Pizza for Dinner
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Because it bears repeating
This is a good indication of why my friendships with colleagues are limited. Besides the whole process of being politely uninterested in me because I am 1) not in their department, 2) in their department but in a different building doing different research or 3) not getting engaged/getting married/married. This doesn't bother me so much since I have several good friends in town but for a while there it was disheartening to be friendly and social and be met with repeated polite disinterest. Now it's just funny to point it out so I can prove how much cooler I am than other scientists.

Some background: My department is one of 13 biomedical departments on campus. Most students enter the department through an umbrella program designed to give us the chance to try out labs/courses/departments and meet people in different labs to broaden our interests/help with collaborations. The email list for all the students is frequently used to notify us of seminars, courses, available or needed football tickets, "parties" and the like.

And now, some sexy copy-pasting from my inbox. I've left out names to protect the shameless.

Message the first:
So hey everyone, I went down to register to vote, and just as C said it was easy as pie! They didn't ask for anything, the lady simply gave you the form to fill out ant said that if you have a Michigan license but your address on the license doesn't match your current address, fill in a certain section and you'll be receive a sticker in the mail. I spoke with the county clerk just a few minutes ago and she informed me that if you are from out of state, they will send you a voter i.d. card, that of course should be brought to the poll along with some government issued photo i.d. and you should be okay. She also said that if you do not receive the card in 3 weeks or so, then give them a call or go down there because they are swamped with voter registration and things may move a little slow. If you have any questions, see below. Thanks and see you at the polls!!!!!!!!

Reply the first:
You must register to vote in Michigan by October 4th in order to vote in Michigan in the November election! I know that the Michigan Democratic Party Headquarters (210 S. Fourth St.) also has voter registration forms that you can fill out, as does the Kerry/Edwards table at the Farmer's market (you don't have to be a Democrat or plan to vote Democratic in the election to fill out the form, of course). I think that you may also be able to register to vote at the Secretary of State, but I'm not 100% sure of that. Border's Books has had a table set up at various times, as well.

Reply the second:
Also, if you are unsure whether you are registered or not, or if you need to know where your polling site is, you can go to the website: You just need to put in your name and if you are registered, lots of info will show up like how to get to your polling site, what the ballot will look like, etc. Happy voting!

Primary attempt at finding amusement in mass inane emails:
The top 10 frequently asked questions by PIBS voters:
10. Do I have to be on the pibsclasses e-mail list to vote?
9. Can I vote in the PIBS office?
8. Does my thesis committee have to "okay" my votes?
7. Do I need a PhD to vote?
6. What if I don't know how to use a computer, can I still vote?
5. If I registered to vote in Canada can I still vote in the US?
4. I don't drive, can I still vote?
3. Can I just call in my votes on my cell?
2. Is it okay if my mom holds my hand while I vote?
1. Who are we voting for again?
For answers go to

Add #11 for premed students
11. If I vote, can I put it on my resume?

Lesbian witty response:
I don't know about you, but I find the voter information much more interesting then the football ticket requests that have been cluttering our mailboxes recently... -M (author of reply the second.)

Pissy, hopeless response:
Actually I find all of these emails to be an egregious use of the University of Michigan email system. This system is only for business or class related emails. I would appreciate if it was no longer used for these types of messages. However, if I had the choice, I would prefer football ticket requests. These are real world problems and may actually have a solution, rather than trying to get every student to vote for the Democratic party candidate in some banal attempt to "change things" Thanks,

I'm not sure which comment is the best, I think it'll take some consideration.

Saturday, September 25, 2004
It's important to relax
I write letters to my granpa frequently. It's how we stay in touch. They usually don't have a whole lot to them but we just say whatever has been going on with us and that we're fine and such. I like my granpa a lot, he's funny (he's so tactless/Polish too, it's great) and he's always been there for me and my brother. I worry about him though, he's 88 and in about as good health as you can expect but he lives alone in the house he bought over 50 years ago. My granma died about 40 years ago and despite the best efforts of both my granpa's and granma's siblings he never remarried so he's been alone since my mom and aunt moved out.

