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Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Updates

asian couple


Sorry for the previous lazy fashion post, I really dunno where to begin after almost 3 weeks not blogging!!!

The reason of my disappearance on this blog despite the fact that I am having my summer break and was supposed to update every day: WSK. He came over for 2 weeks from Washington before he flew back to Malaysia for his brother's pre-marriage family trip. And I hadn't seen him for almost 5 months. Plus this time he wasn't allowed to game using my laptop (he doesn't have one and couldn't bring along his desktop lol) so  all of my time belonged to him except when I was working in lab.


One good news I haven't announced here: WSK's application to transfer to UW-Madison is finally approved by my school's Office of the Registrar! (He was supposed to be transferring beginning of this year but had to re-apply due to technical problems that he didn't get informed in time by the inefficient office.) 


Meaning he is moving here to study and will be staying with me from coming August onward!!!

We already signed our new apartment, will update you guys more about the place after we move in :D 


Sneak peek of our new place:
Located by the lake and on bus line and in between the campus and *State Street!
*a very long street with bazillion restaurants and nightclubs


One minor bad news for me. Before wsk came over for summer, I already accumulated more than 10 overdue winter trips to blog about, with averagely 80+ pictures each. When he was here, we revisited some places which were less nice during winter and now I have like 150+ pictures (plus winter visiting) for each of these places wtf. 

Now I am officially the most overdue blogger I know. Wait I already was since a thousand years ago. K nvm


iPhone front camera sucks but i still preferred it sometimes wtf.


sunset lake
 Beautiful sunset at Lake Mendota. We're so lucky to have such beautiful scene on campus :)


ducks in lake
Look at the swirl behind the ducks! They were swimming very fast!

Memorial Terrace (aka Mendota Lakefront) is super lively during summer. Every night there are bands performing and people flooding the whole area with beer and snacks! We really liked being there :) just sitting by the lake after dinner, fed the ducks with some French fries when they walked up to us (sounds like what monkeys do lol), enjoyed the music and watched the happy crowd until the sky was completely dark (which was around 8pm, our daytime is really long during summer). 



live drama play theater
Top: setting for "Station"
Bottom: setting for "Train Song"

We went to Broom State Theater to watch live plays! The theater is located in a neighborhood, hidden in a bunches of berry trees :D 

If you notice, the audience were all elders except us -_-

Tracks is a cycle of two plays that examine where we have been, what lies ahead, the connections we make, the light at the end and the darkness that creeps in around the edges. 
In "Station" we meet two lost travelers who must discover a way to exit a seemingly inescapable train station. In the process, they encounter others who both illuminate and confuse them, as they are forced to find strength in each other and ultimately fight for their very survival and struggle onward toward the light.
"Train Song" finds a young man, Lyle Tanner, arriving at a battered old train shack in a forgotten railroad yard, late at night, during the worst blizzard of the decade. He has come to make the caretaker - an old man who has lived there for years - an offer he can't refuse. But the old man has a secret, one that will force Lyle to look inward and reexamine everything he thought he knew.

The first play was really shocking. The prologue was a series of light-on-and-light-off while a couple posting in different sexual positions. Not sure if you get what I mean, sorry I dunno English wtf. The whole script was very philosophical and emotional, and I totally didn't expect the actor and actresses to be screaming so loud and running/stumping around the theater so hysterically. Fucking impulsive. Didn't know that laughing and crying could be so damn impressive when you watch it live from a near distance! In the end the two lost travelers strangled the mysterious woman to death. Scary. Then I told SK I am qualified to join since I managed to act possessed and break down crying when I gave testimonial in Borges' mock trial hahaha. 

The second one was touching. The lone old man was waiting for a woman he met on the train and fell in love with. He had been waiting for her for 48 years wtf. When the young man persuaded him to take the offer and leave, but he insisted that the woman would come and find him. He died that night, after telling the young man the "secret" why he refused to leave the railroad yard. During the funeral finally came the woman... When the play ended, the women in the audience were wiping off tears.

We ate some berries from the tree and left for clubbing. Then something unpleasant happened and I don't think we'll be going back to the same club in short time. Will blog about it soon.

Confident us went clubbing without make-up. Poor Cindy had to leave early with us after that incident.



By the way, I don't remember if I told you I kept biting on the same spot of the inner of my mouth 4 consecutive days before wsk came over. Stupid weather's fault. It used to happen a lot when I was in Malaysia, and had stopped since I arrived in USA last August. Once summer heat struck, the history resumed T.T but when wsk was here it only happened once! Maybe because his arms served well as the alternatives for my itchy teeth HAHAHA. Last Saturday he flew back to spend his last week in Bothell and I bit that spot again 3 times within 4 days FML. Okay this is unimportant I dunno why I'm telling you this lol.



asian girl drinking

This month I hit 21 so I can now legally purchase alcohol and shisha/hookah stuff! Look at that alcoholic face heh. Found out I can drink quite a lot before getting high. Will blog about my birthday date in the next post! 




xoxo

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer floral wear

Floral print is super popular recently!  I bought this one from Urban Outfitter store NYE Sale, only $5 cat emoticon

summer dress
Changed my shoes to match the floral theme... and I did notice that the mirror is dirty


cute asian girl summer
These were actually self-shot lol. I know my self-trimmed fringe look like dog-bitten fringe. I memang purposely cut them the choppy style because straight bangs look kiddy and boring in black... but seems like choppy fringe doesn't go well with black too :\ 

Now my hair color is brown and problem solved :D


asian cute girl camwhore
The one on the left looks like a mushroom with shade wtf. Double eye-lids in the middle one were natural~ I can create them by folding my eye-lids inward with some sort of forceful blinking! Lololol. I know you can't imagine how so next time I'll take a video and show you all lah! But if you notice, one is deeper than the other and they only last for a few blinks so I still have to rely on fake lashes (stickers don't work for me). When I stick them on correctly I can haz double eye-lid


floral shade shoes heels
Shade: $10 from Old Navy's store
Wedges: Natural Soul by Naturalizer Floral Pink Women's Bigette, $25 from Famousfootwear.com

Both are mad chio okayyyyyyy




Are you joining me in this floral craze? :D





xoxo

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Working in an Oncology Lab

Note: You are about to read a really boring geek post. All pictures were taken by my Xperia X8 phone camera.


In an earlier post I mentioned that this summer I am working as a trainee in an oncology lab of McArdle Cancer Research. Here is more about the place and my experience so far.

Firstly, this natural beauty is me.


Secondly, this odd-looking block is the building I work in.


Thirdly, this is where I enter the building.


lab
Lastly, this is the lab I work at. That's all about the place.



The Research
is about.... um.... something to do with stem cell and leukemia(read more here)



mouse strain


The strain we used:
lab dead rat
I am not sorry if you are eating 

If I who have hemophobia can watch this everyday and still enjoy my lunch in the office right opposite the narrow corridor, you can do it too!!! 

Note the bones were all gone! Mice are expensive. One rat costs like $10+







-First day-
refill pipette tips
Actually this picture was taken yesterday, cuz I am still doing this to kill time. When I get too free, I just roam around and collect empty boxes, then when there are many enough boxes, I do the refilling. 
(if you think I refill by transferring the tips one by one, it means you are not observant enough!)


pipette tips
3 quarters of the boxes were refilled by moi 



-Second day-
dna templates
Extracted DNA templates done by moi *proud* 

Actually just an easy dull job lah, which they described as "boring" but I enjoyed it a lot cuz it's new to me :D Basically all I did were-- lyse cells from 40 live mice tails 38 tips of tails from live mice, precipitate DNA using isopropanol, pick up DNA and put into TE buffer to resolubilize DNA. Usually took 2 days to complete cuz involve heating for hours.

In the picture are the end products, which are stable to be kept like this at room temperature.



