Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lars and the real girl

In the midst of some stress and work stuff (unbloggable) I ended up in front of “Lars and the real girl” last night. I cried a lot. I got laughed at, a smaller, little laugh since it was quite strange to cry about a movie that could be quite pathetic and a mistake. I guess I cried mostly because of the fear in Lars, the fear to love and allowing to be touched, was so great that he made himself in a safe place with an inflatable doll. Like a small child, having a close relationship with a doll or an imaginary friend. The safe relationship becasue you decide what is going to happen, how you feel and that thing will not be able to abandon you (since it doesn’t exist). You can even go as far as making them leave you, thus enable yourslef to grieve for their “leaving you but you have to pick up the pieces and go on”. Like a controlled impact that you know will happen but it is much easier to handle if you know when it will come.

I have a friend who has a feature like that. He has never broken up with a girl friend, in his words. The girl friends have always broken up with him. Even though he maybe didn’t want the relationship - the girls have walked away feeling like they broke up with him. Leaving him able to be “the sad one” and dwelling in the pool of emptiness and abandonment. (I realise now that I might be overexaggerating at the moment, that happens early in the morning with less boundaries.) Anyhow, the movie reminded me of my friend, some other friends and of teen-me. Emo is the new word for gothic was then I guess? Red wine, poetry and gothicism. In the movie, the whole town is trying to help Lars, by accepting the doll (Bianca) as a real person.... therefore, accordingly to the Doctor in the movie, help him somehow work with his delusion.

I guess what really made me laugh was when the priest sits down with the family and close friends of Lars to discuss what they should do. “What would Jesus do” the priest asks. (It was one of the more clear comical parts of the movie, other than that I would say it was less comical and more.... maybe drama?) Jesus would of course never condem but only love. Even if the person is somehow not really there...

It also reminded me of “Happyness”. A very strange movie that I can’t state that I like or not. It was there. It was disturbing. It got me thinking. And it sure was a very wierd movie. Like some independent movies are. Although, they are not bad just because they are weird. The weird is just the word for me to describe them, like 'disturbing' it just means that I need to think and process them.

With that, I need to go back to work. Trying not to be a basket case of emotions induced to tiredness and stress, stop the crying and look yet again as the successful post doc who has everything under control and being quite sane (the Swedish proverb I'm thinking about would translate into “having all horses in the stable”, sounds much more fun, but I have no idea what it would be in English. "All ducks in a row?").

(this is what happens when I listen to my you dear readers who state it is much more fun to read posts from the venting/stressed/nonbalanced post doc :) )

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

trying to finish

I'm finally home and about to go to bed. "Finishing it all up" (as in all the projects and make sure it is a done deal for publication) seems a bit harder than I thought to start with (non-realistic thy name is Dr C). As a friend said the other day "finishing up means stopping doing experiments at some point". Go figure. Well, maybe in a few weeks.... because right now it is a few more intense days. At least the results seem good *knock wood* at this time.

I will try and resume some normal posting soon. When I feel like I have something to say that isn't
a) whining
b) venting
c) complaining
d) feeling sad and slightly stressed

Let's give me another couple of days, right?!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Changes in the future

I have been hinting here and there that there are changes in works for me. I guess now is a good a time as any to spill the beans.... (and not be as secretive.)

I will not be a post doc for very much longer now. (I guess this means I need to change the title of the blog, or end it... hm, didn't think of that before. I guess it could be ‘dreams and hopes of a scientist’ or simply ‘dreams and hopes of a female PhD’? Suggestions or comments are happily taken.)

I have been granted the opportunity to move into a more industrial setting (yay!) and doing something that does not require me to be in lab late evenings nor weekends. I will be using a lot of my previously acquired (laboratory and research) skills and most likely pick up a couple of new ones as well (read; proper people management and more non-academia skills). This is part of why it has been more quiet than usual here - I have simply tried to finish my projects before I transition over*.

