Things are quiet here right now because I'm squeezing in as much time as possible to work on the manuscript from hell. I have talked about it before and announced often enough that I'm just around the corner from finishing it. Well, as you all know, turning those corners often take an awfully long time and the paper isn't done yet. But I'm getting there. It actually feels like I'm moving forward now that I can put in several hours a day, but still it's two steps forward and one step back. Yesterday I spent the entire afternoon revising a section that I had considered done. It IS much better now and the revision WAS needed, but geez going back and forth like this is slowing me down. It's really good to think about that I have plenty of material to publish in the future, but going at this rate I will probably never get around to most of it.
Although its slow like hell I love having time for research again. I haven't had the possibility for this kind of full-time dedication to research since working on the dissertation, and I had forgotten how much more enjoyable research is when time for it actually exist. I'm pulling away from department obligations as much as possible and try to keep my admin responsibilities to a minimum. I'm not uninterested in the well-being of the department, but there are some weird dynamics going on with the current department head and since I'm not going to be there in the long run, the easiest thing right now is just not to get too messed up in it.
When I'm not working I'm day-dreaming about going to a warm place and soak up some sun. I don't know why I have ended up in these cold climates with my sun and heat loving mind and body. I just function better when its warm. The fall is beautiful here, on good days, and we have had quite a few of those recently so I shouldn't complain, but I'd give anything for a bit of heat right now.