Tuesday, July 29, 2008


That's how I feel this week.

I could be doing more to transition my post doc projects to other people but... I don't feel like it. I'm going to work and I'm doing my job and getting things done but I've started to drift. I run participants all day tomorrow and Thursday, that pushes me to train the person who will take over when I leave (but only for 1 more week of running participants, data collection should be done for this project).

I've also pushed my interns on the projects they're working on to get things at a good wrapping up place before I go. I think my post doc mentor will be surprised at how much I finished up, although I've finished trying to really impress her.

I worry I'm going to get screwed on publications from here. I've worked my ass off on a number of these projects but there are still a number of steps to be done and they'll have to be done by people in the lab. I worry that because I won't be there she'll just write me off.

I hope not, I'm really proud of the work I've done here and would like the credit. But I worry.... 1 week and 3 days until I'm done.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dangerous Dog Walking

DH and I took our dogs for a walk tonight. They've been locked in the house a lot because the weather has been just brutal so we decided that since it was finally a comfortable night we'd let them stretch their paws a bit.

My male dog, the older of the two is usually quite smart. When he wraps himself around a tree or a telephone pole all we have to say is "come around" and he does. Tonight he wraps around a small tree and just as I am about to tell him to come around, he lifts up his leg and pees, it flew right at me! I jumped out the way while DH laughed his ass off behind me.

I think from now on I'll let DH deal with male dog and I'll take the female who may not be as smart, but at least she squats to pee.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Single Girl Weekend Progress

Here is the list of what I intended to do...

  • Finish up the edits on the paper I promised to get back to GA on Monday. I made really good progress on it today.
    • This is done. Edited the paper, and the cover letter to the editor and sent to GA 2 days ahead of schedule.
  • Do some data analysis stuff for one of my PD projects that I'm trying to get finished up.
    • Maybe tomorrow
  • Spend tomorrow morning and early afternoon at the beach.
    • Well, I spent an hour at the beach waiting for them to test the water. Um.. yeah swimming with bacteria is not my idea of fun (thank you crazy weather!!), so I went back to my sister's house and we hung out by her pool. So, although it was not the beach I did get to do some reading in the sun and swim so that is progress.
  • Catch a couple of open houses on Sunday*
    • I still hope to do this tomorrow, DH is not going to be back until later in the afternoon so I may see if one of my sisters will come with me.
  • Watch some trash TV and snuggle with my puppies.
    • I did some snuggling last night but watched baseball (AND THAT IS NOT TRASH TV), I do think I'll get my trash TV fill tonight.
I haven't cooked since DH left, left over Chinese last night, pizza delivery tonight. Just like when I was a single girl. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Single girl this weekend!

Hubby is off on a guys weekend sorta. He and a friend went to grad school state to take care of some business stuff so it's just the dogs and I for the weekend.

I intend to
  • Finish up the edits on the paper I promised to get back to GA on Monday. I made really good progress on it today.
  • Do some data anlysis stuff for one of my PD projects that I'm trying to get finished up.
  • Spend tomorrow morning and early afternoon at the beach.
  • Catch a couple of open houses on Sunday*
  • Watch some trash TV and snuggle with my puppies.

So, that's where I'll be if you're looking for me.

* Even though we probably won't be ready to buy for like 6 months at the earliest, I am super excited to start looking at houses.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crazy weather.

We've had thunder and lightening storms for the past 4 days or so and it's driving me crazy. I get the worst headaches when there is this sort of atmospheric pressure. And one of my dogs freaks out and makes this horrible whining noise just incessantly and can't be soothed. Terrible headache + doggie whiny noise = not much sleep the last few days.

Tonight seems to be calm. I don't have anything pressing tomorrow morning so I hope I can finally get some sleep.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I miss my home office

It's beautiful, disconnected from the actual apartment with a big window and a door that opens to a porch. It's part of what I LOVE about living in this house, but I haven't spent any real amount of time in there since around X-mas time. I have a big, beautiful desk, a desktop computer that has never let me down in the way that my lap tops have.

