ase: Default icon (Default)
My grandfather passed away last week. He was in his 80's, a WWII vet, so this is saddening but not shocking, and he was fortunately able to spend his last days at home. My grandmother hasn't set a date for a funeral or memorial service, but my sister is spearing through three generations of knotty family relationships in the pursuit of correct action. Or something. My grandfather and I weren't close, so the most significant impact in the short term is the possibility of a short trip East for my grandmother. I may or may not be appealing for dad's frequent flier miles and DC couch-surfing space sometime in the next month as events unfold; it really depends on what help my grandmother asks for.
ase: School day icon (Academic Happiness)
1.) Arrays in perl
2.) Notebook++ (the last time I was this emotional about tools, I'd just been introduced to a nanodrop)

Eventually I will get to a point where pipe and grep come back into my life. And then I will be unstoppable.

Oh yeah,

3.) Paid off another student loan. Probably should see about putting the last-and-greatest loan into deferment or forbearance now, yes?

I did not burst into tears (joy or otherwise) at the resume feedback I've gotten, but it's been incredibly useful. I know what I did at my old jobs, but I was in the guts and cogs of it, so figuring out how say I'm awesome and value-adding is an ongoing and only somewhat welcome challenge. A better challenge would be getting hired and working on lab stuff, but hopefully some cover letter tune-ups and interview practice will make that happen.


Feb. 25th, 2010 08:35 pm
ase: Golden Gate Bridge icon (SF: Golden Gate)
Tonight's forecast calls for high winds and snow showers. I stood at the bus stop and watched two layers of clouds move across the moon (waxing bright), flurries illuminated in a streetlight, and thought about how I'm not going to see many winter sights like that again: when I left work, there was still an illusion of light in the west, after 6 PM, and I'm moving to San Francisco next month.
ase: Default icon (Default)
Me versus the epic work stack; my short day was not. Dump the work stuff at home, get back out the door. Bring an umbrella. Definitely bring an umbrella. Sacrifice a scarf to the Metro Center gods. Drink mead. Who knew mead was delicious? Contribute alphabet soup hilarity to the federal contract lawyer stories. Watch a rhinestone light show. Chaos at the metro transfers: stay ahead of the fools dropping glass ex-Baccardi on the platform and busting open a six-pack. Doze through the crowds, walk through the night, fall in the bed. Happy 2010!

New Year's Day was unusually warm, but 2010 is making up for a gentle start with fierce cold. 20 F isn't that bad, as long as you're dressed for it, and as long as the wind doesn't kick up. However, the colder it gets, the less wind is necessary to feel you're getting chomped to the bone.

Looking back at the last year's goals, I didn't do a great job, but I made progress on most goals. I took my GREs; I took major trips to Chicago, Madison and San Francisco; I at least tried to exercise, though not consistently. I saved like a reasonable person and not a lunatic; I was good about culling things I wasn't using, but lousy about vacuuming. The social life was a mixed bag.

2010 Goals:

1.) Social life: expand this. Dating may be involved.
1a.) Be nicer to people.
2.) Better living through actual budgeting. Spreadsheets may be involved.
2a.) I can haz car? Please? Please please please please? (To be answered by upcoming annual reviews and end of fiscal year bonuses, if any.)
3.) Level up professionally: start hacking on Perl, coming to grips with bioinformatics, and positioning myself from there. Spend more time thinking career and less being annoyed with the problem of the day.

Broad strokes, but why think small?


Aug. 1st, 2009 10:33 pm
ase: Excited icon (Science (less Murphy))
There is nothing like working a 10 - 8 day, then catching the bus home, to make you seriously consider your priorities.

Poll #917 My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 9

Should I buy a car?

View Answers

1 (12.5%)

7 (87.5%)

With zero being "new", my new car should be ____ years old.

