The art of being Californian, it seems, is to cultivate a loose-limbed insouciance while secretly working away like a frantic ant.

--Richard Fortey The Earth: An Intimate History

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Because I Freaking Want to Post a Blog Instead of Stressing Over the Draft

So, here goes:

It's been a stressful week. I started working as a Real Scientist (no more teaching English or literature for me. I'm now a student again, getting my master's in biology--it's all in a blog I've drafted but have yet to post. Stay tuned.) and have been taking out my insecurities and lack of sleep on those I love.

It's not easy being a Real Scientist for a few reasons:

a) I am secretly convinced that Iamnogoodatscience. Really. I tricked the people in my undergrad when I graduated cum laude with a BS in biochemistry, and now I've tricked the people at my new university who accepted me into their program based on 5-year-old credentials and letters of recommendation. I know that really I probably am okay in science. That I will be able to hold my own in my lab and my classes. But I feel that what I know really isn't the case and that I will eventually be exposed like the man behind the green curtain for the fraud I am. And then I will be sent back to English purgatory where I will teach remedial composition for the rest of my life.

b) In addition to my emotional instability (see above), I have to juggle care for a family with commitment to my research (look at me, only a week in and I am already claiming to have research--but you get my point). I now feel guilty for every second I am either 1) not in the lab or 2) not spending with my son. So, I am getting up at an ungodly hour every morning to catch a workout before my son wakes up. Also, I am staying up to ungodly hours at night, prepping for dinner the next day (not blogging, I promise).


being a Real Scientist does have its ups:

a) telling other people who are not Real Scientists but fake ones (you know who you are) that you are Real (much like the Velveteen rabbit).

b) experiencing the joy of putting teensy tiny amounts of fluids (presumably containing genetic material and proteins and such) in itty bitty test tubes and then either 1) freezing said tubes or 2) putting them in a warm water bath.

c) no longer working for small private school with stringent employee drinking rules (i.e. you can't drink at all) so that now I can openly discuss my boozing and debauchery without fear of being fired.

d) no longer having students at a small private school for much of the above reasons.

e) riding the trolley to school. Seriously, the trolley rocks! I love public transportation. And I can finally feel good about owning my terrorist-supporting SUV because I am not driving it.

As you can see, the goods outweigh the bads. Which is often how life works.

To celebrate the first morning in 6 days where I didn't have to get up when it was still way too long before sunrise, I made a frittata of sorts. I'll have to admit, I got the base of this recipe from Atkins, but I do not in any way condone this diet. In fact, as a Real Scientist, I have to tell you this diet is way bad for you.

Actually, I really just don't like meat or eggs, so this diet never worked for me. But this egg dish doesn't actually taste like eggs so that is why I love it. Plus it uses whatever vegetables you have moldering in your fridge.

Frittata of Sorts

olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic, finely chopped
1 Serrano, finely chopped

5 mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 zucchini, chopped
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
3 pieces bok choy, chopped
anything else you want.

4 eggs
1/4 c cottage cheese (but you don't have to use this. I've done it with or without)
dash milk

cheddar cheese, grated

Heat olive oil in a cast iron (or any other oven safe) skillet at med to med/low heat (use your judgement). Add onion, garlic, and chile. Saute for a bit. then add the rest of the vegetables.

While the vegetables saute, blend the egg, cottage cheese, and milk together. Add to pan. Stir once or twice and then cover. Check periodically to see if the egg has pulled away from the sides of the pan. Then add the cheese on the top.

Cover again for a few more minutes until the eggs seem firm. Then place skillet, uncovered, in the broiler for a few minutes until top is brown.

Serve with salsa and avocado.

And lots of coffee because you are still way exhausted from blinding people with science all week.


  1. This was good, thank you. And those who you "take your lack of sleep out on" still love you.

  2. You sound like a real enough scientist to me; we'll see. But I have one suggestion: "The Science of Sleep". Ok, I actually have two suggestions: "The Science of Sleep" and "you should give yourself credit for something once in awhile...". It is no slight of hand that got you into the school or into the lab. Just pure competence. Believe it.