Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why You Should Never Live With Anyone More Than a Decade Older Than You

35 Year Old Roommate: "God this place is so small and dingy and dirty. It needs a lot of work. I can't wait till I just get my own place."

21 Year Old Roommate: "This is such a great apartment! I don't know what you're talking about!"

21 Year Old Roommate: "Wow, I'm keeping this place so neat. The only dishes I leave in the sink are a few utensils that don't even look like they've been used! No food!"

35 Year Old Roommate: "Ick- why does she keep leaving things in the sink?"

21 Year Old Roommate: "Now that I have a real job, I need to be home and go to bed so early; it's only 11 or 12 pm!"

35 Year Old Roommate: "Who is making all that noise? It's so late! It's eleven at night!"

35 Year Old Roommate: "You don't really do your share in keeping the apartment clean, the bathroom for example"

21 Year Old Roommate: : "...I don't understand. How is it dirty? I mean if you want to be a neatfreak and clean it all the time that's not my job..."

21 Year Old Roommate: "Can I borrow some laundry detergent? I'll pay you for it. I only need to do a few loads so it's not really worth buying more"

35 Year Old Roommate: "Um...No. See above"

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Learning to Chew

Whenever I tell people I'm studying to be a chemist, they seem to immediately assume (as one british woman recently put it) that I "must be very clever!" I, on the other hand, have some serious doubts.

For starters, is science really more "intelligence demanding" than the humanities? This is a tricky and debatable subject so feel free to disagree. But by my own personal definition of intelligence though, it kind of is. Intelligence is technically defined as "capacity...for mental activity" which seems about right. Personally though, I think of true intelligence as creativity within boundaries. If you have a blank piece of paper you can do anything too, then well, anything can do anything to it and it's not all that special. If you have to figure out a way, say, to turn that paper into something specific while working within a variety of limitations, then that clearly takes a lot more thought and cleverness. The reason a lot of people think that art is easier than science, is probably because (technical drawing and rendering skills aside) progress art is all about creativity, and progress in science is all about creativity within an ever increasing number of limitations (AKA Problem Solving). It's also very common to find someone who is good at humanities but bad at math, but (in my experience) much rarer to find someone who is the other way round. But rarer doesn't always mean better, so please, feel free to prove me wrong. Of course I'm going to propagate the idea that science=smarts, because I'm a science student, and this is very flattering to my ego. Besides, Being good at studying something is can be very different than being good at doing it.

But asides aside, back to my nagging personal insecurities. Intellectually, I've always found myself in kind of an awkward middle ground, and I never know how smart I should consider myself to be. My SAT scores were good but not perfect. Sometimes I was in the top 10% of my highschool class, sometimes I struggled for hours to get a B-. People think I'm smart because I'm a science student in a nice college, but my grades are mediocre and my college is no MIT. My highschool English teachers thought I was brilliant, but my PreCalc teacher practically had to feed me answers on a regular basis. In middle school I once developed a math formula for checking answers that my teacher had never heard of, and one day she even asked me to go over HW infront of the class for her when she had to leave abruptly; but I often have the memory of a goldfish and need to study for really long periods of time. My highschool class voted me "most intelligent girl," but nowadays I am a dark horse wannabe doctoral candidate if there ever was one. After two semesters of "biting off more than I could chew" one thing is clear: I'm going to need to learn how to chew more.

Personally I think grades are mostly based on how a course is graded, and have little to do with the actual material of the course. My teachers always tell me that I'm very smart and blame any inconsistency between my supposed intelligence and my grades on lack of organizational skills and effort. But I often wonder if they're just confusing intelligence with the ability to express myself well, learn from a book instead of a teacher, and act with confidence (which is sometimes pulled out of my ass), instead of panicking and demanding immediate babying. Maybe I'm just good at acting smart?

Well, we may soon actually find out. The more time I spend studying chemistry, the more I find that a) almost everything I like about chemistry involves physics, b) I like a lot of things about physics too, and c) Both chemistry and physics are based on a lot of math. The obvious course of action then, is to take more classes in math and physics. Which is what I'll be doing. All at once. And (hopefully!) in an Ivy League University. If there was ever a time that I could admit to feeling "math anxiety" this is probably it.

Oh, and If I fuck this up, then I might as well forget about gradschool. Let's hope that'll get me to class on time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Real World

So technically work computers and internet are not to be used for personal use...but no one takes that too seriously, right? I actually once read a statistic that said about 70% of non-work-related-computing-at-work is porn downloading, so at least I haven't stooped that far. (this statistic was likely pre-social networking) Though frankly soon I might. You see, while I usually could care less about techno-specific gadget details, this is monitor is literally the size of a television. Having spent the past year and a half on a 10.1" netbook, I am still in awe. It's actually pretty sexy. Dudes in highschool who decorated their dorms with nothing but a gaming system while I was out scavenging for the perfect neon pink sheets and posters- I think I get it. Not to mention it's bigger than everyone elses. Ha!

Actually it's nice because I can now feel that my job is important and sophisticated, aided by the fact that I just moved into a larger office with a corner desk and a wheely chair. This is of course blatantly untrue, as I am a mere intern and probably the least productive of the interns at that, but hey, we all need goals. Oh, and tomorrow I'm finally getting a BAMF security badge because our building now has a seperate entrance for the Nuclear Disarmament people downstairs. Win.

Come to think of it, I could easily make the argument that this is work related. I mean, you tell me you wouldn't need practice typing on a keyboard that looks like this:

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Time to go now though. Facility closes at 8PM and I've heard that they set the dogs out on anyone here later. Probably untrue, but let's not actually find out. (Oh, the joys of working on the same campus as three nuclear reactors)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The European Tampon Terror

Quite possibly one of the most horrifying but least spoken-of cultural barriers ever encountered. I am aware my male audience has no idea what I'm talking about, so here is a brief information session.

Here is your typical american tampon. Note presence of plastic applicator, minimizing contact between your fingers and your bloody bits.

On the other hand, here is a typical European tampon. Note lack of any kind of application device surrounding the tampon, which is ironically shaped like the jumbo Sperm Mothership.

Apparently when Europeans decided that showering, shaving, and deodorant weren't really that necessary, their tampon use habits also followed suit.

And so today, after an entire year abroad having been able to avoid the situation, the inevitable finally occurred. I had to borrow a tampon from my coworker, and it was indeed as French as she was. The bathroom sink didn't even have hot water, but at least I don't have TSS...Yet.

**TSS= spontaneous, serious complication that can develop from a single tampon use and require hospitalization. Chances of this happening are roughly the same, if not less, of chances of getting pregnant with a perfectly used condom.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tales of Collegiate Greatness

When I first heard this story, I thought it was a myth. A fable passed down from generation to generation. Pure Urban Legend. But no, this was actually enacted by a friend of a friend. Not a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, but just a friend of a friend who my friend had seen with his own eyes. May this serve as inspiration to us all:

Once upon a time, a college student at a local institution was making a killing dealing ketamine. While it was great that he could make so much money off the drug, it wasn't so great that his own substance abuse rendered him incredibly paranoid. One day, convinced that the Man was out to get him, and that he could face the severe legal consequences of his actions, he quickly buried his entire stash of drugs somewhere in the woods on college grounds.

Buried it, but forgot where.

This was only 2-3 years ago. Though the student has since either been expelled from the campus, or taken a trip WOOFing in Northern Europe (He actually stowed away to get there, something about not owning a passport because it conflicted with his anarcho-capitalist ways) the stash remains.

So in short, yes friends, somewhere in the woods of That College, is buried eighty-thousand dollars worth of Special K. Nope, that's no mistake. 80K of Special K.

Screw Easter Eggs, and Happy Hunting.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Minxy Sphinx

I've always been pretty good at English and writing things in a lyrical style, though unfortunately this talent doesn't really come in too handy when you decide to be a Chemistry major. This weekend however, I finally found a way to combine my bizarre poetic talent and love of intellectual pursuits...


Introducing, Juicy's first ever Tumblr:


I'm not sure if having this as a hobby makes me one of the dorkiest humans alive, or more likely to develop a mental disorder, but until then at least you can enjoy the occasional brain teaser courtesy of of yours truly.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Shallow Water: No Diving

Warning: For those of you who come to my blog seeking deep life wisdom and thought that exceeds the average, turn away, now. You may quickly be reduced to tears, and even the puddle you cry may not be as shallow as the following blog post. But alas, I cede to the Dark Side.

So my friend's friend who I've never met in my life (I'm a creeper, I know) has a pretty awesome Tumblr that reminded me of the good old days. You know, when I used to address my dear readers in the coded second person. And more importantly, when I used to use my blog to tell the word the life lessons I've learned from my (few, and far between, and not at all) saucy escapades and experiences with dudes.

Apparently blogging about dudes is inversely proportional to dating them, because here I am, writing to you and having really made no progress in the Panties Department recently. But this year has been kind of interesting, so here goes the recap. And by recap I mean the listing of the nicknames, because honestly, it's all about the nicknames.

Magnum- So named for both his real nickname, and the alternatively sized condoms I now stock as a result of our encounters. (Though both are unrelated...supposedly). I think I'm one of the only people for whom "I'm more of a relationship person" is actually a polite rejection. Either that, or he is shyer and more socially awkward than Puxatawney Phil and the Toothfairy... combined. (This theory still has its supporters, though why is completely beyond me, as it is obviously about as realistic as the aforementioned fairy tales.) For what it's worth I did really like the guy, totally would have dated him, and probably played* the entire situation all wrong, but I'll just keep telling myself it's his loss. At least now we have the much-needed-in-daily-life expression "hemoglobin cockblocking." And who in their right mind would turn down an "I find your lack of booty call disturbing" text message. That was GOLD.

Skeevy Steve- Except not skeevy, not skeevy at all. He actually later proved himself to be a very nice guy, but the mental nickname just kind of stuck. To be fair, it was not the best side of either of our personalities that was highlighted during our one-night, borderline black-out drunken fuck. how drunk was I, exactly? Before almost browning-out on the couch I said that Helen Hunt was hot. I do not think Helen Hunt is hot. In fact, on the celebrity hotness scale, I don't think anyone thinks Helen Hunt is hot. When it was done, it was almost as if we had both been temporarily graced with ESP. There will be no cuddling or post-coital bodily contact of any kind. There is no need to friend me on facebook. As of 8am tomorrow, this never happened. How did he end up in the hotseat, you may be wondering? Apparently drunk Juicy is very receptive to compliments, and Drunk Steve has a talent for this. Let's face it-a guy shouting "How could you forget her naaaaame!?" while not-so-subtly gesturing towards your figure is pretty flattering on both Sober and Wasty-Face scales. But overall lesson learned- when liquored up, lock it up.

Rapist Ryan- Not actually a rapist (I hope) but did unquestionably attempt to take advantage of me when he thought I was passed out. I am told he is currently seeking help. He better be.

30YearOld- Actually only 29, but when he first started staying late with me in lab and acting possibly-a-little-more-than-friendly I thought he was 30 so the nickname stuck. I should probably stop using it though, as I feel he is actually a friend and pretty cool dude who deserves much more respect than such a shitty nickname would imply...or is he just a huge flirt who's getting bored with his girlfriend? Either way, while I doubt anything would ever happen given the situation, it's clearly time to cut down on the lengthy 4am feelings talks.

BFuckingB- I don't wan't to put his full name up, but for those that know him, to say his name without the expletive middle is to actually refer to someone else, because there is simply no other way to say it. Obviously no new nickname could improve upon what is already perfection. I'm pretty sure this is going nowhere, but he's cute, and after significant encouraging from mutual friends I may give it a shot. After all, I said I was in a rut, didn't I?

*Caveat: I actually really hate using the expression 'play' with respect to dating. It makes me feel slimey and dishonest, like some ghetto/guido/fratboy pickup artist with an excessively starched hat and baggy zip-up. I don't quite mean it like that, but an until a more concise way of saying "the way I presented myself in hopes of achieving something" comes along, it will have to suffice. Apparently even my inner bro has its limits. Who knew?