Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Keeping Busy 

I've been relatively good the past couple of weeks about posting regularly, but any comments about what has been going on in my live have been sparse. It's about time I fessed up to what I've been up to recently.

First off, I must get a particularly nasty piece of news out of the way. My cousin was involved in an accident yesterday, one which tragically took the life of a five-year-old girl. As of Tuesday, it appears that he will be charged with a misdemeanor, but that could change. Any kind thoughts and prayers for the child's family and for my cousin's family are greatly appreciated. I hope the grief of both parties can be somehow lessened.

Now on to my own life, which is fortunately nowhere near as dramatic. In the past few weeks, I've volunteered at The Marine Mammal Center twice. I had gone every Tuesday for over a year, but my schedule kept me away for several months. Since I'm unencumbered by a work schedule (unfortunately), I made the decision to roll out of bed and go in.

Since I had been away for a few months, I felt a little awkward the first time I went in. Doubt can sure creep in when it's been a few months since you've gone into enclosures with seals weighing around one hundred pounds each. Also, I was unsure how I'd fit into the group tasks. How surprised then was I when I was given a round of applause when I walked into the office? Holy crap, it feels nice to be appreciated. My sarcastic side could say they were applauding the fact I finally made it, since I was almost an hour late due to traffic. Oh well.

While I was going to TMMC on those Tuesdays, I was also going up to Bodega Marine Lab a couple times each week. I help out one of the postdocs up there, doing such highly technical tasks as gluing numbers on crabs. I enjoy the Hell out of it; I get to help out research, work in a place with an unreal view, and take in a beautiful drive. I'll post some pictures when I finally cough some money for a digital camera.

Of course I'm a crazy bastard. I've been driving all over the place the past couple of weeks, but I've been closer to what I really want to do for a living than I have been for awhile. Ever since I made the annual summer trips to the coast, I've been hooked in by the sea. So when I get to go tidepooling and collect animals, for research no less, I don’t mind driving at least an hour and a half each way to do it. Most importantly, I'm getting valuable research experience, and I hope the effort helps slingshot me into grad school and a paid career in marine science.

In the meantime, I've been still trying to land a biotech job, although I don't try as hard on some days. In the past week, I've had one interview, and one position still open that I'm waiting to hear from. To top it off, my old employer called. Apparently, the company is closing shop and they need help to clean the place up. I was sympathetic, and when they offered to pay, that sealed the deal. So now I put in a full workday cleaning the labs, and deciding what can get tossed and what needs to get carted off. The kicker is they are paying me more now than before! Too bad the work only lasts a couple weeks.

All in all, I have enough to keep me busy. Kiss that insomnia I had goodbye. A busy couple of weeks, and tonight The Amazing Race. Things for me are pretty good. Now I just need that new job to come through!

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