March 30, 2007

Something my Bio prof just said, after using musical chairs as an analogy for the way electrons move in photosystems in phototrophs:

Prof: ...Does everyone here know musical chairs?

Nobody says anything or raises a hand.

Prof: Alright, if you don't know, you can ask your neighbor.
Prof: It's a cruel game to subject children to.


Another hell-week draws to a close, although I still have a Chem midterm to pass.

On the cosplay front, the main bits of Rinoa's duster are cut and sewn, although I still need trim to finish the edges, and we need to paint the wings on. Chiaki is nearing done - have a few seams on the bustline left to sew, and then the collar - bustline should be done tonight, I think. Going to have to hit up Dressew tomorrow after my work lunch (free all-you-can-eat Japanese? I can't say no) - the hours are terrible, which means most weekdays are right out.

On the lab front - not so good. My one big 'possibly' said she doesn't have anything at all this summer, and confirmed two of my big fears - funding is really thin at the moment, which means that nobody has any money to pay undergrads, and the microbi department at least prefers upperclassmen with more experience. Microbiolgy and Immunology here is a very lab-intensive program, which is in some senses totally awesome, but it also brings a few negatives - this, and the fact that program admission is limited by the number of seats in the lab classes. I got another possibly from someone else - he said to e-mail him again this past Monday to arrange a meeting time, I did, and he never e-mailed me back. Which means I have to write another one today sometime. If this doesn't work may be time to call it quits for the moment, if only because I need to put time and energy into finding a job that will actually pay me.

Almost summer break. So close...

March 29, 2007

So, I'm sitting here trying to study for my Chem midterm tomorrow - it's some basic intro orgo stuff, mostly. I think I've got most of the naming things set, but I went on to look at the hydrocarbon reactions, and discovered that my notes say things like 'unsymetric addion sto double bonds'. I'm...not entirely certain what I was trying to write there, although it's not helping me understand substitution reactions much.

And my brother is picking classes for next year, and I'm totally going 'Bio! Biooooo!', because I'm totally about converting others to my chosen field.

March 27, 2007

My grandfather passed away early this morning, in the nursing home. He's been there the last few years, and his dementia had gotten so bad that when I visted him at Christmas, I'm not sure he was even entirely aware there were other people there - there was a certain implicit understanding at the time that it might be the last time I'd see him.

We were never that close, particularly the last few years, so I'm not really deeply devastaed...more of a deep emotional weariness than anything else. I'm a little concerned about my dad and my grandmother, though.

The memorial service is two weeks from Friday - I'm not going because it's the weekend right inbetween the end of classes and the beginning of finals, and while I might be able to get some stuff moved, it still wouldn't be worth it, really. He donated his body to Harvard Medical School, so there's going to be an interment sometime later.

Comments are off because I don't really feel like talking about this (which means no *hugs* or anything, please. Love you all, I just want to move on from this).

Cosplay Updates

Julie and I got lucky and managed to secure the necessary components for Chiaki and Rinoa today - the duster-fabric is actually a swimwear remmnant, strangely enough, which means it'll be a bitch to sew, but it's a great shade of blue, and while the ribbing isn't super-wide, it's bigger than most, and nice and visible.

Sewing-wise, I got Chiaki's leg warmers done, as well as the sleeves for the dress (harder than it sounds, they've got some weird-ass seams on them), and we tried to make the miniskirt, but apparently I fail at figuring in hems into my calculations, and it ended up about an inch and a half too narrow. So we're going to have to start that one over again. Next up - the weird bustline on Chiaki's dress, and the duster.

March 25, 2007
Iron Cosplay

So, the con is in just under two weeks. And we just realized that Julie has no costumes. She'd really like to do Rinoa, which is unfortunately dependent on finding decent fabric for her duster. If we can do that, though, that should be the work of an afternoon or two.

We've also got kind of a spontaneous last-minute Nocturne group going - Justin kind of spawned this one by deciding to cosplay the demifiend 'cause he liked that tattoos. I, of course, went 'Okay, this means I have to do something Nocturne' and ended up settling on everybody's favorite emo kid, Isamu. I've got most of the stuff I need for him, save for some bling and his hat (Liz/Amber - I vaguely recall one of you two owning a black newsboy-style hat - would it be possible for me to borrow it for the con? I'm going to look here, but this is my under-$20 costume >.>). I strongly suspect I may have to steer Justin in the right direction - luckily this mostly entails shorts, body paint, and a haircut. We've also decided, in keeping with this, that if possible, Julie should be Chiaki. This is the hardest of the bunch, although if we can find a large denim dress somewhere, me and my l33t sewing skillz can pull it into shape. The advantage of sewing for someone who isn't me: I can toss stuff on them inside out, pin away, and it actually works out.

