Tuesday, May 8, 2012

since it's almost time...

well, it's almost been a year since I last posted, so I figured it was time.

I'm actually doing science full-time this summer, and it is my distinct honor to be supported by a National Institutes of Health Diversity Supplement under my PI's grant. I'm working on mapping a protein-protein interaction with yeast-2-hybrids using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. So that's... coming along...


Anyways. I finished up my classes for the semester and decided to take the summer off. It will be my first summer off from school in 7 years, a nice little intermission before all the crazy starts when I go off to med school.

I hope to do a lot of fun stuff this summer... kayaking at the point with Kayak Pittsburgh, rock climbing up at McConnell's Mills, maybe some hiking with the famous Chappy, (if he promises to do less than a bajillion miles that day), and catching up on television.

Hope everyone out in the ether is happy, rested, and hopeful.

Friday, June 3, 2011

well then...

holy crapsticks batman, it's been a year since I last posted...

so... here's the short version...
As an international mystery woman, I am often called upon to do mysterious deeds with mysterious people, and this tale is no different. Somewhere near the end of May, I decided it would be a good idea to shake the crap out of my life jar and see what settled out.

What finally precipitated, in no particular order:
- got liberated from my cube
- went back to school full time
- decided to go to med school
- finished one bachelor's degree in public service
- started another bachelor's in natural science

so while I won't be complaining about the fabric walls any longer, I do plan on continuing the theme of snark... in addition, I plan to talk about the journey to med school here:

It's chock full of angst, that I can promise.

As for me here, I do still find time for cake (or was it death?) and lots of baked goods. And coffee.

Oh, and, extra special awesomesauce goes out to Lauren from Burghilicious who was kind enough to both have a contest for best restaurant tickets, and to randomly choose yours truly as the winner. ^-^

Friday, May 28, 2010

Nature has sent her insect hordes...

So the last several weeks of my life have been a constant source of crazy, neurotic, insanity. I have been doing my best to keep on top of all of the crazy that has been going on, and to try and keep things in perspective. I mostly failed at this up until like, say, two minutes ago when I feel like I finally got on top of life, stared down at her, and said "You know what? I got this. Less important details to the left, more important details to the right, everything else, move the hell out of the way."

Beyond that, nature has been sending her hordes after me with frightening regularity. Three weeks ago she sent a bee. Wednesday AM, she sent fire ants. Like, understand me when I say "sent them"... let me give you the whole story here.

Three weeks ago my day started out normal like any other day. I took my coffee to work, drank some of it, left it on my desk, drank some more later, took it home, left it sit on the counter, went to class, came home, went to bed, got up the next morning, went to wash my cup... AND FOUND A FREAKIN' BEE INSIDE MY DAMN CUP... like... a bee. inside my cup. INSIDE OF IT. When did it get in there? Did it get in there while I was still in the drinking stage? Could I have drank bee goop? Uhg.

So. This past Tuesday, I had to race home, grab my child, drop my child at my sibling's, race to class, attend class, then, just, like, absolutely needed to stop and have a drink with a friend. Had drink, went home, tried to sleep, couldn't sleep, maybe got a few hours, got back up at 5:30am, tossed shoes on, got in car, and drove to get kid... and felt burning itching sensation on my foot. Like, what is that? Oh, its an ant. And then this happened like twice more.

Fire Ants. Seriously. Were they on my shoe? Were they in the car? How did fire ants mysteriously and spontaneously appear? What do these omens mean? I'm not sure if I like the increasing magnitude of the insects either, and quite frankly, I'm about to start preparing for locust plagues.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Experiences

I tend to think I'm an adventurous person. I like to try new things - cultural things, food, music, etc. I dislike visiting restaurants I've been to before, unless the food is such that I cannot have it anywhere else. I tend to like to be the first person who points out something new and fabulous to my social group.

So, that being said, while I was on vacation I thought it best to try the most interesting things available to me. We went to a Dominican Restaurant on property, and I ordered the goat.


This doesn't seem like such a departure from my normal habit of being the adventurous one, but somehow this little dalliance into the outer boundaries ran me smack dab up against what is apparently the limit of my tolerance for new and interesting. The goat was served on the vertebrae, which was initially a bit of a shock. I got over it, tucked in, and tasted it. I must admit, it was rather ok, if not downright palatable for the first few bites.

At some point around bite three, it occurred to me that I was eating goat. I'm not quite sure why this didn't sit well with my sensibilities seeing as how I'm rather certain baby calves are cuter than baby goats (although I have no proof of this.) But for whatever reason, it started to prickle the hackles on the back of my adventurous spirit.

Somewhere around bite four, I noticed what I thought was a mushroom. Hey! I like mushrooms! And mr. snark claims to be allergic to mushrooms (which he very well may be, but I'm pretty convinced he just doesn't like them) so I was thinking about this as I moved my fork towards the assumed-mushroom. The thought process went a little like this:

oooh...a mushroom...I'm such an adventurous eater, trying goat in a foreign country, look at me go! I'm one of those women who backpacks across Europe and meets fabulous people and has all these life altering experiences and then writes a book about it. And maybe I'll get to meet famous people... hey this has a strange texture for a mushroom and kind of an odd liver taste...and... oh. oh my. oh no this isn't a mushroom at all, and oh my goodness, it's in my mouth, and we're in public, and I can't... oh god.

Mr. Snark notices my obvious discomfort and inquires into the state of my personhood at which point I must answer negatively, and then, ever so politely, and with as much decorum as I can muster, spit whatever it was back onto my fork and quickly hid it under a chunk of goat-still-on-the-backbone and looked vaguely towards the direction of Europe, sighing ever so slightly, wistfully, mournfully, for all the backpacking through Europe that I might never do.

I spent the rest of the vacation being as adventurous as "The Pasta Trio" which came with three different sauces. Ooo, three different sauces!

In retrospect, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Not every new experience is going to be a good experience, but that doesn't mean I should stop trying new things. It probably just means that maybe I shouldn't try to push the envelope quite so much. I mean, goat? That was totally on the menu just to trick the unsuspecting tourist into trying to appear adventurous to their companion.

Well you win this round, world. And yes, I suppose this means Mr. "Chicken Fingers and Fries" Snark wins a little bit too.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Views from the Outside

So last night I attended a school function for one of the clubs in which I was a member, and when we got to the room we were supposed to be in, it was already occupied.

By Geeks.

These weren't any geeks, these were anime geeks. Now, I understand what you're saying... Madame Snark, aren't thee too but a geek? And while I am, my dear reader(s), understand that I like to pretend that I'm actually a geek liaison. I speak the language, I own some of the costumes, and I've participated in some of the activities, but I can also move unseen through the throngs of normalicy. (This post notwithstanding)

In addition to this title, I also claim that of Geek Princess. Meaning, I am relatively attractive (in my own reality, TYVM) have done a great number of things which make other geeks go "ooooo jealous!" and have a somewhat large-ish cadre of fellow geeks who allow me to pretend that I hold sway over them.

Last night, however, I was traveling incognito. I was playing the part of "Honors Fraternity Executive Council Member" and trying to usher in the new initiates into the group, lead them to where they needed to be, and hand them whatever they needed to be handed. And I was not in the mood to take crap from people who can't use the room reservation system.

These geeks got downright rude with me when I politely informed them that we were scheduled to use the room. But this isn't really the reason I'm writing, it's more the observations which I made that drove me here.

Every single geek stereotype was represented in this stolen room. Stereotypes that I was friends with, that, heck, sometimes I even represented. It amazed me that I felt as if I knew them all, even with the fact that I didn't know a single one of them.

There was "guy wearing a t-shirt with holes in it who doesn't so much talk to you, as he talks near you while walking quickly in the other direction because Ack! Girl!"

There was "asian guy who wears the hoodie with the cat ears or chainmail or some other socially unacceptable something while cracking jokes with obscure references."

There were many others, but the next one I want to discuss next is the Geek Princess. Yes, they had their own Geek Princess. She's lucky I'm not also an Anime geek or we would have had to fight because, gosh darnit, there can be only one.

Anyways, my point is, geeks far and wide seem to be subscribing to some type of the geek identity that comes with an Identity Kit containing all the necessary mannerisms, idiosynchrasies, lexicons, and accessories necessary to pull off the look. Are they selling these at Hot Topic? How are they labelled?

It just makes a girl wonder if anything is still sacred when even geek culture gets commoditized.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

buzz words

I hate buzz words. I'm not talking about technical jargon, I'm talking about the words that are used pretentiously and inappropriately by individuals with little understanding of [their] actual meaning who are most interested in impressing others by making their discourse sound more esoteric, obscure, and technical than it otherwise would be...(1)

Those kill me. If you don't understand something, ask. If you want to sound smart, try working towards that goal. Don't sit there and tell me all about how our vertical markets are going to leverage our organizational goals towards increasing core-product profits... gah! Stabby.

I understand that I recently posted a social contract that related to workplace relations, but I don't know if I can agree to not get all stabby when buzzwords get used. It makes me want to whip out all the acronyms I know when you ask me about your email. It makes me want to retaliate in kind and speak to you from a place which only the truly geeky (and socially inept) would ever resort.

So, go ahead and use them if you must, but understand that this means war...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

and we're off!

Every time I fly I hear that whole "And I'm leaaaaavin' on a jet plaaaane... don't know when I'll be baaaack again..." song in my head. Which is. I dunno. Kinda lame. I'm rather ok with my lameness, as I feel it makes me more accessible to the every-day common man.

Anyways. I am, in fact, leaving on a jet plane in the morning. I promise to return with dominican coffee and tales from the beach.