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The header is inspired by an idea I've got gestating at the moment. I'll probably post more about it when I've had the chance to think coherently. Basically, it boils down to the fact that our education system is failing our youth, I have a very scientific mind, and I'm ridiculously lucky to have the opportunity to work where I do (The Robarts Research Institute).

Insert blurb about why any of this came up to begin with )

I kind of want to see Bob McDonald do a TED talk.

In other news, I've signed up to run the half marathon in Orlando in February, and I'm committed to raising $4,500 CAN for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. I'll post my fundraising website shortly (my high school physics teacher donated 100$, because he's awesome), but I really need some help come up with fundraising ideas.

So far, I plan on selling the rubber bracelets (like the yellow livestrong ones, only purple and for Team in Training and blood cancer research), and I'm thinking of doing a few bake sales/waffle breakfasts.

Any other ideas?

Finally a meme )

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Start with the meme, which I keep forgetting:

Day 07 - The most heartbreaking scene? )

Day 08 - The pairing with the most baggage? )

Remaining days )

It's been such a long time since I've been able to use my go go science! tag. The last three weeks of work before I went on holidays was plagued by badly made common stocks that killed my cells, missing reagents, and the epic stress of grant writing season. I was getting dangerously close to the "I hate science and want to start [insert questionable career of your choice here, I'm thinking guppy breeding]."

That said, this week I've successfully cloned a mutation into one of the isoforms of my protein, and I've successfully detected SUMOylation of both isoforms.

In non-science terms, I've found something that contributes to our understanding of how certain nerve cells work. Ideally, this will shed light on what happens to our brains as we age and in different neurodegenerative diseases.

I've got another three to four years of work to do on this, but it isn't hopless!!!

\o/!

Also, I'm going to go to Cuba next year! It's mostly exciting, because I haven't actually gone anywhere for vacation since I was seventeen. I managed to score an invite for a course in Brazil in April, which was a free trip there (the first time I'd left southern Ontario in six years), but this will be the first for pleasure only trip in a while. [livejournal.com profile] bloodredmoon1, aka my awesome British friend, is in to go with me. We're waiting on a few more people, but I'll probably have the trip booked by next week.

On another note, I got feedback from [livejournal.com profile] fleshlycherry about by D/C BB. Lots of sections to revise and rework because she calls me on it every time I fall into summarizing/skipping scenes, for being to wordy, and for waving my slash wand and going with the "because I said so" explanation. She didn't call me on my overuse of semicolons

I'm lucky she likes me as much as she does, because she isn't even a D/C shipper.

I've gotten to thinking about my NaNo, though, which is the sequel to the BB. I'm thinking it's going to need more Crowley, and after reading Good Omens, I've decided to go with the fact that it's the same demon. That said, should I include Aziraphale?

I'm also trying to decide if I should include the crossover bit that didn't actually get hinted in the BB. It's also trying to blend in with my [livejournal.com profile] syfybigbang, because hey, that's the way my brain works, but I've put my foot down, because it's too ridiculous.

Which leads me to the only not awesome part of my day: What to do my syfy/merlin BB on?

Also, SPN premiere tomorrow! My dad's birthday party was rescheduled for Sunday, so I'll be able to watch the whole thing as it airs! I'm pathetically excited.

All of the positive vibes I'm grooving with right now have translated into helping me shed some of the weight I put on while sick, which is also happy making.

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I think I deserve a reward >.>

I was so very pleased with myself on Wednesday when I'd gotten myself to the 15000 word mark for the Big Bang, and I thought meeting the deadline would be easy.

Except that when I mentioned a while ago that my supervisor had a grant up for review, I may have not put the correct emphasis on the urgency of her grants.

Turns out that it's EPIC GRANT WRITING SEASON OF DOOM!!!!1! for all of the primary investigators in my research group, and it comes around every five years. On Wednesday, J sat us all down to discuss the first grant up for review, and put the fear of god into half of the lab. E, the Polish lab tech is swamped because she has to make stable cell lines for one of our protein constructs, she's the only one with access to the mice we use, and she's the resident expert on confocal microscopy in our lab. D, the Chinese lab tech is busy doing activity assays and protein work, and K, the Canadian lab tech is on vacation. Then there's S, the mother of twins who just finished her PhD, who believes she is solely responsible for competing all of the needed experiments o.O

V and I kind of laugh, because V is finished next week, and she's taking a month off to look for housing and a vehicle in Washington (DC), while I'm of the mentality that I'll do the work I have to do, and if it coincides with some fo the stuff J wants, I'll do that too. I'm not going to kill myself trying to get things done, because I've learned from experience that you end up making mistakes and falling behind.

I've got three experiments planned for before my holidays, and I can use them to look at additional proteins, so I'm not going to worry much about it.

On the Big Bang front, I submitted my draft at 11:59 pm (which is funny, even though we had until uh... today at 1pm to get it in). Word count is sitting at ~21,000, plus headers and the outline of the scenes I still need to write.

This weekend I'm going to go back to my parents place, abuse their laundry machines, go shopping at stores I actually like, then go party it up with [livejournal.com profile] fleshlycherry, [livejournal.com profile] themega5, and [livejournal.com profile] ghostj with a night of drinks, dancing, and general good times.

Then I'm going to go back into the lab on Sunday to get ready for a week of manic lab mates and experiments.

On the plus side, B12 supplements and getting back to boot camp seem to be helping. I'm feeling much more awake and functional. I had four productive, if long days in the lab this week. :)

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Been a little while since I posted last, so I've got a nice update to give.

