Category Archives: Rants

Post College Angst Brain Dump

Hey gentlereaders. So I kind of disappeared there for a while eh? Yeah, once I developed food poisoning at the beginning of January I figured there was only so much empathy I could ask you folks to feel after the strep Christmas hospital incident, so I just layed low. During my absence, I was having a rough patch in my relationship with Charlottesville. I didn’t feel like I got the break I wanted and being around the family for an extended period always makes me a little angsty. Then one day my roommate pointed out how I was beginning to show some signs of depression. When someone close to you points out something like that, it’s hard to put on the mask again. I broke down on the phone with a friend, and then just decided to do my best to turn things around. I’ve been trying to get out of the house more. I go to movies, I started going to a really great yoga class on Sunday afternoons, I go to the gym almost every day now, I started making some new friends here. Things are still not great, but I’m trying. Even if I’m exploring the world solo, at least I’m no longer moping and staying cooped up in the apartment.

A friend of mine left the program a week or so ago. That bummed me out more than I ever thought it would. Besides my roommate, he was probably my closest friend here. We had all our classes together and for half the semester we were in the same lab. I didn’t get to see him before he left since it happened pretty suddenly – no goodbye. I guess he wasn’t happy here. But, him leaving stirred up a lot of the issues I’m dealing with too. It was like a new path opened up to me that looked pretty seductive. But honestly, I would be miserable at home in Charleston (I can’t go back to being a customer service drone at Kohls, ick) and anywhere I move to I’d be facing these same emotions. The ‘right after college’ time is difficult. My older friends from Penn warned me of this. Unless you are in a big graduate program, meeting people is tough after college. You have to try way harder for smaller rewards. And honestly, the transition they gave us for the program I’m in was non-existent. Just one awkward mumbling of names on the first day and then we all scattered off to our respective laboratories. So not cool.

One of the lab techs today made a comment along the lines of, “You’re in graduate school, you’re supposed to be unhappy.” That kind of pissed me off. I feel like personal happiness should never be postponed. 5+ years of misery is not a fair price to pay for a Ph. D.  No one is getting any younger and you should take advantage of the years you are given. I honestly admire anyone with the conviction to make a U-turn in hopes of building a more fulfilling life. It’s something I may have to think of soon. But I’m at least going to give it my all until my masters, because I realize that getting adjusted to young adulthood and a new place is not an easy task.

So these are the downer thoughts that have been swirling around in my head. It’s tough to be an extrovert sometimes. I need so much human contact to feel fulfilled. Science is a lonely world. People had warned me of that before graduate school, but it’s different living it. I know things are going to get better once I feel more secure and adjusted. I have such high expectations for myself. I need to learn to seek help more and take advantage of the scientific community.

Wow, what a ramble, but it feels good to get it out.

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Streptococcus is a Bitchy Christmas Pressie

I was just talking to my roommate the day I left about how much I hate things around my neck, especially throat swabbing for rapid strep tests. I need to stop saying self fulfilling prophecy statements like that, me thinks, because here I am in bed sick with evil steptococci mother fuckers breeding in my throat. I totally pushed the doctor when he was swabbing me. I think being in my neck grill turns me in to one of those sleeper assassins.

I usually think all of my colds are strep these days because of my bum tonsils, but my throat pain was out of control this time around. When it hurts to breathe you are just screwed. My tonsils were so swollen I couldn’t really swallow things (even if I could get over the pain). I had a fever last night that was impossible to sleep through (if I could get over the breathing issues). And then in the wee hours of this morning I started vomming up all my fluids. Imagine the pain of throwing up with swollen tonsils and acid burning your raw throat? Yeah this entry is kind of a pity party, but I also think I deserve it.

This disease is one Christmas present I didn’t want to get. Luckily, the ER was pretty good to me. A hot nurse gave me hydrocortisone and penicillin in me bum (I just watched a Pirate Movie, forgive me lingo mateys). The hydrocortisone made me no longer feel like my tonsils were trying to expand out of my neck and hopefully the penicillin starts working its magic soon and tomorrow is a good day. Both those shots were freaky painful though (pains in the ass :P).

