Friday, April 17, 2009

A Quick Update

I've been a bit busy lately.

The slightly early arrival of the Unknown Baby Boy (about three weeks early) has come with the usual new parent sleep deprivation (he still only sleeps about 3-3 1/2 hours at a pop). As a result, any task (like making up an exam) takes about twice as long: it takes longer to do the first time, and then it has to be carefully checked because of all the errors I make due to sleep deprivation. The little guy is doing well, and has put on just about two pounds since birth. So, if early trends continue, we'll have a big one.

The semester at Unknown University is rapidly coming to a close. We pay significantly below the market for school at our level, but we also have one of the shortest semesters around (as one commenter said, it's like the old Soviet system - we pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us). In any event, in one I have four class days left, and one is taken up by an exam. In the other (the student-managed investment fund class), we also have to prepare for a big presentation to the alumni association, but we're also done there.

The Unknown Elder Son's treatments continue. In fact, he and I are actually in the hospital at the moment. The last round of chemo, he experienced a lot post-treatment nausea, so we decided to do this on on an inpatient basis this time just in case. He's doing well, but unfortunately, my back was acting up due to carrying around the new baby (as I said, he's a bruiser). Of course, the pull-out cot in the hospital is the modern day equivalent of a medieval torture rack. But that's what they make aspirin for.

In addition to all this, I've been trying to get some research done. Since I handle the 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. feedings for the Unknown Newborn, I actually have managed to get some things done on a couple of projects (somehow, writing SAS code in the wee hours of the morning feels right - it's like being in grad school again). With a little luck, I might get to pieces out the door by the end of June. I feel good about both pieces - they're on interesting topics, use new data sources, and have pretty good results. So, they could potentially go to pretty decent journals, and could both be the start of new research agendas. Luckily, my coauthors have been extremely patient, and willing to take up the slack.

And on top of this all, my 79 year-old mother had a heart attack two weeks ago. It was quite a scare for the whole family. She's only a couple of hours away, so I've been able to see her a couple of times since the attack. She had bypass surgery, and is now in a convalescent home for the rehab part of things.

So, that pretty much sums things up in the Unknown Household. I'm sure blogging will pick up a bit now that I'm through the worst of the last month of crazy time.