Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday 23

Now is when I finish the "half" of my big genetics paper that I put off until the last day to do. I hope it is just my nerves that are telling me I need that much time to write another 2 pages. Anywho, Snugglebunny Adventures and Botanigoth Creations has now been launched, with 10 items currently listed in the shop front. Yay! Ads for Diversions Cafe and the rest of the UPS campus coming soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday 19

I've been really bad at doing homework lately. I still haven't started my paper on alcoholism in fruit flies, which sucks because I know I find the subject interesting. What I have done is make a lot of buttons from polymer clay. These will go on collar scarves. Not much more to report...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday 14

Here's my progress in working up a stash to sell at school and online: i have completed 5 scoodies, sewn 7 collar scarves (missing just the button), cut out fabric for 5 more collar scarves and 3 scoodies (hoods already assembled). No, it's not that far, especially since it would be irresponsible of me to get much more done in the next week. Next Friday I have a statistics exam (easy, no worries) and a genetics review paper due (holy. crap.) on genetic studies of alcoholism and related behaviors in fruit flies. This is actually of supreme importance in the field of genetic research; a surprising amount of the human genome is shared with flies, as well as other model organisms as soil nematodes and baker's yeast. There is some great literature out there regarding alcoholism in flies. My favorite so far is "Recurring ethanol exposure induces disinhibited courthip in drosophila". In other words, alcohol turns fruit flies into horn balls just like it does with humans. They also have some great equipment for measuring intoxication in flies. One of the fanciest is an "inebriometer". It's essentially a large glass tube that houses several mesh funnels in a column. Flies are placed at the top funnel and alcohol vapor is pumped through to intoxicate them. As they become intoxicated (directly proportional to duration of exposure) they lose their balance from each funnel and then fall to the next. Alcohol sensitivity is then measured as the time it takes for the flies to fall all the way to the bottom. By using the inebriometer, researchers have been able to study mutant flies which are particularly tolerant or particularly sensitive to alcohol versus normal flies, and the identity of the gene(s) that control that tolerance or sensitivity could lead to the discovery of its human counterpart(s).

School aside, I went on a pretty major shopping spree at JoAnn this evening. I spent $83, but in total saved about $75 with things on sale. It's all just stuff for making scarves and scoodies. I figure I won't make more than 3 or 4 ever with the same combination of fabric, just keep switching out my stock. I can actually put those five scoodies on etsy, but I'll need to design and construct a stamp for tagging each item. Designing's a little tough because I would feel ridiculous if I kept changing it. Kinda like getting a tattoo; I haven't decided a design was a good idea long enough to go get it done. Anywho, I'm gonna go sew some.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday 11

I took way too much advantage of the free time I had this weekend. The schoolwork isn't bad, but it lasts until 8 or 9 each night of the past three weeks, save 1-3 days a week. I have 3 scoodies completed. I just need to photograph them so I can make my ads for etsy and for Diversions. I haven't done any work on them since Sunday though, just thinking about something my mom told me over the weekend. I'm not one to indulge in vague connections to celebrities I'll never meet, but I suppose this one is actually pretty unique.

Again, it's about Barry. On the front page of the Honolulu Advertiser was a story of all the places in Hawaii he had lived while growing up. As so many of us know, he grew up with his grandparents who continuously made enormous sacrifices to provide for him the best they could. They lived in an apartment on Punahou Street and Beretania right across from my grandma's apartment. It's a 20 or so story building with some reddish metal beams on the outside and a garage as the first floor.

I wasn't raised by my grandma, but I stayed with her a lot up through middle school. Most of the time, I lived with my mom in Aina Haina, but she's a flight attendant and was frequently away for a day or more at a time. My grandma is very Chinese and a wonderful character. She lives with her ex-husband in a 2 bedroom apartment that smells like sesame oil. She stays up late and sleeps in late because her favorite hobby is playing mahjong with her friends. I think they must be pushing their bedtimes back later and later, every once in a while skipping a day. Every time I walked home from school, I walked on the Diamond Head side of the road to avoid traffic where Kapiolani Hospital sits next to the freeway, and because you couldn't avoid cars turning right onto Beretania.

From 3rd or 4th grade, whenever I was allowed to actually walk between school and grandma's, I fell into a habit of waking up earlier and earlier to go to school. Before long I was there before the kids who woke up at 4am to take the bus from Mililani and get there two and a half hours later. It didn't do me too much good though. I didn't get to spend much more time with friends because of it. I've since stopped trying so hard, having learned that my efforts as far as people go do me more harm than good. Even though I attribute most of the good things in my life to having received a Punahou education, I'll always feel shame for how I was viewed by other students. Given the convenience of the location, I'm sure it's a walk that Barry frequently took, though at more school-related times.

I vowed to call our new President Barry from now on. It seems happy and nostalgic, but I like it for a different reason. While it's no surprise to residents that there are many many Asian people and very very few Black people, the fact that Punahou has been predominantly White and Asian in composition seems, to others, that it would make an odd setting for the childhood of America's first Black President. "Barry" now seems like a whitewash applied to Barack in lieu of his being able to establish a more comfortable identity. I'm sure a lot of Punahou students felt uncomfortabe on the basis of identity; while always being highly appreciative of ethnic diversity, the atmosphere of living in Hawaii puts pressure on residents to make blaringly obvious how wonderful life is in Hawaii. Sometimes it's hard to get with the aloha spirit. Anywho, Barry's hope for me is that despite feeling uncomfortable to the point of forming no lasting reltionships in one of the best schools in the country, maybe some day I'll matter to people.

The end.

Oh, and I thought it would be cool to have one of those totebags that has a stencil of some boy singer or movie star or something, except it would be Ol' Dirty Bastard instead of some emo kid. Maybe it will say dirt dog on it too :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday 07

I was supposed to have a geology exam last Monday, but somehow it's been put off until next Wednesday, and we get to use a cheat sheet again. I...guess I don't have that to worry about this weekend. What I do have to worry about is making nematode cross three. Cross one generated heterozygous mutant males (they are mutant in that they don't love nicotine); cross two was between heterozygous males and 6 different marker strains; cross three is inbreeding the offspring of cross 2. It's all just so very interesting, especially when you can manage not to kill the few worm males you can pick out in the sea of hermaphrodites. When I'm done worrying about microscopic worms and their sexual activities (asexual activities are typically disregarded) I can start making botanigoth accessories to sell on Etsy. I hope to have eight things or more available at a time once I get started, so I will try to get ahead if I can. But then I don't know how curious college kids are about visiting the websites they pull off the bottoms of fliers at the cafe. I also needs a photoshoot so people know they can buy a scoodie or pidge scarf/cowl. About the pidge scarf/cowl--I'm not sure which it's supposed to be called, since all the pidge scarves I looked up were knit and all the cowls were much larger and enveloping. Maybe someday I'll know.

I put off writing earlier this week mostly because of the genetics exam I took on Wednesday night. But hey, I am now alumnus to the highschool that graduated the first black US president. Hooray for Barry, who, even two months before he is officially president, is already morphing the entire world into a better place. If anyone out there hasn't already indulged in some patriotism, I encourage you to look up all the positive change articles in the New York Times. Go read about the puppy the Obamas are adopting. I find myself looking forward to my time in this country before I leave for Sweden. I might be ready by the end of his second term. I so rarely feel connected enough to other people to be able to celebrate a victory for our country, but maybe that was because no one was connected to realize that a victory worth really celebrating was really possible. We surprised ourselves with how united we could be, and maybe we're not so hypocritical as we prove ourselves under hyprocritical leadership.