Priorities

March 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm (i'm too old to be a fangirl but..., insomnia, just pure awesome, life in general, teach this!)

Things I should be doing:
1. Preparing for my teaching test (bleh)
2. Cleaning (bleeeeh)
3. Planning experiments (meh)
4. Writing protocols for my eventual departure from the lab (BLEEEH)

What I am actually doing:
1). Reading Lucy Knisley’s comics. I followed a link about her on BoingBoing because she has the same last name as my best friend from middle school (Hello, Annick? Hello?) but now I am hooked, she is crazy amazing. And her assessment of the Twilight “books” are spot on.
2). Watching Spaced. Best. Show. Ever.
3). Thinking about how to design my wedding dress. But wait! It’s going to be a long She-ra dress with a rip away skirt so that I am left with a mini skirt bottom in case monsters attack or I need to dance! It’s going to be kickass.
4). Assessing the pros and cons of taking a nap so late in the day.

Gah! Must study!!

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you win some, you lose some

January 31, 2009 at 6:34 pm (hero worship, i'm too old to be a fangirl but..., jinxing myself, just pure awesome, life in general, thoughts and musings)

Dear lab mate who is currently mad at me: I’ve called you, emailed you, and even went by your place, please get back to me. Obviously we both said things that pissed the other off, but in the end I think we are both actually arguing the same side of this argument. Let’s talk about it and move on.

In other news, I got my first troll!! To mark this momentous occasion I am awarding myself this badge from the Bloggess:

card41

Good times. I’m trying not to let it get to me. I also really like this one:card1

In other, completely different and completely AWESOME news, I met one of my scientific idols last night. I got to talk to him, shake his hand, tell him how much I admired his work and ask him if he was looking for grad students (to which he said- yes!). It was pretty freakin’ awesome. For a good part of the question/answer section, he was only a few feet from me!! Then I started thinking, this guy is such a good speaker, and so well known and respected, and gives talks all over the world…so he’s probably not actually in the lab very often any more. So first of all, he’s got to have a kick ass lab manager (it’s funny how I think about these things now…) and second, I don’t think I could work in a lab where the adviser was never around. Plus, why am I even thinking about going back to grad school anyway? That’s how good his talk was, people.

In further hero worship, I sent my old high school physics teacher an email last night, because after seeing super science guy talk, I realized I need to tell the other people that have touched my life in a positive way that they are awesome. So, he’s a prof in education now, but he sent me an email back with in hours of my emailing him! And was still as great as I remember. See, this guy was a really, really enthusiastic teacher, and actually made physics fun. I know that sounds all cliche, but seriously, I would think about his lectures when I was in college physics, which I despised. The thing is, this is the first time I’ve reached out to a hero and they’ve actually gotten back to me in a good way instead of a “um, whatever, weirdo” way. Opening yourself up to your heroes is not easy, so to have one actually communicate back and still be as awesome as you thought… I am speechless. Ok, maybe not, that never really happens. I am really moved, though.

And in more strange news, my old grad adviser, who I haven’t heard from in two years and who I was pretty sure hated me when I left his lab (and let’s not forget he once told me I would never get any where in science) has gotten back in touch with me. Part of me thinks “hey, this guy totally did me a disservice when I was his grad student, he can continue to suck it,” but another side of me really wants to go with the “hey, this guy was a great undergrad mentor and teacher and got me into endocrinology in the first place and…” thoughts. I am conflicted but I do hate grudges and enjoy taking the high road. Plus who else can I talk sharky hormone work with? Damn it…

I have a new hero, too- a girl who works in a lab upstairs from me is a super awesome lady and she’s going to teach me how to make cheese! My lactose-intolerance can totally suck it, I might never leave the kitchen again.

Ok, hero worship over. Time for crafting! I leave you with the following tenets that I enjoyed reading (written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and found on Boing Boing):

1 Scepticism is effortful and costly. It is better to be sceptical about matters of large consequences, and be imperfect, foolish and human in the small and the aesthetic.

2 Go to parties. You can’t even start to know what you may find on the envelope of serendipity. If you suffer from agoraphobia, send colleagues.

3 It’s not a good idea to take a forecast from someone wearing a tie. If possible, tease people who take themselves and their knowledge too seriously.

4 Wear your best for your execution and stand dignified. Your last recourse against randomness is how you act — if you can’t control outcomes, you can control the elegance of your behaviour. You will always have the last word.

5 Don’t disturb complicated systems that have been around for a very long time. We don’t understand their logic. Don’t pollute the planet. Leave it the way we found it, regardless of scientific ‘evidence’.

6 Learn to fail with pride — and do so fast and cleanly. Maximise trial and error — by mastering the error part.

7 Avoid losers. If you hear someone use the words ‘impossible’, ‘never’, ‘too difficult’ too often, drop him or her from your social network. Never take ‘no’ for an answer (conversely, take most ‘yeses’ as ‘most probably’).

8 Don’t read newspapers for the news (just for the gossip and, of course, profiles of authors). The best filter to know if the news matters is if you hear it in cafes, restaurants… or (again) parties.

9 Hard work will get you a professorship or a BMW. You need both work and luck for a Booker, a Nobel or a private jet.

10 Answer e-mails from junior people before more senior ones. Junior people have further to go and tend to remember who slighted them.

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oh dear.

January 29, 2009 at 11:04 pm (about books, i'm too old to be a fangirl but..., jinxing myself, life in general, simply flabbergasted, work shmork)

If you are ever feeling like you are the most awkward and awful person on the planet and that no one could ever stick their foot farther in their own mouth than you just did, just walk into your nearest academic research laboratory and wait. Sooner or later, someone will say something so fantastically ignorant and self indulgent that you will realize that you are, in fact, more normal and level headed than you thought. Trust me on this. I think it has something to do with how we were all nerds as kids. Sometimes it’s me, but usually the students in my lab say what they think is clever but is actually incredibly horrible. Case in point: don’t put down an entire religion while someone of that religion is standing only two feet away. Seriously, people. Think it through. I don’t tell my sushi-loving friends about all the horrible parasites they could be ingesting while they are eating their sashimi, and that’s actual science. It’s just common sense and decency.

Sigh.

Also, Neil Gaiman never Twittered me back but I think I’ll survive. I wonder if Jim Butcher or Christopher Golden Twitter?

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my apartment is making weird noises…

January 27, 2009 at 10:02 pm (about books, i'm too old to be a fangirl but...)

…and I think it’s because I’m moving books from one room to another, several bookshelves at a time. So now my apartment floor is readjusting to the redistribution of weight, you see. Thus the strange noises. Right? Or monsters. Whatever, as long as it isn’t rats- one of my rats totally gave me what was coming to me today by biting the #$*$%&#) out of my finger at work today. And I say I deserve it because, um, well, I figure whenever the rats bite me that hey, good for them! Bite the man! And at work, I am the man to the rats. Right? No, it must be monsters as well.

Aaaaanyway, my brain is full of crazy because I’ve been moving my two overloaded fiction bookshelves out of my work/bed room and into the relatively empty living room, effectively covering the fireplace (that I never use and I actually worry the cats poop in) and opening up much needed space in my bedroom. While moving books is always a pain, organizing books has to be one of my most favorite things ON THE PLANET OR ANYWHERE ELSE. Not only do I get a chance to just look at and handle all my books, but I get to see what books I really need to reread. Sometimes I discover books that I bought but never read due to some distraction or another. I love it!!

Now I have to decide if I want to read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods or Neverwhere first. I loved both of those books the first time I read them, and I desperately want to read them again. The question is, which first. American Gods left me with a feeling of “Oh.” while Neverwhere left me feeling “Ah..”, but the journeys to each conclusion were epic. I actually think I’ll read American Gods first, but I sent the amazing Mr. Gaiman a Twitter to get his opinion. If he responds I will totally squeal like a little fan girl, I have to admit.

Off to read…even though I haven’t even finished putting all my books away…

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