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Sunday, July 8th, 2007
12:17 pm
I'm in San Francisco now visiting with family. Molly came to visit me for about a week and it was super fantastic. We wandered around the city and saw a movie and ate some food and visited my grandparents and tried to get some piercings (unsuccessfully). It was awesome. Now she's back in MA and I'm slightly lonely. Boo! But I'll see her again in a few weeks. Yay! I have another week in the city which I'll spend hanging out with my brother and playing video games and vegging out and seeing more movies and whatnot. Yay!

Oh, and also, the other day I did a jam comic with my brother the brilliant jamtorkberg. You can see it here. It was my first comic ever. Hooray!

This afternoon I'm finally going to see the third PotC movie. I'm excited, even if it is crap.

Next week I'm going to be in DC, visiting some friends, so if you're going to be in the DC/Baltimore area on the 16th 17th or 18th of this month, let me know, and we can get lunch or something! Then I'm heading up to the Boston area for a few weeks to visit my brother and sister and some friends from highschool and Molly again. And then, some time in August, I'm heading to Seattle. Woo! Should be a fun-packed few weeks.

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Thursday, June 14th, 2007
7:38 pm - Woah holy cow!
Look at me!  Look at me, I'm updating!  So I graduated from college and this means that I won't be living in the same town with all my friends, so this means I have to stay in contact with people.  I totally suck at staying in contact with anyone, so what better solution than LJ posts?  Clearly this is better than improving my staying in touch skills. 

So for the moment I'm still in Oberlin, working in lab for another couple of weeks (until the end of july).  Then I'll be off to San Francisco for two weeks.  Then to the east coast to visit various friends and family members.  Woo!  Then, when I've had enough of that, I'm moving to Seattle to start life as a graduate student at the University of Washington.  That's right.  I love higher education so much, I'm going to get six goddamned more years of it!  Woo!

Ok, that's about all the update I've got.  I don' t have an address in Seattle yet, so no contact info for you!  I do, however have a gmail account (bennywheat) for when my Oberlin account runs out.  So I guess you do get a little contact info after all.  That's all!

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Thursday, October 13th, 2005
10:37 am - Who knew it would come to this?
So, I don't think I've ever done a meme before, but this is what happens when my brother tags me and I have the day off with nothing better to do. Poopity poop.

1. I have what I consider to be a rational fear of bugs flying in my ear. I'm pretty sure this comes from watching The Wrath of Khan too much as a child.
2. I'm a dog person, like woah. I wonder if the dog person/cat person dichotomy reveals something about a person's need for attention and love?
3. I'm a terrible cook. My mom used to tease me that I should make a line of special diet food (like Jenny Craig) because my food makes you want to never eat again.
4. I'm a sucker for slapstick comedy. It gets me every time.
5. I really love those really boring computer/video games where you micromanage the hell out of stuff (e.g. Harvest Moon, Theme Park).
6. On a related note, I don't work well on group projects because I always just want to do it all myself to make sure that it gets done right.
7. I enjoy modern and post-modern visual art, theater and dance, but not music.
8. Seitan is my very favorite non-meat protein source
9. I don't wear deoderant.
10. I think my favorite movie is probably The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
11. I'm the youngest of four children.
12. I hate having sticky hands. Drives me bonkers.
13. I think I'm a claustrophile or something. Some people hate being confined in small spaces, I love it.
14. I find milking cows to be one of the most soothing experiences in life.
15. I really want to hichhike somewhere some day, but I'm too chickenshit to do it alone.
16. My favorite book is Catch-22.
17. I wear my watch with the face on the inside of my wrist. I don't know why.
18. Until about the age of 15 I had a very irrational fear of loud white noise.
19. I can easily do work on a crowded train or bus, but I can't do work in my room if another person is present, even if they're being quiet.
20. One of my ears is deformed and has been since birth.

Hooray! Who doesn't love vomiting up trivial information that no one cares about?

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Sunday, September 4th, 2005
7:27 am
Barring any goings-wrong, I will be in Oberlin around 8:15 or so. Joy of joys! See many of you soon.

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Saturday, August 6th, 2005
11:38 am
I seriously think this should be the next neuroscience major's teeshirt. Oh man!

On a more informative note, I'm here in foggy San Francisco. I'm working really hard on my developing my vegging skills, as well as my lazing prowess. I've tried cooking a few things. The potato leek soup turned out quite well, the noodle stir afry isn't very good, but such is life. My brother introduced me to the exceptionally bizarre but strangely addictive Katamari Damaci in which you're a funny looking little cosmic prince who has to collect things from earth in order to replace the stars, which the King of all Cosmos broke.

