Category Archives: Life is life… nothing else nothing more…

Sorry Sorry

I owe all of you an apology (Or as pointed by a dear friend, the world owes me an apology)! I learned from a journalist once that I should tell the take-home message in the beginning. “Ivermectin has no clinically proven effect on Covid-19.” Now where were we…

You see I know within a year of my move to a different city/country that is further away than a 1-hour train ride, a disaster strikes. I have more than a single sample point to prove the correlation. Here we go:

We moved to Hatay, within 1 year an earthquake happened and it snowed for the first time in a very long time. We could go for a picnic in the mountains on Jan 1st if you can’t picture how long it had been since it snowed there.

We moved to Istanbul in 1998, an earthquake happened in 1999. It wasn’t exactly in Istanbul, but it was a deadly one. I still remember the moment I opened my eyes. The electricity wasn’t cut off. My parents’ voices…  The apartment across getting closer to ours… My mother’s instincts telling her to rearrange the living room. She moved the dinner table in front of the cabinet that displays all the different whiskeys, wines waiting for special occasions. My siblings were sleeping in the living room, we had my brother visiting us. Best rearrangement she has ever done that probably saved the life of my siblings. Whatever the cabinet held turned into “broken pieces with memories in alcohol soup”.

I moved to Sweden, worst snow of, what, 100 years. Someone told me not to worry: ‘It would probably snow 13cm, winters are not like what it used to be.’ Yeah, sure. I think you forgot a zero there, it definitely snowed more than a meter.

I was preparing to move to the USA, well you know who got elected. I even joked: “Of course, he will be elected because I am moving there.” If that wasn’t a disaster global enough I don’t what was. Clearly my impact was getting bigger and bigger.

I have ignored all the signs and moved to Canada. Pandemic… I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I will start a campaign to prevent me from moving. I am afraid next time a meteor will hit and it will be the end of us. Or worse, The Road will come true. Great movie, by the way, watch that if you are not depressed enough these days.

I suppose if you kept reading till here, you weren’t aware of how silly conclusions we can draw from correlations or you certainly enjoyed the joke. I wish the disasters were bound to me, moving around, I would gladly live in one house and grow roots together with my cherry tree and have several cats. But it is not. It’s just a coincidence I cherry-pick to make up a story.

It’s a strange time we live in. Not just because of the viral outbreak, human history is no stranger to those. It’s strange because despite having this mass media, internet sources, some people having access to information if not all, we still have so much utterly nonsense information floating around.

I see newspapers writing about ivermectin. The molecule whose partial charges, bonds and angles I have saved in a file in my computer was the center of some news articles. It is to cure covid-19. “The miracle drug.” Ivermectin is a miracle if you have parasites but that’s about it. It has no clinically proven effect on viral diseases, let me correct myself, on sars-cov-2. I haven’t searched all the viral diseases. Sure in the test tube, it is effective, but from there to the human body is a very long journey. The original article clearly states that the tests are done in the test tube. But the headlines play with the words and leave that tiny detail to the end of the article where no one ever reaches.

Have you read till here? I am impressed. I watched The 100 and my first impression was, yes we are as stupid as ever even after a deadly nuclear attack that turns earth inhabitable. I am watching people’s feed, comments. I repeat my remark about that series. We are as stupid as ever. Quick to create sensational news, point fingers to blame without any proof or worse spread fake news. Anyways  I hope you are safe and find things to do under this quarantine.

I have already checked baking lahmacun, finishing a book I have been reading for a very long time, reorganizing the house a million times due to draft, and sleeping almost 24h due to a hunger-induced headache. How am I supposed to wake up for breakfast if my blood sugar is low in the morning (I suspect it was low blood sugar as it has happened before)?! My brain found the answer in headaches! Let’s communicate with this human so she feels miserable and wakes up. How about you find a way not to lower my blood sugar while eat what I want and do not do any exercise, brain? After today, I shall wake up at 6am to eat with the cat. I have been stretching when she is stretching as an exercise already. I am learning survival from my cat.

What have you been up to?

Ideas vs. Products

Do you remember the first novel you have read all by yourself a bit after you had learned how to read? Mine was, “20.000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne, I have probably given this example many times, but it is such a happy memory for me. I am not sure, I think it was the summer after first grade, my father handed this book (with hardcover) to me for summer vacation homework. I was curious about what the author was describing, it sounded like a submarine but why was it portrayed like an alien technology? Did people not know what a submarine was, seriously? Later in elementary school I have conducted my first ever research to answer the question: When was the first submarines built? Continue reading Ideas vs. Products

Controlling the happiness

I do not know when one draws a line and says ‘No, the happiness you are feeling right now, is not right? Just as your sadness the other day.’ I, once, asked a psychiatrist why he/she mentioned that treating bipolar disorder is the hardest. Her/His response: How can you convince someone that they shouldn’t be this excited, and happy? How can you even identify that their happiness would be self- harming? Continue reading Controlling the happiness

Baltimore Communities and Bridges

This is a question I have been asking to myself. What is there to like in this city? When I say I’m giving it time but probably Baltimore is not the city for me, my dislike is directed towards not-so-good public transportation, not feeling safe, the invasive interactions (if someone’s t-shirt has a brand label sneaked out and displayed itself publicly, it is absolutely nobody’s business to touch me and turn that label back inside), and the culture of peeing on the street (not the homeless). When I find more and more things to dislike in the city, how some people could find more and more love here?
The answer was simple as I have learned yesterday. Community, support, friends like family. My airbnb host when I came to Baltimore is an amazing woman who has a great taste in furniture and a big heart. She has lived in several cities, but chose Baltimore as her home. Her reason to like Baltimore as I understood from her examples was the community she has formed here. One might say as a counter argument if you want you can form that community anywhere in the world. But that argument doesn’t work. Why?
She has a big heart; empathy and healing powers, the best I can describe without invading her privacy much. The conversation that took place at last night’s Friendsgiving dinner was not meant for public, so I have to do my best to convey the message without specifics. So to give an example, I see the bad in any situation and get frustrated, blame myself or others and leave at that. But she tries to understand, she listens without judging. She builds bridges as she put it. That is her role in this life. She also accepts that everyone has a different role to play, and if you have a more aggressive approach to solve a problem that approach is not to be destroyed but to put in use for the situations that calls for it.
Taking into account the fact that she is a person that builds bridges, she should be able to form that community anywhere in the world, shouldn’t she? But she chose Baltimore for this, or rather Baltimore allowed for that community to be built. Not any other city. Baltimore. Perhaps there are some truth in her words. Perhaps Baltimore is a city full with people that supports each other, one just has to give the chance.
The question is now this: Am I ready for it? Am I ready to allow people to my world? Am I ready to invite people to my house, my temple and watch it to be filled with different opinions? Am I ready to be healed?
Some things are difficult to be rid of. For example my philosophy is any women who has/had access to knowledge should stop following/believing religion. This is a very aggressive argument. It is an all-out attack. I strongly believe that women are better off without religious craps. Can I find a way to phrase this not in an offensive way? I formed this argument after many years with the idea that it would make them question what they believe. It is not something I can give up easily. I came to like its offensive nature (yes I am evil sometimes). Am I ready to trade this argument to create space for those bridges?
No, not yet anyways, not this argument. But there is something to learn about building bridges. Hear, listen and understand before judging. Now that, that is something I can work on. Perhaps while I learn to do that I will find myself a community to love, support and be supported. Who knows maybe I will end up making Baltimore a home to myself.

Still Alive

It is hard not to keep laughing at the recent events in both Turkey and USA. Not because it is funny, but simply because there is nothing left to do besides laughing hysterically. I hope that there will be some countries left on the face of the earth in the upcoming years. Sure as hell, Turkey as in my imagination will not be there. It is already gone.

Trying to cheer up but geez it is tough. I still don’t like this city but I’ll be around for a little more for sure (being another year or two). I have come back from shopping and wondered once again why I am just not paying over 120$/week to Blue Apron & Hello Fresh to avoid it completely. Even ignoring doesn’t help in this city. I really don’t understand how things got this bad in this city. It is not the poverty I am talking about. To give an example, there is a culture of peeing in the streets. No! Not only the homeless does that. It is difficult to see what this city has to offer when I just feel fear walking down the street. Sure, Istanbul wasn’t superb, but I am not living there am I?

At least research is progressing. It is a slow progress, but I have completed the parametrization of my first molecule. Confession; I am close to be finished Getting used to analysis in charmm, learning to work with SAXS data, … and many more things. Some analyses are just too slow in CHARMM, like counting waters. But other things are nice. Being able to select the residues on the fly and not dealing with an index file for example is heaven. Parametrization is easier… I repeat easier.