Anyway, I like writing to Granpa and I like knowing that he's still doing fine. I wrote him a few weeks ago with my new address and such and I received his reply today. After all this build up I think I'm just going to quote him: "To make life a little more easy for me I bought a rider mower and zip around the yard."


Friday, September 24, 2004
career redirection
So I'm at stress level chihuahua now (and have been since the moving debacle) but I'm moving towards postal worker. I'm trying not to move to postal worker though so maybe I'll be a chihuahua who works in the post office. Like the taco bell dog, only I've quit taco bell and now charge you obscene amounts of money to toss your package around like a rag doll for the 5 days it takes to express ship it.

Yeah, this week has been rough at work. It's always rough, come to think of it, or maybe it just seems that way because when it's 'normal' at work my personal life is superstressful. Whatever. I'm trying to destress and such but there isn't really enough time for me to do that in the lab before someone asks me another question or tries to take my reagents because they were ill prepared. I've been interrupted twice since typing this. So worry not, I'll likely be fine, but to avoid future problems I would appreciate it if everyone could make a list of exactly what you need from me. I'll prioritize and get back to you with your number by Tuesday. And please be specific as I do not have the time to interpret what it is you really want.

Wow this sounds bitchier than I intended. Meh.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004
I should probably tell one of the assistant lab techs that the phrase is 'zip code' and not 'zero code' but I just don't know how to say it without embarrassing her.

That and she'll probably tell me I'm wrong anyway so [fuck her] if none of the vendors have corrected her yet then it really isn't a problem.

At least she's not like the other one who insulted my plants and then says passive aggresivey things like "I guess no one wants to answer the phone" (the phone base is on my desk, it's a portable, so I can only assume she means I think I'm above answering the phone. note: it's her job and the other chick's job to answer the phone and I do frequently answer it anyway even though it is literally almost never for me) even though the phone is almost always 2 inches from her hand and not on my desk when she says this.

I guess no one does want to answer the phone.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Simmer down now
To the lady at the coffee cart who was bitching because "all the coffee pots are empty" and "(you) don't want to know how long the (refills) were sitting back there" I have three things to say:

1. Try the European Dark Roast, I did, the pot was quite full and it's delicious
2. These two people have customers constantly from 7 to at least noon, when you pointed out the pots were empty they were replaced immediately
3. I know you haven't had your coffee yet but chill out

The good thing about having done menial labor is that you can tell the difference between slacking off and being swamped. Also by 'having done' one can infer that the menial labor is over. Huzzah!

Monday, September 20, 2004
Kerry finally plays it smart
It's about time. He should be pointing out Bush's faults, not to play dirty, not to retaliate, but because he needs to. He has to say "Look what he did, really look at what he did and not what he says. This is my plan and this is why it won't screw you over."

It's safe to say I'll be voting for Kerry but I'm ashamed to say I haven't done a lot of research into how he stands on issues. I've read NYTimes articles and such but I'd like something a little more comprehensive. I'll have to sit down and do that soon. The biggest complaints people have about him is that he waffles on issues (changing your mind with new info is not waffling) and that he's kinda a smarmy emotionless ironing board. Although I saw a commercial for some show where a woman followed around candidates with a camera and asked them weird questions and he seemed really funny in that. Oh, and he's also criticized for not being wounded enough in Vietnam (totally stolen from Jon Stewart). By a man who didn't even show up for the national guard. Only in America would that argument work.

blowtastic or crapgasm?
I like to make up words. Words like craptacular or crapulous. I think it's time I made up another, although I don't think anything will be as popular as craptacular.

So, my weekend wasn't that fabulous, it was rather marked by lameness. I had a screaming headache all through Oktoberfest so I was only able to drink half my liter of beer. This did not help with the headache, but I think I did get a little drunk. That would explain why I started hitting a guy who had never seen The Princess Bride. It's deserved, though, in my opinion, and apparently in his sister's as she sanctioned the beating. The food there was great so before my headache got so bad that I couldn't eat I had a good time with that. And of course the friends, the antique arcade and the Cheese Haus were worth the trip.

