self-care

Jul. 3rd, 2017 11:06 pm
jinian: (red scarf)
And cat care. These are the themes of my working at home so far.

I have had a non-patchy tongue for the first time since I can remember. I'm eating my vegetables. The cats can yell for fresh food when they need it and will actually eat, so they're seeming much stronger. I have enough money to buy clothes I've been needing and enough energy to do the shopping with.

Not everything is perfect -- I need to sort out better ergonomics and more exercise, COBRA is an asshole, and my allergies are still present enough to have given me a mild sinus infection -- but this feels like progress and like recovery. I nearly went dancing this past weekend, which I haven't felt up for in ages.

And I have a paper on DNA barcoding of wild kiwifruit to read and edit next! (This morning I carefully edited a paper on hysterectomies for trans men to avoid calling the patients "woman" or "she"; they had only messed up a little and their language doesn't use pronouns, but it's important.) I'm learning how to edit to a specific standard, I'm building stamina and speed, it's effort, but this is fun.

I'm still sad and afraid and lonely, but I have something really good to do while I keep working on recovering.
jinian: (fft ninja)
The new job is a positive experience overall despite taking up a lot of mental energy. I'm reading lots of interesting papers, and I'm pretty fast at editing already for things in my wheelhouse (*cough* fudged my time upwards yesterday on the one about overexpressing proteins in Arabidopsis because we generated 1.21 gigawatts there easy). Minor frustrations include the existence of meetings, videoconferenced though they be, and my newbie-team leader's tendency to talk around problems instead of spelling out problems and priorities directly. Oh, and I still need to buy an exercise ball to sit on, my hips require more variety.

Still, it's brilliant to be able to go "I'm so tired right now" and lie down for half an hour, and I'm glad to be present to take care of the infirm cats, who are likely to live longer the more often they can complain to me. Mom asked whether I missed having to go out. I texted her back "it's 100 degrees out today" "so no :joy:". I can go out if I want! I prefer not to subject myself to avoidable misery, though.

I'm still toying with the idea of moving to a cheaper, more beautiful location. I'm not entirely ready to give up on finding partners, though, and cheaper is strongly correlated with fewer options in that regard. (Will attractive lesbians phase through my apartment walls to find me even in a city, though? Seems unlikely.)
jinian: (lost sakura)
Feeling down and having trouble concentrating the last few days. Still being sick doesn't help, of course. Allergist visit May 20!

I had a good time Sunday going to Civil War and Martsa with Beth and Sandry, and I made things at pottery class on Saturday.

Felt discouraged this morning and then pointed out to myself that my past few years have gone:

- Developed severe undiagnosed abdominal pain.
- Finished a Ph.D.
- Worked on a demoralizing project for a year.
- Moved across the country.
- Got dumped in a weird retconning way that gave me trust issues.
- Developed progressively worse abdominal pain.
- Had trouble doing the project I actually wanted to do because of illness.
- Finally got a diagnosis and had a difficult surgery.
- Lost my dad.
- Broke up with someone I liked because the relationship just didn't make sense any more.
- Lost my cat.
- Developed nonstop sinus problems.
- Got dumped in a particularly scalding way by the person I really wanted to be with.

(And, as usual for the litany of woe, I have probably forgotten some shit.)

It is a goddamn triumph that I get out of bed in the morning. So there.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
If you could move to anywhere, where would you want to live?

(Bonus points if there are jobs there for a plant bio Ph.D.!)
jinian: (Collomia grandiflora)
I am in bed with Nyquil and doxycycline, so this is a good time to catch up on posting about my second trip to NYBG. I made lots of tweets, and these are the herbarium-related ones with some extra notes.

Read more... )
jinian: (bold bananas)
Provided a quick turnaround on an information request from our collaborator, even though it required some tinkering.

Joined the Association of Education and Research Greenhouse Curators as part of my long-term job agenda.

Worked on some tricky gene sequences for the gene tree I need to make.

Interviewed a therapist by phone and made an appointment for later this week.

Received a notice of termination of benefits when I got home, which would mean I don't currently have insurance. Sent grumpy email to HR asking whether I should expect to have continuous coverage despite the administrative lack-of-job fuckup or instead contact the nice COBRA people, since, see previous, I have an appointment this week for which I expect to use health insurance.

