That sure beats a kick in the pants. (Although finding out that Gordon Campbell* was arrested for drunk driving in Maui on my bday in 2003 wasn't too bad of a gift -- for his mug shot, click here). On the whole though, I have to say that the postdoc trumps even that.
The offer is to start "as soon as you possibly can after finishing your Ph.D." Yes, I'm that hot of a commodity. Or I've gotten myself into a high stakes, winner take all, must-produce-more-more-MORE-than-any-other-lab-lest-you-get-scooped-and-your-whole-career-comes-crashing-down-around-you situation. Either way, it's warm there. And well they don't have "free espresso" as a benefit like at Genentech (I'm not making that up. Click the link. Seriously.), I still think the deal is pretty sweet.
All kidding aside, I'm totally ecstatic! I really, really, really liked the lab there when I visited. Everyone was really friendly and welcoming. Just watching their interactions in the lab and during their lab meeting really gave you the sense that this is a good place to work. It will be a lot of hard work, no doubt about it, but the research they are doing is fascinating and if you can work in an environment where everyone is interested in collaborating rather than competing, all the better. Plus, everyone in the lab drinks diet Coke. So you know that they are good peeps.
Anyway, speaking of my bday, Birthday Alarm.com (which so generously reminds me when it's your birthday, because otherwise I'd probably forget!) sent me a partial horoscope assessment (in an attempt to get me to pay to join some astrology website thing), and I was surprized at how very much this description sounds like me:
I usually fit the description of Capricorn quite well, but this one was uncanny.
Section 1: The Inner You: Your Real Motivation
Serious, disciplined, and quietly ambitious, you are driven to prove yourself and to achieve material accomplishments and success. Your work, your position in the world, and your contributions to society are very important to you. You will persevere through enormous hardship and frustration in order to reach a goal you have set for yourself, and you often sacrifice much in the area of personal relationships and home life in order to do so.
Section 2: Mental Interests and Abilities
Clear, objective, and realistic, you are unimpressed by exaggerated claims or promises. You insist upon being shown facts to back up any statement you hear [this is sooo me], and your natural skepticism often borders on cynicism**. You approach problems clearly and rationally and maintain your poise and objectivity even in the midst of critical situations. Anyone seeking your advice is certain to get an unemotional and unbiased assessment of their situation, and you therefore make a good arbitrator or judge. You are thorough, conscientious, and disciplined in your thinking, and have an aptitude for business, organization, and administration. You are also a good strategist, and will plan and patiently follow a realistic course which will lead to your eventual success. Serious-minded and studious, you enjoy quiet time alone for thinking or reading.
*P.S. Gordon Campbell also drank a drink with a human toe in it. It was on the internet, so it has to be true.
**"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."-George Bernard Shaw