Archive for May, 2011


Friday, May 13th, 2011

The interns are coming. Lots of them. I need to purchase three computers for my lab. One expensive one (for this and another purpose) and two perfectly adequate ones. I was supposed to purchase them weeks ago. I finally tried to shop for them today. I find these decisions paralyzing. There are an infinite number of tiny decisions to make, I don’t have any brand loyalty to help me, and how my needs match up to the many possible specifications is entirely unclear. It, ridiculously, makes me want to quit my job so that I never have to purchase anything again. (It took me >10 months to purchase a $10k microscope.) I feel incompetent that I don’t know enough to make the decision, lazy since I don’t really want to do the research, overwhelmed by the shear number of possibilities, embarrassed that I can’t make such a trivial decision, cheap because I make too big a deal about it, and silly. Silly, silly Wombat! So much feeling and so little deciding.

And now I will feel tired, for having stayed up too late looking at Hmm, I wonder if those eggs are from chickens or my friend the echidna?

To Cali

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

I head to California tomorrow for two weeks. Not vacation, really, just playing house (and work) from another venue. I am anxious to see H, visit the strawberry stand, and avoid the string of meetings that have obliterated the last several weeks.

As you head west out of Davis, there is a small field and strawberry stand at the corner of Covell and Pedrick. The stand is run by southeast Asian immigrants who have, I hope, profited greatly from my strawberry gluttony, and sent their kids to college on strawberry proceeds. It’s hard work of rice-paddy hats and fingers stained red all summer. It a wonder that this little plot remains on the edge of a town where land values resisted the recent downturn. They grow Chandlers and Seascapes, which are small, sweet, flavorful, and spoil quickly. Davis is a college town, originally the ag campus of Cal. Those big, unbruised, and flavorless beauties in every Safeway and Kroger that need maceration or a coating of chocolate are likely Camarosas and were developed on campus. Now, few souls know of the delicate possibility of any other varietal.

But the Wombat knows. And she plans to eat a lot of them.

Pincha and Renunciation

Friday, May 6th, 2011

I woke up this morning to discover some new muscles! I think they are the holding-the-rib-cage-down muscles. They are sore. I think it must be from this week’s introduction of pincha mayurasana. What fun! Wombat likes inversions! And Wombat’s handstands are improving, too.

Last Sunday, I joined a monthly satsang that started at the yoga studio. The theme for the first meeting was attachment, non attachment, and renunciation. Laura and Yoko are leading the satsang, and Laura posts about this month’s theme here ( Having not participated in such a thing before, I was a bit leery (the closest thing I have participated in were “small groups” we used to do at church in HS and college, which can be a bit intense, thus my leeriness). But it is nice to connect with some familiar faces from the studio, whom I smile at each morning but never speak to.
So, considering that one way to discovered just how attached you are is to renounce something, I decided to turn off the audio for this month. Usually, my morning alarm is NPR news, which I listen to until I get to practice. After practice on my way to work, I listen to more NPR news or Talk of the Nation, depending on the time. After work, I do the same thing on the way home, and listen to the news or a podcast of Fresh Air, or some other show while I cook dinner and sometimes through until bed. Sometimes I only turn it off when I am on the phone with H. And while you may think this is the same as having the television on all the time, let me assure you, the Wombat declares haughtily, that is it not! Oh no! This Wombat listens only to educational, informative, or properly intellectual programming! No Housewives for this Wombat! And, the Wombat can do other *productive* things at the same time! Like cook or clean or practice handstands! (Well, the Wombat admits, it might be just like having the tv on all the time, but she lacks a tv, so she wouldn’t know…). The Wombat likes to rationalize her listening.

So, I depart the satsang, quietly deciding to turn off the audio until next month. I get in the car, catch myself turning on the radio, sigh, and turn it back off.

The initial effect was increased anxiety. The radio is one way that I turn off negative thoughts.
Since I can’t turn the radio on, I have to let them pass without distraction. I had a couple bad nights of sleep — waking up in the middle of the night for a couple hours, which is typical when my anxiety increases.

I also find that I don’t really want to cook dinner without some entertainment. That is a bit difficult and has resulted in some cereal-for-dinner nights. I think I am a bit calmer talking to H in the evening, which is probably good because he is 3 hours ahead and usually winding down, while I am still up. But I also feel bored, which is its own kind of anxiety that I have to sit with.

Speaking of sitting, I’m thinking that sitting practice might be a nice idea before bed. But let’s not get too ambitious…

Hopefully, the Wombat won’t tear her fur out before the end of the month.