Due to the fact that my PDM never wants me out of the office, and because the office does not have AC, I've only been visiting that room to pay my bills. So maybe once a week for an hour. It makes me sad to have such a great room that I never use. I think I'll spend some time in there this week. DH is away on a guys weekend and I intended to use the time to do some writing so I think I'll get into my office, clean up the clutter that I've stacked in there and do some writing and reminiscing. Let my office know how much I miss and love it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quick check in

Sorry I haven't blogged since Friday, I had a busy weekend with DH's birthday and other family events. Then yesterday I had work all day to get a conference abstract in at the last minute.

I have informed almost everyone who needs to be informed about the new job and thus far the reaction has been wonderfully supportive. This includes collaborators, mentors, lab mates and grad school colleagues so it's nice to see the world of academia is not coming down on me for my choice. :)

I have received a few questions about the new job and how closely related to my current research/discipline it is and I really want to answer these questions but find a way to keep my anonymity in check so I'm not ignoring these questions, nor have I forgotten about them. I'm just trying to figure out how to answer them without blowing my cover or making my answers so abstract that it's not even helpful to those who asked.

I do want to say that since making this decision I feel an immense freedom. I promise to explain more of what I mean about that later. For now, I'm off for a much needed pedicure and then dinner with a friend.

Friday, July 18, 2008


They met my salary request! I accepted the job! Everything is in writing via email so I feel very secure and glad I do not have to wait until the official letter.

Working from home today

I'm spent from working 12+ hours Wed & Thur running participants. And I have a conference abstract due on Monday for a project I haven't looked at in 2 years.

So I'm working in my PJ's, in my living room and perhaps when I've done a bit on the abstract I'll take a nap.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How is this for shitty?

I am so glad I had made my decision to take the NAJ yesterday because this afternoon I got an email from one of the admins in my current department asking for my last day.

I asked PDM about it and she said "oh, yeah I told her" and I said "told her what?" "that I was offered a position that I haven't yet taken because I was waiting to see what my options were?" and PDM acted as though she had no idea that I wasn't accepting the position yet. Um.. yeah, thanks for pushing me out! So much for her "I love you and need you speech" a few days ago.

I should have known when grad students (who I had not told about the job offer) were coming to ask me when I was starting my new job.

I'm so over it!

A decision.

I have done a lot of thinking over the past few days and I have decided that I am going to take NAJ. I am in the final stages of negotiating with them, I just sent an email stating "here is the salary that I would be thrilled to accept this position at". I hope they can meet that price and I can move forward with planning to leave. I wasn't even going to ask for much but I got the health & dental insurance info and I realized that my premiums are going to triple and my co-pays will double. That would eat up a lot of my shiny new salary so I hope they will help me out with that.

I've decided to take on this new job as an adventure. I think I'll really like it, they're doing some really cool research, the job will be challenging, the people seem really great, and I get to learn a whole different side of research from what I currently know. Plus actually working a 40 hour week I might actually have some time to get caught up on the backlog of work I currently have. I could easily write up 8 first authored papers if I had the time. So hopefully I will do just that.

I will probably still go on the academic job market in the fall, but only for ideal jobs. I'll test it out and see how I feel if I get any offers.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


NAJ came through... more later.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I've got some thinking to do...

Meeting with my PDM went well. At one point she actually said "look, I love you and I need you but I also want what's best for you so I will do without you". I really needed to hear that she wasn't trying to push me out. However, she is really pushing for NAJ. She thinks I'd be good at it, and she thinks my reasons for not wanting it have more to do with other people's expectations than my own wants/needs. She gave me a lot to think about.

We find out about her grant on Friday.

She is still convinced that NAJ offer is coming through any day now. She said she basically told them I was the best they would ever find. :) And they said that confirmed what they thought when they met me.

So, I'm still waiting and thinking but now I'm starting to lean more to the NAJ than to academia. But... who knows tomorrow I could be blown back over the academic side.

Monday, July 14, 2008

No Real Update, Update

I'm feeling better, well a little bit anyway.

I had an okay weekend. Did some work but mostly tried to relax. Saturday was a beach day and Sunday was spent hanging out with my family playing bocce and having drinks. I'm trying to spend as much time outside as possible. I did have a headache most of the weekend though which kinda sucked.

