Monday, May 28, 2007


Hey, I'm graduating today! I slept horribly last night, so I guess I must be nervous.

It's good to be back in Montreal, and be able to walk to my grocery store. People are so good looking here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Lab moment

So I seem to have this habit of having one truly mortifying lab moment in every lab I start working in.

I think this one may take the cake, but I'm going to let you, gentle readers, be the judge of that.

My friend Chris and I have a bit of a bet going on. Each of us claims that the lab we're working in now is messier than the other's. A few days ago, he upped the ante by actually snapping pictures of the mess. Not to be shown up, I naturally grabbed my camera with the intention of proving to him that my lab was, in fact, messier than his lab.

So here I am, surrepticiously snapping photos while my co-worker Jason has stepped out for a few minutes. But I wasn't fast enough-- and he walks in on me taking pictures of the mess! For a second, we both freeze: I look like a 4 year old who's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and Jason just has this striken look, still clutching the door knob, as though he's contemplating just leaving the lab and pretending this never happened. Then he grins.

Him (with a wicked Australian accent): Ah, so you're taking pictures of the mess, are you?
Me (voice high-pitched with embarassement): Ahahaha! No no of course not! I always take pictures of the labs I work in!
Him: ...Right. 'What a good lab should not look like'.

We had ourselves a good laugh. But since then, I haven't brought my camera to work, and he's started cleaning up.

Here are the pictures.
First, Chris' lab:

I have to admit that he's got a point. It's a total mess.

Now mine:

This is a picture of the fume hood I work in. Everything is meant to be sterile, but as it is, I'm terrifyed of knocking over the precarious tower of nasty looking tubes.

Why so many chairs? There are only two of us in the lab, and Jason has his own office! Maybe it's because the pink chairs are too crusty to actually be used. At this point, Jason walked in before I could take truly incriminating pictures. But note the scary-looking fridge in the back. Good luck finding anything in there!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Being home is one heck of an adjustment, and how I feel about it seems to shift from day to day. Some days are good, some days are not so good.

Rather than post about it, I'm going to cop-out and post this instead:

It's good to know that someone, out there, has exactly the sense of humour that I do.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

On a more positive note...

After the initial culture shock (people speak loudly here; the pepperoni pizzas look funny; I seem to have skipped Spring entirely), here are a few positive points:

-The weather! I love how warm and humid it is. I guess I ain't notting but a Southern gal.
-Driving. I'd forgotten how nice driving is.
-The lushness. Everywhere I look, it's green.
-The culture. For example, tonight, I just saw the U.S. and British poetry laureats read at the Library of Congress. D.C. can be pretty cool sometimes!

Here's my favourite of the evening:

Pale gold of the walls, gold
of the centers of daisies, yellow roses
pressing from a clear bowl. All day
we lay on the bed, my hand
stroking the deep
gold of your thighs and your back.
We slept and woke
entering the golden room together,
lay down in it breathing
quickly, then
slowly again,
caressing and dozing, your hand sleepily
touching my hair now.
We made in those days
tiny identical rooms inside our bodies
which the men who uncover our graves
will find in a thousand years,
shining and whole.

--Donald Hall

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Culture Shock

I left Montreal yesterday at 4:30 yesterday, and arrived in Washington D.C. around 5 today. Granted, we stopped for the night, but man is Canada up North!

Here are a few initial moments of culture shock I've encountered during that period of time:

At the border. I'm driving. The border police man asks us for our passports. We hand them over. He sneeringly tells us that he won't accept passports with covers on them. We remove the covers, and hand him the passports again. Then:
HIM: What's your citizenship, ma'am?
ME (not really thinking, unfortunately): French and American...
HIM (angrily): What is your country of citizenship, ma'am?
ME: Oh! Uh-- I mean, the United States of America. Of course. Haha.

I've never felt less American in my life.

More culture-shock moments to come when my brain is less addled with sleepiness!