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2008-06-19 11:34 p.m.

if it weren't for disappointment, i wouldn't have no appointments

Not long ago things were going pretty well. Got in the lab wanted, doing the project I wanted. Got the top scores all my finals. "Everything's going so well!" I said to myself.

But my experiments have gone nowhere. They're beset by problems, both in and out of my control. While it would be an exaggeration to say that nothing I've done has worked, it would only be a slight exaggeration.

The Man is impatient and dissatisfied. He seems to have plans of forcing me to move to a project more in line with what the lab as a whole is doing. I feel I have gone from New Golden Boy to Lab Idiot over the past month or two.

Perhaps this is to be expected.

A friend did a calculation of our hourly salary if we put in 60 hours a week (which I've done at least once in the recent past). The result? We make less than minimum wage, even without factoring in overtime.

Most of the people I know here who just got their PhDs have been here about seven years.

Perhaps the reality of the situation I've put myself in is finally revealing itself.

It's funny cause it's true… Wow.

My karate club, while still technically in existence, is also floundering. In the past six months, there has been one case when more than one other person showed up. And I did I mention that, insofar as is there is such a thing in our style, I recently failed my black belt test for the fourth time in five years?

They say that successful people fail more often than unsuccessful people. I keep saying this to myself.

The romantic relationship is also struggling. She's dissatisfied with her progress in English (and secretly, so am I). She wants to change schools. She's talking about going back to Japan. I'm too tired and busy and dealing with my own crap to see to her as I should.

And to add injury to insult, I've come down with shingles.

Eh. Could be worse.

Quotes from the Hagakure come to mind at times like these:

“When meeting calamities or difficult situations, it is not enough to simply say that one is not at all flustered. When meeting difficult situations, one should dash forward bravely and with joy. It is the crossing of a single barrier and is like the saying, ‘The more the water, the higher the boat.’”

In other news, this Saturday is a new holiday, Blackout Sabbath. (Thought up by Rufus Wainwright, of all people.) For twelve hours, from noon to midnight, you don't use electricity or fossil fuel. You do without, and you think about what you can do over the coming year to reduce your energy usage. I'm going to do it, and you should, too.

master-slave me,