Supreme Commander of the Universe

NaBloPoMo_2015

Today’s prompt asks if, as a child, you wanted to have the same, or a different job than your parents when you grew up.

I’ll start with my Dad because I can say with certainty that I did not want a job like him when I was a kid. Actually, I had no idea what he really did until I was nearly graduating high school. Dad worked for IBM. IBM is a huge corporation with a multitude of different types of jobs but, when you hear “IBM” you automatically think computers. I thought my Dad worked with computers. He was certainly always on the one we had at home and he had a laptop before long before people realized it wasn’t something that only existed in the Star Trek universe.

My Dad did not actually work with computers. He was an engineer. A civil engineer to be exact. When I figured this out, I was completely confused as to why IBM would need a civil engineer. IBM built computers, not buildings.

Wrong again.

Dad was responsible for managing the building of new IBM buildings, maintaining current infrastructure and remodeling new space that was acquired. I suppose all those IBM employees did need space to work in right?

It was a big promotion that moved the family to Montreal in 2002. When I asked my Dad what his new job was, he would tell me he had been promoted to “Supreme Commander of the Universe”. Funny, but not so informative.

Living in Montreal, I finally got a better understanding of what he actually did. I got to see the buildings he was working on. There are two of them in the business district that I had to pass on my way to McGill everyday. He took me on tours and explained the unique methods of heating, wiring, etc that would be more economic for IBM and environmentally friendly. I don’t really remember what they were exactly, but the temperature control system stuck with me. In one building, water was circulated through the walls and floors. The water was heated or cooled depending on the season and then circulated throughout the building. This was a new concept to me. I thought it was interesting.

My mom’s job was a little more straight forward. She worked in Hematology and Blood Bank at the local hospital. I think it was learning about her job that got me interested in science. I thought studying the little vials of blood that got sent to her via the “Blood-vator” was pretty cool. The “Blood-vator” was a foam canister that blood was sent down to the lab in. It came down a chute from the floors above, kind of like a elevator, but for blood. Hence “Blood-vator”.

The hematology part of my mom’s job was interesting, but I was not a fan of blood bank. The blood bank was where blood and other fluids were stored for transfusions and such. Those big bags of blood made my stomach turn. I was a little squeamish, which makes no sense since I worked with cadavers during my undergrad, but I think it was just the blood. Big bags of blood or guts with blood were disturbing, but just plain guts, that I could handle.

Working in a hospital required shift work. As a child, it appeared that my mom handled it well, but as I got a little older, I realized I was not a night person. There was just no way I would be able to work the evening or night shifts that my mom did for a week at a time. Especially since you were alone on a night shift in blood bank. I can’t imagine how she stayed a wake on a slow night.

I knew engineering and shift work were not for me. I remember wanting to be like Anne of Green Gables. A teacher and a writer. I have no idea how that aspiration morphed into a career in science. Even when I had settled on science, I said I never wanted to do research, yet, here I am. Research.

I wonder how many children actually grow up and become what they said they wanted to be.

Advertisements

The Coolest Job Ever

NaBloPoMo BlogHer Prompt: What did you think was the coolest job in the world when you were younger? Do you still feel that way now?

The coolest job in the world was being a Spice Girl. It couldn’t get any better than that. They were the closest thing to superheroes in my mind. Think about it. You get to travel all over the world, with you best friends I might add, promoting girl power! You get to wear cool clothes and sing and dance all day. Plus, you have your very own double decker bus to drive around on. That was cool!

I will always be a Spice Girls fan and would definitely buy a ticket if they were to have a concert around here, but I would not want to be one. The awesome parts of their jobs I mentioned above are still pretty cool, but that is not all they did. They were celebrities. As one of those, especially at the level the Spice Girls were at, your job is your life, your life is your job. It’s all the same. You have to be “on” all the time. As an introvert with depression, that would probably be my worst nightmare.

Celebrities get all sorts of criticism for everything they do. Their choices are criticized, their words, their clothes, their bodies. Sometimes it is constructive criticism, sometimes they do something dumb and are asking for it, but a lot of the time it is just plain mean. Tabloids were pretty bad when the Spice Girls were in their prime, but those gossip newspapers don’t even compare to what we have now; social media. I think having all those negative things said about me on social media would be crushing. It wouldn’t matter how well I was doing or how many good things were said, the haters would win.

Now that I have a better understanding of what being a Spice Girl might have been like, there is no way I would want to be one. I admire them for being able to handle it though.

#NaBloPoMo – When Barbie Went Digital

NaBloPoMo Blog Her prompt: What was the one toy that a friend had that you wished you had when you were little?

I met Melissa the very first day of kindergarten. We were best buddies through grade school. We are still friends today. I see her every time I go back to Toronto for a visit.

Growing up, she had everything. We would play in her basement playroom where one wall was floor to ceiling shelves of toys and games. She had an older brother, I have no idea where his toys were kept because these shelves were all Melissa’s things.

Melissa was the first to have the baby dolls that you could actually feed and have to change the diaper. She had the cool board games that incorporated VHS tapes. She also had Barbie Fashion Designer. She was the only one of us who had it, so of course we all wanted to play whenever we were over at her house. She must have been getting sick of it.

I have always liked designing clothes. Just the drawing part though, I couldn’t sew a bag if my life depended on it. I loved to draw and I would draw characters in all sorts of outfits.

Barbie Fashion Designer was a computer program that came out right around the same time as CD-ROM. It was great because you got to pick the type of clothes, you got to design the fabric and then Barbie would model the outfit you created in 3D. That was my favourite part, seeing what it looked like on Barbie. The software even went a step further and allowed you to print the outfit on specialized fabric-paper so one of your own Barbies could wear your creation.

Melissa let me print one once. It was kind of flimsy. It kept falling off and didn’t fit my Barbie nearly as well as it did the digital Barbie. That part was a little disappointing, but I didn’t care. It was all about the design and seeing digital Barbie wear it for me.

My parents never bought the computer program for me. I was getting to the age where Barbies were no longer considered cool. They figured there was no sense in buying it and then having me lose interest. Little did they know, I was the type of kid who didn’t pay attention to what wasn’t cool!

In fact, I am so uncool that I got a brand new Barbie just this week! Hubby did the groceries and came back with this for me. She is still in the box because I haven’t decided if I should keep her, or give her to one of my nieces.

2015-11-01 Scientist Barbie

Yup, that is Scientist Barbie! The back of the box says “Scientists study oceans, space, the Earth & even animals!”. She comes fully equipped with her lab coat, lab safety goggles and a microscope.

2015-11-01 Scientist Barbie goggles 2015-11-01 Scientist Barbie Microscope

Although it is very cool that Barbie is showing an interest in science now, she’s not quite there yet.

2015-11-01 Scientist Barbie Safety Code Violation

Those legs! Those Shoes! Clearly a safety code violation!

Good job Barbie, you’ll get there one day.

Trying NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo_2015

Why not right? So many of you are doing NaNoWriMo, I’m feeling like I am missing out. I can’t handle a novel at this point in time. I’ve got a grant deadline in early December, so that is where all my writing should be going. I don’t think I could write a novel anyway. Blog posts are more my speed and what better way to get back into the habit of writing, right?

Actually, I should have been a little less impulsive in signing up yesterday. Considering this is the 4th post since I went MIA 7 months ago, this may be too big a commitment. I want to be writing again, but I am still having trouble managing depression. I was really looking forward to doing A-Z last April. I even prepared ahead of time! It didn’t matter though. Depression took over and it was a spectacular flop. At least it was spectacular right?! Glass half full. 🙂

Since this whole thing started yesterday, Halloween (I must have been possessed), I have no idea what I am doing. I did sign up at BlogHer, so I will probably be using the prompts over there most of the time. Outside of that, I’ll babble about depression, grad school and life in general. Sometimes the scientist in me just has to share something cool I learned. That has been rare in the last while since I am mad at my Ph.D. and everything related to it. Maybe I’ll try to doodle again, no promises though!

NaBloPoMo is really hard to write without typos. Does anybody say that out loud? I keep messing it up when I try to say it.

I will leave you with Ewok’s discovery of the Lego Express.

Happy NaBloPoMo everybody!

Share Your World 2015 — Week 43

share your world

It is nice to be able to participate in Cee’s Share Your World again. The last one I did was week 13…and here we are at week 43 already. I’ve been gone for 40 weeks!? Eek! Time flies. Here are this week’s questions…

If you were on a debate team, what general subject would you relish debating?

I would probably never be on a debate team. I’m really not a fan of having an audience and when I do, I would rather present to you what I have learned and have you interpret rather than persuade you of my view. Debates are fun to watch, but I think I get more out of hearing others’ interpretations. If I had to pick a topic, maybe it would be mental health or low vision rehabilitation.

What’s your strongest sense?

I think it would be vision. I have always been a visual learner. Listening to a lecture never really worked for me. I always had to make notes or draw diagrams to really get the information to sink in.

What would you name the autobiography of your life?

Agh, the titles I come up with are usually so underwhelming. Writing an autobiography was a project I had to do in the 5th grade. I came up with the totally original title of “Me, Myself and I”. Perhaps “The Misadventures of Somber Scribbler”. It sounds like a kid’s picture book, lol.

List your favorite flavors or types of tea.

My favourite tea is the “Birthday Cake” tea from David’s Tea. It has rainbow sprinkles in it which is fun and it’s a nice alternative to dessert and the associated calories!

birthday cake tea

I am also a fan of “Coffee Pu’erh” from the same place. Obviously, it tastes like coffee.

coffee pu-erh tea

Looking at their website now, they have one called “Oh Canada!”. It has a hint of maple to it. I’d like to try that one.

oh canada tea

In terms of the less fancy types of tea, it’s green or mint…or mint green, even better!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last Week: I got through all the things I was dreading unscathed. I am grateful for this and part of me knew I would get through, but it is always good to remind myself. I tend to forget and start dreading everything again when the next week starts up.

This week: The last few weekends have been really busy, so I am looking forward to this coming weekend which is going to be quieter. I’ll still have to drive out and spend a day with my mother in law, but at least there wont be a crowd. We’ll watch Halloween movies with her.

Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Somber Scribbler on WordPress.com

Archives

%d bloggers like this: