Saturday, February 27, 2010


I want to get back into blogging seriously. I mean some well-composed posts and not random WOMM and incomplete sentences. I realise that this was actually the one hobby I had.

Lets see. Not now, though- now I am really tired and exhausted from stomach sickness. That's the other thing- I am getting this very often. I really need to stop eating out- at least these greasy pizza places that always make me sick. It's not like I eat there often, but I do every once a while, and each time it makes me sick- last night was the worst so far. So I should just stop doing eating out. I am afraid of all the damage I might be doing to my stomach lining. :/

My sis and her family are out of town for a few months. They just left and when we talked on the phone today- me trying to understand and decipher what my niece was saying- her trying to "show" me her book on the phone thinking we were "Video-chatting" when we weren't. I got a small taste how it would be like when I finally R2I in less than a year from now. B complains a lot about missing the US. The place, the efficiency, the weather, the roads, the friends, the no pollution- basically- the life. For me- everything else I imagine I can do without- more so because I am preparing for it now, unlike B who didn't have the same opportunities to prepare for his return -but not being able to see my niece at regular intervals- that is going to do it for me. Most times I try not to think about it- it is a horribly depressing thought. I have composed posts on it a few times and then deleted the post because I couldn't bear to acknowledge it. But today it really hit home. And while I am usually good at rationalizing most things for myself in my head when they don't go the way I wished they would, this I cannot come to terms with. It just plain sucks and I wish it weren't so.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Snow day

The one thing that sucks about not having a commute" to work is that you are expected to show up, come rain or snow. In fact, my lab pretty much relies on my being there and taking care of any emergency stuff that might arise, orders etc.

I so badly want to go to bed with a cup of hot chocolate and a book. This is just the weather for that.

The recurring theme in my past few "nightmares" has been guests showing up at home unexpectedly. And, discovering my laundry tower and dirty dishes tower, each competing high rises in their own right. In one dream the friend that showed up unexpectedly even offered to do my dishes. I wish that dream comes true now. Going away all weekend and coming home in the evenings too tired to clean up has led to my place becoming an absolute out of control mess, and its haunting me. Tomorrow, I will put a hold on everything else and just clean up.

One of the random things that make my day: fun cab driver conversations. I had one yesterday with a really adorable cab driver from Kenya. He was all upset about his "god-son" going to bangalore and marrying an Indian woman. He wouldn't stop ranting about it. Telling me about how important familial ties are, how adjustments are huge in such marriages etc etc. I hemmed and hawwed along, because I was really very tired. Then he helped me bring all my bags into the door of the building, and said "Six RU-PEES please" and let out a loud guffaw. Quite an adorable grandpa-type he was.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Good mood

I had to give a talk at the department- this series of talks is usually very polished- people present what they are working on, and the entire department- faculty and students are audience. I knew at least 6 months ago that I was slated to go- but things didn't work the way I planned and I was left with very little data to show. Quite honestly, it was a very demoralizing thought- to go up in front of this crowd and present my 3.5 slides of data. But I kept reminding myself of all the things PhdAdv taught me- about giving good talks- and I gave a fantastic talk! (My boss's words). I am so happy- there was a lot of discussion and feedback and even some pointers that might help speeden my project.

Later own I wrote to PhDAdv- telling her that I got a bunch of hallway compliments for my talk and she was to be thanked. She wrote back saying that they were strongly considering coming to India for my wedding, and wanted more details! That news made my day. :) If my two best friends are there for my wedding, and PhDAdv. comes, it is going to be interesting, since these friends have heard me rant about her so much during my early days in grad school. :). At least, one of them has already met her - and witnessed our relationship evolve- so I know she won't lunge at her. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Blogging while I should be working- ah- I need a break so desperately.

My dad was the one to tell me about googlebuzz- I had no clue - but I was quite put off by it- I keep my email open all day long just so I can keep up with email- rarely ever chat at work - and buzz was just cluttering it all up for me. So I turned it off.

I have a few friends- most of them in India (and may be its because we're online opposite times) from whom I get a lot of pointless "hey what's up" "aur bata" and "kya khabar" pings on gtalk....during my work day - even when I have my busy status on. I guess going invisible is the solution here. But I'm in a stressed and irritable mood now so instead, every time I get one of these pings I respond with a barrage of hey whats up, aur bata, kya khabar, so, whats going on. Totally pre-empting the bugger. Cheap thrills.

