Sunday Check-in

Wow, another week where I didn’t post. Again, a boring week.

Monday – I think it rained a lot.

Tuesday – Gym day. Also, my high school student showed up and I talked to her a little about her project.

Wednesday – Busy day with experiments, and then talked to another professor about careers. Surprise! She can’t really help me with an industry job either!  So that is a little disappointing, but I appreciate that she talked with me a bit anyway.

Thursday – lab meeting, also a lot of rain.

Friday/Saturday – went to see my boyfriend FINALLY. He’s playing Overwatch, so I tried that a little bit. I’m not very good at those types of games, but I am intrigued.

Today, my goal was to set out my coordinates for Paradiso this coming weekend. I can’t believe it is pretty much here! I have a lunch planned for the second day (they wanted us to pay ~$20 for the lunch at the art gallery and a guaranteed spot in case of rain. Ah yes I have eaten lunch at that art gallery before and the food is a big fat dose of mediocre. So I will bring lunch instead and if it rains, then I’ll go home). Anyway, the first day should be super exciting and is at an event space downtown so I am nervous about parking. Hah, of all things. However, I have all week to worry, so instead here are my planned outfits.

Enchanted Forest JSK
F+F posted an outfit of the day a few weeks back, where they had this JSK without the fluffy underskirt and a blouse and I really liked it. So I am mimicking that look a bit. However, this was when it really hit home that I am lacking in accessories. Also, I hope beige shoes are acceptable here. White or grey would probably suit it better, and I think my navy shoes would be too dark. I also only have a plain white bow headband to wear, but I will look for better hair accessories at the event. F+F actually sold hats to go with this, but I didn’t like them.

Enchanted Forest Detail

Here is a close up of the print (or at least part of it), and the necklace I’ll wear.

Chiffon Lover Blouse and Skirt
Day 2 is the same outfit I wore to the Midwest Tea Festival, but I am going to add in accessories this time. I may also change it to a light blue skirt at the last minute.

I think I’ll put my hair in pigtails, so here are some cute hair clips. The necklace and non-bow hair clips are from Tasty Peach Studios. I give them way too much of my money but I’m probably not going to change that. If I change my skirt to blue, I’ll keep the necklace but may change up the pink hair clips.

Generally purses are important parts of lolita coordinates as well. I don’t know if I’ll use the blue purse I bought for Nakakon, or the Sentimental Circus Tote Bag I bought at Nakakon. The tote would go fine with the second outfit (and have plenty of room for lunch!) but would clash with the first outfit. I have all week to think this out.

Also, if anyone calls me out about anything, I’ll just tell them that I’m still a noob and still trying to put coordinates together properly.  I don’t think that will happen though. This will be the third lolita event I’ll attend and thus far, people are nice.

Here is to a hopefully more exciting week. Also, tomorrow is Memorial Day, so happy Memorial Day.


Sunday Check-in

This week has been pretty boring, thus the lack of posts. Whoops.

Tuesday – I went to the gym, so that’s nice

Wednesday – I don’t recall anything particularly interesting. Hmm I got a neat result from one of my crosses, so that is neat.

Thursday – nothing particularly interesting. Found out I couldn’t go see boyfriend this weekend. That stinks, because next weekend I have to take Mom to the store. Weekend after that is Paradiso, and then the weekend after that is another Mom store weekend. So it will be the 4th weekend in the future where I will have a free entire weekend. :/ And of course, he cannot come visit me, oh no. Also, went to the gym again.

Friday – grumpy since I can’t go see boyfriend, but there are events in all 3 idol games I play, so I am busy. Also, trying to look up things in Orlando, like where the nearest grocery store or Target is, so I can have affordable food during the conference. It seems like a hassle to hire a taxi to go grocery shopping…but at other conferences, I’ve gotten sick after a few days of all restaurant food.

Saturday – went to lab and was happily alone. Got a few things done, and then to the gym where I was on the treadmill for 2 entire miles! That is a huge deal for me, who is pretty out of shape. u_u; Also paid bills, which is a painful experience every time…being an adult is not always so fun..

Today – put away laundry and now being lazy~ Probably more planning and pondering about things for the summer

I think this next week will be a bit stressful as well.

On Tuesday, I am meeting with the high school student I will mentor, which means I need to have something to tell her. I sort of have a plan…but I don’t have enough flies to get her started on that plan yet. Then on Wednesday, I am meeting with another professor to talk about careers, since my Boss is very sure that I will graduate next May. Which means I need a job starting next Summer. o__o;; Thursday is lab meeting/journal club, so I need to understand the paper Boss sent us to read. I read it last week, but I’m not sure if I can explain it quite yet.

May 2016 Doki Doki Crate

I was very worried that this box would get lost in the mail. It’s been the 10 days since I got a shipping confirmation, but yay it came today! Very good timing, considering lab today was freaking awful.


Unlike the April box, I am extremely pleased with this box!

May Dokidoki Box

This month’s theme is Cute Sweets Decoden, or overly decorated cute dessert items to stick on your phone or nails or pretty much anything.

Strawberry Senbei

Included were these senbei cookies. Senbei are rice crackers that are slightly sweet. These have a little bit of strawberry icing. Apparently there is a contest where you can make a fancy looking dessert with them to win fabulous prizes…or use graham crackers in case you ate all your senbei already. I only ate the broken one, but unsure if I’ll bother with the contest or not.

However, they should absolutely include a little snack in every box. I know Japan Crate is mostly snacks, but adding in just one snack into the crate every month would be amazing.

Petit Lapin

Petite Lapin is an original creation of the people behind Dokidoki box (so, Japan Crate). It is a little rabbit who loves French stuff, like macarons and eclairs and all that. I wish I got a pink one instead of blue, but this is still really cute. I hope to see more Petite Lapin goodies in the future. (is it Petit or Petite? The label says one, but the title says otherwise, and the writing in the magazine says something else….)


Here we have a super decoden themed Hoppe keychain, a cat donut keychain, and some Hoppe stickers. YESSS STICKERS. Donut cat is so precious too. I love Donut Cat. Also, now I am hungry for donuts. I wonder how girls who are super into decoden aren’t hungry for pastries ALL THE TIME?


A Hello Kitty X Doraemon Coin Purse (meh), dessert erasers that are too cute to actually use, and ice cream pens! The pens are even decent, so that’s nice, but they’d be kind of awkward to use in lab.


Here we have a Sweet Bread Compact mirror. I would call it a waffle. Also, it is squishy. A soft and squishy compact mirror! ಠ▃ಠ Wow! I just want to squish it.

Sailormoon Rement Cafe Blind Box

Knowing this was a Sailormoon-themed box (with one whole Sailormoon item…), I was a little worried it would be an item I already own. With the release of Crystal, the last few years have been abundant in Sailormoon merchandise and I now own quite a bit. Luckily, these Rement Cafe Sweets sets have never interested me, so this is not a repeat item!

It was a blind box…so which dessert platter did I get?

Tiny Jupiter Cherry Pie~

Tiny Sailor Jupiter Cherry Pie! With a tiny rose cookie and tiny tea cup and tiny green drink and tiny fork and plate and thunderbolt cookie (which I decided needs to decorate the drink). Very cute. It’s like perfectly sized for a Figma to play with, except I don’t own any Figmas.

Overall, a great great month. But man, if I had won a Suteki crate…it has Sailormoon Roomwear AND a Proplica wand AND one of the face powders in a Transformation broach. T_T Man, if there was a month for me to win a Suteki crate, it would have been this one…..oh well.

This is the first of the three boxes I have preordered, and I am very very happy with this. Can’t wait to see what comes in the next one.

Pusheen stickers

Found a use for the stickers…put in my sticker diary and on my phone case.


I am cleaning and organizing today, so I was able to find my sticker diary.  😍

In unrelated news…my Dokidoki crate is still not here. 10 days is Monday so let’s see how this turns out…

Repeating Experiments

One of the big things in scientific research (and probably all research), is reproducibility. I can show that the Blah Gene is directly correlated with cancer, but if another research group somewhere else cannot reproduce my results, then it means nothing.

Except generally, reproduction experiments never get published, because they aren’t sexy, and since not publishing is akin to never getting more funding, no one does it. However, that is a complaint for another time.  Today’s complaint is regarding unpublished data! And that is why all the names of genes and proteins and students have been changed to protect identities and such.

Years ago, a student we shall call Elle made a mutant of my SuperCoolGene (SCG), and did Yeast Two-Hybrid (Y2H). Very briefly, Y2H tests to see if two proteins directly bind. You put two plasmids into yeast and then plate the yeast on selective media plates, and wait to see if the yeast grows. If it grows, the proteins bind. If they do not grow, they don’t bind.

Elle tested Mutant SCG against Wildtype SCG (for reasons) and also Boop, a known interactor of SCG. Both SCG and this mutant SCG bind Boop, all is well, we move on.

Elle graduates on to better and brighter things. Years later, I want to retest Mutant SCG because other students in the lab are finding this particular mutation in SCG is doing cool stuff in various tissues. I was teaching myself how to do Y2H so I could test SCG against novel candidates, so I decided I would teach new student kid how to do Y2H. The kid was working with Mutant SCG as well as insulin signaling, but in the past, Elle never tested Mutant SCG with Insulin-Related-Thing (IRT). Also, Elle’s plasmid containing Mutant SCG was long gone.

A quick note on the Gateway Cloning System. It is amazing. Invitrogen is amazing. You add attB ends onto a gene using PCR, then clone your gene into a pDONR plasmid, and then clone that into whatever plasmid you want. In our case, pDest22 or pDest32, which are specific for Invitrogen’s Two-Hybrid system, which is also amazing and expensive.

Elle left us with many DNA samples and plasmids, and pDONR-Mutant was one. The kid, on the other hand, had been using the QuikChange kit (Thanks Agilent!) to general several other mutations similar to the one in question today. So we had a competition to see who could generate pDest32-Mutant faster: me with Gateway or him with QuikChange. Considering I had other things also going on, he won.

So we ago ahead and transform yeast and do the Y2H and behold, Mutant SCG does NOT bind Boop, and it does not bind IRT. We try it a second time. Still not binding these things. Now, if it didn’t bind only IRT, that could be a new finding and be neat. But it is supposed to bind Boop according to Elle’s previous finding.

We sequence the mutations in both. Both have the correct mutation. I go back and finish creating Elle’s version of pDest32-Mutant SCG, and we plated that experiment this week (because while it is more convenient for me to plate everything myself, the kid wanted to help and the other students he normal helps out were MIA for finals or other miscellaneous things, so he was bored).  Tomorrow is actually the 3 day mark where I take pictures of plates, but I checked them today because I was bored.

All the controls look good. Elle’s Mutant SCG binds IRT and Boop. The Kid’s Mutant SCG does not bind IRT or Boop.

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

This is frustrating on so many levels. There must be something wrong with one of the plasmids, and if not, then there must be a reason why Elle’s Mutant will bind, but the kid’s mutant will not bind.

So back to sequencing, and this time, more than just the mutation itself. Also, running an agarose gel to see if maybe there is some drastic change in plasmid size that is rendering the kid’s plasmid nonfunctional. Another possibility is that his plasmid did not transform into yeast properly, so I need to figure out how to isolate plasmids from yeast (they make a kit for that, right?), or some other way to see if the yeast took up pDest22 but not 32, or vice versa (considering the yeast grows on the selective media without the additional chemical, at least one plasmid must have been taken up).

This is concerning, especially since reproducibility is a concern in the research world.  If I can’t reproduce a result someone from my own lab generated, then how is some lab elsewhere supposed to reproduce it? Is the current test a fluke, or was the original test a fluke?

As much as I love to troubleshoot why experiments went wrong, I wish this would get cleaned up…because  this isn’t even my project.

┬──┬◡ノ(° -°ノ)

Spring 2016 Pusheen Box

I actually received this last week, but I wanted to show off the goodies in a cuter manner than just the picture I posted on Instagram…

Pusheen Apron

I love love love useful items, so an apron is great! I wore it when making banana muffins this past weekend. It has comfy pockets (which are not actually separate, it is just separated at the top) and does it’s job. Yay apron. I am messy and can foresee this apron getting dirty, so I hope it washes well.

Pusheen Umbrella

I was super excited for this umbrella! It is cute! However, I cannot fit it back in the little holder sleeve it came in, and it is also kind of a pain to open up and close. I would not buy this umbrella on it’s own, but since it came in the box, I am okay with it. It would be better if it had a button to help with the opening and closing of it.

Tiny Pusheen Ceramic Planter

This might be my favorite item! It is the cutest, and gave me an excuse to buy a tiny succulent for my room. I really hope I don’t kill it…but after a few days, it’s still alive! Yay! An alternative use is as a pencil or other small object holder.

Pusheen Goodies

Not sure what to do with these pins, since I have a habit of losing pins. Also, they included a key topper, which I attached to the key chain that came in the previous Pusheen box. As you can see here, I don’t use that key chain. ヽ(ー_ー )ノ My current key chain is already overloaded, so I’m saving this for a rainy day. Or a future key chain.

Pusheen Snack Stickers

I got 3 sheets of these stickers, all the same. They’re cute, but also big. Too big for what I would normally use stickers for. But they’re cute. I will eventually find some use for them. Smaller, planner-type stickers would be better for me though.

Cat and cat cookie cutter

This box was supposed to be baking themed, so of course there is a cookie cutter. I have not made cookies with it yet, so here is Devil Kitty looking confused.

I didn’t take any nice pictures of the socks because I feel like socks are a better fall/winter item. It’s spring here, and May in the Midwest is like Summer Lite, so I want to wear socks as little as possible. And the socks included are knee socks. o_o; I probably won’t break them out til October. But rest assured, they are cute and food themed as well. If they had included ankle socks instead, then I’d be more inclined to wear them sooner.

Also did not take a picture of the vinyl figure. The Pusheen Box people seem to advertise the vinyl figure as a big deal, limited edition and etc. Um, okay. I don’t really care about having a vinyl Pusheen figure. Shelf space needs to be reserved for Nendoroids and other anime things, or plushies. Actually, a small 6 inch Pusheen plush would be 10000000x times better in a Pusheen Box compared to a vinyl figure. Someday, probably after the first year of Pusheen boxes have been released, I will line up all the figures I’ve received and have things to say about them.  But a cute themed plush would be so much more exciting to me. Plushies are my weakness. I don’t own 15+ Meowchi plushies for no reason. ♡

I am not on the yearly subscription plan, so with shipping, all this was $50. I plan on buying the Summer box and Autumn box later this year, so that will be one full year of Pusheen, and then I’ll probably reevaluate if I want to continue on. Also, I’d probably stay quarter-to-quarter since I am moving sometime next year, graduation-and-postdoc/industry-job-acquisition-willing. Anyway, I am pretty pleased with this box for now.

As for the summer box, I predict it will include a tank top or T-Shirt (the winter box had a shirt and it’s lovely), and maybe another drink cup (winter had a coffee/tea cup, akin to a large reusable Starbucks cup, which I also need to use but damnit it’s too cute and I don’t want to stain it with tea yet ughhhh). Not sure if flip flops would be a thing…maybe a beach themed tote bag would be nice. The summer box will ship in mid-July, so I’ll probably get it AFTER I get back from Orlando….it would have been the perfect time to use things….oh well.

Tuesday Bluesday

I had such plans. Go home, inspect garden, plan a post about it, work on Pusheen box post, ponder the Dokidoki box I should get tomorrow…

But no. I have nausea, probably because of a bad hamburger.  I made burgers Sunday night, 50% pork, 50% beef, like mom’s meatloaf, but not.

Sunday night?  Ok
Monday lunch? Ok
Monday night? Ok
Tuesday lunch? Slightly queasy after lunch but didn’t make the connection.  Maybe it was just dizzyness from staring in microscopes too long.
Tuesday night? Yes let’s stay in bed til I no longer feel icky.

On top of this, I kinda had a fight with Mom yesterday  (over nothing, but she overreacted in my opinion), so can’t even make her feel bad for me. Boo.

The internet says ginger/peppermint teas will help, but standing up is a bit of an issue. I have water for now.

Did the leftover meat go bad?  I used bbq sauce only today so did that go bad? Luckily this was the last one so I won’t have this issue tomorrow.