07. August 2011 · Write a comment · Categories: Rant · Tags: ,

Buffalo just finished it’s 25th consecutive day of having a high at 80˚F or above. Coming up on a full month of that, and the record streak was only 32 days long. Thankfully, the region should be dipping back down into the 70˚ range this week, but we’ll see how long that takes to settle in.

This heat used to be bearable. The humidity has made it worse, but I made due after I got back from the conference in Vermont relatively okay. However, I didn’t realize how unbearable it can feel when you’re sick.

Waking up utterly miserable was bad enough on its own. Having to take that and march through the day of heat and humidity just makes the day feel like a time warp. The body aches are that much more achey, the nasal congestion is that much thicker in the humidity, and whatever fever I woke up with Friday (only 100.7˚F) just felt like it torched me: my head felt like it was ready to rip open. It was a ridiculous chore to get to Walgreens that morning for drugs, and then to Wegmans for some juice/nutrition, only to make it back home and put myself back out with a NyQuil-like induced sleep for the rest of the day.

I’ve been confined to the apartment (and predominantly my bedroom) since Thursday evening. I’m far more functional today than Friday (after logging probably close to 50 hours of sleep since Friday morning), but today’s heat just drug out the day forever. I am so ready to get out of here and do something, but the heat and humidity just makes everything miserable. I’m praying it tapers off this week so Shakespeare in Delaware Park might be enjoyable before they finish their summer season!

Also, I blame the heat and humidity for exhausting me so badly on my run last Monday. That’s likely what induced whatever I’m sick with; I’m guessing it weakened my body’s immune response enough to let whatever ripe does of infectogens1 just run rampant. I think I’ll have to keep the exercise down to walks and bike rides until the heat and/or humidity subsides.

NyQuil-wannabe is settling in. Time to sign off and call it a night. I look forward to a less ranty and whiney blog post next time.

1Yes, I did just make that word up.

02. August 2011 · 1 comment · Categories: Grad Life, Rant, Work · Tags: ,

I try not to pick out individual coworkers specifically for their asshole-ishness on a regular basis. However, one of them really just struck a nerve with me today.

One of my coworkers (#1 for this post’s purpose) in the lab had been ragging on one of the newer graduate students (#2) in the lab for his inability to ask questions. This was primarily done in the context of describing his chronic ability to set himself up for failure by not preparing enough for the experiment/activity/event. I would have to agree with this, as it is often the case. I have offered advice in the past, and it usually goes the wayside until things aren’t working properly. Then, he either realizes (or someone else suggests) that my recommendations were valid and worth considering. So he could save himself some trouble by asking in varying degrees of uncertainty about stuff.

Cue to this afternoon, while I’m finishing up my preparations for tomorrow in the lab, and I have my iPod running in my ears. Coworker #2 is pissed to all hell, half-yelling at coworker #1 that he’s an asshole and he can’t give a straight answer. Coworker #1 is also just laughing at coworker #2, throughout all this visibly-pissed off ranting. I find out it’s because #2 has been trying to ask #1 for advice on submitting something to another location for analysis, and #1 just kept telling him “have you read the instructions?” Coworker #2 obviously (and stated as such) read said directions, and was asking for supplemental information beyond that. This renders #1’s response as moot, because #2 is obviously asking what #1 does beyond the regular instructions for this protocol.

Coworker #1 often does this regarding questions asked of him. He thinks it’s funny, cute, obnoxious, or lord knows what else. I really don’t know; he just gets a kick out of it. What really pisses me off regarding this now is for as much as he’s stated/bitched #2 never asks questions for help on stuff, here #1 is being an utter jackass by not answering the question, now that #2 is asking.

Seriously? Who the fuck do you think you are to first criticize someone for an inability to do something, and then throw it back in their face when they finally do it for you? I can’t wait to see him function on his own in a post-doc somewhere. This mentality will never cut it.

In other related news…the other three regulars in the lab have started to take a slightly more proactive approach to cleaning the lab. The dish drainers were entirely emptied a week and a half ago (shock!!!), all three of them collectively emptied their vast uncleaned reservoirs of glass culture tubes, and coworker #1 has been remarkably proactive about removing the autoclaveable waste, and even did a run himself and immediately took it down to the dumpster (instead of letting it sit in the lab over a week like the last batch he took down just prior). I can only hope that this is a change to stay (so I can return to the shared cleaning responsibilities), but only time will tell. My ranty tweet that also ended up on Facebook (without restriction on who saw it amongst friends) probably served as a more obvious kick in the ass about it.

Oh well…oops (not really).

