March 29, 2009 at 10:51 am (Uncategorized)

Holy crap! The uber-awesome Vic has given my silly little blog an award!!


And I didn’t have to beg or anything! My day has been substantially brightened!

Part of the award entails passing it on to five more fancy bloggers (like a chain letter, or possibly herpes), which I have to admit was a challenging task for me…the people I would give this to were either also awarded by Vic (e.g. my BFBFF (best fucking blog friend forever), Steamy Becky) so I would feel like a chump giving them the same award, or are people whose blogs I lurk on but haven’t commented on yet (I’m shy!), or are people who probably would not respect an award with a bow in it, unless that bow were on a velociraptor that was eating a hobo on the moon while being shot at by Jesus (e.g. this guy) or are people with secret blogs that only a scant few people can read (Hi E!). Despite all that, I think I have my picks figured out! Drum roll, please…

Brigette’s crafty buggy blog! She is both a nerd (ahem, scientist) and a crafter, like me, and her plushies are incredibly cute while retaining scientific integrity so nerds like me are super happy. Also she touched a bug pin that Darwin touched! How freakin’ cool is that?!?

Jessica’s Hey Lola! This lady will funny your pants off. When you stop by, make sure to congratulate her on her imaginary pregnancy!

Ida’s Tin Heart! I have totally heart-ed Ida for quit some time, and she’s going through the same “i-just-got-out-of-school-and-real-life-sucks” part of life I (still) am going through.

Crankylit Prof’s Cranky Epistles Haha, I wish all my professors had been like this one…

Cat’s Zipbag of Bones Ok, so this is one of the blogs I lurk on so it totally goes against the rules I set for myself but she’s really funny and her wrist is really broken right now.

Here’s the caveat to the award, people!

Da rules:
The rules of this award are:
* Copy the badge and put the logo on your blog sidebar or post.
* Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
* Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
* Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.
Come back and comment here so that your link could be added to the masterlist of awardees.

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overload imminent

March 26, 2009 at 8:29 pm (Uncategorized)

Oh moly, I am going to go crazy (by which I mean more so than normal and not in the fun way) soon. I’ve already worked 40 hours this week and it’s only Thursday, and I have a 15 hour day of experiments tomorrow, then my practice fancy teaching content test Saturday morning (so no sleeping in, sadness), followed by another 12 hour day of experiments on Sunday. Gah. The good news is that once this project is done I (HOPEFULLY) will be done with overtime in this lab forever. Let’s cross our fingers, people!

In other news, I’ve been staring at this fox head I made a while back for some time now, because I can’t decide what to do with it yet…
img_1149bObviously he needs eyes and a body, and the plan is to use some of the massive stash of vintage Barbie clothes that I inherited, but how? Should I go buy lots of dolls from Goodwill and use them? That seems neat and easiest, but then I’ll be left with a ton of creepy doll heads, and I can’t just throw something like that out, what if I need them to make art some day? Another option is to make bodies out of cloth, but for some reason even though I was able to put together this complicated head, the idea of making a body seems too much…

All of this is completely irrelevant, of course, because I need to go to bed! I must catch up on my sleep in preparation for the next few days…

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March 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm (i'm too old to be a fangirl but..., insomnia, just pure awesome, life in general, teach this!)

Things I should be doing:
1. Preparing for my teaching test (bleh)
2. Cleaning (bleeeeh)
3. Planning experiments (meh)
4. Writing protocols for my eventual departure from the lab (BLEEEH)

What I am actually doing:
1). Reading Lucy Knisley’s comics. I followed a link about her on BoingBoing because she has the same last name as my best friend from middle school (Hello, Annick? Hello?) but now I am hooked, she is crazy amazing. And her assessment of the Twilight “books” are spot on.
2). Watching Spaced. Best. Show. Ever.
3). Thinking about how to design my wedding dress. But wait! It’s going to be a long She-ra dress with a rip away skirt so that I am left with a mini skirt bottom in case monsters attack or I need to dance! It’s going to be kickass.
4). Assessing the pros and cons of taking a nap so late in the day.

Gah! Must study!!

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Adventures in bus riding

March 25, 2009 at 4:49 pm (continuing depression)

There was a girl crying on the bus today.

Two years ago, that girl was me. And yet, today, I had no idea what to do. Should I comfort her? Should I ignore her? She was obviously in emotional pain. I wished I carried tissues so I could at least offer her one.

