Friday, December 13, 2013


Where has time flown? Almost two months since last post and start of new job, and the least amount of blog posts in a year since I started this blog. I fully intended to revisit the "new job" and what it entails and science career and things like that. Well, I will - just not today but very soon.

I've been very busy and realized that even if I love learning new things, I have problems with the frustration of not "getting it" right away and being perfectly functioning in my new role. Funny enough, I found my old blog post about starting a new job, which also reminded me yet again why blogging is good. It's safe to assume that there is a blog post out there, maybe not written by you but someone else, dealing with just the stuff you are dealing with. Great to know, and great to be reminded yet again. I think my new resolution will be to go back to blogging more regularly, since not only do i miss it but think it is a good practice in writing and sharing.

Until next time, revisit Fat girl with cookie but remember that "that was then, this is now" and it is different now since this time I'm returning to research and publishing (maybe even for me, not quite clear just yet) and the "front end of science", where findings might lead to the clinical trials and new treatments and drugs. Most of all, I'm getting to use all the experience I got in my last job working in the regulated pharma world and combine it with my old research background. Good to feel that all those mice did not die in vain, the dog years did not get spent uselessly and that I can help people make good choices in science for the future. Pretty cool and quite the happy thought for the person who has been known to have a rain cloud over the head like Eeyore every so often.

Here's to next post, hopefully very soon!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Handing in my letter

I handed in my letter of resignation a few weeks ago. It is time to move on and do something new. It's been a good couple of years but a few things have happened the last year to which I realised that I don't have to stay and wait for things to change but rather change them myself. That said, I waited and gave it over a year. Then I started looking for new things to do. A very interesting job came up, in an area I sort of have worked in before - but not really - and I can perhaps start getting another certification in the future. This means leaving the bench but not leaving science. I might even get to be on future papers, that's an open door depending on what happens.

So, these last few days at my old job are stressful. I need to finish a lot of my reports, assays and hand off a few crucial pieces that I have been working on. It will be nice to be done. It will be exciting, yet terrifying, to start a new job. I don't deal with change great, but I'm hoping that I will find a new routine soon enough (maybe Christmas?) and get this new gig working fine. Of course, there is always that looming feeling in the back of my head that "you will not make this work" since this job will be far greater people interaction than ever before. (Hello, I'm an introvert.) Not to mention that I am leaving what I've done and trained for the last decade and more (the bench work I've been pretty good at). However, everyone I've met so far are impressed with my people skills, and the references pointed out that I am a very focused and people conscientious person.... (as long as I'm not too stressed and you are not responding to me)... so I'm taking it on a hunch and will try this new thing. Hopefully I didn't get too attracted to the shiny allure of them liking me, but rather that I like the job and them.

I will try to write a little about the journey to get a new job, the leadership class I've taken that have shown me why I think I will be good at this new gig, and how to end on a good note. For now, all I can say is that most everyone at my job have responded with "you gave them 4 weeks? gosh, I would've been out of here within 2 weeks if possible" indicating that I don't only have a sense of "if this new job goes south, I might be able to come back" but also that I don't see the point in leaving on a bad note.

Next stop; new gig.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

some days are dodge-ball like

I thought I would continue with the "inspirational cards" since I am mulling over the next blog posts and for now, these cards are proving to be worth a lot to me. Stressful times at the moment and some words of wisdom can help me... 

stay tuned for more.

(I did post one card tuesday on twitter so why not repost that one here too? Especially suitable this week for me since I'm off Friday. Oh glorious long weekend and a much needed short vacation!)

Monday, October 07, 2013

The things we don't do

It seems fitting for a Monday morning when I am procrastinating writing a few reports, finalizing an assays and having another meeting about all those other things. "The things I don't do" are the things I stress out about, not the things I do. It's fascinating that it always goes in the same circle: nervousness about doing all the stuff, putting all the stuff off, being more nervous, putting the things off even more.... rinse and repeat. Then once I make one thing I feel relaxed, although a little annoyed that it took me that long to remember again that "it's just to bite a chew and do it".

So today I'll bite down and get it done. Go away report I (and maybe II), I will get you done!

(I have a few of these inspirational cards that I found when I was cleaning the house this weekend. Oh yes, procrastinating = clean house. Always a silver lining somewhere.... I'm thinking the cards might be a good segway into blogging a little more regularly, maybe someone else will like them too?)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I found myself having these 'placeholders' when I was working on a presentation the other week. The slide in the presentation where I knew I wanted (needed) to say something about X but didn't know quite what or how. And then I moved on to the next slide and worked on that one, and next and next...

I've started writing blog posts the last couple of weeks but they've never made it to complete. Only drafts with introduction paragraphs and then a couple of sentences within brackets [need to elaborate] [fate, life, something on path] [mention that comment about career advice] [would it work without bench work?] [career - natural progression stepping into manager role] but not completed and worth reading.

Finding the time and energy to finish them would be great but these last weeks have been full with visitors from out of state (and country). Wonderful, happy times with family and friends, but together with working and trying to juggle some other responsibilities - a little busy. I'm looking forward to a few weeks out when I might take a weekend into the woods and just relax (actually riding my new mountain bike with front suspension through the forrest! So much fun!).

So for now, this is a placeholder for when I can write about some of those things that are rolling around. The maybe change that isn't as much a change but a new angle to something old, a slight turn in the road but still going forward. Exciting new times, new bumps and opportunities - that's what they say :)

Thursday, August 01, 2013

"It's not fair" - no, it's called life

Lately I've heard this phrase a couple of times (as have I thought it). "It's not fair". Like many of the fairy tales* I read when I grew up, as in "the person was doing it all well and therefore got rewarded with marrying the princess and lived happily ever after". Or a random Disney story* of the more gruesome fairy tales I read (if you have time and interest, look into 'The little Mermaid' and 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' if you want more back story that the originals weren't all that cute, nor did they end well.)

Anyway, I've heard many a post-doc telling me about their post-doc experience and ending with "they worked hard and pulled lots of hours but still someone else won the affection of the PI and they weren't rewarded with the paper/TTposition/what have you" and 'it wasn't fair'. I'm trying so hard not to fall into the pit of cynicism and replying "of course it isn't fair, it's post-docing".

And then there are the examples of my friends and others with their relationships and their failure (of the relationship) and their new ones that didn't turn out they way they've hoped... "It isn't fair, I met them after the divorce and we talked about x,y and z but now they've changed their mind and we don't have a future together". And they look at me like I would have something good to say about it all.

The truth to this is that I don't buy into the saying that "whatever happens to you it's either how you let it define you, how it hurts you and how you make it afterwards". I think that it is a pretty simplistic view of life and not true. The same way I don't buy into the idea that "some people only get bad things". Even though it would be easy to say that to certain people, 'things' that happen never seem to grow into 'catastrophies' to these people but rather into opportunities and they never see the really bad outcomes.

For most of us though, I think it is partly a matter of "missing the good parts of life and therefore making it all about the bad parts" (i.e. focusing on the failure/bad parts). Mind you, I am writing this as someone who has a pretty splotchy family history where people aren't 'happy' and end up in 'happily ever after land'. Nor have I had the most sunshiny story of life - according to comparison to certain people - nor myself on certain days, but to me in general it's still pretty good. (Compared to the rest of the world - WHO - looking at health, income, crime and such, I'm doing pretty swell.)

I guess what I am trying to say in this fairly rambling blog post is that most likely life doesn't turn out the way your 10year-self thinks it would (if it did - congrats to you! I really mean it, nothing ironic about it) but that doesn't mean "it" isn't fair, nor that it a complete shambles. It mainly means that we as people can't  expect that life turns out they way we thought it would and that it isn't as easy as we perceived it might be but still, the idea to talk about "it's not fair" means that you might be stuck in a thought process that isn't really reality. (I know, I'm trying to convince myself as much as anyone here.)

Reality is shambles, it's opportunity, it's reacting, it's taking chances, it's giving up things you didn't know at the time you cared about or not, but most of all - it's about enjoying those moments of tranquility and happiness that you do have when it feels like the stairs align and all is good. Because none of it is a guarantee that it will last a longer time. And when other times happens, it's not because you necessarily did something wrong, but "it' happens, it's life" (i.e. sickness like cancer or accidental death or what have you).

It's like a old woman I sat with in the hospice care - she said to me when she had her lucid moments before she died -  "life is all those moments of happiness when you didn't have to face the real stuff falling down on you and making it hard. The joy of those moments are the ones I dwell on, not the bad moments when things happened to me or the people I loved, since that is what happens. That is life and the only things that matters in the end is the happy times, the people who love you, and what/how you acted in those times of crisis when things were on the line" It's hard for me to write it with the importance and the impetus she said it with, being over 80 years old and having lived a life fully and trying to pass it on to me.

