?

Log in

Long, long, long time

We bought tickets to honolulu on friday. We will go in mid november and fly back late at night on Thanksgiving, which means we will get to enjoy my dad's thanksgiving, something I haven't done since my senior year of high school. We will eat so much food. I also am thinking of coercing Chris to stay at Turtle Bay for a night, although my dad thinks Ko 'Olina is nicer. Undoubtedly we will stay somewhere cheap and lame in waikiki the rest of the time.

It was actually a fairly inexpensive time to go (due to the flying on thanksgiving aspect) but it was also the only time to go, from our life's point of view. We had put "trip to hawai'i" on our 2008 list and time was running out to make good on that one. Plus, I have no idea what is going on with our life past maybe March of 2009. And I won't have any better idea until mid-November. Of course we treat the cat as though we are moving to the UK, but in fact that may not occur. And it's not up to me. And everyone in America I have spoken with is broke or not interested.

As far as that "not interested" thing goes, I think I have realized that I am much better in person than on paper. On paper I don't look like much, yet, so those people who have been sincerely interested (even if broke) know me in person or have heard of me from someone they know well. It's a weird thing to realize about myself, not least because it puts extra pressure on social situations which already inspire a bit of dread in me. What comes across about me in person that elicits positive responses and interest from colleagues and potential supervisors, that doesn't come across on paper? Short term approach is obviously to make the best use of in-person interactions that I can, but long term, of course, I must find a way of coming across on paper.

Anyway, Hawai'i. I haven't been home since 2003. I don't quite know what I will find. I know that I am becoming increasingly disgruntled with the east coast and I hope to find the antidote there, the thing that makes me fundamentally who I am, fundamentally at odds with the east coast. Only since moving to Philly have certain things about Hawai'i, certain phrases and ways of thought, truly resonated as unique, special, different. For instance, the state motto, Ua mau ke 'ea 'o ka 'aina i ka pono - I knew the translation, but I never fully understood the sentiment, and I needed the contrast to do so. "The life of the land is preserved in righteousness" - what does that mean? In hawai'ian pono is clearly a very basic concept, but it translates as something not so basic - "righteousness" - in english. Anyway, I used to think it meant that righteousness is important, a pretty empty idea. But on the bus to work one day, I looked out at the angry, dirty traffic around the hospital and thought of a better translation. 'ea means sovereignty, after all. The nation could only survive through honor. But the concept of 'aina is not to be forgotten here: that the nation itself cannot be separated from the land. That the land must be honored, treated in a moral and just manner, for a civilization based there to hope to continue. At the risk of understatement, I do not find this to be a particular value of the east coast. But I would never have known if I hadn't moved here.

I always got good grades for my hawai'ian to english translation in high school.

I don't know what Chris will think of the place. We'll be visiting some gravesites, including at least one new one since my last visit. We'll eat a lot. We'll see the crazy house I grew up in, Noel Coward name and all. I've been cooking a ridiculous amount since we bought the tickets - poke, banana lumpia, butter mochi. My dad is so excited. He told my little brother (almost 13, just started 8th grade, voice beginning to change just a bit) that we were only going to buy the tickets if he raised his grades. He told me he would take the whole week we were going to be there off from work.

I am excited too, but really it's not hip to be experiencing the conflicting emotions that I am right now. It's my only home.
But you guys, I just found the coolest thing:

http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/

Chris and I had fun looking up people with our last names. And Hef.

It is almost 7 in the morning to me.

Got back monday night. Karyn is married now! Portland was awesome. I officially know that I love it for itself and need to be there again, whenever I can make that happen. They're fucking starting a city-wide composting program there, for christ's sake. The conference was very productive and the drinks were free. The vet was kind enough to make the scar on the kitten's stomach follow the line between her white fur and her black fur. She's feeling feisty too. I will touch on these topics more at a later time, hopefully. For now, I am totally late for work.
I guess my work unblocked livejournal? I typed it in on autopilot, thinking I was typing in nytimes.com. To me, the only thing worse than a draconian and stupid internet policy is an inconsistently draconian and stupid internet policy. Well, to be fair, I guess it is consistently stupid.

The experience of seeing livejournal load was not unlike the experience of drinking one substance while expecting another. It's like I'm in Heathers.
This is really cool, and of interest to about three of you, all of whom are probably on the same Psych department email list as I am.

http://biosemantics.org/jane/

If you enter in the text of an abstract, or even just some key words (don't worry, you can "scramble" them into semantic oblivion, which really just means they get alphabetized, and no one will scoop you), this doohickey can predict which journals might be good places to send it ("Find Journals"), and also who might be good to review it ("Find Authors"). I tested it with some stuff that was already published and it did a good job, caveat being of course that the top results for every "find authors" search tend to be the people who wrote the paper. If you test it with something that hasn't yet been published, this doesn't happen quite as much (because there's not already a pre-existing hit that is word-for-word the abstract you just entered).

I kind of wish that it also listed impact factor next to the journal, but I guess it's just trying to help you locate the most appropriate audience without regard to impact. I know that impact factors can be kind of bunkum in specific cases, but as overall statistical descriptions of how important a journal is I think they function okay. If you're already using keyword statistics to pick a journal, you might as well have the impact factor stats too.

Maybe I will cross-post this to someone who cares.

at the hukilau

last thursday my dad surprised us with a huge box of frozen hawaiian food, courtesy of zippy's. i was expecting the "luau for two" but was taken aback by the inclusion of a giant haupia cake and some macadamia butter crunch. this last item is possibly more dangerous than the cake, but i guess macadamia nuts and coconuts can each hold their own in a battle over fat content, and in these preparations over sugar content too. actually, hawaiian food is all incredibly fatty, except for poi, which is basically tasty low calorie filler paste to ensure you don't eat too much pork.

the "luau for two" contains: 2 lau laus (pork), a bag of poi, a container of kalua pork, some precooked microwavable rice, and a packet of poke mix. i think with chris the biggest hit was the poke (notwithstanding how delicious salty smoky pork can be, in two renditions, no less) because we found some really great ahi to make it with. unsurprisingly, the least favorite item was the poi, although he did eat some and professed to like it ok. i think he might have felt pressured by the fact that i told him our relationship was about to be based on his reaction. as for me, i loved it all. i read something a while back about what great chefs would choose as their last meal, and they all chose things that clearly took them back somewhere very personal. i scoffed, then i realized that i would choose hawaiian food which in the end makes me no less a pretentious a human being than eric ripert.

i'm home sick today which is really getting my goat. i would, believe it or not, much rather be at work. that is one way to know that one is actually sick.

i put the finishing touches on some postdoc emails this weekend, but i would like to show them to some work people to ensure that they trumpet my value as a budding scientist before blasting them to the internet to get ignored. and nearly finished the reviewers' revisions on a manuscript that will totally get accepted once its done. i would much rather attach (in press) to that citation on my cv than the (in revision) that is there right now.

it is also not fair that i am sick because it is a beautiful day outside too! or so i hear. update: chris says i have to go outside to drop off the rent check. this is not the solution to my troubles i had hoped for.

get ready for this: my eee has an insufficiently sensitive "a" key which is making the less-than-ideal act of typing in bed two degrees more annoying. there, i said something bad about it.

i'm going to go find out if the price is right is any better/worse with no bob barker.
an unexplained cable television outage has befallen our apartment, leaving me impotent in my desire to watch the middle third of the AandE version of pride and prejudice (the one with colin firth, the only one worth watching), which is airing as we speak on the newly truncated "masterpiece" (formerly masterpiece theater). a tragedy to be sure, but i guess i have watched it god knows how many times since i first laid eyes on its bounty six years ago. i've even made chris watch it once before this. anyway, as his valentine's gift to me he is currently enduring that ninth circle of hell that is making contact with comcast customer service. me, i am drunk, and trying to type on the eee. WHICH I WILL HAVE YOU NOTICE IS GOING PRETTY WELL, HATERS.

i got drunk on about a glass and a half of wine once i finished the current draft of my current manuscript about two hours ago. this is how my weekends go people, i write all day saturday and sunday, intent on finishing at 9 so as to watch jane austen. but i digress. as the current manuscript is a paper that was requested of my boss (and myself, as her co-author) it has real deadlines attached to it instead of the "fuckin' whenever" approach typical of publications, so it needs to all ready to submit to a particular fine elsevier journal on the 29th. so i am within spittin distance of that, at which point i get to get back on the horse and start making the reviewers' suggested changes to my second paper. i love it, you guys, i know it sounds wicked boring but i love it. the only thing i don't love, maybe, is that at this point in life, even though i am still technically in school, i will never get an A again. by which i mean, article manuscripts come back to the author (that's me) in only one of three states. one:this would probably be acceptable if you make all the changes that these reviewers (who are actually just drunken postdocs) say you should make. two:dude, make these changes, then we'll talk about whether this could be acceptable if you made even more changes. three:i, the editor of this journal, wish you would die. thats it. there's no "great job!" anymore. someone's always gotta piss in the pool.

in news that doesn't involve my career, i got nothin. oh, wait, we just found out that our building doesn't recycle, which means that the two and a half years that we have been patiently sorting our trash and placing it IN THE RECYCLING BIN was just for show, since it all went in the dumpster. whee! fuck you, environment! philadelphia is in the hizzouse!

you guys, for serious, chris actually seriously loves jane austen now. he went out of his way to read the entirety of mansfield park before the masterpiece rendition of the same, and then complained about the inconsistencies between the teleplay and the text. DOES COMCAST KNOW WHAT IT HAS DONE?

BWAAHAHAAHAAHAA

Brain Surgery Lets Woman Listen to Music

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18204427

from The Associated Press

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. January 17, 2008, 9:59 p.m. ET · Now that surgeons have operated on Stacey Gayle's brain, her favorite musician no longer makes her ill. Four years after being diagnosed with epilepsy, Gayle recently underwent brain surgery at Long Island Jewish Medical Center to cure a rare condition known as musicogenic epilepsy.

Gayle, a 25-year-old customer service employee at a bank in Alberta, Canada, was suffering as many as 10 grand mal seizures a day, despite being treated with medications designed to control them. The condition became so bad she eventually had to quit her job and leave the church choir where she sang.

Eighteen months ago, she began to suspect that music by reggae and hip-hop artist Sean Paul was triggering some of her seizures. She recalled being at a barbecue and collapsing when the Jamaican rapper's music started playing, and then remembered having a previous seizure when she heard his music.

Her suspicions were confirmed on a visit to the Long Island medical center last February, when she played Paul's hit "Temperature" on her iPod for doctors. Soon after, she suffered three seizures.

the ph.d. before 2009 train chugs along

MY ADVISOR SAID THE "GRADUATION" WORD TODAY.

We didn't set a date, or anything, as that would be premature, but she can't UN-SAY it. Right?

Also I am on track to have published 4 papers in total by the time this becomes a reality, which I guesstimate will be around a year from now.