Wednesday, December 26, 2007

After Christmas

It seems like everyone is writing down “things that happened in 2007” or making yet another count down list or, horror, making New Years resolutions.

I got reminded about all this yesterday when eating a fabulous British Christmas turkey dinner with some American ‘stuffin muffins’. After saying grace, which at the time felt strangely appropriate and didn’t stress me at all, I got the question if I could recollect the best moment of 2007, or rather (as I actually think the question was) what was the single moment where I felt most thankful for?! I said I couldn’t pinpoint one…. Thought about it and then three things popped up. (It’s not that important what is was exactly, just that one involved my newfound friends, one my training regime and then the most personal one so far.)

Then we moved into “what would we do differently next year” aka “what would you try and make a promise of changing” aka “new years resolution”. I ended up with a few of them… although, to be fair, I think they all resemble each other. This said, I don’t make new years resolutions but rather look at it as a good way of counting my blessings and look back and see if I truly like my behaviour, my path of life or however I would put it without sounding too bombastic or pretentious.

So, needless to say it all comes down to a simple little thing. Stop worrying so much about the future. Stop worrying so much about what people think. Stop worrying about what the result of the experiment will be. Stop… well, I guess the picture is fairly clear?

Let’s just hope that I can do this, which I have good hopes on to be truthful. After all, practice makes perfect!

For personal reasons it is with mixed feelings I will go back to my mother country soon. I really would like to be going on a real vacation rather than to go ‘home’ and ‘fix things’ and although I really like to visit my family and friends it is with mixed feelings I realize that this is my only vacation for this year. Kind of anyway…

and at the moment I am dead tired and would really like a week off from work, either throwing myself down a hill with skis or walking on the beach on some Caribbean island. I guess I will just have to make more “weekend trips” next year and really work on making them happen.

Although, of course, I will get less money from work seeing that my status is shifted from “non-residential alien” to “residential alien”, which in short means that I will now pay social security taxes… and that will of course decrease the amount I get after the taxes are withdrawn. Well, I am sure it will all be fine after the initial shock of getting like 250 dollars less a month although, I have to be honest I say that I don’t really know how much it will be. Let’s see when January is over?!

All this of course is of non importance seeing that it is just to stop me from fretting over work or packing my things. The article is just hanging in midair, my PI and I haven’t talked, the bacteria will hopefully behave today and I just really want to have a sleep-in Boxing day.

Then I stop whining and think about the nice Christmas I had with good friends although I was on the other side of the world from my family and older friends. I got texts and phone calls and even some pressies via mail and all of them reminded this somewhat daft post doc what really matters in the world and even if it feels like it is getting publications in Nature or Science (again, what I would do for that to happen?! Don’t ask… it is still PG-13 in here… ;) ) but rather to try and be thankful for what we have today and that we are alive and have fruitful friendships and just trying to be a good friend. (And sure, having a publication or four is still necessary for work but again, it has to be a balance.)

And now it is time to stop. All sappy and emotional…. But after all, it is Christmas time!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 14, 2007


The personal thing to write, today of all days, 10 days before Christmas.

It is wonderful to realize that after "one of those 10 days with time points" I am always feeling a little blue, a little down and a little contemplative. It is when I want to bundle up in my house and write my thoughts down. Write and rest. And well, this weekend is not going to be that. It is going to be writing, for sure, but maybe not personal thoughts but rather the manuscript. My abandoned baby (I guess I could have called it that but at the moment it is almost like ‘the thing that could have been something’ or maybe, since it is more optimistic, ‘the thing that can be’.)

And still, the one thing on my mind today is kisses… Why, the mind is really a fantastic piece of equipment.

I dreamt of guerilla war and shooting guns last night. I dreamt of running in zig zag down a hill when a man was behind me shooting after me with a rifle. He missed and I rolled, like a child playing, down the hill and started once again to run. I tried to remember what the man looked like when I woke up but couldn’t. At least it wasn’t a known face, not Him or something like that.

And then I talked to ‘the friend who is almost done with her PhD’ and realized that it is hard to motivate one self when you know that there isn’t a path clear for you after that dissertation (or in my case the paper). The notion that “you have the world in front of you and can do whatever you like” isn’t really what you want to hear since it feels like there are too many choices. To many possibilities of mistakes to be made.

And then I said it out loud. Imagine how sad I will be when I am old and realize how much time and effort I have spent being scared of living my life or worrying about the future. Live in the now. Enjoy now. And really, don’t worry. Because when you really look into it, what is the worst thing that can happen to you?

And I promise I will try for real this time. Carpe diem. (I really hate throwing quotes like that out but still, it has a point here.) And I will not live like everyday is my last but I will try and remember that if nothing else, I still have my health, friends, family, some money in the bank and a security system that will not allow me to live on the streets and for now, a job that I actually don’t think I suck at as much as I tend to think.

Maybe this will be the good New Year? The year that this year wasn’t but still I know it was too early so next year might be too early too. But seriously, I am fed up with this worrying thing and the feeling that what ever I do it is not enough. ‘You can always do something better and you should strive for that”

Or “Do what you do and live a little, explore life and dare enjoy the kisses that make your knees buckle and your heart racing”.

I think I will try that. Hopefully tonight.

Monday, December 03, 2007

the hour of the wolf

I know I promised to stay positive regarding work… but after being optimistic and quite happy about this work thing for at least three weeks (wow) I felt the big despair this Saturday.

My hard experiment failed… and the mutants didn’t infect although I really upped the dose.

On the flip side, I guess I can say that they really are attenuated!! And that that in itself is kind of an interesting side effect. (See, trying to be positive in here.) The flop side is that the ELISA didn’t work last week, redoing it today but I fear that my cells might be a little sad and grumpy… ah well, I will try.

More over, I am starting the next 10 days of “living in lab for certain time points” at Wednesday and I really need to catch some sleep before that. Otherwise I will be a very gloomy scientist with bags under my eyes the size of Santa’s gift bag…

Realized that I must have been really stressed and thinking too much, (and maybe because of other reasons as well?) but still, have been tossing and turning in bed the last two nights really disturbs me and haven’t left me rested at all. Took about an hour to fall asleep (that really never happens to me) and then to wake up at 4 am and spend the “hour of the Wolf” by staring into space feeling discomfort and racing thoughts about life, science and everything in between. It didn’t help that Saturday night was spent with nightmares that was way too close to reality for me to disband them in my sleep and say ‘ah, it is just a dream’. (I can do that when I dream about the zombies and the ninjas jumping around chasing me around the world because I am Lara Croft or whatnot; not when it looks like real life and it is just the smaller things like a killer under the car or being half naked in front of the auditorium when one should give ‘the most important talk of your life’.)

