Thursday, April 29, 2010

Soggy yet satisfying

I'm still here no worries.
Not meaning to ignore you all. Work has been busy. Then there's my MSc...*then* there's after work life. The weekend away was not as tough as I thought. I really enjoyed the time with my brother. So many great memories to go through. And who doesn't want to drive for hours in an old purple minivan with a crap stereo? :)
Add to that learning that my friend's 6 year old daughter has cancer and it's all a lot to take in you know? I'm not blue...just breathing in and out and trying to let it all settle into the nooks and crannies so I can address it all. I'm feeling the rainy spring a bit...a bit soggy, but not cold. I've decided to look for the rubber ducks and water wings and make do :). It will all sort itself out in the end.

So yeah...I was going to wait until I had time for a proper post, but who knows when that will be. I just thought I'd say hello on the way through on my way to the cell culture lab. I am rebuilding my cultures after sterilizing and disinfecting the whole culture lab. Got my coffee. Had my oatmeal...will travel!
I'm keeping my nose to the grindstone, working hard, enjoying the little things and trying to keep up and hug the people I love a lot. You know who you are *wink*
Later taters.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

2. All contaminated things and events are unsatisfactory

Know how I've been struggling to grow some breast cell lines?

Well a nearby researcher was kind enough to start up 2 of the cell lines that I was having difficulty starting and give me a culture of them yesterday.
And, as my luck would have it, it turns out our autoclave that sterilizes my media bottles isn't working right, so the expensive culture media I grew these new cells in, which I just made, is contaminated.
Ergo, my new cells are contaminated...

So, once again, I cannot grow these cells. And I must, grovelling, ask the kind person to do the same thing for me again. And make new media. And try and grow them again.
And not scream.

I need a bunny to pet.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Crazy? Don't mind if I do!

You know when you're ranting and yelling at cells in a tube, then trying to coerce them with music and sweet talk to grow, then putting lucky charms on top of the growth chamber that you are, perhaps, spending too much time in the lab.
Thing is, I need these cancer lines to grow up well so I can finish screening the cell lines...before I try and go on holidays and start *other* parts of my project. Living organisms do not always behave normally. Human tissue was never meant to grow in a tube. And for me, they're like the cornerstone I build the rest of my project on.
Stubborn little finicky cornerstones...that I am beginning to think are making little tiny nuclear faces at me behind my back.

I am actually looking forward to going to my Dad's house this weekend. My sis-in-law can't come but my brother is going to instead. And that is just right. I think I need a whole 2 days of no cells to torment me with their non growiness and time away from this project to have a fresh set of eyes for my culture issues.
It might not be restful, but it will be different...

Monday, April 19, 2010

An open letter to the cancer cell lines I'm trying to grow

Dear BT-20, MDA-MB-468 and 231, MCF-7 and HS578T,

F*cking grow already would you?
I've got stuff to do and you're holding me up.

Thanks ever so much.


Lazy weekend

Ah...had a lovely weekend. Some friends were up to visit and the weather was beautiful...we managed to keep our cats from eating each other while they were here!
It's so nice to sit out on the deck again. Got to go for long walks at night (no bugs yet)
BBQ'd a steak...cold smoked sirloin with blue cheese melted on top.
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm.... heavenly.

I am tired but I suppose I can deal with normal life again.
Having the sunshine makes everything a bit brighter :)
And a coffee. Yes. That too.
Have a good day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Start again!

Came in 1 hour early for a video/teleconference this morning...which didn't happen as my MSc supervisor in TO can't access the imaging server to look at the images we need to analyze we said hi, talked about the weather and now I'm sitting here all hopped up on caffeine hoping we can meet later to go over this stuff.

And (yay) no one will be in to fix the server access issue until later today... because we're really the only ones that use this new system like this so we're discovering all the glitches and protocols.


I wish there was more petting of bunnies in my project and less technology. Using cool, new and exciting tech is cool and new and exciting until it stops working. Then it's just tedious....


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering

It's been raining for days.
Last night while putting away some towels I heard a wet plop beside me.

I looked around the ceiling.
Looked around the light fixtures.
Another plop.
I leaned against the door to the computer room to think...which felt damp...and looked up and saw there was water on the inside of the frame gathering to...

That had to mean there was a bit of water coming thru the path of least resistance from the attic...through the roof...into the house.

We've known for a while there was a bit of leak in the roof - we assumed around the edges of the vents that come out the roof crawlspace. A few years ago I slathered the seams with ridiculous amounts of caulking after a big leak when we had a huge rainstorm. We thought it was good since then...apparently not anymore.

Feeling adventurous (and wanting to know just how much we had to fix) I grabbed a ladder and stuck my head up into the upstairs attic with a flashlight to actually get to see where the water was coming from.
Thankfully, it appears to be just the one centre vent, slowly dripping from one corner. It appears to have just dripped down to the insulation and to the wood below and saturated through slowly over the last few days by the path of least resistance.

And, much to my annoyance, there was a very old cake pan up there under the drip, filled with water.
Which meant the previous owners knew about this.
And failed to mention it.

At any rate, I removed all the water I could and dried it out as best I could and put a huge bucket up there underneath it to catch any of the new drips until we can figure out what to do about it. As of this morning after a long night of rain there was only about 3 cups of water, so it seems to be a slow drip thankfully.

Once it warms up a bit I can go spelunking up on the roof and caulk the sh*t out of the vent seams for now. I suppose we must look into having someone properly fix or replace them -I can't just keep coating the vent edges with caulking compound :) It doesn't look too labour intensive to fix, so hopefully it won't cost too much...I'll have to look into it.

So yeah. That was my adventure of the was your Tuesday? :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Not Soon Enough!

"For a better start in life, Start COLA earlier!

How soon is too soon?
Not soon enough. Laboratory tests over the last few years have proven that babies who start drinking soda during that early formative period have a much higher chance of gaining acceptance and "fitting in" during those awkward pre-teen and teen years.

So, do yourself a favor. Do your child a favor. Start them on a strict regimen of sodas and other sugary carbonated beverages right now, for a lifetime of guaranteed happiness.

The Soda Pop Board of America
1515 W. Hart Ave - Chicago, IL

- Promotes Active Lifestyle!
- Boosts Personality!
- Gives body essential sugars!"

Monday, April 12, 2010

What if

It is official. In a few weeks I'm heading home to the parents, parent's pack up my Mum's clothes and go through the house a bit. Dad asked me to while he wasn't home. He'd like me to put her clothes away and go through things of hers he'll never use and split it up between us all. He's tried. He can't do it.

I can do it.
I will do it.
I actually want to go through remember and put them away in my own mind. I'm ready for it now. My mum was tiny so it's not like I'll be tempted to keep things...of all her things I have the one thing I wanted: a locket she wore when her & Dad dated with black and white photos of them inside. Love. So grand. :)

It's just You know?
I don't know how I'll react to some things...and even worse. What if I don't react at all? I have absolutely no frame of reference for this. AND I'm worked/stressed to the nines...

My brother's wife has offered to come along to keep me company so I don't have to go alone (J must stay...which sucks but what can you do?). At first I thought "oh dear god, exactly what I don't need". But you know...I think it might be good after all. Maybe we'll bond a bit. And she knows me enough to know when to leave me be...bro and I are a lot alike. She'll understand more than I think she will. And really...I *do* like her for all the huffing and puffing sounds I make to the contrary.

I will say tho - I'm looking forward to a few late night walks around town. Seeing what's new. Cataloging other memories. At the funeral I never got time to do it was bloody cold. I think it will be nice. If any of my old friends still live there I'll see what they're up to. Check out the yard...haunt some haunts and remember...take my laptop and write down how I feel. Take some photos.

It's strange - I as much as I am apprehensive...I want to remember this. All of it. I used to have issues with "going home" and what people would think of me. Years later, I honestly don't care...these people knew me then. And now is now...yes it may be the cold meds talking, but I feel all manner of things about this...and none of them are bad...

All aboard the train to whackadooo...

Using tools properly

Sometimes I forget: A computer is a tool. The internet is a tool.

I get lazy. I sit back and think "entertain me computer!" and wonder why I feel bored and silly trying to find entertainment on my computer that will distract me from feeling sick.

It is usually then that I are for *me* to use. To actively use. To accomplish something...not just stare at and fiddle with and expect things to magically happen for me.

Would I pick up a drill and tell it to amuse me? Would I expect my hammer to do tricks?

*I* must accomplish things. Useful things. These will help me.

Just because it will allow me to watch videos from the new Gorillaz album and pictures of my cute little niece eating cake, and Natalie Dee cartoons athat make me snort tea out my nose my computer is not anything more than a shiny useful tool. Books entertain me. Films amuse. Music delights.

Gotta reset the brain back to zero every once in a while...Priorities.

Friday, April 09, 2010

My Dad thinks I'm cool :)

Well, I must brag a little - my talk was great. It all went very well. I am always sadly amused that simple attention to detail and keeping up with deadlines is unusual and very impressive...go figure. If all they want is me to keep up and do well...well, hey. I can swing that. It's a fantastic project. I'm all over it. I'm used to quarterly reports to bigwigs who have absolutely no clue what I do asking retarded questions and expecting miracles. Simply delivering what I said I would is very doable - bring it on :)

Sure, yeah, I now have a whackload of stuff to do again...and I'll still be stupidly busy, but it's nice to have people tell you you're awesome...I mean, my Dad called after and *HE* says I'm awesome. So that's that. My Dad wouldn't lie :)

It's strange - I'm stiff in the most bizarre of places from starting up my new Core Performance really does work your core muscles. Holy bejeezuz I'm stiff in the most awkward and amusing places. BUT - knee is fine. That's the main thing. I'm hoping to get allover strength and fitness and build on that. I'm looking for new ways to get back to uberfitness. Then I can take over the world...I mean, um...whoops...was that out loud?

I, sadly, do have work to do this weekend BUT I will be relaxing in the evenings...I can't wait. I loves me a free evening with J at movie chillaxing. It will be ever so loverly.

Through the last week of insanity I've fallen back in love with an old CD from 1995 that I somehow got hooked on doing homework and studying to in university...I pulled it out to listen to while working on my talk. U2 and Brian Eno went together to make an odd little album under the name Passengers.
It was a fake CD of soundtrack songs from movies that didn't of them ended up in a film (Ghost in the Shell I think) but the rest are just wonderful flowing songs.
Only one (about Elvis) I find to not really set with me like the rest do...but even so - this CD always relaxes me. Always makes me smile.
You should give it a listen...

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Universe in a bag

Another odd dream last night after staying up late working on my committee meeting speech.

One of the lesser gods (he had a big beard and a brass armband and HUGE pecs) had the universe in his cupped hands to protect it from a cosmic storm. He showed me all the swirling galaxies and little atoms whirling around in his palms. It was beautiful and I asked if I could hold it...he said I couldn't. That it would burn me. Then he grinned and he put it in a bag and gave it to me to hold for a bit...Yup, he entrusted me with the universe.
And then he had to leave for an emergency. I stood there with the universe in a bag and, unable to help myself, I tried to look inside at it. One of the galaxies burned my hand and I accidentally dropped the universe. It slipped out of my hands and slowly fell...and I woke with a start to J standing over me asking if I was OK...apparently I was talking in my sleep.

I muttered something like "it's OK I just dropped the universe..." and rolled over and went back to sleep. He kissed me on the cheek and went to off to work the early show.

I'm sure he's utterly baffled.
All I know is I'm all wound up again...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

It's about bloody time

Finally, after working in research for 10 years, someone has actually acknowledged the labwork I did for them in the lab in a paper they published instead of just pretending they did everything.
It's all I ask for.
I don't need co-authorship...that's not proper in this case (or most cases to be honest).
It's about giving credit where credit is due. Most people take the attitude that even tho I did the work *they* did most of the math (not always true either) so really, I don't warrant a mention...just the secretary who may have typed it up...ggrrrr. Sometimes I even *do* the math and write up half of it and get zipolah...unless it's poster presented somewhere. Then I'm last...*maybe*

So yeah, I'm giddy at this. It's been a long time coming.

Thanks Erick!

Remember: be kind to your labrats

I could sleep for my country.

I'm not one to brag or anything, but this weekend after a crazy sleep deprived week, J and I set off to Edmonton where we helped setup, enjoy (J played a pro set...I'm so proud) and tear down a fantastic dance party in an amazing log cabin lodge and then stayed up all night catching up with friends and in the end: I slept for.....wait for it....19 hours!

Yes folks. A new record.

19 hours. In a row. Straight.

Yes. I could sleep for my country.

And I loved every dozey minute.

I feel totally and utterly refreshed.
Yes, you may bow to my slothliness now. :)

Cunning Plans

 Life is wierd ya know. It seems a lot of things have been hitting me hard lately. Been distant from people, including my partner who is dea...