kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
In the "posting or commenting" sense, though I am reading; nonetheless: as I'm on the mass spec for the next two days, any questions/curiosities/discussions? No guarantees about how rapidly or thoroughly I'll reply...
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
1. My breath was misting when I left the house this morning. I am dressed accordingly, in standard winter uniform including medium-weight corduroy trousers; because I'm Having Trouble with clothing on my torso (sensory stuff) at the moment, top half was vest top, lightweight shirt, linen waistcoat, scarf, coat. ... it is thirty bloody degrees down here. I have removed most of the layers on my top half and am contemplating how likely it is that anyone is actually going to turn up in lab if I make similar adjustments elsewise.

2. ... okay I have legit got data for >40 samples this run. Which considering the first 48 hours were consumed by a misbehaving introduction system... well, I hope my supervisor is suitably pleased, THAT IS ALL I AM SAYING. (And it is quite exciting and I am looking forward to plotting it up!) (For context, I've got multiple measurements of the majority of them; it takes about an hour to measure two samples when you're actually measuring; and there's lots of intermediate steps in terms of checking concentrations, making things up to the right dilution, etc etc).

3. Also I gritted my teeth and... fixed some of my shonky code... and it wasn't anything like as involved or irritating as I thought it would be? And in the process I made the whole thing less hacky? SO THAT WAS NICE.

4. Also nice: having managed to actually have a proper hot shower and brush and wash my hair late last night (it's... been a fairly hefty work week, I think today is going to be my fourth or fifth >12-hour day not counting the bits of support-work-not-PhD-work I've been doing); having slept well last night; gradual improvement in my cognitive function as measured by how frustrated I get by logic puzzles (as compared to a couple of weeks ago); significant progress on my list of shit I've been putting off.

5. Getting over my tail end of a sore throat means my voice actually does what I expect when I sing again, which is a great relief and great comfort.

6. Okay I know I keep going on about this, but it is so satisfying to have a session I rather grimly thought would turn into a disaster (and nearly cancelled last week!) go so well, and it's additionally satisfying that I... get to look at the data as it comes off and go "yeah, that makes sense" -- I now understand what is going on sufficiently well for this chapter of the thesis to make predictions, to have the predictions met, and to have some idea of mechanisms, and it's kind of magic; I need to remember this when I move on to zinc and none of it makes any sense again. (Except based on my thallium data I do actually have a model for what's going on, so I can take zinc in relation to that...)

7. I am rereading your blue-eyed boys, now having osmosed rather more of canon, and as ever it is a great comfort.

8. I am tired and I am low on executive function but I'm also... okay? Yeah. I'm okay, and I'm contented, and I'm happy, and I'm looking forward to trundling off to facesfriend's when I'm done here.
kaberett: Stylized volcano against a stormy sky, with streams of lava running down its sides. (volcano)
I feel the urge to note that we have a copy of this PhD comic up on the noticeboard in the mass spec lab.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Two irritations, first of all: Read more... )

Better things:
  1. Vienna Teng. Still on a kick. Lots of Antebellum (title) and Recessional (I want to search for her in the offhand remarks; who are you, a stranger in the shell of a lover? dark curtains drawn by the passage of time...) at the moment. (Also quietly but consistently, Blue Caravan: my true love is a man that I haven't seen in years/he said go where you have to, for I belong to you/until my dying day; so like a fool blue caravan/I believed him and I walked away...)
  2. I got my act together to phone Student Finance England back. I mostly didn't explode in a shower of anxiety, though I did end up slightly snappishly saying "if you're going to use my name all the time, call me Alex", but I think that given that she was, well, using it every other sentence; and I had introduced myself as Alex at the beginning of the call... I did also end up interrupting some, but that was because she was reading off a hideously unclear script that wasn't really relevant. Apparently they really do want me to send them duplicate copies of the letters detailing my endometriosis that they already have, because sending them the exact same copies will mean that I've still got the incurable condition I had at undergrad that I might otherwise have got better from...? Anyway, this is turning into a rant, but the point is, I Did The Thing.
  3. I continue to enjoy the Toby Daye books.
  4. Guiltknitting is on the home stretch - last block of colour, final bit of beading, then finishing.
  5. I have in the oven more of the puttanesca pasta bake, which is brilliant because it means that I am sorted for meals for the rest of the mass spec run.
  6. Supervisor and lab manager concurred it wasn't my fault that the mass spec was playing up (and with any luck it'll behave itself over night so I can start getting data tomorrow).
  7. I have successfully bought the tupperware my supervisor instructed me to, and additionally replenished our stocks of Sainsbury's Basics Italian Hard Cheese and Osem parev chicken-style stock powder.
  8. I have a microwaveable waterproof soup pot thing that has a steam release vent. Realisation of the morning: I can prep hot chocolate in it and microwave it once I'm at work. WINNING HERE.
  9. I tricked myself into rendering the kitchen semi-habitable while dinner was cooking, hurrah, including some long-overdue breadpet-management. (On the downside my hands are still recovering from some insect bites - even with antihistamines in my system I react quite impressively - and are consequently Not Best Pleased with me for the washing-up. No, I can't wear gloves, they're almost all latex and I refuse to use disposables.)
  10. ... yeah, actually, I'm really pleased with myself about work stuff - productive conversation with my supervisor in which I requested a meeting to discuss two different areas of the literature in addition to talking about conference wossnames and my 21-month assessment. Maybe if I'm feeling really enthusiastic I'll have an outline of the talk to bring with to said meeting. It is really nice feeling semi-competent.

