Thursday, October 30, 2008


I was actually sent home from work today. I had the most blinding headache (not a migraine, I have the joys of them as well) a make my head hurt to the point I can't think headache.

I need to make an eye appointment, I think I may need a new prescription. I also need to make an appointment for a massage. I have been spending A LOT of time staring at the computer so I'm guessing the headache is either a muscle issue or an eye issue. Keep your fingers crossed it's one of the two because food/water/caffeine and pain meds are not working their regular magic and I can't keep leaving work for this.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I sent my dissertation manuscript to my advisor/co-author. I worked for a couple of hours this afternoon and finally felt good enough about it to send it on it's way. I'm hoping this is the last round of back and forth between her and I so I can send it out. I already have a journal in mind.

WP and I already have plans to meet again next Saturday. I have decide whether I want to start the re-write of my first year project (FYP) manuscript (which has been rejected by 2 journals previously but I have really good reviews to work from) or whether I want to finally write up my follow up masters (FUM) short report.

FYP is a good paper and will be published eventually, I just haven't quite found the right way to frame it, reviewers are generally positive so I just need to sell it a little better. It's been the manuscript that just won't go away and I'm not nearly as excited about it as I used to be because of that. However, having reviews to work from means it's one step closer to getting out the door.

FUM was a quick little survey study that makes a small (but I think important) point. It wouldn't be more than a short report so I don't have to do an in depth literature review, and it's related to both my MA thesis and my dissertation so I've been actively writing in this area lately. But I don't have much of an outline for how I want to present these findings and that is always the most difficult part for me.

Any suggestions on which one I should work on next?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Getting back to writing

Today I went to a local coffee shop and worked on my dissertation manuscript. I found a friend from ANJ who is willing to be my writing partner (WP), we were commiserating about how much writing we had to do and how we missed writing in coffee shops. So I asked if she was willing to get together and do some writing and she jumped at the chance.

Today wasn't that great. She was 1 hour late, which wouldn't have bothered me except I ended up having to pack up and move my car so I wouldn't have to feed the meter every hour. When I thought she'd be there an hour earlier I figured I'd take the good spot so I didn't have to drag my lap top and materials very far and that I'd just move it when she got there and could watch my stuff.

The second part that wasn't so great is that she talked a lot. I am at a point where if I got a solid 4.5 hours of writing (in the 6 hours that we were together) that I could send this draft to my advisor, but she wanted to talk a lot more than I thought she would so I really only got about 1 hour before she got there and 2.5 hours before we left.

I am hopeful that things will be better next time. In the future I'll know not to expect her to get there as early as I do, and she acknowledged that she talked too much this time (I was nice and did not agree or even make any sort of comment about this) and that she'll try to keep the chatter to a minimum next time. I like her a lot so I'm willing to keep trying. Plus, 3.5 hours of writing is 3.5 hours more than I've been doing. :)

My plan is to get the other 1-2 hours of writing in tomorrow and send this draft off to my advisor. I really feel good about this paper thus, I'm excited to get it under review.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


New Kids' post today really hit home with me.

Having just taken a job outside of academia one of the things I'm struggling with is my feelings about the research that I did in grad school and in my post doc. I am committed to writing a number of papers that are in various stages with a number of colleagues. I want to write these paper and I will write them.

I also have two new projects that I'm collaborating on this semester. My collaborators are the leads on these projects but I am heavily involved (other than the actual data collection). I am also presenting a poster at my sub field's annual conference after the new year. I intend to go to that conference every year.

But what happens after I'm done with these papers? If I am fully committed to ANJ and I don't intend to go on the academic job market do I just stop? What about all the questions and ideas I have regarding my dissertation work? I will admit that even the thought of never designing another study, collecting data and writing them up for my field thoroughly depresses me. Thus, I don't think about it.

New Kid talks about how the guilt will eventually go away, but what if I don't want it to go away? I mean I don't know that I would even call what I feel guilt, for me it's more a feeling of longing to theorize, experiment and contribute to my field.

I can get some of these wants resolved at ANJ, but it's different and there is definitely no room for designing experiments and collecting my own data at ANJ. I knew this when I started, really I am just glad that there are so many opportunities for me to be a Psychologist rather than just an analyst or statistician (which what other non-academic positions wanted me to be) at ANJ.

This post may make it sound like I'm unhappy, I'm not. I really like ANJ, I'm still learning a lot and the people I work with are great, and I've been able to contribute so much already. To be honest, I wish I didn't have these longings to write and contribute to my discipline in the way I have always done. I wish I could be happy contributing in the ways that ANJ will let me. I wish I felt like my previous research was wrapped up in guilt rather than longing. Then I wouldn't have to wonder what this means for the long term...

I'm definitely not applying for academic jobs this year, but I guess I can't rule it out in the future.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Freezing my ass off

It is 56 degrees IN my house! I have a long sleeve shirt, a fleece sweatshirt and jean on. And I'm still completely freezing.

I mentioned when we did the house inspection that it needed some major mechanical work. Since we had to replace the heat system anyway we decided to convert from oil to gas. Well, we ordered our new boiler 3 weeks ago and it still hasn't come in and it's really starting to become a problem.

We're headed to my sister's house to watch some baseball this evening, thank god she has heat! I really, really hope the boiler comes in this week. I can't take much more of this!

I picked a color

For my office. We painted all day yesterday and just need to do some trim today and put down the new carpet. I also have to order curtains but that will probably wait a bit. I'll post pictures when we're done putting the carpet down and putting my desk back in. I'll leave you in suspense about the color until then. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Doggie Woes

He just finished his antibiotics last night. The lump on his neck is gone and he's been doing very well.

Tonight I'm petting him and realize he has a friggen tick on his neck. I got it out, head and all. But what is with him?? I think he's trying to drive me crazy. I told DH, no more unsupervised running around in the yard. They keep getting into these bushes that need to be trimmed back.

And people wonder why I don't have kids, my dogs keep me busy enough.

All moved in

We finished moving all of our stuff into the new house this weekend. It feels so great to know this place is ours.

Now however, I need to make some decisions about decorating and making this place our own. First order of business, my office. We're going to tear up the carpet (it is disgusting!!), lay down a new one and paint. The room is pretty large and has three windows. Right now it's a lavender color with white trim and a dark blueish/purplish carpet. There are already white shelves in there.

I know I want to keep the white trim. My desk and bookcases are all brown so I think I need a lighter trim to balance the furniture. But I can't decide what color I would like the paint to be. We've picked colors for the dining room (muted green) and the living room (yellow or gold) and we're leaving one of the spare bedrooms (baby blue w/ a simple beige carpet). Not that it really matters as the office is pretty separate from the rest of the rooms so it could blend in but doesn't have to.

I've been on the Home and Garden Television web page looking at home office remodels for the last hour to try and get some ideas but I've got nothing. Any suggestions?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How about a meeting?

If there is one thing that bugs me about ANJ it's the incredible number of meetings! Sometimes, we have meetings to set up other meetings. I wouldn't mind if I felt like they were productive, but most of them are not. Friends tell me that this is pretty endemic of non-profits but I hope as a member of the senior staff, to find a way to curb some of these meetings.

We're having a retreat (Note: Retreat = fancy word for extra long meeting) to talk about our plans, deadlines and goals for the next year and I am hoping to have a discussion about cutting out the number of meetings we have here. One of the complaints floating through the team is that we never have time to do our actual jobs, guess why that is... we are always in meetings. It's the worst for senior staff, one day my supervisor and I had 4 meetings together with other people... I didn't even eat lunch that day, and my supervisor had 2 more meetings than I did.

It all comes down to too much to do and not enough time in the day to do it. So for example, I'll write something up (let's say a research proposal) and it needs to reviewed by at least one other member of the senior staff. But instead of sending it to them and having them send it back w/ track changes or some other sort of comments, we have a meeting about it because they don't really have the time to both read and comment on the document.

