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Following up on the previous post, Misattribution of Arousal. Aron and Dutton showed when you feel aroused, you naturally look for context, an explanation as to why you feel so alive. This search for meaning happens automatically and unconsciously, and whatever answer you come up with is rarely questioned because you don’t realize you are asking. . . [t]he source of your coursing blood is more ambiguous if you just drank a Red Bull before heading into a darkened theater to watch an action movie. You can’t know for sure it if it is the explosions or the caffeinated taurine water, but damn if this movie doesn’t rock.

Sometimes it's the raging feminist, sometimes it's the rage. Either way, approach with courtesy and respect.




Yesterday the San Francisco Symphony performed in Golden Gate Park. Set list:

Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain"
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2, with pianist Valentina Lisitsa
Beethoven Symphony No. 5
Encore: Tchaikovsky, Overture from the "Nutcracker Suite"

I was not particularly interested in "Night on Bald Mountain" or the Beethoven, both of which suffer from overexposure. The Rachmaninoff was stunningly beautiful, and broke me a bit. However, who does the Nutcracker in July? Every red-blooded American knows that the 1812 Overture is summer music, fog or no fog.




Over Independence Day weekend, I caught up on the fourth, fifth, and sixth Harry Potter movies, which I'd missed in theaters. I thought I hadn't seen any of them, but Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince gave me deja vu in several spots, so perhaps I caught part of it on cable at some point. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 is waiting at the library. I might pick it up tomorrow, but with Inception waiting as well, it's unlikely I'll pop it in the DVD drive before Friday.




Essays on San Francisco radicals of bygone years are no good for me; my first reaction to protesters disrupting public transit should be "and what train did you get to the BART station, anyway?" not, "and why am I not down there?"
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Friday night I finished Tales of the City. Whoever suggested I was Mary Ann Singleton: good call!

If you're ever looking up lyrics, "Karma Killer" is Robbie Williams. "Karma Police" is Radiohead. Don't mix these up.

I have a verbal offer for a temp job with a commute that makes me question my sanity. I'm waiting for a written offer before emailing the hiring manager about where I can put the bicycle I don't own yet. Which will be coming with me to and from Caltrain. Seriously, sanity: where did you go?

(I have an excuse to buy the bike I've wanted since moving to San Francisco, that's where it went!)

With classes done, and being between FT work, I have entirely too much time on my hands.

For reasons likely related to all the above, I have been rereading MZB's Darkover novels. They're one of the candy bars of fiction: cheaply available and not high art. But sometimes, you need a Three Musketeers bar and The Forbidden Tower. (Cursory google suggests a fangirl generation imprinted on Regis and Danilo, who win the woobie award, but I fell hard for the OT4.) There's an entire separate post to be written about MZB's interactions with the fan community, and which books are best / worst / most historically interesting, but wow, I'm picking up currents and rivers and entire oceans of MZB's personal politics I didn't notice as a teen.

...now I really want a Three Musketeers bar. Drat.
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Being employed is awesome, but I welcomed the weekend with open arms and a silenced alarm clock. Failure to instantly master multiple new instruments, a new lab layout and organization system, as well as new protocols run on those machines, in that new-to-me lab, is disappointing, but a reasonable expectation. Tonight I'm adopting the attitude that, having run half of one experiment that didn't completely fail, I am doing adequately at my shiny-new contract job and can look forward to my second Monday on the job.



Not an impressive article, but impressive pictures of Jodhpur, India which is about the color of my house (see also wall color in background). [livejournal.com profile] trolleypup, you may find this of interest.



Came across my desk: PhDs by gender and discipline. Notable is the fact women now proudly claim nearly one half of all doctorates awarded in the US, but not equally in all fields. According to the graph, less than 1 in 5 physics doctorates went to women in 2009, but women are over-represented in psychology and english lit. In my own focus, I bailed on chemistry (about 36% female) and biochemistry (~46%) for molecular biology (~56%). My reasons seemed personally compelling at the time, but now I wonder if this is a teachable moment about how institutionalized social expectations work.
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In the category of Not Going in the Dining Room: Math Pop Quiz Wall Clock.