I have my first meeting with Post doc Mentor tomorrow in like 2 months. She has been out of town a lot and I've been busy whenever she was in town. I think it's time to have a frank discussion with her about my possibilities for staying here next year. That's a little nerve wracking but not as bad as not knowing.

Still no word from NAJ. Everyone has told me that the offer is coming and not to read into the delay, so I am doing my best to do just that. I will ask PDM tomorrow if they specifically told her they're making me an offer or if she just assumed that was the case.

Ok, off to watch the rest of the Home run derby even though none of my favorite are in there. I can still appreciate a good home run. :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm depressed

It hit me tonight, out of the blue... I'm depressed.

You may be wondering why it would take a psychologist so long to notice and why it came as a surprise but... I'm not that kind of psychologist and whenever this happens it always takes me by surprise.

I have been eating terribly- comfort food dictates my life; pizza, pasta, coffee and bagel for breakfast every morning....anything bad for me, haven't exercised in so long I actually forget when the last time was, no energy to do anything (including cook dinner) when I get home, all I want to do is sleep, I've had a headache every day this week, I'm irritable and want to cry because my DH went out for drinks with 2 of his buddies (this is SO not me, usually I relish a night alone with a good book and nobody to interrupt me).

I've been working really hard (way too hard for summer), I'm stressed about what I'll be doing in the fall, I worry that my PDM doesn't want me around, I worry that I'm not getting enough time to write, I feel anxious most of the time, I need a vacation but don't have the time to take one.

Tomorrow I'm going to the beach, to sit in the sand and read a book, to swim in the ocean, to feel the waves crash against me.

The good news is that I'm usually pretty good at recovering once it finally does it hit me. I'll pull myself out of this, start taking better care, try to keep my emotions under check until I am feeling better and start telling my support network how I feel so they can give me the support I need to feel better. This won't last long.

Job Search Update

Non-academic job (NAJ) has now spoken to both my GA and my Post Doc Mentor (PDM) but have not yet called/emailed me with an offer. PDM called me yesterday to congratulate me on my offer and when I informed her that I did not yet have an offer, kept insisting that I got the job. I was like "okay, but I haven't heard from them at all since my in-person interview".

I was a little put off by PDM's call because 1. I still don't have an offer and I think they were just assuming I was getting the job but I felt uncomfortable with that assumption given that NAJ still hasn't contacted me at all, and 2. because PDM seemed just a little too excited for me and made me want to ask "um, don't you want me to stay"? When they inquired if I was excited I said "Well, yes it's a great job but at the same time I just want to know what all my options are before getting too excited about anything". PDM said they understood but "still it's great to have an offer" (um.. I don't have an F'n offer!!!) So it made me feel like they were just a little to enthusiastic about the prospect of me leaving.

I'm interested in hearing any opinions regarding how worried I should be about how long this job offer has been in the works. My phone interview with them was about 2 months ago, my in person interview was 2 weeks ago. Before that I had sent in my application 1.5 months before they contacted me for the phone interview.

Should I at all be worried about taking a position with a company that takes this long (and who knows how much longer) to fill a position they claim they have a "desperate need to fill?" The delays make me wonder if there will be other aspects of this job that carry on for an incredibly long time. Should I worry about some bureaucratic process or inefficiency? Can I ask them about this without sounding condescending or insulting them?

Oh, and my cell phone just rang with an unknown #, I didn't pick it up because I didn't know the #. Then it went to voice mail and rang again so this time I picked it up in case it was NAJ calling.... it was a wrong number. Bastard!!

Article Review Update

Finally heard back from the editor about the article review I had agreed to write. The article was rejected and the editor made it clear that they would only agree to a new submission that was completely re-written. The editor did not comment directly on my review but just sent me the form "thank you for your opinion, I relied on it heavily to make my decision" email with a link to the decision letter and other review.

The other reviewer did not directly comment on the fact that the author was a non-native speaker but agreed that the writing was unacceptable. I thought it was interesting that the other reviewer suggested a major revision rather than reject.

It was clear the editor did not read the manuscript prior to sending it out for review, I hope that the editor is now more likely to do that from now on. I generally like reviewing articles but this article really was a chore and took incredibly long to get through.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Productivity Update

I was unable to conduct the analysis I wanted to this afternoon. My analysis software says the licence is expired so I'll have to wait and do those analysis in my office but once those are done I am sending dissertation paper to GA.