See, I actually started this blog many years ago because the therapist I was sent to to deal with my depression was, well, not very good. Here’s a tidbit

Her, in a tired, whatever-stupid-girl voice: You say you are depressed. Do you think about suicide?
Me: Yes.
Her, in a roll-the-eyes-type voice: Well, real depression involves a visualization of suicide, not just a general feeling of wishing you were dead. Do you visualize killing yourself?
Me: Yes. Knife to the throat. The only thing that stops me is that all my knives are dirty.
Her, much paler, in a shaky voice: Well…um…that’s just silly, isn’t it?
Me: What about depression follows any sort of logic pattern? My neurotransmitters are fucked all to hell. Can you just write me a prescription that will let me function so I can write my damn thesis and take care of my dad?
Her: … Well, have you tried meditation?
Me: I was raised by an atheist psychology grad student and an artist, and I’m a damn scientist. That crap does not work on me. No amount of meditation will fix my seratonin levels.
Her: … Um, ok. I’m going to give you a cd of relaxing nature sounds.
Me:  You suck.

And there you have it. The blog was created so I had a place to get all my crazy out without having to listen to someone tell me all I needed was to meditate and I’d be magically over the death of my mom. Also, it’s free! Therapists? Not so free.

Anyway, so I got off the bus having done nothing for this poor girl who seemed to be dying on the inside, much like I have been for several years, and I felt like a horribly, useless human being because I’ve been in so much emotional pain that I spontaneously started crying on the bus ride home in the past, and yet I did nothing for this girl.

Then, she got off too! This is it, I thought, I can comfort her if she looks to me for guidance or something at the bus stop!

Yeah, she then rolled a huge joint, and started yelling at people who where not there and laughing maniacally.

Damn bus crazies! Making me think all deep and feel incredibly guilty that I couldn’t comfort you, when in reality all you wanted was a damn hit!

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invasion of the laurel-crocodile hybrids

March 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm (i promise i was not drunk when i wrote this, weirdness abounds)

Today someone came and got the larval jabberwocky that have been living in my apartment walls for about a month and it turned out they were actually just one really fat squirrel, which sorta explains why that “drunk” squirrel has been haunting me recently. Obviously I’ve been targeted by some international squirrel conspiracy and I’m under 24 hour squirrel surveillance. Well, screw you, squirrel dudes! What will you do now, huh? The exterminator guy said he was going to drive out five miles and then release you back into the wild, what are you going to do about that?? All I know is that now my cats will have to find a new reason to stare at the walls and freak me out.

In other news, there are mutant trees on my campus. Exhibit A:
A nice, normal laurel bush, right? Well, observe Exhibit B:
I’m not sure if this picture does it justice but those sure look like crocodile hands to me! And they are growing out of the tree!! Now, I’m not a plant person and I’m much too lazy to look it up, but this does not seem normal. So what we have on our hands is a laurel-croc hybrid! Scourge of campuses everywhere or at least mine! And by scourge I mean no one has noticed it but me. But that’s just how I roll- I’m always looking out for you people, watching for monsters.

Speaking of clueless masses, I’d like to address my coworker…

Dear AlphaTroll,
We are not friends. You called me a narrow-minded bitch and said that everyone in lab hated me when I told you it was not cool to make people cry, so stop acting like we’re all cool now because if this grackle represents how I normally feel about you:
then this is how I feel when you act like we’re buddies all the sudden:

My emotions get all pissed and fluffed out in anger. Suck it. Mostly, though, I just keeping thinking “two and a half more months until I’m gone and you’re screwed!” so suck it some more.

By the way, for all you doubting Dennises (i.e. MY DAD) I totally take all the weird ass pictures you see on my blog, be they enraged grackels, drunk squirrels, or operatic turtles. Just so you know.

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I disturb myself

March 18, 2009 at 7:38 pm (thoughts and musings)

Dang it. This is what, according to Wordle, I’ve talked about the most in recent posts:
wordle-318While I’m not surprised “vagina” made it up there, it saddens me that “like” and “totally” are both big words. Is it because I was a child in the 80s? Or something more sinister, such as bad grammar fairies that live in my walls and come out at night to whisper badly formed sentences into my ear until my brain is filled with nothing but?

Dang it again. Now, instead of dutifully studying physics, I want to create grammar fairies out of polymer clay (have you seen my billy goat? He protects me from blog trolls!). And then smash them.

Physics must come first…there will be plenty of time for productive metaphor creations when I am certified to teach teenagers about work and energy and angular momentum…

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and now for something completely different

March 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm (animal behavior, art?, austin awesome, just pure awesome, life in general, weirdness abounds)

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce… Turtle Opera.