Signs you're procrastinating on finals studying -
- your room hasn't been this clean since midterms.
- neglected LJ is getting updated.
- suddenly, holiday shopping is appealing.
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This one goes to R. The "things I won't work with" tag. Two words: chlorine trifluoride. Have fun, kids!
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Hey, anyone recognize this character? Cough. I'm pretty sure I haven't met Richard Thompson.

Comic strip behind the cut. Fair use! )
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This weekend was partially consumed by Rachel Manija Brown's memoir All the Fishes Come Home to Roost. Since then I have been backspacing, typing, and backspacing again on how many of my reactions I need to overshare. You don't have to drag your child from LA, USA, to an ashram in an Indian backwater to demonstrate poor parenting skills. In the meantime: look! Treecat! Discuss?

The rest of this week is going to go fast: work evening event Wednesday, Wicked Thursday night, [personal profile] jd birthday celebration Friday. Somewhere in there needs to be more job applications than I've managed so far this week. I remain distressed by my net negative cash flow, but as I said at a networking event tonight, most people who knew me pre- and post-move think getting off the East Coast was a really good idea for me. So it's time to stop hiding under a comforting blanket of Stephenson and KSR novels demonstrate adaptability and apply to more jobs.

Buying Wicked tickets was probably spendthrift, foolish and downright immoral, but it's leaving town at the end of the week and K, instigator of plans, really wanted to see the musical. K is super excited and is getting me hyped up too: I like anticipation, it seems to add some sparkle to whatever event you're going to. I guess that's value added entertainment? An occasion becomes special because you make it so. I may go all out and mess with the makeup kit for this one! Makeup users, what moisturizers do you use to counteract the powder drying out your face? And how on Earth do you get the mascara back off? That stuff burns!
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The Dell Mini touchscreen hack means that for less than $500 and labor, I could have that touchscreen I have been lusting after since I graduated high school.

I love modern technology.
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Q: What happens when you wake up at 5:30 AM and can't get back to sleep?

A: By 7 PM you're dragging, and at 9:30 you don't know why you're still in front of the PC, reading depressing articles about your limited employability in a competitive field. What a downer! What a great excuse to hit the "hibernate" button and go to bed! Have a good night, internet!
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Okay, this is awesome. Taunting people through negative reinforcement is wrong, yes, but how often do you see "cleavage for science!" blog posts? Outside of geology blogs, that is.

I'm waiting to hear back about an interview, and in the meantime page through job listings. I'm jonesing for a CLS license as I look at the ads, but realistically, it's a training track that would mean four courses of prerequisites, an intensive 13 month academic and internship program if I'm accepted, and after all that: is the career path really what I want? Where do you go from CLS entry level? What would I do with it? (Other than, wait, more student loans!) Pick up a clinical license (with associated student loans) and maybe some progress management certifications or an operations M.B.A. (more loans!), and spend my 30s fixing biotech workflows? I feel like the clinical license and the operations stuff are two ideas that may pull in different tactical directions. And neither of them is getting me a job right now. I may block the internet tomorrow morning and make myself run around Golden Gate Park and the beach until I'm feeling a bit less like I'm spinning my wheels.
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Ten buzzwords that are buzz kill, and I used four of them in many cover letters and summaries of qualifications. In my defense, my references will back up all four. Do my annual reviews not speak of my strong work ethic and excellent team player skills? Why yes they do. Obviously it's time to sulk with Perl for Bioinformatics now. I didn't put "meets or exceeds expectations" (because really, what expectations? You can meet and exceed the good and the bad) but I plastered "self motivating" all over several cover letters.
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I have seen WALL-E and now I am going to bed. Since wiki can tell me what I skipped last year, I can start putting DVDs on hold at the library first thing tomorrow.
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It looks like LJ skipped checking feeds for a day or three there, but the only thing I really needed to know was the SIGG water bottle flap. Short version: animal studies indicate BPA is on the "Bad chemical! Consumer panic!" list, everyone ditches their polycarbonate BPA-leaching water bottles for metal SIGG bottles, several years later SIGG mentions their bottles have BPA in the lining, so SIGG says it doesn't count. Outraged bloggers express outrage about this interpretation. I'm going to take mine to Whole Foods - the other betrayer of the left - and try to make them replace it, since mine is something like two years old and has huge dents from the innumerable times I've dropped it. I'm not going to get pissy, but you know, I've dropped that bottle so many times it's got interior denting. That sort of makes me question the integrity of a "safe" lining, but not enough to make me stop using it this weekend.

Tomorrow: sibling chill time, gigantic East Bay shenanigans (I'm debating flaking out, since I'm looking at one networking item sandwiched in either a lot of travel time or a lot of zipcar money, and I didn't make it to the Museum of Modern Art today), maybe more beach time. Next summer: three day weekend, Outer Banks, with something approaching my age cohort to share costs.
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Look! It's an XKCD comic written just for me!

The comments on the LJ feed are crazy awesome. Why don't we do k-maps in addition to Punnett squares? Why?
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I cannot deny it: I love the power ballad.

Possibly I created a Pandora station by the power of typing "Holding Out for a Hero" and clicking, "thumbs up, thumbs up, oh hit me!" in quick succession to celebrate this.

Confession time: I think I like ABBA a little bit. Also I like Lady GaGa, because 1.) we listened to the same Queen songs, and 2.) she's about performance for the sake of glittery performance. (And, okay, I like Boys Boys Boys a little too much.) It probably helps I listen to The Fame and mostly ignore the music videos, because she cannot, alas, gyrate like Britney Spears or demonstrate Rihanna's dancing chops. And maybe I have a thing for Jordin Sparks' "Battlefield", for which I totally blame Pat Benatar, which brings me full circle: if I could make a 2 hour mix of power ballads from the '70's to today, I totally would.
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The really cool thing about work this week is that, since I was on holiday and vacation two days of this week, there are only three working days to push through. I am relieved, since my sleep debt is still significant.

I am super behind on all my social stuff - journals to read and subscribe to, emails to rely to, pictures to pop to people in 'em - but this will not stop me from post a Cubs vs Pirates scorecard from May 25. With bonus rude commentary. [personal profile] norabombay and I had seats in the club box behind the visitor's dugout, so had a view sports fangirls would consider worth objectifying when the leftie hitters were at bat.

Tonight: dealt with actual people on f-list. Tomorrow: writeups, pictures.
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If tuberculosis is the vampire disease (pale, "romantic", lingers for way too long), can malaria be the unkillable zombie disease? Or would one of the hemorrhagic fevers (brief, violent outbreaks, gross bodily fluids) fit better?

ETA: Good lay description of cancer, with bonus content.
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I will be cross-posting with livejournal for the foreseeable future. So no rush to switch, or not switch. For people who have me double-friended: guys, I'm sorry.

This is the t-shirt I want: Make awkward sexual advances, not war. Truly a motto for my snarky PC-except-when-we're-not generation. Meanwhile, as well as conservatives are making unintentional double-entendres that might be well-served by that t-shirt. The thing that kills me is that I'm not sure I disagree with their fundamental agenda: more debt spending strikes me as a dumb way to get out of debt. (When individuals do that with credit cards, your fiscal plan is mocked. When you do with a federal budget, it's... Keynesian economics? The heck?) However, this is not how I would debate that agenda. At all.

Speaking of fashion, we'd buy it if you'd make it: high fashion continues to pretend the average American woman doesn't exist. (via [personal profile] cofax7)

Easter bunny dissection. All I can say is: wow. (via lab_gripes and BoingBoing)

Instead of doing my homework, I am playing with my cash flow. I will not complain about my student loans 1.) because they're just not that bad, and 2.) until I can do so in an entertaining manner. Instead, I will draw from Michelle Singletary's favorite money quotes (that woman is one of my role models). "Credit cards have three dimensions: height, width and debt." - Shelby Friedman
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The logical thing to do, when you get your Zipcar membership card (convenient portmanteau: zipcard) is to reserve a car Friday night and make plans for errands the next morning. (The 1 AM slightly tipsy part? Let's pretend that it was part of the plan. Like Ron Moore's plans!) So instead of dodging rain-slash-mist and single tracking, I drove all over the place for four and a half hours on Saturday. It was fun, and more exciting, I can do it again. On weekday evenings! When I want to see friends who live 30 miles away! Or are really inconvenient to get to via public transit! Also, since I can reserve time on any vehicle in the Zipcar fleet, I get to try different cars if I want. I am super tempted to rent one of the Tacoma pickups for an hour and just drive it around the parking lot scaring myself silly.

I also live for the day I can drive a bass-booming monster sound system down the road, but that's going to be a different day: I had a base model on Saturday, and I bet the rest of the fleet is similarly economical. Now I know that a left-hand mirror I have to reeeeeaaaach across the car to adjust is kind of a deal-killer for any car I buy. Another no-go: speedometers organized so that the 20-40 mph range is hard to read or makes me take my eyes off the road. This may seem petty until you consider my problem with 25 mph zones and speed cameras. Also, eyes off the road? Not on.

One of my college friends called out of the blue this evening, and we killed her phone catching up. It is so cool to talk to people who you haven't seen in a while. Also, now I have an excuse to go to Ann Arbor this summer! (Because what I really needed this summer was more people to see. Augh. I can't take two weeks and a couple thousand dollars so I can couch-surf my way across the USA. Darn those pesky expensive plane tickets!) Someone should do a linguistic study of "anyway" as a bridge to a new topic; we were both doing it.

Oh! [livejournal.com profile] norabombay: DW money numbers. Just FYI. Also so I can find it again.
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Inspired by roommate M.'s urgent need for a burger last night, I told her to get a margarita too and took her keys. Hey, I can still drive!

I've been saying for a while that I'm going to get a car when it gets hot and sticky, but I really like a positive cash flow. Does anyone have any experiences with Zipcar they'd like to share? I need to run the numbers, but it's worth investigating the costs of instant gratification vs not

[Poll #1370858]

ETA: Closing poll because I did the deed.

M fortunately is in less need of burgers tonight: I say fortunate because I got to make dinner while roommate H related her distress that her boss doesn't want to give her two weeks off in June. At length. I have drowned my low blood sugar in red meatsauce lavished over pasta and fresh spinach, with a possibility of hot chocolate to follow, while rewatching House (the one where House and Wilson go to House's dad's funeral), and laughing myself to tears. The comedy and bromance are awesome.

I spent this weekend doing nothing - except the biweekly WSFA meeting, laundry, groceries, library returns and pickup, finding a new-to-me thrift shop, and finding out the used book store of my childhood has been sold. My winter coat is in storage, and I'm caught up on most of my TV watching. House and NCIS are predictably amusing (especially episodes Doris Egan is involved in), Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles is two-thirds incoherence and one third awesome, and I watched the Kings pilot. Since my knowledge of Biblical events comes filtered through things I have learned from Unitarians or things I have learned from the internet, I'm watching this from an "updating the historical context, and oh, God may appear in this piece of fiction". So what I find interesting, as I read Guns, Germs and Steel is the movement from a tribal scenario (limited accumulation of wealth / kleptocracy of specialists), to a state scenario (much more developed specialization, more tech, reproductive technology like paternity testing and the Pill, etc etc etc) and how the show plans to reconcile a "modern" setting with divine intervention anointing an autocratic ruler. Sadly, there's a theme in my TV viewing: I get interested in the worldbuilding, but bored with the execution. This means I'm willing to watch a lot of pilot episodes and very few full seasons.

Speaking of GG&S, Corn domesticated once, around 9000 BC. . . . the researchers discovered a trove of prehistoric grinding stones to which phytoliths and starch grains from maize were still adhering. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal found with the earliest of the stones pegged the corn as 8700 years old, bearing out the genetic dating by Doebley's group. I'm sort of questioning the corn-char linkage, but I still think this is cool.

I accomplished the errands by biking around, and today tried to go jogging after work. My quadriceps may never forgive me.

So that is my life: both roommates in upset, and me considering the benefits of library study time to avoid both of them. They are both, in their own ways, nice people, but I wish to set their dramas on each other.

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