Aside from actually receiving a steaming pile of fresh data, my second favorite period of time is the anticipation of said data. Anything is possible and receiving back exactly what you anticipated or data that lead to conclusions you haven't even thought of, is all still in play. It's like the build up to Christmas was when you were little, or week before summer vacation. Whereas the data may or may not live up to the hype (likely not. It is science after all and she can be a cruel mistress) everything is on the table and it's a rare period when I actually want time to move faster instead of my normal feeling of always being a day or two behind.
I have confirmation from Free Data Guy that our samples are being processed and we should hear back by the end of the month. On top of that, were sending our big money samples out on Monday. The possible convergence of multiple datasets that will serve to complement one another and provide an enormous resource of "preliminary data" for grants, has me fucking giddy right now.
It may not turn out that we get everything we want out of these datasets, but the potential for a huge step forward in what we are trying to accomplish is there, and who can't get excited about that?