Alright, it's been a while since I've updated this so I have quite a bit to write. Saturday was awesome, I went to the Jersey shore with my partner and got to go swimming! I have been dying to have a good beach day with my boogeyboard for a while, and the ocean did not dissapoint. Afterwards, we hung out on the sand for a while before getting the biggest pizza I've ever seen. After dinner we roamed around the boardwalk for a while, and I love just walking along beach shops and stopping in to browse. I had to get new sandals because my dollar tree flip flops were literally disintegrating on me, but I found a pair that was pretty cute. I was pretty exhausted afterwards, but it was a really fun time.
On Sunday I got to go to Princeton to check out some shops with my partner. I got Pan's Labrynth and The Monkey King 2 from the foreign films section at the record exchange, and my partner got a bunch of new records. We also stopped by the bookstore and I got some really cool sociology and art tutorial books. I considered getting a GRE prep book but I think trying a few online GRE practice exams before buying a book would be a better way to go about it. I'm glad I got myself an actual copy of "Symbols in Society", I've heard good things about it. We stopped for coffee and lemonade, and on the way back from town we stopped at a local farm to pet the goats, cows, and barn cats. The cows were so sweet, and there was one goofy little tan calf who was super social. We got italian food, went back to my place, and then I lit some candles and made altar offerings for lughnasadh. It was a good weekend overall, a beautiful start to that time where summer blends into fall, the beauty of the seasons bleeding together slowly at first, and then all at once.
It's my second to last week at this internship, and I have to turn in a presentation by friday to present next week on thursday, summarizing my findings for the summer. I have a shit ton of data, but I'm still trying to interpret it all, and I'm not sure I can present any conclusions reliably. I want to showcase what I've done, but I can't just spew data with little results or conclusions at a lay audience. I think I'm probably good on my background information, so I have that down pat at least. I'll probably figure something out in time to rehearse a few times before my actual seminar.
I went out to the last weekly meditation session I'll be able to make here yesterday. It was really cathartic and helpful, we focused on the element of fire and what it represents, like creativity and passion. It was a bittersweet time, and while I'll still be able to see these people on instagram I won't be able to meet up with them when I move back to Delaware. I'm really grateful that I got to go to these meditation sessions during my internship, they've been really helpful and I've learned a lot about my own spirituality in such a short time. I hope I'll get to meet up with everyone again sometime, but for now I'll have the memories of my meditations and the image of a pink and orange sunset lit sky above the fireflies as I left for the last time.
One of my close friends just got out of a major surgery last night. He had to get a parasite removed from his liver a few months ago, and he had to go in this weekend for heart surgery to remove parasites there. The surgeon mentioned that since it was major heart surgery, there was an 8% fatality rate, and that's probably not the most soothing thing to hear when a friend goes in for an operation. I was so worried about him for the whole weekend, and the surgery took 10 hours and had two parts. I'm so glad he's made it out alright and that he's in recovery, I hope everything gets better for him. I'm just so fucking happy and grateful that he's pulled through all of this.
I got another post-toxic-relationship-breakup-text from one of my friends again. Two of my friends who've been dating for four years and living together for two broke up about a month ago, and they're both accusing each other of sexual and physical abuse, death threats, and transphobia (they're both trans so idk how that one works), and while they both acknowledge they aren't perfect they're both painting the other person as an absolute monster. I have no idea what to do becuase I don't want to ignore someone who's going through abuse or who needs help, but this is so much more than I am equipped to help with, and both of them seem to be pretty awful people right now. I knew while they were dating (they dated for years before I met either of them) that they didn't have the healthiest relationship, but I had no idea it was this violent and terrible. Honestly I don't know what else to do besides leaving them alone and hoping they both get the help they actually need. But that would be a plan if they didn't constantly text and message me about their relationship out of the blue with no warning for weeks after the breakup. And again I don't normally have a problem with people venting to me, but this is intense stuff and so much more than I can deal with, especially when I once considered both of them to be friends. I really don't know what to do at this point aside from avoiding it.
Turns out the furry convention conflicts with my move out, so unless I can convince my cousin to let me stay the weekend and keep all of my boxes at her place, I'm not sure I'll be able to go. I've already paid for the weekend pass and I've been trying to go to one of these things for years, and I really don't want to give up when after four years of trying to go to any convention at all, I'm finally this close. I could ask my cousin to let me crash at her place for a couple of nights, but I'd have a lot of boxes of my shit packed from moving out and also I feel like if I do anything she'd snitch on me to my mom. She seems like a genuinely nice person and we have a lot in common, but she's way too close to and too trusting of my mom, so if I tell her anything I can't trust her not to be a narc. Which is kind of dissapointing because if it weren't for that we could probably be good friends, but I have to watch what my parents know so I don't get forcibly institutionalized. I mean they've already filed a falce police report on me claiming I'm a danger to myself when I literally left a note for them saying "I'm fine, I'm moving out as a sane legal adult to a safe house with food, don't call the cops I'm literally fine", and they've threatened to sneak seditaves into my drinks hundreds of times. I'd love to be friends with my cousins, but I have to keep my safety in mind.
