Well. What have I been up to lately? Mostly more of the same - I suspect that's why I kept not being able to find motivation to keep posting! The PhD is still plodding along, more slowly than I'd like and largely swallowing my life. But there've been some quite intriguing things coming out of it of late, and my interest is being kept up in large part as a result of that. One of my samples seems to indicate usage of an ethnographically-attested folk medicine, which is very rare in the archaeological record, so I'm developing a paper out of that and am hoping to submit it to one of the journals in due course. Speaking of which, not long ago the paper I wrote on the back of my honours research was accepted for the Journal of Archaeological Science! My first academic publication, and I get lead authorship on an article in an A*-level journal, the highest ranking in the Australian journal ranking system. Should be excellent for my CV.
It was a bit of a pain, actually, because in fact I'd submitted the paper at the end of 2009, and there's just been one delay after another. First off, they didn't notify me when the reviews came back in - the reviewers gave their reports within a couple of months of my submitting the manuscript, but because I wasn't notified it was another six months before I actually found out the reports were in. Then I had to work out how to incorporate the corrections when one reviewer wanted only cosmetic changes, one wanted minor alterations and one wanted a major rewrite, and on top of that one of my honours supervisors (and a co-author) had got a fellowship to the Smithsonian in the meantime, so contacting her to run the changes by her was a logistical nightmare as well. So after all that, I finally resubmitted the manuscript a couple of months ago, and it was accepted within two days! So now all I have to do is to wait (there's a big backlog of papers at JAS, so it probably won't actually be published for some months yet). Let's see what happens. Unfortunately my work on Ubykh has largely stalled because I'm focusing on the PhD, but there's been good news on the publication front for that as well. Not long ago I submitted a manuscript for a grammar of Ubykh to a publishing house in Germany, and they've accepted it! So very soon I'll have my first major Ubykh publication out too. Always nice to have a few things on the go.
Oh, that's right. I also blew my back out again about six weeks ago and have been dealing with the aftermath ever since, though fortunately it's not nearly as bad as it was last time; this time it's only the L4/L5 disc and the pain is moderate enough that I've been able to continue doing my work at uni. I also had an anaesthetic/cortisone injection to the nerve root last Thursday, which has been helping me to deal with the pain and has allowed me to finally be able to sleep through the night now. Let's hope it lasts.
What else? Not much, I guess, apart from the events of January. I went through the blackest phase I've ever been through back then as a result of having been played for a fool yet again, this time by someone who spent a full month telling me she thought I was great and really wanted to pursue a relationship with me, flirting like it was going out of style and talking about us having heaps in common and wanting to spend time together, only to be followed by her suddenly changing her mind (as in, within-24-hours-suddenly) and telling me I reminded her too much of her brother, that it was her and not me, that it wasn't that she didn't want to be in a relationship with me but she just didn't want to be in a relationship at all at the moment, blah blah blah. All the tired old clichés I've heard so many times before. And within six weeks of that I find out she's in a relationship with someone else already. Well, stuff her. No-one's ever hurt me that badly before, and I'm not going to let her do it again. Only problem is, archaeology in Australia is a pretty small world, so odds are I'll encounter her again relatively soon... but if I do, I'll not have very many pleasantries to exchange with her, that's all I can say. On top of all that were the massive floods here - at one stage 99% of the state of Queensland was declared a disaster area - and that didn't help in terms of keeping life upbeat and cheery.
But anyway, that's me at the moment. A bit all over the shop, but then, that's nothing new... All's well, really, and even all that crap back in January is (to a greater or lesser extent) water under the bridge. The nephew's great - he's walking now, and will be talking in no time - and uni's progressing slowly but surely. So all in all, things aren't bad. Still wondering when or if I'll ever meet someone who's actually interested in me and not just out to play mind games (and ten years of being single doesn't bode well), but I'm trying to keep optimistic.