What’s on your mind II

Minor Rants Welcome

Let’s see, I have my usual litany of woes:

The lab is moving. My co-worker, my boss and our Associate Researcher (what the hell is this guy anyway?) are all going to be out of town soon and not be back until after the move. Hopefully I won’t kill anybody. Nah, I’ll unpack so that they can’t find anything. :smiley:

I have entered the clothes-don’t fit-quite-right phase of pregnancy. Not big enough for preggo-pants and to small for the current pants. (With bonus “I’m not at the weight I’d to be so how will I get rid of the baby fat?” Blues.)

Career angst. How will parenthood affect my job? Will I ever finish my BS? (I’ll have to face my Higher Education = Unemployment hang up - eventually.)

Valentine’s Day stunk, I was feeling better but tonight I feel yucky again. Nose is going nuts, throat starting to hurt and coughing again. Eldestkitty has a friend over to spend the night, (not going to get any sleep) youngestkitty went to grandparent’s to sleep over. Tomorrow they will go swimming with Grandpa and I may just go see “Bridge To Terabithia” by myself. Mouse do you wanna go? :smiley:
Not much else to rant about. Oh yeah, I went to DQ to get a hot fudge sundae with marsmallow cream, got it, no hot fudge just ice cream and marshmallow. Idiots. So I made her fix it. 1 little squirt of hot fudge is all I got. Oh well, went home and ate it any way. That’s all I have.

Sounds like you’re in a period of major transition. That can be scary–especially going through school. FWIW, your job sounds so cool. [From what I glean reading your posts, you are a scientist who works with mouses?]

Well. I don’t feel I have a lot to rant about. As usual starting about 11pm, I’m swimming in a vast ocean of free-floating anxiety, the nagging feeling that I’m forgetting to worry about something and if I don’t worry about it, the entire world will fall apart while I’m busy enjoying life. It didn’t help that I read that thread about issuing abortion certificates for fetuses and I turned to my husband and said, “I don’t understand. I think I’m a compassionate person. I love people. I cry watching The Simpsons for Chrissake. But when it comes to this issue, I feel almost nothing. Every argument seems reasonable to me. I don’t care about abortion and I feel bad for not caring.”

His response: “I refuse to discuss things like this after 10pm. If you’re not going to carry me to bed, I’m going without you.”

Yeah, well. Easy for him to say. He’s not a raving lunatic of an insomniac philosopher.

But that’s… it’s all inconsequential. There’s something deeper lying underneath my experience of life lately.

Let me tell you how this February has been so far… I had my wisdom teeth removed, and they found an infection. I missed over a week of class–not the fun “eating ice cream and watching TV” kind of week–the “moaning in pain and sleeping and hovering over the toilet” kind of week. I spent all of last week scrambling to recover the work I missed to prepare for my exam tonight. Then I got called for Jury Duty–still in pain from the surgery. So this week I’ve been on Jury Duty while trying to study for this exam (missing all the class review sessions for it.) Meanwhile my research director is getting kind of nervous because I hadn’t made much progress on this month’s coding task, and I am hell-bent on impressing the hell out of her with my research aptitude (that doesn’t mean I have any–this semester is my first experience–and maybe my only shot at pre-grad school research work.) Then came Valentine’s Day. While my teeth (or lack thereof) are hurting less, I have come down with a horrible cold. We had to cancel Valentine’s Dinner so I could sleep. Then today… the Exam. Could have gone a lot worse. I’m thinking B+/A-/A range–no idea. I’m a perfectionist. I resent that I spent every spare moment of my time studying for this test but am still falling short of the mark. I feel pressure in this class–I’m slow at math. This is my last semester of undergraduate school–my last chance to shine, my last chance to make the “With Honors” cut at graduation.

So this is when it hit me. I was scrambling about somewhere and I remember thinking, “OMG this month sucks but it will all be over once my Exam’s done with, then I can catch up on all the class I missed and relax…” But I thought more and more about it. There is no relaxing in my future. Now that the STATS exam is over, we have to do a group project worth 20% of our grade. My coding is almost done, but after Spring Break I will have a shitload of data entry to do. No matter what happens, no matter where I go in life, this is my reality. I have cried out to the Universe for a freakin’ break, a chance to catch my breath–believe me, I have suffered, I have worked harder for this degree than anything I have ever worked for in my life. I spent 8 months putting together a petition to the University of Michigan Board of Academic Standards to get back into school after my year-long withdrawal due to severe, debilitating depression and anxiety. And after I got back in, I somehow managed to get back on scholarship. Not because this shit fell in my lap, no. Because I’ve been killing myself in the interest of getting it done… and I’ve done it.

And that’s my point, maybe.

I just had this total “aha” moment where I realized for whatever reason, this is the way it was meant to be. Hell, maybe this is the way I’m most happy–because I get a humongous amount of satisfaction out of doing things that are hard–I live for doing what seems impossible–even when what’s impossible to me is second nature to most people. Every time this stuff happens, I get tougher, smarter, more determined, and become less of a pansy. Every time I face these hardships, I get a little less whiny and a little more confident.

In the last week, despite all of this craziness, the fact that I’m dripping snot and my jaw is killing me and the fact that no amount of work on STATS will ever make it come easy for me… goddamn it, I’m so content. I’m so satisfied with everything I have. I spent Valentine’s Day with my woozy head in my husband’s lap while he played Final Fantasy XII. It was PERFECT. I sneezed and wheezed and stressed and twittered throughout my entire exam. It was PERFECT. As I was driving home, I realized how happy I am with the apartment complex I live in. I felt afraid, but I felt awe at the fear–awe that it is universal how terrifying life is and has the potential to be, that we all share this insanity that is human existence. For the first time in my life, fear was a blessing–worrying that things will go bad means things are going good. As I spent another night wheezing on the couch, I realized how much I freakin’ love my cat and I celebrated my beautiful husband and my perfect life.

So yeah… no complaints here. For real.

I’m mad that the people in my apartment building (4 apartments) let all their visitors park in our spaces and make me, who pays rent unlike their friends, park down the street in the snow.

And next two weeks are gonna be hell, school wise. I thought I signed up for some relatively easy classes to find out they are full of scary papers and I swear all my professors get together and plan all their tests right after another.

And I’m sick of this weather and the fact that my nose will not stop running. I’m not sick. Allergy meds do nothing. I’m just stuck blowing my nose and waking up with funky breath because I end up mouth breathing all night due to said nose. It’s nasty.

But other than that, I’m cool. Been hanging out with this guy lately. Met him through my best friend. He just graduated from college and moved here for work. We have a lot in common and talk online like every day and have hung out a few times. Dunno if anything romantic is on the horizon, I’m not good at figuring that stuff out. But he is cute so hey, no complaints here. My work schedule permitting, we’re gonna hang out some more this weekend. It’s been a long time since I met anyone new I thought could be something more so it’s fun. Worrying about what to wear, making sure my legs are shaved (even though I don’t jump into sexual relations, still makes me feel better that I shaved em), wearing makeup and making sure I have gum on my person. If I don’t work Saturday night we are going to see Vagina Monologues at my school together. Sounds like a fun “date” haha. But there is a part of me that is hoping this a strictly just-friends thing because I’m moving back home in May. I dunno. I’m just gonna roll with the punches and see what happens.

What is it that makes a person who they are? Like… there’s all this about a soul, but what about a person makes them? their memories? their personality? What about stuff that gets changed by brain alterations? Like my grandmother has Alzheimer’s and she can’t remember a lot and her personality has changed, so what makes her the same person? And if she’s not the same person, what happened to the person she was? My parents would say when she dies she’ll go to heaven and people say when she dies, she’ll still be with us, but… so… what happened to her pre-alzheimer’s? None of it really makes sense. I wonder just how much people can be changed by tweaking their brain… and how ethical it would be to remove certain undesirable traits. I wonder how much of the undesirable stuff is because soemthing’s missing and how much is becuase there’s something extra. Do I get good grades because I have less of a certain chemical than someone else? or more? or is a part of my brain bigger? why?

My personal perspective on the matter (and the general scientific consensus, I believe) is that everything you are IS your brain–no more and no less. People suffer traumatic brain injuries all the time that change their personalities, their ability to organize, their ability to control their impulses, their ability to speak, etc. There’s even really freaky stuff like “neglect” where people are unable to process information in the right (or left) hemisphere of vision. I mean you can sit them down with a full plate of food, and they’ll only eat the left half, and leave the right. But if you turn the plate around they’ll process that there is food there, and eat it. Or if they are asked to copy a picture, they only copy the left half. It’s bizarre and fascinating.

Barring TBIs, I think it’s at least mostly clear that our brain chemistry is changed in little subtle ways all of the time. Our emotions can be affected by the slightest things we do – meditation, exercise, or laughter to name a few particularly effective behaviors. For some people, the reality that it’s all literally in our heads can be pretty depressing. But I think it’s kind of neat. It also helps me to be more forgiving of others when I want to strangle them. :smiley:

Regarding the ethics of altering brain chemistry, on a low level we do this with psychiatry, but when you’re talking about actually removing personality traits I would say that we would first need to thoroughly understand the brain and the consequences that might have. Even once we did, I think we’d be starting to mess around with the very definition (at least up 'til now) of what it means to be human.

Just some early morning rambling. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the invite, but I’m swamped. One of these days I’ll dust off ye ol’ social skills and get out. :slight_smile:

I’m sorry that your Valentine’s Day was disappointing. Hopefully, things will get better. Hey, Mardi Gras is this coming Tuesday, its a much more fun that Valentine’s :D.

Thanks. Basically, I’m a Research Assistant that has specialized in laboratory animal manipulation. They’re not many of us - four on this campus by my count. I also do basic admin stuff: balance budgets, order supplies, remind everyone to follow the safety guidelines, and keep track of chemicals and radiation. Also, I’ve been around so long (5 years, that’s a long time in research) that I can find anything.

Completely pointless: I have a Cthulhu Plush on my computer with a note that says, “Beware! I used to be a Teddy Bear.”

Bought bigger pants today. :frowning: I’ll have to troll thrift stores for some clothes, buying a whole new wardrobe will cost to much.

I said I was sorry :frowning:

I’m trying to figure out why my six month old decided that it was necessary to have two big giant poop blowouts on my night to get up with him. He could’ve saved them for Daddy or the baby-sitter.

I’m also wondering why there was a frozen Butterball turkey just lying on the side of the road this morning. :confused:

And I’m trying to talk myself out of fast food for lunch, even though I know the fast food is probably going to win. I know it’s bad for me, yet I continue to eat it. WTF?


Last night my kids were telling me how happy they were that I was quitting my second job. My son says, “Mom, don’t you know you’re the hatpin in the family?”

While I was trying to puzzle that one out, my daughter says, “Hatpin? Don’t you mean safety pin?”

I finally realized they were trying to call me the linchpin of the family. Much giggles all around.

I want my computer back. I want it BACK!!! Now!

A few weeks ago, just about 10 days shy of the expiration of our manufacturers warranty, the CD ROM drive went tits-up. So we took it in, and they’ll fix it, but they said it would take two to four weeks. It has now been two weeks, and I’m going freakin’ insane without it.

I spend quite a bit of time on another website where I write stories and read stories with a bunch of other like-minded gals. The, erm, kind of stories I cannot read at work, savvy? And now I can’t catch up on them at home for another two weeks at least. :frowning:

Other than that, I guess I really shouldn’t complain. My step-father had a massive heart attack one week ago yesterday, but is doing great, awake and talking and even up out of bed a bit, and my mother is absolutely ecstatic because of it, so I’m grateful.

Oh, and yesterday I found several boxes of my favourite tea at Albertsons!! It was a limited holiday tea (Celestial Seasonings “Candy Cane Lane”, if anyone’s interested), and since Christmas they have not stocked it at the Alby’s where we usually shop. However, yesterday I stopped at the one by my work and lo! There it was! I stocked up. :smiley:

Academic job search continues to stink. Ought to hear from the one really good prospect any day now, but no longer so enthusiastic about living there as I once was. Another postdoc opportunity with a guy who’s known me since I was an undergrad and offered me a job once before… in another place I’m less than enthusiastic about moving to. Actually, I really, really, really don’t want to have to pack up my house and move for one year. Looks like I might have to, though. Though there were six or eight good new jobs when I checked the listings this morning, and one’s in my hometown. The rank is sort of wrong for a recent grad, but it’s also just a branch campus. Hmmm. I’ll apply, all it costs is the postage and ANOTHER offprint of my solely-authored article.

And I wanna go back home. Landlord has been renovating my bathroom since Monday and lost two days because of the snowstorm, and GAWD I’m sick of not living in my own house… these crazy people don’t have a microwave. Help. Please help.

And then there’s the not-losing-weight thing. I think it’s impossible for me. I have to sit my butt down to work, and that’s no help. And I’m separated from my exercise bike until the landlord finishes installing the vinyl floors and cheap fixtures (siiighhh…) so I’m not anticipating any loss this week either. And no, I don’t wanna go for walks in the 17 inches of snow and single-digit temperatures. Screw you for suggesting it.

And then there’s the whole thing about being 26 and not married and hardly even having any friends, and also worrying about the fact that 80% of the time that doesn’t bother me, except I really do wanna get married and have kids… Christmas was so sad for me this year. Really sad. Like, I spent Christmas afternoon sobbing sad. It’s so pathetic. Why didn’t my parents at least have more kids, then it wouldn’t be just me and… them.


Can I get away with surfing all afternoon and doing my work Monday morning? What difference does this job make anyway; any monkey could do it. I want to get Chinese food tonight but eating by myself makes me an overeating recluse so I better pull some other people into my plan so I don’t feel like an addict. Should I go to the fabric store when I should use up the fabric I have but they have sales going on so I can almost justify it. How will I finagle a decent-sized quilt out of the scraps I have? **Mouse Maven ** I’m glad all is well with the baby.

Thank you. I could do without the mood swings right now. Rationally, I know its due to the endocrinological upheaval of pregnancy. Emotionally, I swing between tearful and misanthropic, its annoying.

Mouse_Spouse and I have been discussing names. I have always liked “Sam,” and one of my favorite Discworld characters is Sam Vimes.

“I don’t want to use a biblical name. Is there another character you like?”

“Let’s see, there’s Carrot, Cheery, Angua . . .”

“Anything normal?”


“Over my dead body.”

::me giggling:: “Immaterial?” A big gold star for the Doper that gets the reference. :wink:

I am getting ready to move all the way across the country in May. I have started getting offers for interviews and stuff but they are all temp companies. I don’t want to work temp but I will if I have to because I can’t stay in Dallas for one minute more than absolutely necessary. I’m nervous even though I have plenty of money saved up. What if they try to make my parents sign my lease as guarantors for my apartment? What if I can’t find an adult job and have to work part time retail like I’m in high school for the next year? What if the girl who is going with me to be my roommate bails and I have to do this all alone?
I know the answer to all of these questions is “I’ll deal with it and find a way to make myself a better person because of it.” That is what I do every time something negative happens. It doesn’t mean I don’t worry about it though.

SurrenderDorothy, if you need someone to talk to about your grandmother’s confusing decline, you can e-mail me if you like. I’ve been there, done that, and wrote an angry poem about it…

These are the things on my mind:

  • HR is useless. I’ve been off for a few days, and they didn’t bother to contact two of us to tell us that we were supposed to come in for a meeting today instead of Monday. So it makes us look unprofessional by being late after getting a “hey, did you guys know about the meeting?” message from a supervisor. My boss is pissed - fortunately not at us - and is now determined never to rely on HR to contact leadership any more.

  • One of my immediate supervisors, a woman I like, apparently dug her own grave this past week by refusing to pitch in and work on the project we’re doing. I’ll miss her, but I’m also wondering about who will be promoted in her place. I hate how it feels to wonder who will be promoted and worrying about getting the nod or being passed over. This seems to happen at least once a year as people come and go.

  • My boss mentioned in passing, right after complaining about HR, that we should “talk” but we didn’t since her DOE meeting ran over and I don’t know what she had in mind. Catching me up to what I missed by being late this morning…or something else?

  • On a positive note, I think I realize what I dislike about my novel. Initially I decided on a unique motivator for the (male) main character to carry out the antecedent action, but it’s too damn contrived, even for a horror/fantasy story. I think going with a more common, and therefore more believable, motivator will improve the story. This will cause a lot of rewriting, but I think it will be worth it. Originality doesn’t carry much weight if it’s not also plausible. Right? I’m hoping this “fix” will help motivate me to finish the rest of the book soon.

  • Why am I attracted to unobtainable men? I either need to find myself attracted to guys without SOs or become the type of person who doesn’t let that stop my desire to pursue them. Neither of these seems too likely today… :frowning:

It’s my last night here visiting my boyfriend, and he’s working late. A meeting he couldn’t get out of. I’m a little upset that he didn’t make me a priority tonight, but I can’t really get mad at him for working - I don’t really expect him to drop everything just to be with me. Although I would have liked him to tonight.

So now I’m feeling a bit lonely and bored and slightly insulted, plus guilty because I don’t really have a right to be upset.