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The · Odyssey


Or: My Journey Home, Wherever it May Find Me

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* * *
I still exist... sort of.
* * *
In the past 24 hours, I have made a blown glass vase, replaced the bearing cartridges in my bike, learned to play arpeggiated fifth harmony on the harp, and taught undergraduates how to read phylogenetic trees. After all that, I failed to add soap to my laundry.
I feel:
frustrated frustrated
* * *
To the girl with the cleavage tattoo:
That tattoo may (although I sincerely doubt it) made your cleavage look awesome in your senior prom dress, or whatever evening wear you usually wear. But the rest of the time, especially in the swimming pool, it makes you look pretty tacky.

To the couple in the next lane:
Couples shouldn't try to teach each other skills. I have been down that road, and it never ends well. College girl, you are a beautiful and talented swimmer. If you really love him, you'll buy him swim lessons rather than trying to teach him. Then you can spend your time together actually enjoying each other, rather than fighting about whether or not he's breathing at the right time.

To the extremely pregnant lady in the bikini:
You look (and smell) like a dirty Eugene hippie. You probably believe in water birth. You look ready to pop. Please do not do it during my morning lap swim.

To the extremely muscular man with the fake tan:
You do not belong in my lane. I am swimming in the lane marked "Fast". You are not a fast swimmer and I don't want to share my lane with you. You may, on occasion, use your superior muscle mass to pass me while I'm using the kick board. But you have no endurance, you cannot complete a flip turn, and you're pushing yourself through the water with brute force rather than swimming. You are splashing excessively and annoying me. Yes, I am a girl, and yes, I have noticed you have a problem with this. Please put your dick back into your speedo and move to a different lane.

To my swim cap:
Please stop sliding off of my head. Backstroke is my best stroke and your constant defection from your job is seriously throwing off my groove. I will replace you if needed.
I am at:
Eugene
I'm listening to:
Roddy Woomble- My Secret is My Silence
* * *
When I rise out of my bed and take in the first air of the day at my door, I can smell the sea. And when I smell the sea, I also see it, in my eyes, and in the eyes of my mind. When I feel the waves lift my boat, I feel in my bones the pulse of the tide and I know that my heart and soul shall not be at peace with each other until I am once again afloat like a prayer on the swell of the waves.

-Frank Delaney, Ireland

I am at:
Main Campus
I feel:
tired tired
* * *
When I'm happy, I never write in my journal because I'm too busy being happy. When I'm annoyed, or angry, or stressed, I often find time to write. I'm not actually always annoyed, I just think I write most in my journal when I'm annoyed.
But for the past couple of months, I've just been sad. And I'm spending all of my energy pretending to everyone that I'm not actually sad. The good part of that is that my life has pretty much carried on as normal, and my relationship with my boyfriend is fine, and I'm becoming great friends with my new roommates, and my students last quarter and this quarter think I'm great, and I went to holiday parties, and I'm a "visiting member" of the Eugene roller derby league this quarter, I'm giving an invited talk to the honors college this quarter, I'm on the Graduate School Advisory Board...

etc.

After all of that social time (which isn't actually that many hours of any week) I'm just so tired from not being sad in front of everyone. No wonder depressed people are so depressing; it takes so much energy to be anything else. I haven't gotten anything done for my thesis in god knows how long. My thesis makes me sad. Tegula are now Chlorostoma and that makes me sad. The news makes me sad. The economy makes me sad. The environment makes me sad. I've even started letting the dog sleep on the bed because I can't stand the sad face she makes at me if I don't let her. My boyfriend doesn't want to cat sit for Aeneas anymore because he cries all the time when I'm not there, and that kind of makes me sad too.

I would really like to spend all of my time sleeping. When I can't be sleeping, I want to be doing something that isn't going to make me sad. I can't think of what that is right now, but I sure would like to do it.

I don't think I'm actually depressed, since I seem pretty much normal to everybody else, and I think if I was really depressed, I wouldn't actually be able to hide it.

