Monday, August 30, 2010

Meetings? Blah.

"Sorry, I was in a meeting" sounds so much more impressive than "Sorry, I was setting up a PCR" even if the latter is way more work.  Even "I am running a PCR" is more impressive than "I am setting up a PCR."

For my non-science-geek friends "running" a PCR pretty much means that you put a few tubes into a machine and pressed start.  Then the machine runs for like 2 hours (for what I do.)  Setting up the PCR, though, can take way longer.  This is when you figure out how much of each, err, stuff you put into the aforementioned tubes.  Being very careful not to contaminate anything and watching your concentrations.  Anyways, you get my point.  Though running is easier it sounds better.

I guess what it comes down to, as many things in science does, is PhDs and grunts.  (For my purposes I will lump all interns, techs, and grad students in the grunts category.)  Basically the PhDs form a hypothesis and design the experiment.  The grunts actually carry out the experiment and many times analyze the results and maybe even make a poster or two.  The PhDs then write a paper on all the work "they" did and get the credit.  Although, to be fair, our names do appear on the publications.

So I guess that is what makes meetings more impressive than actual work.  In meetings you are busy thinking and shit while those who are not smart enough to do all this thinking are working.  I suppose it is similar to the business man who is meeting with clients over drinks while his maid is cleaning his house.

What I need to remember is I make more money than many of them and went to school a whole lot less.  So who's the smart one now??

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Seven-Six-Two Millimeter

Sometimes things remind me of the ex and it really catches me off guard..  I've finally gotten to the point that I do not think of him daily (took years) so when things remind me of him it shocks me a bit.  Though, I suppose it shouldn't.  I spent around a third of my life with him.  And I will spend the rest of my life with a piece of him.

I generally don't watch movies more than once.  I generally don't read books more than once.  There are so many movies and books in the world, who has time to reread or rewatch?  There were a few movies, though, that the ex and I enjoyed together - Super Troopers, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Full Metal Jacket.  We would use quotes from these movies in our everyday vernacular, as I have mentioned before.

I just finished watching Full Metal Jacket.  I had forgotten that there are so many quotes that the ex, in particular, used frequently.  "I'm in a world of shit."  "I didn't know they stacked shit so high."  "I bet you're the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around."  "numb-nuts"  "What is your major malfunction, numb-nuts?"

Okay, so while I am compiling these quotes I can't help but notice the vulgarity.  It is what it is.

So I wonder, do other people use these phrases?  These are classics, right?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Let's Drop A Love Bomb!

Hey guys, got a few minutes to improve the life of one person today?  I bet you do.  Let's do this together.

Every week Drop A Love Bomb sends out a mission and our job is to leave a comment on a person's blog who really needs it.  No need to leave a comment here - send your love over to that person.  Here is this week's mission:

Love Bomb Mission: Rachel, 17. Loss of dad, eating disorders and depression.
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Note: We are now partnering with bloggers for missions! This week's partners:, , LoveChelseaLauren, ProneToWander, TheBeesKnees, Collection-Of-Things,PostWithTheMost, InspiredMess, TrueConfessionsOfASingleMother, MrsMuffins, TallAsGrass, DoGoodMore,BelleChantelle, DevilishDelish, BuckOwensGuitar, ABCCreativity, BriannaPoster,, and LaurenNicoleLove.
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Hey Love Bomb family!
We are dropping today's Love Bomb on a 17 year old girl named Rachel.
She lost her dad and ever since has dealt with eating disorders, and is struggling through life without him. Her mom avoids serious conversations with her and she is afraid to get help. She's in counseling, which is wonderful - but we all know how irreplaceable personal words of encouragement are.
In one of her recent posts, she bullet-pointed a list of things she had to show for nearly being 18:
- I drink too much
- I have social anxiety
- I'm failing school
- I'm ugly
- I'm fat
- I can't even get the courage to meet my own sister
- I lack the energy to even fake happiness
- I have recurring thoughts of self-harm
- I keep relapsing into "disordered eating behaviours"
In her last post, the one we'll be commenting on, she ends with,
"What I need is some inspiration. I need someone I admire to tell me every thing's going to be alright. That they believe in me. That I'm not the fat failure I think I am. - unfortunately I can't see that happening any time before it's too late, if it's not already too late."
Alright guys. You know what to do. We ARE Rachel's inspiration, encouragement, love, and support. It's time to tell her how beautiful and valuable she is. I want to blow her away.
To comment on her blog, go here:
Time to drop a Love Bomb, friends!
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

After Midnight

I am scared.

It is after midnight and everyone knows things are scarier after midnight.

It was a dark and stormy night.  That's how tonight's story starts.  It is dark and stormy and eerily quiet.

I'm scared.  I have to have surgery to remove a cyst from my ovary.  It most likely isn't cancer, but that doesn't mean that the remote possibility isn't scary.

I've never had surgery before.  I had my wisdom teeth removed, but I was so scared of IV that I didn't even go under.  Just some nitrous for me.  So, yeah.

I have been distracting myself.  Even just having the computer on is better.  I watched Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist which I think I am in love with.  For 90 minutes I just thought about how wonderful a night like that would be.  Well, not all of it, but definitely the end.  Then, like all movies, it ended.  I turned off the tv and the lights, closed my eyes, and there was my fear, waiting for me.

I don't know how long I'll be in the hospital and it kills me that I won't be able to take care of Ryder while I am there.  Did I take that into account when I decided to have surgery?  I don't think I did.  Or at least I didn't enough.  I have several wonderful people who I know I can count on to help out.  I never ask, because I am not the asking type, but I seem to have little to no choice here.

I don't want my mom to help.  I have been so scared and worried and anxious and she never called to find out if I was having the surgery.  Then when I called her she had lots of lame excuses.  Then when I explained that I wouldn't be camping and wouldn't be going to Story Land with them she made it clear that I ruined her weekend.

I was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago and I needed someone to watch Ryder.  I knew I could leave him at daycare, but I also knew that if I didn't ask my mom to come down from Maine she would be pissed.  So there I was, in the hospital with needles stuck in me and I was more concerned about my mom's feelings and how pissed she'd be if I didn't let her pick up Ryder.  WTF, really?

I am scared and she is clearly no help.  And I should know that by now, but a girl always wants her mom.  Especially when something is going to be removed from her ovary.  Especially when part of the reason the girl is so scared is because her mom has ovarian cancer and it scares her to death to think she might have it or might some day develop it.

I wasn't going to share any of this.  God knows I do not want a friggin' pity party, so I'm turning the comments off, but it is midnight and dark and quiet and I am scared.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just a Compass

Me:  Hi, we're looking for a compass.

Salesman:  For hiking and stuff?

Saleslady:  Upstairs...

Salesman:  Upstairs we have some great GPS units.

Me:  I just need a compass.

Saleslady:  You checked the camping section?

Me:  Yes

Salesman:  We have some real small handheld GPS units.

Me:  I just need a compass.

Salesman:  People are really going away from compasses and towards GPS units.

Saleslady: (to salesman) She just wants a compass!  (to me) You can probably find them at the other sporting goods store across the street.

Me:  Thanks.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear Mama

Dear Mommy and/or Daddy…(write a letter to yourself from one of your children)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


He is amazing.  I understand why every parent thinks their child is a genius.  Even though I know Ryder is uber delayed in speech, every time he says something new I think he's the smartest kid ever.  It's probably the same reason why every parent thinks their kid is the cutest ever.  (though in my case it is true.)

God, my mom is a wicked offender.  I was trying to explain to her Malcolm Gladwell's new-ish book Outliers and I was telling her how he says being a genius has less to do with natural ability and more to do with passion and she wanted to know how to explain myself.  I then explained that I am by no means a genius.  I am smart, but no genius here.  (and neither is she, lest she tells you different.)

Back to my genius.  He sang Twinkle Twinkle to me tonight.  My heart melted.  I probably will never forget it.  It was one of the most precious things ever.  He takes the stairs alternating feet.  I never thought that I would be amazed by someone walking up stairs.  He tries to dress himself and ends up in the most ridiculous situations.  He has started repeating things.  And god knows that I cannot censor myself.  It's only a matter of time before he starts swearing in public.

He went to the door earlier and peeked his head out and shouted "Be right back!"

He gets really upset when he knows he did something wrong.

He dances just like the Wiggles.

He tells me what CD he wants then tells me when to skip to the next song.

He is amazing and I don't know how I ended up with such a great kid.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Read Therefore I Am

It is Saturday night and I am watching my son play Paper Mario for the billionth time.  So, what better time than to do a silly survey.  MJenks did this a while back and I am nabbing it from him.

What have you just read?

I just read the Worst Case Scenario Handbook.  I now know how to do things such as hot wire a car, take a punch, survive a crocodile or shark attack and what to do if either my parachute doesn't open or if my air take runs out of air while I am scuba-diving.  You have no idea how more confident I am now leaving my house.

What are you reading now?

I am reading Letter to my Daughter by Maya Angelou.  I don't reread books but I think I will keep this one to reread in the future.  It is full of life lessons that I am sure will come in handy sometime.

Do you have any idea what you'll read when you're done with that?

Yeah, I have a whole pile of books on my nightstand.  I am going to go with Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.  It looks pretty lengthy, I'll tell you how it goes.

What's the worst thing you've ever been forced to read?

In general, in school, if I didn't like a book, I just didn't read it.  I found plenty of ways around it.  Though the summer before my freshman year in high school, I was not confident enough not to read the summer reading so I read Once in a Future King which was terrible.  I hated it.

What's the one book you recommend to just about everyone?

Either God-Shaped Hole or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Both great books that almost anyone would like.

Do you read books while you eat?

Yes.  All the time.

While you bathe?

I don't indulge in baths very often but when I do I take a book.  I used to love smoking in the bathtub, too.

While you watch movies or TV?

No, I can't concentrate on that many things at once.

While you are on the computer?

Like e-books?  Not generally.

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?

I don't think so, but I may have been too busy reading to notice.

What's the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn't put it down?

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.  I just love that guy.

Have any books made you cry?

Pretty much all of them.  Most recently beside Angelou was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Friday, August 6, 2010

More Differences

I was just listening to The Empire (which I love and I would totally hang out with those guys if it didn't make me a creeper) and they were discussing all the times that they had smoked pot.  They have smoked it so few times that they actually remember each instance.  This just blows my mind.

I am always somewhat surprised when people haven't had the same experiences as me.  What do you mean you don't know how long ecstasy takes to kick in?  What do you mean you've never been arrested?  What do you mean you've never gone home with strange guys?  What do you mean you've never had a bonfire?  I probably sound like a dick when this happens.  I probably sound like one now.  Then I feel like sharing my experiences, but I hate those druggy people who talk about all the stupid things they did when they were high.  I mean, I like a good story, don't get me wrong, it's the people who brag about it that bothers me.

Am I doing that now?  Fuck, see how I annoy myself?

Yet, there are plenty of things that most people have done that I haven't.  I've never had a passport, I never even flew 'til I was 22.  I never slept around.  I can count the number of times I've eaten Thai food.  I've never snorted anything (had to throw a drug reference in there so you don't think I'm all bad.)  God knows I don't understand half the shit at work.

I suppose it is the people who I have surrounded myself with.  Not that I am saying that they were bad people or anything.  I still talk to a lot of them and fuck, we had a good fucking time!  I guess people just have different priorities and desires and such.  Some people backpacked around Europe and some of us smoked and played video games.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I have this desire to do good.  To make an impact in people's lives.  To make the world a little better.  I know that I currently work for the #3 hospital in the country (and is non-profit to boot) and am affiliated with one of the best universities in the country.  I know that I do research on a devastating disease that steals people's lives.  I know that not a whole lot of people do research on HD, but I feel detached from all that.

I am attending a conference in the next couple of days that I am hoping will renew my sense of worth.  Maybe I will see that I am doing good even if I feel like we do nothing but produce negative results.

I explored and found a lot of jobs that require you to write grant applications.  (I also saw job openings that are my exact job description - some in the same institution.)  Maybe I should take a course in grant writing.  Seems like something that would be offered online.

I think it would be amazing to get a job with an international agency that helps small farmers or school children in underdeveloped areas.  I could totally picture Ryder and I living in Guatemala for a year or two while we built a school or taught people how to farm.

My mom would freak.

I don't know how to get involved in anything like that though.  I need to do some research and perhaps take a course on grant writing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Penny's IQ

Mama Kat tested her dog's IQ so I decided to do the same.  Here's where I got the test.

Don't laugh at my video editing skillz.