Saturday, December 03, 2005


I've been taking a break from [public] blogging this semester, trying to get some work cranked out. My dashed-off writing capacity isn't infinite, so I've been trying to channel it into papers and research thoughts. Also I'd been finding that much of what I wanted to say was not really Blogger-appropriate.

Now that the semester's ending I'll have a break from teaching prep so I'll probably write some more here. And read others' blogs too - I have actually almost followed my plan to read no academic blogs at all this fall (I read a few while I was sick in October but that's it). Until today. I read Profgrrl today. Really, it's just too depressing to let the Chronicle supply all your stories from academia :)

Ok, time to cook something. Then work. Later I'll tell you about the person who wanted me to fund her for an extra year just so she wouldn't have to move away before her friends.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

what the #$&* to wear

Ok, the what-do-female-profs wear question has been done to death, I know. So l'll skip the big broad question (which I still don't have quite figured out for myself) and move on to the personal side of this problem. What do I wear? I know what I like, and there's plenty of clothing that is both attractive to me and classroom-acceptable.

I am just a crappy shopper and closet-organizer, though. I have a million things, but half of them have some slight problem, and the other half don't quite go together well. The shirts are all slightly too short for the low-rise pants, so I can't gesture without risking a midriff-flash. Some of the shirts once were long enough, but I've managed to shrink them ("They don't really mean hand wash, do they?"). My weight fluctuates just enough that half my pants are always a bit too big or too small. I buy pants that need heels, but I never actually wear heels. Not to mention that I buy heels, but never actually wear heels.

And then there's the 30something clothing gap, of course. 20something clothing is shiny and tight and I don't like it. "Women's" clothing is matronly and looks silly on me, and I don't like it. Finding the proper young-but-not-THAT-young clothing is very tough, and seems especially expensive, and requires picking and choosing bits and pieces from here and there. I rarely have the time or inclination to go try things on, so I order online and half of it doesn't fit.

The things I have that ARE nice and that fit me .. well, they've all been chosen because I like them individually, so they don't go together into useful outfits. I've actually read a few of those articles on strategic wardrobe planning - uh-oh, I think I've posted about this before. Oh well. Anyway, maybe I should actually analyze my stuff and see what I need to make it fit together better. How boring! I don't want to buy neutral sweaters, I want to buy jewel-tone velvet and Hepburnesque menswear (Kate, that is, not Audrey, thanks). At least there is some very nice stuff around this season.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

returning with an old meme (from BrightStar)

It's been a long time! For one reason after another I haven't been getting around to blogging this summer. I haven't read others too much except for an occasional browsing session.

The summer has been full of ... I don't want to say troubles, but certainly complications. And I'm tired of sweating! Fall can't come soon enough.

Here are 5 questions from One Bright Star.

1. What motivated you to join the blogging world? What do you enjoy about blogging?

I joined it first when much of the communication between my nonacademic friends seemed to be moving into blog format - it gave me the chance to interact with a lot of distant friends more. We could have done it by email, but somehow it never worked as well. Then I started reading academic blogs, and decided I should use one to keep a personal record of the job when I started. Except ... since then, worries about what is safe to write have kept me from writing what I'd like to. So now I'm not sure whether I'll be keeping it up.

2. You got married a few months ago. Can you tell us your favorite memory from your wedding?

The "This is wonderful but I am SO about to laugh" look in Mr. Sniffly's eye as we said our vows. I think I had the same look.

3. How has being married affected you so far?

Our relationship hasn't really changed - we'd been together a long time before getting married. I am happy whenever I think about us spending our lives together though. But then I thought we'd do that before getting married, too. There's something different about life after you Make It Official but it's hard to pin down, for me.

4. What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming school year and why?

I am very much looking forward to NOT being the new person anymore. Though the service requirements do seem to be creeping up steadily. I'm also looking forward to teaching classes I've already taught! Now I'm not creating from scratch, but editing last year's work - much better in every way. And I can't wait to hammer out some of the kinks that came up in the classes last year. And my students have some research projects going that are very exciting.

5. What are you least looking forward to about the upcoming school year and why?

Making my way smoothly through department trouble spots, returning to old data (the kind that's no longer grabbing my interest) to finally get these 2 overdue papers out, and winter. And just general work-routine blah. I'm going to try to exercise more and keep away the blah this year.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

aw man.