I think I got the headache somewhere around the time SDSU was beating UofM in the football game though. Maybe that was the tequila shots wearing off (note: do not follow a tequila shot with a powdered sugar doughnut, the sugar mixes with tequila and if you inhale even a little it BURNS) or the sun but I think it was my head breaking at the thought of losing to such a crappier team. At least we eked out a win.

So besides the headache I had one friend lame out on the football game and two on Oktoberfest. Such are the hazards of being in and having friends in grad school I suppose. I am also a little sad about Shrek cereal, the formerly fantastic cereal has been changed slightly. It appears to have sweetened kix now, because marshmallows aren't enough sugar for today's kids? It's still good but I just resent them adding more sugar to a cereal that contains lumps of pure sugar already.

There were good parts of this weekend though. I have a crapton of fudge from Oktoberfest (I asked for half a pound, she "went a little over" and gave me .71 lbs. anyone up for chocolate peanut butter fudge?) and some pepperidge farm cookies that were on sale at Target. They're always on sale at Target because Target hates me and wants me to be fat with horribly clogged arteries. Target is momentarily forgiven, though, because I purchased the Supertroopers DVD there for $10. I LOVE that movie. It is so funny. So was Club Dread, which I intend to purchase if I can find it for a decent price. (FYI Jay of Broken Lizard directs or writes several Arrested Development episodes.) I only buy DVDs that are priced at or under $20, with a few exceptions (obviously including multidisc sets like the West Wing seasons or LOTR). That also helps me keep my DVD collection cool. Although if you look at my video collection that I inherited when my mom moved to Florida and culled the best movies out there's a different story. There's like one good movie on a tape and two crap ones. It's funny to see the combinations of stuff my family taped though. Das Boot with Drop Dead Fred, for example. I might be making that up, but we did have both on tape at one point.

Thursday, September 16, 2004
A Postulate
At any given time, somewhere, there is a U2 song playing on the radio.

Corollary 1: The chances of this song being "With or Without You" are about 1 in 3.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
I don't mean to be rude but
Qwest number 505-647-9618 based in Las Cruces, NM please stop calling and hanging up without saying anything. Thanks so much.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
The Rhythm is Gonna Get You
I ordered this yesterday. About 6 months ago I had my discman clipped to my waist while locking the door and had walked barely two steps before it leapt from my pants to the ground and landed in the exact spot that separated the lid from the base and shot my new No Doubt CD out onto the pavement, along with a few pieces that attach the lid to the base.
Obviously, I was devastated. But with my prelims coming up and my friends' prelims coming up I didn't have time to fix it or to ask others to attempt to fix it. After I finished unpacking I set it aside to ask my favorite electrical engineer to see if he could fix it for me. Alas, it was not to be. The screws were too tight and when I tried later myself with a different screw driver I had no more luck. And I also noticed that the sensor was shattered.

So I'm really excited that I'll have music again while I work out and take the bus in to the lab and such. It should be here anytime between Thursday and Monday, I'd really like it before the weekend. I hate running anyway but it's harder when there isn't music to distract/motivate me. I also just reorganized my CD collection so I'm fresh on what exactly I have. I have so many CDs I tend to forget about a handful now and then. Not that I have an obscene amount, maybe a couple hundred if you include mp3s. But with this discman I can copy songs to my computer and take existing mp3 files and make a super disc with about 500 tracks on it. That combined with a much longer battery life (~75 hours) totally sold me on this. There were also models with radio/weather/tv but $70 is quite enough already, I didn't feel like/couldn't afford paying $20 more. Although I did get $50 off, which I'm excited about.

Monday, September 13, 2004
Best IMDb Bio. Ever.
If you're wondering how I came upon this glorious piece of literature, it's because I'm watching Signs on Starz and wanted to check on which Culkin was in the movie. That led me to looking at Macaulay's bio, which reminded me that he was in Saved! (with Chad Faust) which I want to see.

Further reflections on Signs: Joaquin Phoenix and Mel Gibson really look like brothers in this movie. Rory Culkin sometimes looks like Emilio Estevez. Besides looking exactly like all his siblings.

Sunday, September 12, 2004
This is one of the last things I expected to see on The NY Times.

