Sunday, May 10, 2009

For more frequent updates...

and an archive of what all is here, visit my consolidated knitting-takes-over-my-life blog at

The Knitting Lamb

Friday, March 20, 2009

If we're all going to hell in a handbasket...

I at least want to understand what's going on!

NPR (remember, me the tissue-culture-girl extraordinare) is how I'm keeping up with (and trying to understand) the financial crisis.

This American Life is an awesome show, and the Bad Bank episode is how I finally understood how banks work. Shameful, I'm working on a PhD at Yale and I didn't *really* understand how banks worked until now. Of course, genetics coursework doesn't really cover the banking system. I could have told you more about blood banks than money banks just a month ago! This American Life has done several other shows on the financial crisis, I just need to get around to listening to them.

The Planet Money people are brilliant. Down to earth, probing, pretty good about presenting lots of approaches and pro/cons to the situation. They podcast 3 times a week and Twitter/blog much more than that. The news reports don't tell me what I need know, and these guys do.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Dirty word, contamination.  But sure enough, my tissue culture cells - all the cell lines I started making in January - wound up with bacterial contamination.  Ugh.  What looked intially like cell debris was on closer examination tiny little bacteria, that made my cells trypsinize and move off their plates.

Five years, no contamination...I started doing tissue culture in June 2003.  It's been a loooooong time, so I guess I had it coming, but it's still kind of depressing.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


United Features Syndicate, the people who own Peanuts (and a bunch of other great comic strips) have finally put the entire Peanuts archive online. So I had to hunt down my very favorite comic.


This one also tugs my heart quite a bit:


I hope I never have to find out.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I have my life back...

Now that my qualifying exam is behind me, life is full of possibility again. Time to spend with friends. Time to have hobbies. Time to do the work that I came to graduate school to do, instead of sitting around fretting about whether or not I deserve to be here.

I feel so grateful, being able to return to the things and people and places and activities that I really do love, and to live free from all that pressure. Of course, now that the external pressures are off, I have realized that it's going to have to be an internal drive to the finish line the next three or four years. Both a blessing and a curse - on one hand, I am my own best advocate and on the other my own worst enemy.

I'm trying to spend a lot of time thinking about how I want to structure my time and what I really want to fill it with. What's really *me* and what are things that I don't care for but do because I "ought". What oughts are good and what oughts are not necessary? I want to be excited about every minute of my life again, not just "it's alright".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cupcake Truck!

So someone, somewhere, somehow heard my oft-plea "but there are no sweet treats at the carts!

Don't get me wrong, I think the carts are great, I just usually pack my lunch (cheaper and healthier!). Mid-afternoon, I sometimes want a snack, but I don't want vending machines. Now, there's a cupcake truck! They keep people up to date on when they're coming out and what they have that day on Food-Driven: The Cupcake Truck Blog.

Sadly, it's up on the Hill, and I'm down at the Med School, so it will be more of an occasional treat than a regular one, but that's probably what cupcakes ought to be. I had the chocolate cupcake with cream cheese icing. The icing was spectacular - it was very real cream cheese frosting, not the over-sugared variety, with that lovely tarty finish. I can see this being a regular "treat for trekking all the way to Science Hill for something" event.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The best of intentions...

There are so many things that I plan to do, that I desperately WANT to do, and yet I never seem to actually wind up doing.

I spent a year waiting to repot my little green tree that was very sad in it's former container in my bedroom. I have had picture frames and every intention of printing pictures for them for almost two years now. I have photos of my family that are a year and a half later unframed. I have the old Macs I'd love to do something splendidly creative with, but am yet to get going on it. And of course, there is all the yarn, delightfully waiting fates, and the fabric, including an entire quilt pre-cut out!

On one hand, I would love to feel a greater sense of accomplishment from completing these tasks, to get the burden of them being undone off my mind. And of course, the reason they are sitting around waiting to be done is that I honestly believe doing these things will add value to my life.

So why aren't these things done yet? Why and how do I "waste" my free time such that these things I want to do remain undone? How do I get more done in my free time without feeling like it's way too structured?

I know that one possible answer to the problem is to put the computer down and walk away to do something that has higher value and meaning in my life. I am also going to make a list of "what can I do with x amount of time" and list the projects I really want done. That way, if I have an hour, I can look at the list and pick an activity, instead of just floating around aimlessly.