Thursday, October 30, 2008

new house!?

Well, yesterday I think we found our new house. It is a beautiful house with laminate hardwood flooring in the living room and hallways and bedrooms. New ceramic tiles in the kitchen and foyer. Cathedral ceiling. LOTS of counter space in the kitchen and brand new stainless steel appliances. And eat in kitchen with big windows that look out over the backyard. And there's a patio door going out onto the wonderful new deck. The backyard will be fenced in. The view from the kitchen, deck, backyard, and master bedroom is looking over a pond and trees, there is a walking path around the pond, and there is a neighborhood park at the end of the pond. And even though the house is fairly close to highway 37, you cannot hear it. You can only hear the birds and bees. So beautiful. The whole house is beautiful! And the price is right. I really think that if we have to resell it, it will be fairly easy to resell just because it is so nice and new. It was built in 2001. Oh, and it has a fireplace! Adam doesn't especially like the laminate hardwood floors in the bedrooms, but with my allergy problems, it's probably a good thing. And so much easier to clean. Spill something, wipe it up. Dog hair, wipe it up. Oh so fabulous.

And then I started thinking about area rugs. They are very expensive, but do add a lot of color to the room. Continuing with the thinking, I wonder if I could make one. I found a book about knitting rugs. Of course, I couldn't look at the book, but it has sparked a lot of curiosity in me. And it would be really neat to have a completely individual rug that I made and picked out exactly what colors I wanted.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why I Baracked the Vote

In no particular order....
  1. End the war in Iraq. Obama wants to end the war in Iraq and focus on Afganistan, McCain thinks we will have victory in Iraq. I recently saw a report that Al Qaeda wants McCain to win the presidency because he will not end the war and continue exhausting America's resources, Al Qaeda's goal being that America will have nothing left. Not to mention, not spending $10 billion a month in Iraq frees up a lot of money to spend here.
  2. Health insurance for everyone. Giving everyone the opportunity to keep the health insurance they have or access the government employee insurance plan. And if you still don't want health insurance, you don't have to have it. And stopping health insurance companies from refusing to pay medical bills because of preexisting conditions.
  3. Taxcuts for the middle class (people who make less than $250,000 a year). Basically, Obama wants to have the tax plan that was in effect during Clinton's presidency, when our nation did not have a deficit. Giving tax breaks to the giant companies hasn't worked for eight years, why would it work another four?
  4. Education. Attempting to make college more available but also trying to improve the education system starting at kindergarten. Every child is different and individual improvements every year is not leaving a child behind. A successful school year for a child is one when a seventh grader with a third grade reading level improved to a fifth grade reading level. It is sad that the child went 4 years without improving, but finally improving means something. It means a good teacher, a good program for learning, and even though this child might not pass the standardized test, the child improved. Education should be based on each child's improvement every year, not what the government has decided all children should do every year. Improvement is what counts for each individual child.
  5. Equal pay for equal work. Biochemists make less money than organic chemists. Why? Because more women are biochemists than organic chemists. According to John McCain women just need more education and training to make the same money as a man. I've been in college for 10 years. Do I need more education and training???? 10 years, I think I'm done. And yet, my pay will be less because despite everything that happened in the 60s, women still do not make as much as men. I believe that Obama will do his best to close that gap.

And lastly: Sarah Palin. This woman, diva, whack-job, whatever you want to call her, might just be worse than W. She is a working mom, yes, but otherwise is against everything I as a woman stand for. Her being in charge could reverse the 60s. Betty Freidan never recognized the 'problem with no name' and bras were never burned. Honestly, she disgusts me, seeing her picture literally makes me sick to my stomach, I get a vomit taste in my mouth whenever I hear her talking. If John McCain wins this election and dies, I will be in Canada if anyone needs me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

i loathe gloves

There are many experiments I do that require I wear gloves. I must protect my hands from carcinogens and radioactivity, 'wear the proper PPE' as crazy-safety-lady would say. I hate gloves. They have this amazing ability of instantly making my core body temperature rise what feels like 1000 degrees. Now, really, I know my body temperature cannot rise that much, but regardless, I'm instantly hot when I put on gloves. But that's not all. As soon as the gloves are donned, my skin itches. Whether it is my face, my arm, my back, or my foot, I desperately need to scratch and cannot because I am in PPE. By the way, I cannot remember what PPE stands for, but just know it changes depending on the experiment and for almost everything I do PPE is gloves, closed toed shoes, and long pants, sometimes a lab coat is required, but usually not, thank goodness, lab coat makes body temp rise another 200 degrees. I digress.

