Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Despite the fact that grad students generally don't have much time to read, I say "Screw that!" and read for fun anyway.

In the last year or so, it seems like I've been reading A LOT of non-fiction, and I am kind of sick of it. I am slowly slogging my way through Collapse by Jared Diamond, which is good, but way too detailed, depressing, and pretty dry. (How can it be good, then? The information in it is really thought provoking.)

I am now in the market for some good fiction. I like to read relatively smart, yet accessible fiction (what some people call "middlebrow."). Possession, by A.S. Byatt is a great example of this. I tend to like books that have won the Booker Prize (now called the Man Booker Prize). Possession won, and so have The Remains of the Day and Life of Pi, both of which I enjoyed tremendously. I also read fun chick lit, when I am looking for something lighter. My all-time favorite in this category is the duet of Bridget Jones's Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, but other good ones are Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner, Diary of a Mad Bride by Laura Her-Name-Eludes-Me, and most recently, The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (no, I haven't seen the movie yet, but I want to because Meryl Streep is really good).

So far, on my list, I have Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, On Beauty by Zadie Smith (it's a retelling of Howards End by E.M. Forster, another book that I enjoyed), and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

I am looking for more. Any suggestions?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Finally got my password back!

I lost my Blogger password, and only got a new one a few days ago. So I'm back!

I'm trying to get back in a work groove lately. Working 20 hours a week on school sounds totally doable in theory, but in practice, it is hard for me.

It's been really hot where we live, and our AC is pretty crappy. No fun. This has made it even harder for me, because I will go somewhere else to do my work, only to find that I've left my power cord at home, or my data set is in my email account and I'm in a place where I don't have internet access, or I don't have a copy of the survey I gave to students, etc. So after at least three of these episodes, I have my act together, and I've done the tiniest bit of work, which is mostly cleaning up my data set and running a couple of little things. Hey, it's a start.

I had to have a short "Come to Jesus" talk with DH. I am going to try to go without anti-depressants. To do this, though, I told him that it would be a significantly more expensive proposition, because it means things like weekly therapy sessions, and a dissertation coach to get my ass into gear. These are not cheap propositions, especially compared to the $30 a month that anti-depressants would cost. I needed to make sure he was on board with all this money, because things are tight right now.

I currently have a prescription for a new brand of anti-depressant that I filled, but haven't taken yet. We will see how the drug-free, expensive route goes.