Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Look what I found

And old blog of mine.

Is writing about this meta? I guess it doesn't matter.

Be prepared for this to just be a bunch of discombobulated thoughts or should I say candid cerebrations (that joke probably would land better if you new that was the title of my old blog but you probably don't and also even if you did this joke would still suck but I've never shied away from a bad joke before and I am not going to start now).

Anyway, it might be shocking to hear but this isn't my first blog. I have tried blogging a few times before. I think my first blog might have been LiveJournal in high school or if not then early college.

(So why am I so bad at blogging? Shut up!)

Blogging to me has always been kind of like journaling, which I have done my entire life, but you also (supposedly) have an audience which gives you the ability to write more, to share, to interact.

So should I get to the point already and share my old blog?

I will but first let me give it some context. The blog I found is from when I first moved from Minnesota to New York City and before I went to graduate school. My posts are shorter in general, more photos, there is more creative writing (oh how I miss that), posts on dating and some on running. I guess that's enough context...

Here it is if you want to check it out: https://candidcerebrations.wordpress.com/

If not, your loss. Not really. But I do appreciate all who do take the time to read through it.

It was really fun to scroll through and remember and reflect. Nostalgia is one of those things you don't even know you need until you experience it and it's just such a pure, wholesome feeling.

Now I am kind of kicking myself for destroying many of my old journals. But maybe I shouldn't because I think they were mostly just me bitching. I remember I wrote a post once about why I usually get rid of them but I think that is in one of the lost blogs. And I don't really remember the reasons. Something like they were overly negative and hauling them around moving is a pain in the ass? I guess it's not that important if I don't remember.

Anyway...

Some of my favorite posts in my blast from the past are from November 2014 but they don't have titles... Like why? Did I think that was cool or artsy or something? One is a poem I wrote that I really love and had totally forgotten about although I'm sure I have it saved someone, one is an image with a motivational saying on it - really you can take it or leave it, and the other is a post about how this dude overstayed his welcome in my bed and I can really remember that. Well not really him but how annoyed I felt that he was still there.
To get to November 2014: https://candidcerebrations.wordpress.com/2014/11/

So why the name Candid Cerebrations? Because that was exactly what I wanted the blog to encompass. And I think it did. Also (and mostly) because it's a play on my initials CC.

And I think that is what I want to also try to encompass here on this blog too.  But with longer posts because some of those could have and should have just been tweets.

Can I repost some of the posts from there to here? Like I know I can but like is that okay?

Also I really should probably figure out how to log into it and update it to send people here and not that broken url to a domain I no longer have. I'm a bit sad to realize I completely lost what was on my own domain because I never backed it up. Oh past me with such little regard for saving stuff. Oh well...

Hmmm, I wonder if I have any other old blogs lying around...

P.S. If you do check out my old blog, please let me know which posts you liked or did not like.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Feeling like myself again

I am finally feeling like myself again. And it feels good.

What was wrong? Everything yet nothing.

Why do I say that?

Because I have anxiety.

And yes, I have seen a therapist about it. For the most part, my anxiety is fairly well controlled. No, I do not take medications but I do some cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) techniques. And I am learning to see anxiety as a tool rather than a detriment.

Seriously though. My anxiety is definitely responsible for driving me through and into academia. And for that I feel gratitude. But I appreciate it better when it's controlled.

So for me, my anxiety is largely made up of rumination which means I get stuck on one thought for a long time. Days. Weeks. Months. Some times this can be good like when I'm stuck on troubleshooting an experiment.

Image Credit: @PositivelyPresent

The issue, when it becomes anxiety, is when it's on a bad thought that I don't need to get stuck on like a shitty situation in a relationship (this is my kryptonite). But really interpersonal relationships especially romantic ones are what stress me out the most. I'm kind of embarrassed to so publicly admit that so moving on...

Getting back to how my anxiety can be seen as good. Well it has trained me ruminate on one thought for long periods and think about something from all angles. Like ALL angles. Which one could definitely see as being great for a grad student or academic in general. But I'm definitely still in training at times for controlling what the thought in focus is. I'm not sure if I'll ever have full control of that but I plan to work on it until I die. But I have learned though that running is good way for me to stick on to a thought and troubleshoot. Running is also a really good way for me to de-stress when those bad ruminating thoughts are floating around. Also another positive of having anxiety is that it gives me a lot of empathy for others which I think is desperately needed in academia.

So what do I mean when I say my my anxiety is well controlled. Well it means I have gotten pretty good at showing those bad, intrusive thoughts the door. How do I do that? Well with a CBT technique called reframing or cognitive restructuring. Basically what that means is I challenge the thought by taking a hard look at that thought and my past negative thought behaviors. Like instead of thinking I am the worst graduate student ever because I'm not being productive and see how it is probably incorrect and I correct it. Maybe I am over generalizing. I am probably over generalizing. Especially if I'm thinking something like I'm never going to be good at this or I'm always a failure. I might instead think something more reasonable and healthy like even the best researchers need a break so it's okay that I took today off from being productive, I did a good job yesterday and I will do a good job tomorrow. Or like oh my gosh how am I ever going to get this project in by the deadline, I'm definitely just going to fail and embarrass myself to something like it is okay to feel stressed out about this project but I shouldn't feel anxious, I don't need to worry about failing as my track record gives more than enough evidence that I won't, let me break this down into smaller chunks to finish in time. By the way, breaking up a big task into smaller tasks is actually another CBT technique called successive approximation. But I often forget that because I feel like it's such a common practice that no one really thinks of it as a therapy tool. Which is why it should also serve as an illustration that stigmatization of therapy is really just ridiculous and that everyone can benefit from therapy whether they have a mental illness or not.

And I hate to say this publicly but I was really on stuck on the thought that I had to out of my apartment because I could no longer live with my SO. Like I thought about it so much that I thought it was what I needed to do. The reality is that yes, I need to get out of my apartment but no, I do not need to leave my partner. But the issue was, it wasn't until I realized I was grieving the idea of moving out and breaking up that I realized it was because that wasn't the right choice. That it was a bad thought. Don't get me wrong, my relationship has its ups and downs and my partner has some bad habits that I don't like (as do I) but none of them are deal breakers.

So getting back to why I was so anxious because usually my anxiety doesn't really have much to do with the thought (like I said they are usually about my romantic interests); I am always on edge at the start and end of semesters. Although I can definitely say that this semester bookend anxiety definitely was not as big of deal in undergrad (mostly just trouble falling asleep and bad dreams) but that's because the pressures of what needed to be accomplished each semester was so much less, I really only ever had to show up for class and take exams. Now I have to do novel work.  Woof, typing that even made me a bit anxious. Also then there is this whole pandemic thing if you haven't noticed *laughs uncomfortably* just heightening anxiety everywhere.

Anyway, so I know that school starting and ending is a trigger (one of a handful) for my anxiety. Identifying triggers and ways to manage it are crucial to keeping my anxiety well controlled. And by well controlled I don't mean gone or cured. I mean manageable. Some of my other triggers are not going outside or moving body enough . Which is why I often take outdoor walks and enjoy running. But that week had terrible weather and I really can't get enough movement in my tiny apartment. So really it was a culmination of everything.

I'm the type that when my anxiety gets bad I like to just withdraw. I don't want to get out of bed. I don't want to see people. I don't want to think. I just want to sleep. So that's what I did for a few days. Because why not? I had the time (thanks pandemic?) and the weather was still garbage. So I decided to be kind to myself and let myself take the time I needed but knowing that I could not stay like that forever. And I would not let myself stay like that for too long. I could only temporarily wallow, then I needed to bounce back.

Image Credit: @HelloSunshine
My bouncing back strategies involve easy, feel good productivity activities like cleaning (although not lately since I feel all I do is wash dishes), being outside (done, thank you sun for coming out!), an easy run (check!), reading a good book (yes x 3). If it were "normal" time I probably would have needed to spend less time wallowing because of work commitments in which case I'd maybe of only taken the weekend or a sick day if it were midweek. But since I didn't have to, I just let it run its course with a little less forced of an ending. And if it were "normal" time, I probably would have also gone for a solo coffee date at a cafe because I have found this really forces me to get back on track. 1. Because I love going to the cafe. Like I'm not sure I can do this and not enjoy it. 2. Because it requires me to get out of bed which is usually half the battle. 3. Because it also requires me to go into public which means likely showering but if anything at least getting dressed which really does make me feel better.

The only thing I f*cked up with my wallowing session was the accountability challenge I publicly set with daily blog posts for the month of May. But whatever, I'm the boss in this case so I can change the rules. So don't worry, I will make up for it! With quantity of posts anyway, you'll still have 31 posts this month to suffer through, quality is debatable as always.

Addendum: Some might question that if my ruminations are about my relationships then the anxiety is probably caused by them because them and if anxiety is caused by them then they probably aren't good relationships. Like while I totally get that logic. And there are probably definitely times that has been true in my life, I have also noticed over many years and with therapy that they usually aren't the cause of my anxiety but rather an expression or projection of my anxiety. I feel like they are something I can control or change so I cling on to them. Like I think that if we just went on more dates I would be happier and less stressed about school, etc. And while I do think my current partner and I could and should go on more dates (and I've asked more than once), more dates definitely isn't a panacea. I don't particularly like that this is how my anxiety manifests (damn that was the word I was looking for before when I said expression or projection), it makes relationships more difficult, but it is what it is and I am working on it which is all I can do. And it has gotten better over the years. And it will continue to get better every year.

Mitochondria on Twitter

I wanted to post this yesterday but had some struggles (re: Not a Real Post) because I thought it was a really nice Twitter thread on mitochondria. Also it went well with my Mother's Day post from the day before. Twitter and meme culture love the mitochondria and for that (and other reasons but mostly that) I love Twitter and meme culture.

Anyway, please note that this Twitter thread was not created by me but @NakedCapsid. I'm just sharing it because I thought it was nicely done and encompasses how cool my beloved mitochondria are.

Oh and if you're curious why I was struggling yesterday, it was because I couldn't figure out how to revert back to classic Blogger and was in some very weird viewing format where I could not figure out how to input html for the life of me. Or maybe I couldn't figure it out because I had drank an entire bottle of wine. That was probably the real issue. I mean really, the revert back to classic Blogger was pretty obvious in the bottom left-hand corner of my screen today. Oh and if you must know what kind of wine it was, it is Beringer White Zinfadel. Is it my favorite? No, but it is cheap and it obviously goes down well.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Not a real post

I had a post in mind but I can't post it without being able to figure out how to input html. And I can't figure out how to enter html because the format of Blogger changed. So can anyone tell me how to change it back? Or at least input html?

Anyway, not a real post. But I'm counting it. Because I tried. 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother's Day & Cheers to Maternal Inheritance of the Mitochondria

Happy Mother's Day! 
Don't forget to thank her for all she has done for you including giving you your mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).

Let's talk about maternal inheritance of mtDNA (This post is slight adaptation from my original post which can be found here).

For most organisms (living things), including plants, animals, and fungi, mtDNA is inherited from a single parent (uniparental inheritance). In animals that reproduce sexually (make offspring/babies by... well I think you get it) the mtDNA is normally* inherited from the mother (maternal inheritance). 

*Like in most science, there are almost always exceptions. And in this case, there are examples of certain species having paternally inherited mitochondria such as Plymouth Rock chickens [1] or organisms that get "leakage" and have mtDNA from both mom and dad such as fruit flies [2], honeybees [3] cicadas [4], mice [5], sheep [6] and even humans [7, 8]. 

