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A rather disappointing weekend...

mice on cheese
I came into lab yesterday to check on a litter of (very precious) conditional MFG knockouts that I'd given to a foster mouse to raise. She had eaten them all.

I came into lab today intending to perfuse a litter of (moderately precious) global MFG knockouts that should have been born today. None of the three females (who were very pregnant on Friday) were still pregnant.

I am not all that enamored of mouse work at the moment.

Incidentally, I'm having a lot of trouble getting the MFG conditionals to breed. Details, for anybody who might be able to help:Collapse )

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More craftiness

more yarn
Because my happiness with knitting is leading me to believe I might actually have some latent craftiness deep within my soul, and because I have fantasies of making perfect dining room sets and skirts for myself, I bought a sewing machine today. I set it up this afternoon, and have successfully threaded the machine and practiced a little on a piece of scrap fabric. So far it is going well, which is something for someone who's never used a sewing machine or been crafty in her life.

We bought the machine at the Sewing and Vacuum Center in Davis Square, both because it warms my little liberal heart to spend money at family-owned shops and because, as a family-owned shop, S&VC offers free sewing lessons and one-year service for customers, and I wanted knowledgeable help deciding which machine I should buy. The salesman sold me their most popular beginner machine, which is a very nice machine that happened to be on sale for an amount I was willing to pay.

I bought an adorable vintagey lemon and orange print from the fabric store, and am planning to use instructions from this book to make a set of placemats and a table runner. Today placemats, tomorrow everything in my home!

I really feel like becoming a better scientist is making me more creative in other endeavors. I made a pair of lacy fingerless mittens that makes me very happy, and on the subway the other day, I designed a matching lacy headband, which is currently on my needles. The only downside is that the more I think about curtains and skirts and mittens on the subway and in the shower and in my sleep, the less I come up with brilliant experimental ideas in those places. Maybe I'll have to set a limit for crafty hours per week. ;)

Taking a day to relax

do not disturb
It's been a crazy few weeks of cheering at football games, having college friends visit and working myself into a stupor (literally: I am communicating in the lab in about 50% incorrect words and 50% pointing), and although it won't be over until after the Society for Neuroscience conference in mid-November, I'm taking a day off today to read brain-melting fiction and catch up on TV shows on the internet.

I'm in the midst of putting together my SfN poster, and I have made some absolutely sweet schematics and put together some good-looking data. My poster is still more like a proposal than a data poster, but it will look nice and I'm excited to get input from other people in the field. It still amazes me how much time it takes to Photoshop images so they look just right.

I am super-sore from cheerleading yesterday, but I'm impressed by how much muscle I've gained since I started cheering again. I am definitely stronger than I was in college -- probably partially because I eat a lot healthier now, and maybe partially because it's easier to be strong in your mid-twenties after you've stopped growing.

Maybe a hot bath with a book would be the perfect way to make both my back and my brain ache less.

Two random things that make me happy

reading
First: I was angry at my mice again yesterday (out of a litter of 11 with 4 hets, the mom started neglecting the pups and I have only one surviving het, what the fuck), so I went to the rabbit room in our animal facility and talked with the rabbits for a bit. I don't know what research people do on the rabbits in our facility, but they were all so happy to see me and wiggled their noses with me and did binkies in their cages. I wanted to pet them on the noses so badly, but I wasn't sure if that would mess up somebody else's research. Visiting the rabbits is the only reason being down in the animal room when everybody else in the world has gone home is worth it.

Second: Adam had to work today, so after I did a few hours of work at the lab, I ate lunch at a Panera in the Financial District and read in the sun on the Rose Kennedy Greenway for hours and hours, and then ate a chocolate cupcake in the North End. I was reading The Time Traveler's Wife, and even though I don't read (or like) fiction that often, I absolutely loved it and got totally engrossed in the story and looked up around 5 PM to realize that the sun had moved behind a building and I was very cold. Having solo reading-centered adventures in the city makes me feel more like me -- I wish I had the time, and that Boston had the weather, that I could do that more often.

A year of being married

love giraffes
Adam and I got married on September 15 last year, so this weekend we celebrated our first anniversary. (And everybody who was on my friends list then is like, "Man, it's been a year already? I was so glad when she stopped whining about her wedding every other post.")

Anniversary outingCollapse )

It was a good day.

And yesterday, Adam came home with my anniversary gift. Now, some people might get a necklace or a pair of earrings for an anniversary, but not me. I got a 3D mouse brain.

Yes, a 3D mouse brain.Collapse )

I am so psyched. He designed it based on sections and pictures he found online, made a CAD drawing, and printed it on his office's 3D printer. Everybody in my lab is totally jealous.

Baymate R said, "You have really found your true match." You betcha.

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Because I always update on my birthday

birthday
I turned 24 at 5:11 EST today! I am getting a little too much OCD joy out of turning 24 on 2/4.

The Beautiful Curly-Haired Husband made steak au poivre and baked potatoes for dinner, then we stood around the double boiler and ate fruit and marshmallows and Rice Krispie treats slathered in fondue. (Calories, yay...!) He got me a gold box chain (to put my wedding/engagement rings and Brass Rat on when I put gloves on in the lab, rather than sticking them in my pocket as I am wont to do) and a bunny cookie jar from Target, which he spray-painted black to look like Bunnygirl.

Baymate R made a key lime pie today in honor of my 24th, because she is the best baymate I could ever hope to have, and one of the postdocs came totally out of left field with an adorable bunny candle and bunny salt and pepper shaker set.

Off to bed soon -- the BCHH and I have to get up obscenely early to vote in the primary tomorrow.

Just a few snippets of life

dirty water
  • Either I am getting old or science is bad for your eyes. I went to the eye doctor on Thursday complaining of eyestrain headaches when I read papers and section brains, and came out with a prescription for reading glasses in addition to my old prescription for distance glasses. I do find this somewhat depressing, but I got a cute pair of blue frames on the theory that reading glasses can be more fun than glasses one wears all of the time.

  • Adam and I got a pasta maker attachment for our stand mixer for Christmas, so we tried to make fresh macaroni last weekend. It was really tasty -- better than dried pasta by a significant margin -- but we aren't very good at it and the ugly pasta we made could not be called "macaroni" by any reasonable person.

  • Speaking of the Beautiful Curly-Haired Husband, he has suddenly started to like reading, after a lifetime not reading anything that wasn't a class assignment. I got him hooked on The Golden Compass after seeing the movie, and now he's reading a book about another small aerospace company, and has one about the Daedalus project on deck. Reading is fun for everyone!

  • I discovered Saturday that I like to work out while watching the NFL, because I can get really excited and yell at the TV on the treadmill, and it helps me walk faster. Too bad the season's almost over.


  • Okay, time to catch the 6:00 shuttle to North Station so I can go home and eat homemade pizza!

Wedding photos!

marry me
Our professional wedding photos are up! And damn, I looked way hotter on my wedding day (and in the professional photos, please note) than I do in real life. :) I'm so jealous of people who have artistic abilities in general, because I have the artistic ability of the average cucumber, and I am just amazed at the ability of our photographer. She did such a great job!

Photos can be found here. You'll have to sign the guestbook to view them, sorry.

Wedding T-2 days

cake toppers
Crunch time!

I'm at my parents' hotel room, where they are stuffing boxes with candy buckeyes for favors. Sarah and Allison are downstairs showering before the bachelorette party; Adam is at his bachelor party.

MIL was supposed to bring the dresses (mine and the bridesmaids') up to Boston tonight when SIL comes for the party. The seamstress called today to say the dresses aren't ready. MIL is going to pick them up tomorrow morning, drive them up to Boston, drive back to Plymouth, get ready for the RD, and drive back to Boston.

I've been having panic attacks at an accelerating rate for the past few days -- not because I'm really worried about anything, but just because there are a lot of things going on at once and a lot of excitement. Caffeine makes them worse, so I'm trying to avoid Mountain Dew. (Good luck to me with that one.)

I had been planning to put in a full day in lab today, but I didn't even go in, and I'm glad I didn't. Today was busy and stressful enough without trying to pretend like I was reading papers about the striatum.

Everybody is happy and excited. Especially me.

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