Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This is going to suck ass

4 days of fever+ 1 day of vomiting, 3 days of diarrhea and a refusal to drink H2O or Pedialyte = 1 dehydrated baby. That still manages to pull out my ponytail, whack me on the back and jump on my lap.

Monkey has not gained any weight in 12 hours, after losing >5% of his body weight. Since the diaerrhia is not disappearing we're off to emerg for an IV as per doctors orders. It will take probably >2 hours to get seen by a doc / nurse and then it will suck complete ass to hold my child down while nurses poke a needle in him.

Sometimes it sucks to be a mom. These parts are too hard, but Mr.SM is not very good with having his son in pain. As in goes complete ape shit mad/angry / must protect at all costs bad. That leaves me.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Can I get the next size up please?

The monkey is sick, as you know. At 8pm, he was put to sleep in my bed, because lets face it, he has expected me to hold him all of last night and all of today. The probability of him wanting me tonight is pretty high. We put in our bed and Mr.SM offered to sleep on the couch, cuz you know a KING size bed ain't big enough for 2 adults and a not-yet-2 year old. Apparently, it is not big enough for just me and the kid either. I am currently attempting to finish reading about the Na/K ATPase and am being nudge off the edge of my bed. The boy is perpendicular to me and I can not turn around. I will be sleeping on a space that is as wide as my freaking laptop people. Yes I could move to the otherside of the bed, but you see my mama didn't raise no fool. If I switch sides, then his feet would be connected to me. The last thing I need is a heel to my nose, thank you very much. I'll take the head in the small the back instead.

Good Times. Good Times.

On a lighter note, he has not vomited since 1:45 am, monday morning. Although he's had wet farts the diaherrea seems to have subsided as well as the fever. He's still refusing to eat, but I'm hoping that will get better tomorrow. Fingers crossed. As much I love cuddling my little monkey, I do prefer it happening when he's healthy.

I get the need to have mommy near

Monkey is ill. A very bad ill. Fever, diarrhea and vomiting bad. He's not a happy little boy. He keeps crying "mommy ow, mommy mommy", which totally breaks my heart because I can't take away the ow. I do the next best thing, I cuddle him, rub his head and generally try to ease his discomfort as best as I can. It also means that he's even more miserable if he's not lying right on top me. Not beside. Not on my lap. Nope he is sprawled on top of me. Head nuzzled in my neck, arms engulfing me, ensuring that I can not move. Its been like this since yesterday. Mr.SM tried to take over. You know, so I could go pee and eat some sustenance. Yep that was enjoyable, listening to my dear husband try to comfort my child as he whimpered "mommy, mommy, mommy", totally not comprehending where mommy left. Like I said, I get the need to have me right next to him. I don't get the need to be completely attached so that I am blogging this with one hand. Especially since getting him to cuddle is near impossible when he's healthy.
The bonus is that I've watched Serenity (such potential) and The lonely guy, plus tons of crap tv...oh yeah and I'm doing some science reading

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

HomeCity has another 15cm (6inches) of snow predicted to fall in the next 24 hours. That is on top of the >30cm (1 foot) that has already fallen. I am going to go down to the fly room, pick some virgins, set up some crosses and then go home. I probably will not post again until the New Year, as I am going to enjoy spending some time with my monkey, my husband and our wonderful extended family.

I have not done the year in review that most of you have done. I think the changes that I have made in my career and the change in tone of this blog speak volumes about the change in my life. This is because of all of you. Thank you for listening and supporting me. Providing me with excellent advice, both about science and life. I truly am so happy to be welcomed into this wonderful community. Bean-mom, I will forever be grateful for the links that you provided.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Feast. I hope all of you get to enjoy this season in the manner that you most enjoy. Lots of love and hugs.

Wishing you all a very happy new years as well. Be Safe.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Staying out of the Doghouse?

I have been calling Mr.SM on his cell and work phone since before 3pm. Its is now 4:30pm and he has not responded. Which is odd. He always calls back or lets me know he's going into a meeting. This habit stems from when monkey was born and I was bored at home. We would call back and forth incessantly. He actually still does it when he's bored at work. Last week, he called 4 times in 1 hour to ask me about boots (for my christmas gift). The ungrateful wife that I am, neglected to notice those calls were all about me, and got annoyed for receiving so many calls. I was busy picking virgins and setting up crosses. I seem to that a lot, hmm.. Anyways, after that a colleague showed me this:



My point is, I am annoyed that he's not calling me back. I think he's not actually at work, which means he's out shopping. Avoiding the doghouse. I think.

SnowDay

sorta. Its snowed like crazy over here in HomeCountry. For the first time in 30 years, Canada is covered in snow from coast to coast. Everywhere has gotten at least a foot of snow. Normally, providing you with the information that we've had a foot of snow, you would very easily figure out where I am. Not today. Its absolutely beautiful outside as I look out my window.

We live on a busier than normal street, so at night you can usually hear cars or motorbikes zipping up and down. Over the last couple of days, its been beautifully quiet. I am reminded of the time I lived out on the farmlands.

I have no issue driving in the snow and could easily drive to campus, but b/c of the road conditions and the craziness of other drivers it would take >1.5 hours. Its basically not worth it. By the time I get to campus, it would be too late to pick virgins. So I've dropped the monkey off at daycare and am having a quiet reading day at home.

So nice. nice.

I will try to get another post up but if I don't, wishing everyone a very merry holiday season.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Welcome to Grumpy, PhD

I've noticed a new commenter at some of the blogs I read. Grumpy,Phd is new to blogosphere and I am sure would appreciate you clicking over to say hello. As I mentioned on Alice's post at ScienceWoman, its important to support our fellow bloggers. Go say hello!

Raising the White Flag

I'm done. The boy is winning. I find it hard enough to be consistent, set boundaries on a daily basis, after a long day in the lab. Monkey knows what he can and can not do. He also knows when mommy is tired and daddy is being lazy. I love the boy and I know that he needs me to be consistent and set boundaries, so despite being tired from a day in the lab, I come home, make dinner and parent. Which is all fine and manageable until I get sick and its snows and I'm cold. How he knows, I have no idea but he knows and pushes harder and faster. I'm raising the white flag. I'm the mom curled up in ball, under the blanket whimpering.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lesson #432861 for new moms

So you wake up at 7 am on a Sunday morning because you can hear your not-quite-yet-2-year old laughing in his bed as he practices all the words he knows (>10/language now). Since you went to sleep at midnight after watching stupid crappy X-files movie and reading old science papers related to your hot research, you think "he's happy and laughing, I'll just sleep a little more".

This a dangerous dangerous thought process. It will lead you to sleep for another 20 minutes and wake up well rested. You will hear you not-yet-2-year-old still happily laughing and playing in his crib. You can also hear the crib creaking and some jumping going on, and since you know your young child is able to climb out of the crib you'll go to get him. You'll walk toward his door, smiling to yourself about the wonderful day you're about to have, since he's woken up happy and you're well rested.

He hears your footsteps and gets very excited as he realizes you're coming to get him. This makes you very happy. Thinking all is well, you open the door to his room, he comes running to the end of the crib, arms reaching out. My gosh you think I"m getting a big hug first thing, what a great morning. You turn on the light and you see your monkey, arms reaching out as far as they can over the side of the crib. You walk in to get that hug.

And you get a diaper handed to your with a sweet "ank you" instead.

Oh and he peed on the bed.

The lesson? Perhaps it not a good idea to let you child play in his crib, if he can remove his diaper.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Coming up For Air

I can not believe that its already the middle of December. Where the hell did the month go! I know, I know the month is not over but at this rate, by the time I actually post it will be over. I've barely posted anything this month, nor have I commented much on the blogs I regularly read. Heck my reader consistently has 50+ posts in it. I had a bit of set up back in the lab, data wise, so I've been madly trying to get / keep things on track there. Life itself has been crazy busy between going away on a weekend and getting ready for Christmas that I feel like I've had no time to sit down, let alone have time to myself. Since I started this blog back in May, I always had some time that was 'me time' after monkey went to bed for the evening as Mr.SM was usually studying. Now, monkey goes down and mr.sm is all like nudge nugde wink wink or chatty McChatteron. When I am supposed to visit with the internetz!! I'm also trying to learn genetics and all about fly department so I feel guilty reading blogs when i should be reading science. Though I'm pretty sure scienceblogs is a fair mix of fun and science but still its not teaching me about the pupal case dissections.

