Thursday, 22 November 2012

Husband Quotes: Sleep Talking Edition #4

Yesterday was the Postgrad Conference I was involved in organising. It was a very long day and I'm glad it's over, but it went fairly well.

Anyway, I didn't get home until 11pm and went to give Husband (who was of course asleep) a hello hug. When I did, this is what he said:

"I don't want any frittata!"

Considering I made frittata the other week, and he'd never even heard of it before then, I can only assume that he didn't care for it that much if he's dreaming about avoiding eating it. He had no recollection of saying it until I (of course) teased him about it!

Oh dear, another cooking fail then I guess...

...though I thought they tasted OK! [pic via here]

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Aargh no more scholarship must hand in dreaded thesis day...

... was yesterday. 

original calendar (without aargh!) from here

Unfortunately, as is usually the case with these things, it's been taking longer than expected and so my thesis is not yet done.

I'm not too upset though really, mostly because I can blame other people a bit instead of myself  :P 

Specifically I need research assistants to score some of my data (if I score my own data I can be accused of being biased and making the results fit my hypotheses), plus - Husband's brother (previously known on this blog as "Twin", which still applies since they are still twins) is getting married in mid December in Perth. So we're heading over to Perth for a week or so. We've never been before so it should be fun. Anyway what this means is that while I was still aiming for the end of December to hand in, it's now looking more like January will be the time when I finally finish my thesis.

Here's hoping that I don't write a similar post in January about how it will be a couple more months!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Snippets v2

I tried to make blueberry muffins. I didn't nearly explode my kitchen this time, so that's a win. However the muffins were pretty awful to be honest. I think I need to admit that baking-wise I'm a one-trick pony with the banana muffins and stick to them (I think Husband agreed, but implied it in a much more diplomatic way).

After a few weeks off, I went for a run today. Hopefully I stick with it this time and run more regularly because I do actually enjoy it - once it's over.

A paper that I submitted to a journal came back with the decision "revise and resubmit". I was expecting it to be rejected so this is a pretty good outcome. The changes I have to make are a bit irritating but oh well. The editor said my paper has the potential to be quite important, which was very encouraging because I've definitely been thinking lately that my research sucks!

I'm on an organising committee for a conference in November. I was able to conveniently forget that fact for most of the year, but now that it's pretty soon I don't think that's possible anymore. 

My two-year wedding anniversary with Husband is a week away. I feel old. We haven't organised anything particularly spectacular to celebrate since we had our weekend away a couple of weeks ago as a present to each other. It's weird because it feels like two years has gone past extremely quickly, but at the same time it feels like we've been married a lot longer - in a nice, comfortable way, not in a 'this is really dragging on when will it end' kind of way!

Lastly, I've been laughing a lot at the below youtube clip. It's pretty old, but I love the guys' enthusiasm for rainbows! It has also been turned into a song, which unfortunately has been stuck in my head for a couple of weeks.

"What does it mean!?"

Feel free to share any snippets of your own in the comments. You know you want to. 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

I hope this doesn't happen to me...

via PHD comics

Some days, finishing my thesis seems very achievable and not all that far away. Other days - not so much.

P.S. At uni working on my thesis on a Saturday. At least it's quiet.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A new low.

I may not be the most absent-minded person ever, but I'm definitely not the least either. I can now report that I've reached a new low in absent-minded-ness (previously the title was probably held by this incident). 

Yesterday (Wednesday) I was at a meeting at uni, and I returned to the office to find out Husband had called frantically looking for me. Apparently he was wondering whether I was home and had just stepped out for a minute. He had just returned home from work to find out the place was very warm. Very very warm. So warm, in fact, that something was on fire. That something was a tray on the stove. Husband thought perhaps I'd been cooking and had stepped out briefly and forgotten to turn the stove off. 

This is quite concerning for a couple of reasons:

1. I had been at uni all day, and definitely didn't cook that morning.
2. I didn't even cook the day before that, we had takeout. 
3. I'd left a big bottle of oil right next to the stove. If the flames reached it, the kitchen might have exploded!

