Sunday, July 24, 2011


It must be time to go somewhere! Because I am bored of here.

Not that the idea of leaving the beautiful weather of California for the extreme hotness of Postdoc City and Practically Everywhere Else sounds like a good idea, but I am feeling bored and unwilling to do much of anything. Surely, I think, with my perennial case of Grass-Is-Greener-Wherever-I'm-Not, I would be able to do amazing amounts of research and get all caught up on my grading without any complaining if I was Somewhere Else! And my parents and their lifestyle at almost 80 are getting on my nerves. They are irritating me, but we haven't been exploding into any particularly bad fights this time around. I feel sorta like I'm under house arrest, but there isn't particularly anywhere I'd want to go, or have any money to spend while I'm there.

What I need is some way to refresh and rejuvenate all my summer goals, from health to research. I have managed to drop to one pound below my standard (too high) weight, and stopped. I think I would need to make some more major changes in terms of exercise to get anything more here. Mom and dad have finally put lots of fresh fruit in their diet, but we still eat very midwestern Better Living Through Chemistry. Like WonderBread and Velveeta and Minute Rice and Steak-umms on rolls. (Today we fried generic bologna slices and ate them on WonderBread with mustard. This was my favorite lunch growing up.) My mom hates cooking and came of age in the middle of the worst of 50s foods. Growing up, we'd eat this and maybe have a frozen or canned vegetable on the side, but mostly not. So the healthiness has improved a bit, until you look at the number of processed things we eat with HFCS as the second ingredient. I am taking walks, but it's hard to eat small enough portions to drop the weight. On the other hand, I have been good with my yoga exercise and might have done it regularly enough to make the habit stick!

Is this post too boring? I am afraid it might be too boring. Maybe pictures will help.

Here is a picture of fried bologna. Don't listen to the recipes on the internet that say you should add something healthy like a slice of tomato or onion! Real families only eat cheap meat and reprocessed bread, saving money so that they will be able to afford all sorts of pills to clean out their colons and allow them to digest food later in life. Don't mind me; I know I have issues with my family and food and class.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, rejuvination. I have not looked at my article since a week ago Thursday. I fear I have officially passed to the point where I do not remember where I'm at and feel guilty and try to avoid the article. Uh-oh. I must get back to it! I need to finish it and send it out before school starts! My deadline I set for myself is August 19!

Nope, that's not working. I still don't want to look at it. If anyone has any suggestions for how to make oneself look at an article again, to get oneself back in the groove, I'm all ears.

Here, have a picture.

Mom makes this too: apple raisin salad. But where the online recipes actually have ingredients, like sour cream or spices, she just thins the Miracle Whip with some milk and dumps it on the apples and raisins. Also, no celery ---- probably because that actually takes time to slice.

Well, if I can't energize myself into working on the article, I should at least do lots of my grading. Ha hah hah. Do you see me grading? Actually, I did grade one set of stuff and upload one instruction sheet yesterday, so if I do the same today, I'll be fairly caught up. Sigh. I'd rather eat my mom's food.

In other news, I thought for an instant about the fact that in August I will need to gear up for the market yet again, including figuring out when to pester my committee to actually update my letters, and I just about started to cry. It's too much to do! I really don't want to face teaching four classes again and updating and sending out all those damn job applications and continue plodding away on my research! Ugh, it is so upsetting I'm going to repress the thought entirely and put it out of my mind. Vooot! Gone.

The recipes for serving canned sauerkraut also confuse me, because they added ingredients! And stuff like salt and pepper! Don't you just dump the can into a saucepan and heat it for a few minutes? And where are the instant mashed potatoes? This plate is missing one third of dinner!

Anyways, if you have any advice for getting me off my butt and doing what I need to do, let me know. Until next time, I leave you with a video my niece told me about, and probably the only thing my family can think of to do with vegetables:


Tree of Knowledge said...

I'm going through the same guilty avoidance with my chapter. What I'm doing, and hoping will work, is set extremely low goals and build back up to more vigorous work. Today's goal is to rewatch one of the films I'm writing about. That's it. yesterday's was to reread what I already have written. So far, it's working.

The other thing I figured out recently is that sometimes you need a week off to clear all of the muddle from your head. The time off is an important part of the process because it let's you rest and regroup. But it doesn't work if you feel guilty about it. Guilty time off doesn't let you rest and regroup. I took a full week of unbridled, guilt-free slothiness this month and was rewarded by figuring out a how to clarify an argument that was so frustratingly messy it had me in tears before I took the break. Without the week off, I don't think I would have figured it out so quickly.

Tell yourself that was a well-earned break and then set a goal to reread what you have. That's it.

And we used to do fried bologna in the microwave. Not quite as tasty, but less greasy which was important to me because I hate soggy bread.

Shedding Khawatir said...

To make you feel better about your food options:

Dr. Koshary said...

@Shedding: I nearly screamed out loud in fear when I saw the "Jellied Chicken." This would have been in a faux pas, I think, since I'm sitting in my new office now. I was *this* close to shrieking.

@Sis: I'm a big fan of cleaning out one's system with a week or so of light Middle Eastern food. Bread, olive oil, whole olives, some light goat's milk or sheep's milk cheese, and fresh-veggie salads. Skip the big meaty meals.

If only I could find ANY OF THESE THINGS in this town. Maybe the olive oil is under that tub of lard on the shelf there, next to the bacon grease and the cream gravy. *headdesk*

Sisyphus said...

Tree, you might be the only family that eats an even less tasty version of fried bologna than mine! (the secret to not having soggy bread is that you blot them on paper towels and then eat them as fast as possible on the sandwich.)

Shedding Khawatir: no wonder my mom didn't want to learn how to cook if those were the options! Page two looks _way_ worse than page one! I'll stop complaining now.

Koshary: (I now know you are a tasty carbohydrate-filled Egyptian snack! so there!) if I was allowed to be in charge of any of my meals, I could eat tasty stuff like you suggest. There's even a nice little Afghani lunch place in the strip of shops down the street from us. The one time I got my parents to go there, I had pomegranate juice and hummus and chickpea salad and some skewers of lamb (*very* salty and not as tender as I'd like, but still good). My parents thought it was too weird. And it was full of people from Afghanistan.

But there is a pizza place right off the square where you are that was very good and had lovely ingredients! And had fresh-baked house bread that they served to me with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, so ... go talk to them about where *they* source their stuff and they will hook you up. I was jealous, as there isn't anything that "upscale" in Postdoc City except for the one or two actual expensive white-tablecloth restaurants.