On 1 Thing You're Like a Dream Come True

My one thing last week was to officially quit the job from which I'm on maternity leave (without pay)! I hate being "one of those women" who doesn't come back from maternity leave, because I feel like that just gives an excuse for employers to not offer maternity leave, but it's my BS part-time job to try to help make ends meet while I'm finishing my dissertation, and I really need to focus on getting that done so that I can actually get the job I've been "training for" for 10 years, and ends-meeting is about to get much easier because we're making the LAST payment on my husband's credit card debt next month! Woo! And my one thing this week was to book an appointment for an oil change! We have one elderly car between us in a western city with piss-poor public transport, so it's really important to maintain it. We missed an oil change because I'd been putting off doing it before the baby was born and then my father-in-law ended up in a coma for the last few weeks before labor. So it didn't happen, and then the baby was here and things have been crazy. But now it's booked for tomorrow and we will be back on track.

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 7:24 pm 0

On Do You Know Your Type?

ISTJ. If I recall correctly, the S, T and J were all moderate, but the I was almost as high as it could be. This would be why, when I began a 10-month dissertation data collection in Scotland with two months of living in a one-bedroom apartment and not knowing a soul in Glasgow, I was happy as a clam. The quiet was delightful. I did move in with a couple and their two small children after that, though, which was also fun and probably safer.

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 11:07 am 0

On Devices to Consider Acquiring When You Have a Baby

Fun fact: a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) kicked in this year requiring that insurance include breastfeeding support. This means that most plans must now provide some kind of coverage to purchase or rent a breast pump. On my plan, purchase or rental of a breast pump is covered as durable medical equipment, which means that with a prescription from my medical provider I only have to pay 20% of the cost of the pump after our deductible is paid (it will be after the cost of the baby's birth).

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm 0

On Why We Can't Have Nice Trains

Another factor is how the contracts are put together -- the Edinburgh tram system contract included a clause about duration of the building project. If it took less time, the contractor got a bonus; more time, the contractor had to pay penalties. Seemed like a great incentive to at least turn in an accurate estimate.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 10:11 am 0

On Reader Mail: Going to Grad School and Being Responsible

I would pay off the loans -- and am infinitely jealous that I am not in a position to do so with my own. I salivate at the prospect of sending my final check to Sallie Mae and telling them where to stick it. To be clear, I don't resent them for loaning me the money, but for incorrectly putting my loan into repayment status and thus improperly capitalizing my interest multiple times, as well as their reps steadfastly refusing to look at my clearinghouse enrollment status to verify that I am, in fact, still in school until after they have capitalized said interest. Side note: I accepted my advisor's invitation to a brunch party at her house, and offered to come over early to help set up. She assigned me the task of making a layered egg dish that I promptly rechristened "Erik Egg-strata" and with which I managed to start a fire in her oven. She still invited me to transfer with her when she took a job at another school, and it is indeed a hilarious story that I tell at every opportunity.

Posted on June 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm 0