-Third day-
PCR machine
Prepare PCR mixtures of the 38 DNA templates and run PCR using this machine. Wait 1-2 hours.

lab
Need extra alert not to let bare skin (and clothes, cuz I don't have a lab coat yet, sold my old one before flying here) come in contact with anything in this area. Must also remember to change the gloves after working in this area, to keep other areas safe! 


ethidium bromide
The culprit of this hazardous area. Cancer-causing chemical. Every time before I open the bottle, I hold my breath until I put the bottle cap back on. lol


electrophoresis gel
Ethidium bromide is used in making electrophoresis gel to detect RNA and DNA under UV light. We just need 3μL for the100mL gel (big) and 1.5μL for the 50mL gel (small).

And I have made 4 gels with wrong procedure! I added EB to the water together with the agar powder and heat the mixture, which was very dangerous!!!
Because the boiling mixture will evaporate the highly toxic EB!!! 

Luckily I realized my mistake when I watched Alisa prepared the gel... EB should be added after heating the agar mixture and cooling the mixture by rinsing the outside of the flask with cold water, to minimize evaporation of EB.

Luckily I realized early enough!!! THANK YOU MY LORD THANK YOU










electrophoresis dna result
#4 is my first attempt. I misunderstood the instruction and added size marker into all wells... And when the photo came out my mentor GuangYao was mumbling "weird... very weird... I have never seen anything like this... why? weird..." all the way from the photo printing room back to our lab room. Then came another mentor, Du Juan, she looked at the photo and asked, "you misused marker as loading dye?" And I went, "no ah?" So GY went to the hazardous area, saw the size marker was all used up, "just now was full you sure you didn't use this as loading dye???"

Me: "I put this *point loading dye* first then add this *point marker* to all wells."
GY: 

That day was the first day of my period and I didn't have enough sleep the day before, so after I reached home at 6pm I hit the bed but was dreaming about redoing the PCR (in details!!!) and did the same mistake again repetitively till I woke up due to massive headache at 9pm! Stressed sial. Cuz they said the marker is quite expensive and I wasted it all! Luckily didn't ask me to pay. And I also didn't ask about the price. Then I slept back and dreamed about death of me and family till 8am the next morning. Wtf.

So the next day I reached the lab before 9am and repeated the whole PCR and electrophoresis again. Turned out the Nras one in #3 perfect (which sometimes won't be), but the Cre one cacat (which usually will turn out perfect) wtf. I repeated the Cre one again and #2 is the result, still cacat, see the missing bands when compared to #4.

The next day my mentor changed the primer and repeated himself, turned out #2, which was the correct result cuz it matched with #4. Maybe the problem was on the primer. Zzz.

Photo with inverted color looks so much better!




If you read until here, you're either a science lover or a loyal reader :'D THANK YOU!!! 

Now I'm in my 3rd week in lab. So far I have done PCR and electrophoresis of Nras, Cre, RAG and Kras. I also found out something on my own!!! which is-- cannot stop electrophoresis too early. 

That day I just felt not confident with the result because all wells produced single bands. So I put the gel back and ran electrophoresis again for 7 more minutes and...
some thick bands separated into 2 thinner bands 

Then I printed another picture, handed it to my mentor, pretended that the first one doesn't exist and brought it home as souvenir. LOL

Note the fat bands. Also this is a shitty photo cuz it was my first time adjusting the brightness and focus on my own.



And and and I just found out that one member of our lab is a belly dancer!!!


belly dancer lab

Bye crow. Thank you please come again. Hahahahahahaha.

So this is the most geeky post I have blogged so far. Thanks to PCR waiting periods, I was so bored and free I added filters and bokeh effects to the pictures using Android apps and made my lab look very hipster!


Ending this post with the theme song of my summer:








Epilogue:
Thank you my faculty advisor Chris Day, for introducing me to lab. Thank you so much.
Thank you Prof. Jing Zhang, for accepting me into the lab. Thank you so much.
Thank you GY, Juan and Alisa, for teaching and explaining to me what I'm supposed to do, and also YanGang, YuanYi, JingFang, MyeomJun and ?? for being friendly and helpful to me. Thank you so much.

I am looking forward to work with the team till I graduate!!!
I know I am in the right lab for my Honors Thesis 
Life, you have no idea how grateful I am for all the good things you have given me... THANK YOU SO MUCH 




xoxo