So, here I am at work feeling tired and slightly annoyed with myself, writing some whiny things to ‘vent’. Alright, back to happy; I am going to redo an experiment today, hope it works and confirms everything. Although the ELISA didn’t work last week the different treatments still showed significant differences, even if I can’t determine the concentration or anything but it didn’t look crap.

And of course, I have realized it is just work… not my entire life and certainly not worth loosing sanity points for. I guess that is a good realization?! Off to the cell cultures and hoping bacteria grows as they should.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Matrix

As the geek I am one qoute sticks to me when I see the Matrix for the ummpieth time tonight (by the way, SciFi has really made my life in the States easier since it is the channel I really missed back home).

There is one quote specifically I am thinking of, when Agent Smith interrogates Morpheus he says, “I'd like to share a revelation that I've had, during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure.”

Really, a virus… although, I don’t really like the analogy the quote stuck.

Personally, I like the quote “what is real?” more seeing it emphasis the large question of what we are and what we believe is real etc.

Ah well, this is all just a distraction from writing my outline but seeing that the time is late I will accept that I have had a great Thanksgiving weekend and I have worked some yesterday and today but not tonight… I’ll just write the outline tomorrow and now enjoy the famous lobby scene in The Matrix.’ Too bad it isn’t the best music score in the movie (that’s the club scene IMHO) but still, I like it, after all it is Rob Zombie.

I know, I am a tad bit geeky but hey, I am a scientist so why not? ,)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fun things

The experiment I have been dreading last week turned out excellent!!! I guess it makes a huge difference to have the right kit (against mouse things rather than human…) that isn’t too old… and knowing that the cells that are producing the right stuff is doing so after 1 hour of adding the bacteria and not 2.5 ….

And I can take that any day because I got significant results when I ran the test. I am redoing it today and really hoping that I can repeat it and see the same results in the ELISA tomorrow. Apparently, hope isn’t dead in me. Yey me!

Haven’t told PI about taking vacation yet, will wait another few days, although I think I would feel better if I just said “I’ll be going home for a few days in early January” and then buy the ticket so I don’t end up here without a ticket. On the other hand, really – I couldn’t care less about when I am going “home” seeing it will be a mixture of really bad and boring things to do as well as some nice meetings with friends and family. Mixture as I said.

So, all in all: the last couple of weeks have ended up in having a few different results.

PCRs working, transformations not so much. I’ll give it this week and then I will remake the construct, i.e. flipping the res gene and make it run the same way it should. It shouldn’t make a difference but it might.

Models of the different diseases, one is behaving as planned, the other one is a tad bit hard to interpret.

In vitro stuff, apparently really good!

Thinking and planning an abstract to be sent in to the conference in early January, well… I am thinking about it…

Manuscript writing, not at all. The whole thing is up in the air depending on the results of the four different tests I am running at the moment. Oh, and of that stupid mutant that doesn’t want to work.

Finally, there is a good feeling at the moment. Let’s hope I can keep this for at least a week because I think it would be really good on my self esteem to feel like this.

I'll mention the talk another time but in short; my computer didn't like me so it stalled for the first 20 mins. My PI told me to go to the white board and give the talk anyway while he smooth talked my computer and after an introduction and background on the board the computer gave up and let me access my result slides. All in all, I did a great job of presenting my introduction without any tools apart from my hands and a white board. (It doesn't hurt to be an underdog sometimes.) The result section, well I think it went ok all in all so... another time I will go into more depth how "not to panic when computer hates the new cord to link it with the projector...."

(and then of course, there are always articles like this one that keeps me grounded… pahh… let's hope the research wasn't as extensivve so I can dismiss it.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007


As usual the stress before a talk is awake. I think I can pull it all together before tomorrow when my PI wants to see my slides. Hopefully I can make it good, as long as I decide on the colour... duhh... as if it really is that important. It is not even a 'real' talk, just a bit bigger than a group meeting in an informal setting. Although, it is my only talk this year and I am supposedly getting feed back tomorrow.

At the moment I am mostly feeling all the stuff I should have done before this. All those things that haven't worked, i.e. the two different mutants I am trying to get. (note to self, I will flip the gene and make a new ligation since I think that might help out.) I probably could put something in about the other mutants that I have made though. Should focus on the fact that I have some results, since the abstract/poster at the conference even if I miss the easy ELISA since the cells refused to grow last week and the kit was old... ah well, it is all good?! I just, as usual, need to focus on what I have done and not on the stuff I haven't done!

Be proud of me and my research and try and put it out to the audience.

well, it is a bit tedious to always realise that my worst enemy in science is me, myself and I. Although, I would like it to be my bacteria or my PI but I really do think it is my self image... but I guess I could make it a positive thing seeing I see myself every day so why not change it?! he, let's focus on this and get the presentation going. It is going to be fun!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Not complaining

Well, after reading my lst post I did decide to stop whining and maybe to keep things more objective (hm, that’s not going to work but at least I can try not to always write sad, bad and complaining things but rather a little more of the objective “life in the lab” or at least write some things more that are happy…)

So, in all earnest to try and make good on my promise (intention). The latter part of the day went almost as bad as the first part… (to be completely honest it went worse but I am trying to focus on the few good things here ,) ). My results from the tests with my first mutants that actually have worked (the ones I am trying to do now are a little complicated and sad) are ambiguous… that said, I see a difference between the wild type and the mutant which made me happy…. Until I tried to explain why that happened seeing that the mutant is not suppose to either grow slower (has to do with clearance rate) or adhere worse (has to do with sickness) so I am in for a little mystery solving, which I am actually looking forward to. Printed a ton of papers today to try and read through them with the eyes looking for “adherence”, “colonization” or something else I haven’t thought of yet…

Time to get back to reading.

(and yeah, I cut out the last post. Sorry Hypoglycemiagirl for loss of the comment. Thanks though! It was spot on. My talk will be good :) )

Friday, October 12, 2007

390 goals and 917 points and counting...

He did it!
In the good game where Maple Leafs won 8-1 Sundin did it!! (A wonderful thing that Leafs won since the game before this one ended in 1-7…. Anyway, let’s not think about that now.)

He now has the records of most goals (390) in Toronto Maple Leafs and most points (917) and he is not done! He is also chasing that old record of Börje Salming with the assists, Salming has 620 and Sundin 527 so that might take a while… not that I really care seeing they are both Swedes and really Salming was awesome in his time!

