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Home for the Weekend

February 21, 2010

This weekend I drove down to Madison, WI to visit my parents.  I had been planning to either way, but my old black lab Molly is going to be put down next week sometime, so it was doubly nice to go down to visit her one last time.  She was a good dog for lots and lots of years (she’s 12), but you can just tell she isn’t happy anymore.  When it’s time, it’s time.  I’m glad I get a bit of space for that whole event…it will be emotional.  It looks like it will be a busy week, so hopefully I’ll keep myself distracted.

Hopefully there will be a big ol’ lake in doggy-heaven where she can swim for hours and hours.  🙂

In other news, I finished a sock.  I’ll update with pictures once I charge up my real digital camera…these shitty webcam pictures just aren’t doing it for me.   It is gorgeous!  It took forever to finish the first sock because I had turned my scarf into my project that got smashed into my bag every day to work on in class and on the bus.  But I’ve been making lots of progress on the scarf, and I think it’s getting a big long and cumbersome to travel with.  This means the sock will take it’s rightful place in my bag…which means it should go pretty quickly.  After screwing up the toe once (which uses the same technique as the heel) I think I have that memorized, so I should be able to work without a pattern after I get past the weird cuff thing at the top of the sock.  I’ll be glad to get my first pair of socks for ME off the needles.  I think my gauge is a little loose, and I’m looking forward to making my next pair on US #1.  I’m going to be using a self-striping yarn, and I want to try to do two socks at once using magic loop.  Yikes…still haven’t totally thought through the repercussions of that yet, but it should be interesting!

I mentioned the lace scarf, and I LOVE the pattern.  It’s very soothing, and the yarn is just amazing.  I’m 90% sure one skein of the mal sock should be enough, which means I can sell back the other skein for something else.  I also got a prepaid debit visa of sorts from my parents…around $50 left over, which will most likely go to yarn at some point.  Not sure what I want to get yet…I’ve been pondering a few different sweaters – I either want to make a bigger, tough wool sweater or a nice soft cardigan.  The big tough sweater will end up being cheaper (most likely), but I’ve been eying some madeline tosh worsted after it was mentioned on a podcast I listen to (Never Not Knitting) to make a Tea Leaf Cardigan.

Yum.

Otherwise…I haven’t found any patterns I like to make a big, oversized sweater…and seeing as I stole a pretty comfy big sweater from home, the above cardi is looking more and more likely.  Meh.  We shall see.

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Freakout!!

February 16, 2010

I’m coming down off a freakout of sorts.  Got a worksheet back with a 5/18 score and flipped my shit.  This class (i.e. Plant Biochem) is going to tank my GPA worse than it already is.  I frantically got onto grad planner and figured out if I could drop the damn thing and take ecological genetics in the fall instead.  I can…barely.  It’ll be a full 15 credit semester in the fall, but 3 of the credits will be a political science class.  (Why didn’t I just major in polisci to begin with…SIGH.)  I feel like the plant biochem was WAY WAY over my head, and I wasn’t very good in regular biochem, what made me think this would be any easier??  GAH.

SO.  This summer, I will be doing research (3 credits, hopefully, unless I can get a paid gig), and taking cell biology (another 3 credits, M/W/F, 2 hrs a day or so).  It’s way doable.  That will knock out my research requirement, and make it possible to fit another class into Fall…

Forest Ecology (4)

Biochem Lab (ugh) (2)

Ecology (3)

Molecular Ecology And Ecological Genomics (3)

International Relations (3)

15

That’s a full load, but people do it all the time.  I’ve done it all the time!  I’d love to have a UROP project on top of that as well, because I’m sorta batshit crazypants.

But I just dropped plant biochem.  Took a W.  I’m not going to grad school anyway, so it’s better than the C/D I would have gotten had I finished out the semester.  HOLY BALLS.  I’m so freaked out right now, but it should all be fine.  I’m going to go to advising later in the day/week and figure everything out.

Alright, needed to blurt that out to somebody.  Seeing as the internet doesn’t listen back, this is slightly futile, but I digress.  I’m going to sit here and feverishly make sure my grad planner works out before I head up to do some research.  Yikes.

Knittingggg!!

February 15, 2010

So, I got my package! All very exciting. Haven’t used any of the yarn yet – too much other awesome stuff going on. Am using the needles though…so glorious. I’m a huge fan..HUGE.

However…some projects I’m working on now:


Sock! I ripped out the sock I had been working on, and started with the Nutkin pattern instead. I love it. I would have most certainly finished it, if it hadn’t been for the damn Malabrigo sock yarn.

(This is not my picture, but I have a shitty camera, so I can’t even begin to capture the amazing colors this yarn contains.)

I have been making a lace scarf instead!  It’s gorgeous!  I’ll have to learn how to wear fashion scarves, but it’ll be worth it.  A spring/fall scarf perhaps.
\

So so so so so gorgeous.  The yarn is just stunning.  I wasn’t planning on having a purple/blue colorway, but it was all that was left at my yarn store, and I have since fallen hard for it.  The picture, as always, fails to capture the subtle color changes and different shades of purples, blues, and even reddish (odd, but stunning).

That’s gonna be all for now, because I have a crazy amount of studying to do for a test on Wednesday (not to mention a computing lab due Tuesday night…hopefully it won’t be spent at the laundromat this time).  So, until next time…

Death to Computer Science

February 9, 2010

This class should not be difficult, but it is turning out to be a bit frustrating. GO FIGURE. The class that always gets the least attention manages to come back and punch you in the face. They are all so needy.

Welp, guess I should inform my maybe one anonymous viewer today that I was awesome and got up to take a morning shower! Had time to blowdry my hair, eat breakfast…it was nice! So…maybe I should do that more often? Haha. What a thought. We’ll see how that goes. 7 isn’t that early, and I honestly look about a million times better when I take the extra 5 minutes or so to do something with my hair. My hair has been a common theme of this blog so let’s move on…

SO GLAD I ripped out my socks last night – I’ve been feverishly trying to catch back up to where I was, and I’m in love with the pattern that I chose. I’m not on my computer at the moment (stuck in the IT lab…linux!), but I will update later with a picture. I’ll hopefully be finishing off the leg tonight at work. Getting lots more sock yarn in the mail sometime this week…yay! However, I’m positively drooling (drooling I say!) over the new Malabrigo sock yarn – people say it’s soft like the worsted and the colorways are always amazing with Malabrigo. I’m going to hold myself back until I at least finish the current pair of socks. I have high hopes to make myself a sock weight lace scarf. It sounds like a great idea, but I feel like this project will end up being very frustrating. (project on rav, yarn on rav)


Some seriously gorgeous yarn colorways

Exercise! Back to the I’m-a-fat-lard thing…I have not been running or swimming or doing anything the last few weeks. This makes me very sadddd. Will talk more about this later.

I’d like to make myself believe that planet earth turns slowly…

February 8, 2010

Well life hasn’t been exceptionally thrilling lately.  I got my hair cut last week – it was a bit nerve wracking, but I’m pretty happy with it.  It’s a lot easier to take care of and make look halfway decent.  Excuse the shitty webcam pictures located in various locations in the library because that is usually where I am when I’m writing these things, either at work or killing time between classes.

Before:

(God, enthusiastic to be at work?  That was also a pretty awesome hair day…go me.  Usually it was pulled back into an awkward long ponytail.)

After:

Again, at the library.  Waiting to go to ochem as genetics lecture was cancelled.  What a life.  It looks a bit longer than it actually is in the photo – I’m leaning forward slightly.  It just skims my shoulders.

So, pretty exciting stuff for me, but not for everyone else.  I was sick of taking care of my long hair.  I think my boyfriend misses it a little, but he’s adjusting.  It dries a lot faster, which means I can actually dry it with a blowdryer without my arm falling off.  It takes around 5 minutes and life is pretty awesome in the hair dept.

Uhhh yeah.  Need to get back on the homework train.  It’s hard for me to focus and get homework done on the weekend.  I just need to get into a different mindset.  For example, I have all my shit out, but I’m sitting here writing a blog post.  *sigh*

I guess that is my cue to sign off.  HOWEVER, I have a big package in the mail coming from KnitPicks.  Pictures!!!

2 40 inch circulars (size 1, size 2) for knitting socks using magic loops.  I feel like I’m idealizing using double pointed needles – I hate doing it on hats, why would I like it on the WHOLE sock?  I need to figure out how to interpret patterns written for double pointed needles on to circulars, but we’ll see how that goes.


(rav)

Two skiens of this yarn (around $2.50 a piece, holy BALLS) in a grey color – they are sold out now, so I can’t get a color swatch, but it was a grey color with those flecks of bright pieces as seen above.  It was hard to tell how dark it is – I will be pumped if it’s the darker grey in the picture, but I’m going to be gifting the socks to the boy (MAYBE, unless I like them, haha), so he’ll have to deal with whatever shade of grey comes.  Planning on this pattern:


(rav)

Not sure how manly it’ll be, but I think the pattern is really awesome looking.  So there!

Two skeins of self striping yarn (around $3.50 a ball) in this color:


(rav)

Not sure what pattern I’m going to use for these yet, but it’s a really nice color combo…and it looks like they are cancelling it, so that’s why it’s so cheap.  Woop?

Sock blocker!  I got a medium, and am kicking myself…I have big feet!  It shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but I’ll just have to stretch them out a bit more…whine whine whine!  It’ll be better than the not-blocking I’ve been doing, so whatever.  I could probably just mod them with a bit of plastic or cardboard…we’ll have to see how it works out.

As for current projects, I just tore up the sock that I’ve been working on since the new year because I was sick of the pattern. *sigh* I wanted to try something else, and it was just killing me to finish the other sock and they looked really MEH and I really like the yarn, so I scrapped the damn things and am starting over. It feels good! A few moments of sadness during the frogging process, but it has passed. Starting a pair of Nutkin (rav) socks, and I think they will be gorgeous.

Yep, so I’m going to go be a little bit productive at least!  Woooooooo!

Things I have loved I’m allowed to keep…

February 2, 2010

I’ll never know if I go to sleep…

Holy balls, this semester.  Who would have thought I would be this busy?  I wouldn’t have guessed when planning my schedule, but I guess I should have seen it coming.  Organic chemistry is always a bitch, especially when piled on top of a biochem class.  I’m not exactly sure how to feel about this biochem class quite yet.  Depending on how hard the tests end up being, I may end up being a huge fan, or a NOT HUGE FAN.  This class has the potential to come up and kick me in the ass out of nowhere…my attention will be toward o-chem, and all of the sudden my old lady technologically illiterate prof will be standing over me laughing as I bomb her tests.

Sigh.  My other classes are slightly more entertaining, or at least not as much work.  My computing class is fairly interesting…it is a change of pace.  My boyfriend is pretty happy that I’m learning something (no matter how useless…perl, really?) about computers and at least working in a linux environment once in a while, so I guess it’s good that someone feels like what I’m learning is somewhat useful (as I doubt I’ll ever do anything in perl outside of this class but HEY whatever)…plus, it’s nice to get to dick around with scripts and such instead of more endless problem sets full of benzene rings and allyl groups or probability and blahblahblah science.  SIGH.

I’m starting up my directed research project this week, and it’s pretty monotonous already, but it has the potential to be at least marginally awesome.  While the work is monotonous, I am totally on board with the project – yay genetics!  Yay gene expression!  Chlamie is one of the many so-called “model organisms”, so being able to sequence the genome (done) and then map what all the genes do, and how mutations effect the proteins that are produced (what I’m helping with) will really help with the human genome project , which is currently trying to make sense of the sequence they got and figure out how gene expression works on a more universal scale.  Woo!

I get my own little room to put all my stuff with a key so my shit doesn’t walk away, which is nice.  I can also go and study there when I’m in St. Paul.  It’s a nice room, and I might set it up to be a little study space.  The lab is pretty quiet, and I can listen to my little podcasts while I’m in there.  Hurrah hurrah.  We’ll see how that all goes.  It’s going to be a part of what I’m doing for the next year or so (at least), so I’m going to try to enjoy it as much as possible and try to make as many connections as I can in the plant biology world.

As busy as the here and now is, I’m always worried about what comes next.  What comes next is always frightening.  I don’t think I will be going to grad school right after I graduate with my undergrad (mostly because I doubt I could get in, wtf), but if I someday want to, I’d like to have some idea of what I want to do.  Only I don’t.  A dream situation would be if I could get a fulltime position in a lab on campus – they have benefits and decent pay and yadda yadda.  I then have a bit more flexibility to where I go after that…depending on the relationships I’m in and such a year down the road…….yeah.

Been dating my dude for around 9 months now, which is a decent amount of time.  Long enough to be like “OH, this summer this is happening, I’m going to let you know because I’m planning on having you in my life that far in the future, so cool!”.  Which eventually extrapolates to “We’re all graduating soon, so we should probably know what we both plan on doing so we just know things just in case, lalala, etc.”  Which might involve not being in Minneapolis after graduation…scaaarrryyy.  Luckily I don’t realistically have to worry about that for a while yet, but a year ago doesn’t seem that long ago…how soon will a year in the future come up?  Just saying.

Luckily, I have enough to keep my mind occupied on the present for the time being – two more semesters, and I am out of this crapfest.  Currently having my compsci prof describe an array to me.  THANKS BUDDY.

Gonna go now.  Learn some stuff…yup.

I am a big fat lard.

January 28, 2010

Okay, so maybe not really.  But I’ve allowed myself to get more pudgy than I’d like to admit.  All of this being said after I ate a giant Chipotle burrito and downed a chai latte.  I am ashamed…

I did run today though.  Short!  I hate the treadmill…DREADMILL!  When you are outside, you can be like “oh, only this far until the bridge” and “oh i just have a few more blocks!”.  On the treadmill, it’s all based on your mileage, or based on time.  I usually try to do an even number of miles, so I’m always trying to go faster to finish faster, so I can get my ass off the damn treadmill!  However, this leads me to running faster than I can maintain for more than a couple of miles, which means I have to cut my run short.  UGH – bad habits.

When you are outside, there are also tons of things to observe as you go by, instead of staring at your vague reflection in the glass.  Additionally, you can wear whatever the fuck you want, so long as you don’t die of frostbite or heat stroke.  And you can go explore cool places – the farther I convince myself to go, the more cool stuff I can see.  I hate running at my podunk hometown, because there isn’t anything to look at besides FARMS.  Where are my city neighborhoods and playgrounds with tiny kids that run with me as I go by, or weird people standing around on the sidewalk?  Alas.  It is a good thing I am in the city most of the time.

I walked in with knee-length tights (bodyglide hasn’t come in the mail yet…hooboy) and a tank-top to the rec center today.  A tank top!  Not even a skanky tank top…those who know me know that I’m really not one to run around in skimpy clothing, especially when working out.  It is a loose fitting shirt with my shoulders completely covered.  Essentially a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off at the seams.  But I had to wear this ginormus t-shirt they had sitting around that went past my crotch, and the sleeves went past my elbows.  AS ALWAYS, thank you, slutty girls who force places to put these rules into place.  Hmph.

Anyway.  Running outside is always better than inside.  Was out last night in a -11 windchill.  Who’s hardcore now?  Now to do it on a regular basis.  To aid in this task, I did actually go out and buy a sportband from Nike.  I KNOW, I’m poor.  I think it will be worth it though.  Joined a couple of challenges…woo?  Hopefully it will pan out.  Long term habits and what have you.

We shall see…I’m contemplating getting outside tonight, and it’s officially balls-to-the-walls cold (not that I have any, but that is besides the point).  I can’t let unknown internet people get ahead of me in my challenge!!  I am eyerolling at myself, but it’s just the slight motivation to do those few extra miles.  Currently at a wind-chill of -7 at 3:38 in the afternoon.  Oof.

In not “I need to move my ass around more” news, I got into the lab for the first time today – woooo!  Took a shit-ton of lab safety things on the interwebz.  I met the postdoc working in our lab, as well as another prof in the pbio program.  Washed some agar and other basic stuff, should start growing my cultures next week – although he has a few sitting around I’ll start practising on.  Hurrah!  I’m nerding out about it – they just finally cloned the gene that I’m working on after years and years, so that’s exciting.  Wooooo.

Swim, chlamy, swim!

Okay.  I’ve been writing this in between doing my lab for computer science – debugging a perl script.  Still don’t know how this is going to help me, but perhaps in time we will do something productive.  I just made a script that has the output:

this Seems to be ok
6
AAAATTTT
AAAA.=TTTT
——————-
myemail.umn.edu
Whats going on here?

As strange as that looks – it’s totally what it’s supposed to do, except for the “.=”  OY – so nitpicky!  I’m not totally sure what I’m supposed to do with that, but…meh.  I have the weekend to try to figure it out.

ENOUGH!  I’m done for now.  Until later…