Monday, January 28, 2008

Back to School

I'm so tired today. It's amazing how much more effort goes into work when you aren't working at home. I did a little bit of field work today, some lab work, caught up with people in the department and went through all the junk in my mailbox.

I really enjoyed lab work, but I guess it made me tired to stand around making dilutions. I have more to do tomorrow, more lab work, not dilutions. All that should be finished by wed.

I also had a good talk with my adviser today. Tomorrow we will talk more about research and specifically manuscript "0"

This week-end was fun. I went to a comedy show but didn't get to bed until 2am-ish. I didn't drink too much so I didn't feel too old.
Then on sunday I had the baptism. I'm a godparent. It was a nice ceremony in the catholic church with only the immediate family. We then had lunch at a fun polish pub next door. Well not exactly next door to the church but we walked there. That would be funny. In the midwest I actually live in the town of churches and taverns. I find this funny.

Since there was a recent post from unbalanced reaction about traveling I thought I'd tell everyone my flight schedule from saturday.
Wake up at 530am.
Leave house at 610am. I wanted to leave at 6 but husband was slacking off.
Arrive at airport at 640am.
Already had boarding pass so I proceeded to the security check in.
Settle at boarding gate around 650am (I saw different clocks and didn't have my own).
Read for a while, decided I should pee.
Gathered belongings and went to the restroom.
Sat back down by boarding gate, read for a while, proceeded to get in line (Southwest) to board plane, for a 730AM departure. Yep, I'm sure that's what everyone was waiting for. I woke up two hours before my plane was schedule to leave. Too stressful, right?

All was well until everyone boarded and the pilot announced that they didn't get enough fuel the first time and we needed to wait for more fuel. Glad we didn't make the mistake of taking off without enough, but you sometimes wonder how these mistakes happen.

Oh and it's warmer here in dissertation town. Yeah!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Up and at em’

My husband said something this morning while I was still asleep along the lines of “its as cold as it’s ever been,” meaning our outdoor thermostat was somewhere around -1degF. I mumbled something about what time was it. It was 630am. Wow I thought I have 30 minuets of internet* time and I really need to go to Web of Science and look up those refs to finish this manuscript. SO I got out of bed. I put my robe on, grabbed some water and was online by 637. In addition to getting all my references and checking my e-mail I opened all the new entries from Google reader so I could read them later when my internet was off line and the coffee was made. Husband even turned on the hot water pitcher so I could make coffee. He likes it when I wake up early and honestly it’s nice to see him in the mornings. Also, it’s only 11am and I’ve both finished my manuscript*** and answered the questions for the position** I’m applying to. And my second load of laundry is in the drier. Damn, and I also juiced carrots and made banana bread. Working from home can rock.

**I’ve noticed this week that my dream job, in dream place is open. It’s at a federal institution where I worked while an undergrad and for a year after my bachelors. But it seems I’m one year behind their requirements.

Question 1 makes sure you have your Ph.D. or equivalent work experience. The problem is that the deadline to apply is Friday and I’m pretty sure one is suppose to meet the requirements before applying, as it states this somewhere. But I checked that I had phd as my CV states when I’ll get it.

Question 2
In addition to meeting the Basic Education Requirement, you must have professional experience. Select the one response below which best describes your experience.
1. I have 1 year of professional experience in the field of -ology equivalent to the -11 level. Examples of such experience may include planning and executing complex -ologic studies that usually involved intensive investigations into recognized phenomena; applying conventional methods & techniques (going beyond clear precedents); and adapting methods to the problems at hand and interpreting findings in terms of their scientific significance.
2. I do not meet the requirement as described above.

Basically I feel that this (answer 1) was all I did for my graduate work, yet that was covered by question 1. I’m pretty sure, again I don’t quite qualify. I’m still applying (actually I've applied).

The position says that they have one position open but may open up other positions. So I’m crossing my fingers that they see how awesome I am and decide to hire me at a level lower, the 11 instead of the 12.

**Manuscript 1
As I mentioned above, I finished a manuscript this morning, although every time I read it I rewrite portions and think of new figures, but I swear I’m only going to read it one more time before sending it to my adviser (actually it's sent).

Initially this was going to be a short communication/letter about this awesome spike we see in the data but coauthor said to just include all the other data, as it’s an uniquely large data set, and make one large paper. I thought sure this will make life simpler but now that it’s all together I feel like this awesome spike is lost in the data. So I’m debating the letter again and will see what co author and adviser think.

I’m also thinking of submitting this paper to a new sub-journal of a major impact journal but I don’t think the writing is concise enough. Hopefully adviser will help with this. First I just want him to see the paper because we haven’t discussed a lot of this data yet.

This manuscript also has four tables and four figures. One of the figures has six plots, wow! As I said I keep thinking of new figures and new tables. I think two of the tables would do fine as supplementary tables but all of the figures are unique. I tried to just include two of the plots on the six plot figure but then I just said these other plots are similar to these two plots but different. That didn’t seem good enough so I just decided to dump everything in and then see what co authors think. This is a major dilemma for all my manuscripts and talks. I have too many FIGURES and it’s not that I’m repeating data in a different way it is actual data that supports the study. It’s so difficult to decide what is most important. . . .. I guess that is why there are co authors and reviewers.

* In addition to getting up early I worked more last night after dinner. I’ve still been having slight troubles falling asleep but I think it’s because there is so much on my mind.

I installed the MeeTimer on my laptop and am interested to see how that works for me while in dissertation town where the internet is endless (read excitement). Then I think when I get back to Midwest I’m going to request my husband change and increase my internet time. It’s getting a little frustrating that when I want to do actual work online I can’t, although I told my friend that I just write a list of things when I think of them and she commented how it was cool that my time online was structured-good point. Also I tend to even run out of things to do during my hour’o’internet. Also, the timing is not very evenly spread out. No internet from 7am to 1:15pm-6 hours 15 mins, then my next break is 2:30 to 615pm- a little less than four hours. The time was initially set since I would meet with my adviser online during that time in the afternoon. I’ll set up a time with adviser for this semester when I see him next week. He’ll likely want a similar time so I’m thinking that I’d just increase the middle time period to start at noon. Then I can browse while I eat lunch.

It would look like this:
Midnight-7am INTERNET
7am-Noon NONE (5 hour break)
Noon-2:30 INTERNET
2:30-6:15 NONE (less than 4 hour break)
6:15-8:00 INTERNET

I think this is a pretty good schedule.

This was a pretty diverse blog entry but I felt there was much to discuss. Hope I didn’t ramble too much.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Privledge Meme

Ecogeofemme has this interesting meme that I thought I'd do. She got it from Flicka Mawa who got it from Watershed, who asked that credit be given to the original authors:

This is based on “From What Privileges Do You Have?,” an exercise about

class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen,

Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University.

Green means I answered yes.

1. Father went to college

2. Father finished college

3. Mother went to college (junior college, AA degree in accounting or something similar)

4. Mother finished college

5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.

6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers (don’t know. Likely same.)

7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home (also don’t know. I did have a lot of my own books. I don’t remember any family books or those that belonged to my parents only)

8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.

9. Were read children’s books by a parent

10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 (never private lessons but was in sports and band; oh except I did do batting lessons one season)

11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18.

12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively. (is anyone really portrayed positively? But I guess as a white women I’m portrayed better than some.)

13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18.

14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs. (way to go grandparents-they paid tuition I did the rest, no rent first two years then my mom got divorced and we moved out and shared rent somewhere)

15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs.

16. Went to a private high school.

17. Went to summer camp (I was a camp fire girl).

18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18.

19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels. (we also camped or stayed in houses with my mom’s sisters and their family.)

20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18. (a lot but I also remember shopping at thrift stores)

21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them. (we saved my second dad’s truck after he passed away for me. It was made the same year I was born, it was painted for me for my 16th bday)

22. There was original art in your house when you were a child.

23. You and your family lived in a single-family house.

24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home. (Not any more since the divorce my mom can’t afford to buy anything).

25. You had your own room as a child. (I was an only child until 18.)

26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18.

27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course.

28. Had your own TV in your room in high school.

29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college.

30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16. (I think I was 13 when I went on a trip in our same state with my mom, aunt and five cousins.)