I really, really, really, wish he can finish this season with taking the Leafs to the Stanley Cup Play offs and how wonderful would it be if they went to the finals?!?! I have already given myself a promise that if (I want to write when) they enter the play offs I will head up there and grab a seat in Air Canada Centre to see my favorite team in their building. (I know, it might be too expensive but the dream lives on…)

I mean, can you imagine what it sounded like when this happened there after the game last night? “Capping the historic night at Air Canada Centre, public address announcer Andy Frost drew roars of approval from the more than 19,000 fans when he revealed the selection of the three stars of the game as Sundin, Sundin and Sundin.” And further to emphasise that it isn’t only I who perceive this crazy fandom “Over the last 10 seasons, Sundin ranks fourth among all NHL players in goals (334) and points (787)” (Although, I think might need to update their numbers but well, I’ll let it slide for this time.)

Time to exit the world of hockey and enter the lab, PCRs here I come. Jolly weekend to y’all and good luck England in conquering those French Frogs (no offense people, its rugby!)!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Article and journal decisions

I am trying to write my article and summarize everything I have done so far. I realize that there are a few more results (ok, quite a few) that need to be done before I can say I am finished with this but still my only thought at the moment (apart from the dreadful moment tomorrow when I have decided to present the manuscript so far to my PI for comments) is where to send this? My ego would like to send it to a large journal, just to get some comments on why they wouldn’t publish it?! Then move on to another journal that I think might would publish it and where I would be happy to have it. And then, after that, move into “anywhere as long as impact factor is larger than 3 and people who I write for read the journal”.

I tried to look at different journals and decide what I want to name drop when we eventually talk about it. I guess that is one of the main things I want to sort out tomorrow since it will influence how I argue in my discussion… I assume we will send it to a rather more clinical setting than what I am used to (not pure microbiology that is). In other words, more Journal of Clinical investigation or maybe Journal of experimental medicine although I do realize that both of them have massive impact factors and probably will not be for this research. Otherwise I guess PLoS Medicine or PLoS would work (and not as "would work although they are not as high" because they are), taking into consideration that this project might be considered a little cross over… it is not solely microbiology and not solely clinical.

In fact, I was surprised when people told me at the conference that it was considered a clinical paper since I have no patients or material from humans. Anyway, back to the journal thinking. I am such a snob though that at the moment think it will be my last goal to see if it is publishable in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy or Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. I think those would be kind of safe bets, but then again, I am not sure. This is why my PI will have the final say in all this...

I think it would be fun to someday try and send something to Nature Medicine for example (I know, it is ego and probably very silly to want that kind of recognition). Just because I personally, when I am in a good mood as today, can see the benefits and interest from many people and this especially when talking about treatment of infectious diseases. And then of course that I would be so happy if my research went into one of the Big ones... it would be similar to the dream about studying in Cambridge or getting my PhD degree and then realizing one day that I have a PhD degree (no, never went to Cambridge but a professor from there gave me one of my best memories of conferences and research) and that I am, currently, doing a post doc at a place I never thought I could qualify for when I started my biology studies as an undergrad.

Well, I just wanted to let this stand out here for me to mull over until tomorrow (or more likely next week). The hardest part would be to say “I think we should send it to Nature Medicine” and not get a condescending smile. [Come to think of it, I think the paper I am second author on got sent to Nature Medicine by my PI first so… maybe not completely impossible? If nothing else he might have the guts to try?!] And also, the last paper accepted in the lab was in some of the newcomer Cell spawns so…. Maybe not completely off mark? And if nothing else, the likely hood of me publishing in a grand big journal is never going to be higher than this - in this ‘highly ranked institute’ where I am now so better try. It like that saying “you can’t win if you don’t play”.

Home to practice face “what is the worst that can happen if we submit there?”. And of course, "go for the shot stupid! Don't flap around the ice like that!" (yes, hockey started yesterday!! yey!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

women in science

I read a post the other day at Am I A Women Scientist and decided to respond in the comments.
“…I finished my PhD two years ago and did an 'inventory' where my former colleges are today. Of the women, 7 out of 9 (78%) are on a nontenure, nonscience, nonuni track but only 1 out of 6 (16%) of the men. Of the two women still in the scientific field (or what to call it?! t-t?) one is employed for another month and then she will change careers into nursing. So, that leaves me doing a post doc abroad and one woman working as a researcher in t-t. I guess 20% rate (2/10) from PhD to t-t might be considered ok??* If it wasn't for the almost opposite (84%) ratio in the male group...”

*on the other hand I am not sure I am on t-t at the moment… and not what I’ll do later but in all fairness, I am comparing with the men so I have the same situation as them (post doc with publications).

This set off a trail of thoughts in my head and I am not sure that it is relevant either. But no matter if one would be claiming that men are evil or women are meant to be home with children, one must say that there is a difference in outcome a few years after the coveted PhD degree is acquired between men and women (at least in biology from my old department).

I guess in order for it to be significant I should link to those studies that are published showing that indeed there are a difference and unfortunately the difference in ratio between men and women are not in fact decreasing. The ratio men/women with a PhD might decrease but the ratio t-t men/women a few years after the degree is quite stable. (I guess I need to dig up some references for believability?)

Together with this thought process I remembered that I got an email from a friend, female, the other week where she wrote that she is considering returning to science and get a PhD degree. This after being working as a teacher for a few years while her two children have been born and they as a family needed the solid money rather than replying on her husband’s grant applications (yes, he is in research and had his PhD a few years back).

I probably sounded like a cynical women in my reply when I really wanted to say “Yes damn it! Go back! Give yourself that opportunity that we talked about when I chose to start my graduate program.”, and instead sound like a bitter feminist maybe? What I did write was a more nuanced “I think you should be happy with going back. And no, I don’t think you are too old. And I think you should think about what you want to do with your life!” but I think I kind of under minded the whole argument by adding “being a little cynical and scared of being without money I need to point out that I have no idea what the social security for you as a mother looks like when it comes to the funding situation. I’d check it up prior to making a solid decision. On the other hand, I am sure it is ok, it is just me being overly cautious.”Hopefully, I didn’t scare her off the prospect even if this specific PhD position might not have been what she was looking for.

I don’t know. Life is recently turning into much more complicated than I would have liked it, and would like it to be. For example, every now and then I am contemplating how much I am doing this post doc thing in order to prove to other (women) that it can be done, when in fact I think it might be either like reinventing the wheel (there have been and will be other women who have ‘done it’) or making me suffer all in vane since I don’t want to do science after all. Then I remember the happy feeling of testing my theories and looking at my PCRs or, as last Monday, realizing that the mutant I made actually seems to be a solid good mutant.

On the topic of women in science and the historic perspective I would like to point to a new book by the (British) History professor Ruth Watts. Women in Science: A Social and Cultural History (Routledge, 320 pp). Definetly something I want for christmas, especially since the review/comment I read the other day was quite intruging if not depressing in a historical context. In other words, the notion that ” it is getting better, i.e. more women in science, would be due to history and that we are in fact better off today than previos times is not exactly accurate...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

... aren't there bigger issues?