No, I have no idea what he/she* is doing, but my guess is opera because it isn’t turtle mating season yet. You can tell some of the turtles on campus want to be ninja turtles when they grow up, though:
He/she’s totally working his/her biceps.

And I stick by my theory that too much of anything gets a little creepy, aka swarms are gross and too many turtles start to look disturbingly like bugs:

which is probably why this guy/gal decided to make a break for it:
This is how I imagine these turtles are interacting:

Big turtle: Noooo! Take me with you!
Little turtle: Screw you, I need to be free! Also you don’t share your algae/fish/french fries/whatever turtles eat with me! Goodbye forever! Or at least until I chicken out and jump back into the water!

The best thing about red-eared slider turtles? This:
Turtle smile!

*short of cutting it open, I have no idea how to sex a turtle unless I am watching them mate**.

**I probably need to clarify that I mean watching it mate with another turtle. You crazy readers…***

***I should probably further clarify that I am not some crazy who goes around watching turtles mate on purpose, I just see it at zoos or on TV or in the above turtle population sometimes and if you have never seen a turtle couple getting it on, you should google it because that shit is HILARIOUS. ****

****”that shit is hilarious” is totally a scientific phrase. Also, there’s this:
Interesting street art is almost as cool as crazy opera turtles in my book.

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Squirrel behavior, part 2- the scientific method

March 16, 2009 at 10:18 pm (animal behavior, i promise i was not drunk when i wrote this, insomnia, jinxing myself, simply flabbergasted, weirdness abounds)

We all know I loves me some science, as long as rat vaginas are not directly involved. Last week I posited the question, “what is this squirrel thinking?” and it turns out the correct answer was given by Kurt: “I think he’s plowed on fermented berries and is telling the tree “NO! No! I LOVE you, Man!!”.” This conclusion has since been supported by the following evidence.

This is normal squirrel behavior:
img_0821bShe’s* all “oh, hey, look, I’m a squirrel and I am foraging, looking all cute and stuff! If you are a scientist, back the fuck off! I know what you guys do in that lab of yours, you perverts!” You know, normal squirrel behavior.

This is how I found crazy squirrel the other day:
This is an instance of scientific observation that can only be described as “What the fuck??” I have been watching campus squirrels for almost 10 years now (sigh) and I have never seen crazy hangover-type behavior like this before. Oh, and he’s not dead- soon after I took this shot, he moved into a hole in the tree and proceeded to watch me, all creepy-drunk-peeping-tom-squirrel style:

So we can see that someone has been partying way too hard without inviting me, which is totally uncool because I had to molest many, many rats today and if anyone needs a drink, it’s me.  That or possibly that is an anti-gravity tree so he’s hanging on for dear life, and only barely made it to the hole before flying off into space. That’s how science works, people, you gotta examine all the possibilities.

Moral of the story? Not only do we have to watch out for scary jabberwocky trees, but also anti gravity trees and/or trees filled with hungover squirrels. It seems like trees were much safer when I was a kid and all they did was fling me to the ground at high rates of speed. I’m pretty sure my cocyx got broken once, but I never had to be on the lookout for drunk rodents! Also, while we’re on the subject of stuff and being old**, how come stuff takes so long now?? For example, it apparently has taken me 30 minutes to write this blog! I did have to adjust the pictures from their original 290844789 pixel size to something that wouldn’t crush the interwebs, but still, 30 minutes?!? And holy crap, studying takes me more time now, too! I’m brushing up*** on my physics for this massive test you have to take to be a science teacher in Texas, and it took me all night to read three chapters. Three chapters of easy stuff that I already know. How the hell did I do this in college??

Oh, right. I didn’t bother reading in college. Also I didn’t have a full time job. Also my brain wasn’t all higgedly-piggedly and in need of antidepressants. Also I have to get lots of sleep now in order to be fresh enough to face work and its crazies (including, yes, the rat vaginas. Don’t act like you didn’t want to hear about them again!), wheras in college as long as I got 5 hours I was just fine. Well, suck it. I don’t know who needs to suck it, specifically, but surely someone is in dire need of a good “suck it!”

I’m so tired. So many rat vaginas await me in the morning…

Time for sleep…

*It’s very easy to tell if a squirrel is a boy or girl. As Dr. FianceHusband puts it, the boys carry around an “air conditioning unit.” Seriously, their balls are bigger than their heads. Evolution- go figure!

