jinian: (zoomy sakura)
I woke up in a good mood on Friday (sushi aftereffects?) and then had therapy. Therapist is onto me, as I have complained to Twitter already -- she refuses to hear only about the things that are going well now and directs me back to how the one terrible thing is getting its miasma everywhere. So that was hard but probably a good idea.

Saturday I had pottery as usual, and while the kiln is getting a lot slower since it's the end of the quarter I did get my Hallucigenia bowl back! It's ridiculous and great. I glazed the trilobite-stenciled bowl and another one, so hopefully those will be done by next week, and threw a couple more bowls that I was very happy with. One quite big, with lovely thin walls that really wanted to buckle downward, and my teacher was finally not being monopolized by Miss Working-On-Commission for the entire period and showed me how to save it and a less accident-prone way to do shaping. Always nice when I get instruction from my instructor!

Then [personal profile] genarti picked me up for our small hiking trip. It wasn't warm at all, but dry and clear was good enough for us. We drove out to Rocky Woods Reservation, which turns out to be adorable and very well maintained, with nice flexible trail options that don't doom you to an hours-long loop if you don't want to commit. There was an orienteering event that we both agreed we probably would've wanted to join in if we hadn't come at the end, but instead we had quite good sandwiches and a giant pickle from an aggressively quaint deli in the nearby small town. (How quaint were they? So quaint they had three kinds of store-brand soda bottled for them, bearing labels printed with an image of their storefront, complete with printed sign pointing to it in case you forgot who and how cute they were.)

Hiking with Beth is great. We climbed rocky hills! We saw a beautiful vista! We got distracted by trees and rocks! And also a weird nut (diagnosis after rock-based dissection efforts: one of these bare trees is a young walnut). And part of the trail being paved with compressed shredded roof shingles.

Then we joined a bunch of people downtown to watch Mermaid, which was hilarious if disturbing in parts. The cops! The shoes! The ceiling fan! The slingshot! The cranky assassin auntie! The badass magical grandma! (We could all have done without the teppanyaki scene.) We got food at a good Vietnamese place, which I'm about to have leftover clay pot rice from, and went by a bakery on our way home too.

Then I came home to find that pretty much everything we needed for our Flight Rising event was done to my satisfaction, and got a lot of very nice sleeping done. This morning (now that the push has started and we have some dragon data to play with) I made spreadsheet wizardries happen, took another nap, and have had time to just relax. I'm reading the weirder novels of Andrea Host, and can definitely recommend The Pyramids of London for wacky steampunk vampires and gods. Very eventful days are fun, but my health is still not great, and lying down a lot today has also been excellent. I also watched a bunch of Leverage, and I'm working on a music mix for a friend.
jinian: (mokona dessert!)
I took a long lunch on Friday and ate a giant plate of nachos -- if I get to go back to NYBG there will be return visits to OK Mr. Pancho. On the way back, I visited the exhibits on the Garden grounds.

Model trains and Japanese chrysanthemums )
jinian: (Collomia grandiflora)
I am in bed with Nyquil and doxycycline, so this is a good time to catch up on posting about my second trip to NYBG. I made lots of tweets, and these are the herbarium-related ones with some extra notes.

Read more... )
jinian: (Thalictrum uchiyamai)
1. Relaxing post-sleepover pancake breakfast with sweetie, at almost noon.

2. Got laundry done.

3. Controlled the fuck out of the DH2 wiki.

4. $2 green mum from the grocery store remains perfect.
jinian: (clow reads)
Flying on Tuesday: skies like opals; two Great Lakes!; a rosy-tan dam half in shadow (as we raced away from the sun), making a lake-thallus spread in thick forest; fields with sashing between and fields without, some like old-style sequencing gels.

(My best guess on that last is that it's some crop sown in separate rows and harvested a row at a time. Cabbages or something?)

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks came to get me at the airport and take me home. Met [livejournal.com profile] gaudior and presented the awesome books I'd brought (Amy Unbounded ashcan series, which I'd found just before leaving, yay!, Ancient, Ancient, and Disappearing Foods). Watched some Community and now understand why the entire internet loves it so.

Wednesday: good conversation, still successfully eating with slightly less mild foods, reading books (Flower of Life even v4!, Three Science Fiction Novellas, Linnets and Valerians; all excellent). Walked down to Harvard, where some historical scientific instruments lie hidden in a science building -- great stuff, including a very 50s-looking cyclotron control panel that the signage implied was used until 2001 and several really fine orreries.

