Coupons. All the coupons I see are “buy one, get one free!”, or “$5 off an order of $15!” And despite academics being basically cheap people, I don’t have very many colleagues I’d feel comfortable grabbing and saying, “hey, let’s go eat here, I have a coupon.”

I mean, I eat at Qdoba practically weekly (hula classes go from 6:30pm to whenever he lets us go, so it’s really helpful to eat a big supper around 3pm or 4pm), and still, for my birthday, all they can send me is “buy one get one free.”


I have three baby showers to attend in the next seven days—Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday.

I’m a single 34-year old woman.

Lay your bets now—will I come out the other end totally bonkers or saying “thank god that’s not me!”

Not once did I think ‘Let me examine the gender, class and race implications of my brown self being here while these doctors and nurses look at me hold his lily white hand.’

The county fair.

As I just now discovered, about 100 yards away from the entrance, at which point I turned around and went home—but I do live right across the street from the fairgrounds.

Also, movies.

Things I won’t hesitate to do alone:

  • eating out
  • plays
  • dance performances

Things I actively prefer to do by myself:

  • shopping of any kind, whether clothes or craft fairs (shared grocery shopping is okay)
  • museums
  • road trips

Yeah. Not science, not data, folks. Just some dressed up anecdotes.

GenePartner tested long-term couples’ HLA [type of gene involved in immune system] makeup and had them fill out in-depth questionnaires. “We asked them whether they find their relationship passionate, about the quality of intercourse, if it was love at first sight,” says co-founder Tamara Brown. With genetic data from 270 couples, the company came up with an algorithm for predicting compatibility based on HLA combinations.

And, 270 couples? Gee, Netflix gave people trying to improve their recommendation algorithm a dataset of 100 million ratings to work with.

Apparently the contracts for a professor are such that they are unable to actually cut our salaries, and we are not unionized here. So they are asking us to voluntarily furlough ourselves. The president and provost (our new provost has a very good grasp on PR) announced a month or so ago that they and other upper admin are taking some days.

I am a community-minded person; I do believe that individuals should sacrifice for the good of the community; and I think asking for furloughs is a rational first response to a budget crisis, so whether I will volunteer for a furlough is really just a matter of whether I will live up to my own principles. I probably will. I just need to sort out the numbers, and the percentage that I’m willing to give up.

BUT, I just want to point out that this is another form of the single penalty in academia. I can afford to take a pay cut because I have no mortgage and no kids.

On Friday night, I left my office at 8pm, changing into sensible shoes for the walk home. On the way, I stopped at the Thai restaurant (number programmed into my mobile) to pick up dinner (ordered without consulting a menu). The cats ran and hid from the noise as I came in the door, but came back to cuddle as I settled in for an evening with take-out and the TV (Dollhouse, then Numbers).

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