I also know that I'm not supposed stress out about the blog but its not stressed out need to cross this off my list type of stress, its the OMG I so haven't talked to my BFF and I totally miss her need to find time for her type of stress. Well I must now go do some laundry, get out the christmas lights, put up the wreath, figure out how to make samosas (of course the one dish I count on grandmother-in-law for, she no longer makes), read about the Na+K+Atpase and drink some coffee, make a grocery list....
First up, laundry, coffee and samosa's.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The best answer yet

In response to a question about muscle strength and temperature, requiring an explanation of the physiology behind the effect:

this causes slower functioning due to slower ATP turnover and other mechanisms needed to perform the movement

really? perhaps you'd like to expand on the those other mechanisms that you were asked to explain!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When did undergrads become so dumb??

I am marking the finals exams for Work and Exercise Physiology. Not a terribly demanding course. Its third year course and is taught by the guy who TA'd me during my first undergrad physiology course (He's cute so I totally went to 5pm lectures). My point in telling you this, is that I've had him for a teacher, he's a good teacher. Thorough, encourages questions, easy to approach etc.
The students are not getting the material. On Q1, I was consistently giving 1/4 or 0.5/4. I am almost done Q2, the average being .5/3.
How did these people get to 3rd year???!!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What the hell people

I leave for 4 days and there are 109 posts in my reader, >5 from some of you crazies. Don't you have better things to do over your weekend!!! Just teasing. Big White was great, and I will tell you more once I catch up with what you guys/gals have been upto. I do think I'm allergic to my "real life" though. As soon as we 45 minutes from home, my sinus and cold symptoms came back with a vengeance.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

OMG is this his leadership????!!

His tape is fuzzy, he was late, and then beginning was cut off...OMG this is not inspiring confidence.

He's lying!

It not undemocratic. He totally talking down to us. He's full of shit. He claimed that Bloc is part of the coalition. they are not. Go to your MP and let your views be heard. Let the conservatives know that Harper needs to resign by visiting their website at www.conservative.ca

Make your voice heard

Our country is heading for some crazy times. We have a PM who has instigated a huge political mess and put the state of this country in jeopardy. There is a possibility that we may have a new coalition government that can't even get its shit together. They announced a panel of the economic wise men without first making sure they agreed, ( I can't find the link), and now Jack Layton wants his own air time. I know I don't trust the current PM to be willing to work with the current parliment and I'm not sure I want Dion as PM either. I would prefer Harper to resign.

Gone for the weekend!

On Monday, Mr.SM hopefully wrote his last exam. This is a HUGE relief as I will no longer feel like I am alone in the whole running the house and taking care of the boy department. I know that previous statement isn't entirely fair as despite being school, working full-time and helping out the family business, Mr.SM has been very good about keeping up with the housework as well. He cleans up after supper, does all the laundry and cleans the bathroom. But he was very rarely home. He wouldn't arrive home from work until after 7pm and then would eat, clean and hit the books as I gave the monkey his bath and put him to bed. On the weekends, he would spend some time in the morning and evenings with the monkey, but during the day it was either off to study or off to work for his family. Needless to say, it was hard both physically and emotionally on both of us. It is not easy being on your own with a kid. All. The. Time. Its especially hard when talking to your partner about it is difficult because he is already feeling extremely guilty for his lack of ability to be involved with the boy or you.
But that is all over and tomorrow we're heading off for an extended weekend. Some quality family time. It will be good.
See you all on Monday

Monday, December 1, 2008

I will gladly get up at 2am to change wet sheets&PJ's

As much as I like to joke about what a mischievous monkey my little boy is, no matter the number of times I complain how exhausting / frustrating he is, make no mistake. I will happily wake up at 2am to give him a mini-bath and change my sheets, if that would keep him warm and safe. There isn't anything that I would not agree to, if it would keep him warm and safe.

I was all set to continue with political blogging, but this, this , this and this made me hug my boy a little tighter, give him a few more kisses. My thoughts, prayers and good wishes are with those families and all others who are not as lucky as me. I have a wonderful husband and a great kid.

You've got what you wanted so be happy

Finally we have political parties putting aside their differences and working together. If anyone says that these parties are power hungry, I respectfully tell you that you are wrong. They are taking a huge risk by working together, having to comprise on some policies and possibly being seen as undemocratic. These are not characteristics a party wants to be associated with. They are taking this risk, I believe, for the benefit of Canada. I have never been a fan of Harper, nor of the NDP or Bloc, but Harper has shown poor judgement and will put our country at risk. Frankly the fiscal statement was the icing on the cake. Eliminating the election financing without a debate is undemocratic. It would destroy all parties except 1 and without more than 1 party, you can not have a healthy democracy. Furthermore, changing collective bargaining mid-contract is wrong. It is fair to offer the Public Employees the opportunity to agree to no wage increase in return for no layoffs. But they had to offer it to the employees to agree to it, they can not legislate it. Lets list all the major areas that Harper was wrong:

1. The fiscal update - he played politics instead of putting the country first
2. He recommended buying stocks during the election campaign
3. The GST cut - reducing consumption taxes during a economic boom added inflationary pressures and did nothing for improving Canada's productivity or investment ability. Secondly it did nothing to help middle-lower income Canadians. For most of us, our major expenditures (Shelter, food, child-care) are GST-free. An income tax cut would be more helpful because then we would actually save some money. We are heading into deficit, possibly having to sell assets because of it.
4. He was pro-deregulation of the Canadian Banking system. We are being buffetted from the current global crisis due to our strong regulated system that was not able to invest heavily in risky mortgages.
5. He was pro-Iraq War. If he was PM during the USA's invasion of Iraq, our troops would be there.

If that is not poor judgement, I don't know what is.

The idea that forming a coalition government is unfair is not only ludicrous but wrong. We are a parlimentary system. This is how parliment works. PE but they are doing to

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Consider yourself warned

It appears that over the last couple of weeks, the science spawn have been creating some havoc. And according to at least one Mommy Scientist, my monkey is the root cause of the bad behaviour. I wish I could say that Dr. Isis was misinformed, but I have been told by more than one person that my little boy is a challenging, busy busy little boy. Plus have you seen the pictures??? Those are just the ones where you can't see his face. Trust me when I say that there are many many more, with him smiling away. Or flashing these big brown which makes it really really hard to get mad.

Seriously, how can you get mad at those eyes?

The point is that if there is trouble to be found, my monkey will find it. Yesterday morning, he found more trouble. On saturday, saturday folks, monkey decided that 6:40am was the perfect time to wake up, happy and full of energy. I don't know about you, but on saturday I prefer waking up after 7am. When it is light out (the sun is up), like a normal human being. Thankfully, I had put up the baby gate and shut the bathroom door before going to bed friday. Thus, when monkey woke up, gave me a kiss and said buh bye before crawling out of my bed, I thought "knock yourself out kiddo". Really how much damage could he do in living room where everything is put away?

I woke up a 7am to my child lying on his tummy playing with my computer sans pajama pants and diaper. Those items of clothing were sitting on the couch.

You have been warned. You have been warned.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blog roll Updated!

It was actually very very easy as blogger as this nifty option which imports your google reader list. The option was not available when I first set up the blogroll that updates with your posts. Please take a look, if you are not a reader of any of these awesome blogs you totally need to check them out. If you would like to be added, just let me know.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How often do this happen

Received in my inbox today:

Dear Member,

You may have recently received an email from us welcoming you as new member of Mountain Equipment Co-op. We mistakenly sent this message to new and long-standing members alike. Sorry about that. We've identified the cause (classic human error) and we'll do our best to ensure it's not repeated.

Your willingness to receive email from us is important, and we try very hard not abuse the privilege. If you've been an MEC member for several years, hopefully it's not too late to officially welcome you!

We sincerely apologize for our error. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at 1.888.847.0770.

Best regards,
MEC


I've always knew MEC was a class act

Monday, November 24, 2008

He does not speak


But he will figure out within hours how to overcome the gate that is preventing him for reaching my desk and therefore my computer.(sorry I don't know how to rotate pics in blogger and i'm too lazy to fix it in ilibrary).

He has also fully transitioned into Big Boy bedtime routine. I am not allowed to hold him and neither his dad nor can I lie down with him. We are distinctly told "no AAway".

Oh and he's figured out how to open doors, which means we have to get those stupid doorknob covers otherwise we will have more of this:
It also means we have to put a chain on the front door b/c he knows how to unlock the door.
But he doesn't speak more than a few words.....

Totally fucking annoyed

There is a post-doc in our lab who is very introverted. Being an avid reader of another introvert, PiT, I have tried hard to not dislike this particular individual. Even though he totally rubbed me the wrong way by claiming that "it is a waste of money to publish those how to hire/keep women science brochures because look how many women are working/studying in the life sciences, heck they are the majority in life sciences research. White men are the minority." Really?? in what fucking department, is what I wanted to say. I stayed mum.

