Friday, May 28, 2010

bliss, almost

Wow, I'm done! I defended about two weeks ago, turned in my thesis last Friday, and am now just counting the days till I get my diploma and am officially a doctor! Okay, I have definitely already become a doctor in my head, and in everyone else's head too. (Doctor of Philosophy, of course.) However, I can't break myself of the habit of coming in to lab every day and puttering around on my computer for at least a few hours. I am staying on my advisor's payroll for the month of June as a post-doc, so I can write a few papers from the results of my PhD. I don't anticipate that to be too much work though, since I just wrote this 120-page document called "My Thesis" which I can repackage as a few papers. The more pressing thing on my mind is finding a job! I got my resume critiqued earlier this week, and now I need to start doing some networking and writing some cover letters. This part is a huge pain, but really I would like to have some interviews and such in the next few weeks. Then I can take a trip to Europe and not be stressing about my unemployment!

The first trip on the agenda is to Lompoc, CA, where James and I are excited to meet his new niece Madison who is due to arrive in about 2 weeks. Woo hoo! I picked up some new yarn at the store this week and am excited to start making a little sweater. Any baby I know shall never be cold, if I have anything to say about it! Haha... the biggest challenge was just picking a pattern to start knitting, and then picking out an appropriate yarn to use! Quite a dilemma, yes.

In other news, James finally bought a road bike (a really awesome one at that), and we are hoping to do a little bike trip this weekend, in the gorgeous (hopefully) weather! I'm so excited. Outdoor activities, yay!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

the amazing plant world

Plants are really kind of amazing when you think about it. They are like living light-sensors, and then they have some kind of actuator in their leaves to point themselves towards the light. Isn't that incredible? Furthermore, if you chop off one of their branches, they can grow another one - regeneration! I'm also amazed by plants that can climb walls - I saw this awesome video on the Discovery Channel website from the show Life, which had a fast-forward motion video of a rainforest vine climbing up a tree trunk to reach the sunlight. It was like it had little fingers on the edge of its vine, which tapped against the tree as it grew upwards. One of the awesomest things ever! (p.s. while just now looking at their website to find that video, I came upon this other must-see of mud-wrestling mudskippers. watch that and tell me you don't believe in evolution!) I could easily spend the rest of my day watching every video on that site, but I will try to restrain myself in the interest of graduating in two weeks.

I usually bike home due to my impatience in commuting, but occasionally when the weather is nice (which is very occasionally), I walk home. I try to see how many plants I can recognize in people's gardens, even those without flowers as clues. James went to NYC last weekend and brought back this awesome book called Grow Great Grub, which has both awesome photos and helpful tips for even city-dwelling gardeners. I'm so excited to grow some tomatoes, spinach, and shallots! Woo hoo summer!