rebeccmeister: (Acromyrmex)
I suspect I'll always feel that moment of anxiety immediately after clicking the "submit" button when submitting a manuscript for publication.

I think the last time I tried submitting to this particular journal, the submission quickly bounced back because it was estimated to be too long for publication. We have tried to get this one sufficiently under length, but of course I have my doubts. And if it's a desk-reject it will also bounce back quickly.

Best to move on to other projects in the meantime.
rebeccmeister: (Acromyrmex)
One of the questions that I have been practicing asking myself lately is, "What is the broader significance of this finding?"

I find it challenging to draw myself back out to the level of generalities. In the leafcutter literature, it seems to me like there are a lot of cases where people don't bother trying to do this. It's a matter of getting stuck in the specific mechanisms at hand.

TZ is much better-practiced at this art. In some respects, that's just a product of having experience working in the same system for a long time. But to some extent it has probably also been a product of having spent a lot of time thinking about his field of interest (life-history evolution), and only subsequently picking a specific study system within that field.

In that respect, my story has been more convoluted because I got into the study of social insects based on an interest in network systems. My initial argument was simple: social insects are useful because they're easier to manipulate than many other kinds of network systems. Then, of course, I had to learn a tremendous amount about social evolution and nutrition and a bunch of other nonsense.

But think, for example, about trying to manipulate nutrition in a developing brain. I've been sitting in on a seminar led by a researcher who has been interested in how nutrition in the brain intersects with recovery prospects for traumatic brain injury patients. Very challenging to study, but with obvious rewards. It's funny, though, because he's neatly back in the category of "this is useful because direct human benefits," whereas I'm happier working in a more purely theoretical context.

Anyway. I have just sent the current Leafcutter Manuscript of Doom back over to my Ph.D. advisor. I hope she can give it an extremely thorough going-over. One can hope. Otherwise, it's probably time for me to set it down for a while and work on other things where my energy and ideas feel more fresh.
rebeccmeister: (Acromyrmex)
I spent a portion of the weekend trying to get myself mentally in gear for working on the leafcutter manuscript some more. I'm about ready to just give up on my advisor on that front. Instead, there's at least one person here who's willing to give the manuscript a good read-through, so now it's up to me to get it back into sufficiently non-embarrassing shape that I'm willing to show it to her.

Getting mentally in gear doesn't always happen in the way one wishes it would. I spent some of that time on social media sites, reminding myself about how annoying they can be (mostly FB). I spent some of it thinking about other life lists (things to cook, things to acquire, things to make). I spent some of it comforting the cat, who was Really Upset about getting accidentally locked in P's room (wind blew the door shut; basically she meow-yelled for a while). I spent some of it quilting another ant on the practice quilt. And I spent some of it on chores: sweeping the house, cooking food, getting groceries, washing dishes.

Oh, and I spent some of it thinking about how nice it would be to not have outside mental baggage distracting me. But then again, on the other hand, would I want to be that kind of singularly-focused person? Is it healthy to completely suppress outside interests? No and no.

So I am allowing myself to finish reading a book chapter that seems somewhat tangential to the manuscript, but which is important for perspective on how fungi take up, store, and use phosphorus. It's part of the broader context.
rebeccmeister: (cricket)
Things to be working on:

Experiments:
1. The circadian metabolism project. One of TZ's key discoveries has been finding a difference in circadian hormone patterns between the long-winged and short-winged crickets. Prior to this finding, most people had just focused on studying constitutive levels of hormones. However, thanks to careful and extensive measurements, TZ found that there are important differences in the levels of a key insect hormone known as juvenile hormone (JH) between long-winged versus short-winged crickets, at different times of day. In the long-winged crickets, JH titers in the blood fluctuate and reach a peak right at sunset. The short-winged crickets experience minor fluctuations. When hormone levels differ like this, one logical question is, what is that hormone doing? One logical hypothesis is that hormone levels are tied to flight, which primarily happens at night, and only in the long-winged crickets. Flying is likely to involve shifts in metabolism, so we're working to determine how this happens.

There have been hitches. One big logistical hitch at the moment was something of an unknown demon until a day or two ago. Administrative changes and resulting high turnover are causing serious slowdowns in ordering and receiving supplies. I'm having to track down the right people to prod. I have three separate categories of things on order for this experiment, and am tapping my foot as I anxiously wait for them to FINALLY show up.

