27 February 2012

Islets of Langerhans

I am supposed to be writing a grant proposal right now. My advisors want a draft tomorrow.

However, if I read one more word about islet encapsulation my eyeballs will melt and my brain will implode and leak out of my recently vacated eye sockets. I'm not kidding. It will be a very slow sort of oozing too since the holes (superior and inferior orbital fissures and optic canal, bam! anatomy'd) connecting the brain to the eye socket are pretty small.

Sorry for the very graphic imagery, be grateful that I can't draw or there would have been a very graphic... graphic instead. (I'm envisioning something like Happy Tree Friends. warning: if you don't know what that is DO NOT Google it if you have recently eaten or plan to eat in the next few days, seriously)

I'll go write my proposal now, maybe.

24 February 2012

Caution! This post contains airplanes.

Airplanes are nifty. They're like magical time travel devices.

I just bought tickets for my trip to Oregon in May (I finally plucked up the courage to ask and my advisor said yes!!!!). On the way there, I will spend 5.5 hours in the air and 3 hours in layovers but the whole trip will only take 6 hours total. Awesome. On the way back the time travel is definitely working against me though because I will spend 5 hours in the air with 1 hour of layovers but have a total trip time of almost 9 hours. This is of course assuming that none of my flights are late but since the return goes to O'hare assumptions of timeliness are dangerous.

Yay Airplane! (Shut up, I know I can't draw)

The point of the story, at any rate, is that time travel rocks and I love flying!

On a related note, I also love credit cards. They're so handy. I only get paid once a month for 11 months out of the year so it's nice to be able to buy things when I technically have no money but know that I will have money shortly. No more hoping that I don't die/starve before payday. I think my credit card and I will be total besties during that 8 week period this summer between paychecks.

It's also a good thing that my landlady will be back halfway through the no pay zone so that I can eat real food instead of ramen. Not that I have anything against ramen, except of course from a nutritional standpoint...

16 February 2012

Cat Tornado (Canado?)

Over the last two days I have been on campus/at work for 30 hours. While this schedule has been great for my research and has inched me closer to being able to ask my advisor for vacation time, my animals have not been appreciative. Last night (a.k.a. early this morning), my dog could not even be bothered to lift her head up out of her kennel to greet me. How bad is life when even your dog snubs you? I'm used to that from Admiral, but he's a cat. Speaking of cats, my other cat, cute little Loki, took a somewhat opposite approach to let me know how unhappy he is with my absence: he went through my room like a cat tornado. He pulled every toy out of the dog's toy box and then proceeded to shred some of them while spreading others around.  There are bits of fluff everywhere.

The start of the trail of destruction.
The most probable fluff source.

Some may wonder how I can possibly know that it was Loki who did all this when I have two other pets, not to mention my landlady's dog. It's actually pretty simple.

1. Pi, the dog, never removes her toys from the toy bucket. If she is feeling destructive she either rips up paper (but only if it's left on the floor) or pulls strings out of the rug.
2. Admiral only destroys food. If I don't let him outside often enough or if he gets hungry he will find either his bag of treats or an unopened bag of food and rip it open.
3. Snoopy, my landlady's dog, would never walk up the stairs. In fact, you have to carry her up them in order to give her a bath. I'm not sure she has ever voluntarily been upstairs.
4. Loki loves plastic Easter eggs.
5. His name is Loki. I mean, come on.

Easter egg bits ended up in the bathroom too.
Easter egg in the water bowl.

Ever since my friend accidentally stole his collar, Loki has been enjoying his stealth mode. Perhaps a little too much.

Innocent? I think not.

13 February 2012

I Had A (weird) Dream

I had a dream last night and when I woke up this morning I actually remembered it (mostly). It was... bizarre, to say the least.


I was with my Aniki and his girlfriend and we were walking somewhere at night. I think they were going to drive me home or maybe they were walking me to the train station. Whatever. The point is, I was definitely going somewhere and we were all walking down the sidewalk. Suddenly, we came across these two puppies. One was brindle and the other was tan. They looked like hound mixes with big long ears, but not too long. The brindle was standing on the sidewalk with no collar about a foot away from the tan who was suspended on a chain link fence by a chain that had been wrapped around it's little puppy body. Connected to the chain and hanging slightly lower than the tan pup was a black harness and red collar that the brindle had clearly escaped from.

