bitch/moan II

October 26, 2004

today was not a winner, as days go. everything started out all right – i got up after 8 hours of sleep (ahhhh), ate an oatmeal concoction (mmmmm), read the paper from sunday (too lazy to go outside and get the new one), and headed to lab at around 9.

my penultimate insulin secretion assay — for now, anyway — began just fine. i made my buffer, washed off and treated my cells, and went to sort out on excel some details about the different treatments the cells were getting (it was complicated, okay?). by the time i was done with that, it was time to re-adjust the pH of the buffer for incubation #2. [this is thrilling to read, i’m sure. but wait, it gets better.]

i turn on the pH meter. 7.14 . . .

me (voice inside head): hmmmm, 7.14. just a little under what it should be. i’ll add some base.

[adds some rather weak NaOH]

pH meter (computerized voice): 7.10

me (voice inside head): well, that’s odd! maybe i added acid instead. tee-hee. i will now add some more base.

pH meter (computerized voice): 6.90

me (voice inside head, but more annoyed-sounding): huh. well, will add stronger base to fight off nasty acid-disease my buffer seems to have contracted.

pH meter (computerized voice): 6.10

me (voice inside head, frantic): piece of shit! ok. will add THIS MUCH (8 drops) strong, strong base. THAT BETTER DO IT!

pH meter (computerized voice): 6.05

me (voice inside head, sad): solution is cloudy. solution has never looked cloudy before! maybe i should try the other pH meter . . .

other pH meter (different computerized voice): 12.5, dumbass.

yeah. and so it began, the comedy-of-errors of a day i was about to have. i then proceeded to make the same buffer not once more, but TWICE, because i added the wrong amount of glucose. eventually, my cells did get the right buffer put on them — and i didn’t mess up the experiment, which i suppose is a good thing — but that just sucked.

after this debacle, things didn’t improve much, though there was nothing catastrophic. class — eh. at least i was awake. but i forgot my handout and had to write everything down in a ridiculously small notebook, which was annoying.

finally, i went home. made dinner (nothing to complain about there – vegetable ragu with noodles and hard-boiled egg – sounds weird, but wasn’t) and dressed for yoga. i was really looking forward to going because i was in a touchy, anxious mood, and i wanted to calm down.

but i was running late, and i hate that. so i gunned it all the way to gym, a seething and extremely un-zen mess by the time i got there, only to find the room empty save for several large exercise balls and a lone step. no yoga. no sense of artificial calm was to be had at all.

and so i went home again. and wrote it all down . . . and now i feel better.

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not everything sucked:

1. i made a ridiculously nerdy looking calendar-schedule thing for the next couple months of studying for my boards/finishing up with classes/generally existing. i was feeling sort of overwhelmed about getting everything done, and i have to say that planning it all out made me feel better. and also really, really neurotic.

2. i had my meeting with the head of the lab. he thought my data looked very interesting. he even asked (sort of jokingly . . . i think?) if i would stay to finish what i started. if i were a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl, maybe i would have said: “if i do, does my name go on the paper?” but i’m not, and i’m sticking to my plan. my rotation ends friday. plus, i don’t think i could stand doing 25 more insulin secretion assays in the next month.

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