these are not the similies you’re looking for

I was at the bank the other day, and the muzak was playing a song with the refrain, “I miss you/Like the desert misses rain.”

Which, well – desert misses rain?  Rain would ruin a beautifully evolved desert ecosystem!  So I can only assume that the singer means, “I miss you…not at all.  And if you try and come back you will disrupt my life in ways too horrible to contemplate.”

always a good sign

When the physical therapist admits she has NO idea what’s wrong.


She did go so far as to recommend another physical therapist who specializes in treating women, and therefore presumably has some experience with that phenomenon known as “pregnancy”.

just hand over the cookie and nobody gets hurt

I went swimming today.  When I got out I was SO hungry it took all my willpower not to hunker down in the women’s locker room and eat the cookie my mom had thoughtfully bought for me at lunch.

I didn’t quite make it back to the car with the cookie, but at least I wasn’t stuffing sweet, sweet chocolate chippy goodness into my mouth while crouched in a bathroom stall….

And then I went grocery shopping, still hungry.  We now have beef jerky, smart snack cookies, more trail mix than you can shake a stick at, and three (THREE!) new assorted cereals.  To wit, Raising Bran, Frosted Shredded Wheat, and Lucky Charms (two out of three ain’t bad!)  Plus so many fruits and vegetables that Mr. Fizz spent half an hour reorganizing our fridge/freezer and food cupboards to fit all my ill gotten gain.

And also, I got a personal sized watermelon.  Awesome.

arse, feck, pipes

You know, I was going to write a very nice post about the plumber who came and ran pipes for our washer/dryer.

And then it rained.

Seems he didn’t really do a good job of sealing the pipes, and as a result we now have water cascading down the outside of the drain pipe that runs from the roof to the basement.  Towels are soaked, there’s no room to put a bucket under it, and attempts at funneling water outside the wall have been futile.

My brilliant husband, however, seems to have stemmed the flood with some plumber’s putty.  I am looking forward to inconveniently waiting on a plumber again next week….


Went to physical therapy today, hoping to find a way to keep my hips from cramping in the middle of the night.  The likely diagnosis?  Tendonitis.  Except that I don’t do any sort of physical activity that would stress those tendons.  In the course of the examination I had the following conversation with the physical therapist:

PT: Wow, your thighs look swollen!  Do they always look like that?

Me: Well, no, but they have since I gained 25 pounds.

PT: 25…pounds?  Is that *normal*?

Me: (sigh)  Yes.  A gain of 25 to 35 pounds is normal during pregnancy.

PT: (looking shocked)  Well, they still feel swollen.

(a short while later, still trying to figure out why  my hips hurt)

PT: Do you walk like this? (proceeds to mince across the room much the way a flamingly gay man would take to a catwalk at a fashion show: hips swinging, right hand swaying in the breeze as if holding an imaginary cigarette)

Me: Not that I know of!  I do kind of waddle, though.  (demonstrates waddle when held in check, and waddle when allowed to do its waddly thang)

PT: So you DO walk like that!

Me: sigh.

I should add to this that the physical therapist looks like Frau Farbissina, except with all the menacing oomph taken out of her, and a lot of freckles added in.  Maybe the Frau’s librarian cousin.

Ignore this post if you’re not a biologist

Because I might use some rather large, confusing words.  Like pipet.  And milliliter.

Scene 1:

Me: Put those cells in a 14mL tube

Undergrad: Which tube is the 14 mL tube?

Me: The one that holds 14mLs. (siiiiigh)

Scene 2: UG is pipetting 150uL of liquid using a p200 loaded with a p20 barrier tip

Me: That’s not going to work, is it?

UG: Ohhhh, no.

Instead of reaching for the p200 barrier tip box she goes back to the p20 box.  I leave the room.

Scene 3:  UG has just removed her cells from the incubator, having had a nasty case of yeast contamination a few days before.

Me: Why is there liquid dripping out of your flasks?

UG: Liquid?