Aniki scoops up the brindle as I extricate the tan and then we split up with some sense of urgency. I'm not sure what we're supposed to be doing exactly but it definitely involves helping these puppies even though it kind of felt like we were stealing them. Anyway, I start walking quickly towards this old brick building. It's night so there isn't anyone in this church-esque building (it wasn't a church, but it kind of looked like it from the outside. It actually reminded me of a building near where I work). Puppy and I start going through this maze of a building that looks like an office inside (there were cubicles and narrow hallways) and then suddenly we're outside in a parking lot by this shiny black car. Then I notice a flower bed and I encourage the puppy to pee or poop in it. I guess this is what I was hurrying for? I hear muffled voices as some people walk by on a sidewalk on the other side of a tree and I get nervous and rush inside.

Back inside the church/office building, tan puppy and I meet up with my Aniki. By this point his girlfriend has disappeared and been replaced by a filler character. We wrap the puppies up in blankets and mine definitely goes into some bags (I think with the intention of sneaking it on the train). Filler character urges me to check that tan puppy (who has gotten much smaller all of a sudden) can breathe inside the bag so I make sure the opening is sufficient and then start chatting.

After some time elapses I suddenly look over and notice a thin layer of plastic between tan puppy and the air opening I had so carefully constructed for him. Somehow, I am only minimally panicked that I just killed this puppy (mainly because I know it was filler character's fault but I don't want to say that because it's rude). I extract him from the plastic and he doesn't look particularly dead but he doesn't look particularly alive either. I am not an expert in these things so instead of checking his breathing or something like that I take him over to where brindle puppy is sleeping in a box of towels (much safer than a plastic bag) and hold him out to her. Brindle puppy sniffs her brother and then grabs him in a huge bear hug. My dream self is assured that tan pup must be alive or brindle wouldn't want anything to do with him.

Some more time passes and when I look over at the pups again tan puppy seems to be both growing and melting at the same time. And then the whole scene of the puppies snuggling together starts to melt into a pan of french toast. And then I woke up.


Up until the very end where the dogs become suspiciously bread-like, the whole dream was pretty realistic, if somewhat choppy in the timeline and details. I wonder if all my dreams are this crazy. If so, I probably don't remember them as a survival mechanism. There is not enough room in my head for this much weirdness and a million facts about islet physiology.

I should get this dream interpreted. Except that, most likely, I don't want to know what it means....

09 February 2012


My wonderful Aniki got me a Kindle for Christmas. I love it. And I hate it. But mostly, I don't have the self-control for it.

Last week, I spent my Thursday through Saturday reading 'A Game of Thrones' the first of the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. It's absorbing. If it weren't for my class/lab/work/volunteering obligations I probably wouldn't have slept, ate, or left my room until the book was done.

To some extent that's just how I am with novels which is why I watch a lot of TV. I can turn a show off and come back to it a few days later, no problem. But with novels I end up in a "keep reading until the words blur on the page" sort of situation. This habit is fine with 200-300 page Discworld novels (which are very light reading), but becomes quite problematic with 700 page complex monstrosities of political intrigue like the Song of Ice and Fire series. (Also series are bad because I hate cliffhangers. I must know what happens. Now. D'you hear me? NOW!)

And this is where the horrors of the Kindle come back in. For some unknown reason my eyes don't get tired reading it. Maybe it's because it's so light that I don't get tired physically holding the book open/up. Or maybe it's because of how I size the pages. Or maybe it's some evil Amazon magic. I don't know. But what I do know is that I can read for like 10 hours straight with no problem. And by straight I mean no food, no water, no peeing, and very little moving. Other than clicking to the next page every minute or so and occasionally rolling over I might as well be a statue.

I wish I could read textbooks with this kind of fervor.

Anyway, the lack of sleep and complete disregard for hygiene that I experience when reading is not even the worst part. What's bad is that I have to continue my hermit-y ways for a few days after I'm done reading in order to make up for all the work I didn't do. I think I spend 2 days doing homework for every day I spend reading. *sigh*

I should name my Kindle so that I can curse it more effectively...