Sorry that was a tangent. Anyways, Introverted Post-doc (IPD) does not say good-morning when he walks in and has not said 2 words to me since I've been here. Since he is highly introverted, and my highly extroverted personality can apparently be hard to deal with, I have not taken it personally. Like I said, I am trying not to dislike this individual. IPD annoyed me with his comment about the hiring women and annoys me every morning when he doesn't say good morning. I strongly feel that it is rude to not say good morning especially since he'll say good-morning to the PI as he walks by her office as well as one or two other lab members. However being rude does not = bad person. Rude / ill mannered people can still possess other qualities that would deem them to be nice overall. However, IPD has also demonstrated that he is inconsiderate.

Our lab is focused on dissecting flies in various stages of develoment, from embryos, larvae, adult flies. Which is why we have 2 dissecting microscopes as well as sign up sheets for them. No one ever signs up right now as there seem to only be about 2 of us using them at any given time. Today is not one of those days. Only one of the 2 scopes is in the dark room. When mounting flourescently labelled disc, its important to do that in the dark room. This morning I had to mount labelled discs for use in the afternoon. Prior to my bitching I will fully admit that I should've signed up for the scope in the dark room. I totally take responsiblity for that. If you have NO flexibility in which dissecting scope you can use, SIGN UP in advance. Totally totally take responsibility for that.

This morning I had 3 things to do when I got in. Eat breakfast, load a gel and mount discs. My gel was fucked up by labmate (this is another post) so I ended up having to remake the gel. It took me ~1 hour to get that done and then I went to use the dissecting scope in the dark room. IPD had just sat down when I walked in.
Me - "Hey are you going to be long as I have to mount a couple slides"
IPD - "I just sat down so I will be awhile"
Me - "Ok, well I just need it for 10 mins so when you take a break let me know"

If I was in IPDs position, I would've been like, oh why don't you use it then as I'll be awhile. Why put someone hours behind, when I can wait 10 minutes. IPD did not do that. And yes I know, he has no obligation to either. But here's the thing. There will come a time when he'll need me to do that for him, and I will. Why, because its the nice thing to do. It is what makes labs cohesive.
Plus when he went left the scope to workon something else for a bit and have lunch, he didn't tell me! For fucks sake buddy, when there is a piece of equipment that is in demand, be fucking considerate and let others know they can use it, especially if they have freaking asked you to let them know.!

I am really really trying hard not to dislike him. But he's not helping me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Go join in the discussion

Both Arlenna and Ambivalent Academic are having a really really good discussion about women's menstrual cycles and how they effect our perceptions. I am to damn tired to get involved. Co-incidentally, I think my fatigue is having to do with pill I'm on, it tri-cycline and I get all bloated and ehh in its second week.

I have alot I want to say, but I'm tired. So I wont. Good night

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I must have fucked up syndrome

Its my own personal version of the impostor syndrome that others have talked about. I don't really believe that others will find out I don't belong there, its more that I will have to admit to myself that I don't belong here. That everyone was right when they said I should think about business or med school or anything but research. Despite all my protestations of enjoying it and being good at it, I really am not good at research. Which is horrible feeling because every thing I do becomes a confidence vote, proving to myself that I made the right decision. Case in point -Did my SDS gel not set - it must be something I did. The acrylamide went bad? Whew!!! Thank God it wasn't something I did, maybe I can do this.
This week it was the PBS that was fubarred. I had a bunch of wing disc dissections to do yesterday but the larvae were not co-operating. Everything had a weird consistency, the imaginal discs look "off" and I was just not able to dissect out the imaginable discs - they kept disintegrating. First I thought it was b/c I was hungry and hadn't done dissections in about 2 weeks, so just needed to practice on a few. After butchering 10 maggots, I had lunch and hoped I would get my mojo back. Nope something was up. Troubleshooting, perhaps I had put too much triton X in the PBS? After triple checking my calculations (seriously how hard is it to figure out how much 10% triton X to put into 100mL PBS to have a 0.1% triton x solution?), I eliminated that as issue. Maybe it was just a mojo / stars not aligned issue - lets retry in the morning.

This morning, I retried again, 3 maggots later I knew something was up. The only thing that changed between yesterday and 2 weeks ago was that I made up 10x PBS. Granted this was the first time in 3 years I made 10x PBS, but its not that hard to make. Especially Drosophila PBS, its 3 freakin ingrediants - NaHPO4, Na2PO4 & NaCl. Not hard. Only reasonable conclusion (in my head) I fucked up measuring out 3 reagents. I really really should not be here. OMG I'm Dr. Jekyls BF!!!
To see if something was wrong with PBS, I re-checked the pH of 1X PBS solution. PBS for flies can be anywhere from 7.0-7.6 and this solution ended up being over 8.0. WTF?? I had pH'd the 10x to 7.5. Granted I did not recheck the pH when I diluted it to 1X, but I have not experienced ddH20 changing the pH that much before. I must not have used the pH meter correctly (again because it somehow so technically challenging). How could I screw that up? Conclusion - Either the 10x PBS was pH'd incorrectly or I fucked up measuring the reagents so its not buffering properly.
Nothing was left to do, other than to remake the 3 ingredient 10X PBS, diligently checking and rechecking that I have the right reagents, the right weight, everything is completely dissolved before pHing etc. I added enough HCL to make the 10x PBS have a pH of 7.4. Guess what the ph was after diluting to 1x? Over 8! I diluted using ddH20 had been stored in a carboy, which is apparently very alkaline.

Long story short - the carboy h20 is very alkaline for some reason. Always check the ph when diluting down 10x solutions. The carboy H20 was what fucked up my PBS, not me. Whew! I am not blog fodder, maybe I can do this whole PhD thing!

Science never works, its all about the process and troubleshooting. I can not use the results of experiments, or the fact that something does not work as some sort of assessment of my capabilities. I really really need to learn that. You may read me saying that alot. I've read that if you repeat something 5 times before bed it will come true, whadday think?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Off to buy makeup

I need some sort of pick me up after today. The boy slept in until after 9am so I figured he was still feeling under the weather as he is normally up at 6:30am if he goes down at 8pm the night before. Using that logic that he was under the weather, I figured he'd have an easy morning and then go down for a nap and which point I wound continue reading Fly Pushing. Hahahahahahaha!!!
....
....
.....

Now that all the parents have stopped laughing at my stupidity, err craziness. Let me enlighten you to what transpired. The boy woke up, he brushed his teeth, changed his clothes and ate breakfast. Then he went stir crazy. He brought me his socks AND his shoes to demand we go out. Its beautiful warm fall day so I took him to kick the ball around, went to the mall to buy him some long-sleeved shirts and then we went for lunch with Aunty JV. He's under the weather, had some fresh air and stimulating morning so he'll sleep when we get home.
1.5 hours later he was finally down for a nap that lasted long enough for me to read the email from my mom with the subject "if we die". Yep my mom gave me her death instructions by email. The monkey is now in the process of calling long distance and destroying my bedroom, but I just need to hide. Funny because if I was any where else I would be missing him. Anyways I'm taking a lesson from Mel and going to starbucks and buying some make up from MAC

******

On another note, I need to update my blog roll desperately. I have way more blogs in my reader than I do posted. If you should / want to be linked leave me a note / send me an email. I'm hoping to update at some point this week

Monday, November 17, 2008

When to have kids

This post came out of the comments to Dr.Isis's post about balancing work and family. PhdGirl, JLK, Labness and others have asked the age old question: when is the best time to have kids? is it easier during grad school or during your post-doc? What about during the tenure process? Of course there is no perfect time and everyone has to think about their own personal situation. I chose to have my first kid right when I started my PhD. I did this for a number of reasons, the primary reason being age. I was 30 when I started grad school for the second time so waiting until I was done was not a viable option. Having the monkey right at the beginning meant that I was not putting any research on hold (or so I thought). The other advantage is that when the monkey is sick (as he is today) I feel only a minimal amount of guilt as no one is dependent on me. Only my career or timeline is being affected. As a PI, I would have students, post-docs, meeting etc which I suspect make the whole juggling aspect harder.
As a student, I make my own hours. In most lab situations, no one is clocking when you are coming and going, so if you need to leave early to get your child ready for Halloween or take him to the doctor, its OK. The key to having kids while doing graduate studies is having both a supportive and understanding supervisor and labmates. For me, even if my supervisor is supportive, having lab mates sniping about me makes for an uncomfortable environment.

