Monday, July 18, 2011

"It Happened One Night? His Girl Friday!? Casablanca!!?"

In case you're wondering if I'm a huge loser, I am.

In case you're also wondering how badly I want to succeed on this whole "watch as many new movies as physically possible" thing, very badly.  I have bowed down to the greats.

I found a website where someone MORE obsessed with gilmore girls (yes, yes, those people DO exist) than me has listed off every movie they have ever referenced.

I began perusing it, quick general overview of the greats, the classics, the ones I've been wanting to watch since my wee little freshman girl days of watching gilmore girls, and then. Then I began to delve more deeply, I'm currently in the "Cs."


Count 'em ladies and gentleman, I have 68 movies on queue for netflix.  68 of the GREATS, 68 of the ONES I'VE ALWAYS BEEN WAITING FOR.

I don't know how I didn't start this sooner.

Please comment with suggestions of movies that you think I just really need to see before I die.

I will add them to my list immediately.

And such is the glory of netflix.

In other news, heres a bit more detail on my project, and how its coming.  I know you people have been thirsting for it!

My dinoflagellates are known to produce DMSP.  That is what most scientists attribute ALL DMS to. Basically if you ask a scientist, "hey, where did that DMS come from?" They will say "from that DMSP that the marine phytoplankton and microalgae produces." And thats it.

But what IIIIII am trying to prove is that there is possibly something else that is making DMS.  Like, another molecule besides DMSP.

So what I've determined so far, is basically that there is another precursor.

And now I'm determining possibly what it is if I can get to a LCMS (Liquid chromatography to separate the compounds, mass spec. to determine what compounds they are).  If not there are a few more simple tests to run that can determine the biological availability of this new DMS precursor, and that's what I'm setting up now. I'm also running a few tests to determine if other dinoflagellates produce the same new precursors, and to see if its present in local water sources (lake water, for example). Tomorrow the problems of the other cultures and lake water will be tackled. I'm hoping to get my love Ali to help me set up the biologically available thing on Wednesday, after she has recovered from her Marine Geology test, and then I'll focus solely on writing starting next week.


(Did you like that transition that I awkwardly worked in there? I know. So smooth.)

The idea here is that Ali is my graduate student. She loves turtles, and baby turtles, and sea turtles, and she has like 8 pet turtles at home, and probably about 100 fake turtles around.  And one day my sister found this cute little shell turtle so she bought it for Ali, who cracked a joke about how it was sitting on the GC to watch me until she returned.

Ali was having a bad day that day because she hates her marine geology class, and so I decided to cheer her up, I would create a series of photographs involving the turtle being my keeper. It developed quite nicely. :D

I personally think its pretty amusing, and cute. And this first entry is a good overview of my general day.  Although, I must admit its probably more funny if you know Ali and the lab.

Speaking of the lab, that is where I currently am (as per usual around midnight these days), but today I am running samples of little vials that smell like fish.

Why do they smell like fish you ask?

Well.  It finally happened.

Being near an ocean equated to me touching dead fish.

And it was actually quite fun!  I went to the fishing rodeo, that's right THE fishing rodeo, The ALABAMA DEEP SEA FISHING RODEO which is apparently like the biggest deal ever here on the island, and a million kabajillion people bring in the dead fish that they caught to see who caught the biggest, and we took pieces and cut them up into little baby samples and dissolved them in base, and the whole time I was complaining cause I just KNEW NOTHING WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.  THERE IS NO DMSP IN FISH.

And then something happened.  There is DMSP in fish, apparently. A sizable amount.

I was wrong. The well-studied, pretty much genius PhD was right.  He wins, I lose, and here I am running samples at midnight.

Its okay, I feel like a real scientist now, working on my project in a creepy building until all hours of the night. But HEY. At least I have visitors. :D

This update was mostly for the enjoyment of one Miss. Anna Katherine Bryan, who is locked away out of text-range in Germany, and who wants to know about my life. I'm sorry Anna, but I'm out of things to say.

What!? Melissa!? OUT OF THINGS TO SAY?

It's true, I'm not. I could say a million more things but I think it would be better to my sleep patterns and my productivity level to do something project related in the three minutes it takes for this machine to process my samples, rather than write up a blog.  Also, I want to finish the movie I'm currently watching.

<3 <3 <3


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I could do some of the things I've always wanted to.

"Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch."

Jane Austen

"What very mysterious things days were. Sometimes they fly by, and other times they seem to last forever, yet they are all exactly twenty-four hours. There's quite a lot we don't know about them."

Melanie Benjamin


Time time time.

That is all that has been on my brain today.

Kyle came to visit me, and I got a ticket. That seems like a long time ago, but not a long enough time until I have to pay it.

I want Christmas to come, but that seems far far far away.  Kyle also did a bit to sprinkle Christmas in July for me, which may ease my patience some.