The last two days have been pretty slow. I've been trying to make what graphs and analyses I can of my images on Excel, but I can only go so far with that. I really need to figure out what data I really need to compare and how the Prism software works, but my mentor is the only one in this lab who understands how to use the software and he's currently out on vacation. No one else really seems to need help, so I'm mostly just screwing around. I have found a really fascinating relationship between 53BP1, BRCA1, and PhosphoRPA levels observed in tumors, specifically where two of said protiens are present at once but really shouldn't be because of the proposed mechanism of inhibitory action (the three protiebs sort of relate to each other in a rock-paper-scissors type manner). I'm not totally sure if I'm on the right track, but again the only other person who actually understands the image analysis and this particular step is away for the week so I have to wait until monday to ask.
I'm trying to set up something with a phsychiatrist for a video call to get an autism diagnosis. You would not believe how hard it is to find someone who actually works with autism in adult clients, I've found like five in my area total out of however many hundred psychiatrists are listed online. I tried emailing one but haven't heard back, so I guess I need to send more emails. Honestly just scheduling a doctor's appointment or therapy or anything else is an absolute nightmare even without the expense of it. The first time I tried to get therapy for my severe suicidality I had to spend six months calling my insurance several times a week, listening to several doctors not understand that I changed addresses because I was in college in a different state because that's such a difficult concept to understand, calling and getting rejected or told there weren't availible appointments at several different offices, and then figuring out the poorly planned bus schedules and hoping that the information I had about bus routes was correct and not going to leave me a mile away from my appointment. Neurotypicals love to act like if you have a problem, you can just call someone like at an urgent care clinic, schedule something on a friday, and get it all fixed. But even leaving aside the ridiculous cost of therapy, that it often needs to last years at a time, and that most insurance plans have terrible coverage for mental health services, just the logistics of trying to see a therapist or psychiatrist are prohibitive to people who are already low on mental energy and barely able to concentrate. Hopefully I can work something out with this soon.
I'm really excited for this weekend. I'm gonna stay with my partner and we're gonna go to the beach in Jersey tomorrow! I am so excited to soak up some sun (through 50 spf because this bitch has the skin tone of a sheet of printer paper), go swimming in the waves, get some seashells, fuck around on the boardwalk, and generally spend time with my partner. I'm definitely gonna bring my $5 foam boogeyboard and catch some waves. I love going to the beach and swimming but I haven't been able to do that since before COVID, since I don't live near a beach anymore and don't have a car, and also all of the parks with beaches were closed for over a year. I am so fucking excited to do this!
I finally finished all of the data analysis and transfers for all of my present set of assigned images. It took eight weeks, two spreadsheet programs, two image analysis apps, and 107.33 GB of data on a hard drive, but the data sets are in their final formats and ready to mess around with in graphs. It's a little thing and a bit mundane, but I still feel so accomplished. I'll definitely have to ask about what data goes into the graphs, but overall I'm happy with the progress I've made.
I have to figure out my move out schedule in a major way. I need to arrange around a virtual seminar on the week of the 16th and the fact that my mom got jury duty so it's just my dad driving me around this time. I didn't bring a ton to my temporary apartment, and I only brought some comic books and some small crystals and statues for my altar, so I should be perfectly fine on the packing front. Well, except for my cookware and cutlery. My parents insisted on getting a ton of that stuff and I seriously don't have storage space for it anywhere back home in Delaware, so I'm going to have to find somewhere to shove it all, maybe on top of my fridge. But overall packing should be easy enough, I mean between being a military kid who moved seven times before the age of 18 and packing all of my critical belongings into a backpack and suitcase and moving between two different homes when I ran away from home a year ago, I'm really good at packing up all of my shit quickly and moving my ass.
It kinda feels weird to say this, but I'm really homesick for my place in Delaware. Idk if that's the actual feeling I'm looking to describe, but I miss being there and just everything about how the town feels. I've only lived there for three years, but it feels like home in a way no other place in my life ever has. When I was moving around as a kid, I never kept in touch with anyone once I moved away from a place, and I always felt like community was a falsehood, a romanticization of the convenience of working together with people who happened to be around you when you shared a common practical goal. My extended family was never closer than 6 hours away from me (and more often they were several hours away by airplane), so the only real constant in my life was my nuclear family where the only non-manipulative, functional member was my dog (I am including myself in that analysis of toxicity). Even though it's a small suburban college town I've only been in for a few years, it's the first and only time I've felt like part of a community, like there's actually something there beyond practical convenience. And when I'm away at my parents house or in Philly, I miss it dearly, even if I'd probably just be sitting in my room pr walking around my neighborhood. It's the only place where anything has ever felt like home, and it took me a while to get used to when I realized that for the first 18 years of my life I never felt like my family, my living space, my classmates, or anyone was the safe nest I could call home in the same way. I love being in Philly and doing stuff up here, but I'm ready to go home.
This weekend was mostly quiet. I was pretty tired after doing a bunch of chthonic spells on friday's full moon, so most of the weekend I was just sleeping in. I installed Animal Jam and played it for like twelve hours because I always wanted to play on it as a kid but never got to at the time, so now I'm playing it on the weekends in my early 20s. I haven't really talked to anyone else, I'm honestly more interested in exploring the different areas of the site and playing the minigames. I am an absolute beast at Overflow, but I spent three hours trying to get halfway through the hard level of pest control and I still haven't been able to do it. But one day I shall wear that mantle of victory over this old online MMORPG minigame, and it shall be glorious.
I'm a little concerned about this week, I have to submit my final presentation for my internship in the form of a 10 minute video this friday. I have no idea what to do becuase I feel like I've barely started any research in the slightly over 7 weeks I've been here and I certainly don't have any verifiable conclusions, but at the same time I've already learned so much about lab work and I've gathered and analyzed so much data from images and I want to share it all in the time I have. I do have a powerpoint I've been working on for over a month now, so I've got that going for my presentation at least. The powerpoint itself will probably be easy enough to flesh out by adding some recent data set pictures and a few observations, but I have no idea what to actually say for ten minutes. At least this is pre-recorded and not a live zoom meeting, so I get as many chances to retake the whole thing in privacy as I need.
I am currently on week 8 of 10 of the internship, and it feels so weird to be almost done with this huge thing I've been planning my life around since before COVID happened. I've learned so much and I've gotten to see so much of the city while I'm here, but even with all of my bus hopping and manic scheduling and tailing postdocs, I feel like I barely know anything about this place or this world I'll suddenly be expected to graduate into post-undergrad. I'm also a bit nervous about moving out because if I can't get someone else to help me, I'll have to get my parents involved, and I love them but spending more than 6 consecutive hours with them makes me want to throw myself out of a window, and they'll absolutely try to nag and pressure and guilt trip me into staying with them for a week before college starts when I'd really just rather go straight back to Delaware. I could legally rent a U-haul, but I'm not the best driver and taking I-95 solo under time pressure in a larger vehicle than I'm used to seems like a terrible idea. Idk I guess I still have time technically to figure this all out, but I really need a better move out plan.
I'm also excited because it's only three more weeks untill my first furry con! There's a local city con taking place the weekend immediately after the last day of my internship, and I brought my three day pass as soon as the website went up. This is kind of my first con ever, I've never been able to go to a comic or anime type con ever because I couldn't find one close enough to go to without also involving my parents (and my mom would throw a hissy fit if she heard I went to anything like Katsucon), and I've thought about going to the pittsburgh furry cons but they never lined up with my time off of school. I'm a little nervous but so excited for this to happen!
Yesterday was a bit of a mixed bag. I had a really nice time at dinner and my group finished the escape room with 30 seconds to spare, so that was really awesome. The power in my entire town was out for 8 hours and that threw me into a panic spiral until I went to sleep so that was less fun. Overall it was a pretty good day though.
Turns out there's a shit ton of fuckery going on with my meds and I can't even try to get a refill until monday and I'm obligated to do a telehealth visit that isn't covered by my insurance for it even though there's literally zero changes to the prescription. If I can't work out something with walgreens themselves I'll just wean myself off of the meds because I can't even get my schedule and budget together to do weekly telehealth therapy that is covered by my insurance, so I'm not about to shell out for this bullshit. Even when my perscription refills did work as planned in the past year I'd have to walk a minimum of half an hour away to get my meds and there wasn't a bus route I could use, and there's just so much legislatibe bullshit around getting a 90 day supply of low concentration sertraline that it's just not really worth it if I have to do even more additional bs.
Man ya just gotta love American healthcare. When it doesn't kill you directly through racism, transphobia, or homophobia, and you can somehow afford any treatments, the mess of companies and private practices and hospitals makes it ridiculosly impractical for any working adult to get so much as a vision check. And I'm sure as hell not dislosing comprimising shit like this to my family even though they probably have more money and resources to arrange shit becuase they've literally filed false police reports on me in the past and that's the last thing I need right now.
Today was alright, my western blots came out decently well despite the gel getting a tear in it yesterday. I think the meeting about science comics and general uses of visual communication went well enough. There was an event for the retirement of some senior board member at the labs, I had no clue what was going on but my internship sponsors went and there was free food so I went after work. It was hot and humid and I was still wearing jeans from work, so that wasn't pleasant, but the goat cheese dip alone was absolutely worth sweating through every layer of clothing I had. I managed to catch the bus home in time to go to the weekly group meditation session, even with all of the small talk and farewell speeches that I had no understanding of. The meditation session today was definitely helpful but also very tiring, so I've mostly just been lying around since I've been home after that. I did get a chance to ask about outdoor spaces for full moon ceremonies since that's coming up in a few days, so hopefully I can get a general plan together for some spellwork before the evening of. Overall today was good, but pretty exhausting. But the best, most memorable days of one's life are somehow always the ones that leave you feeling like you've been hit by a semitruck and you love every minute of it.
My job evaluation was a mixed experience. Mostly I got positive feedback, until the issue of my neurodivergence came up. And then the bullshit started. Apparently some of my superiors were saying they thought I wasn’t engaged enough because I was typing while listening to them speak, and while the doctor who runs my internship knows me better and knows I just need to keep my hands moving to focus, she did say I need to alter it to not be passed up for job opportunities. They also said my infodumping made it hard to understand me when I did talk about stuff, and that could also cost me job opportunities. I know she’s coming from a good place, and she’s been passed up for jobs regardless of her qualifications just based on her appearances and who she is before, but it still fucking bites to be told you have to mask your reactions 24/7 and hide who you are if you want to be able to have a job where you won’t starve and will qualify for health insurance. And while she has some similarities to me, it’s still a bit rich to be told I need to alter my personality by a cishet neurotypical person who has a position where they can essentially select/hire interns. Honestly capitalism is bullshit and between the ocean and forests around the world both being on fire, if I make it to 35 without accidentally killing myself or getting offed by fascists, the world isn’t realistically going to survive with society staying the same as it is. I’ll be just fine with it crumbling if this is the system functioning normally. Although in the near term getting an official autism diagnosis might help me have a leg to stand on in order to argue for myself at work.
On a more positive note, my partner came over for the weekend. It was so nice to get to see him and just hang out. We went to South Street and visited some shops for Saturday afternoon, and despite the brutal heat and humidity, we had a lot of fun. I got some books and a shirt at the Wooden Shoe, and some pins and patches for my jacket at the South Street Art Mart, while he got some records for his collection at Repo Records. We stopped for dinner at the 4th Street Deli and I was not prepared for the sizes of the reubens. The sandwiches made me doubt the capacity of my own gut. Half of the sandwich was as large as the lower half of my skull. It was glorious corned beef madness. The afternoon and evening were nice, and I loved being able to go out with my partner again.
My partner and I binged watched the second season of Beastars on Sunday afternoon. I won’t give any spoilers for those still trying to watch the show but holy shit the second season killed it. Even outside of the plot, the music and animation are all top tier, and the stylization choices made in production are wonderful. If you haven’t watched this show yet, it’s definitely worth your time.
Work today has been alright, mostly quiet. I have to go to the third meeting about possible career opportunities for scientists, which would be helpful if all of the speakers didn’t just spend 20 minutes rambling about their childhoods over zoom in a way to show how their skills developed growing up. I know for some people that can help them find direction, but most of the attendees are science majors in college or grad school looking into how to apply to jobs, and this information is so not relevant to anything we’d be interested in. I can’t remember anything about any of the previous speakers, and neither can any of my roommates in the same internship. But I get to just sit down and doodle for an hour and I’m not on camera or audio at all, so I mostly just do other stuff while the meeting runs.
I'm finally almost done with my slide scanning. It literally took three days to get photos for the first set, hopefully this second set will finish up today so I can get everything sorted on my computer. I have just under 15,000 images from my first set, which takes hours to just copy onto my hard drives. But on the flip side having all of this data will be helpful for future research.
I have a performance evaluation with the doctor running my summer internship in half an hour. I'm a little nervous about it, even though it'll probably be fine. I should probably ask about the final symposium presentation I have to submit by the 30th, since I'm still not entirely sure what to include in my powerpoint or talk. I have some nice introductory material, but I'm not sure what to include for my results.
