Aug. 17th, 2008 10:27 pm
jinian: (little totoro)
recovering. not helped by forgetting meds last night. oops. but there was SWEETIE.
jinian: (wtf Martel)
This is the best addled/flop-sweat icon I have.

I have loved so many things about this course, but I was about ready to cry if I had to do any more of it. It's a really good thing, then, that it is over except for the cleanup! I outright forgot to put things in my paper, and the talk wasn't especially good either (very nice classmate C claims it was, but I know what I meant to do!) but it is OVER OVER OVER. Whew.
jinian: (learning kyo)
Saved adolescent raccoon from dumpster: Y

(Sorry for super-blurriness; I was trying to light her with my flashlight, hold the lid open, and take pictures in the dark all at once. There was only one of her.)

When you're a young raccoon, you do dumb things. Like dumpster-diving when there's nothing in there, which not only gets you no tasty food, it leaves you making woeful trilling noises when grad students are returning to their dorms at 2am. Luckily, they have thumbs and access to outside objects. You can, with difficulty, pull and contort your body up onto the proffered plastic deck chair and thence to the dumpster's edge, and then get the hell out of Dodge.

At breakfast, I found out that I am not the only one to have done this, but it's not actually obligatory.
jinian: (FHL cockles)
Making off with dining hall dishes: Y
Karaoke: N
Farmer's market: Y
Kicked out of bar: N
Biked to town: Y
Rowed to town: Y
Ridden in motorboat for science: Y
Piloted motorboat: N
Dredging trip(s) on large boat: Y
Dock jump(s): Y
Campus drunkenness: N
Stargazing at Shady Cove: Y (meteor shower!)
Fire at South Beach: Y
Seen orcas at Lime Kiln: N
Seen other charismatic megafauna: Y
Visitor(s): Y
Labbie hookup(s): N
Sex in the context of a long-term committed relationship: Y
Late night(s) working on project: Y

In other news:
The nectarines are finally good, and my in situs totally worked.


Aug. 10th, 2008 09:05 am
Can't sleep, baby raccoons will eat me!

I walked exhausted out of the molecular lab building quite late last night, and jumped about a foot when I heard a scraping sound on the decorative wood around the door. Two young raccoons (without the mom the last few times I saw them, including this story) were scrabbling around, climbing and probably trying to figure out how to get down. I yelled a little, closed the propped-open door, and once back inside started laughing. The three classmates in there at the time came to look, and we gawked at the raccoons, who didn't know what to do. Eventually they managed to get down and flee. Hilarious. Woke me up a LOT!

(Not enough sleep at all last night, but at least I am not in precisely the same place I was yesterday morning.)
Friendly ecdysozoans from sea tables )

It's been a lot of fun working in non-model organisms. I did that a bit with the rhododendrons, but that was very much within the one population. With this project, I'm looking at a specific gene that's highly conserved across so many different body plans it boggles the mind, and the clever analysis that people do to find bases for phylogenetic inference is a lot more evident. I definitely want to find a way to take that sensibility back to my work at home. (Begonia leaf in situs?)

Chiton drag racing has left its mark in one of the sea tables.

Charismatic megafauna today: three-foot harbor seal balancing horizontally on a rock out at Lime Kiln, then distant porpoise backs as we were leaving. (Photos coming.)


Jul. 28th, 2008 01:56 pm
jinian: (attack zero)
If being a grad student means being more exposed to the increasingly unadulterated disorganization and half-assery of your professors, maybe I should go home now before I actually smack anyone.
jinian: (FHL cockles)
Acorn worm update: It is not the same kind of hemichordate that researchers here had in the lab, so its provenance is being investigated by detailed sectioning.

"Nightlighting" is the charming practice of taking the Labs' two underwater lanterns, hanging them in the water next to the docks until after dark, and lying on your belly watching the animals come to investigate. And, of course, taking pictures.

Not such big pictures )

Tomorrow: Going out on the boat again in the morning to dredge for animals for my own real live project. Molgula pugetiensis and possibly M. taylori are around here, and it would be, well, more fun than helpful, but still cool to have them on board.
jinian: (so hip!)
I was SO RIGHT about an obscure topic relating to my project, and the professor's story about finding that out was darkly hilarious.

