Month: March 2018

The Blahs

I’m so bored at work (yes, again). Specifically, with my research. Some of it is probably burnout, but I think much of it also has to do with doing the same thing over and over again in terms of the mechanics of the work (write paper, submit paper, get reviews, work on revisions, resubmit; write grants, get grants rejected, write again or differently, submit again; get new students, teach them all sorts of low-level things then medium-level things until they can finally get to some higher-level stuff and become sort-of capable of doing science, then enjoy working with them as colleagues for a little while, then they graduate and then everything all over again, from the very low-level stuff).

I can see some new trends emerging in the field and I so don’t give a $hit. There were two major fads that the field went through in the past 10+ years. I’ve taken part in both and they’ve both been cute but mostly just exhausting. Following fast trends with a group that doesn’t have 15 postdocs is exhausting. We did some good work that I am proud of, but most of what the field produces bores the living daylights out of me.


Anyhoo. Perhaps it’s just exhaustion after all the grant writing (two grants in the last two weeks). I will feel better soon, one way or another. At least the undergrads are always adorable and I get to write some code for class, which I enjoy.

In the meantime, the evergreen question:

Wise and worldly readers, especially those in academia, how do you fight work blahs/boredom? What do you do to amp your enthusiasm? 



I am so tired of being interrupted.

The other day, I was in a meeting with two male colleagues, who, if you asked them, would tell you that they are passionate supporters of women and male feminists and whathaveyou. I have no doubt that they really believe it and, to be honest, they are not bad guys.

But boy do they love to talk. LUUUUUUUUUV to talk. If the act of talking had a body, they’d be up in its orifices 24/7.

It was hard to get a word in edgewise. If I managed to start speaking, I would immediately get talked over.

The thing is, when I constantly have to fight to say something, if I am constantly getting interrupted, I become physically exhausted, as if I’d just been running.

At some point I leaned back, crossed my arms, and stopped talking altogether. I don’t think they noticed at all.

Sorry, men, but so many of you can be so fuckin’ exhausting so much of the time.

The Mopey Show

DH and I watch  the NBC show “This is Us.” We watch it, but we can’t say we are fans — between us, we refer to it as “The Mopey Show.”

Every. Single. Line is freakin’ pregnant with meaning. The characters emote and relate to one another by uttering profound, life-shattering insights. Exclusively.

Yet, we watch.

So my day was made when I saw this hilarious McSweeney’s piece on the topic of the show. There were real tears in my eyes, and not the mopey kind.





An arch nemesis just moved into a subfield in which I have been working for years.

This is a very bad person whom I’ve been very lucky to mostly avoid thus far, since we’ve been in mostly nonoverlapping subfields. Until now. Now he’s encroaching on my  terrain— it’s not mine, obviously, as subfields don’t belong to anyone, but between him and me, I was definitely here first by many years and many papers, and I definitely didn’t mind not having a$$holes of his caliber in it.

The thing is, I am not a vindictive prick. I just got his paper to handle as an editor and I sent it out to competent people in the field, as I always do. He’ll get good, thorough reviews. I do NOT believe for a second that he’d do the same in my position.

I know this person and I do not want any of my stuff reviewed or handled by him in any way, because he’s mean and petty and an a$$hole and just overall an awful human being. He’s the kind of guy who climbs up the rectum of those he perceives as bigwigs but is dismissive and sometimes downright abusive to unaccompanied students and postdocs giving talks at conferences, to staff in charge of registration or A/V, to waiters at restaurants… Basically, a narcissist who is just terrible to anyone whom he doesn’t perceive as directly beneficial to him.

I guess another blacklisted reviewer for NSF panels.

I know this is irrational, but I feel really threatened by this development. It makes me want to abandon this body of work and flee. I won’t do it, but that’s definitely what my gut would choose if it had a say in the matter.

Thoughts? Shouts and murmurs?