2. Cricket feeding and respiratory metabolism project. We're trying to get things up and running with a new cricket species here in California, Gryllus lineaticeps, because of concerns about the consequences of working with cricket stocks that have been kept in the lab for 20-plus years. They are developing slowly, slowing things down. The respirometry part is the most rewarding at the moment, because the respirometry setup is here already and running pretty well. Plus there are interesting differences between this species and the one I've primarily worked with up until now (Gryllus firmus).

Writing:
1. Leafcutter manuscript: I've asked my PhD advisor to take a crack at revising the Introduction to this paper because I've been bashing my head up against it without making much progress. In the meantime, new publications keep appearing that are relevant (need to keep up with the literature!), and I need to work on the Discussion. I keep waking up at night thinking about this one.

2. Cricket amino acid metabolism: This is the one I'm crunching away at the most, at the moment, because I'm in a productive phase of the data analysis process that doesn't yet involve too much thinking.

3. Cricket lifespan/reproduction manuscript: I've put this one on hold for the moment because it's too much to think about and I would lose too much time if I tried to work on it simultaneously, because task-switching.

-

I also need to review a manuscript on a subject very closely related to the leafcutter manuscript, that is making me nervous about the leafcutter manuscript.

So, I have plenty of things going on, but it's somewhat tricky to figure out how to focus and organize my time. Not a terrible problem, really.
rebeccmeister: (Acromyrmex)
Wouldn't it be nice if demanding a revised draft of a manuscript NOW resulted in such a thing?

Sigh.

Instead it seems to just push me over the edge of the stress-performance inverted U-function.

To some degree, this has to do with how I process feedback from other people. It's an instinct to drag my heels and fight because I *know* that I know the literature way better than coauthors and am trying to think it through on a deeper level than they are. I refuse to turn in embarrassing and shoddy work. And I know this is to my detriment at a certain point, but I've also observed firsthand that turning in stuff that's half-baked is seriously embarrassing and an even larger waste of everyone's time.
rebeccmeister: (Acromyrmex)
On Friday and today, I've been working on that leafcutter manuscript I mentioned. I've gotten all the way to the Discussion, but have been feeling stuck on the Discussion. What to talk about, at what length? How to structure the damn thing? My PhD advisor offered one clue, in the form of "talk about your results first, THEN the other literature," based on the material that's currently there under the label of Discussion, but I have still been hung up on something. How to structure it so it all hangs together as a coherent story? What's the most efficient way to bang out a Discussion for an academic paper? In writing about the subject, I tend to wander off into the forest, admiring all the different trees and flowers, reading all the papers that are only remotely related to what I'm working on, and then reading all the interesting papers that are cited in those remote papers. Basically.

Just now, I had a flash of insight, based on something clever I learned from my first postdoc advisor. His strategy is to sketch out the main talking points based around the figures. Bring it back to the data, the heart of the story.

Duh.

I think I can do this now.
rebeccmeister: (Acromyrmex)
I asked [livejournal.com profile] scrottie to help me budget some time to work on a long-neglected leafcutter ant manuscript, so yesterday evening we ate a quick dinner of leftovers and had a work date. My notes suggest that it has been about six months since I last sat down to touch this manuscript, coincident with my move from Texas to Nebraska. I'd spent the afternoon reading through a manuscript I agreed to review, which wound up putting me in the perfect frame of mind as I approached the leafcutter manuscript: time to go through the paper and murder some darlings. In a previous draft it had felt important to me to include certain bits of leafcutter-specific information, but at those points my advisor had written, more than once, "I don't see where you're going with these ideas." At the time, I still felt attached to them and was reluctant to change much. The six-month gap cured me of that notion, and the thing felt ready to send back over to my advisor last night. Hurrah, and FINALLY. It needs to get published because it's a good piece of science.

-

While we were working, S and I heard my cat start horking up something. S says she threw up pretty much every single day while I was out of town, probably because she's a mama's kitty and barfs when she's stressed/anxious. He went to clean up, and discovered that she'd eaten some grass and a bit of clover, which is only odd when you realize that she's an indoor cat and I don't have any grass or clover growing inside at the moment.

I went over to the back screen door, and, sure enough, it was ajar, and as soon as I got over there a small gray form bolted back inside. The whole story is mostly hilarious because she snuck outside for a plant snack, then apparently snuck back inside to barf it up. Why do cats love to do this kind of thing, anyway?

-

I bought oodles of sour cherries at the farmer's market the other week, and tried to pit and can most of them. However, a couple of the cans didn't seal properly, which is the perfect excuse to cook cherry-themed things, really. So we had some delectable cherry clafoutis for breakfast this morning. YUM.