Can we pull this off? Only time will tell XD;

March 24, 2007
Somewhat Serious

This is kind of a hard entry for me to write, but...I dunno, I'd rather be up front and open about things, and I really do use this journal as a way of keeping track of my thoughts and feelings for myself.

I've realized recently that I've been having a lot of problems with anxiety, and related to that, depression over, oh, the past four or five years or so. This has led me to screwing up a lot of relationships with people I care about, and generally being miserable a lot of the time. The good news, though, is that having recognized this, I'm finally seeking help, too. Right now, none of it's one-on-one - mostly because of some health insurance headaches, so that might change over the summer when the health insurance gets sorted out. However, at the moment, I am doing a group cognitive behavioral therapy-type thing - it's less of the 'let's talk about our feelings!' group therapy and more learning how to recognize destructive patterns of thought and action, and deal with them.

The material has a bunch of writing excercises, some of which I may post here as a way of recording them - you can read, you can skip, whichever you feel like. Things are definately starting to look up, though.

March 23, 2007
Music Post

Mostly Nocturne-related, because I keep thinking it's probably possible to do an entire SMT:N FST using only VNV Nation music, and it's been on my mind lately (in my sleep-deprived state this morning, I kept reading 'Sin' as 'Shin' on the overheads in English) - but music is music, and there aren't really any spoilers in the descriptions.

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Wacky Hijinks

A conversation from yesterday:
Me: *stomping into the club room after a particularly exasperating physics lab* If I end up snapping one of these days and going on a homicidal rampage-
Fred: - I'll defend you in court!
Me: Thanks, although I was going to say, it's all my TA's fault.

And today, Julie has displeased her ancestors by doing badly on her EOSC midterm (it was EOSC, right, not Psych?), and then blaming the other Asians in her class for screwing up the grading curve, so her ancestors are going to send her a small dragon, which may be cute, but will likely eat her shoes.

And it's gotten Mulan songs stuck in my head - "Mister, Iiii'll make a man out of yoooooou~!"

March 22, 2007
An Informal Poll

1) This is mostly for the Americans, although anyone can jump in if they feel free (although I know the Canadians' answer) - what would you call this style of hat?

2a) How many people here go to universities/colleges who decide registration times based on your previous averages?

2b) Have any of you had to defer required courses because they were full before your registration time came up/know someone who had to defer?

(The first came up in a discussion among the Wargamers, and the second, in a conversation I'm having right now with Yana, which sprung out of my worry about not getting the summer classes I wanted, 'cause I can't register until Monday)

March 21, 2007
Various Science-y Things

E-mail count: 5

Yeah, not much, I know, but I have this crippling irrational fear that the profs are going to send me some totally harsh e-mail back telling me that I suck and to never speak to them again (look, I said it was irrational). So far, I've had one 'ask me again in the fall' and one 'possibly', who still hasn't gotten back to me with a definite (if I don't have a reply by tomorrow evening, I'm e-mailing her again - only prof who I'm not afraid is going to eat me alive).

In related news, I learned today that I am not actually totally screwed into getting into Microbi here - I thought they ranked purely by total average in the five required classes, and then took the top eighty or so of that to admit, which, with a quoted admissions average of 82%, would mean doing stupidly well in the almighty weeder that is Chem 233. Luckily, this isn't what they do - they take a single class, rank everyone by grade, and then the top eighty-two people get two points, the next forty-two get one, and everyone after that gets zero. They do this for each of the five required classes, add the points up, and then take the top eighty-two of that - combined average is only used to decide if there's ties at the cut-off point. Apparently the top eighty-two cut-off in Chem 233 is somewhere around 60% - so I actually may have a chance here.

Wow... took me so long to read this thread... let's make this thread the longest ever then! So... i'm a first year rookie trying to survive in this hell built by people who are thirst for knowledge. And... of course my initial goal here was also medical school. But after seeing the massive number of people trying to get into that "holy place", i was greatly discouraged. But i'm still thinkin' about med school tho. I mean i think seeing a patient recovering under your care is a really rewarding thing. But i'm not THAT passionate about medicine, which is why i should also be thinkin' about other programs like pharmacology or physiology maybe? Now i'm really confused about what i should do with my life... kinda sad eh? I don't have much volunteer experience, but an average around 90 in MOST courses (just found out i'll probably end up with below 80 in Bio 121). What program do you experienced UBC veterans suggest for me? I mean... what are ya'll doing, and do you like what you are doing? What's it like to do graduate studies, and does it bring income?

