Monday, October 12, 2009

First Feedings!

So today was an exciting day in the lab, the first of my spiderlings decided to eat! After two weeks of watching them run from pinhead crickets, two of them finally got fed up enough to eat them. I'm seriously hoping that this starts a trend among the little guys, because watching them not eat for half an hour at a time is really discouraging and rather dull. This is another good sign, because once they start eating they'll usually keep eating which will keep me out of the lab before 8:30 in the morning. So there was much rejoicing.

Oh Look, It's October!

I only slack on days that end in y, so don't give me any of this, "You never update!", nonsense. Alright, well, I do never update... but damn it, life gets busy.

Anyhow, back to the update... The first big item of news is, I graduate in April, if everything goes smoothly and my audit goes through, and if it doesn't the university and I are going to have issues. So, yes, one and a half blissful semesters left of my undergrad and then I have to apply to grad school, where the real work apparently begins. I'm really excited about it, I finally get to work with marine invertebrates! Bring on the colossal squid, I shall find them, and study them, and discover their secrets! *insert mad scientist laugh here* Speaking of mad scientists, research has begun in the lab for this year. Instead of doing the SDA and RMR research from last year we've decided to work on naive feeding behaviors and fasting spans before and after molts in spiderlings. So far, we've discovered that for some reason the spiders are scared of pinhead crickets. This was honestly a surprise to me due to how awesomely happy the bigger tarantulas are to chow down on a cricket (Feeding day is coming up, I'll be sure to get pictures). The only problem I'm finding with the research this year is the sheer amount of time that I'm spending in the lab along with the workload from all my classes. I'm still caught up and somehow have enough time for photography and my granny hobbies (Knitting, cross stitch, etc.).

In other news, I ended up in the hospital for two and a half days back in September. How, you may ask... well, I'm going to tell you. Turns out that zebra mussels are sharp and they will slice through a human foot quite easily. The cut, however, was not what landed me in the hospital, what landed me in there was the dirt that wasn't cleaned out of the wound with some sort of bacteria on it which had a chance to multiply when my foot was sewn shut. So Monday I went in for stitches and a teatnus shot, Tuesday I went back for a bad reaction to the antibiotic an my foot being a rather worrying shade of red. They finally let me go home late on Thursday, and my foot is still open and healing slowly. I can post pictures, but unless asked for they're remaining with my mom, because she's really excited about my foot healing for some reason.

Earlier this month I realized that Christmas is coming and I am nowhere near close to finishing most people's presents. My aunt's gift is the closest to being done, followed closely by my grandparent's blanket, and in a distant third is my brother's gigantic cross stitch that I don't even have half done yet. The next couple months are going to be a killer on the hands, pictures will be coming when each project is completed. Another side project is a cross stitch from one of my favorite web comics: Questionable Content This project is going to take me an insane amount of time to complete, it's by far the largest pattern that I've even thought of doing, but when it's done it's going to be amazing. I'll be posting progress photos and updates here, starting next week when I get the chance to organize all of my materials so you all can see the immense scale of this thing. 59 different colors and a base cloth of 20x24 inches should give some idea. It'll be awesome, I promise. (Special thanks need to go to Jeph Jacques for letting me use his strip for my own crafty ends).

Anyway, that's a lot of the random that's going on. One of these days, hopefully one that's on the soon side, I'll get around to updating this a whole lot more.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So Most of March Kind of Escaped Me.

I just realized that it is the tail end of March and I haven't updated this since February. Hot damn, I'm a slacker. Well, not really if you look at the tangle of chaos my life has been this past month. Midterms for this semester were last week, the undergraduate research fair is this week, the last two weekends have had me in the lab 12 hours a day trying to finish the research that I'm presenting at the research fair, and homework has kind of reared its ugly head and decided to all be due at once.

So anyway, one topic at a time. My research is finally at its halfway point, so that means I have something to present at the Undergraduate Symposium this Friday, at eight in the morning. I barely understand my own research at eight in the morning, I have no idea how other people are going to get it. The phrase "Well, you see, you have to put the tarantulas in 50ml syringes", doesn't always go over well, especially if people don't get the fact that syringes come apart and there's a wide end at the back. So that's been a struggle. I've also given my weekends to the lab lately. It's not like I wasn't in there on the occasional weekend before, but lately I've been in there every single weekend for at least a good three hours. However, I'm almost due for a break since Symposium is this week.

