sally header2

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A different kind of balance

V had a good time at his first ever conference. He met awesome scientists and on one particular night had far too good a time. He was hurting the next day and honestly, I can't even remember the last time he was this hungover! Luckily, he didn't embarrass himself like the unfortunate girl who was hitting on everyone (including V!).

After I was done laughing (and laughing.....and laughing some more) at him in his sorry state, I started thinking about the balance involved in conference drinking behavior. Obviously, this balance is different for everyone. Not everyone drinks or hangs out socially at conferences, and that is fine. It just happens that a lot of folks in our fields do both and so do we. So the balance for us is in finding how to go out and have fun while networking, without feeling the need to 'keep up' (V's downfall) and be hungover for the next mornings activities.

My first conference was much like V's, I tried to keep up and was intellectually non-existent for the morning sessions. Not so smart on my part. At my second conference (where I was giving first talk) one host-friend was determined to get me drunk. I was a good grad student and went back to the hotel early to get a good nights sleep. The problem was that I missed all the late night fun. This was a very, very small conference so anyone who did go out (including big wigs) all went out together. With more experience and having covered both extremes, I'm starting to understand my balance. That is, how hard it is to be awake, aware and involved with early morning (and long days of) talks, and what my body and mind need to be able to do it. Personally, I can handle little sleep by mainlining coffee and feel fine. But I can't function hungover so can't drink too much. Closing down the bar has served me well in terms of networking but I just have to remember to opt for water instead of another beer.

We will have to see if I remember this in August at the Major International Conference....

Labels: ,

To apply now or later

Some really awesome people in my field are taking applications for postdocs right now. There are about 5 that I would be ok doing and 3 that I would looooovvveeeee to do. The problem is that they are all hiring rightnow and I don't actually have the 'doc' required for the postdoc. Much advice I have been given is to just apply anyway, explain my time frame and hope for the best. Get the name out there.
But do I really want to rush my dissertation to go off and start something- even if it is awesome?
Won't there be awesome people advertising in Dec/Jan or even next year at this time? Why rush it when I could have time to write my diss and get everything submitted and all my other papers out as well. And also enjoy my house/husband/life before moving away again.

I think the very best advice I have gotten is to stop worrying. Anxiety about taking positions I haven't been offered is rather unnecessary. The back and forth, apply or wait argument has kept me up the past few nights and it isn't worth the worry. I am going to try my best to take this advice, but we'll have to see how that goes...


Tuesday, June 24, 2008


This might be the cutest thing i've seen (outside of my own pets) in a while.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

This shit is bananas

V is in research mode so in a work related request, he asked me to get a bunch of bananas today. While he meant 1 extra bunch of bananas, I interpreted this as a whole lot of bananas. I needed some for eating and making smoothies, thus, I bought 4 big bunches of bananas. This was weird to everyone else in line and the check out kid.
Not thinking it was so much I checked the receipts. Turns out- I bought 11 pounds of bananas.

Never thought that would happen. Bananas are heavy, eh?


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Welcome back!

I'm back home after a week of camping in the desert and a week of failures at the Desert Outpost. It was are some high and low lights....
  • Most of what I planned and tried in the field didn't work. In the end, some data turned out ok. It isn't too exciting, but solid enough for dissertation/publication and that was all I needed.
  • The weather was more extreme than expected. 115+ on multiple days. The physically taxing work combined with the heat was rough.
  • I hardly slept at all. Lots of wind to blow the tents around and 100 degree heat at sunset.
  • Camping alone is not something I had done before or will ever do again. I had a major anxiety attack the first night and went back to Desert Outpost 2 nights early to avoid doing it again.
  • People are awesome. The staff at the site were super helpful. Another guy I have seen every summer for the past 3 years remembers me, asks great questions about my work and shared a mango with me. A local business also was very supportive and gave me great deals on supplies. Seriously. Awesome.
  • More awesome people: you might remember the worst conference ever from March. Luckily, some networking I did there payed off. Two profs, 5 students and a kid came out to help me and rocked out some data collecting.
  • I found a western diamondback rattlesnake while herping.
  • Some javelinas were all up in the neighboring campsite. Like 10 of them and they were fighting and eating up all their food. Some old dude with a thick Texas accent yelled "Git! You git outta herr!" at 2am. Hilarious.
  • Doing labwork was a comedy of errors. Running out of reagents, power outages, people I was working with getting sent home early for ridiculous reasons. In the end, none of my stuff worked but the ball is rolling and hopefully the lab will turn out my samples quickly.
  • Less than a week after I got back, V is off to his first conference! We spent the week hanging out and enjoying each others company so I am just now getting back to the blog and catching up on any blog reading!
  • I haven't been alone (well, it is just me and the pets) in my house in over 2 years! It is weird but the quiet is strangely nice. Plus, with nothing else to do, I can get some old projects done. While there is still one coat to go, our living room is almost all painted!

I can't wait to catch up on all the blogs and am very happy to be back! Exciting times- it is open season on postdoc positions....

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Last one...

Forecast for my field site...
Mon: 105
Tues: 106
Wed: 106
Thurs: 104
Fri: 95
Sat: 99
Sun: 102
Mon: 101
Tues: 100

From the severe weather warnings: This hot spell has the potential to rank in the top ten occurrences of consecutive 100 degree days and to rank in the top three occurrences of consectutive 105 degree days since records began being kept in 1930.

Good thing I packed extra sunscreen (and liquids, and bought an extra hat, and extra long sleeve shirt!)