So, list of big news to cover:
So there are a lot of things I could talk about under each heading but I'll try to keep it short and sweet.
So a lot has been going on with the job. Amanda and I are the two new people, Alaina has been there since last February, Katie has been there a few years, and Joe has been there for like 15 years. So the first project was testing different drugs on their ability to relieve pain. We used rats and fractures (to create the bone pain). Katie did the dosing, then Katie and Alaina would watch them for flinching behavior for a couple minutes, Alaina put them in the incapacitance chamber (measures how much weight they put on each leg), and then it was handed to myself or Amanda. We would paint their back feet with Crayola fingerpaint and put them in a cardboard box with a piece of paper at the bottom and have them run across the paper. After the paper dried we measured the length of each foot's stride, and then the widths of the strides. Basically it turned out no useful data but it was a learning experience for everyone. After we did the paint we would anesthetize the rats with isofluorane gas and xray them. Then we went back upstairs and analyzed and graphed all the data we had just collected in SigmaPlot!
Then on the third week we got Monday off for Columbus Day, and then Amanda and I had orientation training on Wed-Fri. A lot of boring lectures and videos but we did make friends with someone in Biomed (in charge of all the equipment), Tom. They had really good muffins on the first day of orientation. We also got paid on Friday, which was awesome!
This week has been really slow. Amanda and I are little more than useless without Alaina or Katie, and Alaina was in Nebraska on Monday and Tuesday and Katie was ill or at school for most of the week. The one thing we did work on was learning about a new project that Amanda will basically be doing involving pain and cognition. So we had been weighing and playing with a bunch of new mice, getting them used to us and learning what their normal mass is just to find out today that those mice were getting switched to a cancer project (that apparently I and Katie will mostly be working on) and we were getting new mice for the cognition one on Tuesday. So basically everything we did manage to do this week was for nothing lol. Other than figuring out how to use the activity boxes that test the mice intelligence (they have to push levers when lights come on to get a treat). I also managed to get a pedestrian key for the gate that I had been walking past every morning, that was really exciting and basically cut my already short commute in half.
So the Twins starting coming back in the league near the end of the season and I was lucky enough to have a good friend (Hannah) who's mother got the swine flu. Sounds horrible, but because her mom got sick they had a spare ticket to the second game against the KC Royals, on October 3 in the Metrodome. The crowd was huge and our seats were in the second to last row right behind home plate. It was a great game, boring at first but got very interesting around the fifth inning. And we pulled off a win! They then went on to tie with the Detroit Tigers, play a tiebreaker game in the Metrodome, and win the League! And then of course the stupid Yankees kicked our ass, but it was still a good regular season!
So speaking of Hannah, it's been pretty awesome. We basically fell almost completely out of touch near the end of college, but reconnected a few times over the summer and now have done quite a few things together. Watching movies, going out to movies, the Twins game of course, and we're going to go see an orchestra concert sometime in the near future. She lives up here in Minneapolis as well - probably should have mentioned that. She's living in a 2BR apartment with her friend from college. They may be getting a cat soon.
And of course with me now living about 3 miles away I've also been seeing Sybylla. Not quite as much as I thought I would, but we have gone to see a movie, gone out to lunch, etc. I went to a fun restaurant called the Chatterbox Pub with her and her mom on her birthday. We played Apples to Apples (they provide games to play) and I lost. I also watched her cat Daisy for a week while her and her mom went to Kansas for a funeral. Daisy is so small and skinny I tried to trick her into eating more food. Shirley (Sybylla's mom) cooked chicken for me to give Daisy and I mixed in some dry cat food and nuked it all together. I also got to use their car while they were gone, which was awesome. I had forgotten how convenient it is having a car. We also went out to Sarah's birthday dinner at a Greek restaurant this past Saturday. The food was surprisingly good, I really need to expand my food choices. Sarah decided to have a hobbit birthday, which means she gave all of us presents that she got in Europe this past summer. I got a cute little Italian leather coin purse with a print of a painting of Florence on it. It's very soft and nice. Vicki was there as well, and it was nice seeing her considering I hadn't since my birthday.
So this past weekend Half-Priced Books was having a huge sale at the Grandstand at the Fairgrounds. I finally mustered up the courage to get there via public transportation on Sunday later in the afternoon. And was so glad I did! I got there near the end of the sale which meant the prices just kept dropping. I ended up with 10 CDs, 4 videos, and 6 books all for a total of $3.21. It was amazing. Then this week at work they were having some sort of fundraising sale and I got 3 more books for $1. I should be set on the book front for awhile now.
So last Thursday I finally ordered myself a new computer. A Dell Studio Desktop to be precise. I've been talking about it for ages but my Mayo check came through and Dell was having a big online sale so I finally just went and ordered one. It arrived this Thursday (ie yesterday) and my wonderful neighbors were kind enough to sign it and put it in the house. I spent yesterday after work setting it up and installing some programs and loving its speed and gigantic HD screen. The only problem is that the speakers I ordered with it (external) worked for about 30 seconds and then stopped. Meaning I couldn't sit back and enjoy a nice movie unless I wanted to wear headphones, but I talked to someone today and Dell should be sending me a new set soon. It also has Vista, which I will be getting rid of as soon as I can get the free Windows 7 upgrade.
So for some reason this October has been ridiculous. Actually June through now the weather has been ridiculous. The summer was cold and dry, September was sunny and gorgeous, and October has been cold and wet and occasionally snowy. It snowed two weeks ago and then again today it was coming down for a few hours in beautiful big fluffy flakes. The kind of snow you want to see in December. It was just starting to stick to the ground when the snow turned back into rain and melted it all away.
As far as I'm concerned, I've been doing well, enjoying the freedom of living in the cities, cursing the lack of a vehicle, but overall excited about life. I've started perusing through grad school ideas, since our overall lab supervisor is a big pusher for further education, and just wondering where life will take me. How cheesy. On the other hand I may also be getting sick. Was extremely tired today (and no I didn't stay up that late playing with my new computer last night). I got home early, started working on this post, and then went to take what I thought was going to be a 30 minute nap. It ended up lasting almost 2 1/2 hours. I've also set this screen saver to go through My Pictures and can literally just sit and watch the pictures pass for hours. Ah memories. Also while typing this up I've taken a shower and started cleaning the bathroom. The toilet and sink are now clean and shiny, but the floor and the shower still need to be done. My room is also a sty, and I should be working on it now. My mom is coming up (I think tomorrow?) and so I really should clean things up before she gets here.
So I'm going to go do that. I hope. Or I'll find another way to procrastinate.