Dec. 24th, 2014 02:03 pm
Doctor's office called. My isurance is being a pain about covering the hysterectomy part of the surgery and wants me to try progesterone for two months first. OMGWTF INSURANCE.

Hard to convey how freaked out and unhappy I am right now. Have literally gone to Youtube to play myself some Enya.
Posting this almost unedited from my barely-awake typing, because I find my sleepy self hilarious.

most amazing dream:

vaguely postapocalyptic future

there had been some past widespread factory prodution of prostate stimulation toys

it had been supported by a vast marketing campaign involving claymation videos of their toys' production, with songs. cannot render the amazingness here. like, unnecessary numbers of cute and hilarious intermediate steps: a sea lion with ribbons, all multicolors of clay going onto the core and zipping off again, clay blooming into petals and fingers before being smoothed down into the final shape with adorably inefficient compressing machinery.

some interpersonal plot where an unknown person and one of my friends joined me in a sand pit as i was looking at promo material, first a comic and then the above video, in wonder

and the factories/theme parks were all associated with hot/warm springs for swimming

so at the end of the video the park's heat lamps turned on, and we went swimming with other people who showed up

but some people were mad at each other and some were mad at me for delaying them somehow, idk

how was this dream so awesome? i woke amazed

It was as if Willy Wonka ran Babeland. I can't even. Of course the factories were also theme parks and came with hot springs. Obviously.

I mean, if you have to pick a world to be postapocalyptic from...
jinian: Tiny Fakir from Princess Tutu, reading (reading fakir)
Minimally coherent reading meme time!

Currently I am reading Deerskin, because I read Chalice yesterday and it was Just The Thing, and I emailed [personal profile] rushthatspeaks saying mostly in jest that I should try Deerskin as comfort reading because comfort is unpredictable. Nope! Deerskin is predictably upsetting! Almost cried at lunch, sad all afternoon. But I read more on the couch when I got home, and there were blessings and baths and puppies, so that's better and I am looking forward to finishing it when I go to bed.

Some people do not like Chalice I guess? It's very reserved as a book, but Mirasol is reserved and so are basically all the other characters, it works for me. Plus I love bees, I would like to keep some bees someday.

Before that I read Baby Remember My Name: an anthology of queer girl writing, edited by Michelle Tea. Around halfway through, I thought to myself, so I am guessing Michelle Tea lives in San Francisco, and her solicitation for this anthology was largely based in San Francisco, because fuck is there a lot of San Francisco in this book. (Her bio proves me correct on the first supposition at least.) I was rolling my eyes pretty hard by the end. Also a lot of sex work, which, okay, I get that queer people often do that but it's mostly not people I know so to have it be overwhelming was weird. Some of the writing was too poetical for me, and most of the bits I liked cut off abruptly. Nice to see economic and racial diversity, though.

Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves was amazing; I have liked her other novels pretty well, but this one blew me away and I don't want to spoil it, just go read. (I get the impression that I'm a philistine for not having this kind of reaction to Sarah Canary, but oh well.)

Also there was Robin Hobb's Blood of Dragons, which seems to be the last of the current batch of books, in which cranky-ass deformed dragons and their disadvantaged keepers trek up the world's nastiest river in search of a new home. It is a soap opera. On a scale of zero to Nana it is like 9. [*] When I mentioned it to [personal profile] skygiants she expressed trepidation about revisiting Robin Hobb at all, which is legit! I myself am afraid to reread the Assassin books after how fucking awful Soldier Son was! (Also I mean a person grows up, which is more the point.) But I was never emotionally attached to the Rain Wilds books, which is what these mainly relate to, so I felt myself fairly safe here. (The Tawny Man books get major side-eye from me, if that helps futher calibrate my Robin Hobb attitude for anyone?) There is a dragon in here that I think is a dragon from the Assassin books, though, which means DANGER WILL ROBINSON I might have to reread those to see what I think about that. Can it be more ill-advised than Deerskin though? And that's turning out okay in the end!