Then again, I still remember the man I met as a 15 year old at a bus stop. He told me he was contemplating suicide since his wife of more than 50 years had died a few weeks earlier. He was guilt ridden about the fact that he had asked her to make an abortion in the 1950ies when they were not married, subsequently she couldn't have children (i.e. they couldn't have children) and now all their friends were dead too since he was old and they had died before him and there was no one left with him (since they have had no children). I mumbled something about "the Lord moves in mysterious ways" since I had no other answer. I wanted to tell him - at the time as a teen - that suicide wasn't the answer. Now? I don't know what I'd say since he seemed pretty cohesive when I think about it, and life isn't easy.

In the end of this, by no means great nor perfect blog post, is that "it's not fair" is a fairly** useless phrase to use since "of course it's not fair, nothing is 'fair', but you have to see the good things in what you get and live with those moments" since in the end, those good moments are the times you should remember and cherish. We just try to do the best of what we're dealt with and for many that is a pretty  good deal. I guess I might be subjective, gone through a few of those "less than perfect instances" but I really believe - I have to believe - that life in general is not fair, but that doesn't mean it can't be good in places where we don't always look for the happy.

When I'm rereading this post I wonder if I should delete it since it shines with so much hope and other fringe stuff that it might not be worth reading? I'll leave it for a while since it is pretty honest if nothing else and maybe someone will feel that I am touching on something worth mentioning.

*both these references could be exchanged to "Job" since "it wasn't fair either" what God did to him.... if you want more of a biblical reference. Or "Abraham" if you go for the 'you need to sacrifice your child to make it right' in order to reap the benefits... 'fair' seems like a pretty far fetched deal at that time. Tig Notaro comes to mind when you talk about that, her stand up section on "God never gives you more than you can handle" gig last summer, which is pretty funny even though it's dealing with very awful stuff happening at the same time.

**fairly makes me think of fairy tales so "pretty" would maybe been a better word in context

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Why I exercise

There are many reasons for exercising and working out. Some exercise to lose weight and get fit. Some to get the adrenalin and the anxiety out and get the endorphine high afterwards. And having the feeling good about movement and the tiredness that comes after working out.

I realised that I do exercise partly to lose weight (I use it as an explanation that I can eat a little more than I should since I'm working it off). That said, it's sad that I have gained back all that I lost a few years back. Mind you, I was smoking and not eating at the time. Now I'm not smoking, eating and keeping my 'steady weight' (my main weight I've been the last 7 years... so at least I'm staying in my "comfort zone"). I'd love to be a 70-75 kg woman. That's something I think might be attainable. Although, obviously not with the current intake of food but smaller portions. I also think it would be a healthier me.

I have noticed though, what really makes me motivated to keep going to the gym. Nowadays I'm back to working out in the morning, and I am not a morning person so this has been back to doing something that isn't my first choice. What motivates me trough these horrible mornings when all I want is to curl up in bed and snooze just a little longer? That I feel so much better after a work out. Key thing is to pack the bag in the evening and then when the alarm goes off in the morning, just get up without thinking and get the gym clothes on and go.

I've also realised that I'm back in the zone, as I was when I was swimming in high school. I was lucky my last year of high school to start 9.45am and that meant I could go to the swimming pool at 7 in the morning and work out before going to school. At that time, there was no one else in the pool and I could do lap after lap after lap. Breast strokes most often. Trying to beat my lap times, listening to the classical music they played. And always zoning out and being in my head, oblivious to the things surrounding me and the "must been to come". Counting the strokes, feeling the breathing rhythm, moving in a pattern and when everything came together, feeling in total unison with the water and forgetting everything else but the stroke, breathe, stretch and float....

My current exercise is similar, if nothing else. I picked up rowing a few months back, which is the same to me. I need to focus on the rowing form in order to do it right. Push with the legs, pull backwards with core, pull handle while flipping backwards, release over knees and move back to the starting position, catch a small break (should be 1 - out - 2 in, on a three count) keep it steady and moving pace for endurance and not pick up the pace but improve the intensity. I need to focus on my posture, breathing and pulling. When I get tired I automatically pick up the pace, pull more with my arms and slouch (which means more arms, less core) and then it's not the correct thing.