That's about all. Woo!

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Thursday, July 28th, 2005
1:52 pm - Done!
So that's it, I'm officially done with my internship. I gave my presentation today and handed in my research papaer and recieved my last check. Woo! The presentation went perfectly, and I'm very happy with the paper too. All in all, an extremely rewarding, educational and dare I say lucrative experience. I leave here in a limo at 7am on Saturday heading back to San Francisco. Not quite sure how I'm going to occupy myself in SF for the next five weeks. I bought a field guide to the birds of North America a little while ago (the National Geographic one, for anyone who knows about such things *cough*Rafe*cough*), so I'm hoping to spend a fair amount of time in Golden Gate Park staring at birds that I will most likely not be able to identify, seeing as I don't know a thing about birding. I'm also hoping to learn how to cook some things. Soup is my first hurtle. We'll see how it goes. I also plan to convert my brother and dad to the Firefly cult, assuming they haven't been already. Other than that, I have no plans. If anyone's in SF during August and wants to hang out, shoot me an email: ewheat"at"oberlin.edu.

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Friday, July 15th, 2005
4:03 pm - Oh man, I'm so dumb...
If you're prepared to hear a tale of incomperable stupidity, read on. I made the dumbest mistake over the course of the past two months. The program bought my plain tickets for me, and since I came directly here from Oberlin, they bought me round-trip tickts from and then back to Cleveland. A little inconvenient for me, since I then have to get home somehow, but that's ok. So I made plans to take a bus to Boston and visit friends and family in that are for about two weeks, and then fly out to California for the remainder of the summer to hang out with my family on that coast. So I made all these plans with my sister to visit her in Boston and then she and I and her kids would all fly to California together. We made the plans, and she was about to buy the plane tickets for us when I decided to look at my itinerary to find out exactly when I'm getting into Cleveland so I can buy bus tickets. In doing this, what do I discover but that the flight that my program bought for me does go to San Francisco afterall. Stupid! So I had to completely cancel on my sister (which means having to break it to my 8 year old niece that I won't be there for her birthday, which I repeatedly told her I would be) and I had to spring it on my parents that they would have to put me up for an extra two weeks, which won't be easy with our cramped living situation. Oh well. Live, and learn to actually read your whole flight itinerary.

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Saturday, July 9th, 2005
9:59 pm
Not a hell of a lot is going on here in central Indiana, if you can believe that. I'm making headway on my quest to have ice ceam from every ice ceam place in town. I think I've hit almost all of them (for anyone who's interested, that includes Cold Stone, White Mountain, Jiffy Treet, Maggie Moo's (my favorite so far!) and Brewsters, and leaves only Chocolate Moose, and maybe one or two more that I can't think of/don't know about). Tomorow I finish my experiment, and have to start analyzing data and writing my final paper. As way of illustrating how little there is to do, I started keeping count of how many movies I've watched since coming here, and I'm up to 31 movies, and two complete tv series. I'm so bored!!!

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Thursday, June 30th, 2005
3:44 pm - oh well...next year for sure!
I got oficial word today that I did not get the NIH scolorship I applied for. Oh well. I think I'm going to apply again next year. I figure if I made it to being a semifinalist with what I had on my application this year, then with another year of school (meaning more of the 'core science classes' that they want to see, like organic) and this internship under my belt, and two possible publications which are currently on the horizon, I should be in pretty good shape. Along with the rejection letter they sent me the National Academy of Sciences' "Careers in Scince and Engineering: A Student Planning Guide to Grad School and Beyond" booklet. I leafed through it a bit on my way back from the mail room, and it looks like a pretty informative little book. It gives all kinds of advice about choosing a career in the sciences and choosing a grad school (or not, if you want to pursue another path, which it explores as well), and what to do when applying and what to do during and after getting your degree, and all kinds of stuff. It's like some really lame consolation prize.

Not much else is going on. The other kids in my program and I are going to go down to Lake Monroe (a big ass lake about 10 minutes south of here) on Monday and rent kayaks and have a cook out, and generally have fun in the sun.

I'm reading David Copperfield. Holy cow, this book is long!

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Tuesday, June 21st, 2005
4:03 pm - oh the excitement
Not much has been going on here. This past weekend was probably the most eventful I've seen since being here. Friday evening I went to see Batman Begins and thoroughly enjoyed it. Upon first leaving the theater, I thought it was ok, but not great, but after having a chance to think about it, and after rewatching one of the older batman movies, I've come to the conclusion that it was really quite good. I have one question though (if anyone out there has read the comics, please feel free to correct me on this)(DON'T READ THE QUESTION if you haven't seen the movie): I was under the impression that Ra's Al Ghul was an asian dude, so why is he played by a white guy? What's the point? I wish now that I'd waited to see it though, because it turns out that this weekend at the drive-in the features are Batman Begins and the new Star Wars movie, which I haven't seen. I've never been to a drive in, and $6 for two movies is pretty excellent.