Work it

Sep. 30th, 2014 08:55 pm
rebeccmeister: (Acromyrmex)
Kind of a boring day, but for a good cause. I got a request to review a highly pertinent manuscript on Sunday night, but I have a lot on my plate at the moment, so this morning I decided to bite the bullet and got the review turned in.

I'm also giving a lot of talks in the next couple of weeks, beginning on Friday. Friday's talk is mostly done - it's an introduction to the software program R for an emerging technologies engineering grad student group on campus. It will be interesting to see the engineers' first impressions. Giving what amounts to an hour-long marketing pitch can be kind of tough, but it should be enough time to leave the graduate students with a good idea as to whether or not R will be useful for them.

Next week, it's an hour-long departmental seminar at my brother's university (ahh, sweet, sweet nepotism). Leafcutter-focused. Hopefully I will wow them all with my beautiful photos, excellent fieldwork and lab experiments, and superb graphs.

After that, a talk at a Bio-Math meeting, where the audience will be mostly mathematicians, and where I won't be talking about much math. My main goal is to get some behavioral datasets in sufficiently good condition that I can explain how they're generated and the opportunities they present so as to give the mathematicians more ideas for mathematical models of leafcutter ant colonies and behavior.

I might also be giving a talk to people in my grad research group the Monday after the Bio-Math meeting, which may or may not be the same as the departmental seminar. And a week or two after that, I'll go up to Taylor, Texas, for another department seminar. Theoretically these two department seminars will be good practice for any job talks I get to give, although I think it's going to be a while (if ever) before I have any such opportunity. More than anything, I hope I can manage to be articulate and not make a complete fool of myself. I hope my audiences come away inspired.

Oh, and there's a conference in November. That talk with be cricket-focused.

I want to be working on manuscript revisions of the respirometry manuscript, and on the draft of the Discussion for the next leafcutter manuscript, and on the cricket longevity manuscript. Sometimes the writing is a real slog.
rebeccmeister: (cricket)
As mentioned in my previous post, I spent a lot of time over the past week with I, a new graduate student. Interacting with her is reminding me of a number of little things that I have learned over my time as a scientist. A lot of those little things are obvious, in retrospect, but I always have to wonder if I would have spent less time flailing around if I'd known about or thought about many of them earlier in my career. A few examples:

1. Enter in your data as you collect it. (this is what I'm working on today, which is what made me think about this entry)

2. Along those same lines: Clean up as you go along.

3. While writing manuscripts, keep a text file with a "to do next" list. Actually, this should be started even before you start writing a manuscript. For me, it has been the simplest way to put down a project and then be able to pick it back up with minimal fuss.

4. When meeting with other people, put as much as you can into writing, but keep it simple. To have a focused meeting, have a goal for the meeting and put that at the top. Do you want feedback on a specific piece of writing? Do you want help with the experimental design? Do you want help figuring out the holes in your logic? Are you trying to figure out who to put on your committee or who to include in the project? The sooner you can get concrete specifics in writing, the easier it will be for others to help you make progress.

5. Have a plan for analyzing your data *before* you collect the data. You might change your mind later on, but this will save you many potential massive headaches. This means having a thorough outline of your experiment and its dependent variables. Is it frequency data? Continuous data? How many treatments are you comparing? How many figures in a paper will this translate into?

6. Consider keeping annotated bibliographies for projects. I don't know about you, but my brain and memory are small, and the amount of literature I need to be familiar with is large, and covers a wide range of themes. Annotated bibliographies are a shortcut for organizing your thoughts about the literature, and for staying on task with #3. I just keep mine in text files. No need to get fancy.

7. There are a lot of other useful sources of information that might be helpful. Don't skip over them. Read them in the evening before bed. This book comes highly recommended (although I haven't read it, I suspect if I read it I would do a lot of nodding). For academic writers in all walks of writing, I've found How to Write a Lot helpful, too.

8. For keeping the different parts of a research project organized, here's an idea of how I structure my files. I'll come up with a short name for the project and will make a directory (folder) for it. Within the directory, I'll have subdirectories for: datasheets, raw data (as it is entered in to the spreadsheet), figures, R scripts, and the manuscript. I'm not good at throwing things away, so whenever I generate new files, I make a directory within a folder, label it "Old," and stick the previous version in there.

9. I like Zotero as an open-source browser plugin for keeping track of references. I still download pdfs of references into a big (separate) folder, and label them with the authornames, year, and a few keywords. Note that this is completely separate from my annotated bibliographies.

I suspect I'll think of ten more pointers somewhere further down the line, but this should be a good starting list.

What work-organization insights have you wished you'd had at an earlier stage?

Get it Done

Feb. 5th, 2014 11:32 am
rebeccmeister: (bikegirl)
A good grad school friend contacted me about a week ago about setting up a virtual Writing Club. She has a couple of dissertation chapters she wants to publish, and is looking for a kick in the pants to work on them, because it's all too easy to let those things slide in the face of seemingly more immediate concerns.

I'm excited about this. I, too, have more dissertation chapters I want to publish. So far, our efforts have gotten me to open one up and work on its "to do" list.

I wish I found it this easy to establish a working relationship with people at my current university, to get the cricket writing flowing better. I *know* I could get a whole lot more done if I had just a bit more collegial structure for writing these cricket papers. It's stupidly difficult to write this stuff in isolation, and I say "stupidly difficult" because it doesn't have to be this difficult. It just has to be:

-Schedule time to write.
-Stick to the scheduled time.
-Write.
-Track writing progress.

The thing on campus is that what used to work for quiet space is now overrun with graduate students. Maybe I need to start walking over to the closest library for some new quiet space.

The other thing is figuring out how (when/if) to get feedback from my supervisors.

Dumb Fool

Jan. 13th, 2010 01:12 pm
rebeccmeister: (Default)
One of my fellow graduate students has an article taped up on the door to his/her office entitled "The importance of stupidity in scientific research," by Martin Schwartz. It was an essay published in the Journal of Cell Science in 2008 (volume 121, page 1771, just to ensure that all citation information is contained in this entry, even if I'm not including a separate References section), about the fact that science makes scientists feel stupid.*

Today, I am trying exceptionally hard to think about the Introduction for the Manuscript of Doom II: The Sequel. Trying to think is making me feel stupid, so I thought I'd take a break and write about what I know instead. As a reminder, this Manuscript is not part of my dissertation. The data to be included in this Manuscript are really interesting and novel, and by themselves, they tell a pretty good story. The challenge is the framework in which they are presented. I think we are stuck on figuring out how to use these data to help advance the field of social evolution. What I'm trying to imagine is, if a TeeVee News Crew stuck a camera in my face and asked me, "So, what have you done to advance science lately?", what would I say?

The joy and frustration of attempting to advance the field of social evolution is that it requires Great Thought. I've spent countless hours puzzling through the thoughts of other scientists who have attempted to study social evolution, so I think I have a pretty good idea of where they are coming from. The majority are devoting their time to defining and re-defining cooperation a thousand different ways. I have lessons to learn from the field of ecology, which has not really seen the emergence of any new Great Thoughts in quite some time (just a lot of spinning through a set of different trendy "approaches").

And I am armed with skepticism (is it actually possible to advance science, anyway, or is it all a political game?).

But ugh. I don't know where I'm going. At least it makes me grateful that the sphere of my dissertation research is not as all-encompassing. I wish, at times, I could work on something more concrete than this "social evolution" business. I don't want it to turn into the sort of pointless navelgazing that seems too prevalent in anthropological circles. But what's the point? I don't want to just say, "Here, have some interesting data and some patterns we discovered in some ant queens." There's more to it than that.

That's what I need to figure out.
-----

*I feel like I may have written about this before, because it's reminding me of what [livejournal.com profile] scrottie says his work is like - he is always on the lookout for "new" problems, because simply applying solutions to "old" problems is intellectually tedious. But the problem with "new" problems is that nobody has come up with any kind of strategy for solving them yet.
rebeccmeister: (Default)
I'm currently working on revising the Manuscript of Doom II: The Sequel. My advisor is headed off to Australia in about a week, and one of our near-term goals is to get this manuscript revised and sent off to the proper people before the spring semester starts. Since we're going to be on different continents, part of achieving this goal is getting all of the associated references organized and digitized. That way, we will both have copies of everything to work with, and won't be too bogged down by piles and piles of papers.

I started using the reference management software Zotero about a year ago, and so all of my references for this paper are entered in their own folder. I've spent the past couple of days making sure that I have .pdfs of every single article linked to the references. Now I'm back to revising the manuscript, and suddenly it's extremely simple to toggle between references, my reference list, and the manuscript I'm writing. Finding papers on relevant subjects is so simple with the aid of the search function in Zotero, and then I can open the papers up with two clicks of the mouse to scan through them and check to be sure I'm citing them properly. Altogether, this means that tasks that used to take the better part of 20 minutes now take 3 or 4 minutes. Awesome.

