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1. Work. It makes me tired to think about it right now. The part of medical publishing I'm working in isn't really that much writing so much as it's editing and processing paperwork and getting authors to agree on the changes. Which goes about as well as herding cats. There's one abstract I'm trying to push through approvals for release that the authors have seen (and thus implicitly approved) no less than three times, and NOW they decide they don't like something. Dear Person-Who-Probably-Wasn't-Paying-Attention-Before: TOO LATE. At this stage no content can be altered, only disclosures and author order changed.

2. Maleficent. I liked it, but it a) had some issues and b) borrowed heavily from other Disney movies (not just Sleeping Beauty).

3. Music: Riot Fest tickets went on sale. Rise Against and The Offspring and The Cure and and and. The awesome of the line-up makes me feel less sad about not going to Bonnaroo this year.

4. More music: Indigo Girls were at the House of Blues last night. They have a lady touring with them playing fiddle and she was AMAZING. They closed the set with a cover of the Devil Went Down to Georgia instead of Closer to Fine (that was next to last :D) and the combination of her fiddle and Emily Saliers' guitar. Unf.

5. And still more music: On the subject of the HOB... Empires are playing a show there in a couple of weeks. I kept thinking that the music hall was a super big venue for them to be playing, but I think that it's actually NOT as big as the Houston HOB's main venue. But larger than the Peacock Room.

6. The last thing I'll say about music (for this post): Elvis Costello, come to me. :))))) NEXT WEEK.

OK. Now I'm gonna go changing into running clothes and go sweat for a while.
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2013 in review:
books, movies, shows, etc. )

Fewer plays: because we moved from Houston and had to basically use the 2013-14 Alley Theatre subscription as a tax write off.

Fewer books: because I default to re-reading books and comfort-read fics when I am stressed.

No idea why I saw fewer movies this year, but the shows were because a) we skipped Lolla, ACL, AND Voodoo, and my budget is tight while we're a one-income family.

This year, I wrote the fewest words since beginning to participate in fandom. I don't know why: stories exist in my head. Motivation to spew them out: nearly on-existent.

Other things accomplished in 2013:

1. Published four papers, three of them first-author.
2. Ran a personal best for 7 miles.
3. Consistently ran 5 miles in 41:30.
4. Packed and moved >1000 miles.
5. Watched all the hockey. ALL OF IT.
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I am looking for distraction and/or motivation. There's an opening in a lab that does research on opioid receptors, and I'm reading some papers and holy fuck GPCR signaling makes me crazy.

So comment with a pairing or character and a prompt and I'll write something. And then I'll go back to reading. D:
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First things first! It is November, and thus time for NaNoWriMo. I'm trying to get back into the habit of writing, so if anyone's still here, give me a fandom, character or pairing, and three words. I might write a sentence, I might write a paragraph, or I might find a picture or gif that's appropriate. Yes? OK.

The rest:

:( I'm still looking for a job.

:) I went to a Chicago Wolves/Rockford IceHogs game! It was odd. Because the Wolves were the home team, but the Hogs are the bb!Blackhawks, and they're so close to home that the audience was pretty evenly split. The lady next to me is a season ticketholder, but she was utterly clueless, because she kept saying that she didn't recognize any of the names of the players or their faces, and she didn't know what was going on. Um. The team that was the Chicago Wolves last year was the affiliate of the Canucks, and is now in Utica. This team is St Louis's AHL affiliate, and they were the Peoria Rivermen last year. So yeah, none of these dudes SHOULD be people she recognizes. But I just nodded and ignored her. And waved to Michael Davies (tiny forward is tiny), former Badger, who saw Aaron's UW sweater and came over to give us a nod.

:)) FRANK TURNER. Cool venue, great show.

:))) Tabby will be in the Chicagoland area soon. And Butch Walker is playing at the House of Blues next week.

I put a bunch of stuff up on craigslist, but if anyone here wants a table and 4 chairs, some bar stools, a butcher-block, or random band memorabilia (MCR Day of the Dead mask, signed and unsigned posters, etc), let me know. I really just want this stuff to stop cluttering our space.