I agree that showing the thong over the top of the pants gets old fast, mostly because people who shouldn't wear low rise pants wear low rise pants. Although I disagree with a few disparaging things they said about the thong. Panties with more fabric like boyshorts and tangas can be really sexy too (I love them) by hiding more skin but cutting right above the bottom of the butt (totally hot). But that doesn't mean that the thong isn't sexy anymore. It may be overdone but that's why you mix in some of the other things for variety. Also, you can wear the thong around the house. I've worn them jogging, they're more comfortable than normal panties for working out since they don't ride as much. They aren't simply a tool to avoid panty lines. Finally, I like that thongs have gotten smaller and thinner, it makes them easier to wear.

The idea I take most issue with is that thongs are a fad that are out, with good riddance. But I don't wear something because it's the popular thing to wear so that concept is odd to me anyway.

Saturday, September 11, 2004
Paul and Morgan Hamm are not identical twins.

They did a switcheroo on Leno. The funny thing is when "Paul" walked out I thought "Hey, he looks more like Morgan." Then I told myself of course he does, they're identical twins. Paul came out a moment later and cleared things up.

Although they did say they thought about doing a switcheroo during competition, each doing their best events. Very nice.

Thursday, September 09, 2004
Deja Vu
Isn't this movie really this movie plus Marc Blucas of Buffy fame?

I could be wrong, I haven't actually seen either film.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Attack of the Clones!
I've had three conversations lately, one initiated by me, regarding the return of the undergrads to town.

Every sorostitute is dressed the same at all times. Every. Single. One. Always.

You know you know the outfit too, your local sorostitute has worn it. The tank top with the short cotton skirt. There may or may not be a hideous flower on the skirt, that's optional. It's usually pleated, unless it's the terry cloth skirt, then no. The outfit usually part pink or a light turquoise.

The locus-like swarm of undergrads was bad enough when driving around town but now they're sluttier than ever on top of that. And not just the ladies, the men are man whores too, wearing the same polo shirt and cargo shorts that every other Abercrombie frat boy owns.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not entirely against slutty clothes (although I usually don't go the cheap whore route, only klassy sluttiness for me) and I like polo shirts and cargo shorts. I even own a few really short skirts and several tank tops. It's just that the closets of these people must look like those of cartoon characters. The only variation is the work out outfit, but that's usually a tank top or tight UofM t-shirt with those shorts with the words on the ass, or mesh shorts for guys. (For the record my ass doesn't need words on it to draw attention.)

It's one thing to be stylish or dress provocatively. It's another to be completely indistinguishable from the 10 women or men nearest you. Put a little personality into your appearance, please.

I've got the whole world in my lab
Seriously. I know I've stated this to a few friends recently but it bears blog repeating.

My advisor has hired everyone within 100 miles looking for a job. Except Nessa.

And he's still going. Someone came in last Friday to interview. Because she's good at bone metastasis work. Well, why not invite her to the lab. It's not like we have limited space, the cancer center labs are actually like clown cars.

And when that fails we can use my idea of stadium seating to make room. I mean, the ceilings are a good 10-12 feet high, that's just wasted space.

Oh, did I mention that out of the 6 new people hired 3 are sitting in my area?

My lab is designed so that each desk has a long bench coming out from it almost to the opposite wall of the lab. This leaves us creative room for freezers and tissue culture hoods but June the lab tech from awesome is fixing the space problem admirably. Also the lack of organization, we are now much more organized.

But I digress. There are two seats at each bench on which to do work. Sharing a bench with one other person isn't too bad, with more than that it gets tough to get things done. And it's impossible to get work done if someone is seated at that part of the bench. My advisor wants to make my bench an extension of the office area already on the bench opposite mine. Cause "people" can just go elsewhere to do work. I flat out told him no. It's easier to move a water bath from Jill's bench to make room for people than it is for me to move my entire bench elsewhere to make room for people. Perhaps it's best to make a list of my concerns so they'll be understood better.

1. 3 extra people in my area is ok, only one is actually doing bench work. The problem is that the other two are tossing their chairs into the small space between benches every time they get up making it difficult to move. It's seriously cramped and if I want to do any reading I better have headphones because new girl 1 is always ordering stuff on the phone and new girl 2 is chatty.

