why I’ve been such a wally

Do you know that usage? When the Mathematician’s sister wants to chide you, but gently, she’ll say: don’t be such a wally.

I have been a wally for a good three months. Certainly I’ve made a shambles out of the giveaway for Pajama Girls, but I am trying to fix it (are you one of the winners? please click this link). But I do have an explanation. Not an excuse, mind. An explanation.

Two days before Christmas the Mathematician was notified that he was about to be laid off. It wasn’t a complete surprise — he had been on half pay for six months — and we knew the funding was sputtering down and might disappear completely. He’s been working in the same research group for the last seventeen years and we’ve been at this point a few times in the past; research scientists and scientific programmers are usually funded by soft money — grants — that do not renew automatically.

This time, though, it really happened. Last year was not a great one for us in a variety of ways, including financially, so the anxiety around here was high for a while, and is just now starting to come down. Primarily because it looks pretty sure that a job he’d actually want is going to come through. Not that the job search has ended, of course. Not until everybody has signed on the dotted line.

But it has been stressful, this job search process. We live off the beaten path, and for a while it looked as though we would have to relocate (and that could still happen, if things don’t pan out). There just aren’t any jobs around here for mathematicians who specialize in morphometrics, you may not be surprised to hear. Plenty of jobs other places — one he was offered is on Long Island — but here? Not so much. And we don’t want to leave. The Girlchild states flatly that she won’t leave; I hate the idea of having to start from scratch building up a community of friends, finding doctors and plumbers and a fenced yard for the puppyboys.

If push comes to shove, it may still happen and we’ll make the best of it. But at this moment it seems as though he will probably be able to continue telecommuting.

Again, this isn’t an excuse for my inability to keep the giveaways organized. Just information that may explain at least some of it.