I need to vent a couple of pet peeves on how things are portrayed on television.
Peeve 1: Guessing a password.
GAH! This one bugs the crap out of me! Especially when the password guessed is something simple. Simple as in a single word with no special capitalization, numerals, or other special characters. I have to have at least three different types of characters in my password and it's changed every 90 days. If my new password is too similar to any of my last the system won't let me use it. You can't just wander over to my desk, look around, and guess my password. Why do movies and TV think that someone can do just that to someone in a much more secure position than me and expect me to find that a believable scenario? I would believe someone trying to find a hiding spot in or near the desk concealing a post-it with the overly-complicated, nigh-unmemorable written down. OR just clicking the "forgot password" link and figuring out the answer(s) to the security question(s).
If the show/ movie is more than 10 years old they get a bit of a pass, especially if the password guessed is off of the common list from back then, such as password or secret.
Peeve 2: The portrayal of animal research
Usually this is something shown that establishes the villainous, evil corporate entity as villainous and evil. Anyway, I've seen several shows where a variety of animals are in cages near each other in a lab. WRONG! You do not house different species together. That causes unnecessary stress, especially if there is a predator/prey relationship with any of them. Also, contamination. Speaking of contamination, you don't store animals in your lab space for exactly that reason. Oh, and that pesky care issue, there are all kinds of regulations on care and preventing cruelty in the real world.
TV tends to show science wrong, and I'm okay with technicolor science on TV, it's not nearly as dramatic looking in real life. Mostly clear liquids and hardly any fog. I only wear my lab coat when a tour comes through or if I'm cold. I wish there was more bubbling green flasks and reactions that have a little puff of smoke. Then again, wearing goggles gets old fast and I do get to play with dry ice and liquid nitrogen on occasion.
Joyous wishes for a (potentially belated) Non-Specific December Holiday(s) of your choosing to you and any associated "yours".
I am currently celebrating Too Much Food Hangover Day by working my way through the cookies my sister in law sent me home with.
My Christmas went pretty well, filled with food and family with minimal drama. I got three sets of Buckyballs from my mom. So many magnets to eat, so little time. My nephews got a cardboard house that you're supposed to color in. I helped build it but left the crayons to the kids. They also got a couple of marshmallow guns which I helped playtest. I look forward to when the oldest is big enough that I can make the pink bunny suit from A Christmas Story for him. Yes, I plan on being *that* aunt.
I got back to Ohio in time to see the screening of the Doctor Who Christmas special. A local independent theater showed it for free. It was pretty great to be able to watch it on a big screen with a theater full of fans. They might show the first episode of BBC's Sherlock next week and I am excited about that.
That theater also has a shadowcast group that does a different movie each month. Last week they did Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and it was great fun. They passed out ping pong balls, paper airplanes, and silly string so the audience could help out in the climactic battle at the end. Next month is Destroy All Monsters and I hear they're building a cardboard city to destroy and they are encouraging the audicence to bring in Nerf guns to aid in the killing of the monsters.
Oooh! I almost forgot! I managed to get a woot bag of crap on Christmas! I was up until almost two but eventually their servers recovered from the onslaught and I managed to buy one before they sold out. Last year I was not so lucky and I couldn't get through but not this time! Yay!
*I went to Canada! and also Detroit *I managed not to get into trouble in Canada! (though we had a bit of trouble with immigration) *Penguicon panel planning meeting! I'm already excited! *Anime Central moved up a month and now I can't go *sadface*
October has past and with it my time at the haunted house. I'm happy to have more than two evenings to myself a week again but I miss it already. It's exhausting but fun and I did have more than a few stories to add to my scare list. "Ma'am, please let him save me!" was my favorite scare of the year, a couple separated when I scared them both and the guy was too afraid of me to get close enough to help his girl AND THEN SHE TWEETED ABOUT IT. Gasping for breath from running and hiding behind a dumpster all while yelling at her boy to come save her, she whips out her cell phone and declares she is tweeting about this right now.
I wore my haunt costume and makeup into work on Halloween. That was fun, I kept accidentally scaring one of the professors. She would forget I was there and look over and see me. When my boss first saw me she nearly went through a wall. In an effort to be nice I tried really hard NOT to sneak up behind people. One of the post-docs had me do her makeup for her trick-or-treat party, that was pretty fun. She had brought in some plastic spiders that she wanted crawling out of her wounds, I obliged.
My leg is much better. Physical therapy has helped a great deal. I'm walking normally and even running (after people with a shopping cart, they were running from a shopping cart). The muscle is still a little tight but with time and so long as I keep up with my stretches I should be fine.
Last thing, I want to call BS on flu shots. I had my flu shot about two weeks ago. Not only that but I have already had the flu this year. In spite of this I seem to be coming down with something, again. I have been sick something like six times since I moved a little over a year and a half. Sometimes I think Ohio has it in for me. Last night I took some Nyquil and slept for 16 hours. I'm going to try for another 12 here in a bit.
I seem to have wandered away from LJ by accident. I still occasionally skim my f-list but I haven't been keeping up like I should so I apologize.
For someone with no social life I've been pretty busy. I went to more conventions than I probably should have, and had more fun than I deserve.
Gencon was amazing. I spent most of my time at TerrorWerks, and that is always fun. I managed to weasel my way onto the PST Cthulhu live games and actually managed to live through one of them (there are always uses for dead bodies in Cthulhu live). I entered the masquerade and came in 2nd in my category! I made a troll costume and spent most of Saturday afternoon trying to lure children to eat, it was a blast!
I reprised the troll costume (Matilda, to those who ask my name) at the Ohio Renaissance Faire a couple of weekends ago. I managed not to make any children cry (well maybe one but she was across the road and it might have been her parents trying to drag her over to me). I showed considerable self restraint by not sneaking up on anyone. I had a surprising amount of parents present their little ones to me for pictures. It was hilarious to me to see a half terrified child pushed in front of me so I could do my schtick and then pose for a photo. That costume is fun to wear and the character a blast to inhabit.
Haunted house season is upon us! I'm back at The Terrorfest again this year doing makeup and being generally terrifying (I've frightened several people away before they made it into the haunt, oops). I made a new outfit for this year, I'll post pictures once I get around to taking them.
Also, I joined a bowling league. I really suck, but that's what handicaps are for.
So not everything has been sunshine and candy to lure children to their doom I'm considering renaming my cat "Moneypit" I've spent over $600 on her in the last two months with another $1000 lurking for me later. She need her teeth pulled because her gums keep getting infected but she had crazy blood work and wasn't a candidate for anesthesia so after a tense couple of weeks she's healthy enough for the procedure but I can't afford it right now. I know where my haunted house paycheck is going, right into my cat's mouth. *sigh*
Also, I'm really good at hurting myself. While at the aforementioned bowling league I managed to tear the calf muscle in my left leg. It's not the tendon, thank God, but I still can't put my weight on the ball of my foot. I can shuffle around using my heel since it only hurts when I use that one particular muscle (until I pissed off the rest of the leg yesterday so today=ow). I wasn't even doing anything dramatic, I was bowling and felt some pops and tears in my leg (a very unpleasant sensation) and then couldn't put weight on it. I need to come up with a better story. The sports medicine doctor told me it's a variant of tennis leg and that it should heal on its own in a few weeks. I've got physical therapy tomorrow so hopefully I can get things sorted then. I can still move around but I can't run after people at the haunt *blarg*
The good news is that my cat's healthy again and I'm not in pain unless I do stupid things.
Ba-con was pretty cool (though not in actual temperature, the hotel was on the warm and humid side). This was the inaugural year and I hope more will follow.
