Silver

In which this is NOT a post about the spandex-clad event, whether orange or not… …

What an irritating day: It started with tears, and will probably end in tears too. Feh. Buhloody weather is still warm and sunny, the conifers are still copulating as quickly as the wind can shake their cones to release gametes. I'm addicted to Reactine which helps control the allergies somewhat, but with dire side-effects – Puffy eyes and dry itchy skin. Woke up with a heavy head and snuffly nose because unfortunately the pharmacokinetics of the formulation I have doesn't extend to 24 hours. Swallowed another little white pill quickly with my morning coffee and sallied forth on my way. Two minutes into my commute, my eyes reacted and tears flowed – not quite as copiously as Countess Sophia's crocodile tears in 'The Last Station', but close. I suspect that without the reactine, I'd have been curled up on the roadside, in the foetal position in anaphylactic shock.
Buh-loody tear ducts. Feh. Buh-loody conifer pollen. Double Feh. At least another 10 days of this before things subside. Unless it rains. Please rain.
Then I got into the lab, and nothing worked, nobody was at work, and I'm fed up of mopping the fucking floors and taking the garbage out. People who don't take responsibility are feckwads. In years gone by, back in the days when I spent hours upon hours in the laboratory…oh wait…nothing has changed. I'm in a rut. In any case, back then, I had an iron-clad rule – I took off when three things went wrong. More than three things went wrong today, but unfortunately I can't leave because now I'm responsible for too many things, and apparently mopping floors and taking out the detritius of assholes are amongst my multitude of responsibilities.
For a fork with well sharpened and polished tines….
The moment has come: Yes. Both Dr. Shark and I agree the moment if not actually arrived, is very close. We received word of our ranking in the 2009 October competitions…and we're number 2 of 36. Imagine – under normal circumstances, this would be a sure thing but with funding rates at 10 – 12 percent, that only means that 4 or so applications will be funded – ASSUMING that normal rates of funding are followed. In other words, we should get what we asked for as long as the application ranked number 1 hasn't asked for a huge sum of money…in which case, we're SOL even when ranked number 2. So despite the good news, we were happy for 1.29 minutes then settled down to finishing the next application because it's not a sure thing. And besides, you need about 3 successful grants to carry out one project properly. If the funding doesn't follow the ranking, then we're both out of here.
I never thought it'd come to this – being ranked number 2, and still having a chance we won't be funded. I remember when Dr. V was ranked 7th a few years back and she said that she'd quit if it wasn't funded. The truth is, if she were in today's competitions, she wouldn't get the funding.
Now, that is a sobering thought.
However, tears and meaningless rankings aside, one does make efforts to regain the day, and wrestle it back under control. So I made some decisions:
  1. Together with Dr. Shark, we are setting out to discover who was ranked number 1; then they shall disappear.
  2. RG will be taught even if it kills me how to read dot-plots.
  3. Arterial infusions will be used if necessary.
  4. I will cover 1.2 Km in water tonight even if I drown trying this
  5. I will cut a few more red strings and let them flutter out in the wind, and may theseparticular red strings end up in a rabid, mongrel dog's bowels. Snip. Snip. Snip. Done. February 22nd 2010. They were cut. Be off with you.
  6. In deference to Dr. P's instructions, one white drawer shall be cleaned out and its contents filed away, or placed into the appropriate recycling bin.
And now. It's time to test the tear ducts again.
p.s. The Last Station, An excellent movie. Moved me to tears or was it just allergies? I'm not saying. Helen is Queen. She puts all the drama queens in the world, combined, to shame as Countess Sophia, but when it most counts, when the emotion is real, it's a devastating about turn and you completely understand how it is that Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy was smitten by her. As for James McAvoy, he can be send me telegrams anytime he wants. I was always a bit dubious about him after seeing him in Narnia, then in Atonement (good acting, terrible movie), but all doubts have been erased. He's heart-rending as the secretary whose loyalties to his employer, to Tolstoy and Sophia are torn by the nefarious Paul Giamatti who's scheming (but with the best of intentions) to improve the state of the world by using Tolstoy's image.
One of the best movies I've seen in a while. Yesh.