Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Today I feel..." - hopeless

At the rate I'm going, I'm never going to graduate.

I actually calculated my "success rate" today, i.e. weeks when something I did actually worked vs. total weeks I've been in my thesis lab.

It was 7%.

This week has been yet another part of that 93%.

Sigh.

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Things that have changed my life (for the better):

1. SLS-free toothpaste. I used to get canker sores like every two weeks. NOT cold sores. Cold sores are caused by a virus. The best research to date on canker sores is that the cause is rooted in an autoimmune reaction to the epithelial layer in your mouth. Anyway, mine were bad. Sometimes bigger than a pencil eraser. Always painful, and the only thing to treat them is a lidocaine/alcohol goop that burns like hell until the numbing kicks in. Then I read a clinical study showed that removing exposure to SLS (a foaming agent in 99% of toothpastes and mouthwashes) reduced the incidence of canker sores by 80%. I was able to finally find a SLS-free toothpaste, and damn if it didn't work. Now they only show up about once every other month or less, are much much smaller, and infinitely less painful. Amazing.

2. Snore Stop. Matt's snoring had gotten progressively worse over the past couple of months, to the point where I was pushing him over 2-3 times a night, and even waking up in the middle of the night from the noise. He said the Breathe Right strips wouldn't do anything for him because the problem isn't in his nose. I finally begged him to try one of the throat sprays. But when I went to the store to get one, they were all out. I was desperate, so I bought a box of the only non-strip option - Snore Stop. The first night he used it, he was so quiet I thought "Oh my god, I killed him" and leaned over to make sure he was still breathing. Anyway, he's still alive and if your S.O. is a snorer, I'd highly recommend it.

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Carly reserved our beach house for this summer. We decided to go for an oceanfront sans hot tub this year (last year we had the hot tub but were a lot back from the ocean). It looks great and it will actually work out to less per room than last year by over $100 (assuming we can hopefully get people to fill the other two rooms). Can't wait for July.

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Back to the grad school thing, I decided that 2009 is IT - either I walk at graduation or I leave. At that point I will refuse to waste any more of my life trying to make the previous 5 years "count" for something. At some point feeling like a failure nearly every week has to outweigh feeling like a failure at holiday gatherings for the next 40 years when people ask me why I didn't finish grad school. I can still go to the patent office as a GS-9 instead of 11 and still be making over twice as much money as I'm making now without driving three hours a day and running on a treadmill doing the same experiment six times because something didn't work AGAIN.

I need another piece of chocolate. Someone at church tried to sell me girl scout cookies because they said I looked "Mary-Kate and Ashley thin."

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