Gloves make me hot and make my skin itch. And, as if I wasn't becoming crazy enough as it is, at this point my hair starts to tickle my face. Or my ear. Curly hair = problem of a curl going in my ear and tickle crazy, kind of like a dry willie (not a wet willie, the only thing worse). Needless to say, gloves are the root of my evil problem. And I don't wear them for extended periods of time, only an hour, tops. I cannot imagine Adam - in surgery he must wear two pairs of gloves, scrubs, sterile gown, sterile hat, and sometimes even a lead vest. I would explode. Adam does great. Is hotter than blazes, but he does great.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

house hunt!

tomorrow Adam and I will be looking at 9 houses in Indy. I'm pretty excited to be looking at houses, even though my mom thinks this is a bad idea. This is the market to buy a house, and I don't have to sell, so why not buy?? Granted I might not be in Indianapolis forever, but I want to be. And if we have to sell in a couple of years because we're moving to a different city for my real job, we will have to deal with that when we come to that point. We will make money I'm sure of it. Even if we have to sell for a lower amount that we bought, we won't have thrown our money at a bad landlord. After my mom saying this might not be a good idea, I am feeling icky. She just doesn't want anyone to spend any money, but we have to live somewhere, for crying out loud.

On another note, I had a super productive week in the lab (hopefully the productivity will transfer to the house hunt). I finished some experiments this week that my lab was contracted to do by a company, and they paid us $22,000 to do it. So pumped to be done with that forever. They will probably send more compounds and more money in the future, but I won't be doing those experiments! And I made membranes of 4 different yeast strains today. The most I've ever done before is 3 and that was super tough, but 4 today! WHOO OOO! And I did it in 6 hours (normally it takes 4 hours for me to do 1 or 2). So I had a great week and now I'm going to take a long weekend by house hunting and going to visit parents, brother, sisterinlaw, and baby!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

poor puppy... another seizure

Spunky has now had three seizures, that I know of. She may have had others while I was not at home, but I know for a fact she has had three. Tonight was the worst one being that it was longer than the others and ended with the poor girl taking a big dump on the floor. I brought her to the vet while she was still having the first seizure and spent a lot of money for them to tell me there was nothing they could do. I should just watch to see if she has any more. Well, the second one was in the middle of the night a month later. Both occurred the day after coming back home after visiting my parents. I have not brought Spunky to my parents in over a month, so I don't think that anything there was causing the seizures even though that's what we thought it was before. Now I know we were wrong, but I am therefore still completely baffled as to what is causing these seizures. And I don't think that there is anything I can do to help her. Because they are not happening very often (thank goodness) I don't think that she needs to be on anti-epileptic medicine, which induces seizures if you forget to give the dog the medicine (and I'm a medicine forgettor). The best article I've seen about seizures (and specifically in beagles) says that you should just comfort the puppy during the seizure and pet them, soothing words, etc. This is by far the cheapest option (which I am in course in favor of) but also the scariest because these seizures are some of the scariest things I've seen. The look in puppy's eyes scream "MOMMY HELP ME" and "I'M SCARED" and "MAKE IT BETTER" and there is nothing I can do. But also, she recovers fairly quickly, after the 10 min seizure today, she sat in her cage for 10 min (her safety zone), I pet her and she came out and ran around wagging her tail. Apparently beagles (as well as poodles, german shepherds, and belgian shepherds) are more often afflicted with epilespy than the other breeds of dog.

the moral of my story, buy a mutt. the cross breeding causes less problems. i think my future puppies will be beagle mutts, but mutts all the same. spunky is so cute and good, I am in love with beagles. my poor baby.