View Answers
Mean: 4.88 Median: 5 Std. Dev 2.52
00 (0.0%)
10 (0.0%)
22 (25.0%)
31 (12.5%)
40 (0.0%)
53 (37.5%)
60 (0.0%)
71 (12.5%)
80 (0.0%)
90 (0.0%)
101 (12.5%)
110 (0.0%)
120 (0.0%)
130 (0.0%)
140 (0.0%)
150 (0.0%)

I don't know how to drive stick. Yet. Should I even pretend to look at manual cars?

View Answers

2 (22.2%)

7 (77.8%)

Did I mention I'm getting my wisdom teeth out sometime before March 2010?

View Answers

Oh snap!
1 (12.5%)

This changes my thoughts on your budget.
1 (12.5%)

But you already budgeted for that! Stop thinking about it.
6 (75.0%)


View Answers

6 (85.7%)

Automatic transmission
4 (57.1%)

4 door
1 (14.3%)

Trunk (no hatchback)
0 (0.0%)

Power steering
4 (57.1%)

Power locks
1 (14.3%)

Power mirrors
2 (28.6%)

Power doors
1 (14.3%)

CD player
1 (14.3%)

Air bag
4 (57.1%)

Cheap car, minimal dent in savings
1 (14.3%)

Brand (please elaborate in comments)
0 (0.0%)

Something I will explain in comments
0 (0.0%)

How am I going to *pay* for this money sink?

View Answers

4 year car loan.
7 (100.0%)

Second job. Part time.
1 (14.3%)

A better idea I will elaborate on in comments.
1 (14.3%)

I am totally biasing this by mentioning my Philosophy of the First Car: there is no point in buying new, because I will drive it off the lot, hit a stationary object, and cry a lot about the dent. I'd much rather my first damage was more along the lines of, "wait, was that ding in the side there two weeks ago? Oh well."
ase: School day icon (Academic Happiness)
Yesterday I got two truly excellent presents in the mail: the 2 GB Sansa, replacement for the 4 GB that evaporated a week before, and the little piece of paper saying I got an A in my spring semester class. Go me!

Today I am doing laundry and trying to persuade myself to use the drying cycle for errands or studying, with very limited success.
ase: Happy icon (Happy txt)
I have been waiting to use that line for literally a year. Happy birthday to me!

My birthday conveniently falls around the middle of the year, which makes it a great time for reflection and reassessment of annual goals and personal changes since the last birthday. I have made been okay-to-great in finances, but as a direct consequence still do not own a car; I have not made the strides in my personal growth and development, but I have tried to cultivate more of a social life in the areas I already have some feelers. 25 was about establishment; 26 will hopefully explore going above and beyond that.
ase: Happy icon (Happy txt)

Work interrupted by extended lunch. Yay IT for connecting the internet, the laptop, and the break room projector, even if the internet failed. Yay people with radios for coming through!

Is really painful and deliberately unnatural poetry recitation is a skill-loss inflicted in grad school? I think Elizabeth Alexander's inaugural poem would've been moving if it had been spoken in real English or oratorical voice instead of Srs Bsns English.

Having a President I don't disagree with from square one is going to be so cool. I'm going to start with the civil rights agenda with side trips to the blog and the robot.txt file and make happy faces. (Though I am also trying to make a puzzled face about the HIV microbicide thing. That's... not the place I would've started.) I'm actually looking forward to Obama doing things I don't agree with, because he's smarter and works harder than me, so I'm willing to do research and ask why, and be a more informed person as a result. I guess that's what inspiration is.

Who's POTUS? George Walker Bush Barack Hussein Obama!

2009 Goals

Jan. 15th, 2009 10:13 pm
ase: Default icon (Default)
Yes, it is very cold out. I'm living in layers and something like denial until it gets less cold.

WordNet defines "resolution" as "the trait of being resolute", and goes on to define resolute as "firm in purpose or belief". I didn't make resolutions this year, because resolutions are things to stick by. I'd rather have goals to work toward. Resolutions are so pass/fail! Goals can be partially accomplished. Anyway.

