When I was younger and in high school and college, I used to think I was fairly cheeky and/or humorous. It wasn’t the crude or obnoxious type either1, just a little sarcastic and cynical. I just had the right crowd of friends or something, and I fit in pretty well.

That is a lot of what makes me miss my friends back in the Midwest (and a lot of that lifestyle with it). I fit in much better there. Perhaps it was just the group of people I came into graduate school with or that I got exposed to shortly after I got here, but it never quite felt like I fit in as well here. My humor certainly didn’t get the same type of response. I felt like I had to work to get a laugh out of people. It just didn’t come naturally here.

Last week or so, one of the newer graduate students in the interdisciplinary program has been around a bit more when I hang out with a couple of my friends. Upon finally paying attention at one point, she seems to get a kick out of my remarks far more than most of my friends have2. Thinking about that a little bit, she’s also from the Midwest region (just a bit further south).

It’s completely speculative at this point, but some of it may really be just regional mindsets, or some sort of bias among them. I know there are personality differences that broadly seem to change from region to region within the US. I suppose it’s entirely possible that humor types could lump in along with them.

Regardless, it was very refreshing and nostalgic to hear her enjoy that sense of wit. I know it sounds dramatic, but it gives me hope that I will run across a few more like her that I feel I could establish stronger friendships with that feel a tad more natural3.

1The lack of exposure to any television that may have been the result of this can solely be attributed to my parents. I think the raunchiest thing I ever got to see in my high school years was a Cheech and Chong film, and not even one of the worse ones.
2The ease and flow of the laughter was much like I got back in college. Most of my jokes here just get way-sided or ignored either because I try to squeeze them in and then someone else just keeps running on a funnier theme, or they just don’t provoke any response. It just doesn’t fit the discussion in their own minds, I suppose.
3More natural = less like people are sketchily avoiding me. I get this uncomfortable feeling that people don’t enjoy hanging out with me, but they just will not tell me. I often feel like (especially lately) people are hiding things from me, deliberately trying to obfuscate things. I have enough trust issues with others; the last thing I need to think is that people cannot trust me either.

This has been a week from hell. My stress load was through the roof, and I really thought I was going to crack and lose it a couple times throughout.

Especially Tuesday; it had turned out to be a 14-hour day whereupon I went home, had two beers, and then promptly slept.

Wednesday, I got some drinks and got to sleep semi-early that night.

Thursday, I left for work at 6:45am, went to Alternative Brews at 8pm for the Jets/Bills game in Toronto, went to Denny’s (under some mild peer pressure) after the game, and finally got home at nearly 1am. Less than enthused about the time at the bar1.

Friday, left for work again at 6:45am2 and took off semi-early so I could get a (dearly) needed haircut, deposit my paycheck, and then finally recover some. I really stood around bewildered for about five or ten minutes once I got home. I honestly can’t remember what I’ve done here all week besides sleep and eat breakfast. My dirty dishes for the whole week consisted of two plates and four bowls, plus some containers of food I had just emptied out ’cause they went bad. I’m not even sure what nights I ate dinner. Huh.

Committee meeting is this coming Wednesday. That’s why I’m stressing. It’s been a bit of a crappy year again, and I get ridiculous amounts of anxiety over the concern of having not achieved enough in my research. Talking with my advisor yesterday morning, he said his goal for me at this point is to get me a solid paper and a good post-doc lined up. It was disheartening to hear that. I really still had some hope/ambition for pumping out at least two if not four papers. I can get the second one if I can for-god’s-sake purify my damn protein, but without that I’ll be resorting to primarily genetics to sort out my protein and all of its suppressor mutations. Less than ideal for what I had hoped.

Kelly made me want to watch all the Underworld series again. I’m out of the know for the first two; it has been a while since I’ve seen them. I think those will be interspersing my desperate attempts to finish my committee meeting presentation this weekend. That, and helping myself to more stuffing and pumpkin pie. I have approximately 2/3 of a casserole dish of stuffing and an entire pumpkin pie left to consume. In the succinct words of Liz Lemon…


1The bar was also a licensed cigar bar as well, so the place reeked of smoke and active smokers. I really hate (on many different levels) smelling like smoke when I go home.
2There was a Lake Effect Snow Warning for the metro area, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to drive in fresh, slick, wet snow with all the other rush-hour idiots, especially if my tires are on the balding side of wear.