I should find the time to update the toolbox and put up proper references to the scripts. Quite a few of them are based on Samuel Murail’s scripts I have inherited. Now I am inheriting quite many scripts from Justin Lemkul. Aa, I don’t think I have mentioned that I had work with him for a short while before he moved on to Virginia Tech. If you have used GROMACS, then you have definitely heard of him. It is safe to say he is one of the celebrities in the field 🙂 Rumor has it he is looking for postdocs if you are interested.

October… It is that time of the year again. Nobel Prize announcements, BPS abstract deadlines and my birthday. Unfortunately, this year too I won’t get to celebrate it. However, this year’s gift to me is the trip to San Francisco, and the BPS conference. I will submit my thesis cover painting to the image contest. When I dream too much about something, it doesn’t come true. Nevertheless, I shall see if I at least make it to the finals.

BSFS

I had an awesome night! It is such an amazing feeling when you meet with people who are actually part of the science fiction convention, the organizing team.

Baltimore Science Fiction Society building is how I imagine my house to be, if I ever get a chance to settle down. Full of books… oh that smell that takes you to different worlds. Gives you wings to fly, gives you legs to run… Behind there is a bigger room where you watch the movies.

The members are so friendly. Had a nice little chat at the end. I think  that society will make me like this city after all (and all the other amazing people I have met so far). Too bad, I will miss the Balticon :/ I am happy that I will see my friend from Bachelor and finally get to meet her cute little son. It would be awesome if one could have it all…

Baltimore

Yeap, this entire city is on my things to avoid list. From what I heard, I should add the entire country to things to avoid list. Have you people heard about maintenance in this land?

There was a freaking cockroach in the office. There are labs in this building, how can you host pests?

Don’t get me started on the building I am living in. I have lived in a relatively old building in Sweden, but I have never seen something like this. Old doesn’t do justice here. It’s like abandoned. No proper hot water in the shower (this is the whole reason why I’m so pissed off), a very dirty noisy horrible heating/ac system, ridiculous blinds whose piece falls of once a month, no cold water in the kitchen, walking closet shelves painted with wall paint that will certainly stain my clothes if not for the towels I have laid, the kitchen wall paint is water based while it should be oil based because you know it is the fraking kitchen, there is a huge space between the walking closet door and the floor so if there is a flood in the bathroom that is the first place to get fraked up, oh oh oh the bathroom was disgusting, kitchen cabinets are a joke that I want to meet the person who designed them in person (just because they are old doesn’t mean the design should be stupid)….

Where am I living? I shouldn’t tell, probably I am breaking some shitty rule written somewhere in my contract which I should have read in detail.

Aaaand don’t! don’t tell me there are people out there dying. I know that. I didn’t come here easy, I just want the fraking things I have been buying with the money that I earn with my brain, blood and sweat.  Ok mostly brain, so what?!

Shopaholic

I am discovering a new side of me after this move. I am a shopaholic. I create excuses to buy items. I am pretty good at finding those reasons. The most recent one I came up with was I want to dance to ‘I am the Best’ from 2NE1 in the Dance Central 3 game. No other song, no other game. I want that song, that game. But it’s not available on Xbox One and it won’t the in the new releases; so I must own an Xbox 360. I cannot find a song or game to replace that. It must be that one for me to be happy.

I am unhappy without it. Why am I unhappy? Well that’s because I have a roof over my head and money to buy food. In fact I had so much that I could pay for this domain name and the server. I may not be able to participate in olympics but I can take care of myself, I am physically independent (sort of; setting up the IKEA furniture is a big no no still).

Forget about those above… I have access to clean water, electricity, birth control, tampons, and sanitary pads. These alone puts me in a more advantageous position in life than many other women out there. So instead of helping you all, I wasted money today on my own leisure. Forgive me. I will put a stop to this madness from this point on. Everytime I want to buy something for my leisure I make sure to set aside the same amount for donations. And if I can’t afford to both buy and donate, I shall not buy the item but still make the donation.

I caused the world a great deal with all that packaging 🙁 I feel terrible, even though it’s recycled it is still trash. A huge amount. I wonder if shipping would be a better option instead of buying all that new. I should have kept more items. Bummer!