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!

Haha

I cannot find any other words to describe the current political situations. Haha! One good thing that came out of Trump’s election as president… We are not alone anymore! I can’t stop giggling at what he said; can you believe it? Sweden!  The situation is no different from you-know-who saying one thing and the crowd cheering for the total opposite. I hope those crazy beings will leave us a world worth saving.

Life in Baltimore is getting better. Making progress in using Charmm, though I am not learning as fast as I would like it to be. But dealing with three countries is just too much. Taking care of taxes in Sweden, changing my address in Turkey so I can vote, filling in papers in USA… still filling in papers…

Some things just don’t make sense in this country. I know I have prejudice against the “system” here. Instead of seeing things as different, I see them as wrong. Paper sizes, how the apartment doors opens or not opens (you have to hold them), how they can deduct almost everything from my salary yet they ask me to write a check for the healthcare… I just don’t understand…

Oh I should mention that Baltimore is as expensive as Stockholm I would say. Give it a few more years and I bet it will be more expensive. There are definitely cheaper ways to live here, which is something almost didn’t exist in Stockholm. But I found those ways scary. Maybe because I think I cannot protect myself or maybe it is again the prejudice and looking down on people. I am seeing a new side of me. I just have to understand the roots of it so I can change it for the better.

Ah it could also be due to an empty house. While I get more and more things, I should, no, I will become happier. Lack of stuff certainly increases creativity; like I know now how to open a beer with a tiny screwdriver (it just takes time since I don’t have strength) or how to open a can with a knife and hammer…

Time… I just need to give myself and this city more time…

The journey to J-1

I have decided to start from the beginning. Obtaining J-1.

I am not sure if it is generally like that, but obtaining a J-1 visa was pretty easy.  That said, getting residence permit in Sweden was much easier, on application level only. In Sweden, you fill in one form, you pay one application fee, then you wait… you wait… and you wait… Where as for getting a J-1, you fill in several forms, pay fees to several places and then you get it, that’s it.

The first step is waiting for documents from the university.  They have to get this DS-2019 form. To get that form from them, you need to fill in a form. Once you have the DS-2019 form, you can go ahead and pay the SEVIS fee which is also called I-901 form. Print the proof of SEVIS fee payment and keep it safe. Then, start your visa application by filling in the DS-160 form. Keep in mind: You need to have a digital copy of a biometric photo of yours. Some photographers do offer that. If you are in Stockholm, Fuji Foto Center at Ostermalm has an excellent service.

This form is tricky. You fill out many pages of information, type in your previous travel information to US, the names of two people in your home country (not quite sure about the reason behind this request), yada yada… You pass all those stages, and you think I’m all done. Well not yet, you have to upload that photo of yours. Here comes the annoying part. Not every browser works with this website. I have tried Chrome, Safari, Opera and Firefox. I’m not sure if it was Opera or Firefox that worked. But one of these surely does. If you get a problem with the photo, save the application and try in at another browser. When you complete the application, book an appointment with the embassy. Of course you have to pay a fee for this too. At the embassy, you will provide many many more documents than DS-2019, SEVIS Fee, DS-160 and your offer letter from your new boss but won’t care 🙂 They will take only these and then decide whether or not to give you the visa at that moment. It is still good to have those documents with you though. You’ll never know what they will ask.

The embassy will send the passport via mail. In my case, it was just placed inside the mailbox. I would have preferred a more secure way but hey I have got the visa within 2 months. The whole process, including the waiting times for DS-2019 etc. By the way, the fees adds up to 300-360$.

The whole process of getting J-1 actually is a sign of how your first week will be spent. But more on that next week.

Fortunetelling

So I am writing a script to generate semi-automated forcefield entries from STaGE topologies, because I want to set virtual sites on my ligands.
I spend a day typing, salvaging what I have created before, improving and cleaning. At the end of the day I think I have a working version. Or I think I have. But not sure I have.
*facepalm* It is one task that my fortunetelling should pay off and I am not using it. I should have thought of a way to compare the input with the output. Now the day feels pretty wasted. I don’t know if I have achieved something. *Blah*
Waiting for the visa process… I should start dissolving the house but I’m not quite ready yet to let go of my belongings. *sad*

New Beginnings

Next destination University of Maryland… Excited for the things I will learn, and the new group I get to work with. Well was excited! Until I started making a list of things to do in order to move away! So I have decided I will share all this fuss with you all. This way it gets smaller and smaller leaving me excited again. So here goes my current list:

Continue reading New Beginnings

What counts as disability?

Just submitted my resume to Verify Life Sciences. The application form made think… So if you have a diagnosis but don’t show any major symptoms yet, you fall under disability act, do you not? It is not a high chance (or so I assume) that I will have a problem with day-to-day activities any time soon. But ten more years, it might take me 20 minutes to screw in a light bulb or it might just remain as it is. How they define these slow progressive diseases, I wonder.

OMG It is real!!!

It is truly happening! I am defending my thesis. June 1st, I will give my presentation a test run. June 13th, I will defend for real.

I am trying not to freak out about it despite me having hearing loss, essential tremors, anxiety, IBS, GERD, tinnitus, ear pain, muscle pain and all that jazz to top up my nervousness. Focusing on my beautiful thesis cover is my only option to calm down. It did work for today, but let’s see what will happen tomorrow. Continue reading OMG It is real!!!

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