oceantheorem: (Eek)
Bleh. Okay.

[livejournal.com profile] snoopdawg posted on her journal a couple days ago with basically the following information: the Livejournal servers have apparently been moved to Russia, which makes LJ no longer subject to US laws about privacy. This is the source she linked.

One of the entries linked in that source is this one, which, along with [livejournal.com profile] snoopdawg's recommendation, led me down the rabbit hole of signing up for Dreamwidth, which uses the same code platform as LJ, but with a totally different business philosophy. I looked them up on Wikipedia too. It's really easy to import your journal to Dreamwidth. It took me about 30-40 minutes to do the research, make the decision to move, and start the import. Dreamwidth did the rest, and it looks like the full import of 13 years of entries and comments took about five hours to migrate over. I am pleased with this.

I don't know yet if I'm going to delete my Livejournal, but I've certainly been looking the other way for a good seven or eight years when they've done sketchy stuff, because I haven't had a good alternative. Now I have a good alternative.

If I had a large friends community I might hesitate more, but I think I only have three active readers these days. :-P

I'm making this entry from Dreamwidth. It should crosspost itself to LJ for me. Let's see how this goes!
oceantheorem: (Eek)

We got the Redwood City place.
oceantheorem: (coffee life)
I'm not sure anything in particular really needs to be written, but it's nearly noon, and I'm at work with nothing to do, and I am bored, and I want to write.

We found a new place to live and started moving in earlier this week. Unfortunately, our gorgeous, beautiful, spacious new house (which we'll be sharing with three housemates) attacked me on the first night, and I had to get my kneecap x-rayed on Monday to make sure I hadn't shattered it. I'm mostly fine now, and am off the crutches already, but my knee is still very sore, and stairs in particular are still problematic. So I'm not doing much at work today. Just sitting. It's better than sitting in the new house without anything at all to do - at least there is internet here, and I had a long chat with Ulf this morning about science - but it's still pretty boring. So I might as well catch up on writing and other creative pursuits.

Overall, life is really good. We love the new house. I'm still very much in love with San Francisco, and am thrilled to be moving to an area that will test that love a little less - we're leaving the high-crime, filthy, noisy downtown/SoMa area and will no longer have crackheads and other bums screaming in the alley outside our apartment every night. The new house is on a street with a bunch of other houses, and the only noises I heard last night were a cat yowling and a dog barking. I can handle these noises.

Also, there is a coffee shop literally across the street. This is bliss.

Our social calendar has been delightfully full lately. We've had board game nights and hiking excursions and dinners with friends. We're both pretty happy with our social circle here. It feels solid and supportive. I'm so glad we moved out here. I miss our Michigan friends, but California is so great in so many ways....

Let's see... what else is new? Jim went Paleo, and has stopped eating all grains and sugar. He's lost a lot of weight. I worry about how much protein he's eating and how he avoids any carbohydrates at all, but he says he'll stop being so drastic about it once he gets back to his target weight (and he's nearly there). I have not gone Paleo, though I am at Jim's mercy for dinner since he's the cook in our family, and I have also tried to cut out sugar. I've lost about fifteen pounds this summer, kind of accidentally. I guess sugar is a lot worse for weight than I had thought. I now weigh what I did in high school, which is shocking (and delightful!). I had to buy new pants. And shirts. (Woe is me, right? How terrible. I just wish we actually had a budget that allowed for a new wardrobe right now.)

Yeah. I think that's it for now. I'm not feeling terribly introspective at the moment. Just wanted to get down a snapshot of where life is at the moment. 
oceantheorem: (I am volatile chemistry)
We have a place to live! We got into the awesome community house. It is a 7000 square foot Victorian mansion in downtown San Francisco that used to be a Buddhist temple. Yeah, I know. It sounds insane. And awesome. I can't wait to see it in person.

We leave a week from today (well, yesterday, since it's waaaaay after midnight now), and I'm finally starting to feel the excitement I've been looking for. It's becoming REAL. I really get to go home. I get to go back west, where there are mountains and ocean and family! And friends! Lots and lots and lots of awesome friends.

Friday was my last day at work here, so I have this entire coming week off to work on packing and loading up the car. It always amazes me how much stuff people manage to accumulate in a year. I think I own more stuff right now than I've ever owned, but I'm looking forward to paring that down and giving a lot of stuff I don't need anymore to Goodwill, and packing everything important to me into my car. For some reason, being able to fit everything I own into my car is some kind of mental achievement for me. Maybe because I've been nomadic for the better part of a decade now, and having less stuff means spending less time packing and unpacking. 

I'm awake right now because my teeth are hurting me and I took some of the Tramadol the dentist gave me a couple weeks ago. It claims it might make me drowsy, but every time I've taken it I've become unable to sleep. Which also explains why the last couple entries were written in the middle of the night and sound like I'm on drugs - because I am on drugs. Anyway, the dentist also gave me a bite guard, which is supposed to help alleviate teeth clenching, which is theoretically the cause of the sore teeth, but I've had the guard for about six days now and I don't think it's helping. I think getting to San Francisco will help, because I've never had a teeth clenching problem before, and I'm pretty sure it's connected to this move. Once we're on the other side of it - and living in a mansion in my favorite city in the world - I should calm down enough not to grind my jaw into pieces while I sleep.

On yet another painkiller-induced tangent, I'm annoyed that we somehow managed to decide to drive across the country just as the Olympics start. I'm going to have to find radio stations that offer some kind of coverage, or maybe stream something from my phone. That should actually work out pretty well; it'll give me something to think about during the 34 hours of driving with Claire meowing the entire way.
oceantheorem: (be careful pretending)
The fireflies are out! Claire is sitting on my lap. I will miss these things.

The problem, as I have said many times, with moving across the country (well, one of the problems; there is certainly more than one) is that you leave bits of yourself behind each time you do it. Even leaving Connecticut, a place I hated, felt like tearing off a part of who I'd become. Michigan is hands-down an all-around better place to be than Connecticut, and leaving is going to be hard. Especially because Jim's family is here, and I've gotten quite attached to them. I feel awful taking their son from them, too. Even though he wants to go and they say they understand and that we'll all go someplace tropical for Christmas together.

I'm trying to simultaneously remember that California is not Eden and will not make life magically perfect, and also that I do have good reason to be excited about moving there. I'm not imagining that California is "home". It is. It truly is. I feel markedly different in California than I do elsewhere. The sun is stronger, the land actually has texture (I'm so sick of the flatness of the Midwest!!), the food is locally grown or raised or caught, and the proximity of the ocean changes the flavor of the air and keeps the temperature within a narrow range. It calls me. In a really stupid, juvenile, romanticized, nonsensical way, I really feel like California calls to me. Besides, I've always wanted to live in San Francisco. I love cities, and San Francisco is my favorite city. 

So why am I so scared and sad?

1. Michigan is safe. We have a routine, we have Jim's parents, we have a safe little life and safe little jobs that would eventually lead to having a safe little house.
2. San Francisco is big, and fast-paced, and culturally very different from anywhere I've been in the last six years, and very different from anywhere Jim has ever been, and I worry about the culture shock.
3. If we don't love it, it will be my fault that we are there and poor and not here and safe. 
4. My mom and I will be closer and have a chance to have a real relationship again, and if it falls apart I won't be able to handle it.
5. We most likely have to give up Claire (a friend of mine is willing to take her for up to a couple of years, and she lives just north of SF, so this really isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I will still miss my fluffy demoncat).
6. It's so expensive. So, so expensive.

Things that kept me awake last night, excited (when was the last time I couldn't sleep because I was excited?):

1. We might get to live in a really interesting community house, the ad for which sounds like a listing for a social experiment. We'd be surrounded by intelligent, capable adults who are trying to make the world a better place. I miss that kind of environment. I miss it in a way that surprises me - like a piece of me was excised, but it was so cunningly and slowly removed that I didn't even see it go, and at the mention of its return I feel lighter and freer and smarter and more adventurous. I want to take risks. I want to try new things. I want to learn about new subjects. I want to contribute. I want to try.
2. The food. Just the thought of the food! Did you know I had a dream about our wedding cake after the wedding? It was so perfectly made, just the right texture and the right sweetness and not too heavy and not at all dry. All the food is like that, whenever I visit California. It's perfectly ripe and fresh and always has the perfect hint of salt or sweetness. THE FOOD.
3. My new job is just like my current job, except with more spreadsheets, an iPad in the mouseroom that was my idea (apparently the university is implementing these now, but my new lab is giving me credit for coming up with the idea before the university announced it), amazing people that sound like they just fell out of a joke (three postdocs walk into a bar - a German, an Indian, and a Frenchman...) and have extremely flexible work hours and seem to value work-life balance. And there is a gym next door with a pool on the roof. A POOL. ON THE ROOF.
4. Sunshine.
5. Sunshine.
6. Sunshine.
7. My family!
8. 3D printers! I know. This is out of the blue. For some reason my brain is associating 3D printing with California, and is excited about it. Let's just roll with this one...

I've been pretending to be quiet and safe and normal and now I am quiet and safe and normal. I want to be wild and daring and clever again, but it is scary.
On the other hand, it's not like I have a choice anymore. We've set it in motion; it's happening. We leave on July 30th.


May. 22nd, 2009 10:43 am
oceantheorem: (Eek)
So, we're all moved in to our new apartment, which is fabulous. It's light and airy and there's enough room for my knitting stuff to take over an entire corner of the living room. I have my own "desk" (a table) which is blissfully completely coated in books, two computers, and various useless items like unused rubber bands, game CDs from the 90s, and a broken ceramic wizard waiting to have his staff superglued back into his hand for the third time. It's fantastic. For the first time since September, I'm completely unpacked.

I found all sorts of little treasures while unpacking, such as a book Stef sent me for Christmas, $10 in an old wallet, and a gift certificate to Borders that K la gave me for being a bridesmaid at her wedding nearly two years ago... So I've been reading a ton the last week, which is really nice. For some reason I stopped reading after I qualified, and I never started up again. It's been over a year since I actually finished a book, which is pretty much heresy for me, considering I was the kid who used to get in trouble for reading during recess instead of running around.

Anyway, so this post is really about the most hilarious feature of our new apartment. We have a little balcony (we're on the third floor), and it's got a nice big sliding glass door and a screen and whatnot (and a tiny new basil plant, but that's a subject for another post).

So last night as we were getting ready for bed, Jim said, "I'll go make sure the doorwall is locked."
Me: "The what?"
Jim: "The doorwall! Out to the balcony."
Me: "Oh! You mean the sliding glass door."
Jim: "No, I mean the doorwall."
Me: "What the hell is a doorwall!"
Jim: "The door out to the balcony! It's called a doorwall!"
Me: "That's not a real word; you made that up."
Jim: "Did not! It's called a doorwall! That's what it's called!"
Me: "That's ridiculous. It's called a sliding glass door; it's made out of glass and it slides. There's no such word as 'doorwall.'"
Jim: "It's a door! Set in the wall!"
Me: "All doors are set in walls! You're insane!"
Jim: "I'm going to google it!"

It turns out that people living in the Detroit area of Michigan (and ONLY people living in the Detroit area of Michigan) refer to sliding glass doors as "doorwalls." No one knows why, but apparently it started in the 60s and has taken a firm hold in the area, but hasn't managed to spread elsewhere (possibly because it's a RIDICULOUS term). Jim takes this as proof that "doorwall" is a real and viable term. I take this as proof that MICHIGANDERS ARE INSANE OMG WHAT AM I DOING HERE.

And I thought Michigan lefts were weird....
oceantheorem: (cat haiku feed)
It's been a long week. Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I thought how nice it was that we'd been somewhere stable and ours for two whole weeks. Then I remembered we've only been in this house for one week.

Today I get a door. This will be nice, because then I can keep the cat out of my room. He has an annoying tendency to get hungry in the extremely small hours of the morning. This morning, for instance, he woke me at 5 am. And I haven't been able to go back to sleep.
Not tomorrow, my friends. Tomorrow morning I will sleep blissfully uninterrupted by felines.

I'm still not really unpacked. My progress has been hampered by the onslaught of undergraduates, who have purchased all the furniture in New Haven. Alas, what's a poor grad student to do? Two thirds of the furniture I wanted to buy last weekend was "temporarily out of stock." And the internet tells me that the bookcase I wanted from Staples is discontinued. This is disheartening. Hopefully today at least I will be able to get the desk I wanted from IKEA.

I started qualifying last week. I've done a bad job of focusing so far. I've managed to read two and a half papers in four days. I'm gonna have to get much better about ignoring everything and everyone around me, or I'll never get through this. I have my first faculty meeting on Thursday, and I need to get through four more papers before then--and I need to have read them in serious, serious detail. *sigh* I also need to pick papers to read next week... Aaaaand there went all my free time.

Also, I signed up for WoW. I couldn't help it. I've been resisting for years, and my resolve finally broke down. I played way too much this weekend, but from now on there will be strict time limits, which I will set in proportion to how many papers I've read per day.

I've been mostly ignoring livejournal for the last week. I'll try to get caught up later today....

I'm gonna try again to go back to sleep now....
oceantheorem: (cat toilet)
We're moved. The new house is AMAZING. If only I knew where the coffee maker was....

I'm currently stealing internet from the neighbors, but it's a terribly weak signal and I can only get it if I hold the laptop at a very precarious angle, which is making typing extremely interesting.
Our internet will be activated on Tuesday, so updates will come then.

In the meantime, I'm gonna go assemble IKEA furniture and avoid thinking about quals.
oceantheorem: (I believe in science)
The waiting game begins again...

I've been trying to TAP-tag my favorite protein for the last five weeks (basically, this just means inserting a nucleotide sequence at the end of the gene so it will be translated with the protein) so that I can do various TAP-taggy sorts of things. Yeast is a great model organism for things like transformations--all I have to do is PCR amplify the TAP tag using primers with ends that are homologous to the end of my gene, then put the PCR product directly into yeast (no cloning, no vector, nothing), and the yeast will use homologous recombination to transform itself. I did the transformation several weeks ago, and have been trying for at least the last month to verify the tag by Western blot (this involves breaking open a bunch of yeast and extracting their proteins, then probing for the tag with an antibody). Strangely, my Westerns have been completely blank. Not faint, blank. No smudges, nothing. I got several different positive controls from labmates, and have been able to get those to show up perfectly, but still saw nothing in my sample lanes.

Yesterday I finally checked over my primers. Sure enough... not only did I leave the STOP codon in the sequence, I also took the wrong sequence from the end of the gene--instead of the last 50 nucleotides, I used the second to last 50 nucleotides. So my primers were both in the wrong place AND contained a STOP codon before the tag, so of course I never saw anything on the blot--the TAP tag never got translated.


I ordered new primers and they should be here later this week. Meanwhile, I just have to sit and wait again.
At least now I know it's not my bench skills that are bad. Messing up primers is much, much better than being incapable of doing a proper Western.

While I'm waiting for primers, though, I get to pack. We move tomorrow and Friday! This weekend I'm going to head to IKEA and get lots of fun furniture-y things, like a dresser, and some more chairs, and maybe a rug or two (okay, rugs aren't furniture). I'm so excited!


oceantheorem: (Default)

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