Saturday, December 29, 2012

My people

There's nothing like having massive text and email convos with beautiful people to lift your spirits.


I am a cliché

In between feels, I have to laugh at myself.

I have fresh-strawberry brownie in hand, straight from the oven, piping hot and chocolaty as sin. I've had two pieces.

I'm planning a couple days of beloved old movies, to staunch the wound. (Though I'm having issues locating mums copy of P&P...).

And I have a head cycling through all the things said, adding up all the hurts hurting, because apparently it's wired into our biology.

"I'm a lot closer to a lot of people I didn't tell you", he says. Turns out, 'I just didn't tell you I stopped caring about you. Completely.' Of course, I was still more than willing to take advantage of your good nature in the mean time. And text you for entertainment whenever I was bored. But hey! Now you know! Huzzah! I don't have to bother pretending to be your friend any more! Win!

Of course I'm sure it helps that I am no longer in the same city, and the advantage-taking had to end as a result.  And you know, not having to see me, to deal with anything.

I genuinely, actually never realised how all those bullshit romcoms and chicklit and so on, could reflect real life.

Yes. Yes I am that pathetic.

I am exactly the friend-version of Iris in the first half of The Holiday. Foolish. So hurt.

So hurt.

But I guess you find out who the people are who do indeed still love you. The ones who don't throw it around. The ones who keep meaning it, even after the fact.

After being there for them, when they needed someone to be there for them. After they decide they want to forget about the hard times and hey, sorry luv, but you are so entwined in that I'm cutting you out. It's easier than dealing with things. It's easier to have shallow, meaningless friendships with people who don't care about the important stuff, who are more than happy to accommodate your rubbish behaviour.

Turns out you were blind. You should have listened to your friends all those times when you defended his character and stood up for him and smoothed over the shitty consequences from his shitty behaviour. Turns out you should never have shielded or cajoled or reassured in the background, you should have let the shit hit the fan and let him sort out his own clusterfuck of consequences.

How could I have been so wrong?

Rhetorical question, of course. It used to be different. In a couple days I'll endeavour to remember that good stuff, and not this.

Not this.

People, they suck

They suck.  But only some of them, even if it catches you unawares which ones.  The ones you didn't expect.  The ones you loved, and who didn't deserve it.

They hurt.

And they don't care.

And I, apparently, am a fool.

A broken fool.

Gimmie a couple days, I'll be fine.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Be still, my bleeding, weeping heart

So.  I left.

It hasn't sunk in yet.  I think it will be January, and my not being able to go back like normal that will do it.  Then I'll start crying and not stop.

And everyone will go on with their lives without me.  And I will not be a part of it.

After five years.  Of very much so being a part.

Urgh.  Its hard to talk about it even.  I miss my people!


So I had one week after grad and people started drifting off; I made four trips out to the airport for drop-offs, and the last was the hardest, though its entirely my own fault.

My beautiful lab group got me two very special presents, which were presented at my last lab-lunch.  I don't know which to show first, since both are so very special to me.

So, this pendant, which I have coveted for ages, and which The Crazy One noticed and remembered.  Especially loved to be able to take a bit of home with me, wherever I end up for my first postdoc.
Totally avoided getting cleavage in the shot.  Win.

Ok, second present, and you are not going to believe this, but - a beautifully packaged (Heh) Drosophila snow globe:
With embryos for snow.  (There's even a couple wee larvae which snuck in there just for kicks).

I have no words.

So much love.  Seriously.

Monday, December 24, 2012

On Repeat and The Hobbit

So these are intertwined, though randomly.

Saw the Hobbit with a group of boys from work in 3D HFR and it was...weird.  I'm not normally a fan of the 3D and see everything 2D, I tend not to notice it after the first 10 minutes and consider it a waste of money.  The HFR actually made the movie seem...too real.  Too crisp?  I can't adequately describe it, but I'm also not sure if I liked it.  It didn't really feel like a story, you know?!  Will take my parents to it in 2D (I'll pretend its deliberate, but the odds are the wee Whakatane theatre won't show anything else) and decide which I ultimately like better.

And I'm gonna claim it - Thorin is a cutie.

However, one of the ads at the beginning was using this song for its track and it got stuck in my brain straight away.  It shall forever make me think of The Hobbit and having The Hairy One fidgeting at my side.
Its funny actually, this one was his fault too.  (not sure why I'm assigning blame for mere situational proximity, but there you go.  I'm a Doctor, I can do whatever I want).

Kina! And politics.

Accompanied The Loitering One out to Portobello this last week to help him clean and feed his lab's Kina stocks.

There were a couple tanks of Paua being grown for seeding back into the wild:
A dude was patiently sifting through them one by one to pull out the dead'uns.  Epic effort.

We found a seahorse in amongst the kelp.  (Kina feed on the kelp, and 'feeding them' involves fishing kelp out of the harbour with a large hoop on a very long pole & dumping it in their tanks).
He wasn't very happy.  Nor healthy.  TLO released him back into the harbour, but I doubt he made far.

I grabbed a vid of the kina waving about in the empty tank, they're pretty freaking cool little beasties.  I tagged along a couple times and it always seems to be in good weather, strange that.
Passed the long ride out and back with delightful discussion ranging through politics, news and gossip, and how the world would be changed should TLO be PM and I VC.  It'll happen.  And it'll be a glorious future.

Last Submission for 2012

The Old One submitted her MSc thesis!  On the second-to-last day of the year.
And everyone was freaking proud.  (and see that sweet card right there?!  Oh yeah, that's from me.  Ima miss my peeps in the main office; brill people, all around).
Someone awesome gave her the idea to use full page print photos for chapter dividers, and this here is the first time my newly acquired title has been seen in print.  Win!

Can't wait to see what TOO gets up to next.


My lovely Nana, Uncle and Cousin gave me a couple of lovely charms to add to my collection (I think I have about three of the cap now), every one attached to a special memory:
Mum & Dad gave me this very beautiful gold and diamond pendant: 
I am sure my protracted university student career is not so worthy, though I seem to have made people proud.

I can't wait to tell the story in 50 years when someone sees me wearing it.


Graduation Baby, Yeah

aka "The Day I Became A Doctor"

...good god but it still doesn't feel real.  And fair warning - this is going to be a ridiculously gratuitous photo post.

Master Farm Girl came back from Ireland to grad her MSc and brought with her her lovely partner, who just so happened to charm the wits out of my parents.  Can't wait to catch up with them in the northern hemisphere.

Master Mini One grad her MSc, (in a Doctor sandwich):
and of course the Doctors' Married One both grad their PhDs:
And to make it a real party, Doctor Veined One grad his PhD also.  (so named for possession of ridiculous muscle definition, fyi.  Such a sweetie).
And an extra one with my Homegirl, just for shits and giggles.  Remember her submission?  And mine?!  Good times.
I love my people!

So much win, I was almost completely overwhelmed the entire day (and considering the following week passed so quickly and my heart still bleeds, it is mighty strange looking back...).

Oooo, so the parade was possibly the best bit - walking up the front with the awesomely educated people.
The Long Haired One and The Crazy One had come out to watch us, Doctor Married One and I ran over to squeeze the bajezus out of TCO, the sweetie.

Doctors' Married held hands the entire parade and I didn't make the vom noise once!  I was so proud of myself (you thought you'd get away without my saying anything didn't you chickens?!  Silly).  Was maybe, slightly, infinitesimally cute.  Maybe.

The whanau started the day with Bacon Butties at the farmers market followed by obligatory photos around the clocktower.  There were 7 of us, so everything took two car-loads; next time I'm hiring a bloody van.
The Baby Cousin thinking...and my disbelieving the effort.
I tried very hard to allow some nice photos, but there's only so much a girl can take.
You try taking serious photos with my family, honestly.

However, there were more than enough good'uns, though my favourites tend to be more...candid.

The Ickle Baby Brother (left) and The Baby Cousin (right, dirty box-cut mullet included, he trimmed it, if you can believe it, just for me.  25cm down to 5.  Good god) in their proper places:
Uncle and my lovely Nans (the amazing knitter):
 And the long-suffering parentals:
Nothing if not traditional in our Otago photos (I shit you not, there was a line for pics in this spot, people were getting pissy with us.  Pfft):
I felt like such a short-ass.  Shortest in the family.  Extended family, even.  I think even my Nana is still slightly taller than me.

Post-graduation at the reception tent we caught up again for the traditional bat-photos, this time with The Magic Postdoc and The Supe.
Even snuck in a rugby team photo:


The stupid boys decided that my first act as a Doctor had to be 'feeding the family', so made me drive them through the KFC drive-in, in my full PhD Regalia and order them a bucket of chicken.  Bastards.

Met up with some of the kids in town that night after a very lengthy grad-dinner, had a good boogie with The Loitering One, who in retrospect doesn't even remember it.  Typical.

So, overall - an amazing, epic weekend.

And off I go, Snape-like, into the future.  Doctor. 

Ok, first of all

Oh my fucking god
Fungal Christmas Tree
Fungal Snowman
From the JCVI.  Via.  Marry me!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Right, I'm off.

Christchurch tonight, staying with The Oxford One, then Saturday night with the Doctor Married Ones' and then Sunday - parentals.  For the foreseeable future.

Planning on a chilled tour-drive north, with pictorial updates posted to my Tumblr.

Goodbye Dunedin.

Goodbye UoO.

Goodbye Biochem Dept.

Goodbye South Island.


Yep.  You should have expected the melodramatics.

In other news - stay tuned for graduation deets soon.  And you know, Chrissie.


There's a bug in my eye

The boys get a special mention, since I have never been so touched in all my life.  (minds out of the gutter, thank you).

I was instructed to remain in the office for at least 10 minutes on Friday early avo, in retrospect I realise it was so The Hairy One could arrive, and was then presented with a massive box, wrapped thusly:

Someone found a brill idea somewhere.  I had no idea what was going on, but a few boxes in, I could imagine.  I say a few, it took a lot more than that to get to the end.  Interspersed between layers was crumpled paper, crumpled bits of results, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, generic rubbish - you get the picture.  Tissue box, glove box, reagent boxes...  I destroyed the office, and it was the most fun I'd had in there in ages. (The cleaner refused to clean on Friday,  I cleaned up first thing Monday morning).

Once I did get to the end of the yellow brick road I clamped my jaw, hugged the silly boys and ran off into the lab to 'flug my fly food'.  I was't hiding tears, I swear.  It was hayfever.  Hayfever is embarrassing, don't you know.
The Baby One and The Hairy One.  Words cannot express.  Well...


Carding and Gifting

The whanau did the Speights Tour (and 'toured' a couple pubs after...) on Friday, leaving The Baby Cousin feeling a little worse for wear. (and bounced from a supermarket, for godsake).

To be fair, Ickle Brother curled up in the corner of the lounge soon after.  Between these three miscreants (none of whom have ever/yet to finish highschool) and myself, we average a first year university education, which is pretty...epic? (on my contribution at least).

The Ickle Brother got me a very pretty grad gift, from his place-of-work:
Honey stuff, smells completely divine.

Also got a couple cards that day, the first Doctor salutation from The Scottish One, in the States

And the second from The BigSib, in London.
Very cool.  Special feels, all around.

High Tea and a Party

Last Friday was full on.  We had a lab reunion coffee type sitch at 10 and then a grad-girls High Tea for Lunch which The Crazy One had organised.

It was a extremely fun and waaaay too much food, especially considering it was supposed to be a tea and not a lunch, straight up.  So good to have The Married One back in the fold (and at this point, not yet a Doctor).

 Yep.  Super fun times.  The Crazy One gifted the tea to us for Graduation, such a sweetie.

That afternoon we had the Departmental Christmas Party at the Woodhaugh Gardens.  Which was lovely, since we turned up early, while there was still a bit of sun around.  Started raining towards the end, but remarkably made no difference to proceedings.

The Mini One (Not yet 'Master' Mini One) was being a gremlin and got a thigh-slap for her trouble.  It was beautiful.  I fiddled with the colours a bit, so you can almost see the handprint which was in evidence at the time.

Was a brill day.  Not least for watching The Token Boy and The Hairy One dominate at park-cricket.  Lovely.

The Thanking Of The Supe

It's always tricky thinking of a gift to thank your supervisor - for years of putting up with your grad-student shit.

But I had an idea, and when finding a random antique box turned out to be impossible, I enlisted my brilliant Father's aid.  The specifications:  A cabinet to fit a bottle of whiskey and a glass, on which the front of I could attach engraved plaques.

He went over and above the call of duty.

He also liked the idea so much that the one I got was indeed several down the production line, since it became a gift for others/various things, from him along the way.

So this wee beauty is the official gift-of-thanking from Doctor Married One and Myself (which, incidentally, is now officially Doctor SM Morgan (had to slip that in there)).  And I stuffed a collection of blank plaques in the glass shelf so that the next round of PhD students can be added to the record.
Of course I wrapped it with Drosophila.  And Dr MO didn't even say a word about the lack of bees.  Win!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Horrible

This week.



It sucks.

(Grad was amazeballs, I'll get to that soon...ish...after).

I don't want to go.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

So it begins


Mum and Dad arrived yesterday, we went to Paasha for dinner, for old times sake.  One of the co-owners came over for a chat - I've been going there for 7 years, back in third year the flat went there every Friday for takeout (back when it was slightly cheaper...).  Beaut food, as ever.
Mum on the phone to Nans.  Don't miss your flight!

The rest of the whanau (able to make it) arrive on planes today from Hawkes Bay/Whakatane/Auckland.  I couldn't sleep - the excitement is building.  Before M&D arrived it wasn't quite real, but now...

The Married Ones get back from their Rail Trail tonight and I'm hoping we can pick up our regalia together.  And The Oxford One is trying to make it down for our lab reunion/coffee meetup tomorrow, I am so, so excited.

We had a wander around the Octy after dinner, I've never snuck around the back of First Church before, but that shit is gorgeous.




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Baking!

Four batches of three-chocolate cranberry cookies for gifting.

I used up my stock of cookie bags, which is perhaps good timing.  Hopefully not too much more baking before I leave (the freezer is full of cookies and cakes...)

I am of course disappointed in this last bag; one too many red cookies, one short green.  Disappointed. (So, this bag is being sacrificed to the mouths at coffee this morning).

I have been slowly cleaning out all my junk at work, inclusive of which is four years worth of teaching lab manuals (I didn't teach at all this year).  I love teaching and to think I'm not going to get a chance again until at least two postdocs and a lectureship-position-hire in the future, is sad.

Also - four years of demonstrator highjinks and hilarity.  Good times.  Missed.

The Lab Whanau

Missing only 3 people, what a record.

The Host

I read The Host over the weekend (plus Monday night).  Saw the trailer a couple weeks back and wanted to see if it was worth going to see.  So of course I read the book.
The Host
And I just looked at her website and saw this which made me irrationally angry:

"Science fiction for people who don't like science fiction"

Gah!  Ok, so nice intro into my complaints.  I like the premise.  In fact, I really like the premise.  But at about 50% of the way through, the plot opens up to offer so many alternate, awesome possibilities than the one plot line she took.  So predictable, so plain, so...twilight.


So much potential wasted for a really good science fiction for people who like science fiction.

Disappointed, Stephenie Meyer, disappointed.  This would have been a brilliant opportunity to redeem yourself.  I'll give you one more chance, with a sequel to this book - because you left the world wide open.  Sort it out!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tis the season

For giving, even if you can only afford a tiny little bit.

Here, if you want to have a look.

"We identify, invest in and bring visibility to  extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities.
Our international staff and team of over 1,000 partners, pro bono experts and leaders, including senior government, corporate and NGO executives, have trained and mentored more than 12,000 emerging women leaders from over 144 countries in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East since 1997. These women have returned home to train and mentor more than 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities. They are the Vital Voices of our time."


There's some beaut macro of snowflakes drifting about at the mo (Ha! Drifting!) by Andrew Osokin, completely amazing, though completely out of season for our wee Kiwi Christmas.
Snow Crystals

(Via Squidy).


And finally, via The Hairy One (who locked my phone for 15 minutes at coffee just now, the dick.  Was distracted with decorating the Dept. Christmas Tree with The Loitering One; it's gorgeous  *cough*).

"Books on Posters" - images made from the text of books.  Beaut!  If you visit the site you can zoom in on the text itself.  I wonder if they could do an image of your choice with thesis text...

My fav's?  Jane Eyre or The Metamorphosis or Moby Dick or The Secret Garden or...