What the convention lacked in quantity it made up for in quality. There were only two programing rooms, a game room, exhibitors hall, and a con suite. Despite only having two rooms of programing I was interested in attending one or both panels at any given time. The game room staff was friendly and they did have a variety of old school arcade games set to free play, I was able to get my pinball fix. All of the vendors were quite friendly and every now and then one would burst into song making me wish I had spent more time just hanging out in there.
There certain things were available in abundance. The sponsors were very generous to the con suite. Sugardale provided bacon that the con suite staff made in to delicious treats my favorite being the bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese. Bawls energy drinks was another sponsor and the caffeine flowed freely. I spent Saturday in a bouncy, jingly, blinking blur (I was dressed as the HIGHLY CAFFEINATED Caffeine Pixie). There was also the added effect of turning us all into 12-year-olds and there were MANY bawls puns and jokes,(even more than when the Penguicon hotel was located off of exit 69 on Big Beaver Rd).
I ended up winning a raffle on Friday. I was disappointed that I didn't get one of the My First Bacon plushies ThinkGeek had sent over but the soap I got from Geeky Clean is pretty cool.
The dance had one of the best DJs I've heard at a sci-fi con dance. I wish I could have stayed longer on Saturday but I was crashing hard (three and a half cans of bawls will do that) and had two panels to prepare for.
I ran two panels on Sunday, one the first panel of the day and the other the last. Neither were well attended but I wouldn't have been awake for it if I hadn't been running it. I had planned to do powerpoint presentations for them but put it off and then got bitch-slapped by the plague. The panels were more along the lines of rambling discussions but that actually worked out.
Oh, and there was actually a professional makeup artist that ran some panels. Holy crap her stuff was amazing. I'm a well practiced amateur, that woman has SKILLS! I picked up some tips I look forward to trying. Most of it is stuff that I will be able to implement for myself and friends but won't work to well doing makeup for the haunted house, I don't have enough time to do that level of detail on that many people.
I cut myself off from caffeine today early enough that I might actually be able to sleep tonight! I have been exhausted all day but only now starting to get "sleepy". I am going to succumb to the coma.
I still have the bike but between craptastic weather, various conventions, and the resulting plague I haven't gotten around to riding again. Moose stares at me from the corner of my apartment. I know have a room with a moose and have been left to my moosey fate.
Origins was the weekend before last and it was awesome. I guess I didn't really do much at Origins except playing a monster at TerrorWerks but that's what I go for. I had a blast. This year the scenario had us as cyborgs so instead of falling dramatically to our deaths we "powered down" and slumped over. It was much easier on my body than falling over and getting up countless times, not quite as fun but I was still able to move by the end of the weekend. I turned myself into a seizure inducing light show for my cyborg costume, and I didn't burn myself in the process!
Inconjunction was last weekend and it was fun. It wasn't the caffeine soaked sugar high I've come to associate most conventions with but I got to catch up with some friends in Indy. Incon will always have a special place in my heart as my first real convention and it *is* fun, it just pales in comparison to many of the other conventions I've started attending. It is the convention that I actually enter the masquerade and this year I came in second with Matilda, the troll that lives under the Shadeland Avenue overpass. Matilda was a fun character to play and I'm going to see about improving some details and maybe enter her in the Gencon masquerade (time permitting).
( my own drama musingsCollapse ) Ba-con is tomorrow. I'm still recovering from some form of plague, possibly con-plague but the timing was a bit weird for that. It did give me an awesome voice for the Matilda costume and yesterday's vertigo was pretty fun. Ba-con, celebrating geek culture and all things bacon. Between the plague, Nyquil, and emotional purge above I'm having trouble getting excited over it. I'm just tired. And now I miss my dad
Most of my coworkers ride bikes frequently, and several of them are pretty serious riders. There are bikes all over the lab and parked in most of the offices. They all enjoy it so much that I've been wanting to get one of my own for a while and I finally did.