Monday, October 20, 2008

National Chemistry Week

For those who don't know, this week is National Chemistry Week. An organization I'm a member of takes it upon themselves to organize schools and volunteers to go to said schools to teach elementary aged children about chemistry. I've been doing this for 5 years now. When I have to chose a school for my children, I wish I could do National Chemistry Week, because that 45 minutes says a LOT about a teacher. Today I taught two classes, 2nd grade and 4th grade. The behaviour is always a little bad when a visitor is in the classroom, not to mention they are playing and making a mess. But a good teacher recognizes the bad behaviour and squashes it instantly. In my many years of visiting schools, the teachers that paid the most attention and did the best job of squashing the bad were those at the Catholic schools. The public schools have been hit or miss on the teacher's ability to squash. In the past I have been amazed because the moment we walk in and start talking to the kids, the teacher assumes that her time is done and she can therefore catch up on grading. But today, WOW, the teacher left. For the entire time we were attempting to teach she left. We are not teachers, therefore we do not know how to control a class. Especially a class of obnoxious 10 year olds. I have a hard time with 18 year olds, but they don't cry if you yell at them. Needless to say, I do have a newfound respect for teachers every year that I attempt to teach kids about chemistry. And every year I know that I did the right thing not going into elementary education. YIKES. After 45 mins I was ready for a beer.

If you were wondering what experiment we did:
Film canister + water
Balloon + broken alka-seltzer tablet
fit balloon over film canister opening
make the alka selter tablet fall into the water
balloon blows up! yay for carbon dioxide! yay for chemistry!

the other experiment is not so easy and not so fun and really messy. And for some reason the people in charge of choosing the experiments always make this nasty stuff and call it something different every year. Last year is was a bouncy ball, the two years before that it was Oobleck and this year it was silly putty. It's really frustrating to go to a classroom and have the kids tell you over and over again that they did this experiment last year.

The moral of my story, sign up for national chemistry week and go to the different schools, you might be able to find out which is the best one. Or just send your kids to Catholic school. It's expensive but the teachers want to be there.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Adam is finally a certified surgical tech! The exam was yesterday, and I was in a conference completely unable to pay attention. After each speaker was finished and started to field questions, I snuck out to call him again. And again. I new he had to be close to finished, so I just turned my phone on vibrate, then checked it every two minutes. The talk was about serotonin transporters, which I would normally pay attention to because it is interesting stuff, but nothing could have taken my attention away from that phone. In the middle of the talk Adam finally called. He passed and starts back in surgery on Monday! He is so so excited. My mom said that he is having such a great month, with getting a deer and passing his test. Hopefully the luck passes to us finding a house. We will be heading to Indy sometime in the next two weeks, hopefully we can find an amazing house quickly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Green Fluorescent Protein

The Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to the first people who used green fluorescent protein (GFP) to further their research. The Nobel Prize can only be awarded to three people. The FIRST person to clone GFP, Douglas Prasher, who shared GFP with two of these three people, did not win the Nobel Prize. In fact, Dr. Prasher now drives the shuttle van for a car dealership. See article here:

I am in complete agreement that the originators of research using GFP deserve the Nobel Prize. GFP has furthered the research of almost everyone, myself included:

This is from the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Apr 11, 2008, my second publication.

My problem is that the person who actually discovered GFP did not win the Nobel Prize. You would think that what he does now wouldn't matter. None of these other people could have done so much without Dr. Prasher.

And this is not the first time someone has been left out of winning the Nobel Prize. Rosalind Franklin, who happens to be my favorite scientist, discovered DNA is a double helix. NOT Watson and Crick, though they did win the Nobel prize, and they did get all the credit for determining DNA is a double helix. Rosalind Franklin performed an X-ray crystallography experiment on DNA and the result was stolen by a co-worker and given to Watson and Crick. This co-worker, Watson, and Crick won the Nobel Prize and all the credit and Rosalind Franklin passed away so that she couldn't even fight for her right to her own data. The moral of my little story, I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS STILL HAPPENING TO THE ADVANCERS OF RESEARCH FOR EVERYONE.

