Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Aren't you bored of my life yet? If not, read on...

I don’t know that I knew the definition of the word “sleet” before. I know it now. I walked home in it. I’ll stop bitching about the weather eventually but know that I’m jealous of all of you who are currently enjoying summer! It’s been raining with the exception of one sunny day since May 22. (Yes, this is actually something that makes it into the newspaper. There is a formal definition of “decent spell of sunshine.” Who knew?) Also, as Julie pointed out, you can’t tell if it’s an earthquake or just the wind shaking our house. Yes, I’m cold again. It was 5 degrees all day. I’m actually coming down with a cold too. My first in New Zealand. I spent all of yesterday sitting in my flat (Monday off for the Queen’s birthday!) and didn’t make it out of my pajamas. (Well, technically I was only half in my pajamas since I did put on jeans before I got distracted.) I felt like a complete bum.

It was nice for one day, though, and we took full advantage of this to go visit Martinborough, the wine region that you might remember from my first couple weeks here. Julie braved the Rimutakas (many kilometers of winding road that’s cut into the side of a mountain) to get us there. She was driving at about half the speed limit and at one point we pulled over to let the other cars pass. There were 20 of them. We got a lot of appreciative honks for finally getting out of their way. Ah well, safety first, right? The Kiwis apparently have problems with traffic accidents and have very freaky ad campaigns to get people to be more careful. It’s worked on me. Speaking of driving, New Zealand has the best road signs, my favorite of which is simply “!”. Usually there’s another, smaller sign explaining what one should be cautious about, but often that sign is missing, so you’ll be driving down the road and hit an exclamation point. I’ve taken to making up my own (usually inaccurate) explanatory signs in my head, something like “flying sheep” or “giant moa crossing.”

In other news, just because we’re miles away from, well, anywhere, doesn’t mean New Zealand doesn’t get the latest movies. With all this rain, there hasn’t been a lot to do other than sit inside, so I’ve been watching a lot of movies. I went to see Iron Man II with some friends. I don’t even recall if there was a plot – I would watch Robert Downey Jr. eat a sandwich. I also went with some women from the school of biological sciences to see Sex and the City II. It was a lot of fun hanging out with the ladies outside of lab. As for the movie itself, I’m a little scared by Liza Minelli. And impressed. But mostly scared.

In the world of science, things are moving along. Luke, the graduate student I worked with at Harvard, put together a newsletter of papers about anoles which included a submission from me. We’re going to try to modify it into a real paper. I’ve finished my initial blood counts after having had to recount them. I’m not really sure there’s a pattern, but no pattern is still results right? Also, my lab is moving buildings tomorrow so I spent a bit of today helping pack chemicals. I realized, after looking at all the warning labels on the jars, that, in trying to find ways to cure cancer, we’re all going to get cancer. Guess we better work fast.

Other than that, I have actually started filling out my vet school apps. In a classic move to which facebook groups are dedicated, I stopped after filling in the name and address part and started cleaning my room. I haven’t seen this much of my floor in weeks and I put up enough pictures to make a dent in the otherwise unbroken stretch of fluorescent green.

- It’s cold! (…still.)
- Julie drives like an old lady. But in a good way.
- Kiwis have fun road signs, but they’re funnier in my head.
- Sequels are all the rage right now. Robert Downey Jr. is incredibly charming. Liza Minelli is just, um, yeah.
- My life is full of lizards, leukocytes and lead acetate.
- Classic procrastination techniques work in the Southern hemisphere as well as the Northern.

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