On Saturday I went to the Taste of Bloomington event, which featured live music and food from all the local restaurants. That was fun, filling and very tasty. On Sunday evening a group of us went to this little carnival/fair thing that's in town. It was pretty sketchy, but also pretty entertaining. I had some very satisfying cotton candy. Last night a group of us also went out to get homemade ice cream at a nearby place. It was excellent.

The other day I bought a bunch of Cheapass Games online, so that I can make a (hopefully) more productive attempt to have fun with the other people in my program in a way that doesn't involve bars or parties. I got Unexploaded Cow, US Patent #1, The Great Brain Robbery, and Lightspeed. I think they will also come in handy when I get back to Oberlin and back to people who appreciate a reliably ridiculous board game.

That's about all that's happening. The research is going fine. I'm starting to think, although I'm not sure yet, that perhaps animal research isn't for me. Which is exactly the type of information I was hoping to get out of this internship.

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Monday, June 6th, 2005
8:01 pm - the skinny envalope
As some of you know, this spring I applied for a very prestigious and large scholorship from the National Institute of Health. I worked really hard on the application, and my hopes are high. Today I recieved a disconcertingly small envalope from NIH. My hopes were all but dashed! Surely this is THE small envalope, heralding my rejection? But no! Lo, I have been selected as a semifinalist. Apparently there are 30 semifinalist out of the 300+ who applied. Now we go on to the next stage where they select the finalists, and then, eventually, the recipients of the award. If I become a finalist, I'll have to go down to Bathesda for an interview (I thought it was odd that they never interviewed me). They'll be picking the finalists some time in mid June. My hopes remain high.

Not much else has been going on here. Last week was the second of two weeks of lectures and seminars on animal behavior research, and ethics in animal research. Now I'm in the lab full time, except for today, when I went in for my first full day and promptly got sick and had to go home. Oh well. On Friday I performed three surgeries on the rats that I'll be working with. It's a bit nerve racking, but I'll spare you any more details than that. I thought I was doing a crappy job, but after the third surgery, when we were cleaning up, the guy who was teaching me said I had picked it up really fast, so that was a relief. Other than that, I've been making lots and lots of head stages (the things that we attatch to the rats' heads in order to monitor their responses to the training). To my delight I discovered some time last week that the dental acrylic that we use to make these head stages is carcinogenic before it sets. Joy.

On Saturday a few of us went to a free jazz festival in a park in town. It was a beautiful day, and afterwords we went and got dinner at a cafe in town which, joy of joy, sells extremely excellent vegiterian and vegan food. Real food! In fact, they even sell tee shirts that say REAL FOOD on them. Vegitables, fruits, leafy greens, lentils, beans, tofu. I was in heaven. I'm not sure if I can eat this dining hall food for the whole summer. I'm so spoiled. You can imagine how vegitable depraved I am when I tell you that I was simply extatic to find that the bigger dining hall that opened on Saturday has a salad bar with limp lettuce and a whopping six choices of toppings. It's not much, but it is very litterally the ONLY source of vegitables in the whole dining hall. My other options are pastreys and bagles, pizza and pasta, fried chicken, and other fried stuff, like eggs, and grilled cheese. I haven't tried the sandwich counter yet...I bet they have vegitables.

Anyway, all in all, things are going well here. I'm getting along with the other kids in the group, despite the fact that the primary form of entertainmnt is going to bars and clubs. I want to socialize, and I want to become better friends with them all, but I really really don't like going to bars and clubs. Is it worth having a rotten time just to be with other people instead of sitting and watching downloaded movies in my room?

That is all.

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Tuesday, May 24th, 2005
6:01 pm - the glorius ciry of Bloomington Indiana
So I arrived here in Bloomington yesterday at around 2:30 in the afternoon after a couple of plane rides. I usually fly Southwestern, which has a checked bag limit of 5 bags before they start charging you extra. Since I haven't flown on any other airline in years, it didn't even occur to me to check what the checked bag limit was for United. I had 4 bags to check, which I thought would be below the limit. I discovered on checking in at the bag check that United's limit is TWO BAGS! What the hell? And what's even more outrageous is that the charge for checking extra bags is $80/bag! There is no way in hell it costs them $80 to put an extra bag in their plane. But what other choice did I have? The bags were packed to the gills, so consolidation wasn't an option; I already had two carry-ons, so I couldn't take any of the others with me on the plane; there's no place in the Cleveland airport to ship things from, so I couldn't send them to Bloomington; and I couldn't just leave my stuff behind. So I paid the $160 and was on my way. Lame. Note to self: don't fly United, they rip people off.