31. Went on a cruise with your family.

32. Went on more than one cruise with your family.

33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up. (I think only for field trips, I did go to aquariums with family and we probably did some museums so I’ll check this one.)

34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family. (my mom and second dad fought a lot about money but I don’t remember heating bills)

16 out of 34.

In my own analysis I wouldn’t say I was privileged but definitely spoiled, and definitely more well off than a lot of people in this world. I didn’t realize this until later in my life and I don’t think I acted spoiled. I rarely remember my mom telling me no to anything. But both my mom and step father were blue collar folks who worked very hard, and they themselves didn’t come from very privileged families. My biological father died in a motorcycle accident before I was born, and I think because of this his parents became very active in my life. I stay at their house every other week-end until I was in 6th grade and we went to church every Sunday and I later found out they had a small college fund for me, and me only. None of the other grandchildren had a fund, although I think my grandma helps out my cousin who now goes to junior college with her books and other supplies. This fund was enough to go to a UC and paid tuition for 3-4 years. I also had a grant one year. My grandma told me she expected I’d spend two year in a JC and then go to a 4-year school, but I had other plans, she thought she didn’t save enough for a 4-yr university. Both options I think are good, my husband did a JC first because his high school years didn’t really prepare him for college.

And in summary, I think my children will score much higher on the privilege list that I did, and isn’t this always the hope: to provide for your children what you didn’t have?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Concious Stream

I think it's funny that sometimes I'll be thinking about things, life and research and such and I'll start to think about it in the form that I would write it in my blog. Should this be called blog dreaming? Of course by the time I get down to my office to write it, or by the time my internet time is available I've completely forgotten what it was I was going to write.

Hm, something about not getting up early today. It hasn't helped that my husband has been sleeping in as well. And if it's already almost 7am just 10 mins of internet in the morning is not motivation enough to get out of bed.
I've decided that the reason I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning (besides lack of drive) is because it takes me a long time to fall asleep. I've tried stretching, reading and drinking tea all in hopes that falling asleep will take less than 5 mins but nothing has really worked. I've also tried less stimulates during the day, such as no coffee or alcohol. That didn't work either and just made me sad.

So I've decided maybe I can't fall asleep because I'm not tired. I just go to bed when my husband does. This week I think I'll still try to fall asleep when my husband does, so that I can wake up when he does, but if it's not working I'm going to go . . . work. No pleasure reading but actual work. That should make me sleepy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm Awake

I woke up this morning at 640am. I have about 15 mins now of internet. I think I will be able to stay awake after my morning coffee. We'll see . . .

On another up beat note I've been running pretty regularly. Yesterday I ran in 40 deg. weather. My goal is to run if it's above freezing and then go to the gym if it's below 40 deg. We have a nice outdoor thermometer that will help me make these decisions.

I feel like it's going to be a great day. Enjoy your day as well.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A few things

My trip to dissertation town is all worked out. I'll be there from Jan. 26-Feb. 5th. I'm looking forward to seeing my friend and her baby, my department, my rugby friends and my adviser (in this order). There is also, of course, a few things I'd like to do in the lab.

Laziness: As I was laying in bed this morning, contemplating when/if I should wake up I thought about other people's sleeping patterns and was curious how many of you have to wake up to an alarm. I get out of bed anywhere between 6am and 10am. I think my average is 8am. What is so great about my life now is that I don't have to wake up to an alarm. I've read that it's much better for your sleep cycle to wake up on your own accord, but what if you have no motivation for waking up? But I think I currently have horrible sleep patterns sleeping around 10 hours per night, but does this make me less sleepy? NO. But part of my morning thought pattern was, "should I feel guilty for sleeping in?" or "should I just enjoy this while it last?"

Motivation: I read an interesting quote this morning in Conscious Choice, a free magazine. The person being interviewed said:
If something interest you, satisfy your curiosity. . . . .there was a time in which I was
writing a book when I really thought I was making it up. there was sort of a crisis of
confidence. I wondered: Is this pattern really there? During those moments, there's
a certain amount of "Just go with it." Believe it. . . . you always think you don't have
the personal capacity to fulfill the job that the universe invites you into. If you're
honest with yourself, everyone always feels a certain amount of "I'm not the right
person for this." But guess what, you have been asked. At that point, you literally

serve the work.

What spoke to me in this quote was the part about fulfilling the job that the universe invites you into. I don't always believe in the mind set that we have some divine purpose in life, but a part of me does, and it's pretty cool to think that maybe I'm studying what I'm doing for a reason and if I don't do this no one else will, and then what. I do think my work is purposeful and will aid in the understanding of this particular contaminant. So no matter what I believe or don't believe this quote really spoke to me. I'm now going to work on my research with a less focused view on it but more of a universal view.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Name Game

Has anyone noticed the campaign signs for Hillary Clinton? I actually came across it on the Simpsons but confirmed it in a Google image search and guess what? It says Hillary. Not Clinton.
I've noticed it's been the subject of some blogs (sorry I'm bad at doing all the hyper links, or maybe lazy is the better word) how she is referred to by her first name and not her last like all the other candidates and how this could be because of her gender and her not taken as seriously.

So now my question is that of the chicken and the egg. Has Ms. Clinton been campaigning as Hillary the entire time or has she fed into the fact that everyone has been referring to her as her first name and not her last.

I could see her wanting to identify as her first name and not her last since her husband's presidency was so recent and some may just equate Clinton with the scandalous part of his presidency or she may just want to have a name that is new and fresh and show that although she is married to former president Clinton she is in fact her own identity with her own motives and strengths.

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Not living in the moment

So it's only been a day since I set my theme and I realized that today I've been thinking and talking about events that I don't have control over that will happen in the future and thus I have NOT been living in the moment.

My godchild is to be christened soon and I can't book my flight back to dissertation town until I know this date. I would like this date to be soon so I can do some work at my campus in dissertation town. I would also like to book my flight so that I can plan social events there and here and before the price becomes too much.

Ok-Jennie-breath and let it go. I will now finish making data plots and live in the moment.

I guess old habits are hard to break.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I was talking with my husband about a manuscript of mine, another one that I have to totally rewrite, and he said something very interesting. He said hIS advisor once told him that “if you don’t work has hard as you can nothing will ever get done.” Just how hard is “as hard as you can?” I mean should one take time to rest, eat and exercise, let alone time for leisure. Statements like these startle me, but if anyone would say something like this I would expect it to be my husband’s former PhD adviser. Just to put him in context, he is likely in his early 50’s, Australian born-US (dual) citizen, married to a women of the same nationality-citizenship, without children and he had a few different positions in industry before being a professor, the professor position he didn’t apply for-he was solicited for. He is very well known in his field. He host really great parties, tells lots of fun stories about him being drunk and he use to play rugby (my favorite part about him).

But I digress . .. . I don’t want my husband to turn into this guy (except for the fun party part). I want my husband to work hard but to then come home and relax. He is always thinking about work, at least in my opinion. I have often thought that I need some more of my husband’s dedication and he needs some of my ability to goof off.

I also want to work hard but currently don’t think I am doing this. I’m easily distracted and easily discouraged. I define working hard as focusing your thoughts and energy to a given cause at a given time, so then, the time I’ve designated to work is roughly 8am-630pm (minus lunch break and exercise break, about 2 hours total) and during this time I should be completely focused on my goal *to publish manuscripts and graduate* although a better goal would be *to understand my topic of research and contribute knowledge to the scientific community*

Can you see how different these two goals are? I had a very interesting conversation with my husband’s uncle over the holidays. We talked about how I am a very goal orientated person and I can get fixated on a goal and get frustrated when it doesn’t get met, i.e. submitting a paper but the coauthors keep wanting to change it. He made a very good point that I understand in concept but is difficult to implement since I am goal orientated. He said if one focuses on doing the best you can at each task that gets you to the goal then you can get that task done and accomplished and move on to the next task and viola, once all the tasks are done you have met your goal. I guess this is something like living in the moment and not thinking too far ahead into the future.

I had started this post indenting to talk more about this manuscript that needs to be rewritten but I will save that for another time and instead choose a theme for 2008 like other bloggers have done before me.


Friday, January 4, 2008


I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but I have an internet addiction. Since the move from East coast to Midwest I've been a little depressed (actually I think this started in the east) and felt that my projects were slowing down and although there was much to get done that wasn't a lot "to do". So I spent a lot of time watching online TV, checking my e-mail and pretty much anything else that I could do online to avoid figuring out what work I should be doing.