I got some good pressies this year, more than I anticipated. I wish I was less sick to enjoy them. I’m particularly enjoying the kindle and I got a blender for the apartment (woooo!) and some new charms on my bracelet. I also got a Twilight 1000 piece puzzle that may be fun to start tomorrow. I’m getting tired of being in this bed moaning and drooling.

One handsome chap I am NOT tired of is Commodore Norrington (from Pirates of the Carribean). I just got done watching the trilogy and James C. was the BEST part. He is hot, charismatic, and honorable. Too bad Keira was dumb and ended up with a dead man she gets to bone once a decade. I leave you with this 😉 :

The Other 3-Second Rule

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from XKCD

We all remember the first grade version of the 3-second rule, but my version stems from the hybrid personality I’m developing as I process the move from Philadelphia to Charlottesville, VA. People are actually kind of polite here. They open doors for other people and expect you to do the same. Weird Right? In Philadelphia we got to strut around in dark sunglasses and act like we cared about no one but ourselves. We had tunnel vision. Taking the time to assist others just resulted in you being shoved away by everyone else whose life was obviously more glamorous and important than yours. The only obvious exception I found was a 10 foot radius around Trader Joe’s on 21st and Market St. People were bizarrely happy and nice there. Maybe that’s another reason we should all consider going organic?

Here, politeness is almost taken too far. I’m sorry, but I hate when people open a door for me when I’m 20 feet away from it. I like to walk obliviously at my own pace. When someone does that I have to trot quickly over to the door so I don’t abuse their courtesy. But, I don’t want to trot! And I’m more then capable of opening the door – I do it tens of times every day and the world keeps on spinning round round round.

So, I have proposed a standardized social protocol that will hopefully fulfill my courtesy obligation and not impede my life too too much: the three second rule. When I cross a doorway threshold and hear someone behind me, while continuing to look forward (NEVER LOOK BACK!), I hold the door open for three seconds, release, and then continue on my merry way. Looking back is what leads to these ‘waiting 15 seconds while they trot over to the door’ awkward scenarios. You got to focus on the prize, but still not be a total bitch. I think it has promise.

In practice it has been going pretty well. I had one casualty, where this older woman sighed heavily at me because the door half closed by the time she got to it. The older ones are always least receptive to change though….Just don’t look back!

The Nail Guy

Yesterday I decided to see what exactly my new digs had to offer in the realm of consumerism, which is basically a fancy way of saying I went shopping. I even braved the mall. And like all malls, this one was littered with annoying people in the center of the aisle polluting the air with abercrombie and fitch-esque odors and threatening to hit you with little whirly toys. Even though I knew I was being approached by a giant scam, I somehow could not summon the bitchiness to avoid the nail guy. And sadly, he’s not my first nail guy.

He immediately begins asking me information like my age, where I’m from, yadda yadda. And what do you know, we are both 22, moved here from Philadelphia, and have been in the area for a month. Yeah, like I believe that. I did have fun talking in big words to confuse him (he was foreign…). And what do you know? He knew I was of Irish descent (after first asking if I was Jewish, then German, then Canadian haha).

He then grabs my hand and begins working on my thumb nail with various sides of this cube. While working on me he asks really obvious questions like “Do you like diamonds?” “Do you know what silk is?” and “Do you like massages?” And talk of massages prompted him to ask if I had a boyfriend. As all random people in the mall are, he was surprised that a girl as beautiful as me would be single. For one, if looks were the only thing necessary to bag me the perfect man I’d be married off long ago (hahahahaha). For two, I really hate when people ask why I’m single. It’s not always a personal choice nail guy. Maybe too many lamezors like you have been monopolizing all my time!?

So, then there was the grand finale when he revealed how shiny my thumb nail now is, waited for me to be amazed, and tried to sell me products that come from the dead sea (“Do you know what the Dead Sea is?” UGH, of course I do IDIOT!). I promptly declined and said that I don’t really care what my nails look like. He then asked, “But when is the last time your nails looked this gooood?!” And here’s the part where I was tired of being nice and went Philly on his ass. I said, “The last time some annoying person in the mall wouldn’t just let me fucking walk by” and walked away. BAZINGA! Take that nail guy.

Foxy Boxing

Today is my last day as a West Virginia resident. I am definitely ready to leave ‘here’ behind, but not ready to go where I’m going. My heart is tugging me back to my old house on Walnut St. in Philadelphia. Even though the house is pretty much a constant train wreck of dust, drunken destruction, and kitchen bacterial grossness, it is also housed some of the greatest times in my life. The bureaucracy and requirements of being in a sorority got old towards the end, but it was worth all of it to meet the people I did. I met so many kindred spirits during my college years because of that house. If I was going back there I know I’d be happy and loved. But I’m not going there. I’m going somewhere totally new and while I’m sure it’s all going to end up for the best, for the moment I’m worried and stressed about it.

Packing stresses me out in a not so obvious way. Just seeing how much room all my belongings take up when put in boxes and moved around bothers me. I’ve tried (and basically succeeded) in purging so much of my stuff, but the remaining stuff still irks me. Oh, and the fact that come tomorrow I’ll have to carry it all up 3 flights of strairs and then somehow find a new place for it.

And, ya know, I’ll be living with 2 people who are basically strangers. Nice strangers, but, strangers. I’ll have to cook and provide for myself again. I know I can do it, but it just feels so sudden. And I won’t have friends for a while. And I am already navigationally challenged enough without being dumped in a place I’ve never driven or walked around in. Boo hoo, pity party for Karen, right?

I know this is what moving is, but….it sucks.

I Am the Ebenezer of April Fools

April_Fools_Lolcats
Nothing pushes my buttons like April 1st. From the moment I arose from my bed to complete my morning ritual or checking e-mail I was instantly in a funky mood due to G-mail's annual April fool's joke. While reading the paragraph I knew there was no way such a thing would exist, but it took a second to piece why this absurdity was being thrust at my eyes. Then while happily nibbling on my yummy 'nanner oatmeal' and reading my blog feeds I was informed that Robert Pattinson left the Twilight set. Again, I knew the whole time that this could not possibly be true, it just took a second, and then I became annoyed.

I took that as my cue to mark all blog feeds as read. April Fools will waste no more of my time today. Take that! 

I don't see the point of having a holiday with no obvious net gain. Christmas has presents (and *cough* the joy of giving), Thanksgiving has pie, Halloween has candy and skankily dressed girls (if you're in to that sort of thing), Easter has artificially colored marshmallows, and St. Patty's has beer. Hell, even holidays like President's Day can score you a day off of work or school if you're lucky. April Fool's Day just makes people feel slightly annoyed for a few seconds and then you're "on" to it. Where's the holiday spirit in that?

So "BAH" April First….BAH! 

G-Chat Follies

97382190_4f5ce38f11 G-Chat can be my best friend or my worst enemy. The tech enthusiast in me loves its simplicity. And it really just makes sense. If some poor soul is rotting away staring at their computer screen, why not ask a quick question instead of taking the time to compose a witty e-mail?

But those green dots, while useful can be your greatest enemy. Everyone knows when you are at your computer and can nag you to death about anything. Are you coming to this? Are you working on this? Do this for me now! While you can fake ignorance of an e-mail for a couple hours, g-chat calls your bluff.

The only reasonable solution I could come up with was blocking those g-chat naggers. But, banishing someone from social media sometimes feels like the coldest thing you can do. It doesn't really cost anything to let them linger on your friend list, but then again, their presence bothers me. Sometimes I even put people on block on/off cycles of 3 days blocked and then 1 day of unblock to curb their suspicions….

But that's just so much work! Bottom line: I think chat should be for fun not nagging. I would like my right to be idle and procrastinate sometimes to be respected. I say, let's keep the business in the e-mails and the fun announcements that there is free cake in the atrium (etc…) to g-chat!