Oh Look, Krill!

Oh don't worry. Whales don't eat clownfish, they eat krill.


Almost A Decade Later

I’m still into my first job and I just signed another three-year contract with the company. I think that for most people, they would have had at least two different jobs in those ten years. I’m still here.

One of the main reasons I’ve not left is mainly due to not wanting to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve been sitting at this exact desk, working at the exact same lab bench for the last nine years. Every thing is where I want it to be and I know where everything is.

That doesn’t mean that I’ve been doing the exact same thing in the last almost decade. I’m currently on my third boss, since they seem to leave every couple of years. As these principle investigators have different research scopes or areas of interest, I’ve been involved in many different kinds of research, different technology platforms and best of all, I had the chance to learn a number of different techniques that I’ve never heard of before or something that I’ve only read in research papers.

It’s not so bad actually.

Though, I don’t know if I’ll still be here at the end of this new contract. The main reason for me to sign a new one is so that I will at least have a job to return to when I’m done with my short sabbatical to complete my Masters research project. With the way that the scientific job market looks like, I needed the job security net.

Once I’ve graduated, if an opportunity presents itself for me to move to a different area of science (with better pay, perks and not so bad a work load *well, I can dream right?*), I might move there but in the mean time, I’ll stay where I am and make the best of it.


Drowning In Plant Science

Last night, I went for my first class of the semester. I had to choose between Seminars in Zoology or Advanced Plant Physiology as an elective. I decided to go with the plants module since the other was very heavy for an elective and even my supervisor had advised against it.

Plants have never been something that I enjoyed learning, personally, because the cross section of a plant looks creepy and disgusting under the microscope, but moving on.

Yesterday’s class was done by a guest professor who flew all the way from Lancaster to give us the lecture. I’ve had a class with him in before in a previous module and he is superbly passionate with his work. Unfortunately because of his passion, he rarely takes breaks between each slides, so that made it difficult for me at least to take down as much notes as I wanted.


I felt like I was drowning in information. It was a very information dense class. There was one point in the class where I was just staring at him, watching his mouth move in words that I knew were in English but my brain just could not process what he was saying. I’ve never felt so out of my depth before.

He went through three different lectures and towards the end, he was explaining what each of the different graphs mean. He lost me there. I’m just so very thankful that he included the references for the papers where those information came from, so at the very least, I could read those papers on my own and see if they make sense to me.

Since the guest professor will only be in town for a couple of days, we’ll be having another intensive day tomorrow. A Satuday day, for most of the day. Sigh.

I’m really hoping that I won’t be as lost as I was yesterday. We’ll be in the lab the entire time and we’ll be doing both a lecture and a practical, with new equipment that I’ve never used before. This could get very interesting.

That was just the first day of the semester. I really, really, really hope that the rest of the semester won’t be as intimidating.


Things I Need To Remember

I need to remember that I was the one who wanted to enrol for grad school. No one forced me, so I shouldn’t be complaining so much about it.

I need to remember that as much as my sisters annoy me sometimes, they’re still family and that despite everything, I actually love those two annoying brats.

I need to remember that I’m already bordering on being severely underweight for my height, and sometimes wanting to look like the skinny girls is very, very bad.

I need to remember that coffee isn’t really all that good for me, despite the fact that I love how it tastes.

I need to remember that I need to go out and hang out with my friends once in a while.

I need to remember that taking a break is good, just as long the break isn’t the entire day and my to do list just keeps piling.

I need to remember to go say hi to my granny and tell her how much I love her. Every day.


I Can’t Seem To Travel Light

On more than one occasion, when someone hands me my bag, they’d comment on how heavy it is. It’s not that I don’t want to travel light, it’s just that I don’t know what to cut out from what’s in my bag.

Here’s what I would usually have in my bag, on a normal day:

1. A wallet, bulging with receipts and various crap.

2. My phone

3. A wallet sized bag that holds at least 3 different types of wet wipes.

4. A pouch for lady items.

5. A small make up bag containing finishing powder, two trial sizes of blushes, a mini kabuki brush, a flat top brush, 3 different eye liners, a lip shimmer, a lip plumper and a comb.


6. Notebooks

7. Pens
pens

8. My tablet
tablet

9. A foldable umbrella

10. A pouch containing thumb drives, my 3G modem dongle and my internet banking dongle.

11. A mini hair brush.

12. At least 2-3 packets of tissues.

13. Various hair bands/scrunchies/clips

14. Keys.

15. Work pass.

Everything but the notebooks and the tablet are usually packed into a bag organiser, so that I know where I can find my stuff easier than just digging through the black hole that is my bag.