I'd seen the glass flowers before, but we really got to look at them and marvel in detail this time. And I found the name of a mystery flower I saw in Hawaii in 2009: Petrea volubilis! They also had an amazing mineral collection, with a special exhibit on meteorites.

Dinner was replanned at the last minute due to the wonders of wild-caught food; still delicious. ("The nematodes pose no health risk but rather an esthetic problem for the diner.")

Today: quiet so far, as hosts are busy with necessary endeavors creative and otherwise. Read (Little Butterfly), messed about online, washed dishes, made a cunning plan, soon will go out and wander a bit. Minimal engagement with work as it seems PI may have decided my paper can fuck off for the present; it's like she just NOTICED all the problems I've been telling her about for a year, sigh.
jinian: (Collomia grandiflora)
Mugwort - I know this is a thing from Chinese medicine, where I think they burn it (yes, and look at all the foods too), but what is it? Oh, Artemisia vulgaris, the plant to which I am so very allergic that as soon as mine in the herb garden bloomed I sneezed for half an hour straight, and my dad went vengefully to yank it out and fling it down the gully. All right then.

Sweet gale - The next thing to bayberry, Myrica gale.

Water purslane - There are North American plants called this, but Laura would have found Lythrum portula. The dreaded purple loosestrife is in the same genus; Lythrum isn't closely related to regular-type purslane, which is in the Portulacaceae. I assume it's called that due to being edible, though I don't see any reference to its being slimy, so how can it be purslane?

Succory - Chicory! How did that happen? The OED says: "Alteration of cicoree, sichorie, sycory, old forms of chicory n., q.v., after Middle Low German suckerîe, Middle Dutch sûkerîe (Dutch suikerei, older Flemish suykerey, succory)," versus "< French cichorée (now chicorée) endive, chicory (= Italian cicórea) < Latin cichorium, cichorēum, < Greek κίχορα, κιχόρεια (neuter plural)."

Tailors' needles - I judge this is probably a type of Bidens. Although the only plant I can find with that exact common name is Scandix pecten-veneris, as an umbellifer it seems very unlikely to smell of honey. Bidens species are often called [adjective] needles for their long, burrlike seeds, and do smell of honey in some cases. (American gardeners can imagine Coreopsis; the two genera are intimately involved.)
jinian: (Wiscon braid)
Yesterday I ate mac and cheese with salad (at Noodles, since I didn't figure anyone else would want to go there socially). Then there was NAPPING.

I had my alarm set for 5:30 so I wouldn't miss the GoH reading, but when my roommates Betsy and Matt arrived five minutes before the alarm I realized that half-price margaritas sounded a lot better than the reading, so I did that with them and Joanna. Regrettably, Frida's where margaritas used to be had has gone, and we went to Moe's, where there are four flavors of margarita and some slightly fancied-up pub fare. Good pulled pork, amazingly boring french fries.

Wiscon karaoke was next! I wore too many clothes because I was worried I'd be cold on the way home, which was foolish. Fun as always, with new people and people from last year. I sang "Dress You Up" and "She-Bop" creditably, but got lost during the Prince-freaks-out-and-screeches-a-lot section of "Little Red Corvette". The first part was good! I was tired and drunk enough not to be able to recover from losing my place, though. Annoyingly, I could intermittently hear someone in the audience singing it fine -- come up to the stage and help, then.

On my way home: Feral rhubarb next to the sidewalk at Gorham and Broom. Chautara restaurant's traditional chalk drawing for Wiscon being worked on by the artist.

Today we had roommate breakfast and then my day was All Clothing Swap. It went great, with huge volumes and lots of volunteers. We have an entire car full of donations that we need to take to Goodwill at some point; the front desk printed us directions to a drive-up donation center. (Previous years have gone to St. Vincent de Paul, but they apparently don't accept underwear, and there are some good bras here.) Currently I am exhausted, with hip, knees, and feet that are being very sad at me. I probably should have eaten lunch. The Gathering cookies disappeared before I got there. I probably should go get dinner now.

But I got such the best skirt, and some other good stuff too. I am still not convinced this very 80s top fits me as it should, but it is hot pink zebra print, come on. The octopus T-shirt may be appropriated by [personal profile] hattifattener when I get home, so I'd better wear it before then. And!!! A swap volunteer I met at karaoke last night not only had a Rarity toy as a keychain on his bag (<3 <3 <3) but will give me his extra one.

