27 and a PhD

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Monthly Archives: November 2012

I’m thankful – 2012 edition

Last year I wrote this. Since lately my inspiration has been dwindling, I decided to revisit the things I was thankful for last year and add a new one or two for this one. Enjoy!

For so many things (in no particular order):

  1. I’m celebrating 5 months at work. For celebrating almost a year and a half here. I’ve learned so much, met so many incredible people and having the resources I do.
  2. For having a job in the field I was trained, and love. And for finally having benefits (hooray retirement, dental and vision!). Still true and very, very thankful.
  3. And learning my way with certain instruments and equipment at work. Last year I was terribly scared of some instrumentation. Thankfully, said instrumentation doesn’t scare me anymore. I know how to troubleshoot some common problems and I enjoy using said instruments. Yay!
  4. And I’m starting to feel somewhat useful. Still true, though sometimes I still struggle.
  5. For having hon with me, in the city,  more times than I imagined possible after the move. We haven’t seen each other as much as last year, but still, we’re going strong. And I am beyond happy about that 😀
  6. And his ability to find entertainment on the cheap (babe, you need to make your own website, entertainment on the cheap for poor grad students and staff scientists). Still true (we even managed to squeeze a trip to DC!).
  7. And his love and support, and kindness and sweet messages throughout the day … even when I’m dead tired, it’s a nice things to find little smileys or sweet notes on my phone. Very true and always welcomed.
  8. For my family and their continued support. For their health and love. Amen to this!
  9. For great co-workers who make me smile. I love them dearly and appreciate their help and patience.
  10. For the lack of gossip and criticism from co-workers. Still true and it’s such a relief.
  11. For getting more independent on some of the equipment, and hopefully getting the courage to ask the boss for a raise when the time comes. Didn’t have to ask for a raise, I earned that mother%ucker. Also, I now know how to work with most of the equipment I should master. Pheww.
  12. For being able to pay my bills, and have food on my table, even if I can’t afford to go home for Xmas. This whole money ordeal with the family has shown me that sometimes, tough decisions have to be made in order to get out of debt and (hopefully) stay out of debt. Doing better money-wise, but still in debt. The good thing is that I still get to have warm food on my table and that is awesome.
  13. For the yummy, cheap deli near work and for the good Chinese place down the street. I moved so I’m far away from them now. The good thing is that I finally found some decent Thai delivery place. Ahhhhh
  14. For having a roof over my head and public transportation. A new roof albeit, but still.
  15. And an insane amount of luck finding parking. True, and now better than before.
  16. For having fantastic Twitter and IRL friends. True, true, true and especially for the ones I’ve met in the flesh.
  17. For having two legs that work and carry my tired body at the end of the day. Amen
  18. For the many awesome people I’ve met while in this city, especially some really cool scientists … one of which I’ve admired for almost a decade. Still true!
  19. For being able to speak my mind at work, to my boss’s face and not feeling bad about it (and hoping that it won’t get me fired). For his honesty and not needing a crystal ball to read his mind. True, though at times he can be a jerk, but still, I need to crystal ball with this one.
  20. For having a crazy kitty that drives me insane … but it’s a most welcomed company when I get home from work. Now with even more kittehs at home.
  21. For networking opportunities and for being able to attend a few cheap (or free) local meetings this year. Still true and for being able to attend a small conference and meeting some cool people.
  22. For leaving my postdoc at the right time, and for everything I learned there. Still true, there isn’t a day that goes by that I forget to thank heavens for not being a postdoc anymore. Best decision ever.
  23. For having Canada be my second home and native land. I miss you and the nicest people on Earth (except the crazies driving around postdoc city, sheesh) …. and Thai Express. Still miss you Canada.
  24. For having 2 outlets to blog and share my stories, and especially, for all the warm and supportive comments, emails and tweets. For having an extra outlet come out of the blue this year and a few other opportunities.
  25. For looking out my window and seeing The City … I sometimes pinch myself because I can’t believe I get to live hereNot true anymore, but I’m still thankful for living in the City and having many cool things at my fingertips. 

Decisions, decisions

One of my resolutions for 2012 was to continue writing, at least once a week, to keep this blog going. Things went well, until they didn’t. It’s not that I don’t like to write. I do. Very much. Maybe because my computer crapped out at last week and that I’m definitely not writing 800 words using my phone, oh no … lately, I’ve found myself being lazy. I’m not on Twitter as much as I used to, and I’m definitely feeling like owe people something. The people that come to the blog looking for info on how to survive in grad school. Or how to deal with rough patches in their postdoc. Or simply to vent some of the frustration that comes with being a scientist. Whatever the cause, I feel like I’m failing as a communicator.

In reality, nothing major has been going on lately. I come to work, do my thing and go home. Wash and repeat. It’s not a boring existence. It’s just uneventful. And I hate being so quiet and “out of touch” I guess.

So, I’ve decided that come 2013, I probably won’t write every week, unless there’s any major development in my life, career, or both. I won’t write as often, but I will. I promise. I just want to feel less guilty about not writing as often, or with the passion I used to. I’ll keep on sharing new developments and such, but I won’t be writing as often (ie., 4-5 times a month).

Other than that, all is going well. I’m happy that this is a short week and that I get to rest a bit on Thursday. I still cough and sneeze on occasion from the cold I had a few weeks past. But thankfully I can finally walk and go up and down the stairs without losing my breath. I took my kitty to the vet and she’s had her shots and is doing fine. Next year she’ll need surgery for a minor problem.

I’m also interacting a lot with my roommates. They’re good people and fun and I’m getting out of my shell and talking more, opening more to see who they are and who I am. I’m very thankful that I haven’t had a crazy roommate (just yet).

Above all, I’m excited to go home and see my nephew and my mom and sister. And my favourite cousins and aunts and uncles. And of course, to go on dates with Mr 30 and a PhD. Oh, and did I mention that he just started teaching a master’s level class, at a university?? My honey is an adjunct faculty! He’s a professor!!! I’m so happy that one of his dreams is coming true little by little.

What’s new with you?

I should be home for the holidays

Compared to last year, money-wise I’m doing a tad better. Not great, but better. I’m paying a little less in rent (though I live in a place that not even Sandy could get to … thankfully). A few months back I paid off one of my credit cards, and now I’m continuing, though it’s hard. There are many temptations here in NYC and I’d like to rewards myself with nice things every now and then, but the future is much more important, something I try to remind myself as often as possible.

Honey had been paying close attention to the prices of tickets to go home and finally, after a bit of convincing he twisted my arm a bit to travel with the airline I *hate* the most in the world to (hopefully) get me home. I hate this airline (which starts with U and ends with nited) because they’re always screwing this up, but, they had the best price and it’s a direct flight. So I bit the bullet and said yes and now I’m going home in December, in time for the holidays. Last year I was bitching and moaning about staying in NYC and not seeing my family thanks to my father. But this year I still had some vacation days left and the hell with it, I’m going home. The director (dictator) of where I work won’t have my days, hell to the no. I’m taking each and every vacation day I have left and making the most of it. I do need to find a place to leave my kitty cat and square out some other details. But I am going home even if I have to fly myself to hell and back. I’m so relieved and happy. Christmastime is my favourite time of the year. People that haven’t seen me in forever shower me with love and alcohol. Hon and I go on dates. I get to play with my nephew and my mom and I spend some quality time together. I can’t wait to get home.

Most of my resolutions for 2012 have come true in one way or the other. I still have a few left to mark off. I promise to update this as we get closer to the end of 2012. I’ve also decided that 2013 is the year that will bring honey and I together once and for all. I don’t know how but mark my words, Mr 30 and a PhD and Miss 27 (plus 4) and a PhD will be together by this time next year. This is happening.

Science-wise, I have my busy days and my not-so-busy days too. Mostly I’m prepping instruments for people, doing some PM here and there and writing lots of documentation on how to use the different tools available in the lab. I also got a call from one of my previous PI’s. They’re in the market for some equipment and wanted my opinion on it. Maybe in the future they’ll collaborate with my lab. Maybe. It did feel nice to talk to them and talk, on a different level, about lab stuff and my opinion on it. It’s odd, but I felt useful, like the expert they said I’d become.

Also, I finally got an iPhone. Yes, I got the newest one. No, I can’t compare with the old ones, though I giggle when I see the smaller screen of the old ones (I know, I’m a snob .. but hey, it’s the nicest thing I’ve bought for myself this year). I’ve downloaded a couple of apps (including angry birds and the one for the PDB … it is fawesome! yes, fawsome … you know, f-ing awesome).

What’s new with you?

Organization

Been meaning to write this post for.like.ever. But between the hurricane and catching up sleep and getting sick and *finally* feeling like a human I haven’t had a break. That and just as I enter the world of Apple (with my new phone), my computer decides to die, which means that I’ll have to cough up the money eventually to get a new computer, preferably something portable, maybe a laptop or an ultrabook. You see, Murphy’s law is a bitch, just as I’m enjoying my new toy I get my ass kicked in some other way. That and I have no idea where (or even IF) I’m voting tomorrow. Shit.

Because of all this and the constant chaos that’s around my life, I need organization. I need to de-clutter, rearrange and just get a hold my life. I’ve been wasting time and money left and right (more time than money, really). I can never find anything, at home or in the lab. Just yesterday I ventured out for the first time since the hurricane and bought a toothbrush, not realizing that I’d bought another one a week before. DFS.

I’m trying to create a plan, for both work and home. I’m trying to use up a bunch of things I’ve had hanging around, in half-full bottles, for the longest time. Shoes I don’t use and cause me pain are going out of the apt forever. New undies, old ones in the trash. Finally tackling the stacks of unread papers and booking time to care about long forgotten projects.

I guess I’m tired of half done things. I need to be organized, to have control over certain things, which I think in the end will have a positive impact on my life and happiness.

Apologies for the lengthy absence. At least no damage was done to my area and things seem to be well. I’m rooting for NY and NJ and the whole East Coast.