The heavy bag boxing is the same thing and has been my "go to" for a few years now. The repetitions of one-twos, then three-fours and then five-six before ending with one-one-two and one-two-three-four-five-six and the arms are shaking. I need to be focused on form and breathing since otherwise I hurt myself. Standing on your toes, keeping legs engaged, slightly bent with the balance in the core, breathing out when the punch hits the bag, keeping the other hand up as guard and always resting with both hands in the air, on your toes.

And I love this. I train for me. Not for losing the pounds. Even if I am very happy seeing the "calories" on the treadmill and the elliptical and feeling my flabbyness decreasing, that's not the end game. End game is that I want to improve and I want to measure my input/output and keep tables and measure my achievements. I need to know that I at least row as many meters I did last time, with the same intensity or more (the rowing machine has a 'strenght measureer' where you see the intensity and I'm doing intervals coming over 4... the best thing so far is 4.5 but boy I was tired after that). The running is the same, I want to see my interval speeds working for me improving. Now I can run at 8.2 mph at my last intervals and keeping the steady pace at 6.3mph for more than 4 miles. Last year I started at running at a steady pace of 5.3 and intervals at 6.2 so I know I've improved even if the overall results are not great by any means (I'm trying to stop the negative thoughts, promise).

I'm trying to focus on the happy that I can do all this; rowing, boxing, running, jogging, weights and TRX and not focus too much on the fatty belly, flobby chin and the slobber thighs. Thinking that at least my posture is good, my blood pressure is great and my blood work overall is looking very good. Even if my weight isn't where I want it to be, nor is my bikini body as splendid as I would hope. I'm working on the positive thoughts and the non-negative body image thoughts. Some days are better than others.

Back to measuring the achievements and feeling great about the continuously running/jogging and increasing the miles. Soon enough I will have to keep going for 13 miles all in one go with people watching me. And when I do, maybe I can neglect focus on the flabby tummy and focus on the "I did it and darn that's cool". Here's to hope! :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

retaking the exam

I was waiting for the result of the exam I took earlier this spring and found out today that I didn't pass it.

I'm a little annoyed that I failed, but not feeling as bad as I thought. Maybe because I didn't really think I studied enough due to working a lot and not treating it as serious as I should've? And maybe because I think I didn't deserve to pass it. I didn't fail it by much, just a few questions tipping the scale for just outside.... maybe that helps with my feelings about it too? And the fact that last year the passing rate was 38% so I'm in good company with the majority taking the test (this may not be true this year though, the stats aren't out yet).

In any event, I feel better now that I know the result. Recent events in my life have been pointing this out to me very clearly that I can easily stress myself by looking at unknown situations and waiting for answers. I have a tendency to "make up alternative scenarios" - not the best trait all the time. And especially when stressed about a number of things* and then adding the unknowns together, yeah not the best thing.

One of my friends told me today "not to google what I _think_ I saw and heard" at the doctor's office since "I will find out the results when the experts have looked at them and tell me in context". No need for me to get all excited (scared that is) before I know what they think they know. It's not easy being a control freak at times. So, for now, I will move my focus back to work since I don't have to waste energy thinking about the exam nor the re-study since it is 10 more months before I can even apply again..... As for the other stress events, I will know in due time and make my plans accordingly afterwards.

*one of the meetings in a new team went a little south the other week. Partly because of a communication issue, partly because the stress of the deadline looming didn't seem as obvious to some of the members. It's not easy going through the 'storming' phase of a team building in the making.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

things, action plan and stuff

Just a little place holder since I had hope that I would write something that wasn't a whine... nor an "introspective teen angst" but something scientific and relating to work and leadership and other stuff that relates to work.

Then work and other things happened and my life got very busy and I started back into the gym loop to try and keep the anxiety away. And tonight is Stanley Cup finals first game... after working and getting home by 8.30, and tomorrow is being at work at 7 am... as is Friday. Yeah.

So, in not so long terms; I wrote an application for a new job but before I submitted it (on a Monday). I realised the posting disappeared between Friday and Monday morning (rookie mistake always check before opening and adding a bunch of details and such). I wrote another application and kept my cv up to date in case "that other job" opened up (it didn't). I will apply for the other (third) job very soon since that seems to be the way to go. I found out a not so nice "surprise" about things that matter to me in my present life, thus the three applications. I might be semi happy right now, but in two years? Not as sure....

There has been some others issues on the side lines making trouble. Team work, as usual a little more stressful than teamworkwithroseyglasses (so tiresome sometimes when people are a little naive). Dead lines that are heavy, hard and very close by. Other dead lines, similarly heavy and close by.... but I don't want to be a whiny person, and I've been one the last couple of months due to things. So, it might be better to change something drastically.