The only possible conclusion therefore is that I had left the stove (and apparently also the oven) on from the last time I'd cooked - Monday night. Yep, that's two whole days. 

I'm not looking forward to the next electricity bill. I'm also a little freaked out that I nearly made the house burn down. 

I'd like to blame the dreaded thesis for this absent-minded episode, but actually Husband and I had been away relaxing for the long weekend (where 'thesis' was a banned word). So really, it's just me.


P.S. The weekend away was to a place called Sanctuary Point, about 2.5 hours drive from Sydney. It was lovely. We also went on a short whale and dolphin watching cruise which was awesome (besides the sea-sickness). 

This is the view from the ruined light house in the national park near Sanctuary Point. Pretty.

Thursday, 20 September 2012


I've been home for over a week now. My thoughts have definitely gone back to the 'aargh thesis' dark side. My trip feels like it was so long ago that I can't remember it that well anymore. I will say though that the people I met at the course were nice (I guess it pays not to be antisocial sometimes), and I was able to cross another 30 before 30 item off my list - visit another castle. Oh, and we went to a Ceilidh, which was a big dinner in a hall with folk dancing afterwards. It was awkward dancing with a bunch of people I'd just met, but quite amusing. Except for the giant bruise that appeared on my ankle from one overly exuberant dancer accidentally kicking me twice.

As for the course, I'm very glad I went. All the brain dissection parts were very interesting, but in a slightly surreal and abstract way. By that I mean, it was sometimes difficult to reconcile that what I was holding used to contain the thoughts of someone. We also had case conferences, where patients with brain disorders actually came in so we could talk to them. These were great for bringing all the concepts back to reality, but it also made me very sad about how these people's lives have been permanently changed. It also made me want to wear a helmet permanently to avoid injury, along with aiming to get brain scans often - as you can see this course did not help my mild hypochondriasis. At the same time though it's amazing how much the brain does try to adjust and recover with injuries, and the way the patients dealt with their problems and got on with life was truly inspiring. One girl had to teach herself to walk and talk again after a car accident, and she ended up running with the Paralympic torch for part of its' journey to the London games. 

Anyway, before I head back to marking assignments (hey at least they make my thesis look like an attractive work option again) I will post a couple of pictures of my trip below.

Bodnant Garden, Conwy, Wales
Conwy Castle
The town of Conwy is still walled and you can get up on the walls and look around. The view is pretty impressive.

P.S. Brain research is super important so that progress can be made in preventing and treating injuries and diseases. It might be a bit morbid to think about, but please consider donating your brain to science. I plan to. 

**UPDATE: There is an awesome TV show called Battle Castle, and one of the episodes is about Conwy. Hooray!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


Part of Bangor University (via the uni website)
So I've been here in Wales for over a day now. Bangor and the surrounding areas are quite beautiful. There is a lot of greenery, a massive mountain and the seaside as well. Not to mention some really lovely old buildings. The train trip here from London was largely uneventful; I was worried about my luggage, but luckily standing by my giant bag with a perplexed look and making sighing noises worked at getting stronger people to help me lift it onto and off the train. I got here at 4pm yesterday and from what I could tell, being Sunday the shops were closed already so I just ate crackers for dinner sadly (I found out later a bunch of people found a pub to eat at, I wish I'd done that). At around 10.30pm I was drifting off to sleep when suddenly a beeping noise woke me up. At first I was very confused and thought my computer was playing up, but then realised no, it was the fire alarm and I had to evacuate. Everyone had to stand out in the parking lot in the cold (some people in pyjamas) until firefighters came to investigate. So overall not the best possible start!

Unfortunately this morning wasn't much better. I got extremely lost on the way to the first part of my course - so much so that I missed registration and the first talk. Thankfully a man specifically came up to me and asked if I was going to the course and if I was lost. It turned out he was the lecturer for the next part, so I was able to just follow him. He said my face was very successful at portraying the 'lost' concept which is why he approached me - so combining that with my 'my bags are heavy' look being quite successful too I will take this to mean I have a very expressive face. Perhaps poker is not for me however. Anyway apparently the first talk was just a general 'welcome' type thing so I didn't miss any important content. 

