Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I promise that I will blog again someday. Maybe from France. Maybe with pictures. Who knows?

For the moment, I'm in NYC and depart for Nice tomorrow evening. Wish me luck with all the kids. (Erm, did I explain this? TM and I are escorting high school students on their flights to France. We wash our hands of them once we land, but in the meantime, any lost passports and drunken fifteen-year-olds fall under our jurisdiction. Yikes!)

Hope you're all well--I'm behind on my blog-reading, but will catch up sometime, I'm sure!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Laziest Blogger

I've been planning a post called "The Laziest Scholar Writes a Conference Paper," but given my utter slacker-ness on this here blog, I think I'm going to have to continue to put that off and just give you a Lazy Blogger update. Actually, in other areas of my life, I have not been lazy in the least, so my apologies for bad blogging aren't going to be too deeply heartfelt.

Three good bits of news today:

1) My "heart condition" appears to be pretty much what I thought it was--not at all serious, easily treatable with beta-blockers, exactly what my mom has. I still have to wear a monitor for 30 days, but that will wait until I get back from Europe.

1a) I will be allowed to remove the monitor for my wedding day.

2) So far, at least, my co-payment for the various EKGs and whatnot has been $80, not the $2500 that I feared. I will not be surprised if I get a whopping big bill from the insurance chumps in a month or so, but for the moment, I'm happy.

3) I have a book contract. I have a book contract!!! Or I will, once the editor gets the latest version (it's in the mail) and gets the contract itself together. But there are no more potential obstacles: The Board has approved it!

Oddly enough, I feel less ecstatic about this than I expected. Maybe because I've been waiting and almost sure that it would go through for so long? Maybe it hasn't sunk in? I don't know. Don't get me wrong: I'm happy, and I'm not unhappy with my low-key response. I do think it's pretty awesome. But I'm not having a powerfully affective reaction at the moment. Perhaps that will come later. Getting engaged has been sort of a similar emotional ride.

I would like to note, however, how great this press/editor has been all along. He responded immediately to my proposal, and the turnaround at every stage of the process has been terrific. Through both review periods the reader(s) got through the MS in two or three months and provided excellent, constructive feedback. I really feel like it's a better book--and only a year ago I was sending out proposals! (Just under a year ago, actually. I see from my blog records that July 14 2008 was the day that the editor first contacted me, which means that I'd sent the proposal out about a week earlier.)

So yeah, that's that. And the other reason that I am not going to write a post about conference papers right now is that we leave for 5+ weeks tomorrow: first a 16-hour drive to Momland, where we'll spend a week; then we have a few days with TM's parents; then we leave for 27 days in France. Ta da! And we've had lots to do to get our house ready for our ex-student house/cat/plant/lawnsitter. At some point, we have to get ourselves ready, too.... Packing, for example?

OK, whew! More when I'm stationary. Maybe.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

How to Scare Yourself

1) Have a doctor express a mild concern about your heart.
2) Give yourself an uncharacteristic attack of heartburn.

(This works even better if you've got a hypochondriac mother whose anxieties you can channel at will.)

Really, other than my panicky little freak-out this morning (and since Rolaids took care of the chest pain, I'm pretty sure I'm okay), I'm not particularly worried--in fact, I'm more annoyed about having to pay a big deductible plus 20% of subsequent costs for the tests I'm having than I am concerned about my "condition." Thanks for all the nice comments to the last post, though! I'll let you all know how things turn out...once I actually meet with the cardiologist on August 26 to discuss the test results. And yes, this is the earliest I could get in--the other two options were a day when I'll be in France and the day that I leave for my wedding.

(By the way, Belle--we'll be in Paris from 7/16-19 or so. And Sis--send me this legendary list of patisseries!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Before I write anything of general interest: a tedious health update!

I'm 33 now (my birthday was yesterday)--and apparently it's starting to show.

I had a doctor's appointment this morning--just a routine check-up, but I wanted to ask about a few other things while I was there. First off, I have apparently gained 10 pounds this year. I'm still in the normal range for my height (and honestly I don't know where I've put those 10 pounds, though I do feel a little squishy some days), but this is not a trend that I like. It would seem, therefore, that the halcyon days of a high metabolism that kept me at the same weight no matter what I ate or did is over. No crisis exactly, but heck, I have to start going to a legitimate gym, it seems, sense the yoga options in these parts are so meager. I did some running a few weeks ago, and that was all right, but I have some knee problems (which I asked about today: tendinitis! Good news, actually, compared to the irreversible damage I thought I had), so I'd rather do something gentler, and the pool is closed for repairs.... This is a boring topic, though, so on to the more exciting health news!

I also asked about these heart palpitations that I have occasionally had for all my life, basically. My mom has them and is on beta-blockers, but it's not life-threatening or anything, so I kept forgetting to ask doctors about it until today. He was pretty unfazed, said that it was likely either a totally benign thing or a pretty common and non-worrisome thing for which it's a good idea to take the beta-blockers, and set up an EKG and some blood work. Ho hum. An extra thirty minutes in the office, I figure, oh well.

Two EKGs later, my heart is Not Normal. Whatever it is that's going on is probably no big deal and I've probably had it all my life, but blockage . "What's the worst case?" I asked him, and he gave the answer all in a rush but there was the word "fatality" in there, although he hastened to say that it was EXTREMELY unlikely that that was what was happening in my case. So now I have to have some echocardiograms and a stress test and wear a continuous heart monitor for thirty days, then see a cardiologist when I get back from France to discuss the results.

This was, I admit, a little upsetting.

But on the bright side, at least I'm getting it checked out, right? And it's probably something I've had all my life (it could be congenital, he said, which seems very likely since both my mom and my grandmother have/had similar palpitations, and neither one has ever had any heart problems other than that). But one does not want to have a doctor come into a room with an EKG report, shut the door, and tell one that anything is "not normal."

Between that, and our first pre-marital counselling session today (which was pretty cool, really, but lasted two hours), today has left me feeling emotionally drained. I'm happy tonight--TM has been lovely and soothing, as is his wont--but I am going to just write it off, work-wise, and do some pleasure reading, maybe watch a little TV over the internet. Besides, it's almost 9. Clearly I am not doing work today.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Humble Return

I know, I've been in absentia for a while. But first I was moving, and that entailed about 10 days of stuff (from initial cleaning and painting of new house through packing and unpacking and re-installation of Internet). And for the last few days I've been working steadily but modestly on my Leeds paper--that's been pleasant, getting back to work--and reading a new scholarly book that I'd been looking forward to, and engaging in various domestic tasks as The Minister settle into our first co-habited habitation. And I haven't been blogging any of it because--well, it's like when I take too long to answer someone's email, and then it just becomes too monumental, because now I have to account for the long silence and at this point I'd damn well better write something more significant than "hey! things are good. what's new with you?".

So that's that. I decided tonight that I should just re-enter the conversation, as it were, with this completely unremarkable Hello kind of post. I'm thinking about putting up something about how I write conference papers pretty soon, because that's the primary form of writing that I've been engaging in lately. But that will wait for another day. Until then: Hello!