Whoo.

Jan. 30th, 2006 10:10 pm
rebeccmeister: (Default)
I'm finally getting back into the whole rowing/exercising/sporting activity thing now. Two weeks after the marathon. That isn't really all that bad. But it has been a bit rough to have to wake up at 4 am. I'm adjusting.

For the past couple of rows, I have been completing two laps around the lake (approximately 10k), but this morning I got in three whole laps before I had to rush home, rush [livejournal.com profile] bluepapercup out of the door, and rush off to school. From there, it was a nonstop day: tutoring, preparing for a presentation tomorrow, touring our new building (it looks quite industrial; I am going to call it The Cinderblock because it's concrete), going to class, etc. etc.

Oh. And I learned that the Manuscript of Doom has been accepted in a more finalized fashion. I just have to tweak it here and there. I can tell that the whole process was a bit much because every single time I get correspondence about the MOD my blood pressure goes up noticeably. It isn't the research itself that causes the change in BP; it's all of the people that I have to deal with. Oh, and also the fact that the whole manuscript submission process/acceptance/rejection involves judgment on something that I put a considerable amount of time into. The whole thing just preys on any lingering insecurities that I might feel over the type of data analysis I chose or the way I portrayed certain pieces of information. Science=objective? Sure. Keep telling yourself that. If you spend any duration of time trying to analyze data, you will quickly realize just how subjective science is. That doesn't mean that it's a waste of time, just that it's a culture just as much as any other discipline.

Then [livejournal.com profile] kihle and S came over for some tasty tostadas and snarkyness, which was quite fun. Operation: Bee Skirts is now underway (I will have to post pictures if they turn out okay) and it's time to go to sleep because it has been a loooong day.
rebeccmeister: (Default)
Many of you know about the tragic demise of my former computer, Roger2. It died last spring, right as I was in the middle of writing my first manuscript ever, and thus I was computer-less for approximately a month, before I rearranged my finances and purchased Sylvester, an Apple PowerBook.

At the time that Roger2 died, I received a lot of help from the IT guys in my department. Roger2's hard drive was perfectly okay, so the techies hooked it up to a device to rescue all of the files that I needed. The drive had about 11 GB of memory, so all of the necessary documents fit onto two DVD's. It's kind of humbling to see hours and hours of work reduced to such a small size, but there you have it. Nowadays there are lots of MP3 players that have a larger capacity than Roger2.

Anyway, I have recently been trying to decide which reference software to use on my new computer; I have hundreds and hundreds of papers and must rely on some sort of system to keep them organized. Roger2 had EndNote and about 350 references, and I am finally settling with EndNote (for better or for worse) for Sylvester. But I discovered not long ago that my EndNote library from Roger2 was not on one of the DVDs. This represents many hours of typing, so I had to briefly revive Roger2's hard drive today.

It was an odd event, like a seance or something of the sort. I was reminded of all of Roger2's quirks--Windows98, the bouncing sheep screensaver, the lack of USB compatability, and the security of having an operating system that was archaic enough to not be targeted by worms and viruses.

I bought Roger2 on eBay when I was a junior in college--it was my first internet-capable computer. The month between computers was extremely difficult and made me so aware of how much of my line of work (and my entertainment) is dependent on my computer. I can hardly imagine what it would be like to go back to having a shared computer. What a crazy world.
rebeccmeister: (Default)
Not that kind of cheese, you cheese fanatics you (you know who you are.). Although that would be fun, too.

I just want to say how much I appreciate all of my awesome (=reticulated argyle<--severe inside joke to people who don't even read my blog--just insert some other generic hip-to-the-fish word instead) friends here. You guys rock. And I don't think that it's just the caffeine talking. On my morning run with [livejournal.com profile] kihle, I somehow got around to talking about my friends in various places and about how hard it was for me to find people that I liked in Boston--I'd say it really took about four years for me to find people that appreciated me for who I was there. In great contrast, it's been easier to find people with similar (bizarre? No, eclectic is probably more appropriate. Or open-minded) interests here, people that are willing to sally forth and do all sorts of interesting things, be they expeditions to oriental grocery stores or coffeeshops or state fairs or what-have-you. Maybe the mundanity of this city inspires it. Maybe it's just because I've found a home amongst fellow nerds.

