Saturday, June 26, 2010

Body Type and Why Shopping is Annoying

I went to JC Penney today in hopes of getting some shirts, because I feel like I've been wearing the same 5 shirts to work.
What a pain in the ass. Why are all the summer tops made for women that have no breasts? I saw lots of shirts in cute styles, but they were all sheer and required a camisole underneath. That's great, except for the fact that DD-breasted women can't wear just a camisole to support their breasts. I can't, anyway. I need something that I can wear an actual bra under without showing it to the world, and apparently no one makes much of that.
What was frustrating and disheartening about this was that I know it's not something I can easily fix. It's easier to look at clothes and think, "I'll be able to wear that when I hit my weight loss goal." But when I look at clothes and think, "I might be able to wear that after a $7000 breast reduction, and even that it might look damn silly," it just pisses me off. My body type means I'll always have sizable breasts, even with a reduction, so to some extent I'm stuck. Which is annoying, because some of these clothes are cute!
tl;dr Hey clothes companies: most women aren't prepubescent! Make clothes that fit people with boobs too!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

World Cup

This year is the first year I've actually paid attention to the World Cup. It's not for lack of interest; I played soccer for seven years and enjoy the sport, and I did watch the totally awesome 1999 women's World Cup, but for some reason I've never paid attention to the men. But this year I am, because for no other reason than I'm bored at work sometimes. And I've got to say that so far it's been entertaining. The US-Algeria game today was some excellent soccer to watch, and everyone in the lab started cheering when the US made that last-minute goal. I'm thrilled to pieces that France went home, since they shouldn't have even been there in the first place; and somewhat distraught that South Africa didn't make it out of their group, although they really played their best and should be proud.
I wish soccer had more of a following in the US. It seems like every kid plays soccer, but that doesn't translate to anyone watching it or following teams. There is a pro soccer league, but it's probably rather small. I know Detroit had a team for a while, but they moved because there wasn't enough support(hell, we can't even keep a WNBA team here. I think soccer's much more interesting than American football, whose mystique I still fail to comprehend. I just don't get it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What the heck do I do at my job anyway?

I've worked at Karmanos Cancer Institute for almost nine months now as a research assistant in one of the breast cancer research labs. I got the job in a roundabout way that involved my step-aunt's best friend, the CFO of Karmanos, passing my resume to my now-boss who called me because I was apparently well-qualified. The upshot being that I work as a research assistant now, which means I do most of the work without getting much of the glory. Oh well. It's not forever.
At the moment, I am in the midst of a rather large experiment involving a panel of genes that are candidates as either oncogenes or genes that are regulated by an oncogene. What I do with these candidate genes is make an shRNA against each one and infect my target cells with said shRNA to knock down the gene's expression. Then I wait and measure growth and viability with a luciferase assay to determine the effect of knocking down the gene. In this experiment I have 20 genes and 148 shRNA constructs. That means I spent all of last week making 148 viruses to infect my target cells with. It was unpleasant. This week I get to infect my target cells, which are MCF10A and SUM225 lines. I do the infection in triplicate, which worked out to 444 wells, or four and a half 96-well plates. It's also unpleasant, mostly because I have to add the virus one at a time and can't use a multichannel pipettor. After that, I wait and see what happens. Our constructs have a GFP tag in them so after 24-48 hours I should be able to see some of my infected cells glowing green, and that's how I know that the infection worked.
Anyway, that's what I'm doing at the moment. Previously I did some work on PHGDH knockdown and insulin independence, which was mostly growth assays, Western Blots, and qPCR. I'm not fond of Western Blots. I'll complain about them another time. I've actually learned a lot in the nine months I've been working, and I feel a lot more confident that I can do science and could have a career as a research somewhere. Although I feel my leanings are toward some part of microbiology, the time I've served in cancer research will definitely benefit me.

Change in Blog

So I decided to make this my sole blog and do both photo posts and 'normal' posts for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I don't take enough photos to really fulfill the original purpose of this blog, which was to post loads of photographs. Secondly, I'd like a space on the internet to discuss topics that aren't necessarily of importance to any of my friends, and this avoids me spamming people on facebook or other sites.
Mostly I'll talk about my job, my research, my writing, and random things like video games or books. I'll still post pictures too, when I have some to upload. I'm hoping to avoid this becoming an angry ranty blog about everything stupid in my life or anything too adult content(although I've got a bit of a mouth and the occasional *swear* might slip out). Anyway, that's the plan. We'll see how it goes.


These are some red lilies that my grandmother gave me years ago. We ended up dividing them and put some of them on one side of the house and some on the other.
These yellow lilies are the more wild variety that spread out everywhere. My ex-boyfriend gave me the plant; at least he had taste at some point. Anyway, I like the wild-looking ones and apparently they spread out everywhere if you let them.


This is a bush we have in our backyard. For some reason I've spent my entire life calling it a hummingbird bush, but it's called something else that I can't remember instead. My mum bought it at Eastern Market years ago. It does actually attract hummingbirds, but it's not a hummingbird bush.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


This big fat bunny lives in our yard. I think it's the mom because there's at least one little tiny baby bunny hopping around too. Memo tries to talk to the bunnies, but they never talk back. I think he's confused by them.

Relay for Life

I did Relay for Life last month with my church team. I chopped my hair off and donated it to Locks of Love.