What about the challenges? For one being able to attend those darn 4pm seminars. Due to my personal situation, I am on daycare p/u and d/o duty so its impossible to attend after-hour anything. Hopefully that will be changing, but for now I find the inability to attend the social events and some late seminars makes me feel disconnected from the department. At my oldgrad lab, we used to have fridays@five which was basically hanging out and having beer, it was where friendships were formed, collaborations started and a sense of community established. Once I had the monkey, I could no longer attend as his daycare is off campus.
Not many grad students have kids, so you'll be the odd one out. But as like Dr.Isis, sciencewoman and all the other moms that work, I have learned to work really efficiently. Like today I should get at least 2 articls read, plus my blogs while the monkey sleeps on my lap. With that I must go read some science :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

I found a solution

Thanks to some very amazing gals for some great suggestions. Oh and welcome AA! Last night I wrote down a bunch of proteins that I thought would work: coracle, scribble, yurt, ankryin. This morning was going to go through are HUGE antibody binder to see if (a) we had non rabbit antibodies for any of the listed proteins and if not, then to find out which proteins did we have non-rabbit antibodies against. I would then at those proteins and see if they would work. Does that make sense? As I was stumbling into work, carrying my freshly brewed cup of coffee I was bitching to myself that it sucks that I couldn't just visualize freaking GFP on a western since we have a like a million different stock of flies whose proteins are fused to GFP. I took a sip of coffee and then the light bulb went off, why can't I use flies from Neurexin-GFP stock (the neurexin protien is tagged with GFP) and then just use a anti-GFP antibody? Neurexin runs above 100 so problem solved! yippee.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Protein suggestions anyone??

Okay so the western blot from hell did not work, as expected. I am not sure if it did not work b/c the antibody whose specificity I was trying to confirm did not work or b/c there was not enough protein on the blot or for some other random methodological error. I rerunning the gel and will stain for my protein of interest, along with another abundant fly protein that does not run at the same size of my protein. I am having problems finding that well known fly protein. My protein should run somewhere between 50 kDa and 30 kDa. Actin is out, Tubulin is out, spectrin is too big (280 kDa on 10% gel + a 30 kda..eek!). Discs large is also out. Suggustions please???

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kiss my shoe loving, science loving, hip hop dancing loving brown ass. Or Fuck You

Considering I've called out CPP for name-calling during a discussion, I will say up front that I totally know I am being hypocritical and not following my personal mantra of always being respectful during disagreements. Sometimes I am just too angry.

Renee who left a rather racist and full of shit comment on Dr.Isis recent post talking about rising above name calling. I fully agree with Isis on the not resorting to demeaning name calling so despite originally referring to Renee with some denigrating epithets, I have erased them. I however stand by what I said in my comment. FUCK YOU. I guess I have calmed down, or maybe not.

Renee - I hate to be the one to inform you of this, but you come across as hating women because you do. You also appear to very prejudiced against other groups for rather stupid and ignorant reasons. For anyone who thinks the following statement is not indicative of racism is wrong.

I don't like most black people not because of their skin color, but because I don't like hip-hop and dancing. I don't like most women because I don't like shopping and romantic comedies. I do have female and black friends, however, because they don't belong to those cultures; they belong to my culture, which involves sci-fi, anime, and board games.

Lets deconstruct that statement:
"I don't like most black people not for the color of their skin" - do I really need to explain how not liking a whole group of people based on the color of their skin is um racist. Yah, Yah I know she is saying that is not true, but yet she she is grouping them by their skin color. Based on their skin color, she is assuming they enjoy hip hop and dancing and then using that as the reason she doesn't like them. First its not that she is not friends or doesn't associate with them. She dislikes them. So Renee do you like white people that enjoy hip hop and dancing or is it just the black people who like hip hop and dancing? Why not say I do not like people who enjoy hip hop and dancing? Would that not be the more accurate statement if you weren't first catagorizing on race first?

And how about that assumption that most black people like hip hop and dancing? I agree that that hip hop is heavily intertwined with black culture but that does not automatically mean that all or even most black people enjoy hip hop over and above other musical forms (Lenny Kravitz people, Lenny Kravitz! (not to menion many many others)). Many many black people actually strongly disagree with large aspects of hip hop and some of the messages encompassed within the hip hop culture and are actively involved in opposing it. The assumption you made is akin to assumming that if you're catholic you automatically hate gays and are pro-life. If you're not racist then you're either naive, ignorant or stupid.

How about that last part of your statment "I do have female and black friends...they don't belong to that culture...they belong to my culture" - again why is "your culture" of sci-fi, anime and video games exclusive from hip hop or black culture? - (Note that I separated black and hip hop culture, because although intertwined, they are separate). You are assuming that black people as a whole do not enjoy any of those things. Why can sci-fi, anime and/or video games not belong to that culture?

Lastly, the derogartory tone (again racist / prejudical undertones) with which you refer to those cultures that you hate is rather alarming. Hate is a pretty strong word. You are hating someone for the type of clothes they wear or the music they listen to? You actually judge the seriousness of someone based on whether they like shoes??? You have issues. As I write this post, I am wondering why I have let someone as narrow-minded and idiotic as you keep me up and get me so riled.

Because it people like you, that are in positions of power, who when I walk through a door decide I am a not smart / capable based first on the color of my skin, second on sex and then how I am dressed. And I have not said a word or done a task.

It is because of people like you that Barack Obama did not win by a greater margin.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The joys of science

So I am really enjoying the New Grad Lab (NGL), partly because I've gone back to what I know well - fluorescence microscopy. This means, after learning how dissect the imaginal wing discs from larvae (not very difficult), I've been staining and imaging up a storm. We are interested in Protein X (that I was moderately involved with in old Lab) and the role it may or may not play in the blood brain barrier, or blood nerve barrier as its known in flies. The antibody I've been using to stain for protein X is for the vertebrete form of the protein but it seems to be cross reacting well. So far I've been trying to figure out the optimal working concentration which is not as easy with wing discs as it with cells. If I was using cells (as in cell culture) I would've collected a few dishes and set up a dilution series and had the working concentraion figured out in a week or two. Unforunately with wing discs I need ~ 20 discs / stain with each 20 disc dissection set taking about 2 hours. I don't know about you, but I can only spend about 4 hours staring down a stereoscope before I feel nausaus and my back and shoulders hurt from being hunched over. This combined with the time it takes to actually image and deconvolve image stacks = 2 months before we have a working concentration. I think I've found a good working dilution (by complete fluke!) and set up this week to run a SDS-PAGE so that I could do a western blot to confirm the specificity of the antibody. Do you how many days it has taken me to run the freaken protein gel? According to the date on my lab book I started this on wednesday. Three days later and a good number of attempts later the fucking gel has FINALLY set. Thankfully I have learned not to immediately start wondering WTF with me that I can't set a stupid gel to set. Though I would now like to say WTF. Its a bloody SDS-PAGE???? How difficult is it to mix together components!!!
Well apparently quite difficult when critical reagens like the acrlyamide and temed have gone off! This morning was spent making up small volumes of stacking gels to determine first if it was the temed (since we have like 6 bottles of temed we had to test them all), than if it was the acrylamide. We have determined the acrylamide is off for sure, so we've ordered more in. To make sure I don't fall to far behind, I bummed some acrlyamide off a neighboring lab to make up yet another gel. 3 days later I have an acrylamide gel sitting in the fridge waiting for me on monday morning. Lab work is 90% trouble shooting. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Go Watch NBC NOW!!

They're re-running the presidential bash clips, freakin awesome!

She is being a hypocrite

Over the weekend a brouhaha has begun over the NEJM article that was well publicized in the mainstream media. I am no epidemiologist and it has been a few years since I was actively involved in developmental cardiology as a research topic so I am even more removed from cardiac rthyms. I have little to say about the validity of the findings. I am more interested in discussing how science should / should not be discussed, appropriate forms of criticisms as well as the overall immaturity / maturity of scientists. Dr. Isis discussed her opinion of the paper in her normal witty, sarcastic and disrespectful manner. Yes disrespectful. I personally did not take offense to her tone or manner, as I said in the comments. But I also do not take offense at SNL, the Daily show, The Colbert Report or even Mac commercials. Others do take offense, and as DrdrA pointed out, this is an international forum with multiple cultures that have a variety standards of what is or is not correct behaviour.

If Dr.Isis would like to critique scientific journals using a statirical take on it, she totally should because she is rather funny. BUT (you knew their had to be a but) then she is going to have to expect (1) comments that she may few snarky (2) realize that she is NOT modelling the behaviour she herself demanded and (3) understand that just like she doesn't always find her colleagues funny not everyone finds her funny.

I would also like to point out that the authors have made it very very clear that they do not have a problem with individuals / blogs discussing they report, they had an issue with the tone of the original post. Which brings me to CPP, what the hell is the point of name calling on a post that was meant to be a scientific discussio of the findings? If you want to name call, go do it on the original post. Seriously, you are an intelligent individual and by reducing yourself to the standards of my monkey, you are no better then the sick fuck republicans that you hate so much. Dialogue is so important if we are going to move forward on a variety of issues facing us. Can we grow up just a bit?

The biggest issue of all that has come out of this is how the mass media protrays researcher articles / letters. Jansky made a very good point in his comment about how the media choose to pick certain comments and not others. How do we has scientists ensure that our findings are correctly conveyed to the great community?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Madonna, Madonna OK

How was Madonna? It was OK. for the <$100 I paid for my ticket, I was happy. If I had I paid for the >$100 tickets, then I would’ve been pissed.
I’m not sure how much dancing and “production” one can expect from someone that is >50 years old, I for one was impressed with how fit she was. What I wasn’t impressed with is that she did not start until 9:30pm when the tickets said 7:30pm. Obviously I expected a delayed start, that is only reasonable when you have >50,000 people filing into a stadium. Which is why concerts usually have opening acts. They entertain those front row VIP’s that paid $600.00 for an evening of entertainment. The opening act entertains those fans that got in and are waiting for everyone to finish buying their concert paraphernalia, beer, water, popcorn etc. They keep us going for the 30min – 1 hour that they concert may be delayed. But TWO hours late. Woman I could’ve gone home, showered and most importantly kissed my monkey goodnight. I would not have had to freshen up with some baby wipes in a washroom stall at work (FYI, baby wipes are surprisingly good at freshening one up!).
Once she came on she was as good as could be expected. Any fan knows that Madonna’s not the best singer / dancer but she is a damn good entertainer. I was disappointed with her production and her effort. She barely engaged the crowd, did not have well choreographed dance routines outside of “Vogue” number. There was a lot of jumping around and guitar playing. Yep guitar playing, that annoyed the crap out of me because she ain’t no guitarist. The exception was the hard rock version of Borderline that was wicked! I totally want a bootlegged copy of it.
She took 3 FULL song breaks, as in the dancers were on stage but she was not. Again, she is older so maybe she needed them, I don’t know. When she sang anything before the Ray of Light album, I was totally into it. The more recent stuff was hit or miss for me. I knew some – Music, 4 minutes, Die another Day (she wasn’t on stage for that one) but pretty much nothing from the sticky and sweet album. I definitely was not the only. The crowd went nuts for borderline, material girl, etc but would quiet down for anything that was recent.
Her multimedia effects were very cool and she had a carachi band for La Isla Bonita, You Must Love Me and her new Spanish song. The carachi band was amazing. Overall it was a good show, but not as good as Lenny Kravitz or Pearl Jam for crowd engagement (and obviously those two have amazing music). Janet Jackson’s Janet and Velvet Rope concerts were way better for overall production. Yes I am that old. I will post pics when I get a chance. Now I must go read about epithelial cell development in Drosophila Melanogaster – you know that research that has no public good.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

9 hours until madonna!

I said I was going to blog the countdown.

FYI

I am not feeling better. I feel nausea every time I eat, which sucks because I love to eat and am supposed to go out for dinner with my girlfriends before the concert.
I battled the boy from 3:45 am until 5:oopm. Apparently he could only sleep on top of me while strangling my neck and grabbing my hair.
I have that weird feeling of my body being tired while my brain is wide awake.
Nothing a few vodka martini's wont' cure :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MADONNA, MADONNA YEAh!

Less than 24 hours till madonna. yes i will be posting my countdown. I am so excited! Holiday, Like a Virgin. Madonna Madonna.

I may have to kill the boy

or at least seriously maim him. I really don't know what else would be appropriate punishment. The crime? It is just over 24 hours before I am supposed to go see Madonna LIVE in Concert! Ask me how I feel. I was feeling great this morning, super duper excited. But now I am tired and I have a sore throat. I will go to the concert come hell or high water, but that fact that I may be drugged up on medication as opposed to vodka has me slightly annoyed. Just. Slightly. I am finished marking for a few weeks, so tonight I am going to sit on my ass doing nothing before going to bed early. I will not be sick. If I say it enough it will be true.

Oh and I"M GOING TO MADONNA!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meme time

It Sunday Night and I really would like to write a thoughtful blog on all of the million themes going through my mind. I have literally written about 7 posts in my head just as I'm falling asleep, on my way to work, on my way home, while I'm cooking, even in the shower. But what do I do when I finally get a chance to blog, I bitch about the mister using my towel! Haha.
Now that I once again have a chance to blog, instead of writing those amazing posts, I'm going to do that random meme that has been going around. Its not my fault really, I have midterms to mark combined with a sick boy - my brain is working on reserve power.
I was tagged by Amanda, and will attempt to tag someone that has not yet been tagged, as well as trying to move beyond the sciencey blogs that I usually read. You should all know that rules but if you don't:

The Rules
  1. Link to the person who tagged you. -
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Write 6 random things about yourself.
  4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
  5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  6. Let the tagger know when your entry has posted.
I grew up wanting to be a housewife. I know funny because I could never be a housewife. I would go bat shit crazy, and am way to stubborn and independent to be a happy housewife. But for a long time, I thought I would be happy staying home and having babies. It makes me laugh thinking about. I don't think Mr.SM even knows that. He'll have a chuckle tonight :)

I have perfect vision in my right eye but my left eye has astigmatism and poor peripheral vision. As you can imagine this makes staring down a stereoscope very painful. Yes I know I can use my glasses while looking down a scope but I have yet to adapt to that.

I sometimes wonder what life would like be if. As in what if I never met Mr.SM, if I went away to prestigous university for my undergrad, if if if..

My best friend died at the beginning of my second year in university. I have always been happy I stayed home and had that extra year with him.

I still reach for the phone to call my him when good or bad things happen. When I met Mr.SM, found out I was pregnant, gave birth, grandfather died etc.

I have no living grandparents. Just grandparents -in-law.

Who to tag? Who to tag? I tag: Am I a woman scientist?, PhizzleDizzle, ScienceMama, Mel@onein36million, R.E.S.EA.R.C.H.E.R.S and last but not least lets see if sciencewoman will play!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Its MY Towel.

Why do men smell like ass??? Or is it just my husband? I'm pretty sure its not, because I distinctly remember reading about this issue on another blog. What issue? The smelly towel after you've showered issue. I can re-use the same towel for a few showers. My husband can not. I am now extremely irritated because I just finished taking a shower and now I smell like ass from drying off my body with my towel (I just took it out last night, it was fresh!). Mr.SM used my towel this morning after his run and now it STINKS, which I didn't realize until after I tried off. I don't get it. He took a shower, used soap but his towel stinks after ONE use. Now either I take another shower now, or one in the morning.

URGH... must go put monkey to sleep. the mister tried but I guess the boy still needs his mama. Yeah!!

PS. He fell asleep in my arms last night, after two nights of not. YEAH!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Growing up is hard to do

I knew it would happen eventually, its why I was not worried about it or trying to fix the "issue". I just didn't think it would happen so soon. Its also probably not a permanent, instantaneous change, but its the beginning of the transition. Last night the monkey did not want to fall asleep on lying with me on the couch, like he has for the last 21 months. He finished his milk and very clearly said, nigh nigh before he struggled to get away from me saying NO! AWAY! as he pushed against my chest. Normally he finishes his milk, turns around to face me and snuggles into my chest, slowly falling asleep as I play with his hair and tap his back.

Sigh,

He let me hold him for about 10 minutes before he started saying nigh nigh again. I picked him up and took him to his crib, where he happily pulled his covers over himself and snuggled down to sleep. Not knowing if he wanted me there or not, I left the room. He called me back. Apparently I am allowed to sit next to the crib but not hold him. He probably will be back to "normal" tonight, but I think this is the beginning of the end for our snuggles. He's always been a very independent boy and he will fight for every bit of independence as soon as he can get it. And I will give it to him, along with a piece of my heart.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yeah, I GOT bragging rights!

Thats right, I was awarded Bragging Rights from Cath. I'm sharing them with Dr.J over at R.E.S.E.A.C.H.E.R.S, who was commenting about those smug tories.
Like any true hockey fan that lives outside of Toronto, I despise the Toronto Maple Leafs. The only way I would ever ever cheer for them, is if they were the only Canadian team left in the playoffs. Even that would be hard. But just so y'all know, I wasn't hating on Chall for loving the leafs. I can't blame someone for loving the leafs anymore than I could hate on someone for being a conservative. I don't necessarily get you for choosing to be conservative, but I wouldn't hate you. It was that she slammed my beloved Detroit Red Wings. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE don't ever jump off the bandwagon no matter how much they annoy the crap out me LOVE my home team. I just also LOVE Brendon Shanahan and Steve Y.
Apparently her dig at the wings was a misunderstanding, and I think we're friend now. Or am I wrong Chall?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Addenum

Never go shopping for a new pair jeans when you are feeling bloated and therefore fat. And what is up with jeans no longer being <$100.00????!!!! For those of you that have figured out where I live, can you tell me where I can find a nice pair of jeans. Something that will fit like my Joe Jeans or my PepeLondon but will not cost me the same amount. I think the problem is that once you go designer you can't go back. The jeans I have fit so amazing, feel great and make my ass look AWESOM plus they do last 4+ years. Which is the problem. I want to have another kid in the future (under 4 years) and do not want to worry about having to lose weight or having to fit back into jeans. Though it could be motivation. Advice?

Hear me roar

Despite that fact that is a beautiful fall day outside, I am grumpy as hell. The list:

  • I am currently getting ready to bend over because the conservatives won a stronger minority.
  • Seriously what the fuck is wrong with 41% of Canadians that couldn't get there arses out to vote
  • How the fuck does someone with NO vision get an increase in the vote. Seriously, he had NO vision for the country. If the conservatives had a vision and I disagreed with it, I could deal with the fact that they won. BUT they had NO vision. How did you vote for them???
  • I understand why one would vote for the other parties, I don't necessarily agree with the vision of the other parties but at least they have a vision and some policy that I can critique and understand. NO vision people NO vision
  • My favourite pair of jeans have ripped and I can not afford to replace them
  • I am bloated and feeling fat.
  • FUCKIN conservatives.
  • It was my wedding anniversary on Monday and we did not go out to dinner. We had reservations to a nice restaurant AND a babysitter, but when the time came the mister did not want to go. I wish I could yell at him or be mad at him, but really if I had been outside for 5 hours in the 10 degree Celsius non-stop rain, fixing the carport roof so water was not pouring down on his car (he was fixing the side where my car is parked), I think I would just want pizza and beer too.

Friday, October 10, 2008

communicating vs talking

The monkey is 21 months and doesn't talk. He has some words: No, mommy, mama, daddy, nigh nigh, bye bye, see you along with about 4-5 punjabi words. He is able to communicate what he needs through a variety of hand gestures, grunts and words. We actually can communicate quite well with each other and he understand when I ask him to put things places, go get his dad, go say night night to his dad etc. But he does not talk. He can't tell me how is day was or speak in sentences. Which I know is not a big deal yet. I'm not worried in one sense because there really is no point in worrying about something I can not change. He will speak when he is ready. On the other hand, I worry that something else might be going on. Should I get him checked? Isn't early intervention key?

I would be lying if I did not admit its a bit hard watching some of the kids that have developed faster or rather are farther along than he is. I can not make him talk earlier, he shows no interest in trying to mimic words. He only wants to mimic actions. Part of me thinks I'm being a competi-mommy, something I really really don't want to be. Some have said that monkey is not talking because he gets two languages which may be true, but I think really its that he's not ready to talk. He has no need to speak as we communicate well enough through our grunts, hand gestures and other dances. Plus whether he talks or not, I'm not going to love him any less. If something esle is going on, we'll figure it out eventually. Again I would not love him any less.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

First Blood

And no I am not talking about the Sly Stallone movie. If you have never heard of this movie, don't tell me either I know I am old.

Motherhood is filled with alot of firsts: the first born, the first smile, the first step, the first time they say mama! These are all wonderful firsts that we record and talk about. There are others firsts that happen as well. The first time they fall, the first time they scratch their knees and the first time they bleed and don't stop. On Sunday we had our first bloody mouth. We were at a gymnastics gym for a friends 2nd birthday and my little monkey was upto his usual tricks, climbing up everything that could be climbed. Unfortunately for him, he slipped on some steps and wacked his mouth and nose pretty hard. We now have 2 shirts that are covered in blood stains and a little boy with a swollen bruised lip. I have to say watching blood gush out your childs mouth is a bit freaky, but it slowly stopped bleeding and he slowly stopped crying. Then like a good little monkey that will not let anything get the best of him, once the pain stopped and he felt OK to play, he ran right back to those stairs and climbed them again.
This child is going to be the death of me.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Where did the week go???

I have no idea, other than to say I am exhausted. I don't know why. Well I do know why. I have a minor cold. The cold that makes you tired and cranky but isn't bad enough to stay home. Plus the boy won't stay in the crib. One night he was up at first 3 am, it took 45 minutes but he went to sleep. At 6 am I had no energy so he was in my bed. The next night he was up at 12 am. One hour I tried to get him to sleep, and he would. So I would leave, and then he would wake up specifically to make sure I was still there. Of course I was not and he would cry. One hour later I did what I know I should not have done, I brought him into my bed. I just could not fight at 1 am when I am sick and I have to read and learn about flies. I am so tired, which is why I have not been blogging. It is not a lack of thoughts. I think I've written about 10 blog posts in my head. I just do not have the energy or time to type them out. I apologize my dear, faithful readers for my lack of posting. It will get better. Mr. SM took the boy out to the farm and I slept all morning, I've cleaned the house and am chilling out again. Lab stuff is busy with learning and doing, but over all is going well. I will try to update regularly but I fear I may be posting only 1 or 2x a week for awhile. Sorry!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dr. Isis you are wrong.

I know I am risking alot with that title, but damn it I disagree with my friend Dr. Isis and I am not afraid to say it. Dr.Isis is the laboratory and domestic goddess and in her infinite wisdom is to letting everyone know that you can be both a fashionista AND an amazing intelligent scientist, these are not mutally exclusive traits. This is important because many of us fashion loving, shoe loving female STEMers get the distinct impression that being the pretty one in the lab can be a distinct disadvantage. I appreciate that Dr. Isis is a tad on the narcissitic side and lets everyone know that her hottness has nothing to do with her success. So why do I think she is wrong?
I think that she was wrong for giving the blanket advice that square - toed shoes should never been worn. I agree that the shoes in Figure 2C were exceedling ugly, both in terms of fabric and styling. I disagree that they unattractiveness was due solely to the toe-shape of the shoe. I have some beautiful square toed boots, I'd post a picture but I'm in the lab, so instead I will provide you with evidence of shoes I would love to purchase but can not afford.

Exhibit A can be purchased at GravityPopeIf I had $525.00 cdn, I would buy these boots, these are beautiful, who can not love those buttons?

Exhibit B can be purchased at Freedman Shoes, which I would also purchase if I had the $449.95Exhibit C can be found at Stuart Weitzman. I'm not a big riding boot person, so I am not sure I would purchase these if I had the $535.00 but I can still appreciate their beauty
Dr. Isis, if you need more evidence, I will submit to your wishes, just realize that asking me to look at boots that I covet but can not purchase is the harshest form of torture that could be exacted on me. I know you will not punish me simply for challenging you, as you are not that type of Goddess.

Your Humblest Servent,
ScientistMother

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Still just one replicate

Thank fully at that! Like sciencemama, I have been freaking out this week that I was pregnant. Unlike her though, I did not buy a pregnancy test because then that would confirm my fears. Yes right now being pregnant is a fear. Plus I was already showing, so I really didn't want to see the little plus sign. Yes I said I was already showing, that little jelly belly ponch that I just haven't been able to lose, was not a ponch but was a little baby growing inside. That period I had last month meant that I must only be a couple weeks along but its the second kid so you start showing right away. That belly was not going away no matter how much I sucked in the tummy.
Well this morning the crazies have subsided. Mother Nature has arrived to let me go back to fretting about normal things like what am I going to make for dinner tonight. I hate bloating.

Oh and I start the pill tonight. I can't go through this every month.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Little quirks

Every lab has its little quirks and now that I am in the second week, I am discovering all those little things that made life easier at old institute. Not that I would go back, but there were some perks to being at a facility that believed in farming out as much as possible. For instance, today for the first time in 2 years, I had to make 10x and 1x PBS, plus I will now have to autoclave and sterilize my own solutions (including H2O). Old institute believed that making stock solutions (and filling tip boxes) took away from valuable science time, so we had a Core Technician, who made all the PBS, sterilized H2O, FBS, and cell culture additives for the whole institute. It saved the labs money as we ordered in bulk, but it also meant that a whole lot of people took Core Technician for granted (which is why she is leaving).
I am not sure if I have a strong opinion for or against institute wide stock solutions, but I did feel a pang of annoyance at not being able to make all my solutions because I had not first made a bunch of stocks. Plus it seems silly for each lab member to have individual stocks, a bit repetitive. However, I also know that pang of annoyance I felt, when a certain lab person in old lab was not careful with lab stocks, leading to contamination and fubarring reagents for other people. I guess this is why I do not have strong feelings one way or the other. I see the benefits in terms of time and cost savings, but I also know that one mistake (or one persons carelessness) can have huge ripple effects in that system.
The other interesting quirk is that we use all glass here. From little culture tubes, to actual graduated glass pipettes. The less plastic waste the better is the theory. I felt very old school learning how to use some of these things because quite frankly the only glass that I have encountered was for beakers, flasks and pasteur pippettes. The one quirk that I will love is that I no longer will have to weigh out PFA, our head technician believes the extra cost of the 16% PFA ampules is worth the reduces risk to our health and safety. Making PFA was never so easy!
Things are still going well. I am feeling out the dynamics and learning to manage the strong personalities. If anyone knows of a good fly genetics for dummies book, I would greatly appreciate the recommendations.