Regardless [irregardless], it seems that I've moved past whatever restless state was affecting me previously. There are so many good moments to savor instead. Not that I know anything more about what I'm doing with my life or anything, but oh well. :)

Okay, maybe it is just post-Manuscript-of-Doom euphoria + highly caffeinated state talking. Does it really matter?
rebeccmeister: (Default)
In response to [livejournal.com profile] madondi's hand blister advice, here's informaton on my standard hand blister treatment process (which apparently works best for non-stigmata-type blisters):

1. Cover blister with neosporin and a band-aid for as many hours as available (which depends on the amount of time between rowing events)
2. Remove band-aid and allow blister to air-dry out for approximately 12 hours before the next rowing event

I've done a fair amount of research on different blister treatment techniques (ps--do ya'll remember my post on the rousing debate that I had with my Spokane relatives on the matter of blister treatments?), and there's a pretty substantial range, from hydrogen peroxide to tea bags to superglue or liquid skin. And I've come to the conclusion that each person must tailor his or her blister treatment to his or her individual skin type. The basic rule of "don't pop it if the skin isn't broken" should still generally hold, but if the skin is broken, some sort of measure should be taken. The above treatment has worked well for me over the years, but I don't think it's right for all skin types.

Anyway. Yesterday I managed to keep a band-aid "X" over the top of the stigmata for about half of the day by being paranoid about getting my left hand wet. The "X" eventually went the way of the other 1,965,847 band-aids, but enough time had elapsed that the stigmata was able to dry out a bit and start to close up. Whew. I really, really hope that it doesn't come back, because it SUCKED. Hopefully by this evening I'll be able to submerge it without dire consequences. This was one winner of a blister.

Okay, now I should stop procrastinating and get back to the Manuscript of Doom.

*sips latte*
rebeccmeister: (Default)
In the past three days, I have managed to spill food on myself during six out of the past seven meals I've eaten. I think it's mostly because I've been a wee bit on the tired side. Nonetheless, it's an impressive record so far.

In other news, I ran the Race for the Cure (breast cancer...because who doesn't like boobies?) this morning--3 miles in 26:32.11. Apparently I can run faster than I thought I could! It felt good to stretch out a bit after yesterday's long run, and it was nice to feel like yes, I can be a runner, not just a rower. What with getting back on the water, the differences between the two sports are pretty salient for me right now. For instance, it's much more apparent to me just how difficult rowing can be from a cardiovascular standpoint relative to other sports; it takes years to develop the solid cardiovascular base and discipline that rowing demands.

Rowers and runners are also built completely differently--rowers tend to be much bulkier, while runners tend to be almost spindly--that has everything to do with the nature of the activities--the one being low-impact and more dependent on strength; the other being high-impact and dependent on quickness. While I think that rowing is the more demanding sport overall, I can still complete a rowing marathon without much immediate training, while the running marathon is going to require months of preparation because my body isn't used to the motion.

Ah well [why am I so fond of inserting phrases like that?].

There are chores to attend to, and the manuscript of doom deserves some more attention. Until next time, then.

Whoosh!

Oct. 5th, 2005 08:37 am
rebeccmeister: (Default)
Well, I got a version of the Manuscript of Doom out to the coauthors last night. There's still a to do list left, but it was nice to get it off my desk for at least a little while. I think that, with a bit of work this weekend, it will be ready to resubmit. And then I will celebrate.

I actually got it sent out pretty early, so I had some time to read a book last night (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), which was just great. Dave Eggers was one of the authors that I got to see at Bumbershoot, and I can hear his voice in my head as I read the book, which makes the whole thing make more sense. I don't think I would have enjoyed the book as much if I hadn't seen Eggers in person first. Of course, my list of books to read continues to grow faster than I can read--I have two books sitting on the shelf by my bed right now that I'm just itching to get to. Perhaps, just perhaps, the meaning of life is hidden between those covers and I'll reach full enlightenment before I know it. But I kind of doubt it.

I went back to the boathouse this morning and met up with a guy who showed me the ropes as far as boat availability goes, so on Friday I will finally be back on the water. He also found me a potential rowing partner, which rocks. Yay!

Wow. It's amazing how much better I feel with the MoD off my desk. The world is all sunshine and roses again. For the most part.

YAY!

Jun. 17th, 2005 09:22 am
rebeccmeister: (Default)
Hooray! I just learned that the Manuscript of Doom that I worked on all spring has been accepted with revisions! This is awesome! I feel like a real scientist now.

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