In accordance with my promise, I shall be updating TWICE in this merry month of November, or should I say...MOVEMBER! Obviously, I have decided to once again participate in the hair growth festivities, and without obvious facial hair, have been exercising the right of my underarm, leg and other (ahem) areas to FOLLICLE HEAVEN! Needless to say, The Boyf is not pleased. In fact, I suspect the reason why he isn't coming home for Thanksgiving is less that he "has to work," but more that he is disgusted by the feathery delight that is emerging on my legs. But hey, at least I don't have to pay for those tights that prevent rape - I can just grow my own pair!
In other news, The Boyf has been working so hard lately...to the point of pulling all nighters and even taking intermittent naps on the office couch (that was especially brought in for the purpose of resting his weary head) between 23 hour days. This means that I am...STRESSED OUT! Even the promised annual Christmas card collage photo session did not happen this trip...which lead to a series of pathetic shots of just myself in travel mode...without a partner.
Like a blowfish, I have been simmering my stress internally until the day my unshaven body parts decide to blow up into a large inflatable ball! While this may seem entertaining to the average bystander, it is EXTREMELY entertaining to even myself, although typically I enjoy the blowfish effect on The Boyf and not myself. Nevertheless, I have learned to freak out less about these things and am instead pursuing other ways of getting involved and being productive while in the city.
A particular venture with which I am very excited is the starting of volunteer consulting services! I have started assembling a spreadsheet of student groups that offer pro bono consulting for local businesses and nonprofits, in hopes that we may be able to produce our own group to help biotech startups around the city. This also provides me a platform for networking, which is always fun because I still have a million business cards that have outdated information on them that I need to finish handing out, so I can buy more because I still can't part with my Atlanta roots.
I am also in the process of applying for scholarships since the NSF grant runs out next year. Not only does this entail writing applications/grants/essays for the money, but also "drafting" (writing everything except the header and signature) recommendation letters for my selected references. Gone are the days when your advisor sings your praises; instead, you sing your own praises in this new era. Although it's a little weird writing about yourself, it's actually a great idea for references that are too busy or haven't been able to interact with you thoroughly. Plus, they'll verify the letter is true before placing their John Hancock on the document. And if you're slightly schizophrenic, it can be a fantastic experience writing from the perspective of different people. See how mental illness can actually be a contribution in the academic workplace!
Last week I had a chance to go to Atlanta for a conference. The conference was pretty good, and REALLY GOOD if you take into account that some sort of delicious food was served almost at every break. Who could not love a conference that serves apple pie and ice cream at a poster session? Plus, it was a pretty productive trip. I got to see The Boyf, some friends from school, a bunch of people from school at the actual conference, some faculty members, AND eat at the best brunch spot in town! And, you'll never (no, you will) believe this, but...
I USED SHAMPOO!
Four dreadful months of baking soda and vinegar are over! I haven't been happier. And of all shampoos, I ended up using Head and Shoulders (apparently the worst kind according to the sulfate-free enthusiasts) to break the fast, since it was the only one available in The Boyf's bathroom. But with amazing results! No blow dry, no brush, air dried quickly, no tangles, shone beautifully, and did not get oily for 2 days! I've used shampoo twice again since then...and I'm totally converted back to traditional hair products. Although I may try out castile soap, since it's more natural. But what I really need is a trim and some country fried lovin' from my hairdresser. GOD IS GOOD!