Sunday, February 22, 2009

Progress and Productivity wk 8

1. Work-Lots of stuff going on at work this past week as my boss was out sick. I really tried to step up to the plate and move forward a project that the boss was essential in but needed to get done and could not wait for her. We ended up with a finished draft on Friday and the big boss and I both agreed to read it over the weekend. I found lots of little edits that need to be made I bet my team will be so grateful that they hired someone who used to teach research writing! :) Overall, I think it's good. I hope my boss is impressed so that maybe they'll let go of some the control that has been causing many of the problems at work.

2. Research-I've been coding data for my Post Doc Mentor all week (taking Friday and today off). I also downloaded a bunch of articles for my thesis follow up paper. I am hoping to finish the coding this week and then get down to work on the paper.

3. Health- I got my blood work results, all is good!! Yippee. I took my lunch to work every day but Friday. And, I've been better about bringing nutritious snacks to work so that has been good. No real exercise this week, the weather has been crappy! More snow today (ugh!).

4. Home- I fizzled out a bit this weekend. I did buy new throw pillows for the living room but didn't make any more progress on organizing... maybe next weekend.

5. Finances- I collected the $$ that people owed me, and I also filled out the reimbursement slips for the $ that work owes me, but my boss was out so I need to wait for boss to sign them. Hubby and I also started filing out the paperwork for refinancing our two hours. Interest rates have dropped quite a bit since we bought and we just made enough payments to be able to refinance this house and we're looking into rates for our grad school town house. Lowering our payments on both would be amazing.

Not a bad week, I think .

Friday, February 20, 2009

Single Girl Weekend

Hubby is off visiting family and friends so it's just the dogs and I this weekend.

I don't have any actual plans for the rest of the weekend. I might go get a massage on Sunday and I have some Post Doc data coding stuff to do. Other than that I think I'll just aim for a whole lot of R & R.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It's snowing out!


It better turn to rain, the snow piles just finally melted enough so that you can see my first floor windows from the street.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Questions from Readers III

Remember way back here when I said I'd answer questions, we'll I'm back at it as promised.

Caroline was next on the list and she said

"I was surprised that you continued your own research when you started your non-academic job. It sounds like it's a lot of work, but that it's worked out for you. I'm sick of research. So I guess my question is ... what keeps you interested in continuing your research? How do you keep motivated?"

I don't even know where to begin with this question because I can't imagine not continuing to do my own research. One of (probably the only reason), I hesitated applying for and eventually taking a non-academic job is because research is my love.

I still worry about this, if I do leave ANJ this will be the #1 reason. Although, my bosses at ANJ know how important my research is to me. They made promises to me during my interviews regarding integrating my research into some of the stuff that what we do at ANJ. So far, we have not been very successful as all of what we do is dictated by those who provide us with funding. And And although they really wanted a Psychologist on my team, they haven't really embraced the stuff that would be most interesting for a Psychologist to work on or the directions I've wanted to take things. I'm still trying, but some of this has been really frustrating (and to be honest if it wasn't as frustrating to my immediate supervisors then I'd already be looking for a new job).

Any, how do I stay motivated... well it is hard sometimes given that I work at least 40 hours/week at ANJ on totally unrelated stuff. During down times at ANJ they do not mind if I work on other research stuff. They are very supportive of professional development, however I haven't had much down time since August. :)

One of the nice parts of not working directly in the field (and not being a grad student or post doc and therefore obligated to an advisor/mentor) is that I can work on whatever is most interesting to me at the moment. For example, I have some obligations to my post doc mentor that I was not all that motivated to work on so I finished editing my dissertation (which is research that I love!) and put the post doc stuff aside. When I'm finished with these obligations to my post doc mentor I have 2 other manuscripts I need to get out.

Of course when I say NEED, I really mean want. I do not need to publish to keep this job or even to move up with this organization. But I want to publish the work that I've done. I just can't imagine walking away. I am really big on follow through (hence, fulfilling the obligations to my post doc mentor). So, once I start something I am somewhat obsessive about finishing it. I want people to comment on my commitment level in my letters of recommendation. I want that to be clear on my Vita.

I can not say no to an interesting project. I just can't do it, it got me in a little trouble in grad school as my advisor worried about me getting overwhelmed but I knew I could do it. I wouldn't say yes if I wasn't totally enamored with the project. And if I am enamored, then I'm in and it will get done. So not only do I have the manuscripts from grad school, the stuff with my post doc mentor... I also have two other brand new projects that collaborators have started data collection on this semester. :) One is a follow up to my masters thesis and dissertation research and the other is stuff I haven't done in a long time.

The last thing I wanted to say is that I love collaborating. The two new projects are only happening because they're with two of my favorite people. The dissertation follow up is with someone I've collaborated with all through the research process before and we really compliment each others working style, the 2nd is a collaboration with one of my best friends who is also someone that I click well with professionally and so both projects are just fun to work on.

I feel like I did some meandering through this post but I hope it answers the question Caroline. Please feel free to ask follow up questions if there is more you want to know.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Progress and Productivity wk 7

1. Work- There is so much going on that I wish I could blog about. I alluded to steps I've recently taken (over at Minor Revisions) that would indicate that I'm sticking around this job for longer than I would have thought. I'm not unhappy about the steps I've taken and if they result in real change I could see myself sticking around and being happy about that.

