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Yeah, tomorrow I have a committee meeting.

Where I justify my presence in the program and my income in front of my boss and 3 other people from our department.

My meetings are never that bad, beyond the zillions of questions two of the members sling at me, but one of the members is picky enough about how things are presented (question, hypothesis, data, conclusion on every freakin’ slide) that things can get sidetracked quite easily. How is it that HOW I present is more important sometimes than WHAT I present?


Today (as in 24-18 hours before my meeting), this particular committee member informed me that 2 hours was entirely too long, as it should only take me 20 minutes to present and the rest should be discussion. Oh, and an outline handout would be nice. The slide handouts I’ve been giving them just aren’t cutting it, apparently.

My talk, as it stands (i.e. without the constant interruption that I know I’ll get), is about 25-30 minutes long.

If I’m justifying my existence, shouldn’t 30 minutes be okay?

It’s not like it’s my life or anything.


My advice about grad school tonight?


Run fast and far.

You may not be saving babies, but there are far more enjoyable things to be doing on your Monday nights.


Lego Star Wars is an awesome and wonderful thing for getting out aggression.

Blowing shit up with The Force? Or purple lightsabers?

Building the Rebel Blockade Runner out of Legos?

And just generally bonding with the 6-year-old inside your husband?

A lovely thing.

I’m not usually so gung-ho about computer or video games, but I can highly recommend this one. It might just be enough to convince me that we really should get an X-Box 360, since you can only get the full story (as opposed to Episodes I-III) for the newer version.

Maybe. Who knows what will happen when we get our economic stimulus packages.


Thanks, guys, for the words of encouragement. I don’t know where this funk is coming from, but I’m doing my best to shake it. Part of it is work (it’s lovely to find out some coworkers think your work is crap and not worth doing), part of it is stress, and I think part of it is just a sort of nebulous “something isn’t right in my world” feeling that is probably just my own psychosis having some off days.

Anyways, this weekend has helped, I think.

John had the weekend off, the first he’s had in awhile. I haven’t gone into work at all, though I may have to this evening if Steven reports back that my viruses are about to take over the incubators. Mwahaha.

Instead, I’ve been lazy. And it’s felt good.

Yesterday, John made his version of huevos rancheros for breakfast. While not all that authentic, they were damn tasty. Then I spent about 4 hours loading music onto my computer.

In the Great Logic Board Replacement of 2008 (4th logic board in 3 years–Apple, take note!), I managed to somehow backup my iTunes preferences folder instead of my iTunes library folder. Brilliant, right? So I loaded CDs onto the computer while sitting on the couch reading. Only problem was that my (new, right?) disc drive only recognized about 1 in 10 CDs, so I had to reboot 9 out of 10 times. Hrm. Apple, you may be getting a call on your 90-days warranty for work. Oh, and the touchpad you replaced? The mouse click button only works on the left, and my thumb rests on the right. Convenient, that. Just don’t wipe my computer clean and give it back to me with Tiger on it, when I gave it to you with Leopard on it. Hrm? Mmmkay then?

We did some grocery shopping, and made a casserole for dinner, but mostly just spent the day doing nothing in our separate ways. I did practice my talk (committee meeting Tuesday, where I justify my existence and paycheck to my boss and 3 random people) a couple times, but also finished my book. It was lovely.

We were supposed to help with a scuba class, which also would have been lovely–compressed air therapy is always nice, and I love working with students. But with 10 students, 4 instructors, and 4 divemaster candidates in the pool, it was pretty packed. Greg and James F and Ben and John and I decided it would be better for the divemaster candidates to get some experience rather than for the guys to have our PADI-certified help in the pool. Ah well, it was nice to do nothing, too, instead of spending 6 hours in chlorine.

Today was a little more productive. More music loading, more cooking (Honey-Mustard BBQ shrimp with pinapples and peppers is being prepared as I write), more hanging out, but we also worked on the backyard. A bike ride was supposed to occur, but the backyard ended up taking more time. The porch was pretty piled with crap, mostly ours but some of Amelia’s, too. We threw away a lot of our crap, took a bunch of stuff to storage, and cleaned off the rest. It’ll theoretically be restacked nicely and neatly in a way that allows more use of the room on the porch. I’m trying to talk John into doing a July 4th BBQ, but we’ll see if that actually happens. Don’t hold your breathe.

I think the laziness and doing fun stuff has helped to get over some of the work-related stress and committee meeting stress, and the comments from the coworker. (Surprisingly, the best “get over it, it’s not worth it” came from the Lab Manager, who didn’t even know the comments had been made, but managed to say just the right thing anyway.)