Yes, I do have a lot of items in a tote bag. It’s gotten to the point where even Dude said it’s heavy on the odd occasion that he carries the bag for me when I have an aching shoulder.

So what do I remove? Or should I get a better bag? What do you think?


The Day I Went Out And Did Girlie Things

I don’t shop a lot, unlike some of my peers. I usually only go out to get stuff when I needed them or when there’s a sale that I just can’t say no to. So when I saw the promo below, I can’t resist.

La Senza Sassy Savings

Since my friends were going to be in town anyway, might as well get my little shopping trip done and meet them for dinner. So we spent some time at the lingerie shop and I had to resist the urge to blow my entire pay on lady items, and so after much internal debate, I settled on the ones that I wanted most and left.

We walked around the mall for a little bit, while waiting for Sarah to be done with her workshop, Jo, Avariel and I did some window shopping.


We ended up at New Look where I couldn’t resist on trying out some shoes.

shoes

I didn’t get any of them in the end as I couldn’t justify getting them and I didn’t really have a reason to. Also, since I don’t have any outfits that would match the brown shoes that I was lusting after. I did however found the perfect thing to give my sister as a birthday present.

After Sarah rendezvoused with us at the mall, we headed out to Arab Street for dinner. I saw that there was a new Turkish place (Derwish, 60 Bussorah St) that took over the premises that was the former Chicken Champ.

derwish

The d├ęcor was very nice and rather classy. After a quick glance through the menu, we decided to start the meal with hummus.

hummus

It was good. Not runny like some places, with a strong spiced taste. I’d have preferred if it was a tad more garlicky but eh, it was wonderful.

Jo and I decided on a spinach pide and sucuk pide, which is a Turkish pepperoni pide, respectively.

pide

My sucuk pide was basically a breakfast pizza of sorts as it had pepperoni, egg and cheese on bread. It was good but it would have been better, to me anyway, if it was a little more spiced. Jo’s spinach pide was delicious and it tasted even better when dipped in the hummus.

Avariel had the Iskender set which was really, really good; thinly sliced lamb over a bed of toasted bread and covered with their spiced tomato sauce and yoghurt. Sarah had the Beyeti, which was lamb wrapped in pastry and covered in delicious gravy.

I would totally recommend the Iskender, the Beyeti and the spinach pide, if you ever go there.

We had a pre-dessert dessert by trying out their rice pudding.

rice pudding

The rice pudding at Derwish is good but I prefer the one at Anatolia.

After dinner, we headed out to the gelato place that we passed by earlier, Gelato Di Posto Storico. Jo and Sarah had a scoop of gelato each, Avariel tried the tea that she found most interesting, while I had an affogato.

affogato

I’ve been wanting to try it for the longest time, just never got around to getting it. The large scoop of vanilla gelato had crushed bits of Oreo cookies on it and drowned in a shot of espresso. The coffee was good, even without the gelato; with the gelato, it tasted even better. I was disappointed that they didn’t have decaf coffee but I think the affogato wouldn’t have tasted as wonderful if it was decaf.

I would most definitely want to go back to try out the gelato flavours that I saw, like mint, salted caramel and coconut.

It was a really good day out with awesome friends and even though I’ll be getting busier from this week onwards, I hope that I get to do this again soon.


What Do you Do When You Have Writer’s Block?

Do you just sit there, staring at the blank page or screen, willing the words to flow?

Do you just let your stream of conciousness fill the page with inane thoughts and babbling?

Do you drink copious amounts of coffee, hoping the caffeine will jar something lose? Or that the frequent trips to the porcelain bowl will help you think?


Do you sit in the sun, letting the heat burn into you while you file away what you feel, to use in your writing?

Do you people watch and describe what they’re wearing, their actions and mannerisms in your head, and then create drabbles out of the different things you see?

Do you read a lot, and widely so as to find a writing style that resonates with you?

Do you scribble into notebooks, in illegible handwriting and hoping that when you come back to it on a later date you can still read it?

Do you ask yourself random questions and then writing the answers down, and then realise that you’ve actually filled up a good portion of the page?

What do you do?


What Friday Means


(via)

Everyone loves Fridays. It’s the last day of the work week for most people and best of all, it means the weekend is here!

Friday means that I can stay up late as I won’t be working the next day, so I can sleep in.

Friday means that I can drink copious amounts of coffee since I can sleep in.


Friday means that I can finally rest after the whole week of work shenanigans.

Friday means that I can go out and meet my friends or hang out with Dude.

Friday means that I’m free from work for the weekend!