**Old = 27 in my case = maybe I’m just lame.

***Brushing up = poking the brain cells that already know this stuff but went into hybernation once they figured out they were not needed for grad school. Hopefully the massive amounts of drinking I did in grad school did not kill those brain cells ’cause I need them now. Otherwise I might as well find myself a nice tree hole to live in and stock up on the rum!****

****That’s right, I will be teaching children soon (assuming I pass this test). I think now is a good time to look into homeschooling.

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Only 2 and a half more months until I am DONE WITH RAT VAGINAS FOREVER!!!

March 16, 2009 at 9:46 am (jinxing myself, just pure awesome)

Holy crap, people, I got into my fancy-shmancy teaching certification program!! Out of over 1100 applicants, only 150 are chosen and I am one of those nerds!! I’m so freakin’ happy, you have no idea. I’ve never gone into this before on this blog, because it’s sorta gross in the abstract and I’m scared of PETA, but I work with rat vaginas a lot.* Long story short, looking at the cells of the rat vagina tell us what reproductive cycle the rat is in- it’s not like we can ask the rats, “hey, are you crampy? Do you want some chocolate? Do you hate yourself?**” to find out if they are fertile or not. So, I have to examine rat vaginas. For a living. A lot. While my allergies try to kill me and my brain is screaming “GROSS. What is that?? GROOOOOOOOSS!”

But the silver lining is that unless I die of rat dander induced anaphylactic shock in the next two months, the end is in sight!! I’ll be leaving the lab FINALLY in June to go learn to be a teacher!  I’ll take surly high school kids over toxic rat vaginas*** and bastard grad students any day. Especially since it pays waaaaaaay more.

I have much more to blog about, including drunk squirrels, a burlesque show, Spamalot, etc, but it’ll have to wait, I have another 27 rat vaginas to assess…only 2 and a half more months, only 2 and a half more months…

*Just to clarify, they are still attached to intact, live rats at the time. It’s totally painless to the rats, and in fact after a few days they start to really enjoy it. Like I said, GROSS.

**I don’t know if this happens to anyone else but I totally have shit self esteem when I’m fertile, or just after. What’s up with that? Evolutionarily, that makes no sense what so ever.

***How awesome a band name is “Toxic Rat Vaginas”? Total lady punk, we-hate-dudes type music, I think. Not that I hate dudes, I’m rather fond of them, actually, so much so that I had an awkward dream about a hot professor. And by awkward I mean he walked around in a speedo a lot and I blushed and ran away. Which is actually what I would do in real life.  Because I’m awesome like that.

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25 more

March 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm (history of meg, life in general, weirdness abounds)

I love factoids, almost as I love a good, random list. I already did the 25 things about me list on Facebook, so for the two of you readers who read that (and thus know my secret identity!) I’m going to make a list of 25 extremely strange and random things about me*. Why? ‘Cause I’ve been stuck in a dark closet with my face glued to a microscope for several days now and I feel like sharing some silly things with the masses instead of stabbing myself in the eye with a slide. You know, typical Meg stuff.

1). I have a weird form of synesthesia where if I touch my eyeball, I taste powdered donuts.

2). When I was in high school I worked at the bowling alley around the corner from my house. I still have nightmares about working there, that I’ll end up having to go back because all my other career options failed. Oddly I never have science-related nightmares, but I still have bowling alley-related ones.

3). When Dr. FianceHusband and I were freshmen in high school, we basically hated each other. We were both the “smart kid” in our biology class, and there’s no room for two smart kids. I made him write in my yearbook and he wrote a big thing about how our torrid affair must end because the circus was calling to him.It was basically a big sarcastic way of saying “I don’t know who you are and I don’t like you.” I totally forgot about him for a year after that.

4). Many of my life choices were made on a whim. For example, when I was a junior in high school I decided I could relate my “love life” to the type of snack I was enjoying- I had been eating poptarts and they were starting to bore me, and really I wanted a Twix. In my teenage brain, this equated to how I was tired of my old, smokey boyfriend and needed to find myself a new, fresh, perhaps caramelly new crush. I looked around my pre-cal class room and settled my eyes on the cutest guy in the room and decided, “Yup, that’s the one.”  That guy was Dr. FianceHusband. He didn’t stand a chance.

5). One of the worst experiences I had in grad school involved having to help clean out a “carcass containment freezer” which was where bodies of big marine animals were “stored” until the naturalist at the school where I went had a chance to look at them. He totally never bothered looking at them, though, and eventually I was drafted to help him clean it out. So, one hot summer day in South Texas, I helped haul the dead and quickly-thawing bodies of sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, and birds into what was basically a mass grave. It was horrible and I had to throw out the three pairs of shoes I wore through that experience because so much goo and ick got into them. Let’s not talk about those nightmares. Nothing screams horror like carcass after carcass of animals that have been rotting on a beach before being thrown in a freezer, that then start to thaw…

6). All of my expensive shoes totally smell like rotting turtle carcasses even though I bought them way after that experience. I don’t know what is up with that.

