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25 June 2007 @ 08:08 pm
So anyway, I had a minor car accident on Saturday night.

I was driving along my street coming home from Subway. Roads were kind of wet since it was drizzling, so I was driving around 45 kph (5 under the limit) just to err on the side of caution. At the top of the hill up the street (100 metres from my house) there is an intersection, in which the intersecting street continues along a bridge over the motorway that runs parallel to my street. On both sides of that street there are stop signs which are kind of difficult to see. Whenever I approach this intersection, I tend to drop back a couple of kph, since it's so shittily designed that cars need to partially stop beyond the stop line to see down the street to check for oncoming cars.

I was driving along my street (no stops in my way, so I have right of way no matter what) and I got to this intersection. I have the tendency to look both ways just to check for other cars that might stop a bit too far over the line. As I drove into the crossroads, another car apparently sped through, ignoring the stop sign and evidently not even seeing me coming through. I first saw the car when it was about a metre in front of me. Instinctively slamming on the brakes and swerving sharply to turn and avoid him was futile but I did so anyway. The front of my car collided directly with the other car's driver door.

After the car had completely stopped (a couple of seconds after impact), I scrambled out of the car to check if the other driver was okay (he was, thankfully) and to check the overall damage to my car. The front end is all smashed in and the hood is completely fucked (won't open at all). The components look relatively undamaged (quite surprised the radiator survived), but the car won't run at all (gears are stuck, and apparently the engine was sparking). Looks like the car is pretty much a write-off. The only real problem with the other car is that the driver door is buckled and won't open. The other driver knows (and has admitted) that it was his fault entirely (I also have witnesses who will attest that he's said so), so he's going to have to pay for the damages. Unfortunately for him, he's not insured at all. I don't know how it's all going to end up.

*sigh* My poor car...

Pics of the damageCollapse )
Currently feeling: blahblah
Current Noise: Horsell Common - The Disaster
15 April 2007 @ 04:37 pm
I hold in my hands two things, both of which I have waited a long while for.

In one hand, I hold a copy of Dr Octopus's new album This Time We Fight. After being delayed from November, then December and the February, it was finally released on Friday so I ran my ass over to Skinny's today to pick it up. So far I have not been disappointed, though now have 3 versions of 'Repeat' and 'Time To Go'. Not that I really mind, but the TTWF versions are so far the best out of them. YAY FOR AUSSIE SKA!!

In the other hand, I hold a the first draft of a research paper my supervisor wrote up, which he asked me to proofread over the weekend. I only mention this because the third author listed on the paper is my name. This will make my first official submission to a science journal and hopefully nets my first ever publication. It is a summation of all the work I have been doing over the last year so I really hope it gets accepted. If it does, we're going to be submitting a second one based of a similar project which might also get published. The I'll have a second paper to my name! Begin the navel-gazing!

And that's what's in the my hands.
Currently feeling: contentcontent
Current Noise: Dr Octopus - Betty
30 November 2006 @ 04:24 pm
The reports of me telling the general population to go fuck itself have been greatly exaggerated. Though it has been quite a few months since I've been particularly active on the intarwebs. Clearly, work is to blame. No, never was my general slackness at fault. Noooo...

It's my fault really. My fault for deciding on a career in science, a career in research. Before entering this postgraduate program, a friend said to me, "Be prepared to essentially give up your life outside work a year". At the time, I guffawed. I scoffed at the very idea of spending day and night, 7 days a week doing nothing but working. 6 months later, I'm right fucking there. I've been barely around much, any free time I get I spend vegetating, mentally exhausted after 10-12 hours of almost non-stop work. I'm not saying that my position is any worse than anyone else's; it's just this "Go! Go! Go!" attitude makes me feel like I'm going nowhere and that I have to keep going no matter what. Hell, initially when my boss said to take the days off between Christmas and New Year, I thought "fuck that, I've got too much stuff I need to get done by the end of year". But damn, I need it. I need it now. I need a week just to unwind, get back into the activities I enjoyed doing to pass the time. Don't get me wrong, I do love what I'm doing at the moment. It's just that the only people I interact with are the members of the lab group, and lately my experiments just aren't working, which is always a little depressing. I just feel kind of isolated (especially so, since I'm the only one at my level in the entire neurobiology group -- I pretty much only have PhD students and postdocs to talk with. Not at all bad, but I'd just like someone else I can bitch about stuff with and who understands what I'm complaining about: someone at my stage).