On the other hand something really shitty has come up (unfortunately this too is something I can't blog about), and I'm pissed about it but completely unable to do anything to change it. It could have been completely avoided if our big boss would pull his/her head of of their ass and really read the shit we send them. In the end it resulted in a lot of stressful, at the last minute work for me for nothing, and may have some professional consequences I'm not happy about (but ultimately shouldn't hurt me in any major way).

2. Research- Turns out my conference presentation was not given... long story but not a big deal. If anyone was interested in it they could always email me. I just wish I had known as I would have had someone put a note up in my space.

I have been working on data coding for my post doc lab. It's slow going but I'm getting there and at least I'll have an update when I speak to my Post Doc Mentor at the end of the month. This brings up all sorts of resentment, but seriously it's the only way this project will move forward and I put too much into it in the beginning to not have it go anywhere.

3. Health- I had my blood drawn this week for the follow up tests for my physical (I put it off for a bit because I didn't want any lasting stomach bug stuff showing up). I also did my best to get out and take long walks, it's nearly impossible to do much more here with the ice on the ground. I'm trying to get out during work so that it's still light out and warmer than it is when I get home. That has been working okay, I fit in two ~30 minute walks this week and we took the dogs out yesterday too. And I brought lunch 3/5 days last week but we've been ordering out too much.

4. Home- I finally made progress here. I started organizing some of the stuff in my home office, and I unpacked a couple more boxes. This is slow and steady but it's working.

5. Finances- no progress to report this week, although I really do need to get those reimbursements in for work and get on the people who owe me $$. You would think this would be a priority. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So much for Valentine's Day

We had big plans yesterday that included
  • taking the dogs for a nice long walk at the local park
  • going to the movies
  • having either a late lunch or early dinner

What we actually did
  • We headed out to the local park with the dogs and every path was covered in ice so it was dangerous just to take a step, plus one of the dogs kept coughing (he never does this, I have no idea why) and my husband started to feel "off," he thought he was just hungry but... we got home and he ate a little, feel asleep almost immediately, woke up a half hour later and started vomiting. Yeap, stomach bug had found it's way to him 10 days after it hit me.
  • He spent the rest of the day in bed.
I spent the rest of the day:
  • Doing some data management stuff I promised to my former post doc advisor
  • Troubleshooting my lap top that keeps crashing, hoping all the scans I did worked....
  • Trying to download a game from EA, of course with a crashing lap top that did not go well.
  • Watch DVR'd Dog Whisperer and House episodes
Not exactly how I expected to spend V-day. Although DH seems to be doing a lot better today so I am glad that we got home and he was able to rest the rest of the day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Progress and Productivity wk 6

1. Work:- Well, the three hours I spent in the office this week went well :) I worked from home most of the week thanks to illness, but we're really busy right now so it's just been trying to help the team move forward.

2. Research- My presentation was given...not by me, but by my co-author. Next up is some much delayed data coding for my post doc lab. Promised my post doc mentor an update at the end of the month so I would like it to be more than "yeap, still haven't done that"

3. Health- I did not die from that stomach bug. :) Actually, I've been slowly recovering (amazing how quickly it hits but how slowly it leaves. I have been taking is slow but my husband and I did take a nice long walk with the dogs this afternoon which was good exercise for all of us.

4. Home- N/A

5. Finances-N/A

For next week, I need to go get my blood drawn for a follow up from my physical, I need to get reimbursed a bunch of $$ that work and other people owe me, and I would like to do some organizing of our junk room. We'll see how much of this gets done given our big deadline at work this Friday.

Friday, February 6, 2009

RBOC: Recovering

Signs I'm getting better
  • I showered today!
  • I felt hungry
  • I am able to sit upright for more than 1 hour without complete and utter exhaustion
  • I actually wanted coffee for the first time in 2 days

Signs I'm still not quite there

  • I was still too tired to get in the car and go into the office
  • My coffee didn't taste right
  • When I eat the food still feels heavy in my stomach (even if it's just applesauce)

I'm still really sad that I can't be in a sunny warm place with my friends but getting on a plane would have been the worst decision yesterday so at least I made the right choice.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

So Bummed

I should be in warm, sunny location tonight, presenting at a conference. Instead, I'm on my couch snuggled in blankets against the single digit temperatures in my home town recouping from a serious stomach bug that hit me like a truck yesterday morning. It left me in no shape to fly today and so I won't be going to the conference.

I was really looking forward to seeing all of my grad school colleagues, some of which I haven't seen for over a year.

What terrible timing.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Progress and Productivity Wk 5

1. Work:- was okay. Seem to be making a little bit of progress. Had a presentation accepted for national research organization and submitted another one.

2. Research- Finished the presentation I am giving next week. It's with my co-authors right now.

3. Health- Brought left overs to work every days this week. Had my Dr's appointment, wasn't too bad. She did recommend I get more Vitamin D so I'm trying to do that.

4. Home- N/A

5. Finances-Brought lunch or lunch was brought for us at work every day this week. Closed the credit card that had the highest interest rate and we're getting ready to file our taxes.

Not a bad week, I really need to work on the health stuff and when I get back from conferencing I am going to need to tackle more of the house stuff.