Friday, January 29, 2010

Did I mention I loathe...

[An added comment since this post is apparently all about me "feeling jealous and realising that I will never be loved as much as a man being willing to marry me and think of me being worthy of diamond ring". Well, I guess I am disturbed about the fact that a small part of me wants the bling jewellery and thinks at times that it all means that it is all great and that my life would be wonderful and story wise happy ending etc etc etc.

Then I remember that life isn't quite a Cinderella fairy tale; it's not about "who has the biggest ring is loved the most aka materialistic things as proof of love and friendship" (duh) and most of all - I don't aspire to be only a pretty face that men fight duels over (I want a brain too...). But when I am silly enough to do go on the bling train [I thought about saying 'the crack train'] at a Friday night and watch some shows with special commercials about "soon it's Valentine's day and you need to buy the bling for your honey" and some other extremely bad shows "don't feed the monster"^: I guess I only have myself to blame?

Anyhow, I thought about deleting this post but figured that I'll add this instead and let more people read the rant than made someone annoyed enough to call me fairly dull names and implying that I would have been happier not with a PhD (I know, I shocker to say to a childless woman in her 30ies) but being thinner and more of a "real" woman and a mother. Then "maybe a man would have made me a happy wife ages ago and I would've gotten the things I now look down at". Yeah... thanks for the encouragement and for reminding me why I am not as wrong as I thought two hours ago...

^why do some women find it soooo easy to spend someone elses money and at the same time pout when they don't get their way? Seriously, they are all over 20 years old and still do pouting for real, and make threats (yes, like "you won't be getting anything for a long time if I don't get that one!"]

original post>
It's clear to me at certain times why I don't watch certain TV shows at certain channels when I do end up at prime time with a popular show.

What I am talking about.

"Every kiss begins with..."*
"What's a umphs letter word for he loves me.... he went to...." **
"I remember this place.... not this one (voice over: now she'll always remember this place)"***

And all these commercials, every time there is a commercial break at least one of them come on. And every one of them states this "if he truly loves he, you'll get diamonds"**** (and if you don't get anything, he doesn't love you).

And people wonder why I fret about shit? yeah... let's wonder. What ever happened to a flower? Kiss? Happy times together? No, let's build debt together....*****

*K... jewellery store

** Jarods - jewellery galleria

*** K again (I don't know if there are any more diamond stores here in the US... my guess is that these two buy all the ones from Sierra Leone and other nice places in the world where people die, live in poverty and have corrupt governments but as long as we women get our precious stones from the men who supposedly loooooove us, then we're good. [slight irony here as well]

**** if I was a man, I guess I could get a Lexus/BMW/whatever other car that screams "I'm sooo rich and blingy". OH wait, that was what some women got from their husbands for Christmas.... according to commercials...

***** I'm not all together against gifts. But I would love to see some kind of "real" affection concepts and not only "be thin, beautiful, successful and flawless" but I guess that's my fault from actually watch TV or not being totally secure in my own right (but it's hard sometimes, I'm sorry). And I should've been better to write this with a more of a feminist angle and interpretation as I have been trained to do.

Well, this is my blog and not an academic paper for me to get an A at (then I would've moved into a discussion about why our society makes it a point of having women compete about who picked the best man to provide for them and assure them of their status in society. This, something that is an old fashioned and still viable course to assure themselves of power, since most female power still comes from being associated with a very powerful (and/or rich) man. Men would like to show off a woman as their mate, whom their peers would find interesting yet possible for the man to control, as well as being a support for the power. This would've been the starting point ;) then we could have moved into the area of female value as bearing children and acquiring an heir and some spares...)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

breaking a promise

I promised not to do this at my new job, and I’ve been good so far. Today though, not so much.

I’ve been thinking a bit too much lately and yesterday I went to a talk, got referred to in a what I would call “a tad bit rude” (sorry no details) and today I got invitations for two of the biggest conferences in my former field. I won’t go of course, since I have left that field and won’t go to conferences again (if I stay in this gig that is). And then last week and this I have been trying to set up experiments as planned, needed some feedback since ”it’s crucial that we do them _exactly_ as they do them there, even if you have done these type of assays before” and in the middle of the run through with a former post doc colleague he said “you do know to change tips when you do a dilutions series, right?”. And no, it was not a joke.

That was followed by a lot of “do you know this?”, all very basic stuff that I would assume anyone who has a degree in biology would know… And again I was reminded that to some of them I am now lower than them... and therefore I need to reconfirm my status again?! Then I listened to another talk from a “highly thought of person” who didn’t know the difference between a “true replicate” and “duplicate values to make sure the value is correct”. Let’s go with, it’s very important not to mix them up if you are doing statistical analysis and degrees of freedom. Of course, no one wanted to hear that there wasn’t actually significant values since they didn’t have 4 values to compare but only 2 since they were derived from the same set.

Great day. Absolutely splendid. I can’t say that today is any better. And what I have done the last couple of days, a monkey can do (or a someone with two arms and half a brain). I mean, cleaning BSCs? Aliqouting standards? Thawing frozen stuff to mix and freeze again? (And I did that as a post doc too though... so I know that this isn't something unheard of really. Just me feeling sorry for myself.)

I wonder if it would be a good idea to just take a short trip out on the country side over a weekend to get away, and feel sorry for myself and see if I can find something to brighten the mood because right not, it ain’t looking good at all.

Maybe if I could go to the gym and work out really hard (haven’t been able for a while due to personal things) that would solve some of this?

And sorry, this was exactly the reason why I didn’t want to blog (I had much more appropriate subjects to write about and I didn’t want to do this from work either but it’s a bit too much at the moment. Something got to go…. And if it isn’t this, I’d be crying and seriously, I don’t cry at work anymore.)

Off to do more things to show that I am good at this, not disliking this at all, and pull myself together. There are always days when you don’t feel happy at work. Just bite and go through it I guess. I’m just envious of the people I left. Funny, I need to remember what it was like two years ago… perspective.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Board of Directors and lovely dreams

A few days ago I found myself in a fairly strange situation. I was at home looking at a company with a product that I had been introduced to, and it is a very interesting company with very good potential. Anyway, I was scouting their website and trying to understand where they were located and if it was some kind of future in working for them or what they were up to in general.

They have a smaller interest in microbial growth prevention, which is partly what I found intriguing. Anyhow, my fun part was looking at their Board of Directors (and their contacts and scientists) and wherever I looked I saw men. Mostly ex-military, some PhDs in chemistry and some "general men with board of directors experience". I didn't see any microbiologist nor any females nor a combination of female PhDs in microbiology. The answer was clear to me. I should write them and offer my services!

Somewhere here I realised that this line of thinking was a bit off for me. I mean, I'm all about liking myself and believing in my abilities but email some company stating "I can be on your Board of Directors if you need a (good) female microbiology alibi since I am a stellar person", that's not really my behaviour.

Then it struck me. Even if I didn't feel "affected"* by the pain killers I was on at the time, clearly I was feeling way more positive and over-stating my importance. Behaving a tad bit out of the ordinary and feeling all good about lots of things. (Later on I found myself giggle just a bit too much at nothing in specific to be me "normal".) I didn't finish that email, but rather closed my computer and went to bed. (Later on that night, I did fall down the stairs since I wasn't affected and therefore could walk down stairs in the dark.... sure... not affected my ass. And then I slept for like 14 hours, and woke up tired. Me and pills are clearly not best pals, to my happiness actually.)

I have mulled about this afterwards though. I am still not all that convinced that it is a super-bad idea to have some kind of microbiologist on the board, or in the development lab... and I have to admit, I am a bit tempted to contact them and see if they have any openings for interested parties who want to get involved. They also have operations overseas and that is something I find very interesting. However, I doubt that I will finish that email... but it would have been very fun though. I wonder what they would have said "look, here is an email from a girl in the South who offers (!) to be on our Board of Directors for shits and giggles and to become a female alibi for us so we would look better in Europe".

