Sunny side up

Today. Saturday and it should be a day of freedom (relative for nobody is really free), but it's not for me. I shall spend the day justifying my existence and I am so very fatigued by the idea of it. Normally, at this stage of the exercise I have delved deep enough into the text to become drunk on the ideas, the words and the persuasive strategies I have chosen to use. This time, my attitude could be summed up as: WHO CARES.

I certainly don't. It's all bullshit especially when the ORIFICE office of red tape what pretends to make your life easier, actually obstructs it. I'm not sure whether this is intentional, or not to be honest. The possibilities are 1) They are evil people who've been hired to obfuscate, make up the rules as they go along and generally stonewall all requests for information, or 2) They are stupid and don't understand what's involved in the process, and think they're speeding up the process by making you fill in extra forms and jump through extra hoops. 

Either way, it doesn't help me. What I am asking for is a mere pittance anyway, so really, who cares, and what difference will it make in this overfed, under-exercised and indulgent population who practically beg to be stricken down. 

Really, what does it matter in the long run? 

Last night, I toddled along to Richmond with Mr. CT to a performance of Art - He was reviewing, I was absorbing and trying to be distracted by what was happening. Unfortunately, I had entered a fugue state and my mind was split along several lines like a refined, profound and exquisite piece of music with multiple voices by Bach. More on that later. 

Art is a 70 minute play about three men whose 15 year friendship starts unraveling because one buys a piece of art that consists of a 5x4 canvas with white lines painted on a white background for huge amounts of money.  It was a talky play and my mind gave up at some point and stopped following the arguments about the value of art, the intricacies of who you become with your friends, why you are friends because it all seemed so trite and inconsequential to the part of my mind which was trying to take in the play. Part of this was distraction - but the wrong kind - I was distracted by another part of my mind which was trying to figure out why I was using doxorubicin with pancreatic cancers and why it doesn't make sense.

1) It doesn't make sense because gemcitabine is used with pancreatic cancer, not doxorubicin even though doxorubicin is a versatile drug. It doesn't seem to work with pancreatic cancers in the wild. BUT I want to use pancreatic cancers because of the models we have, and because of the potential for leveraging (hate that word). Doxorubicin is also fluorescent so it makes for easier detection and we have incorporated it onto our platform. Therefore I'm doing this because it's convenient not because it meets a need other than to get me funded. Therefore - WRONG reasons - Therefore - it feels forced.

2) We want to show that we can get doxorubicin where it's most needed, and that it will be useful when it's actually where it should be. Right, that's TWO things I'm trying to do, not one - or rather, that I'm trying to show two things with one study - when the two things are actually incompatible in the framework I'm using.

3) That means - breaking down into tears at the idea that I have to rewrite an entire section today - I have to define the the two intents and treat them separately. This means more tears as I now have to write two sets of justifications, explain two different frameworks and find two different models that suit. At least, I can continue using doxorubicin with these two frameworks and it'll fit in better with the new plans.

4) This makes me want to cry because by rewriting Aim 3, I will have to adjust the budget figures, and in adjusting the figures, I have to rewrite the budget justification and check that the original aims and hypotheses, and methods and materials also match - and oh, let's not forget the figures too.

See, this is what the Orifice of Red Tape doesn't understand - one tiny change and you have to go back and change so many other things - and they wonder why we tinker to the very end of the deadline, and why can't they just leave us alone until the end. No, if I were to change the system, what I would do is to get rid of all the bullshit justifications and red tape in the first round of competitions - have a mandate and guidelines by all means, but focus only on the ideas. After all, it is the idea, and how well you express, it that determines whether you're approved or not. Then when you're approved - and only when the money line reaches you, then have a month where you deal with all the red tape. This would avoid so much unnecessary paperwork and and running around stroking of egos. My system would eliminate 80% of the paperwork immediately since only ~20% of the applications are actually funded anyway.

Anyway, I think I know what I have to do now. Use HT-29, and PaCa for distribution studies. Then use MDA-231 for therapeutic uses. Now to go justify it and change the budgets and figures. The fundamentals are in my head, just have to dress them up now.

And this DEPRESSES me beyond belief.

Break from the past: The other thing I must do is to be gentle with the past when sifting through it. There's too much at stake in the present and future, and I mustn't let the past blind me to what is happening.

Obligations and Duty: I must also separate these from what I want to do, what I want to happen and yes there will be some difficult decisions to make between the two. There's not enough good PR on selfishness, and I say this because a modicum of selfishness is necessary to keep you sane.

Madness: Don't go where the madness is - there is no merit in it. Really, trust me on this, there isn't any point or use in poking madness in the maw like you would jiggle a loose tooth with your tongue. There is no advantage, necessity nor return in doing this except that you may have the madness enter your soul, then you end up with more past to break from, more obligations and duty to separate from selfishness and then you run towards madness, give into it, and  it all becomes a vicious cycle of madness and you end up only in the past and wish only to sit in the Mariana Trench lolly-gagging away like those hot water tube worms.

So don't do it.