oceantheorem: (one perfect rose)
Typed up nearly verbatim from my paper journal...

Monday, 25 April, 2011
Holy. Crap.
I am engaged.
I guess I should back up and write about the whole weekend.
Friday I picked Jim up in Lansing. We went to gaming at Jeff's and had a really pleasant evening.
Saturday Jim took me to the Toledo Zoo so I could see the elephants. It was a gorgeous day - really the first nice one we've had this spring. At one point I made him sit down on a concrete bench thing, and I laid down next to him and put my head in his lap and just drank in the sunshine. It was So. Nice.
We spent some time in the reptile house, and I lingered by the elephants for a while, but we ended up not really being at the zoo very long. On the way out, Jim bought me a stuffed giraffe, which I've been pestering him for two years to do. (It's adorable, by the way, and now sits by my computer.)
We went straight from the zoo to Jim's parents' house for Easter dinner. It was a smallish gathering - me, Jim, his parents, his brother and sister, his sister's fiance, and his cousin's soon-to-be-ex-husband (long story, but the family has decided to "keep" him, even though the cousin isn't).
Anyway, dinner was really nice. It was homey and comfortable and warm.
Sunday, Easter, was a nice quiet day for us. I don't think Jim even realized it was Easter (we don't really do the holiday thing, particularly for the religiousy ones). We slept in, had an easy lunch, watched some TV, and cuddled a little. We went in search of a Kindle for Jim, but the Best Buy was closed, so we stopped by Barnes & Noble and I lectured Jim on how he should give fantasy novels another chance.
Back at the apartment, I had just started up Minecraft when Jim picked up his car keys and said he was going outside for a few minutes. My reply was a slightly confused "Umm, okay." And then I went back to playing Minecraft.
About 20 minutes later, I got an IM on my phone, from Jim, asking what I was up to. When I replied, "mining" he sent back, "Come find me."
After a little back-and-forth, throughout which I mostly tried to be difficult, I got in my car and drove to the nature preserve two miles from our apartment. At this point I was honestly a little annoyed. He'd wanted to go for a walk earlier in the day and I had refused - was he trying to force me into walking with him?
I had expected to have to wander the paths in the nature preserve for a while until I found Jim, but as I pulled up in the parking lot I could see him through the trees. And as I  walked toward him, I thought I could see something green behind his back. At that point I stopped being annoyed and started being confused. What the heck was going on?
Finally I came around the first curve in the path, and Jim stepped out of the trees. He handed me what he'd been hiding behind his back - a single gorgeous red rose, wrapped in green tissue paper. My first thought was, "Wow, this is sweet, but kinda weird. Is this because I hassled him about not getting me flowers for Valentine's Day?"
He said, "The last two years have been the happiest of my life." I thought, "Awww, sweet."
Then he dropped to one knee and pulled out the ring, and the whole world kind of crashed through my head as I tried to grasp what was going on. I'm fairly sure he said, "Will you marry me?" and obviously I said yes, but all I really remember is throwing my arms around him and hugging him.
 
Within two hours, the cat had eaten the rose.
 
(this is me-now again, not me-journal)
Over the next week or so I went through a pretty crazy emotional rollercoaster. I told my friends, I told my parents, I told my coworkers. My coworkers were the only ones I got to tell in person, which was a little sad (why are all my closest friends online??). I got used to wearing a HUUUUGE piece of gorgeous jewelry on my left hand. My ring finger developed a sore and healed again. I  began envisioning the perfect outdoor Santa Cruz redwoods wedding, picked colors, picked a location, picked a date, discarded the date, discarded the location, and decided again I really do like the colors. It's amazing what the female brain does with the sudden onset of "impending wedding". The last two weeks have made me immensely grateful for Jim's influence on me - he has this ability to take my emotions and just let them roll over him until I'm calm and sane and things make sense again. He wrote a rough draft of our vows and let me start a spreadsheet to manage our guests (once I had a spreadsheet, everything seemed better).
 
We told Jim's parents about the engagement in person, a week later, at another Saturday dinner. Telling Donna in person was so far, by far, the most fun part of telling anyone. She actually squee'ed and I think she might have jumped up and down a little. It was awesome.
My mom also approves, and told me she thinks Jim is a great guy and a good match for me. My dad called Jim and didn't give him too much grief about not asking for my hand, which, from my dad, is a pretty glowing welcome.
 
I'm happy. :-)
oceantheorem: (gg rl strings)
After two weeks, I'm still not sure how to start a conversation - or a livejournal post - telling people I'm engaged. So there! I'm engaged! Jim proposed on April 24th.



I should probably type up the whole story, which I have written in my paper journal, but I'm not up to it at the moment. I just got home from five days in Reno with my mom, and I'm wiped out, but I thought I'd update while I had the inspiration to at least get something recorded.

Hmm. I had more thoughts in my head, but I think they're slipping away. It's past my bedtime. Poke me and I'll try to get something better written in the next few days.
oceantheorem: (rain on flowers)
 It has taken seven years, but the song "We Looked Like Giants" by Death Cab for Cutie no longer has any weird emotional power over me. Now it's just a normal, emo, pretty good song.
oceantheorem: (coffee life)
I've been meaning to write a Decade in Review post since the end of December, but, well, y'know. I'm lazy and all.

So. Some quick summaries, with vague highlights as they stand out in my memory. I'd look things up, but all my paper journals (dating back to freakin' 1992) are still in Reno in my parents' shed in the backyard. So yeah, all from (terrible) memory.

2000
The end of my freshman year of high school. Finally got over my first love. Had the whole David not-dating saga. Slapped a boy for the first time. Got flowers for my 15th birthday from Michael--the first time a boy ever gave me flowers. Taught archery to other girls at summer camp. Joined the yearbook staff. Met and fell in love with George.

2001
Sophomore/junior year of high school. Got braces. Turned sweet 16 and had a Renaissance-themed birthday. Went to France with my mother (best two weeks ever). Became Assistant Editor of the yearbook and really did the job of editor-in-chief. Had alcohol without parental supervision for the first time--didn't like it.

2002
Junior/senior year of high school. George at one point said something nice to me and I got teary-eyed. To cover, I told him I was a sentimental sap and cried at everything, including stupid commercials. Confused, he looked at me and said, "Canned peaches, on sale now." I laughed and pretended that yes, this was the sort of thing I would cry at.
George graduated and I spent the entire ceremony sobbing. Afterward we met up and he said he had a gift for me. I was trying to hide how upset I was and was presenting a smiling face, until he pulled out a can of peaches and smacked it down on the concrete wall next to us. "Look, a can of peaches!" I burst into tears.
I became editor-in-chief of the yearbook. Mom took me to visit colleges. I fell in love with Santa Cruz. I remember very little else of this period.

2003
Senior year of high school. Got my first kiss in January. Cried when I got my acceptance letter to UCSC, which I opened in the yearbook room, where I lived. Braces off. Convinced George to come home from college to take me to prom. Graduated. Sobbed to be leaving.
Spent the entire summer working 60-hour weeks at the video store. Made barely $2k.
Kissed George.
Failed to learn to surf.
Started college.
Met Jamie. World changed forever. Lost innocence.

2004
End of first year of college. Was... 19, in so many ways. So immature, so full of passion, so very confused about life.
Got first lab job. Fell in love with organic chemistry. Changed life plan from marine biology to biochemistry.
Took a class with Harry Noller. Fell further in love with molecules and biochemistry.
Spent Christmas with Nanny.

2005
Nanny died. World changed forever.
Nearly failed physics, a subject which to this day still does not make sense in my head.
Mom got pregnant. I had surgery to see if I had endometriosis and if my uterus was actually functional.
TAed for a high school program at UCSC.
Worst summer I've ever had.
Got back together with Jamie. Ran in the First Rain Naked Run (so glad I did that-definitely a Life Experience). Applied to graduate schools.

2006
Got into Yale. FREAKED OUT. Sister born. Broke up with Jamie for NO GOOD REASON.
Had best spring quarter in the history of the world--climbed, drank local beer, learned photography, spoke French, casually flirted with amazingly hot French guy but never got anywhere. Turned 21.
Graduated from college a full year early. Bought a car and left everything I loved behind. Moved to Connecticut.
Had completely disastrous attempt at normal relationship.
Started graduate school. Hated it. Loved it. Could not make up mind.
Saw New York for the first time. Fell horribly in love with it.
Developed crush on guy both my close girl friends dated before I could make up my mind about whether I wanted to or not.
Learned to cook a turkey.
Learned to knit.

2007
Continued to hate and love graduate school. Got very, very depressed.
Joined genetics lab. Still not sure why.
Enjoyed a six-month-long secret relationship that ultimately went nowhere but was a great experience anyway.
Was convinced to qualify early. This went badly.
Started a real relationship.
Bought a cat.

2008
Decided to drop out of Yale. Spent six months actually working up the courage to do this. Was convinced to go on medication for depression--was horrified and relieved when it actually worked.
Went off medication as soon as humanly possible. Was relieved to not relapse into depression.
Left Connecticut, breaking ties. The day I left Connecticut is etched very painfully into my memory. I remember the temperature, the colors, the sounds... Mike, Eliz, Kristy, Emily, Andrew, I miss you all so much.
Drove back across country. Burst into tears when the Rockies came into view. Mountains!
Was taken in by amazing aunt and uncle. Got job in local university bookstore. Wondered where the hell life had gone wrong and what the hell I was doing with myself.
Got depressed.
Fell in love with Jim.

2009
Fell further in love with Jim. Uncle diagnosed with all kinds of cancer. Moved to Michigan for lack of anywhere else to go. Got job as medical editor.
Wondered where the hell life had gone wrong and what the hell I was doing with myself.
Slowly got life back on track in my head.
Applied to graduate schools.
Managed not to destroy relationship, which still baffles (and delights!) me.
Knit 18 feet of garter stitch and learned to knit lace.
Started to feel like an adult.

Goals for 2010?
Get into UCSF. Knit more lace. Knit for other people. Stop being so selfish.
Hit quarter-century mark. Have giant party.
Move to California. Buy house. Be deliriously happy.
Start graduate school over again. Be incredibly stressed out. Drink coffee. Love every second.
Convince Jim we should get second cat.
oceantheorem: (gg R pensive)
Thankfully, Jim will be coming home Friday. This is good, because I think otherwise I might explode.