Successfully initiated a good text interaction with Wim. (This took two tries, but it worked the second time.)
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.
jinian: (bold bananas)
Did taxes (in spite of MA wanting some weird form from my health insurance even when I didn't live here). Big refund on the way!

Had an epic meeting with my advisor, who is pretty much on board with my proposed transition to a staff job when we run out of funding for the fellowship. I have been doing work, and I had smart ideas, and we will make cool science happen!

Got through sending welcome messages to many many new Flight Rising users. Still managing the part where we send them gift packages when they post in the forums, but it was really exciting to finish phase 1! Making a pretty badge for people to put in their signatures if they helped.
jinian: (lost sakura)
1. Accomplished much sewing today with happy sunbeamish cats.

2. Last night my new textbook for my new job came: feeling like I am doing what I should, having good enough health to do it with, and enjoying the material. And I aced the pretest. :)

3. Another shipment came too, including some heavier lotion that I like the smell of and some probiotics to try to get my tummy all the way in gear.

4. Some fun nerdiness with spreadsheets occurred.

5. Good meeting yesterday with my boss and fellow postdoc where I had an analysis they wanted before they asked for it!
jinian: (attack zero)
My former advisor asked me to edit a rebuttal letter for someone else's paper (from Nature! pretty exciting!), and I am doing so. Come to find out that the third reviewer has addressed the authors as "Ms [Lastname] et al."

EXCUSE ME.

The first author is not a Ms. She is a Professor, in actual fact, but Dr. is the default courteous address in paper submissions. I got called Dr. as an undergrad, because that is just what you assume, because it is offensive to lowball someone's title. And unless this reviewer is of the first author's specific ethnicity, it's not bloody likely that they were able to discern gender from her name. They would have had to go look her up, in which case they would have seen her qualifications. Or they've met her, which would be worse.

She probably doesn't mind this as much as I do. I am really mad right now.
jinian: (lost sakura)
Context: Super crampy, like, for days, but especially terrible last night and this sweat-soaked morning. Made it to the pre-existing gynecologist appointment on time... at the wrong location. Fuuuuuck. Did not cry or yell at anyone, even the receptionist who was being kind of a jerk. Walked to the other location that would have been closer had I but known and got seen after jumping some more frustrating hoops. Luckily the NP was very nice, respectful and helpful, generally awesome, and obviously distressed at my pain and determined to get me seen by helpful further doctors. (We are still planning to try Mirena for now, but she thinks endometriosis could explain at least some of my too-damn-many pain issues and wants me to consult about exploratory laparoscopy, which, I've been on the fence anyway, fuck it let's do this.)

So here is some cheerful shit from the last week or so!

(what, sometimes my blanket NSFW warning becomes more relevant)

Parked near here sometimes is a polka dot motorbike! It has lots of exposed black mechanical parts, but the plastic panels are white with green dots of various sizes.

My poster design for the symposium Saturday was good. That'll teach people to assume I need help designing! And the symposium went well: I put an entitled dude in his place and had nice conversations with several people.

Saw a guy coasting down the street standing on his little buzzing dirt bike, with one hand ON HIS HIP like a fashion shoot. He had a little blond pompadour too. AMAZE.

Wow, all of these people belong in Paradise Kiss, especially the one with the orange headwrap.

Adorable comic about women, love, and magic.

My Buffy knowledge level (gained chiefly via fannish osmosis) was sufficient for me to recognize these as adorbs: http://kateordie.tumblr.com/post/100005371607/i-was-showing-off-my-christmas-elves-from-last

I saw saffron crocuses blooming today! Expect a drawing when my hands are less shaky.
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
Accomplished some things at work!
- Found out what food my food-ignoring fish had been eating before I got him, so hopefully he will condescend to eat the same kind again
- Ran a gel (confusing result and not sure what to do, but I saw it)
- Talked to facilities about installing a necessary cabinet for my work
- Researched and ordered a new analytical balance
- Enhanced my mind by reading papers
- Initiated minor interaction to support reportedly lonely new student

Praised for my hard work on grantwriting!
I had a bonus assignment over the weekend (which annoyingly coincided with J's visit, but I kinda need the money and it only took about three hours), and my boss praised me a bunch for it and wants me to co-write some other papers for co-authorships. Woot! He tends to praise high, but "brilliant" is always nice to hear. :) And I'm smug about my making the grant subtly more progressive in its phrasing -- you wouldn't think you could get a lot of politics into a grant, but between referring to Tibet vs. "the Tibetan region" and pointing out that North American plants had been newly discovered by Western botany during the historical period, not (as implied) by all humans, I am pleased with myself.

I got a loooooot of books unpacked.

Such good vids that I finally made time to watch! Pacific Rim ones but also very well done Katniss.
jinian: (fft ninja)
Today was one of those "no good deed goes unpunished" days. Still good things about it, though:

0. This is more weird than good, but I am impressed enough with the inside of my head right now that it goes here: my strange sleeping-too-warm dream from last night was that Bucky Barnes was having an abortion and wanted me there.

1. I had a burrito for lunch that I think was actually safe for me to eat. So far so good! And so satisfying.

2. Former PI specifically solicited my input on something and was all respectful when I gave it.

3. I remodeled the thin foam pads I'm using for my bed so that they're folded in thirds instead of in half, and, while the result is only slightly wider than my actual butt, it's also 150% as comfortable as the previous configuration.
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Friday goodness:

1. Managed to sleep the whole night! This is still far too much of a challenge.

2. Saw a seminar by someone I knew from my previous department and had a fun conversation with her afterward.

3. Got a giant care package that I mostly packed for myself while moving! Wim was mighty and sent it even though it wound up being dead expensive.

Saturday goodness:

1. Did laundry like a boss.

2. Ran errands and got a little African violet friend!

3. Made collages for a mix CD cover. Me + rubber cement = OTP. It has been too long.

4. How To Train Your Dragon remains really great.

happiness

Jun. 10th, 2014 11:57 pm
jinian: (birdsquee)
Mon-daily happiness

1. Good interactions with bosses past and present.

2. Had enough energy to cook dinner and lunch for tomorrow!

3. I even sewed a bit in the evening. So nice.

4. Apartment to myself!

Tues-daily happiness

1. Organizing with persnickety details and Linnaean binomials. I even got to sort little bits of dried leaf out of sand. (This is tremendously satisfying, don't judge me.)

2. Korean market is fascinating and full of awesome things.

3. Date time with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks!

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: Unikitty from the Lego Movie in business attire (unikitty)
1. I looooove my hips. <3 So I put on a dress that makes me look amazing, and then put on a big flannel over top, because that's what my social presentation wanted to do today. I look like a bit of a lump, but I feel like dancing. Princess in disguise!

2. Wrote to people like a boss, and got adorable responses.

3. Stopped on the way to school and wrote out some introspection in a park under the highway. It wouldn't work every day, but it worked beautifully today. (And will probably be revised and posted tomorrow.)

4. PI's glee when she got back from downtown, where Sakuracon has begun.
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!

job got

Feb. 24th, 2014 01:32 pm
jinian: (birdsquee)
No formal offer letter yet, but an agreement has been made on my Harvard postdoc job.

I AM SO HAPPEEEEEEE

birthday

Feb. 18th, 2014 02:54 pm
jinian: (fft ninja)
It's my birthday today. I have graduated from being a square and am now a prime, which is likely the last time that will happen.

Feeling sad, which I think is due to not knowing what happens next with my entire life. There's funding for a project in the lab I'd like to work in (yay!), but they have to go through some sort of fair interview process and can't just hire me, so I do not yet have a job and might not. And, thinking I'd have cramps, I foolishly didn't plan anything for tonight. Currently roping my mom into taking me out to dinner.

Good things so far today:
I do not actually have cramps.
Slept in.
Wearing favorite jeans, which I mended last night while listening to 90 minutes of new Night Vale.
Carrying my shiny red e-reader, which I repaired over the weekend.
Nice messages from people (and my student loan provider, ?) about my birthday.
Nice message about another good thing.
Entertaining stormy rain.

Good things in the past year:
Got my Ph.D. dammit. It is okay if I am still feeling fragile, I was super awesome.
Figured out how to live alone and still have a relationship with Wim.
Got together with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks.
Did not have Crohn's Disease.
Made some nifty stuff including ramen bowls, a quilt, and a star dress.

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hey love, I'm an inconstant satellite

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