Back to human mtDNA, why does Mom's mtDNA beat out Dad's? There are two main ideas on how this happens; the dilution model and the active elimination model [9]. In the case of dilution, a human egg has ~200,000 mtDNA molecules whereas sperm has maybe 5 and I'm sure you can do that math (this model also allows for "paternal leakage" or some mtDNA from the dad to get through as seen in the above *exceptions). Also most mitochondria in the sperm are in the tail (mitochondria like to hang out where they are needed to make energy and the tail needs a lot since it is the motor for the sperm to swim) and the tail is often lost during fertilization. And lastly, there is evidence that mitochondria in mammalian sperm are destroyed by the egg after fertilization, active elimination [10].

[9] Carelli V. (2015).

Why does mtDNA usually only come from one parent? To be honest, we don't really know but there are plenty of theories out there and scientists are working on it (Possible future post? I don't know. Maybe. Tell me in the comments if you want me to write about this).

Why care where mtDNA comes from? Well, for genealogy (study of the family tree), it let's us trace back maternal lineage. We can do that for the paternal lineage using Y chromosome DNA. Also mtDNA is highly conserved with relatively slow mutation rates (doesn't change much generation to generation) so that also let's us study our evolutionary relationships to other species.

While on the topic of maternal inheritance of mtDNA, I should mention mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT). MRT is an in vitro fertilization (IVF) technique where the mitochondria from a donor egg is moved to the mother's egg and results in a baby with mtDNA from a donor female and nuclear DNA from the mother's egg and father/donor's sperm - this procedure is used when a woman with genetically defective mitochondria wants to have a baby with healthy mitochondria but have the baby be genetically similar to her (she could also use a donor egg). Wait, so is this the three parent baby I hear about in the news? Yes. And you can read more about it here. Some people think it's controversial but I personally find it no more controversial than egg or sperm donation. mtDNA contributes such minimal DNA (37 genes, when there is an estimated 20,000 genes in the nucleus) to have a major impact on the child's identity (this is what most of the controversy centers on) other than allowing them to be healthy.
________________________________________
References
[1] Alexander M et al. (2015). Mitogenomic analysis of a 50-generation chicken pedigree reveals a rapid rate of mitochondrial evolution and evidence for paternal mtDNA inheritance. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0561
[2] Wolff JN et al. (2012). Paternal transmission of mitochondrial DNA as an integral part of mitochondrial inheritance in metapopulations of Drosophila simulans. https://doi.org/10.1038/hdy.2012.60
[3] Meusel MS, Moritz RFA. (1993). Transfer of paternal mitochondrial DNA during fertilization of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) eggs. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00351719 
[4] Fontaine KM et al. (2007). Evidence for Paternal Leakage in Hybrid Periodical Cicadas (Hemiptera: Magicicada spp.). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000892
[5] Gyllensten U et al. (1991). Paternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA in mice. https://doi.org/10.1038/352255a0
[6] Zhao et al. (2004). Further evidence for paternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA in the sheep (Ovis aries) https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.hdy.6800516
[7] Schwartz M, Vissing J. (2002). Paternal Inheritance of Mitochondrial DNA. https://doi.org/0.1056/NEJMoa020350
[8]  Luo S et al. (2018). Biparental Inheritance of Mitochondrial DNA in Humans. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1810946115 
[9] Carelli V. (2015). Keeping in Shape the Dogma of Mitochondrial DNA Maternal Inheritance. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1005179
[10] Sutovsky P et al. (1999). Ubiquitin tag for sperm mitochondria. https://doi.org/10.1038/46466
________________________________________

If you liked learning about mitochondria, you might also like the following posts:












Monday, May 4, 2020

[Attempt to] WFH Day 48

Last week went by in a blur. And not in a good way blur. More in a I've lost sense of time and meaning way blur. Is anyone else feeling that way? I had been doing fine most of this pandemic so why now? I hope it's just a blip.