Earlier this week, I found the first acorn worm ever to be described from Friday Harbor! (This is not a good thing per se; it means they may be able to escape in larval form from the Labs, though they could easily have arrived via ballast too. Still, a winner is me.) It has since been pickled for posterity.

All my ideas came together today, and after talking to the profs they are together still, amended, and extended. This is going to be really fun.

Photos coming soon, as I am now camera-enabled courtesy of the excellent [livejournal.com profile] hattifattener.

Feeling a bit down/brain-full/overpeopled tonight, probably just hormones. I did have a really good time forcing sea anemones off their rocks with my fingernails earlier.
jinian: (worms' meat)
In short: Best production ever.

Long version )
jinian: (fan-gee the dracukey!)
Tomorrow morning: talks on our current/thesis research, so we all know what everyone is doing. The nice part will be having the day off after around 11:15; the 8:30am part is not so nice, though cinnamon rolls are promised at breakfast. [For the afternoon: farmer's market, maybe sculpture park, probably missing Labs lunch, oh well.)

Dinner today was pizza, and I was all set to have PB&J as none of the pizzas available was tomato-free. The PB&J was not set out. A bunch of Caesar salad, cottage cheese, and a boiled egg made a decent meal, but I've felt cold all day and that didn't help a bit. The cafeteria folk expressed distress at my not eating the entree, so I put myself forward dreadfully by adding my food problem to their very short list.

I think people are adjusting to my Relentless Uncoolness. I'm social at meals once in a while, and perfectly friendly in class, so the fact that I am usually buried in a book or trying to hide from humans for a while doesn't seem to be worrying people any more. Although:

. One of the instructors tried to say reassuringly yesterday that it's okay I'm quiet. Yes, I know it is. I think my puzzled look was adequate.

. "That must be a good book! You've been reading it all day." Yes, it's pretty good so far (Miss Pym Disposes, now finished; downbeat and not a surprise to my suspicious mind but excellent), but if it weren't... I'd be reading a different book. And for heaven's sake, the "all day" I'd been reading it was while ten people tried to do DNA extractions with two centrifuges, taking twenty times as long. What else was there to do? Silly person. (Also it was the second book today, which I pointed out, ha ha.)

Possibly I am a little bit on the goofy side due to tiredness. Having fun, though. Fed dissected bivalves to our prawn friends, and learned about the creepy-awesome pedicellariae on the backs of starfish and sea urchins. And saw them! And goaded them to bite the poking instrument!
jinian: (Thalictrum uchiyamai)
European centaury, which is adorable and (since non-native) potentially kidnappable to garden by me.

Harvest brodiaea, a shocking spot of blue-violet on the path to an instructor's apartment.

Pink honeysuckle is supposed to be hairy, and this isn't, but there are really no other pink options. The leaves are also a little off. Hmm.

Yerba buena, which grows all over campus and smells deliciously of lemon cough drops.

Good thing the library here had an unclaimed copy of Pojar & Mackinnon.

In animal news, many fine swimming isopods were acquired today, as well as a mighty crab and some cool chitons. Worms, of course, should be inferred.
To ferry dock: 15 minutes

To discover the need for a bicycle pump: 2 minutes

To discover this was a bad idea directly after dinner: 16 minutes

To find an open bookstore: 18 minutes

Other events of note:
. Found a Susan Point sculpture!
. Had to walk the bike for about a block of extreme hill on the way back
jinian: (Carthamus)
Low-tide trip to False Bay this morning -- found many MANY polychaete worms, some nemertean worms, and a couple of hemichordates. Also the more accessible hermit crabs and tiny eels, who like to hide under big pieces of algae. Later in the lab, I successfully identified the larvae in a jellylike egg mass as some kind of gastropod -- not bad for knows-nothing girl. And bryozoans are very cool.
[no photo links due to likely gross-out, esp. on polychaetes for m-pig]

After the interminable hour of talklets from all the researchers here, which were supposed to be limited to 2 minutes but were not, I had to recharge somehow. Here in the absence of privacy, that apparently means connecting with nature in some way, preferably by eating it. I managed to find not only some salmonberries (one was good omg) and dewberries (fabulous as always) but a maple-leafed currant bush, which has the best currants I've ever had. Am now trying to plot propagation.

Tomorrow: out on a boat to dredge up more invertebrates!


hey love, I'm an inconstant satellite

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