bronwynrh: (fat cat)
I'm STILL waiting for the answer to my training grant application. Apparently "within a week" in academic-speak means "maybe within two weeks". That's ok, I'm getting to be a fine player of The Waiting Game.

I'm not saying I like this game, but I've got skillz you see.

I sent an application to Bozeman, and it should have arrived in the afternoon of the day they started evaluating candidates. Should I call today, to ensure their receipt of my app and to answer any questions they may have - or should I wait until Monday? Proactive is the catchword, but I'm just wondering how much proactivity is too much.

More waiting.

Thing1 just brought a proof and editor's queries for our (MY) chapter. Jesus tapdancing Christ, the copy editor screwed with every other sentence. In some cases, the changes are benign, but none of them are improvements, and some of them totally change the meaning. In at least one case I've found, she turned a sentence into a fragment.


So now I have to print out my last set of revisions so I can do a line-by-line editing job. Again. There are enough problems that I'm going to have to write up a separate document - margin notes won't cut it, here.

At least I have something to do. I've got very little direction right now, research-wise. I'm stuck between I Don't Care and This Doesn't Work, both of which make progress difficult to impossible. The former certainly makes fixing and optimizing the latter a chore. So in one respect, I will be grateful to the obnoxious copy editor because she gave me some busywork to occupy myself.

Silver lining, right?

I just took a dose of DHE an hour ago, so my botox-dulled migraine has turned into a sense of bubble-headedness and general D'uh-itude. This should improve my productivity, certainly.

To sum up: Bleh
bronwynrh: (wet)
I just spilled a nearly full mug of water all over my desk, papers and keyboard.

Murphy unavailable for comment.

Earlier today I turned in the application for a Training in Parasitism Post-Doc Grant. If I get it, and/or if Evan-the-Grad-Student gets the one he applied for, I will have a place in TY's lab.

If not. . .
There's a position opening for a postdoc in Bozeman, Montana.

If not. . . I just don't know.

My keyboard doesn't seem to mind the soaking. So that's good, at least.

Update: I just took a couple of documents over to JD, the administrator of the training grant. It was good for me to introduce myself and put a face (and my gracious manners) on my application. He tells me they should have the decisions on the awards within a week, and that there are 3-4 other postdoc entries. There are 2 postdoc positions on this grant, according to my innerweb poking.

A 50/50 chance.

Now my mind is filled with all sorts of pessimisms. I'm too new, they'll give preference to a postdoc who's been here longer - or to one who's staying in the same lab they were hired into. They're going to be tired of having to rescue Thing1's disenfranchised folks and won't want to rescue one more. They'll figure I'm new enough here that it will be easy to pack up and leave. . . and further negative devolutions of logic.

Must think positive thoughts.
bronwynrh: (wet)
I found out yesterday that I am shortly to be out of a job.

Thing1 and Thing2 are BOTH moving to Seattle. Soooo fucking good of them to decide this 6 months after I started working here, instead of 7 months ago, when Jeff and I could have adjusted and made appropriate arrangements.

No. They had to wait until Jeff had sat unemployed and job-hunting for nearly 5 months and then found a really great job at Panera that he's going to love. He's already enjoying himself and I just know he's going to advance quickly.

I just looked it up and found that Panera has opened ONE store in the Seattle area. So I suppose it's possible that he'd be employed if we did decide to move out there. But right now, I'm just so fucking pissed off at the way we've been jerked around, I don't know that I want to stay with these guys.

So. Options.
1. Go to Seattle at the end of the year (another December move - fantastic)
2. Stay in Iowa and work in
a. One of the other labs here. Jeff keeps on keeping on.
b. Move to Johnston, IA if I can get a job at Pioneer. Jeff could be GM for the Paneras in Des Moines.
3. Go back to Kentucky and work in one of the micro labs at UK (that's in Lexington, 77 miles from Louisville). Jeff finds a spot with Panera there.

All of that assumes that one of those labs (or Pioneer) could or would hire me.

Fucking disgusted and furious and livid and angry and disappointed and scared.
God damn them.

Fighting a migraine, too. Of course.

