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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Penny for the guy. [20051105|16:09]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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The fifth of November, here in England, is Guy Fawkes day. Although I don't quite understand the morbid need to celebrate a dude whose plot to blow up Parliament ended with him ratting out his allies and being hanged, drawn and quartered, it is an awfully good excuse to get really drunk, set shit on fire, and (from what I saw last year) throw fireworks under buses.

Marco returns this evening from Paris and he says he's bringing baguettes, cheese and chocolate with him. I'm going to make mulled wine and we're going to watch the mayhem from our windows. It strikes me as a good time to review my life's accomplishments and goals because, after all, I haven't died an ignominious death. Yet.

First, the accomplishments.

  1. Obtain a Ph.D. by the age of 25. Originally it was before the age of 25, but I got it the year I turned 25 so I figured that counted.

  2. Make an important scientific discovery. Well, if you count this in terms of publications, I managed this one several times. But if you count it in terms of the widespread popular acknowledgement of research outside the scientific community, then I didn't. I'll settle for acknowledgement within the community and call this one achieved.

  3. Live in a foreign country. I've been in London for thirteen months and I'm not planning on leaving. Okay, so, it's another English-speaking country, but dude, like, this is so not California. I mean, America. Come to think of it, California isn't America in the way that London isn't England.

  4. Take a huge risk. I haven't jumped out of an airplane or anything, but I think quitting your job, moving six thousand miles away from home and attempting a career switch counts.


Now, the goals.

  1. Become a master draftsman. Working on it. Spending at least five hours a day drawing or painting helps.

  2. Become a Tai Chi master. Again, working on it. I've been taking classes here for nine months and had done about three years of class cumulatively before that. Now I'm practicing every day. (P.S. Donnie Yen is my favorite.)

  3. Write a book. Actually, I wrote a book when I was ten, so technically I've already done this. It's about deaf white cat, told in first person by the cat, and it is fucking hilarious in a very, very bad way. No, I will not share it. Trust me, you're not missing out. I have two novels half-completed. Sadly, sticking them together doesn't count.

  4. Live in a country where English is not the primary language. Spanish-speaking would probably be most feasible.


I see the clock has ticked past 4:00 PM. That means the sun has set (because it's bloody England in bloody winter) and it's officially time to start drinking in earnest. Goodbye and happy Bonfire Night!
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-09 08:45 (UTC)
Ooh, see, I think you only need to have been impractical about timing hangovers with transatlantic flights once. I made the mistake of getting drunk on the plane once. I thought I was going to die for about a week afterwards. It took twice as long for the jet lag to go away.
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From: 24db
2005-11-05 16:39 (UTC)
Hey don't dis the history, if we wanna chop people up we will :P...I don't slag off turkey day or whatever the heck it's called ;)

Btw that would be Bonfire 6 months (not night) judging by my 'pond life' area.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-09 08:37 (UTC)
It's my policy to have as few sacred cows as possible. Thanksgiving seems to mostly be about stuffing your face and watching the most boring game on earth: American football. So, ya know. Slag away.
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[User Picture]From: coredumper
2005-11-05 16:45 (UTC)
you are waaaaayyy too productive. quit making the rest of us look bad ;)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-09 08:42 (UTC)
Hey, I post to LJ. That's wasting time. :-D
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[User Picture]From: aziraphale
2005-11-05 17:56 (UTC)
Your achievements afford you an immense amount of respect, at least from me.

Come to think of it, so do your goals.

Good luck, and happy drinking!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-09 08:48 (UTC)
Oh, I did. First there was mulled wine (a bottle's worth). Then there was whiskey and guavaberry. The latter is an infused rum drink made from a type of berry that grows in the Dominican Republic. It canna be bought. It's also mildly hallucinogenic. :-D
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-09 21:38 (UTC)
I don't know if I'd say I'm lucky. I made certain choices, and here I am. Most people probably wouldn't consider those choices the wisest. After all, I gave up a lucrative career path at a prestigious institution to follow a boyfriend to a foreign country and be broke and uncertain about my future employment prospects. That's not really "luck."

Also, you are a mind-reader. That is exactly the city Marco and I had in mind. There will be a scouting trip at some point. Marco wants to do a month-long flat swap so we can see if we like it enough to put the work it would take into moving there.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-14 13:34 (UTC)
the money in L.A. media is SO damn good and the money in art is SO damn bad.

