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If I get offered the one-year Newark job by the end of next week, I'm going to accept it. If not, I will be in Sacramento for the next two years.


I wrote this on the train a while back and didn't post it because I couldn't connect to the internet:

Review of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova )
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So, my computer crashed last night, but I guess it just needed some alone time, 'cause I tried it this morning and it was working fine. Unfortunately, it crashed after the library had closed so I had to go to CVS to get something to read. The selection was pretty awful. In the end I got Dan Brown's Deception Point because it looked better than a cheesy romance novel and you know what? It wasn't that bad. I would actually say it was pretty decent for a mass-marketed thriller. The characters were cardboard but sympathetic, the writing style was uninspired but at least it flowed. And some of the situations were awesome. Hammerhead sharks? A volcano? You know I'll like any book with a volcano.

Things are much, much better at the lab. The bare bones of the situation haven't really changed at all, but my supervisor and I are on much better terms - we talked for two hours Thursday morning, and then after work the whole lab went to see Frans de Waal speak and then out for drinks afterwards. Yesterday I got to go in with the monkeys - really in, to feed them. They were too busy with the oranges and bananas and juice-soaked bread to pay much attention to me, but I picked up a piece of banana and Lance came over to me, putting one hand on my arm for balance and grabbing the banana with the other. Then he sat next to me eating contentedly.

Of course, it isn't all sweetness. Capuchins have a pretty complex social hierarchy and the other group, the Bolts, ganged up and attacked the lowest-ranking female, Georgia. Her hand and her tail were bleeding and we had to put her in isolation with her baby. I think the worst part is the baby, Grace, who right now is so small and cute it almost hurts to look at her. You know that when she gets a little older she will be picked on like all the other Gs, like Gretel who darts around never touching any of the other monkeys and Goya, who is losing her hair. Right now Grace can do whatever she wants, she can jump on the alpha male's back and bite him with abandon, and he'll just tolerate her. But one day, in a few months even, she's going to do it and he's going to bite back, and she may not even survive it. G-babies have been killed by the Bolts before.


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November 2009

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