*****
On the other front, I asked PI1 for tea. I basically told her that I took her advice to be selfish and that my decision had been made only a few days ago. To quote "I appreciate the offer and the assistance, and I hope to still able to learn from you. You can forgive me and I'll buy you a tea or you can just hate for me 5 years. I would prefer to know now please". We went for tea. Here is hoping I am on her good side. If not, I am sure she is not the first, nor will she be the last person, that I piss off in my lifetime.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Drum Roll Please

Okay, so you have all been patiently waiting to find out where I landed. For any newcomers that may or may not be out there, lets recap:
I quit my lab in end of July and interviewed with PI#1. She is a very successful, strong, larger than life scientist. She totally understood my situation and invited me to interview her students and post-docs. That interview left me thinking WTF! Her students made me wonder whether there was such as think as professionalism or even proper training / mentorship in science. I did recognize some of the good points, which were that her students felt comfortable enough to be honest, were well respected and were focused on individual projects. Although the lab had problems (as every lab does), they were more based on personality differences vs project stealing or authorship issues. This interview occured right before PI1 was leaving for vacation. I specifically mentioned that I would like to make a final decision before Sept 1/08. She said she would let me know after the 27th when she got back.
As you know, I had emailed several PI's but she was the only one that had responded and I wasn't feeling very hopeful. I ended up applying for a job, talking about the importance of networking and at the same time emailed PI#1 to ask whether she had made a decision or not.
I don't know why I never blogged about at what happened, but basically PI1 emailed and asked me to come in for an orientation, but was very clear throughout the meeting that she had not yet made a decision. She was once again leaving on trip so before I left her office for the day, I told her I was committed to her lab, but that I needed a decision from her so that I knew whether or not to consider other opportunities. She replied that I needed to be selfish and singleminded in my pursuits if I wanted to pursue a PhD. So based on her advice and that of others, I recontacted some PI's, had a really good interaction with PI#2 and her lab.
PI2 was supposed to get back to me by wednesday of last week, and by friday morning she had not said anything. Right before we left the house to begin the crazy weekend, I emailed her. She responded a few hours later (not that I knew that until monday morning) saying that she would be delighted to have me join the lab. She apologized for taking longer than expected, but all my references had not responded in a timely manner.
The decision had to be made very quickly and I choose PI2. There are no crappy politics in her lab (as far as anyone mentioned), she was professional, would be on sabbactical in the lab, for the next year and was able to make a decision quickly.
The crappy part is that we share a lab space with PI1 who realized that I took another position and is pissed. I ran into her the day she returned, before I had an opportunity to let her know I've gone somewhere else, and she realized I had taken a position. She is pissed as she claims she was about to say yes to me. I told her that I understood our last conversation to mean that she would not be sure for awhile and that it would be better for me to look elsewear. Apparently I assumed to read her mind.
Mr. SM doesn't seem to think she deserved to be told prior to me saying yes to #2, as she was not giving me a clear answer, and had close 1 month to say yes or no. Although I agree, I still think she was willing to give me an opportunity and was willing to see my potential, that I should apologize and try to mend fences. I hate to leave relationships on bad terms and it never hurts to have someone in your corner. Plus, I understand the reasons why it took her so long to make a decision. She wanted to speak to everyone concerned which is difficult when you are always travelling. I also think that on a regular basis I would need her to make decisions and do stuff, but because she is so successful and traveling always, her inability to contact the relevent individuals and make decisions would be repeated.
Mel I know you're happy!
I am feeling more confident in this new lab. There are ton of women around, its family friendly. But its only been a week, however if things continue this way, I may start to be more open about who I am and where I am.
Thank you to all of you for your wonderful advice and support. Especially Cath and Mel

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Typical Gong show Indian Wedding

As I have mentioned many times, I am a first generation canadian born to punjabi parents. In Punjabi culture, weddings are not simple small affairs. They are multi-day community events. This particular wedding was even crazier for us, because mr.sm is very close to both the bride and grooms family - brides father is a member of my FIL's group of best friends, while the grooms father is also in that group PLUS a business partner. Needless to say bride is like Mr.SMs sister and the groom his brother. The brides family does not live in the same city or area as the groom and traditionally weddings are held in the brides homecity. This meant that all the invited guests had to travel to wedding city, on the day before the wedding and had to have the prewedding party or maiya / mehandi party on thrusday.
Thrusday night I wore the sexy shoes (the gold pair) to the mehandi party. It wasn't too late of a night and I didn't drink. The monkey did okay falling asleep around 10:30 pm, we left around 11:00pm, so I was asleep in bed by 11:30ish.
Friday we woke up at around 8am, the boy bouncing off the walls. Mr.SM went for a run while I tried packing mine and the monkeys things. We left the house at 11:30am to catch the 1:00pm ferry that would take us to WeddingCity. The rest of the grooms family was catching the 3pm ferry, but I figured that monkey normally sleeps at 1:30-3:30pm so it would be an easier and more relaxing ferry ride if we went at 1pm because the monkey would sleep on the ferry. Yeah, I know wishful thinking! The boy slept on the way to the ferry so that at 1 pm he was raring to go. And the Mr and I just wanted to sleep. We made it through the 2 hours ferry ride with a very awake monkey who passed out on the 1.5 hour drive from the ferry to WeddingCity.
We just wanted sleep when we got to our hotel, but the monkey (along with his almost 3 year old cousin) did not let that happen.
My niece is a very intelligent, very stubborn, has not been given boundaries child that my MIL can not handle. My MIL is not very good at taking care of kids, which is why (despite being indian) I pay for daycare. This also means that I took care of not only the monkey but his difficult cousin on both the ferry and at the party of friday night, when all I wanted to do was SLEEP. By 9:30pm the monkey was tired, I was frustrated and we were both cranky. My niece was tired, hungry, uncomfortable in her clothes and also CRANKY . Pj's, a clean diaper, a bottle of milk and the monkey was asleep in his stroller, while a few vodka 7's had me in a better mood. Plus I told off my MIL. Seriously she didn't brink PJ's or any milk for my niece to the party. Mr.SM and his little brother left the party to buy some milk from the store, I changed my niece into a clean diaper, the extra of sweats and Tshirt that I had for monkey and then fell asleep in our cousins' arms. The poor girl was exhausted.
We were home by 1pm and up at 7:30am to get ready for the wedding, which apparently started at 8am. Perhaps that should've been communicated to us at some point during the planning of this think??
My feet were done after 2 nights of heels, I barely survived the wedding. We made it home by 6:30pm, had the monkey in bed by 8pm and were asleep by 9pm.
Sunday we woke up a 8am and relaxed until 4 when I had to start getting ready for the wedding reception, which I was MCing along with the mister.
The grooms family kept changing the program on us. So we were literally making adjustments on the fly. It wasn't a great MC job but considering it was my first, I think it went ok.
After, I had few more vodka 7's and didn't get home until after 1pm.
Monday morning I checked my email to find out I was accepted in the new lab and they were expecting me that morning. I quickly got ready to start in the new lab, hungover, with sore feet and a sore back. GREAT first impressions. BUT we had fun and I looked great and did not end up falling on my ass.
I know you're dying to know which lab. I promise I'll fill you in this week.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Update

Just started in new lab, exhausted and hung over from CRAzY family weekend. Will blog about wedding, and which lab I'm in once I recover.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Envy can be an evil thing

But sometimes it can be used for good. Dr.Isis has her beautiful boots and her naughty monkey cheery pops, Mrs.Spit her gorgeous heels. Well, readers, I can not watch others enjoy the world of shoes without joining in. I used to have the best shoe collection, it was envied by all who knew me. The collection has taken a hit with the acquisition of a mortgage and a monkey. I have not been able to add to it as often as I would like. Important, will be worn on a regular basis shoes have been added on a 'as need' basis. But those shoes that you love, the ones that I covet and would've purchased in a heart beat if not for said mortgage and monkey, I have not acquired. Say something like a pair beautiful silver BCBG that looked similar to these Arturo Chiang's that were $135.00
They were absolutely beautiful, but not something I could purchase after putting a kabosh on Mr.SM's desire to purchase a new itouch (note to self, do not kabosh hubby's dreams until after visiting the local Freedmans Shoes). I did however wander over to our local Winners and Shoe Company stores to purchase these beautiful babies for <$50.00 TOTAL out of our chequing account.
I will be wearing these over the next few days at the HUGE family wedding I am attending. A wedding that is huge by Punjabi standards (4 days of festivites, >800 guests). My feet will probably kill me and my back will be put out if I have to hold the >27 lb monkey for more than 10 minutes but I will look DAMN good!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Don't want to jinx it

Which is why I haven't posted about how the interview process went with the lab. I found out tomorrow if I get to choose between this PI and option 1 (who is out of town again). Not sure if I mentioned that I went to her Lab Orientation last week. Needless to say, as in every lab there are some difficult personalities, but each and everyone answered the following questions in the same way. What are the lab dynamics like? Is the lab social? Supportive? Encouraging? The answers?

