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 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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


How to turn a CV into a resume.

I’ve been putting the finishing touches to my thesis. But my main focus has been on finding postdoc positions. Enduring it has forced me to put together one hell of a polished CV! However, as I am applying to both academic institutions and government agencies I find that I needed a resume as well. I needed something that gives detail of a CV (latin for curriculum vitae translation is “I’m going to list in excruciating detail everything I’ve done in my entire fucking life”) and another document that provides a bullet list of the highlights.

I also have received feedback from the academic applications, even if its to say that they already hired somebody for the position. But fuck me I can’t even get passed the human resources groupies of the government agencies.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Totally random but made me laugh

Example of what standing in front of a committee during comps feels like.

Grads at an event with free food.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm back

After some time off I've decided it's time to get back into the game. I still have some lose ends to deal with in my lab but they are minor and do not require me to see my lab mates or my PI again (I hope). Unfortunately following my defense Dr. AH decided to send me one last absurd e-mail. And I have to say this one hurt.

Hi Dr AH,

I have to turn in a progress report to the NIH for my fellowship. One of the requirements for the report is a sponsor statement. Would you like to fill it out and sign it? Or would you prefer I fill it out, email it to you then you can sign it. Which ever you prefer. I need to have this progress report submitted by the end of the week. I have already spoken with my NIH contact to discuss the changes regarding my original proposal which she approved. These changes are the following:

1. I will be terminating my contract/fellowship one and a half years early (specifically this May when I graduate).
2. My stipend will be adjusted accordingly.
3. Given the approval of my sponsor (you) and my committee, I have met the requirements for graduation by completing two co-author publications and my # paper.
4. Following my defense, my final obligations include a few experiments for the genetics paper and the completion of my dissertation.
5. I will also use the remaining misc. funds to attend one scientific conference.

And one last question. We never finished our discussion regarding if you were willing to write a strong letter of recommendation on my behalf. This is important to sort out, for obvious reasons. I see no reason why we should have to meet with # about this. Either you are or you aren't and I will accept either decision you come to.


Dr AH's response:


It is probably best if you fill out the progress report--you were not in my lab for the last 6 months or so, so clearly I can't say much about what you have done.

I am unwilling to write a letter of recommendation.

The best thing I can say is that the entire affair of your education has been extremely disappointing, and I will leave it at that.

It is critical, in my view, for you to get me a completed thesis by the date we agreed on, March 1, so we can get all of this behind us.

Do make sure that # knows where all your strains are, and that they get transferred to our -180 freezer. Thanks.


Well now that I got my answer it's time to move on. To what I'm not exactly sure yet. But it's a big world out there and I'm confident that I will find a way to play in it. So here's to playing in the big bad world. Cheers.

14.9% alc., 120 cases, $150. 3.51 acres, 15 year-old vines, yield 1.28 tons per acre of Calera clone. This wine is crafted by Sashi Moorman in Lompoc. · Very dark reddish-purple color. A shy and brooding nose which starts out with woodsy and barnyard aromas but evolves nicely revealing bright fresh berries, violets and a hint of tobacco. Rich, plush and multilayered on the palate featuring dark stone fruits and flavors of fig and cola framed by a lively edge of acidity. The texture is pillowy and the finish, which has a citrus peel note, lasts and lasts. There still are substantial tannins to shed. Decant if you drink now and pair up with substantial food. This wine will cellar very well. Reviewed May 7, 2009.