If nothing else, looking at it from a distance brings out the obvious problem. I don't really care about money when I look at work and happiness. However, if I'm ending up feeling used since I'm the lowest paid person in my "level" but being asked to do the most "responsible" things, and having great responsibilities with all that it entails ... well, then I will stop since I'm tired of being taken advantaged of. Simple as that. Sometimes that means down grading what you are doing, sometimes it just means not making the extra stuff a priority. And sometimes it means that you have to leave to make a point.

I'll see what happens in the future but for now it's a nice novelty to feel a little more free and not striving to "make everyone happy" since I don't want to feel too used and tricked and fooled.

Here's to just a small incline of disobedience. I'm doing it if you tell me to, but I won't volunteer. That train has sailed (sic!)

Monday, May 13, 2013

"transportsträcka" (transportation distance)

The Swedish word is "transportssträcka" - divided into two separate words; transport and sträcka. Transport means transport as in English. Sträcka is path/length/distance. What it really means is that the travel isn't really the meaning of the whole thing, it's just a means to an end. It's usually like the "road to work" or "the last hours before the anticipated event". No enjoyment per se but rather just passing time...

The last thing is what the word means to me today. Today the whole day will be waiting for the time to turn 6 pm central time when GAME 7 starts!

Bruins vs Leafs, at TD Garden. No one thought it would go to game 7. And even if it doesn't end the way I want it (LEAFS) I will be SO happy that they gave Bruins this much trouble :)

Let's get on with all these hours to pass now (hopefully productively too)!!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

heart in the throat

That's what we call it (in Swedish, "we" being the Swedes). Having the "heart in the throat" when things are scary, you feel like you can't breathe but you are also possibly excited going out on a limb.... in short, you are pumping with adrenaline and anything can happen.

Some people think this is silly. I couldn't agree more. Then again, I'm stuck in front of the telly with my heart in my throat, my hands clammy.... my brain is telling me "that this is useless and hopeless". My heart on the other hand is doing what it does too well, "telling me that this might work out and isn't it lovely and oohhhh..... look at those shots". And hoping. Always hoping that maybe this time it will work, it will be different, only this time.

Of course I am talking about Stanley Cup playoffs. Hockey. The sometimes violent sport where grown people chase a black plastic thing on ice. The ecstasy of 20*3 minutes where nothing is done until the ref calls it a night.

I had such high hopes and dream about the playoffs this time. You see, my team (my first true NHL love) is in the play offs for the first time in 9 years. Let's not talk about how long it was since the Cup was theirs. OK. That was in 1967. Anyway, I can't even begin to tell you what I was like when this happened last time (play offs that is, the cup time is easy, I wasn't even born when that happened last. Yes. That long ago. It's the longest "draught" in the NHL. Something we're winning at....) It was an era long gone. It was the pre-PhDthesis, pre-marriage, pre-devorce, pre-movefromhomecountry, pre-postdoc, pre-alotofthings.... In short, it was the glorious days of "everything is possible and the world is your oyster".

I fell back into that Sunday this week. Sunday was the start of two glorious days where I managed to talk myself into that "surely this time it will be different". "This time maybe the hype of being in the play offs for the first time in almost a decade would carry the time to a magnificent win in Boston- of all places- and make the Leafs being victorious and all the fans giddy with joy and happiness. And the giddy kicked up a notch when the first game started, GOAL after 2 minutes of play time. And for 12 minutes I was kept on this high - my heart was pounding in my throat but my mind was trying to tell the story that "this won't last, don't get too disappointed". Needless to say, the real pounding started shortly after halftime of first period and it didn't stop until the ref called it a game over.

The good thing about love? And hope? And dreams?

That the brain has nothing to with it*. Only the heart talks and right now my heart is telling me to still believe, still hope and still dream. There are at least 3 more games left to play (rounds in play offs are 7 so 4 winning is the minimum to win the series) and after the first 2 the games more to "home turf". Technically that is giving more odds to win so I will keep that glowing hope and wearing the T-shirt and the heart in the throat. (Whom am I kidding? I wouldn't be able to turn this off even if I tried. It's like telling a dumped part in a relationship that it's useless hoping to be asked back into the house and the prince will never marry you and give you half the kingdom but surely if he just met you for one drink that would all happen.... yeah... exactly like that.)

Needless to say, the next three games will be similar to torture, watching a car wreck, what have you. I will watch and love every second of it since until the scores say 4- in games, there is ALWAYS hope. And this year, this magic year after a long wait, maybe the little brother-cousin will raise to the occasion and spring a surprise on the rude, brutal, mean machine in the east. (That's Boston Bruins to the rest of y'all.)

After all, what is the play offs if not a big goodie bag of hopes, dreams and a lot of great played hockey?! :)

*let's not get into the conversation why it's so stupid that brain has nothing to do with love. Not today. Let's save that for a rainy day.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

150 questions

It's been a long time since I've been sitting studying for many days. Honestly, I usually didn't study at night after working 8 hours+ but details details...

What's been very interesting today is that I am vividly remembering this frantic scramming that I'm currently doing. The panicky feeling in my tummy if I fail and don't pass the exam. The "what if I don't pass?"* The ego sadness, the embarrassing feelings, and the panic that I might not make it. After all, it's 150 questions, 7 areas and 62 different topics. All topics will get at least one question.

How to know if you pass or not? Well, that will have to wait another three months. And then I will only find out, pass or fail. No correct answers, no "these are your correct answers". Only a pass/fail and if fail an option to repay money and retake the exam. Rinse and repeat one more time this year and then there will be reapplying (more money and more waiting time).

I don't think I will retake the exam more than three times though. Money and shame. I seriously doubt I'll try three times even.... But I shouldn't think about that right now. Only positive thoughts now! And of course, focusing on those areas and topics and "everything I've ever learned about microbiology and GMP regulations". Off to the books (eh, websites and collected pieces of information)!

*extra fascinating to me since I had pretty good record through uni (and school before that). I know that this "panic mode" always appear when it is enough time to study quite a bit, but too close to study ALL... once I'm even closer to the exam, the calm and the persistent hard core studying and reviewing will take place. The "there is no messing about now, only reviewing everything and make sure some stuff stay in the brain. Let's not waste energy on panicking". Still though, it's been more than 7 years since my last exam (not counting thesis defense since that was in a different league). Now I feel old ;)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

the shadow in the side of the eye

Some people talk about the black dog that follows them around, some talk about the elephant in the corner (or the gorilla, I may get the metaphors mixed up). I talk about the shadow in the corner of the eye. The one that you think you see, but when you turn your head towards it, it's not there. But if you focus straight ahead you can see it ever so slightly and you know that there is indeed something there. Flickering on the side and wanting you to pay attention to it, trying to lure it out to really see it.

And I had hoped it had gone away forever.

Needless to say, I know by now that it will probably never go away completely. It's like one of those things you learn about yourself, you have to live with it and just learn to deal with it. It's those days I decide to "not think about things too much", "not pay attention to what my brain tells me" and most definitely "not pay attention to the screaming emotion inside that's telling me it's a panic and I need to take action right now or it will all go to bad".

No. Nowadays I try and do what I should do. Quietly acknowledge that my body is playing tricks on me and that if I ignore it for just a while it will go away and the world will continue to rotate on its axle. The sun will shine, the wind will blow, the happiness will come back and the fear of being loveless and a failure will dissipate just like the trolls in sunlight in those fairy tales I read so much when I was a child. I wake up the next day and feel OK without the world having come to an end. No everlasting winter in darkness a la north pole.

But it's not easy and sometimes I get tricked into playing the "what if" game a little too long. Especially when a friend is going through some hard times that trigger those memories of "me in a dingy with one oar" (blog post a few years back) and worse times. Gosh, sometimes those moments really sneak up on you and catch you with your guard down.

Good thing I have had some great practice with the best of them to counter act. So today will be cleaning house (maybe even the brain) and being outdoors in the garden popping those trolls in the wonderful spring sun! Life is good and sometimes the best way to feel better is enjoying the nature around you and do some physical labour. Happy spring time!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hockey update week 9

The points of this week:

I was happy to see that I made some good picks (hello Kadri, Toronto Maple Leafs). Cath took home the victory with the most points for the week.

This made its way into the stats of the overall points...... Mod scientist is in the lead, with SugarScientist right at her heels. Lavaland and Raj are neck to neck on the bronze and Cath and Gerty have moved a little away from the "rest of the group". Maybe mostly interesting (or scary depending on where you were in the group before) is that the (former) bottom group are melding into the middle group with SBCVandy making the devider (not really decided where to go, up or down?).