Anyway, the letter I received from my REU said that there would be a limo waiting for me to bring me from the airport in Indianapolis to Bloomington (about an hour drive). Now I was expecting a sort of sedan or something: just one of the normal sized cars that limo services have. So I was sitting there waiting for my driver to come around and what do I see pull up in front of me? Not a sedan, not a stretch limo, but a SUPER stretch limo! What the hell? Not that I'm complaining or anything, but don't you think it's kind of odd that I'm going to be the lab bitch for two months, and they send a super stretch limo to pick me up? I mean this was the whole shebang: little champagne glass holsters, fiber-optic light displays that looked like little twinkling, multicolored stars, cushy leather upholstered seats, a little window separating the driver from the rest of the car. It was swanky! And just little old me riding in it. I sat up near the driver and talked with him during the ride, but it was seriously tempting to lie down on the bench seat that ran the length of the car (it must have been an eight or nine foot long seat!).

Anyway, I got here and got settled in and met the other people in my REU program, who are all very nice, and then I crashed. I had stayed up until 5:30 in the morning packing all my stuff up for the trip or for storage, and then I had had to get up at 8:30 to go to the airport, so I was pretty exhausted.

Today we all met at the headquarters of the program, which is a little house about a 20 minute walk from our dorm, where we saw a presentation about animal behavior, and ate a pizza lunch with all the mentors. Then I went back with my mentor to his lab and met all the guys there (literally, they're all guys, except for one woman, who wasn't there). I waited around for said woman to show up, but she never did, so someone else showed me around and showed me all the setups and all the animals and whatnot. They mainly deal with rats and rabbits. Now, I don't have much experience with rabbits, outside from the wild ones that live around Oberlin, which are about 8" long, I'd say. The rabbits they had in this lab were MONSTROUS!!! They had to be a foot and a half long! I'm still in shock about how humongous they are. I think I'm going to be using the rats in my work, but I'm not really sure yet. Speaking of my work: I think, although I'm not sure, that I'm going to be working on some behavioral tests for a new Alzheimer's drug the Roche Pharmaceuticals is working on. This line of experimentation is brand new in this lab, so I'd really have a chance to have some input on the form of the experiments. Tomorrow after some more presentations about stuff, I'm going back to my lab to putter around some more and maybe make a more informed decision about which of the 3 or 4 lines of experimentation I would most like to get in on.

That's all for now. If anyone is interested in calling/writing to me, here is the info:

Elizabeth Wheat
Eigenmann, REU
1900 E. 10th Street
Bloomington, IN 47406

room phone: 812-857-8810

I'll update again soon about how the research is going and whatnot.

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Saturday, May 21st, 2005
11:39 am
I'm done, I'm done, donedonedonedone! I finished my last exam at 7:00 yesterday evening, and now I have two wole days of freedom before I fly to Indiana for my summer job. Oh the packing.

I have all these grand plans about stuff that I'm going to do this summer in my free time. I'm going to read all these books, and build a pair of arm stilts, and new pair of leg stilts, and all kinds of things. But then again, I always have grand plans about what I'm going to do over the summer, and I never do any of them. I think I use up all my motivation during the school year, and then there's none left for summer projects. We shall see. My vague plan is to find some shop on campus (I imagine there's one in the physics department) and befriend the staff until they let me use their tools.

Now I have to go pack up everything I own and generally be productive.

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Sunday, May 15th, 2005
10:38 pm - Success!!
So the Circus was a wild success. Friday and Saturday we had good turnouts, but tonight...oh man! We PACKED that place. There were people all over the place. I've heard nothing but good things, so I suspect it went quite well. I, unfortunately, was unable to ever actually see any of it, because I had to be back stage acting as a sort of people wrangler to make sure everyone got on stage when they were supposed to. But it was recorded every night, so hopefully we'll all get copies of that. I'm extremely satisfied with the outcome. Hopefully, next year people will remember what a good show it was, and give us money, so it can be an even better show. I'm really hoping that this will turn into a big yearly event that people get really into. Man, I want to learn to ride a unicycle. I should get on that.