Anyway, I'll have more to say once this week is over. To those of you who listen to me bitch, thanks!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oh, For The Sake Of Pete!

So next week is finally spring break! Huzzah, I get to get ahead on all of my crap that needs doing for the rest of this semester, which means lots of cell and molecular bio lab stuff, lots of physics stuff, and trying to get some photography and doodling in there somewhere, it also should mean that I'll be online for those of you who want to talk to me for more than five or ten minutes at a time! I'll also have new pictures up here and on my flickr page, because I don't have an excuse to slack about it next week. I also finally get to do all the laundry that's been slowly piling up for two weeks, hooray for trips to the laundromat.

Besides the excitement for next week and the amount of "free time" I'm going to have, I'm also really happy to go to the DIA (Detroit Instiute of Arts), this coming weekend! Right now they have some really cool chess sets on display, which look to be a pretty awesome exhibit. I also really want to go to the Detroit Science Center because they have the Star Trek traveling exhibit right now (Linky:, yes, this makes me a total nerd, I know. The DSC also has a very sobering look at the Holocaust on display through the first of March as well (Link: So expect museum pictures sometime next week as well.

As far as life goes, this past week was much the same, busy, busy, busy. Valentine's day was nice, the boyfriend and I went and saw a movie, wandered around the mall a bit and proceeded to go home and make chocolate strawberries, then slept well into Sunday afternoon, which was very nice. This coming week looks much the same, I have two lab reports due, physics due Friday and several other bits and bobs that need doing, but all should calm down by this weekend.

Monday, February 9, 2009

So I've Been Busy...

And a total slacker at keeping up with this blog. Sorry to all of you who actually read it. I'm going to try to keep a weekly one going for all of you that I don't get to talk to on a regular basis anymore, and I'm going to try to post some of the pictures I've been taking as well as some of the sketches I've been doing (if I decide that they aren't total crap).

Anyway, back to life. My work in the spider lab has kept me really busy the past month or two, we've been running metabolic rates and trying to get the GRs to eat cockroaches. Turns out, tarantulas dislike cockroaches almost as much as I do. They just refuse to eat them, which is a royal pain when your research centers around them chowing down on the gross little buggers. Besides that the research is going really well, we've got all the baselines done and now just have to run two metabolic rates with the new prey items and then I just have to finish the write up for undergrad symposium which is the last week in March. So, needless to say, I'm really hoping that the spiders eat the roaches this time around, because I've got stuff to finish.

On the research note, I've also decided that I'm not going to medical school. I'm absolutely tired of being perfect in EVERYTHING. Instead of struggling through another five years of school that I may not enjoy, I've decided to get my Ph.D. in marine invertebrate biology. Working in the research labs this past year has really made me want to go into research and field biology, there's so much I can do that's never been done and there are new strides being made every day. Also, I really like cephalopods... they're pretty awesome, go look up the new giant squid they found off the coast of Australia and tell me that it isn't cool. I also know that none of you can tell me that you can't see me absolutely loving research biology, I get to be curious and play with animals, perfect, right? Mom is less than happy, but I think eventually she's going to come around to the idea. I think she's mostly just disappointed at the fact that her daughter isn't going to be an M.D., and I hope that once she sees my research at the symposium she'll change her mind.

As far as non-academically related topics, there's a "new" boyfriend (we've been together since October), and he's absolutely amazing! It's been a long time since I've had someone that I can talk to about everything and someone who will be relentless in the pursuit of making me laugh. Oh, and he can cook... which is a totally amazing bonus. I've also been getting back into doing some photography and I've taken up what I like to think of as drawing but is probably just well constructed doodling. I also think that I'm going to take up making throw pillows, the boyfriend and I went to IKEA and I can totally make throw pillows like they have for far far cheaper, and to boot I can use my own photography if I can find cloth ink printer cartridges. Anyway, I've got more classes today, and depending on if anything interesting happens this week I'll have a lot more to add on Friday.