Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Last One Today

I am the number one Google result for
-- wait for it --


Of course, it's just because I have spelling issues.


Still Procrastinating

But at least I'm not playing endless Sudoku.
You know what's really great about companies that measure your stats? You get to find out about all these lurkers that you had no idea were reading you. Why, in the past five minutes, I just discovered two -- two! -- new bloggers who have me on their blogroll!
(I'm not linking to y'all because you haven't said hi, so I don't want to impose on your privacy.)
(Because, y'know, we all have so very much privacy on the internet.)
What an ego boost. I guess I should write more.
Ha ha.


While cleaning the, um, office, I found a clean mug & a whole bunch of (bagged) tea!


I don't clean. I just don't. My husband has to cajole, threaten, plead, guilt trip, beg to get me to help him do maintenance like vacuuming or dishes. So if I start cleaning things, you know it has to be a Really Big Mess.
This weekend, we cleaned an area of our house that had become a sort of box room. I had wanted to use it in part for my craft-work; there's unfinished things from over three years ago that I'd like to get done. But it's hard to find time to craft, and it's hard to find room to put stuff in our house, so the space had become a catch-all for stuff we didn't know what to do with at the moment. It's beautiful, now. There's a floor, and I can almost get at the craft materials; all that's in the way is other craft stuff. Soon, I'll clean off the desk that had been meant for me to do real work, as well as crafts, and I can finish some things. It's very exciting.
I also cleaned my advisor's general area at school. I wasn't feeling entirely altruistic; my cubicle is in this area, and I have to walk through the group area to get to it. This wasn't so much a question of mess. While my desk was becoming impossible to work at, the general area was more of a procrastination. But it looks better, and I feel like I did something, even though it wasn't academic.
It even inspired me to blog.
I'll sign off with another good spam name: Novice B. Unless.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I just returned from a talk (why o why was it offered in what is, technically, our summer break? my advisor might've liked it) where
-I was one of only 2 women. Granted, there were only about 12 people, including the speaker, but still;
-there were a lot of muckety-mucks: at least one department chair and one vice-president for [this'n'that];
-it was offered by a department that has, nominally, no connection to my department (the sub-areas are much more interconnected);
-there was a big gun from my department.

Perfect chance for schmoozing! Look at me! rubbing elbows with big-wigs! and showing off my dedication to this semi-obscure-given-my-department area of research! Why, I even walked back to our building with the superstar from my department.

But did I say anything of interest? No, of course not. And I was so very noticeable, he'd forgotten I was there 2 minutes after we separated.

(No, really: we happened to be in the same hallway when another Very Important Person asked him if anyone else from our department had gone to the talk, and he didn't remember that I had.)

I know there's politics in academia. I never assumed there wasn't. (Quite the contrary, actually.) But I still suck rotten eggs at it, and I hate rubbing that in my own face.


Now I'm off to an impromptu lunch with the new students. Watch me go...

More Things

16. You know the saying "memory like an elephant"? Or "steel-trap"? Not me. Except when it comes to useless things, like identifying quotes from certain, um, trashy novels.
17. I hate reading tragic books. I tried reading The Poisonwood Bible the other night, and I had to skip to the end to try to cheer myself up. (The end wasn't cheery to me, so I ended up reading Calvin & Hobbes instead.)
18. I can't watch tragic movies. There's no way I will go see United 93, for example.
19. I do not hate tragic plays. I find them transcendent.
20. I love live theater.
21. I am a snob about live theater.
22. I worked in the theater business for a while.
23. I miss trains as methods of commute.
24. I don't like summer heat. I never have.
25. I like things to be clean, but I don't care if they're messy.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

One of Those Things-About-Me

I love 100 Things About Me posts, whether they come all at once or little by little. They're hard, though, especially if one is trying to be semi-anonymous. Or pretending to, at any rate. And one per day? I'll never remember them all.
So. Here's a list of 17 things about me.
1. I hate mosquito bites. Not original, but on my mind.
2. I am, therefore, clearly not Ned Flanders.
3. My middle school was run by nuns. We had chapel every day.
4. It was ecumenical in the sense that you didn't even have to be Christian to go.
5. I am not sure "ecumenical" is the right word, but I know there is a single, appropriate word for the "open-access, non-discriminatory-on-the-basis-of-faith" idea, and I would rather use it than that unwieldy phrase. I do that a lot.
6. I always have to do the "i before e" jingle when spelling. Even then, I'm not sure.
7. I got a 65 on the spelling test in sixth grade that involved ie & ei words. It was my worst grade up until that point.
8. I miss the ritual and music of the particular faith of my middle school.
9. I'm agnostic, because I am uncomfortable with some of the judgements supposedly made by gods.
10. I like reading Anastasia, post-doc, and B* because they remind me that faith and religion can make people happy.
11. I love diet Dr. Pepper.
12. I didn't like kids until about 3 years ago.
13. Many still make me nervous, because I think they'll see right through me, or I'll bore them.
14. I never know what to say to anyone. This makes schmoozing unusually difficult.
15. I like playing with graphic design -- organizing text and pictures on a page. (See? #5 again.)
16. re: #7: I remember it was 6th grade because I remember the room I was in.
17. I dream about my schools. The only one I haven't dreamed about is my undergraduate institution.