The only good news is that my insurance co. has approved me for botox. So now I just wait for them to call me in for my first treatment. Just watch. My next insurance co. won't cover it.
bronwynrh: (rose)
As for yesterday's group meeting shenanigans. . . it was a lot of laughs, but didn't get us anywhere. Just as I expected. We needed to let off the steam, so for that it was good. There was an impromptu limbo setup at the room entrance (subtle, yes?) that neither Thing1 nor Thing2 picked up on, even with the Limbo Rock song playing. After a few minutes, we all revealed our t-shirts.

Huskies NO!
In the balance: Huskies and Hawkeyes
Thing1 and Thing2 on a seesaw, waffles and flip-flops in the background

Thing1 remained clueless, Thing2 picked up on it pretty quickly, especially when we switched the CD to play that song that goes "should I stay or should I go?". PI Tim then gave a little roast that brought plenty of laughs and ended by expressing the wish that the Things1and2 would stay here in Iowa. Tim also gave the Things calendars titled "I'll let you know on Monday" . . . the calendars of course are missing all the Mondays.

Thing2 is going out to Seattle this weekend (!) to see if it's a place he'd want to be. I'm thinkin'. . . a little late for that now? Shouldn't we be beyond the, "well let me take a look at it" stage?!? What's he going to do, kick the tires again? GRRRRRR

. . . Alright. Gotta shake that off and move on to better things.

My April is starting off pretty well. For one thing, it's my favorite month.

Gee. I wonder why. *whistles innocently and points to Amazon Wishlist -->*

It's sunshiney and beautiful outside and because I was an industrious little chickadee this morning, I'm going to cut out of here at 3 so I can go play with my hunny. Maybe we'll play a little outside, but I KNOW we'll be playing in the kitchen because we're making our superfantastilicious lasagna tonight.

Holy heaven on a plate, Batman, it's just that good. Kids, if you like playing in the kitchen and you've got a couple dozen dollars to spare, get yourself a subscription to Cuisine at Home. My parents started sending it to me a couple of years ago and it is just so much fun to spend an afternoon diving into some of these recipes. And the quick and easy recipes are just as delicious.

It's strange - there are so many things going on right now that are frustrating me, but because I've got my Jeff, and I've been almost completely migraine free (knock on wood). . . the rest seems tolerable somehow.

At least, for today. One day at a time.
bronwynrh: (grrr)
I live in one.

I just got my smallest paycheck yet because the state of Iowa has decided that it's their job to make me save for retirement. They yanked $109.67 out of my paycheck this month to put it into their own little savings plan (read: things like the Coralville library, the rainforest and other such bond-funded bullshit) on the premise that it's in my best interest to save money.

News flash, people. I have an IRA, thanks to my darling Jeffrey who helped me to open one. I also have a savings account and an interest-bearing checking account. I'm already making monthly contributions to MY SAVINGS PLANS, and building equity in my home through extra payments.

Now that the Lovely State of Iowa has stolen $109.67 of MY MONEY for the forseeable future, it's going to make it a wee bit more difficult for me to do all that, isn't it?

They say I get it back when I leave, plus a fractional fraction of a percent of the 'matching' employer contribution, but what does that do for me? That money could have been earning an (admittedly pathetic) 2.8% APY in my ING account or been working for me in my IRA!


I have to recalculate everything and refigure my witholdings. AGAIN.

In other news, I'm wearing a t-shirt that The Boy idea'd and I designed. It says: CST or PST? and has two little clocks on it, one showing 5 o'clock, the other showing 7. We printed and iron-transferred it onto one of my old long-sleeved shirts last night so I can wear it to group meeting today. I'll ask Jeff to take a picture when I get home, unless I can get a group shot of the t-shirt protesters.

Grant's wearing a Huskies shirt and he's going to put a circle with a big NO on it.
Tim's (the other PI) design has Thing1 and Thing2 on a see-saw with waffles and pairs of flip-flops floating in the background.

I don't know if anyone else is doing anything, but this will be our small statement. It will get us nowhere, I'm sure.
bronwynrh: (science2)
I'm still here, but nothing has changed. Why bother with journaling when I could just write, "see below"?