Me: On the counter.

UG: Ohhhhhhh.

Long pause.

Me: See how the flasks have a top and bottom side?  And when you carry them with the bottom up, the cells and media leak up the neck and drip out?

UG: Yeah.

(pause while UG positions her flask, still upside down, on the microscope)

Me: Your flask is still upside down.

UG: Ohhhhh.

Me: I bet I know how your cells got contaminated, though!


BabyFizz had what I can only imagine were hiccups this morning.  A rhythmic little toink, toink against my lower abdomen for about 10 minutes at 6am.  I even woke Mr. Fizz up to feel it, because, dammit, if I can’t sleep and BabyFizz can’t sleep there’s no reason why Mr. Fizz should sleep either!

end. of. rope.

Ah, undergrads.  I have my very own to mentor and torment this summer.  Except I am constantly astounded by her lack of comprehension.  We have been through certain things (plasmids!  transfection!  cell lines!) five or six times so far, and just when I begin to hope that she’s finally grasped the concept she asks a question that makes it clear she has no idea what’s going on.  She is also messy – to the point of leaving sticky solutions on my expensive pieces of lab equipment.  And when I ask her to clean up she doesn’t put gloves on until I remind her.   I hate to feel like a nag (and I know I am content living in mess at home) but I CANNOT stand having extra things on my lab bench.

Anyway, this has all been going on for a month now, and I only have one more month of her to get through.  Thank God.  But what she did this morning took the cake – I had her watch me run through a protocol, explaining each step as I did it.  I even sent her a copy of the protocol last night, with an email explaining that she should pay careful attention because she would be doing this largely on her own on Monday.  Yet still!  When I asked her halfway through the protocol if she had any questions and reminded her that she’d be doing this without me on Monday she looked utterly stricken, and said, “I guess I should write this down.”  DUH!

The other thing that continually amuses (and appalls) me is her insistence that she learn as many techniques as possible.  She wants to learn PCR.  She wants to do a Western Blot.  She wants to learn how to do FACS.  And yet – none of this will help her because she won’t do it enough to learn how to do it WELL.  More importantly, none of those procedures relate to her project, and she keeps plaintively asking me if she’ll have any results to present at the end of the summer.  Not at this rate, kiddo.

The scary part is that this girl wants to come to grad school here.  I don’t see how she can succeed if she can’t do basic bench work in a biology lab.  She *is* a chemical engineering major, but I assume that even in that field they do some basic lab work that involves, oh, understanding the difference between a milliliter and a microliter (she once added one microliter of a solution when I’d asked her to add one milliliter).

the great eat-in of ’06

I am at home this morning, ostensibly to oversee the plumber while he plumbs our bathroom.  However, the plumber has come and gone (without doing any plumbing, of course) and instead I am trying to finish writing up the past year of research for my impending thesis committee meeting.

This is apparently hungry work, because since I woke up at 7 I have eaten:

1) A bowl of frosted shredded wheat

2) Some cherries

3) Yogurt

4) Spaghetti-os (plus calcium!)

I get hungry in lab, too, but there my options are limited to

1) stale frozen ginger cookies

2) stale frozen slice of bread

3) peanut butter on a fork, possibly dipped in jelly

None of these are too appealing, so I usually just eat my healthy snack and wait for lunch.  But at home!  We have so much food!  I am already contemplating a popsicle chaser for my spaghetti-os.  Or would that be gross?

wanna buy a baby?

No, really.  I just started researching child care, and have determined that we can’t possibly keep both the baby and our condo.  All we need is care two days a week, and that amounts to just about $1000 per month at the child care center closest to my work.  That would be half my monthly paycheck (before taxes, natch), and pretty much all of our monthly savings.  I’d hate to become a typical american, saving little to nothing each month.  The solution seems to be that I will work weekends and stay home a couple of weekdays, thereby ensuring that there is never a BabyFizzII because Mr. Fizz and I will never be in the condo at the same time.