Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Science.. What is it good for? (II)

Went to lab late ... as I usually do. Had a muffin at noon and a cappuccino for dessert. Nouga on my desk with a little note from Beirut. Pictures all around of faces from another life. A bottle of champagne chilling waiting for an occasion. And a bottle opener for the beer in the cold room. Happy hour every hour on the grass over spilled media spilled hearts and years spilling in waste of purpose. Waste of reagents and waste of days away from home. A paper in a paper out and two up and about. Printouts DVDs and release forms to some editorial capacity. Signed sealed wasted in space. Each figure is months of late hours unreturned phone calls uncooked meals lost faces panic attacks and stress amounting to severe memory loss … go figure
Panels and diagrams and pathways and lots and lots of arrows
some data to gain more to lose and many to borrow
grayscales and pseudocolor, resolution and solution and questions
but no conclusion disserting the science of dissolution
filters and reflections and substrate complexion
cells move to the right cells move to the left
drama drama drama
2000 dollars of imaging time in a month time
of cancer bits moving in a lapse of time
amounting to nothing
but beware of the font in figure 1A left panel image iii
seminars and talks and projections and attitudes and meetings about meetings
thinking it’s ok to be begging your cells to move at 4 in the morning
thinking it’s natural to microinject a 100 cells/10 minutes with a micropipette
thinking you’re incompetent if you don’t make this time
volumes of notes 2002a 2002b …. 2006
not remembering any of it …
a microscope not functioning
breath in and out .. Summon all the info in your head about the optical paths
exciter in place.. all kohlerized.. lamp aligned.. what the fuck is it?
Right lens, right objective, right phase … where’s the signal?
Filters check …. Software running…
Oh yes… the eyepiece is closed!
a new pupil walking in thinking he will cure cancer
looking down at your realism
error bars that meet.. rats that won’t eat… retreat after retreat
pubmed.. email …pubmed… blog… pubmed… lunch break…
stacks of papers that will be read … a week before I defend
a culmination of numbers that fit perfectly
and outlyers impossible to defend
paper version 1, 2, 3, 4 …. 45 …
collaborations and conspiracies
competitions and contaminations
being paid less than the rats
but they are sacrificing their lives
aren’t we too?
backing up and writing down
burning up and meting down
fucking hell …
and I’m just starting …
Am I going to cure cancer? No but I learned how to make exquisite microscopy images ....

labeling.. aliquoting… tracing… graphing… counting… recounting…mounting…

Ok don’t judge me unless you’ve walked a mile in my shoe … or my lab slippers


laila said...

you read my mind i love it what are we doing???

laila said...


Mirvat said...

salemet eemtik 3am ninhibil..

shou bi3arrifne.. it's too late to start taking those dancing a different life maybe..
yalla makillo maskhara anyway.. this is all i know.. lal asaf el shadid..

even in neruda's poem that gus posted.. he says dies slowly he who doesn't flip the table on the head of the lab members when he's sick and tired of this crap.. then he says dies slowly he who doesn't plan to excell.. yes it's hard to excell when we're not motivated but how do we succede when we don't stick around and focus on becoming better at what we know already? hell if i know!

_z. said...

moonlighting? (I know a new word now :P)

hashem said...

I won't dare to say it was amusing to read this, but I like it alot.
Believe me, in every profession, there is frustration, and times when you feel that all what you do is a complete my case, does chemotherapy work? Do we only make people sick, and they die anyway?
Looking at the scarry flat cancer mortality curve made me depressed for's improvement....
yalla, let me go to my moonlighting to earn some money...hehe :P

z, it's a great word....isn't it? :P

Anonymous said...

I think I just read an excerpt of my life. Only I'm trying to find a cure for HIV. Yalla, shiddi himtik.

Ghassan said...


Mirvat said...

_z we don't say the M word anymore!

hashem i know i know :)

anon, you too

gus ouft indeed

Michael Cammer said...

May we schedule a meeting with all the interested parties to discuss this?

Mirvat said...

we should have a bitching conference.

Hash-pipe said...

Mirvat, love it...
and i'm just starting :) (not sure i should have a smiley here, but still kinda full of unbased optimism)