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Some good news and a Challenge

I have been passed over for the forced-servitude TA position. Money has been found and I am set for the next year. I will be a TA in the Spring for a Neuroscience class for a professor I am very fond of. This will coincide with the start of the Neuroscience undergraduate program kicking off. I'm excited to be teaching again.

On that note, I taught at Kingdom Collegium. The drafting class would need a serious re-write were I to do it again. It may be best scrapped as a short class and kept as a weekend workshop with 3 people max. The discussion at the class for becoming a top fighter was awesome. It makes me very happy to have new fighters of both rapier and armored combat in the same room with White Scarves and Dukes with everyone sharing similar experiences and philosophies of learning/training/fighting. Some random chick got a Light of Atenveldt. No one knows why since Tristan had a case of brain-mouth disconnect. Regardless, my scroll is very lovely and people had nice things to say about it, so woo!

Also this weekend was polling in Mons Tonitrus. Two of my favorite people won. I know they are going to do a good job, but there is one small snag: the pirate thing. It's not that they are pirates, but they sure look like them. I've had in-depth conversations with them on the subject, and they really do want to dress in a way that will be appropriate for their station. The problem is, they have never learned how and the pool of skilled seamstresses/tailors in their Barony is very small. I've already made them a partlet and a shirt, and I'm starting work on the next set of garments. Bill is doing blackwork as I write this.

So, here is my challenge: Would you be willing to make one item for good people who would wear/use and love it? Would you make it for someone who will shortly be representing and serving their Barony? Would it be that much sweeter if you did your part to turn around piracy in Atenveldt in the process? Here is my commitment: for every item someone from outside of Mons makes them, I will make an item of clothing for them too. Who is up for the challenge?
The breathing exercises are helping. I just finished a running circuit that I've been failing to finish or improve upon for months now. I not only completed all of the parts but arrived home breathing normally and feeling really, really great. My abs are sore from the breathing technique, but I totally did it!


The end of the semester is a very different time for me. Several deadlines loom large, and all of a sudden, it's all over. I'm trying hard to set deadlines/goals beyond the obvious school load this time, since I have a habit of wandering around and making a general nuisance of myself before I get myself going again. Last night, I curled up with 'Changes' by Jim Butcher and stayed up past my bedtime finishing it. It was highly appropriate.

To do:
1 Last class
Meeting with a candidate for my committee
a whole slew of lab meetings
Final next Friday
Get back in the gym after a week of being sick
Figure out which project, book, new skill ect I want to do next.

Good news:
I got cultures working in the lab again! I'm set to do experiments over the summer.
I get an undergraduate minion to help me do experiments over the summer.
I have actually made some small progress on the grant writing. If I'm accepted into the graduate writing insitute (fancy name for long-ass writing workshop), I have some things that can be used for the 'mentoring' periods. There are roughly 20 documents in total ranging from 1-6 pages in length, all trying to work together to give a compelling argument about me, my research, the bright and glorious future!! and why I am an excellent person to give money.

Her faux paux is your gain!

I reach the checkout for Target today and the clerk exclaims "Oh, your hand must be about to fall off!" I was carrying 2 gallons of milk in one hand and a full shopping basket in the other. Here is what ran through my mind that I thought she would be unwilling to appreciate:

I know! I was getting the vapors just thinking about carrying things. I mean, think about all of the blood rushing from my brain to my muscles. I'm going to go see the doctor about some leeches to bring my womanly humors back into balence.

You know, a gallon weighs over 8 pounds! 2 of them together is almost 17 pounds! What could I possibly be thinking lifting that much? I could hurt myself. Good thing I never need to lift my daughter for hugs, getting into the car, or any other reason! At only 4 years old, she weighs 40 pounds. Should I start shaming her about her weight now, or is it more traditional to wait until puberty?

I will refuse to lift anything heavier than a martini for at least a week in case this might accidently cause unsightly swelling. You can never be too careful about these things.

Or it could just be I summed this all up with a derisive "no", gave a confused look at her spindly arms and bought some hot sleeveless shirts that make me look awesome.


Roland Ansbacher Laurel scroll

Here is a look at a scroll I made for a good friend who received a Laurel this Saturday. Due to the original artist having something come up, I was given 3 weeks to complete this scroll.

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Good things about the gym today:

The guy double-taking me doing bench presses and tripping up the stairs
Completing my sets!
Figuring out that my (current) breathing problems might be worsened by the brutal things I'm doing to my chest, abs, and sides 2x a week.

Weird things:

The guy who was excited to share a bench. I don't know what you were planning on doing with it, but I was actually going to do rows on it. I'll go...somewhere else.

I can't decide which is worse to see:

The guys next to me doing the same exercises at double the weight or more.
The girls next to me doing the same excercises at half the weight or less.
I'm not one to rant on something without providing some sort of way to look it up.


In short, the finer the grind, the quicker the brew should be. Espresso is super-fast and has a very fine grind. Drip coffee requires a slightly coarser grind otherwise you have increased acidity and bitterness. French press? Very coarse.


The best grinders are adjustable gravity feeds so that coffee at the perfect consistency is dropped out the bottom. The reason for multiple grinders at coffee shops? They use one grinder per roast used since each roast has a different grind setting at which the best balence of strength vs over-extraction (ie unpleasant flavors)occurs.

Thanks to everyone who feeds me coffee, I do appreciate. In return, enjoy the tasty benefits of science!

Woo hoo!

Anyone have any favorite mulberry recipes? Two trees in our yard have started bearing fruit this year.

This makes me look good

An outreach activity I participated in is featured in the Society for Neuroscience's webpage and an upcoming publication as well.


And, I'm not gloating so much as posting it here so that I remember when I go to do things like write CVs and end of year summaries.