We'll have a team meeting where we outline all of the projects we're currently working on but instead of assigning everyone tasks, they're told to let us know which tasks they want to work on (I've complained about this before). I've been trying to be a bit more forcefully organized over the past few weeks by actually assigning people tasks during these meetings (in a friendly/professional way of course) and checking in with people via email or stopping by their desk so I can get an idea of where they're at. At our retreat I am going to propose this model as a way to better organize our tasks.

I've noticed that members of the team now come to me when they have some free time looking for something to work on. I'm fine with that. I think they actually like the sense of organizaiton I bring to the projects and look to me to keep that going.

So although I've only been at ANJ for less than 2 months, I'm going to make some serious proposals at our really long meeting, I mean... retreat to cut back on meetings and bring some more organization to our work plans. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What kind of feminist am I??

As seen at The Grad Life

Your result for The Feminism Test...


You scored 83% Gender-Abolitionist, 60% Sexually Liberal, and 40 % Socialist

You are the Gender-Liberal. This means that you share qualities with both Liberal Feminists and Gender Abolitionists. Like the Liberal Feminist, you feel political change needs to be done on a small-scale level through legislative change, not necessarily through a massive destruction of class society through the adoption of an extremist socialist stance. You are also very concerned with sexual liberation, and feel that women should be free to do what they please sexually without criticism, just as men should be free to do. However, you differ from the Liberal Feminist culturally, because you see gender as a social construction that needs to be destroyed. Like the Gender Abolitionist, you realize that gender is often perceived as one's identity, when it should only be perceived as a small, insignificant part of that person. We shouldn't be able to say "This person IS a woman". Rather one should say something more akin to "This person HAS the physical traits of a woman". This way, we wouldn't be assuming someone's physical traits are a part of their identity, and we couldn't use this difference to oppress them or categorize them. In short, you advocate extreme cultural change through the destruction of gender roles, but politically you are less extreme, instead focusing on individual or legislative change as opposed to a massive change of ideology.

The other feminist types:

The Housewife

The Marxist

The Liberal

The Liberal Extremist

The Gender Abolitionist

The Radical

The Gender-Liberal

The Revisionist

Take The Feminism Test at HelloQuizzy

No time, no access

Sorry for the lack of posting. We are currently living between our two residences and we don't have Internet service at our house yet (I'm stealing wireless right now Sh... don't tell netgear49). :)

And work has been insanely busy so I haven't even had time to jump on and do any posting.

I do have a post in the works about work productivity and I know I promised some sharing my idea bout preparing for non-academic PhD level jobs. When my life slows down and my access is not stole I promise to get back to those.

As an update... I'm sleeping pretty well in the new houses, and it usually takes me a long time to sleep in new places so I take that as a sign that we're meant to be here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Doggie Update

He is OK!

The lump is inflammatory cells, not cancerous, not even a cyst. It could have been caused by any number of things like trauma, bug bite, infected scratch. However it happened I am just so relieved it's not anything more serious. So he starts his 10 days of antibiotics tomorrow and we'll just keep an eye on the lump to make sure it doesn't grow or start to bother him.

Thanks for the comforting posts everyone, I really appreciate it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Stressful day

Well, we closed on the new house on Tuesday and have been going back and forth from our apartment to the new hosue since the closing. Except for tonight, we took a night off but unfortunately it wasn't for fun.
Last night I found a large (egg sized) lump in my male dogs neck. So we took him to the Vet this evening and we still don't know what's up.

Other than the lump he's perfectly healthy. A little overweight (but this has been an issue for years). His heart and stomach sound good and he doesn't have any swelling, even his other lymph nodes look good. He's eating, drinking and going to the bathroom normally. He's also full of energy just as he always is.
So the Vet did a biopsy and a blood test and we'll know either tomorrow or Saturday. I'm worried, he's my baby and I just want to know he's okay.