I'm slowly circling around to working on the paper. Because now is when I really need to look with a judgmental eye upon the reviewer's comments and decide for each one: does it have merit? or are they misunderstanding the aim of the paper? (I once got a comment on a manuscript asking me to incorporate Clements' theory of community structure, which made me make a scrunchy-face, because that theory has been mostly discredited for close to 100 years now. I e-mailed the editor and asked about that, and essentially the editor e-mailed back saying, "That person tends to be a bit of crank about that for some reason; ignore that comment, it's not pertinent." But as I'm submitting this elsewhere, consulting with the journal editor wouldn't necessarily help me and probably would only annoy the editor.)
I thought more on the "immaturity" issue. I guess actually I am kind of immature in certain ways. But there are different aspects of immaturity, and the biggest, most annoying ones to me are ones I do not exhibit, and those aspects are the ones I think of first when someone refers to someone else as "immature." Those aspects are:
1. Cannot be relied upon to do what they say they are doing; is not responsible. I think I've proven myself pretty darn responsible. In fact, I often put work-responsibilities before taking care of myself, perhaps sometimes to my detriment. I got a call-out the other day in an e-mail as being one of two faculty who had volunteered for the Honors thing next Saturday. (The e-mail was sent in service of "please please please we need more faculty for this to work"). Would I rather watch Twilight Sparkle turn into an alicorn? Yes, yes I would. But I've done Honors day for some ten years now, I know they need people, and it's something I'm fairly good at.
2. Thinks everything that goes wrong is expressly done to thwart their happiness. I admit I can get into MOODS like that, but I also know it's unrealistic. Most of the time when someone says something to me and I think, "Gee, that sounded harsh," I tend to sort of shrug and say, "Eh, maybe they're having a bad day." Nine times out of ten, if it's someone I know well, they come back 15 minutes later (or e-mail me) and apologize for what they said, and say "I didn't mean to; I guess I'm just having a bad day." And I kind of smile and say that it's okay; I understand. I have a little notecard up in my office with a saying on it that one of my professors in grad school used to use: "Never attribute to malice that which stupidity can explain." Although, I think, I'd more likely substitute "miscommunication" for "stupidity," because most of the real cases of something that LOOKED bad but was actually NOT bad was because someone didn't communicate well, or at all. And even then: going around as if everyone's out to get you isn't very fun, even if they actually ARE.
3. Similarly, a tendency to make everything about oneself and not think about others and how they might feel. That sort of not-seeing-beyond-one's-nose. I remember one semester I had a blind student in my class; one of his accommodations was that he could use a laptop - he could touch-type notes (I think the keys were also Braille) and then later, it would "read" his notes back to him. My general policy is not to permit laptops in class without a specific accommodation, because they tend to be too much of a temptation to use the campus wifi to update Facebook, or shop on eBay, or (as one of my students once complained about another class she was in) watch YouTube videos with the sound up enough that people around them could hear and be disturbed by. Anyway, I had a student come to me all huffy one day after class, wanting to know why HE could use a laptop and SHE could not. And I just looked at her like "You cannot be serious." I mean, it wasn't like his disability was "invisible" - he wore dark glasses and used a white cane and had someone to guide him around campus! Or it's like the people who want an excused absence to go to see their "favorite" band and think that's fine because I gave someone else an excused absence so they could go to their grandfather's funeral....
So I guess I bristle at the insinuation I am "immature" because it makes me think of all the aspects of immaturity that make other people's lives a pain when people exhibit them. (And I tend to think it's sort of unnecessary to judge people harshly for things that they do that do not affect another person. Who cares if someone wants to watch cartoons? Or really silly movies on TNT? Or Honey Boo Boo for that matter? (My only concerns about that show are the possible issue of exploitation, reinforcing stereotypes, and that the little girl involved is going to have a very difficult puberty and adulthood....))
I suppose a lot of this is a legacy of part of the crowd I was in in college/grad school had some very judgey people in it (I think once before I commented on the person who was AGHAST to learn that I ate Oreos, that that was somehow indicative of a major moral failing in me), and so I'm really twitchy about feeling judged. (Which is also why I need to clean my house this weekend before the piano tuner. Not that he might care so much, as long as he can GET to the piano and the place isn't so dusty he can't breathe. But *I* would care).
So anyway. Carry on, then.
I had to run to the PO this morning (a Folio Society box came for me). When I was there, I kept hearing peeping. And I thought, oh, did a bird get into the building? (Birds regularly get into the Lowe's here). Then I realized: No. Baby chicks.
I commented to the guy, "Oh, sounds like someone got some baby chicks" and he kind of laughed and said that he would be glad when they came to pick them up.
And that reminded me of a memory - I could not have been more than 3 or 4, and one day my mom and I were down at the local post office (this would have been in Hudson, and in those days the post office was in the little downtown area. I don't know if it still is; I vaguely remember that it moved when I was a teenager, but back then, it was in with all the other stores on...I think it was Main Street? Or maybe College? I don't remember the street name; it was the same one that Saywell's Drugstore was on....) Anyway, after she finished whatever she had to do, the lady behind the counter said, "If you have a minute, if you want to bring your daughter back here, there's something interesting she might want to see" and it was a box of baby chicks. I had never known before that chicks were sent through the mail but apparently that's a long standing thing that's been done for years and years.
I don't know, but there's something kind of reassuring to know that baby chicks can still travel through the mail. (Apparently it doesn't really HURT them to, as long as the carriers take some care with them). Even with all the changes in the world, it's nice to know a few things are still the same.
(If I had more time and space, I'd consider learning about caring for chickens and getting a couple. Because of the eggs, and because it would be nice to have a "natural" source of bug control in the yard in the summer. And to have another living thing around. But I know I don't have the time to care properly for chickens, so....I won't have them. Maybe someday. I also fantasize about having enough land to raise alpacas or those angora bunnies but that's another thing I know is not possible given my current state of life.)
I also figured out a birthday request. (One thing I find hard, as an adult, asking for specific things for a gift-giving occasion: there's no real surprise involved). But one thing I do lack, and that would be nice to have, would be one of those cast-iron enameled Dutch ovens. (Le Creuset makes one, but Lodge is also a highly-rated brand that is more reasonably priced). There are a lot of done-slowly-in-the-oven things that it can be used for, and even some rustic breads can be baked in one.
I want to get back to making bread occasionally. If I do a small, small batch - like one or two cups of flour, instead of the mega-batches that most recipes make, that will work. A smaller quantity of dough is easier to knead, and tends to rise faster. And I'm more likely to be able to use up a small loaf - with regular-sized amounts, I have to freeze part of the loaf before it goes bad, because (even before I had to cut back on sodium), I never ate that much bread. (And store bread tends to be very high in sodium. You have to put SOME salt in homemade bread - it checks the action of the yeast - but you can put in 1/3 or less of what the recipe called for).
And I asked for a particular knitting-pattern book. And I asked for a "care package" of the kinds of "fancy" things (crackers and nuts and the like) that are harder to find here. So maybe that will be a bit of a surprise if I get it.
As for my own personal plans, I don't know. The Saturdays before or after my birthday, at this point, look like potentially "open" days so I might go do something. Or I might not, and just stay home and sew on a quilt instead. Or maybe: sew on a quilt and bake myself a cake and make a nicer dinner than I might otherwise do.