jinian: (fft ninja)
Hi. I'm leaving the academic job track. In... two days.

Why? Lots of reasons. My postdoc hasn't been successful, which is due in part to trauma and in part to disabilities. The academy is deeply fucked up in a lot of ways that I no longer see it as my job to change. There are brilliant young women out there who love science and will continue to push.

My new job is both science-related and social-justice-related: I'm going to be a manuscript editor for researchers who aren't native English speakers. There's tons of good science being done that may not get a fair shake because of the style it's written in, so I can help! It'll be fun and enriching -- I can learn new science, it'll be my job to read papers, and I'm looking forward to figuring out which grammatical errors go with which native languages. Everyone I've talked to at the company seems awesome, it sounds like a great culture fit, there's room for growth, and I'll be working remotely with flexible hours. It's delightful. I'm delighted.

It's also a loss. I'm okay and angry and thrilled all at once. I could live anywhere now, though I am very disinclined to move with two nineteen-year-old cats. But I won't be teaching students in person like I have been, and I won't be the mentor who helps make advanced degrees happen for talented people, and I won't be the cranky old professor asking pointed questions of the visiting seminar speakers.
jinian: (fft ninja)
Hi, I exist. It's a snow day, or half of one; Harvard admin/staff closed, but FAS did not, so I had to go in to lecture and teaching meeting. I then came home in something of a hurry before the snow got worse. I'm here to tell you the first ridiculous story of this semester, pasted from a group chat.




My Friday section contains two people with the same first and last name.

Correction: my section contains FOUR Williams. One goes by Will. But TWO of them have the same last name AND MIDDLE INITIAL.

(Note also that there is another section at this time, why are the two identically named young men not separated from each other.)

[friend 1]
it’s a test of ur will(s)

[friend 2]
Give them new better names

William the [adjective]

[friend 3]
"you will now be willhames welseton the third, and you will be wilma willson pennyworth".... oh. that makes a lot more sense.

[various other amusing ideas]

[friend 4]
or see if any of them would rather go by internet handles? xD


jinian [6:11 PM]
Okay, the story of the Wills gets better:

The two with the identical first MI and last know each other and grew up five miles apart. They know the third.

The fourth WAS NOT THE RIGHT WILLIAM.

The fourth william was an INTERLOPER, who furthermore left early for a track meet. I said "you need this PCR product for your later labs" and he said:

"I HAVE AN IDENTICAL TWIN"

[friend 2]
wait. does that mean there's a _fifth_ william who is actually on your class list

oh my god


jinian [6:13 PM]
YES

The correct fourth William was missing and this slacker William took his place!

His identical twin IS IN FACT in this class. So twin of fifth William did the PCR yesterday in his lab section and I guess they figure they can share?!

I sent all this information to the preceptor (along with an accusation that she was trolling me with these Williams) and her response was,

"!!!!!!! No! Will contact Will."


She wins.
jinian: (bold bananas)
One evening last week, I was walking down the hill with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks past the community garden, and I saw a bright green bird in the undergrowth. What was a lovebird doing there? Unusually and luckily, the garden was actually open, so I went in and, with a little help, caught the bird. It seemed small if it was a lovebird, maybe a young one, and it wasn't going to make it outdoors despite its alertly biting the heck out of my hand as I held it. (In retrospect I think it was actually a parrotlet, not a bird I'd encountered before -- all green with a flash of blue on its behind, and the photos look right.) We were discussing how to keep a bird safe from cats at either of our houses until its owner should find it, but, also unusually and luckily, there was a cop parked right there, and I asked him what one should do with a found parrot. He called Animal Control and they came within about fifteen minutes to pick it up. They keep it for a couple weeks waiting for an owner to prove ownership by answering security questions, then send it to "a nice shelter" for adoption. The cop was very nice about the whole thing. I hope the bird is doing well; it had a bare tummy and some caked-on waste, but it seemed so alert that I think it was only messy because of its scary day out huddled on the ground.

Later that evening, there were magical cookies. I'd made some of my regular peanut butter cookie dough and just put it into the fridge. Keeping dough overnight vastly improves regular chocolate chip cookies, so when we baked some of the dough I wondered if it would be better. YES. YES IT WAS. Somehow butterscotch notes were in there, and the cookies were completely amazing. Had I measured the peanut butter? Of course not. As of last night I have now made another batch of dough, some of which is in the fridge right now, to see if the miracle can be repeated. Maybe the almond milk is important? We shall see.

In other news, I am going to Woods Hole (apparently some people haven't heard of it? most famous marine laboratory in the US) for a short course this summer! Being at the beach for ten days in late July will be great, and I will learn a lot about molecular evolution that's going to be very useful for my job. My mom says we visited there on my college tour (20 years ago, I remember nothing), and she wasn't impressed because it wasn't fancy, so it's probably exactly the sort of marine station I already know I love from Friday Harbor. Looking forward to it very much!

Also I am very brave today. I made an appointment to talk to my surgeon again about going on hormones to suppress the endometriosis, because I'm having trouble again already. I really hate being on hormones, and what she wants to do is a shot that lasts three months (so no take-backs). Potential issues include: BASICALLY MENOPAUSE, plus all the other wonders of getting sick more often and lacking mental focus that I've already had from hormones. This is fairly terrible, but apparently my other option is chronic pain, which isn't acceptable either. So, we will discuss it on May 6.

good things

May. 5th, 2014 11:39 pm
jinian: (birdsquee)
1. Awesomely wrestled my latex mattress and futon in an effort to sell the latter. Collected actual dollars for the loft bed!

2. Ran into my least schedulable committee member, who was soooo excited to hear about my new position and gave me a bunch of Boston advice.

3. Such the cutest Oh Joy Sex Toy!

4. One of my rotation advisors was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and I got to talk with him at the reception today. I haven't seen nearly enough of him lately because of his poor health, and it was so good to get to chat about his recent work. It's rather closely related to my soon-to-be work, though, so I hope we can talk more again soon!

5. Told PI and my landlord that I am outa here at the end of the month. Booked a storage pod thing (against terrible customer service doom). Go me!

6. Wim understood completely when I made a gesture representing axolotl gills flapping in the wind while riding in a motorcycle sidecar. Then we watched a stop-motion octopus do violence to the San Francisco waterfront.
jinian: (learning kyo)
1. Slept much better than I have lately after discussing self-soothing strategies and taking a bath (for which I cleverly rigged lighting so I could read Year of the Griffin in the tub despite my terrible bathroom configuration).

2. I do not understand how this happened, but this happened:

[image of a huge mechanical crane with its front wheels entirely off the ground]

3. Rainbowgrads is updating their constitution. I am so happy that my little organization is still holding together and doing things!

4. Cracked myself up with my own reaction to these vaginal fingering techniques when I got to "Cervix Clock" -- I made a terrible face, squirmed, thought "ewww noooo", and actually crossed my legs. (This undermines all my grand pronouncements about having a reaction-filter pretty thoroughly, doesn't it?) Some of the others were just like "who came up with THAT?" and the cumulative effect of the whole strangely creative and specific page had me crying with suppressed laughter (because of course I was reading this at work).

5. More crying at work, courtesy of Greg Rucka. "I am the father of a daughter, and she is my light, and she shines, and I want for her every-fucking-thing she desires, and I want those things for her earned, not given; I want for her the reward of effort. I want for her inclusion. I want for her validation. I want for her a world that recognizes her worth as a human being." YES. That fiercest love. (Emphasis mine.)
jinian: (bold bananas)
1. Totoro - Dr Who t-shirt.

2. Met a grad friend walking to school today and had a good conversation.

3. Rainbows in Queen Anne.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. I wore humorous earrings and a fabulous manicure.

2. One of the new t-shirt designs for my department is the Central Dogema of Molecular Biology (such gene -> many protein, etc.). The Sanger sequencing in the shape of a heart is pretty cute too.

3. Out-of-control libido may be inconvenient at times, but it can also lead to major fun.

4. I was mighty and did yard work and indoor chores!

5. The NSF regretted to inform me etc. This was frustrating (they didn't understand my proposal properly! they had fatuous suggestions!) but also I am DONE WAITING and can move on now.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. I got a jooooooob!

2. There was a cool post to Science Positive about the Seattle South Lake Union mammal tusk that I promoted to some effect on the Twitters.

3. Dragged sweetie out for celebratory pho and Lego Movie. He showed up with party hats and blow-to-unroll thingies. :)

4. New James song!
jinian: (Wiscon braid)
1. Hair responses assort in sets. Today I got mostly WTFs. So far, signs point to people recently arrived from places where it's a much bigger deal as the ones who are uneasy, especially if they themselves have strong black hair that would be much harder to strip. Pretty reasonable, but n=3. Bonus awesome: PI loooooved my hair + pink scarf today and wanted to analyze others' responses with me. She was clearly not expecting to hear that I got a lot of compliments, but was satisfied to categorize the response as bimodal. She also surmised, in agreement with my guess, that maybe the response depends partly on my outfit.

2. An older guy entering BioE today, no one else in the area, didn't look at me as he bellowed "BRR!" before going in. Okay? (I didn't actually fall down laughing.)

3. Windy! Power flickers! Maybe I shouldn't have had so much fun reading Dr. Seuss and playing in the woodstove during blackouts as a kid -- it might not really be ideal to respond to this potential destruction and danger so gleefully.

4. Made media plates. Chores are fun as long as they're someone else's chores.

5. I turned the furnace up a notch and wrapped myself in a down comforter and made cookies, and then I was COZY AS FUCK and it was GREAT.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
1. Got my first manuscript review request that didn't come through PI first. How overwhelming. I wonder if I'll be reviewing stomata papers for the rest of my life, or if the editors eventually catch up when a person changes specialties?

2. Talking to [personal profile] telophase about Japan. Upsetting, a bit, as I'm still homesick for Japan, but so nice to use my learnings.

3. Youngest cohort member defended his thesis today. Wearing a blue lab coat, white collared shirt, and bow tie. The cutest.

4. Call from Dad to arrange lunch next week. Yay. They are hardly ever up here.

5. Allie Brosh talk! Entry was a confusing disaster -- sheesh, the U Bookstore puts on events all the time and many are at this venue, so how did they botch it that badly? -- and the event started 40 minutes late. Once we got in, though, we had books to read! The new material is of course great. Allie read "The God of Cake" while projecting the newly refined illustrations; her reading started out a little flat but she warmed to it quickly, and the illustrations are even funnier blown up. Lots of good audience questions, which she fielded charmingly. (Most interestingly, she draws on paper.) I was tempted to stay and get a doodle in my book, since that was on offer and we'd wound up in an early signing group after the entry doom, but I was starving so we got delicious Thai food instead.
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
1. Animal guessing game: super lucky cat. Among the first few questions: DOES IT RAISE A PAW. I don't know how I kept a straight face. This was the best thing that happened all week.

2. Awesome skeptical feedback on my proposal! I almost wish I hadn't made it all pretty first, but this way I got to have a "feeling really good about it" stage AND a "yay someone ripped into it where it needed ripping" stage, so it was actually good. (The NSF is back at work but is kinda telling us to fuck off while they regroup, which is fair.)

3. Watched BIG ASS SPIDER! with Wim. Exactly a ridiculous monster B-movie. Very pleased. Also, that was definitely 100% ironic racism, and it was still not okay, so, nice to have that experience for sure I guess.

4. Fun outing with some parents-out-law, to lunch and the lab and the university's phenomenal greenhouse. These things by themselves would've been enough, but our luck was in and the greenhouse manager was there. He opened the terrarium and fed the poison-dart frogs so they'd come up and be photographed, and we got to hang out with the praying mantis too.

5. As I told the cats earlier tonight, I do like doing things that are right, and taking the laundry down from the ceiling fan is pretty indisputably right.

6. I have passed a strange sort of milestone in axolotl ownership: Hachiko is currently in the fridge to recover from her chronic fungus problem. I'm VERY NERVOUS about this because it doesn't seem like the kind of thing one should do to a pet ever, but it's the standard of axolotl care if they're not getting better readily.

goodness

Sep. 23rd, 2013 11:47 pm
jinian: (zoomy sakura)
1. Grad student government is going along fine without me, and they're coming up with good new stuff to work on.

2. I realized today that I have Sakura Kinomoto's haircut right now. Something adorable will have to be done about this.

3. Milk chocolate with hyperapricots.

4. Bonus sweetie time!

5. The best interpretation of Bi Day!
jinian: (tomoyo)
1. Escaped being smacked with a Clow Card, because I am good.

2. Invented/kludged an imaging protocol while listening to The Electric Lady.

3. Got the best text from [personal profile] gaudior, and didn't tell the missionary who tried to talk to me just afterward why I was so happy, because I am nice a little misanthropic and intensely private. Being a worldview bomb is fun even when I remain unexploded.

4. I called the GI specialist and made an appointment! Praise me please. :)

5. Dinner with M-pig! Laid waste to her composure with what was basically a dick joke. Ate tasty food in a comforting location. Bought adorable cat-sugar-skull hoodie.

cut for background and dick joke )

happy

Sep. 5th, 2013 12:23 am
jinian: (birdsquee)
1. Found groceries from Wim on my porch this morning! Aww! Too bad I was drugged up and sleeping when he came by.

2. Adorable tiny queers walking on the trail! The plaid one was so clearly enthralled by the bleached-forelock one! Neither of them was over 5'nothing! omg omg omg.

3. Good news on multiple personal fronts.

4. Really fun interaction at the department office for t-shirt day.

Me: I am wearing a t-shirt!
K: you are. and you're showing it to me!
Me: can I have a treat?
K: you can have a treat.
Me: I've never done this before.
K: really? do you require guidance?
Me: yes. I waited until I had graduated TWICE to participate in biology t-shirt day.

5. The sunset was so great that I backtracked and gained elevation to look at it better. Then M-pig joined me. Then a new undergrad from northern China came panting up with her camera to photograph it, and we advised her on what to expect from Seattle weather.
jinian: (bold bananas)
1. http://mentalfloss.com/article/52332/12-animal-adjectives-bolster-your-vocabulary and it is possible that "anguish" could be related to snakes via narrowness, which would be AWESOME. I mean, I like snakes, but how cool is that.

2. Reading my diploma to my dad over the phone, with all its blackest letter and silly formality. And explaining again that Doctor of Philosophy means natural sciences too.

3. Well, I guess it is good to have the sort of job where I can generally spend extra morning time in bed with a heating pad when that's needed.

4. My Rock Band library now reflects my dorky 80s heart even more than it did before.
jinian: (zoomy sakura)
1. Our usually taciturn building maintenance boss suddenly became shockingly, adorably enthusiastic when offering to set me up with a fashion consultant for my postdoc interviews. "She's six for six!" Either he really likes this person, or he has hidden femme depths; I am happy with either.

2. Hex in his new pot last night! Wim calls it his Enrichment Tube.



I threw it with an open base, then cut away part so it would sit at an angle, then patched part of that so it would sit at a more reasonable angle. The edge of the patch cracked in bisque firing, but I managed to cover the sharp edge by glazing it like this. And there is AN AXOLOTL IN IT, so it's an unqualified success!

3. I am inking (and redrawing bits of, and soon to be messing with in Photoshop/Illo) a comic about a fraught thing that happened to the inside of my head recently. I don't actually need more creative hobbies, but in this case it's the thing that feels right to express myself so I'm very glad it's going so well.
jinian: (birdsquee)
I ordered two paperback copies (for lab and parents). It's a racket, but I waaaant it.

I am also a BADASS who has finished and submitted her doctoral thesis and will have a Ph.D. in biology as of today.
jinian: (attack zero)
The good news is, I got over seven hours of sleep for a change. The bad news is, I should've been at the lab at 2am last night for an experiment but I set my alarm wrong. (I am doing it late, which is better than nothing.)
jinian: (learning kyo)
Chapter 4 is the one being a giant pain in my ass still. So many revisions! Threats to novelty! Advisor requirement to determine current N that I don't think is necessary for preliminary data! But I will finish it TODAY. I have decided.
jinian: (mighty pea)
Happy things today: I felt much less exhausted and more like myself. Rest is friend to introverts.

My honeysuckle is blooming for the first time! I took a piece of it from near the Green Lake Library a couple of years ago when I lived near there, and now it lives at this house.



Also, glorious stacked-up clouds in white and gray today.



I'm tired of having thesis madness. But, to stop having thesis madness, don't you just fucking shape up? It's not like no one else wants to stay home all day and reread Gunnerkrigg Court instead of doing work.

And then it occurred to me that this is what people with depression think.

I talked to Wim about it, and he pointed out that it's also why people climbing a mountain use the trail switchbacks and rest periodically. I sulked. "Physical things are TOTALLY DIFFERENT." *laughter*

So I have a to-do list with entries for "eat lunch" and "shop for groceries" because that is where I am with things today. I do need to finish these edits, but it is okay if I ease back into doing things when they are mentally and emotionally hard.

[ETA: I just added "get me some Yotsuba" to the to-do list.]

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