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Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Today, I'd like to welcome the arrival of November. I'm sure it's arrival will thrill those of you that suffered during August a couple of weeks ago. I, personally, am glad that November is here (despite the miserable wait for the bus and the pathetically drooping leaves and flower buds on the trees this morning) because it means that we're bound to eventually experience June, even if it must immediately follow January, which has been absent since the beginning of 2011.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Awful song

Yesterday, I decided to stop in Banana Republic (yes, I shop there; I can sometimes find worthwhile work clothing there on the sale rack...and I admit, sometimes full price) over lunch.  I was just going to check out a sale on dresses they had going.  When I stepped in, I noticed the music--a song I've heard a few times and really like.  Stereotypical music for the store, but it's cool I like this one.  I make a beeline for the dresses.  They're ho-hum, but there were some full-priced ones near the entrance that I like, so I head in that direction.  Then...a new song.  I have never heard it before and I hope to never hear it again.  It sounded like a duet between a college-age Thurston Howell III and a cheerleader about to faint over a somewhat disco-y beat.  I hustle out of there, not stopping to look at a damned thing.

Later, I've missed my bus and have to wait for the next one, so I kill some time and stop in Ann Taylor.  I mention that I'm glad the music is decent in the store.  I explain my earlier experience at BR, describing the song exactly as above, and the girl selling me the belt I've been coveting for a while (at 30% off!), grimaces.  "Yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about!  We've played it in here before.  It's awful, but there's nothing we can do about it--corporate stream."


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cat-induced paranoia

I swear, the cats have intentionally made me paranoid. 

Lately, they've been unusually good.  Still, every time I even imagine I hear them in the sink, I get up to check on them.  So, when I'm hanging out reading, they go in the kitchen to play just to make me get up and find them being all "innocent."

Don't let their innocent appearance fool you.  They're evil.
Evil, I tell you.
I think they're laughing at me.

Today is only Tuesday

How is it that some weeks can seem to be packed all in one day.  Yes, I remember asking yesterday "Why does it have to be Monday."  But how is it only Tuesday, today?

Maybe it's the weather.  It is unseasonably--REALLY unseasonably--warm.  I was tempted to turn on the air conditioner yesterday.  Me.  Turning on the air conditioner.  In March.  So wrong.

I held out, though.  I waited for the summer storm to pass, then opened the windows to get the after-the-storm air into the house.  I love that kind of weather.

The problem is, it's March.  As much as I love hot, humid weather, if the temperature trend keeps up, it will be a very miserable summer.  Even for me.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Odd combinations

Some things that shouldn't go together, just do.  Like peanut butter and mayonnaise (hey, don't diss it till you try it--make sure it's Miracle Whip), peanut butter and apples, and Guns and Roses.

Yesterday, I got the opportunity to volunteer at the Food and Wine Experience Expo.  In return, I got free admission to the show.  Boy, was it crowded.  But it's fun to try different wine, tastes from various local restaurants (I had a steamed dumpling sandwich that was to die for), and interesting new gourmet items available locally and online.  Two of the gourmet shops sold things that I would never have thought of, but I highly recommend trying:

Cayenne shortbread by A Gourmet Thyme.
They say "savory, not sweet."  I'd actually say "sweet with a bit of heat."  I had to buy some of these to share with my wonderful guy.  I gave him without warning him that they have a bit of bite.  The response was something like, "Mmm.  Mmm.  Whoah!  Hey, these are spicy.  Cool!"

Beer and pretzel caramels by Sweet Jules Gifts.
How can anyone not like home made caramels?  Well, these aren't technically home made, but they taste like it.   I might have considered putting pretzels into caramels, but beer?  It's good, though.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Center of Attention

When I was going to grad school, there was sort of a quiet understanding that when you got your Ph.D., you would do some post-doctoral research, then you would take a sliver of what you learned from your post-doc research and use it to morph into a brand new academic researcher.  Although no one of any authority actually said so, you just knew that if you did something else, you would disappoint your graduate adviser.

No matter how you felt about your graduate adviser, no one wanted to disappoint them.

Now that I'm doing something else (and probably disappointing my graduate adviser--*I'm sorry.  Doctah Doctah!  I'm sorry*), the graduate school program from which I got my doctoral degree is at least exposing the current crop of PeeAychDee'ers-to-be to "alternative careers."  So, a handful of times in the last year I've been requested to about my job to fresh young minds.

This also, of course, means that I get to feed my ego.  I admit it; I'm vain and I like to impress smart people.

It's more than just preening, though.  I have a cool job.  I have a cool job that I can't even say I knew existed in any real sense before I started doing it.

It's truly a shame that I didn't know about it before I fell into it, really.  Not that I think it would have necessarily changed the course of my career or where I am, now.  But I wasn't the only one who felt a sense of almost-shame for wanting to do something other than the expected academic route.  The fact is, I'm not the only one that knew I was going to be bored to tears with a single research path, but I suspect that many of my classmates are still struggling with their career goals simply because they didn't realize that they could do something else.

Fortunately, I wasn't the only one that snuck out.  There were three others at the career panel I participated in today that had cool (and I mean cool) "non-traditional" careers. 

When the panel host asked how we got into our careers, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they'd also fallen into their careers by simply knowing what they didn't want to do.  (There was a lot of nodding happening as we briefly explained how we ended up where we ended up.)  And I was glad that at least a good number of young adults soon to enter the scary "real" world with their graduate degrees would be aware that they, too, could do something unexpected and without shame.