I just googled myself because new people with my name have been turning up suddenly, so I wanted to check on their progress. I discovered a few new off-color links - I've ended up getting indexed by some XXX dating service because - get this - one of my research abstracts contains the words "single" and "adult."

Thursday, June 30, 2005

As usual

Every summer when it gets sticky, I get the urge to chop my hair off. It's a real mess right now anyway, at the awkward in-between stage. This year the choppoing urge is hitting hard. But I know I'd regret it when I had to go through another session of growing-out (I'm too lazy and cheap for short hair upkeep in the long term, and I hate going to hairdressers anyway).

It's funny how academic bloggers have the same writing style as nonacademic bloggers of similar age groups and (roughly) education levels. The online writing standbys are the same, whether I'm reading posts by smart nonacademic friends or posts by smart academic .. acquaintances? [I'd like a word for "people whose blogs I often read" that doesn't imply a reciprocal or familiar relationship.]

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

summer = cambridge

We've reached that part of the summer filled with shimmering air, drenching sweat, and evening thunderstorms. This time of year always makes me think of Cambridge. I lived through many more summers in the Hometown, so I'm not sure why summer is so associated with the Cambridge years, but it is. I spent a lot of very late summer nights wandering around the city with friends after movies, dinners, shows, and parties. I can almost smell the scents of those late-night walks - dust and brick from the hot sidewalks, wafts of grilling meat and slight hints of unseen backyard flowers.

Overall, though, it smells much better where I am now. I am not nostalgic for the Davis Square summer sewer smell.

Monday, June 27, 2005


For once, I'm actually doing very well with my professional timetable. Projects are coming together, data are being analyzed, graphs are materializing (I love that part!), papers are moving right along. Unfortunately this usually means that the trying-not-to-live-in-a-pigsty part of life is not doing so well. Things like laundry, dishes, housecleaning, keeping my desk vaguely clear, and cooking tend to suffer in stinking hot weather anyway, but lately we've been pretty lax. After a very busy (ok, insane) couple of months, we thought we'd have more time to catch up with these domestic things. Instead, a few unexpected snags came up and they've taken up lots of time - and Mr. Sniffly and I are both a bit too ready to whine "It's too hot! Let's go out to dinner and then collapse in front of the fan!" instead of sucking it up and sweating while we wash and cook and clean. Someday, a house with AC.

Here's a list, both to spur me on and remind me of the progress that's already been made (something I don't do often enough):

Project C: Paper just rejected from SuperJournal (but that's ok); now in revision for next submission ASAP

Project P1: Paper in the very last stages of tweaking before it goes into press for GreatJournal (Hooray! Finally.)

Project P2: Data almost fully collected and mostly analyzed; paper beginning to come together. Wherever am I going to send this one? No more IncompetentJournal, that's for sure. This is actually a tough one. I dislike journals in the subfield that would best fit the research, but it really isn't going to work in a more generalist publication. I also have a nagging feeling that we need one more experiment here. Some cool results are turning up though.

Project Fo: Really need to get in gear on this one! I've been sitting on these piles of data forever and I've presented them but haven't written them up, even though I think I'll be leaning heavily on this project and related work in the next few years. I can't figure out why I've put this off - I'm pretty excited about it, but I haven't even analyzed every bit of the data yet. DO IT NOW. Finish looking at the stupid data from its 2 side projects already, too.

Project Fr: This one's in good shape - working on a conference submission that's due soon. Waiting for some stuff from my collaborators.

Project Ancient: The very existence of this one stresses me out. It's not an active project anymore - paper just has to be written and submitted. I'd really like to get it written up by late fall, while I still remember something about how I did the research. I'll have to redo a lot of stuff.

Project Thesis Leftovers: Another ancient one. Incomplete as it is, so maybe I can tack it onto something else I'm submitting (it's not that much of a stretch, but my methods have improved a lot since then, so it wouldn't quite match up in its quality).

And then we have:
Write grant
Fix up fall courses with all those things I thought I'd add last year
Train self on necessary new software tools (oh, I dread this one)
Clean/purge both offices
(and why not) Create perfect, chaos-defeating file organization system
Site Meter