brightlywoven: (look!)
 Life is better today. The sun is out. The equinox approaches. T is back, and we have just planned the Best Night Ever - we are going to get drunk and fill out our census form. Wine and ticky boxes, what's not to love?*

Also, in 6 weeks I'll be on a plane to Australia, and in 7 weeks, I'll be on one to San Francisco, and both of these thoughts are heartening. I will play my ukulele while drinking single origin siphon coffee and unleash my inner hipster as I cycle off into the sunset on a fixie cycle. Fuck yes.

* I suggested we should fight to see who gets to be person 1, but he said I could be. You might mine to be a hollow victory, but only if you misunderestimate my ability to see any positive step as #winning.

brightlywoven: (hello ladies)
This...
this...
this is the best thing I have seen in a long time. 

How can one person have so much talent in such a tiny body? How to even describe the wonder of this video? 
I will try with "tiny but supremely talented musical genius rocks the hell out of the ukulele, even though he does not appear to have mastered many basic language skills."
<3<3<3


PS Sorry [personal profile] gavagai  I appear to have stolen your 'green wing quote for post title' schtick, because, well, because that's the kind of mood I'm in today
brightlywoven: Lord Flasheart has a plan! (flash)
With the lead up to xmas, and many xmas parties, I've had to answer the question 'are you vegetarian' many times. That's because I often order the veggie meal,  because either I don't know the provenance of the meat or I don't agree with how it's been farmed.  
Similarly, when people invite me round for dinner, the question is asked 'do you guys eat meat?'

The answer, to quote one of my new favourite writers is 'it's a bit more complicated than that.'

But in the last two days, I have found two delightful sources to which I can point people who want a slightly more fulsome answer.

Mitchell and Webb give a persuasive take on the matter.
(you tube)

And Jay Rayner (via strangeraptors) on crimes against steak

brightlywoven: A group of BAMFs in lab coats (science)
 Things that make me happy today:

- This adjustable pipette
OMG it promises to help me 'conquer new horizons in multichannel pipetting'. I literally screamed for joy when I saw that it existed.

- I drew phyllogenetic trees using data it has taken me months to accumulate. There are trees! They say stuff! I did science!

- Stephen Mangan as Dirk Gently. Tonight. I have no words for the happiness of this.

- Finally, exactlyhalf is coming home tomorrow. We will go for carols with the master. It will be wonderful
brightlywoven: (love)
 I can't help but emit a small squee.

Since I've been back from holiday life has been really good. My new resolutions are working well (I'm up past bedtime tonight, but that's because it was a big night and I'm winding down by catching up on glee). I'm sleeping more, I feel awake when it's time to get up. I've even managed breakfast at home every morning! My new ukulele arrived this week, and I'm getting better slowly. The bonfire night (during which I battled jetlag with extreme fortitude), and parties yesterday and today have meant catching up with many wonderful friends (and a cheerful amount of college wine). 

Most importantly, things are just wonderful with exactlyhalf. This week was our fourth wedding anniversary. We've had a week of good companionship and walks and cuddles and remembering how much we love each other. What I said tonight was true. There have been three great decisions I have made in my life, and the second and probably most important was choosing him. 
brightlywoven: Lord Flasheart has a plan! (hot)
 Calling all aubreyad fangirls! You must check out these amazing aubrey-maturin as steam-punk heroine pictures by fayhe and friends. They are utterly amazing.

(Also, I totally want one of those medical gadget holding armbands. Ebay, do you think?)


brightlywoven: (queenie)
 Well would you look at that picture, Australia's head of state with Australia's head of government:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/08/3005452.htm

Isn't that awesome?

Retail joy

Aug. 29th, 2010 02:27 pm
brightlywoven: (lizzie)
For less than £2 each, today I acquired
- A 1935 copy of Murder Must Advertise. It smells like an old book and makes me happy
- An object that I probably bought JUST for the joy of mathoming it. All I'll say is that it's long, pink and hard, and everyone will say 'ooh' and 'ah' about what comes out of it. 

A satisfying morning indeed.
brightlywoven: (I'm on a horse!)
I wish...

That all the awesome people you meet in Oxford didn't have to/decide to go to other places. Saying goodbye is sucky.
That my many years of expensive education hadn't encouraged me to learn for an exam and then forget many basics. DNA is in many ways still a mystery to me.
That megavideo wouldn't keep cutting me off every 72 minutes. Damages is awesome!!!
That weekends were not so short
That we could have new eras without the old ones ending

Smash!

Aug. 7th, 2010 12:49 pm
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (Default)
 My favourite new tool in the lab is the 'fast prep'. You put your bacteria into a tube full of sand and tiny ceramic beads and load it on the machine, which literally shakes it up to smash the cells open and free your DNA. Magic!

I was thinking of naming it 'Hulk' and drawing some purple shorts on it, but possibly no-one will get the joke. So now I just smile as I use it, thinking, in pronoun-free capslock, about the joys of smash.

Julia!!!!!

Jun. 24th, 2010 10:49 pm
brightlywoven: (hello ladies)
 I am very happy about our new Australian PM. Imagine having a national leader who is a woman, who hasn't felt the need to marry her partner* and who has chosen not to have kids** and who is from the left.*** How I fantasise about the kind of social policy she might oversee. Civil partnerships for all???

It's sad that KRudd went the way he did, but I'm deeply afraid of Tony Abbott. He is unable to separate his private convictions from his public policy, and when your private convictions include 'telling my daughters to abstinent' (despite having publicly admitted to pre-marital sex while he was thinking about entering the seminary), then he really worries me. 

Not to mention he thinks it's politically expedient to deny climate change.

And may I just mention? Julia is not only smart ('mouth of a truckie, brain of lawyer'), she's also pretty hot.  If you don't believe me (or want to enjoy) see here, here and here.

It's also interesting to consider that, Australia being what it is, cheap personal attacks may be just as much directed at her hair colour as at her gender. So it behooves us to remember these words of wisdom. (youtube)





* Clearly I'm not anti-marriage, but I am deeply against the 'you must be married to be a respectable public figure' assumption
** Again, kids are awesome. I'm just so so tired of seeing smug career men with a wife and children lecturing me on how to combine career and family, advice which is always predicated on having a wife to bear and raise them. It's refreshing to see someone who can be open about the challenge
*** you know, for labour
brightlywoven: (Yang)
I seem to have scored a month of dreamwidth paid time, and more icons. I've been celebrating by pretending I know how to make icons. 

This is my anti-impostor syndrome icon. Because in my last minute exam freak-out, a friend told me the exam technique she used: to believe the examiner's questions are stupid. Because you know the answer. Because you're smart and you know this stuff. I took this to mean I needed to channel my inner Yang, and it did seem to work. 
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (plock)
 Back to exam mode, in a good way today. I worked as a 'helper' at the medical student final exams, ushering nervous finalists from examiner to examiner. This was with the ulterior motive of knowing that the exam meant many many patients with physical signs to observe. I was hoping to get a chance to examine some. Turns out I got to examine ALL OF THEM.

I had forgotten what it was like to enjoy a proper med-nerd frenzy. I diagnosed yellow nail syndrome. YELLOW NAIL SYNDROME DUDES! I diagnosed murmurs and complications, pneumonectomies, tremors. Dudes, I even found optic discs, and noted that they were pale. (Fundoscopy is the scary bete noir that I am petrified will come up on the exam.)  And consultants in sub-fusc magical words to me like 'yes, that would be a pass in PACES' <3<3<3<3) 

So this leads to happy feelings of growing competence and stuff. I guess liking being good at what you're doing is a good sign that you're where you should be.

Also happy making are the whisky tasting notes that were restored to us recently when exactlyhalf's winter coat was found. I think they are *extremely* illuminating, but mainly about the volume of wine that we drank before the whisky.

Dalwhinnie
Me: "Nice" "Tasty, nice, good, honey" "*particularly* nice"
EH: "Very warm, high-pitched"
Highland Park
Me: "Tasty Whisky!"
EH: "It' fine"
Singleton
Me: "Ooh, that's tasty!"
EH: "Interestingly different in a good way"
Talisker 10
Me: "Tastes like drinking bacon"
EH: "Indeed it does"

Work has had some nice moments recently. I have acquired the skill of placing central venous catheters into femoral veins. What I find hilarious is that, after years of being told (and also knowing) that I am co-ordinationally challenged, to have a registrar say 'wow, you really have an aptitude for that'. Nice, but also hilarious. I'd love to hear my family's response to that one. I guess there are some things you really can learn.

So now I am enjoying a glass of red (and yes, it's both tasty AND nice), and preparing for bed. Night night.
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (Default)
If you were starting a members only forum, where would you start in writing and terms and conditions?
I expect it will be a reasonably mature discussion, but people are quite good at failing when you least expect it, and having a T&C to refer to when saying 'no that's not OK' would be quite helpful.

Any pointers?

brightlywoven: (harriet)
TIM MINCHIN WAS TOTALLY TOTALLY AWESOME!!!

What a rockstar - combining as he does, the hair, the eyeliner, the frenetic piano playing with talk of meta-analyses and bell-curves. At one point he talked about reading a paper, and paused. 'Do any of you like reading papers?' - cheers ensued. 'Oh, I knew I'd love Oxford. It's like coming home.' <3 (How many comedians involve the phrase 'post hoc ergo propter hoc' in explaining their songs?)

One of the best moments was 'White Wine in the Sun' - all about Australian Christmas and having your family so far away. Little teary ex-pat moment there. Also brilliant was during a rather edgy moment (well, if you were trying to get a crowd to sing 'i love jesus, I hate faggots' to prove a point, you'd probably be on edge too), an usher started rushing down the aisle. This clearly put him off, at which point he suggested she should 'ush the fuck up'. But it's OK, after the show she explained, he apologised and they hugged. Awww.

So we totally stood in the cold waiting for a chance to meet Mr Tim, and we DID and he hugged us, and signed our bits of stuff, and was generally lovely. On learning I was from Melbourne, we had the following exchange
Tim: 'We're going to be in Melbourne in January, for about 6 weeks'
Me: 'Oh, but in January it's too hot - it's all humid and horrible'
Tim: *looks thoughtful*
Me: 'That's how I get through January over here'
Tim: 'Yeah, but you're just lying to yourself!'
Me: *hangs head*

Totally awesome gig. 
brightlywoven: (weavings)
(warning: video features blackface and really awful racism)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMAyGewq37w

I'm so ashamed of this: an absolutely revolting act performs on television in Australia, and it takes the only American in the room to point out the problem with 5 people dressing up in blackface and miming to Jackson five songs.

It makes me feel even worse that these 5 are doctors and surgeons, who apparently think this is a good way to spend their time. Not only because I am in some way 'in their group', but because it makes it very clear that the attitude which says this kind of thing is in *any* way OK, comes from people with education. Even worse are the hordes of people saying this kind of thing is OK in Australia because 'we have a different sense of humour to Americans'. Just no guys.

It's gut-wrenchingly embarrassing, and I'm very glad Harry Connick Jr was so articulate about what was wrong with this picture, but ick ick ick. Very ashamed to be associated, and offering a tiny voice that says this is not OK.
brightlywoven: (harriet)
 I have
- my coffee
- The Age Saturday crossword, airmailed from Australia by my sister in law
- really yummy blood orange juice
- The whole weekend filled with plans to see nice people

This is good stuff.
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (Default)
The title of my last (locked) post came from the Velvet Underground song I had put on - 'Sunday Morning' This led to an impromptu challenge here which I thought was fun enough to share: can you find songs in your collection/playlist for every day of the week based on the title. This is obviously really only fun if you don't google/search iTunes. 

Have a go if you like, I'll post ours later
Sunday - 8! (plus 2 albums)
Monday - 4
Tuesday - 1
Wednesday - 1
Thursday -1 (spoken, a bit of a cheat to finish the set)
Friday - 1
Saturday - 4 (plus 2 albums)
brightlywoven: (lalala peter)
Maybe it's because it's late, or because of the glass of Bailey's I had to help me sleep, or that this song was one that had particular resonance with me for many years when England was where my heart wanted to be. Or maybe it's that Lewis and Hathaway's love is true and pure, but this video is very very sweet:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6H17inC0bQ

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brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (Default)
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