P.S. I cannot wait until I’m finished with this lab and have left, despite how much I love the work…

A dear friend of mine posted this on their Facebook wall a month or so back, and I wanted to repost it so more people could read it (due to the security settings) because I very much agree with what was stated in the post. However, I just hadn’t gotten around to it after I got their permission to. So now that I finally yanked the text and reposted it, here you go! The only formatting that was done was to better break up the text and formatting to make use of HTML and CSS.

Here’s my situation as a teacher…

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I’m slipping again! I went from five posts in two weeks to, well, nothing for nearly a month. Boooo!

Life’s been a mess lately1. I snapped royally at work a couple weeks ago. I manned up and asked a girl for her number2. Cooking went to pot3.

Amidst all this terror’o’life bullshit, there’s at least a couple gems amidst it all. The big one? New York state has finally gotten my VW’s title and registration completely up to date!!! Now the bank can quit bugging me to get that updated per the terms of their lien when I refinanced the Jetta. Talk about a nightmare, navigating the NYS DMV system for the past five months. I have less and less appreciation for the bureaucratic system that is New York State, day after day. I wonder why??

Cooking is coming back this week. I perused my cookbooks last night and just flagged off dozens of recipes to try. I may need to limit myself to only one pasta dish per week, however. I’ve got nearly two dozen flagged recipes in my pasta cookbook alone!

I’m trying to avoid a fixed ‘this dish for this day’ planning this week. See if it makes things any easier. Then I can get through this 24oz of fresh mushrooms4 quicker, hopefully! The docket for this week is as follows:

  • Broccoli, onion, and mushroom quiche with Vermont cheddar cheese
  • Bacon, onion, chive, and thyme quiche with Swiss
  • Chicken and leek cobbler
  • Beef, onion, and mushroom stroganoff
  • Penne with roasted Marsala mushrooms
  • Tagliatelle bolognese ragù (once I get some ground skirt steak)

Yeah, I know there’s a lot of quiche (which I love) on there, but it doubles nicely as a breakfast, and I’m expecting leftovers of those to take over breakfast and not lunch cuisine. Let’s see if I can pull this stuff off and still have a life in the evenings. I have a BPO concert coming up this Saturday, which I was hoping to take a certain lady to, but it is quickly appearing I will have to find another guest to accompany me.

In the interim, I will be finishing laundry and chores before volunteering for a few hours at the Buffalo WinterFest Powder Keg in downtown Buffalo! Go check it out if you haven’t been to it yet (or last year)!

1<sarcasm>What a surprise, right?</sarcasm>
2Finally…for all the good (or lack thereof) that it has done me. I’ll elaborate later.
3No pun intended. I cooked well for that one week, cooked well for a second week, ate leftovers from the second week for the third week, and just ate like shit for all of last week. Also, each of those first two weeks, I basically worked all day, came home, cooked until 8 or 9, ate, did dishes, then went directly to bed. I need a little more free time than that…
4One and a half pounds of fresh mushrooms looks like a lot more than you would think! Dang!

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

I think my wonder this year really centers itself on finishing my degree. It is within grasp; a year or less away, ideally. Once I finish this Ph.D., then what?

Editorial note: I apologize in advance for the slightly rambling nature near the end. I got out of venting mode and back into introspection mode

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So it is a pretty certain thing I’m fighting something off now. I’ve got the mucus of questionable color, and it definitely is exuding itself in a drainage-styled fashion. That, and I started out the day with a mild headache1, but man it’s turned into a monster since then2. At least I am now setup with some lemon/ginger/clove tincture for now, and use that to help ease the throat and system altogether through tomorrow.

In better news, I finally got to checking on the fermenting3 wine in the basement. Apparently it halted itself quite nicely around a S.G. of 0.996 or so (I didn’t do the temperature adjustment). Being that it’s essentially cleared at the moment, I almost wonder if I couldn’t bottle it as is without the last additive packet. I’m sure there’s some necessary components that do need to be added (e.g. some metabisulfite perhaps?), but a quick taste test of the wine seemed pretty good as is! A hint sweeter than I was expecting for a grigio, but we’ll see how that tastes after aging a bit. Now, I just need to muster up the energy to add the clarifying solution and give it another week to do its job before racking the wine into bottles.

1Took a single dose of ibuprofen just to help tame it and any nasal inflammation, hopefully. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any follow up doses and the initial dose wore out mid-afternoon.
2We are talking full double dose (800mg) and it’s barely taming the headache to something more manageable. NOT COOL.
3Or more likely not fermenting; the yeast had nearly completely settled out of the must by the time I got back from my vacation to visit the parents at the beginning of October. It looked pretty apparent the yeast was done doing its job. I was concerned at that point that maybe the wine got a little too dry.