Unlike so many people, my 2008 did not suck vacuum, so I can't bid adieu and don't let the door hit you on the way out with the same vivaciousness so many people did. I started - and continue in - a job I like, I got my driver's license, I moved to a nicer apartment and traded up roommates in one stroke, I got to drive down country roads singing "Are You Out There?" and "thnks fr th mmrs" at the top of my lungs, I travelled (a very little bit), I voted, I strengthened my financial footing, I reflected on what it says about me that I would rather whine about not having a car for eight months straight rather than make and keep a tighter budget, or give up putting money in the bank. I served dad and Second Wife Christmas dinner. There's a lot of things I didn't do, but '08 was a vast improvement on 2007.

My 2009 goals are all about personal growth and cultivating a lifetime. I'm selfish that way.

1.) Take GREs. By or on 1 March 2009.
2.) Get in the habit of exercise. I would like to emulate my birdlike aunt J and be in excellent health at 65.
3.) Travel. It'll be good for me.

The minor goals:

1.) The savings will continue until morale improves.
1a.) And there will be no guilt about those plane tickets I'm buying this weekend.
1b.) I will not buy a car unless I get to keep putting money in the bank.
2.) Clean my room before it's a pigsty. Recycle, donate or toss items I'm not using: if I need it later, I can buy it later, and skip tripping over junk in the dark.
3.) Instead of complaining I don't like my social life, go out and do something about it.
4.) Don't piss off the conservatives. I know more of them than I think I do.
4a.) Obama is a politician. Try not to beat wildly optimistic people with their broken dreams when Obama does not, in fact, walk on water.
ase: Happy icon (Happy txt)

Screencaps and Democratic supermajority of shenanigans to follow.


ETA: I'm going to spend all of tomorrow writing President-Elect Barack H. Obama on everything, aren't I. Best graffiti ever!
ase: Default icon (Default)
What I really, really want to do with my vacation time is go to the beach. This costs money. Next year: beach.

TV roundup: Heroes lost me with the death fakeouts. All the cool kids are watching the Sarah Connor Chronicles, so I may make an effort there. I'm watching House to for Hugh Laurie. I wish the writers would do one House-less episode, so other people could have - gasp - character development. Without the dead girlfriend thing. Is anything else on this week? No? Good: I have GRE studying to do.

You are not your combined written/verbal score. Image cut! )

I think someone thinks there's some money to be made off wannabe grad students. And they're right! I bought one book, to replace the one I've been neglecting for several years months. Every time I tell my soon-to-be-ex roommate to clear out of the kitchen so I can study, I feel like a mean person on a power trip, and get all guilty until I've studied for an hour. This is probably crying out for an intervention, but for me, it works, and it's a nice distraction from the Big Question: rush my study schedule for an October test date and the 2009 application deadlines, or postpone grad school until Fall 2010? That's the scary life decision choice, and yeah, I haven't done my homework.
ase: "Inspiration - 99% perspiration" icon (Efforts will be rewarded)
I am too old to waste a Saturday surfing 40 or 50 years of Marvel comics history, but that's exactly what I did today. Escapism much?

For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, if you're fantasy-casting Marvel comics adaptations, who does Ewan McGregor play? I have just enough shame and attention to detail that I'm not going to insta-cast him for Captain America (why yes, this is an obvious ploy involving Robert Downey Jr), but I am giving it way too much thought. I mean, there's umpty-thousand other Avengers, hangers-on, X-Men & etc to choose from. Other than Nick Fury, who is - forgive me - motherf*cking cast; and besides, [ profile] norabomay pointed out that Aaron Eckhart actually looks the part.

I liked last weekend's three-day break from the lab so much that I put in for vacation time and am doing it again this weekend. So far I've been to a WSFA meeting, baked chocolate chip cookies, and admired TS Hannah's rain and wind, and declared it Navel-Gazing Emo Weekend Of Goal-Setting. What we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom. - Umberto Eco )
ase: Happy icon (Happy txt)
Signed lease today. Moving party May 31st or June 1st; the goal is to get 90% of my stuff loaded into a 10 foot U-Haul and up a two- or three-story walkup in one day. I plan to bribe my next-door neighbors to help load if they're available. I also need someone who can drive the truck, because let's be honest: me + big rental truck = disaster in flashing neon. Or hey, maybe Second Wife and her oversized "I need it for the horse trailer" marshmallow truck can haul a non-horsey trailer. Friday night and Sunday midday are spoken for, but the rest of Memorial Day's three-day weekend is going to be spent putting my life in boxes.
ase: Bad day icon (Bad day)
This is what I wrote on the metro tonight:

Dear internet,

I hate my roommate. My commute is making me insane. And if Geico's rate quotes are a suitable guide, I am not buying a car in 2008. If you know someone renting a room in a metro-accessible location between Van Ness and Shady Grove, see me. If I can't walk to the metro in 20 minutes or less, please don't waste your time or mine.

I got home at 9 PM to a bathroom my roommate said he'd clean the weekend before last, the kitchen (needs mopping),the overhead fan my roommate left on in his disgusting room (clearly audible in mine), and saw a fat cockroach in my bedroom.

The failboat has sailed. This weekend I start packing. It's probably unrealistic to think I can be out by June 1st, but I will be moving before July.
ase: Default icon (Default)
Yesterday I voted at 2:30 in the afternoon of an unseasonably warm day. I left the hoodie at home (see comments on unseasonable weather) and missed some really long lines; it took longer to make this icon than to bike to the polls and cast my ballot on one of the notorious Diebold machines. (If I voted in a swing state, I'd be expressing grave misgivings, but I don't. Actually, Maryland going Republican would probably be an excellent piece of evidence in favor of the Apocalypse hacking.) So I've secured my whining rights, which I'm planning to bank as smackdown points when people get too crazy.

Actually, I think I'm going to spend them right now.

If you're that upset about Bush's re-election, I strongly suggest volunteering your time and money for the candidates and party (or parties) of your choice. If you think there's been electoral fraud, volunteer for your local elections committees and lobby for election reform. My mother may be crazy, but she has two sayings that are very applicable here: "put your money where your mouth is," and, "lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Republicans are not evil incarnate, people. They're not necessarily stupid or blind either. Please don't ever suggest that, because my very bright and admirably self-possessed sister is one. Maybe they didn't vote for Bush. Maybe they think he's the stain on their party. "Evil" isn't these people. "Evil" is the sloppiness, corruption and extreme polarization the Republicans and Democrats are capable of. The major difference I saw between the two candidates this election is that one of them sidestepped more deviously. "Who is less blatant in their evasions" is not a good criteria for picking Presidents, in my opinion. So please don't tar every person who disagrees with your political stance with the same brush. I know a number of liberals who I want to beg to please not be on my side, and a number of conservatives who I rather like and respect. The people I am most disappointed in are the liberals who are throwing temper tantrums (like this one!) today.

Thus endeth the rant.

I don't know how I am going to deal with what I percieve to be some serious problems with the contemporary USA, but I think compassion and reaching out to the "other side" would be a start. We are all American, people. We have profound disagreements about what that means and what it means we should do, and I'm sick of seeing our strengths as a country turned inward so we can savage each other. There must be a better way than the current divisiveness and strident voices. "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity." Think about what [ profile] hedda62 is trying to do, and look at [ profile] norabombay's reaction to the election, and think of Jim. Follow the links from [ profile] coffee_and_ink.

I think this may be the year I join the college Democrats. Or maybe the Republicans, to figure out how they think. Either way, it means I'll be attending more obnoxiously time-sucking meetings, but... civic duty. I do not want to move to Canada, the winters would kill me.

(Is a reluctance to move patriotism? I've spent a long time cultivating my jaded and blase edge, I'd hate to lose it now. Curse you, election.)

I'm getting political in frustation. The system's not working for me, at least; it's time to fix it.

In other news, I slept terribly Sunday night, and woke up Monday morning with a sore throat. Oddly, the cold has lead to me getting more sleep than usual, because my body whacks my intentions upside the head and forces me to take some down time. This has not necessarily improved my mood.


ase: Default icon (Default)

April 2017

2345 678


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags