Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

The ankle bracelet that I am currently wearing. Myself as the photography subject.

An Anouncement

As many know, I am under extreme stress right now with the impending candidacy examination. My emotions are rather labile, I am probably consuming way more caffeine than what is recommended for the human body, and I alternate between periods of insomnia and narcolepsy.

On top of it all, I have fried my cell phone and thus lost my directory of contacts. My home has attained maximum entropy and looks like a day care center for cats. My own cats and the two foster cats have suddenly decided they don't like one another and voice this during the very brief and fleeting times I do manage to sleep. At the moment,I feel like a subject for sleep deprivation studies.

Therefore, I would like to respectfully state that I will not tolerate/listen to any whining. Unless the lab is on fire or something has exploded, I don't want to hear it. So, suck it up, or suck it in. Either works for me. Wear a corset if you have to.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Rant

I grew up being the daughter of a beekeeper. Watching and learning about bees was a lot of fun. However, developing a bee/wasp/hornet allergy was not fun. Hence my never ending prescription for epinephrine.

I remember as a young girl getting stung numerous times. But each experience was indeed a learning experience. Bees/wasps/hornets as a rule will NOT sting unless provoked. This is an important fact. Also it is beneficial to know the difference between bees, wasps, and hornets. Bees will/can only sting once as they lose their stinger in the process and die as a result. The wasps and hornets will and can sting multiple times without any ill effects to their well-being. They also tend to be a bit more aggressive when provoked.

The times I would get stung was often my fault. You can hardly fault an insect when stepped on. Understandable that a stinging insect would interpret being stepped on as a threat. The other times I would get stung would have to do with the supposed "good intentions" of other people. For some reason people have this tendency to start swatting and attempting to kill any stinging insect in the nearby vicinity--even if it is acting passive. This not only serves to really piss off the insect, but also the insect will not discriminate in terms of who to take out its aggression. I really do not need to be "saved" against an insect that was not being aggressive in the first place. Seriously. Mostly, I do not wish to be stung as a result of these "good intentions"

Thus, I would like to state that having a passenger on the shuttle bus this morning repeatedly swat/attempt to kill a pissed off wasp on the shuttle bus does not put me in a good mood overall. First of all, it was a wasp and not a bee. I am most allergic to the wasp category of insects. Considering that it is capable of stinging multiple times, it could prove deadly for me. Secondly, I don't enjoy watching the previously passive insect turn aggressive. Third, the mere thought of having to spend my day shot full of epi and possibly being unable to breathe is not a thought I really cherish.

They say that the path to hell is paved with good intentions. So is the ER.

I am already in panic mode. This is not how I would have preferred to start my morning and does not quite put me in the proper mind frame to put the final touches on my written proposal and send to my committee members today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Intellectual S&M

Today I was reflecting on the fact that in just a little less than two weeks, I am scheduled for my oral candidacy exam/proposal defense. I was reflecting on this as I was washing my SDS-PAGE. I washed it so well that I washed it right down the sink. Somewhere, out there, is my gel with sample.

I realized upon this reflection that I am an idiot. Seriously—and I don’t just mean about washing my gel down the drain. I am going to mention the clinical relevance of my work and yet I realize that I know little to nothing about ischemia, sepsis, reperfusion, asthma, and erectile dysfunction. Heck, I have spent the entire day attempting to pronounce ischemia and find myself getting tongue-tied. Why can’t medical terminology be phonetic? I have come to the conclusion that in less than two weeks I need to attain a medical degree. I have sort of neglected the big picture in the secluded world of basic science/research.

To compound matters, I babble when under periods of stress. To make matters worse, I tend to blurt out the first thing that enters my mind when I am nervous around my advisor. My proposed theory of “electron transfer to oxyhemoglobin via NOS” was a doozey during one lab meeting presentation. Not my proudest moment.

Fellow graduate students, being supportive of my upcoming defense have been kind enough to recount their experiences of their oral candidacy exam. Being grilled for 5 hours of questioning, feeling like an idiot, and reduced to a puddle of tears? Heck, I am already there! No need to go through the formality of this defense then. I have reached full blown panic mode/attack. No exaggeration here. Someone, somewhere, please shoot me with a tranquilizer gun filled with some CNS depressant.

Yet, there must be a silver lining in every cloud I always say. For starters, my department has not asked me for my presentation title, so perhaps they have forgotten to make this known and officially invite the “public”. Yes, I can do without making a public spectacle of myself. Also, I am told that presentations are my forte. Even during the course of non-sequitors, I will hold my own. Given enough time and verbosity, I can make anything believeable. Or maybe I am just good at wearing down my audience?

I have also come to the conclusion that sadists conceived graduate school. Those attending graduate school are masochists. Therefore, a perverted intellectual relationship of S&M exists within the confines of learning.

I would much rather face a hungry bear while slathered in honey than face my oral candidacy examination. Seriously. Give me a bucket of honey and point me in the direction of the nearest bear infested woods and I will go to town.

At least against the bears, I stand a chance…


A kiss is just a kiss?

A few years ago I attended a lecture by ACS on the role of atomic oxygen in art restoration. The problem was that prior to the lecture I attended a party in which alcohol was served. So, I went to the lecture a bit tipsy. Suffice it to say, for some reason I found the lecture amusing and had a difficult time stiffling my giggles. What I found so humorous was that someone decided to kiss a painting by Andy Warhol. A lipstick mark kiss on a bathtub left me rather amused.

Today, I happened to stumble upon the article which covered the topic in the ACS lecture. Here is the article.

I still find the article amusing on the "lipstick kiss". I suppose it amuses me why a person would decide to kiss a painting of a bathtub. So, perhaps my giggles were not alcohol induced. Enhanced? Perhaps.

But I did learn my lesson at the lecture though. One should not sit front row center with the giggles. But at least I was in good company because another graduate student (who was also a bit tipsy) found the lecture just as amusing.

Chemistry lectures and humor? I suppose I get my amusement where I can.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

A merging of interests.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Twist

Saw the following bumper sticker:

My Child is an Honor Student but My President is a Moron

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

I would say that sometimes, you just gotta show off your ass...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Party Time?

I came home yesterday evening after a long day of lab work and viewing an art exhibit only to find my house trashed. Cat toys scattered everywhere, throw rugs mauled, kitchen towels dumped on the floor, cat toy parts in the kitchen, the dining room tablecloth in a mess on the table, and bits of something unidentifiable under the table. The cats no doubt had a party while I was away. On top of it all, I could not find Rorschach for three hours despite searching for him (he always comes to greet me when I come home). I wondered if the tabby girls locked him away somewhere while they went wild?

All this and I don't even have the Bengal mixes in my foster care yet. Oy!

I guess when the LabRat is away, the cats will play...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bengal Babies



The Bengal mixes I rescued two years ago that I put up for adoption have sadly lost their home. They are once again up for adoption at my favorite resuce orgainization, Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation. I hope that they find a home soon, otherwise they will have to go back into my foster care. I really would prefer not to have 6 cats running around at this moment in my life. But they are sweeties. I went to visit them this past Saturday and saw that they grew into such beauties! I also hope that they find a home together as they have never been separated.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Something fun

Sometimes it is fun to take one of those blogthing quizzes. Today is no exeception. Nice to know my individuality shines through.

You Are Grape

You are bold and a true individual. You are very different and very okay with that.
People know you as a straight shooter. You're very honest, even when the truth hurts.
You are also very grounded and practical. No one is going to sneak anything by you.
People enjoy your fresh approach to life. And it's this honesty that makes you a very innovative person.


I am not a believer in astrology. But every so often I will read it just to amuse myself (hey, I try to get my amusement where I can).

So, today I decided to read what my astrology says. It says the following:

Put some pizzazz in your career, home and relationship. Flirt via text message. Give a presentation with storyboards instead of PowerPoint. Buy yourself flowers just because. A few small moves brighten up your life.

Well, being a graduate student, I will not dispute that my career does indeed need some pizzazz. Sometimes I feel like I am just one step above slave labor. Flirt via text message? Don't think so. Don't see myself wanting to spend the extra money on text messaging. See previous statement about "slave labor". Storyboards instead of Powerpoint? That ain't gonna fly with my committee members. Not sage advice. Buying myself flowers? Now they are on to something! An orchid? Yes, a nice orchid to add to my collection.

Like I really needed an excuse to go and buy myself another orchid?
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