I'm coming in earlier now, trying to give my Motvation Meter a jump start. I work best when I start early, and I really lose all ability to achieve 'round about 3:30 in the afternoon. Having someone to come home to makes an early return even more attractive. I made it to the 7:30 bus this morning and was quasi-busily molecular biologying away by 7:45. In spite of all my efforts, not knowing where the @#%= my boss is planning on spending his next Christmas is putting a HUGE damper on that Motivation Meter. So still, the progress I make is made in smaller steps than it should be.

What's the deal now? There are two bosses, see. PIs, actually. We'll call them Thing1 and Thing2. Thing1 and Thing2 are a package deal. I work for both of them, though I have not yet been in a joint meeting with them - not since my interview. I've been told such meetings are coming, but I'm not holding my breath. Thing1 is on my floor and has a PhD. He's the molecular biologist, microbiologist. Thing2 is an MD and really needs Thing1 because he's not specialised in the molbiol microbiol stuff (like I and Thing1 are).

So Things1and2 are a package deal because cystic fibrosis + bacterial pathogenesis = mega fantastic lucrative reasearch field and these two are (in the field) like princes. I will tell you that to their subjects here on the fourth and fifth floors of the Eckstein Medical Research Building, they are a source of much frustration and anger, especially now.

Professor BigShot used to head the shop here, but he left to head the shop over at UW in Seattle, where his CF-suffering daughter has a better chance of getting better treatment and a super lung transplant. Great! Prof. BigShot has since been recruiting Things1and2 to join him there. This has been going on for over a year.

The tug of war has been fierce from what I hear, and PBS made a superfine offer just a couple of weeks ago, right under the Deadline Wire. That was the Deadline Wire that Thing1 had absolutely promised us would be THE DAY he would tell us the final decision. Since then, we've heard nothing.

This morning, in a fit of honesty, I told the other boss on our floor (the one who really just wants everyone to settle down and stay) that I'd love to get into my project, but the frustration over the whole thing makes it damn near impossible to motivate. He told me that now we're down to a problem between Thing1 and Thing2.

Thing1 and Thing2 are a package deal, right? Well now, Thing1 wants to go but Thing2 wants to stay, but neither has the balls to say so and commit to a breakup.

What I want to know is, if they DO split, can I then decide which one to stay with? And if I stayed with Thing2 here, would that be researchical suicide? I'd be all alone with one Japanese postdoc who (a) barely speaks a word of English and (b) is only here to make little mice sick, and Thing2 would be on rounds all the time.


So now you know. Like I said, nothing's changed.
bronwynrh: (kitties)
I've added a few pictures to my picture gallery, so if you care to see some more of our home improvements. . . Our latest accomplishment is the guest bath, which looks *almost* perfect. I say almost because it needs a new vanity top and new fixtures in the sink and tub, but with a Lowe's debt that would choke a horse, well, we stopped at paint and new lighting and hanging stuff.

In any case, it looks beautiful. You'll have to take my word for it, though, because it's a small bathroom and I don't know that I'm good enough a photog to represent it well. I may try later. Think red, gold and green. Rich, but simple and calming.

We're getting new countertops, by the way, which is why we took so many liberties when painting. So don't write to me saying, "you got paint everywhere!" We were just going for effect, at this point. I was supposed to take down the cabinet doors today so I could finish the walls, but it didn't happen. My motivation meter was set to LAUNDRY and DISHES and not much else. Oh well. So the kitchen will be more done late this week, when our new countertops come in. YAY!! I'll be out of town for that, up at Northwestern playing with scary chemicals.

Unless Matt changes my plans for me. He's good at that.

Still no word on the move, only rumors. I don't know what's going on, but I DO know that Matt has spent the past four days in Chi-town. Yes, he went to a dissertation defense but he spent the rest of his time at the United Center. I'm sure I've spotted him in the hazy background at some point on ESPN or CBS, as may have some of you.

I plan to leave for Chicago on Wednesday afternoon, so let's hope he has something meaty to tell me before then. You know, so I can torture myself over it and Jeff and I can be forced to discuss everything over the phone for the first couple of days while the Decision settles upon us.

That's it for this rambler. Louisville was seeded 4th? What?!? Duke sucks.

ETA: I tried to represent our bathroom efforts, but I fear I failed. You can get an idea, maybe, of what we were going for, but my photog skills suck. Guess you'll just have to stop in for a handwash if you're in the neighborhood.
bronwynrh: (gee)
Happy Birthday, Andrea! I hope your Farchday is a great one! *smooches*

In other news, I think we're staying in Iowa. I was sort of given word yesterday, although not officially. Basically, I mentioned that Jeff had gotten a couple of calls for interviews, so. . . ? And I was told that he should take the interviews.

So. I guess that means we're stuck here for a while.

There are upsides and downsides to this. Seattle would have meant more fun, sweeter scenery and OPEN WATER. Seattle would have meant better job opps for The Man. Staying in Iowa on the other hand, means we can stay closer to Home. And Home will really be Kentucky if I can convince my folks to move there so all our parentals would be in the same place, which would be a Very Good Thing.

This could be good. Now we just have to finish working on the house we're in so we can sell it (and sell the other house we're NOT in) and get the hell out of the Coralville ghetto so our stay here in America's cornfields and cow pastures may be a little more enjoyable.

Or at least, a little less icky.
bronwynrh: (Default)
So my PI told me he was meeting with the Dean today and that The Decision would be made. First thing this morning, I step into the lab and pop into PI's office to ask, "how'd the meeting with Mike go?" He replies that it went great. . . "So. . . ?" Well, we're still negotiating. "Dammit, Matt!" I know, he replies. My wife's pretty - then he makes a face. Yeah, Matt. I know that face, too.

Soon, though. He promises. Soon.

Well it fucking well better be soon. I'm thinking that if I don't have a decision by the 28th, I'm going to just quit. It'll kill me to leave research and be jobless and almost directionless, but goddammit.

Matt stopped by my bench later to ask that I write to a gal at Northwestern to set up a visit for me to learn a protocol. Note to self: write that email. Then he promptly disappeared. Alok, a rotation student and all-around great guy, asked me a while ago if Matt was gone for day, and I replied that I didn't know. After a few minutes, Alok came back cracking up in frustrated hilarity to tell me that Matt left for Arizona and won't be back until Friday or Monday.

NOBODY knew about this. NOBODY. Nobody, that is, except the new rotation student who's only been in the lab since Monday. What. The. Fuck.

I swear to the God I Don't Believe In that I would never have survived as a graduate student in this lab. As a postdoc, I have the blessing of independence, so an advisor's unexplained and unannounced absence is more an annoyance than a problem. I am nevertheless amazed at how Matt runs things. Or doesn't. Whatever.

Anybody have any thoughts? Ideas? Job offers?
And can anyone explain why I'm smiling about this? I'm so fucking pissed off, I think it's all I can do.

Also, I've been fighting a migraine since Friday. Yes, it's the Dreaded Monthly Migraine that lasts for five days. The good news is that today, being Day Five, should be the end of it. At least, until I get my next not-so-regularly scheduled migraine attack. I spent Friday drugged and feeling stupid, Saturday drugged and unconscious, Sunday was mostly alright, as was Monday until the evening when the pain came back with a vengeance. Yesterday, I spent 2 hours at work followed by 5 hours at the ER and the neurology clinic, followed by about an hour at work. Full day. Drugged for nearly all of it. Sweet, no? I woke up this morning with pain again, but I seem to have kept it at bay with some more drugs. The neurologist gave me Rx's for oral Phenergan and Toradol, and four migraine's worth of sample triptans. She also agreed to let me try Topamax again. We're going to go very slowly this time, and see if I can get relief without all the Karen Carpenterness of my previous Topamax experience. Please cross your fingers, as this is literally my last resort, short of oxycontin, and I have yet to find a neuro willing to even discuss those drugs because they're too afraid of the War on Drugs fiends.

*whew* Rant over.

Edited to add: I know why I'm smiling. It's the post-migraine euphoria. Duh.


bronwynrh: (Default)

February 2012

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