I think it started okay because I remember on Day 42 aka Tuesday, April 28th I went for a midweek hike with M which was really nice to do. Started my week off strong but then I guess it fell apart. My sleep has been messed up. I've just been very tired and sleeping late which throws my productivity out the window but I'm also just not feeling like fighting it. What's the point?

Day 44 aka Thursday, April 30th I had a student meeting which was mostly unhelpful but my program director said he doesn't think we'll be back on the 15th which put me a bit at ease. It's not that I don't want to go back to lab. I really do. I just want to be mentally prepared for it and by that I mean given sufficient notice on when and how exactly it's going to happen. But I have a feeling that is too much to ask for. Who knows when we'll return or how. Will it be staggered? Most of my experiments at this time involve long days and consecutive days, will that even be possible right away? Just so much unknown.

Saturday Day 46 I went on my regular couple hour hike with M. We even ran 5k. It was a gorgeous 70F day. I tried recapitulating it Sunday Day 47 with Dom but he's a chore as always. I convinced him to go to a local preserve by his parents since he had to pick something up but it was too crowded which I kind of figured it would be but he told me I didn't know what I was talking about. We walked for like 10 minutes and left which was fine, it really was too crowed. But instead of trying somewhere else or taking me up on the idea of a walk around the neighborhood or hanging out in our parking lot (an idea he previously seemed keen on) he decided to just cancel it. It was a bummer because I took off all weekend to enjoy the weather and Sunday was just a let down but the worst part was I didn't expect it to be anything but. I knew I should have made alternative plans to take myself out on my own hike but I made the mistake again of giving him a chance.

Not feeling great today so I'm taking it easy. But hoping to have a better week this week by getting up at an earlier time and getting back on a schedule. My final project for my one class is due Friday at 5pm so I need to GSD (get shit done). Also it's a sunnier week so hopefully that will help with the mood.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Mental Health

Since I'm not feeling so hot mentally today I feel like I should share a great resource for mental health during your PhD, Dr ZoĆ« Ayres. I was lucky enough to meet her at #COVIDCafe although I followed her on Twitter before and she's great! She recently launched her website https://www.zjayres.com/ to showcase all of the brilliant work she's shared on Twitter. Check her out!






Also I love this latest project of hers, click on the tweet to see the whole thread. Or go to her website to see it in entirety: https://www.zjayres.com/100voices And if you have a Twitter, make sure you follow her!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

My May Challenge

As seen on Twitter, I've decided to write a blog post every day this month. That's 31 posts.


31 whole posts! Well I guess 29 now counting yestersday's "What I Read in April" and this one for today. But still 29 is plenty. What am I going to write about? I have no idea. But that is the point - I want to challenge myself.

I'm hoping that this challenge accomplishes a handful of things: a habit of blogging more frequently, trying out posts that I wouldn't deem "my style" which is silly since I'm definitely still working on finding "my style" for this blog, and hopefully blogging a bit more personally and by that I mean opening up and being more vulnerable.

I want to open up about my relationships - romantic, friendships, family and my mental health - which actually has been quite good lately. I think I have been holding back because what if they don't like what I write about them? What if my PI sees my blog and finds it a waste of my time aka time that could have been spent on my dissertation. I don't have the guise of anonymity on this blog. But even if I did would that make me feel any more secure writing about these topics? I am not sure. I guess to an extent yes because I do write about all of this in my private journal. But I don't need to care about how my writing affects other people's feelings there or what people would think of me. I don't know if anonymity would truly counteract those feelings. Anyway, I will try to be more vulnerable here. So why do I want to be more vulnerable? Anais Nin can best tell you why:

"If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it." - Anais Nin

I don't want to be just another blog discussing the surface of grad school - better productivity tips, how to pick your advisor, blah who cares. All that is out there somewhere and probably done better than I would. I want to get into the nitty gritty of me and my life because that is not out there. And that cannot be written by anyone but me.

And lastly,  I'd like to get better at the practice of writing in general. It's a skill I desperately need to complete my PhD and for my dream career in academia and also one that I'm definitely not great at ...yet. But I'm trying and I know with practice it will get better. I will get better. Like running I'm assuming it is more mental than anything else and if I can do that for running (although I haven't been much lately) I can do that for writing. What helped me run my first marathon was to train with a group so I'm adopting that for my writing which is why I joined a dissertation writing bootcamp at my uni - for accountability and camaraderie. My first session was yesterday and damn was it challenging! But helpful! While I failed to remain focus the entire four hours of writing (the bootcamp runs 1-5pm Fridays for 5 weeks), I did get some words down so I'll call that a success. And I learned what I need to do to prepare for next time, revisit the literature aka read more.

Comic courtesy of PhDComics
Are there any topics you'd like me to address during this challenge? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, May 1, 2020

What I Read in April

Wow I only got through two books this past month. I guess I shouldn't be surprised as I haven't spent as much time doing activities where I listen to audio books this last month - solo walks, runs and commuting (mostly this one). Another reason to start running more. Also both books were fairly long and I'm currently reading two physical books (stay tuned to hear about them next month). Although I've misplaced one which is ridiculous when my apartment is the size of a shoebox and it's not like I have been going anywhere. Seriously, where is it? Because I've really been enjoying it and would like to get back to it!

Anyway, the two books I read or rather listened to are The Dutch House by Ann Patchett and The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. A shift from the thriller genre I was reading and a turn into family dynamics. I would rank them both as solid fours.

My rating system:
5 - Loved it and recommend it!
4 - Liked it and recommend it!
3 - It's not my cup of tea but that's not saying I didn't not enjoy it or not to read it.
2 - Pass!
1 - I'm surprised I didn't put the book down. Actually I probably would put the book down so you probably won't see this rating on my blog.

The Dutch House was a character driven story of a family over the years and the cyclical nature of them. The story was a bit flat (no climax) but always kept me engaged. A slow but solid read.

The Great Alone was also driven by dysfunctional family dynamics but more adventurous, had a bit coming of age going on and really made me want to visit Alaska. 

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Do you have any book recommendations for me? Comment below.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

[Attempt to] WFH Day 40

Day 28 Tuesday, April 14th
Dom and I went for a grocery store run. We initially tried going to BJ's (like a Costco or Sam's Club) but the line to get in wrapped around the building so we just went to the normal grocery store. It wasn't bad at all. A lot more stuff in stock (i.e. meat) than the last time we went about 3 weeks ago. Almost everyone had masks on. People were friendly while still maintaining distance. When we got home I still sanitized everything, while likely not necessary I felt it was easiest to be safe than sorry. I feel like this will be the new normal for awhile.

Day 29 Wednesday, April 15th
Attended my 10th #COVIDCafe. They really have been nice. If you're interested sign up here to get updates: tinyurl.com/covidcafe-mail

Day 30 Thursday, April 16th
GWiSE Zoom Coffee Hour 11am-12pm but then I stayed on Zoom another two hours with two of my close friends, G and N who I'd normally see and chat with frequently during "normal" times. It was really nice.

Day 31 Friday, April 17th
Hosted a Zoom Pomodoro Writing Group open to my department. Although group is a stretch as it was just me and G but it helped me make progress. For those who don't know what Pomodoro is, it's just a timer strategy so we spent 25 minutes writing and then a 5 minute break, repeat 4 times.

Later that night I joined G again and some other friends for a Zoom game night. We used Skribbl.io and then a friend shared her screen so we could play Jackbox games. It was a lot of fun.

Day 32 Saturday, April 18th
I did laundry at the laundromat downstairs. Three loads and as much as I want to claim I've been putting laundry off because of the pandemic, that's just my normal strategy. I was a little anxious how this would go down but I was the only one there beside the lady who works there so it was fine. I just made sure to do my folding upstairs on my bed instead of down there on the folding counter.