Tonight my plan is to curl up at the vid party for the entire night, which will be (1) awesome and (2) roughly my physical and interaction capacity.
jinian: (pigs ahoy)

Happy late birthday, [personal profile] rushthatspeaks!

My (1978) copy of The Pollinators of Eden begins with a dedication:
To Lynn Gillaspy, as a warning

Perhaps we should all have been warned off )

All plants are the same )

Only they need to be sexier, obvsly )

'Evolution' )

Terminology )

Conclusion )
jinian: (Collomia grandiflora)
Working really hard since returning to Seattle, where it is beautiful out (finally) and I have no energy to enjoy it. Tonight the new postdoc and I stayed late making competent E. coli for molecular cloning -- "competent" in this context meaning they're willing to suck up plasmids (circular DNA bits we design) when we freak them out by overheating them briefly. Impending death means you use whatever tools you can find! And then we let them live... if they picked up the right thing.

Way back on Sunday, though, Wim and I had an actual good time. We drove to Monterey from Berkeley despite a few initial difficulties, passing through Gilroy at Garlic Festival time and witnessing the long lines at the relevant freeway exits. Cousin #4 met us at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and showed us lots of amazing things behind the scenes, including an importunate sea turtle (fed on synthetic jellyfish-mimicking gel that they make in sausage casings and slice!) and beautiful little cuttlefish (one threatened me by flashing a dark square! and they remodeled their skin's color and texture to match the sand when they weren't making blue chaser lights around their edges!).

Said cousin is in charge of the peripheral tanks in the kelp forest room, and she says when they collect kelp they have to get the holdfasts or the stalks alone will die, even if tied down. Fascinating! Time to nerd out! Kelp are not plants; they're brown algae. It turns out ('cause you know I did a literature review) that algae have been found to contain pretty much all plant hormones. The current hypothesis is that the hormones are pretty much all coming from the chloroplast, which is really the only thing that makes sense -- chloroplasts were acquired separately in different algae types, and land plants evolved from the green algae, so the chloroplasts are the only thing such different organisms have in kind-of common. (But is there really only one kind of photosynthetic prokaryote? All these complicated hormones may be evolutionarily very ancient.) So, as kelp is not a plant and lives in a seething nutrient solution, holdfasts are not at all roots. (Anatomy of kelp.) They don't take up nutrients, and there's no vascular tissue to transport them long distances; holdfasts really just hang onto the bottom so the kelp doesn't get washed away. What chemical signal does the holdfast send to the rest of the body to let it know it's there? This is a separate origin of multicellularity from that of plants, but it has lots of the same building blocks. Are they all used the same way? My first-pass idea for checking out the usual suspects involves taking tissue from different kelp parts and looking at gene expression of hormone synthesis pathways, but this is chancy because there's no sequenced genome. A person could do that, but it takes time. More importantly, I kind of have a career plan, i.e., being an awesome microscopist, and there are lots of problems with imaging in kelp. (Primarily, I have no way to get transgenes into it at all so I can't make interesting proteins visible by attaching GFP, and also algae are said to be especially difficult due to autofluorescence.) But I don't see how anyone could not think that kelp is wonderful after seeing Monterey Bay and the sea otters meditating in the kelp beds.

We took Cousin #4 to lunch at a good Mexican place, wandered the aquarium a while longer, and drove back toward Palo Alto richer by an excellent jellyfish t-shirt. The iPad and its GPS ability were surprisingly valuable for navigation and helped us find a little beach that we walked down to. My foot was not too tired (healing yay) until I tried walking on the soft sand, but that was really difficult!

The iPad also helped us meet up with [personal profile] oyceter and CB in a reasonable fashion despite traffic backups over the mountain pass on highway 17. We were tantalizingly close to moving at a pace where I could have jumped out of the car, taken botanical specimens, and skibbled back in, but with the foot it was not happening. I did manage to peg the most common golden-orange flower as a Mimulus/Diplacus type from the car, so my botanical cockatiel-crest is in good order. (There was one in the parking lot at the UC Botanical Garden that I got to pull apart, and I think they're Diplacus auriantiacus.

Dinner at Palo Alto Creamery with Oyce and CB was delicious, great burgers with thick enough bacon to stand up to the beef and a ridiculous milkshake: Oreo cookie with mint and added peanut butter. I wouldn't have thought that would be good, but Oyce knows what she's doing. (Or she lucked out; it was not completely clear which.) Talked obscure video games with CB, who needs to try Vib-Ribbon sometime. We went to visit ratties after and met Momo and Haru, who are shy but can be won over with food. Eventually the Zipcar was due back and we took off.

