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Life and Snowpeas


February 4th, 2008

Update. I Should Do This. @ 12:19 pm

Current Location: Lab of Awesome
temper: happy happy
soundtrack: Heavy Soul - The Black Keys

Actually, what I should be doing is reading 60 year old journal articles for my Ion Channels class (yeah, you can actually take classes devoted to ion channels. It could be worse really... American roommate is taking classes about genocide. She says it's how to prevent it.. but you never really know). The papers are actually awesome (I'll spare you the neuro geekery about that though), but they're very long, and involve trying to understand algebra again, which I've successfully avoided for quite a few years now actually.

So... update!
Last week was a busy one... from times of bloody stupid crap: my wallet, including credit cards, SSN, NZ driver's licence got stolen from my bag at a bar on Tuesday night (sadly, it was a very cool bar too, and now I never want to go back there. Grrr.). And one of the people when I rang up to cancel my cards asked me for my name, and then, after I gave it, asked me if that really was my name.

Of course it's my bloody name, you idiotic twit, which is why I GAVE IT TO YOU WHEN YOU ASKED.

I forgot to cancel my NZ VISA card too, and apparently some STUPID FUCKING BASTARDS went on a spending spree with it on Wednesday, until the bank at home noticed the sudden charges (I haven't used that card since August) were fraudulent, and cancelled it. Thankfully, we're not liable for the spree, but it's still shitty.

On the other hand, since Wednesday was Flyboy's birthday, and the day that one of his friends (who is dating one of my friends... yeah, I know, it's sick) passed his qualifying exam, we went out to a fancy restaurant on Central Park West (it was restaurant week.. fixed menu for $35, yay!) and pretended we weren't science geeks with no lives. The restaurant owner came up to tell us how pleased he was to see young attractive people there for once... which just goes to show that you should stay away from the Upper sides, West or East, when trying to be cool, unless you want to be a cool ageing matron. It was fun, all the same.

Even better, the new lab I'm rotating in this semester is made of great amounts of Awesome. As I may have mentioned to people earlier, a lot of the research that goes on here consists of four hours a day of obsessively watching mice and rats nurse their babies, and plenty of the rest in getting them to wander around in large boxes. And entering the data with appropriate codes into spreadsheets.  In terms of the Fink Law (one of the 2nd years in my program) of picking a lab on the basis of how much you enjoy the minutiae of what you do every day, I may never leave here. On the other hand, i do smell like mice at the end of the day.

The other great part is that the lab consists of a Canadian lady and two English guys, all of whom have been working together in someone else's lab (it's now the Canadian's) for about five years, and me (plus a couple of undergrads who come in a couple of days a week, and are also cool). On my first day, there was a half hour conversation about cricket, followed by extended discussion of the weirdness of America, compared to the Commonwealth. And everyone sounds normal (oh British accents, how I've missed you)! Despite the fact that the research is completely dissimilar, it feels a lot like my lab back home. We also share lab space with a bird lab, that has a couple of my favourite fellow neuro grads (Joe my Sin City buddy, and David/Keith, who I am going to write a book about. No really), and other cool people. Friday afternoon, we decided to stop work, in favour of playing Mortal Kombat in the conference room. Grad School is the Win.

And the Giants won the Superbowl! Clearly I picked the right city to come to this year.... I was down near Times Square last night, and it was awesome. People celebrating on the street, everyone honking (well.. okay, that's normal. But it was in a happy way, for once!).
 
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From:quintessmiley
Date:February 4th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
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*hugs* It's appalling that someone would have the brazen temerity to steal from you. All the more so that you didn't catch him in the act and subsequently remove his kidneys through his nose. (I'm sure you could do that, if you really, really wanted to.) Still! Asinine customer support phone jockeys aside, I'm glad you weren't left with any potentially ruinous financial obligations. It's a pity the cards don't come equipped with miniature self-destruct mechanisms. Preferably something that would send bits of razor-sharp card shrapnel in all directions.

I think most people would be willing to accept a little friendly fire for the sake of crippling or maiming a few minor felons.

Anyway! Your story of taking off work to play Mortal Kombat makes me laugh. Inordinately. Aren't you neuro-geeks supposed to be isolating the genes that cause us to enjoy such violent pastimes and eliminating them? Then again, you also take courses in genocide, so it's possible you don't actually have the best interests of the common man at heart . . .
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From:risty77
Date:February 6th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
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I think that's causing most of my residual rage, really... they would have been right there, for me to beat up! And now I want them found, so I get another go.

But I do like this self-destruct mechanism idea. I think we could work with that.

We're behavioural labs, we like to say.. it's all about observing the innate tendencies of the subjects, not trying to change them to suit our preconceived ideas!

....or we're scary people, and there's an option there where a girl who looks an awful lot like Betsy kisses a guy and then makes his head explode! How could anyone say that was objectionable?
[User Picture Icon]
From:quintessmiley
Date:February 6th, 2008 04:10 am (UTC)
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Do I get to vote? Because if I do, I'd definitely go with the "scary people" option. Though I suppose the head exploding thing is probably less objectionable than an apt metaphor of some kind. Though for what, exactly, I'm not certain.

Or I'm certainly not going to say, anyway.

And tinkering with subjects is half the fun! What about the fellow with the Cyclops flies? You can't tell me you wouldn't want to get in on that action! It's the joy of science, correcting God's tragic oversights. Like the lack of fruit flies with glowy eyes.
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From:frogmanmw85
Date:February 4th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
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Man, sucks that your wallet got pinched. I'm always paranoid about that. I don't care much about the cash in there, but it's all the other crap like drivers license and other IDs that would need replacing.

A family friend of ours had her purse stolen and within the 10 minutes she took to report it and cancel her cards, the bastard had already made their way to the bank and taken out $500. 10 minutes! Damn crack heads.
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From:risty77
Date:February 6th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
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Yeah, the replacing is such a pain. Especially over here, when they like to jerk you round more.

10 minutes is pretty damn fast! Shit.
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From:quenya_tattoo
Date:February 6th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
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The restaurant owner came up to tell us how pleased he was to see young attractive people there for once...

HAHAHAHA. That is somehow one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time. Actually maybe because I keep watching that BBC show about the angry chef guy who goes into restaurants that are failing and gives them a kick in the balls and it sounds like something he'd say... but still. I kinda see this dude's point. You know you're not going anywhere fun if there's no one under 60 in the place. (Or the ones who are, are all ugly and boring. True story, if a bit sad.)

Anyhow, I do have one question that is very important. What do mice smell like? I don't think I've ever been near enough to one to tell. Which is odd now that I think of it. I did have a hamster once though. Kinda the same thing!
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From:risty77
Date:February 7th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
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I love Ramsay's kitchen nightmares! But... definitely not as reruns - you can't watch an episode more than once. Or even too many in a short space of time (he only has so many different swear words).

Hmmm.. mouse smell - it's kinda funny that I smell like it most days now, but can't think of how to describe it. They smell like mice!

Consensus in the lab suggests that the best answer is: 'pet store'. But they probably do smell quite a lot like hamsters (although you'd be able to tell them apart, I imagine. I can tell mouse smell from rat smell really easily).

Man, I'm so out of Rahne-practice... converting smells to words is hard!

Life and Snowpeas