And then my project! I feel like I don't have enough time to finish, I feel crunched for time, and yet I feel like while I sit here running sample after sample it will be forever until I get to bed.
Secretly I might not go to bed tonight, but pretend you didn't see that mommy & abbey, because I know you'll be worried both of you. AND to stave off your irritations in advance, I'll be fine, I'll sleep tomorrow, I just want to get this done.

And I want to go home to see my family and my friends! But that means leaving a different family and new friends here. So I feel like its too much time and not enough time all at once.

And HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO HOLD YOURSELF UP IN A PLANK FOR A MINUTE? I promise you, it will probably feel like one of the longest minutes in your life to date. And not amount of thinking about how great your stomach is going to work can really get you out of that thought process.

But really its just a measely little minute. Sixty seconds. 360 of those minutes have passed since I arrived in lab this evening, and yet I can't make it through one as a plank.

Its weird. VERY WEIRD.

Okay so all that weirdness aside, LATELY I have had so much going on that I haven't had time to update and I'm sorry don't hate me!

Firstly, Kyle did come to visit. And the whole time he was here all I did was complain about magnets, AND SO HE SENT ME A PACKAGE WITH SOME AND SOME CHRISTMAS IN JULY!! Wonderful!! Right up there with the post card from katie, which made my life wonderful! I love mail, so if you want to send me some mail, I will love you forever and ever and just ask me for my address in a non-private forum and I'd be happy to get it to ya.

I really love Christmas.

Like, I think more than you people know.

Christmas smells nice, and it feels nice, and you get to wear your favorite clothes, and have lots of fun surprises for the ones you love, and you hopefully get to see the ones you love, and everything just feels crisp and fresh and like a new beginning (probably cause it symbolizes, you know, the beginning of baby Jesus). I mean, I really really really want it to be Christmas.
Like now.

On another note, I've decided that this is the summer for new things. I'm spending the summer away from my home for the first time in my life, this is the longest I've ever not been in Texas, this is the farthest I've ever been from my family, this is the first time in LITERALLY years I've been in the same city with my sister for more than a week, AND SO.

I've begun watching movies that I've always wanted to see and never have.

This is one of those long, drawn out, fabulous processes where you really have to sit and watch the movie.

You cannot just lightly brush off the movie while you do something else.

THIS is a serious sit down and watch this movie kinda thing, you know?

SO I started with Casablanca.  Amazing. Better than I EVER dreamed it could be.  And with all the times its been quoted, I really thought I had the end figured out BUT I DIDN'T AND IT WAS SO MUCH BETTER AND MORE INTENSE AND WONDERFUL THAN EVER.

Then I moved on to Roman Holiday. Wonderful, absolutely smashing.  I always get these little irks about me where I want to go off on an adventure but theres never anything to DO really, and so it just doesn't seem like a good idea, and then I end up sitting at home and watching other peoples adventures on my computer.  BUT SHE WENT ON ONE.  And it was the perfect love story, because especially at the end it was so real and perfect.

And so began my love affair with Audrey Hepburn.


Then Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Followed closely by Funny Face.

And then I immediately planned an Audrey marathon to commence with my mother the day after my return in the great state of Texas, complete with the aforementioned usual suspects, and a dash of My Fair Lady. I'm soooooo excited.  In the process of permanently procuring these for my own personal collection.

Then I watched Shawshank Redemption, Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal.  I feel so cultured! And this all started in the month of July! I also watched Gambit, which was a surprisingly awesome movie, and started Charade but couldn't finish because of lab things

Now however, I'm TOTALLY caught up in lab things. Which is good for watching things you've seen before, but not good for things like The Green Mile, The Godfather parts one and two, Saving private Ryan, and Dead Poet Society.  All of these things require my full attention, and all of these are on my list.

Also my decision is official. I'm getting netflix. I just don't know what I'll do without the constant influx of movies from those around me when I leave the island. Its happening.

I miss Texas, but I know I'll miss the island when I leave. My roomie went home this weekend (abandoning me to the terrors that are our creepy house and all of its weird noises a.k.a. robbers, ghosts, ghouls, and/or creepers) and got me AN EXCELLENT PIECE OF TEXAS TO KEEP WITH ME FOR THE REST OF THE SUMMER. Its a Texas key chain. Are you jealous? OP YOU SHOULD BE.  Also Ian left for Hartford Connecticut for the weekend, too, and he got me a shot glass!! Supposedly he was trying to find me something run and yale-y so I could be like Rory Gilmore, but he couldn't find anything. Is it sad that I'm that transparent? All I ever wanted was to be like Rory Gilmore.

That was a joke.

Kind of.

And in any case, though it was sad that she was gone, I did get to spend quality time with my sisters dog, who was my growly protector for the weekend, and I WANT A PUPPY. REAL BAD.

OKAY ladies and gentlemen, I REALLY hope that was enough to satiate your desires for Melissa on this lovely Summer day, and I hope you enjoyed that stream-of-consciousness rendition of my week, via my brain from the hours of 4:30-5:30 a.m.

Love Love Love,