Saturday, January 10, 2004

I finally started my four-month "mini-postdoc" here yesterday. It's been an incredible energy boost to have a job again. I'm also looking forward to Cathy's mentorship on all things related to ant ecology (as well as other aspects of life, the universe, and everything as they relate to the experiences of a woman in entomology). I'll be making the drive to MSU about twice a week and telecommuting the rest of the time; we're planning to be flexible given that this is the season of the dreaded Lake Effect.

In fact, I've had so much energy that, with Rick's help, I spent about three hours organizing my work room at home today. To give some perspective on how entrenched our house junk is: I recycled printouts of old e-mail messages from the 1992 incarnation of the Western Michigan quizbowl team. I'll have to admit that only a small part of the room actually looks neater. However, for the first time in my entire life as a biologist, all of my biology texts, related popular science works, and field guides are not only in the same room but in nearly contiguous bookcases.

It's nice to be able to sit back and -- Uh-oh! Expiring packet deadline extension ....!

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Random, completely trivial, and frivolous thoughts (just to keep the blog moving along):

* While compiling yesterday's song list, I can't believe I forgot Here Come The Bastards, by Primus.

* Quit bitching at Britney Spears, folks. Yup, it was a stupid impulse, but it's not the end of civilization as we know it. A nuclear war, or prolonged rape of the environment -- now those things could, maybe, end civilization as we know it. A drunken (or sober, as claimed) rich girl impulsively marrying her New Year's date in Vegas is simple bad judgment. Things like this have been happening for as long as there's been a quickie wedding industry, if not for as long as there's been such a thing as marriage. (One of my favorite short stories, "Night Club" by Katharine Brush, has just such an occurrence as a plot element -- and it was written at a time when the best-known underground entertainment entities in the U.S. were speakeasies.) This is precisely the kind of "Oops, I got married!" mess that civil annulments are meant to clean up. Instead of pontificating about kids these days, take heart: The system worked.

* What the hell possesses drivers to honk at another driver who is desperately trying to right the vehicle after skidding on ice? Is it now considered gauche to not be immune to the laws of physics?

* Oh, and if anyone out there knows how to set up an Epson Stylus CX 5400 to talk to Mac OS 10.3.2 Panther, please let me know.

Monday, January 05, 2004

For no apparent reason, in no particular order, and without any intent to exclude other examples of the genre, here are 10 of the many tunes that always put a smile on my face.

Is That You Mo-Dean?, B-52s
Can't Make Love, Wall of Voodoo
Peacherine Rag, Scott Joplin
Rocky Mountain Way, Joe Walsh
What Do You Want From Life?, The Tubes
The Hardest Part, Blondie
Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future), Elton John
Boogie On Reggae Woman, Stevie Wonder
Twelve Pains of Christmas, Bob Rivers
Generic Blues, "Weird Al" Yankovic