Okay. I've run out of things off the top of my head. I'll do some more later.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Best-Laid Plans

Every day I come in with a plan. Currently, the plan is to do the easiest of three papers that I have due by the end of the summer. But no matter what the specifics are, I come in and say: I'm going to do work today! I'm going to read my work e-mail, not open the web-browser, and I'm going to work!
This never happens. Of course, because then I would have to be one of the productive, useful members of society, and what would I do when I failed?
I did manage to not read all my bloglines for a day or so, but now I'm catching up on those instead of writing the paper. I'm thinking about An Annoying List for the blog, because to find something positive to talk about would be too much trouble -- and also too identifying. I'm playing endless sudoku, even though it's getting boring.
And the paper? which I could probably whip out in a day, if I was really honest about it? (because it's that easy of a paper, not because I'm that good.)
Still not getting done.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Book Me-Me

I am still here. I have all sorts of reasons for not posting, including the very logical (and, I'm guessing, somewhat familiar) reason that I haven't done anything, so I can't go back until I have something perfect. Yes. Well. Moving on.
Both ScienceWoman and post doc have honored me by tagging me for a meme. I always consider the first meme tag one's notice of arrival in the society, don't you? Oh, no? Hm. Clearly I am not yet versed...
Oh. The meme. Yes.
(No, wait. First: Don't y'all just love Arecibo? I adore it, for no very good reason. But it is so freakin' cool.)
1. One book that changed your life: See, this is the reason I didn't jump up and do this meme as soon as post doc tagged me. Because I can't think of a darn one that changed my life. If I could remember, it might be the first book I didn't read all the way through, whether I liked the thing or not. Or maybe not, because even though I finally let myself put a book that I didn't like down, I think it was more situational than book-related.
Or maybe I just really have a reeeeeeelly bad memory. Did I tell you the stories about my bad memory? Wait. I'm doing something, aren't I?
2. One book you have read more than once: Really? Just one? People read books only once? Maybe this one should be books I have only read once -- except I can't remember any of those (oh: maybe some of those romance novels, or the ones by Carol Goodman (although don't think I won't read her new one when my library gets it, oh no))...
I read most books more than once. Especially now, when everything makes me cranky, and I can only find comfort in repeats. No, really: I do know exactly how pathetic I sound.
3. One book you would want on a desert island: Well, I was going to go with a blank book (I'd finally have time to write my own Great American Novel, except it would be Desert-Islandian), until I read twf (who may have the best name ever, especially since I have no idea what it means) her answer, which is the Complete Novels of Jane Austen. Since she's one of my constant re-reads, I'm pretty sure I won't get bored with her as fast as with anyone else.
Er, "she" being JA, not twf. I'm sorry to admit I hadn't read twf until ScienceWoman linked to her.
4. One book that made you laugh: I like Jane Austen, honestly, and some of her writing I find amusing -- although it might not make me laugh. And P.G. Wodehouse is always good for a smile. But, laugh? Maybe there are some, somewhere, in the mists of my rotten memory, but right now, all I can think of are blogs.
5. One book that made you cry: Now, after all that hand-wringing about not remembering anything, you'd think I wouldn't have an answer for this one, wouldn't you. And yet I remember it like it was yesterday -- better, probably. Bridge to Terabithia. I read it on a vacation with my parents, and I finished it while they were taking a nap, and my dad was mad at me for crying for some reason (he's a crusty, cranky person, and that is not as mean a response as it sounds), and my mother wanted to know what was wrong, and I didn't want to tell them it was only a book. I can't read books that make me cry, anymore. It's one of the reasons I can't find any new, good fiction.
6. One book you wish had been written: I... don't know.
7. One book you wish had never been written: This was the third question that put me off. I mean, there's a whole bunch of books that I have the normal, liberal, knee-jerk reaction to, but I can't really condemn the authors or publishers for making the book, because I'm sure there are just as many liberal books about which conservatives feel the same way. On the other hand, twf had a really good answer to that one too: The Rules is just so... ooh!
8. One book you are currently reading: Josephine Tey's The Singing Sands. A re-read, for when I run out of New Yorkers. I don't leave much time for book reading.
9. One book you've been meaning to read: Well, there's a bunch for my work, but naming them would specify me a little too much. There's a couple of books for my crafting stuff that I'd like to have, but that's more as a library thing, not really a read. I'd like to read some more Michael Chabon; I loved Cavelier & Klay (even though I probably can't spell it). And I really want to read Finnegan's Wake. Silly, I know, but I read a quote of it once, just loved it, and wonder if I could stand hundreds of pages of sentences just like that one.
Okay! So I'll be gone again for the rest of the week, but I'm really (no, really!) going to try to come back regularly next week. No, really!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's Too Hot Awards

I know, I'm stealing from Phantom Scribbler, especially given the day of the week. But this is when I thought of it. And I couldn't wait because the heat will (better!) be gone soon.

  • "You Have Got to Be Kidding Me" goes to the 30-40-ish man today who was overheard saying that it wasn't that hot, and he remembers playing double-headers in little league when it was this hot.
  • "You're Nuts" goes to anyone wearing long sleeves or long pants. Bonus points to someone wearing both. Triple points to someone wearing a coat as well.
  • "I Love Trees." The area in their shade is noticeably cooler than the outright sun, despite probably having been in the sun not moments before.

(Yes, I know. But, really: there aren't many of you and there aren't many of them (ITO Awards). Can't we have both for just one week?)

Spam Names

Two recent, excellent names from which the e-mail supposedly originated:

-Gauntlet S. Insecurities
-Rubbinshing U. Forsythia