Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Heading Home

Most of today will be spent in the clutches of the airlines. Tomorrow I have a meeting with the contractor. Aside from that I have a modest list of things to do before classes resume on Monday. (Modest, if you ignore the elephant in the living room. I'm applying for an NSF grant that is due sooner than I like to admit. But, hey, if the government is giving away money, I might as well ask for a few hundred thousand dollars. Allegedly they plan to fund about 20% of the projects in this category.)

Once I get home I won't be able to avoid talking to my mother quite as easily. With the time difference between New York and Los Angeles, I've been able to dodge her calls. Too early, too late, no cell coverage. OK, they're all lies. My mother is starting to nag me about what I'm going to do for Lisa's baby. Me, I would like to do nothing, and I don't really want to talk about it. I don't care if Lisa hates me because I have no interest in her baby. Furthermore, I really don't want to be dragged to New York City for some sort of naming ceremony or whatnot. As the baby is due in June, when I don't have classes, this is the sort of demand that my mother is quite likely to make. Argh. For now I'm thinking I'm going to defer to the tradition that it's bad luck to get gifts for a baby before it's born.

But now I need to pack. I have to decide which of my academic work should go in carry-on and what should go in my checked luggage. I'm unlikely to do any real work in the airport or on the plane, but I fear that Something Bad may happen to my bag while it's in the clutches of the airlines. I would hate for pages and pages of mathematical gobbledy-gook and arcane jargon to be lost in transit.