Photo 51, Rosalind Franklin's fabulous X-ray crystal of a DNA helix.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the lifestyles of the workaholic

I am exhausted. I am not really sleeping at night anymore, going over and over in my head all the different experiments I need to do in order to write my thesis. Not to mention the fear I now have of giant spiders being in my bed. I am currently feeling like I'm being pulled in more directions than I can handle, with experiments looming, thesis writing not getting done, house hunting being too much fun, and missing my family too much. I want to go and have a weekend in the Fort, my nephew has freckles on his little nose I have not yet seen. Right now I feel like I cannot take any time off, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just holidays that I will have to skip this year. Hopefully my experiments will actually work out and I won't destroy anymore equipment, I need things to work out for my self esteem I think.

Maybe I'll have an accident like lucky Alexander Fleming and cure everything in the universe with my thesis.

Figure: Alexander Fleming was a lucky dog.
Not because he had the clap, but because of how he discovered penicillin.

If you don't know the story: Fleming had a petri dish of bacteria contaminated with a fungus. The bacteria did not grow near that fungus. Ding ding ding: Fungus is producing something that kills bacteria. PENICILLIN! Luck. Lots of it. Something that could never happen again, and certainly not for me. So, I will not wish for it, but man, that would be nice.

Monday, October 13, 2008

gingered sweet potato squash puree

A new favorite recipe of mine. This is the perfect time of year as squash are fabulously in season. I recommend!

2 sweet potatoes
1 butternut squash
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp powdered ginger

Bake sweet potatoes (about 1 hr 400 degreesF) until easy to pierce.
Cut butternut squash in half, put in baking pan flesh side down filled with about 1 in. of water. Bake at 400 oF about 45 min.
Put all that yummy pulp in a food processor and puree the heck out of it.
Add butter, syrup, and ginger. Puree some more.
Yummy in my tummy, eat it up!

creepy crawlies

First, I will warn you, the following story made my labmates react by making pained faces and "EEEWWWW" sounds.

Last night, as we were getting ready for bed, puppy was sitting up looking into the living room. Puppy doesn't sit up and look anywhere. Bed means sleep for the next 12 hours. So, Adam had to get up and investigate what in the world our crazy dog was looking at. She went with him to investigate and was standing in the kitchen looking into the living room, GROWLING. Puppy growls when she has a toy in her mouth and you're trying to take it away, that's it. So now both of us are on edge, wondering what the heck is going on. We shut and lock the door to the bedroom and Adam gets his knife to sleep with it by the bed. So, obviously we are on edge and it's going to be difficult falling asleep. And then I felt a bug on my arm. Well, I pushed it off, turned on the light, and jumped up looking around for it to actually kill it. Adam proceeds to convince me that I was dreaming. So, lights back off, back to trying to sleep. When I was almost out, Adam yells for me to turn on the light, the bug was on him! So, we shake out all the covers and sheets, no bug. I'm now convinced that we're both crazy because we watched Bee Movie yesterday. I'll also add that now puppy wants to sleep and is not helping with the bug search, she's just giving us dirty looks for interrupting her beauty sleep. So, again, off with the lights. At this point I am super paranoid and am trying to sleep covering my ears and mouth so that this bug doesn't crawl into my face. I'd say it's been over and hour of us trying to sleep and freaking out instead. So, once again, Adam yells for me to turn on the light, the bug crawled across his face. In the light, we see this in our bed:

Needless to say, even though Adam was finally able to destroy this giant spider, neither one of us could fall asleep. I left the light on reading for at least 30 mins, trying to forget about the evil monster in our bed. Finally, we both fell asleep, but it was not good sleep.

In the lab today, I have been trying to do my experiments. They require fast hands before my protein is dead and I'm working with radioactivity so I cannot touch anything else. I have had the creepy crawlies all day long! My hair is tickling my face, my pant leg moved and I jumped to the celing. I am constatly scratching myself, feeling like something is crawling on me. My arms, my legs, my back. I'm losing my mind. And it's very difficult to work when all I want to do is scratch.

One other small story. There was a squirrel in the chemistry building yesterday, in our hallway. I have never been so glad that I didn't come into the lab as I was today when I found out there was a squirrel in the building. A teenage squirrel probably, certainly not full grown. Probably very very similar to the bastard squirrel that was in my parents house last year right before new years. Labmate called someone to come and take care of this animal in the building, but we do not know for absolute sure that the squirrel is out. If there is a squirrel in the building and it jumps out at me tonight, I will jump through the roof and leave, I don't think I could even care about my experiments at that point. Ever since that awful day of chasing that squirrel around my parents house, I am unable to look at a squirrel the same. They make me shudder. Gross me out. Almost as bad as spiders in my bed.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

down with fox news

On Friday at a town hall meeting, McCain was forced to undo some of the damage that has been done by Fox News and other republican news sources against Obama. The McCain supporters in this town hall meeting booed at the sound of Obama's name. One man that was given McCain's microphone told McCain that he is afraid of an Obama presidency. When McCain told the man he does not have to be afraid of an Obama presidency the croud again booed. Then, the worst part, a woman told McCain she cannot trust Obama, she's read about him and he's an Arab. McCain told her no, she was able to say "No??" before McCain grabbed the microphone out of her hand and said no a few more times. All of this is in the video:

I have two things to say to this woman
1. If you're going to meet a presidential candidate, comb your f***ing hair!
2. STOP WATCHING FOX NEWS! The "news" reported on Fox News is twisted by the reporters in order to push their own agenda and is very rarely truthful. They like to call Obama an Arab and "accidentally" call him Osama. They have obviously forgotten the drama created by Obama's CHRISTIAN pastor looking for his 15 minutes of fame 6 months ago. That pastor was a poopoohead, but regardless, he is a Christian, and so is Obama. I do think McCain could have said more than no a few times to set that lady and the crowd straight, but at this point people watching Fox News is the only thing going for McCain, even if it is a barrel of lies. Now, I realize I could be being lied to on the news programs I watch, but they are well hidden lies and not blatant lies.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Anyone that knows me knows I have a severe allergy problem. Cats, hay, pollen, grass, the morning, all make me sneeze. So, this morning I was sneezing uncontrollably for 2 hours. About 30 minutes into the sneezing mania, I took Zyrtec. I love zyrtec, I've been using it for years. Around a cat it works in 10-20 minutes. This morning, nothing happened. Sneeze, sneeze, sneeze. I tried vacuuming thinking that I could suck up all the whatever making me sneeze. Worse. Showering the sneezing stopped, out of the shower sneezing again. The point of this story about sneezing is Veramyst Nasal Spray. Now I am very anti anything going in my nose, especially being sprayed up there, but I was at my wits end. I could barely open my eyes I was so so so congested. Two sprays in each nostril and 10 minutes, it was like the sneezing never happened. And it wasn't super uncomfortable spraying the stuff in my nose. Even better, it was free!

So, if you are having issues with allergies this season, the first prescription is free!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

radar nose?

So, Adam had a ridiculous dream last night that I just have to share:

I was a surgeon and Adam was assisting me. We were performing a surgery on Spunky in order to give her a radar nose.

What is a radar nose you ask?
To help her sniff out bunnies better.

By the way, this is not Spunky, but an internet beagle with the same sadness that Spunky expresses when she cannot get the bunny.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

liquid nitrogen

Being that I do sciencey type things on a daily basis, I get the joy of playing with liquid nitrogen on occasion. Today is one of those days. I believe the temperature of lN2 is -90 oC, or really freaking cold. So cold that the evaporation of it leads to a smokey effect that spills over the dewar (a fancy container that can handle how cold lN2 is) onto the floor. And then, once the lN2 is settled, the smokey effect remains inside said container, sort of like swimming smoke waves. And this makes me marvel at how pretty science and the universe is. When you stop and look, it's awesome.

Figure: Pouring liquid nitrogen also leads to the fancy smokey effect, though bare hand that close to lN2 = frozen fingers. DO NOT RECOMMEND.

Hopefully the beautiful lN2 makes for a beautiful experiment that works perfectly!

Monday, October 6, 2008

the puppy returns

I had to bring my puppykins to the vet this weekend to keep her in the kennel while i was among scientists and fiancekins was off killing a deer. They do not have Sunday pickup (a major problem that when I move will be a major selling point for my new vet), so I had to wait until this morning to go and pick her royal cuteness up. They open at 7:30, which means when I woke up at 6am, I remained awake, too excited to fall back asleep. Picking puppykins up from the vet is such a major ego boost for me because she drags the vet tech to me crying the entire way. My baby loves me! But what I really don't understand is that she is now very very dirty and stinks to high heaven. And as soon as this blog is posted she will be getting a bath. When at home, she is always soft, and people always marvel at how much she feels like a puppy despite being almost 4. For some reason, the vet kennel creates a dirty dog. I hope I don't have to bring her there ever again, and the kennel I bring her to in indy will be so much better. And more expensive, but I should be able to afford it then!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

scientists are weird

So, I went to a conference this weekend. It was a free conference (which doesn't really happen in science, $250 is usually how much it costs to walk in the door), but I have a poster, I thought I should go and present it. I brought a labmate with me so that I didn't have to go alone. We both wore nice clothes, business casual. Half the people there were also in business casual, the other half were in jeans. So, scientists wear jeans to a conference. Odd. I knew that probably half the people there would be in jeans, but that doesn't mean that I could ever do such a thing. It's a conference. Probably only scientists would ever wear jeans for a conference.

So, My labmate and I were standing next to my poster. One of my boss's collaborators was at the conference, but he is not a collaborator on my project and I have never spoken to him before. He came up to me at my poster and stood there for about 20 minutes, basically trying to decide if there was anything else that he could possibly say. Labmate and I weren't really able to leave the poster, and professor couldn't figure out if there was anything else to say but for some reason couldn't leave. And as if it wasn't awkward enough, here comes another professor who I've never heard of and is obnoxious enough to think he has more imporant things to say than anyone else on earth. So, obnoxious prof broke up the strained conversation with awkward prof, and then obnoxious prof walked away and left us with awkward prof. It's kind of like these professors are already socially awkard and then they try to talk to women and it's worse. At least they gave us free heineken.

On a side note, a 9-point deer is dead by the bow and arrow of my finance. he is thrilled. and i am glad that he won't be gone every weekend hunting for the next two months. and i'm mighty apprehensive about the fact that he wants the head mounted. i guess our new house will have to have a room for him to put a deer head in that i won't have to go into.
UPDATE: To have the whole head mounted is almost $400, so instead the taxidermist is just going to bleach the skull and mount the skull and antlers (British style apparently). That's only $125. Still a ridiculous amount of money, but my munchkin is so proud of himself, I just hope that we can mount is certification test scores on the wall next to the deer head. That is what really counts. And it's coming up on Oct 17.

Friday, October 3, 2008

ultracentrifuge drama continues

The ultracentrifuge fixit man is here today, and brought a sales rep with him since it's obvious that after a centrifuge explodes, you need a new one. They are currently trying to convince my boss and the PI next door to purchase 4 rotors in order to get a free ultra. Now, that is a fantastic deal, but considering an ultra is about $60,000 (to my knowledge), can you imagine what 4 rotors would be? I thought that a rotor was about $5000, it's probably more like $15,000 or more, if they offer for you to buy 4 and get a FREE ultra. I will say that I would much rather these bosses of ours buy a new one, because the one that I destroyed was obtained by our lab used. Used ultras are probably not the greatest plan, but they are so so so expensive sometimes that's the only way to get one.

And I had a new thought. I love "sex and the city", and i can compare this experience with something from the movie:

Carrie Bradshaw: What makes you think something bad is gonna happen?
Charlotte York: Because! Nobody gets everything they want! Look at you, look at Miranda. You're good people and you two both got shafted. I'm so happy and... something bad is going to happen.
Carrie Bradshaw: Sweetie, you shit your pants this year. I think you're done.