As for the content, it is very dense. Super interesting of course though, but quite an information overload. They also gave us all two books to keep, which is very nice. There are some very friendly people here too. I was a bit concerned as I'm not a fan of interacting with strangers, however I decided to put in an effort as I don't want to be a loner for the whole week. Especially as later this week we have a couple of outings. So shortly some of us are meeting up to go out to dinner - at least I don't have to just eat crackers again.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Nearly Taken.

Perhaps that's slightly dramatic but I did have a somewhat creepy encounter yesterday. I met up with my friend P yesterday afternoon and we headed out to a place called Shepherd's Bush to look at an apartment (P is moving to the UK - jealous!). On the way we got a little lost trying to find the address. P said "I'll ask this guy" - a guy that as soon as I saw him I got a bad feeling about. He looked a bit meth-y: not that I really know that well what methamphetamine-riddled people look like, but he just seemed cagey and scattered and was glancing around in a paranoid way. He also had a recent cut on his face that looked to me like it could have been from a knife slash. Before I could say "not him!" P called him over. His response regarding directions was to suggest we follow him into an alley to ask someone there (we could clearly see there was nobody in the alley - well unless he had friends hiding). Thankfully P shouted out "that's OK we're in a hurry" and we ran off. 

Kidnappers: 0, Lozzz123 (and P): 1.

[via IMDB]
Anyway P liked the apartment once we found it and is planning to apply for it. After that we had dinner at a pub in Notting Hill (the movie was actually on TV here the other day and I totally stayed up til 1am watching it - I'm such a rager). 

In other news I've now had three meetings and a phone call with another person about future research work here in London. Everyone has been so nice and helpful, which is really encouraging considering I'm a total stranger to them. Nothing concrete has been determined job-wise, but two of the people seemed willing to help me write an application for funding to come research here, and all said they'd keep me in mind if any positions came up. One did remind me though that in the UK they're cracking down on hiring non-UK/non-EU people which sucks. 

Today is the first day I don't really have any plans or meetings to study for, so I'm really going to try to do some thesis work and also prepare for my course next week (there are SO many readings to do). 

Obviously since I'm writing this, so far not so good.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Not Taken.

... well at the moment anyway. In other words, I arrived safely in London and made it to my hotel without incident. Well unless you count the fact that I didn't realise it's a bank holiday here today and therefore I had to pay public holiday rates for my taxi from the airport - ouch. I know I could have caught the train instead but I've previously had pretty bad experiences dragging around luggage in overly crowded stations - and that was with Husband there to do most of the heavy lifting!

When I arrived at my hotel my room wasn't ready yet, so I left my luggage there and wandered up the street to the British Museum to kill time. It was even better than I was expecting. The building is awesome and the exhibits are very detailed and interesting. My lack of sleep during the flights did start to hit me though about halfway through and I stopped paying attention and taking photos. I may have to go back another day.

I did take my own photos of the museum but the people taking photos for the British Museum website obviously did a much better job!
In other news, I have an update from my last post where I said I had no researchers to meet with. I am now meeting one tomorrow morning and another the next day, and I have another person I'm supposed to call soon too! Aargh. I'm really not great at talking to strangers anyway, but I'm sure this will be worse considering they're extremely smart and important and I'm trying to convince them they should hire me. So after getting back from the museum I had a nap and then went back to studying for my meetings (I hope there won't be a test!).

It also turns out a couple of my friends will be in London as well in the next few days, so things have worked out quite nicely in that regard. I also really like the suburb I'm staying in. So overall, if I pretend I don't have scary meetings coming up I can say so far so good and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


My flight to the UK is on Sunday. I can't believe just how quickly it has come around. As mentioned earlier, I'll be in London for a week and then I'm heading north to Bangor in Wales for my neuro course. I was supposed to be meeting with academics while in London to discuss potential jobs, but unfortunately it doesn't look like that will happen. Either people are still away (since it's uni summer holidays over there) or they do not have any money to hire anyone right now. One person said they'd be happy to meet, but when I tried to get them to set a specific date they never got back to me. Helpful. So instead for that week in London I'll just try to work on my thesis. 

A few people have said I should just enjoy my time there and not think about writing at all. I don't think I can do that entirely however. A friend of mine will be in London for some of that time so I'll make sure to have some fun... though I'll probably enjoy myself more if I've done a fair bit of work and therefore don't have to feel guilty about getting further behind (my self-imposed schedule).

On a sort-of-related-note, here's a movie not to watch just before you travel alone overseas: Taken. I was so focused on worrying about the flights that I forgot all about the possibility of being kidnapped and forced into trafficking. However I will say I am not as stupid as the girls in the movie to tell complete strangers where they'll be staying alone. Goobers. It's a good movie though - I'm sure husband would have enjoyed it more if I didn't spend the whole time going "Oh NO! What if I get TAKEN!" 

He did say he'd come get me though, so that's nice.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Even more spit.

I haven't spoken about spit in a while and I thought it time to remedy that. In case you're new here, part of my PhD research involves collecting saliva to assess particular hormones released when people are distressed (because I stress them out - muah ha ha haaaa). In case you're not new, well sorry you're having to read about this again!

Not my actual samples, but it kinda looks like this [via].
Yesterday I finally ran the assays for the rest of my samples. I've been waiting a while for this as it's supposed to be my last study of my PhD. Unfortunately it's taken over a year to get to this point, as for some reason watching a distressing film and spitting into a tube does not seem to be a popular experiment to volunteer for. In case you are very grossed out at this point, I will mention that the samples all get irradiated to kill any germs and we still wear gloves anyway. So no touching of spit actually occurs. Also to make sure I don't gross you out I definitely won't talk about all the FLOATIES in the samples...

... err anyway. Now I'm a bit nervous to actually run the statistics - what if it doesn't work? It has been my plan to finish my thesis by November 12 (AKA arrgh-no-more-scholarship-must-hand-in-dreaded-thesis-day). However if my experiment is a total dud I instead will have to run another one or two experiments, taking my PhD into mid next year. I do not particularly care for that option.

Either way I will keep you all updated since I'm sure you're all dying to know what I've found in people's spit.

P.S. Totally unrelated to this post, something quite unexpected happened - I was voted the Featured Blogger for August over at 20SB! Thank you so much to the people who voted for me, I really appreciate it. An extra special thanks goes to Little Missy Me who nominated me: you're awesome! :)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Snip·pet (noun): A bit, scrap, or morsel

I applied for a job today. The position is to be a lecturer in biological psychology at a university in the UK. It took pretty much the whole day to write the application so now I'm exhausted. Good thoughts, prayers, crossed fingers or whatever would be appreciated! 

I don't really like my hair cut now after all. It was good for a few weeks and I received some really flattering compliments (including from you guys - aww thanks). Now it's grown to an awkward mullet-esque length and I'm stuck between deciding to cut it again and just letting it grow out. 

My home laptop has died I think. It's had a good run of about 3 years and luckily I was suspicious the end was nigh so made sure to back everything up. Hopefully I will get a new one soon - my supervisor has nicely allowed me to borrow a lab laptop for a bit so that's what I'm using currently.

Shot from last year's city 2 surf.
The City-2-Surf (a 14km run) is less than 3 weeks away and I have definitely not trained sufficiently to expect to run very much. I enjoy running and I know exercise should be a priority but it is a bit difficult when I've got so much thesis-ing to do! My friend and I have decided to walk most of it, which considering it's 14km is still pretty reasonable. Hopefully we'll still dress up as sporty zombies from the 80s!

I got to be involved in one of my favourite things - a trying on clothes montage. As I mentioned a while ago my sister is getting married next year so my mum and I went with her to give opinions on about 12 wedding dresses. Although fun and some of the dresses looked really lovely on my sister, I believe that the montages on tv/movies do not adequately portray how long and exhausting the day ends up being!

Disturbing fact: foot spas at pedicure places have lots (and lots) of feet cells of previous users clogged in the jets. That certainly does not make me want a pedicure anymore, or help my foot phobia one bit.

Ahh this is so comfortable soaking in other people's feety grossness [via].
My most recent baking disaster the other day saw me ruin yet another pot attempting to make custard. It was burnt so badly we've had to throw it away. That makes three now... oops. In a recent baking success however I made banana bread muffins which were awesome. Husband and I agreed it was the best thing I've ever baked (which perhaps considering the baking disasters doesn't say much). 

I got a 'revise and resubmit' from a journal for one of my papers. That's much better than a rejection so hopefully they'll accept the revisions!

OK that's probably enough snippets for now. Sorry for a not overly coherent post but... eh.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


Plane tickets and accommodation for my trip to the UK have been sorted! I'll be in London for about a week, and then heading up to Bangor in Wales for my neuroanatomy course. I'm supposed to be organising to meet with academics from different universities for while I'm in London, however it has been quite difficult to pin people down to agree to meet with me. It is a bit hard to get a job if I can't actually talk to anyone! I still have several weeks to go though so hopefully it will get sorted. If not I will have a fair bit of time on my hands in London. Unfortunately I will probably be a bit boring and use the time to work on writing my thesis. At least I've been to London twice before so I've seen many of the attractions already. Also from what the travel agent told me yesterday, even though the olympics will be over by the time I get there a lot of the visitors will still be around so the city will still be super packed. All the more reason to avoid the really popular places! I'm sure I'll find some cool places to write though, and definitely do not plan to be cooped up in the hotel the whole time.

While I do mean to mostly write while there, the place I've booked to stay at is right near the British Museum which I haven't visited before, and I am considering one of those big day tours (if they're not all booked out).There's one that goes to the Cotswolds which looks pretty amazing.

[from here]

Then of course there's the train trip up to Bangor (which is pretty northern) so I'll get a good chance to see the countryside then as well. I'm also very nerdishly excited about the neuroanatomy stuff too. 

So here I am again, thinking of the UK instead of focusing on my thesis... oops.

Monday, 9 July 2012


I am afraid of feet. Thankfully it's winter here so feet are covered generally and I don't have to see or think about feet much at the moment, but seriously they freak me out. Generally I think most people's feet are pretty unattractive (no offence), but that's not what bothers me. What I really can't stand is having people's bare feet touch my skin. It actually happens more than you'd probably realise (if feet don't bother you) - under the table when eating, people sitting closely on the lounge or on the floor - it's creeping me out just thinking about it!

AAARGH they're coming right for us!!!! [via]
As someone who studies psychology, obviously I've considered that perhaps I had some sort of foot-related traumatic incident in childhood that haunts me to this day. The thing is, I really have no recollection of such an event. Maybe Freud was right and repression is real, and I'm just that good at making sure this foot memory never comes to the surface... NEVER! 

I also can not endure shoe sharing. The reason I bring this up is that yesterday my sister nicely lent my mother some of her slippers to wear since it was cold, but it really freaked me out. Other people were very shocked and confused at my reaction that I would refuse to give my poor mother some slippers to borrow if she were cold. Sorry Mum but knowing our feet skin cells would be interacting makes me want to vomit. 

Baby feet: allowed.
The problem with telling people is, they then seem to think it's highly amusing to go out of their way to TOUCH ME WITH THEIR FEET. Boy feet are definitely worse, and they are the feet that have been shoved in my face. The thing is though, if someone says they are scared of spiders, do you rush out and find a spider to dangle in their face? I hope not. So what gives? Perhaps the difference is that a spider phobia is really quite reasonable, since well the spider could bite you and you could die (or at least experience some pain). The consequence of people's feet touching me is... tinea or something I guess. Yeah I realise this is a stupid thing to be afraid of.

Ahem. Anyway, sorry about that crazy rant. I will say that for some reason I can tolerate baby human feet (not sure why) and I've forced myself to become accustomed to Husband's feet - though this has definitely not generalised to other people (even his identical twin who genetically has the same feet). 

Do you have any quirks like this that people love to tease you about? Would you try to touch me with your feet if you were to see me in person?

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


If you saw my previous post, I was all 'woo productivity' and 'yay thesis' (how annoying!). Well, that definitely isn't the sentiment this week. Both Monday and yesterday were complete write-offs and today has not started the best either. I'm attempting to work from home however it's almost time for me to make my overly time-consuming elaborate lunch so I can procrastinate further.

I'm not entirely sure how or why this switch occurs from going really well, to kind of crappy. Maybe I just need a break. At least I've been assured that this reaction is fairly common in PhD land!

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got this to prepare...

Just kidding, but it does actually look pretty good (from here). 

Does this sort of thing happen to you? What do you do to get back on track? I could definitely do with some tips! 

Saturday, 30 June 2012

The end of productivity...

...well hopefully not, but it is the end of Productive June today. At least I'm ending it on a somewhat productive note, as I am in fact at uni today (yes Saturday) working on my thesis - well besides this quick break I'm obviously taking! As it is so quiet in the PhD office on the weekend (usually only 1-2 other people come in, but I'm often alone) I find it less distracting, but also since I know I'm depriving myself of relaxing/having fun I think I may as well use the time properly and actually do work. 

My writing is going reasonably too. Many people gave me the advice "just write 500 words a day", and I have to say, now that I have finally taken that advice it actually works. I've been (nerdishly) plotting my word count in an excel spreadsheet graph, and I find it encouraging to see the progress. It also spurs me on to at least get to 500, and once I do that I usually end up writing more. It's also helped me to worry a bit less about the looming deadline of November 12 (to be henceforth known as "arrgh no more scholarship must hand in dreaded thesis day" ...too long?), as I (also nerdishly) calculated exactly how many words I could have written by then if I write around the same amount most days. It seems feasible I could have a thesis by then! The other cool thing (well cool to me anyway) is that since I'm doing so much thinking/reading/writing about my topic, I'm really starting to enjoy it again. Additionally it's encouraging to re-read things I first read in my first year and barely understood, and find that now not only do I understand it, but I can critique it.

One downside however is the increasing pile of papers and mess my desk is accumulating. I think this PHD comic sums it up pretty well:

from here
Well sorry if this was totally boring but hey this is pretty much my life at the moment - so thanks for calling my life boring :P

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Oh No! Or... Hooray?

So as I mentioned a little while ago, I gave myself a haircut on a whim, due to my distaste of going to hair salons. It was not very good. I finally decided to get it fixed, and got a hairdresser who came to my house, which was good. I asked for it quite short, and well now it definitely is that...

I'm not 100% sure what I think about it to be honest, but perhaps in a few days I'll like it better. Otherwise I guess I'll just be wearing a lot of hats.

And be towering over Manhattan about to grab the Statue of Liberty (not to scale).

P.S. At least this has been a fairly good distraction from the 'aargh thesis' side of life!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Productive June...

... has actually so far been quite productive (no idea what Productive June is?)! Mostly due to the minor freaking out that is going on in my brain about trying to finish my thesis. Even though this past weekend was a long weekend (woowoo), I ended up going to uni to work on Saturday. It ended up being quite successful, and I'm now thinking I'll do it every Saturday from now on (the excitement never ends here people!). 

I think what happened productivity-wise was I just stopped being in denial as to when my thesis is actually due. While November 12th may still seem quite far away (it's actually 5 months exactly today), I have 8 chapters to write, and specific deadlines each month of when each chapter draft is supposed to go to my supervisor. Not to mention the fact that I'll probably have revisions to make once she's read each chapter! At this stage I'm not sure I will be able to properly meet those deadlines, to be honest.

Because I didn't want this post to just be a boring whinge, here's this thing I found amusing. 

[you can get it on a t-shirt at threadless!]
So in conclusion, aargh. 

Q: Are you having a Productive June so far?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


...I got accepted to the neuroanatomy course in September! This is the most excited I've been in ages. The course sounds super interesting (even if it is only for 1 week), and I'm so grateful that my flights will be reimbursed and accommodation is sorted. The scary part is the flying (which, while I'm better at I still don't love), and the potentially organising meetings/job interviews while there. 

That's my main news for now, so here a picture of a castle near the place I'm going in Wales - perhaps I'll get to cross off my 30 before 30 item #17: visit another castle!

Penrhyn Castle near Bangor, Wales [via]

P.S. Did anyone see the Transit of Venus today? I did, it was awesome, and made me decide to add an astronomy degree to my just-for-fun medieval history degree I plan to do when I'm an old retired person with nothing else to do. If you missed it, don't worry, it happens again only 105 years from now :P

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


[from here]
There's a fair bit of it in my life right now. Like I mentioned previously, I really have no idea what will be happening after I finish my thesis. Academia is pretty competitive, and I need the experiments that I'm finishing up to have exciting publishable results that will make my CV look impressive so people will consider hiring me. However I have no idea what the results are yet (hopefully in a few weeks...), or exactly when I'll be finishing my thesis (but really hoping it's before my scholarship runs out). Another thing I'm hoping is to get into a short (one week) course I applied for in Wales. It's on neuroanatomy and if I get accepted they'll fly me over there and my accommodation is sorted too!! I'm supposed to find out by the end of May, so of course I've been checking my email every five minutes in case they've decided. If I get into the course, I might also take the opportunity to visit a few researchers in the UK and try to politely convince them to hire me. I still would really (really really) like to work in the UK obviously, however I have no idea how realistic that goal is either.

I've known since I was around 15 that I wanted to study psychology at university, and even knew which uni I wanted to go to. So it happened. When doing psychology I decided I really wanted to get into honours, so I did. This PhD opportunity pretty much fell in my lap too, so I've been pretty used to doing what I wanted and not having to wait long to get it. That is why this whole having-no-idea-what's-next thing is pretty unsettling. Perhaps being at uni for so long has just pushed back my 'quarter life crisis' a couple of years. 

Having said that though, I've received a lot of encouragement the last couple of days, which I've really appreciated. I had a great meeting with my supervisor Monday, where we made a very specific plan of deadlines for writing my thesis chapters. Since then I've been motivated and productive (and it's not even Productive June yet!) - I've completed two more papers that should be submitted to journals shortly, finished marking reports, and worked on my thesis a fair bit. I also had a meeting with another academic involved in my project and he made it clear he thought my thesis would be well-written, and he said he'd speak to some contacts he has in the UK about possible work. Most of all, Husband has been super encouraging. He doesn't seem at all concerned that things won't work out, and it's helped me not to crawl into a ball overwhelmed by all the things I need to do, but rather get to work and make sure I do my best. Because of that, I've actually felt much more positive than I have in a long time - unfortunately that doesn't change how busy I am!


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Well here's what happened.

I didn't mean to take a 5 week break from blogging, honest. It's not that I was super busy, or super unhappy or unwell or something. I just didn't have a lot to say, and then I kept thinking I should wait until I have something super important or interesting to talk about. I still don't really. However I just thought I would write an update (that is potentially non-important, non-interesting, sorry) anyway. Like previously, I've broken it up into three categories:

Science: Some good news and some good/scary news. The good news is that my first first-author paper has been accepted for publication (old news for twitter followers)! This is a relief, as it had taken a while for it to get accepted somewhere. It will be out next month. The good/scary news is my PhD scholarship has been extended for 6 months. Good in that I will not be poor for the next 6 months, but scary because the confirmation email also included the date the scholarship stops: November 12. This then gives me a very specific date to try and finish my thesis by, and it really doesn't seem all that far away now... gulp. As for the fact that I have no idea what I'll do after that, well that's the especially scary part.

