Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Break!!!

That's right! I still have papers to grade and classes to prep, but it is spring break and in a few hours I am off to Florida for a friend's wedding and then a week of hanging out. Woo! Good times! I am excited about the warm weather and the sun.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Once before, Ellen asked me to write about the tasty meals R and I make and since I only live to please Ellen, here are few.

They are all from Martha Stewart's "Everyday Food" magazine. I got a subscription to this magazine in order to use up some frequent flier miles that were going to expire. At first I was skeptical. I mean, I like Martha and all, but the magazine is Reader's Digest sized and looked like something sold at the grocery store checkout (like all those 100 Best Cakes! little booklets, or Prevention or something). But I cut out some tasty looking recipes, and by now we have made several that have all been really good. Seriously. There was one recipe that was merely 'meh' but everything else has been super tasty and pretty easy. Also, Martha kindly shares the recipes on the internets, so I can point them out to you.
Warm Spinach Salad with Fried Egg
Red-Leaf Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Bourbon-Pecan Truffles
Portobello, Broccoli and Red Pepper Melts


Friday, March 13, 2009


The April Scientiae topic: Tell us about that most firey fire through which you have had to walk in your scientific career. How did you overcome the challenge? Did you have help along the way, or was it a solo effort? And what did you learn? Why are you a better scientist given the difficulties that you have encountered?

Peeps, I am in the most fiery challenge of my scientific career right now. I am not going to go into details, but my dissertation writing is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I began writing this thing back in early 2007 and have had a bastard of a time with it since. There are difficulties with professors involved, I have become angry at the system and I feel it has greatly let me down.

I have not overcome this challenge yet, but I know I will sometime. I do have help along the way. I have friends who are willing to listen sympathetically and who also are willing to not ask when I say I don't want to talk about it. R is great at reminding me to be self-confident and at reading my chapters critically and coming up with awesome insights that really help my writing. I have also started going to counseling, which has been amazing for helping me remember who I am, and that I am a smart, successful person, even when others say I am not.

I have also really learned a ton. I have learned about facing huge obstacles and harsh criticism and about how I work best. I think this last part has been most useful. I've often tried to work how I think others work, or how I think I should work. But it is only this semester, when I am teaching 10,045 classes and writing that I have really found what works for me. I have carefully scheduled writing time that I CANNOT make up if I miss. Really. If I don't write between my two classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays I don't have time to write for that week. This knowledge really makes me cut the procrastination. Also, the time chunks I have are short enough that I don't get bored. I am forced to stop by needing to go teach, which always leaves me wanting to get back to my work. And I have finally accepted that I don't work well in the house. I have access to a great office that I am using a lot, and I recently added two more hours to my work time by staying after my classes for an hour at night.

When I am not too upset by the whole situation, I know that this really crappy dissertating experience will in the end make me more sure of myself as an independent scholar, and will make me more able to take rejections and criticisms of my ideas in the future. I also wouldn't wish this experience on anyone, and hope it will help me be more sympathetic of any grad students I may get to work with in the future.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


So, I knew that female hyenas had a false penis, but until reading this post at Field Notes', I had no idea how crazy their birthing was! Wow.

Also, here is a story of a chimp who plans ahead to throw stones at zoo visitors. I have been planning to raise up a gorilla army for many years now and I think this chimp can fill a leadership position.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


I woke up early today and had my Human Evolution class prepped before lunch. I also did laundry. It was a good day in that regard, although it snowed the whole freaking day. Actually, the snow would not be bad if it were not for the wind. It is coming in under our back door and making this weird whistling/rattling noise. I am concerned for the state of our house. We are on the third floor and it may blow right off.

In other news, it is 8:41 pm and I am seriously thinking about going to bed.