15 November 2007

Redirect: Scatterplot

Miss me? I'm posting over at Scatterplot.

06 November 2007

I Need Workers' Comp on my Second Shift

Wouldn't it be nice if I was on a bender after finishing my book? A trip to a private island in the Caribbean, or a 2-day spa package in the mountains? No, I haven't done any of that, because my household sank like the Titanic when I took almost two weeks off for a flurry of last-minute book finishing. Though Husband was officially in charge, the system I built to keep the house going was totally abandoned for a "don't worry, we'll get to it later" approach.

Well, "later" was the minute I finished my book, and "we" turns out to be me. Into my lap fell 7 (!) loads of laundry, a house so dirty that it might be condemned, and every dish in the house needing washed. The Kid's glasses needed repair. The dog's ear infection had gotten so bad that it went systemic, and now she's on 4 medications, twice a day (oh, and they make her pee more often -- sometimes on the carpet!) The Kid's preschool tuition had not been paid. Of course, I immediately caught a cold, as did the Kid, and Husband left for a business trip. All the chaos makes the Kid freak out, and he's having temper tantrums. Right now, it's 6:30am and he has been out of bed three times so far this morning.

We tried to think of friends in the area to help: out of town. out of town. under a deadline for work. Another friend came over for Sunday afternoon, which really helped, but in general, the long and short of it turned out to be: suck it up! And suck I did.

I think I'm just climbing out of it now, and this weekend we're converting a workshop at Cornell into a family weekend trip. I haven't had a chance to make my plans with friends there yet, but hopefully by the end of the day.

01 November 2007

Send Off Book. Check!

I did it. I sent my book off to the publisher today. You know, the one I've been working on for years. On the project I started back in graduate school. I printed it out in a big stack, burned it onto a CD, burned it onto another CD (just in case), and sent it off.

I don't know what to do. It seems too soon to celebrate, as I suppose there is still one last opportunity for the press to turn me down. "Hey, you didn't tell us it was in Pig Latin. Forget it!" But it feels like I should do something to mark the occasion. Stranger still, I don't really know what to do to celebrate even if I decided it was okay. What do people do for fun these days?

It was quite satisfying to check off the box next to "send to publisher" in my iGTD. Acutally, I had to check off about 10 tasks at once, as I let the GTD slip to get the book done. But should I delete the project? I don't think I'm ready for that.

I think I'll just prep my class for tomorrow. I have to do it anyway, and maybe that will keep me from getting the emotional equivalent of the bends and soothe my suddenly depressurized psyche.

30 October 2007

Free Rice for your Brain

Holy applesauce! I went over to Freerice.com on Orbital Teapot's recommendation, and I have to say that it is so engrossing that I may not get my book done on time. Basically, they quiz you on vocabulary, and for every correct answer, the advertisers donate 10 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program.

Seems pretty straightforward. But, they've got some algorithm that measures how you're doing and then matches your level. This means that, at least for me, it was just the right ratio of challenging to easy that meant I couldn't look away until my eyeballs fell out of my skull. Plus, the little rice bowl is filling! How can you just leave when people are hungry? Okay, I'm going back. Book, schmook.

26 October 2007

What to be for Halloween?



A surprise visit from mom (not mine) reminded me that it is way past time to decide what to be for Halloween. I was pretty happy with the Kid's choice last year, a butterfly (big thanks to the Artistic Aunties for encouraging him to go with the homegrown art project).

I think this year he wants to be a firefighter, but we have a couple of handy backup costumes in the closet in case he changes his mind. If he wants to be like his mom, he can choose the Hockey Player:

And if he wants to be like his dad, he can be the Techno Hipster:



No matter what, it's going to be a fun time for everyone.

22 October 2007

Red Sox and Rockies in the World Series


Oh, no! What to do about this? The World Series has two teams that are sweet and inspiring, and no evil overlords to root against. It's just too tough to decide a favorite, so I'm afraid it's going to be one of those World Series where I can't pick a team ahead of time. I'll just have to wait to see who my insides are rooting for.

By the way, if baseball is America's Game, wouldn't it stand to reason that the World Series was also a national holiday, so that we could have a week or so of celebration? Okay, you got me, I'm in Canada now, but I've been ruminating on this one for a number of years. Plus, who knows? We might follow suit up here.

19 October 2007

Dept. of Not Posting

Sure, I have nothing to say here, but I did manage to dash one off over at Total Drek, where the real blogging action is.

16 October 2007

Doctor-Patient Ratios


This graphic presentation of doctor-patient ratios is from StrangeMaps. I'm going to use it in my Intro to Sociology class when we get to talking about health care. Click it to Big It Up!

13 October 2007

Fall is Here

Ah, the Fall. The leaves change color, the chill in the air, the letters of recommendations to write, the courses to prepare, the paper deadlines, the data collection process to organize, the book must be finished, the Kid's pants are too small, the Kid has a superhero pajama party but no superhero pajamas, the boiler needs to be turned on. Blogging suffers.

Not being able to post regularly is what made me close up shop on my last blog. Something about having that same last post just hang out there at the top of your blog for weeks on end is depressing. I knew this would happen, though, and I am not going to cancel the blog just because October is a tough month for me (note to readers: December also sucks, but in the summer, I kick ass).

RSS feeds will hopefully keep me connected to both of you who read this blog (hi Mom!), preventing you from the disappointing daily check of what's going on. If not, you're in for a lot of heartache from Prickers and Thorns.

In any case, I have been having some fun between the successive tidal waves of work that have hit me. On the weekends, family time has been extra special. Fall activities like swim lessons and music class have started, and now that the Kid is over 3, he has graduated from Parent-Tot status, which means that I'm kicked out of the pool and off the dance floor to the sidelines, from which I silently cheer him on. It's extra sweet to see your Kid being happy and successful without hanging onto your leg, and I am proud.

Also, the new neighborhood totally rocks. We are making friends and hanging out in the park down the street. Last weekend, one of the kids in the 'hood turned 3, and we had ponies to ride in the park, followed by pizza and cake. What beats that? You got me. We got some great photos, but I can't find the cable that connects the camera to the computer, so who knows when you'll ever see them.

21 September 2007

The Fall of the religious right? Keep dreaming, Kos.

Kos thinks that the evangelical Christian Right is imploding. He points to some schisms within, some stridency in their political claims (like that's new!), and some movement on the part of Republican politicians to distance themselves from the evangelicals.

I'll give Kos leeway for his political analysis. He knows way more about the strategies of political candidates than me, and if he says the Republican candidates are sucking up less to the evangelical Christians than before, I'll take his word for it. However, I know a thing or two about the religious right, and I would say that he's going way too far in saying that a little in-fighting, some crankiness, and some apocalyptic claims about the decline of politics adds up to an implosion.

From a scholarly perspective, there is some consensus around the quote by political scientist, Amy E. Black: “I’m sensing the emergence of an old guard and a new guard." This seems to be the case, where younger evangelicals are focused more on environmental issues and social issues like poverty.

What Kos implies, but is not the case, is that this generational split means that somehow people are becoming disillusioned with evangelicalism, or that evangelicals are becoming depoliticized in some way. You may even get a sense from reading his post that younger evangelicals are somehow pro-gay or pro-choice. None of this is true. Large numbers of people are joining evangelical churches, and there is no sign of decline. These next-generation churches are concerned with poverty and environment, but they are still very conservative on issues of sexuality and gender. And they intend to be political.

I don't know what this means for presidential elections, and I don't know whether this group will be a big factor in 2008. However, this is a very powerful network, with growing memberships, and as much political energy as ever. Just because there are new ideas in the mix doesn't mean they are going away.