Saturday, October 25, 2008

In Defiance . . .

. . . against studying for my exams next week. This is a really random post and it may end up being longer than I intend. You've been forewarned. :P

I was on my way to the library today to study during the football game because the library would be deserted. On my way, I took this pic:
No joke, I was literally within a meter or so of that deer. And it didn't even flinch. Just stood there eating. The deer on north campus here must be really used to people.

Speaking of creatures, there are a lot of fruitflies in my apartment. Which makes little sense because there isn't any fruit laying out, much less overripe fruit. I think these fruitflies have evolved to live off another food source, like my chocolate. I saw a fruitfly in my bag of chocolates (don't worry, the chocolates were still in their wrappers) and I thought that was odd.

Yesterday (Friday) I had the LONGEST lab meeting ever. I was good for all by the last 10 minutes or so, in which I began nodding off. I made the unfortunate choice of sitting right in front of the presenter's seat. So every time the PI looked back to talk to the presenter, he had to look past me (at least the presenter couldn't see if I was nodding off or not). I had also planned to attempt my apparently very ambitious 1-day Western blot. Apparently I am the "expert" on Western blots in my lab (my lab is not a protein lab). So much so that my researcher, while absent due to studying for the USMLE, has charged me with troubleshooting the Western blot technique in the lab and developing a modified protocol for our experiments. That did not happen on Friday as I had to measure and aliquot the amount of protein to use, and by then I didn't want to stay in lab any longer. To get an idea of how long a Western blot takes, skim the following (it's boring, so I won't blame anyone for skipping):

1.5 hours running the protein gel
30 minutes transferring the proteins from gel to membrane
1-2 hours blocking the membrane in milk
1 hour incubating the membrane in primary antibody
10-minute washes in TBS-T solution, 3 times
1 hour incubating the membrane in secondary antibody
10-minute washes in TBS-T solution, 3 times
Expose glow-in-the-dark proteins (if successful) to film and develop

In other news, I brought back my cello over break! I've missed playing my cello. :D I also played my piano a bit while I was home. Oh, right before break, a strange thing occured when I went to the gym. After I had finished working out I wanted to wash my hands, so I walked to the bathroom in the locker room. When I got near there was this guy, in his 40s or 50s I imagine, shaving his head naked at the sinks. I turned around, got dressed, and just left. Who does that (shave their head naked in the locker room, I mean)?!

Speaking of working out, I've come to realize that my legs are disproportionately more muscular than the rest of me, but not by a huge margin. My arms and shoulders are developing nicely (albeit slowly), and to think that 3 years ago I wouldn't even dream of seeing even the faint traces of muscle there. Now, if only there was a good way to work out my abs to get rid of the flab there (and to lose 10-15 lbs in general) . . . anyone have any suggestions?

The last two weeks or so have been really strange for me. Each day I swing back and forth between being really horny and really not horny. And by really horny I mean suddenly getting hard and all sensitive down there and then jacking off 2-3 times in 2 hours. My skin's starting to get sore from going back and forth so much, maybe I should use some lube if this trend continues . . .

Anyway, the real point of this post. I have a take-home exam in epidemiology that I'm avoiding. And I have to study for my toxicology (anti-pharmacy) exam next Thursday which I'm avoiding. I really shouldn't as that exam can kick my ass. I also have to write something up on biobanking. So what was I doing to avoid studying? Reading blogs. So while listening to several of Brahms' symphonies, I read the following blogs and left a batch of comments (potentially to the annoyance of their owners?):

Small Step on the Other Side
AJ's Ramblings
The Random Thoughts of Crash

All are cool new bloggers, so go over and say hi! :D Also, give AJ a hug, he needs one right now.

Lastly, a quote I told Tim from a story of a boy and the universe I'd post:

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more than facts. Its is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company . . . a church . . . a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past . . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude . . . I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you . . . we are in charge of our attitudes."

~ Charles Swindoll


Anonymous said...

I think the deer is very pretty, and also very brave (foolish?) to not run away. If you see her again, you should name her. :D

Stephen Chapman... said...

Not at the clever protein stuff, not at picture of the deer, not at the studying.... no, it's the fact that you can jack off 3 times in 2 hours on a regular basis!


naturgesetz said...

Nice pic, aek.

In Nara, Japan, there is a deer park near a shrine. The deer have become so accustomed to getting cookies from the visitors that they will come right up to people and practically demand to be fed.

aek, if you are reading this, get back to your studies! NOW!

Crash said...

Thanks for the shout-out. I'm glad you took the time to read, let alone comment on, my blogs.

words of wisdom for your exams next week:
Keep in mind that procrastination is like masturbation - in the end you're only fucking yourself.

Aek said...

James: The deer is indeed pretty. I think it's the same deer I saw before, because there was another one just a few meters away.

Stephen: I don't jack off 3x in 2 hours on a regular basis. That's only become "regular" the last week or so. Not sure why, but it's taking its toll in its own way. :P

naturgesetz: Your comment was eerie because I read it just before I started working on my take-home exam.

Crash: Haha, no problem. I wouldn't link to your blog if I hadn't read it all the way through, a peculiarity of mine. And thanks for the advice, while amusing, it's certainly true.

Joshua said...

Omg you're doing Western Blots and I'm doing ELISA...three times...over and over again because two of my samples aren't diluting right! And I can't get the concentration to work! Even when I did 10x dilution with the stupid conjugate sample buffer or whatever it's called. It contains those words, probably not in that order. And our lab meetings are like an hour, and hour and fifteen minutes max haha. I don't know if that's short or long...but the professor always berates the presenter on his/her research! It's kind of sad.

But I know what you mean about long hours at the ELISA protocol, if I add up all the incubating times, it should take me like 3 hours, but it takes me like six hours to do it because I have to prepare everything and there's ALWAYS a machine that breaks down! :(

Anyways, that's a really cute deer and I'm trying not to study for my midterm tomorrow, but I'm not too concerned because I have to do ELISA for a fourth time tomorrow. :( Same samples, too.

Aek said...

Joshua: Haha, that sucks. Such is research. If you need help with simple dilutions, just ask me and I might be able to help. God knows I've done so many of them.

If only my lab meetings were 1 hour or so, but no, they're 1.5 hours. I've never done an ELISA and after what you've said, I don't think I ever want to. :P

Good luck with research! It can be a bitch sometimes.

Mike said...

I've never seen a deer in person even! It just is not a Cali thing. I've seen elk, reindeer, antelope, etc., but only at the zoo/in the mountains.