Good, no, yes, and yes. You will get all the tools and help you need if you ask. I think that is key.

I get frustrated when people except to hold your hand. I was annoyed about a lot of thinks about PhD Lab (so don't know what to call it any more!), but one of the big ones was that when I asked for help, I wasn't getting it. Which is CrAZY! If you ask for a protocol for a specific experiment and the person who is the expert doesn't give it to you with all the necessary information (ie what antibodies to use and what concentrations with what controls), like PP with his first recipe. I shouldn't have to go back to you over and over for information you should have been given in the first place. Nor should I have to waste my time reinventing the protocol if you have one. It is inefficient use of my time and lab resources.

Anyways my point being was that everyone seemed quite nice and friendly. Especially family friend.

Keeping my fingers crossed. Former GradAdvisor emailed saying he gave a glowing reference and hoped I kicked ass.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hope runs eternal

Last week, I freaked out. A month of sitting on my ass with nothing to do but take care of a sick kid and wait for others to make decisions was driving me bat shit crazy. I am not good at not having something to do. I start getting depressed. I get anxious and I drive my family insane. I start to question my decisions, whether I am on the right path or not.
Today, I am feeling a bit better. I have followed advice that was given and recontacted some PI's. One PI interviewed me today, the other said sorry no room. The interview went well. She asked why I was leaving and I was honest that chaos was ensuing and I was putting myself first. She seemed excited about my possibilities and is arranging for me to meet the lab on Monday. She was honest that I would have to TA or have my own scholarship, as far she is concerned it is my career so although she has expectations she will not hold my hand. I gave her my analogy of what I think a graduate experience should be:

Throw me the ball and I run with it, when
I'm having difficulties I'll throw it back and we'll play pass the ball.
As apposed to right now where I am having to find the ball in a dark room with a blind fold on.

She liked my analogy.

Pros

If I move into her lab, I will lose my scholarship because she (unlike the first PI I interviewed with and currentPI, she is not comfortable keeping me on a scholarship that is not being used for what it was granted. (To me, this shows integrity)
She demands high quality work
If she thinks your slacking, she will ask for weekly meetings but otherwise it upto you to determine what you need (not a micromanager)
She believes in teamwork and guidance. Some students are looking to finish so she would like overlap
Already trying to determine timelines and needs
Has a post-doc on mat leave and is hoping she takes a year

Cons
It will take me awhile to finish if I do not get another scholarship as I will have to TA
I am learning a new field of study
I will be doing a lot of microscopy work, which sometimes drives me nuts.
Her students take 5-6 year so to finish.
I think that is nuts, but not bad if their TAing at the same time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Why I love blogging

Because of this blog, I received some excellent advice from Mel and Cath, which I acted on. I have a meeting with another PI tomorrow. Keep y'all posted.!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Recipe Wars

I was very excited to sit back and watch the fight for supreme domestic God/Goddessdom going on currently between Isis and PhysioProf, mainly because I thought I was going to have at least 2 dinners taken care of for me. I had planned to try each recipe before voting and critiquing. However, PP obviously doesn't get what makes Isis the supremed Domestic goddess. It is that she is able to make wicked mouth watering meals that don't require me to go to a gourmet food shop or put things in little cups. Sorry but I don't have time to be prepping duck confit with a tanzamian devil running around, all for a meal that isn't really a full dinner. Isis at least gave a recipe that could be made into a meal. Not one that I could make because monkey isn't old enough for shellfish, but still it will be doable in the next year. Isis wins week 1 in my books and it looks like she is wining the vote right now

Friday, August 29, 2008

Why I love the mister

The mister and I had some good conversation yesterday, mostly me complaining about the situation, how torn I feel, how proud I am of my networking abilities, how I can not be happy about not doing a PhD no matter how much I try to focus on the benefits of having a job. To which he said: "Sweetheart - it is so obvious you want to do this. Don't make the mistake of rushing to a decision. Take some more time, turn over every stone, then at least you know tried everything." He is so on my side. I so love him.

Which end the happiness for the weekend. Its bitchfest! have a great long weekend!

Let the Bitchin Begin!

****As you can see from the side bar button, this weekend is the betchfest and I have donated my blog space. If you want to know what this all about go check out the Basement at HBM's. In the meantime, here is Anissa with some bitchin she can't do on her own blog:***

I can’t tell you how good this is going to feel. I get to rant about something that I can’t even breathe a word of at my own site (link to www.hope4peyton.org), which you can go check out, but be discreet about my personal bitchfest…because I am not THAT big a bitch. HOWEVER, here?? Here I get to be all BITCH, all the time.

Ok.

Here goes, people.

My mother in law is a lovely person. She really truly is. Forget about the fact that she referred to my unexpected pregnancy 11 years ago as “that bastard”…I have forgiven for that moment of douchebaggery because she now worships my kids. She is an awesome grandmother and an above par mother in law. She has bent over backwards to help us through some of the most intensely emotional and painful times of our lives: my stroke, my daughter’s diagnosis of cancer. I love her.

Alrighty. There’s the reason I can’t EVER bitch about her to my husband (her son), or my friends (who have MILs that have etched their names in the Queen of Bitchdom crown).

Yet.

What the FUCK!?

How in the name of all that is holy has she managed to go 68 years on this planet and not learned how to do laundry? I would pay someone to break her wrists so she can no longer pick things up to put them in my washing machine. Now, you may be saying, “WHOA! Who complains because someone comes over to do laundry?” Me. That’s who. And if you ruin my rant, I will CUT you!

Because the woman cannot…I mean, CANNOT…do a load of laundry without ruining all my shit. To date there have been untold loads of whites ruined because they were thrown in with whatever else was dirty, like, let’s say, a RED towel. OH MY GOD, I can’t stand it! And I get to stand there while she mumbles and poo poo’s about her mistake because I’m supposed to be grateful that she came in and destroyed an entire fucking load of laundry.

IF…IF it were just once that this happened, I would suck it up. But it happens EVERY damn time she walks into my house. She heads for the laundry room and I feel a full-blown panic attack start. I’ve taken to running around and hiding all the laundry hampers in my closet when I hear a door slam in front of my house. JUST in case.

I don’t get to spend a lot of money on clothes very often, so when I do spend, I take the time to buy quality. I want classic pieces that will last forever. I also have a hard time buying clothes off the rack and a lot of them need to be altered. I have spent a lot of goddamn money on the clothes I do have.

I set aside all of my delicates and dry clean only items. All the undies, the bras, the shirts that should never see water, the silks and cashmere go in their own special piles to be hand washed or taken to the cleaners.

Do you see where this is going?

Last week I came home to find these things in the dryer. Together. All together. IN.THE.DRYER. Are you getting this? My clothes that have never seen the inside of a washing machine were in the motherfuckingdryer!

I tear up just thinking about it.

My daughter’s favorite Build-A-Bear now wears my luscious purple cashmere sweater. The black silk sweater that fit me beautifully and hid things that needed to be hidden and showcased the good stuff is languishing in a landfill somewhere. The tale of travesty goes on and on and on. I was pissed. I was beyond pissed. I was enraged. I was nearing a point of combustion that my children picked up immediately, forcing them to run for the safety of their bedrooms.

I called my husband that day at work and started to cry because I was so upset. He said to me, “Just remember that it’s my mom and she was trying to help.”

I know. I KNOW. I.KNOW.

Yet I get to stand in the middle of my living room, shaking like a crack whore who just found out that someone stole my stash.

We’ve had 3 conversations about clothing that was ruined. About how, maybe, if she feels the insatiable urge to launder something, she could stick to towels and sheets. She nods her head, we hug, I think she gets it. But she doesn’t!!! She does it again. And she makes a little piece of me dies inside.

** sigh **

After calculating the costs of damage…in just my clothing alone, not hubby’s or kids…she’s killed over $2500 in items.

She gave me $40. I thanked her. I plotted her death in my head. I thought about how I would spend my hubby’s inheritance to replace all the clothing.

I will burn in an everlasting hell. It’ll probably just be closets full of all the shriveled, shrunken, discolored and inadvertently tye-dyed clothing left in the wake of my MIL.