I'm pretty excited for this weekend. My partner is coming over and we're planning on going to South Street to hang out. It's a really fun place and I'm excited to go there again. There's also a music show in the north side of town I'm thinking of asking him to go to with me, but it is pretty late at night.
This weekend was alright, I went out to a protest in support of Palestine on Saturday. It was large by the suburban standards I'm used to in the area local to uni, but given the standards of center city Philly it was on the smaller side. I'm really glad people are still showing up and having events to fight against the colonization going on. Of course there were pigs around us even though we were peaceful and had like one set of speakers and a megaphone, because the cops will do their best to intimidate the shit out of you at BLM or pro-palestine or other civil rights marches. Turns out Philly is a sister city with Tel-Aviv and there's a program where Philly cops and IDF soldiers will trade members and have them train with the other group for a year or two before going back because of course there is why wouldn't there be, we're in the hellish timeline where the ocean is on fire several times a week and billionaires stole $3.9 billion in the middle of a global pandemic. The bullshit of white supremacy and collapsing capitalism aside, I'm really glad I went to this march.
I stopped by a bar in north Philly on the way back to my place. The bus got delayed for an hour so I stopped in for a few drinks to kill some time at a tavern 300 feet from the bus stop. It was pretty small but the people there were all pretty friendly. They weren't really well stocked on drinks, they kinda started running out of a few different kinds of beer at 10 pm. But the atmosphere was nice and I really enjoyed talking to the people there. Plus it was the first decently priced bar I've been to in this city (seriously it's like $6 for a can of beer at most of the city bars). Maybe I'll pop down there another weekend for a couple of Coronas before I head back home after the internship.
I kinda wanted to write more on here on Sunday but I'm always exhausted and depressed as fuck after large protests. I like going to them and I personally feel like it's important for me to show up for these political events and show support, but the day after is always a hell of a crash. It's like I get super excited and hyped and have endless energy on the day of the protest and no matter how it goes the next day I'll be a depressed pile in my bed hiding from the world and eating raw pasta because I don't have the spoons to make anything else. It's part of the territory so I'm not super surprised by it anymore, but it still sucks that even going to the things I want and that make me feel good take up so much brainpower that I can't function afterwards. Honestly most days being neurodivergent in this world is just tiring because I'm always exhausted from my symptoms and the fact that this world wasn't built with people like me in mind, but no one ever gives you enough time to rest for causes not considered normal, especially not in grind culture capitalism. I guess my chosen career ambitions of academia where you're considered a slacker for taking weekends off and working less than 60 hours a week after you get your degree doesn't help either.
I started a round of slides scanning on the microscope since I've made 24 of a set with the same antibodies. I started them yesterday at 9:30 am, started the last step yesterday at 3:30 pm, and I'm still waiting for the machine to finish taking photos of the cells in the samples. On the bright side the images I already have are turning out really well, so I'll be able to get some pretty good analysis going.
The IHC training went well, I think my lab mate understood it well enough. Turns out she's doing a year of research but normally she's working with patients. We had a pretty cool chat about patient practice and biochemical research, and why we like different but sort of similar career paths. Overall it went well, and the staining came out really well. I'll probably get training on the scanning microscope and start running my 24 slides for imaging on Monday, since that's kind of a two day overnight process.
I played through some more spirit tracks. I'm at the first level of the tower but having some trouble working past the rooms. I'll probably figure it out eventually, but these puzzles do give you the runnaround sometimes. I played the soundtrack in an orchestral arrangement a few years ago, so it's cool to finally play the game and recognize the melodies I played on my violin.
Soooo my lab PI is letting me teach someone else how to do IHC staining. I'm a little nervous about it because I've only been here for four and a half weeks, but I'm also glad that he sees me as compotent enough to teach someone else how to do this. It's a pretty standard IHC, nothing unusual, so it's been super easy to explain the steps as I do them.
I re-installed Retroarch on my new computer. I had it on my old laptop to play Ace Attorney. It works really well as an emulator, especially with the 2015 DeSmuMe Nintendo DS emulator software. The only problem is that any old nintendo game mechanic that involves blowing into the microphone is a bit of a problem on my laptop, but that can usually be avoided. I spent two hours last night playing Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, and it is so fun! I mostly played shovelware my parents got me as a kid, so the only older "classic" games I really grew up playing were Animal Crossing: Wild World and the newer Mario games on the Wii. I'm trying to play through more older games as an adult with free downloads and my emulator. I really love the mechanics of Spirit Tracks, and the story is really cool. I'm definitely going to play it some more later after work.
Yesterday and today were amazing. I finally got to spend some time with my partner, and we got to hang out and just wander around town. I finally finished playing Portal 2 in a furious three hour midnight marathon on his computer, and it was so awesome! We went out to my local video game shop this afternoon and I got a Sailor Mercury figure, so it was definitely worth the walk down the street even though it was entirely too hot outside. I really wish we could spend more time together and have more weekends like this. I like doing things on my own well enough but I just miss having my partner around, and only being able to visit once or twice every month at most really bums me out. But for the short time out of two months that it was, this weekend was amazing.
I'm a bit nervous for my presentation tomorrow. My plan is to just put most of the focus on my lab methodology and the reasoning for the steps therein because that will be a lot easier to explain in five minutes than the in depth machinations of BRCA proteins inside the nucleus. As long as I don't oversleep again (for the 10th time in four weeks) and get my stuff together in time, I'll probably be fine. I will, however, have to unscrew up whatever happened to my second image analysis folder after the presentation because somehow 1/8th of my total files are neither in the trash or recycling bins nor anywhere on my desktop or hard drives. Gotta love when files you worked on for several hours suddenly vamish without a trace in the computer.
My piercings are healing up well enough. They still have a little scabbing around the needle entry and exit sites, so I try to clean up the worst bits of it but the piercing sites get sensitive if I poke at them too much so I leave some of it alone. But overall they're healing up well enough, and they're not even really sore or anything. They're kind of easy to forget about until I take my shirt off honestly. I'm still a bit paranoid about infection though, so I'll be on a general lookout.
Some days I don't think I should trust anyone. I guess that sounds overdramatic, most of my acquaintances and friends have been decent enough, but sometimes the people you look up to the most will turn out to be incredibly awful people. I think part of it is parasocial, I've had like four different people who I was a hardcore fan/stan of turn out to be pedophiles and stalkers and looking back at their videos and songs they were definitely toxic as hell but I was so caught up in the mid 2010s fandom glow to think critically about it. Honestly half of the people who I looked up to in a fan-of-a-celebrity type way both online and in movies turned out to be scammers, conservative to the point of openly wanting people like me dead, manupulative liars, and straight up child predators and rapists. Of course that'd just be normal person bullshit, but so many people who I personally called friends or family turned out to be abusive assholes to other people and at this point I'm not totally sure how to do adult friendships without having someone turn out to be an asshole. Like the awesome cool weed plug guy who I talked about life and watched anime with has gone full on into antivaxxer conspiracy theories that sound slightly antisemetic in origin but I'm not totally sure about that last part. The cool homeless guy I talked to about life and trying to get my shit together as a runnaway kept trying to defend adults dating high schoolers. Nearly half of my guy friends still try to flirt with me after I've made it clear that while I'm flattered I'm not really interested, and some of them get pushy months afer I thought we were cool and then I just question if they'll ever see me as a person beyond being a hard-to-get romantic prospect. And now two of my closest friends from school and political events broke up, both of them saying the other one was toxic and one of them saying that the other tried to kill her with no denial of such on the other end. Like, is it always going to be this 50/50 crapshoot?! Because half of my friends are awesome ride or dies, and the other half turned out to be abusive dangerous pricks, and if one more person turns out to be a manipulative jackass I swear I will fucking lose it, stop talking to anyone, and just run off into the mountains Chris McCandles style because at this point fuck adult friendships, fuck celebrities and fan culture, and honestly just fuck all of this manipulative bullshit.
This week has been tiring. I accidentally broke some microscope slides when the container I was carrying them in blew out its bottom, and while I'm okay I'm still bummed about losing 5 out of 8 slides. Image analysis is plodding along smoothly, so that's the same as ever. I have a presentation about my research goals for the summer coming up on Tuesday, and I'm a little nervous about it even though I only have to present for 7 minutes. I've only been in the lab for four weeks and I hope I can convey what understanding I have of the topics in my presentation. I will definitely be leaning heavily on my BioRender graphics.
I finally got paid this friday, and I have a three day weekend for the 4th of July. I don't really think the 4th is worth celebrating, but having a three day weekend gives me a chance to see my partner for the first time in months so I'll take the time off. I miss him every day we aren't together, even though we've been long distance due to covid for about a year at this point. I wish we could move in together, because after all we have been dating for over two years, but we're not in a super stable financial position to do that with both of us still being undergrads. For now we just have to settle for weekend visits every so often because we aren't living close enough to travel to each other on weekdays. Maybe in the next year or two something will let us move in together.
Depression and anxiety and whatever other neurological bullshit I have going on really fucks with my ability to do new things. I've only watched the first episode of Loki and I still need to watch season 2 of The Owl House, and I really fucking want to watch those shows and read the comic books and anarchist literature I brought last weekend, but instead I just stare at a wall or at the same social media posts over and over again. And I really want to see those shows, to read my books, to finally fucking focus on something other than rewatching the same dozen star trek episodes or Kitchen Nightmares over and over again, but I stare at my laptop with the tabs open to watch the shit for hours and I can't get my brain together enough to do the really easy things I want to do. It's like this with almost everything in my life, where I can't get my brain together to do new things unless I get so panicked and scared by the prospect of failing a class or losing my job that I freak out and do everything in a hurry. It's been like this for years, and at this point I'm not sure if this something I fix, get a new diagnosis for, or just learn to live with for the rest of my life. Maybe it'd be easier to just fall asleep on the forest floor and decompose and never wake up. But then I wouldn't be able to listen to the tracks I downloaded on my phone. Who knows at this point.
I went out and got my nipples pierced earlier. I love the way face and body piercings look, and while I can't get the snakebites I've been thinking about while still being an undergrad largely supported by my parents, I have previously gotten a navel piercing. It hurt like a bitch when the needle went in, and my nipples were definitely pretty sore for the next few hours. They're a little irritated, but they're already pretty comfortable and using a sea salt saline wash absolutely helps. There's a little scabbing around the piercings but that aside they still already look really cute and I'm so glad I got them.
Yesterday was pretty chill. I had to get some professional headshots and group photos done for my program, so I had to dress up in a suit even though there's a severe heat advisory. I also popped by a professional undergrad meet and greet, but I was mostly there for the free food and so I could say I went there to my program mentor and really I was just on my phone eating snacks the whole time. I'm not completely adverse to meetings but I always find professional meet and greets boring and frequently they're a poor reflection of who anyone there actually is. We all act differently when placed in a "make an elevator pitch about your career" situation, and the whole charade of professionalism is mostly for show for whoever is funding things. Even on a purely professional basis, you'd learn more about someone's work by just popping by their lab or reading their articles, and meeting up in a meet and greet doesn't tell you about how well you'd work together on a project or at a lab bench. Overall I just really don't see the point of an event that's both too professional to be relaxing or fun or at least impressively fancy and too brief and non-relevant to a workspace to tell you anything about how someone works. I did get free food so I really can't complain too much.
I went to the second week of a group meditation thing in town in the evening. It's at a small shop that literally just opened, but it's really nice and a cool space to be in. The people running the meditation and the shop are really nice and helpful, and even after the meditation sessions they're great to talk to and hang out with. I've found the meditations to be really helpful and relevatory, and I definitely want to keep doing them while I'm in the area. It'd be cool to hang out with some of the people there on other days too, but I know we both have our own careers and other things going on.
The doctor running the program I'm in is hosting a get together at a restaurant later tonight. It's just going to be my roomates/neighbors and a couple of other people after work, so it should be chill. The restaurant seems casual but nice, so it'll be more fun than the meeting yesterday. I met up with everyone for a lunch before at another place and that was pretty fun, so this should be nice.
Today is the third and final day of a western blot I'm running. I've done parts of one before with a lot more help, so hopefully this one turns out alright. I hope everything transfered onto the development membrane, there were some problems with getting up to the propper transfer voltage while keeping everything from overheating. Hopefully everything will come out alright during the dark room film development part.
Some days you just gotta rewatch Star Trek: TNG, eat junk food, and cry into your pillow.
Externally, today was alright, a normal monday. But being dysphoric as hell, only getting 3.5 hours of sleep, cramping and bleeding out of organs you don't want, and having a self harm relapse will take a lot out of a bitch. Honestly being alive in a world that constantly reminds me that it wants me locked up and forgotten about or dead is tiring, and I'm lucky enough to be able to pass as cis and neurotypical in the really dangerous situations. But even if I can't focus on watching a diffrent show or reading more than 10 pages, and I can't get it together to have an actual meal, I'll always have junk food, Star Trek, and Kitchen Nightmares.
Yesterday was incredible! I went into center city to check out an anarchist book store that I haven't been to since January 2020 (thanks, COVID) and afterwards decided to check out the rest of the shops on the street. I wound up spending the evening and afternoon at a pride event and going into various shops. I got a bunch of anarchist political and how-to books, 7 different comic books, a thai iced tea, and a small statue of the godess Isis for my temporary altar (I move a ton so I can't usually set up anything huge). I did have to hold myself back from spending literally all of the rest of my money at the art market, but when my next paycheck comes in I'm hiting up the art shops and the adult shops on the street, and maybe even a bar if I can find one that has drinks for less than $13 a pop. Maybe even a new piercing to accompany my navel and earlobe piercings. I've thought about getting snakebite piercings for a while, but I'll probably have to hold off on those until I finish my undergrad degree so that the worst my parents can do is be mad about it. Getting a set of helix piercings or an industrial would be cool as hell though.
I met a really cool group of people coming out of the liquor store to get cheaper drinks than I would at a bar. Bonding over drinks and pride while hanging out in the glow of the afternoon and sunset at a basketball hoop was awesome, and I'm lucky that I got the chance to meet so many new people! I really hope I can bump up with more people up here over the summer now that I'm fully vaxxed and things are opening up again.
Today is going to be a bit slower, I'm mostly just going to be hanging out at home. I'm going to sort of a potluck hangout later with my roomates/neighbors/fellow internship members, so I got some sparkling margarita things and sake to share with the group. I might make some pasta if I can find a decent container to take it across the hall in. I would do my laundry, but my roomate has currently forgotten to move her clothes through, so I guess I'll get to that later. Beyond that, I'm just gonna watch anime and read the books I got yesterday.
Yesterday was interesting. I rolled out of bed super late and ran out of the door in five minutes, barely making it to work on time, did my second day step of IHC staining (coloring certain proteins in cells so they can be seen visibly under a microscope), finally figured out the fucked up university mail system and picked up my stim toys two weeks late, had a really awesome full moon meditation and offering ceremony, went to a local bar where I was the only person under 50 there, and then crashed and fell asleep as soon as I got home. So all in all a mixed bag but still nice.
I'm super psyched for my stim toys finally getting here. I find they really help me relax when I'm stressed and they keep me focused when I'm trying to listen to something. I like the floppy silicone brushes the best, I've had sort of a blue ameoba looking one for years and I just got a red and yellow fish one and a pink and magenta donut shaped one. I tend to pick at my scalp and pull my hair a lot to stim when I don't have toys, so the flexible bristles definitely appeal to the whole hair-like texture obsession I have. These silicone brushes are also super flexible and tough, so I can pull on them and twist them to get frustration and stress out. They still have some tension, so sticking my fingers in the little grabby holes in the middle of them is a great pressure stim. All in all silicone flexible brushes are incredible. I also got a chewy pendant because I've never had an actual oral stim toy but sometimes when I'm having panic attacks or like I'm really frustrated I tend to put my brushes in my mouth and bite down as a way to avoid freaking out or self harming. I like it so far but I feel like the size is definitely made for somone who has a bigger mouth than I do (I have a small pallete and jaw). I can't really wear it or use it outside of my house because of COVID and working in a lab, both cases where things that are out in the proximity of dangerous areosols should probably not be put in your mouth. But it's still super comforting to use.
I still feel a little weird talking about stim toys tbh. I'm not diagnosed as autistic but I've been wondering if I am for years at this point. I don't want to appropriate anything, but I've been at the "either autistic people talking about their experiences and symptoms are way too relatable or I need to get a diagnosis" point for a while now. Then again, I'm making $12, I'm a college student currently in a summer internship where taking time off during the week for a doctor's appointment or therapy isn't an option if I still want to get paid, and while a diagnosis could be helpful I don't want to seem like I'm chasing it like some weird fetishizer. Idk maybe at some point I'll see about a diagnosis if I can ever get a stable enough living situation to see a therapist. Honestly between college, military parents, and the fuckery of my financial situation as a runnaway during COVID, I'm not used to having a set address for more than a couple of years at a time, and that makes it super fucking hard to get anything beyond a basic checkup because I can never build a long term relationship, history, or treatment plan with any specialist because I'm just going to move again a few months after I finally get an appointment. Hell I didn't go to the dentist for a full decade because moving and the wait times for appointments combined made getting my teeth unfucked pretty much impossible. Honestly American healthcare is such bullshit and having unstable addresses and insurance plans doesn't help anything. But all my bitching aside I think my stim toys are hella cool.
IHC has gone surprisingly well the first few times I've done it. There might be some issue of cross contamination on the slides because they have two samples each, but beyond that the coloring seems to be coming out nicely. I'm really glad that I'm getting some hands on lab experience with this, and while a lot of the intricacies of proteomics are still a bit above my level of education, I still think working with visualizing proteins is neat!
I'll probably type some more later tonight, but for now have a good day!
Decided to make this website today after checking out some other neocities hosted groups. Not much to say yet, I'm mostly just messing around but I like to think I could make something cool with this. Anyways its 12:31 am on a Wednesday (Thursday?) so I should probably tuck in for the night.