Monday, May 14, 2007

The good, the bad, and the ugly

So I seem to have this bad habit of making infrequent posts and cramming entirely too much stuff into them. Sorry 'bout that.

The good: My new job is going quite well. I'm learning a whole lot of new stuff - how to culture mammalian cells, how to cut up plasmids and re-arrange the pieces in a useful fashion, how to do PCR, and what exactly a Western blot is (I had always just envisioned John Wayne riding into the sunset). My boss is out of town, and in the meantime I'm being trained by a sweet little old Indian lady with whom I get along really well.

The bad: A few days before I started the job, I had a miscarriage. While of course I wasn't happy about it, in truth it might be for the best - I can't imagine dealing with early pregnancy symptoms and new-job stress simultaneously. It sounds embarrassingly melodramatic, but the miscarriage happened just a week after my grandmother passed away. After a couple weeks of feeling sad about these events, though, I'm feeling like my usual self again. It's the conjunction of two timeless truths: sh*t happens; life goes on.

The ugly: Today, I survived a train collision! True story! Ok, actually it wasn't that huge a deal - everyone else survived too. But it wasn't a good day to be a train passenger in Philly... the mix-up that probably was responsible for our train getting rear-ended by another train was caused by a bomb scare an hour earlier. I sincerely hope that tomorrow, riding the train will go back to being uneventful. Today's scary events made me think all sorts of unwelcome thoughts about just how vulnerable the rail system is, and how helpless you are as an individual when riding a train.

In other news, I've been doing some gardening when I get the chance. Last weekend I went to a native plant sale at Bartram's Garden (Sparkling Squirrel probably knows the place) and bought some native woodland plants to put in a shaded corner of our yard. The next day, I tackled the poison ivy that's growing along our back fence. I thought I was so careful - long sleeves, gloves, washing afterward with Tecnu, and then showering. But despite my best efforts, I got an impressive rash - I think I've gotten more susceptible to poison ivy juice. I got my revenge, though. I got a gallon of brush-killer herbicide, and sprayed the rest of the ivy. It's been very satisfying to watch it curl up and start to shrivel over the last few days. The pansies that I planted a few weeks ago are doing well, and our azaleas have finally started to bloom. I also got some herbs and flowers started in containers on our deck. Maybe I'll get around to taking some pictures and posting them, but for now you'll just have to take my word for it!


Erin said...

I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother dying and your miscarriage. Either one of those experiences would be devastating, but both in a few weeks? I hope you are doing better now (minus the train incident!). I'm thinking happy thoughts for you.

Jennifer said...

What a rough couple of weeks you've had. I too am sorry about your loses. And then a train wreck on top of it. Hopefully you can find some peace.

Molly said...

I am so sorry to hear about your losses Irene. Life certainly seems to be moving quickly these days, doesn't it? I am also thinking good thoughts for you and hoping that you are well...

Anonymous said...

Irene, we are thinking of you, and sending hugs your way.
love, Jenny (and Tim)

Tucson Trekker said...

Wow, Irene. I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. Bridgett sends her love and POSITIVE MOLECULES (a yoga teaching...) I hope things get much, much better for you.

Abby said...

This is coming a bit late so I don't know if you are going to see this or not, but I did want to know how sorry I am that you are having to deal with these losses. Here's hoping that you have lots of good things coming your way now.