Have I mentioned how much I dislike pre-med grade-whores? This same guy was whining about getting a mark in the high seventies in Bio 121 (the same class I pulled a 60% in first term, with a class average of 70%). Seriously, dude, you're the reason Chem 233 has 55% class averages. Go into pharmacology so you can make the big bucks, 'cause if I get into Microbi and find you, I'll hit you myself.

And I am totally making a t-shirt that says 'Yes, I'm in Bio. No, I am _not_ pre-med'

March 19, 2007
The Island Utopia

This spawned out of one of the many late-night/early-morning conversations I had sitting around my kitchen table last summer. I kept meaning to write it down, but I never remembered when I was actually near a computer. Now, nine months later, I can remember maybe a quarter of the guidelines, but I thought of it today during my bio tutorial, so I decided I might as well record what I do remember.

The rules for our island utopia:
-Though the utopia was founded by scientists, we welcome you crazy, crazy Arts kids.
-However, there is to be no arguing about which is superior, arts or science
-Claiming your work is superior to others because it's more practical will also get you tossed (you goddamn engineer)
-Attire for scientists: lab coat, and for the vision impaired, the old coke-bottle style glasses. For the non-vision impaired, lab goggles. And I don't mean the neat Bono-wraparound style of goggles - the big, thick, silly looking ones.
-Attire for those in Arts (you have no good collective noun): togas and masks - I think you get to design your own, but it's been a while.
-Necessary bureaucratic duties (ie, making sure we have food and don't all starve to death) will be rotated - there will be no set formal government.
-The main form of punishment was being expelled from the island by way of being tossed in the surrounding ocean - there were some harsher ones that I think involved fire and/or attack penguins, but this may be wishful remembering on my part.

This is less than half of what we had, but I really can't remember more. If they suddenly come to mind, I'll post them, I guess.

March 17, 2007
St. Patty's Day

I have to give the drunks outside some credit - their loud singing is 1) less hideously off-key than karaoke night at the Gallery and 2) holiday-appropriate. Earlier someone was singing Floggin Molly's 'Seven Deadly Sins', and now it's gone to 'Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond'.

I did not get drunk today. I didn't even wear green. And yeah, I'm Irish. I am seized by a deep desire to listen to Celtic ballads now, though.

For Great Justice!

We are now Moveable Type 3.3 good to go, complete with a few new features - feeds, and a search function over in the side bar. I still need to do some file and code clean-up, but that shouldn't affect anything on the main page.

This Rant Brought To You By UBC Athletics

I generally have very few complaints about this university - yeah, there's construction, yeah, some of the buildings are ugly, yeah, dealing with the administration blows, but this is widely true of universities everywhere, up to and including MIT (well, I can't speak about admin).

The one thing that really, truly drives me up the wall here, though, is UBC Athletics. UBC, unlike most universities in North America, is incapable of providing faculties for student use. Each student here pays about $200 in student fees, and the only facilities we get for free are a couple hours a day of use of the pool and Aquatics Centre gym (which isn't terrible, but it's not great either). Everything else? Pay extra. A full 4-month membership to the Aquatics Centre is $94. One for the good gym is $136. Tennis courts are $12 an hour for a student to book. Comparatively, a 4-month membership to all UVic facilities for a non-UVic uni student (ie, someone like me) is $102 - UVic students pay nothing other than their Athletic fees.

Fucking great, UBC Athletics. If they do end up closing the Aquatics Centre gym, there is no way in hell I'm shelling out for a membership. I'd rather get a membership to the YMCA or JCC or something which disgusts me less. And would probably be cheaper.

Apparently all I need to

Apparently all I need to do to cheer myself up when I'm being grumpy about people is think 'I should break their kneecaps'. Apparently there is something inherently funny about kneecap-breaking to me.

My big accomplishment of the day (other than getting out of bed in time for classes) - installing Moveable Type 3.3 on my server. Not running it directly yet, because I need to relearn the template tags and get one of the spam-blocking plug-ins to work properly, but it's up. Also, I discovered why my printer got jammed - there's a pencil stuck way down by the paper feeds - no idea how it got there, and I'm going to need a screwdriver to get it out, it looks like.

I was totally going to play some video games, but watching old X-Files eps and eating sounds like a much better plan right now.

March 16, 2007
Mmm, Delicious Alcohol

Okay, so the only two things that have managed to get me anywhere near hammered are several shots of Bacardi 151 (which, yes, I know, is not meant for human consumption), and somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of a glass of Goldschlager (40% alcohol, for those unfamiliar with it). Apparently the first thing to go is my vision (those who wear both glasses and contacts fairly regularly - you know that unfocusing thing that you get when you take your contacts out? I've got that, but worse)

Although, uh, the coherency of this entry probably says something about my alcohol tolerance. Although I will admit to being in the sort of mood where I sing along very loudly to songs, regardless of how good I am (I can't judge my musical talent normally - tipsy? Not happening).

