocery store?  'Cause it's not likely to happen.

My Theme Song

The original song is pretty catchy already, but these lyrics speak to me.
I think my favorite part is the Seth Green segment.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Retired English Psychologist Apparently Quite Clever

48-year-old London psychologist developing movie-recommending algorithm for Netflix contest on his elderly home Dell computer has been edging out tech teams at high-caliber schools and so forth.
I'm rooting for him to win the million dollars!


I don't know. She seems to0 charming and sweet to be me.

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Fantasy Cheese Tea

TheLimey and I actually had a conversation the other night...was it last week?  No, maybe the week before.  I mean a normal, honest-to-goodness conversation that included laughter and...content and...stuff.  We even had a glass of wine while conversing!  Limelet went to sleep relatively early and even stayed asleep with no intervention long enough (half an hour) for this to take place.
One thing we talked about was how fantasy changes as one gets older.  We used to fantasize (and I won't say whose was which) about winning the lottery, being able to fly, being incredibly attractive, having a really cool car, or dating celebrities (--no, wait a minute...I don't think that either of us has ever been terribly into celebrities.  Scratch that.  Unless you count my primary-school crush on James T. Kirk...anyway--).
TheLimey revealed his innermost fantasy life, and yes--it was something nearly impossible to achieve.  He fantasizes about having the chance to sit on the sofa and have a cheese sandwich and a cup of tea.
Me? Well, I've discovered that I am almost always too exhausted to even fantasize about cheese anymore.  Kind of like when you're too sick to watch TV, if you've ever experienced that.  I guess I fantasize about getting to sleep in until 7:00 or even 7:30. 
Or getting to bed earlier, so here goes.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Where's My Overthruster?

Wow, it's the IRL Buckaroo Banzai!

Okay, so he's not a surgeon....yet.

Also from the really cool TED conference: Zimbardo talks about Abu Ghraib. (Events that--I'm sorry to say--I predicted, as most psychologists could have. Or at least most feminist psychologists or social psychologists.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I Got the Winter Tail-End Blues

I'm not really that blue right now (though ask me last thing at night and I might tell you a different story). I am feeling tired a lot this week, which could be a lotta stuff.

Anyway, today would have been my mother's 60th birthday. Happy Birthday, Mama: I wish you could have met your first grandson. He's a pip.

* * * * * * * * *

I've been sending out job applications, initially to my chagrin. I wanted some time off after that whole dissertation thing. Like, maybe a month to get my land legs again. However, the internship year is just not set up that way. At least the job apps are not--generally speaking--as much of a PITA as internship apps. Until I get interview offers and have to start flying to another state; then that will definitely be somewhat of a PITA. I'm actually beginning to feel some excitement about some of them, which is better than the pure mental exhaustion I have been feeling.

I got one great reference letter that stated that I was NOT the best person he'd ever worked with*.

Next week is spring break here at the U. I'm so busy that I barely have the time to notice that something is happening the following week, but I couldn't help notice that while all my regular client spaces are filled, there are no new intakes at all (usually they are totally full.) So perhaps I can start to catch up on some things that have gone fallow since, say, November due to the Great Dissertation Crunch.

Hopefully this means that the actual "spring" itself is around the corner--in a few weeks, it'll be rainy and mushy and melty. This year I think we are all desperate for winter to be over --last year it was just me. It's funny to think that for Limelet it will sort of be like the whole world is new again, since he was just barely beginning to walk when it became too cold to hang out outside.

I heard a cardinal singing his spring song yesterday morning, despite the newly fallen four inches of snow. It was such an optimistic sound.

Likely this means that the phototherapy program I instituted here will soon go belly-up until next winter, when I will have been several months gone. But now that they have the lights and the lights are mounted on the wall and a protocol is nearly written (thank you, colleague), at least next year they will be available for SAD clients.

I constantly think of things I'd like to blog, but when I have computer time it's always at work. Most of us are...shall we say, a bit overextended, so I don't do much leisure writing. Right now I should be doing about five something elses, but I just want to do one blog entry! Just one, darnit!

In the brief few minutes when Limelet is falling asleep but is not asleep enough for me to leave the room yet, I do all my leisure reading. So a few pages a night. I just finished re-reading George MacDonald's books Lilith and Phantastes. I read them as a child, I think more than once. It was strange, because I couldn't remember the content until I started reading them, and then it was as familiar as your old street at your childhood home. (Not mine, because there are too many of them.)