I'm part of the scared corner since I was in the middle part and now mixed in with Gregg/Beth/Bob and the difference to Bam and GenRepair is small. Everything can still happen!! (I can still be last and the top 4-6 are fairly open. All it takes is two bad weeks for Mod and Sugar and two great weeks from the others and things will change pretty quickly. (Or, as I am scared of - only two bad weeks for me and Bam repeats her great picks and I'm at the bottom..... hmmm.... exciting!)

HAPPY HOCKEY WEEKS that's left! :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Breaking the 45 or the 7? Maybe

I'm having a sneaky suspicion that this week might be the continuing of the "falling down" in the standings for my lovely Leafs team. My saving grace the last couple of weeks have been that they are indeed number 6.... and as seen in this picture the teams in front of them are (apart from the division leaders Pittsburgh and Carolina* respectively) the rest of the their division - Montreal, Boston and Ottawa.

There's always hope that it will be OK of course. Ottawa isn't too far ahead. I keep remembering those AMAZING weeks in January when Leafs ('we'?) won against Montreal and Pittsburgh with numbers (e.g. 6-0, 5-2) that made me wonder how wonderful this season was going to be. Was this the end of the 45th draught? The end of the 7 years "not making it to the play offs". Well, the season isn't over....

My little heart though, has been broken many games in a row now (5 is the current streak) and I'm starting to remember the saying "it hurts to be a Leafs' fan". It sure does. But everything that's worth something is worth suffering a little for too, right? Let's hope my team picks it up! (As I hope I will do in the infamous hockey league of Cath :) )

standings the 19th of March..... still a play off contender. Fingers crossed.

*The points of Carolina, the division leaders are the same as my precious team.... if only that could've been my division.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hockey update week 7

Time for the week 7 update. I might have thought it was HALFTIME but I guess that might be next week seeing that the season is ending last week of April (gasp!).

As for this glouriuos week of 7....
The chart ranks us all by our overall points, but the legend on the side is in the order we got this week.

The winners of the week were Modscientist & Lavaland with 45 points each but I think it's pretty clear that Genrepair and Gregg managed with great things as they collected 43 and 42 points resepctively (see the steep on the last one of them all on the chart - that's Gregg taking a big push to get out of the hole and Genrepair is the green, third from the bottom).

Meanwhile; Bob, Beth, Bam and myself are trying to remember that under 34 points are not going to make for happy things in this league...

Since we are doing stats, and I sort of thought this was half time I'm happy to provide information about "most averge points/week" and the spread of these points over all the weeks for each one of us.

 Average points indicate that there are indeed three groupings..... for now at least.

I love box plots, since they show clear things as distribution and average with the outliers. As is seen clearly, Gerty-Z is taking home the award for "most spread between weeks" (but I'm a happy second placer....). I might have run some anovas to see if I could find some significanly differences..... :)

I think Beth hosts next week - which ends tomorrow since I'm late with this.

As my final note; my team the Leafs might only be 6th in the conference right now, but that is since their whole DIVISION (sans one) is ahead.... I mean, Carolina is ahead on third place ONLY because they are their division leaders, not by points. Top 1,4,5,6 is from the same division.... *cough* I'm just sayin'. I'll save the comments about the new divsions until another post.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

HOCKEY update - Week 6

The Hockey week update has moved to this place for this week and next.

The obvious success story for week 6 is Bam294 that came in third for the week and moved away from the dreaded last spot. Cath and SugarScientist are in the lead of the week with their 56 and 52 points. We mere mortal ones all lulled around 35-44 points, and the two dreaded last ones Beth and Gregg ended up with 25 and 21 points.

As can bee seen on the overall-weeks-so-far picture some have a better trajectory than others.... I'm only hoping not to fall further down from my "forth from the bottom" (as I've been very attentive to break the week 5 slope that was pretty abysmal) and hoping that we can catch Sugarscientist and ModScientist on their leads. Raj Blackhawks might have a happy story if indeed that team is full of Blackhawks seeing that the team is on a 23 wins i.e. ALL wins of all games played this season.... Middle parties are all fairly close and will more likely be determined more based on odd weeks or great weeks.

Happy hunting all of us!

Next week, here, will be HALF TIME REPORT :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

POST, living will, regular will, advanced directives and other things

So, this Saturday when I was mainly excited about the hockey in the evening I started out at church being one of the support people for the "Workshop about hospice and advanced directives". I think I've mentioned before one of my things is that I voulounteer for the place where we contact people in hospice and sickness or other life-changing event and that it has given me so much during these years I've done it.

And after today I reliase yet again that maybe I'm odd in this context?!

The main reason I'm in the place I am right now, team leader and organizing of the grief/hospice team every so often, is because I've been through it with my history.... and if you are like over 50, or 60, that wouldn't be too odd, but I'm still mid30ies and therefore many do take a double turn and wonder why.

Ah well, what I wanted to say this late hour is the things gotten from all the comment this day and the comments from Zuska's post about long term-care insurance; if you live the USA and you are working, regardless of age - look into the retirement benefits, the long term care plans/insurance, the long term care, the advanced directives (not to do with money but what you want with CPR and revival).

And the big imperative, the big thing; it's not for only the old people, it's for us who aren't. Why?

Mainly because we haven't thought about it (as a group age anyway, many people in their 30 and 40ies haven't). And it's still a sad reality that something might happen that affects you and your relationship and your children, but it gets wrong. You need at least a will* but an advance directive wouldn't hurt.

All I want to say at this latelate hour, would be please look over your "advance directive^" and you will, even if you don't have any legal dependents (like me... non married in a state that decides if you don't have a will, not married, no children, technically they can do what hey want with your money... I thought it went to my parents... apparently not... since I'm not a citizen. Anyway, just need to keep your balances in order.)

I would just like for you to begin the conversation. What do you want to happen with you?! Who knows about that? Is there anyway who actually has power that can change thing when they know what you want? All those things.....  Yeah, important stuff to think about before it is needed.

*I made my first will when I was in the middle of my divorce and was travelling across the globe and thought it was a better deal for my close friends and family to get my money/inheritance than my estrange husband. It was an odd deal to start with, no one starts that

^it will depend on which state you're in the USA. But most states (41) are accepting it.. and a good way to start the process.... you can go to

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Looking back at 2012 posts

Recap of the old year before moving into the new year and writing more posts. Incidentally (?) the first post of last year was the similar recap. I'm putting the title and the first sentence of the post for each month. This year has been less posting (as seen in December only one post) and when I read my first sentences I see more politics/feminism and less science per se. Maybe due to the fact that I'm in an less public research environment now than when I was a post doc?

Top four posts of the year
1) IWD Post this March 8th 2012
2) The Leafs are green and on their way up (hm how about that hockey)
3) I'm missing words, like 'småpåve'
4) I've slept with more people than K

Jan: The old year is over - Happy New Year!
A little late, as one could think it would be with a fairly busy time between Jul (Christmas) and visiting friends and family... 

Feb:  the most dangerous thing according to what I hear... 
... Is have grown women being able to have sex and at the same time protect themselves from STDs as well as becoming pregnant.

March:  the only rule that matters in my book... ^^ 
Simple: If you take the last* of something, let someone know**

Aprilfuneral and some random thoughts
Well, today was funeral day. As in, I had to leave work to go to a funeral for a friend. 

MayPlanned Parenthood = terroristorganisation.... in Texas... according to Judge and others...
You know, there are things that make me really really angry.  

June: Bradbury is dead, long live the books
I had some ideas about posting a little more regulary but then I got side tracked... and then today I read in the paper that Ray Bradbury is dead.

JulyIf only the assay had this correlation…
Maybe one of these things I end up with, my fascination with histograms, data and conclusion to draw from it.

AugPlanning fail...or "All days are the same, right?"
First premise: bacteria grow on the weekend (all days are considered the same from the bacteria's point of view)

SepI'm missing words, like 'småpåve' ...
Sometimes this "second language" business is more frustrating than others, sometimes I just miss my own language with the nooks and crannies of distinctions and nuances that I don't have in the English language. 

Octbingo for Presidental debate (USA)
I did my own Bingo brick for the debate tomorrow.

Nov: changing your (long academic) CV into a snazzy resume (intended for Industry)
I had to look over my Resume yet again lately (OK, rewrite a whole new one is more like it) and realised (yet again) that it is SO hard for me to cut out all these smaller pieces of information in order to fit the resume on one (or maximum of two) pages.

DecHoliday feelings
(note: it's starting out pretty bleak but turning into more of a good feeling thing in the end, promise.) 
It's this time of year when you summarize your year and then look ahead and make promises and thoughts and wishes for the future.

2010 is here