Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And so it continues....


I would like to ask you to help us out in figuring out some features of your strains.

Your thesis is complete and thats all done. It does now look like many of your conclusions are incorrect....

regards, Dr. AH

Now he is accusing me of fabricating my data. Fuck me, will this ever end? The one and only thing I had was the integrity of my work. Now he seems hell bent on taking that away as well.

I would also like to point out that some of these strains he refers to, were made and tested by him! This whole thing is absurd and a lie. I always make multiple candidates, I confirm them many ways including PCR and sequencing. I have meticulous notes on all of my experiments. Furthermore, after talking with our technician today she was blown away by Dr. AH's accusations because she sees similar numbers when working with my strains as I did. She has been reconfirming my data before Dr. AH submits the paper. She is going to copy her data for me, but this appears to be another moody tantrum the be great Dr. AH.

Lucky me.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another offer

I've been traveling the circuit lately. Great opportunity to meet, network and fine tune my talk. I'm happy to report that I nailed this last one...and at a BIG wig institution. It felt great. Must have because the offer came in today. Now that's two. Not bad for having no reference from my former PI, Dr. Asshole. Yeah.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I had lunch with a friend yesterday, who nearly spit out her drink and proceeded to laugh at me for nearly 5 min. when I told her I used to play Dungeons and Dragons. Now, I'll admit I do not "look" the D&D part. Here's another phrase I hear a lot..."oh, you're a scientist?"

So I proudly say to the world......yes, I am a scientist and fuck yeah, I used to play D&D! As a matter of fact I just added a new image to my site and she is just as awesome as my female fighter D&D character . And guess what, I've also been to a Star Trek convention too.

What can I say, while I love being who I am on the outside, I'm a true geek on the inside.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do something

Inspired by PiT’s recent post regarding fixing the postdoc experience. A bit delayed, but I have a good excuse...postdoc interview...and got a offer...yeah!!! Celebrating by drinking wine and eating cookies, so I hope this post makes sense:)

Anyways, what I find so interesting about PiT’s post is: 1) dead on! All proposed approaches are very proactive and doable, even on an individual basis. 2) Not surprised, but a bit put off by the many pessimistic responses. And this point is bigger than just the PiT comment board. In general, if you just want to bitch...declare “just venting”, I think that’s very fair...we all need to exhale (really hard) sometimes. But if someone is bringing suggestions to the table, to just bitch and say it’s not going to work, then have NOTHING to offer...well that’s not very helpful either is it?

Where do I get off dissing the pessimists? It’s just not in my nature to bitch and bitch and have nothing to offer. I’m currently leaving a lab were nothing I did worked. It has been my first and hardest lesson at realizing that some problems just don’t have a solution. But I didn’t give up on being progressive in other ways. While option A was clearly a loss, I wasn’t willing to give up on options B and C. And I’m so glad I didn’t. Without them, I would not have the Dean of the College of Science as a reference, I would not have been able to network my way into interviews that I normally never would have scored since my PI is such an asshole and unwilling to write a letter of support.

Bottom line, it’s all up to me. So if I have the opportunity and option to try some of the suggestions poised by PiT...you bet your ass I’m going to try. Because if I can help it...if I have any say in the matter...I refuse to be the same asshole who supposedly raised this confident female scientist!

Relevant reading: The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. Robert Sutton. Great book and fun read.

Now, I love any book that contains either shit, fuck or ass somewhere in the title! Secondly, is the story told by the author following a visit from a big wig in the field, being highly sought after for their open faculty position. The part I really like, was when the faculty met to discuss if they should extend an offer. The room was silent for a moment, until one voice in the back spoke up and said, “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t think we can afford the consequences of hiring an asshole...” (not the exact quote, but close). From that point on, subsequent to all interviews, they would gather and vote if the individual passed their new “no asshole rule”.

I have a great friend, Greenhouse Diva (GD) who works for an engineering co., She has her PhD and a great new job. Small issue with one of her bosses. An older women who for whatever reason hates GD! Personality issue from day one. Well the other day this boss pulled GD aside to an empty office and began screaming at her. She was supposedly so worked up she was shaking and just lost it...was threatening her job, and just totally freaked.

I can’t help but to think about this situation, about all my crazy moments with my PI and I wonder what it takes to be in a workplace that is normal. What can I do? One of my first blog posts involved the question “what would you do, given the following absurd situation”.

So what did GD do while being screamed at in an empty office? DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS....that’s what she did. She was so pissed at her boss and at herself.

What would you do? If you could be prepared for this possibility and it was happening to you, how would you address the enraged boss?

CFS: “The first mistake you made was shoving us in a room with no witness, the second is screaming like a rabid banshee...Back off, get the fuck out of my face, and never do this again. I expect from this point on that you behave like a fucking adult and a “professional”....Capice?!

Yes, I love to prepare for all scenarios. I’m so sorry for GD. She is a wonderful women, a crazy intelligent professional and bottom line no one deserves to be treated that way. Nobody should have to endure working for or with “tyrannical assholes”...as PiT points out....do something to change it. Even if it’s just you and your little lab. Make efforts to sway change in your departments and just try to make changes in your field. Just try.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Now what?

Interviews starting to fall into place, conference scheduled, thesis finally done...ok, I keep finding things I want to work on, but it's turned in to Dr. AH and is essentially done.

Still haven't got any comments back from him....until today.


Can you provide me with the comments of the other members of the thesis committee?

Dr. AH

What comments??? I defended and they signed a paper and said I passed. That's it, he was there...What is he talking about??? What does he want? ugggggggggggggggggggg

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It never hurt so good

My first drum wound. Fuck yeah, Bitches!!!!

Graduate school taught me one thing...You can learn anything from Google!!!

Yes, I have taken up a new hobby. In all my spare time and to avoid beating people, I've decided to learn to beat the drums instead. it started as a nervous twitch; me, my finger and a hard surface for air drumming to some imaginary tune during lab meeting (this was my way to focus on something other than the absurdity happening at the time). After several lab meetings and air drumming sessions, I decided it might be fun to REALLY learn to drum. Slight limitation, little hook up, a minute detail really... and that was the lack of an actual drum set.

So I started watching drummers on you tube, and looking up free on-line drum lessons. I wanted to know if it was really possible for me to learn. I was surprised at the wealth of resources. What started off as a distraction and kind of Google-learning joke was becoming a real interest. So one day as I was driving to pick my daughter up from softball practice, I passed a music store...did a double take and flipped a bitch. I felt so awkward. The guy helping me was a bit surprised when I said I was there to look at the drum kits. I think he expected me to be a mom shopping for her kids violin or something. Then he asked what kind of kit I currently have. I couldn't help it, I'm a bitch and I think I'm funny so I said I don't have a kit. Surprised he said, well how do you practice? "With my fingers and a hard surface, so clearly I need to at least upgrade to some sticks and a surface don't you think? And I taught myself everything I know...you can learn anything from Google." Ahhh...the look on his face was priceless! He was so embarrassed for me he didn't know what to say and just walked to the shelf to get me a pair of sticks.

Needless to say, I've found a better music store. Run by a guy with a great sense of humor. And I have a kit. It's cheep (free) and it sucks, but it's free! AND I LOVE IT!!

This new outlet has literally saved me. Today I was practicing for nearly two hours. I have no illusions that I will ever be Danny Carey (Tool), but it's a hell of a lot of fun!

Rock on all you science junkies!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What’s your cocktail personality?

PhysioProf I am going to go out on a limb and answer for you, “Motherfuckin Jameson!” Was I close?

I am on some kind of e-mail list for the Fine Living Newsletter and this one came through today.

Are you fun and flirty or a world-wise traveler? Find out which of our signature cocktails best matches your personality in our new quiz. Oh, how fun. But I don’t need a cocktail to establish my drinking needs or to tell me I'm an alcoholic. I like wine. No, I love wine.

I love red and white wines. I love the tasting experience, the science behind making it (yeast baby! yeah that lovely single cell organism and all its fermentation biochemical abilities). And the genetics of the various strains. I love that I can buy a perfectly good Merlot for $3 and then save 10% when I buy 6 bottles at my grocery store! I love a great Oregon Pinot Noir because it’s like heaven to my taste buds....slightly earthy with a lovely hint of berry bomb. I love wine bars and wine tastings which foster an environment of socality (is that a word? if not it’s a new CFS term) mixed with education. I love going to vineyards and walking about the vines and taking a look at the growing stage and development of the plants, the smell of the soil and the ideas that come to me for growing great new wines. I love talking to the owners and wine makers about their skills and even listening to those who swear Biodynamic wines has basis and works (even when they have no idea what biodynamic means:). I love to cook with wine and enjoy the artistry of creating a savory dish. I love to make wine with friends while drinking wine. I love to taste wine from various regions around the world and ponder their skills and history. And sometimes I like to drink wine and think of nothing at all...just sip and enjoy how it makes me feel when I’m drunk!

And when all else fails and I need to drown my sorrows because some experiment isn’t working, or Ms. Brown nose is undermining me or stealing my ideas, or Dr. AssHole is being an...well a ass hole, I go straight to the Makers Mark baby! A strong poor on the rocks will do just fine thank you.

My first love!
The 2002 Classique is a delightful wine laced with aromatics of intense fruit, cherry and red berries. True to the varietal and vintage, this Pinot displays ripe but refined tannins. This, combined with a hint of oak, lends to an opulent texture of elegance and lingering finesse. Pair this wine with any number of Burgundian specialties (Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq au Vin) and/or a selection of artisanal cheeses (Comte, Epoisses, Gruyere.)

91 "Like Drouhin's Laurene, this Willamette wine is deeply vinous at first, showing little more than scents of black tea. It's so bound up that it takes a full day to come together, and when it does it's a wonder. Brisk, dusty red cherry flavors and a fine weave to the texture suggest a long life. Cellar, then serve with juniper-scented pork loin."
Patrick J. Comiskey, Wine and Spirits

90 "Stylish, supple, polished and generous, with spicy, mineral-scented cherry and raspberry flavors. Balanced, with lively acidity, lingering on the firm finish, which shows a woody note. Best from 2006 through 2012."
Harvey Steiman, The Wine Spectator
For the fourth consecutive year, we were blessed with a beautiful growing season – long sunny days and cool nights, allowing the grapes to mature and develop flavors slowly, just the way we like it! There was no pressure from any impending rains, so we were able to pick each vineyard block at the peak of flavor and maturity.