I am not sure that all of it will be as done as I would have wanted it to be (is it ever?), but regardless, I feel that there will be a smaller paper trail following my departure from my present position. And the closer I get to the “starting date” the more I can feel that I am not the poster woman for change. (No worries though, as long as I can get a week to finish and clean up my bench/freezers/fridges/lab books, I should be good to go.) The latest hurdle that arrived today got on my nerves a bit more than I anticipated but hopefully that will be solved too, to everyone’s happiness.

For now, that is all I can do. And see my dreams and hope for the future unfold faster than I thought.... :)

*ha, to be “finishing up” is somewhat of an oxymoron since it seems like for every experiment I am done doing another one rears its head. Soon enough though, there will be no more time for more data collection, only collecting and writing the conclusions. And some conclusions I might add. It does look quite promising, even for a tentatively gloomy one as me.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

broken angry record

I’m feeling like a broken record these days… or maybe not a broken record as much as constantly annoyed, irate and angry at stupid people. Stupid people, stupid news papers and then most of all stupid people in charge. Why must you make these foolish comments that get repeated time and time again? They are wrong! And how can you still repeat them. Shame on you for lying through your teeth.

I realize that I should practice the whole “being a duck and letting it fall off me” but I am the type of person that want to correct people when they say wrong things, especially when it comes to “know it all type of people” when they tell “how it is” and it really isn’t. And I am listening in… or, as it’s been the last couple of times, reading blog posts or opinions.

I could go on and on, but it would do no good. I have to realize that this is neither the time nor the place to correct people. They will believe what they will but what really pisses me off are all those “experts” who continue to tell the world “the truth”. I mean, I can’t technically be mad at a Joe Schmo who says things about vaccinations and influenza (I’ll just have to live with that everyone is entitled their own opinion, no matter how wrong I might find it) but when people with a degree (PhD but more often these days the MD) talk nonsense and decide that they can speak for a whole other field than they have their expertise in…. well… that’s a different story. They give me a bad name. So therefore I can get annoyed with them. Really annoyed. And mad.

It’s that thing about appearances. They can sit there and pretend that they are experts in this other field, because they are called Doctors (really half of them should be referred to as physicians but whatever) they know absolutely everything and they are all so bloody SURE on what’s going to happen. Put on a white coat and then look into the TV and go “well you see this is how it is going to be”. Or they write some nonsense in a newspaper article with statements like “everyone knows” and “it is obvious” and “this is the right way of looking at it” and then you read their specialty is nowhere near virus, immune response or bacterial infections… I would be closer starting to dabble in telling people about T-cells and I would never even consider it. Then again, I am not an MD who knows it all, duh.

Whatever happened to fessing up and stating “We are not 100% sure on what will happen BUT this seems like the most likely scenario” or “considering that the risks far outweighs the benefits it is best to do this”. I know that I would want to believe that people can fill in the blanks on their own… but they can’t. Everyone seem to be looking for a new mother and father to say “believe me, life is Black or White and we will take care of you” when in reality it is a blurry grey mess and most everything has to do with “risk assessment” and weight worst case scenario against best case scenario and see which is most cost effective and/or reasonable to live with.

I started writing a thing last night about basic stuff that people haven’t seem to understood yet. Like :
* virus and bacteria are two different things
* virus can not be treated with antibiotics
* Tamiflu is not antibiotics
* many of the bacteria causing pneumonia today are antibiotic resistant
* it is likely that we will not have too many antibiotics to help against a bacterial pneumonia in the near future
* vaccines today are not as bad as the ones in the 1970 where there was a problem with too high antigen content and mercury as an adjuvant
* influenza is not a “simple” disease, even if we in the developed world perceive it as that

But then I realized that this would all be redundant. Throwing pearls for swine and all… The people who are interested in knowing already know. The other people are not interested in learning…
I guess I’ll go back to my little lab bench and stay there. Happily away from the discussion and the endless “no, you are telling LIES to people”. (And trying to stay away from the dream dystopian future that I sort of want to happen where no antibiotics work and people start appreciating that maybe it wasn’t such a splendid idea to just ignore all the warnings and actually be thankful for vaccine technology instead of bashing it with lies, misconceptions and conspiracy theories.)