Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I’ve been super busy the last few weeks working on some things that I think are super exciting.* This new work is only tangentially related to my “real” work, but the same protein is involved and I think there’s some totally awesome things to come. I also managed to give my yearly program seminar, have a committee meeting and go on vacation! Life has been good.

Back to the super busy thing…I breed a lot of mice. By a lot I mean that I have 12 different strains that I breed and genotype. Needless to say, that translates to roughly a shitton of time and energy spent on non-data producing nonsense. I also do most of the ordering for the lab, which has been unusually, erm, difficult lately (lots of backorders, the purchasing department generally sucking, among other craziness).

For the two weeks or so before I gave my seminar I was being incredibly productive. I had lots of different experiments going on and I was getting a lot of really good data. I’ve learned this week that I thrive on that kind of productivity. Apparently data sustains me in some way. It seems to keep me interested and excited and not depressed, even if things aren’t going 100% great.

So this week I’ve been trying to get back on top of my mouse screening and checking on backordered things and whatnot. I thought I could do this simultaneously with some simple experiments that don’t require a lot of hands on time. Apparently that is not the case.

I told Crazy Man (who has been unusually pleasant and quite agreeable lately) last week that I had been really busy, but I was still managing to stay on top of things. I told him that I hadn’t yet reached the point where I couldn’t handle everything I was trying to do. I told him that I hadn’t found my limit yet. However, I now think I’m teetering on the edge. The very edge.

I’ve been very frustrated this week because I haven’t been able to make the time to do the experiments that I want to do. I’ve been doing crappy genotyping (that isn’t working) and other crappity crap that doesn’t produce data. I have one first author manuscript that just needs to be rearranged (dramatically) before it can be submitted. I have an internal author manuscript that needs to be edited (dramatically, I’m sure). I want to work on those. I want to do real experiments, even if it’s just troubleshooting! I want to work on grants for upcoming deadlines.

I realized yesterday that I’m getting depressed because I don’t have new data. And although presently depressed isn’t a good place to be, wanting data is, I suppose.

Now if only the Golden Child’s wedding was over (seriously, don’t want to hear your 30 minute conversation with your crazy fiancée about a venue. Seriously.). And if only Crazy Man wasn’t so excited about GC’s project (which I think is booooring and mostly useless). If only I didn’t look at GC and feel jealous of the fact that all he does is experiments for his own project and none of the time consuming other crap (i.e. he breeds few and screens NO mice). If only I didn’t look at other FGS and feel jealous of the fact that she’s going to have a baby (despite the fact that I’m super super excited for her, and about the blanket I’m knitting her!). If only (many many others)… Perhaps I should find a little time to be happy with where I am and what I am doing, rather than comparing myself to those around me. I just can’t help feeling impatient though.

Hopefully, I’ll get things under control again soon. At the very least, right now I feel hopeful, and I figure that’s as good a place as any to start.

*When I was in high school, the cheerleaders did this super cheer: S-U-P-E-R super super is what we are! Super SUPER! It made me laugh then, and it makes me laugh now, almost every time I use or hear the word super. *snicker*

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