Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fashion - Lady Gaga

Ugh, what a retardly busy week. I made it safe and sound to New York (that's the hopefully-new-post-doc-city, it's definitely shorter to write New York - and i don't think anyone can deduce my identity just because I wrote New York). My presentation went smoothly and I met up with every single person in the lab for about half-an-hour and they told me about their projects and stuff. Everyone seemed very happy and everyone seem to get along well. It was almost like a dream lab full of happiness and calm. It also seemed a little stretched, I mean there can't be a perfect lab filled with happiness and calm. The lab had about 7 girls and 2 boys. There must be at least one girl hating the others secretly, that's what girls do as far as I know (girls and gays). But I'm content. My acceptance into the lab was contingent upon new funding and we will have to wait for that.

I also met with another lab head in another school in a different field than mine. The guy is huge in his field and the project they have is very very potent (it could be turned into a potential cure for one of the nastiest diseases that affect women) and I'm very excited that I could be a part of it. Our planed half-an-hour meeting turned into a three hour meeting with the PI telling me that I could very well join his lab without waiting for new funding (he had like three spots by the time I graduate) and there is more potential funding on the way. I left the meeting with a huge grin in my face since that meant I had two potential job offers and I could choose which one I wanted more. This is of course a much better picture than me praying every night for a miracle (and I can't pray well).

The rest of the trip was awesome. I had a great time meeting up with old friends and just hanging out with them. The highlight of the trip (besides the perfect interviews) was the brunch we had at Calle Ocho.

This place had the best spanish breakfast items together with an open sangria bar - needless to say unlimited and free!!

They had 8 different kinds of sangria, each tasting better than the previous one.

My favorite was the tropicana with lychee and pineapples and white wine.

If you ever happen to stumble upon in New York and looking for a brunch place, you should definitely give this a try!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

flight adventures

What a morning. My flight to the hopefully-new-post-doc-city was at 7 am and that's really early for me. I woke up around 5.45 and my friend was downstairs to pick me up around 6.10 am. We got to the airport around 6.30. Now, the original plan was to just bring a carry-on with me but seeing how I couldn't fit a single thing in there, I decided to check-in a bag. So, I'm at the self-check-in counter trying to check-in my bag but the stupid machine (which is not true, because that thing was smarter than my early morning self) wouldn't let me. I asked the person behind the counter if he could help me and he asked me when my flight was. When I said 7am, he said I was too late and I had to change my flight. Fuck. I was a little too laid back in terms of arriving to the airport. I mean the airport was practically empty so I blamed the rain that hold us back from speeding on the way. I paid extra $60 on top of the $15 check-in fee to change my flight. I was mad.

On top of this, when I walked to the gate the machine didn't recognize me. The guy at the gate asked me if I was trying to leave the country!!! (not funny dude) I was just laughing out of nervousness at that point. Then all of a sudden, like the prince charming in snow white, came the guy behind the counter who helped me with getting fucked, oh I mean, getting charged extra moneys. He was holding couple of $20 bills in his hand. It took me a while to figure out what was going on but I didn't really need to because he explained that my original flight was delayed and he had put me back on it with my checked-in bag. I wanted to hug him right there (he was cute too) but of course didn't (i'm classy that way). So, I made it to my original flight, proving that one does not have to at the airport 2 hours before one's flight. Half an hour is plenty of time!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Can't get you out of my mind

Once upon a time (not too long ago though, maybe like 2 years), I had the privilege to test out custom made antibodies that were made for two transcription factors (please note the sarcastic tone when I say privileged). No other company was making antibodies for out TFs of interest and custom made antibodies seemed like the best option. After spending about a year, performing countless immunohistochemistry experiments, western blots, I was finally able to convince my boss that they weren't working (and by they, i mean about 12 different Abs). He was so convinced that they should/would work, No matter how many times I tried, it was always "user error". Now, don't get me wrong, I do believe in "user error" when it comes to experiments that should work but wouldn't work. However, this was a case of pure madness, and I just hated blots and looking at sections under the microscope for a very long time, not to mention the loss of self-esteem. Those Abs never worked, to this day my boss still tries them out on his own. I feel sad for him. oh well.

Fast forward today, we just purchased an Ab for pH3 and it worked so perfectly in my second trial that I almost shed a tear (almost though, you know what the song says: "big girls don't cry"). Why can't all the Abs work like this? So, I can stare at the sparkly signals through the objective and be happy all the time and not fuss and cuss. Oh the wonderful world of science.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

jinxing myself?

Damn it! I knew I shouldn't have publicized my interview next week:)

Now, I'm not the one to believe in a lot of superstitious stuff (maybe one or two and they're just a habit now) but i don't know how to explain the sudden death in the family of hopefully-soon-to-be-new-boss (hsbnb). She emailed me and said she wouldn't be there but her lab would be more than happy to listen to me, accommodate me and report back to her (which means i need to get along perfectly well with the lab people, especially the senior ones).

Of course, this is a very sad situation but I am really bumped that she won't be there. I was really looking forward to present my research to her! Anyways, I told her I would be happy to give my presentation to her lab people as I think this is most sensible thing to do. I also told her that we could arrange something in the future between us if we need to.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Interviewing for a post-doc position. it's easy as it sounds. or not.

So, it's that time of the graduate school where on one hand you try to finish up your experiments, trying to complete that puzzle called "thesis" and on the other hand you try to find a post-doc position so you can keep living a decent (and by decent I mean surviving, not having a decent life) life. Yep, I'm in that situation and hopefully will brave it through. 

So far, I have contacted two labs. One of them is in London, a cold and rainy place with cute brits and their cool accents. PI said he wants me (mind you, we had met during a 2 week long course and I had the chance to show him how awesome I am) but alas, he does not have the necessary funding to cover me. Well, sounds familiar? Seems like everyone is in the same situation nowadays with the current economic downfall. I really hope the NIH stimulus package helps a lot of PIs out there struggling to survive in these times, but that's another post. So, unless I can find a fellowship, that's not really going to work for me. 

Another one is in the US of A and a very nice place indeed. The school is one of finest schools and the PI does what I really want to do in terms of research. I met her during her visit to my gradschool for a seminar. We got along really well, and even though at first I wasn't thinking about doing a post-doc with her, her seminar was fantastic and well, we got along really well. I think, and I'm sure most of you do as well, it is very important to get along with your PI as you're gonna be working with that person for a very long time. 

So anyways, I will be going to the nice place next week for an interview. I've been working on my presentation for the last week and I think it's coming along nicely. I'm trying to make the story clear, concise and flowy as much as I can. I know the research from my heart and I'm sure I'll do a fine job in terms of presenting it (I spent couple of years on stage dancing, singing and acting so it really helps with standing in front of a crowd and bullshit your way through the presentation). 

Since, I've already met her and if I do a fine job with the presentation, I'm really hopeful that I can actually get the position. Cross your fingers people. I'll keep you posted. 

Oh and, a huge thank you is going to PiT for writing a post about interviewing for a post-doc position. Go read it here . It's insightful and the comments are also great to read as well.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Uh, oh, i'm here too

Ugh, I've been trying to start a new blog forever now but I could never gather that energy for it so far. I tried couple of times but I gave up quickly. We'll see what happens this time. I really want to keep going with this one. I actually like the name a lot this time. It reflects who I am and what I want to talk about perfectly.