Friday, July 1, 2011


We have internet at home again! Yay!! I didn't think I would miss it so much. It isn't terrible to have to go to campus or a coffee shop to use it, but nearly impossible when you have a squirmy baby with you. So, I either have to hope she goes to sleep when we're out, or wait until Scott comes home and I can run down to the coffee shop a couple blocks over.

But, no more, because we have internet at home! So, please forgive the list of seemingly unrelated thoughts that I'll put down here.

Today was my first day of work, officially. I got my Cal ID card, and then spent the rest of the day running errands. I've been attending lab meetings and Miller Institute functions since we first arrived in May, so I don't mind not getting too much work done today.

Baby girl starts daycare next week, which I've been trying to mentally prepare myself for, but really can't think about without tearing up.

I've also really been missing State College (or, more accurately, the people in State College) lately. Well, I think I'm actually missing both, the people and the town. I don't want to get all sappy, so I'll just leave it at that right now.

I am excited to get to start going to the gym again - I think that will really help with my energy levels (which could be waning due to lack of aerobic exercise, or also because I haven't gotten a full night's rest in over six months).

Also, our little girl has two, count 'em two, teeth! I didn't think her toothless grin could get any cuter, but it really has been amplified by her two tiny bottom teeth poking out.

Yesterday we (my graduate advisor and I) submitted our review of male mutation bias. I'm nervous to see how it does through review, but I'm optimistic. That leaves just one more paper (a research paper about pseudogenes on the Y chromosome) that I need to: A) finish the research for; and B) write up and submit. Thankfully the writing should be nearly done, but for a variety of reasons, I think there is a lot more research to do, starting from the beginning.

Somehow I managed to find the time to devour a book, Bonobo handshake, which I would recommend. I thought it was charming and inviting, but left me wanting to know much more about the bonobos, about the Congo, and about the research. But, I think it would be very enjoyable for someone whose life-interests are a little more removed from those things than mine are.

I got the book from the University Press Book Store - a small store near campus, and affiliated with the sweet coffee shop/restaurant next door (although I forget the name right now). I like the ambiance at both places, and the food at the restaurant is reasonable and delicious!

Our car puttered out yesterday. I'm not sure the problem, but we are going to investigate tonight. I am guessing the battery is dead/dying, but Scott thinks we might be out of oil. I'll update you on the prognosis, but the good news is that we live at a very central location so it is easy to walk or take public transportation anywhere we need to go. We are less than a mile from three grocery stores, Claire's new pediatrician (which I'll take her to as soon as her insurance card arrives - another story), the hospital, our offices on campus, and a host of restaurants and neat little stores. Yes, I know you want to come visit - please do!! We'd love to see you!

We kenneled the dogs for the first time this last weekend and other than Chip having a sour stomach, both survived in tact. We are still working with Aro (pronounced R.O., short for R.O.U.S), on his separation anxiety and stranger anxiety, and anxiety in general, but he is doing so much better than a year ago. I am nearly finished reading a book our neighbor lent me, Animals in Translation, by Temple Grandin. Temple is an autistic woman who now does research, and is particularly interested in the similarities between how animals and autistic people perceive the world.

So far I like it (I am three-quarters of the way through the book), but I feel like she makes a lot of generalizations about "normal" people that may not always be accurate. I think, like the spectrum of autism, there is a spectrum among "normal" people, but for the most part, I understand her points. Similar to how statistics don't matter to the individual, there are many exceptions to both classifications (autistic and normal).

Well, since baby girl is still napping, I think I'm going to take advantage of this time to try and finish Animals in Translation. I picked up two new (to me) books yesterday at the used book store, which I'm hoping to motor through soon. It isn't so easy with the baby, but not having a television helps make time for reading. Lately, though, when I have down time, napping sounds like more fun.

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