Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stressed! God! Cocktails!

I am stressed. But I really don't want to dwell on that right now.

I don't take direction well. Someone tells me what I'm supposed to believe and I get really, really ticked off. Which is why when I read about Anastasia's conversion crisis, I am even more convinced that I will never, ever convert to Catholicism. It's one reason I like Unitarians, even though they too, drive me crazy. (They embrace doubt and the questioning of dogma.) It's also one of the reasons I always wanted to be Jewish, because even if I didn't agree with all of their dogma, I'd still be Jewish by birth. That's something, right?

The reason I'm thinking about this is because I've been praying for a friend in trouble. Actually, to be honest, for more than one friend. And for those of you who never stopped to think about this before, praying is hard when you're somewhat spiritual but you're not affiliated with any religion or were never raised in a tradition in which you have ingrained ways of doing these things. Who and or what do you pray to? How do you do it? You have no guidance. Most days I believe in God but I don't really go in for any one of his prophets more than the others. This causes complications.

Sigh. I could really, really use a beer. No, make that a Manhattan--with Maker's Mark, and not the sleezy kind with maraschino cherry juice or anything. Too bad a drink is not exactly an option for another 5+ months. Well, I have to go to put on a post-doc happy hour. Where I will be drinking water. Sometimes being pregnant sucks.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why Do People Eat Bad Food?

I don't mean just junk food. Because I'll admit it, I love the stuff, especially Cheetos.

But I just don't understand why--unless limited by real constraints on choice such as income or access--anyone would regularly chose to eat bland, boring, soft, squishy, meaty, crappy food. White bread. Mayonnaise. The exact same lunch every day for years?

I also simply can't believe how some people really think differently colored tomatoes are some kind of new designer food. Seriously, people? Tomatoes aren't just red! Peppers aren't just green or red! Squash comes in all kinds of shapes! Sometimes it's eeven spiky! (YUM, bittermelon.)

Most every day when I see colleagues during lunch time, they peer into my tupperware and ask, "What'd you bring for lunch today?" This makes me feel a little like a creature in a zoo, exotic and strange. Today I had leftovers, as usual. Moroccan curry--sweet potatoes, golden raisins, garbanzo beans, assorted veggies, all on couscous. "What's couscous?" In my mind, this doesn't make me unique. I just like delicious flavorful food. Shouldn't everyone?

Come on people, branch out, there's more to food than Luby's!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Why is it so hard to focus on a single project? Am I totally ADHD? Or ADD? (I don't know and don't care about the difference between ADD and ADHD. Although it would prove a useful waste of time and way to procrastinate.)

I've had this pattern for years. It was a big driver of my DHP (Dissertation Holding Pattern). I was able to crank out other papers and projects, much to the dismay/delight of my committee, but somehow it was like pulling teeth to work on the actual diss.

Little has changed. I am writing a proposal for a mentored career grant and presenting it to a small group of colleagues at a meeting early Thursday morning. Have I worked on it at all today? No. Instead, I'm preparing a manuscript for publication that is...TOTALLY UNRELATED and despite its near completion, BASICALLY IRRELEVANT to my current situation.

I think a lot of it has to do with my perfectionism. I hate to do something where it's not perfect. And trust me folks, a proposal with only $25K/year for research expenses is hardly going to be perfect. Or...maybe I'm just lazy.

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