Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm doing WHAT on Friday?

Found out today that I'm signing over my life on buy my house. WEEEEEEEEEEE! It'd been a bit up in the air as to when closing would actually occur, but somehow I seem to have made it. Of course, since I wasn't sure of the date, I was procrastinating the packing. And now, I have tomorrow to pack. Oops. (ok ok, it's not really that bad. I finished all other rooms except my own, and most things are packed-it's just the odds and ends and getting stuff down to the garage.)
Nifty tip o' the night: before painting the walls in your newly acquired home, determine if the current paint is latex or oil. To do this, take a rather wet cotton ball (or tissue-something that can hold water) and bandaid/tape it to the wall. Come back in a little while. If the paint has bubbled, it's latex. If there's no movement, it's oil. Common science sense: water and oil do not mix....nor do they stick to each other on a wall.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Help a man lose his hair!!

Over on Scienceblogs, Ethan Siegel is trying to do some good in the world, and I think you should help him out. He's encouraging people to volunteer, donate, and be generally awesome people. The incentive? If he gets 100 people to do a new act of awesome charity work, he'll shave his head. And for a dude with long hair, that's a pretty big deal. I decided to donate my locks as well, to help his cause. I'll be cutting my hair in a little over a week I believe, and will post some photos of the event. So, help make my hair donation more worthwhile by donating some of your time/money/energy to helping others!!! (And current things to you do not count; it must be a new act.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

video awesomeness

I think this should become part of my "are you marriage material" questionaire. Because I would totally do this (and kind of need a man willing to participate as well). Enjoy!

Wedding Entrance Dance Awesomeness

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Yeah, things have been a bit...uh...busy. I'm packing, I'm spending time with friends and visiting favorite places, I'm trying to get everything together for the house and the move and am about ready to explode. Ok, not actually blood and guts and gore explode, but, well, I want to hide. I had a great gender post floating in my head, but it seems to have run away. Hope to be back in the flow of writing soon. At the latest, two weeks.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I suck at packing

Oi. I've been trying - and only semi-succeeding - to pack up all the stuff I've managed to accumulate in my parent's house. It's not going too well. I think the house is out to get me. Or maybe I'm just procrastinating. Or maybe it's just fear. But I've gotten myself this far, so I might as well keep on truckin' along. I'm working my way through the basement right now; once that space is all boxed up, I'll only have my room to pack up. Yikes! I still haven't managed to buy a friggin' laundry basket. I can't decide if I want a tall one, a round one, or a rectangular one. I suck at small decisions. Life altering, major ones? Check. Small, insignificant ones? Suck. At least my dog's being productive. Half Pint is currently on alert for any deer that might try to jump through my second story bedroom windows to attack me. She's pretty awesome (and entertaining!!). Le sigh. She keeps me sane. :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

adventures with furniture

I'm a huge fan of do-it-yourself projects, and I greatly love myself some antiques. So what's better than a seven dollar antique dresser? Refinishing said dresser! Unless of course you manage to burn your hands with paint thinner even though you're wearing gloves. MMMMM. burnt flesh. Almost lost my skin...but seeing as I can type, I caught the cold, then "oh god the heat it burns!!!!!" chemical reaction between the paint thinner and my hands early enough. Go me! Now I just need to run to the store tomorrow to buy more gloves....I'm thinking heavy duty rubber ones for tomorrow....

Monday, July 13, 2009


The sun and I are not on good terms right now. I managed to get a sunburn on my back on Saturday, and it's starting to set in. It's not anywhere near a horrible burn, but I tend to get sick when overexposed. Looks like it'll be a lazy afternoon. Lots of things going on at the moment, so it might take me til the end of the month to get my analysis done for the "Disease of the Month" post. Right now I'm off to draw!

Friday, July 10, 2009

what would you like to see?

Hiya crickets! If any of you feel like chirping, what would you like to see as July's "Disease of the Month" post? I've got a few ideas rattling around in my head, but wanted to know if there's anything YOU would like to hear more aboot. (I feel like sounding Canadian)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Female Identities, as told by Facebook

Ugh. So as a real person, I was wandering around Facebook, and found a little quiz that (based on your answers) tells you which type of girl you are. Options include: sporty, goth, nerdy, daddy's girl, and blonde bimbo. Nice. For shins and giggles, I took the test. I was considered a "nerd". Fine by me. Sort of. While taking these stupid quizzes (oh extreme boredom, how I loathe you), it became quite obvious which responses would generate a particular result. And in all honesty, I'm more than just a silly contrite stereotype label.

I hate that our society finds it necessary to catagorize us, package us, and segregate us based on cliche concepts. I like to do sports. I care (on occasion) about what I'm wearing. I love learning new techniques and ideas. I like green, blue, and black. I like loud music, and classical music, and happy music. I am more than the sum of my parts. Everyone is complex, with different memories, experiences, and preferences. So why is it that we try to compartmentalize each other for easier thinking? Why do we use appearance as the number one identifier, when it actually says almost nothing about the individul underneath the clothes?

So no. I'm saying NO. Don't look at me and treat me like I am a child because I'm petite and look younger than my age. Don't assume I'm not as intelligent as you because I couldn't possibly be old enough to be educated. Don't act as though I have no life experiences to extrapolate on. Just stop it right now. If you want to think, "hey that young-looking woman has a really cute dress on today", that's perfectly fine. But don't you DARE treat me differently if I was wearing flannel pants and a rocker t-shirt. I am more than this body. I am a brain, an individual seeking constant challenge and enlightenment. Talk to me because I open my mouth, not because you want in my pants. Talk to me because you want to hear what I have to say. And I'll be sure to provide you with the courtesy. I will see you with unseeing eyes until I can better understand you through your opinions, experiences, and preferences. And I won't hold it against you if your shirts have holes in them and you talk while chewing. Unless you spray me with said food.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

experiment update 1

Experiment has now been ongoing for three days. Mood has been significantly improved since daily exercise and SAM-e was started. Now, those of your intimate with scientific hypotheses and experiment structure, may be concerned by my decision to include two independent variables. Generally a horrible idea, but I did structure the experiment this way on purpose. I feel unqualified to determine on my own if SAM-e is an effective means of alleviating symptoms of depression. I'm the guinea pig of the experiment, and it would be ethically wrong of me to report any results as though this was a real experiment with quantifiable data. This is more of a psychological experiment. Exercise is known to improve mood (at least during and shortly after the act), due to the increase in chemical hormones such as adrenaline and serotonin. SAM-e test results remain inconclusive. Early experiments showed potential, but I have been unable to identify any recent (last five to ten years) experiments that have reported on the effectiveness of SAM-e on various types of depression. At the very least, side effects are less common and much less severe than prescription anti-depressants. The least I will feel is the placebo effect, if I'm susceptible to it. The best case is I'll feel stable and improved in mood and emotions. So far, I'd say it's a win. Whether I'll continue as a long term solution has yet to be determined. First I'll need to analyze my qualitative data, when the four weeks is up.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Peer pressure.

Someone please remind me not to succumb to it. I had a friend/co-worker/partner-in-debauchery want to know what I was like on coffee (high levels of caffeine)...and now I'm seriously regretting it. weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

was my radio station telling the truth?

This morning on my way to work (at crack-o-dawn o'clock), my radio station told me that drinking coffee in the morning roughly half an hour before breakfast can suppress my appetite by 30% all day. I thought to myself, "wow! That's incredible! I wonder what silly disreputable source gave out that information?" So, while procrastinating (and waiting for screens to load), I've been trying to find scientific evidence to prove or disprove my radio station. I was unable to locate a study that produced the data my station reported, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Anyway, here's what I did find (and if you have access, I suggest you read this article-it's kinda awesome).

In a test studying the effects of caffeine and stress on eating habits of rats, there was no major difference in weight between the control groups and experimental groups. However, eating habits were altered in food preference. The rats exposed to caffeine were less interested in salty or sweet foods than the control groups. So, you could extrapolate that if you are a salty or sweet snacker, the addition of coffee (and this is without the sugar and milk and creamer and extra shots of crap) could decrease your cravings. If you can then manage to find a healthy(er) snack option to provide mastication relief, weight loss might be observed. I suggest gum. Or carrots. Or celery. It's also important to remember that the test subjects were rats-it's not a guarantee that these results would be reproduced in humans.

So, was my radio station lying to me? Not necessarily. The verdict is still out on this one. The caffeine content in coffee may help suppress your appetite during the day. It may cause an increase in productivity (or ADD/ADHD-not exactly helpful); it may cause you to increase exercise/intensity (haven't tested that one out yet). But if you're receiving a caffeine fix from "improved" coffee beverages (think milk, sugar, Starbucks, etc.), you may be ingesting more calories than you would if you ate traditionally. In any case, I don't think a cup (or seven) will kill you. yet.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'm my own Guinea Pig!

You should sing that title to the tune of, "I'm my own grandpa"-which may become a post on its own someday. :)

So today I've started a new experiment on myself. The depression has been really really bad the past few days. I've had change in appetite, sleep problems, mood changes, no motivation to get out of bed, and been antisocial to the extreme. Pretty much the gamut of crap I have experienced before. If this experiment fails, I will have to go back on medication. So here's the experiment. Until my "situational" issues are solved, I am going to be supplementing my diet with SAM-e and running every day to try and improve my mood. I started this test today. Right now I'm experiencing the placebo effect (too soon to really know) plus the added real benefit of endorphins from exercise. I plan to run this experiment for four weeks. If I feel worse, I will seek actual medical help, so don't fret!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

where, oh where did my coping mechanisms go?

oh where oh where could they be? They seem to have suddenly abandoned me to leave me a blithering idiot. All these changes are frightening.

I got the loan application packet in the mail today, and signed away my life. However, I can't send the darn thing in until I manage to track down a whole bunch of paperwork that I may or may not have. I need pay stubs, bank statements, 401K records, scans of driver's license, passport/ss card, W-2's, insurance agent contact info, and money. eyeyeye! Yes, all these are do-able, but I'm freakin' out man!!! Oh, and they gave me three days to put it all together. Eek. I just want to crawl into a hole and hide right now. Ok, so maybe that's not what I want to do first. First I want to run my poor behind off in the dark until I'm too exhausted to cry. I think what's upsetting me most right now is that I'm not sure if I'm emotional because of the changes, or because of something more serious. I haven't gone over the deep end yet, which is a good sign. Maybe I have improved. Maybe there is a coping mechanism hiding in here somewhere. I just need to send a search party to find it...

The evolution of my wardrobe.

I've recently been thinking about the way I dress, and why I wear what I wear. I am indeed a fan of TLC's "what not to wear" (oh Clinton, be still my heart!), but for many years, merely watched, instead of taking action towards my own wardrobe. I'll give you an idea of what I'm talking about. In high school, one of the key features of my daily school outfit would be....flannel pants. You know, those ones you can also wear to bed? Yeah. I wouldn't wear them to bed, I'd just wear them to school. I would also often wear large t-shirts, or sweat shirts. I know, sexy, right? In college, I gave myself a new years resolution that I have stuck by ever since (thankfully!). I told myself that I would wear makeup every day. Not crazy amounts, but enough to keep at least the bags out from under my eyes, and make me look awake and alive. I'm cursed (or blessed?) with fair skin, and can look rather ill if I don't wear blush. Never good with self esteem, I hid behind things until that resolution was made. Over the past year or so, I've been slowly adding solid, nice items to my collection of clothing. I even accessorize on occasion! I've made the realization that when I try to look nice, I feel better about myself. I feel more confident-sexy even. And that, might be a problem when I start my PhD program.

I'm desperately hoping that I can maintain my current wardrobe without receiving criticism for it while in my PhD program. I noticed when there last that most people were very laid back in dress. Jeans and t-shirts seemed to rule the halls, both for students and professors. Seeing as I only own one pair of jeans (and I doubt they fit anymore-lost some weight) and few t-shirts, I don't think this code will work well for me. I'm hoping that my femininity can remain intact without people undermining my intelligence. It does seem that to be taken seriously in the work place (women, in science), we need to copy the "boy's" attire. And to that I will turn on my cute flats or wedges, square my shoulders, and click clack away.