I haven't ridden a bike in a LONG time and the idea of riding on a road with cars really scares me. I started riding around my apartment complex earlier today and I am TERRIFIED of riding a bicycle. Well more to the point, I'm terrified of falling off of the bicycle. I'm not very good at riding and I can't really follow a narrow path. I had a couple of cars pass me and I had myself a little freak out each time. There is a pretty nice bike path that runs from near me to where I work but there is a really scary section of busy road between the path and I. I doubt I'll be biking to work anytime soon.
Also, the bike is huge. It'd have to be since I'm so tall. The thing turns like a moose, or maybe that's just me being craptastic at riding it. Well I feel like the bike should have a name and because of those two things I think the name "Moose" might stick.
There is a bike ride called Pelotonia that is a fundraiser for cancer research and I have been encouraged to ride in it. I want to ride Pelotonia or at least volunteer in some way. I'd actually gotten a bit excited about it, nervous, but excited. I thought I would wait to sign up until after I got a bike and I'm glad I waited. I'm not sure that I'm going to be a competent enough rider to not get hit by a car, or for that matter to not end up sideswiping another bike. Now I'm not so much excited about Pelotonia as terrified by it.
Even if I don't end up riding, I'll probably start doing some kind of fundraising soon.
Or rather CON! I seem to be trying to con myself to death. I just did three conventions in a row Anime Central, Marcon, and Midwest Haunter's Convention. I've got two weeks off before I do another three in a row Origins, Inconjunction, and Ba-con.
ACen was super fun. I got to see friends from all over the country who all gather in Chicago for the weekend. The convention has become secondary to spending time with them but I still managed to cram in some panels (including the one I ran) and a few hours in the dealer's room. The drive up was twice as long now that I'm in Ohio, hopefully next year I'll have some vacation time to use so I can stay the extra day.
Marcon was nice. The programing was well planned. It would be more fun for me if I knew more people there but since it was my second year I was able to hang out with some people I recognized from last year. I participated in the Iron Costume event. It's like Iron Chef only your team builds a costume out of a big pile of scraps and utilizes the secret ingredient and follows a theme. We didn't win but had a good time making it. Marcon is moving to Easter weekend next year and from what I've heard it may kill the con.
Midwest Haunter's is more of the traditional business convention... sort of. It is for the haunted house industry so rather than a dealer's room it's a trade show and there are seminars and workshops (that cost extra) rather than panels. It has the vibe of a fan convention but the undercurrent of people there to network and do other business-y type things. The dealer's room is free and full of cool demos. I played in UV bubbles, took a coffin ride, sat on a giant demonic rocking horse, and spent more money on makeup and supplies than I want to think about. There were some really amazing costumes and body painting (a couple booths that sold airbrushes were doing demos). The haunt I work at was open the Friday of the convention and it was great to work that again. I really wasn't expecting to scare many people, since they work at these places and know what's coming. I did get a couple and I got several compliments on the mask and prosthetics I made, that means a lot to me coming from people who do that professionally.
I've got the pictures transferred to my computer but they haven't been uploaded yet. I'll link them once I do but after three cons my apartment is a MESS. Once I get caught up on my rest I plan to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS! I also need to go to the motherf*cking BANK like an ADULT!
Last winter I decided that I'd been to enough conventions that it was probably time I start trying to contribute. Well contribute something on a little higher level than "gopher" so I submitted s SFX panel to several different conventions. Animarathon, Penguicon, Inconjunction, and Anime Central.
I ran the panel at Animarathon and a more polished version at Penguicon. At Penguicon I somehow ended up as almost staff for the con because I volunteered to do makeup for the zombie tag event. While I was doing that I think I ended up on the game room staff for Youmacon in October of this year. I also just emailed the head of programing for the new-this-year Ba-con (Columbus in July) and I'm going to be running not one but TWO panels for them. I need to send them paragraph descriptions of the panels as well as a picture of me and a bio. Those last two things make me a bit nervous. I think I may have unwittingly volunteered for more than I intended. Well at least there's going to be bacon at Ba-con.
