Thursday, September 29, 2011

Be careful what you wish for.

I've been at my current job 11 years now. I like it most days, but some of the people I work for frustrate me-I often get treated like personal assistant instead of a lab tech and feel like I'm underutilized...but permanent lab work that's not high stress is hard to come by, so unless something way better came up, I had no interest in going anywhere. So I've been patiently waiting and waiting...a new lab building on campus means new lab manager positions - like what I do now for a few people only for a whole focused group. Quite frankly, it is a job I am a shoe in for - I can do it. All of it and then some. It is the same or bit more pay, with a few perks. I've put my feelers out to those in charge and let them know about my interest and they are happy with me being interested. One of them stopped by today to let me know about one of the positions being posted next week, and I think I'd have a real honest shot at it.

Stupid thing is it all seems too real now. And rather freaky. To give up a permanent job I like but often drives me CRAZY to one which is a 1 year renewable that I will like longer...that is suited to me and everyone thinks I should be doing? It will likely become permanent, but it's still a bit daunting. It's non union, so it would all be about qualifications and not I'd get it if I was the best candidate. The way it should be in my mind.

Thing is, I'm the breadwinner so this freaks me out a bit. I know I'm employable, and right now J is gainfully employed so we have some slack...but it's a big step. The kind of step my MSc makes me far more suitable for. If I didn't get it I'd still be OK where I am...and rather disappointed to be honest, but I wouldn't be any worse off. My current job has been more than kind while I did my MSc and I don't want to come off as not being appreciative of that fact.

...but when I look in at my own mind I know I want more.

And so....I have to put on my big girl sparkle panties and pick some good references...and ask their permission and then try and update my resume over the weekend. With any luck all this positivity will turn into an interview...and perhaps more.

Breath in. Breathe out.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Heh. Our new water heater was making the water WAY too upon request I turned it down last night to the setting our old one used to be at.
Which was apparently WAY too low. Poor J had to have a cold shower this morning and thought the new water heater was broken..
He noticed what I did and turned it back up but I feel really bad he had to have a frozen's no fun at all to start your day that way.

Some days I excel at oops.

Halloween is coming

Man I wish I had time to make a costume this year.

I'm itching to make a Dr. Girlfriend costume.

*sigh* Next year...just you wait...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yes, it's the stars

I read this quote today and it made me think of Mum, and other's I miss who've gone on... I like it:

"When you look up at the sky at night, since I'll be living on one of them, since I'll be laughing on one of them, for you, it'll be as if all the stars are laughing. You'll have stars that can laugh!"

"And when you're consoled (everyone is eventually consoled), you'll be glad you've known me. You'll always be my friend. You'll feel like laughing with me. And you'll open your windows sometimes just for the fun of it... And your friends will be amazed to see you laughing while you're looking up at the sky. Then you'll tell them, 'Yes, it's the stars. They always make me laugh!"

~from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Leaf Gnomes are cool

I'm sitting here, listening to the sound of a pounding drill on the house foundation looking at the fall colours. Some years the leaves fall too quickly. This year they're taking their sweet golden time - I love it.

Fall is my favourite season by dig out the sweaters, drink more cocoa and go for lots of walks through the multicoloured paths by the river. Campfires. Pumpkin everything....Lovely.
I was just thinking of the stories my brother used to tell gullible old me when I was little. Like the one about the Leaf Gnomes. What? You don't know that one?
Well, according to some who are in the know, the leaves on the trees don't just change colour and fall off themselves you know. The Leaf Gnomes do it. Leaf Gnomes live under hillsides like hobbits and wait for fall weather, only coming out at night to start swapping out the leaves one by one for coloured change them out for fall ones.
Yes. Yes, I believed every word of it.
And no you can't tell me it's not a way better reason than chlorophyll being replaced by anthrocyanin and degradation artifacts until the leaves die and fall off...

Think I'll set out a picnic plate for them for doing such a good job this year... with a glass of milk and some cookies -because as I recall being told, the Leaf Gnomes really like chocolate chips.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The very definition of lame

Today I was home all day as the furnace guy came to install a new furnace and water heater. The old one needed new wiring so it didn't burn the place down, so we're replacing it and the old water heater with much more efficient ones. Halfway through the day right before 1 the power went out. It just came back on 4 hours later...which royally screwed up the install. Essentially it means I have no heat and hot water right now because they couldn't finish the job without power.


The guys will be coming back tomorrow at 9:30 AM to finish the job. There is only a few hours left to do... The water heater and furnace are physically hooked up to power and water and gas, but the whole venting of them outside isn't done yet. worky.


I feel bad that they have to come back tomorrow...I mean it's not their fault. I am hoping that it doesn't cost us much more because of it. The installer said he had people visiting him for the weekend...which sucks for him to miss out on. It's just s dumb random event that's royally mucked things up good and proper. I'd have them wait until monday if it was just the no furnace thing, as it's supposed to be nice out and we likely won't need it, but no hot water all weekend is too much I think. We have the worst luck with this kind of stuff. I mean, seriously, random stuff like this happens to us more often than I'd care to say...

To be honest I was kinda hoping the power would be out a little bit longer so I could go out for supper (I might anyways just because)...I couldn't do any work at home on my stuff in the PM because of the lack of power, which sucks, so I feel behind. So much for a solid day's work at home...

On the plus side, I can see how they've moved the water heater to a less obtrusive place, so we'll have more room in the basement, but I won't be able to really relax until it's in and working again.


Thursday, September 22, 2011


Mmmm...last night I chopped up sweet potatoes, carrots and onions and put them in a tin foil pouch on the BBQ with some spices. Then I laid more foil and put in a sliced lemon, a trout fillet and some onions with some dill and garlic. BBQ'd them for 20 minutes flipping occasionally.
SO simple.
So delicious. Heaven...

Friday, September 16, 2011

So Say We All

I ran across a blog a while ago that I read and after a recent video post...I feel like I need to post a link to their blog.

"Wash" and "Tashi " are amazing people...they remind me of me and J...quirky happy sci-fi fans in love...only she's 25 and he's dying of a rare terminal brain cancer.
Yeah. I know. WTF?
After brain surgery and chemo he slowly is fading...and the blog is her venting and talking about it all, and occasionally Wash posts too. They seem like amazing people...I can't imagine dealing with all of that at 25. I just can't.

The really screwed up part is they are living in the state of Arizona where the fact that he has a rare tumour at such a young age makes it really hard to get enough money to care for him. MRI? Compared to Canada wehre I live, their state insurance and coverage is hear things like Why fork out insurance for someone who is dying anyways? And why pay for his meds- He's not going to get better is he? Man...I can't honestly believe they have to argue against that kind of thinking...they literally don't get enough to live on every month with food stamps and social security, not even taking into account medical costs or her health issues because Tashi had to give up her job to stay home and look after Wash. For some demented reason they actually get more income that way...and he needs that care. And she gets what time she has left to spend with him WITH him.

I'm posting this because she has gotten to the point where she has put up a place on her blog where you can donate to them by help them pay bills. They even have a few things selected from Amazon and Think Geek...little things they'd buy if they had any extra $$ just to make them smile...things you or I would just go pick up without really thinking about it - to take off some stress, so they can spend the few good hours Wash has a day together and just enjoy that time without all the other crap of life weighing it down.

She posted a video blog last week that made me cry with it's honesty and how she spoke of treasuring the good things and how life was too short for little things. If you want a taste of how amazing this woman is, go and watch it. It's how I feel about life after losing Mum and I really can't imagine how she feels...and I want to help somehow.
And so, for what it's worth I'm asking you - if you can, go there and donate. Anything would help them.

It is funny, I was going to run for a breast cancer cure in October like I usually do, but I think I will run 10K on my own for Wash and Tashi instead. To try and raise some funds for them. If you'd like to donate to them instead...if you were going to donate to me PLEASE, I would ask you consider them.
I can't think of ANYONE more deserving right now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Some days

Last night was a comedy of errors. Cleaning up catsick. Discovering my laptop battery (with all my data on it) has a wonky battery. After a decent supper and an evening dealing with the above things, instead of working on my MSc as I had planned I ended up curling up in a ball for a few hours with some of the worst abdominal craps I've had in ages...hooray for being a girl.
Yes. Woo.
Now I have a little hint of what Tasha has to deal with from her IBS. All the time. Man.
I feel OK today-rather drained as I didn't sleep well, but not as bad as it could have been. J was concerned when he got home, but just having him around helped.

