Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The black hole time suck that is my life...

Still alive, just busting ass...

The "Black-Hole Time Suck" (also known as PowerPoint) nearly killed me last week as I frantically put together slides for my boss's upcoming talk (which I have absolutely no qualms doing since it, in turn, gave me an "updated" talk ready to go in a few minutes notice).

The recent conversation with collaborator nearby made me realize that the two manuscripts I promised to have done by the end of the month (at least in rough draft form) are no way near being ready and there are still some major gaps in the story.  I think I know what is going on, but convincing god damn reviewer #3 may be an issue. Although, discussing things yesterday, it looks like he wants to add two new variants to the data set we already have (which means at least 3 weeks before we get any usable data from them and another week to analyze/incorporate them into the story-so I may be able to by myself an extra week or two for writing).

It never ceases to amaze me as to how busy I always seem to be in the Spring, when the weather in post-doc city is gorgeous and being cooped up in the lab all day long is sometimes unbearable.  It is like all the planets align and there are manuscripts to finish, datum to analyze and conferences to prepare for.  All at once.  Not in winter, not in summer. Just Spring.  And I am not even teaching--although my two undergrad minions are in the lab.  Which, by the way, have to be the most productive and helpful undergrads I have ever had.  They both worked on the same project, one starting things on one day and the other picking off where she left off the next day.  They greatly exceeded expectations and generated a lot more stuff that I am going to need to finish off paper number three.  I have never really "trusted" the undergrads (in general) enough to give them parts of my project that I was eventually going to use.  It is extremely hard for me to give up control like that, but it is something that I have to learn to do if I ever am going to be a PI and trust the data generated by my grad student minions. I have to tell you, having them do so well this semester has helped a lot with my control issues. I have offered both of them first dibs on the "open" spots to work with me next semester, and I know for sure one of them is taking me up on that offer. 

Research scientist is still a twat, and in the past two days has managed to piss me off, insult me and trash me in front of big boss man more times than I can count.  I watch the clock, waiting for 2:30 when she leaves.  There is a longer, ranty-blog post in there somewhere, I just don't have the time to write it right now.  But, let me just say that goading me into commenting about her spawn(s) latest predicaments does not give her the right to dismiss what I said with the catch-all "What do you know, you have no kids.  Although, I am sure you will change your mind on that..."

So, all-in-all still alive, just turning out some awesome data, smiling a lot and putting out a few fires here and there. Unfortunately, I just finished reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"--Oh my god, absolutely amazing book, and I hear the second in the series calling me from my nightstand even as I write this post. Is it summer yet?

No comments: