Sunday, September 30, 2012

On Repeat

TBO's fault, he's been going on about this dude for ages.

Tears. Enough.

Important things first:

Amy and Rory have left the Doctor, and the Doctor has left until the Christmas special...
Don’t blink.
I cried.  I'm not gonna lie - godamn Angels are definitely my most scaredy-cat Who-monster.  So, so sad - and unexpected, I just thought they would decide to finally say no to him, but I guess he never would have let them go, always popping back for shits and giggles.  And I bet you have either no idea what I'm talking of, or are also recovering from your own wee weeping sesh.  Yep.

Soo many months till Chrissie... actually, its only 31 days till I can put up the trees - 1st of November, that's the rule!  Whoop!

Daylight saving started today, and I completely missed it - both my phone and laptop update automatically, and I feel slightly cheated.  Rock on summer, I've missed you.

Had a pretty rough day yesterday (or it culminated, either way), so went out and brought JKR's new book to cheer myself up, this page made my day, right off the bat; what a brilliant brag-list.
Sat in the remnants of sun and got through about a third of it, will reserve judgement till its finished, hold tight  (also got through about 20% of The Communist Manifesto - don't ask).  Ended up watching season one of The Walking Dead (I know, I know - raging Saturday night) and while its not going to be a fav, it certainly held elements of which I love rubbish movies for - gore and gratuitous blood/rotting/explosions of zombie-death.  Will have a go with the second season in a couple of weeks.  Speaking of gratuitous blood and gore, watched the first couple eps of Spartacus Friday night (what? you thought raging-Saturday was special?!), which was...educational?  Not sure if I'm a fan of that one, the premise is a bit flimsy, and I don't see how it can possibly hold out for two whole seasons.

The Baby One's birthday was last weekend and I wrapped his gift with some home-made paper - the structure of the 'antifreeze' protein he works with; I stole the structure off a poster I made for him last year, and just tweaked the colours and orientations in Ps (and then took rubbish photos, sorry):
The Crazy One and I organised a surprise dinner party for him that night, of which the surprise was completely ruined by The Mini One's other flatmate.  But it didn't matter in the end.  Other stuff happened.  Lets move on.

I joke of course, important things last - this week has been full up with The Married One, who came back to town for her Oral Exam.  Which she rocked, beeteedubs (I'm sorry, I couldn't help it - I blame Lydia).  The post-oral lab dinner was brill, and resulted in my trying to 'look evil' with convenient horns, and TMO looking radiantly happy with her newly conferred title of 'Doctor TMO'.  The official title will have to wait for grad in December.  The entire group was well on form, and even managed to get the waiter involved.  Good times.
She's back in Welly, and I'm trying really hard not to finish with 'and I am all alone'.  Gah.  I miss my people. A couple more months and I am out of here - I need a new life sitch.  (But its so hard, I don't want to go...).

No more tears.  And no more caring for people who don't deserve it.  Of course, easier said than done.  Two culture-dates to look forward to in a fortnight, that'l be good.  A new week! Forward march!

Friday, September 21, 2012

On Repeat

"She brought herself a pistol, to take shots at the system"

Love it.  Don't know what's up with my music cravings at the mo, but this is fun.

"Hey Alice, how've you been?  Heard you're in the rabbit hole again."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hobbits and Genes

FarmGirl had this vid up today and it is cute.
Narrated by Tim Minchin, it explains genetics very simply and clearly, from Mendel up, (Boom Franklin!) to the Human Genome Project and finally that sweet ENCODE robot that's been hanging about lately.

And, finally, my first Hobbit trailer! (ok, I got 10 seconds in and had to pause for a excited back-shiver at G-units voiceover - Squeeeeeeeee!).
It looks funnier.  Yay!

EDIT: No! That's a different trailer!  This one:


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Food and Maggots

It has been completely beautiful in the mornings this week, and the sun poking right into my bedroom window makes me rather inclined to be in a brilliant mood.
Can't say no
We'll see how long that lasts...heh.

Made dinner for a very sweet couple on Sunday, and while my cooking for anyone is generally a good indication of my level of fondness for them, being able to cook at the house with a set table, at least two courses and a bottle of my latest fav wine (Amisfield 2008 Pinot Noir - stick me in front of a book/fire/porchview with a bottle of that and I'll love you forever) is so much godamn fun.  I stuffed schnitzel with mushrooms, feta and chickpeas, (half of the mix blended) and sat it on a bed of home-made gnocchi in a garlic tomato sauce (with a touch of cream for decadence) with some sliced green beans & sesame seeds tossed on top.  For desert I served slices of hot, fresh (made only 2 hours before) ginger loaf sandwiching vanilla ice cream, liberally sprinkled with white chocolate.  The wine didn't complement the desert very well, but I was hardly complaining.

And because its in the same vein - I whipped up a pound cake last night, only bastardised with the juice and rind of 2 NZ oranges, for lab meeting today (there is a baking schedule).  I was aiming for 'jaffa', so I used the Whittaker's Dark Orange block to make ganache (I'm on an anti-traditional-icing kick at the mo), which was fine until it touched the cake, at which point the texture drastically changed.  Will see how it tastes at 10, and whether the rind sunk... I'm liking how there is more time for experimental baking these days, PTS (post thesis submission), and I have managed to get butter two cycles in a row under $3 a block (and 3 at a time :P).  Shocking and delightful.

I wrote a short piece in partial retaliation for helping TBO clean out his Tenebrio culture, on SciBlogs here, and DOP, here.  And fyi, least there is more wilful confusion, the title is in reference to the beetles, not TBO.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Repeat

I sang at the top of my lungs all the way in to work.  It was liberating.

The song was brilliantly placed in Sherlock, and it popped up in The Thomas Crown Affair, half of which I got through on the weekend.  And the piano solo pops up in one of my fav Timbaland songs...heh.

Its going to be a great day.  My hair is behaving.

Ooo, also - caught the third ep of S07 of The Doctor - it was...less awesome than the first two.  I'm starting to think the Ponds are going to just grow up - grow out of the Doctor.  And he sees it coming.  There are going to be so many broken hearts...

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Birds Call

Homeboy is being pushy about the Bellbird in this years Bird of the Year comp, but I'm gonna say vote Kereru.  Any bird that tries to shit on me as often as that one, has earned my vote.  And I figure the universe approves of the hilarious shitting-on-me sitch.  Do it.


I have been accused of the most heinous of atrocities:

"And you shouldn't be single :-P you're too much of a romantic (you don't hide it much) to stay single forever."

What complete rubbish!  I hide it very well.

I'm invisible.  Go away.


But what about the cost?  ie my complete avoidance of cootie-riddled boys for so many years.  I'm sure my eventual gender-equal paycheck will keep me warm at night...

Bitter much?!

Article here.  I'm perhaps not in a good enough mood to be subjective...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Be my stars

Woo!  Nothing like having the universe spell out dirty words on a Saturday afternoon.

I wrote a wee piece on a paper investigating the mutational fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi failures, here and here.  Not quite sure why my formatting fucked up in the first...

I woke to a novel-length update email from a very old school friend, which has actually completely made my day.  I love how university can force things apart, only to have them unexpectedly come back together one day regardless.  What other surprises has the passing of time got in store for me?!

Meeting the Authoress for a pint over the rugby tonight, looking forward to it.

And...I have no more words.  I've written and deleted about 5 paragraphs.  What's going on?!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

So many genes

The ENCODE thing (wiki for Mum) has been massive these last couple weeks; the Supe wrote a piece on it here, and Homeboy poked fun at molecular biologists in regards to it at a journal club presentation yesterday (brilliant listening, I rank his talks above TV...though maybe not the Doctor (sorry sweetie)).

However, my fav snip is from Ed Yong:

"Think of the human genome as a city. The basic layout, tallest buildings and most famous sights are visible from a distance. That’s where we got to in 2001. Now, we’ve zoomed in. We can see the players that make the city tick: the cleaners and security guards who maintain the buildings, the sewers and power lines connecting distant parts, the police and politicians who oversee the rest. That’s where we are now: a comprehensive 3-D portrait of a dynamic, changing entity, rather than a static, 2-D map."

It struck me as quite cute.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Everything will look better in the morning

Went home early due to paranoia at being stranded in at work - a mortal fear since submission and complete avoidance of evenings in the lab.  I think I flogged that to death, no more being at work after dark. (of course, if I have nothing planned for an evening I just take my computer home and work from bed, but its totally different...).

Anyway, baked some banana cakes for lab meeting/afternoon tea meeting, and went nuts with the sprinkles:

Cakes! Sprinkles! So many sprinkles!! (Taken with Instagram)
Ahh sprinkles.  Seeds of happiness.

And since, beautifully enough, I didn't have my computer - I watched Chocolat and Tomb Raider with a beaut fire and hailthensnowthenhailthensleetthenhailthensnow battering the windows.  TOO had class, which was cancelled but which also resulted in her being stranded by rubbish cloud-vomit, till the roads were sorted out, at about 10ish.

And I know amongst you all there are other secret Pride & Prejudice fanboys & girls, so I think you should go watch this.  Its P&P adapted into a video blog and completely modernised/reworked.  I infected The Knitting One yesterday and I'm pretty sure she caught up to date by bedtime.  Its the first adaptation I have ever liked (curse you Knightley! Rubbish.), and am loving the twice weekly video-presents.

Morning hail-piles.  Not really much snow all up in there:

Looks better in the morning that it did the night before.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Snow me your...balls

What is this travesty?!  Snow?  In Spring?!

Yeah, I kid.  Its Dunedin.

And not enough to warrant staying in bed.  But fucktonnes enough to soak you to the bone on the way in to work.  Stupid swirling wind and sleet-bitchy-mix.

The snow thrown inside my car probably didn't help much undeserved/unprovoked/unwarranted/unfair!...

*sigh*  I can't even kid myself any more.  But still - inside the car!  Seriously?!  Gah!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Running away with me

Watched the half marathon running kids this morning with the Long-haired One, caught them either side of the Leith and then zapped out to Port Chalmers to while away the running time with a coffee (The guilt! so much guilt!).

In order of finishing time, for a lack of any other way of ordering them (by favouritism scale?!  Just kidding.  You think who would be first now?! Hah!):  The Dark Horse, the Baby One, the Hairy One and the Crazy One.  Love!

Its always a shock how small Dunedin really is - so many familiar, unexpected faces.  And such a beautiful day.  I feel sunburnt, but I think its just windburn instead.

We also did a drive by of TCO and the Building One's new house on the way back to Mornington.  So exciting.  TCO's house goes under the auction hammer on Wednesday, so its going to be an exciting week (and I totally put that in for the opportunity to say 'auction hammer'; do they actually have one these days?!).

And since time is running backward in my head - Saturday night TCO hosted a carbo-loading dinner at her house for runners and watchers, followed by a very dull rugby game watching.  I made the desert, a complete experiment, which failed on so many levels.  Except taste.  It was pretty epic.  I forgot to take a picture, but I toasted a buttery biscuit base (cocoa added for shits and giggles), then had a layer of cheese cake filling (cream cheese, lemon, sugar, cream), then a layer of minced black doris plums and orange jelly, another layer of cheese cake filling and finally a layer of chocolate ganache.  Neither the cheese cake or plum-jelly mix had time to set and the whole thing fell apart.  So it was a plate of cheese cake/plum/chocolate and biscuit parfait.  Freaking delicious, felt like passing out after.  Will amend and try it again one day.

Friday night (what is with this backwards sitch?!) was Biochem's bi-weekly happy hour, which was completely lovely and chilled for once (so nice, no drama!), followed by late VBurg and movie at TCO's.  Her house was totally where it was at this weekend.  And I know I'm probably breaking some cool-law that I don't care about in saying this, but - I feel like the VBurg is not as good as it used to be...

Its a writing week this week; I'm going to finish a paper draft, an article and start hashing out details for a piece for this, again.  That's probably a gross overestimation of my writing speed, but that's what plans are for, right?!

I also plan on a serious attempt at beating down the imposter syndrome.  Its getting old.

Oh! The Married One has a date for her Oral! Excitement-scaryness!  And Bigsib-plus-fiancĂ© have booked flights home from London in Feb for a full month.  And the German One has had her first paper accepted.  So much everyone elses lives.

I want something to happen.  I so tired of waiting.

Friday, September 7, 2012

On Repeat

Argh!  Get out of my head!  (I hate what you do to me!)

Advice Column

Don't get into a vivid fight with TBO.

Just don't.  People will assume you work in a kindy for the rest of the day (and depending on your willingness to scrub off your skin - the next day too).

I also think a law should be passed preventing people from having such godamn long arms.  Its a completely  unfair advantage. *pout*

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Yay! Movie!



Mum! Mum! Hey Mum!

Go read this.  Its in my research area and I wrote it so you could understand it...well, kind of.

Did ya?  Have ya?  Go!

(Also here).


Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Woah woah woah - hang on a minute, in light of my recent movie studies, this:

"Record companies have asked for three Kiwi internet users to be hauled in front of the Copyright Tribunal and fined under the controversial "Skynet" copyright law for allegedly pirating music."

Made my heart skip a beat.  Hilarious.

Showers and Presents and Pavarotti

The labs newest postdoc, assigned the operational nickname 'Lucy', had her baby shower on Saturday at The Teaching Ones house, and it was beautiful.  High tea has to be one of the best tea-oriented activities ever, and TTO's baking was sublime.

Its only the second shower I've been to (two in one year, an indication of my own age?!), but they are always the most female-convivial atmosphered things.  Celebration and anticipation and excitement.  And a whole lot of confused wonder from the unmarried/unchilded attendees.

The whole institution had me thinking about presents, I always tend towards books as gifts for expectant parents - bedtime stories and reading in general has to be the best thing you can give a child (ignoring those plebeian things like unconditional love and food and shelter and so on), and I figure close family and childed-friends will know better about powders and bibs and creams and so on, than I.  However, I am always struck by guilt - I feel that the shower sitch, before the baby is born, should be about the mother - the mother should get presents.  She is putting in all the work and effort and self-sacrifice.  Your body becomes an oven subject to the needs and whims for nine months of the parasite within, for godsake.  But no, right from conception, its all about the child.  Perhaps its best to get used to it right away.

I also find myself slightly jelly of people with skill in the garden - a plant you have grown yourself is perhaps the best gift, and one I shall probably never master.  Opportunity for crafts, perhaps...

On a completely different tangent, I'm on an opera kick at the moment.  Pavarotti especially, but after Who Sunday night I'm thinking I should dig out some Carmen.
And to certain people who both scorn my taste in music, offend via the accusation of posturing and claim to not religiously follow my blog ramblings - you can kiss my temporal lobes.  I see right through you.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Two things

Firstly, this:

Secondly, in today's Stuff sudoku, this:

Who the hell beat me to last?! Godamnit!

Stuff and Bollocks

The Authoress and I attended a midweek performance of the Heroes production at the Fortune Theatre, last week.

It was brilliant.

The entire cast is three people in one beautiful terrace set; three brilliant old men, with sarcasm and wit, and filthy, filthy french humour.  I had no expectation going in, The Authoress had booked us tickets, but I was completely delighted.  If its playing in a theatre near you, I would definitely recommend it.  I'm hesitant to spoil the plot, it would be such a shame.  Catching up with The Authoress is always good times.

I saw the last of the Terminator movie franchise this weekend, definitely my least favourite, but then sequels (or is this one technically a prequel?) which do not use the same actors are always going to leave you with a jarring note.  Also watched The Fifth Element - brilliant.  I love hilarious scifi monsters, especially the late 80s/early 90s ones, big ups to TOO for the recommendation.  So yep - raging weekend.  I did shamelessly coerce The Knitting One out to the beach for a coffee Sunday avo, definite highlight.

The new Doctor Who series started yesterday!  I watched it late last night in bed, it was very exciting.  Of course there are questions.  Like, [SPOILERS] how on earth can she be the new companion if shes a freaking Dalek?!  And she didn't remember him, so its not a Silence in the Library sitch where the Doctor meets her for the first time at the end of her life.  Gah, Moffat! Gah!  I guess we're back to living week-by-week in anticipation.  Gah!  Also in the Gah! category - what's up with women making decisions for their partners?  How did Amy know Rory would not want her more than kids?  And to divorce with no discussion?!  Stupid, stupid woman.  Gah!

I've started reading The PhD Grind, and my first impressions are with regards how completely different the PhD process is between disciplines, and yet how utterly the same the whole 'lifestyle choice' ends up.  The same problems, the same milestones and soul-destroying disappointments.  Its nice and short, and if it gets any better I might do a lengthier review, but in the mean time if you're bored, the files are free, here.

I wrote a piece on the DNA-as-storage-medium article in Science a couple weeks back, here on Sciblogs, here on myblogs (Oh I am hilarious).  In case you missed the subtle hint, Mum, that was for you - go read it.

I've been sorting my life out since submission, generic cliche things like alternate career debates/soulsearching (there's nothing I want to do more that academia...unfortunately) and starting up a decent swimming routine again.  One and a half kilometres, Monday to Friday.  I spent the first half of the week with ridiculous lower back pain, but according to the Google and then a trial in the second half of the week, a simple adjustment of my neck angle sorted the problem.  Firstly, I can't believe I sorted out a problem using the internet and not resorting to "I have cancer", and secondly - the fact that looking at the direct bottom of the pool instead of just slightly forwards can create such an over extension of the lower back muscles and such rancid pain.  Bones and muscles are weird, and why did I do it all of a sudden?!  I also invested in some fins, for the first time ever.  I've been swimming my whole life and have only had them as a toy, once.  But these are short fins, and supposedly work your leg and butt muscles more, especially if you have lazy legs, which I do.  I forget they are there most of the time. However - they make you go so much faster than normal, I spent a quarter kilometre choking on water because I was giggling so much.  Brilliant good fun - until the cramps hit from unused muscles at such angles.

On a related note (ok, not really) the Dunedin Marathon is on this weekend and a host of people from the Dept are doing the half; TCO, TBO and THO included.  The Long-haired One and I are going to be cheering squad, and to get the secret official notes on who-beat-who (TCO for the win!).  Weather dependant, it should be a brill day.

Its spring!  Here's hoping for a good week, with some good news.