i {heart} undergrads

True story.

The tissue culture room in our lab contains three hoods in which we can do sterile work with our cells. Each hood contains all the supplies needed for your basic cell culture, including an automatic pipettor which allows us to suck up and dispense small amounts of liquid. These pipettors are pretty new, and prone to breakage if you yank their cords too hard.

I walked into the tissue culture room yesterday and noticed a brand new undergrad working in the right hand hood. As I sterilized my equipment the undergrad quietly switched to the middle hood. I started using the right hand hood and realized that the pipettor didn’t work. The undergrad looked up and said brightly, “That pipettor didn’t work for me!”.

Fizz: Okay. Did you check to see if the filter is wet? This is the most common cause of nonfunctioning pipettors.

UG: Nope, didn’t!

Fizz: {sigh} (Changes pipettor’s very wet filter and gets back to work)

UG: Now my pipettor’s not working here either!

Fizz: {SIGH} Did you check the filter for wetness?

UG: Nope!

Fizz: (changes filter) If it still isn’t working come and find me; it may be that the connection points are not properly adjusted.

UG: Okay, thanks!

***
Five minutes pass
***
UG: Uhm…hi! My pipettor isn’t working again!

(Fizz re-enters the tissue culture room, is appalled to see a non-sterile pipet full of water in the sterile hood, reserves her rant for the post-doc in charge of UG, shows the UG a wet filter, and makes HER change it this time).

Fizz: (extremely annoyed now!) Please show me how you’d pipet this water so we can find out what you’re doing wrong.

UG: (Places VERY EDGE of pipet tip near liquid and proceeds to suck bubbles up into the pipet, nearly wetting the filter AGAIN) See? There are bubbles! How do I make the bubbles stop?

Fizz: You see your water level? You see your pipet tip? As you suck liquid into the pipet, your water level DROPS. You must therefore also reposition your pipet tip, or you will get bubbles and a wet filter.

UG: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

(Fizz mentally slaps head and goes to find the post doc in charge of this undergrad)

Fizz to postdoc: YOURUNDERGRADHASTERRIBLECELLCULTURETECHNIQUEANDHERPRESENCE
PROBABLYEXPLAINSOURPROBLEMSWITHCONTAMINATIONSOIFYOUDONTTEACH
HERSOMEGOODTECHNIQUEIWILLTELLOURADVISORTHATIHAVEFOUNDTHE
CONTAMINATIONPROBLEMANDARGH!IFYOUCANNOTTRAINYOURUNDERGRADS
MAYBEYOUSHOULDCUTBACKONYOURNUMBER!FOURISTOOMANYFORYOU!ARGH!

The Breakfast Sandwich Ordeal

Mr. Fizz: “There’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that in the future our breakfast sandwiches will be better than the one I had today. The bad news is that you’re going to be making them.”

This is what happens when I leave my husband alone for a night.

The late anniversary post

I figure I should write about our first anniversary before I forget everything we did.

On sunday we woke up bright and early and made a pancake breakfast for my parents (Mr Fizz is the king of all breakfast food). We were supposed to go apple picking in the afternoon, but the weather was so dank and overcast that we opted to hit the Museum of Science instead. We hadn’t been to the science museum for years and years, so it was fun to browse through the exhibits. We managed to find the face-morphing machine that we’d used just after we started dating to see what our children would look like. This machine seats two people, facing each other, with mirrors in between. The opacity of the mirrors varies depending on how bright a light you shine on the other person, and you can either see yourself, or see yourself with some of the features of the person facing you superimposed over your features. I discovered that our children will be very hairy – Mr. Fizz hadn’t shaved for three days, and however I turned the light our morph still had five o’clock shadow….

After wandering the galleries for a couple hours we took in a movie at the Mugar Omni Theater. The movie, Fighter Pilot, had some nice and dizzying shots of flying, and an interesting narrative to go along.

After that Mr. Fizz and I walked back home and got ready for dinner. We ate at Upstairs at the Square, another place we’d gone to just after we started dating. Back then, at a ripe old 17, it was a HUGE deal to go to such a fancy restaurant. Even now, 10 years later, it’s still a big deal – but now I feel more comfortable in the restaurant, and less like I’m pretending to be a grown up. Anyway, I had amazing tortelli filled with marscapone cheese in a chantarelle and cream corn sauce, followed by the best lemon tarte ever. Apparently it’s based on the recipe for a Lemon Custard Cake in the old Fannie Farmer cookbook…I’ve tried looking it up, without any luck. Must keep trying, because it was the Best Cake Ever.

So that was it! I got my cake, as promised, but Mr. Fizz still owes me flowers. (hear that, Mr. Fizz? I’m waiting!) It was a fabulous first anniversary, and set the bar high for future dates….

Happy Anniversary!

As my mom sang this morning:

Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Annivesary!

But it’s better if you see the dance that goes with it. 🙂

So, Mr. Fizz, Happy Anniversary! You’ve made it through one year with me…only another half century or so to go!

let me tell you what’s not fun

Driving for five hours squished three across in the back of a small saab with people who are always COLD when the sun is on your back and you are feeling sick and want to just have some nice, cool fresh air blowing on you to dispell the gas constantly emitted by one of the other passengers. In the future, Mr. Fizz and I drive alone, dammit.

Happy New Year!

28 people for Rosh Hashana dinner – a new record for Mr. Fizz’s uber-organized grandmother! The celebration was particularly mellow this year – though how we could top last year’s chain reaction red wine spill is beyond me. It’d probably take a challah explosion or catastrophic matzoh ball spill. Next year.

And, for the record, just because I want matzoh ball soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner does not mean I am pregnant. I just like matzoh ball soup, okay? A lot.