Um a while ago I read Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, which was not the thing of heart-wrenching glory that Eleanor and Park is. It is cute and fun, though. The best thing about it is that she made up a whole Harry-Potter-esque fandom for her characters to be fans of, and there are excerpts, and now people on the internets are making little comics and sketches of Simon Snow and his adversary Baz and his two friends Agatha and Penelope. If I could draw humans worth a damn I would probably be doing fan art myself, just because I am so taken with the meta of it all.

Longer ago than that I read Mirabile, which everyone should do at all times. When they're not reading Hellspark anyway.

Books I bought this last long time: Only presinks! Which somehow the clerk was surprised that I had read them both first. I said, come on, how else do you know who needs to read them? (The Fowler for Wim's dad and stepmom; Rachel Hartman's Seraphina, which is now purple and I disapprove, for my mom.)

[* ETA: wait I just realized, this is totally The Real World: Rain Wilds River. brb loling forever]
jinian: Twilight Sparkle from MLP:FiM (scientific research)
16-hour day. Main experiment failed twice. Something that really, really shouldn't have gone wrong seems to be doing so.

jinian: (real scientist)
My PI is Japanese, so gets a ton of invitations to talk over there. She is perhaps a little exhausted by it. When people wanted her to speak at a special symposium on imaging, she suggested that maybe instead her main imaging person (that would be me) could speak... if they didn't mind the symposium being in English. (?!) The organizer said sure. (??!!!) So if none of the invited speakers (other invited speakers?) objects, I may be giving a talk in Japan in September! And talking to researchers at Nagoya U about their amazing imaging equipment! I am so excited and freaked out I cannot type September correctly.

Let's keep this in the subjunctive for now. If I did possibly get to go to Japan (OMG), what would I absolutely need to see?

(Just imagine that the icon is flashing rapidly among Real Scientist/Bad Wolf/SQUEE, okay?)
jinian: (worms' meat)
(from 27 Oct 2010)

Janelle Monáe shot the walking dead with her FINGERS and they FELL before the power of her AWESOME.

She is amazing. The show highlighted the concept of her work, though it didn't carry it through completely, starting with a projected archandroid video before the first number started and bringing a few pieces of that in later. She didn't dance intensely while singing, obviously, but we got to see a few moves.

Alas, the Janelle segment of the show was not remotely sufficient in length. There were some sound quality issues as well; they had to know in advance that the woman can get loud, but they did not seem to have planned properly. (Hilariously, the lead singer from Of Montreal came on to do a song with her, and you couldn't hear him at all. Poor planning but also a slight difference of singing chops there.)

As for Of Montreal, well. I totally think Of Montreal should exist; I like their recorded music, which reminds me of the Beatles only with even more interesting substance use, and I even support the existence of their stage show, which I would doubtless have enjoyed had I been smoking up outside like concert-goers I now deem to have been wise. But I left early.

Far too many of the songs were interrupted by long monotonous sections so that the dancers could set up visual tableaux that I did not find interesting. You would think that people in body suits with pig heads on would at least have been amusing, but I am here to tell you that it was not so. At least not after the first two minutes and the pantomimed sex with the lead singer.

Things that were entertaining: They did at one point deliver a pleasing "Groenlandic Edit" -- the singer has a nice rock yowl and a good falsetto. Dancers in checkered body suits crowd-surfing. The Magneto helmets and the singer riding what I can only interpret as a giant fire-penis. The singer's outfit, which included dusty-rose leggings, a secretary's ruffled teal blouse and teal slouchy boots, and a diaphanous white apron.

But that was not enough to keep me there, even when they busted out Janelle Monáe for a song 45 minutes in. I'm not sure I've ever left a concert early before, but I have no regrets.