Haha, I can see why someone who came home later that night laughed a long time when I told about it in my highness... :)

*read "high on legal pain killers", I am not used to taking anything and have a fairly high threshold for pain... clearly I will keep it that way.

Friday, January 15, 2010

good enough...

Last couple of weeks have been a busy time (in my head too). It's been a lot of discussion about "good enough" as in work attitude and what to do about that (to change into "wanting more"). It was something I thought about before, as a post doc, looking at other people and hearing about "just a job for a pay check", while I was on my high and thinking of myself as "living and identifying with my calling and good enough is not where I am, I aim for perfection and end up with something more than good enough". OK, maybe not that arrogant/pious but it has a spark of truth in it.

Maybe more than I want to admit actually.

I found myself volunteering ideas on "how to change people's views on the job", mainly stemming from two sides. Either you start at the grass roots and have a core of very invested people... or start at the top, where the CEO and Directors have to put their face out there and lead by example on how wonderful it is to work hard with an attitude. Or something like that...

And then I got caught up in work politics. I have been trying to avoid sides, to avoid getting stuck in old things between parties, and maybe even playing a tad bit naïve for show. I knew when I started, the naïve/ditsy thing might not be the best way in the long run but for the first half year maybe? Especially if the place is divided into two different groups with a, at first invisible, line. I'm remembering though, how to play the game of politics. I have already started to assemble my "supporters" and trying not to alienate anyone of obvious power (and some less obvious ones). It's not that I don't know the game, it's not even that I don't like playing it; it is simply that I don't like who* I become playing it.

I guess part of my volunteering was realising that deep down in my mind there was a closed room that I would like not to open... although, the door does have a crack in it now. Not really wanting to confront all those questions just yet, since there is a risk that they will turn into an (early?) midlife crisis for this 30+ woman. Time to run for a bit longer...

*I wonder though, it this a place where 'whom' is correct?

Monday, January 11, 2010

NFL - Post season results and bets

This was an interesting weekend. Come Saturday I had gathered bets and suggestions from Prof-Like Substance, Alyssa and myself with Professor in Training being just a bit late as the first game was underway (leaving that one non chosen).

In short, PLS have Green Bay Packers as the overall Superbowl winner. Alyssa and I have the Vikings, and PiT has the Saints. Since GB is out in the first round, PLS is somewhat crippled in the run, although, there could be a “noone bet for them to win” which would make it all up to points so all is not lost yet!

Round 1.

We all did choose three teams the same, the Patriots were chosen over Ravens, and Bengals over Jets and Green Bay Packers were chosen over the Cardinals.... As we know, that was not the end results as of Sunday night. Alyssa and I chose the Cowboys over the Eagles (which PLS and PiT chose) and gain one point for that.

In the end of round one that leaves Alyssa and I with one point each and PLS and PiT have null points. Sort of interesting based on four different people....

Now, this is not all lost since it is all about what happens in the round two. So, without further ado; I will present the predictions for each one of us as well as the line up for round 2.

NY Jets at San Diego Chargers

Alyssa, PLS and chall thinks Chargers will win. PiT thought the Patriots would go through and have to hope for the Jets to score to keep us from winning points...

Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts

All of us thinks the Colts will get it.

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

Alyssa and chall thinks the Vikings will win this one. PLS and PiT thought the Packers would be in this game and beat Vikings....

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints

PiT and chalI think the Saints will claim this one. PLS thought the Eagles would have beat the Saints.... And Alyssa thought the Packers would be in this game and beat the Saints.