A friend who's been having a really rough spate of months, years, even, said to me "Thak gaya hoon logon ki facebook updates dekh dekhkar. I also want to have something good to share". This whole put your life out there on f/b, discuss your weekend plans, your bra colour, your yeast infection, your kids poop and what not on public domain is creating a different wave of social peer pressure- in a much more global way. It was one thing to be a nifty tool to go find long lost friends, and a whole different thing to just make it into exhibitionfest. One look at the banal exchanges on twitter- and I wonder- why can't these people just have IM-conversations? Why this need to have everyone else privy to your discussion, "because we can"? All in the name of "Social networking". I am beginning to more and more agree with my sister here, who, despite all my pleas has stayed away from FB because she'd like to leave somethings to chance and serendipity. And wouldn't like to broadcast every event in her life. There is a bit of sensitivity too, that goes into leading a slightly less exhibitionist lifestyle. The awareness that there are many others out there that don't have it as nice as you- be it jaunts to Paris, the best coiffured hair-dos and shiny black dresses etc. At one time, these memories were meant for sharing within a small circle of people that mattered- today- it's just out there. For all to see. To evoke joy, resentment and envy. All at once.

Don't know where i'm going with my rant. I am just waiting to download a really huge file and its taking forever, so this little deviation instead. Back to work.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Long weekend

It's the long weekend and I wish I were with my sis and niece- esp. after last week when she asked me on the phone "TGFI pinni can you please come here?". Instead I'm going to pretty much be spending most of it in the lab, setting up back-to-back experiments hoping that something gives for a decent story for me to tell in my talk later this week. It's not fun to work under such pressure any more- I remember a time I used to thrive on this kind of feeling- now- I feel like I should've moved beyond this kind of data-desperation and be generating something useful on a week-to-week basis. After all I spend long hours in the lab, I need to re-assess my work every week so I know I am not losing track or just getting sucked into wasteful activities or useless pursuits. It doesn't help that my boss is useless in some ways- always preaching something I am fully aware of, or not wanting to let go of methods being used in the lab for the longest time to make way for newer ones. Bosses and their egos and defensiveness. Very tiresome.

Ah well, I needed to vent. Off I go, work work work. Experiments, please work.

QOTD comes from my 4 yo niece- who had a "Valentines day party" at her school - they had music and dancing and she was telling her mom what a good time she had, and "Some people did not dance, because they have attitude". LOL.

Oh, I have planned to go see MNIK tonight, so I do have something fun to look forward to. :)

In other news, I read about this - A U of Alabama professor shoots and kills 3 of her dept. colleagues apparently after she found out she was not getting tenure! It's about time people rethink gun laws in this country. What a terrible thing to happen - for people to lose lives, people to lose their loved ones, and for a department to lose 3 of its faculty in one mindless spree like this one! Gosh.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentines Day Dilemma

So I have been anti-valentines day celebrations for the longest time ever. No, not trying to side with stupid religious fanatics, but the consumerist "festival" doesn't do much for me. I hate the overboard display of lovey dovey stuff, the reds and pinks all over the place, the "pressure" on significant others, etc. etc. You got the picture.

Today I came to work to find a nice box of chocolates on my desk. Valentines day chocolates. Heart shaped, even. Should I eat them or no?


I totally enjoyed snow day yesterday. I was in lab and working for most of it, but it was beautiful outside, and looked even better through the nice large windows in my lab. There was some sense of happiness and cheer as I went about my work- perhaps because I was really experiencing this kind of weather for the first time. My walks to and from lab were also fun- as I played with the snow along the way- there was about 2 feet of it accumulated by evening when I came home. The feeling of walking on soft snow was quite nice. It was a challenge to get off the sidewalk onto the street, as it was hard to tell when my foot would sink right in- my awesome snow shoes did a good job. The snow covered trees, houses etc. all of it made for a very picturesque sight. At the risk of sounding terribly cheesy I'll say that there was something magical about the look of it all that I really enjoyed.

I did not wear my expensive coat. I decided to manage with my other (Also expensive and warm, just not waterproof) woolen coat and thermals, and return this expensive coat. Buyers remorse of its worst kind. :/

Today is another day though. New developments. I'm trying to separate how I feel about it versus how I want to feel about it, versus how I should feel, versus how I can feel. Sigh. Life is not easy sometimes.

Oh bloody valentine day announcements all over the place. Irritate me like no other.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

One of those days

when I feel like crawling right back into bed and pulling the covers over myself and sleeping until next week! Working to get some data for a talk I have to give next week, and, at the same time pressurized to get another project moving which is moving too it's hard to stay focused on one thing. I have stuck it a note to my computer that says "Focus, one thing at a time" and hope to keep at it.

I could totally use a snow day, although I just went and bought me a new heavy-duty coat to brave the snow that threatens to attack the east coast tomorrow. The idea being to be able to get into work come rain or snow because of all these urgent pressing tasks. I thought I'd pull off through this winter without this second coat- but finally decided that I really needed it to make it through that 15 min walk to lab on the terribly windy and snowy days, and there's probably a good few coming our way. Decided that I can pass the coat off to my sister, or even may be sell it by the end of the year. Shopping for a winter coat at the fag end of the season is no fun. I got slim pickings and no discount- so felt cornered into buying one that is practical and functional but not my first choice in terms of look and colour. Ah well. At least I know I will be warm on the walks to lab now, wearing my expensive coat that cost more than the clothes, shoes and bag I will be wearing beneath. :)

OK. Off I go, another day, another few PCRs and what not.