This weekend (not including Friday), I...

drove to Ann Arbor, met a knitting friend, bought yarn, chatted for two hours, drove home, bought crickets for the chameleon, fed and watered the chameleon, took a nap for several hours, went to a cookie party with coworkers, watched a whole disk of West Wing, rented three movies and watched two of them, went for a run, did the dishes, cooked myself a nice dinner, wound 3000 yards of yarn into balls, knit a cowl for my mom's 50th birthday, played with the cat, wrote in my paper journal for the first time in 11 months, played Warcraft for the first time in 3 or 4 months, and got an absurd amount of sleep.

And that's not counting today. Today I got up, fed and watered the chameleon, played with the cat, went to the post office and mailed Mom's birthday present and the Traveling Scarf I've had since before Thanksgiving, went to work and worked a full 8 hours, dropped movies off at the movie rental place, bought more crickets for the chameleon, talked to Jim for a while, cooked dinner, had hour-long conversations with both my mom and my dad, watched a third movie, taught Claire that plastic bags are a lot of fun to play with, knit half a wristwarmer twice, chatted with several friends online, wrote this entry... it's not even my bedtime yet.

It feels like the days have twice as many hours in them. It occurs to me that maybe this much stuff happens in normal days, and they just seem faster because I'm not spending every moment waiting for Jim to come home...

Just for the record, Julie & Julia is not as good as it looks from the trailers and was only barely worth renting at all, Marley & Me is waaaaay better than it looks (I officially love that movie), and Twilight (the movie) really is as bad as everyone says, but I still maintain it's the writing and not the actual plot.
Just so we're clear.
oceantheorem: (turtle love)
Jim got a job with a trucking company (he recently got his CDL so he can drive semis for a while, so we can actually have income, so maybe in the spring he can finish up his helicopter pilot training--he's only got a few hours to go, but at $400/hour a few hours is still pretty heavy on the finances). So anyway, Jim got a job with a regional trucking company. And he left tonight for training. It's in Iowa, and he'll be there at least 2 weeks. Maybe 5 weeks if they can pair him with a co-driver right away, but we won't know that for 2 weeks.

So I dropped him off at the bus station and came home and meant to go to bed (it was almost 1 am by the time I got home...) and somehow just... couldn't. It's now 3:30 am and I'm exhausted and I've watched 3 episodes of West Wing and knit almost the rest of the hat I started Thursday (I did need a hat...) and I just don't want to go to bed. It's all empty and lonely and cold in there. I actually think I might sleep on the couch tonight, just so I don't have to sleep in an empty bed.

I think I'll have another cup of tea and finish the episode of West Wing I'm in the middle of... and then try to sleep. The hat should be finished by then too.
oceantheorem: (knit harry potter)
My brilliant idea to wear myself out yesterday by not taking a nap failed horribly. I went to bed at 11:30 and woke up at 4 am. Luckily, after about 15 minutes I was able to get myself to go back to sleep, but then I had the WORST NIGHTMARE EVER. Okay, it wasn't the worst one ever, but it was pretty bad. I don't usually dream about people trying to murder me. And, predictably, into this nightmare my brain worked in something that is always in my nightmares: a complete inability to scream. I'm in dire need of help, I get the merest window of an opportunity to escape danger, I open my mouth to scream for help... and nothing comes out. At all. And then I'm back in danger and have no hope of being rescued.

Anyway...

Yesterday I made a dice bag for D&D. It's big enough to hold my special set of dice, plus Jaden, plus the metric shit-ton of d6s I plan to eventually get. And yet, it's very tiny! It's a miraculous Bag of Dice Holding. Level 3 Magic Item, carries up to 10 lbs but never weighs more than 6 oz.
Since I knit the whole thing (on size 2 dpns, thankyouverymuch) in one day, I think I'm going to knit a few more (on size 4 circs...? I need a bigger collection of dpns, apparently) for friends.

I also started a dishcloth yesterday, but I'm using needles two sizes too big, so it's kind of... towel-sized.... I think I need more needles in general... Okay, maybe I just need to finish a project once in a while, so I don't have to buy a new set of needles every time I cast on for something.

Speaking of which, the wedding blanket is coming along splendidly. I've seamed almost half the seams I need to seam. And I figured out how to do the border, mostly, so it should only take a few tries of picking up stitches, knitting for a day, ripping it all out, screaming, and starting over before it's finished. Hurrah! The end is in sight!
As I noted in the project comment on Ravelry for this blanket: I love the yarn. I love the pattern. I love my cousin. I HATE SEAMING. I will never, ever, ever, EVER knit a blanket in pieces EVER again. This is a good thing to know about oneself.

Anyway. More cleaning, then off to see the boy! Perhaps I will finish his hat sometime this century. I might actually be able to even though one of the needles broke... We will see!
oceantheorem: (climber silhouette)
Some things have changed quite a bit in the last month or two, so I did most of this meme with the first 8 or 10 months of the year in mind.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Gave up. Dropped out of graduate school.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I never make resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
None.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A real career and a life goal. Happiness.

7. What day from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day I left Connecticut was actually rather painful and will be difficult to forget.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Deciding to take action to force my life in a different direction because I was unhappy and not because I thought it was the thing I "should" be doing.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Choosing to drop out right before the economy crashed. Losing my sense of direction in life.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Pretty severe depression for the first half of the year. Glad to have that past me.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmmmm. I bought Claire on Dec 30,2007. Can I count her as the 2008 best purchase?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Hmmm. I think I'm going to abstain from comment on this and the next question.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?


14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, gas, rent.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Leaving Connecticut. And a certain new relationship. :-)

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Hmmmm. Dogtown Mines is the sound of driving west and trying not to feel guilty about leaving the east behind.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder?
Happier. With promise of continued improvement.

ii. Thinner or fatter?
Thinner. I'm not eating much these days.

iii. Richer or poorer?
Quite a bit poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Singing. Dancing. Trying to be a human being and not worrying so much about what I'm "supposed" to do with myself. I still need to learn to let go.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Waiting.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I'll be flying back to Utah on Christmas Eve, and spending Christmas here.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Uhhhhhh. This... ummmm.... ask me again on New Year's.

22. How many one-night stands?
Zero.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Oh man, I love How I Met Your Mother. Weeds is really good, too. I miss Gilmore Girls. :-(

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.

25. What was the best book you read?
I didn't read much at all in 2008, actually. I will be remedying that in 2009. (is that really how remedying is spelled?)

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I think Darren Smith is actually a late 07 discovery, but I'm counting him anyway. I'll throw Blue October in there as well, just for the hell of it.

27. What did you want and get?
My personality and identity back from the vile clutches of the soul-crushing graduate program at Yale.

28. What did you want and not get?
I'm gonna leave Zach's answer here: "A job, a job, o yeah, and a job."

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Ummmm. I'm wracking my brain and I can't remember any of the films I saw this year.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 23. My friends threw me a surprise party. It was absolutely wonderful. My wife carried a cake through the rain for me.
<3

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A more satisfying conclusion to the drop-out-of-grad-school thing. i.e. a real career.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
The same as always. I wear what is comfortable. Jeans, t-shirts, college sweatshirts. Lots of scarves (oh man, I love scarves).

33. What kept you sane?
Claire. Coffee. Loud music in my car.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Uhhh. Is this a romantic question? I really admire Obama, but not romantically.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The gay marriage issue and abortion. Don't even get me started.

36. Who did you miss?
Everyone, at one point or another, having moved across the country. I currently very deeply miss my east coast friends.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
*grin* Unequivocally, Jim.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Life is primarily something you go through alone, on your own power. You should therefore not do anything because you think other people will approve or disapprove; your actions have to be motivated by internal forces like desire for happiness and desire for success.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
So I'm putting my luck to the test, I'm bringing the eastern seabord's best. We'll be making it up someday, losing time along the way....

The same meme, two years ago
oceantheorem: (dreams made flesh)
It's been a long week. I've worked at the ridiculous bookstore twice, and had a really annoying interview with a human resources company (oh lucky me, I will be allowed to be part of a stuffing assembly line for four days after christmas). Wednesday morning I DESPERATELY needed coffee, so of course after purchasing said coffee at 6:45 am, I took a corner too fast and spilled it all over my feet under the gas pedal. LOVELY. I went back to the gas station and the lady behind the counter gave me a refill for free after I told her I'd spilled the first one, which was super awesome and very friendly of her. But still. It was not a good way to start out the day.

On the bright side... the car has smelled vaguely like cat pee for two months, and now it smells like gas station coffee. Which is, you know, one step up. Maybe I should buy some really expensive kona coffee and spill THAT in there.

ANYWAY.

There is a new boy in my life. I feel some guilt about this (quite a lot, in fact). It is, however, largely overshadowed by my absurd happiness. I had forgotten what it was like to be happy. It's... fantastic.

In other other news... I finally got my healer druid to 80. It was painful. I miss my hunter and will be leveling her as quickly as possible once my hatred of all things warcrafty wears off (I leveled the druid way too quickly and under too much pressure. the whole game annoys me right now). But in the meantime, I can at least get back into raiding with the druid.

Also, I started playing D&D with my cousin and some of her friends. Only two of us have ever played before (my cousin and the DM), but none of us has ever played 4th edition. And the DM has never DMed. So far we are all learning the basics of how the game works, but I think we will get better quickly. I've purchased dice and a D&D player's handbook (OMG I'm a real nerd now!) and am LOVING finally being able to play. There were guys who played when I was in high school, but they never let me join them, and I've been dying to get into a group ever since.

ANYway. aNYway. anyWAY... Sorry. High school inside joke.

I need a real job. And to move to California. And then life will be absolutely perfect.
oceantheorem: (coffee life)
Things are going extremely well. Life is settling more and more now that quals are over, and I feel like I'm getting to be myself a bit again.

My date on Wednesday went extremely well, so I had another one on Saturday. Things are very very good at the moment, and I'm trying as hard as I can to just go with the flow and enjoy the happiness as long as it's choosing to keep sneaking up on me unexpectedly, as it's been doing for the last five days. The surprise smiles are the best kind--the ones where you find yourself looking at something mundane like a box of pipet tips and suddenly you're smiling about something that happened three days ago. The beginning stages of a relationship are a lot more fun than I remembered. I hope it keeps up like this.

Lab isn't going quite as swimmingly, so I'm starting over with my tagging AGAIN. So for most of today I'm just waiting for a PCR to run. I should really have started it last night so it would be ready this morning, but frankly I was just too lazy. Also, I had to pick up Em at the airport in Hartford, so I spent my evening driving instead of coming into lab.

Anyway.

Also, I completely failed at NaNoWriMo, predictably. I wrote not a single word. I think starting is going to be the hardest part for me. *sigh* Maybe next year. Maybe over Christmas break I'll write a short story or something. Maybe I should just focus on making myself write in my journals more often.

Or maybe I should stop writing and go do my homework. Blah.
oceantheorem: (I love dorks)
My date this weekend was pretty great. I'll post more about it in a locked entry later... Hopefully there will be a second date. Fingers crossed!
Also, after we first met on Saturday night and talked for three hours, I had to ask him what his name was again (I'm so terribly, terribly bad with names. It's not personal.). At least I avoided this guy's plight.

I finally seem to have gotten into some sort of schedule rhythm. It doesn't bug me to wake up at 8 every morning anymore (a few months ago I was complaining about the dreadful consistency; I'd been so used to waking up super early some days and super late on others, and the variety kept me on my toes), and *gasp* the consistency is actually starting to be comforting (hurray for routine!). Also, finding time to go climbing has actually gotten easier. Since I'm not taking classes, I don't have any homework to worry about in the evenings, and all the papers I need to read for lab I can read while I'm in lab. I suddenly have... free... time.... (As I typed that, I sort of cowered a bit in fear that lightning would strike me down, or someone would run up to me and provide me with a heap of extra, excruciating work to do.)

Anyway. Climbing is good. Knitting is slow. The only time I knit these days is on the shuttle to and from lab. It's just too hot to knit. And too nice outside to sit indoors and knit if I have the choice to do something else. It doesn't help that all my fun knitting supplies are packed in some random box somewhere in the basement.

Only two more weeks until I get my life back and we move into a real house!
Also, I'm now officially a Connecticut driver. I have a CT license and CT license plates. All I need to do now is notify California and hope they don't fine me for not notifying them earlier. I really hope this doesn't involve actually calling the California DMV. I'm fine with internet legwork, but making phone calls to DMV employees is one of my least favorite things in the entire world. My personal hell would involve a rotation of things like calling DMV workers in other states, optimizing colorimetric quantification assays, and changing diapers on other peoples' children. While being exposed constantly to giant malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Today, I have nothing to do in lab. I'm waiting on four plates of yeast to grow. Then I will resume the constant litany of western blotting (can a repeated action be a litany? or does a litany have to be a spoken repetition? *goes to look it up...*).
In the meantime, alternating reading papers, listening to NPR, and finding pertinent webcomics is going to keep me from dying of boredom. Or bothering the other grad students.
oceantheorem: (hp merlin's pants)
I have a date I have a date I have a daaaaaate!!!!
oceantheorem: (Mika and coffee)
Blah. It's Tuesday and yet it still feels like a Monday.... I'm finally actually getting a pile of work to do, and thanks to procrastination I might even be able to engineer a busy day on Thursday or Friday. In the meantime, since I'm still at the beginning of my project in lab, I only have a few hours' worth of work to do each day, and I'm spending the rest of my time trying to focus on reading papers. Friday I made it through three papers, yesterday not any, and today so far I've read about two pages of one paper. Mostly, though, I've been kinda bored, and very low on energy.

I finished the Harry Potter book Sunday afternoon (no spoilers, I promise). I thought I'd cry but I didn't, even when someone I was awfully attached to died. I will say that it's by far my favorite in the series, and that I've started reading it over again already.

I talked to Jamie on the phone Thursday night for about 40 minutes. Because of the time difference to the west coast, this meant that I was extraordinarily tired on Friday morning in lab, but it was nothing a large cup of coffee couldn't fix. It was a fantastic conversation. I'd been putting off calling him (even though he'd asked me to, after graduation six weeks ago), because I was afraid I'd fall all over him again. But actually, I felt a lot calmer after our conversation. One of the things I like about Jamie is how easy it is to talk to him. I never have to worry about what I say to him, or even how I say it--he always seems to know exactly what I mean, and he always seems to understand. We did talk, briefly, about my feelings, but the bottom line in that discussion was that I really, really, really want to be friends with him again. I miss his friendship and his presence in my life more than anything else, and while it is a bit awkward and painful for me to hear about his current girlfriend, it's more important to me that we be able to discuss anything and everything. So. I'm okay there. Hopefully we can rebuild a real friendship.
Now, if only he weren't so terrible at remembering to call people back....

Not much else is going on. I haven't touched knitting in over a week; I think after all that marathon knitting on the wedding gift I sort of needed a break. I think I've pretty much decided how to finish up the gift, so I need to sit down and spend a few hours on it, but I just haven't had the motivation yet. Also, the yarn and pattern for the Dragone shawl came, but I haven't gotten the needles yet, so I haven't started it.

Anyway, I'm giving half the lab meeting on Monday, so I should really go think about my talk. And I'm supposed to have an abstract of my thesis project written up by Friday, so maybe I'll go think about that for a while as well.
oceantheorem: (I am volatile chemistry)
Dude. This week has been... particularly stressful. So much for the good mood I was in last week; grad school seems to take those good moods and pound them into the ground. I've felt ridiculously stupid and lazy for the last three days. Maybe I should be working harder, but I think I'm about on par.... Except for the fact that Susan wants me to qualify this fall, and also gave me a look yesterday that indicated I was the least intelligent person in the lab, especially because the other first year in the lab had read the paper on my gene and I hadn't. And our undergrad is ridiculously intelligent, and every interaction with him makes me look like some sort of underdeveloped fourth-grader.
Our second year grad student, whom I adore and admire, insists that I have imposter's syndrome and that I'm much more intelligent than I think I am, and that I'll be fine, and that Susan was just having a weird day.

Anyway, life has also been difficult socially. And emotionally. I mean, I keep waking up in the middle of the night having NO CLUE where I am, and the cat sleeps right next to my head, so that's freakin weird too (although sleeping with Kayla's cat in Utah actually seems to have mostly acclimated me to waking up to a face full of cat fur). And I seem to have been particularly stupid lately, and trusted a few people that I probably shouldn't have, so the end result is that I went from having a secret lover to a non-secret lover to a non-secret non-lover, passing through various stages of unnecessary drama and trauma involving way too many extraneous people, such as labmates and housemates. Things seem to have settled now; all parties involved have gotten over the issue entirely and I'm pretty sure that the only residual feelings are a little bit of anger on my part, and no sadness on anyone's part, so whatever. Anyway, it all happened in the last couple of days and blah. Unnecessary. The main problem is the stupid dreams I keep having, about a certain person back on the west coast, that make me insane. If it wasn't for the dreams I wouldn't be insane. None of this would have happened if I hadn't been trying to distract myself from the dreams. And the thoughts that go with/cause the dreams.

My new housemate gave me a list of references. I'm gonna go see a shrink. Soon. Really. I need to. I'm becoming more and more convinced that my brain chemistry is completely out of whack. Or maybe I just need more sunlight. I was fine on the drive across the country; maybe it was because I was getting so much sun? Damnit, I don't want skin cancer....

I don't even know what to write about, or how to make this post coherent. So I think I'm gonna go make some sort of private entry that will be completely incomprehensible but will allow me to vent without worrying about sounding like an idiot.
oceantheorem: (gg R pensive)
The only problem with having gone to Kayla's wedding and having taken a bazillion pictures is that now I want to get married. This happened to me once in high school or freshman year of college--this marriage bug--and I actually signed up on a wedding planning site with a fake name, a fake groom name, and a date as far back as the site would allow, and then spent a week or so looking at dresses and flowers and cakes. It's tempting now to go do the same thing and start a file somewhere of what I eventually want my wedding to look like, but the very small part of my brain that has some sanity left is, thankfully, still resisting. *sigh*

At least my annoying internal biological clock is demanding marriage and not babies.

Anyway, below are some snippets of what I wrote last week in Utah (since I guess it turns out I already posted everything I wanted to about the cross-country drive). Some paragraphs are verbatim, some are reworked, and some are added completely new to actually give this post a feeling of coherency:

Long, introspective, and rambly, with a little bit of religious comment thrown in for good measure. )
oceantheorem: (skydiving)
I have lots and lots to say. I'm keeping my paper journal updated, so I can give summaries in a few weeks when I'm back in Connecticut. But I've got Ann's computer for a few minutes, so I figured I might as well update. I'm alive. I'm in Santa Cruz. We're leaving this afternoon on our epic road trip.

I went to graduation today. It was profoundly weird. And deeply awkward. And exceedingly strange to be there. I definitely don't belong here anymore; even though part of me felt as though it were my graduation (all my hallmates from freshman year were graduating, and I was supposed to graduate this year) and I got a bit of closure from it, I also felt like I was an intruder sitting in on an experience I was supposed to have given up. I wanted to say goodbye to Jamie, because I'll probably never see him again (!!!!!!!!!! ... !), but he was surrounded by his family and his girlfriend, and I just couldn't bring myself to face his mother. Maybe if I hadn't liked his family I would have been able to slip past them to say goodbye without feeling weird, but they adopted me as their own during a time when my own family had forgotten about me. And then I broke their son's heart in a profoundly heartless and cruel way. I just couldn't bring myself to face them.
I can fling myself out of airplanes, but I can't talk to my ex's mother.

Speaking of airplanes... Ann and I went skydiving again yesterday. The jumpmasters all yelled at us for jumping tandem our third time. They wanted to know why we weren't getting certified to jump solo. If we'd had more time in Santa Cruz we definitely would have taken the certification class, but it just didn't fit into the schedule... Anyway, we did the jump and this time they let us pull our own parachute cords. It was frickin amazing. I love skydiving. I'll have to update about the experience more later; right now I'm gonna go pack up my stuff a little more neatly and try not to be all emo about having been to graduation today.

Ugh. Why do I always get so emotional about this crap? How come normal people can go to graduations and complain about the length of the ceremony and the excessive heat and all the other annoyances, and I go and sit alone and cry at the commencement speeches and think I've had some sort of momentous experience? Gaaaaaaaaahhhhh.
oceantheorem: (gg rl strings)
It's been a good week. I haven't had much to do in lab, so I've been relaxing and getting settled in. I cleared off my bench space, scrubbed a year's worth of dirt off some shelves, washed out some drawers, and voila! My workspace now looks clean and shiny and new. The lab is only a few years old, and it's amazing how many years a little bit of Seventh Generation can take off. I chose some lab tape colors and labeled my pipetmen and a freezer box, so I've officially "moved in." Yesterday I started cloning some stuff for Erica. I'm taking off next week, so there's not a lot I can do before I go, but I've run some PCRs and a few gels and maybe I can get a couple genes into some vectors before vacation. At any rate, it feels good to be doing stuff and not just sitting around.

I've been working on my cousin's wedding gift, and have realized that I need to knit about eight square inches a day between now and July 6th. This is... absurd. Someone told me today that you technically have a year after the wedding before your gift is "late," so I might have to give her a small swatch and send the whole thing a month or so later. It really shouldn't take too much longer, but I think squeezing the entire thing in before July 6th is maybe a little unfeasible, given that I'll be driving across the country for three weeks beforehand. How much knitting can I really get done while I'm vacationing?
At any rate, I was afraid of the yarn for a little while, but I washed a few swatches and they look AWESOME. I think it's gonna be a good gift. Also, I bought three times as much yarn as I needed, so, um... gifts for other people might follow, depending on how much of which colors I'm left with at the end of this project.

Anyway.

Today I kissed someone I should probably definitely not have kissed. But it was totally one of those, "I know I shouldn't be doing this, but I sooo don't care" moments. Actually, he kissed me, so I dunno what I'm complaining about. I'm not culpable.

Also, my labmate took me to a new coffeeshop today (new to me) to buy me coffee for helping her move boxes, and while we were there she picked up a few pieces of chocolate they had in a bin by the register. "Have you had these?" she asked me, "They're really good." And then she handed me a piece of Scharffen Berger 70%, and I almost fell over. Scharffen Berger is made in Berkeley, and I toured the factory last spring when I interviewed at UCB. It's my favorite kind of chocolate IN THE WHOLE WORLD, and I bought a ton of it at Trader Joe's in Santa Cruz while I still lived there. I haven't been able to find it ANYWHERE on the east coast, so Mom sent me some for Easter. I was floored--this coffeeshop in downtown New Haven carries four different kinds. Including the nibby bars. *california-chocolate-gasm*

Today was SUCH a good day.

EDIT: Also, it is pouring rain. *HAPPY*
EDIT EDIT: Not just pouring rain... it's a full-on thunderstorm, with lightning and huge claps of thunder right overhead. I love summer so much I think I might burst.
oceantheorem: (knit just one more row)
Okay, so it's nearly 5 am and I'm still awake. You might ask why. I shall tell you.
IT IS HOT. REALLY FUCKING ANNOYINGLY HOT. TOO HOT TO SLEEP.
I'm angry. I think Connecticut weather is really good at pushing my buttons. First it's ABSURDLY cold for three months, then it can't make up its mind and is miserable for two more months, then the weather is PERFECT for two weeks, and BAM, summer hits you and suddenly it's too hot to move. So annoying.

So there have been a couple of weird things. First, the guy who found my phone mailed it back to me. This is the old phone, the one I got last summer and then lost in October during the Genetics retreat in Massachussetts. It came in the mail the other day, and I took it out of the envelope and turned it on and sat down with it and looked through it. And I was shocked at the rush of emotions that suddenly overtook me. I hadn't realized it, but I had that phone for almost the exact duration of my relationship with Clark. We spent HOURS talking on the phone right after I got it, and when he came to visit we compared phones (we had the same one), and we sent each other countless text messages. The texts are gone from the phone's memory, but just holding it and hearing the tone of its beeps brought back a ton of my memories.
The second weird thing is that the apartment smells vastly different depending on season. And now that it's summer, the apartment smells like... last summer. Which means it smells like arriving in New Haven (which makes me think of road tripping), and it smells like Clark. It's funny that it "smells like Clark," because it doesn't REALLY smell like CLARK, it just smells the way it did when we were... whatever we were. "Dating." So it brings back those memories.
And the third weird thing was being in New York last week to see the Met, and the week before that for the cheese conference. After the cheese conference, we walked over to the World Trade Center site, Ground Zero. I hadn't been there (or to New York at all) since I was there with Clark, so all those memories came flooding back, and I actually found myself missing him. And again last week after we went to the Met, we walked along Central Park for a bit and then went to Times Square, and I had a fleeting thought of missing him again.
I guess this is one of those cases where I still feel the same way--it was never going to work out, and I'm over it--but I also feel a little sad. In severing the romantic relationship, I also lost his friendship. I was so mad at him for so long that I guess I hadn't really noticed. And we were really only speaking every three or four months over the last four years anyway, so I was used to him disappearing for long stretches of time. But I haven't talked to him since October now, and it feels strange. It's summer. He usually turns up again in summer. I dunno if I want him to or not, but I think a part of me does miss him. I guess I'm not mad at him anymore.
Weird.

Anyway. I started knitting the wedding gift for my cousin. It's going to be an intense bit of knitting between now and July 7 to finish it. Especially since I spent an hour tonight un-knitting and re-knitting a row. I forgot to yarn over in one row and didn't notice it until four rows of lace later, and it took me half an hour to figure out that I had to go back more than just one row. Grah. Now I understand lace knitting's appeal, and lace knitting's downside. On the one hand, it makes my OCD so happy to count stitches and be obsessive about where I am in a pattern. And to un-knit rows carefully stitch by stitch instead of ripping out rows at a time and then putting the loops carefully back on the needles. On the other hand, GOOD GRIEF it takes FOREVER to un-knit lace.

Anyway. I'm gonna try to sleep again now. Or knit a few rows and THEN sleep. I could probably finish this square before sunrise....
oceantheorem: (gg rory's list)
*I got a package from my secret pal last week! It's amazing!

So, this is a combined picture with stuff from both packages she's sent--the book and the big blue wool are from this package, and the cotton, needle case, and virus notepad are from the first package. There were some other things, too, but they seem to have wandered off and/or been consumed....

The cotton is still unfated, but I think the wool is screaming out to be a scarf. It's gorgeous hand-dyed thick and thin yarn (and it's in what are probably my favorite shades of blue), so I want to find a pattern that will show it off (there's a card around here somewhere that may or may not have suggested one, but I think I left it in my car...?). Any suggestions?

*Here's a picture of the birthday presents Megan sent me!

Not a terribly good picture, but since I already posted pics of the knitted womb I won't worry about it. She also knit me a strand of DNA, which several people have threatened to steal from me, and made me some stitch markers and a bracelet (which I had to take off to photograph)! This package, much like my secret pal package, happened to come on a morning when I was extremely tired and frustrated with the world, and just totally made the rest of that week bearable.

*I lost my cell phone again last week, and realized how really dependent on it I am. I couldn't do ANYTHING. I was crippled. I'm not sure how to resolve that issue (it does kinda bug me to be so dependent on a piece of technology), but I'm gonna go get insurance on my phone sometime this week so that I can get it replaced in case it doesn't find its way back next time as quickly as it did this time.
Also, someone found the phone I lost on the Genetics retreat back in October, and will mail it to me this week. Weird.

*I went to New York on Saturday with a bunch of friends, and we spent a couple hours wandering around in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I LOVED it. I spent half an hour taking pictures of French Renaissance sculptures, and got wonderfully and horribly lost (alone, without my cell phone) in the Medieval and Oceania exhibits, which was totally cool. My favorite part of museums is wandering through them lost and alone (I dunno why, but for some reason I think I have a really hard time going to museums WITH people; I always want to spent way more or way less time on an exhibit than they do.). I'm considering taking another trip down to the city sometime in the next few weeks, by myself, to wander around the Met or another museum, by myself. Could be a fun day.
I have a lot of pictures of sculptures, but there's really no point in posting them. Google Andromeda and the Sea Monster (of which I am posting a small detail photo), or Rodin, or Raphael, and you'll see most of the things I really got excited about.


*I am recovering nicely from what could have turned into a fatal crush on a boy who is extremely emotionally closed off. I have also redone my Match profile, but am considering taking it down again, because ugh, meeting people is such a bother, and who has the time? And maybe I'll just spend the next six weeks knitting, and not worry about relationships. Sounds healthy.

*Susan accepted both Emily and me into her lab yesterday, so today we both made it official and joined. ... !!! This means I am now officially getting my Ph.D. in genetics, and I have a home and a PI and will shortly have a thesis project! Also, I decided not to bother with the whole fourth rotation thing, so after a record 11 hours in the Breaker lab, I quit (well, it wasn't quite "quitting," and everyone was very nice and I think it was a friendly parting; I think they understood what the deal was). So life is awesome!

*I need to get my wisdom teeth out this summer, and my mom volunteered to fly out and take care of me. I'm ecstatic--as she said, it's really more of an excuse for her to come visit and go shopping with me. All the other kids' mommies have come to visit THEM, and I was starting to feel a little left out. So I'm really excited and will probably finally have the motivation to call and make an appointment with the oral surgeon.

*I've been exhausted and overworked and just basically totally overwhelmed lately. I mean, all in a (mostly) good sense, as things are going really well, but still--overwhelmed is overwhelmed. Sorry to be neglecting everyone; I'm hoping that now that I've joined a lab and am NO LONGER A FIRST YEAR, my life and schedule will settle down and I can start carving out niches of time to be a good friend again, both on lj and in real life.
oceantheorem: (gg R pensive)
Note to self for stuff to update about later:
* Got Secret Pal package (totally made my week) (need to post pictures)
* Lost cell phone (has been found, but I don't have it back yet)
* Cell phone whut was lost in October has also been found
* Went to NYC
* Fighting off a crush on an unavailable boy and a head cold that's been attacking me since Thursday
* Might have a lab by the end of the week

Stay tuned; full stories to come!

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