Now I am reading something completely on the other end of the scale--a book that someone left on the "free stuff" shelf at our laundry facility: A suspense-thriller set in Montana called Dark Paradise (Hoag). The former owner left it there for a reason: I hate to say this because I like everything--and I mean, everything--but it is actually bad!

I'm still reading it, because sometimes I just want some fluff, you know? But I think I know how it will end already, and I'm only 50 pages in. (I think the ending was actually given away in the intro.)

So far, my favorite signs of book badness have been a sentence that discussed how a character had "forgotten how delicate women's underwear could be", and a recently introduced stock-Englishman character. I have to say, he's not the usual "evil-Englishman" character that you might think. No, he's the just slightly less-frequent "gay Englishman" character, and says things like "I say, you look positively knackered, Luv."

So, Cheerio! I'm off to get some work sorted before I'm positively knackered, Guv'ner.

*No, it really was a great letter. The referrer said I was the second best intern in the 30 years he's been here. Which actually sounds a lot more believable than saying someone is the best, doesn't it?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Match Day

Having gone through Match Day three times myself (one year before our new PhD program was accredited, one year in which I turned up "in a family way" and had to withdraw, and then the final year in which everything worked out) I heartily sympathize with the subjects of this article.
You'd think that "in the wake of" (which always means the word "shooting" is about to occur) various incidents, we as a country would be more interested in funding mental health care (as described in article). 
But--what am I thinking?  We don't appear to place much of a value on other health care, so of course mental health care would be viewed as even more fluffy and incidental.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Electoral Compass

electoral compass
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo
It's a sad commentary on my life that doing this quiz was my break for the day.

Inspired by geistweg.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

eclipse 928pm

eclipse 928pm
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo
As detailed below.

Limelet is distracted with an unused phone I found in a box, so I was able to take this (terrible) picture.


Between bouts of trying to get Limelet to sleep (he's sick again as well as teething like crazy, which means a lot less sleep for all three of us, and a lot more crankiness for all three of us) I have had a great view of the lunar eclipse tonight. The moon is about half covered right now. I always prefer having east-facing bedroom windows because I can see the moon rising. (Oh yeah, and the sun, I guess!)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Originally uploaded by ButterflySha
I love weird, old-fashioned candy, including conversation hearts (and Necco wafers).

Limelet got a floaty silver balloon from me, and TheLimey got a box of chocolates. (That's an upside of being the stay-at-home parent, right?) Review on the balloon: "Best. Toy. Ever." No word yet on the chocolates.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


It is superblizzardy out there today.  And the heavy snow is predicted to begin at 6pm.  I do love precipitation when I don't have to drive in it, and today I took the bus.
Stay home if you can, unless you're somewhere there isn't a blizzard or other insane weather occurring at you.
I better put some peanuts out for sure.

Keep Birdfeedin'

Turns out it's good for 'em.  I mean really, who knew?!

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Limelet sick for several days; now Dad's sick too.  Hope I can stay un-sick, at least until the weekend.  I already missed one day to stay home and tend the listless nursling.
Had a discussion with my fellow intern mother about how strange it is that we really do seem to be able to avoid illnesses since becoming mothers.  Our perception, of course, is that we do it because we have to. 
Somebody ought to do a study...

Monday, January 28, 2008

I Never Thought About Chaff This Way Before

...but doesn't "Separating the shaft from the wheat" make this review way more Freudian than it needs to be?

It turns out that a lot more people than I would have imagined make this error. It's all over the internets.

Chaff, people. Chaff.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I want to blog, I really do.  But I have no time at work now since I used so much time working on my dissertation defense.  On weekends I watch Limelet while TheLimey works, and there's no way to so anything on computer when Limelet is around.
So don't feel abandoned. 
You're only neglected.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I'm In

Goodbye Mistress of Science, hello Doctor of Philosophy!

No one could hear the sound.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Upcoming Research Presentation

If you want the link to my dissertation defense that will most likely be broadcast live online Friday 1/11, please let me know as I don't necessarily have everyone's current email address (as it turns out).

Friday, January 04, 2008


Originally uploaded by Juan Jose (Wally)
I don't know: those bikes look like they're taking up a whole lot of room!

(Go to the image and click "view all" or something like that, to see the larger version.)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Are You Gonna Throw That, or What?

Baby versus Squirrel 1
Originally uploaded by doctorlizardo
I used to blog about just squirrels, and I have a blog that's just about the baby. But this photo combines my two favorite blog subjects! (Can you see where they are both looking?)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Now, these people know what winter really means.

(There weren't any Michigan photos, for some reason.)