Thursday, May 31, 2012


Ended up having an epic email convo stream with The Championing One yesterday.  You'll get it, how could you not?!

After some glib remark on my part about his lateness that morning:

TCO:  And a TCO is never late, he always arrives precisely when he means to.

TGI:  Hah!  But does he also think that it is three hundred lives of men that he has walked this earth, and now has no time?

TCO:  No time? The End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path... One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass... And then you see it. 
White shores... and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.

TGI:  Be silent. Keep your forked tongue behind your teeth. I did not pass through genetics and 'wasps' to bandy crooked words with a witless worm.

TCO:  Tell me, "friend", when did Sarah the Wise abandon reason for madness?

TGI:  My treachery runs deeper than you know. By foul craft, I have crossed Orcs with goblin men. I'm breeding an army in the caverns of Biochemistry. An army that can move in sunlight and cover great distance at speed. Sarah is coming for the Doctorate.

TCO:  There is only one Lord Supervisor, only one who can bend the Doctorates to his will. And he does not share power.

TGI: The power of the Three Degrees is ended. The time has come... for the dominion of women.

Some people are just full of win and magic.

I'm afraid this is going to be the final rejoinder:
You Shall Not Pass

You know what Gan-dawg is saying.  Its every PhD student's fear this close to the end.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Love These Kids!

Brill.  And I might be border-line 31 already...maybe.

This is another of theirs I saw earlier in the year, can't remember if I shared it at the time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Warm squishies

There's nothing like a cuppa and a compliment to start your day.  Even if it is a wee micro one - I'll take it.  Some people are just so sweet.
I've been churning through miles of the tough good stuff this last week: ANOVA's and remaking 20 pages of graphs, converting them to figures with significance signifiers and so on and finally re-importing them into the thesis monster-chapter I'm currently working on.


Fun times.

Though to be honest - completely brill, when its working for you.

Everyday feels like it might be a little closer.  Progress?!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Awww, cute little beasties!

Crochet sperm.  I have the Giant Microbes version, also very cute.

Etsy store, here, Via.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Artist Inspiration

I love his work, and turns out - he delivers a graduation address like a pro.

Worth a full watch.  Love him.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dark movies this season

Can't wait, still get shivers off the trailer, (and you know its only a wee bit because of Thor and his fabulous arms...).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I am Panda

When someone asks me when I am going to graduate:

Via the epic truthfulness that is #Whatshouldwecallgradschool

We spent a couple of minutes in the office this morning belly-laughing at some of the new ones.  Such universal truths within our brilliant 'grad school' community.  You know you want to go and scroll through the whole damn lot.

On Repeat

What is this black magic?

Get out of my head!

Its TCO's birthday.  Wishes!

Awww, still gorgeous!

My doctor, in dinosaur form:

By Peter.  Via.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Oh, you are going down

The Hairy One liberally sprinkled hole punchings throughout the front seats of my car last night after stealing my keys.

This means war.

There will be RUE-ING!


Edit:  Wtf is up with my pic imports right now?!

Sleepless Touring

The things we do for higher education and a love of science, eh?

The Rhyming One is off on a NZ tour this week for Sci Fest promotion, so here's a shoutout for his brain-baby and some vids for you to procrastinate with for a bit.

And one of my favs (and some of the bees who later went on to be ripped apart in the lab):

That boy is gold.  And works too hard.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Genome Knuts

The Knitting One sent me a link to these this past weekend.  My mind is both blown and a wee bit disappointed - so many people will just think them a sporadic pattern and not appreciate the shear awesomeness, nor the epic amount of time and planning involved.
WIG-1 gene quilt, front
From the site:

"The human WIG-1 gene is involved in the p53 dependent growth regulatory pathway. "The activity of the p53 tumor-suppressor protein has a key role in controlling both cancer and aging; underactivity encourages the growth of cancer, and overactivity can accelerate the aging process." (Lane, D. Curing cancer with p53. New England Journal of Medicine 2004; 350; 26: 2711-2.) Part of the WIG-1 gene's DNA sequence is encoded in the triangle blocks, which are then quilted to show the molecular structure of DNA. The border quilting includes explanatory text and a double helix design. Photo by Susan Byrne"

You know your mind is a little blown.  This is the key:
And a PhD student's quilt:
Rachel, here.  Beautiful work.

I'm impressed, but not inspired.  My quilt plans go more something like this:
I can't even remember where I found it or who it belonged too, but its been in my folder-for-inspiration for a wee while.  Now I just need some of that 'time' shiz.  And some subtle science elements snuck in for fun.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fresh Birthday Prince

TCO is turning a quarter century this week and is planning a big shindig at the weekend in celebration - theme being Fresh Prince.  You know.

And so does everyone else.  It kind of makes me want to go watch some eps for nostalgia's sake.  Its going to be brill.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Puppet love

So, so cute.
I went back to Coney Island but it was still too cold to swim. 
Tumblr here.  By Alisa.  Go see the Doctor Puppet travel!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Drosophila iPhone case - cross stitched

BAM! Evidence of my geekery - manifest.

So this wee project was born from my lust for these Grove iPhone cases, here.  Sublime - but ridiculously expensive for a poor PhD student such as myself.  So, in sifting about through the internet for ideas, I came across these here, and immediately bought one.  I wasn't even sure what I would do with it (or if it would even arrive in wee New Zealand), or how I would decide on a design, but it was one of those things that are perhaps just...fate (dum dum duuuuuum).

Fate, impulse buy - same diff, right?

Anyway - its taken me 12 days of about 2 hours per evening to complete it (and if I'm honest, one whole half day last weekend...its kind of thesis writing, right?  Its got a Dros on it!), and here it is.  I did try to straight-stitch in wing veins between the white wing-crosses, but due to the black background you just couldn't see them, so I took them out.  I should have perhaps cross stitched in the veins themselves - but meh.  Next time maybe.
Completed case 1

There's also a wee story behind my superb, one-of-a-kind, indie design (yeah, I'm gonna milk this); my original idea, which you can see on the pattern below, was to have multi-coloured beakers and flasks.
Blank and prelim design

Generic 'science', but bright and happy.  The supe walked through our office one avo and saw me tinkering on it and proceeded to ask why exactly I was drawing chemistry signifier's, since I was a Drosophila geneticist.  (not the 'work, minion!' I was guiltily expecting).  I proceeded to have a wee moan about how that would be really hard, and he basically flat out challenged my creative/design/cross stitch abilities.

Challenge accepted.

With such a 'pixel restriction', I had to keep it fairly simple, and in recompense for the thousands of male Dros I have killed over the course of my thesis, its a boy (ten points for Slytherin if you can tell me how you know that to be true).

And just because I can, and love photos, and love this freaking fly - here's a million progress shots (spot the one fine day we've had in the last 2 weeks!):
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 5
Stage 6
Stage 7
Stage 8
Stage 9
Stage 10
Stage 11
Yeah, it felt pretty slow going right up until the last couple of threads of blue.  And I perhaps should have used a better colour to show up the contrast in the flowers, leaves and vines (for which I was chastised by the supe - the scale is wrong, how could I?  Hilarious.).  The fraying sitch is also going to suck, and I doubt this is a case that will last long when confronted with scraping pockets and icky fingers (not my own, of course - all those miscreants I call friends).
Completed case 2
And because I know you are a purist and love such details, the back is not as neat as it should be; I started out with good intentions, but....yeah, meh.
Stage 12

You can have a squiz at the pics native, here.

So that's that.  Umm...thesis writing?

A journey

The beautiful Married One handed in yesterday.  It was the most amazing day I have experienced in about...well, how can I even put a qualifier on that?!  I imagine it shall only be eclipsed by my own hand-in day (stop crossing your fingers, you traitor!).

After the normal couple of days of printing fuckups and nail-biting, there was finally collection of printing, insertion of coloured pages, soft-binding, CD appendix-burning/panicking and gluing, and dropping of copies into a box to be carried over to the clock tower.  At which point, she looked like this:
Looking happy.  So, so happy.

And yes, that is a thesis cake drawn on the whiteboard in the background, and yes it does have 4-and-a-quarter candles.  A beautiful wee quarter-candle...

So then those of us around the office at the time formed a parade and followed TMO to the clock tower.
A Beautiful Day

It was actually pretty exciting, we all didn't have too much of a clue as to what was expected or what we were exactly supposed to do, so, of course; we get to the PhD office and no one is there to accept the box-of-magic.
A Magic Box in an Empty Office

We did find one lady next door, who accepted the copies, signed declaration and handed over the generic congratulatory detritus.
Go on, let it go, you can do it

Now, TMO used LaTeX to write/format her thesis and I have to say - the thing looks beautiful.  Its a bit of a monster - bigger than any previous theses in or around the lab (and I am proud to say I have read almost every single word :P), but by god is it gorgeous.
Ooooo baby

The bar was already set pretty high, but way to put the pressure on for the rest of us.

Its a bit of a tradition at Otago to receive a chocolate fish from the PhD office when you hand in, I have no idea where it came from or when it started - but there you have it.  A chocolate fish in recompense for years of work and fees and lets not start that rant here.  Still - its cute.
Famous fishie

I don't think I have ever seen anyone look quite so happy to be holding a chocolate fish.  Everyone else was looking pretty happy too, and from this moment south the day only got more jovial - flowers and chocolate and drinks and then more drinks at the Staff Club and then epic chips-and-aoli and wedges and then more drinks at Biochem happy hour and then dinner (can you still call it dinner near 9 pm?) at VB and then more drinks at Albar (bless!  Also - missing you dinosaur-boy!) and so on and so forth.  Brilliant evening.
So much stoked right now

I find myself filled with renewed purpose - so, so much vicarious fun just with TMO finishing.  I am so proud and excited for my homegirl.  The future be exciting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

See?! See?!!

Amazing friends.

So squee right now. (yes, yes I am cool enough to pull that off).

Edit: Can you see my sweethearts now?!


Sometimes, the best thing in the world is the cup of tea in front of you.

Dark and Darker

So occasionally the friendly teasing-banter gets too much (and feels like high school bullying.  Just saying), or the mood is not solid enough to deal with the constant "dance monkey, dance!" barrage and the Married Ones save your day (and tear ducts) with pool and a movie.

We went in hoping to catch Avengers (again for me, first time for them) but it was sold out, so we got tickets for a later showing of Dark Shadows instead, and whiled away the in-between time playing at the Poolhouse.

[Because I can't find one and my copy is up north, imagine a screencap of Mr Darcy playing pool in the billiards room at Netherfield, when Lizzie walks in after the butler unhelpfully tells her that Mr Bingley is in the Drawing Room.  You know I know that shit too well.  And you know despite your face palming, you are a little impressed that I can both describe it perfectly from memory, and that you know exactly what I mean.]

Final result: 2-1-1, with the boy third winning the day.  I have to say, my game is erratic at best.  I'm shit, I'm shit, I'm shit, I sink 4 in a row, I'm back to shit.  Hilarious.  And this was sober - get a couple in me and the skill-highs are higher, and the crap-lows are lower.  Not going to be a professional pool player ever, I'm pretty sure.

Dark Shadows was good - I had no expectations and found it to be delightfully dark, ridiculous and a bit sardonic.  The Married One was a little disappointed, she had been wanting to see it and did have expectations.

I loved the magical face make-up which appears when you turn vampire - hilarious.  And the sex scene was off the chain.  Oh - and the vomit.  Brilliant.  See the movie, and you will understand my glee.

Fragile glass heart incapable of loving, indeed.

Burton, Depp and Helena BC - pretty much assured to get my positive movie vote.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Kiss with a Fist

Is better than none.


Its Monday - isn't it always?  I bought slippers yesterday, like the fool I am I sent all my winter shit up north at the beginning of the year - I never expected to be here this long.  My lovely Mother, however, informed me during our mothers-day call that we were to expect snow to 500m this week and we decided it was perhaps time to admit defeat and go buy some slippers.

And also to contemplate going up north for a couple of weeks for a writing retreat.  Might be a good idea.  Will have to think on it.  The maternal grandmother is having her hip pulled out soon, would be a good time to visit - and do her cleaning for her.  Maybe bake a little in her new kitchen....ok, I meant write, chill.

Catch up with my babies, whom I'm beginning to think like the great-and-grand-parents better than me.

Logan has been feasting on human-grade tuna, because Nans didn't read the labels properly.  He loves her.  She informed me yesterday (yes, yes - Mothers day phone calls) that she is not going to buy him food any more, rather - mince and steak, which she will cut up and freeze in individual servings for him.  Because, she tells me, he really likes it - eats it all and looks for more.  Honestly, how did I raise animals with such manipulative powers?!

I shit you not.  That cat is never coming home.

And Trouble, well - he's working on usurping Jimmy's rightful place.

I miss my babies.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On Repeat

Don't make me sad, 
don't make me cry 
Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough 
I don't know why 
Keep making me laugh, 
Let's go get high 
The road is long, we carry on 
Try to have fun in the meantime

Via TCO, who is my music guru right now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The Naff post was my one thousandth!  How did that sneak up so fast?!  I wanted to do something special!

Perhaps we shall have to be content with mere truth.


Completely sublime sunrise this morning, though the camera does not do it justice:

Now go forth and write!

Monday, May 7, 2012


You know what?

I have completely beautiful friends.

And this:

And this Blogger App does not let me embed videos. Crazy.  Lucky we all have laptops in the morning, huh?

I know your secret, laundromat

So I took about 2.5 loads of my own washing and about 3 loads of the Married Ones' to the laundromat this evening.

I'm pretty sure it's owned by vampires.

Night clubs and late-night laundrettes/dry cleaners, right?

There's nothing like a mile-high stack of warm dry fluffy towels to make you feel like you've achieved something.

That and pissing about on your iPhone for 40 minutes.

Perhaps I'll be a washer-woman when I grow up. I think I'd be good at that. Folding towels like a boss.

Naff: it's a word, shuddup.

Urgh, so I'm going through one of those completely naff existential crisis phases.

It's just so boring, how can I be so cliche?! My strong willed, confident female self is horrified.

But those truths aside, why do my feelings not just do whatever my brain tells them to do? Seriously, get with the program, feelings!

...It's kind of a dirty word, right? *Feeeeeelings*. Urgh!

I do know what's going on, and I do know the best remedy is to drink a cup of concrete, princess, and harden the fuck up; but that's still no magic wand.

The marvellous Married One is a hairs breadth from handing in her thesis, and I just made risotto.

I need my heart to stop pining for the-one-who-rejected. It's a chorizo broccoli risotto, the Baby One's Ex cooked me a fabulous chorizo mushroom version last night, and I'm so inspired right now (my contrib was a parfait for desert).

I'm feeling ridiculously, *ridiculously* insecure and unlovable and my risotto needs some kind of creamer, a tablespoon of cream cheese stirred through, perhaps.

I'm not a fan of the grieving process, I miss my tea-buddy, and it jumps out at me at unpredictable moments. The chorizo I brought for my risotto could be a little spicier.

Is my thesis good enough? Do I have enough data? Is my writing 'scientific' enough? Would blue cheese have ruined my risotto?

Am I going to find a good postdoc? Find love? Find a good strong Parmesan for future risottos?

Blah blah blah insecure, unlovable blah blah blah, mushrooms browned in butter would have made a perfect topping for my risotto.

Do I matter? To the world? To individuals? To risotto aficionados?

Yeah. Risotto.

What did you have for dinner?

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I finally got around to uploading some new photos to Flickr.

Fav?  These ones, I think.

Culture left too long post-autoclave, autoclave again:

And Monarch caterpillar in my Uncles garden at Easter:
Attainable Goals

Fun & Beauty

Once again I have found my soul mate in an artist, UrsusWehrli .  The second photos wrench a little sigh of comfortable happiness from me every time.  Go look at the rest, they are brilliant.


This vid has been making the rounds, I don't know why it is so adorable, it should be scary.  Via.


The Funeral was yesterday, and beautiful.  So many people, so much love.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Little things

I keep reminding myself: it's the little things that become important.

Like right now? I'm wearing brand new winter jimjam pants fresh from the wash and warm from the hot water cupboard.

I'm cozy and toasty and it is good.


We had a lab dinner tonight, with a visiting Prof, and I had steak- probably the first in at least two months. It was gooooood. My lab group is full of brilliant people right now. Good food, a lovely Otago Peregrine red, and a good blend of talk both science and smack. Love it.


I saw Avengers on Sunday with TOO and her cousin, and I completely loved it. I am hesitant to say much, because I know some of my peeps have yet to go, but brilliant stuff. I want to see it again; best kind of recommendation, right?!

Go to bed, you're tired.

Mane event

I'm in a weird mood.

Probably to be expected.

I hate the subconscious expectations you have without even realising, which affect your behaviours in hilarious and ridiculous ways - and occasionally, in heartbreaking ones.  Like preferring one set of stairs because someone is more likely to use those ones, and encounters are...pleasurable.  Like expecting someone else to turn up and make tea with me in the morning.  Like always.  But they wont again.  Ever.


Got a haircut last evening.  My normal chick has moved up to Tauranga and I got her replacement - a completely lovely girl who is friends with NC, and had heard about the time she cut me in a fringe - waaaaay too short, and had a wee cry.  Hilarious.  And, like clockwork; "gosh, its like a lions mane!"  Brilliant.

We chopped about 10cm off, and it is so much nicer.  The colour growing out had made the very ends, which were copper colours, quite dry.  So now it looks darker, neater and healthier.  Still a touch of fruit salad colours throughout the ends, but they wont last much longer.

Weird mood.  I did warn you.

It feels super short, but the Married One was saying it is still very long, and it looked longer last night when it was straightened.  (I'm just not a fan - I always wash the straight, straight out).  Last week, for comparison:

My hair is just so entertaining.  I'm sure bigsib would be proud.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to further distract myself with some research into global wind current causes.