I spoke to GA about revision manuscript today too and she actually has some current work that may help with that revision. So, that will be next on my agenda when dissertation manuscript is sent off.

All in all I was happy with my productivity today. I even spent some time with my nieces and nephews swimming in their pool this afternoon. Now THAT is what I call productivity. :)

Job News

Non-academic job that I really like is checking my references. GA emailed today to ask me what she should emphasize during their phone call. I called her and we talked for a while about this job and my chances of staying at my post-doc.

She said she thinks I should stay at post-doc if given the chance (it's a very prestigious position) but then when I told her about the non-academic salary she said "sometimes a job is worth it for the money." Nice huh? :)

They're calling her tomorrow morning, no word about the grant or my other two references in terms of whether they talked with people from the non-academic job.

Let the productivity begin...

I'm up (it's 7:39am), and I've had my first cup off coffee. I did not sleep in and I'm going to now get to work reading the paper I have to comment on. *

Even cancelled the lunch date with my friend so I'll have all day for this writing extravaganza. May need to move to Starbucks later as it is supposed to get VERY hot. Either way I will check in later tonight and give the update.

* But first a blog update. :)

9:57am- I have read, commented on and made figures for, and sent back secondary GA paper. Now on to dissertation manuscript.

12:37pm- I have read through and did a lot of editing on the dissertation draft. I am going to get some lunch now and then do some additional analysis this afternoon and maybe even send the paper to my grad advisor who is a co-author on this paper this afternoon!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Un-productivity List

I just edited my "productivity list" on here, which made me realize just how un-productive I've been with writing*. Running participants and training interns has really taken over my life these past few months and therefore I had to change my goals from end of June to end of August.

If I do end up staying here at my post doc and going on the academic job market in the Fall, these papers NEED to be under review. I have a pretty good publication record thus far, but only 1 first authored paper and no pubs with my graduate advisor. For the jobs I would want I need to show some independent work.

So... tomorrow I am staying home to write. I'm dedicating the morning to reading, commenting and editing the paper with my secondary grad advisor as I've had that over a month now. Then I'm having lunch with a friend and the afternoon is dedicated to dissertation manuscript. I am hoping that if I put in some good writing time this week I can actually switch off with my grad advisor. I can give her my diss manuscript when she gives me the 3rd author paper to comment on.

Wish me luck.

* It also made me realize that I need to come up with some good acronyms for my papers but I'm just not feeling all that creative tonight.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thank you gift suggestion

DH and I are staying with grad school friends this weekend and I'd like to get them something as a thank you.

It's a guy and girl. They're not a couple, just house mates.

Any suggestions? I'd like to give them something (individual things if necessary) that they'd both like.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Can you plagiarize your own writing?

Dr. Curmudgeon has a post here where she mentions the issue of plagiarizing one's own work. In her case she's working on a book that is essentially an updated version of her dissertation and she notes how she likes the way she worded things originally but feels a little uncomfortable leaving them given that it's published that way in her dissertation.

I've heard/read people mention this before and I too have this weird feeling of guilt when working on my dissertation manuscript that it's not quite right to leave whole paragraphs or sections in the paper, but at the same time I know I wrote it the first time! And I really like the way I did so.

I'm curious how other people feel about this.

Do you re-write your own writing just to avoid this sort of self-plagiarism?

Would you think it was an issue if you knew someone published something pretty much exactly as they had written about it in a dissertation?

What if it wasn't a dissertation but another journal article/book chapter/book?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday check in

No word about either the job or the grant so far. It's all good though because I am so busy at work that I can't think about it too much right now anyway.

Going to get pedicures and dinner with my sister tonight. During grad school I hardly ever got pedicures, now that I'm back in home town it's a regular occurance. I think being around my sisters gets me back in that mode.

I'm headed to grad schoool town wiht my DH for the long weekend. I haven't been back since graduation, I miss everyone and can't wait to see them all.

That's about it. I hope to have a chance to post over the next few days but W & TH are participant running days and usually that takes up all my time and energy.