1) There is laundry thief in my appartment building, stealing mostly women's undergraments. They posted the memo about two hours after I did a load of laundry. Now I'm concerned I'm missing clothing.
1a) I've been watching too much criminal minds, and reading profiling text books. Underwear theft can escalate to rape >.>
1b) I'm going back to my parents house to do laundry from now on.

2) EXPERIMENTS ARE WORKING!!!!1! There is strong evidence to suggest my protein of interest is being modified. Now I'm going to look at the other isoform of my protein, and of the modifier. I'm going to make mutant proteins to find the interaction site, and I'm going to treat my cells with funky things to see if it alters binding or activity. I might even look into siRNA to see if it knocks down the funky activity we see in our protein.

3) I spent a great five days with my awesome British friend. I spent a ridiculous amount of money on jewelry, completed some great sets, saw five plays, drank a lot of wine, talked a lot of fanfic, and watched Secret Diary of a Call Girl. I want to go back now.

4) There was a huge storm that rolled over London last night. I was outside doing bootcamp (which got cancelled half way through due to the weather). It was literally rolling, too. You could see about five different cloud fronts passing over head, with the storm front being this huge black roiling thing. Once I got to my car I tried to chase it so I could take a picture, but it was moving at a fair pace, and the London traffic system is designed to stop you at nearly every light, and it doesn't provide advanced greens.

5) Planning the SPN weekend to end all weekends with [livejournal.com profile] fleshlycherry. It makes me happy. Now I just need to get on my BigBang. I've submitted the summary, and I'm about 1/10 of the way through the word count, with just the prologue. It's going to be a monster fic, I think.



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This is a super long post about real life (and somewhat fandom, so I'll break it down).

Because, unlike my dear friend fleshlycherry, my brain crosses everything over: )

Funny side story: )

In awesome lab news that means I have no weekend: )

Hoping to get everything done before I go away for a superlong weekend next week to visit my awesome British friend P to do wine tastings and see a bazzilion plays.

*sighs contently*

Life is pretty good right now.

(ETA: I keep having to edit this because I'm finding typos and format issues. I think it's because I nearly split my skull open last night when I banged my head against a cabinet door. Bled and everything >.>)

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I cooked Pad Thai over at the boys' place last night, and then played Dominion, which is officially the coolest game ever. It's kind of like Settlers of Catan, in that you get victory points and resources, except that there's no board, it's a deck building game, and it's a lot more fun (though the last statement could be because I overplayed Settlers in undergrad. G kept trying to hook cute nerdy boy and I up all night.

Woke up at 6 am this morning, made waffles and sausages for breakfast with fresh local strawberries (and put brown sugar in my coffee as a treat), then went with cute nerdy boy to the London market. Spent an hour there and picked up some delicious assorted day old bakery bagels for cheap.

Went into the lab after I got back to finish up an experiment (which has finally started to yeild conclusive results). While I was in the lab I had a brilliant epiphany for the climax of my BigBang fic, so it's 90% planned out now, and I've actually started writing.

Finally, I drove all the way across town to take a look at this 30$ computer desk, except the store had sold out. Also looked at new couches, but the ones in my price range are crappier than the 30 year old love seat I've got now. Feeling bummed, I tried one last store, and found this awesome desk, as well as a really cute red faux-leather sectional.

I only bought the desk, but I got to spend four hours taking apart the old one (with stripped bolts), and putting together the new one. I really like working with my hands, and it's been a while since I've had the satisfaction of completing a task.

Today has been a good day :)

On a side note, I've decided to name the BigBang chapters after song titles, and I'm going to compile a fan mix to go along with it. Anyone have any good Supernatural related songs?


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Dear [livejournal.com profile] fleshlycherry:

Thank you for posting the link for the Eminem/Rihanna song. It's most enjoyable. I'm going to proceed with listening to it to infinity.

As a reward, I think I'm going to start sending you Flobots. Do you already have Handlebars?

Love,
Me

In other news, I'm sick, and my lab work still isn't working. I'm also torn between working out, cleaning my apartment, watching Stonehenge Apocalypse (because it has Misha Colins), and watching Criminal Minds (because I just went out and bought the first three seasons).

I also know how Rose and the Doctor met, and it makes episode 11 in season two make a lot more sense. I didn't know where the mannequins had come from.

Finally, I had a not!date with my cute/nerdy friend, and now I'm torn between asking him on an actual date or not, because he's the room mate of the other friend I turned down, and that would make sexy times very awkward.



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On the topic of the random lab drama I've been experiencing regarding my post-translational modification project, I've got some new developments that both entertain me and make me tear my hair out.

1) Aparently the girl who liedmisinterpreted my request about some data got into huge shit from her supervisor. This makes me happy and explains her sudden helpfulness with me in the lab.

2) Aparently Human Embryonic Kidney cell lines don't always express the vital enzymes required for your experiments, but because I was following the protocol of the above lab, using the exact same cells, I didn't think to check. Therefore I had no idea why none of my experiments were working. I am now armed with constructs for the appropriate enzyme, a fancy kit to purify proteins, and an even fancier kit to test out the reaction.

3) I don't get to go to San Diego for Neuroscience.

4) I likely get to go to Philidelphia for Cell Biology.

5) I really want a nap, all the time (because the project stresses me out).

6) Flobots is a surprisingly entertaining band (I realize this ahas nothing to do with the project).

On an unrelated note, my MSc supervisor is finally coming to visit to bring the final reagents we need to finish up my project with her. There is a paper in the works.


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