Posts Tagged ‘Work’

Wisconsin Weekend and Photo Contest

August 18, 2011

A friend of mine invited me and the Hubby to spend this past weekend in Wisconsin with her and her family. They have a GORGEOUS  house on a quiet lake in the Northeast corner of the state. We went tubing, jet skiing, boat cruising around the lake and flying through the woods on an ATV. We played board games, had tasty adult drinks and ate incredible meals prepared by her mom (her mom bought all sorts of gluten-free goodies just for me, including brownies, spice cake and ciabatta rolls!). We packed a lot in over 30 hours. Oh, and we saw a frickin’ black bear as we were driving home!

Tubing on Crane Lake
Me tubing!

Photo Contest

I could use your help. I’m submitting three photos to a gallery at work (just a showing, not a contest) at one of our upcoming site-wide celebrations. I’ve picked out my top thirty favorite photos and placed them in a flickr set. If you have the time and the inclination, I’d love to have your help in narrowing it down to the three winners. Here’s how you can pipe up:

Oh, and did I mention that there is a contest associated with this? I love contests. If you vote you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a set of prints of your three favorite photos, even if they aren’t the three that I use for the gallery showing. I’ll chat printing options (size, finish, etc.) with the winner. 

Thanks for any votes, thoughts or advice!

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New CUP Contest tomorrow!

May 13, 2011

Okay, I want to write about my week, so you can either bear with me OR if you just want to learn about tomorrow’s CUP Contest scroll all the way down to the last paragraph of this post.

START READING HERE FOR DRAMA! INTRIGUE! BETRAYAL! TOW TRUCKS!

This past week has been amazingly stressful, both in good ways and bad.

On Friday I drove eight hours down to Chicago to visit with my Mom. On Saturday we went to the Art Institute, enjoyed a lovely tapas lunch at Emilio’s, and went to Cirque Eloize that evening. After the show we ate a light dinner at Petterino’s and then came back to the hotel and packed. The next morning we got up early, I dropped Mom off at the train station and I headed over to meet Chicago cool cat and fellow blogger Jeremy and his Chicago cool cat wife, Tina. We puttered around snapping photos in a relatively famous cemetery called Graceland Cemetery, then battled the Mother’s Day crowds to have lunch at Marietta’s (phenomenal lunch and well worth the wait!). I’ll have more info and pics of the Chicago trip in a later post.

I left for Minneapolis at around 2pm, but immediately became stuck in traffic on I94 leaving Chicago. I survived that and stopped at the Belvidere Oasis for road snacks (i.e., junk food that can’t be justified in normal day-to-day existence), and then I made it four hours NW to Mauston, Wisconsin when my car broke down. My bought in February of this year/60-day bumper-to-bumper warranty expiring less than three weeks ago/NEW CAR broke down. When I stopped for gas in Mauston, the engine wouldn’t start again. I called AAA for a tow truck. When I went into the BP to let them know why I was blocking a pump, I was browbeaten into pop clutching the car by this horrific bully of a woman who mocked me for  calling for help when it was so obvious that all I had was a dead battery. We got the engine started and I agreed with her that I should just head for Minneapolis and not stop anymore.

But instead, the second I left the  BP gas station I drove over to a local KMart to buy a battery, just in case mine quit on the trip home. At KMart the car died as I was pulling into a parking spot. Not a good sign, but my first reaction was  joyous indignation as I thought “Ha! I knew that pushy b*tch was wrong!” But then I realized “Oh wait, my car is broke good, innit?” Still, I decided to replace the battery and try for home.

As soon as the battery was in, I started the ignition and the engine roared to life. I headed for Minneapolis, but made myself nauseous with worry for the next three hours. I tried all sorts of tricks to relax including listening to different kinds of music and podcasts to distract myself, breathing deeply and calmly, arguing with myself that even if I did break down I could call for help, and really a breakdown was just money and time.

None of that worked.

I worried for the entire time up until I actually did break down again outside of Hudson, WI, which is about 40 miles from Minneapolis.  I was THIS close to making it home! It was about 9:30pm and night had fallen. I glanced down at my dash and saw that it was completely dark. I glanced at the road in front of me and was horrified to realize that my headlights had gone out. The only reason I was able to see was because the traffic behind me was illuminating the road and the tail lights of the cars in front of me were guiding my way. I pulled off the road just as the engine died. Alternator.

Aych eee double hockey sticks.

To make an already long story slightly less interminable: AAA came and towed me to Stillwater where some nice friends rescued me and put me up for the night.  

Monday was gray and depressing. I had left my glasses in the car at the repair shop and my contacts had conked out, so I spent most of the day with fuzzy vision, which gave me a headache. The car wasn’t ready until 2:30pm. So, many hours and $600 later I left Stillwater. I drove right to the house of some friends in North Minneapolis to relax and be around nice people, because I was so bummed out that I didn’t want to be in an empty apartment by myself. Who knows what kind of damage I could have done the Ben and Jerry’s container in the freezer at my place?

On Tuesday I had to go to the dentist AND I had a doctor’s appointment. Also, work got very…involved that day. The one bright spot was a crazy spring storm and an evening of drinks and gossip at the Independent with a friend.

On Wednesday work was very busy again, and I spent the evening doing laundry and cleaning the house.

So, you see…it’s just been an often crabby, sometimes enjoyable, busy few days.

But yesterday was pretty awesome. Work is crazy busier than usual, but I’ve taken on an interesting new project. After work last night I headed over to the Be’Wiched Deli in Minneapolis to enjoy dinner, drinks and conversation with the Minnesota Skeptics meetup group.

And today I felt like blogging. Woo-hoo!

START READING HERE FOR CUP CONTEST INFORMATION!

So, now that I’ve completely tricked you into reading about my personal drama by putting a misleading title on this blog post, allow me to announce that TOMORROW at 6pm I will post the next Close Up Photo Contest entry. I actually have the CUP Winners page up to date, so stop on by to read the rules, learn about past entries and take a gander at the current player rankings.

See you tomorrow!

Biology Pareidolia

October 7, 2010

Forget Mary in the grilled cheese sandwich Jesus in an MRI scan; my officemate and I saw a seriously spooky image today.  We both saw something, but we can’t agree on what exactly we saw.  

What do you think: Does this sunlight reflected off of a glossy-covered industry journal onto the ceiling looks more like a golgi apparatus or an endoplasmic reticulum?

~

 

 ~

 

Work Haiku

October 6, 2010

Sometimes the notes I take in meetings come out in three lines of 5-7-5.  You know, like they do.

Haiku from a meeting:

He points, waves his pen.
To us, a gaudy gesture,
to him it’s so clear.

The meeting bores her.
She swings her left foot around.
A suffering sigh.

I <3 My Job

September 30, 2010

I absolutely love my job right now.  I may be mistaking stress and adrenaline rush for love, but I’m pretty sure that this is what the young kids call “having a blast”.  (Do the young kids say that?  Seriously, who says that?)

I’m working on more projects than a non-manic, non-drugged up person has any right to attempt, my calendar is filled with meetings, I’m reading product literature, I’m designing and running experiments, I’m making connections with people from other groups and I’m a researcher/developer who’s getting to learn more about the manufacturing side of my company’s business.

It’s ordered chaos, and it’s fun!

The more engaged I am, and the more responsible for retaining and applying knowledge to produce visible results, the more questions I get to ask and the more answers I get back, the more fun I’m having.  And I am grooving on my half-desk/half-lab job today.

But, **********, would you please finish up your review of my document so I can update it and release it?  Sometime this century???

Oh, not to worry, heckling and nasty-grams are just part of the fun.

Mario on My Mind

August 11, 2010

I am jonesing to play Super Mario Bros 3 on NES!  That must be why I noticed this:

The blog Guys On A Couch is on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed today, and in the featured post they had a link to the 7 Ballsiest Ways Anyone Ever Quit Their Job from Cracked.com, which features this awesome farewell notice from one guy to his company (phew, how many links did that take to get here?  Go go gadget interwebs!)  Clicking on the image below will take you to a website where you can play the game/message!

Productive Sunday

April 12, 2010

Sunday was a decidely unadventurous day, but that’s alright – I can find peace and quiet in the mundane!

I opened at the bookstore, which means I started at 8am and was able to leave at the nice, early hour of 1:30pm.  This is my favorite shift *ev-er*; I get to put in a respectable five hours and I still have the best part of a weekend day available to enjoy.  To add to the awesomeness of the shift, it was a beautiful, sunny 70°F when I left the bookstore . 

After work I got my gardening groove on.  I decided to go straight for the seedlings this year, except for chives and parsley which should pop right up from seeds.  I tried the Mpls Farmer’s Market, but they’re not open until April 24th – boo!  So, I went to Home Depot…on a weekend afternoon. *shudders*

This will be my third year gardening at the apartment.  I live next to a bus stop in a semi-okay part of South Minneapolis with no private (fenced) yard or garden spaces, so I have developed a very easy-going attitude toward my plants: I put the pots outside by our window, and if someone tips ’em over, ah well.  I haven’t had any hooligan-type shenanigans yet, which makes me happy.  This year I planted one grape tomato plant and some herbs: Rosemary, Oregano and Basil.  Oh, and the chives and parsley. 

In other gardening news, my mentoring program has rented a plot at one of the local community gardens, and all matches are invited to join in the fun.  So this year I might get a chance to grow some root veggies (carrots and kohlrabi!) and vining plants (beans)!

After the gardening came the laundry and dishes.  Our laundry facilities are so much like college, except without the worrying so much about someone stealing your clothes thing.  I’m not a big fan of laundry (or the $2.50/load charge), so I usually put this particular chore off until I have 4-6 loads to do at a time.  Sunday was a six-loader.

After that was dishes.  I don’t mind doing dishes – there’s something mindlessly satisfying about filling the sink and…oh wait, no there’s not.  Really, dishes kind of stink too, especially after cooking fancy-pants dinners that require lots of pots and pans.

          

About the time dishes were done, it was time for a quick dinner and laundry-folding with House, M.D.  So all in all, it was a very productive Sunday, although I did get distracted by the internet…a few times.

Snakes!

March 15, 2010

Ah yes, spring has sprung.

Being a rare biologist in a land of chemists and engineers does have the advantage of making me looking totally badass when nature literally rears its head.  While my coworkers cowered in disgust or panic, I was edging forward as close as I could without scaring my subjects into the bushes (and without screaming like a girl and ruining the badassness of the moment).

There are FOUR snakes in this photo!

Yeah for zoom!

Making out under the garbage can.

Need a kidney? Try Facebook.

March 9, 2010

It’s the crazy month from chaosville!

I’m involved in two projects at one job:

One is scheduled to be done by end Q1 (March 31st).  I’m leading this project, and directing the work of five people.  In the department scheme of things it’s a low priority project, but as a personal goal it ranks very high on my personal success plan (ewww…company-ese).  In real language – if I drop the ball, I look like an incompetent dumbass, and I’ve wasted the time of at least five co-workers.  I like this project, so devoting time to it isn’t a problem, so much as over-devoting time to it is.

The other project is a high-profile company objective that is affecting corporate financials, so *everything* associated with this project is a priority.  Each experiment needs to be done about five minutes before marketing or QA thinks of it. 

And I’m still pulling 20 hours/week at the bookstore.  Yipee Skippy.

On less stressful note, we put all of our tax return and a chunk of bookstore money into the gaping maw that is our credit card debt – and paid off another credit card!  Yeah!  One (smallish) credit card and one (larger) credit union loan to go!  It’s time to start reading the MCAT study guide again…!!!

There’s a great article in the Variety section of today’s Star Tribune (author: Kristin Tillotson) titled Friended for life.  In a nutshell:   Christ Strouth needed a kidney, Scott Pakudaitis had a kidney, and no big deal because hey, they’re friends.  Well…facebook friends.  These guys were friends of friends…they barely knew each other…and they conducted all of their conversation about the transplant and donation via social media like Facebook and Twitter.  This story is pretty amazing.  I was always in awe of the generous people who donate bone marrow (ye-owch!), but an entire organ? Christ Strouth also has a video of his story on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-KSC-cRmrQ

Med school seems really far away today.

February 24, 2010

I’m following a Plan that is designed to get me into medical school (getting through medical school is an entirely different Plan).   I actually started this blog to document my journey from undergraduate and career gal to medical school candidate, and the closer I get, the more of an influence this journey will have on my blog entries.  But unfortunately, I’m in the earliest stage of The Plan, which is Getting Out of Commercial Debt and setting myself up financially to get into medical school (MCATs, supplementary classes, med school entry counsultants, researching med schools, med school application fees, traveling to visit schools – the list can go on and on depending on how one chooses to get there). 

So I am currently in the part of The Plan that involves a lot of money-making, making sure said money goes to the credit card companies or savings (not on new iPads), and staying very calm while I get more and more impatient to be studying medicine.

Hence, two jobs – one of which, thank goodness, is vaguely related to medicine.  Aside from adding to my science background (immuno- and biochemistry, cell culture, in vitro diagnostics, statistics), my work here is  strengthening my experience and knowledge of decision-making, setting priorities, multi-tasking, discovering and working with limitations, schedule planning, leading teams and assigning work, cross-functional diplomacy, business hierarchies and decisions, working with regulatory agencies and other big-picture issues that may prove useful when working in medicine.

This job experience also mean that I have acquired the ability to occasionally relate to Dilbert cartoons and Office Space.   For example, here are some excellent, and admittedly out-of-context, quotes that have recently come from various meetings:

That’s an unfair test because it sets us up for success, and we don’t want to set ourselves up for success.

Lean-Six Sigma is like communism: It works great in theory. – This one works great for any number of procedures and ideas that one doesn’t like.

It’s not a real vacation unless it inconveniences your co-workers.

We’re on target to get nothing done!

Boss: She’s mastered the science of getting SOPs approved. 
Worker: I’ve mastered the science of nagging.
Co-Worker: Yeah, she’s the Charles Dickens of the nasty-gram.

Yep, just like being a factory worker during undergrad helped me want to stay in college, this career – extraordinary work experience aside – is a wonderful motivation to stay on-track for medical school.