I’m not sure about the nebulous “WTF is wrong” feeling, but since I can’t figure out what it is, I think I just need to get over it. If there’s anyone out there sending anti-Sarah thoughts my way, cut it out, would you?

Now I’m off to ransack the pineapple that’s being dissected. It smells too tasty to pass up.

None of you lovely readers are “people” in the category of ” I hate people”. I love you all dearly. I just want to write more than complaints. Bear with me, please.

Your best friend has a dream in which it’s announced that you’ve started a secret blog because you’re mad at her.

Hrm. Now why would she think that?

Nope, no secret blog here. 🙂

Just a general mood of “I hate people” that has descended over my days like the smoke over Northern California, and won’t quite be let go of, combined with a desire not to make my blog into my personal “Here’s how shitty my life is wah wah wah” all the freakin’ time.

Got nothing against that sometimes, but that’s all I’ve felt like writing for awhile, other than the snippets you’ve gotten, so I’m just trying to find a better mood right now.

But in the meantime, I hate people.

Oh, and science sucks.

Hope you’re laughing at it all still, George.

Between work and computer issues (4th logic board in 3 years, and AppleCare expired yesterday, thankfully shortly after the installation of board #4) and general catching up on life, there hasn’t been much time.

But, my family is fine. Thanks, Renn, for asking.

Here’s the updates:

First, mommy.

Tuesday of this past week marked her last “bad” chemo, the combo chemo that wipes her out for 3-4 days after. So now it’s just the easy chemo, surgery, then a year of easy chemo, and radiation. Not much, right?

The last scan, two sessions ago (?), showed…nothing. My mom’s response has been to joke that she thinks the docs just wanted to finance their cars and lied to her. Really, I’d rather have them lie to her that she has it, not that she doesn’t. But a blank scan is awesome. No bones about it, awesome. And the joking is way better than having her say it will be easy to die because she’ll be with her mother again. To which I want to point out, but I need my mother!

It was a bit tough to see her looking sick while we were home, but I got used to her new look pretty quickly. When she saw my hair cut, she asked if it had been for her, which would’ve been a damn good reason if I’d been able to stop my mouth from saying “No” in time. And just being with her made things so much better, so much less stressful. I don’t think I realized how much stress I was carrying around.

Surgery (double, voluntarily) is scheduled for 11 July. I fly home on the 12th–there was a fine line between being there at a time when I’d be helpful and making her more stressed that I was missing so much work. She’s contemplating reconstruction, but that can apparently interfere with radiation. So we’ll see what the surgeons and doctors say eventually about that. I’ll be there to help out in any way I can.

And really? This is going about as well as it could.


Dear any and all gods of anything–that is not an invitation to do your worst!!!!

As for the flooding, they’ve been out of it for the most part. My parent’s house backs onto the woods, but it’s a couple hundred feet above the creek that runs back there. That would require a lot of water!

When I talk about the basement flooding, it’s not because of rising water levels, but because the ground is so saturated with water around that when rain runs off the roof, it just overwhelms the ground below, and the water comes up through cracks in the foundation of the house.

My goal, when I’m home, is to call contractors to come look at the house and get quotes and get it all straightened out and hopefully on the way to being taken care of for my parents.

The basement got damp a couple times, and recently flooded again pretty badly–they’re going to have to take up the carpet, though whether that’s to dry it out and fix the spots or because it’s just to wet to do any good, I haven’t been able to get a straight answer about.

So, my parents are safe and sound above flood stage.

The rest of Iowa, though… It’s been hard to look at all the pictures–I know Des Moines and Cedar Rapids well enough to recognize places. John lived in Iowa City for a year–the pictures of UofI? So hard. Jeannie’s family lives around there, and she and Dave were going back for an Iowa wedding reception. I haven’t called to see if they made it there and back high and dry or not. And Dave’s mom has a restaurant somewhere over on that half of the state, too, so I can only hope her business didn’t literally go under. Dave’s little sister lives in Iowa City for school.

I just hope everyone dries out and can recover some semblance of life as it was.

In the meantime, I fly home again on the 12th. 3 more weeks.

The Tigers-Giants game, shortly after the end of the Celtics-Lakers game.

Giants commentator 1: By the way, in case you were wondering, the Celtics won tonight. And they win their 17th championship

Giants commentator 2: Was it close?

Giants commentator 1: Yeah, pretty close. 131-92.

Giants commentator 2: Urhhhh

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Science: Doing the same thing over and over again and getting different results.

Can I ask you all a favor?

Bratfink, a good friend of mine, is going through a tough time, to put it mildly.

The Brother of her Boy has just died. If you all could go give her your sympathy, I would greatly appreciate it. She sent her sympathies about my mom, and I’ll send them all back in turn to her now.


And many, many hugs, Brat.


June 2008
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