Me


At one point in early August, I’d had two finalist interviews, one phone interview, and surgery to remove a lump from my breast, and I was just waiting to hear. On everything.

Luckily, that only lasted two days. Labwork came back totally benign, and just last week I accepted a position as a full-time academic advisor at a bigger, richer university, in a bigger (more expensive, but new salary totally workable) city.

It’s pretty much a dream job and a perfect fit—luckily, since I had turned down an offer that would have been a fun job in a very small town with a big pay cut, in order to hope for this one (and the third job hired someone else. I sent out six applications total. So I was optimistic enough to roll the dice. I actually had one more year with my current school, but it’s past time to be moving on, although I would have used it if I had to).

They need me asap, so I’m moving real fast. Scrambled ! find an apartment, cleaned out my office (see recent twitter feed) and now a week to pack my house.

New job, new town, new life!

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Per usual, I have a multitude of drafts brewing in my mind, and have not intended to abandon this blog. But for those of you not on twitter, a quick update—-

This week offers me two extended final-round interviews for jobs (one of 4 candidates, and one of 2 or 3 candidates after passing phone interviews of 6 candidates, so that feels good even if I don’t get anything, and I’ve got to prepare some presentations that will be a whole new world), and a consultation with a surgeon to probably remove a lump in my breast that has substantially changed from last year (yeah, that doesn’t feel so good, but the internets say it’s a very high probability of being benign). Busy week!

Looking forward to Saturday.

I actually did my taxes five days early, on Wednesday. I haven’t done my taxes that early for years. Once I took them with me to a conference.

And then, last night, chatting with a friend about how she’d actually gotten paid for translation, and how I’d gotten a check for reviewing a textbook proposal—I realized, I had forgotten to report $250 of income I got for reviewing some grant applications.

Here’s the sad part. On Wednesday night, before doing my taxes, at dinner with a friend, I spent a good five minutes talking about how external academic income such as honorariums can be balanced against unreimbursed expenses.

My only hope was that I had received the check in January. Even though the grant application was due at Thanksgiving, I’d been slow about my paperwork.

Checked my bank history.

deposited 12/21.

ARGH.

So I have dry eye. When you hold your eyes open without blinking, your tears are supposed to take about 10-15 seconds to evaporate. Mine take 2.

The eye doctor says she’d like to see 7 seconds for me to be able to safely wear contacts without risking infections, etc, although she hasn’t told me to stop wearing contacts (which I wear as-needed for exercise, glassblowing, going out, not full-time). With a previous course of medicine, I got up to about 6-7 seconds two summers ago, but have since fallen back.

So I’m going back on Googleproofed Medication, which is eye drops twice a day for at least six months, which is supposed to convince your eyes to make more tears. It’s expensive—$130/month. In addition, it comes in 60 little vials for a month, each of which holds about 8 drops of medicine, but you are only supposed to use 1 drop in each eye and then throw the rest away, because “there’s no preservative”. (My eye doctor explicitly said I could use a vial twice.)

So now they have this rewards program—$25 off each prescription, your 7th prescription free, a gift card after the 4th prescription.

Now, I have a good job, with good insurance. But we just changed insurance providers, or that is, we shifted from a big company to a management company that will run a self-insurance program. And I was all pissed, because the previous company just allowed the medication, but the new company made me try some over-the-counter remedy first for two weeks, and then go back to the doctor for a check-up, to prove the expensive medication was needed.

But the old company assessed a $50 co-pay, and the new company only demands a $15 co-pay. Which the rewards program covered for me. Maybe I should believe “there’s no preservative” and use a vial only once.

The financial infrastructure of health insurance in this country is all screwed up.

Things under, say $25, that just make life easier or happier or better:

  • cozy comfy slippers
  • spare phone chargers in car, house, office
  • quality supportive hiking socks (especially worn under dress conference boots)
  • ear tips to fix Apple’s terrible headphones (I just got these and not having to push on my headphones every 5 minutes on the way to school is awesome)
  • decorative switchplates (these make me happy every time I turn on a light)

Got any recommendations?

Merry Christmas! Or Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, or Enjoy-the-Forced-Holiday-Day-When-Nothing-Is-Open-and-No-One-Is-Likely-to-Ask-You-to-Do-Anything-So-You-Can-Be-Self-Indulgent-Without-Guilt Day!

Normally we are all about the tree brushing the ceiling, but this year we are low-key. This living tree is about two feet high.

I made gift bags and fabric bows, though, that I am quite happy with.

My tweet was kidding; I did not procrastinate on reading the New Yorker article on procrastination (which is dated 11 October so you probably already saw it, I just clicked on it now while procrastinating on reading Susan Orlean on social networking):

A two-stage experiment provides a classic illustration: In the first stage, people are offered the choice between a hundred dollars today or a hundred and ten dollars tomorrow; in the second stage, they choose between a hundred dollars a month from now or a hundred and ten dollars a month and a day from now. In substance, the two choices are identical: wait an extra day, get an extra ten bucks.

No, that’s not identical. In the first option, you are waiting twice as long as you would otherwise; in the second option, you are waiting an extra 3% as long. 3% is a marginal tax to pay in return for $10; $10 is not much to give up to cut your waiting time in half, or by even more than half. This sounds like a book written by economists; surely they know something about how money and time interrelate.

(I translate everything into percentages and sales. 10% is not much of a discount, but 25%? that’s a good sale, makes me consider buying something. 50% is a “buy-it-now” or “stock up” discount. Helps me figure out what’s worth being upset about.)

In other words, hyperbolic discounters are able to make the rational choice when they’re thinking about the future, but, as the present gets closer, short-term considerations overwhelm their long-term goals.

I don’t know. Taking the relative value of time into account sounds pretty rational to me, but I’m a procrastinator.

(And if it was a choice between getting $100 right then and sending in a form or having to make a trip or cash a check to get the $110 a month later—fuck, $10 ain’t worth paperwork or errands and I know that’s a rational choice.)

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