For round 3 and who will go to the Superbowl

Alyssa thinks Vikings (will beat the Packers) and Colts (will beat the Chargers)

PLS thinks Packers (would’ve beaten Eagles) and Chargers (will beat the Colts)

PiT thinks Saints (would’ve beaten Packers) and Colts (will have beaten Patriots)

chall think Vikings (beating Cowboys) and Chargers (beating the Colts)

I think this way is easier to see the bets than the “pseudo bracket” that I have been staring at on my computer... let me known if this was wrong and I’ll try and make nice pictures instead...

Saturday, January 09, 2010

SUPERBOWL picks! send to me

After having recieved a few emails with picks for the challenge I presented in my last blog post it appears that I wrote sloppily (and wrong considering the crude pic I made was wrong).

What I meant to write, and I hope this would be ok for all interested parties, was to pick every winner in all the games that are scheduled and end up with the winner of the Superbowl.

This means a few things;
First, if you pick the wrong team in the first run - you won't be happy....
Second, it will be much less likely that we have a draw since there are so many options
Third, I guess I thought of this since this is how I did the "brackets" last year in the lab when I lost horribly and thought that this time I might redeem myself :)

Hopefully we could get some more people to send in their picks so we can have outselves a little game. Email:

If people don't like this way, we can always stick with new picks for each week. I am game for which ever way people wants to do it most. And I have already picked my teams before I looked at any of your emails. Promise.

Please note that the number 1 and 2 will meet the highest and the lowest seed respectively in round 2. That means, if number 3 wins against number 6, 3 will meet number 2 for round 2 since 3 is a better seed than 4 or 5 who are playing against eachother in the first round. 4 or 5 will then meet number 1... does this make sense? I suggest looking at or somewhere more clear than here in case I confuse you ;)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Superbowl winner is?! or NFL challenge continues....

After PLS’s excellent hosting of the NFL challenge that is over for all but for two of us who started.... and I am not one of them. So, how about a new little quick challenge for us?!

Out of all the teams in the play off, pick the overall winner of the Superbowl as well as the runner up. If that is not all, if you want to pick more teams, pick the winners of each game up to the Superbowl!

So, here are the teams:


1. Colts

2. Chargers

3. Patriots

4. Bengals

5. Jets

6. Ravens


1. Saints

2. Vikings

3. Cowboys

4. Cardinals

5. Packers

6. Eagles

(My crude photo was wrong.... since I forgot the first rule of them all, it's easier to be the high seed. So, winner between 4/5 and 3/6 will meet the opposite 1/2. The lowest seed will meet 2 and the higher seed will meet 1, since this gives the number 1 a better chance of winning.... hope this is clear? )

Email or put it in the comments and I will make a little spread sheet or histogram or however it is easiest to report it all :)

Woho, another betting alternative!

Friday, January 01, 2010

happy new years

Happy New Years!

It's been a bit of a break from the Internet with the holidays and all. Needless to say, or maybe not?, it's been a great holiday with real vacation and if it wasn't for the silly cold I seemed to have picked up everything would be awesome.

That said, I thought about doing a little recap of 2009 but my head is throbbing too much and I think I need to lie down in bed (again) and sleep (some more). I can say this though, 2009 was much better than 2008, which was better than 2007. I want to say I look forward to 2010 being even better, but that would be inviting the devil in the doorway ;) I do think 2010 has all the signs of being very good though.

Highlights of 2009 would be;
* new job
* getting my first first-author publication as a post-doc
* getting two grants/awards for conferences
* one short vacation with a best friend for the first time in several years due to family restrictions
* realising that Skype do help with keeping in contact with some friends and family
* learning all (almost) about getting a new type of visa
* real vacation (i.e. no work nor conference and no bad feeling about not thinking about work!)
* sharing good times with someone important to me
* learning more about me, my emotions and my friends and family

Things for 2010
* finish those papers and left over stuff from post doc
* adapt into the new job and the new routines
* socialize some more with new work colleagues (maybe)
* more exercise
* more contact with certain friends who has fallen out of touch due to personal problems/issues (i.e. being a better friend)
* less worrying
* less nagging and complaining in the personal sphere

I'll work through more things later, for now it is me and a date with the pillow!