I broke down sometime in November and made this confession to my husband. It involved a lot of involuntary crying, something I don't do very often, and I think this startled/scared my husband.
Being the problem solver that he is he has limited my internet access. The modem is in his office and I'm on wifi so he has allotted the times between 1:15-2:30pm, 6:16-8pm and something like midnight to 7am. I can't seem to wake up early enough to take advantage of the morning one.

Honestly at first I went through with drawls, and sometimes I still do but my productivity has soared, but I have a different point in posting this. I am really enjoying having a blog and reading blogs. I feel like I'm becoming "friends" with some fellow bloggers, but since I have only a limited time on the internet and need to check e-mails, looks up manuscripts and other random things I write on my to-do-internet list for the day I have been falling behind in my blog reading and my blog writing. This makes me feel like I am not being a good friend, and I miss the connection I get from reading blogs and making comments.
So, I guess to get to the point, I wanted to let everyone know why I'm sort of mia and let you all know I still enjoy the blogsphere and I miss you all.
Hopefully I can start waking up when my husband does at 6am and make the morning session my blog time . . . . . but that is really early . . .

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

End Of Year Meme

I was tagged by Mad Hatter for this meme:

1. Will you be looking for a new job?
Yes, I hope to graduate in May 08'

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship?
Friends. I'm lonely in the midwest!

3. New house?
Possibly if new job is on west coast

4. What will you do differently in 08?
Be more focused, eat less (comfort) food

5. New Years resolution?
None yet

6. What will you not be doing in 08?
Thinking about the past

7. Any trips planned?
Thinking about Hawaii and likely a trip or two to the west coast

8. Wedding plans?
already did that, my cousin will hopefully set a date for 2008

9. Major thing on your calendar?
graduation, of course it's not on the calendar yet

10. What can’t you wait for?
there is a theme starting here. I can't wait for graduation and after that I can't wait to relocate to the west coast

11. What would you like to see happen differently?
I'd like to be less depressed and more focused

12. What about yourself will you be changing?
more exercise, less eating/depression

13. What happened in 07 that you didn’t think would ever happen?
I moved again, oh and I broke my collarbone. The second was more surprising than the first.

14. Will you be nicer to the people you care about?
no, I'm pretty nice

15. Will you dress differently this year than you did in 07?
no, although I plan to buy new clothes when I get a job but they will be in my same style

16. Will you start or quit drinking?
no, although of course if I get pregnant in 08' I will stop drinking. My husband and I have a 5 year plan and I think we won't talk about babies again until I graduate

17. Will you better your relationship with your family?
no, but I have high hopes of writing more notes instead of e-mails to family

18. Will you do charity work?
likely not

19. Will you go to bars?
likely so

20. Will you be nice to people you don’t know?
Again I feel I'm a pretty nice person. I always ask strangers if they need help when they look like they do. I've helped a few people push their cars out of traffic., ect.
So yes, I'm nice to people I don't know.

21. Do you expect 08 to be a good year for you?
I expect it will be a year of change for me, hopefully all for the good.

22. How much did you change from this time last year till now?
I think I've become more depressed, less athletic and less focused this past year. They are all slight changes but I'm not happy with them.

23. Do you plan on having a child?
yep, 5-year plan

24. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now?
yes, I'm pretty good in keeping touch with friends so I don't expect to loose tough with people.

25. Major lifestyle changes?
Hopefully a new job! And my lifestyle changed this year as my husband makes a good salary now so our quality of life is better.

26. Will you be moving?
Hopefully but likely not. I foresee a move in 09'

27. What will you make sure doesn’t happen in 08 that happened in 07?
depression and weight gain

28. What are your New Years Eve plans?
well it's New Years Eve now and the couple that usually has the party here have an 8 month old so no party with them. My husband and I have a few other options but we may decided to hang out with my mom and lay low, go to sleep early and relax since we fly out tomorrow and our other party options we'd have to drive to.
We'll see.

29. Will you have someone to kiss at midnight?
if I stay up that late

30. One wish for 08?
to graduate

I'm tagging: