So, in a slight change of events, instead of the typical personal blog posts I’ve been doing lately, I feel a need to make a more technical one. Either for others’ benefit or for my own, in the event I happen to lose said notes on how to do this stuff. In any case, these are the summation of online searches, trial & error, and a bit of ingenuity in other random spots, all directed towards the generation, editing, and mapping of surface electrostatics maps on structural models of crystallized proteins. I’ll drop in cited links when I can, pending whether or not I can track some of them down again!

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Today’s weekend wandering was encouraged by the beautifully sunny (albeit briskly chilly) weather. I was totally intending to head over to The Green Grind, but after realizing how amazing the walk down Christie Street was after eating breakfast over at The Stockyards, I had more ambitious plans in mind. The trees are all starting to turn (if they haven’t already lost their leaves), and I wondered how the Don Valley was looking, so I planned a longer excursion (despite hauling my laptop for working on anyways).

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Here I am, practically light–headed & dizzy from tiredness, and I can’t fall asleep because my mind is racing.

I’m so scared of coming off immature that I am afraid to be myself. At least I think that’s what’s eating me. I have this engrained idea of how I am supposed to be conducting myself, when there’s nothing really pressuring that. I feel so frustrated that I still feel helpless reading/responding to social convention.

How do I not take things so literally? Is it blind trust, or naïve understanding? It’s maddening, because for as often as I use sarcasm, I swear I can’t read it. It makes me feel for the people who interact with me, who do have to remind me that they’re only kidding, or they were being facetious. Or they don’t realize I’m continuing on with the sarcasm, and I’m just too dead–pan in response to it.

I really was going to rant about how I’m clearly a grown man, competent, and versed in a whole slew of things that should do anything but portray me as immature. But how the heck is a list of competencies, skills, and complex understandings going to truly convey that? It’s just a reference list of what I’ve learned. It doesn’t illustrate maturity.

Maybe I’ll return to this once I have an answer. It’s just tearing at my mind; I feel torn at this juncture in my life that I’m supposed to be disconnecting myself from the naïve & immature aspects of my graduate career, and transition entirely into a professional career with the postdoc. Well, sure, in my work life.

Maybe that’s my problem: I’m having an issue separating work & personal life right now. Because one does fairly dominate the other, some of it inadvertently while the rest is clearly deliberately. I’m trying to compensate for something. Not just a lack of a personal life right now. The question is: what?

Let me pray that either I figure that out quickly, or that sleep overtakes me if this rant wasn’t sufficient to evacuate the hyperactive mind right now. This really is the problem with living alone & not having anyone to conveniently call: you can’t get a way to air this mental laundry.

Hopefully the rain goes easy tomorrow; I’m going to need a long walk to clear my head, and I’ll have plenty of time to do so while a vat of sauce & meatballs cooks.

01. November 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Random · Tags: , ,

Did I miss some sort of generational shift, or is PDA way more common among youth these days?

I see this all over the place at the University of Toronto. Not just hand–holding, but more so the “arm around the waist pulling the girl in” or both with arms around each other’s waist. Not a subtle thing, either; it’s pretty obvious. Between that, and all the street–corner embraces, it just seems rampant amidst the student population.

Is this just a shift from a decade ago? Is it a metropolitan thing? A uniquely Toronto or Canadian thing? It does seem to be disproportionately among Asian couples (either exclusively or mixed); could it just be a cultural thing that’s exacerbated by the high population of eastern Asian immigrants?

That’s what this week has felt like: a veritable train wreck.

I’ve slept like shit all week. Monday night I got five hours of sleep. My body just woke up at 4am Tuesday morning, after which I put it back to sleep, only to have it wake even more vigorously at 5am, at which point I refused to argue with it.

Tuesday night was Madhev’s & Jen’s collective doctorate celebrations at Pour Girl across the street from work. Plenty of beers with a dinner in absentia left me thoroughly intoxicated before leaving. The whole night was a harsh education lesson in where my tolerance has gone since before leaving Buffalo: downhill! It would appear I managed to kill a red shirt during the drunken shenanigans, and got roped into a tequila shot just prior to leaving. That was a bad idea; I needed a lot of extra focus during the streetcar & bus rides back home to avoid letting my stomach get too roiled. I was grilled more than once or twice about my weight loss since I started at the University. I always feel awkward talking about it. I’ll leave it at that. I feel like I’m slowly being incorporated into that social circle more these days, but even that is also evaporating, as the people I am developing friendships with are graduating & leaving. *beats head on wall* Why can’t I establish more permanence here?!?

I woke up substantially buzzed Wednesday morning. In part because I only got four hours of sleep Tuesday night, as I didn’t get home until nearly 2am (oh the joys & woes of mass transit in a city of this size). Wednesday was really a struggle to get through, and I had high hopes of carving a pumpkin & sleeping early, but had no time to get a peer review done yet. The evening was spent on the review (remarkably easy), and I had to give up the gourd gouging hopes. Oh, and I lost all taste for alcohol after Tuesday night, so I gave up on my plans for a whiskey festival tonight.

Thursday rebounded a bit with some extra sleep, but attempting to survive the day without caffeine was a poor choice. I was nearly crashing by the departmental coffee break, although thankfully that helped me to survive the rest of the evening. Got to learn about how fun geckos are (never been a lizard guy, but I would consider them!), got some delicious Indian gosht & dahl for dinner (OMG!), and had some great conversation in the evening. Got extra creeped out by the transit passengers on the way home1, while barely maintaining consciousness on the way back, I was that tired. Then I can’t even fall asleep right away either; grand!

Last night’s sleep was probably the worst of the week. Usually my abrupt awakenings are left with some semblance of what I was dreaming that induced said waking; not so much last night. I woke up in a fitful & violent (like whole body) panic with absolutely no recollection of what was going on in my subconscious dreamscape. I really can’t recall the last time that ever happened. I’ve had experiences similar to it, but nothing so unsettling & unsubstantiated. It’s left me feeling unusually disconnected & not myself all day long.

In fact, looking back on the week, most of this week has left me feeling not myself. I have been running on autopilot so much of the week with no downtime at home (Thursday’s outing was the closest I got, short of what I will finally get tonight), I haven’t had my normal time to decompress & regain my wits. A harsh reminder that I can’t grow out of certain personality traits: I cannot fathom ever not being an introvert. Social time this week has also reminded me I’ve still go some growing to do in the engaging part of social interactions. Which isn’t really growing; it’s acceptance. Less panic; more frankness. And when the frankness works, don’t back over it & explain it like I always do or over–think what happened.

I really need to find the this turbo2 button on my brain & down–clock it back to normal; I could get so much more out of it throughout the day if I could just get it to cool down a bit! Now, I think the evening Friday rush on College St has tamed itself (sufficiently) such that it’s worth trekking home now.


1The vehicle was getting full, so I moved to the window–half of the seat, and made room for people to sit. This well–presented Indian fellow sits down, and then proceeds to stare over at me (while I’m staring off into space, trying to not fall asleep) most of the trip, and creep up next to me. Did I just experience my second potential getting–hit–on–by–a–guy since moving to Toronto? Sorry fellas; I just don’t swing that way!
2Who here remembers that ancient Turbo button on the old 486 Intel computers??