Tuesday, August 28, 2007

So long sweet summer

So long sweet summer
I stumbled upon you and gratefully basked in your rays
So long sweet slumber
I fell into you, now you're gracefully falling away
~ Dashboard Confessional

Well, summer is over. Sadness.

School started yesterday and today I spent the whole day either in class or teaching.

I guess all good things (AKA Summer of Fun 2007) must come to an end!

Fortunately, Ry & I spent our last weekend of freedom with our very bestest friends down in Virginia! It was sooo exciting to be together with Anna, George, Kim & Bill (especially since the last weekend we were supposed to get together in the Little Town didn't work out so well!)!

Ry blogged all about our super-fabulous weekend already (CHECK IT OUT-- you know you want to!)!

But here are a few more pictures, just for fun!!

(K, B, A & G -- We can't wait until Best Christmas Ever!!!!)

Final Lockdown Update

Sorry for the delay (my avid blogstalkers).

Turns out that the "famous" NON-scientist was ill and needed medical assistance and is in the hospital but doing well.

And we had to hide in our offices because we are ever inquiring scientists who were all hanging out in the hallway trying to figure out what was wrong!

But all is well now!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Lockdown update

So, no real idea yet why we were told to stay in our offices with the door closed (only for about 15 minutes).

Perhaps something to do with the "famous" NON-scientist in my department receiving threats.

Perhaps because of a real threat to our security.

Perhaps because university police are bored and want to look busy.

(If I find out anything else, I'll let you know!)

Lock down!

OK, so Dancing Fish and I are in my office at school. 5 university police officers/security guard people came down our wing of the building and told us all to stay in our offices and shut the door! They are "dealing with an employee" and "need us to be quiet".


So, we're just sitting in my office. Wondering what is going on.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Grumpiness" = change?

So being "grumpy" suddenly makes my life easier?

I have been slightly stressed lately with lots of work that I should be doing, lab responsibilities and a yucky TA assignment. So I have been easily annoyed by little things and, I am sorry to say, have snapped at or been whinny with Ry and some friends at work lately (sorry Ry & friends!). I'm not really annoyed with Ry or any of the people I work with. I am annoyed with my advisor and the lack of control I have in my own life.

So, yesterday morning, at a meeting with a professor that isn't my advisor, I expressed my dissatisfaction with my not-so-wonderful TA assignment. Because she is great (yay for female scientists sticking together), she re-voiced my opinions to my advisor. And, along with fixing some other mistakes, she got my assignment changed!!! YAY!!!

Then, there was a misunderstanding about a lab meeting (because my advisor can't keep his own schedule). And I got snappy because I am the one that has to waste my time scheduling the meeting and getting the room and sending emails. Is it too much to ask for people to respect the time I put into things?

And now because I was "grumpy" (as my advisor said to me this morning), I was relieved of some of my laboratory responsibilities.

Can anyone explain to me why I get punished (i.e. get assigned more work) when I am nice and get rewarded when I am bitchy???

Is this how the rest of my life as a Woman In Science is going to be?

Because that sucks.

PS -- I am soooo excited about the trip to VA that Ry & I are going on this weekend to visit friends!!!! YAY for awesome friends that love us for who we are and who don't give a shit about departmental politics, lab meetings or publications!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Georgia, Georgia

A few weeks ago, BF Kimmy and I took a road trip down to Georgia to visit our former "college" roommate & great friend Steph (The Southern Yankee)!

The three of us hadn't been together since Steph's wedding in October 2005! Why did I drive over a 1,000 miles each way?? Perhaps because of this little cutie-patottie!

Little 4-month old Katie was the star of the weekend! She loves to be the center of the attention and I loved making her laugh!

Kimmy & I had the best time visiting with the Southern Girls! Maybe I am still not ready for a baby (umm ... for a few years ...), but I am so happy that my friends are having babies now! They are fun (and then I give them back when they cry and/or poop)!

And the outfits are fabulous!

Watermelon Butt!!

And Ocean Fun!! (I wish I could pull off whales & crabs!)

Some thinking and some laughing

To make up for all of my whining about my TA situation (which still currently sucks), here is a little "riddle" from my sister-in-law. For the answer, click on the "Comments" at the bottom of this post!

You are driving in a car at a constant speed. On your left side is a 'drop off' (the ground is 18-20 inches below the level you are traveling on) and on your right side is a fire engine traveling at the same speed as you. In front of you is a galloping horse, which is the same size as your car and you cannot overtake it. Behind you is a galloping zebra. Both the horse and zebra are also traveling at the same speed as you. What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Isn't my title TEACHING assistant?

Today I finally received my teaching assignment for the fall. Which is great, since we start teaching in ... 10 days.

Half of my assignment was teaching a lab class that I have taught twice before and that I am actually starting to enjoy (though it does involve lots of grading).

The other half of my assignment was to prepare for two different labs. Of which, I have taught neither. And the prep work I will need to do for these classes include science skills that I am not well practiced in. Honestly, the work I will have to do are things I haven't done in about 7 years. Seriously. I am probably the least qualified person in the department for this position. And I like to teach (unlike the rest of the grad students).

And the reason I was assigned this position: because my advisor (the graduate coordinator in charge of it) didn't think I would say no to him.