Spouses: Yep, still got one of those (although he's been slightly MIA recently since the release of computer game Diablo III). It's actually Husband's birthday tomorrow, and we're going out to play laser tag, which should be fun / slightly nerdy. We're also going out on Saturday night to a Brazilian BBQ place, which essentially involves being served larged quantities of meat.

Silliness: Well on a whim about two weeks ago I did something I've never done (or planned to do) before: I gave myself a haircut. I decided I was sick of how long my hair was, and impulsively grabbed some scissors and started hacking. After I did the first snip I regretted it immediately, but obviously had to continue. Towards the end I decided I should be sensible about it and used my hair straightener so I could make sure it was all even. It went from being half-way down my back to just above my shoulders. My (post-hoc) reasoning was that I'm contemplating getting a more drastic haircut (see picture below), but I hate going to the hairdressers (I'm sure they're very nice people but I really don't like all the pointless chit-chat). This way when I do go there's less hair to cut and dye, and therefore I'll be there for less time (??). 

[from my pinterest]

Well enough about me:
What have you been up to lately?
Have you ever done something strange/impulsive and you're not really sure why?
Is anyone else afraid of going to the hairdressers?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Lozzz123, Hazard Checker.

I've decided to adopt this title for myself following an embarrassing incident this past weekend. We went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show on Saturday, and I was able to demonstrate my hazard finding skillz by rolling (and subsequently spraining) my ankle on uneven ground. Yes, the same ankle from a few of weeks ago unfortunately. So after a few different security guards came to ask me if I was the person who sprained my ankle and if I needed first aid people to come (yes and yes), finally the first aid people actually came and I got my ankle bandaged up. Then I had to wait for safety people to come and question me, and secure the area. This also happened to be in an eating area, so a lot of people got an extra show with their lunch. 

I did manage to hobble around for the rest of the day, and even won a prize on a crossbow game (see I told you I should have grown up in medieval times!). One of the highlights for me was the Silkie Chickens. They are just so funny looking I could watch (and laugh at) them for ages. Husband said 'no' to buying one however. Rude. 

My ankle still hurts a little, but what hurts more is the chunk I took out of my hand when landing. It's pretty gross to look at, but also very fascinating to watch how the body heals itself. Here is a picture...

... just kidding.

Anyway, I got a follow up call, and for my excellent hazard detection ability (or more likely, so I don't sue anyone), I got two free tickets to the Easter Show next year. Huzzah! 

Questions for you:
Have you ever received free stuff for being accident prone? 
Any similarly embarrassing stories to share (to make me feel better)? 

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I saw this and thought of you.

I didn't think I was that obsessed with zombies, or that I talk about them that much. However I must do, based on the amount of times recently that someone has sent a zombie link/photo my way saying it made them think of me. I'm choosing to take that as a compliment. Hahah. So here are some of the awesome things I've been sent. 

From blogger Little Missy Me [via]
I so wish I had a reason to place this sign somewhere! Maybe on the door of my apartment??

Not only did Cecilia point out to me this awesome article I mentioned in a previous post about an accident on the set of a zombie movie that confused/concerned paramedics thinking all the injuries were real, but she also introduced me to the trailer of the scary TV show The Walking Dead. Creepy, but cool.

I've still not actually seen the show, but writing this post reminded me to get Season One on iTunes, so that's what I'm currently downloading now!

My mentioning I hope to compete in the City to Surf in zombie attire prompted Shane to show me this awesome link of a 5k run in Pittsburgh called Run For Your Lives, which is an obstacle course with zombies chasing you. I so wish there was one of these here in Sydney! 

In a similar vein, a uni friend of mine pointed out this awesome app (called zombies run) you can use on your smart phone for when you go for a run. It takes you on missions to get supplies, or kill a group of zombies, before getting you back to headquarters for safety. I definitely plan to get this shortly to re-inspire my running plans!

Lastly, is this one sent by another uni friend. It however, disturbed me a bit. I do think the idea is cool, but really wouldn't want to have this at home!  

That is all. 

Question for you:
Do you have a 'thing' that people seem to equate with you? Does it surprise/bother/impress you?
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