Archive for the 'Uncategorized' category

Lots going on this week

Oct 12 2016 Published by under navel gazing, queer, Uncategorized

This week was both World Mental Health Day and National Coming Out Day. It is surely not a surprise to anyone reading this that I am a lesbian. I'm out, and continue to come out (over and over and over again). I love my queer family and community. BUT! I do not want anyone to feel like they are required to come out. I am lucky to feel safe and supported, and being out is important to me. Everyone has to come out (or not) on their own terms and in their own time.

I'm less outspoken about my struggles with mental health. So here goes: I struggle with anxiety and depression, and I have ADHD. My brain chemistry can really fuck with my life, but with self-care and therapy and meds I'm doing pretty fucking well. Still, it sometimes feels that anxiety and/or depression are lurking in the corners, just waiting for me to let my guard down. There are days that it is hard/impossible to get out of bed. I have days that the best I can do is to stare at the wall and not cry. I have days that I can't sit still because I am overcome with fear and must "do" something.

There is still real stigma around mental health problems, and that is not OK. My parents still tell me that taking antidepressants is a (and I quote) "stupid waste" and that I should just "face my problems instead of hiding". That hurts. And it made me wait to actually get help, which totally fucking sucks. Then my (now ex) wife tried to use the fact that I was on meds to argue that I shouldn't have equal custody of Twig during the divorce. That really fucking hurt. This kind of bullshit has to end. I hope that being straightforward about my own struggles helps.

I believe in being out as a lesbian because it feels authentic and honest to me. I want to be honest about mental health, too. Because it is part of me. Sometimes a struggles, but more often a gift. I'm creative and smart and hilarious. I wouldn't be me without all the parts of me.

Getting help does not make you weak. Taking care of yourself takes courage and strength. Depression lies. Let your friends love you. Because you are awesome and important. And you are not alone.


5 responses so far

Radio silence

Aug 31 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

I started blogging just after I got my tenure-track job. I was basically freaking out because I had no idea what I was doing and I stumbled on the science world blog-o-sphere. It blew my mind that there was all this super-useful information just sitting there and no one around me seemed to know about it. Being able to talk with folks was incredibly helpful to me when I was starting my lab. Having a space to share my story made me feel no-so-alone. I actually e-met other queer scientists, and that was awesome.

Around the end of 2012 I quit blogging so much. Not because I was over it. I missed interacting with folks here. But real life was getting in my way. I split up with my wife and moved out. It was hard, and painful. The divorce did not go smoothly. My ex-wife tried to argue that I should not have equal custody with Twig. Lawyers got paid (lots). My mental health was shaky - at best. It was basically all I could do just to sort of keep my head above water. I spend a lot of time dealing with lawyer-related stuff, and it sapped my emotional energy so that I just barely stayed above water.

Anyhow, I sort of feel like I have some things to say about depression and anxiety and single parenting while queer and how it felt to have my life collapse right before my 3-yr review and etc. More of that will probably come. Consider this a warning.


10 responses so far


Aug 26 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

I play Pokemon Go - I find it entertaining. Those little critters are hilarious and adorable. For example, did you see the hilarious assessments of The Bloggess' renamed pokemon??

Anyway, last night a friend showed me this website, where you can calculate the IV values of your pokemon and predict how they will evolve, etc. I'm in trouble now.

5 responses so far

If it doesn't kill you...

Apr 18 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

Lab safety is important. Really fucking important. We sometimes use some pretty crazy compounds in our work, and I expect the folks that work for me are trained and astutely follow the rules so that they (and their lab mates) are safe.

But labeling is out of fucking control and does more harm than good. Every fucking thing in our chemical room has some sort of "hazard" label - but it is not all hazardous. I get the "err on the side of caution" argument. But if every-fucking-thing is dangerous it is not always clear what you should actually be careful with.

And then there is the companies that try to profit off of a false sense of security. For example, ethidium bromide, a DNA stain commonly used to see your bands on a gel. Everyone is always told how horrible and terrible EtBr is. Turns out that is a load of horse pucky. The ridiculous hoops you jump through to "detox" EtBr are more dangerous than the actual chemical! But those "safe" alternatives to EtBr?? The ones that cost about 10x more and don't work quite as well?? Actually not safer (based on mutagenicity/toxicology).

Lab safety should be a real, thoughtful discussion. Not a knee-jerk-cover-the-university's-ass stupid exercise in pointlessness.

2 responses so far


Apr 13 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

Subtweets are real. Sometime, I tweet about people and don't identify them. It amuses me. But here's the thing. I'm prolly not talking at you. Or about you. So I made a new hashtag to remind folks of this - #DINETAY (Dude, I'm not even talking at you). I get snarky about all sorts of things. Most of them are not you. Get over yourself.

You know who you are.

2 responses so far


Mar 15 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

It's that time again. Lucky for me, a blog patron (I assume? I got an email) has picked up the mantle and totally organized a brackets-for-a-good-cause event (Yes, I'm totally cheating here...*).

Here are the deets (that's short for details):

We are trying to fund a student-lead engineering STEM program in a high poverty neighborhood, so invite your buddies to play as well! Players who are PIs are asked to donate $10 per bracket and students players are asked to donate $5 per bracket by Thursday, March 17th at 10 am EST. Pool manager bethann the great welcomes you back and is looking forward to another great tournament filled with epic upsets and buzzer beaters. This is an honor system, so be honorable 🙂 The winner of this year's bracket gets....BOOKS! You'll get three amazing and inspiring books on time and management that were featured on Good luck and tweet at us via @edgeforscholars or @mclneuro !