Today is a new day. I felt OK enough to get up and work out this morning so we'll see how today goes. Hopefully today I can do more on my MSc after work. I've hammered out a new timeline for the fall with my supervisor and it looks like the end of November is panic time, where I will work my ass off to present it all to my committee in the hope to receive permission to write (with a periodic table of cookies as bribery). Now comes the tedious task of cleaning up data and coming up with a coherent and clear way to present it all in a few papers, while working with the national quality program to start implementing the method next year...You know, nothing huge...just that and Mt. Thesis. :)

Well my good peeps. I must go do some cool stuff today. Some days, working where I do in research makes me feel like I'm able to help people...just a little. I get to extract DNA from some tumours today so I can sequence some of the genetic bits of it, looking for a mutation to set up a screening test for the lab here. Although I'm glad to know my work will help people here and there in many ways, it's strange to look at a tissue block and remember it came from some one...a real person dealing with cancer and chemo and scary life shit. I won't meet them...Don't know how or who they are...but I hope that their gift to us can help us help others. I know developing better screening tests isn't a cure, but it will help our doctors help people better and faster. After knowing so many people who've faced up to cancer this matters to me. Some won Some lost. All deserve a chance to be with their loved ones as long as they can be.
Maybe we can help them do that...
It's nice to have a job that helps people.
Yes. I like my job some days.

Monday, September 12, 2011

How did I get to have this life? :)

My husband and furfriends missed me I think. :)
I got home quite late last night to a smiling J and 2 very affectionate cats. I had a nice weekend in Vancouver. I learned a lot, had incredible research learning opportunities and then spent the weekend relaxing with J's family. The *cool* auntie :) Added bonus was that both her daughters were there too, which was nice. I get along really well with older daughter, who's had a lot of health stuff to deal with in the last year - like being diagnosed with IBS AND freaking cervical cancer. After a year of surgeries and treatments I am happy to say she is cancer free now. She and I shared a room together and talked until the wee hours and caught up on so much...

I am also convinced J's aunt is a saint - she has taken her younger daughter and her young grandson back into her home after retiring and she and her new husband are trying to look after them both as her daughter goes back to school to try and make a life for herself and her son while the other daughter deals with incredible life sh*t and her husband recovers from a heart attack. I hugged her and her husband a lot because they are fantastic. She's J's second mum really and he misses her and loves her to pieces. I do too. I was sad at times watching mother and daughters together, seeing what I can't have anymore...but then they would take me along, and let me know I *was* family...and for that I am eternally grateful. I missed my mum a lot this weekend, but it was OK. It was all very satisfying. I wish J could have been there.
In Vancouver I was in a hotel near the ocean and managed to go for a sunrise run along the ocean the first morning there. I can now inform you that running along the ocean harbour listening to Burst Generator by the Chemical Brothers while the sun peeks up over the mountains and glistens all over the water is one of THE best ways to start the day. It's official. It increases internal glowiness by 2000% :)

Add to that multiple sushi excursions, a trip to the amazing toy store, the best Dimsum in the 'verse and a trip to the giant chinese $2 store where I loaded up on sushi and bento gear that I've always wanted but could never find? It made the long extended flight home worth it :)
It's good to be home tho. It's been a busy few weeks.

There are exciting prospects with me and work and my MSc project which is turning into an incredible working relationship with a national program for quality control...where (GEEEP!) it is starting to look like my project will be adapted into their national testing program! I get to be involved on all levels. They want me to succeed so they can succeed. It blows my mind. Little ol' me is working to make this kind of testing better nation wide.
Holy guacamole batman!

Life is exciting my friends.
Gobble it up before it gets away from you :)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

A little excursion is good for the soul

I just spent 5 days visiting my Dad at the lake - wish I could have stayed longer...
It was nice to relax and be in the outdoors. I stayed on a few days after J had to go back and spent time relaxing, reading, hanging out with dad, making food and just unwinding. It's been a while since I've been able to just visit Dad...I miss him already. I know he gets lonely still at times so it was nice to keep him company. I heart my Dad :)

I got to go for a run through the woods in the sunshine, take the quads into a remote lake to catch some fish, bake up a storm, hike with J, have a few BBQs, finish off a good murder mystery and then have a twilight cruise on the lake with Dad and some of his friend's on their pontoon was a beautiful way to end the holiday.

Dad gave me Max Braithwaite's "Never Sleep 3 in a Bed" to read on the bus back home - it's a humorous autobiographical collection of stories from his childhood, growing up on the prairies around Prince Albert, where I and my Dad grew up. I'd recommend it, for a few giggles and a look into what my parent's childhood must have been like here on the prairies. The bus ride home was driven part way by someone my Dad taught in grade 8, so we traded stories about him and our families all the way back to PA. It was a nice trip...made it go by so much faster.
I wish I were home with J a bit more, but today I'm off to Vancouver for the weekend for training and visiting with J's family after before heading home again. Ooh la lah - what an epic traveller I'm turning out to be. :)

Cunning Plans

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