Thursday, October 19, 2006

No Promises

I can't promise you that this won't be my last post. On the other han, I can't promise you that I won't post mundane facts about my life everyday for the rest of my life. I just am not in the position to make promises.

My postdoc is very clinical--no more rat slayings and no more genetic mumbo jumbo...well, at least no more ratocide.

It is also eating up a lot of my time because the learning curve looks a lot like Mt. Everest...and we all know what happens on the way up the mountain. I haven't chopped off any fingers or eaten any frozen bodies yet...but it's still early.

On the other hand, some things haven't changed. For instance, there is an old Korean woman who has a drycleaning business in my husband's office building. I've heard that she is in love with my husband and dotes on him like no other.

I sent some clothes with him last time he dropped of his suits. Big mistake.

Today, I was so concerned that my newly-cleaned pants had a button missing that I failed to notice that the seam on my left leg was gone. We're talking total open air exposure.

By the time I got off the metro on the way home, my seam was split from my groin to my foot. It was almost as though I had turned my day-wear pants into an evening wear skirt...

Accident my ass.

Regardless, life isn't that different.

I do like what I'm doing, I just have so little free time right now.

So many stories that you all have missed...

Don't worry, sooner or later I'll get them out.

I do need a new blog.

I do miss you all...I really, really do.

This is so weird, for some reason.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I want a new blog. I am attributing my failure to post, in part, to the fact that this blogs feels like a me that no longer exists.

The problem is that I can't find the time. My new job is a time-whore.

I keep saying, "soon", but then weeks go by....nothing.


Friday, August 18, 2006


I'm alive and well--can't explain now about the MIA.

Hope all is well with you all; I'll be back soon.

The Mayans are nice and who knew that there are Almish people in Belize?

New job is OK, but lots of work.

Gotta run...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Paraformaldehyde Tramp

Countdown to seeing the Mayan ruins: 3 days.

I can not wait.

I start my new job the day after I get back.

I can not wait.

I then have to help the new grad student in my old lab learn how to stain her tissue and analyze the results as no one in the lab knows how to do it.

I would rather stab myself in the eye.

I hope that she's been informed that this "training" will have to occur after hours as I do have a new job to go to. I'm sure no one found it necessary to tell her this as she is a grad student and thus a victim of The Man. At least she will have someone to help her, and she will not have to learn how to do these things on the Black Market like I did. I can't tell you how many of the lab's precious, disposable filter flasks and surgery needles were exchanged for protocols. Nor do I want to even think about how many animals I perfused like some paraformaldehyde whore in exchange for help cutting brains, use of cryostat and microscope equipment, and aliquots of solutions that I wasn't allowed to buy until I had tried them out. Do you know how hard it is to try something out before you buy it? Paraformaldehyde whore...that's what it came to.

Ahhhh, the life of the scientist. You wait for scraps to be thrown your way and then hover over them to protect them from being yanked away from you. Are there rescue societies for abused scientists? There should be.

Yep, she's lucky and she doesn't even know it.

Mayan ruins--here I come.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Lost Souls

Where was this a few weeks ago? I'm a lost soul--they need to add "scientist" to their list of lost souls.

Christmas in July, perhaps?

I love this t-shirt. Down with poverty and Monopoly, I say.

Friday, June 23, 2006

No Home

As my husband and I looked for a new apartment, I was struck by how bad the housing crisis has become. Three years ago, when we found our current home to rent, I remember thinking, "Wow, how do people working minimum wage jobs pay their rent around here?". Rent has, of course, increased steadily since then, and as we looked at apartment after apartment that we can't afford ($2300 for a two bedroom apartment seems a little impossible right now), I became overwhelmed with grief for all of the struggling families around us.

Just last week, some semi-affordable apartments close to where I live were leveled so that developers could build condominiums starting in the $800,000 range. Single-family homes (2 bedrooms, 1-2 baths) are being snatched up at $600,000, torn down, and rebuilt into $1.5 million dollar mansions. In the downtown areas that used to be relatively cheap (aka "dangerous), "revitalization" projects are forcing people who don't drive Volvos or BMW SUVs to move further South or to live on the streets. Apparently "revitalization" does not mean "let's build nice, affordable housing for the people who have lived here and paid taxes for decades". Overcrowding in areas not touched by developers is soon to lead to spikes in crime and violence as happens when supply can not meet demand. It's a sad, sick mess.

As a carless civilian who patrols the street on foot and by bus, I have had the chance to become familiar with many of the homeless people along my route. Every week, it seems like I'm introduced to a newbie either through formal, friendly introduction or by me accidentally triggering a panic response in some of the more unstable individuals causing them to start yelling/screaming/running/etc. A few of them have become my "watchers", warning me when "Crazy Mike" is around (they call him Crazy Mike because he allegedly steals from them and hits people, but I've only seen him yell). One woman keeps the bus stop so clean you could eat off of the ground, and that's saying a lot for a bus stop. It always amazes me to hear random people stop and give lectures on finding a job, Christ, or some other quick fix to homelessness--people like this. Give me a break.

For those of you who have followed me from the beginning, you will know that homelessness is something that hits close to home for me, as my brother lived on the streets when he first became ill. He was mistreated by police, spit on and cursed by upstanding citizens and church leaders, and labeled as a good-for-nothing druggie by people who needed justification for ignoring him and his malnourished frame. He was sick and lost and just needed somebody to care until his family could find him and get him the help he needed.

So, when I stopped by this blog (the homeless guy), I felt compelled to share a post on gift bags for the homeless. Ideas like this beat spending a Sunday morning at church giving your money to people who spend it on air conditioners and new carpeting for the chapel. Maybe your church isn't like that, but mine sure was.

I just wanted to share.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Things I'm excited about that prove I'm a loser:

--I have my own, personal FedEx account number. I can FedEx packages without carrying cash or going to the store. This may seem trivial to the average human, but I'm so far removed from the "real world" that getting my FedEx number was a really big deal. It makes me feel real.

--I am going to have a cubicle. I'm so excited about this cubicle that I'm busting at the seams. I've always dreamed of having one and decorating it and getting a red, Swingline stapler. For those of you who have had a "desk" inside a wet lab, you probably understand. I am used to having a desk with 3 drawers in a windowless room filled with boxes and tubes containing old, shriveled brains. My former desk was in the "rat treatment room", so it smelled of urine, feces, and death. Oh, and there was also a deep freeze next to my desk that buzzed so loudly that I'm now partially deaf. My new cubicle will have a window and carpeting and no lab equipment, and I will actually be able to eat and drink at it.

--Our new house has a built in shelf that my sewing machine will fit on. I've had the machine for 3-years, and it's still in the box. It was a random gift from my mom (I've talked about her gifting before), and I've never had a place to put it as housing here is so freakin' expensive that we've always lived in shoeboxes. I can't wait! An added bonus to moving is that I'm going to have a dishwasher. A real, working dishwasher. I'm clapping right now thinking about it.

I'm so excited!