Friday, August 01, 2003

Fresh Brain In Refrigerator

Oh goody! Just when I was wondering what I was going to have for lunch. Though I think I've made the "quick, I need to get Eliezer some mustard for that brain" joke often enough that Dianne and Aline might decide to stuff me into the -80C freezer if I try it again. Maybe not, I seem to have taken up the role of Chandler Bing in our lab.

The boys in the next room play pranks on people and maybe even deposit a banana skin or two under your windshield wiper, I make the sarcastic comments. Eliezer asks for the key to the methamphetamine cupboard because it's nearly the weekend...and it took me a few minutes to realise he was pulling my leg.

It's crunch time right now in the land of Experimental Neuropathology. At least in our little section of the kingdom it is: it's grant submission time. This is where Dianne sends off a bunch of preliminary data, and a short dissertaiton on the data, to the people with the greenbacks. In this case the NIH, which is the real ca-ching kind of funding. So Dianne is going crosseyed writing the grant and editing figures, and I'm praying all the last minute backup experiments go smoothly so we have a good comprehensive set of data points.

After Monday evening, pray is all I will be able to do to help them out, since Matt and I are leaving for PA at about 6am on Tuesday morning. I keep thinking of details of treatment for the three cell lines we have in culture that only I know about, and I'd better write them down somewhere so I don't come home to a bunch of mutated "stressed" endothelial cells with wierdo morphological traits that weren't there when I left. I'm torn between being glad I'm out of the pressure fora week, and feeling like a deserter. I know we've got most of the data already lined up, we're on schedule, because I gave a couple of months warning of my absence.

This is a big turnaround from my previous job, I had a constant feeling of need to escape from there, largely because I wasn't kept in the loop as to what we were doing and why, it was assumed either that I knew already, or that I didn't need to know. Even when we're pulling out all the stops here we still find the time to go out for a lab lunch, followed by a couple of hours at the Nordstrom bosses are still nice people when under pressure. This is a rare thing.

I want to stick around here, I like the feeling of being intellectually involved in my work, and I'm hoping that I may even be able to do a Master's in this field. Some day. Right now I have more immediate things to think about, like how not to melt in the PA humidity, and the new project Matt and I began formulating a few days ago. We're planning a handfasting this time next year.

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