Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I've been a little preoccupied by some daydreaming

48 hours from now, I hope I will be placing the final edits into this dissertation.
60 hours from now, I hope I will be walking into Kinko's.
64 hours from now, I hope I will place a copy of this dissertation under my last committee member's door
68 hours from now, I damn well better be in Vermont for the weekend.

And 324 hours from now, I expect to stand in front of a group of people and explain why I deserve the degree. So 327 hours from now, I might feel a little less nervous. And 327.1 hours from now, I might be able to call Greg on the phone with a smile on my face and a piece of paper in my hand.

And on October 5th? I get to SLEEP IN for a month and take my first real time off in.... 8 years, at least. I worked every summer since sophomore year in college. I always wanted to take a few months off after college, but I couldn't. Now I can. Phew.

Golly gee, I can't wait : )

Neither can the dogs - I've been a bad dog-mom. They're bored out of their minds. Greg's been awesome in keeping everything going and letting me ignore the world for this last month. It will be a relief to both of us when I can be a normal part of life again.

Like most of my interaction with other people these days, this post is fairly self-serving :D Hope ya'all are well, and I'll be back very soon.

Meanwhile, wanna see the kinds of things I'm working on? Of course you don't. But check this out anyway:

I'd really like to understand this pathway fully, but it's pretty damn confusing, what with many of those arrows actually going both ways, and the arrows that were too complicated to put on there, and the arrows with big question marks on top. Some days I think, why bother trying to understand this? Even the people who dedicate their lives to just this pathway are still a little uncertain about where exactly the arrows all go...

I like looking at the data this way: averages and individual points on the same plot.

That's the hippocampus. There will be a day that comes when I won't care so much about the hippocampus.

It's been a rough week. But relief is very near by...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Nothing better to say

Things have been so crazy lately that I don't even know where to start. In the past few weeks, I have...
  • Completely finished my thesis introduction and the first two research chapters
  • Written some heartfelt acknowledgments. Which I wish I could post here (but I can't, not until everything else is done)
  • Worked much of the way through a really bad draft of the third research chapter
  • Sort of, maybe, not really contemplated the concluding chapter
  • Not even thought about writing my defense powerpoint slides
  • Canned (I'm not kidding) 34 pints of tomatoes, peaches, apricots, and various kinds of jam (more on that later)
  • Not gotten botulism (yet)
  • Gone to Yoga three times a week. This is new. And cliche.
  • Fell waaaaay behind on my blog reading
  • Not edited the photos for or told a single story about our West Coast trip
  • Finally figured out this f@#$$! piece of s#$! of a markup language
  • --> Actually, let me take that back. LaTeX rocks. It was just the wrong time for me to learn how to use it.
  • Realized that my thesis topic kind of sucks
  • Realized I don't have any answers about my topic or my research
  • Realized that I'm now at the point of knowing more about my topic and my research than anyone else does
  • Realized that nobody knows anything about my topic

And, the real important one, I have...
  • Generally speaking, been a terrible friend to everyone around me
  • Been very fortunate to have such understanding friends (and husband)

So what's left?
  • About 20 pages of writing (but it's double spaced!)
  • Somewhere in the range of 15 figures
  • A tiny bit of data analysis
  • 3 more meetings with my adviser
  • 3 weeks until submission
  • 4 weekends of work until the defense
  • 29 days until the butterflies go away

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Weird Weiss-Maliks

My parents met when my mother moved into the same dorm that my father lived in at Kent State University. Three years later, my mother was shopping in a supermarket with her own mother, my grandmother. They were discussing how my mom would deal with the soon to be long-distance relationship with my father. My grandmother asked, "Why don't you just marry him?" They walked the store five times without putting a single item in the shopping cart, and then my mother, a Weiss, called my dad, a Malik, to say yes to a question that he had posed before. And so the Weiss-Malik family came to be.


My brother Andy met Leslie at work. They had been dating for a few months when he pulled out a twisty tie, playfully wrapped it around her finger, and marked the diameter. Soon, during a quiet evening at home, he took out a ring and asked her to marry him. And so within a year of dating, they tied the knot.


Greg and I met at the dog park, less than two weeks after my big move to New Haven, and we were agreeable to the marriage idea from early on. We had been dating for two years and living together for six months; I was gone from New Haven for two weeks, and I think he missed me more than usual. He asked me to marry him when I got back. And so I did.


Michael, my other brother, and Leslie (yes, we have two Leslies), met through a mutual friend. They had some quiet conversations about the topic at home. They decided to get married, kept it to themselves for a month, and then casually announced their engagement to the family. But Michael wasn't satisfied with the original proposal. And so, he went one step further, to Proposal 2.0.


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This, from the guy responsible for googlemoon and googlemars and googlesky. This, from my brother who used to spend hours on the computer mimicking newspaper print typeset and copying the design of the Advil bottle to create unique party invitations that he could hand out to his friends. This, from the adult who wanted heelys for his birthday. This, from techno-geek supremo :). What I am saying is this: Michael is creative, technology-oriented, loving and fun. Of course he would do something as adorable as this.


Congratulations to Michael and Leslie! (And to Andy and Leslie, who had their first child, little baby Alexandra, a few weeks ago!) Us Weiss-Maliks are getting settled...

baby carrier

The newest addition to the family. Little does little Alexandra know how weird we Weiss-Maliks actually are...

(Updated: Michael made it into this Wiki entry)