I think that's pretty much it at the moment.
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+ Bonnaroo happened. I didn't take pics, really, and I'm not going to talk about each act, but Frank Turner was as amazing as always. Nas never disappoints. I still don't get the appeal of Macklemore. And I'm not even a casual Beatles fan, but JFC, Paul McCartney can put on a show. Three hours. It was like watching living history. And really, who else in the world can tell a story about a show with Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton and not come off sounding like a name-dropping douche? At one point a stuffed walrus doll landed on stage, and he propped it up on his piano and serenaded it. Yeah. What more can I say?

+ Paper #2 of 2013 is officially out, and we got the proofs for #3. Paper #4 was resubmitted in my absence. There are a few things I will correct if/when it is accepted and proofs arrive.

~ The house is listed. There's been an open house. No offers yet, but I'm not going to give up hope.

+ Now You See Me. I really enjoyed it.

~ I appear to have developed an Andrew Shaw problem. I blame Tabby.

- Aaron's car is in the shop until Tuesday at the earliest. Life in the 'burbs does not make two-people-one-car at all convenient, especially when it comes to meeting pre-existing goals in differing locations.


Jun. 11th, 2013 07:50 pm
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+ Fall Out Boy in Texas happened. Patrick Stump's solo efforts really changed the way he works a stage. And it's weird, because I never really watched Pete Wentz that closely (I usually aimed for Joe's side of the stage in the past, but was in front of Pete for 2 out of 3 shows this weekend), but now I wonder how much his stage manner has changed with Patrick's evolution. Holy hell, Patrick's vocal range. When he belts out the lines in Save Rock & Roll that Elton John sang on the album? UNF.

+ I had a [personal profile] why_me_why_not for the weekend! Except she is gone now, and I feel like we didn't have enough time to just chill and watch hockey together.

+ The house is listed!

+ Bonnaroo is a thing that is happening this week. \o/ /o\

+ I finished the imaging for Other Post-Doc's paper resubmission today. The rebuttal is due Monday. No rush, or anything.

+ Apparently PK Subban is going to win the Norris? IDK IDK, I wish there was an award for highest scoring defenseman separate from being a great defensive defenseman. But whatever. Good for him.
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I was trying to explain to Post-Doc that I have to use the confocal microscope to take slices of the cells I'm imaging because they are mitotic and therefore round like beach-balls, where interphase cells are relatively flat, and that various parts of the cellular structure wouldn't be in focus if I simply focused on one plane.

She suggested that I "squish the coverslip to the slide" to flatten it and get everything in one plane. And she was completely sincere about this being good advice.

I was speechless. Seriously. Squish them flat. Because that'll maintain all the 3D structure I'm trying to investigate. Really. How did she earn a Ph.D.? HOW?
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~ Soundgarden. They played the Bayou Music Center Friday night. It was an okay show. IDK, Ben Shepherd was phoning it in, the guitar didn’t sound crisp (I’m not sure if it was Thayil’s playing or the sound system), and they need to either project stuff or have a light show, not both. The song choice was good until the very end, when instead of performing something like Outshined or Slaves and Bulldozers or basically ANYTHING upbeat, they performed Like A Suicide and Rowing. Most. Depressing. Songs. Ever. I had tickets to the show in Austin on Saturday, but didn’t feel like making the drive for a lackluster repeat.

+ The Hush Sound. River City Extension opened for them. I’m perplexed about why they were all shirtless, and I thought they used to have more members, including an actual trumpet player? But I like their music and energy. Did not care AT ALL for Hockey. Just, boring lyrics, too much 80s influence, weird vocals effects.

+ The French Open has begun! This is great, as we ‘ve reach the point in the season where there is no longer hockey every night. I’m excited to see if Sharapova can repeat or if Serena will maintain the stranglehold she’s had on clay this spring. And if Rafa’s return takes him back to the finals.

~ Work stuff. I applied to a couple of jobs in Chicago this weekend. And updated my past employers, since they will probably be contacted by future employers. It’s weird; my thesis advisor has been sitting on a paper for 13 years, not doing any work on it. She’s a serious procrastinator. When I applied for faculty positions back in the day, I got notices from various institutions that they’d love to interview me but they were still waiting on her letter of reference. You can imagine how much I appreciated that. So I emailed the prof the other day expecting to get zero response, but she replied WITHIN ONE DAY. And she’s got a student who’s interested in the subject of that last paper, so it MIGHT ACTUALLY GET PUBLISHED SOME DAY. It’s been so long, and other papers have been published on the topic, so what I wrote will have to be re-evaluated. But it might not hide on a shelf forever. I’m excited about that!

+ Star Trek: Into Darkness. I didn’t have high expectations for this movie, because it’s Star Trek. The even-number movies always suck. But I enjoyed it for what it was, despite some annoyances, particularly the flip in Kirk’s and Spock’s roles between this movie and original The Wrath of Khan.

+ Lagunitas' Gnarlywine. Delicious. I'm not always a fan of Lagunitas, but I'd drink this one again. But probably not much of it, because at 9% alcohol it knocked me on my ass.
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I only have 2 months to get through a) paper revisions and experiments therein, b) grant proposal experiments, c) organizing the lab for whoever gets my job later, so my boss shouldn't be giving more experiments to do, right? RIGHT.

Instead of panicking about the work to be done, plus finding a new job in Chicago, plus dealing with the house, I am spending my lunch break listening to the Backhand Shelf podcast (ILU, REligh, JGoldsbie and JNoone).

Also, a meme.

I currently have 71 works archived at AO3 (because I am lazy about transferring drabbles, comment fics, and some older works that were posted elsewhere). Pick a number from 1 (the most recent) to 71 (the first thing I posted there), and I’ll tell you three things I currently like about it.

Oh god. I need to run so many miles until I can think or breathe any more, maybe that will make me feel better about life right now. Possibly? Hopefully?
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\o/ Proofs for the migration/invasion paper came back. I'm not really happy with the figures - we had them the size we wanted, and the publisher shrank them about 25%. I'd've used more of the white space if I'd known they'd do that. But still. Paper #2 for 2013. One more (a mini-review) is under editorial review, there's another for which I'm doing experiments to respond to reviewers' comments, and there should be at least one more submitted from this lab in the year with my name in the byline, because I started the project even if I'm not going to be the first author.

~ A real estate agent from Aaron's future employer came and assessed the house. Their estimate is about $30K higher than the last tax assessment, but we'll list it there and see what happens. She had three things she wants us to do (all stuff we've talked about but procrastinated on actually doing), but there's nothing major. Paint a couple of things, powerwash, re-tile the master bath's floor. Aaron's going to take care of most of that, because he is FINISHED work. He's being paid for the vacation time he had accrued, but Wednesday was his last day of work for Dow.

? There's a fic meme somewhere for hockey fandom that's all about the stupidly hilarious things that hockey commentators say, right? If not THERE SHOULD BE. Like, no, really, how many times can someone talk about Malkin's penetration or someone getting wood on it without earning a smirk and a laugh?

? I want to see Star Trek: Into Darkness some time this week. WHO WANTS TO GO SEE IT WITH ME?

OK. Rafa's playing in Rome on TTC, I've got to finish reading The Good Earth before the Blackhawks/Wings game, and there's choc chip banana bread to be baked for Carmen's crawfish boil, so I should get moving.
asimplechord: Larsson vs bbOilers (Larsson vs bbOilers)
1. Work! Boss is out of town at a professional meeting, so there have been no "I know you're busy, but can you please do this too?" conversations. I appreciate this.

2. Aeros. :( They still haven't (and probably won't) signed a new lease with Les Alexander and the Toyota Center. It's 99% certain that they're moving to Des Moines after this season.

3. Also Aeros: Eric Haula is supposed to play in his first AHL game tonight. :) Curious to see the Gophers' leading scorer at this level. And there are plenty of guys he's played with or against on the team, so.

4. Leftover birthday cake for breakfast: still an excellent life choice, no matter how much my trainer disapproves.

5. As much as I'm enjoying Empires' Live In Chicago, I still feel that this must be said: GIMME THAT NEW MUSIC. I KNOW YOU'VE RECORDED IT.

6. Apparently it's a good week for music on the internet: Frank Turner's live EP is streaming, and so is Fall Out Boy's Save Rock and Roll. WELL DONE, BUTCH WALKER. WELL. DONE.

7. Clayton Stoner. Why is he still playing? Oh, right, because apparently the Wild only have three useful defensemen, and they need warm bodies. Can't they call up Kampfer? Scandella? Mara, even? Ugh, that pass was so ugly.
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Like, shouldn't having a PhD mean you have some common sense? I'd like to think so. But in my lab, APPARENTLY NOT.

About three and a half weeks ago, Post-doc asked me to order her some gamma-P-32 ATP for a kinase assay. She requested a miniscule amount in a very specific activity, and I explained that I would order the minimum, but that it would be far far more than she needed for one experiment, and that the specific activity would probably be higher since the amount she requested was no longer available in the catalog. But I explained that that should be fine, that just meant she could use less or expose her film for a shorter time. So I ordered it.

Fast forward to this afternoon, when she finally decided to do the experiment and was shocked (SHOCKED) to realize that P-32 has a half-life of approximately 14 days.


AND THEN. I find that she's having problems with her cold ATP solution. Which isn't actually the concentration or the pH she needs it to be because she weighed out a small amount and dissolved it in water, but never adjusted the pH with Tris or phosphate buffer or spec'd it to see what the ACTUAL concentration was, in comparison to the spatula-tip of the salt she weighed out and dissolved.

I just. Seriously? There are entire manuals of how to make basic stock solutions. Or she could've asked. But no.

And what, she thought that P-32 didn't decay?



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1. this Gally-squared primer
2. the Devils finally won one last night (even if it was in a shoot-out. against the Sabres)
3. running 6 miles in 54 minutes consistently (shut up, I know that's slow; I can either run fast or I can run that long, not both)
4. putting on a pair of trousers that used to be too uncomfortable to wear and realizing they fit perfectly now
5. this morning's surprise awesome result (SCIENCE!)
6. chat-fic with Tabby in which the Staals are a vampire clan, and Jordan's friendship with Jeff is making EStaal cranky

And I think this will continue the happy-making: seeing a local band, Hounds of Jezebel, tonight.

Now I'm going to finish my lunch and listen to the rest of the BHS podcast. As you do.
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Who thought it was a good idea to run 6 miles, do a full set of squats, lunges and other lower-body weight lifting, and then spend four hours standing and bouncing for a Flogging Molly show? My quads and calves are super unhappy with me right now.

I'm marginally less cranky about the division of labor on the new grant proposal now that I've had a weekend off to think about it. Well, okay, that's not entirely true. But I'm telling myself that it's job security: the Chief trusts that I can learn to do these experiments under deadline, and once I've established protocols for them, I can pass them off to other people.

Time to go fire up the epifluorescence microscope. And crank the volume back up on the mid-day broadcast of the Aeros game. Or the Devils game. Whichever. It'll get me through three hours of image acquisition and analysis. Hopefully.
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If you read Russian Machine Never Breaks or watched last night's Caps/Bolts game, you've already seen this, but...

what's going on with Ovechkin's hair? )

Ugh. Back to reading all the background ever on histone acetylation and gene regulation so I can converse intelligently about the new project for the grant proposal. I love how as soon as I get competent at a new technique and caught up on all the background literature for that topic, my boss decides that we need to move into yet another new direction, so there's a new learning curve to be scaled. :|
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Patrik Elias calls Adam Henrique "Rico". Something about this sent me immediately to Rico Suave, and now I can't get the idea out of my head. Not a good thing.

Fic-ish things to think about:

1. Nail Yakupov and AGally and cultural isolation, and the differences in their experiences being "Russian"
2. accidentally married fic set in GK fandom, probably a woke-up-in-Vegas thing that's Brad/Ray
3. 5 times Jess Skinner and Justin Faulk didn't share a celebration kiss and one time they did
4. that other 5 times Jess Skinner fic that's been outlined and half finished forever

Good things for the day:

1. Rafa returns to singles competition today. Vamos!
2. Rumor has it that Charlie Coyle has replaced Dany Heatley on the first line.
3. Tickets for the Houston Fall Out Boy show are reserved! (Hopefully OCK doesn't have any problems with my request.)
4. Aiming to get a manuscript submitted by the close of work today. Fingers crossed.
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a) Clybourne Park. The Alley is producing it this season, and we saw it on Sunday. I really enjoyed parts of it, and think Norris does an interesting job of weaving race and perception as related to urban renewal with things like unpopular war and PTSD. Parts of the second act felt like they were written specifically for a talk-back with a sociology or history class, though. Best thing: the use of popular music through the decades to transition between 1959 and 2009. Some of the dialogue was that sort of train-wreck where you KNOW someone is going to say something utterly, completely offensive because they've boxed themselves in in conversation, and I spent a good portion of the second act cringing. David Rainey, you (or your character, whichever) are an A+ troll.

b) Canadian boys and stereotypical speech patterns. Go listen to the PONDcast for the the preview to the other day's Wild/Blues game. How many times can Marco Scandella work "for sure" into a response? Pretty much EVERY TIME he answers a question. (Less said about the results of that game, the better. Not impressed with his interfering with Oshie like that so close to the end of the game. D:)

c) Watching last night's Edmonton/Avs game, A turned to me and said, "It's much easier to appreciate how talented Eberle is when he's not scoring against our team." YES. YES, IT IS.

d) So tired of my boss right now. He asked me to change EVERY GRAPH in the manuscript so that the bars were bounded by 0.5pt lines. When they've been in the format they're in (1pt) since I first made them. Nine months ago. And NOW, while I'm trying to finish the last little bits of that paper and do a slew of experiments for the new grant, he wants to me to change them? No. That'll involve deleting the current graphs, going back to GraphPad and changing them, then re-importing, re-sizing, and re-labeling them all in the graphics software he favors (which I haaaaaate like burning). For all 15 graphs. I have enough to do. If he really doesn't like that line weight, he can change them all. And then after THAT discussion, he decided that I should re-analyze some of my data. Again. Because the results don't fit his hypothesis. THAT'S NOT HOW SCIENCE WORKS.

e) URGH. The LCD display on our PCR machine is dying. If not, I could just stick these first strand synthesis reactions in it and leave, and it'd do the temperature changes for me. But no. I'm hanging out for the 42degC bit, then moving them to the 70degC block for 15 minutes, and THEN I'm done for the day.

Cranky day. Because in between today's grant/paper shenanigans, Post-Doc Who Thawed All Our Cells, kept coming to ask me questions that wouldn't need my attention if she just LOOKED IN THE INVENTORY that I conveniently posted to the lab server, and which I update every time we get a new antibody. Ugh. I believe tonight is not going to be a gym night. I believe it is going to be time for ALL THE WINE and ALL THE HOCKEY. And Dante and A cuddles.
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hockey related news: )

Totally earwormed myself with Cake's Going The Distance, so I'm going to go listen to that. And ponder the joy that is a day without my boss coming to check on me every couple of hours. (He's out of town for the next couple of days.)

ETA: Who gave Matt Dumba #55? SERIOUSLY? HIS NAME/# COMBO IS DUMBA55.
asimplechord: Larsson vs bbOilers (Larsson vs bbOilers)
Who even uses words like 'moxie' in conversation nowadays? Oilers coaches, apparently.

In other random news, the post-doc who was supposed to leave us in April has decided that today is her last day. She just finished writing a paper, and was planning a trip home to India, and decided that there's no point in coming back for a month after a month away. So, done. Hopefully the paper's reviewers won't have more experiments to be done, because they would probably fall on me. :|


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