2. The more significant problem is that all the new people get added here, except for the ones that filled empty desks. If he keeps hiring people and keeps thinking he can put them here I will not be able to get much work done. I've already talked to the lab tech about this but she isn't being very sympathetic. All the part time people will be over here too to use the communal computer. There simply isn't enough space.

3. There is plenty of space elsewhere. There are 6 other benches and each can easily take a person at the end without inconveniencing the person who uses the bench more so than having to share the bench like I do anyway. Plus there will also be two more desk spots once we clear out the Counter of Broken Electronics. Jinlu does nothing and Jill is barely here, what with her hectic traveling with the advisor and decorating their new house schedule. They could easily take people at their benches. But my bench is clean and not a crap hole so it looks like I have more space. Plus I'm not sleeping with my boss. (Although this is apparently the way to go in academia. I'll get on that.) Oh, I forgot, we're actually moving new girl 2 from the end of the bench of new girl 4 to my area, cause new girl 4 is here finally and can't be bothered.

4. No one else has had to make a sacrifice yet. Four people in my area is the absolute limit if any of us is going to be productive. If they try to put one more person here I will flip and insist someone else be inconvenienced.

5. I have to go to a poster session today for a department that I'm not in. This isn't really a problem because my advisor is in the department so it's expected that I'll have to do stuff like this, but I finally got a meeting with him again last week so I have a lot to do and don't want to waste my time showing a poster to people who could care less. Also really I just want to say that he's not here, again, because he and Jill are in Hawaii. Not for a conference. Or if it is a conference and it is the one I'm thinking of it's peripherally associated with our research, at best, and is essentially a way to get a vacation to Hawaii. Not that Jill does research on any (save 1) of the conferences she goes to with my advisor. Again, I must apparently find an advisor to have sex with, the benefits are sweet. Like free trips to Hawaii.

I just needed to get that off my chest. We've had major lab changes in the last month and it sorta exaggerates my frustration with the advisor.

Sunday, September 05, 2004
One Year Bloggerversary!
Today marks my one year anniversary of blogging. It's been a lot of fun posting and reading the blogs of friends and strangers.

In other news, I've finally gotten around to uploading pictures from my camera again. The link is to the right, there will be one new pic a day since the site only allows one unless I pay. First up is a receipt for S&M pasta from San Francisco. Then I'll post some fabulous pictures of Sanjay and then perhaps some of my new, fully unpacked, apartment.

Blogger sort of allows photo posting but I have to download an additional program to host them. That seems like a lot of work today so I'll stick with fotolog for now. Although if I can find a way to link to the videos I took of Sanjay in San Francisco, that might give me enough incentive.

Friday, September 03, 2004
I am completely unpacked. My apartment is clean. My laundry is clean. The photos are hung on the wall. There are no more empty box-laden trips to the storage area.

It's SO nice to have a completed home again. I have a handful of directly- or indirectly-moving related tasks/chores to do (ex. change my address on a few more things) and then I'll be back to my standard 3-4 standing errands/chores to do at any given time.

Translation: I can play guitar again. And video games. And read. Oh, how I need to catch up on my reading.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Nurtured by gentle, tropical rains
I think it's fun to read the blurbs on product packaging. The J. Peterman-esque romantification of the product is quite amusing some times. It really clarifies the target consumer and the image the company wants to have. It's to so much of an extreme I don't know who they're kidding though. I've typed the passage from a vending machine coffee cup below so you know what I mean. I also like the little weird facts you find under the cap of Nantucket Nectars, but that's a little different.

"AVI's pursuit of the world's best tasting cup of coffee took us to South America's premier coffee plantations where the world's highest quality Arabica coffee beans are grown in sunbathed splendor and nurtured by gentle tropical rains. Today, this treasure is yours, as our Arabica coffee beans are roasted to excellence, bursting with flavour, then freshly ground and brewed for each cup of coffee. There isn't a fresher, richer, more robust, full-bodied and better-tasting cup of coffee anywhere. AVI ... we're as unrelenting in pursuit of that perfect cup of coffee as you are."

Fantastic. And also doubtful.


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