Tuesday, October 28, 2008

News + 5 random things + 1 lie= worth a post

Easy part first...  I wasn't going to do this because it is strongly reminiscent of email chain letters that I make it a rule to delete, but I am going to cave in to peer pressure.  Add in the fact that at this point every blog I read has already done this tagging business, such that by my participation I still represent a dead-end in the network tree and won't be contributing to the spread of this 'meme' thing, and I have no more defenses.

In honor of the Dawkins-esque declaration of this process as a 'meme' or slowly mutating piece of culture, I'm going to shake things up a bit and post six random things about myself, one of which is untrue.  Kudos if you can pick it out.

1)  I've personally met the presidents of Costa Rica and Panama.
2)  I was born in a blizzard under an unusual astronomical event, called a syzygy.
3)  One of my fond and vivid memories is having sea grape cytoplasm squirted all over my leg.
4)  I spent several years of my childhood wearing rainboots and a tri-corner.
5)  Before I came along, my parents were revolutionary war re-enactors; I, finding gunfire distasteful, and having a powerful set of lungs even as a baby, made short work of that past-time. 
6) I used to take ballet classes, and wanted to be the next Magical Mr. Mistofeles from the musical Cats.

Hope that was all y'all wished it could be :-)

News section:

- I turned in my absentee ballot today, and have now officially voted in my first presidential election (I missed the last one by being about 2 months too young, much to my annoyance, as at the time I was organizing and running a student group promoting voter registration....  I used to be quite the young activist before academia consumed my soul).  I ended up voting for a candidate I hadn't expected to vote for, with feelings of optimism and wanting to give him a chance to prove that he means what he says, rather than voting for the candidate I had intended to originally motivated by my young, idealistic, environmental perspectives.  Go figure.

- as for local elections, I hate it when there's only one candidate for an office, and refuse to vote in such cases.  Doesn't make a bit of difference, but it feeds my pique.

- I am the proud owner of a halloween costume for the first time in several years (last year i carried a hand mirror and pretended to be a mirror image of myself - the culmination of several years of increasingly lamer costume excuses).  Went shopping at a nearby Goodwill with one of the other research techs, and picked out an awesome outfit, which will interface nicely with those new dancing shoes I've mentioned before.  I'll put up a picture perhaps...  its wild.  And the fun thing is that parts of the get-up I'll probably happily wear again.

- Got my first paycheck from the new job today, almost six weeks after I started working here.  It seems to be rather a pattern that short term research jobs take a long time to catch on... good to know in the future.  Luckily I tend to be a pretty good saver, so it wasn't horrible to wait for the paperwork and checks to start catching up with me, but this could be a big problem for others...  if you know someone doing the whole take-a-year-off thing intending to work short term jobs, tell them to be persistent and timely in making sure the bureaucrats get their paperwork done, and to have a buffer of cash on hand...

- Sent out a difficult email to a potential grad advisor this evening... took forever to write it, as I knew from his website that he wasn't planning on taking new students this coming fall.  I wanted to check to see just how firm that statement is, but also didn't want to seem ignorant of his website info, or presupposing/arrogant.  Hopefully I got it right.  This guy does neat work, and as an added bonus, he teaches at the same big academic school that Eugenie visited last weekend with her pre-vet folks...  Finally, I got a response back from another email I'd sent, so now I'm up to 4 positive responses to inquiries, 2 of them at places I'm solidly interested in, one at a 'safety' school, and one that I don't know what to make of yet.

I'm like that rock you see in animations of potential versus kinetic energy - rolling down hill and picking up speed.  Look out...

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