Monday Wim did a soldering project with his sister for her research -- LEDs can be used as light sensors as well as emitters, who knew? -- while I read Jenny Crusie and loafed. I was perfectly content to do this until our flight, but Wim wanted to do a thing, so we went to the Botanical Garden briefly on our way to the airport. The vernal pool was dry, unsurprisingly, but there were lots of fun things to look at. Leaves and flowers to admire, names to be amused by. No hats for sunburned girls, though. Where does one buy pretty broad-brimmed hats when one has a big head?

Travel home was pretty much without incident. Virgin America remains a hilarious way to fly: they have used blue and purple LED technology to MAXIMUM, everything is white iMac-looking plastic, and the remote control/game controller/keyboard in the armrest is delightfully absurd. One of my buttons wasn't working, but I played some Gem Drop game that didn't need it during our descent. Fun.
jinian: (real scientist)
Now that my presentation has gone well, I'm reasonably caught up on work, and I've had a little time to relax, we return to our regularly scheduled science geeking. In particular, a recent post on Nightshade Free precipitated a possibly excessive amount of research into the issue of Roundup-Ready soybeans. Namely, does Monsanto's patented glyphosate-resistant soybean strain really contain petunia DNA, and could that be a problem for people who react to nightshades?

Molecular biology ho! )

On the basis of my research, I recommend not worrying at all about nightshade in your soy. Plants have tens of thousands of other proteins present in much higher amounts that are far more likely to be what you're sensitive to, and the tiny snippet of petunia DNA in that genetic construct is no sooner translated into amino acids than it gets disassembled again.

More molecular biology! )
jinian: (wicked ino)
Earlier today: Discovered rental cars are a lot more expensive if you don't have any car insurance, sigh. Baked and assembled gingerbread house (my decoration contribution: peanut-butter-filled Santa emerging from waves and clamshell made with gummi grapefruit slices!) with my mom, who loved her new Oncidium, and hung out with my dad a bit.

A minute ago: Finished my wrapping for tomorrow.

Currently: Dancin' all silly to Cyndi Lauper and fixin' to get me some lime-graham gelato from the freezer.

Tomorrow: Off to Quilcene in the rented car for an overnight visit with Wim's mom.
jinian: (wicked ino)
This is week 7, and next week is the last bisque firing, so we're all trying to finish up trimming so things can be let dry ASAP. Of course it's raining constantly and tonight the studio is having the wet vac people come, so that's not going to be real helpful. Oh well.

Yesterday I did some trimming and threw two plates mostly-successfully; one has a weird weak place in the rim, but I hope to think up some way to make that work. (I failed at two plates. They're surprisingly hard.) Today the plates were not dry enough to trim, but that thing where I threw over a dozen pieces last Thursday kept me very busy anyway. I still haven't trimmed through the bottom of any bowls, though I've come really close and they may yet crack or give out in use due to being too thin. Tapping them and listening is surprisingly useful.

[ETA] Oh, and we're going to do a raku firing in week 10! It sounds inherently awesome since this involves getting the pots red-hot and then throwing them in a bin full of sawdust or other combustible materials so they burn in funky, unpredictable patterns. Hope I get good photos!

Photos! )
jinian: (lost sakura)
Still feeling terrible, and the feline elimination apocalypse is ongoing. An unexpectedly good thing, though: Heritage Tree dedication ceremony across the street, with morris dancing. 5 photos, 1 ditty )
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Saturday: Biked to CUH for Fuchsia Society plant sale. No 'Rose Quartet', but some other neat plants. Should've brought better, bungee-able box for bringing back.

Lunch with mom at the Ram, then Children's Hospital plant sale, where some prices seemed high and some low ($11 tree peony yes please) compared to Swansons, our next stop. At Swansons, gained dramatic eye-bisecting scratch from a garden stake.

Came home and lazed about.

Sunday: Biked in and watered lab plants. Biked home and planted new nasturtiums and larkspurs. Waited around for people to wake up.

Took buses to WAC and basked in the sun for a while alone, then with [livejournal.com profile] lakmiseiru, than with [livejournal.com profile] hattifattener as well. Took pictures of a bee.

Had my picture taken with one-week-faded hair.
[need pic!]

