I have a bad habit of lying in bed at night creating a mental list of all the things I did NOT accomplish during the day. Actually, fixating might be a better word. Given the fact that I always have more to do that could ever be accomplished in one day, plus my predisposition for feeling a little frantic and inadequate in general (with respect to this school/research game), this is not a productive act.
So, instead I have been willing myself to forget the 'To-Do' list and instead compile a mental 'Accomplished' list. A little mental checklist of all the things I did work on, attend to, think about, or (gasp!) finish (!) during the course of the day. A little psychic pat on the back before I nod off.
Things I've done today that wouldn't really count as being particularly productive:
1. Made up for drinking a bit too much wine last night by eating a big bag of Sunchips.
2. Laid head directly on desk & proceeded to lose a few minutes there.
3. Made happy hour plans
4. Ate cake
5. Lost some brains cells over at Go Fug Yourself
6. Ate $4 happy hour mini pizza & exceeded intended one-drink-maximum by one and a half drinks.
I don't care what Adam says.
This is my favorite blog of the century:
David Bowie's shoes.
Dexey's Midnight Runner's rabble-rouser/dockworker attire. (swoon)
M-fing Grandmaster Flash?
The Pogues represented by a bolo tie?! Brilliant!
(Also: I have the same shoes as Fred Armisen. I'm just sayin'.)
It is 7:30.
It is still fairly light out -- light enough to still be playing catch, but getting dim enough to make it a little dicey.
A breeze is blowing through the magnolia, and in my window.
My dog is here. And a glass of wine.
It makes me not mind the fact that I have to be sitting here reading about the ecology of the microbes in our intestines.*
*Did you know that we are born germ-free & inherit most of the microbes in our gut from our mothers on our way out? That cesarian babies miss out on some of those bacteria? Me neither. Fascinating stuff.
Hey guess what!
I'm going to do fieldwork in China for 8 weeks this summer!
I've been holding off on talking about it here until I got the final-final word, but that just rolled in, so now I'm all set, pending any weird visa issues.
I'll be funded through a fellowship program of the NSF (that's the National Science Foundation for you non-nerds). I'm flying in/out of Beijing & doing a few things there first (like a language intensive! how do you say "what is the name of this plant?" in Mandarin?), but I'll be spending most of my time at a field station in Inner Mongolia, studying desertification, and desert grassland restoration. Hooray!
Basically I'll be wandering around in the desert by myself for...hmmm, let's see... by the time you account for the time in Beijing on both ends, plus getting to & from the field station & getting set up... crikey, that works out to be about 40 days.... alone... in the desert...
-cue dramatic motion-picture music here-
So, I've already asked a few peeps for advice, but if any of the rest of you out there have any tips for traveling (mostly alone) in China, I'm all ears.
I know it's not like you haven't already seen this for yourself, because honestly, who goes a day without Google? But I just wanted to mention that Eric Carle is rad, and kind of my hero, because sometimes I wish I were a children's book illustrator, rather than a biologist--although the ultimate would be to be both.
We were in Minneapolis for a few days this past week & aside from all the other things that are great about that city (the snow, the biking, the public transport, the general happiness and goodwill, the fact that some of our favorite people live there...) they also have this rad store called AxMan Surplus, where they sell... EVERYTHING. And lots of it. I love nothing more than big bins of all of the same thing. Especially when there are several bins in different colors. I just wandered around glassy-eyed. I want to go there everyday. I want to become an installation artist so I can have a real excuse to purchase an entire bin of widgets. Five bins of various sized widgets.
Here are some of my favorites:
(and most things feature witty signage to boot!)
So, the fact that I keep dreaming about crossing dark passageways, where suddenly a 'bad' person appears & wants to hurt me, and I wake up screaming... that's stress, right?
When I was in high school I would dream that my teeth were falling out.
In college I would dream that a fire was starting in a room, and I was unable to move or make a sound to warn anyone.
Apparently I have moved on to the less nuanced, more blatant imagery of axe murderers and rapists trying to attack me in dark alleys.
A guess at what I have to look forward to in my dreams in years to come:
-the Black plague
-Bands of rogue monkeys
-the world running out of red wine
I'll keep you posted.