okay, so ashwin says this all the time (particularly to me, surprise surprise) but i'm actually trying to take it seriously right now.
what i really crave is some affirmation of my life. is what i'm doing what i'm supposed to be doing, is it the best possible, blah blah blah? the big speed bump right now (and the only people who actually read this will know all about it) is next summer. i dreamed up this fabulous idea to do an aquatics-themed research project at the field station that i spent a month at a couple summers ago. fabulous, yeah? i mean, really, i almost peed my pants from excitement when i first thought it up.
but i've been getting lots of hesitation and uncertainty from the three professors who i've talked to about it. well, except my actual advisor, but he seems to be cool with anything i want to do. but i'm just soooo uncertain. grr.
anyways, i've been putting off this post because so many damn things have happened since the last one. and i don't have the stamina to write about all of them and manage to make it an interesting read.
the veganomicon is probably the highlight of my life right now. i'm neither a cook nor a vegan, but i aspire to be both. and i wish i had bought this damn vegan-cookbook-bible the first week i was here. caroline and sami (with moral support from caroline's friend jason) helped me make the lasagna this weekend, and it was actually fabulous. yuh. not a single animal product went into it, and responses varied from "it's pretty good" to "it's awesome". except some damn assholes said it wasn't "real" lasagna. whatever.
tonight's experiment was the black bean burgers. they didn't go quite so well, and i refuse to let anyone try one, but i keep telling myself it's all a learning experience and i'm going to fuck up a lot. and that's got to be okay.
as for other recent happenings, i ran a 5K and PR-ed by a minute without even trying too hard (see above for a picture of sami and i looking sexy and sweaty post-race). i saw kylesa and high on fire at the valarium. kylesa is awrsome. i don't particularly like female vocalists, but laura pleasants kicks some major ass. high is fire is like the most simple sort-of-metal ever, but it's enjoyable for what it is.
we also had a halloween party, which will probably turn out to be the social culmination of this program. everyone (legit, everyone) was present, which is a shocker because it's almost impossible to convince some of the other students in the program to stop studying for ten minutes and hang out. ashwin cooked some fabulous indian food, and fried rice. which was impressive in itself because about halfway through his stove broke and we had to haul alllll of the food over to sam and sami's apartment so he could finish it all. it was an incredible feat. the rest of the night was just pure insanity (in a way that makes me hella miss lawrence), but i probably should stop there. i'll just leave you with a picture of two of my favorite people getting down.
some of us have also revisited the taste of thai in knoxville (during which we probably made lori fairly uncomfortable, woops), and a good local vietnamese restaurant called kim son that's almost literally right next to the apartments. unfortunately, there was also literally only one vegetarian option on the menu. but there was one, and that is enough for me.
and that's about it. oh, wait. except for all the shit that's been happening in lab.
my remaining two catfish did end up dying. shit, farm-raised catfish are the worst, and i try not to feel too bad about it. the bluegill are tots doing fine though. logan and i did find some imposters among the bluegill the other day though! somehow, some fathead minnows have gotten into their tank. they were probably with the bluegill when we initially gotten them.
i've run the permanent magnet experiments on sixteen bluegill, which went well, and they really don't seem to give a fuck about the magnetic fields. bluegill love pvc pipe huts though. i've also developed an experimental set-up in which we determine if the sudden introduction of a variable magnetic field will cause some sort of startle response in fish. seven bluegill have gone through this experiment, and all of the kinks have been worked out, so i'm pretty proud of it.
mark was gone last week at a conference in florida, so as always i felt a sigh of relief to have him back. we're currently on the hunt for some sturgeon, which we would have already had by now is some dude at the chattanooga aquarium had done his job. sturgeon are an exciting prospect because they're known to be magnetosensitive, so they might actually have some sort of response to the magnetic fields. it's great to show that fatheads and bluegill don't care about the magnetic fields, but it'd be awful nice to have some more interesting data.
we have about a month left in the program. this means three things to look forward to: doing an abstract, writing a 10-15 page research paper, and creating a poster for a poster session. basically, hardcore wrapping up our experience here and proving that we did something during our 40+ hour work weeks at the lab.
now i should probably study for calculus instead of procrastinating by blogging. maybe.