Friday, September 25, 2009

A dozen reasons

I think the 8 day lull there may have been the longest we've ever gone without posting. That says something, I just don't have the energy to figure out what, exactly.

Anyhow, it's due to a combination of many things, some of them Things Unbloggable, but the short list:

1. I submitted my paper for review shortly after my earlier post and so far so good. That wiped out a few days.

2. Due to a driving incident (in which no one was remotely injured except for perhaps a brain freeze for Rob due to the Icy Glare of the Angry Wife) "my car" is in the shop until next Tuesday or so. Of course nothing is as easy as all of that and so this first involved Rob arranging two trips to two mechanics, then a trip to the insurance appraisal place, and then a series of logistics to get the car dropped off at a reasonable point in the week beyond which we could get by with the one remaining kid-carrying vehicle.

3. The highway Katie and I normally take to work/school is under serious construction and our 20 minute commute unexpectedly turned into a solid hour each way this week. This led to a late arrival on Tuesday which led to a lot--no, really, a lot--of screaming and crying and general flippin' right the heck out. And that was just Katie. So mornings right now are extra crazy.

4. Rob developed and is currently processing/passing another kidney stone. There's Vicodin and super ultra strength ibuprofen and much misery. And that's just Rob. This, of course, was also not as easy as all of that because despite living here for two years we have yet to find doctors for ourselves (or dentists or really anything) and so there was researching and calling around and so on and so forth just to get into an office to have to confirmed and being a grown up stinks.

5. In random work related news, there's a software license I want to purchase to make my life approximately 100% easier for my research needs and the software already exists on campus and is used in the same manner with the same information but in a different major. For some reason despite the fact that we as a university already have the software and have signed the license and are using it across the street from my building and have been for years, when my purchase went in some new legalistic director of information across campus has decided to really check this out. EVEN THOUGH WE ALREADY HAVE IT AND HAVE BEEN USING IT ON THE SAME CAMPUS FOR YEARS. Ok, sorry for shouting, it's just getting really annoying. And you see how I've had to repeat that at least three times? Well, that's how this has been going. In short the software has student names and email addresses stored in it and they're freaking out that someone might hack the system and get this information which is, y'know, so desperately private that it gets printed out in free telephone directories and is available online with a few clicks and whatnot, but whatever. So every single day I field a dozen emails asking me to explain what this does, why I need it, where the information comes from blah blah blah blah blah blah they can decide if I can use it. And everyday my willingness to pursue this project dies a little.

6. Homework for students, even the tiniest assignment, means hours and hours of pre-due-date emails asking for everything from "um, so, uh, what's the assignment?" to "Can you explain this chapter to me?" to "I did the assigned problems but then also did four other problems and am having trouble with this one over here..". Post-assignment means hours and hours of excuses about crashed computers, crashed cars, crashed grandmothers... And of course there's the grading. And the passing back. And then the hours and hours of students thinking every grade is a negotiation. There are assignments due nearly weekly right now and that means my life is one long list of emails.

7. I'm organizing a series of talks at a conference this fall (because I'm an idiot, that's why.) and my speakers have canceled on me this week so it's going to turn into a 90 minute talk by yours truly or I'm going to turn it into a series of random comments from passer-bys. Undecided. My first goal is to find more speakers who are related to my work and doing something I think is interesting but who are not already talking or organizing their own session. Oh, and who have travel funding and can go. Right. Any takers?

8. Lots of stuff about that conference from last summer and helping next year's host get organized but I'm too tired to bore you with it. It's a daily blip on my radar, though.

9. If #5 ever gets sorted out I want to start some new projects so I can get more days like #1 up there and maybe get to keep my job which I happen to love a lot. Despite #6. There's a never ending list of things I need to do, read, find, try, and fill out to do that.

10. Mostly in the Things Unbloggable because they're not directly my business, but two of Rob's family members are quite ill and are in and out of hospitals. Rob, in fact, left Thursday morning for a hospital the next big city over (about 90 minutes away) helping out his family in a critical time and returns Friday evening. I'm 100% supportive of him doing that, and I'm so grateful that we are in the area and he is able to be there for and with his family, but that means he's out of the house and our usual backup (his mom) is on call with another part of the family and so I keep needing to miss work which, as pointed out in 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 kind of sucks for me right now.

11. In happier news, we have had an Ohio trip floating around on our calendar for a few months and it may or may not be happening soon depending on how #10 develops. We haven't been home since March and in that time my sister had a baby girl and two nephews had birthdays and kids have this pesky habit of growing up even if you don't get to see them so we're hoping for many reasons that everyone is stable and healthy and I can forget 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 and we can have a nice visit soon. Of course, those are easier to ignore if they'd just go away, but most likely I'll take my vacation with a side of grading, constant email checking, and general frustration.

12. Oh, and last weekend Rob and his aunt rode a grueling 24 mile bike race through the hillier parts around here to benefit MD research. Very cool; very proud; (but very much took another day out of my work routine).

Oh, let's make it a baker's dozen

13. Apples. It's apple season, yo. And tonight I took a break from all the crazy to try to use up some of the roughly 10 lbs of apples we have in the fridge and figured I'd make apple cake and muffins which freeze nicely but first I had to make applesauce which is crazy easy** but somehow I still scorched the bejeeezes out of my favorite pan and burnt the applesauce. I soldiered on, mixed all the dry ingredients and some of the wet and then realized I was three eggs short and so the whole effort was a bust. I shelved it and now have a grocery run to add to my Friday morning. That is: after getting both kids up, dressed, fed, presentable, and into the car in time to get through my new and unimproved now-with-more-cursing commute and back all while the emails pile pile pile up. And no muffins for breakfast.

And it's now 1 AM and I'm off to try to log 5 hours of sleep before that round of crazy kicks in.

PS I also managed to clean the fridge today (like, "empty it and clean every shelf" clean it) and sort all of Jorge's clothes into "pack away to keep, keep to wear, pack for later, and donate". And got Katie to school on time, took Jorge to a gym class, ran errands, and achieved simultaneous 2-kid napping. I've pretty much crossed over to insane.

**Wash apples. Cut in 1/4's. Cut out seeds if you want. Peel if you want and I never do. Put in pan with a generous splash of water, cover, and cook on med-low for about 30 mins mostly untouched. Mash. If necessary, run through a food mill crank to fish out the skins and seeds. Add sugar and cinnamon to taste (I add none).


  1. On the Dog n Pony item ..
    Consider contacting your local APICS chapter .. see if there are any folks that have some 'canned' talks that would be from the 'real world' of your field ??? ..
    And of course, consider the local business folks in Matls Management .. can't help you with any names etc.. been toooo long since I was around your locale..
    But, these guys might be worth the effort.. if not now, at least for something in the future ..

    Dad N. ..

  2. Jeez, woman. You make us mortals look sooooooooooooo pathetic. ;)

  3. What Melissa said. Criminy, just the part about cleaning the fridge blows my mind, much less the rest of it.

    But I did manage to get the girls' *old* room primed & hope to paint this week. (So it will be white, not blue, and thus make the house a little bit more ready to market.)