Category Archives: life… and stuff

Keep Angry and Listen to Henry

Something amazing happened. And it came by in a pretty unusual way.

I like visiting Oh No They Didn’t, that lovely cesspool of pop culture, hilarious gifs and Mean Girls quotes. It’s nice when I need something funny to distract me from nights of study. The recent influx of Henry Rollins posts have kept me coming back. A Rollins fan there decided to submit questions from the members of the community to him, which he agreed to answer. One of them was mine:

Dear Mr. Rollins,

Big fan. “My War” will forever be my rip-the-world-to-shreds anthem.

My question for you regards the place of science in society. As a Chemistry graduate student, what I grapple with most often is the danger my craft can pose. Agent orange, napalm, nerve gas, CFCs, the nuclear bomb – unlocking the mystery of nature is equal parts fun and lethal. Do you think it’s possible to be an ethical scientist, or am I bound to end up creating/discovering something that will only cause misery? Any advice on how I should balance my curiosity and love for the universe and its inner workings with the potential clusterfuck those secrets could unleash?

And this was his answer:

It would take a chemist to make Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin possible, certainly. I think many people in the science world are tasked with the burden of being ethical, seeing what they can concoct. I wonder if the scientists who brought us all that nuclear information were all that happy about where it went and what was the result of their research. I think it comes down to the person. If someone was to give you a large sum of money to design a better nerve gas of higher potency and longer shelf life for use in future conflicts or union strikes (!), you could opt out. Someone else in your field would no doubt take the money and deliver but at least it wouldn’t be on you. I think it’s a matter of when to say no as well as how loud you want to say it.

FUCKING. AWESOME. I can now say I can live by Henry Rollins’ personal advice to me. I mean, how do you let down Henry Rollins? Here’s to being an ethical scientist!

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Thaw and serve

As the mountains of crunchy ice-slush entrapping all the garbage in the city begin to melt and release their contents, so I end my nearly two-month hibernation and return to blabbering on the internet. Everything herein is likely to be disposable, but isn’t it always?

There’s something about sitting in an unheated apartment, during the awesomest/shittiest winter of the past decade, watching your toes freeze that leads one to introspection. You see, I often regret the choices I make. Whether that’s through lack of determination or sheer paranoia, it’s still not very fun to mull over every decision and reach a crummy conclusion. So I’ve finally realized that the only way to stop regretting your choices is to start making better ones. Obvious, I know, but most a-ha moments tend to be. Regardless of how clear this may seem to others, finally admitting to it has me feeling chipper the last few days. Hopefully things look up from here on out.

It’s probable, though, that my recent bout of gaiety has more to do
with the fact this is shaping up to be an amazing year for music (that I like, that is) than with any epiphanies my brain could have conjured. Seriously:

– World/Inferno, The Kills, PJ Harvey and Laura Marling are all coming out (or have already) with new albums, which means that I’ll get to see at least a couple of fucking BOSS shows this year.


Cannot fucking wait. I already pre-ordered the shit out of what I could, rent be damned. There are also two performances I can hardly contain my excitement for – Rachel Brice’s solo show this weekend (squeeee!), and the Steve Ignorant-does-Crass show in March (thanks to Chloe’s spontaneously generous roommate, Smart Face). Awesome, indeed!

Here are some more musical discoveries that have also helped defrost the aforementioned frozen toes:
– I finally brought Fire of Love into my life…

– while listening to A.P.P.L.E. for inordinately lengthy periods.

– Mumford & Sons. I’ve known about them for a while (due to their association with Laura Marling) but for some reason neglected to look into their stuff. Remember those regretful choices I’ve mentioned? Exactly.

And the final, non-music related things that have tickled my life-ain’t-so-bad bone:
– Trips to Pearl River Market for the sole purpose of Milky retrieval.

– My new jackalope t-shirt. It’s the best fucking thing ever. I’m pretty sure the jackalope is my spirit animal.

– This picture of my graduation. Everyone kept bitching at me about not keeping my gown long enough to be photographed in it, but I think this is much, much better. Now if only I had a diploma to show for all that work and frustration…

Well, I suppose this is all for today. It’s finally warm enough to ride, so I’ll be laboring over the bridge in about a couple of hours. Happy last days of winters, folks.

Gracious decomposition

New blog title and post to wrap up my day of rampant procrastination.

My finals are next week so I’m transitioning from a state of silent panic to full-blown anxiety, which often robs me of the power of concentration. It’s quite the sucky place to be, I must say.

I did manage to take some pictures of the lab before my debilitating anxiety kicked in, though. So please enjoy the hilarious warning labels and all the pretty colors.






Never has a mouse so graciously fought decomposition. This little guy instantly reminded me of Ophelia, particularly because his paws were sticking out of the water like her hands in the painting.

Death in Brooklyn can be quite poetic, you see.

I’m covered in beads!

Beads? Bees? The possibilities are endless.

So! I’ve thoroughly neglected this place, as was to be expected. I have a legitimate excuse that involves poisonous, as well as radioactive, chemicals. I made my first set of polymer beads. They’re tiny, they glisten and they’re beautiful. According to the professor they’re excellent, and I have to say that getting complimented on my chemistry makes me feel as good as having an awesome-pawsome hair day. It’s reassuring that my first graduate school project came out so well. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about my Quantum course work. Anyway, here are the beads and the set-up used to create them:


Other things that have occupied my time:

– Making rainwater dinosaur art in subway platforms:

– Reading a lot of chemistry, particularly about coordination complexes. No photographic evidence, but if I could I’d offer up my fried brain as evidence.

– Taking advantage of the last mild days of the year to ride my bike.

– Taking pictures of sunsets, sunrises, and the slow degradation of chlorophyll:






That’s it for now, it seems. Back to the books and to praying that please-pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top that I don’t fail my upcoming exams.

This day anything goes!

Burning bodies hanging from poles! I remember Halloween!

To me, Halloween means three things – the Misfits, World/Inferno Friendship Society, and not following through with any of the costume ideas I spent all year thinking about. But I did dye my hair in honor of the best day of the year, and let me tell you, it was a fucking pain in the ass.

Going from black to teal is no easy task, especially when you know shit about the proper way to do it. Nonetheless, after many rounds of bleach and dye I ended up with a color I’m pleased with, though you can’t really call it a color. It’s at least five distinct ones. See example that follows:

I fail at the internet-sexy thing, so I stick to making faces. I think this isn’t half bad for the first time posting a picture of myself online, no?

Anyway.

School has been kicking my ass lately, hence the blog neglect. Time management is not my forte, but I’ll try to come babble on here more often. I’ll be at Hallowmas all day tomorrow, so meanwhile I’ll leave you with my favorite Halloween songs:


I do indeed observe Hallowmas and keep it holy.


The song I look forward to all damn year long.

Do You Think These Bruises Are Sexy?

I got doored yesterday. I feel somewhat initiated now. It wasn’t so bad because I wasn’t going very fast, but it all ended with me comforting the lady who opened the cab door because she was in tears. As a memento, I have the weirdest – and coolest! – bruise I’ve ever had:

It’s a pointillism bruise! I acquired it on the way to go vote for this lady. It would have been nice if she had won, but alas…

A few other things I’ve been up to:

– We visited Socrates Sculptures Park. I thought it was a park with a bust of Socrates, or something. But no, it’s a park full of odd sculptures.

– Took an extended stroll through Central Park on Wednesday and was as giddy as could be when we stumbled upon this guy making gigantic soap bubbles. The giddiness was quickly dampened by the multitude of stroller gangs. After that we went to Piola to get my catupiry fix via the São Paulo pizza. I urge everyone in the city to go get it because it’s fucking amazing.

– On Saturday, to inaugurate the boyfriend’s new bike and the fall weather, we went picnicking on Governor’s Island, which is my absolute favorite place in the city. I would trade my thumb to live there, that’s how serious I am about it.


Our sweet spread: turkey and ham sandwiches, grapes, olives, cheeses, chips and dip, wine in tea bottles, and Doughnut Plant jelly and glazed doughnuts. By the way, I would Liz Lemon the shit out of Doughnut Plant if I could.


My ham and extra sharp cheddar sammich. Yum!


My shoes became an impromptu jukebox stand.


My bike.


The boy’s bike. I have some serious bike envy over this.


Stained glass in a chapel on the island.


Shells hanging from this jellyfish-looking wind chime. Speaking of jellyfish, I think they’re evolutionary pimps. They have the fastest biological response in nature (the nematocyst release), multiple eyes and a nervous system but no brain to process any of the input. HOW can you have vision and no brain? Through sheer, gelatinous will.

I will end with what I believe is one of the funniest things on Youtube. Enjoy.

Tornadoom

A crazy storm came through the city yesterday. A tornado wrapped in rain, they said. It was transient, but it was fucking efficient. It managed to uproot trees, rip off roofs, disrupt trains services for hours and strand thousands of people at Penn Station, and even kill a person – all in no more than 15 minutes.

I’m not gonna lie, I was quite amused by it initially. It’s been some time since my hurricane days in Florida, so it was nice, in a way, to see violent winds again. And then my windows began shaking and I realized that buildings in New York are not equipped to deal with weather like this. So I stood there hoping this was going to be brief, because otherwise my apartment would get blown out.

And then it got really fucking dark.

And this is the aftermath.

My kitchen window was open the whole time, so the wind tore out the screen allowing tons of dirt to just fly in. It took hours to clean it up. The trees in the backyard fell, the paneling on the side of the building got ripped out. It was messy. Also, notice the sheet metal wrapped around the lamppost. That was some wind, I tell ya.