Saturday, December 31, 2011

Random Encounters

New Year's Eve always holds a special place in my heart.  Not because of the parties, the ball droppings and the copious amount of liquor.  Mostly, it is because Mr. Dr. Zeek and I met in a random bar that we both frequented, but never on New Year's Eve.  In fact, he was planning on staying home and I was planning on heading to a different locale that evening. 

Fate, chance, randomness whatever you call it, threw us together that evening, sharing an ashtray, and later a shot or two, laughs and stories, at a fairly crowded bar.  Since that night nine years ago, I have always had this mysterious, almost reverent respect for the things that can randomly happen on New Year's Eve.  That being said, Mr. Dr. Zeek and I usually stay home, buy a bottle of cheap champagne (and some OJ for the next morning), order a pizza and watch a movie togehter.  We are both past the point in our lives where we feel the need to go out, get sloshed and barely remember the evening.

Even so,  I can't help get that feeling that something "magical" and big is going to happen this year.  And soon.  Maybe today I am feeling optimistic about the TT- applications I sent out.  Maybe it's the week I have taken off from lab work and the anticipation of planning out experiments that "are bound to work" (famous lat words-I know) next week.  Maybe it's just having too much sleep and my body copes with it the same way most people cope with too little sleep and I am hallucinating.

Whatever it is, I'm kind of digging it right now.  So, I'll keep enjoying my coffee, pound away a bit on the grant and then get into comfy pjs and enjoy an evening with Mr. Dr. Zeek.

May all of you enjoy New Year's Eve (safely) however you choose to celebrate and may all your random moments and encounters turn out to be everything you hope them to be. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I do believe that there is a special circle of hell reserved for the people who incessantly talk to you while you are trying to pipette 2 uL of ten different components into eight PCR tubes.  An even deeper level of hell exists for those who are talking about numbers while you are trying to keep track of which tubes you added things into by mentally counting how many times you have added the PCR buffer mix to the different tubes.

I also believe that there is a small place inside this circle for those who feel it necessary to not only prattle on but also look over your shoulder while trying to load said PCR reactions onto an agarose gel and comment on your technique.  Especially when said cretins have never poured or run a gel in their lives.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Did some "reliable" experiments today.  Reliable as in I know what I am doing and how to troubleshoot and fix anything weird that shows up in the assays.

Prior to today, I had been designing and doing experiments that I was not entirely comfortable with.  I understood the theory behind these experiments, knew what I needed to do but, never having gotten my hands truly dirty by actually doing the harder part of there experiments, I stumbled along the way. 

My psyche needed a day like today.  A day where I am confident in the results.  A day that yielded some usable and interesting data.  A day that allows me to cross something off my list that has been looming over my head for awhile.

Not only did today help the ego, but the results from said experiments are really quite cool.  Sometimes I find myself having to intersperse days like today with the "head beating against the desk" type of days or experiments just so I don't feel like a total and complete hack.  Although, sometimes it backfires and the simple assays and tried-and-true experiments do not behave at all. Those are the days my boss usually walks into the lab only to find me swearing up a storm or caressing the instruments in hopes they respond to that better than my threats of violence.  Those are also the days I  cut out early and hit the bottle of Beam at home and try again the next day.

Semi-happy news on the job front probably helped my mood a bit.  Well, OK, so still no word.  But I heard from a reliable source today that one of the places where I would really like to interview at is still going through the applications.  In my slightly optimistic mood, this means that I have not heard anything from them, not because I suck, but because they are still sifting through the pile.  So all may not be lost.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


It has been nearly two months since I submitted my TT-applications to a fairly (in my mind) significant amount of schools.  Most of the schools had deadlines between Oct 15 and Nov 1st. Two schools had application due dates of Dec 1st, so I understand not hearing anything more than "thank you, we have recived your application" from them. 

But what about the other 25 schools?  Well, I have heard from one. One. That's it.  Just one.

Granted, it was a good phone call ("you have made it past our initial round of applicant screening, we would like you to have your references send us letters and phone interviews will be in early Jan"-so YAY!").

Other than that, I have heard nothing.  No rejections.  No interviews. No phone calls.  Nothing.  Is it too early to start panicking?

In order to quell my rising panic and motivate my ass in the lab (so, in case nothing comes through I can at least get some more papers out the door) I was hunting on youtube and iTunes for some new music last night.  I stumbled across this gem of a band.  They make me happy.  Very very happy.

And, a somewhat more "ballad" type song...