You can also find a bracket here



*The edge for scholars looks AWESOME - you should absolutely check it out!!

*OMG A REAL PRIZE!!! So Fucking Amazing

UPDATE: The project is FUNDED!! Here are some new projects that could also use some help:

Frog Pond FUNDED!
Metamorphosis FUNDED!
Microscopes! FUNDED!
Science kits for special needs classroom
Owl pellets

9 responses so far

My rescuers

Mar 10 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

So, DrugMonkey has tagged me a blog meme. And I've been meaning to come back over here more now that things are settling down* So, here goes. Who are the five characters from movies/TV that i want to come in and rescue me from a "bad situation"

hmmm. i don't watch that much tv, but ...

  2. Rachel Maddow
  3. Michonne
  4. Arya Stark
  5. BanditoKat

I'm not sure any of my picks are "stable" ...


*hahahahaahhhaaa No they aren't, but whatev

One response so far

What the hell? some #sobtember motivation

Sep 03 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

So this happened to me today via text message:

from unknown #: hey, this is [name of someone I don't know]

u#: [not my name] call me back. or [other person] or [another name]. another name said to

u#: call me back. or [other person] or [another name]. another name said to (yep, that one got sent twice)

me: you seem to have the wrong number. this is not [not my name]

u#: is this [also not my name]

me: Nope

u# and I'll text you my number
[not my name]

me: Pls don't. You have the wrong number.

u#: who is this then

me: Go away

u#: sorry I got the wrong number

u#: [not my name]

-End scene

What the hell is wrong with this idiot?

In happier news, today is the second day of #sobtember (not #sobtober - that wouldn't be until next month. also, it sounds a lot like "sober"). In case you need a little motivation, here is an excellent video that the magical @scitrigrrl has found for us:

One response so far

#Sobtober (edit - I mean #Sobtember) - let's do this!

Sep 01 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

While I was prepping for teaching today (*barf*), a couple of the twitts came up with the fantastic idea of an September workout challenge. It's been named #Sobtember. Here are all the details, from the most-awesome @SciTriGrrl:

#SOBTEMBER  - A new workout challenge.

We haven’t done this for a while, and with a new semester starting, we figured it was time to set up a workout challenge as threat of public shaming and punishment inspiration, motivation, to work out stress at the beginning of the semester.

The goal is 30 workouts in 30 days. Or 7 workouts per week throughout September.

30 concurrent days is really incredibly hard because life happens, so this doesn’t need to do one workout per day. You can double up on some days and take a rest day others (see FAQ #8).

CARDIO workouts are at least 30 minutes of getting your heart rate up.

STRENGTH workouts are at least 10 minutes of strength work. Doesn’t have to be weights - it can be planks or pushups or yoga or pilates. Or the NYTimes 7minute workout. Physical Therapy. Whatever you need to work on / want to do.

Let me (@scitrigrrl) know if you’re in, then tweet your workouts with the hashtag #Sobtember, subscribe to the #Sobtember twitter list.

For those up for a challenge, do at least three (3) cardio and two (2) strength training sessions per week*.

*For those of us (like me and @TheSpenceLab) who get confused with counting and days-in-the-month, 3+2 does not add up to 7 workouts per week, so you’re gonna need to add 2 more workouts per week.

If you can’t do that, do whatever you can/ whatever you need to work on. All workouts are good.


Question 1: Can I have rest/sick/lazy/binge-TV-watching days
Answer: Yes. Catch up by doing 2 workouts on the same day to catch up.

Question 2: What if I lie?
Answer: Cheating is bad. It’s a woodchipperable offense. But I’m FAR too lazy to check up on you, so you’re only lying to yourself. Also see the answer to #3.

Question 3: What happens if I DON’T do the workouts?
Answer: @namaste_ish is in charge of all punishments for workout failure. Twitter shaming is the least of your worries. Be very, very afraid.

Previous punishments have included… photos. [shudder -gz]

Question 4: What do I get if I DO the workouts?
Answer: Twitter-love. motivation for the next workout, and the satisfaction of working out.

What? you wanted cookies too?

Question 5: How do I know who else is doing it?

Answer: subscribe to #Sobtember twitter list, and watch your twitter stream. We already have a star-filled lineup including @GertyZ, @Namaste_ish and @CackleofRad.

Question 6: I did a 60minute spin class. Does that count as 2 workouts?
Answer: No.
Question: But…?
Answer: No.
Question: b…?
Answer: STILL NO. But if you do a 30minute cardio and 30 mins strength, that is 2. Or Spin class followed by a 30minute run = 2. Or 30min run in the morning and 30min walk in the evening = 2.

Question 7: Does eating icecream count as a workout.
Answer: not unless you’re actually working out WHILE eating icecream. [...and you don't throw up. -gz]

Question 8 : Who do I contact for questions?
Answer: Just tweet with the #Sobtember hashtag. [Or, you know, leave a comment -gz].

Question 9:
Answer: Nope! But please post pics of leg warmers. [PLEASE! -gz]


* High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts with weights can count as either strength OR cardio, but do not double count one HIIT workout as both. That’s cheating. And cheating is a woodchipperable offense.

Now if you do two in one day, you can do whatever you like, eat whatever you like, and basically own the world.


Links for HIIT workout

Also: inspiration, motivation, to work out stress at the beginning of the semester.


#Sobtember starts TOMORROW!!

6 responses so far

Asking for a friend...

Aug 21 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

What is your favorite way to get out of meetings? I had some ideas on twitter, but some folks thought that the blogosphere might be better for this query.

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 5.06.32 PM

Any ideas?


15 responses so far

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