Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Twilight, or how to warp young girls...

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! It was 80 degrees when I left my mom’s house on Saturday. If that’s not Christmas weather, then I don’t know what is! There are so many things skittering around in my brain that I don’t even know what to write about. But since I’ve been reading so much lately, and I’ve seen several recent blog posts about books…well, here we go!

My most recent reading binge started with The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I was enjoying it, and we had a Books a Million gift card that was about to start being charged due to lack of use, so TM went out and bought me Twilight.

At this point, I had no idea what Twilight was all about (except something vaguely about vampires), or any of the hoopla surrounding it, or even that they were making a movie! (The rock I live under, it is nice and big and shelters me from lots of pop culture crap!) So I read Twilight. I have to admit, it sucked me in a bit at first. Though the plot was thin (among other issues), I liked some of the characters and I thought some of the premises were interesting (i.e. what could be bad about sparkliness??). Lots of things, especially about Edward and Bella’s relationship, bothered me, but I read the book so fast that I didn’t really get bogged down thinking too much about all the things that disturbed me about it.

And then I read the second book. Seriously? SERIOUSLY??? The whole book was just a disgusting whine-fest. Boys and girls, this is what happens when you have seriously unhealthy relationships.

Honestly, I’m still just kind of dumbfounded by the whole series. And deeply disturbed. I freely admit that I am obsessive. But I am so completely disturbed by the obsession that young girls and even adults have with this series. It makes me sick, and I don’t know what I can do about it.

Come on girls! Go find a heroine that’s not seriously nuts! Ugh!

On the flip side, this whole thing has made for some absolutely hysterical snark. Check out this…I especially enjoy the summaries of the books. I thought I was going to die laughing. Fursplode is now officially a part of my lexicon. And yes, I do giggle every time I say it.

(As an aside, I totally agree with what Abbie has said about the Sookie Stackhouse series. It was nice after coming off Twilight to see a chick stand up for herself. Sheesh!)

Friday, December 19, 2008


Now that my cold is really waning and I'm really starting to feel good for the first time in over a month, I thought I could be super productive. I thought I would feel like doing all kinds of experiments and blogging and catching up on sciencey reading. Then my friend Jennifer came by. And left me with this:

How am I supposed to accomplish anything with that sitting in my living room???

Thursday, December 4, 2008


This! Almost exactly this, in fact.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Six random things meme

Acmegirl has tagged me for the six random things meme. I’ve finally managed to get around to actually writing a post, so here it is! The rules:

Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. I am obsessive. It’s weird, though, because I only obsess about some things. An occasional movie or singer or book will suck me in and eat my brain. And it’s all I can think about, all the stinking time.

2. My life is a musical. I enjoy soundtracks, but I never expected for my life to turn into a musical. This is mostly due to TM, who likes to sing at me. The really interesting part is that he never actually knows the lyrics, so they get made up on the spot. This is how we now have songs like “Louie Cat of Horrors” and “O Figgy Tree”. Seriously.

3. I dance in the darkroom. What am I supposed to do, just stand there and wait?

4. I cry. Over anything. I’ve seriously cried over a Publix commercial. And if anybody else is crying, I cry too. This sometimes even happens with characters on TV or in movies.

5. I binge read. This is why I stopped reading for pleasure shortly after I began college. If I like a book (and sometimes even if I don’t), I sit and read until I’m finished.

6. If I weren’t an immunologist, I would totally be a meteorologist! I sometimes really think I missed my calling. Maybe that’s what I’ll do if I ever retire.

I’m a little late to the game on this one, so I’m not going to tag anyone (mostly because I’m too lazy to dig through my reader and see who hasn’t already done this meme). If you haven’t done this one, and you wanna, go ahead!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A musical morning

Shingles update: I feel so much better this morning. I actually managed to get some good sleep last night. It doesn’t feel like my head is going to explode anymore. I’m not too itchy and my back and side are significantly less sore, and the rash is starting to dry up. It seems like I’m going to make it!

Warning: Self-indulgent rambling follows! :)

I have to admit, I’ve been a bit self-indulgent this morning. One of my favorite ways to sort of let things out (and this is a little weird, I think), is to listen to country music and let myself cry. I don’t know why exactly, but it makes me feel better.

And now, this morning’s playlist so far (with a little self-indulgent commentary):
• “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” by Carrie Underwood
I think I’ve heard this song exactly once that I didn’t cry for serious. There are three spots that inevitably get me:
“Tell my baby sister that I’ll see her in the fall” My sister has issues, but I love her to pieces. Still not really sure why this gets me going so much.
“Tell Mema that I miss her, yeah I should give her a call” I guess this part gets me because I call my grandmother Mema, and I do miss her even though I talk to her often. This is the line that made me cry the first time I ever heard this song.
“Make sure you tell Daddy that I’m still his little girl” I think this is the one that gets me the most now. It’s been a little over a year since my dad died, and I’ve handled it pretty well, but this line breaks me down every time.

• “I Go Back” by Kenny Chesney
This one makes me think about my dad a bit now too, but it really makes me think about my great grandmother.

• “The Woman With You” by Kenny Chesney
This is one of my unofficial them songs. For some reason I always end up listening to this in the midst of the songs that make me cry. It just makes me smile a little.

• “Good Directions” by Billy Currington
I just thought about this one while I was poking around on YouTube. It’s a cute song, and it makes me think about home. Are you ready for a small southern town story? :) This song was written my Luke Bryan. His sister was my sixth grade teacher. We actually adopted Charlie from her. The store that is mentioned is right up the street from my mom’s house. Shrug…it just all sort of amuses me. Pandora plays the song for me, and I think about how I know these people and places. And it reminds me how happy I am that I’m never going to live there again!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Not just for your roof

Because my life is never interesting enough without some sort of drama, it turns out that I have shingles.

And now, a lesson on why vaccines are important, and why I get so angry when someone says, “Well, if your child is vaccinated, then my unvaccinated child doesn’t pose a risk.” That, boys and girls, is complete and utter nonsense!

I had the first hint of a rash on my back on Saturday. It itched, I scratched; I had TM look at, he said it looked like a bug bite. No worries. I stuck a Scooby Doo bandaid on it and went on my merry way. It was still pretty itchy on Sunday and Monday, but I just tried to ignore it. Bug bites itch, right?

By Monday afternoon, I had a bit of a tender spot on my left side under my arm. I went to the bathroom and checked it out. Lo and behold, the mother of all rashes. I also discovered multiple splotches on my back. Because it was so itchy, I figured it must be poison ivy again.

I finally went to the doctor on Thursday, since it seemed to be getting worse. Voila! Shingles!

In that time frame I managed to expose a pregnant woman and an infant too young to be vaccinated*. I also went to two different grocery stores, worked in the lab, sat in a couple of seminars, etc.

So take a moment to imagine the possibilities. What if my shingles were something more highly contagious? What if it was more dangerous? How much damage could I have done?

*Hopefully they’re both safe since the exposure was when the rash was in its earliest stages.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pardon me while I have a moment...


Now back to your regularly scheduled, calm and collected blogger. Because seriously, surely I can't find out again tomorrow that 4 people I know are pregnant. Right? RIGHT???

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Gray Hair

The UPS man just told me I was too young to have gray hair. I think responsibility for them can be divided equally between Crazy Man and my sister, with a marginal percentage due to other family members/peripheral-married-in-family members. And now, instead of blogging about my gray hair as a way to waste time, I think I'm going to go do some work. I'm not feeling so motivated today. But I've been sitting here at my desk for an our, so I figure it's time to move on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Quick question

What is it that people don't understand about apostrophes? I mean, commas can get complicated, but apostrophes?!?! I suppose I can understand people using no apostrophes (especially on internet forums for example). But why use extraneous apostrophes? Why? I wonder if there's a blog of unnecessary apostrophes?


I had developed moderately severe depression while I was using hormonal contraceptives. I was approaching the point of actually seeking treatment, but I decided to try going birth control pill free first, as depression is a known side effect. It worked phenomenally! I have been pill free for over three months now, and for the most part I've been feeling great! However, the mild anxiety I was experiencing prior to quitting has not completely disappeared. In fact, it's significantly worse at times.

My first two months off the pill I had what I would call moderately severe anxiety attacks. I was completely befuddled at first, but learned pretty quickly a few tricks that helped me cope and calm down more rapidly. In month three, things started to dramatically improve as far as my anxiety goes. I haven't had any attacks at all this month, and only some brief anxiety when presented with tasks that tend to trigger anxiety for me.

I had been doing so much better, until today. Boom! Out of nowhere, an attack. It's much less severe that what I had been experiencing, but it really threw me for a loop because I had been doing so well. It's especially frustrating because I can't for the life of me figure out anything at all that seems to trigger it, especially this particular instance.

But I guess I'll just have to take comfort for now in the fact that things are still improving. I haven't felt depressed at all this month, so anxiety or no, that's a huge positive step! :) Things are looking up, and I actually feel like I'm good at something again. I'm actually enjoying science again. I actually feel like there's a possibility I can succeed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I am not perfect. I am many things. I have many talents. I have many skills. I am very good at a fair number number of things (and very bad at a great many). I am many things, but perfect is not one of them.

This is an issue that has plagued me for years. I am the good child, the good student, the quintessential good girl. Or so it seems. In reality, I'm just very, very good at playing the game. I'm very good at keeping up appearances, so to speak. (Perhaps this is the source of some of my social anxiety?) As I said, this issue has been bothersome for some time. I feel and have felt as if I'm sometimes accused of being perfect, as if I'm some paragon that the accuser could never live up to.

I live my life based on my expectations for myself, not others' expectations of me. I always have. I did well in school because I enjoy learning. I want to know everything about everything. I was an all-state musician in high school because I practiced a lot. I practiced a lot because I simply enjoyed playing. I'm obsessive, sometimes to a fault. That personality trait lends itself to certain results.

However, I don't expect anyone to be like me.

But this isn't about me. This is about my sister and how she seems to think I'm judging her. At 18, I was a "paragon of academic pursuit" because that's what I do. At heart, I AM an academic. I have healthy relationships because I choose to. I am very close to a very, very, very small number of people. I truly invest in those relationships, and therefore work very hard for them to be good for all involved.

I disapprove of your current relationship for several reasons, but mostly because it's unhealthy from what I have seen. Healthy relationships don't involve you saying things like "I want to hurt him back." Those kinds of statements are characteristic of unhealthy relationships, in fact. So please, forgive me if I judge. I want you to have healthy relationships.

I'm not looking down on you. I have a huge amount of respect for you. You are so many things I never will be, things I could never dream of. I just wish you would listen sometimes. I care. And I wish you wouldn't judge me. I'm not perfect. We all have issues. You are SO not special in that department.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I can't help myself

Age of Autism is just SO ripe for the picking lately that I just can't seem to control my urge to blog about it.  I still promise there will be a knitting post, just as soon as I find the camera and upload the pictures.  I'm almost done with another pair of socks, which I'm excited about because my new set of Knitpicks DPNs should be here any day!  Then I can start doing some serious socks!  :)  

Anyway, I subscribe to AoA in Google Reader because I'm curious, mostly.  Today, there was a post entitled "Stealth Viruses - The Secret Face of Autism?".  I suffered through one very, very miserable semester of virology, and I've picked up a lot of bits and pieces because there's a lot of people at my university that work on viruses.  So, as  you can imagine, i was curious.  

At first, I was just kind of annoyed by not being able to find many of the "references", first because one of the author's names was spelled two different ways, and secondly because there aren't actually any references given.  But I was just annoyed, and still mildly curious.  So I read on.  Everything was hunky dorey until I got to this gem:
However, the body can potentially respond through what Dr. Martin calls the alternative cellular energy (ACE) pathway. Martin believes that in addition to food metabolism via the mitochondria, the body has another means of acquiring cellular energy that is somewhat similar to photosynthesis. He compares the ACE pathway to an electrical system of batteries, switches, and currents.
Wait...WHAT?  I think I may have to let that one settle into the crevices of my brain for a while before I finish reading the article.

Monday, September 15, 2008

An unintended rant

I really didn't mean for this to turn into the rant that it did.  Many of my comments are directly related to this piece of work.  At any rate, here it is: 

I’m feeling kind of cranky today, so, in honor of that, I’m going to skewer some of the idiocy over at Age of Autism, just for kicks and giggles. (Note: I am not in any way trying to denigrate parents of children with autism or make light of their very difficult situations. However, I have no sympathy for a complete lack of understanding of science. No personal attacks here. You’ll have to go over the AoA for that.)

The personal attacks I have a real problem with. Titles of articles like “Is Autism Speaks' Geri Dawson a Blithering Idiot?” really piss me off. I appreciate that in blogs, even with highly moderated comments, worthwhile discussions do sometimes dissolve into personal attacks. If this were a one time thing, perhaps I could overlook it. However, this type of attack seems to be standard fodder at AoA, and it really bothers me. Sure, have a position, feel strongly about it, disagree with people that feel otherwise. But no matter how strongly you feel, someone that disagrees with you is not inherently a blithering idiot.

Sometimes, though, it is the case that there’s some blithering idiocy going on. Like I said, I’m not going to attack people, but statements like this:

When Thomas Burbacher released a study in 2005 showing that Thimerosal, when injected into chimps…

reek of idiocy. I think the problem with this statement would be immediately obvious to anyone that has ever done research with animals. In fact, my first thought was, “There’s no way in hell chimps were used for that study!!!” A quick look at the abstract verified my initial thought. Chimps weren’t used in that study, macaques were. Of course, what a minor detail! Why would such a thing matter??? This becomes one of those things where if you can’t get that type of simple detail right, why should I believe anything you say? Apparently I’m the only one reading AoA that bothers to notice this type of thing (notwithstanding a few other folks whose comments I’m sure don’t get posted ever).

Speaking of comments, the attitude that commenters that don’t tow the line of whatever “ideals” or whatever are supposed to be adhered to are attacked. Viciously, oftentimes, and without regard to what the commenter actually said. This is particularly disturbing when a poster is merely pointing out flawed logic, without taking a side of the issue.

Let’s get a couple of things straight. The fact you have a kid with autism doesn’t make you an authority on all things autism, and definitely does not make you an expert on science or vaccines. Sure, you are far and away the best at dealing with your child and whatever particular issues they have. And I’m sure that you are your child’s biggest advocate. I don’t have a problem with that. I have a problem with you being wrong. I have a problem with you using lies and bad logic to try to drag other parents over to your side without regard for the potential consequences.

There is no giant conspiracy among the “medical profession” to cover up anything. Every doctor, nurse, scientist, lab tech, etc. are not somehow “contaminated” by pharma money. Speaking of which, the pharma shill thing gets old. Just because somebody doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean some big, mean pharmaceutical company is paying them. (Although seriously, I could use a little extra cash.) Likewise, the fact that someone has an interest in the vaccine/autism issue doesn’t mean they’re being paid to comment on internet forums taking the vaccine side.

There is no such thing as a truly independent scientist. The money always comes from somewhere. Much of that money comes from the government (of various countries). That doesn’t mean the government controls what gets published.

With regards to Paul Offit’s book, if your so-called “biomedical” treatments are so efficacious, then why isn’t there more peer reviewed scientific support of all these different approaches? Even the big, mean scientists that are out to give kids autism by insisting they receive their vaccines aren’t opposed to legitimate, safe, efficacious treatments, right? Where’s the data?

Quote mining is a useful way to make a point. It is also a particularly useful means to twist an individual’s words. It also pisses me off and makes me trust you less. There are some of us out there that read the original quotes you use in context. Of course, if we call you out on this type of thing at AoA, the comments surely wouldn’t be published. Or perhaps an editor would thank you for focusing on an irrelevant detail rather than the story at hand.

Understand the difference between a theory and a hypothesis. Seriously.

“This increase starts precisely when the Hepatitis B shot was administered at birth, beginning in the late 1980’s.” Let’s not be bothered by facts here. Universal immunization of infants against Hepatitis B was recommended by the CDC in November 1991 (MMWR Recomm Rep. 1991 Nov 22;40(RR-13):1-25.).

“Incredibly, the symptoms of mercury poisoning and Autism are identical. They aren’t kind of similar, or sort of the same, they are identical.” Oh really? I suppose I would fall into the category of “one of those ignorant physicians often quoted who only know mercury toxicity in the form of Acrodynia or Minimata Disease and fail to understand the other ways it may manifest.” Only not a physician.

And now, since I haven’t bothered to do any science today, let’s talk about some particularly juicy bits of misinformation in the “table” the author apparently (poorly) reproduced from Changing the Course of Autism (Jepsen):
• “Causes overproduction of Th2 subset; kills/inhibits lymphocytes, T-cells, and monocytes; decreases NK T-cell activity; induces or suppresses IGNg & IL-2” (Note, I’m assuming this should be IFNg, because that’s what makes the most sense.) ‘Cause, ya know, T cells aren’t lymphocytes or anything. And there’s “overproduction” of Th2, but killing/inhibition of T cells? IFNg and IL-2 can be either induced or suppressed? Erm, okay…
• “Skewed immune-cell subset in the Th2 direction; decreased response to T-cells mitogens; reduced NK T0cell function; increased IFNg & IL-12” Is there an immunologist in the house? Quick lesson…IL-12 stimulates IFNg production. Which inhibits Th2 responses (obviously a vast oversimplification, but still). And “immune-cell subset in the Th2 direction”? WTF does that mean? T cells can be skewed towards a Th2 phenotype…maybe that’s what they meant?

Time out…this particular bit is just too easy. I need to move on. However, the fact that the section regarding the supposed similarities between mercury poisoning and autism has a number of typos, doesn’t exactly boost my confidence in the content. If your “facts” are wrong, why in the world should I take you seriously? (And typos, misspellings, etc….I got no sympathy for bad editing. Period.)

But, ya know, if there were any real scientific references in there, perhaps I might be persuaded. Some person reproducing some list from some book isn’t going to convince me that the symptoms of mercury poisoning and autism are absolutely identical. Forgive me, dear reader, for expecting evidence. And integrity.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


There are some seriously deluded people out there.  And clearly details like whether a study used chimps or macaques is of no consequence.  Do you see me rolling my eyes???  And I want a cookie!  I would elaborate on the idiocy, but that would piss me off that much more, and I have a sock to knit!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Finally! (and some Friday link love)

My westerns finally (sorta) started working like they should (i.e. bands exist again).  Why is it that the controls work but the experiments don't?  Even the controls in the experiment don't work.  GAH!  

Of course, my problems are nothing compared to Disguntled Julie's.  Seriously?  Seriously!

Oh, and my mice aren't getting sick because they're not in sterile housing.  Why couldn't somebody have mentioned that somewhere along the way?  (Excuse me while I go sac my whole colony, put all those experiments on hold, order new breeders, wait for them to breed, and wait for them to get sick.)  Somehow I think the bulk of this just became somebody else's project.  Oh well.  I was in the process of getting unattached to it anyway.

Hm...what else is new?  Crazy Man has been in a good mood.  It's pretty disturbing.  He's been getting into my bubble today, which I really, really don't do well with.  (Post to come someday about my social anxiety...)  But today, he was sitting talking to me and his shirt was gaping open a bit and I could see his stomach.  And I was so disturbed that was all I could think about.  

Oh well...I'll just try to let that memory slide away into the ether.  Or whatever.  iPod is updated, and I believe it's time to hit the road!  Woohoo!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Goodbye Mrs. Kitty

This is Charlie.
She came to live with us when I was in 6th grade.  Today she's leaving us.  She hadn't been doing well for a while, but now it's time.  Goodbye my little Charlie cat, Charcoal kitty, Mrs.  Kitty.  You can be with Daddy now...you loved him best anyway!

Antagonizer of (not so) sweet puppies and awesomest wrapper of Christmas presents.  

Monday, August 18, 2008

Maybe I'm just cranky

To Crazy Man:
  1. I don't want you to come into the lab and rattle off a list of  all the crap you have to do today.  Honestly, I don't care how many letters of recommendation and paper reviews you have to write.  Stop whining about it and do it already.  And if it wasn't clear, I don't care.  Really.
  2. I don't want to start my Monday by listening to you talk about how you don't think students at this university work hard enough and how you really don't believe people can be successful in science and work 9-5.  Really don't.  Really really.  And it's really hard to feel good about anything with your rants.  Really.  It's really, really hard to even have a shred of hope left after your little spiels like that.  Really.
To two different sets of neighbors:
If your dog barks continuously when outside alone, he shouldn't be left outside alone.  Even on your screen porch.  It really, really ticks me off when I can't inspect my little baby tomatoes without hearing your dog barking continuously, even when it can't see me.  Really.  I almost trudged over to your house Saturday morning in my robe and purple crocs at 7:30 AM just for the spectacle value.  Really.  We've since been debating the merits of taser vs. tranq dart.  Not really.  

To Mr. Lou:
You are NOT a pinball.  And don't beg for sausage again.  Apparently you don't like it.  So don't beg for it.  

To my right ovary:
I'm glad you've settled down.  However, could we try to avoid searing pain while I'm trying to talk to Crazy Man?  Please?

To those of you searching for medical information on teh intrawebz:
Be careful.  There's some serious BS out there.  Seriously.  It would be funny because it's so bad, except that well-meaning people believe it.  And that ticks me off too.

I think I need a nap.  I'm this cranky, even though I've had fudge twice today.  Not a good sign.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday links (because I'm too lazy to write a real entry)

  • Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde has an awesome post up about a utopian lab collective, where everyone gets to do the things they're good at.  I still haven't decided which job I'd like...I kind of like doing everything.  Maybe that's a good sign, since I want to be a PI.  Hmm.  Food for thought.
  • FSP's guide to academic etiquette.  Good advice, and more than enough sad but true anecdotes.  Because even smart people sometimes lack that thing known as common sense.
  • Finally, Dr. Isis's young scientist reading list.  I just recently discovered Dr. Isis, and I absolutely love her blog.  Perhaps she's my alter ego?  ;)  Maybe at some point I'll start reading again.  Then I can really let you know what I think of Dr. Isis's picks.  Of course, I may just keep knitting
  • Speaking of knitting...there will be pictures eventually, I promise.  I have finished the baby blanket I'm had been hating working on.  (And apparently the recipient looks like Yoda, but I haven't met him yet.  The baby, not Yoda.  Oh geez.)  I also knit a pair of socks and have two scarves in progress.  My weekend goal will be lots of pretty pictures.  Maybe some of the garden too.  And now I'm just rambling because I don't want to do lab work.  Hmph!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mentoring note

In case you PI types aren't aware, your students don't want to have a serious heart to heart with you about their career and future while trying to load 84 samples onto a gel.  I'll even go so far as to say that your students don't want to discuss their career plans while they're trying to do lab work AT ALL!  

Also, while I'm at it, don't ask me if I can handle doing all the experiments I just told you I was going to do.  Especially don't do it in that condescending there's-no-way-in-hell tone of voice.  If I couldn't handle it, I'd tell you.  I'm apparently way better at this than you seem to think I am.  

Finally, don't ask me why I did an experiment that was your idea and that I bluntly told you I thought was stupid.  

That's not all, but I'll take a deep breath and let the rest go for now.  :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Scientists are people too"

There's an awesome post up over at Sciencewomen about childcare and professional travel.  Check it out!  Also, the new Scientiae is up.  I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but I'm sure it's awesome (and I've heard good things about it).  :)  

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Still alive

Warning: whiny crap to follow...

I'm still here.  I've been feeling kind of run down.  I don't have any motivation.  I don't have any self-confidence.  I feel like I'm floundering.  I don't know what to do.  Like I said, I don't have any motivation to do anything, so I guess  it doesn't matter if I don't know what to do.  :(  July is not my favorite month.  At least there's been rain.  I like rain.  There's all these little things that should be making me happy that aren't.  And there's all these little things worrying me.  Maybe it's just hormonal.  That's what I'll tell myself.  Maybe that will make me feel better.  :-/ 

I have better posts coming soon, I promise.  At the very least, I should have a knitting post coming soon.  If I ever finish the damn blanket I'm working on.  It used to be "Mason's blanket".  Now it's "the damn blanket".  Can knitted baby blankets have bad vibes?  I sure hope not...

Hmm...writing this has been weirdly cathartic.  Now if I could just get myself to do some experiments, know for sure that my sister isn't pregnant and that my uncle's daughter wasn't in the hospital again, maybe those things would put me on the path towards feeling better.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Conspiracy theory!!!

Pardon me while I have a conspiracy theory moment.  I posted a comment on HuffPo.  I can't seem to drag myself away no matter how much it jacks up my blood pressure.  So anyway, I posted this comment.  And then when I was looking at it again to double check a statistic for another comment, I realized the relevant part was gone.  The whole reason I posted the comment was no longer in there.  I copied and pasted an entire paragraph, and part of a sentence in the middle was gone.  So then I tried to reply to that comment, pasting in the relevant part, and my comment, which looked fine in preview, posted as a very, very truncated version, again, lopping off the relevant information.  DO NOT WANT!  So then I tried to post another comment where I just typed out the relevant statistics without copy/paste, and I got a message that the comment had already been posted and was awaiting moderation.  WTF???  

Methinks it'll be one of those days

I woke up feeling like absolute crap this morning.  My throat hurt and I was all stiff and achy.  The next time I woke up I felt like I was going to puke.  Despite the ginger tea, that feeling hasn't really subsided.  And then I got to work and learned that we had a boil water advisory.  Suuuure...it's probably nothing.  I only drank two or three glasses of water and brushed my teeth a couple of times.  I mean...there's got to be a better way to disseminate this kind of information.  Whatever.  I'm just going to keep sitting at my desk for a while.  I could stand to do some reading.  I could also stand to do some experiments.  Unfortunately, there will be no experiments until I screen mice.  And I just don't think I can do that right now.  The thought of puking in the big trash can in the mouse room makes me want to...well...you know...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Random bullets of...RANDOMNESS!!!

I feel like my brain has been in overdrive for a few days now.  Maybe it’s lack of sleep.  I have seriously 15 blog posts just circling inside my head and it’s starting to make me a little crazy.  Therefore, I present random bullets of total randomness!  (And it’s MY blog, so yes I CAN!)

  • Crazy man is back.  And what a joy that’s been.  For the most part it’s been painless.  I dunno…maybe my tolerance for him has increased.  We’ll see how long that lasts. 
  • Golden child is sitting here beside me typing away to someone (I’d guess golden girlfriend) on MSN messenger.  On the up side, at least I’m not having to be party to their disgusting morning conversation.  I’m sure there will be a post about this at some point.  And yes, conversation singular.  There is only one.  The same one.  Every day.
  • Grants got submitted!  Woohoo!!!  I was actually pretty pleased with the short one, and I did manage to get it down under 5 pages.  Which actually was significantly aided by very helpful comments from Crazy Man.  Who knew?
  • Time to develop my western. 

Part 2 coming soon.  Please, try to contain yourselves until then.  ;) 

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Somebody save me!!!

