By JoAnne Hewett | May 2, 2007 12:50 am

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here! I’m deeply, totally, absorbed in a project. It’s taking all of my energy and every minute of my time. All other aspects of life have stopped. I’m down to eating take-out Chinese night after night cause all other food in the house has been eaten. I have run out of clean knives and forks (still plenty of spoons!) and coffee cups and wine glasses. (Yes, come midnight or so, I need a glass of wine to relax!) I wash each (knife, fork or glass), one at a time as I need it. All 4 suitcases and 6 boxes from my 2 month stay at Fermilab (I don’t travel lightly) are scattered about the house, essentially unpacked, except for where I have ravaged through them looking for something. I did find the leftover girl scout cookies. My tomato plants, lovingly replanted as seedlings into 4 inch pots 2 months ago, are now 2-3 feet tall and are begging to be planted into their big pots for the summer. Birthdays and Mothers Day are coming up and I haven’t done anything. I have referee reports past due. I haven’t read my email. My bills are not paid. I’ve sat so long in front of the computer that my back truly aches and my eyes (and carpel tunneled wrist) have gone. I put my trash out at the curb tonight thinking it was Wednesday, only to discover it’s actually Tuesday and now my neighbors will think I am nuts.

This IS what science is like! When you get so caught up and so excited about something, that literally everything else in life gets put on hold. I’m very excited about this paper, and want to do my best job! I have 3 collaborators, 2 on East coast time, and one in Hawaii. Two of us are in charge of the master text file — me and a collaborator on the East Coast. He is a morning person and works on the file from 8 EDT until mid-afternoon. That means around 10 AM PDT he ships the file to me and I start my day, working until about midnight. Comments from the other 2 collaborators are coming in at all hours at a rapid pace. This means that the collaboration is literally working round the clock! We have a system set up, so we don’t get confused and mix up the “master file” for our paper. It hasn’t failed us yet…

We should finish any day now (seems to always be just 2 days away). And I’ll tell y’all about it as soon as we’re done! OK, maybe I’ll plant the poor tomatoes first!


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