Yeah, that's what gets me. I keep going through this depressive cycle, although I think I'm starting to master it, finally. I get really excited about what I'm doing, I do a few drawings or a painting I like. Then I do something that doesn't successfully capture what I wanted, and I immediately start to wonder what the hell I was thinking, quitting science. The money is damn good and I have all the qualifications to get a solid, permanent position somewhere doing research. And instead of being creative, I beat myself up for not having a job and do things that, despite producing results like a clean house or a nice meal, are just distractions.

You could say you followed a boyfriend, but I don't think that's what you did. I think you followed adventure.

Thank you. I think you're right, and it's great to hear it from another driven and successful person.
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From: tdj
2005-11-06 07:00 (UTC)
You've nicely adjusted #2 to reality.

Every student in my field walks into grad school feeling like they're going to be curing cancer (and AIDS if they work weekends). Not saying it - not even thinking it, really - but feeling it.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-09 09:33 (UTC)
I agree, absolutely. I know I've had people ask me for advice on grad school and the first question they usually ask is something like, how can I ensure that I'm going to be working on the most ground-breaking research. No one seems to realize that, if you are accepted into pretty much any R1 institution, you're going to be working on ground-breaking research. There are so many other considerations that matter just as much, like your relationship with your advisor, your lab-mates, whether or not you have the option to transfer to another lab should the need arise, etc. Those are what will get you through the boring daily grind that is most of graduate school.

Anyway. Preaching to the choir here, I know. ;-)
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From: tdj
2005-11-10 05:37 (UTC)
If I could do it again, I would first acquire a serious drinking problem.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-08 18:42 (UTC)
No no, it just means you have to have been a resident for three years. How come you can apply for residency so quickly? Is it because Husband is a UK citizen? A friend of ours applied for permanent residency as soon as he could, and it was immediately after he'd been here for four years.

Anyway, I think you can apply for "home" tuition fees beginning three years from the time of your arrival. So for you, that would be July 2008. For me, October 2007.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-08 20:41 (UTC)
Thank you, thank you, too kind.

I've got a schedule now and I'm sticking to it. Unfortunately, I've been finding that sticking to the schedule precludes cooking up LJ posts, in addition to preventing depression, ennui and angst.
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[User Picture]From: sekl
2005-11-07 22:09 (UTC)
Mmm fire. Good luck with the book!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-08 18:45 (UTC)
The night sky was that pinkish color it turns when it's full of smoke (or when you live in Los Angeles). Thank you for the good wishes, also. I'm not really doing Nanothingie; I have my own schedule going.
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[User Picture]From: sekl
2005-11-08 21:46 (UTC)
Fire, fire. Hehehe. At least in LA the moon is a golden color with the smog. In Riverside, where my grandparents thrived for years...it glows orange in the pollution. Did you have a penny for the Guy?

As for Nanothingie, characters and plots are children of the mind. They mature at their own rate. No matter how much crack coffee you drink Nov 29th.
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[User Picture]From: bellelaqueen
2005-11-08 08:46 (UTC)
You know, if you decided that you'd had enough and spent the rest of your life as a bum (of the no good lazy bum variety, not homeless), you'd still have achieved more than most people. Yay for you I say. I'm almost motivated enough by pure jealousy to sort my own life out...almost. *l*
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-11-09 08:54 (UTC)
Don't tempt me. I'm prone to laziness and procrastination, too. Hence, keeping a LiveJournal. :-P
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[User Picture]From: projectpitbull
2005-11-10 03:03 (UTC)
i am absolutely and outragously amazed by the full capacity you draw in within your inspirations, complete dedication...a vast and bottomless abyss of aspirations to last a life time. at such a young life span, you have done more than most...you are willing to take risks in which that only deliver you experiences, lessons, knowledge and another life affirming skill.
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[User Picture]From: projectpitbull
2005-11-10 03:04 (UTC)
skills
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[User Picture]From: projectpitbull
2005-11-10 03:19 (UTC)
sorry, just reread it...and did not finish the last part...

but have fulfilled your curiosities and provided some type of satisfaction.
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