And many thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday on Monday - went out for excellent Mexican with a few friends, had a few drinks (but it was Monday, so not very many). This week has been kind of crazy, but thankfully, it's almost over. And I've got aaaall my taxes and other paperwork DONE.

March 13, 2007
RP Things

I love how Shadowrun doesn't even try to pretend it's anything other than Gibson for the D&D crowd. I keep snickering reading over gear lists, because I either see something that is either straight out of one of the Sprawl novels, or something clearly D&D (Bows in the cyberpunk 2070? Sure!). I've got a pretty straight up hard cyberpunk character - skinny little hacker chick, with guns ('cause dude, you don't wander around on your own without some weapon, and my two boys both have knives), no magic or technomancy. We've got one mage (ork, trained by elves, with a Logic of 1 - it's going to be special), and a charismatic elf face (a term who's meaning I understand, but none the less makes me snicker inside).

...It's going to take me forever to gear up this girl. Mostly because I'm really horribly indecisive.

(Also, speaking of Gibson - I had a dream last night that crossed DDS, Count Zero and the Coldfire Trilogy. That...was a bit weird)

March 11, 2007
Little Reminder

Just a reminder to all my friends in North America at least that daylight savings time has begun, so it's just after 2 PST. I think my clock may actually have reset itself, but as there are no guarantees - figured it'd be best to mention.

Also, my AIM has died horribly (as in it won't load - doesn't even give me error messages, just...nothing), sooo...if you want to catch me I'll be on MSN - address is my one.

March 10, 2007
Assorted Things

I meant to post this like a week and a half ago, but I kept forgetting. Monday is my birthday - I'm going to spend the evening going out to dinner with a few friends here, but I kind of wanted to have a little party or something. I have no idea when/where works out best for people, though - thoughts?

And, augh, I remember now why I had so much trouble writing Asher the first time - I'm too close to him, so it takes a lot of effort for me to not take things that other characters say about him IC personally. He's an asshole sometimes, and there are consequences for that.

For now, off to watch more Project Runway and play some DDS, I think - homework for the day is done, yaaaay.

March 7, 2007
Tastes Like Foreshadowing!

Almost twenty hours into DDS, just after the first set of stuff at Coordinate 136. There are actual plot spoilers this time, so, read at your own risk.

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March 5, 2007
Brief Rant :F

I've tried to keep the ranting here to a minimum, but I need to froth at the mouth some for like...two minutes.

I've been feeling increasingly down about lab positions and my inability to find one. There are still faculty members I haven't e-mailed, but honestly, the thought of spending a whole afternoon reading papers to write an e-mail that I get no reply to (and which has a decent chance of having wound up being deleted without being looked at) just makes me want to cry.

This is not being helped at all by Yana, who got a great position with tons of help from me (as to why I didn't go for it myself - not my department), and now won't shut up about it. At all. I hate to say it, but the clueless academic with no life outside their research or lab is not cute or endearing, it's boring and irritating and makes them into the kind of people who don't get invited out at all because nobody wants to be around them. And it's doubly irritating when I have spent the last month trying to find something myself with no success.

I snapped at her yesterday - if she does it again, I'm going to be sorely tempted to hit her and/or throw things.

A Thought

Is there something about the name Jack that implies 'man-whore'? Because three of the five characters with that name I can think of would have sex with practically anything that moves, another one is debatable (Jack Sparrow), and only the fifth (Jack Skellington) is most definately not a man-whore.

RR!Jack is the reincarnation of Casanova, and accordingly has slept with half the characters in the game. Including Asher, because while he's less of a slut than most of the Jacks, his pants are not exactly hard to get into.

And totally, completely unrelated - if there is no Argilla/Sera bandwagon, I am forming one right now, damnit. Because I think it would be cute (and really, that's about the only justification I need for a ship).

More DDS

About eleven hours in, right after the first Anahata bit - not actually too spoiler-heavy, if only because no major plot-bombs have been dropped, but I'll cut anyway.

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March 4, 2007
Kei-Kon '07

Nope, haven't forgotten to do a con report and what not, it's just been a very busy week. This'll be shorter than the usual con report, because, well, Kei-kon is smaller than the usual cons I go to.

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March 2, 2007

Dear Yaoicon, please stop trying to guilt me into going to ToA.

I really do want to - it's Shoujocon, pretty much, and Shoujocon was my favorite little con ever. But I don't have $350 to drop on a plane ticket to San Mateo, and there are more people going who _don't_ want me to go than people who want me to go, versus Sakuracon, where I don't think there's anyone who doesn't want me to go.

And yes. This post is totally just me trying to justify my decisions to myself XD;