Every once in a while I find myself asking "aren't there bigger issues?". Often when I see what kind of questions arise before elections or, in this case, in religious matters and when trying to decide which road to choose for the future.

I do understand that it is percieved as a moral issue as well as for many a saving grace, or saving from hell, but still… I don’t always get it. I mean, I would probably understand the attitude more IF we discussed the real, imho, moral issues as well – or even first. What am I thinking about one might ask?

Well, in simple terms, there are more than 12 million poor children in the US. Every day 3000 children die of Malaria in the world (yes, two children every second!). 1.2 billion (a sixth of the population) haven’t got access to pure water. But we are talking/arguing about if two people should be allowed to get a blessing or not. Not how we should try and make this gross inequality right.

Well, I guess this is strange to me since I do not heavily oppose it. (‘It’ being blessings over two people wanting to be open with their love, then again I might not be the most liberal person either.)

It disturbs me though, that it is so easily forgotten that we should take care of our fellow humans, and especially children.

I have tried not to be political (ok, as much anyway) in this blog but today it got to close. Especially after visiting "the north" for a conference last week and realising that indeed there are worse homeless people than down south and maybe, just maybe, it filled me with despair to see all the people with their expensive shopping bags walking past people who clearly did not have neither home nor food/clothes...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Just to be able to link to the plushyness of it all....

Monday, August 20, 2007

Time comes back...

Sometimes old friends (and loves) come back to revisit you in your mind. Sometimes it is more understandable than others. When one as had a birthday, an upsetting happening or anything else, that is when history reveals itself once again. And the only thing that usually changes, for me anyway that is, is how my thoughts go.

And this time I am pleasantly surprised, I must say. Next few months will be busy with work, work and more work. Not only a conference with a poster but also a departmental talk. My first and my maybe only here. Well, I will think and worry about it later on.

Time to sleep. Some reading for those interested in my writings, after “editorvoid” of course.

Time after Time:
A sinister reality:

Monday, July 23, 2007

Womanly scientist or just a woman, just a scientist?!

Got the question last week and have been thinking about it on and off during the weekend. “Why don’t you look more ‘womanly’ when you are work?” And “Why don’t you say that you are a real woman as much as you repeat ‘I am not the typical woman”.

Well, the last statement is easier to answer than the first. (I just don’t fit the typical woman box, not when it comes to attitude, interests and work. I do like buying shoes but I can’t be bothered with home decorating. I want to work rather than being a stay at home wife. I like talking about politics and philosophy. I do kickboxing for the fighting skills, not the aerobics. I probably should care more about my exterior side when it comes to make up and hair dos…. I definitely talk too much and voice my opinions in discussions about thing. Und so wieter…)

Both of the questions however, move into the field of “Why would I be interested in being viewed as a woman when I am at work?” (Or even always in society). Will I be treated better/differently if I had more so called womanly clothes and appearance (skirts, low cut tops, high heels, make up)? I have a nagging feeling that I am being blocked by some old references from my past in why I would like to be considered a scientist rather than a female scientist almost every day… on the other hand I do value my personal as a woman, but maybe only as you know me as X and then I am also a woman?! I am not just X – the woman, since that would lead to that diminished look as I tend to find when it comes to other women (real ones) who are good looking and sexy but almost never considered having a brain and be respected for that.

I am scared that the old saying “beauty or brains” is true. Like the PSB song ‘Opportunities’ “You’ve got the looks, I’ve got the brains, let’s make lots of money!” But I’ll admit it; I’d love to be wrong. I’d love to be able to be considered smart and good looking etc…

I guess it might be a slight problem that I’m not sure what is considered to be ‘womanly’ if it isn’t sexy. And that is just sad. Is it really that easy? Woman = boobs and good looks and then the “get taken care of by the strong man” is the following thing?

I really need to have this talk with someone. Any suggestions or thoughts will be most appreciated since I do feel a little confused by this all.

Time for primers...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Larry King Live and Dirty Jobs

Tonighht was one of the best Larry King Live shows for a long while. Not only was Dirty Jobs there with Mike Rowe (?) and his two partners in crime but also a "owl throw up catching"guy ith a degree in biology (of course). So splendid. I mean, after all the guy looked like a kind of particular guy and to add on that he is a scientist and therefore probably a bit odd. (Yepp, since I am one myself I would accept the perception that scientist might be a little odd in the terms of being a slightly bit obssessed with what we do.... )

One of the best things apart from that was when they showed the "cow pots". Pots to grow plants in made of cow poo. Wonderful idea. Biodegradable and fertilizing as well. I really hope they sell so many more after the stint on tv. I have to say I thought it was quite good as a "not using plastic pots made by foreign oil".

Well, end of this since I need to go to bed soon. The transformations seem to have worked a little but I am not jumping with joy until I have pcred at least two of the clones and since they refused to grow in the media today I'll redo it all Monday. No, I am not doing it tomorrow since I am back to "in the lab every 12th hour for at least 8 days" starting Tuesday. I need this Saturday off not to go crazy. Where I come from vacation is a good thing to keep one focused and happy. At least some vacation, like sleeping in weekend mornings.

tata for this time.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

courage - proud

This has close to nothing to do with science but I feel happy that this series is translated into English since it has given me so many emotions. Especially this: Courage and refusal

My eyes got a little wet, maybe because I love that silent humbleness with the core of strength and sense of justice. It has a serious discussion waiting to happen though, wht to do with the UN... and in light of the current events in the UK, what to do with the problem of democracy and fighting beliefs that do not necessary care about our [western] view of democracy.

Well, for now I'll be content that the writing is in English and more available for other than Swedish speakers. Furthermore, I'll step out in the summer heat and go to a BBQ, southern style.


Monday, June 11, 2007

second PCR and second primer

...and the second primer worked the first time I used it as well. With the correct temperature too. Wow! I am feeling content and happy now, yet I still believe something is wrong. Or at least it will not work all the way... ah well, I'll skip my [realistic] pessimistic view of it all and try and purify the pcr products tonight so I can run the third [VERY] important pcr tomorrow morning. Actually, I am pondering staying in lab for another four hours and do the pcr tonight but nahh... I should sleep some and then of course it's the dreaded 'being tired and sloppy' which I really don't want to be today! Not when it is working!! (small dance of joy!!)

off to clean the products.

update> I stayed (not really surprised) and put a reaction over night. I did, however, elute the purified products into 50 microliters .... I should have remembered that concentration is the key. Tomorrow I'll redo it all and remember to elute into 25 microl maybe? hm, I'll think about it. All of it probably since I didn't gel purify but rather did a quick pcr prep purification. I wonder if that is a big difference, really? Anyone knows?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Experiments at Friday afternoons

The pcr worked! I am so happy with myself since the pcr with the new (correct!!) primers did work the first time. With both the strains. With the higher temperature! Go me. Or something... The only thing that is annoying is that the second (new) primer, i.e. the second primer in the second pair of primer pairs that I need, have not been synthezied yet. The tech mumbled something about ”low yield” or something along those lines when I went down to the facility Wednesday to ask why the third new primer hadn’t been with the other two. Well, hopefully I can have them Monday and if (cross my fingers and wish for everything I hold dear at the moment) the reaction works on Monday I might actually greet my boss back with a happy ”I think I have the mutant”.

This is of course based on the fact that not only the first pcr reaction needs to work but the second one, with the three different fragments and the three different primers need to work when put together. Then the transformation (which I have yet to get to work in the other strains with that other fragment) must work. And then of course the cultivation and examination. But hey, I am going to feel happy for my wonderful band on the TAE gel today since it is Friday and doing an important experiment the last few hours of the day might result in a very distressed post doc for the weekend or, as in this case, a post doc that looks onto next weeks bench work with happy eyes and hope in her heart. This based on the fact that I am not considering the looong time spent trying to amplify the fragment using nonoptimised primers and other smaller things that have made this take way too long time. Not thinking about that now. Actually, it might not be that important since I learned what I did wrong and redid it right. Or so I hope. (knock wood!)

How mushy is this anyway? To be honest though, about the life of a post doc: I still have to go in to work later tonight and tomorrow morning and then tomorrow night and then the morning after... well, you get the picture?! Time points. As can be read about
here [shamelessly proud is what I am about it!]. Hopefully that experiment will turn for the better because at the moment those things are looking a little bleak. Ah well, at least I might might have half a mutant ;) Time to go home for running and then dinner before returning to work and donning the protective gear.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

-80 degrees = burns

Having a PhD does not automatically make you smart. I remember I used to tell friends back home this after they pointed out that it was strange that I did this or that. Today I got reminded again. When opening the [vertical] -80 freezer to pull out the racks in metal it is better if you a)don’t press the side of your hand directly towards the metal in order to keep the rack stabile and b)don’t think ‘this will only take a second’ but then realising that the box you want is very close to the back of the freezer. IF one wouldn’t remember this (who could be that stupid?) one could end up with a burn on one’s thumb. But of course, this is just hypothetically speaking. No Doctor would ever forget to put on the BIG gloves when handling the -80stuff. Nahh…..

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lloyd Chudley Alexander

I learned today that Lloyd Alexander died the 17th of May, the National day of Norway and by other reasons an important day for me personally. When I recall my childhood as well as I want it will be in the library, childrens’ section with all its vast collection of books, books I could lend and take home in my back pack. To read and read and read and dream about all the wonderful places in those books.

I remember the librarians looking at me the first times I went there and the stack of books I wanted to bring home. “That is awfully many, love. You do realise you only have them for 14 days?” I nodded and my mum or dad, who usually accompanied me to the library, left me in the childrens’ section and walked the long walk up to the adult/grown up library to lend some books for them. Sometimes my dad staid with me and read the comics you could find in the children’s section though. And you were only allowed to bring three of them home, “otherwise it would be any left for others you see”.

I read, and still read, fast, especially when I was younger in comparison to other children my age. Therefore I could bring home many books in my little bag and read them all and then return them on time, or before time, and bring home new. I think it was then I started to reread books. It was like an old friend, someone you can count on.

I still remember listening to the radio during one summer and hearing the stories of “Westmark”, ”The Kestrel” and “The Begger queen” as a radio theater. I remember the horror I felt in the middle of The Kestrel when the rebels (or our heroes on a quest for freedom as they were in the book) were mortified finding their own soliders sitting leaning towards trees, dead, with no skin on them. I can hear the anguish and hate in the voice of [the actor of] Theo, ‘The Kestrel’, when he said “the are like meat, bloody and propped up towards the trees. Their eyes all bloody and there skin gone. The fiends that have done this is not human, so why should we.” I remember calling for my grand mother in the middle of the night when I relived the episode in my dreams, with me as Theo’s best friend – not Mickle though – never Mickle although she was and is a beautiful role model for a young girl when it comes to that.

I remember the bravado of the Rebel leader Florian, what a beautiful name, and the awful evilness of Skeit as well as Cabbarus, not to forget the fun yet enormously sad Count Las Bombas – the conman with his different potions and creams. And Justin, the rebel with the intense blue eyes and the madness to match it, the hurt and the loneliness that only those who have seen the world crumble down in front of them can really have. The lust of Theo to become one of Florian's children, like Luther, Stock, Justin and Zara. I realise in hindsight that these books might have given me a view of the necessity of rebellion, or maybe the necessity of realising the life is never ever fair, but we have to try and make it as fair as possible. And still it is a dream, a childish dream of the just war, the just means to make it all right.

To finish, if you haven’t read the books as a child (or adolescence maybe might have been more appropriate) I still think one can read them now. If I had kids for sure I’d give them the Chronicles of Prydain first, since they are more childlike and almost like a Fellowship of the Ring for children. And the stories of Vesper Holly, the third series of Mr Alexander, is also great for the independent girl who finds friends and adventures all over but never is portrayed as a second hand character. Then read the Westmark triology and see the influence from the French revolution, the fall of the Eastern Europe dictatorships [although that hadn't happened at the time] and other unjustly ruled countries all over the globe. I can not help but to speculate how much the series is inspired by Alexander’s own experience in the WWII where he trained in Wales and then moved over into the Rhineland and southern Germany in the end years of the war. After all the Chronicles of Pyradin are inspired by old folk lore from Wales and Alexander did translate more than a few books from French, among all Sartre as well. (The Kestrel does bring similar feelings as Sartre's The Victors, interesting indeed. Wonder if Alexander did a translation of that play as well?)

I realise now, when my eyes are filling up, that I probably never got over the fact that Theo, in all his splendor of being the brave rebel, lost his own faith in man when he became the Kestrel. The pseudonym hid more than just his name, he traded in the humanitarian side for the more vicious side and fought the horrible Cabbarus with his means – proving yet again that war will never be beautiful, fair or won. There are only those that loose more than others. And Theo put away himself for the cruel and innovative Kestrel, still the hero in so many eyes of the rebels to is own disdain.

I think I will look for the books on line and see if I can buy them. At least The Kestrel, since I am not entirely sure I really liked The Begger Queen… strangely enough in all this but I will probably buy all three of the books, after all it is a series.

In the end of the articles here and here it states that Alexander's wife, who he met in France and was married to for 65 years, died May 2nd. I guess that is somewhat beginning of hope for love and man for me, although I will miss the writer and my childhood feelings of innocence and grandness of rebellions.

Stanely Cup finals

So, the time has finally come for the Final! Monday is the day it all comes down to, or at least that is the starting of it all.

I am not really sure what to do though. I mean, I have never ever liked Anaheim Ducks. Never. Ever. And I like Canada just for being there as a hockey nation with few teams but gosh they still have a large piece of my heart. So, really it should be simple but still. Anaheim kicked both Predators as well as Canucks out of the play offs so if they win the other teams still could be considered good.... on the other hand, it is still the Ducks.

I guess the main reason for my shifting is that I really like Teemu Selanne (presently third in the goal statistics!) and the brothers Niedermayers. They play good hockey, revised - they play great hockey and that is something fun to see! And Pronger of course.... shouldn't forget him nor their goalie.

I guess I'll just watch the games and see who wins. Pah.... that will so never happen since I know I get involved when watching hockey.

stories from the world of science

If one is interested in reading about the lives and thoughts of scientists & post docs there is an excellent collection of different people writing about vairous things in the "Post doc carnival" at the blogg "Minor revisions"

...and no, this is not since I am in the link collection but because one can find other stories from people who love science but yet feel a little diverse about this world of science.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Eppendorfs, Gilsons and Bunsens

I never given much thought of why I am used to call micro centrifuge tubes for eppendorf tubes until I moved to the States and my new lab mates (very loosely used term) look at me funny when I started talking about eppendorfs. “You mean micro centrifuge tubes?” and I nodded. It never occurred to me that it is just a brand name, silly me. It’s probably the equivalent to calling all soft drinks for coke, or ginger ale if that is what you like.

Gilsons, the micro pipettes, on the other hand I am not sure of. Are they a brand? The first ones made? Or am I supposed to call them pipettes as well? In that case, how to I distinguish “real” pipettes (ranging from 0.5 ml to 25 mls) from the Gilsons i.e. the disposable ones versus the non-disposable ones. Gilsons cost plenty as an old friend of mine said.

Furthermore I realized today, or tonight rather, that again I am stuck with the lab bench adjacent to the wall on left side of the row. This might not be a problem but when the Bunsen burner is attached to the gas hook up is also on the left side is does become a problem for little ol’ me. Why? Because yours truly is left handed. So, I also realized that putting your latex gloved hand over the invisible flame (the burner I have hasn’t got a thing to adjust the air intake but only the amount of gas flowing) while trying to grab a sterile bacterial “smearer” hurts. It was the smell that made me realize I put my hand in the flame. The hurt came later. And then I saw the yellowish glove turned a bit deep orange/burned… Ah well, not too much of a burn but I was pretty much waiting for this to happen. Always strange to have a bench that is opposite what you need.

At least I think I have good data from the sad bacterial that did not want to grow until 3 pm rather than being over and done with at noon, so I got out of the lab by 9. I’ll count them tomorrow but the ODstudies looked really interesting. Hopefully they will cooperate more tomorrow so I can repeat it without too much hassle. Now, time to sleep.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

money and grants...

Watching one of those horrific ‘reality’ programs on TV, in this case the show ”Daddy’s spoiled little girl” on We, I think I would react differently to the whole trust fund thing. I mean, not only did my parents raise me with manners and politeness towards people that is something that definitely seems to be lacking in these people portrayed, if I had a trust fund jeez what kind of research I could do. Hm, I know that that probably is not true, with ethical rules and guide lines and all, but still… the notion that I think I would do research if I had a trust fund is somewhat mind-boggling for me at times. (It screams a of little geekiness or maybe obsession although I kind of find it a little better than spending it all on bubbly wine to sprout over my so call friends as people seem to be doing all over the world,) Other women would probably go for shoes. And men would probably go for cars or some new technical gizmo. Oh, or maybe a big mansion to actual own a house to live in? Would be a new thing for me!

Well, leaving the gender stereotype – I would probably go for some shoes, after all it is a small addiction for me* - but still being able to go to different conferences in order to meet people and discuss research without being begging for travel grants (mental note to self: need to write the grant application for the conference in September and book a plain ticket for the same) or just not have to work for the salary.

End of ranting since the show stopped and I need to go to bed before getting back to the wondrous research business tomorrow.

*shoes are the one thing I do end up buying more often than other things – books excluded - simply because they are easy to try on and most often does not require a fitting room or messing with.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Why hockey is so big?! And of course... bye bye Canucks

This article made me teary eyed. Yep, I am a sappy sentimental Swede on the other side of the world and I miss my country sometimes. Or at least I miss the happy feeling portrayed in the article. Gosh, if that was the truth though… that would be an even bigger thing. Well, it is not that they are lying in the article, get me right, it is the fact that if every town was as good at self assurance and pride we might stand a chance against those thoughts we breed as a community back home. Sometime I wonder if we were all indoctrinated while sleeping in day care with “Don’t think you are anything else than average. Don’t perceive you are different than others. Don’t stand out. Everyone striving for success will fall harder when the fail” or Jante as we call it.

Ok, that was wrong of me. Not true. Or just a little… but truthfully I would like to visit Örnsköldsvik some time. Just to see it. Gotta love a town that has 30 000 inhabitants but still 7000 people on average attendance at game time in the arena!

Back to NHL and Stanley Cup (and yes, I can see my reports getting fewer and fewer now). Canucks played like, ah well I didn’t see that game yesterday. Tried to but when no TV channel in my vicinity proved to be able to let me watch it I gave in and waited for the game to be over. I fell asleep before the second over time was over. As expected Niedermayer (Scott not his brother) made the goal. Ah hem, when you go down better loose against the best huh?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Selanne, Pronger, Niedermayer and Luongo

Ok, I am the first to admit that I don’t like The Ducks. First of all, how can you want to call a cool hockey team ducks? I mean, in some way I should probably not disagree since it is an old [British slang] word for “beautiful woman”/”cute girl”/affectionate for "female" – kind of what Spike calls some of his love interests and he is from the late 19 century. It is therefore, in the male chauvinistic and misogynic world of hockey, a brave name!

On the other hand, if you see a fight between a predator and a duck, who would you think would win? Yes, exactly my point. So, not because of the name itself but maybe rather that it was a lousy movie (actually I think they made two or three ‘The mighty Ducks’ and I have an inkling that Joshua Jackson was in the first one, with Charlie Sheen) and that Disney started the real team after the movies. It is just strange.

Anyhow, when I saw the Ducks play in January I almost got into trouble when I laughed when T. Selanne made yet another brilliant pass to one of his team mates. “What are you doing?!” came from a guy sitting next to me. I tried to explain it in some way to say that since he is Finnish and also because he is good, I just enjoyed watching someone that knows how to play hockey play. It didn’t really work out but the guy at least stopped looking at me as if I was cheering for the wrong team.

Well, last night I wanted so bad that the Sedin brothers could have done something. Reading today that they weren’t playing together and not at all in the first half? Why not? They’ve scored more than others in their team the last games, together with Naslund / their captain. Though, I do not know what the game looked like since I really made a mature decision and stayed home rather than going wandering looking for a pub where I could watch the game (maybe one down town, maybe) since I knew I had to get up real early this morning. I stayed at home and watched the updates on and let me tell you, I was happy when it said 2-1 Canucks in the beginning of 3rd. Of course that didn’t last. Selanne did his thing and made 2-2. OT next. And I went to bed before that even started. Probably best since they lost. And now it is 1-3 for Canucks in games. I guess I will have no teams in the playoffs soon…

I really understand and appreciate that Pronger (top five in offensive leaders) and Niedermayer are nominated for that trophy, as well as Canuck’s goalie Luongo (top five goalies). It is just too bad that the first three guys in this entry are on the wrong team, the stupid duckies – the reservoir for the severe bird flu in the world. Ha.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Canucks or Stars

Well, of course my teams have to play like they never have played before (as in never played hockey before). Predators are out. I am not too surprised, or sad, for that matter since I still think Forsberg has the disadvantage of being considered the best Swedish player although I would really like to have the consitency factor calulated in that equation. I mean, Sundin has almost never been injured and that makes him a stability factor - but sure, The Maple Leaves are not even in the play off (as usual more or less).

So, Canucks managed to do exactly what I was scared of Thursday. They had the Stars at 3-1 in games... and now it is 3-3 and the LAST game is tomorrow. In Vancouver. Which might be good.

Since I am not in Vancouver and since I have the peasant cable I will have to think about what to do tomorrow. Especially since I have kick boxing and might be downtown a bit late in time for the game. Ah well, I might be satisfied with looking at the live feed on I mean, if the loose (knock on wood and all that) I don't think I want to see it. Too depressing.

I really need to get a life different from hockey. Time to dinner now.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

play offs again

I really feel that this is not going well for the Predators. They get beaten by Sharks, I'll bet you on that!

Canucks on the other hand, as long as they don't repeat the worst mistake of history of play offs!! (If you know, you know. If you don't well... you don't.)

And since the game starts at 1o EDT i don't stand a chance in the world to watch it. Even if I were to find a bar where I could see it... I'll have to read the tomorrow and find out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

...the future

“Aren’t you afraid sometimes? Or cry when you are alone? Or feel scared about the future?” I asked a [male] friend as well as post doc the other night. He just looked at me and simply stated, No why should I?

“Well, I just thought that other people cried sometimes. Or felt hesitant about the future?” Maybe I am not looking for the word hesitant as much as tentative, undecided, doubtful, cautious or uncertain but anyway – he still just looked at me as I was a strange species sitting next to him. He never cries when alone at home. Apparently he doesn’t feel anxious about the future either. Am I really that strange in this world? (Yes, this might be the biggest “please make a comment about it” I have written so far!)

I still understand that I might be in a bit of an unusual position at the moment although I have to say I have never been good with the whole “You’ve got the whole world in front of your feet and you can do whatever you like in the future”. Naha, too many choices for me. Too many chances of choosing the wrong thing. That is generally why I decide from the standpoint “I don’t like that and that so that leaves me with less choices…”.

All this back to the mind again yesterday when I an analysed my data with my PI and we looked at it together. Do I really think I will be able to become one of those PIs with independent research grants (weigh in the fact that I have never so far written a grant on my own) or, and this might be _the_ question, do I really want to become one?

Yes, the world is my oyster indeed. I can not comprehend I am arguing such a wonderful opportunity of making my own happiness. Or whatever, it is time for lunch and analysing some more. Need to present stuff at the group meeting today. Not much time left.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stanley cup play offs

OMG. It is 4-4 in the first game between Sharks and Predators. And that means overtime! Or, as I should call it, sudden death since it is the first goal in the forth period of 20 min wins. Yey, this will be interesting. As far as the period has gone, 12 min, it is still 4-4 although Predators have more shots on goal and, with my subjective eyes, look a little more hungry than the Sharks.

The joy of the team names. The two sad things for me so far. One of my faves, and the most original team for my hockey love, Mape Leaves did not make it. The other sad thing, I will not be able to see the Canucks play even on tv since I have peasant cable and down south they will not show hockey if it isn't Nashville or maybe St Louis... (I guess if Predators meets Canucks we will have an opportunity?!) Well, I guess I will have to read transcripts or find a man with expensive cable who will let me watch it. We'll see but I am guessing transcripts will have to do for now.

Back to the last 3 min of the overtime and see what happens. ttfn.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Language confusion

As I suspected, being away from this place i.e. south of US for three weeks and being back in the mother country with its own language, has brought me back into “sorry, could you repeat that please” when it comes to fast conversation in loud pubs (or more work related conversations as well to be honest). I guess it will be better in a couple of days although it is a little frustrating to realise that my grammar has been deteriorating as well as the vocabulary. I am, I is or what is it really in some sentences?

Reading the latest Ian Rankin book have been a great help though. Not only that I picked up Scottish slang, or as I was told today ‘British’ slang really, like Geordie (someone from Newcastle, England) but also because it is a really good book. The naming of the dead is the title of it. Rankin lets the book deal with a week in July in 2005 and I realised that I completely forgot that the G8 meeting took place in vicinity of Edinburgh right before and during the bombings of London. Interesting that I forgot that, of course not the bombing but the meeting at the same dates. Can’t help but wonder just a little why the papers back home never made a though of connecting the two? Maybe because it was none? Or maybe because they just did not see the importance?

To go back to my original thought though, language and the trouble there is with switching between two of them all the time. Not really trouble but rather a quite interesting observation (introspective) from my own experience. It is true it took me about three weeks to start dreaming in English when I first moved here last summer. It only took me two days going back “home” to start dreaming in my own language. And now, being back here for four days, I am back to dreaming in English. I guess it is hard to explain how I would know the distinction but apart from sometimes remembering dialogue when I wake up, I wake up with a question in my mind… and right now the question has been in English. A little confusing every now and then. Especially when it feels kind of silly to write a diary in one specific language when dreaming and thinking in sometimes one or the other language is so switching and volatile. (Again, not really sure one can phrase it like that in correct English.)

