Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Carnival of the Godless Available

I finally escaped domestic misery (laundry; a necessary evil that, in NYC during the winter, requires cross country skiing gear, assorted pocket warmers lest my digits freeze off, and a pack animal — I prefer a llama because they are cute and fuzzy, and can climb stairs) and discovered that the Carnival of the Godless, issue 34, had been published today. This biweekly anthology of godlessness actually included a piece that I wrote so long ago that I forgot all about it. Well, sorta.


  1. #1 biosparite
    February 20, 2006

    This may call for a meme:
    1. When did you first realize there is no god (“dog” if you are dyslexic);
    2. How did you come to the realization;
    3. What were your feelings upon concluding the Father, Son and Holy Ghost had rolled you and stolen your shoes;
    4. True or false: destiny comes with an operator’s manual;
    5. Before you decided your boss is not a Jewish carpenter, did you check the union wages for that trade?

  2. #2 Anon
    February 21, 2006

    As a fellow NYC-er, I have to admit that when it comes to laundry I splurge on pick-up-and-deliver wash-and-fold. There’s no washer/dryer in my building, and it’s so easy here … you call and they show up in 10 minutes …

    As a fellow struggling scientist, who’s been following your blog for quite a while, and drawn some comfort from it, I just wanted to make a small point. It’s great that you’re now hosted on a paying platform, and found a format that pleases a variety of visitors. What I miss somewhat is that your earlier blog seemed to have more of a focus on the personal/professional struggles facing younger scientists — yourself, obviously, but it goes without saying that you’re only one representative member of a very sizeable group. It’s great that people come away from your blog with cool anecdotes about birds (after all who doesn’t love birds — esp. Cal. condors — I couldn’t agree with you more about how awesome they are — so dinosaurish!), but it’s also valuable if they come away with (at least) an impression of how broken the scientific employment/career system is. What better way to demonstrate that than by illuminating the struggles of someone with such obvious expertise and passion for her field. Unless that kind of thing is discouraged by your current hosts …

  3. #3 GrrlScientist
    February 21, 2006

    Biosparite; meme responses;

    1. when i was a very young kid.
    2. when my parents beat me up for what seemed like the millionth time and dog didn’t strike them dead on the spot with a lightning bolt as they so richly deserved.
    3. disappointment that i couldn’t blame anyone but myself and my inherent lack of character for all my miseries.
    4. no.
    5. no.

    Anon; i really don’t know what to tell you because things only continue to get worse. basically; i am unemployed/unemployable. i am scraping by on unemployment insurance (UI), which covers my rent, just. a short time ago, i gave up hope that i might EVER find anything. my current dilemma; after UI ends, i don’t know what to do with my (1) birds, (2) books, (3) CD collection.

    i am surrounded by successful people here, so how do i write about a worthless, meaningless, miserable life wasted on simply trying to survive when there is nothing whatsoever for me to survive for? as it is, this blog and my readers are the only parts of my life that give me any pleasure that have not yet been taken away from me. i am sure that you and everyone else who visits would rather read about science, anyway. that’s why i am here, after all, and i take great pride from being part of this project.

  4. #4 biosparite
    February 21, 2006

    I don’t see anywhere on your blog to contact you directly without going through this public process. Were this more private, I would ask when your UI runs out, etc. I am finishing arbitrating a case in late March that promises a tidy fee and would like to kick in via Paypal at that time.
    Being abused as a child is very difficult. I am at least grateful that it did not keep you from being the way-cool person that you are.

  5. #5 Tabor
    February 22, 2006

    I was almost an atheist, but I keep sliding back into Agnosticism, probably due to some little voice saying the miracle of life has to have some meaning. Your life, for instance, with all its terrible challenges has been a true benefit to the world. You most certainly have 10,000 blog-lurkers who gain benefit from your excellent writing ability and bird brained intelligence.

  6. #6 biosparite
    February 22, 2006

    Do you have a c.v. lying around? I have a friend who is a geneticist at M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute here in Houston. I realize it is not your field, but she is a senior scientist and may know some people. You have my e-mail address, so send it along as an attached file. I’ll ask around. Of course most northeasterners would blanch at the idea of hot and polluted Houston . . .

  7. #7 GrrlScientist
    February 25, 2006

    well, thanks everyone. i wasn’t exactly thinking that anyone would read or respond to my comments, but um, okay ..

    i won’t pretend that my life is a bowl of cherries, but i hate to think about the state of my life very much because it truly depresses the hell out of me.

    yes, i do have a CV lying around. let me update it (to reflect the fact that i have one paper in review right now, and another should be in review in the next couple weeks — i hope!!) and i’ll send it to you.

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