Thursday, January 31, 2013

Only on the prairies

It is -46 C with the wind today. A balmy -36 without.
Is it declared a dangerous day? A snow day? Are services restricted and everyone given a day home for safety because if you went outside it's so cold you could die?
Don't be silly.
It's "just a bit of cold snap".

I shake my head at it all. Yes, we're all in at work like it's no big thing.
Me? I bundled up like a sausage and came in on the bus to workout before work and the class was full as usual. Now I'm at work and we're all here, doing our thing.


It's supposed to lift to warmer more normal temperatures by Sunday and I'm glad.
Much more of this and I'll go all Shining on poor J...

Saturday, January 26, 2013


What is it with cats and plastic bags?
Our cat Gavin likes to munch on plastic...usually shopping bags, but he will dig around for any plastic he can find to lick it and chew on it. He won't eat it...just chew on it like it's some forbidden treasure or something. Likes to lick the metallic sides of oven mitts too. Mmm. Delicious plastic.
Blech. Never quite understood's obviously not hurting him since he's almost 19 and healthy as a kitten, and I take them away whenever he gets into them, but still...nothing is more annoying to be sitting reading or just about drifting off to sleep and being woken up to hear "crunch crinkle munch munch munch..."
Crazy furball.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

music soothes the tortured soul

Sometimes music helps.
For me...Ott is one of my go to chill down choices when I need to keep my brain from imploding. Suffice it to say this album been played a lot the last few days...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Just when you think you're out...they pull you back in"

Currently unf*cking amused with the world of academic science. I'd like to put a match to it actually. I'm having run ins with my old supervisors and having a hell of a time trying to just finish things off in a way that gets me a paper without pissing off people. I am quite OK with writing one, and getting someone else with a medical pathology background to write up my results in a way that is useful and published for it's appropriate use. I do not delude myself in thinking it would not be a huge academic exercise to get this published if I were to try and do it on my own - it would end up hugely edited and rewritten and I'd rather let someone else do it.
What really bugs me? Well, when people step in and take over things from you and end up making something better and you go with the new version of things and then those people come back later and say "this would have been nothing if I hadn't stepped in you should be grateful. This wasn't your idea and you were guided through it"? Bollocks. Thesis and academic science differs form the real world in so many ways that I wash my hands of it. It's bitter and twisted and so full of academic pretense and posturing that I don't understand or need and I want to be done with it. I have 2 supervisors with completely different opinions of what I should be doing and ultimately I have come up with what *I* want to do and I will be doing it come hell or high water and then I am washing my hands of it all.

I will do my best to present my abstracts (some of which were completely rewritten without my consent...altho they are much better after "so really why aren't I grateful that i get to present this wonderful content?"...) and get a paper I feel I can write well done from my thesis work and let an expert write up other things and contribute to the work and be a second author...and then tell everyone I did my MSc with to politely f*ck off and leave me in peace to do my job and live my life.

I am so bloody tired of being told that although I did a tonne of work and put things forward, it's ultimately not mine. I get that it's collaboration. I don't have an ego. I just want to do "what's right" (whatever that is in the academic world) and THEN I want to take a step back and let the data be presented int he way that is best for the data - not for me and not for anyone else. This work needs to be used. That was my goal and in the end all I want. I have my MSc. I'm so done.

Yes. Being the former grad student of both a brilliant control freak and a curmudgeonly grammar nazi is a royal Pain In The Ass.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Something to think about

A friend linked me to this today and I really like what he has to say in it. It echoes a lot of things I feel and think (plus it's Penn Jilette!). A lot of disrespect of the truth and of emotions can happen when we want to believe and feel things that may not be real, or be glossed over or dressed up to be more than it is. This happens not just religion-wise, but in scientific research as well, and especially carries over into our lives in how we interact with others. I'm not dissing the power of belief and faith, but there is a logic and an honesty that should come with those things. If you are going to believe and think something, know it to be true. Not just in your heart, but your mind as well. You and those you care about deserve that sort of respect and honesty - lying to yourself is the worst kind of deception I think...

It's friday.
Thank frog.
This week has seemed very long and tiring. Not enough snuggles and naps. I will correct that this weekend. Friends are throwing a shindig, so I know I'll get out for a bit. I have much to do on paperish type stuff, but I feel ready to get things started finally, along with making some tasty healthy meals for the week to come. For some reason, I am finally feeling at peace with my needing to get work done. I am ready again to do some work (knock on wood). I actually have to have a talk with one of my supervisors -she had convinced me to let someone else write all my papers since the time and stress was getting to me and I'm not the best writer, but now? I wish to change that I think.
I can do most of them, while J is busy working on his new show this winter. the end they will be good. Not perfect...but the way I want them to be. Altho the thought of having a pro researcher write up things and have them optimal and publishable is tempting, it would mean letting her take primary authorship of things for all my work and redoing it. Admittedly, I truly don't care about the credit and authorship, but I do care about doing things right. This is the only research I've ever taken ownership of and I want to end this right. I feel a bit like I'm being bullied, and so altho I thought I was OK with it...and - well it turns out I'm not. I may let the other author do one of them, but not all of them. I've figured out where I stand, and I've put my stress down and looked at it and had a bit of time to think. She probably will not like me changing my mind, if only because it's more work for her and she is trying to do what's best in her mind for the research and in her mind it's not a bad thing for me. But, in the end, I think it's best to do things this way. Hopefully she's not too pissed...I will try my best, like I did before, and see what the world has for me. I need to grab onto my spine and hold on to it. And then I will be done and walk away...hopefully without pissing off too many people in the process. I need to figure out how I want to act and be in this big adulty sort of world. It's exciting and odd and scary.

But there should be waffles tomorrow.
Banana ones.
I got a new wafflemaker for christmas...I heart it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

joy of middle management #56

Got yelled at today by a (justifiably) pissed investigator and altho I tried to help and ended up fixing things, it was a case of me not being in on all discussions on my part and a case of not being involved at all and then finding changes were made without knowledge on his part. Somewhere along the lines things weren't communicated as they should have been. And I was caught in the middle...and so I tried to help and didn't have all the information to do so at first and did my best to fix things. Arrangements were made (which thankfully I could get everyone to agree upon) and everyone is happy again.

I was actually pleased in that I was able to help, even tho I am rather pissed that people are doing back room bullshit that drags me in, despite my best efforts. I am transparent, even with the assholes in my group, because I feel it's my job to be fair and help everyone, despite their attempts at fuckwittery. In the guy's position I would have been angry too, altho I would have behaved better. In the end, since I was tired and frustrated and annoyed at the situation and the yelling I too got emotional...but it meant me crying a bit (which I can't stand as I refuse to let my emotions interfere with my work)), but it made the guy realise he was being a jerk and back off...and then we could calmly work together and fix things. I was not the person to be pissed at - and he apologised. Then I fixed it, despite the failure of those above me to keep me filled in on things. I have to have a mildly uncomfortable discussion with my boss about this so that this doesn't happen again in the future. They don't pay me enough for this kinda thing. 
I am happy I could deal with it in the end tho. I may be good at this job after all :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

gram negative

I didn't get any science kits this christmas.

I am trying very hard to work on my papers based on my thesis for publication. The last remnants of my MSc.
I bet you can get how productive I've been tonight...
He heh.

check baby check baby check one two

A friend posted about hump day, and so I posted the Humpty Dance for her fine ears.
Then I got lost in old school rump shaking music from high school...
Like this:

90s rumpshaking party in the lab....wo woo!

he he hee...

Monday, January 07, 2013

Twinkle twinkle

 Last night was nice. J was feeling a bit better and it was the final night of the Enchanted Forest light display at the forestry farm here in town. Last night is walk through only (which to me is the best way to see it) with free hot chocolate. It was only -7 C so I put on my new winter boots (hee warm, with no giant hole in them - hooray!) and we went for a nice 90 minute walk through the lights.

I know these pictures are pretty crappy, but they are of the wierdest displays of the bunch in my opinion. Three french hens (they did the whole 12 days of christmas),

and from the right angle you can see Mary and Joseph in the barn with the... um... christmas gophers? Sure. That's it...

And, me, all hot chocolated up and running around like a little kid in Candy Cane lane.

I loved it. :)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Mumma you've been on my mind

I've been a bit morbid lately. I suppose it came through on friday's post. J has been quite sick with the cold/flu and so I have been thinking a lot, with time to get lost in my head. You see, today, 3 years ago was when my Mum passed away, so I get a bit morbid this time of year, with the cold and snow. The song "momma you've been on my mind" has been in my head a lot the past few days. Not mopey...just introspective I suppose. Days like this I wish I could call her up and chat or make some cookies together, you know?

I was sure I was coming down with the plague J has been suffering with a few weeks ago - felt achey and awful yesterday, but after 14 hours of sleep and some fresh baked scones I feel worlds better today. It is only -5 today, so I may take my creaky bones out in my new winter boots for a walk. It is a nice 30 minute walk to the pet store and grocer. Perhaps I will pick up some food for the kittehs and for me. A little sunshine is good for the soul. :)

Friday, January 04, 2013

cloudy and dark

This article about how doctors themselves deal with serious illness and the end of their own lives is fascinating.
If only because it matches up with my mum's attitudes to her illness at the end of her life. She had worked in palliative care and cared for many people with CHF and other things and helped them pass away in various stages of comfort, discomfort, peace or terror. She spoke with us and her care team about how she wanted only comfort care and a DNR status once in hospital (do not resuscitate). She could have had some other things done that would have been painful a with a low chance of helping out significantly in the end, but she just wanted to be comfortable, with managed pain. Her doctor (whom I think was incredible) called it "comfort care". I am grateful, to this day, for her decision.

And yes...yes it is hard to watch those you love die, or (god forbid) go through it yourself, but I think that after working where I have for many years I might respond to a terminal diagnosis very differently than I would have years ago. Similar to mum. If you undergo painful treatments to gain a few months that are filled with agony...are they worth it? What if it is done for your loved ones? I don't know how I feel about that...because I have watched loved ones slowly linger on from cancer and other things...and lose who they were just to stay technically "alive" and I would not ask someone to do that for me. I would feel selfish. As a favourite song of mine says (and which I now identify with utterly) "love is watching someone die".  Sometimes there is nothing you can do but be there, together at the end of it all and face it together. I know I would want time with those I care for for as long as I could. But when if I were in severe pain and just so very very tired...? I think I'd just want to go when my body felt it was done.
But that's just me...

kitteh of suspense

This kitteh of suspense  gives the chipmunk of suspense a run for his money I think.
So cute.
hee hee...*poof*

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Self improvement 101

I cannot decide. This year (other than egyptian bellydance) I want to start and learn to do one of the following:

a) play the ukelele
b) taekwondo

Any thoughts?

Geeks ahoy

I have learned that the voice talent of Zim and Gir from Invader Zim will be at the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle in March. I love going to meet voice talents at comicons. I've met Pinky and the Brain, Fry and so many others already...I wish they'd come to Calgary Comicon 2013...although so far I do know that the incredible artists who shaped my imagination like James OBarr (did The Crow) and Brian Froud (designer for Dark Crystal and Labrynth) will be there. *AND* John freaking Carpenter (he who is the cause of all my childhood phobias and zombie fears himself).
So it's not so bad...getting excited :)

Cunning Plans

 Life is wierd ya know. It seems a lot of things have been hitting me hard lately. Been distant from people, including my partner who is dea...