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2008 was something else. Holy shit, people. So here's the usual year in review post (although I seem to have only done this in 2006).
2008! )
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Three things are vexing me, so I thought I'd ask the collected wisdom that is all of you!

  1. I need a pair of black boots. I have needed a pair of black boots for quite some time now. These boots seem like they might fit the bill, especially in the calves. But the sizing of Clarks is totally wonky. Do I buy them in a 7 1/2 and an 8, try them on, and return the pair that doesn't fit? That's the whole point of the free shipping both ways, right? It just seems so wasteful, though! Ugh. Maybe I should brave Nordstrom, first.

  2. I am vaguely considering jogging in the mornings, instead of the early evenings, because I often have stuff going on in the evening. There are two drawbacks, though: I am not a morning person, and I am hypoglycemic. I can barely shower in the mornings before having at least orange juice, let alone jog 2-3 miles. However, jogging right after eating is usually unpleasant. Any suggestions for what the pre-jog breakfast sweet spot might be, so that I don't feel like passing out or throwing up?

  3. Uh, for those of you who use supermongo, any advice on string manipulation? I want to put together a filename from many pieces -- can I only concat two strings at a time?
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Things here are insanely busy, but pretty good!

  1. The eeee! and I are going to see R.E.M. tomorrow! Yay! This will only be the second concert we've gone to together -- the first was Tom Petty, years ago -- and it will likely be the last, unless there's a Throwing Muses reunion or something. There is very little overlap in our musical tastes. Anyway, he's never been to an R.E.M. concert, and they put on a good live show, so I'm very excited about this. (Their new album is pretty good, by the way.)

  2. I've been happy with the Couch to 5K plan so far. The intervals are really working for me! But ask me again when I hit the two-mile runs.

  3. I am in love with this house. Stained glass windows! Built-in bookshelves! A walk score of 91! Not that we're looking for jobs now, or that we would find anything in Pittsburgh, or that I'm sure I'd want to live that close to my family . . .

  4. I am really getting the hang of Santa Barbara! Our place has a walkscore of 82, which seems about right. I really like that we can and do walk most places. And the ocean smelled really good this morning. (Okay, the ocean is by campus -- our place is at least 2.5 miles from water. But it still smelled awesome.)

  5. I am not in love with the Santa Barbara library, which sucks. Their email reminders don't work consistently, and there is little to no relation between what is listed as available and what is actually on the shelf. And, and, if you request something (either from another branch or because it's already checked out) they charge you fifty cents! FIFTY CENTS! I am going to have to start buying books again. Man, I was spoiled by Ann Arbor's library.

  6. Oh, but I'm reading some of The Sandman volumes (by Neil Gaiman) that I've borrowed from a friend, and so far I'm really enjoying them. I really liked "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Facade", especially. The former almost makes me want to read Marvel 1602, except for the part where I wouldn't actually get any of the Marvel references.

There's a lot of other job and thesis crap I have to worry about right now, but overall, things here are good.
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I've been really busy here, especially because I took some time off when my brother was here, so now I'm working like crazy to catch up.

On the under side, I'm not overly impressed with either Edwards's endorsement of Obama or NARAL's. Sure, come out and endorse the guy right when he almost has the nomination locked up! How very bold of you. But the eeee! pointed out that they may have been asked to announce their endorsements today, to get the WV primary off the news cycle. Hmmmm.

On the over side, I'm jogging again (yes, again), but this time I'm doing it right! I'm following the Couch to 5K plan, and although it's early, it already feels more effective than the random jogging I did before. So yay for that! Except for the part about squeezing in time between teaching and thesis-writing and aaaaaaah.

On both sides, I'm reading Guns, Germs, and Steel, which is good. But long. And slightly dry and repetitive. It's good, though, and it's filling in a gap in my anthro/history background. (But it makes me want to play Civ! Okay, must step away from the computer now.)