Rented canoes when [livejournal.com profile] eub and [livejournal.com profile] katybeth arrived. (Next time, get numbers before waiting for entire party.) Paddled muchly. Some people were labeled CIA for unknown reasons. The mountain was out but not sufficiently contrasty for successful photography with inferior waterproof camera. Turtles and kingfishers were especially cute. Many herons.

A couple of anthropogenic moments.

I was hungry and tired, so grumpily convinced everyone to come home with me for Sea-Thai and Porco Rosso, even [livejournal.com profile] marzipan_pig, who wasn't there to start with.

OMG sore arms. Trouble sleeping.

Today: Arms completely fine. (?) Biked to lab again, yay. Foot injury is enough better that I can tell it's at the second toe. Completed stuffing of SNOUT FOOT with orphan socks, which will help a lot with making well-fitted socks for m-pig's hooves.


Apr. 5th, 2010 05:48 pm
jinian: (bachelor's button bud)
Easter morning, I woke up and... went to the lab! Surprise! It was supposed to continue to rain forever, but the morning was beautifully blue-skied and sunny, though still pretty windy too.

I took pictures! )

Wim picked up his iPad (verdict: excellent for watching videos, cool graph sketching app, not actually a computer or a phone) and me, and we went to his dad's for lunch: Indian takeout made Easterish by lamb, carrot cake, obligatory vegan brownies. Still lots of milk chocolate in the basket, which neither of us can eat; my fellow grads and labmates are benefiting. Also vegetable seeds, including some from the best lettuce someone they know has ever had. Okay, I'm clearing out the veggie patch, universe, I get it.

Later, we watched Ponyo en français with [livejournal.com profile] marzipan_pig. We didn't eat ham, but we could have if any of us had felt quite well or hungry.

We keep hearing frogs calling in the yard. It's very exciting. Hurray for spring!


Jan. 3rd, 2010 05:24 pm
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Today I finally did something I've been meaning to do for ages: repotted all the houseplants that needed it. Sadly, for the little Aeschynanthus, this included a major trim back and loss of all its flowers due to hateful scale insects. I think I managed to wash all the areas of the Hoya that might have gotten any on them at least; cutting that back would be much more difficult since it twines so much. The African violets seem too hairy to be bothered by them, and I am in denial about the possibility that the jade plant may have gotten them again.

I was doing my repotting OUTSIDE, so I naturally segued into putting my new bulbs into pots. The ground's a little wet to be digging much, so I didn't plant bulbs in the big dirt, but it was perfect for weeding. (I realize how lucky I am to be able to play in the garden in January, but note that the weeds are also growing just fine in January.) I cleared out the raised beds in front -- Crocosmia leaves rot nicely and I can just pull them off, but glads have to be cut off. My new prevalent weeds seem to be arugula, which I can certainly deal with, and last year's arugula stems are charmingly curly at the dirt end when I pull them out.

Overall I'm feeling much, much better. Maybe even recharged enough to grow bull's eye beets in the vegetable patch this year, though that'll take (1) planning and (2) clearing the area back out.

Holiday notes )

toe salad

Jul. 8th, 2009 10:52 pm
jinian: (c'est la vie)
Broke a pinkie toe last night. (Just a bad angle on a random stub against the door frame, not even a good story.) Last time I broke a toe it was because the foot went on one side of the antique spinning wheel's leg and the toe leaped for the other; the two breaks turn out to behave very differently, though I recognized the ache when it persisted all night and into the morning. Also, I do not have ski lessons scheduled this time. Taping and occasional ice are helping.

Tomorrow night is Final Fantasy music at the Seattle Symphony! I'm planning to head down at 6 for student-and-senior rush tickets, as they are far cheaper and there's still a whole lot of space available. Anyone else want to come?

I hit my 50books_poc goal at just about halfway through the year. A list is in the works, but so are a lot of things.

The mysterious volunteer plant in the planting strip turns out to be a gigantic evening primrose with about a zillion buds despite a light case of powdery mildew. I love volunteers.

My ongoing exhaustion and light-headedness are better on a lower dose of my migraine preventive, though it's been interesting riding out the regularly scheduled anxiety and depression in afternoons. Seriously: 5pm? Time for formless dread! Whee! No full-blown migraines so far, though plenty of threat-feeling. I'm considering reducing the dose further, but I want to wait a while and even my keel further.

As demanded: hair pic. Also cute outfit with shirt altered by me (still needs work) and awesome Elise necklace (difficult to seat correctly but fabulous).


hey love, I'm an inconstant satellite

July 2017

2 345678


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 23rd, 2017 05:51 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios