Monday, August 31, 2009

don't panic don't panic AAAGGGHHHHH!

My big seminar, which was supposed to be on the 17th, has now been moved to *gulp* next week Thursday with just a casual comment from BigBoss Man.

Don't panic...breathe...don't ...ARRRGGHHHHHH!!!!

I don't know if I can pull this off. No, really. They are going to figure me out.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blindfold me with dental floss

Staying up till 3:00 in the morning working, falling asleep at 4:00 (since my brain won't shut off anymore) and getting up at 7:30 am is NOT a good idea if I want to come into the lab today.

Came in to read papers and get some paper work/seminar slides done (while the autoclave was running and the bacteria is recovering-about three hours worth of paper-reading, slide making "free" time). I was fine until I sat down with my coffee. I can barely keep my eyes open. You could literally blindfold me with dental floss at this point. WTF? Two cups down and I am still no closer to being awake then I was about 30 min ago. Where in the hell did the motivation go? I am just counting down until the autoclave finishes-I need to go to bed.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Birthday was great, the 120G iPod as a present was even better. Two days off (not including Sat and Sun) helped mentally, but experiment-wise, this week has been a wash. T-minus 18 days till the big seminar and a huge to do list is staring at me. I keep trying to bury the list, but it keeps resurfacing. do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time (speaking of eating, -3 lbs, but the workout regime went to hell this week-time to start it all over again).

Thursday, August 20, 2009


A first for me. I was just invited to a wedding (ceremony at the church and dance at the reception hall, no dinner) via facebook.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Before or after...

So, if you know you are going on vacation for a few days do you clean the lab/bench/etc. before you leave (so everything is all ready to go when you come back) or do you leave the lab a mess knowing you'll have more energy when you come back?

I am trying to find the motivation to clean my lab right now- knowing that if I put in a full decent work day today I can cut out early tomorrow and start my vacation a few hours earlier. The problem- I am so damn tired and burnt out I need toothpicks to hold my eyes open right now...

Friday, August 14, 2009

I think I killed a tree...

So, we (the collaborator A from land far away, collaborator B from not so far away and myself) are writing a review. I didn't realize how little I knew-i.e. how narrow my tunnel-vision had become- until I started looking at possible papers for the review. I think I went a tad "paper happy", though. I have a stack sitting on my desk roughly the size of a major metropolitan phonebook. Two-sided printing. For some reason, I can't read papers on the computer. I like to touch them, smell them (or at least the toner), write on them...maybe it is some weird tactile learning, but I think I may have killed a tree printing all this out today.

Not only is the review looming over my head, but bigbossman asked me if I would give a talk at our seminar series in a month or so since the gradstudents need an extra week to prepare their seminars. Sure. No problem (panic panic panic). I still don't feel like I have the lingo down and that giving a 45-min seminar (granted on my work) may be a bad idea. And the undergrads (note the plural, I have two minions this semester) will be pouring in the lab around that time- all eager and ready to learn...shit. Too much on my plate right now, what with party planning for the sister (when my parents said they want to plan a party for my lil' sis they should have just said "Dr. Zeek, can you plan a party for sister Zeek?"). Almost at the paralyzing point (did I mention data generation has slowed since I have no more protein! GAHHHH! 10 days from start to finish for each one-granted I can multi-task but this is putting me around the middle of September before I have protein...grrrr). Anyone have a hole I can crawl into?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is it right?

After 7 years (fall would be the start of 8) the gradstudent in my lab defended yesterday. 3 of the 5 on the committee dissented from signing of on the PhD. Instead, he left with a MSc. Big boss man signed off on the PhD, more to "save face" than anything. Quick background-- he has a first author paper in a decent journal (cowritten with a scientist in the lab who did half the work) and about three other projects "started" (i.e. on table with one number started)-so all-in-all very little work. The thesis itself was not well written, did not have a lot of critical thinking, examples, etc. and data. The talk was horrible (worse than a train wreck). My boss stopped paying him a year-and-a-half ago (at least, yanked his stipend-he could still order chemicals and work in the lab) in a passive-aggressive attempt to get gradstudent to write up and leave.

So, knowing all this, seven years and a masters. Is it right? A former committee member said he should have gotten his PhD just for being there so long. What?!? I personally wish (a) someone would have told him how bad he sucked a year ago (b) they (the committee) would have nailed him to the wall at his annual meetings (which he conveniently dodged the last 18 months) and (c) they would have been harder at the defense because the gradstudent still is arrogant with a huge chip on his shoulder. Yup- wasn't his lack of work, effort, etc that got him his masters, rather it was poor advising. For some reason, my boss told him to try things that didn't work. Go fucking figure- and here I thought we were doing research, not "search"....any thoughts?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

43.25 minutes of hell- the aftermath

OK, so I think I overdid it a tad yesterday. It's a little hard to move real fast and muscles I didn't even knew I had are sore. I think I will have to alternate between 30-40 min on the treadmill and the 40 min "cardio party" until my body adjusts.

On a completely unrelated but somewhat-sciencey note- I really wish the big boss man would get back from his vacation! I am bursting to tell him about the fellowship approval before the busybody in the lab tells him. It's my fellowship-damnit! Let me have the joy of seeing the expression on his face!

Tues is grad student's "thesis" defense. Defense will be the operative word since he is going to have to do some real slick, real fast talking to be able to get out of here with his PhD. I have now moved all of my enzyme out of our shared -80 C freezer to an undisclosed area, in case things go bad and he decides to pull something like this. Is it sad that I am actually worried about this? Paranoid-not so much- this guy is a little out there.

Time to go home and get some work done (and then some working out). Question for the great wide void: does it matter WHEN you work out? morning, evening, lunchtime? and would it be better to work out at the same time everyday, or can I mix it up (I know routine will help me stick with it, but are there any weight loss benefits from say working out in the morning before breakfast OR after dinner once most of your meals are in??)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

43.25 minutes of hell...

So, I started working out today, again. I had bought some workout DVD's around Christmas time, used the "easy" 20-min one on and off for the past few months and decided today was the day to start my full-blown out and out effort to loose weight. Diet and exercise. Diet and exercise diet and wait, that's not right.

OK, anyways- so today decided to take the great leap and put in the 40-minute "cardio party" (yes, that's what it says on the box) jam dvd in. To me a party brings to mind the images of food and beer and laughing and relaxing, not the 40-min sweat-fest that I endured this morning. It went something like this...

First, I have to tell you that all of the people on these tapes have the perfect body, and the slave driver-- I mean the leader of them all has a set of six pack abs and maybe a total of 2 ounces of body fat. The old guy in the back, though, may be good for a laugh.

5 min in-- OK, warming up, nice and easy- I can do this for 35 more minutes...wait, why are you speeding up we are still warming up...OK, OK, got the groove- no don't add anything to it yet, I haven't gotten the first moves down right.

15 min in --how in the hell do you move that fast. no really, I think I am ten steps behind wait kick where huh..shit I missed that one come on, how can the old guy be doing this he's not even sweating... what the hell

35 min in-- ok, my shirt is stuck...seriously what are you talking about second wind...that came and went about 10 minutes in. and how can the old guy be jumping around like that? and why are you not all sweating? i hope you all die.

40 min in- cool down...ok, I can do this--wait yoga, grab my ankle and pull it where? are you kidding me? how about if I just stretch...ok, really, I am done...

All in all, while the work-out kicked my ass- but that feeling of I did it, I finished it, I feel good...OK, yeah it was worth it. And the shower afterwards? Heaven. The best part of the work-out. I can do this again. I think. No, I can. Tomorrow.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

And the results are in...

An e-mail I received this morning from the PO for the super-awesome fellowship I applied for...

Dear Dr. Zeek-

I am happy to inform you that the individual super-awesome fellowship application has been approved for funding. Blah-blah paperwork blah blah-starting October 1st blah-blah.


Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously! And the council meeting wasn't even supposed to be until sept 9th. If I would have woken up this morning with my head stapled to the carpet this morning, I wouldn't have been more surprised then I was when I opened that e-mail.

Seriously. Cloud nine? Try cloud ninety-nine. I now have three years to play in the lab and do all the super-hot science I can. So how are Mr Dr Zeek and I celebrating tonight? Chinese delivery. mmmmmm...pork lo mein and crab ragoons....