I should do more work tonight, but I'm tired, and I just want to have a beer and watch Top Chef and read The Hobbitt (which I'm also reading now, for the first time) and go to bed.
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I've had a most successful weekend!

  1. My mother and cousin came up for Art Fair, and we had a good time. They lucked out in that the weather was perfect on Friday -- not too hot, and no crazy storms. (I love the view from my office window sometimes.)

  2. I read the Harry Potter book! I enjoyed it, but don't have anything particularly insightful to say, so I won't make a post here about it -- I've just been commenting elsewhere. Please don't put any spoilers in the comments here.

  3. I went jogging today, and totally wilted in the heat. It was like 80 F outside. I definitely prefer jogging in temperatures of 30 F to 30 C, and probably 25 F to 25 C, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm not in terribly good shape right now -- yoga twice a week is not cutting it. So! I am going to work out at least four days a week, and if that's successful then I'll up it to five, then six.

  4. I parked my ass in a coffeeshop today and read a bunch of papers I needed to read for work. Yay!

  5. I'm also reading One Hundred Years of Solitude, and really enjoying it. I wasn't sure if I'd like magical realism, but so far so good.

  6. I practiced more with the stick shift today, and ugh. I'm getting better at turning, and starting on a slight uphill, but I hate ever second of it. I also stalled like fifteen hundred times, in my stubbornness to start on the uphills without the emergency brake.

  7. I'm giving a talk to physics grad students on Wednesday, and I'm not finished with it. Not at all. I have a good outline, though, and I have most of the plots I need for it, but I'm in the middle of learning Keynote, which I'm not a fan of so far. The interface for Powerpoint on the Mac was actually pretty good, and I know it's just a matter of getting used to a different interface, but eh.

Okay, in retrospect it doesn't seem like much, but it was a good combination of relaxing and productive. Hope you all have good weeks ahead of you!


Jul. 12th, 2007 10:55 pm
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Things here are good, but holy cow I'm exhausted.

I ended up having a private yoga lesson today, since I was the only person there. It was good, but now I am dead. DEAD. I really need to do yoga on the weekends, too. I just get self-conscious doing it in the apartment, because the eeee! hears me breathing ("What is wrong with you?") and the dog likes to plop down on the yoga mat and I have to move furniture around. Maybe I should go into work and do yoga in a conference room on the weekends.

I also have a telecon with some collaborators tomorrow, so I had to send them a draft of the paper I'm working on. Calling it a draft is a stretch -- it's really an outline with the basic results filled in. But I'm happy about it, because I rearranged the outline today, and now it's much better. The new outline flows better, sets up the results better, and so the writing is going better now.

Anyway, now I'm going to drop dead. But I have a good weekend ahead of me (I'm IN TOWN, oh my god) -- my academic brother defends tomorrow, I'm having brunch with [profile] kylegirl on Saturday, at some point I'll see the Harry Potter movie, and I'll have time to practice driving the stick. The last time I drove it (Sunday night on the way home from Ratatouille -- on real roads!) I didn't even burst into tears until we got home. So that's progress.
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I went to my first yoga lesson ever last week, and to my surprise I really loved it. I think it's going to be a good way to strengthen my hips and upper body, and I've been searching for ways to do that (especially the hips). And it just feels great. Why did I wait so long to try it?

Now that the sidewalks are no longer covered with ice, I've also been jogging more frequently. I've already passed the tipping point between dreading each jog and really looking forward to it, which is a good sign. I'm also just more antsy in general, and now I need to haul my bike up from the basement! And go to the driving range and work on the woods! And maybe the eeee! and I will take intermediate golf lessons this year! Wheee!

Maybe I'll like Southern California after all.
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Holy crap, is work driving me crazy. For various reasons, I've spent quite a bit of time writing some C code, only to discover that Fortran might have been quicker after all. Stupid disks which are in a different building than the processor. Stupid me not doing any timing runs. Argh.

And I've been busting my tail this week, too. The eeee! and I are getting in the habit of getting up at 7 a.m. every day. This morning he cheerfully noted that we'd made it an entire week of getting up early, to which my response was, "Gr4sdkkjwl." I am really looking forward to this weekend, because for the first time in a month we can sleep in both mornings. (Then I look at the to-do list for the weekend, though, which includes cleaning out the basement, for fuck's sake. Ack.)

But most of the little things are going well. For instance, over the past few years I've made many attempts to increase the number of green leafy things I eat. I don't think any attempt has lasted more than a week and a half. I've also been trying to eat larger lunches, so I'm not cranky by 6 p.m. Now I've solved both problems by bringing salads in a bag to work -- one 5-oz. bag of spinach and arugala lasts juuuuuust long enough so that it doesn't go bad. And it's been nearly a month now! Yay! I know that sounds dorky, but I realized today that it's turned into a real habit.

Meanwhile, every time I relax for a second, I either remember another thing for the weekend's to-do list, or remember that we leave for Europe one week from TODAY. Oh my god. I have so much to do.
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So I've started jogging three times a week, for real! I slightly increase the distance every Saturday, because wow, am I out of shape. But I listen to music, occasionally take the dog, and to my surprise I'm really enjoying it.

I was pretty stressed when I got home from work today, and I had a lot to work on tonight -- stats homework, slight revisions to a paper, writing a response to a referee report. I thought I didn't have time for a jog, but I decided to go in hopes that it would help me relax.

And it worked! I was relaxed and cheerful when I got home! I still have some more work to do tonight, but I'm relaxed and ready to get back to it. Huh!
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Today and this past weekend have been quite productive. Tiring, but productive. In no particular order, I:

  1. Made an eye doctor appointment. FINALLY. I last got new glasses 4 1/2 years ago, and lately I've noticed that I have vision problems when I'm tired. And the appointment is this Wednesday. Yay!

  2. Bought my ticket for my trip to Berkeley.

  3. Had lunch at Miss Saigon, which Beth has been raving about. And indeed, it was fantastic! Yum! I'll have to go there again, even though it's a bit out of the way for us.

  4. Found the (stupid!) bug in some code I've been working on.

  5. Watched Michigan tie Michigan State in hockey, AGAIN.

  6. Picked out a new toilet for the bathroom (with the eeee!).

  7. Again with the eeee!, picked out tile for the bathroom. The trend seems to be for textured, faux-stone vinyl tile, which we don't like. That means there aren't many clean, geometric designs for us to choose from. We easily settled on this, but in an ideal world we would get this ceramic tile. The picture does not do justice to the cobalt diamonds there.

  8. Made it out the door by 9:20 this morning! Woo!

  9. Further considered getting an iPod nano. I can get a student discount on it, which is small, but better than nothing.

  10. Finally bought the thank-you presents (a.k.a. alcohol) for people who've taken care of Doc for us recently.

  11. Ordered my wedding dress. Eeeeeeee!

That sums it all up here.
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We are on the whopping fourth day of 2006, and I have yet to get out of bed by 8 a.m., let alone out the door by 9:30 a.m. The closest I've come is 8:05 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., respectively.

But that will really have to change tomorrow, as I've signed up for a 10 a.m. stats class1. Which starts tomorrow.

1 Why do I do this? Every semester I say I'm not going to take a class, and then I find myself taking a class. At least this time I'm starting at the beginning of the semester, instead of a third of the way through. And no, I haven't yet finished the work from the parallel computing class from last semester, thank you very much.


Jan. 1st, 2006 09:42 pm
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I had a long list of goals for 2005, some of which I met, and some I didn't. But this year, I just have one main resolution:

Get out of bed by 8 a.m. every day, and out of the house by 9:30 a.m. After a month or so I will bump it up to 7:45 and 9:10, and then to 7:30 and 9:00 a.m.

There are other things I need to do more regularly, like flossing and exercising and reading astro-ph, but I think that getting on a regular schedule will help everything else settle into place.

March 2013



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