Acade(me)

The dissertation was only the beginning.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006
Organization Station
Inspired by my recent list of distractions, I set out this weekend (and particularly today) to get eliminate them so that I could be ultra-productive this coming week. I am proud to say that nearly everything on my distraction list is almost fully eliminated, except for the reading thing. I couldn't come close to finishing Vollmann's book (heck, I'm not even on page 200 yet, and the book is over 700 pages long, I think), but that's OK since fiction reading is a nice way for me to end a day of reading dull dissertation-related articles and books. And of course the blog-reading thing is difficult to eliminate, and I wouldn't want to, anyway*.

So, what did I accomplish this weekend? I am happy to say that, with the exception of the two loads of laundry that are in the washer and in the dryer, all of the laundry is DONE for this week. There is not a scrap of dirty clothing in this house, all the sheets are clean, the towels... even the old towels T uses to dry the cars after he washes them. Placemats, towels, washcloths, and sponges are also clean. And the famed sink of mine, you might wonder? Sparkling. Germ-free and absolutely radiant after I polished it. Without dirtying the sink (much) ST and I also made a batch of Chocolate-Almond Biscotti from my new cookbook, The Good Cookie. (Fantastic!) That takes care of my kitchen cleaning, baking, and laundry distractions.

In addition, T washed the cars and swept, vaccuumed, and mopped the house. I cleaned the kitchen top to bottom (even washed out the silverware organizer, yes I did) and then completely cleaned our master bathroom (right down to washing the vinyl shower curtain liner). I am happy to note that this house is soap-scum free. Then I made a master grocery list and our six-day meal plan (I usually do seven days, but T isn't going to be home tomorrow night and ST and I always have baked oatmeal and applesauce when T isn't home for supper) and went grocery shopping. Because I was (at last) really careful with my list, I didn't forget a thing and we are fully stocked until next Sunday. I like to make everything from scratch, as you'll notice, so stocking up for the entire week takes a lot of forethought.

I do a meal plan every week, but I often forget to keep a list of the week's meals after the week is over. That is, I go through all the trouble of making a list of meals, preparing and eating the meals, and then I toss the list so I never see that neat weekly "plan" again. That is stupid, since part of the "work" involved in making a meal plan is having a huge list of weekly plans you can rotate and mix up. So, a new feature of this blog (more for my benefit than yours!) is The Weekly Meal Plan, which will be posted on Sundays. Here it is for this week:

So, I'm feeling good and feeling ready to tackle the work tomorrow. Wish me luck.

* Does anyone else think of fellow bloggers as pals you have to check up on during the day? Sometimes I'll be working and think, "Gosh, I wonder how Mon is doing? Is ABD Me stressed out today? Will ABD Mom be able to get on that plane?" etc. and then I feel compelled to check. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that all of my very close friends from graduate school are now all gone -- putting in time as Assistant Professors all across the country -- and my academic blogging friends seem so much closer because I can check on them during the day. I can only correspond with my other close friends via email, as 1.) they do not know I keep a blog; and 2.) they do not keep blogs themselves, as least as far as I am aware.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 1/15/2006 07:59:00 PM  
10 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 8:56 PM, Blogger phd me said…

    Yes! I completely think of my weblog reading as checking in with friends. I'll be honest: in some ways, I get more feedback and more support from my bloggy community than my "real" one.

    And can I please come to your house for dinner this week? And every week until I hire a live-in chef?

     
  • At 9:35 PM, Blogger Peri said…

    I love that you are posting your meal plans. This is an incredible service to the blogging community! Now if we could all get you to come over and cook....

     
  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger Dr. Mon said…

    Sounds yummy.

    I do think of my blogroll as checking up on friends for similar reasons. When I was on campus, I didn't really have a cohort in my field because they all left after the MA--so I was used to checkin up on friends outside of my discipline. This feels similar to me and is good for me since I'm not anywhere near my grad school friends. So I'm very grateful for the feedback and genuine care I receive from bloggers like you!! Ok, I really need to finish packing before my mom comes to get me--glad to hear you're cleaning out distractions and getting ready to work.

     
  • At 11:50 AM, Blogger ArticulateDad said…

    Okay, here's a new one to add to your menu. I devised this recipe after returning from a "second honeymoon" in Collioure, in the South of France. I was in Slovakia for a month and a half, and my wife was in Toulouse for a couple weeks, so we managed to sneak away together for a long weekend. It's modeled on a dinner we had there.

    Pollastre amb Tomàquets i Olivas (Catalan Chicken)

    Serves 4, as main dish

    Ingredients:
    * 1 lb. Boneless skinless chicken breasts
    * 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
    * 4 tbs. Olive oil
    * 4 cloves, garlic, minced or thinly sliced
    * 4 shallots, thinly sliced (onions may be substituted in a pinch)
    * One dozen or so calamata olives, pitted and halved or coarsely chopped
    * 1 tbs. Capers (nonpareil), drained

    Optional ingredients:
    * Shredded or grated cheese
    * Fresh parsley, basil or cilantro leaves

    Utensils
    * Medium large (2 ½-3 qt.) sauce pan
    * Wooden spoon
    * Ladle or large spoon for sauce
    * 9" x 13" baking pan or casserole (about 3 qts. capacity)

    Preparation
    * Prepare the shallots and garlic as desired.
    * Cut chicken breasts or flatten, if desired. This will reduce the necessary cooking time.
    * Preheat oven to 325ºF
    * Heat sauce pan, add olive oil, warm for a couple minutes, over medium high heat.
    * Add shallots and garlic, stir, reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden.
    * Brown chicken (3-5 minutes) in oil with shallots and garlic.
    * Meanwhile, pit and chop the olives.
    * Remove chicken from sauce pan, and set aside.
    * Add olives to sauce pan, along with capers and tomatoes. Heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    * Remove sauce from heat. Ladle about a third of the sauce into bottom of baking pan. Add chicken, then top with the remaining sauce. Cook in oven for 25-35 minutes. Check for doneness after 18-20 minutes.

    Finale
    * Top with cheese if desired. May be added last three minutes of cooking, to brown.
    * Garnish with leaves.
    * Serve with salad and steamed rice.
    * Chilled Dry Reisling is ideal.

     
  • At 11:50 AM, Blogger ABDmom said…

    OMG, yes! I am constantly checking blogs for updates, wondering how people are doing. Then, if people don't blog, I worry. I'm so co-dependent. :)

     
  • At 11:51 AM, Blogger ABDmom said…

    BTW, I'm curious about this three-step taco salad. Details?

     
  • At 12:50 PM, Blogger Prof. Me said…

    Thanks for your kind comments, friends! I'm getting work done today, amazingly enough.

    Mmmmm, Articulate Dad -- that recipe looks HEAVENLY. I will add it to next week's meal plan. If I forget, remind me! I never used to like olives until after ST was born -- for some reason, now they really appeal to me and I'm always adding extra in dishes like Chicken/Turkey Tetrazzini or in Mexican dishes. And OF COURSE I'll serve it with Riesling -- that's our favorite wine, hands-down (although we prefer sweet Rieslings).

    ABD Mom -- the Three-Step Taco Salad is incredibly easy, filling, and good. No real surprises, but it's the only way we eat taco salad these days. I'll email you the recipe (I have it on my computer, just like the rest of my life).

     
  • At 2:20 PM, Blogger ScienceWoman said…

    Of course reading your blog and all the others on my blog roll is like checking on friends. And just like meeting RL friends at a coffee shop, I usually read blogs with a mug o' tea.

    I can't believe how incredibly organized you are about your cooking. I can't imagine cooking 7 meals a week from scratch. We cook in big batches and then eat leftovers. And we don't plan very well in advance.

     
  • At 4:24 PM, Blogger Yr. Hmbl. & Obdt. said…

    Like everyone else who's posted: Yep, I check in regularly on the folks in the local bloggoklatch (no such word, but we don't have coffee, so I was forced to improvise), just to make sure everyone's doing OK. And of course, such checking in on everyone's part is part of what *makes* everything OK, the opposite of a vicious cycle, which, I gloomily note, must be rare because nobody's really bothered to come up with a term for it. Now I've made myself sad...

     
  • At 9:37 AM, Blogger MusicalMom said…

    Wow! Congratulations on getting all of that accomplished--you've been busy! I love to cook from scratch, too. :)

     
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