So... I don't know. Which is pretty much what I say these days.

Maybe I'll be posting more soon, something of a grander nature.
I am at:
Eugene
I feel:
sad sad
* * *
* * *
...I dreamt of a child.
* * *
I spend all yesterday and today up to my ears in statistics. Now I'm staring at a long series of P values for all kinds of dependent and independent parameters, and there seems to be no pattern to it. For instance, there's a significant difference between populations in the north and south when I look only at exposed populations, but none of the egg densities come out significantly different.

Obviously, all of the statistical significance in the world won't help me if I don't know what it means.

I just want enough results to send off my stupid abstract to WSN by tomorrow...

I feel:
tired tired
I'm listening to:
Mannish Boy- Muddy Waters
* * *
Fiction
Tin Princess; Phillip Pullman
The Opal Deception; Eoin Colfer [Audiobook]
Bridge to Terabithia; Katherine Paterson [Audiobook]
Blight Way; Patrick McManus [Audiobook]
Alentejo Blue; Monica Ali [Audiobook]
Carnivorous Carnival; Lemony Snicket [Audiobook]
The Snake, The Crocodile, and the Dog; Elizabeth Peters [Audiobook]
Slaughterhouse-Five; Kurt Vonnegut [Audiobook]
The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove; Christopher Moore
Lost in a Good Book; Jasper Fforde [Audiobook]
Scarecrow and His Servant; Phillip Pullman [Audiobook]
Anne's House of Dreams; L.M. Montgomery
Talk Talk; T.C. Boyle [Audiobook]
101 Dalmatians; Dodie Smith [Audiobook]
The Slippery Slope; Lemony Snicket [Audiobook]
Dead Until Dark; Charlaine Harris [Audiobook]
Anne of Ingleside; L.M. Montgomery
The Lost Colony; Eoin Colfer [Audiobook]
The Great Fire; Shirley Hazzard [Audiobook]
Well of Lost Plots; Jasper Fforde [Audiobook]
As I Lay Dying; William Faulkner [Audiobook]


Non-Fiction
The Downhill Lie; Carl Hiassen
I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers; Tim Madigan [Audiobook]
Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash; Charles R. Morris
The Empress of Victoria; Godfrey Holloway
Texas Childhood; Evelyn Miller Crowell
Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease: Sharon Moalem and Jonathan Prince [Audiobook]
Conservatives Without Conscience; John W. Dean [Audiobook]
How to Pick a Peach: The Search For Flavor From Farm to Table; Russ Parsons
Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails With America's Hoboes; Ted Conover
* * *
After 2 years in the same house (the longest I've lived any place in 10 years) I'm going to be moving again in December. I'm not sure to where, or if I'll find a place before Christmas vacation or after, and how I'm going to find a place for 10 weeks that will allow the dog.
Winter quarter sucks.
I've already started to obsessively ditch my stuff. I've already gotten rid of 2.5 boxes of stuff, which is really only a small dent in the amount of crap I've got.
Some things are pretty hard to decide on. I've got a couple pieces of glass that I've blown, a plate and a couple of bowls. They're not really of the quality of stuff that I've given away as gifts, but they're nice enough so I don't want to just throw them out. These are the kinds of problems I let bother me when I can't think about statistics, or my data, or my upcoming committee meeting, or how I'm never going to graduate, much less get a job.

My most recent pet peeve: A fundamental assumption of performing an ANCOVA to compare regression lines it that the slopes are equal (statistically insignificant differences between them). However, every statistics program I know of just tests the differences in regression coefficient without testing the slopes. Not only that, they don't even have the option to test equality of slopes. So how many people less fastidious than I am have run ANCOVA's when they should have run a different test? Not that I haven't accidentally misused statistics, I'm sure, but that kind of pisses me off.
I feel:
annoyed annoyed
* * *
It's not that I hate my country, but it is just a little ironic that my birthday is Patriot Day.
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