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Thursday, May 12th, 2005
9:22 pm - CIRCUS
Everyone in the Oberlin area should come see OCircus this weekend. We open tomorow at 7:30, and then we have a show on Saturday at 2, and on Sunday at 7:30. See contact improvisation, see juggling, see contact juggling, see poi, see stilging (that's me!), see unicycle riding, and ball balancing, and all kinds of crazy other crap! Entry is FREE (although we're asking for a $1 donation, if you like what you see). You know you want to...

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Sunday, May 8th, 2005
6:46 pm - only one more to go
So the Gilbert and Sullivan show is now completely over. All I have to worry about in terms of shows now is the Circus. I'm their tech director, but since it's such a decentralized production, it's hard to get anything done. Also, we only have brief periods in the space every day this week, because other classes and such use it all day long. This week is going to be hell, but I'm really devoted to the circus, so hopefully it will be enjoyable and fulfilling hell. And then there are my classes. Heh heh. Classes are for suckers.

Something interesting dawned on me the other day when I got the highest paycheck I've ever gotten from the college ($488.70, which is a hell of a lot considering I'm a full time student and I only get paid an average of about $6.65 an hour). What occured to me is that I can't afford to work any less than I do and still go to school, but in working so much, it's kind of negating my reason for going to shool, which is getting as much out of my education as possible. It's kind of a crappy little catch-22. I can't go to college if I don't work every waking hour of my life, but I can't really go to college to the fullest extent of my abilities if I do work as much as I need to. Granted, much of my lack of time to devote to my classes results from the number of unpaid shows I work, but still, my point stands. Man...I wish I got paid for all the student productions I work. I'd be rolling in it.

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Sunday, May 1st, 2005
3:10 pm
So I saw the new Hitchhiker's Guide movie on Friday night. Yes, I went on opening night. Yes I dressed in my pj's and a bathrobe, and carried a towel. All I really have to say is that it was extremely mediochre. That's really it. Nothing stood out. There were plenty of things that I didn't really like that much, and a few things that were ok, but nothing relly glaring. I will say this, if you are a purist, who wants the movie to be like the book do not see this movie. It will make you sad. There were some fun references to the old BBC tv version that I grew up watching.

In other news, the Gilbert and Sullivan show can eat me. I really don't like painting very much, and the fact that I HAVE to get this painted by tomorow evening, or else I'm screwed doesn't make it any easier. I am weary, but not physically. I realized this afternoon what it is: I am motivationally exhausted. I don't want to do this show, I don't want to coreograph my piece for the circus, I don't want to build the set for the circus, I don't want to write papers or give presentations. I'm so done with this semester. Or maybe I'm just tired.

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2005
4:21 pm
It's snowing in Oberlin right now. That's all I have to say.

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Friday, April 22nd, 2005
10:38 am - Words and Birds
So I did eventually pick a word for my word biography, and I did write the paper. It was fun, actually. After many hours of sitting in front of the oed online, I settled on the word 'pretty.' A seemingly boring word with an above averagly interesting past. It originally meant wily and cunning around the eleventh century or so, and then completely disappeared from the written language for four hundred years, only to reappear in the fifteenth century meaning clever and skillful. Then it went on to mean kind of upstanding and proper and pleasing and nice and all that (interestingly, this definition referred almost exclusively to men), and from this evolved the common modern meaning of good looking in a kind of superficial way (which applies almost exclusively to women). It was fun to wax philosophical about social change and what is considered valuable in men and women in our society.

Being that I didn't even pick the word until Wednesday afternoon, and I'm working a show every night from six to eleven, I didn't even start the paper until midnight last night. So I was up until five or so cranking it out, which brings me to the bird portion of my entry: there are these cute round birds that come out at about four in the morning around here, and I totally adore their song. I first encountered them on my way home from a late night in Little Theater last week, but afterwards I couldn't really remember the song that had so entranced me, mostly because I was in a sleep deprived stupor, and also because it seems an especially elusive song. They warble, and twitter and dance all about vocally and I wasn't sure until last night whether their song really was as cool as I remembered it, or whether I just thought it was cool because most anything is cool after you've been staring at brown paint for six hours. But lo, right at 4am I hear this crazy song coming from outside, and it was totally bitchin'. I don't know much about what they look like, since the only time I actually saw them, the only light I had was a streetlamp. But they're very round and cute looking. Rafe, I'm depending on you man, what are these mysterious wee hour birds?

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Monday, April 18th, 2005
12:11 pm - I need geek help
Well, perhaps not geeks, necessarily, but anyway: I have to do a work biography for my "history and structure of the English language" class, and I'm having serious issues picking a word that is both cool, and has enough solid etymology to go on. It feels like all the words that interest me are so newfangled that it woulcn't make a very interesting paper, and all the words with lengthy histories behind them are boring as shit. What are some cool words?

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