I haven't heard back from Inconjunction and I'm debating if I want to bother with followup or Incon at all for that matter. I think I originally submitted 2 panel ideas and at the rate I'm going I'll end up con chair or something by accident if I don't keep my head down.
Penguicon was a week ago and as of yesterday I was a functional human being. I didn't get the con plague but I did overdo it to the point of exhaustion, because that's how I roll.
Friday morning I invaded Canada for a couple of hours (well, it was RIGHT THERE, I had to go). I brought back a foot tall tube of mentos. Sadly it's not giant mentos but several tubes of regular sized mentos in a novelty sized package. It still made for some fun photo ops and now it's chilling out on my bookshelf between Beaker's head and a plushie Cthulhu.
I spent the rest of Friday helping with setup and wandering around the room parties and hanging out in the consuite.
Saturday morning I ran my panel on SFX makeup. I feel like it could have gone better. My problem was not enough sleep to be truly coherent. 10am on a Saturday? I had to get up at 8 to get ready for the damn thing. I was planning on making up my roommates as examples of the different materials but I wasn't going to wake up the whole room at 6 to do that so I just did myself. After I set up my stuff and did makeup off and on for the zombie tag event. I had a great time turning people into zombies or giving them nasty looking bite wounds. I was thrilled to find a Harry Dresden cosplayer to give the burnt left hand I made and went into full on squee mode when I saw him with a Michael Carpenter cosplayer. (the dude's wearing flannel under his chainmail). The two of them decided that their friend was early Billy the Werewolf to complete the group.
Saturday evening I made the rounds at the parties and ended up in the consuite until the wee hours of the morning (like usual) I ran into Issac Asimov, apparently he works for Aperture Science. Around 5 in the morning I saw that the large tv in the consuite was showing the star field screensaver and my mind made the leap to viewscreen. It happened to have a table in front of it so I set up some chairs and got the 5 other people there to play impromptu make-believe Star Trek. It was hilarious. We spent twenty minutes on a quest for sector 1218 (which is now an inside joke). I had Spock checking the scanners (the toaster) and Scotty fixing the engine room (the microwave). It didn't hurt that we were all slap happy tired.
Sunday really didn't exist for me because "It's not tomorrow 'till I've slept" having not slept, I didn't get a Sunday, just a really long Saturday. I lost all but the most tenuous grip on coherency but I managed to get some fun photos of people with Mentos (the freshmaker!) Tyler Durdon, Thelma, Harry Dresden (the one without Michael), Dr Insano, and Tom Smith. I harassed the guy that draws The Book of Biff and then forgot to buy something from his table. That poor man, I always seem to find him on Sunday when I am at my least sane and spaz at him for about 5 minutes before running off after something shiny. I am fairly certain I legitimately frightened him two years ago, maybe he's used to me by now, he didn't take any steps back this year. *sigh*
I missed the liquid nitrogen in the pool this year. They had enough left to do it multiple times but I decided that I would end up overcome by the urge to jump in the pool and spending three damp hours driving home after having been up all night didn't sound all that fun. I ended up not leaving until after 7. At around 5 someone announced they had the new Doctor Who episode and I decided that I didn't have to leave just then.
I got home just after 11pm thus wrapping my third con of 2011. Up next: Anime Central
I just read a scientific paper, and I understood it! Well, the vast majority, and I have specific questions on the things I didn't rather than my usual, "what the hell did I just read." To be fair it was a review article which are supposedly easier to grasp but if I had tried to read it two weeks ago by eyes would have glazed over two paragraphs in and nothing would have made sense.
I'm thrilled that my brain is actively engaging and I'm really learning about what my lab is studying rather than becoming a mindless drone. For that matter I'm just thrilled that I'm learning. It's fulfilling on a level I've never experienced before with a job. I get to use my brain! There was some resistance at first, I had to struggle to remember some basic math because I hadn't done it in so long, but things are coming back much easier now. Hopefully I can keep up the momentum, I might even take a class or two.
I'm actually kind of thankful for all the crap I went through in the last couple of years. It all heavily influenced the decisions that put me in the right place, at the right time, with the right qualifications. Yeah, it would have been nice to have gotten a job when I first started looking back in October. I might have even been happy, but thinking back on the interviews I doubt I would have been as happy as I am now. I'm going to do my best not to screw this up.
I've been at my new job for two weeks now and I love it. The way the lab is set up I get to interact with a bunch of people and everyone has been extremely nice. I love the atmosphere. I was made to feel welcome and valued on my first day, it's pretty much the opposite of working for crazy-boss. (I like calling her that) The actual duties of the job are pretty similar to what I was doing for crazy-boss so I'm actually glad for the time I spent working for her if only because I learned the skills that qualified me for this job.
I feel like I'm actually learning what is going on in the lab as a whole. I've been wading through the papers my boss gave me to read and some of it is starting to make sense. Pieces of the big picture are falling into place in my brain. In the past I've had teachers who were so much smarter than me that when I asked a question their answer was still over my head. I've also had a subject matter go so far over my head that I didn't even know what to ask to try and understand what was going on. I came in not knowing much about what it was they are studying so I've been asking lots of questions and no one has made me feel stupid! It's amazing! They're able to bring it down to my level without talking down to me or making me feel like a complete idiot.
Also, science. SCIENCE! I am enjoying the specifics of my job, well learning them anyway. I'm getting to do more bench work, there's something about an automatic pipetter that makes me feel like a scientist. And I've got lab coats on order *squee!*
I've had jobs where the people were nice but the job was uninteresting. I tried to find a more interesting job and found one only to be be run off by the oppressive rule of crazy-boss. But now I've got an interesting job with a great group of people. I've been very lucky and I hope everyone on my f-list can catch a break this awesome.
Oh, and my ACen badge arrived in the mail today. I should really start to work out the logistics of that trip. I'm about twice as far away from Chicago as I used to be.
Today (yesterday, but I haven't slept yet) I cooked up some corned beef and cabbage. It was quite yummy. Once it was done cooking I grabbed myself a plate, started munching and headed back to my desk. Waiting for me was an email offering me a job!
I hadn't posted anything about it since I'd had several interviews over the last few months so I was trying to avoid getting my hopes too high and/or jinxing it. I had an interview a couple of weeks ago and followup interview last week. I finally got my official offer early this afternoon, right before I had to leave for work actually. It is a similar job to the one I quit back in October, I loved the job but I couldn't deal with crazy-boss. The people I've met so far seem really nice so I don't think I'll run into that problem again.
So that means I've got cookies to bake next week. At the end of the interview they asked if I had any more questions and I said something along the lines of, "If I bring in cookies on the first day can I have the job?" I also am going to make an "I'm sorry" batch of cookies for the people at my temp job. They're already short staffed and I feel like a bit of a jerk for leaving after so soon but everyone there has been extremely positive when I told them. I would imagine that they get people coming and going pretty often, especially when they have so many temps.
So Hooray new job! Well new, new, new job at this point, it's been a weird year.
It is still pi day for me today! I made two square pies and brought them into work because I really don't need to eat two pi(e)s by myself. My apartment still smells like baking and math. Mmmmm...
So beware of tomorrow! I would wear a toga and try and stab a Roman senator but a toga won't fit under the PPE I have to wear for work. Oh well. I can still stab a Cesar salad (for Rome!) and call it a day.
It seems that yet again someone has yanked out a thread from the fabric of space-time. This is unacceptable! Time isn't something that should be meddled with, at least not on this scale.
Spread the word, maybe we can get it back before the fabric of reality unravels. And if I hear any of that BS about November I will smack someone, that someone being the person who mentioned it and thus incurred my wrath.