Still, despite all that I'm trying to make a conscious effort to get more active online, more so than the general lurking over the last couple of years (tenure on one particular forum notwithstanding -- though even participation there declined rapidly as more shit in daily life needed doing). Plus, I've got to do something to fill my occasional free time at work (except IMs, since the IT department isn't keen on letting me install stuff on the office computer).

And goddamn, I really need to find time for regular drawing, ffs.

So, in an effort to make a gallant return to the internets, I guess I'm making a somewhat rare post, as well as general update to the journal in general (see profile page). I was going to start anew and delete/hide a whole bunch of entries, but I'm too lazy to even contemplate that. Plus my inane blather isn't all that bad.

Ah, it's good to be back on the internets. Anyway, back to work like a good drone... *grumble, assimilates bottle of Pepsi*
Current Location: Work
Currently feeling: boredbored
Current Noise: My supervisor singing -.-;;;
08 February 2006 @ 05:31 pm
Update on the project thing. After spending all night mostly without sleep, I managed to type up something that resembled coherent thought and sent that to Dr George Mellick (the guy who offered me a project and whose e-mail I received from Alan). 30 minutes later, a reply. Aside from his e-mail ninja skills, he told me exactly the possible procedures and techniques I'd be using in the course of the project. Looking at the list I immediately thought "honours workload", but upon further review I realise that I know the theory behind a few of the procedures and I even know how to do one of them (well sort of). So now I'm in the middle of replying to his latest one. I'm a little apprehensive about it at the moment, but it is exactly what I wanted: a challenge, something different than sitting through another boring-ass class. Now I'm going to have to speak to the school administrative officer for BBS, just to explain that I'm going to be a little late in supplying the documentation due to George not being able to do anything about it until probably next week sometime. The only indication that I'm going to be late in submitting my application has come from course outline and not by any member of staff I've talked to, so hopefully they don't really care as long as it's in before semester starts.

Right, back to the e-mail.
Currently feeling: tiredtired and a little nervous
Current Noise: Yellowcard - Back Home
08 February 2006 @ 12:50 am
The comedy of errors continues, but no one notices. But now at least I've been able to move forward.

Okay, I'll start this tale of amusing misfortune, academic debauchery and ass-kissing as far as the eye can see... well mostly just the first point. I've been wanting to do a research project this semester as I don't want to spend my last semester before I graduate doing the same thing as I've been doing for three years, namely sitting through classes, writing assignments that do absolutely nothing for me and sitting exams where I don't actually learn anything, other than what is required to get me through. I wanted something different, a challenge. So, about three or four weeks ago I went and saw my program convenor Ann and requested a few names of the BBS school staff who might be taking in undergraduate students for research projects, namely anyone in the clinical/metabolic biochemisty and neuroscience areas since I have an interest in those areas of science. I was giving four (I disregarded one, as I got the impression that he might have been a bit of an asshole). I went and saw one of the biochemistry people who is only new at the university this year. My reply was "Sorry, but I haven't set up my lab yet", which was fair enough. I gave the other biochemistry guy a call (I've had him previously as a lecturer in two class and realised this guy can either be in asshole mode or moderately-friendly mode at the drop of a hat) and got a flatout "No" followed by "contact the head of school". So I fell back onto the last of the professors of my list: Alan, probably the friendliest professor I know and portrays the scientist stereotype right down to the glasses, crazy mustache and tinge of eccentricity. I can only hope to be like that one day. I already have the eccentricity and glasses (which I rarely wear), now all I need is the 'stache and faculty position and I'm set.

But getting back on point, I went and saw him on Monday and although he was very busy at the time, still pulled himself away from his work to schedule an appointment for Tuesday. So I went to see him again and he honestly said that he hadn't thought about since Monday, but said that he wanted to say yes and let me in (unfortunately he has taken on a bunch of honours students, so his lab is packed to the brim already). However, he did mention another person that is joining the university within the next month and that person would probably accept me. Alan has since e-mailed me saying that I indeed have a project with this guy working on the genetics of Parkinson's disease. Now all I have to do is contact this guy to discuss it with him and explain to him how the university handles projects and what is required of both of us. Personally, I have a very vague idea of this myself, meaning I'm going to pull an all-nighter trying to figure this all out and then explaining to him. I could be dishonest and say simply "I'm only meant to sit in the corner and pretend to do work while everyone else around me does it and I just take credit for it". But no, instead I'm going to inform him properly of everything. My future career kind of depends on this.

So I'm about to attempt a quick nap or gaming session, go for a late night stroll up to the store for a Pepsi supply then get stuck into this. I fucking hope I can get this all sorted out before the end of the week, which I doubt but I can still try.

So that's my excuse of why I haven't been online much or haven't been particularly conversational lately. What's YOUR excuse?

Oh yeah and one last thing: Ska-P is an awesome Spanish ska punk band. That is all.
Currently feeling: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Noise: Ska-P - A la mierda
26 December 2005 @ 06:05 pm
Got persueded by Tavia to shell out $2 for the World of Warcraft 14-day trial. It looks like fun and for a measly $2 I'm not going to complain. Besides, I've got Fable waiting for me to play once the two weeks are over.

Cyberscore thingy. Looks at the small handful of scores makes me remember why I don't usually play score-tallying games. That, and RPGs tend not to keep a score.

Currently feeling: okaymeh
Current Noise: Dr. Octopus - Repeat
15 December 2005 @ 07:14 pm
Last night was mostly a comedy of errors, at least up until Tavia and I got inside: then it was just fucking awesome! :D

The night started out with pretty much everything working against us. Firstly, Tavia was 15 minutes late arriving at my place. We had planned to pick up food at this Indonesian place around the road from my house but they were closed, so we high-tailed it at the very last second to Subway. The planned (and most direct) route to the train station was probably going to be congested, due to it now being 5:30pm (all the people driving home from work and shit). So we took the back streets (during which we got off track and had to drive an extra five minutes back, heh). Finally made it to the train station, only to find we had missed the train I had planned to catch by about five minutes. So yeah, if we hadn't been stuck in the fuel station for a few minutes AND hadn't missed the turn, we probably would've made it. Doesn't matter now though, since we caught one 35 minutes later. On the train, I realised that I had forgotten to bring my Pez dispenser for Vinnie and Roger to sign and Borders & Boundaries for all of them to sign (more on this later). We finally did make it to the Arena a couple of minutes before the doors were meant to open, so we just jumped onto the end of the queue. I started to et a little worried that I was meant to have picked up my tickets at Rave Magazine offices, but thankfully there was a guy at the ticketing booth with a list of people's names. With my name checked off, Tavia and I entered and I headed almost immediately to the merchandise booth. Bought a couple of LTJ T-shirts, since I didn't have any.

Now, on with the actual music!

First off, Dr. Octopus came out to warm up the crowd. They're a ska band that comes from the Gold Coast, but they kind of formed up here in Brisbane. The lead singer tried getting everyone dancing and shit, but only about three guys were really moving about. The lead guitarist kept fiddling with the volume control and didn't make much eye contact (might have been a little shy or something), but overall I really enjoyed their music. In fact, after their set I went back to the merch booth to grab a copy of their single.

Next up, Brisbane punk band The Disables came out to play after what appeared to be a little screwing around by the audio techs there. There seemed to be a large contingent of their fans there, which was fairly well represented by the moshing in the crowd. I thought it was getting a little rough when people were kind of slamming into each other (managed to evade most of that since I was holding Tavia's sunglasses, which eventually fell apart in my shirt pocket anyway). I really didn't think much of their music to begin with (plus they seemed a little stuck up) but once the lead singer mentioned the Sydney riots and shit being all un-Australian and disgraceful and that Aussieland is the "land of a fair go", I started to respect them a little. Then they played a tribute to Johnny Cash (well, one of the guitarists did anyway) and then played a few more songs for a while.

Lastly, the big one: Less Than Jake. The crowd kept chanting for about 10 minutes before they came on stage (which ranged from "LESS THAN JAKE! LESS THAN JAKE!" to the impatient booing and chanting of "BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT!"). But they finally came on and started with "The Ghosts of You and Me" and lead straight into "Gainesville Rock City". The moshing and shit from whenThe Disables played was nothing compared to the fucking energy in the crowed when LTJ started playing (I almost got crushed and pushed over several times, heh). Then of course, the obligatory introductions where Chris mentioned (three or four times during the entire set) that it was his birthday and a joking exchange of "You're full of shit" between Chris and Roger. Fuck, it was awesome to finally see them in concert. Oh yeah, and Buddy is now a fully qualified veternarian. Chris made a joke (I hope) that after this album they were going to call it quits. I doubt it. More LTJ awesomeness when they dedicated "All My Best Friends are Metalheads Security Guards" to one of the security guards there, who was really cool about all the moshing and "illegal" crowd surfing. They also made mention the Brisbane was so far the best set they had played on the tour (yay!) and that Aussies aren't apparently jaded like Americans because we throw our fists and shit in the air during the performance. During the set, I was shouting out the lyrics for all the songs they were playing, except for three: "Happyman" (don't know the lyrics very well) and "He Says"/"Simon Says" (couldn't hear the title) and "Don't Fall Asleep On The Subway", both of which I think are on their next album. Yay for preview! I was actually surprised I knew the lyrics for "Just Like Frank", because I've only listened to it a handful of times. During LTJ's set, the lead vocalist from The Disables crowd surfed twice during it, much to the amusement of the security guard. Roger kept throwing is picks out into the audience too (none of which I was anywhere near). They "finished" with "Look What Happened", which they had kind of merged the Borders & Boundaries version with the Anthem version. My hair dye I had put it on Monday by now was running a little down my face and a little onto one of my LTJ T-shirts due to all the sweat. They came back on-stage a couple of minutes later to play two or three more songs (w00t!) including "The Science of Selling Yourself Short", which pleased Tavia. After they finished (10 minutes overtime), it appeared they weren't coming back out for autographs, which I suppose was good because I left my Pez dispenser and Borders & Boundaries at home (I found out this morning that they had a signing session earlier at Skinny's Music).

Well, now that I've seen them live, I think I love them even more. Can't wait to see them again (which probably won't be in Australia, since they rarely come out here). :D

Anyway, here's a photo of the merch I boughtCollapse )
Currently feeling: happyhappy
Current Noise: Dr. Octopus - Time To Go
15 December 2005 @ 01:47 am
Just got back from Less Than Jake concert. Full report once I've had some sleep and hopefully gotten rid of this damn tinnitus.
Currently feeling: contentcontent
Current Noise: I can't hear shit!
06 December 2005 @ 11:18 pm
There's been this stray kitten hanging around next door for the past couple of days. Yesterday I figured that I'd limit my attention toward it (ie. ignore it) so that it would not get attached and hopefully who ever it belonged to would find it. I didn't feel all that right doing that, but I did so anyway. Heard it crying out a few times and I did try to give it some water so that it might not die from dehydration (another reason I fucking hate summer).

Anyway, it was still hanging around next door today. The owners of the house haven't been home for a week or so, so that rules out them being the owners of the kitten. Anyway, I coaxed it over to me and gave it a little milk and no-so-little food (ate my cat's dry food and half a can of fish). Theorised that it had been abandoned for at least two days to possibly a week. Poor thing. After giving it some much needed attention, Dad and I took it over to the RSPCA animal shelther over at Yeronga.

It was probably the right course of action, but I just don't feel good about it. I mean, it beats starving to death and at least it has the chance of finding a home, but I don't know... something just doesn't sit right.

Kitty pictures!Collapse )
Currently feeling: blahblah
Current Noise: [spunge] - Kicking Pigeons
12 November 2005 @ 06:31 pm
It's been a busy couple of weeks, but I'm back on track to slacking off... maybe.

First up, I have finished another semester. Yay. First off, last Saturday about an hour and a half before my pharmacology exam, I managed to get locked outside on an overpass between two buildings on campus. I spent an hour trying to pick both doors (got one half way around, heh) and looking at a nice soft patch of dirty in a nearby garden to jump in (I was only one floor up). Thankfully, someone came by and opened the door. Then came the exam, which was a walk in the park compared to my other two (the Infectious Diseases exam was a trainwreck).

On Thursday, the night before my clinical biochemistry exam (possibly the hardest exam I had this semester) I accidentally spilt water on my laptop. I did a dirty shutdown (ripped the battery out) and got rid of most of the water from the keyboard. I stupidly turned it back on only to find that the keyboard was fucked. Then I rebooted it only to have it cut out after about four seconds. Left it off until this morning (Saturday) and it's all better now. Everything is work thankfully (although I did lose all my Firefox settings for some reason).

Oh, and I think I did pretty well on the clinical biochem exam. Yay ^^

After my last exam, I went to the campus club for drinks with the rest of the BioMed students and some the faculty, sort of like a breakup party. I mostly talked to Tavia, but I talked to one of my professors (David Maguire, a pretty nice guy once you get to know him), who I shared a couple of jugs of beer with, heh.

Next week, I'm looking at talking to one of my profs to see if there is any lab work experience I can get over the summer (otherwise, I'll just ask for a reference to add to my resume if I can). If there isn't, I might apply for a casual position at QPharm I heard about a while back. Probably already gone, but it wouldn't hurt to ask I guess. I would prefer something that is relevant to what I've been doing for the past three years than being a fuel station attendant or something.

So now I'm just catching up on two days worth of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report as I wonder what to do with myself for the next couple of months. I've got a few things planned (such as finishing off some long overdue gift art) but other than that, I probably looking at another long boring summer... Oh well...
Currently feeling: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Noise: The Colbert Report (Nov. 9, 2005)