7). I get asked “what’s your favorite movie” a lot and I am always hard pressed to come up with answer, but I think I’ve finally narrowed it down to Monty Python’s Holy Grail and Beetlejuice

8 ). I am going to go see Spamalot tonight and I am very, very excited. This will be the first Broadway/off Broadway/traveling Broadway/whatever show I’ve ever seen.

9). My brain feels like it’s split into two parts- the thinky part and the back part, which is always either continuously playing some song or telling me horrible things like “i hate kids” that the thinky part then has to shout over.

10). Sometimes the song stuck in my head (the back part, see #9) is so loud that I can’t think.

11). I am totally going to make my own wedding dress and it is basically going to be a long version of a She-ra costume. By which I mean AWESOME.

12). The back, grumpy part of my head doesn’t like people at all but when I ignore it and do go hang with my friends I realize that there is something to the whole “socializing with your peers” thing…

13). I secretly wish I could take my cat with me everywhere. Ok, not so secretly. I totally, openly wish I could take Kiwi with me to work.

14). I talk to myself a lot. I think it might be because the thinky part of my brain thinks the back, grumpy part of my brain is a big jerk who plays her music too loud so they don’t talk. Damn kids. And brain parts.

15). I love cartoons. Not the crap cartoons of my youth, really, but the snarky sarcastic ones of today, such as Flapjack and Venture Brothers and Frisky Dingo. I only wish there were more…

16). When I was a kid my grandpa gave me the soundtrack to the Phantom of the Opera** and I loved the crap out of it. I never actually saw the musical, so I basically made it up in my head to go along with the music. I used to sing it at the top of my lungs on my playground. Needless to say, when I finally saw the movie version I was totally unimpressed- it totally did not live up to the version in my head.

17). I really like watching operas. Most ballets bore the crap out of me. Symphonies make me jealous because I’m not playing in them, unless they have bassoons and then I’m just pissed because bassoons get all the good parts that would otherwise go to the bass clarinets. Suck, double reeds!

18 ). In almost all situations, I’d rather be reading a book. Outside in a hammock, preferably. With a cat on me.

19). Dr. FianceHusband and I have plans to write a series of graphic novels together. Because we are nerds, but creative nerds.

20). Following up on the nerd factor, I totally want our honeymoon*** to be at the San Diego Comicon.

21). The main reason I want to be able to buy a house is so that I can have a yard in which to put a hammock. See #18 for reference.

22). Technically, my name is Megan. Everyone on the planet who is not my dad or brother is supposed to call me that, according to the grumpy part of my brain- my dad and brother call me Meg, and I always refer to myself as Meg. However, the front, thinky part of brain who is not a jerk always tells people that either is fine. Whenever non-my-dad-or-brother people call me Meg, I think it sounds all crazy and weird and both parts of my brain are in agreement that we don’t like it, and yet I never correct anyone. Obviously, I am a crazy freak in this regard.

23). I finally have to deal with the fact that I am, sadly, lactose intolerant. This sucks because I could eat cheese forever. Fortunately there is Lactaid! Unfortunately I discovered that I really am lactose intolerant after making homemade cheese with a friend. Holy crap it was good, but I felt like I was dying a few hours later.

24). Sometimes I get so distracted with all the crap I have to do at work that I forget to go to the bathroom, for, like, 8 hours at a time. I’m always surprised as to why my bladder hurts so much.

25). I might be the only formally trained marine biologist in the universe who basically is terrified of going in the ocean. Not because of sharks or other fish or anything else like that, but because of all the gross, disgusting, neurotoxic micro-organisms that I know live there. Did you know that there is a species of dinoflagellate (a small, single celled alga) that releases a neurotoxin that makes you forget how to read?? That is some serious shit, people. Also, sushi terrifies me because I once saw a talk at a national meeting about all the parasites that live in fish, so screw that. Also I think sushi is slimy. I know that officially makes me uncool but I don’t care. If you need me I’ll be reading a book while you eat your possibly parasite infested, slimy fish.

*some of the things on this list and the original might overlap because I am too lazy to be bothered to go read what I wrote on the other one.

**He gave it to me as a joke, actually, because I would tease him about listening to opera.

***HA! Like we’ll ever take a honeymoon…

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