(Photos and more-pleased-than-I comments at the Strangler:
jinian: (birdsquee)
It turns out that, with predictive text, "enzyme" is a palindrome.
jinian: (Winry kicks ass)
Evidence suggests that dancing behavior is induced primarily by 80s music. "Billie Jean" was the first big draw, followed immediately by "Dancing Queen" (yes I know 1976). The Eurhythmics were popular, and of course there was the one that caused me to leap up, rip off my sweater, and run to the floor: "99 Luftballons"! The Germans and I sang along.

What-were-they-thinking selections included Journey (air guitar was observed, dancing less so), Bruce Springsteen, and a raft of new stuff I didn't know or much like. The winner of this category was Suzanne Vega (yay) with "Luka" (a song about child abuse wtf).

I had a good time, even on post-cross-country-skiing knees, but I still think Wim's Lascivious Science Dancers would've been an extreme improvement on the weird wedding-DJ people with two Mac laptops, a Dell, and a stick of stage lights.

This should really be "what plant molecular signaling biologists will dance to". Anyone else have further evidence from other accessions?
jinian: (lucky cat)
Cleaning the living room, which was in dire need. Really the whole house is in dire need; I don't know how we thought it was feasible to move to a place with 1/4 the space, even with a quasi-livable outbuilding. I am coming up with some creative storage ideas, but we still have to ditch a LOT more stuff. Or move, which might be easier.

Throwing out:
  • Sophomoric (if that?) horror story about confession to a priest who turns out to be a werewolf too. Who wrote this? Wasn't me!
  • Carefully copied lyrics to 80s glam rock songs (Totally me. *facepalm*)
  • Early chapters of an epic fantasy novel by first-time-college boyfriend, who was plagued by sharing the name of a really good SF author. This appears to be better than Eragon, but that's not saying much.
  • Ninja turtles as humans fanfic? I did not remember this. We gave them girlfriends (us) and they went to the mall in the snow. Okay then.
  • 1992 R.E.M. interview printed from Rolling Stone's newfangled Web Site.
  • Medical documentation and pricing (steep!) for my Norplant, which I got at age 17.
  • Tests, answer sheets, and scratch paper from my high school math competitions.
  • Address, telephone numbers, passport number, and grandmother's name of a guy who scammed me out of cab fare in about 1999.
  • Small package never sent to my CTY roommate. I have been sad about this since approximately 1993. Keeping the letter but not the bad novel or the envelope.

  • Pretty much all correspondence from anyone.
  • Old journals and list notebooks.
  • Hand-drawn MARRIAGE LICENSE between ME and the girl I had an enormous crush on at CTY. Holy crap, I have NO memory of this and I WISH I DID. (She had blue hair, went by a dorky-awesome nickname, and occasionally wore a Star Trek uniform. Sigh.) I may frame this.
  • Ridiculous collaborative line-by-line story from probably AP European class. Sample:
    Then he removed his mini skirt revealing / a huge squirrel. Yes, the bastard kept a squirrel in his skirt. Then / he began to lure dogs to his secret lair. He enjoyed them more than he should. / He often spent his off hours making fudge and watches. / He must have no life to make that. Is he Swedish?

  • Many Cricket Cricket papers, at least until I read through them and scan the awesome ones.
  • Wim's magnetic No-Face mask.

jinian: (kero-chan)
Wim (now claiming the title of Lady Gaga fanboy) sent me this parody a couple of days ago and it's been running through my head since then. And I'm happy about it.
"Neutra Face"

(Note that it's now available for download under the Youtube "more info" sidebar! Also, media about typefaces is made of awesome.)