It was just easiest for him to shove me in to the position because other people couldn't teach other classes and this was his simple solution -- because he didn't expect me to complain about it.

And he said so. "I didn't expect you to say no"

Umm ... Excuse me sir, but I wasn't even asked.

And then I get all upset in his office because I am being taken advantage of. And I get all girly and teary-eyed.

And then he makes a big deal about trying to get my position switched, when I shouldn't even have been given it in the first place. But now I look like the whiny bitchy grad student who always tries to get her own way.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Birthday wishes!

to my little brother!
(seen here with his gf at a Sabres game
we went to for my birthday 6 months ago)
hmm.. I don't remember how I spent my 23rd birthday ....
But I am sure my lil' bro will have just as much fun as I did!

Friday, August 10, 2007

A woman with a plan!

YAY! Today I met with my advisor and one of my labmates (the only one not in the field doing work) and we discussed my dissertation plans and writing up my proposal.

And, feeling confident that what I am proposing is good enough for a PhD (the worry that it wasn't has made me cranky and tired for ... weeks ...), I have made a plan.

Or, more specifically, a schedule!

Which is very exciting, because I love schedules!
(Seriously -- perhaps my love of schedules and planning and my love of cleaning is somehow related??)

Of course, the schedule is also scary because it does not end until May 2010.

Yes, 2010.

How old will I even be then? Oh yeah, 29!

But, at least I now have a plan!! I think this plan is my "kick in the ass"!

Good flight price = trip anxiety!

Even though I haven't officially stopped traveling in the 2007 year yet (YAY for trip with Ry to VA to visit friends and Best-Christmas-Ever in Buffalo) ...

I booked a flight to Costa Rica for January 2008!!!


The fish I really work with (i.e., those that are part of my dissertation and not just other fishes that my advisor does projects on) live in Central America. And I am "required" by my advisor to study them in the wild. Which I can't complain about. Someday I will be presenting some lab data and someone will ask "Is this really how it happens in the wild?" and I will be able to say "Yes, I have seen these fish in nature".

But, that means I will be away again. And for this trip it will be for 6 whole weeks! In a Spanish speaking country (umm... cervesa, tequilla, yo tengo que ir). Lucky (very lucky) for me, my labmate who is now an expert in the field and in Costa Rica will be there to help me. As well as my super awesome outside committee member who is THE fish guy and who invited me along to work on a study with him (can you say "academic crush"?). But I am still nervous about this trip a little bit.

And I hate being away for so long. Next year I plan on being in the field for almost 12 weeks total (CR, Jamaica, TX), working on non-dissertation projects. And being away from my home and family and friends and Ry for 3 whole months! Am I crazy?

Oh well. Even if I am crazy, I already booked the flight, so I'll be crazy in Costa Rica in just 4.5 months!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Shuffle off to Buffalo

After my California adventure with RyGuy, I braved the airways again and flew to Buffalo to visit with family & friends (while Ry went to Alaska)! This was my longest visit since I moved away years ago and I enjoyed it!

For the 4th of July holiday, I hung out at my parents' house and we had a Sneks Family BBQ! LOTS of food, drinks and desserts (my sis-in-law makes fabulous desserts!)! We had some fireworks that my brothers enjoyed setting off (shhh! They're illegal!) and even drove down to the ghetto park to see some real fireworks.

I spent the other days of my trip buying a new car (YAY! More on that soon!), going to the wedding of two college friends (and seeing lots of wonderful friends there!!) and shopping and partying with the my favorite girlfriends (Kimmy & Anna) and their men (Billy & George). It was the first time that all of us were in Buffalo at the same time in years!

I was sad to leave Buffalo for the Little Town, but I had been away for about 6 weeks at that time and had no choice but to get back and face work! But Ry and I are looking forward to out next visit to Buffalo (aka Best Christmas EVER!)!

Yummy 4th of July drink at the Sneks' house.
Notice our attention to detail: RED strawberry daquiri, BLUE cup, WHITE whipped cream and RED & WHITE straw (ok, maybe it was a Christmas straw, but it still looked festive!)!

My adorable nephew loved the box of Snaps from his Uncle! He is too cute!

Lil' Bro watches as Big Bro tries to set the place on fire for our amusement!
Isn't my nephew the cutest thing going?
(He wore his green coat because green is both of our favorite colors!)
The fabulous wedding of Geoff & Steph (friends of mine from undergrad and a wonderful couple!)
Me & Cho! Even after years apart we are still the same!
Me & the girls!
Kimmy & I had just come from different weddings & we made Anna try on her dress for an October wedding! It seemed only fitting after we had spent an afternoon shopping for wedding dresses for Anna's July 2008 wedding!!!

Fly me to the moon

How can the SAME EXACT flight to Costa Rica be $150 more expensive today than it was yesterday??

My intense hatred towards commercial airlines is alive & well!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My Nerdy Blogger Boyfriend

Have I ever mentioned my amazing boyfriend RyGuy?

Well -- he has just started his very own blog!

Putting the Nerd in Neurodegenerate

Check it out! You know you want to!

I'm sure we can all look forward to nerdy stories about baseball, videogames, science and all the fun we have!

Be a NERD -- check out his blog!