I haven't been posting pretty much at all, and it's really unfortunate. Kind of a bad side effect of Twitter - I already feel like i've talked about myself enough every day, I don't really feel the pressing need to make a blog post. But I know LJ is so much more lasting and coherent than Twitter updates, so I'm going to force myself to make a long one now. Feel free to skip as much as you like - I just need to have this on the record, so to speak. Now with handy headers for skimming!The Midwest Stress Response and Molecular Chaperone Meeting
I went to that conference in Chicago with Jason's lab, and it was great! It was a topic-specific meeting, for our very small field, so I understood everything quite well (much better than at a typical mixed-topic conference) and learned a lot about the state of the field and how people approach the questions in it. I got to talk to the woman whose work is the inspiration for my own - she's an experienced professor who was quite intimidating, but I'm glad at least that she now knows who I am and is at least marginally aware of what I want to do. Even better, I talked to her postdoc who did some work that's really interesting to me, and I asked him how he accomplished a particular experiment, and he was like "Oh I'll just send you what we used!" which is actually a pretty hefty collection of really useful tools (overexpression plasmids, for the scientists in the crowd) that will really help give my project a kick in the pants. When/if I join the lab! The weekend gave me great hope that I will in fact join - just the fact that Jason brought me along, and a long conversation we had about the possible directions for my project. I also had a great time hanging out with the people in the lab, and all in all it just reinforced my certainty that this is the place for me, and that Jason thinks so too. So yay. :D (Update: I just forwarded an email conversation I had with that postdoc to Jason, and Jason replied almost immediately with "Thanks Anne - this is exactly what we need." :D I'm so proud of myself! I started a collaboration all on my own! \o/)Second semester classes
Classes have been going fine. Remember that new academic experiment I told you about, where every class is 10 students giving presentations but no actual lectures? Well, it's actually working out much better than I expected. It still sucks having to put together two presentations a week, but it's getting easier with practice, and the two talks I've given have gone really well. And the other people's talks have been much better than I expected! I've learned about a wide range of topics and all in all it's been quite cool. Props to Dr. Sherman for totally pulling it off, in complete contrast to Dr. Fuckhead from last semester. :P My other class is low key and simple, though our big project, to pitch a new "product" to accomplish some biotech goal, is a little intimidating. I tentatively like the people in my group, though I'm holding out judgment on that.Second lab rotation (anti-cancer)
Lab is fine. I've only just gotten started doing my own experiments. My first one went quite well, reproducing nicely the results of our very experienced tech, so that's encouraging. I did another, very big, experiment for three days, but I still need two MORE days before I actually get the result, and there's no way of knowing right now if it went well. I'm nervous, but I think I did everything right and it should come out at least reasonably well! *crosses fingers* Working with my new boss, Zaneta, is very different than Jason. She's very smart and I think I'll learn a lot from her, but she's also rather more hands-on. Which is fine, it will just take some adjusting. As for cancer research, I'm less excited about it than what I was doing before, because it's so... I don't know, dismal? "Successes" in the cancer field are analogous to dismal failures in other diseases. It's just very difficult for me. I know it needs to be done, and something is better than nothing, but I know it's not for me. Which is fine, since I definitely can't join this lab, so in the meantime I'll just learn and absorb techniques and do the best job I can.Auto Show!
In NOT science-related things (seriously - I guess this is the life of a grad student!) I went to the Detroit International Auto Show yesterday with my uncle and three little girl cousins! It was AWESOME!! You may know that I LOVE CARS. Like, A LOT. So to roll around in them for four hours was beyond heaven. :DDD And while the Maserati and Lexus concept car and the Audis and the Maybach and the Teslas were gorgeous and sexy as fuck, I'm at heart a modest-yet-badass kind of car lover, so the highlight for me was sitting behind the wheels of a Camaro (unf, you guys, UNFFFFFF), a Mustang, a Challenger, and a Charger. The latter two have rather cheap interiors, but I wanted so badly to put the pedal to that metal. :D My other very favorite (and the display I lingered around the most, sighing wistfully) was the Mazdas. I have mentioned that I have a very serious desire to purchase a Mazda 3 or a Mazda 2, and after sitting in the former and gazing upon the latter, I have an even more serious desire! They're so pretty and small and sporty and fun. The hatchback model means I'd still have some cargo space, and by all accounts they have fun, zippy handling that would be a sheer delight. Let's have some pictures! ( Sassy little lime green cars behind the cut! )
Sorry, sorry, I'll stop drooling now. In conclusion: CARS!!!! :DDD I had a great time with my uncle and cousins, and afterwards I went to their place for a delicious homemade meal of grilled whitefish and swordfish, om nom nom. It was a lovely day, if entirely exhausting!
Afterwards, I drove straight to Francisco's house here in Ann Arbor to hang out with him and Steffen, Kate, and Jenna. We watched CENTERSTAGE and MONSTERS, INC. Why yes, I love my friends, thanks for asking. :DDD Eion Bailey in Centerstage was beyond adorable
, omfg. How is he so beautiful??? :DLol dolphin trainers
The night before the auto show, my roomies said they were going out for "a drink" so I said why the hell not. We went to a bar, actually sat AT the bar for once, and promptly met two cute grad students who were completely ridic. I was already quite tipsy from beer at dinner, proceeded quickly to drunk with a margarita, and landed squarely on smashed after the guys bought us tequila shots. Oops. :) The guys managed to convince drunk!me that one of them was a dolphin trainer here at Michigan, which, lol - cause there are TOTALLY dolphins in Michigan. I bet they're still proud of pulling that one over on a poor guillible drunk girl. :P I got waaay too cozy with the other dude, but not illicitly, just super-affectionate like I can be. After a couple hours, they walked us home and we said adios - doubt we'll ever see them again, but boy was that FUN. I had forgotten how much fun it can be to just go out, meet random people, and have a good time. In fact, I've been more social in the last three days than I have in three months, which brings me to my final point:Dave
Dave and I are on a break right now. It's complicated. I've got a mixture of relief, guilt, sadness, and uncertainty, and it's really hard to talk about. So I'm not going to sully this post with that. Maybe some other time.Last but not least, Teevee
I haven't even seen the new Supernatural yet, but this week's Bones was FANTASTIC. HODGINNNNNS. *squooshes him* If they're going where I think they're going, COUNT ME COMPLETELY IN. BWEE. Also, Castle was lovely and touching and Kaaaaate. Poor darling strong wonderful girl. The tone was definitely more serious than usual (NO ALEXIS *pout*) but it worked reasonably well. Continues to be one of the best shows on TV, with the most heart. ♥