This week I attended the OHTN's HIV conference Back To Basic, and I learned more about the human imune system than I'd ever known before. I like to think that I live in the real world and that I'm a pragmatic materialist. But this conference made me realize how little I actually know of the "real" world since my knowledge is limited to small areas of familiarity. So the "real" world includes fields of which I know nothing, and that means that decisions are inevitably made with only partial knowledge about what impact they might have in that "real" world. On Sunday I'm going to Kingston for a conference about HIV and prison populations. I've never been to Kingston and I'm looking forward to it. I just wish it didn't fall on the days I'm trying to finish my New Investigator Salary Award grant application to CIHR. Story of my life: shit is happening all at once.
I was planning to get a bunch of work done on my grant or my papers this weekend. Instead I'm fuzzy-headed, sneezing, congested, and already sleepy. Logic tells me I should rest and get over whatever sickness is brewing in me. But another part of me is always in survival mode and thinks we need to pour our 110% into every waking minute or we are a lazy ass who deserves to fail. Why can't I just take the weekend off and rest happy knowing that I've done my time? Why do I always have to be working on the next step right now? Clearly this is some childhood hangover about not being good enough. The driveto achieve is nice, , and undoubtedly usefulbut I'd like to be able to switch it off when it's time to rest.
I have potatoes for baking, carrots for (I think) steaming, a veggie golden roast (basically a fake ham) and the ingredients to make vegan pumpkin tarts. The recipe is one I've used a few years running and it is awesome. I still need to get some apple juice, apple pie and vanilla soy cream for Mr. Pugh, and some peas. I'm thinking I'll bake the potatoes, scoop out their indies, bake the shells until they crisp, mix up the potato with soy milk and spices, and add the fluffy potato mix back into the crispy shells. The veggie ham fries better than it bakes. I've had too many holidays with dried out or burned veggie ham. This year, it's getting fried.
This morning Mr. Pugh told me about the Frobisher Expedtion, which was new to me since I studied very little Canadian History in school. Looking stuff up on Wikipedia I also learned about the role played by The Order of Good Cheer in creating Canadian thanksgiving. Their events took place at Port Royal in the Annapolis valley, so the "indians" to whom they're referring are us, the Mi'kmaq.
That said, I still need to get my laundry done.
I now conclude that I am dumping it all into work. OMG. I'm juggling a dozen or more things at a time. I have multiple to-do lists. I've worked 65 hours so far this week. I'm interviewing a participant today. I'm transcribing a focus group (1/3 of it done thus far). Then I've got a meeting at CAMH about their community advisory committee. Tomorrow I'm meeting with folks from the 2-SHAWLS study on Two-spirited men with HIV to talk about being a part of the next steps for the project. So I may come out of that with a green might to write a grant application that would be due October 27th. Why do this, you may ask? I need to lead a project as a primary investigator so I can qualify for another grant in December that would support my salary, help me get a permanent job, and show I can bring in money.
Next week is also a head-smashing busy time. On Monday I have a teleconference with the OHTN folks to talk about my contract, (scary!) and then another teleconference immediately after with OHTN's Indigenous research Steering Committee. Tuesday I meet with the Director of the Social and Epidemiological Research department at CAMH to talk about maintaining a connection with the organization and (maybe) future employment there. On Wednesday I'm at the planning meeting for the Indigenous health program at the Dala Lana school, from 8:30am until 7:30pm. Thursday that meeting continues 8:30am to 4:00pm. I have no events Friday or Saturday, so that may give me some time to draft the grant and continue transcribing.
I'm also trying to schedule another interview with a study participant, look into an Aboriginal mortgage program, write some articles, etc. etc.
So yeah, I don't think I've slowed down. And if I recall correctly, I had a lot more evenings where I just cried and wanted to die during my MA, and that's not the case now. In fact, I remain oddly optimistic that this will all pay off somehow.
The night before I dreamed I found a great piece of lakefront with an old Spanish mission on it. However as soon as I came close the building began to crumble and topple onto me.
I am not fond of this stress dreaming.
When I was home this past month my mom mentioned that a piece of property just up the road from where I grew up was for sale. It used to be a campground - tiny cottages and a main lodge. It's been over a decade since the camp was in operation, and all the buildings are toast. The were never built on a proper foundation and they're all condemned, or so the neighbours told me. I visited the property and was afraid to even step inside, that's how bad they were. They'd basically need to be torn down and carted away. The property, however, is freakin' gorgeous.
It would need a lot of work before it could be lived on. In addition to carting out the old buildings it would need about 50 loads of fill, a drilled well, a septic system, some general landscaping, and then the cost of home construction.
So I met with RBC to see about getting a pre-approved mortgage. While they appear willing to give me a mortgage, they just won't do so for this property, since it's not in move-in condition. I could apply for a line of credit, but the interest rate would be significantly higher (in the 6-8% range rather than 2.5%).
I've emailed the realtor to see if I can make a deal directly with the owner.