(oh, oh let me be your Augustine)
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
standing facesfriend up for science.

(We had been hoping to go to a spoken-word poetry event tonight. Ah well.)
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
1. The machine is working??? Approximately??? Barry worked magic and my first set of standards came off looking decent and I have a halfways-to-plausible plan for the next few days.

2. I am not freaking out about psychiatrist tomorrow morning. This is a little bit unsettling looked at straight-on, if only because it says a lot about how much I've decided to trust my GP.

3. I've been given the go-ahead to submit my abstract! Nearly a week before deadline! I'm going to hold onto it until I get first data-numbers off the machine tomorrow, though.

4. I have the firm intention of finishing the actual knitting part of the guiltknitting tomorrow or, at the outside, Übermorgen.

5. I tamed my hair! (context: it is waist-length; when I went proper crazy in 2011/2012 I stopped being able to brush it every day and haven't been able to reestablish the habit reliably; lulz ensue)

6. I tidied my room a little (it was starting to look like I'd spent most of the past fortnight passing through on my way to and from lab and hadn't had time to clean, and it was starting to stress me out).

7. [personal profile] recessional made there be another your blue-eyed boys-'verse ficlet. About a useless kitten.

8. Facesfriend's response to me saying that I strongly suspect that my primary partner is the world's most expensive etch-a-sketch was to make a desultory effort to turn up examples of more expensive etch-a-sketches. I was extremely smug when they failed to turn anything up (though to be fair this is largely because at that price point it's all "if you have to ask you can't afford it"...)

9. Access to sensory wossnames in a range of calming and soothing formats. I am very lucky.

10. ... I am just having a lot of feelings about Stars and about Vienna Teng, okay. They are very comforting at the moment. They both manage the kind of mood I am after having on tap. It is great. Technology is magic.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
Thank you so much for letting me play with your ideas. Mass spec time largely done now - data! - but if you still wanna leave something please by all means do and I'll try to get to it. <3

kaberett: A series of phrases commonly used in academic papers, accompanied by humourous "translations". (science!)
... on checking the work calendar to determine whether you can manage an overnight run on a Friday, you establish that in fact you can because nobody has the machine booked on the Saturday or Sunday and consequently you start seriously considering blowing off (1) a friend's housewarming and (2) your mum's birthday, because data.

(Relatedly: dear Wednesday!Alex, thank you heaps for making an enormous vat of leek-and-potato soup to be eaten straight from the fridge. Love, today!Alex, who has eaten about three portions of the stuff.)
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
1. TOL & TOG were just round the corner from home tonight for a show, so via Shenanigans involving me forgetting that Hammersmith isn't actually a single station they stood around in the sun with me for a bit before they vanished in to show (which twitter suggests was as good as I'd expect from Penn & Teller) and I got hugs and sunshine and stern looks about eating enough and bullshit about science and a brief discussion about the point of painting, and having left the lab it was fairly easy to pick up dinner on the way back in. (And on the way out I stopped off at one of my ridiculous corner shops and acquired stacks and stacks of emergency chocolate.) (And while on the topic of polymer chemistry and feeling vaguely contrite about the extent to which these people look after me, [personal profile] sebastienne talked sense at me and I continue to feel better.)

2. We are tonight providing accommodation, as we occasionally do, for waifs & strays with appointments at Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic. Because, fundamentally, we're a trans-positive household a fifteen-minute walk from same, most of which involves walking through a rather nice cemetery, and consequently this is a concrete thing we can do that is helpful.

3. My supervisor appears to continue genuinely pleased with my labwork: we're trying a different introduction system with the mass spec this time around and the ion beam is stable and as of 11.30pm, every single data point from the past two days is usable (where with the introduction system I had been using, I was getting maaaaybe 50% usable data). Or, to put it another way, my chemistry has been fine and my tuning the machine up has been fine (she's popped in to check a couple of times while I was elsewhere, which I know about because she's told me after the fact that she had a play around and didn't change anything because it was spot on) (though I should really have retuned before putting tonight's overnight run on but if I had I'd've ended up locked into the building and that is no-one's idea of fun, and in any case the machine is pretty much rock-solid -- I've lost a tiny bit of sensitivity but nothing that should be a problem, and I'll tweak it back up when I get in tomorrow), it's just the ways in which these are fundamentally finicky beasts that are not actually under my control. Also, supervisor tends to rise early, so me leaving work at midnight means that when she gets in at 7am she can swing by the basement, have a quick poke, and make sure everything's where it should be, and set another thing going if necessary; and then by the time I rock up around 10am it's ready for me to have a poke again.

lots! )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I think the reason there's an entire societal mess around "I am sorry" ("I recognise that I have done you a wrong and accept culpability" versus "wow, this situation is absolute shite and I wish to express commiserations") is in part because "I regret" has become old-fashioned/lawyerspeak. Thoughts? Not an exact mapping, but I think there is something there.


kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

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