A deluge of randomness (and no, you can't haz buletz!):

Who thought a 5 page grant was a good idea?  Why do I suck so bad at cutting things out?  Why is it so hot in here???  Why do I find it necessary to use multiple question marks sometimes?  Do I have anything to snack on?  Will somebody else please finish this stupid grant?  This shouldn't take too much longer, right?  Can I really cram all my preliminary data and the research plan into 2.5 pages?  

This isn't going to be pretty for a while longer.  Oh well.  Need to hammer something out so I can send it to Crazy Man.  Who knows...maybe he'll make some useful suggestions!


The little calico kitten has learned how to climb a tree.  A little bit anyway.  I keep seeing her scurry up the little dogwood right outside the window and then halfway fall back down.  It makes me a happy to watch her.  I wonder if she actually is a she or not.  Anyway, I'm supposed to be working on this grant that's due next Tuesday, so I guess I should be doing that instead of blogging about my cute little kitten.  

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sad day

Warning:  This is a sad post.  Don't say you weren't warned.

We went to visit my mom this weekend.  We were supposed to be babysitting my cousin's boys (ages 2 years and almost 4 months).  For one night.  Which for them means all day, all night and all day the next day.  Of course, that's a little excessive, but we expect it and so we plan for.  Anyway, on Thursday, my cousin called my mom and asked if we would mind keeping them all weekend, because they wanted to go to the beach with my cousin's dad.  

I don't even know why they had kids...they just dump them off with somebody else all the time.  I cuddled the little one so much and played with the older one so much, and I didn't want to leave them when it was time for us to leave.  Even now many hours later I feel a little empty without my little wiggly worm.  My little Yertle the Turtle.  :(  I don't know how you can go off and leave your own babies with some random family member just about every single weekend.  I totally wish that I could kidnap them.  Even though they are a mess.  

Sadder...  When we got home this afternoon, one of the kittens that has been hanging around our house had been run over.  So we buried him/her.  Which made me extra sad because today is the one year anniversary of my dad's funeral.  Then TM was leaving to go to work and he ran over another one of the kittens.  Bless his heart...I'm not sure I've ever seen him so upset.  So we buried two kittens today.  :(

There are two more kittens and the mom still hanging around our house.  I'm not sure if the momma kitty belongs to someone.  I was looking at a feral cat spay/neuter program, which I'm contemplating for these kitties.  I just don't know.  I would consider taking in the kittens, but I don't think momma kitty will ever be okay indoors.  She's very skittish and I don't think she would adjust, especially since we already have Mr. Lou.  At any rate, the kittens are too young to do anything with just yet, so I guess I'll just keep feeding them for now and keeping an eye on them.  I'm hoping they'll start hanging out under our deck instead of under TM's truck.  

Good!  That was as cathartic as I was hoping it would be.  Having the kids this weekend was nice.  It kept my mom and I busy enough that the anniversary of my dad's death wasn't too difficult.  And now I've got the kitten thing off my chest and I feel better.  I feel better period.  More on that later!

Monday, June 30, 2008

A voice in the crowd

The theme for this month’s Scientiae carnival is “A voice in the crowd”.  This month is being hosted over at Podblack, and the deadline for submission is July 2nd, so hop to it!!!

I am a quiet person.  I prefer to listen rather than talk.  I do not yell.  I feel sometimes like I don’t even have a voice.  How, then, can I be a voice in the crowd?  More importantly, how can I make my voice heard?  How can I motivate/encourage/coerce myself to speak up?

What value is there in speaking up?  Especially if no one is really listening.  And how often is someone really listening?  Is it better to remain silent and wonder “What if?” or to speak yet remain unheard?  To scream and remain unheard? 

I am beginning to understand that I struggle with verbal communication, even with the people closest to me, even about completely minor things.  This is something I really need to deal with sooner rather than later, mostly for the sake of my own sanity. 

I worry that if I say what I think, people will think I’m crazy.  How do I get over that (very teeny tiny little miniscule) hurdle?  

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I think one of the most pleasant feelings is that of validation.  It's especially sweet when you've been contemplating something a lot, feeling frustrated, feeling misused and feeling like it's just not fair, and thinking you must be completely nuts for feeling those things.  And then to find out that there are thousands or more other people that feel just like you do.  Ahhhh.  It's almost a sense of relief.  I'm not crazy.  These are legitimate ways for me to be feeling about this.  Which raises the question, why did I not feel like my feelings were legitimate to begin with?  I think it's still too early for me to think about that too much.

In a related issue, why am I afraid to ask for support from TM, the one person on the planet (that isn't related to me) that loves and supports me more than anyone else?  There is a very simple thing I want to discuss.  It's not a huge ordeal.  Well, it could become one, but statistics say it won't be.  Why am I having such a hard time asking for his help on this one?  Why am I convinced that he thinks I'm crazy?  I think maybe I'll ask him to read the things that made me feel so validated first.  Maybe then he'll have a better idea of where I'm coming from.  Why am I second guessing myself on this so much?  Why do I keep feeling like he's going to think I'm a manipulative bitch?  I don't have any reason to think he'd respond to this in anything less than a totally positive manner, so why do I keep beating myself down?  I think I need a little more optimism in my life.

Oh noes! Come back Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde!!!

Tear!!!  I second ScientistMother's sentiments!!!

And the Louie cat says:


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's 5am...

I'm in lab.  And I feel like I'm going to puke.  Somehow I don't think this is going to be a good day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bits and pieces

TM and I did end up having a good talk while we were "babysitting" on Friday night.  It definitely made me feel better.  At the very least we got some things out in the open, which is always good.

However, I'm still feeling like crap.  I'm trying really hard to perk up, but I just feel apathetic about everything.  I put on the appropriate faces and the appropriate times, but I really just don't care.  I'm pretty sure I know what's causing it, and although I'm not making an immediate change to fix it, I'm taking some small steps.  That at least lets me feel like I'm a little more in control.  At the very least, I'm still sleeping well, so that's something.

Speaking of which, I had bizarre dreams last night.  A whole collection of them.  Complete with people having babies, dropped laptops, dolphins, quicksand, dead people and drunk people.

I got some interesting data today.  Really kind of intriguing.  And I'm trying to be excited about it.  But I don't know where to go from here.  I'm not sure what it really means, or how to figure anything else out.  Hm.

Crazy Man is going to be out of town for two weeks!  But that means I have to figure out Interesting Data and how to follow up and finish up this grant resubmission without tormenting him.  Which makes me sad.  I enjoy tormenting him when he's stressed.  It amuses me.  And I could use a little more amusement in my life.  He's totally freaked out about leaving us unsupervised for so long.  It's actually kind of sad, yet funny to watch.  He has some serious issues.  I would say that he needs therapy or medication or something, but I really don't think it would help.  I really just think he's neurotic.  

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jumping in, starting a conversation...maybe

I thought for sure I'd spend some time writing while TM was out of town.  That totally didn't happen.  I was lazy beyond belief.  But it was good for me.  

(Like this is anything new...)

I was thinking about baby stuff the other night and then again while I was flowing yesterday (the experiment from hell that didn't even tell me anything...grrrr!!!).  So I made a spreadsheet of things I considered essential costs related to having a baby.  Added everything up and sent it to TM.  Hopefully it won't freak him out too much!  It actually added up to way less than I expected.  We'll see how he reacts.  We're babysitting for some friends tonight, so maybe we can chat about things.  I'm told the children will be sleeping...

Well that was quick.  Eyeroll.  His reply was, "See, expensive!"  I'm going to go cry in my cell culture now.  :(

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bumper sticker wisdom

Saw this driving home today:

Remember the person you wanted to be.

Hm.  I may need to think on that one a bit.

In other news, I made a frickin' amazing massaman curry tonight.  Oh my.  I impressed myself!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


The current CNN quick vote question:
Will Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech on Saturday help unify the democratic party?
Maybe I'm missing something...wouldn't that sorta, kinda, ya know, depend on WHAT SHE SAYS?  I'm mean sure, what she's going to say is probably pretty predictable.  But something outrageous could happen.  Just for the sake of argument.  CNN polls irritate me to no end.

You know what else irritates me to no end???  Dueling chainsaws outside my bedroom window at 7:30AM on Saturday.  Who does that???  Apparently my neighbor two doors down.  Grrrrr!!!  I appreciate that it's supposed to be like 900 degrees here today, but I needed to sleep dammit!

My sister just sent me a picture of a turtle.  

Mr. Lou is clingy this morning.  He sat in the bedroom door until I got up, and hasn't let me out of his sight since.  I guess he's still hoping for some breakfast.  Well so am I, little furry one.

More substantial posts coming soon, I promise.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Quick rant

I am tired of reading/editing this grant that Crazy Man and the Golden Child have put together.  I think the premise is crap and I just don't like it.  Stir into the mix that neither one of them knows how to use a comma.  That all bakes up to be completely and utter misery for little ole me.  Hmph.  I've been reading it since I got here this morning.  It actually isn't terrible (aside from the commas), but I still don't buy it.  So I'm becoming one of those people that only fixes grammar and makes no real comments about the science.  Hmph.  Oh well.  Yaaaawn.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A bit better

I am indeed feeling just a bit better today.  I managed to get a bit of lab work done, although everything I touched turned into disaster.  Hopefully I'll be able to squeeze a bit of data out of it anyway.  

Speaking of data, a paper I'm an internal author on was just accepted.  This is especially exciting for me because I wrote the rebuttal letter, so I'm quite proud that I managed to not piss off the reviewers.  Particularly, reviewer 1, who was a real idiot.  Not just didn't get the paper...doesn't get biology idiot.  Postulated ridiculous explanations of things, that made absolutely NO sense given that we approached the question from two completely different systems just to avoid/address those issues.  But whatever.  I'm not bitter.  Moron.  

PSA to reviewers:  It is not helpful to have an entire review that consists entirely of "well it could be this or this or this or this", all of which are completely unaddressable and highly unlikely if not physically impossible.  Particularly when the exact same results were obtained in a second system in which there is a separate, non-overlapping set of "well it could be this or this or this or this".  We prefer that you use actual science as a basis of your review, rather than b.s. you came up with because you don't like our model (or us or whatever).  

Wow, that was cathartic!  :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Down day

I don’t know if I can do this today.  I said yesterday that I was feeling a little down.  Well, that’s gotten significantly worse today.  I feel awful.  I’m sure it’s almost entirely hormonal, but I really can’t seem to convince myself to perk up today.  Usually, I can come up with something to get myself going, and once I do get going, whatever little momentum I build up will usually at least carry me through the day.

But today I just feel paralyzed.  I can’t get myself out of my chair.  I really just want to go home and curl up.  But I’m here.  Sitting at my desk.  And I can’t get out of my chair.  This isn’t my normal I’m lazy and don’t feel like doing anything stuck in my chair.  No, this is different, and I don’t like it.

I did manage to get up and make some calming tea.  I think that has helped a little.  I’m trying to do little things.  I ordered some supplies.  I’m trying to convince myself to take some stuff down to the autoclave, but I haven’t managed to commit myself to that yet.  I haven’t even managed to move stuff around on my desk so that I could make a list on my notepad. 

It’s a down day, and I can’t seem to shake it.  It’s supposed to storm this afternoon.  I wish it would start now.  It just feels like a day that needs rain. 

Okay, I finished my tea and I’m going to get up, wash out my mug, and pop stuff into the autoclave.  Then I’m going to plan my experiments for the afternoon.  Then I’m going to eat lunch.  Then I’m going to do said experiments, like it or not.  I will not get stuck here.  I will not.

New Howard Hughes Investigators

I was reading this article, and the following quote made me feel a little sick:
The 42 men and 14 women named Hughes investigators today
Obviously, there's lots of things that could explain those numbers, but GEEZ!  If that's not indicative of a problem somewhere along the line, then I don't know what is.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I can't decide...

...if I should be peeved or thankful.  My sister just called to tell me that one of my great uncles on my father's side passed away last night.  He had been sick for a while, so it came as no surprise.  However, what I can't decide if I should be peeved or thankful about is the fact that my father didn't call me to tell me.  He called my sister.  He didn't tell her to be sure to tell me...the first thing she asked when she called was whether or not he had called.  I don't want to go to the funeral, but I live close enough that I could have.  I wasn't especially close to my uncle and his family, but they are family, and ones I've seen in recent memory and actually like.  

I mean, I am glad that I didn't have to talk to my father.  He made us make a personal appearance some years ago just to tell us that our grandfather was in prison for shooting wife number 4 or 5.  But he can't even call me to tell me somebody on that side of the family that I actually liked had died?  That's the peeved part. 

I guess I'm just confused.  And I was already feeling a little depressed.  So now I feel a little extra crappy.  Hmph!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The importance of clarity in writing

This is from an AP story I first saw on the abc news website:
Common Virus Blamed for 5 Infant Deaths, CDC Says

Better laboratory tests reveal a common illness can be deadly to newborns

Really?  This is the first time an infection has ever been fatal???  Erm, Mike, you, my friend, need an editor, proofreader, friend, something!  The name of the virus finally shows up at the end of the last sentence in the first full paragraph.  What's up with that?  Why couldn't we have done something like "This marks the first time Coxsackievirus B1 has been found to be fatal."???  Maybe I'm just irritated because the primary piece of information I wanted from the story was what the virus was.  Somehow I don't feel like I'm alone on that though.  Hmph.  

And now back to the lab work previously in progress.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A little whining, a little updating

My arm is officially not going to rot off.  Apparently I have developed a nice little DTH response to that lovely bit of fauna known as poison ivy.  And thanks to a little steroid cream, we're looking better already.  Yea!

For some reason, something possessed me today to genotype a whole horde of mice.  I rant out of tubes at 63.  Who bleeds that many mice at once?  Although, somehow, without even trying, I can still bleed upwards of 40 mice per hour, so that's something to be proud of, I suppose.  (Feel free to imagine me rolling my eyes here!)

Of course, now I'm flowing all those evil samples and teh intertubes are about done entertaining me.  Oh wait, that's my last sample running now.  Yea yea yea!!!

I'm hungry.  I have no good snacks.  That makes me sad.

My sister told my mom the other day that she wants to get her belly button pierced.  (Insert another eyeroll here.)  My sister is no wafer-thin little thing, and I don't think anyone outside of immediate family has so much as seen her belly button since she was a toddler.  But whatever.  I told my mom that she should tell her that when she gets a job and can pay for it herself she can get it.  I'm not going to hold my breath on the job or the piercing.

I was looking at cute little doggies this afternoon!  I want a doggie!  We tried to adopt a dog about a year and a half ago, but that turned into a major disaster.  That's another story for another time, but suffice it to say that the foster mom was just kidding when they told us that she was crate trained and house broken, and didn't bother to mention the SEVERE separation anxiety.  But anyway, when we were at the beach last weekend there were soooo many cute dogs and I want one.  When I get tired of trying to convince myself that I don't want a baby right now, I think about dogs.  

Hmmm...is it bad that I'm just sitting here watching the cytometer clean instead of going back to lab and trying to look busy?  I'm tired of this week.  Oh well...at least now that all my mice are screened I can setup some new stuff.  New stuff that might even work!  (Trying ever so hard to be optimistic...)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thoughts on education (that deteriorate into a rant)

I’ve been reading and thinking about education a bit today.  My sister (my little baby sister sniffle) is graduating from high school this month!  She goes to a public high school in rural Georgia, which is the same school system I was in from first grade on. 

For those of you that aren’t aware, public education in Georgia is, well, a disaster.  It was okay when I was in school, and obviously varied greatly by school system.  However, things have gone downhill superfast.  Scary super fast. 

A number of issues have plagued public education in Georgia:

  • That whole evolution thing (for my most recent amusement, see here)
  • Curriculum issues—implementation of a new math system that seems to be dicey at best, instituting new standards at the middle school level before the elementary level, etc.  My favorite, however, is requiring four years of high school science for all students.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for awesome science education.  However, it appears that no one took into consideration the number of new teachers this would require or where the money for those new hires is coming from.  It’s going to be very, very, very ugly in a few years. 
  • Leadership issues—in particular, the Clayton County school system is going to lose their accreditation in the fall.  (Check out articles here and here for more information.)  The decision hasn’t been finalized, but I don’t see it turning out any other way.  (The really sad part is, this is an entirely administrative and non-academic issue.  Morons!!!)  This whole thing really makes me sick.

All of this just makes me very sad.  Younger BIL will graduate next year, and we will be out of the Georgia public school system for good, other than my MIL, who teaches 5th grade.  I really wish there was something I could do to at least help a little, but I’m all out of ideas. 

The other thing I was thinking about today was this article from The Juggle on WSJ.  The question it posed was “College: Time to Accept it’s Not for Everyone?”  I can’t even express how much I agree with that.  Some students are not good at academics.  Period.  Which makes me extra angry that Georgia now only offers a high school college preparatory track.  Some people are not good at “book learnin”.  GET OVER IT!!!  The thing is, those people are typically good at something, sometimes really, really good at something non-academic. 

Why do we punish those students???

Why should we discourage some students from becoming skilled laborers?  Why do we deny them the opportunity to learn a trade in high school?  Why do we expect all students to excel at academics? 

I can think of kids I went to high school with that were damn good mechanics, electricians, etc.  Those people didn’t need to take four years of science.  They don’t need to take Math 4, whatever that entails.  I don’t care if my mechanic knows trig, heck, algebra.  I want him/her to FIX MY CAR!!! 

I believe education is important, and the everyone should have the opportunity to follow whatever path it is that they choose.  I just don’t have a problem with a kid working really hard at learning to be an electrician rather than studying chemistry. 

Monday, May 19, 2008

Book Meme!

As seen at dirt and rocks--a book meme!

The top 100 or so books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. Bold the books you have read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Anna Karenina

Crime and Punishment


One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wuthering Heights

The Silmarillion

Life of Pi: a novel

The Name of the Rose

Don Quixote

Moby Dick


Madame Bovary

The Odyssey

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Eyre

The Tale of Two Cities

The Brothers Karamazov

Guns, Germs, and Steel

War and Peace

Vanity Fair

The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Iliad


The Blind Assassin

The Kite Runner

Mrs. Dalloway

Great Expectations

American Gods

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Atlas Shrugged

Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books

Memoirs of a Geisha



Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West

The Canterbury Tales

The Historian: a novel
(in progress)

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Love in the Time of Cholera

Brave New World

The Fountainhead

Foucault’s Pendulum



The Count of Monte Cristo


A Clockwork Orange

Anansi Boys

The Once and Future King

The Grapes of Wrath

The Poisonwood Bible


Angels & Demons


The Satanic Verses

Sense and Sensibility

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Mansfield Park

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

To the Lighthouse

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Oliver Twist

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


The Prince

The Sound and the Fury

Angela’s Ashes: a memoir

The God of Small Things

A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present



A Confederacy of Dunces

A Short History of Nearly Everything


The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The Scarlet Letter

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

The Mists of Avalon

Oryx and Crake

Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed

Cloud Atlas

The Confusion



Northanger Abbey

The Catcher in the Rye

On the Road

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values

The Aeneid

Watership Down

Gravity’s Rainbow

The Hobbit

In Cold Blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences

White Teeth

Treasure Island

David Copperfield

Ugh! And critters!

I think my arm is rotting off.  Periodically throughout my life, my skin decides it hates me.  Sometimes it starts with a bug bite.  This time it was two little scrapes courtesy of the jungle that is my back yard.  Tiny.  One of them originally looked like a needle stick (I think it was a rose thorn).  And then I scratch.  Not thinking about it, obviously.  Sometimes even in my sleep.  And things explode.  I get serious inflammation that turns into big nasty half dollar sized welts.  It's ugly.  And then it itches.  Bad.  And I try soooo hard not to scratch.  Eventually these evil little critters heal, but it's a long, slow, miserable, itchy process, with a whole lot of my trying to convince myself that my arm couldn't possibly itch because I don't even have an arm.

Anyway, I have two of these that have been looking pretty ugly, but I've been being good and not scratching.  They have started to heal.  However, four new bumps subsequently popped up on my lower arm.  Which I studiously ignored, but one of them in particular is growing.  Groan!!!  Then yesterday I noticed a bunch of little bumps on my upper arm.  Maybe 7 of them.  I'm ignoring them too, and so far, they aren't turning into the growths.  Then this morning my other hand itched.  So i rubbed my hand over it and discovered a whole new herd of little tiny bumps, which I now have on both hands.  I think it may be time to take this one to the doctor.

Furthermore, there is a flea in my chair that has jumped on me like three times.  (And no, none of the creature bumps are flea bites...oh were it that simple!)  Go harass the kitty for crying out loud!!!!  Me and Mr. Lou...we're about to go flea murdering again.  Just when I thought they were all gone...  Poor kitty may be getting another bath, bless his furry little heart.  Funny part is, I think he kind of likes baths...  Silly kitty!

And also to keep things interesting, I have the tiniest bit of sunburn on my chest.  And it itches.  I think I'm in itchy hell.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This amuses me (and makes me a little sad)

So I've been arguing with this person on a message board all day about whether or not intelligent design should be part of K-12 science curriculum.  My first request of references supporting ID, he told me I should watch Expelled.  Eyeroll!  Request for references number 10 or 12, I got directed to the Discovery Institute website.  Bigger eyeroll!  But it was made all better when I found a reference on the DI website to a paper in, get this, the Journal of Fuzzy Systems.  I almost hope (for their sake) that a hacker was responsible for that.  Somehow I doubt that's the case though.  And what do you know...still no legit references to be found.  I must be in a good mood today, because this isn't ticking me off like it usually does.

However, what does really tick me off is that I bought some pita chips made by Snyder's of Hanover (whose pretzels I loooooove) and they are TERRIBLE!!!  Seriously gross.  They melt down into some sort of wet sawdust kind of consistency and it's just bad.  So bad I actually emailed them, which is very unlike me.  So just say no to Snyder's new multigrain pita chips!!!

Gag me with a spoon!

David Kirby has been up to his usual stellar (eyeroll) reporting over at his blog on Huffington Post.  The part that is really disgusting to me is the comments.  It's like some of these people worship this guy because he doesn't have the testicular fortitude to actually think for himself and critically evaluate, well, anything as far as I can tell.  Some of the comments are just praising his fabulous journalism and blah blah blah.  Except that in this post, all he does is quote from an interview somebody else did.  Should I be impressed by that?  Because, well, I'm like, NOT.  

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Yea housework!

I've been rocking out some laundry and organizing and whatnot while TM has been working his landscaping magic.  Today is one of those days I enjoy housework.  I know, weird, huh?  I think it's genetic.  My sis and I both cope with stressful times by kicking it into Martha Stewart overdrive.  We both turn into crazy, manic cleaning machines.  It's actually pretty impressive, now that I think about it.

Anyway, one thing I do NOT enjoy doing is vacuuming.  We have the most horrendous piece of crap Kenmore vacuum.  It is nearly impossible for me to maneuver.  We have one room with carpet, a small den.  TM called halfway through this endeavor.  He wanted to know why I was out of breath.  The vacuum sucks that bad!  I swear it may have square wheels or something. 

 Meanwhile, the furry feline has his face stuck in an air conditioner vent.  Spoiled rotten.  

And now back to the laundry already in progress.  Maybe I'll get out my little hand-held super vacuum and get the mounds of cat hair off the furniture.  That one I can handle.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Grr!!! Stupid people annoy me!

Who argues that you can't prove a negative, and the proceeds to try and convince you that any rational person would agree that correlation equals causation?!?!  Please forgive my stunned silence, Mr. Stupid Person.

To be filed under incredibly annoying:
The rotating dude and I were the only ones in the lab last night.  Crazy man came in and started chatting with rotating dude.  That's all fine and dandy.  Where does rotating dude decide to perch himself for this conversation?  That's right, folks, MY CHAIR!!!!  It's not like there are 4 other chairs within 2 steps of my desk.  Why?  Are people really that oblivious and rude???  Don't know why I'm being cranky.  Hmph.

And something weird is going on with my laptop battery, but I haven't figured out exactly what yet.  Hmph.  HMPH!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

May Scientiae is up!

The May Scientiae is up over at Flicka Mawa's A Cat Nap.  It's a fantastic carnival full of interesting insights about our career paths, goals, and how nothing ever goes according to THE PLAN.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A blogalicious brain vomit!

One of my high school English teachers made us do this exercise he called a brain vomit.  The premise was that you just got all your thoughts out.  You were supposed to just keep writing for whatever set period of time.  There seem to be lots of things just running wild in my poor little brain, so I think it’s time to set them free on the blogosphere!

  1. I have babies on the brain!!!  While we were visiting my mom this past weekend, we kept my cousin's two little boys who are 2 months and almost 2 years old.  Needless to say it was quite an adventure.  Despite not getting any sleep, I want so very badly to kidnap them!  Or have one of my own.  And that seems to be all I can think about today.  Fortunately, it’s a happy afterglow kind of thinking about it, not the painful, frustrated, longing kind of thinking about it.  I’m sure that will return shortly.
  2. My father got married again this weekend, bringing his total number of marriages to three.  It was the most ridiculous thing I have ever suffered through.  I am the black sheep on this side of the family because I have very little to do with my father (and because I’m getting a PhD and haven’t popped out any babies yet).  The reason I have very little to do with him is because he was verbally and physically abusive to my mom when I was a child.  He’s mellowed a lot with age, and I appreciate that, but I still have no use for him. 

Back to the wedding, it was a super duper hardcore religious Southern Baptist young earth kind of ceremony.  Which is bad enough.  But this is his third marriage, and I don’t know how many times his lovely bride has been married, but she has two children that I would guess have two different fathers.  And he has at least one bastard child that was conceived while he was married.  So it was kind of disgusting to sit through all the be faithful forever, I’ll love you until I die crap. 

Everything was super tacky too.  It was an early afternoon wedding.  The bride wore a dress with a cathedral length train.  A dress that was “hemmed” in the front with duct tape.  I can’t make this up.  The groom’s cake was on a table covered with camo and the cake had a deer head on it.  I guess it’s better than a red velvet armadillo.  The reception consisted of punch, peanuts, dinner mints and the cake.  I didn’t expect a full meal, but some pretzels would have been nice.  Maybe some cheese and crackers? 

Okay, tacky wedding rant complete (and with no mention of the cankles or their arm/wrist equivalent.  Ew.)

  1. Crazy Man ticked me off again last week.  We had joint lab meeting with our collaborators across town.  These are always painful occasions because our collaborator (Jabba the Hut) is outrageously obnoxious, but we’ll save that for another day.  Crazy Man had ordered pizza for us, and he was running late, so he called to tell us to sign for it and take it down to the conference room.  I answered the phone when he called, and he said, “Could one of you girls sign for the pizza and take it down to the room?”  I was seriously speechless.  And what do you know, us two girls were doing experiments while the boys were sitting at their computers.  Grrrrr!!!

I think that’s it for now.  I’m taking off a little early again today.  TM demands groceries so that he can concoct me some gourmet meals.  Who am I to stand between TM and groceries???  J  Crazy Man will probably be ticked at me by the end of the week, but whatever.  I got a lot of work done today, and by the end of the week I should actually (hopefully) have some data to show for it.  That should appease him.  I hope.