So, here's hoping that the centrifuge destriction compares to charlotte shitting her pants and that now i'm done.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

to blog

as i am attempting to grow up and leave school (after 23 years in school, it's time), I need a forum in which to say whatever i want to for the day.

i am entirely too easily distracted from writing my thesis and doing experiments, but if I can focus my distractions by writing something here, maybe I'll be inspired to write my thesis. Or i hope so! i need something to motivate me.

so, a list of my distractions
1. i am thinking that when adam and i move to indianapolis we should buy a house and quit throwing our money at bad landlords. so, i have talked to a real estate firm and am working on filling out forms to get a mortgage broker to figure out how much we can borrow. and i'm looking through many pictures of houses. there are lots and lots of houses for sale (this market is so sad, another reason why i should buy now) and so i can kill hours looking through houses. so much more fun than writing my thesis.
2. this election. i am paying way too much attention when i already know who i am voting for. i check out several websites every day to see what the electoral vote predictions are for that day. i will say that today was my favorite so far, with obama having 335 electoral votes (including ohio, virginia, and florida) and mccain only 185. it was so pretty. again, so much more fun than writing my thesis (though creates unnecessary anger at times). if you're interested in the websites i like most: and
3. my puppy. little spunky munchkin is absolutely hilarious and i would much rather play with her than write my thesis.
4. the bonnie hunt show. i'm not a super huge fan of talk shows, but the bonnie hunt show is hilarious. i have always liked bonnie hunt, and her new show is so entertaining. i really want to watch it every day, and i don't need to do that!
5. countdown with keith olbermann. this is again distracting because of the election, but it is a separate source of distraction. i need to stop watching tv, and yet these shows pull me in and i can't seem to turn them off.
6. the sex and the city movie. i love it. i cannot help it, and since it came out i've watched it twice. retarded, i know, it's been out for a week and 2 days. why do i have such an obsession with movies, i wonder??
7. harry potter. i know, the series is over, it has been for well over a year. and yet i love it and i read it to fall asleep at night. and i read it to help me fall back asleep when i wake up in the middle of the night. and i should be reading scientific papers. they would certainly help me fall asleep faster.
8. waking up in the middle of the night. i have been unable to sleep two nights in a row for a few weeks now. last night i was tossing and turning for a couple of hours. this is not healthy. i'm starting to wonder if i should take nyquill before i go to bed just so that i sleep all night. it's getting old really really fast.
9. the centrifuge destructor. who is me. on monday i was doing an experiment, one that i have done many many times in my 5.5 years at purdue, that ends with a centrifugation step with spinning at 39000 rpm, or 150000 xg for that specific centrifuge. something bad happened (i'll find out tomorrow i hope when the beckman guy comes out to look at it). i think that the centrifuge froze and the rotor kept spinning which resulted in the rotor destroying the inside of the centrifuge and luckily not launching out of the centrifuge and lodging into whatever wall it happened to find first. centrifuges are extremely dangerous, and now that i've used one completely correctly (i balanced my tubes despite the constant questioning if i did, that makes me angrier by the minute) and it still exploded, i don't ever want to use a centrifuge again. and i need to perform that exact same experiment at least 12 more times to graduate (a quick guess). i have been so traumatized by that lovely experience that i haven't been able to work this week. i am so afraid that i will break something else that i have been doing the least amount of work that i have to. i am looking forward to a new week and being able to start over. just to give you an idea of what i destroyed: an ultracentrifuge of this size is $60,000-70,000 and a rotor is probably $5,000-6,000. Both of these pieces of equipment were very old and were working on borrowed time (as my boss put it). I am traumatized for life.

I think that I can end my list there and say that I am going to Chicago tomorrow to see family, and go to the midwest enzyme chemistry conference on saturday. i am pumped for this weekend, especially because i think that i need to have a big bang to separate my this week from the rest of my career at purdue. but i also think that when i need to use an ultracentrifuge, someone else will be pushing the start button for me