Update

Feb. 27th, 2010 03:53 pm
astra_nomer: (geekchic)
When I go long periods of time without posting, it either means I'm too depressed to, or too busy to do so. Unfortunately, it's impossible for any readers to know the difference.

I've been hella busy of late. In the last 24 hours, I finished a grant proposal, performed in a play, and threw a birthday party for Son the Younger. I have a job application due Monday, my mom is staying with us for the weekend, and I have two more performances before the weekend is over.

Also, I need to prepare the talk I'll be giving in Boston on March 8.

Oh by the way, Boston folks, I'm coming to Boston in March. I'll be there March 8-9, and again March 27-April 3. The first visit will be just me. The second visit, the whole family is coming up to renovate my brother's bathroom. But, I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to visit with people, especially those with new babies.

Also, I'm going to Philadelphia on March 10-12, with a Friday all to myself. Any recommendations on what to do with myself? I'm leaning toward finding a nice spa and checking in for the day.

Sometime in April, maybe I'll have time to see my family again.
astra_nomer: (Default)
I just got back from a conference that did wonders for my ego. There's nothing like having prominent scientists ogle your posters and gush, "wow, that's so cool!" for helping your self-esteem.

Today, my advisor here at Big Government Center did a pretty good job of deflating me. He pretty much completely dismissed a paper idea I have, essentially saying that no one cares about it. He instead thinks I should pursue a completely different idea, one that will take me months and months longer to set up and carry out, as opposed to this simpler (and more elegant, in my opinion) idea that I have that I could probably crunch through in a few weeks.

Fortunately, I still have enough self-esteem left to question him, and I'm going to go seek out a second opinion.

This isn't the first time it seems like he's gone out of his way to puncture my ego. Good thing I have other advisors to turn to.

Milestone

Feb. 27th, 2009 12:30 pm
astra_nomer: (Default)
I've been invited to give a talk at an international conference this spring.

This marks the first time I've ever been invited to come give a talk somewhere, as opposed to submitting an abstract for a contributed talk after invited speakers have been selected.

I'm just going to bask in this achievement for a bit...
astra_nomer: (AB Aurigae)
I'm finding it really difficult to slog through the review of this article. This could be because

(1) it's over my head, or
(2) it's really boring, or
(3) I have a short attention span, or
(4) the authors can't write worth crap.

Ostensibly, the intended audience is advanced undergraduate or graduate students, so if (1) is true, then (4) is probably true, too. (3) is definitely true to some extent, too. (2) is my own subjective opinion, but probably ties into (4) also.

Okay, back to bleeding red ink all over these pages.
astra_nomer: (geekchic)
First some background. Every ten years, the NRC conducts an eponymous Decadal Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Right now, they are soliciting white papers from the community for the 2010 review. So everybody gets to submit their own ideas of their own vision of where astronomy is going in the next 10 years.

White papers are due February 15, the day after Valentine's Day. So guess what all the astronomers in this country will be doing tomorrow night? Spending some good quality time with their computers furiously finishing up their white papers, of course, because there's nothing like a good deadline to make an astronomer all hot and bothered.

Now, I had mostly been watching from the sidelines, except this week I got two requests to contribute to or comment on white papers. So now I get to be caught up in the madness, too. Kind of throws a wrench in my plans for the weekend. *grump*
astra_nomer: (Default)
Yesterday, I decided to try fixing ghostscript on my Mac so that I could actually use gv to look at encapsulated postscript files, instead of having to use Preview to first convert them to pdf.

Well, after having Fink spend a long time compiling things, it still didn't work, and left Fink in a weird error state. WTF. I decided to move on.

Today, I discover that my mucking around totally broke the LaTeX installation. So not only am I having trouble checking the figures I'm creating for this paper, but I can't even LaTeX the damn paper.

Is it too early to call it quits for the week?
astra_nomer: (geekchic)
You'd think I'd be an old hat at this sort of thing, but it still make me want to get up and dance when it happens...

I just had a paper accepted for publication!!!

*victory dance*

The only trouble is that it's still a bit too long for a Letter. Time to pull out the red pen.


Now, I just need to be told I got the part in the musical I auditioned for last night, and my week will be complete.
astra_nomer: (geekchic)
Now that I'm done with that massive proposal I was writing last week, I'm in California!

I'm giving a lunch talk today, and attending a conference here for the rest of the week.

I come back on the red-eye Saturday morning, and will immediately launch into an action-packed weekend of karate belt testing, Red Sox @ Orioles game, and possibly strawberry picking, too.

The weekend after that, the family is heading to Boston. At some point, I will make an attempt to make plans, like an octopus convention, but right now I need to finish my talk.

Stay tuned.
astra_nomer: (geekchic)
Gah, how did it become the end of March already?!?

The daffodils and cherry trees are in full bloom right now, which means it's time for...

Travel Season!

My parents will be visiting for a week in April. Well, they at least plan to fly in and see us before they drive off to visit the nearest 5 states.

DH's parents will be visiting for a week almost immediately after my parents leave. They'll arrive "early in the week" and leave "some time the next week." It's gotten to the point where I avoid asking them how long they plan to stay, because they always laugh and say, "haha, can't wait to get rid of us, right?" even though the joke has gotten so stale you could break your teeth with it.

In the middle of all that is the NASA ROSES deadline. Help me out here:
Moses proposes to ROSES for toeses? schmoeses?

At the end of May, I'm going to a conference in Pasadena. I've managed to finagle a talk at JPL while I'm out there. The weekend after that, it's likely that we'll visit Boston for a few days.

I supposes it's a good thing these last couple of weeks have been pretty low-key, because it's going to be anything but that for a while.
astra_nomer: (Default)
I spent More Time Than I Should have today updating my CV and publications list and putting them online. My webpage is in sore need of updating and some day I will spend More Time Than I Should improving it.

The last couple days have been productive in the sense that I'm actually making progress on a couple of papers that have taken More Time Than They Should have to get written up.

I am mulling going to a conference in Pasadena in May. But I'm getting tired of presenting the same old stuff, and I'm sure everyone else is too. I'm specifically thinking about stuff I presented at several conferences last year and haven't written up yet. Neither of the papers I'm currently working on is this write-up. That's how behind I am.

Suddenly it occurred to me, wait, I do have new stuff to present! Perfect!

Someday, I'll write this new stuff up, too.

I could really use a few minions grad students to work for me...
astra_nomer: (geekchic)
I've just signed on to singing in the Beethoven's 9th in May. Mmmm, Beethoven...

Also, I went to a drama workshop last night. We read through a bunch of monologues and a few scenes. Boy was that fun! File that under: why did I not do this sort of thing before??

Also, I'm going to do some science outreach work at a girl scout camp in April.

Also, I'm finally writing up a couple of papers that all the work is done on, except the writing up.

Maybe it's the increased hours of daylight, but I'm feeling energized and capable and productive for the first time in a while.
astra_nomer: (Default)
My Hubble proposal is in! w00t!

The only difficulty was that administrative office that handles grants got All Confused about routing my proposal and it turns out I didn't really need to worry about it until Phase II came around, and until they got their act together, they wouldn't leave me alone.

But, as they say, it could have been worse.
astra_nomer: (Default)
I thought I had updated my code to read in a particular variable from a file. No. Actually, it's still hard coded.

Gah!
astra_nomer: (Default)
I'm giving a talk tomorrow. I seem to be completely unmotivated about working on it. I mean, look, I'm posting to livejournal instead of working on the damn thing.

I lost my work ethic a few years back, and I need help finding it again.

Acceptance

Jan. 25th, 2008 12:38 pm
astra_nomer: (geekchic)
Dude, my paper got accepted!!

I think my weekend begins now.
astra_nomer: (geekchic)
Home again, w00t.

This morning, I got an email from DH saying that DS2 was home sick, and remember that strep was going around his school? So DS2 got his wish in the end, since DS1 stayed home sick on Monday, the day I headed out.

In the morning poster session, I saw a couple of neat posters, and had a strange and disturbing conversation with someone who refused to talk about science but would only go on and on about this woman he met on match.com who got him fired. I wanted to tell him, are you sure it wasn't because you're an incoherent asshole? but managed to extricate myself fairly diplomatically.

The flight back was again full of astronomers, and I had a good talk about a cool future project to work on with a colleague of mine, since it seems like everyone from my institution was on the same flight back.

Got home at around 7. DS2 does indeed have strep, and he was lying down looking pathetic when I came in. But within an hour he was up, looking for food, and then he was galloping around the house, declaring, "I'm sick! I'm sick!" So maybe DH was making it all up... kidding!

Anyway, I get the feeling that I'm dealing with the kids all weekend...
astra_nomer: (Default)
I'm taking off for the Austin AAS meeting in... shoot... real soon now. LJ accessing will be erratic. Unless I become insomniac. Back home Friday.
astra_nomer: (Default)
I came into work today wondering if I was getting sick of the science game and it was time bail, or if it was just the lack of sunlight getting to me.

Then at lunch, I was discussing an astrophysical problem with a friend of mine who told me that she had at some point taken the data to measure what I wanted to know, but hadn't gotten around to analyzing it. I mentioned that I'd seen a paper with X-ray data on the same source that I wasn't able to make heads or tails of. The guy sitting next to us joined in the conversation with useful insights on possible interpretations of the X-ray data. The X-ray group is in a completely different building from us, so it was pure luck that he was there. The three of us talked pretty intensely over lunch, reconvened in someone's office, pulled up some papers, stared at the various spectra, speculated more about interpretations, and all got pretty excited about what it all might mean.

Then we all looked at each other and said, "gee, if only we had a student to work on this for us" because we all are busy working on other projects and don't really have time to spare on this.

Anyway, I think the project is still very interesting. There are a couple of opportunities to apply for funding, and a possible source of students at Nearby U. Or, if any of you knows of a grad student in the Washington area interested in working with some HST and XMM data and a confused theorist, point her or him my way. :)

The world suddenly seems a whole lot brighter.
astra_nomer: (Default)
Earlier this week, I found out I made the "long" list for a position I applied for.

And just now, I got back a referee report that says, "I think this is an interesting paper that is well written." Granted, there are still comments I need to address before it can get published, but nothing too difficult.

I guess I can take comfort in the fact that my code is still broken. Gotta stay grounded...
astra_nomer: (geekchic)
This fall marked the first time I'd ever done theater. I sang and danced, sometimes solo, for a paying audience, even.

This same group puts together a short holiday choral concert, and I auditioned for a solo for that, too.

On Monday, I'm holding a scientific workshop which I've almost single-handedly organized, with 20+ participants.

I'm an introvert, I tell you. I expect to spend the rest of the week hiding in a dark, quiet cave.

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