Friday, April 28, 2006


We are cranky today. And lucky for you, I feel so cranky that I'm letting the kids watch TV while I tell you all about it. Some reasons forthwith:

1. The preceding post. I'm slogging through it all, but the limitations imposed by single parenting this week have dulled my mental acuity and spriteliness levels. Not that I'm ever particularly spritely when it comes to work, but I've been relying on more diet caffeinated soda than usual to keep my energy levels from completely flagging. So, great, the precancerous cells are gathering force as we speak.

2. Single parenting this week. It hasn't been too bad, actually, but at this point I'm definitely eager for my spouse to return from his trip to Germany. And so are the kids. Sean's mournful tone on the phone to Jeff yesterday just about broke my heart: "I really, really miss you, Daddy. Are you coming home tonight?"

3. Ants. I hate them. I know it's probably inappropriate for me to marshall such strong emotions for an insect, but if I see one more ant marching merrily across my counter I … well, I guess I'll just squash it and wait for the next one. Even the kids are getting a little annoyed. "Ants, get out of my house!" Allie told one yesterday. And now they are crawling up the backsplash and behind the cabinets. Looks like I'll be removing the cabinet contents today.

4. Apparently the strep bacteria that had caused Allie's scarlet fever is a particularly feisty sort, one that thumbs its figurative nose at pink amoxicillin. Yes, the scarlet fever rash is back. Looks like a trip to the doctor's, and a fiercer antibiotic, is also in order today.

5. Back to work issues. Now, this will interest perhaps two entire readers (hi, Isabella and Jen), so feel free to skip this item if you could care less about reference styles. Say you have the chance of creating a reference style for a medical journal. You could simply coopt the standard one, which looks more or less like this:

Smith JS. The greatest medical discovery ever, we mean it. J Silly Med. 2005;163:897-899.

It's simple, unambiguous, and, most important, as I've already mentioned, standard.

Or, you could create a strange social science/medical hybrid style that looks like this:

Smith, J.S., Jones, Q.T., and Stipe, M. THIS is greatest medical discovery ever, forget about that first one. J. Silly. Med. 163, 900, 2005.

Of course you'd pick the former, right? Yes, because you are sensible. But for reasons unknown, a project I'm working on uses the latter style. I don't know why it annoys me so. Perhaps because I have to insert all those stupid periods and boldface the volume number over and over again. Don't you envy my glamorous job?

Whew! Feels so much better getting all that off my chest. You, perhaps, may not feel the same way having read this. Thanks for indulging me. And now I have to go talk to the plumber, who has, I kid you not, come to fix the sink.