Thursday, January 31, 2008

123 meme

The instructions are to pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. Find page 123. Find the first 5 sentences. Post the next 3 sentences. Tag 5 people.
from Lagniappe.

A friend who didn't know what was going on stopped me one day when I was out shopping. "I've seen you two on your walks," she said. "How nice."

From Madam Secretary by Madeleine Albright.

I'm not feeling taggy. Do this if you will.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I have been a good girl and worked at the library all morning. Now I am going to lunch. Yum, lunch! It is so cold in here, I am wearing stripey fingerless gloves I got from an internet friend. R made fun of me last time I wore them and said people would talk about me as that crazy woman in the library, but it is worth it to have warm hands.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Little Better

I had a rejuvenating Saturday and an OK Sunday, until I realized Sunday meant Monday was coming.

Yesterday R and I went to the Natural History Museum where we enjoyed learning about Asian cultures. We critiqued the museum's obsession with "man's rise to civilization", saw a special exhibit on water and learned how much we would weigh on the sun (a lot). Afterwards we came home and I made Roasted Vegetables, Thai Style from this cookbook, which is one of the best presents I got for Christmas.

Today I did not run, which was bad, but I really really didn't want to. I will run tomorrow. I worked on a job application, and we made eggplant parmesan with stuff we had lying around the house, so that was pretty cool. The best thing I did all day was watch some men's figure skating. Nothing soothes the stressed out soul like a few triple axles. Right on.

Friday, January 25, 2008

hard slog

People, the dissertation is getting me down. I feel like I should post more but it will all be, "blah blah blah dissertation blah blah feeling sorry for myself blah stress blah tired blah complaining about stats". That just doesn't seem that interesting. It is weird, I am apparently very stressed, although I don't feel the feelings I would describe as stressed. I am tired all the time. And apparently less energetic and happy than the usual Laurie (others have reported this). And any tiny thing going wrong freaks me out. Like this morning I tried to do laundry, but only one washer in our building laundry room was working and then when I went to dry, all the dryers were broken. So I had to haul my wet clothes to the laundromat. Which actually worked out in the end because the laundromat dryers are way better than ours, and I had an excuse to sit next door in Dunkin Donuts and have coffee and donuts while I waited for my clothes. But the hiccup in laundry routine was like The Worst Apocalypse Ever to me when it happened.

The good news is I have now analyzed almost all the data for my entire dissertation, and all I need to do is write sentences around it. Lately, for me this is the worse part. Six months ago I would have told you I would like to think up projects and collect the data, then have someone else analyze it and give it back to me to write up. Now I have decided I will think, collect, AND even analyze (I have conquered a small corner of the statistics world, I think) and have someone else write it up.

OK, there is one horrible analysis part of my dissertation that is not done and which will take one million years. I am trying to decide if I can just throw it out, but in the meantime I am off to make a little more head way on it.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Watch the whole thing -- it is clever! And must have taken a long time...

Sunday, January 20, 2008


6. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
This is the sequel to A Great And Terrible Beauty which I read last year, but may not have posted about. It is the story of a 16 year old girl in Victorian England who learns she has these kind of magical powers and is connected to a powerful group of women called The Order. I don't want to explain too much, as I don't want to give stuff away. I liked this book better than first one, and the more I think about it I am really enjoying these novels with a mystical/occult bent and strong female protagonists. I will be looking for the third book soon.

7. The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland
I've enjoyed a number of Coupland's books, and this one is really good. It is about people working at Staples who write to each other back and forth in a journal, through letters, and there are also sections from one of the character's novels. Anyway, it is a very interesting structure, I found all the characters very vivid and real and really enjoyed this book.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

year quiz

You Belong in 1959

You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I had my first class today. Yay! I think I was in teaching withdrawal. I have 22 students this semester and they are all so smart and engaged and brought up fabulous points during our discussion ON THE FIRST DAY! Seriously, I am like in teaching heaven. Maybe it is the teaching honeymoon?

I also sent off my first draft of a book chapter. I was working soooo hard on it, I am glad it is done with. It will be cool to be in a book one day as well. It is just something more accessible to my friends and family who don't read Academic Journal of Academic Primatology Stuff. I know that is everyone's favorite.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My First Album

This is great!
From d_p_rackham

The Album Cover Meme:

Follow these easy steps:

The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4. Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together, and post the result in your own journal (or as a comment here).


3. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
One of the best books I read last year was "Extremely Loud and Incredibley Close", so I thought I should try out the author's other book. I really liked this book as well, and it was similar to "Extremely Loud..." in it's nonlinear structure, but I did not like this one as much. The characters were not as interesting to me, and I though the books was a little longer than it should have been. Still a very good book, but I lost interest towards the end.

4. Kate Remembered by A. Scott Berg
For my last birthday, R bought me chocolates from this store which we later found out was Katharine Hepburn's favorite chocolate shop, and is mentioned in this book by Berg. I had also read Berg's biography on Lindbergh years ago and really liked it, so I thought I would get this book. I didn't have a particular attachment to Hepburn before, but this book made me admire her quite a lot. It is interesting because it isn't really a biography, it is more the author's memories of their friendship over the last 20 years of Hepburn's life. It is a little weird at times, how the author is so present in the story, but he is a good writer and it is an interesting book.

5. Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella
Another in this fun series. I started to worry with the book before this one, where I thought the main character, Becky, was getting boring to read about, but giving her a baby made her interesting again. I especially liked how the author didn't totally change Becky because of her impending motherhood. She was still the same person. Very entertaining.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Super Productive!

I am not sure if I wrote here already that I quit my dog walking job. Well, I did. I am really trying to graduate in May, so I am on the big dissertation writing push, and the having to go walk dogs in the middle of the day was really cramping my style. I am a flitterer while I work. I work a while, then need to read some blogs or wander around the house or whatever. I have really intense periods of work, and then it all just falls apart and I need to recharge for a bit. All of that is to say that I work best with a whole day for it, instead of having to cram it in between other things. Also, the dog walking did not pay much. Anyway, I am loving having the writing be my only job right now (although my class does start next week, so I will have two jobs). Lately I have been going to various libraries to work and I am getting a lot done. I like the productive atmosphere in libraries. Everyone typing away or reading or jumping up once and awhile to look in fat dictionaries. It is awesome.

I've also gotten back into my running. Both Monday and today I woke up and went right out for a run. Monday I thought I was going to die as I was soooo sore, but today's run/walk was good, and I actually feel energized from it. Although that also could be be because I was having a little trouble sleeping so I took some Tylenol PM last night which made me sleep like a tired rock. R is also taking care of me this week and cooking me dinners at night. So after a week of 2008, I am enjoying it greatly with awesome food, exercise, and productivity out the wazoo.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Books 2008!

So, I considered giving this up in the interest of using the time I put into it into other endeavors. But I am still going to be reading, so I might as well list them, and I have been doing it for so long I can't give it up. My first two books for 2008:
1. The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman
I started re-reading this series because of the movie coming out, but then remembered I didn't like it that much. I like the general story, but I find them rather sloppily written with important things not well-explained or described. I did like this book, better than the first. I do like Phillip Pullman's other series, with a book called The Ruby in the Smoke, though.

2. Practically Perfect in Every Way by Jennifer Niesslein
This book chronicles the author's 2 year experiment in changing her life through self help books. I loved the voice of the author, and could relate to her well. The book was funny, but also serious at times. I liked this book.

New Years Meme

I like this one. I saw it many places.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before? Get married. Turn 30. Teach high school students. Live in New York.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't really do resolutions... Although a quick check of the blog this time last year shows I resolved to call my brothers more, which I did not do. Maybe I will try and email more?
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Not in 2007, although there are some lined up for 2008!
4. Did anyone close to you die? no
5. What countries did you visit? none. :(
6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? A PhD
7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? The day we got married, my 30th birthday.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Writing as much of my dissertation as I have. Teaching and planning an upper level class.
9. What was your biggest failure? Despairing once and a while.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nope.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Nothing for myself. I am most proud of adopting a penguin for R for Christmas, and the best things I received were a Timbuk2 bag from R and a laptop backpack from my dad.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? R, all my friends and family. I feel really lucky that everyone is so supportive of me and always there when I need them.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Some people in the academia.
14. Where did most of your money go? Rent!
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Having people come to NYC for the wedding.
16. What song will always remind you of 2007? Carrie Underwood -- the one where she takes a Louisville slugger to both headlights.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b)thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? I think I am the same happiness. I am definitely fatter (this time last year I had just returned from the the Suriname rice and beans diet) and I am richer as I am now somewhat employed.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercising, eating vegetables.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Freaking out.
20. How did you spend Christmas? With R's fam in Iowa.
21. Did you fall in love in 2007? Nope.
22. What was your favorite TV program? The Amazing Race!!!
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No.
24. What was the best book you read? The Book Thief
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I can't think of one.
26. What did you want and get? Progress on my dissertation.
27. What did you want and not get? Job interviews.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? Hot Fuzz
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 30! We went to sushi in the 'hood and drank Sandra Lee cocktails at home.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Somehow getting my PhD
31. What kept you sane? fun books
32. What political issue stirred you the most? Healthcare!
33. Who was the best new person/people you met? some primate people
34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007? Keep on keepin' on.
35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. I have no idea.

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year!

Hello! Happy New Year! I cannot believe it is already 2008 and that the future (which will begin in 2010) is only two years away! We had a great Christmas -- I even enjoyed the 3 states in 9 days whirlwind tour. It was nice to see family and a few friends. The cats missed us a lot thought. Both have been clingy and Henrietta has been screamy since we got back late Wednesday night.

I am diving into crazy working as I have a goal to defend my dissertation in April or May, need to finish my syllabus for my class, and have a book chapter to get edited and sent off. Whew.

So as many have been doing it, here are the first sentences of each month in 2007:
January: Our Ikea trip was so successful!
February: I think this is correct.
March: Just now I managed to read a bunch of articles and take notes on them.
April: Hey!
May: Happy Saturday!
June: I have learned a new term: krunkjuice.
July: Hello my little blog readers!
August: 54. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
The last Harry Potter!
September: Recently I went back to the town of my University and had a hard core 3 days working with my advisor on my first 2 diss chapters and another paper.
October: These are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing's users.
November: The weekend before Halloween R and I took the commuter train north and walked along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail.
December: Genius!