The sleeper must awaken
We had some lovely weather last week. While Bunter lay on a blanket on the grass, I battled my irrational fear that an eagle was going to swoop down and carry her off* and simultaneously tried to get my muddy garden plots ready for plantin’ time. Hyacinths are growing. And I am feeling my brain stirring. Sluggishly, like sap in dormant trees.
My parental leave is over. I scrambled to finish up my list of Things to do While Home on Leave. I cleaned the fan in the bathroom, which was NASTY after five years of being ignored.** I cleaned pantry. (Exciting find: A giant jug of super rancid vegetable oil for the deep fryer we no longer own…) I cleaned the drawers in our little utility area. (Exciting find: Random bulbs for the outdoor lights that we haven’t turned on since we moved here. I think it’s best NOT to light your back yard up like an airport.) Etc. Etc.
And this week I returned to work. I’ve been clearing away the intellectual analogue to a bunch of dead branches and soggy leaves: A lot of papers that got sent back to me right before I had Bunter or in the interim, that have to be revised and resubmitted. I’m not enjoying it. Today I submitted to a journal that is single blind, which means the reviewers (the people deciding whether or not the paper should be published) know who YOU are, but you don’t know who THEY are. That’s already irritating, because it introduces all kinds of biases. (I know from reviewing papers that it’s much easier to be objective when you don’t know who wrote the damn thing. Double blind or not blind at all, okay, but single blind? Stupid.) In addition, the journal requires you to recommend reviewers, so it all becomes a case of asking your friends (because you tend to be friends with the people who are experts in your area) to read your shit and make important decisions about it, all while pretending you don’t know they’re doing it. Uggh, I just feel exposed and yucky. Like a fat, juicy baby lying on a blanket, available to any passing eagle.
However, getting these poor papers back out is necessary so I can focus planting some new stuff in my mental mud. I have some tender sprouts going. Which will probably be killed off by a late frost.
*If that fear is actually rational, don’t fucking tell me. I will not be googling eagle carry off baby in order to find out. We do have eagles, and I know they pull this shit with lambs…
**Why don’t I clean it more often? Jesus, stop judging me! It involves putting a stepladder in the bathub, which should not be risked regularly, and wiring has to be disconnected. Electricity is scary.