Furthermore, I tried to explain things back home and realised it went much faster to say it in English – specifically when referring to things happened to me over here – although I should be able to find nuances very good in a language I have been speaking for over 25 years. Strange. Or maybe not? It is just that it can be a little unsettling sometimes to realise not only that I am living in another country on the other side of the world but also that sometimes it is easier and more accurate to express my feelings and thoughts in English. I also know that this is one of those things most of the people I socialise with here do not understand or can comprehend since they never have had that experience.

Well, end of rant for today. I really need to unpack my bags for real and put them away.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

milk and evidence for something "we have known a long time"

Being from Northern Europe means I have always drunk milk. Not only since I was a child but also even nowadays. Although I must admit I still find some of my friends’ habits of drinking milk to food when they are about 35 years a little unsettling. Not too strange, just a fair bit odd ;) Anyway, PNAS has an article about the research done of prevalence of genes connected to lactose intolerance and northern Europeans… Of course they have added in some studies of people drinking milk in Asia and Africa as well and have discovered that the tolerance of lactose has emerged several times in various places. Interesting indeed.

Personally I find it fun that “something we have always known back home” is now a fact and ‘proven scientifically’. As stated in the review of the article in New Scientist (PNAS is not online yet…) :
“Thomas also notes that the low levels of sunlight in northern Europe during winter mean that people have lowered levels of vitamin D in their bodies, and therefore have difficulty absorbing calcium. Milk solves this problem by providing them with both calcium and some vitamin D.”

This is also a problem when people move to our very beautiful, yet scarcely populated countries up north. People born in these countries are use to eat supplements when young, very small children always get supplement of vitamin A and D (back in the days it was the famous cod-liver oil but nowadays it actually tastes a little better) as a complement. Note though, that these supplements are not added in the food (baby formula or baby food) but rather giving on its own since you then can control the actual amount the child will ingest. (Usually 2 drops a day keeps the doctor away…) If not born in these countries this might be a little hard to know… and especially since most people moving there really don’t understand how little and bad sun we get. Not enough vitamin D to keep you happy, strong and as healthy as those sun drenched countries closer to the equator.

Enough of this navel gazing (again I feel a suspicious thought of this not being an actual word… but belly button staring seems even more silly to be honest – any English native that can help me out??)

Thursday, February 08, 2007 call about herpes

[at work, cell phone rings, unknown number at the screen. Me thinks it is “one of those calls to wrong number, as always!”]
Me: Hello!?
A guy I recognise: Hi, I just wanted to ask you can you get herpes in your mouth?
M: [thinking, I know this guy, don't I. Isn’t it X? but not sure… since I have his number in my phone ahh well…] yes you can. Why do you wonder? [thinks again, gee.. you have been a naughty boy now haven’t you? Or are you worried your gf has transmitted something to you? I did watch the Sopranos yesterday when they talked about ‘taking a trip south’…]
A: I’m just a work and we were betting that you could.
M [walking away from my SHARED office since this might be a private conversation and being a scientist I want to explain what I mean with herpes]: Yes, you contract herpes in your throat, mouth but usually it is visible outside your lips… as a rash… it is the same thing as ‘the other’ herpes. [Why on earth I didn’t call it genital herpes I don’t not know… maybe because I don’t want to be found talking about genital herpes in a private conversation on my cell at work…. I don’t know.]
A: Ok princess, thanks. I’ll see you later. Ok babe?!
M: Ok, take care.

Princess? See you later? Babe? All this time and I am not really sure on who I was speaking to. I mean, one could say again that those nick names (pet names?) really always throw me off guard. I am not use to them and every time I hear them I feel special… [Note to self; probably the reason the men hand them out like candy. Your weak knees…. ;) ] Gosh, I really should learn to ask “who’s calling please”/”who’s this” or at least say that since I am at work I pretty much disconnect my brain from the knowledge of the actual people I know and enter work mode. (ok, not all the time – I obviously spend an awful lot of time trailing the internet, reading emails etc… but still, when someone calls I can tell my brain is unawake in that aspect.)

Well, that kind of set a theme for the day. Thinking about who that was (I think I know but that makes it all even more strange since he is not working this week and he was clearly at work now.) and thinking about that small jolt in my tummy when I heard princess and babe, again. Yes, I have a feeling Valentines actually will suck this year… maybe I should just go bowling?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Morts sans sépulture - The Victors (Döda utan gravar)

Dead without graves as I think it would be called in English (although, it is called The Victors or Men without shadows) , maybe one of my favorite plays and also by Jean-Paul Sartre. I miss it. I have a copy on the other side of the ocean… not here. But at least I found a small part, the important part where they tell Jean he has to be quiet or they will kill him, just before Henry kills the young boy, the brother (forgot his name now), who will talk when the come to interrogate him. And the sister is torn between the love for Jean, turning into contempt when everyone else is braver than he is – or are they? He is their leader and yet he is the one that tries to be stay moral…

Jean: Les mains libres? Vous m'avez garrotté. Si je dis un mot, si je fais un geste: "Et les copains?" Vous m'avez exclu, vous avez décidé de ma vie comme de ma mort: froidement. Ne venez pas dire à présent que je suis votre complice, ce serait trop commode. Votre témoin, c'est tout. Et je témoigne que vous êtes des assassins. (Un temps.) Tu l'as tué par orgueil.

Henri: Tu mens.

Jean: Par orgueil! Ils t'ont fait crier, hein? Et tu as honte. Tu veux les éblouir, pour te racheter; tu veux t'offrir une belle mort? Ce n'est pas vrai? Tu veux gagner, tu nous l'a dit. Tu nous as dit que tu voulais gagner.

...not in my family...

Sometimes the headlines are too visible to ignore. New York Times has at least two of them today...

Not in my family, or rather "only poor people beat their wives", got yet another counter evidence for that statement

It is still a tradgedy of course, I am still surprised about that violence when divorce comes up. It is clearly a reaction of control or rather the lack thereof, in my opinion anyway. Makes me a little hesitant at times, and yes especially now…

And the next note of how to fight that fat.

I am not entirely sure that a note with your BMI on it to give to your parents is the right way to go… but maybe actually reintroduce physical education (PE) every day at school. At this time I really doubt if we have to have ‘real’ PE including running and playing ball every day. Maybe an hour walk would give these kids a more healthy way of looking at life? I know it worked at my last job where we were allowed two hour long walks a week within our work hours… that was nice, especially during winter months when light is a scares commodity in northern Europe.

Ah well, back to work. Need to process that data and try to analyze it so I understand what it really means. I have tried for a good afternoon and it still looks strange…