Another Zoom/Jackbox game night not as fun because there were only 4 of us but Dom joined which was nice. 

Day 33 Sunday, April 19th
M and I went for a nice hike again. We initially canceled the one last weekend because we were concerned about respecting the call for proper social distancing and the fines. But we ultimately decided the risk was low but the need for our mental health was high so that we should do it. 

I picked up Chinese take out on my way home because my favorite place Best Kitchen in West Islip was reopened. And crab rangoon is my comfort food. It was delicious and we ate the leftovers for days.


Day 34 Monday, April 20th
I submitted a draft for my final project for my one course.
I went to join #COVIDCafe but backed out because I was just feeling really overwhelmed and not mentally up for it.

Day 35 Tuesday, April 21st
Ran for the first time since this all started. A very (very!) slow 5k through the neighborhoods. The weather was perfect so I shouldn't complain, brisk 50s with a light breeze.

I then attended the New York Academy of Sciences Mitochondria in Complex Diseases Symposium. I will be honest, I was underwhelmed. A lot of presenters didn't show new data which is the best part about conferences/symposiums - if I want to learn about your published work I will just read the publication. I could not make it through all of them. Zoom burnout is real. 

Day 37 Thursday, April 23rd
I attended a talk by Dan Tyrell on the role of mitochondria in vascular (and cerebrovascular) aging and disease. It was brief but really interesting. The Lamming Lab is putting on a series of aging talks and I definitely plan to attend more. Check out the schedule here: http://www.lamminglab.org/agingscitalks.html I also really like their format with asking questions on Slack.

I also virtually attended IDPSIG which was also very enjoyable.


I am glad I really enjoyed these virtual talks/symposiums because Tuesday really let me disappointed. Also in between I went out for a 2nd 5k. I really hope I keep up this momentum next week.

Day 38  Friday, April 24th
Hosted another Zoom Pomodoro Writing Group - only N attended this time but whatever. My priority with this session is not to worry about attendance but about getting some of my writing done.

Attended my 11th #COVIDCafe and accidentally missed the Aging Talk I wanted to see but don't worry I watched the talk later because they recorded it (they are available for 48 hours after the talk).

For some reason, I was up until 3:30am doing work on my computer. Hey if the inspiration strikes you go with it. I also wrote my professor a cheesy email thanking him for how the class he waived the prereqs for has been really helping me through this time - but don't worry I waited until I proofread it in daylight hours before sending off. But seriously, the regularity of this class gives me some sense of a schedule and the work and learning gives me purpose.

Day 39 Saturday, April 25th
Woke up way too early for such a late bed time.

Met up with M again for a nice long hike - definitely needed.
And when I got home  I took a really nice nap with the sun shining in on me while in bed - those naps are the best.

Tried to Zoom chat with my family but no one really had much to say. My sister moved home with all her pets - she just graduated vet school and will live at home until she starts work and maybe a bit after that to have a few paychecks to put a down payment on a house (who is she?!) My parents are going to a housewarming BBQ with friends today - not thrilled by that but I know there is nothing I can stay that will stop them and I didn't feel like getting my mother started.

Today
I slept in. Like way, way in until 1pm. Which is crazy seeing as I went to bed at like midnight and took a nap yesterday. But I am all for listening to what my body needed and when  I woke up at 9ish and a little bit here and there it told me to stay in my warm bed.

Also today's update is thanks once again to attending my old NYC writing group.

As previously, my recaps aren't all encompassing, just the "big" things that have been going on. 

What have you been doing? How are you holding up?

Friday, April 24, 2020

Check me out on PhDTalk!



Check me out on PhDTalk by Eva Lantsoght where I was a part of her How I Work Series. I did this interview back in December so a few things have temporarily changed (i.e. working in lab) but other than that I hope you enjoy it.

Look what I found

And old blog of mine. Is writing about this meta? I guess it doesn't matter. Be prepared for this to just be a bunch of discombobula...