Aaaaand I got third place for best talk in the grad student symposium today. Yay me.
jinian: (Winry kicks ass)
It occurred to me tonight that book titles can be classified according to what part of speech they represent. The vast majority seem to be noun phrases of various types and complexities:

(Evolution's Darling, Labyrinths, Why People Do Weird Things)

but many are also prepositional phrases:

(From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain, Until the Celebration, Through the Looking-Glass)

complete sentences:

(Set This House In Order, The Stars Compel)

adjective phrases:

(Marooned in Realtime)

or ambiguous:

(Slant, Second Nature)

So what I'm wondering is:

1. What part of speech do you think Bully for Brontosaurus is? Wim and I cannot agree.

2. Other stuff, like whether genres have significant differences in title-part-of-speech proportions. I am sure we'd see a difference of some kind looking at title styles over time, but can we quantify it? Number of words/complexity of construction? Can we get a computer program to mine Amazon or the Library of Congress for titles and first-pass categorize them, or does it make more sense to go directly to a Galaxy Zoo model in which they are scored by multiple humans? Is there any way in the world to get a grant for this kind of work? (Probably one should not also be doing a Ph.D. in molecular biology, ha ha.)


Aug. 17th, 2008 10:27 pm
jinian: (little totoro)
recovering. not helped by forgetting meds last night. oops. but there was SWEETIE.
jinian: (emasculating)
Today I dissected siliques (maybe 2mm x 12mm) and seeds (about 50 of them fit in previous)
of Arabidopsis. Fun stuff, actually, though one does get a little disoriented after
looking through binocular microscopes for hours on end. (Interspersing games of spider
solitaire helps.)

I hadn't seen plant embryos in person before, so I thought I'd share some of my photos.
None of these actually shows what I want to observe, which is the activity of a particular
transgene, but they're good illustrations of the developmental progression. Also, if you
have ever been twelve, you will snicker at the last one.

Plant porn! )

Also, the Dirt Empire in the front yard expanded southward today, driving the heathen grass
before it! (That is a botany joke. HA HA.) Photos soon, I hope.
jinian: (clow reads)
The meme (brought to me by [ profile] firecat) goes: "The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed." But what Big Read came up with this list?

Google results, fun, and snark )

Where is this list actually from? I find it, without comment or justification, at the Telegraph. No sign of the "only 6" business.

I have read rather a lot of these )


May. 6th, 2008 09:03 pm
jinian: (no comment)
So far, the raised-bed kit from Lee Valley has been a hell of a lot of trouble, and I still don't have any raised beds to put my vegetable starts into. Sheesh. Anyone know a good place to get 12" x {something reasonable} pavers not exceeding 2" thick?

Biking to school is fun and fast, but there are many benefits of walking. I swear I saw morels in someone's front yard a few weeks ago (none today when I checked back), and yesterday I saw not only an apparent bud-sport of black clover on a green plant (collected some for attempted rooting, as it was in a sidewalk crack anyway) but an actual swarm of honeybees. No queen was visible from a prudent distance, but there were at least 500 honeybees within about 25 cubic feet, moving along the sidewalk very slowly.

Still nowhere near unpacked, but we do have a guardian of the not-unpacked state around.

Super-busy, whee. (Of course now is the time to become obsessed with how I'm doing on my [ profile] 50books_poc count. No I am not going to count up all my reading lists from the last year! Not until I'm done grading exams, which comes AFTER the presentation Thursday and AFTER teaching two lab sections and AFTER my actual research. Bad brain, quit bugging me.)
There wasn't much traffic tonight as I walked along the highway overpass to get home, so I know which car it was that somehow caused an item to skid to a halt twenty feet behind me. Unable to resist curiosity, I discovered that it was a summer sausage. Nothing else had fallen or been thrown out. I picked it up and it was warm, leading immediately to an ocean of speculation, and thus, inevitably, to a poll.

[Poll #1137105]

Not sure what to do with it. I think I am too paranoid to eat it myself, in which case I am too paranoid to give it to the crows (whom I like). Food bank ditto. If I thought it was really poisoned I might try to interest the tulip-murdering squirrels, but what if it were all right and I only encouraged their taste for blood?

Unrelatedly, I succeeded brilliantly at my orange cake recipe on Saturday. Affinity brought on by watching Kim Sam Soon?


Mar. 5th, 2007 11:29 pm
jinian: (ayame sex)
Manga + Labyrinth = almost too overcome to continue shopping for used books.


hey love, I'm an inconstant satellite

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