This Week Last Year: July 16th – 22nd, 2010

Posted By on July 22, 2011

.: I bought a five-year one line a day memory book, or a “calendar diary”. As lame as that sounds, I think it’s a pretty neat idea: each page is dedicated to a day of the year, so that as you finish one year you wrap around to where you started, only one line below. It’s a nice reminder of how much or how little time has passed since certain events, and I’ve just recently completed my first year. To celebrate, I’m going to post a summary once a week of last year’s week. When appropriate, I’ll post the entire original entry as is, and then elaborate as much as my memory allows.

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Purchased twitter analog. Designed maize chloroplast target sequence w/ Pal & Toey. Failed to yield to plain-clothes cop at crosswalk.

.: I had ambitions at one time to genetically engineer the chloroplast of maize. It would have been a real achievement — Monsanto and Dupont having spent half a decade each on the project before giving up — but I suffered a few nontrivial setbacks, chief among them being a lack of tissue culture experience with maize, and not being able to prove my proof of concept in tobacco first. Additionally, Cody from one year ago was a right liar; we never did design the target sequence, so I’ve no idea what he’s talking about.

.: The ticket I received for the moving violation was, as has been claimed by all since antiquity, total bullshit.

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Started Oscar’s bd present. Saw Denise yell at and abuse her (?) kids. Toaster Oven! /Book/

.: I had just moved into my new apartment and was still in the process of cleaning out the old one. Most of my books were still in boxes, but the landlord’s son had left two perfect bathroom reads in the bathroom: The Martian Chronicles and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. I had tried reading the latter in one sitting while on the toilet, but the rear-end red ring started chaffing so I switched to my recently-purchased (and soon-to-be-despised) lounge chair from White Lotus Furniture that I stupidly paid money to have. I finished the book in a few hours, and it rightly deserves any and all accolades you wish to throw at it. What I remember most is the last sentence; I don’t think I’ll ever read another story with a more perfect ending. I won’t spoil it by quoting it, but I will say it depends on a quirk of the Gregorian calendar.

.: I did start Oscar’s birthday present, and I do intend to finish it one day, possibly for 2012. I am sure he will love it.

.: Denise was a neighbor at my old apartment and half of the reasons I moved out (the other half being her boyfriend, Bobby). I can’t recall the exact instance of abuse I witnessed this time, as there was more than one and those kind of events blend together when you try to forget them. The question mark is there because I never figured out which kids were hers and which belonged to the other two women living in Bobby’s apartment. It was a hen house, and the mothers constantly fought one another. Earlier in the year I had broken up a fight between Denise and another mom, to the unbelievable amusement of several gawkers outside who at no point attempted to intervene. None of them considered that maybe, gee, it would be a good idea to not let that one lady punch the other lady, who’s pregnant. Far easier instead to point and laugh. And then laugh at me for stopping them.

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Cheap Trick/Squeeze. Larry killed a possum. UTI? Organized kitchen and bought corner shelves. God damn hot is what it is. /Concert/

.: Having never even made a mixtape with both Squeeze and Cheap Trick tracks on it, I was not sure what to expect from a concert offering only Squeeze and Cheap Trick. I had been a fan of the latter for some time, but I only knew Squeeze for that one song, as well as another that Holly introduced to me a few days before. It was a good show all around, even if everyone was twice our age and the ushers wouldn’t allow dancing (possibly because everyone was twice our age).

.: When we came home, we weren’t greeted as we normally would be: with tiny, shrill barks and paws scratching fences in the back yard where the dachshunds, Jules and Larry, were. Instead, the boys were quiet. Holly went to retrieve them while I unlocked the back door. As she leaned over the enclosure to pick Larry up, she saw a writhing snake-like snake thing and screamed. I rushed over, Defensive Boyfriend Mode fully activated, to find a dying juvenile possum, tail still twitching as its salt gradients equilibrated. Holly begged me to put it out of its misery, then weirdly protested when I picked up a cinder block. We argued about how best to solve the problem of the possum’s continued existence, but before either of us could persuade the other the possum helpfully perished all by itself.

.: The corner shelves were a great idea for an apartment with severely limited storage options, but a combination of unevenly applied layers of paint, structural stress from age, and quite possibly just plain shoddy craftsmanship of the house meant none of the corners were actually right angles. I put the shelves up anyway.

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Second attempt at open mic. […] Went to hospital for wiener problem.

.: Jack invited me to see an open mic stand up show run by coLAB. I tried my hand at stand up back in April (my first date with Holly, to boot!) and I did reasonably well. I hadn’t planned on performing that night, but the dumb look on my face prompted every one of the comedians to try crowd work with me. (I’m sure it wasn’t just the dumb look alone; I was sitting in the front row and nobody knew who I was. Jack had left when the show started, so I was also by myself.) I never intentionally heckled the performers, but if they initiated I figured the game was on. Eventually, after a few acts, the host asked me if I had a routine prepared. I didn’t, but what I did have was a dachshund who would lick the asshole of my other dachshund, so I talked about that. It wasn’t just a comedy routine, either, because they got to learn what an caecum is.

.: Later that night, high on another successful stand up experience, I couldn’t sleep. Then, once the high wore off, I still couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep because the inside of my wiener began itching, and an itch in one’s urethra just can’t be scratched. I later realized, after having been swabbed by a doctor, that one’s inability to scratch their urethra is unquestionably a good thing.

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Gave away mini fridge to upstairs neighbor. […]

.: The neighbors above my old apartment, though nowhere near as bad as Bobby and Denise, were assholes. Three teenage boys and a single mom meant music Music MUSIC. I became that which I despised when I first picked up the broom to knock against the ceiling. Then I quickly grew to despise my younger self for despising what I would become, because uhn-tiss-uhn-tiss-uhn-tiss is goddamn annoying. One of the kids, Eddie I believe his name was, had a friend who didn’t like to use the doorbell. He preferred standing outside my window and yelling, “eh-DAAAAY!” towards the window above. I forgot why I gave them my mini fridge, come to think of it. Those guys were assholes.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Conoeing w/ the lab. Pal splashed me. Idiot tweens w/ one foot outside the raft: give chance a direction.

.: Every year my advisor organizes a canoeing trip down the Delaware river for the whole lab. Canoes this year were occupied by Toey and Pal, Csanad and Kristina, Greg and Simone, and the niece of a former student and me. I believe the niece’s name was Gabriella. She didn’t speak English, so I didn’t get a chance to know that many things about her aside from her suboptimal stroke. Greg had been a counselor at a summer camp and knew his way around a canoe; his undergrad, Simone, couldn’t swim. I still felt like the new guy in the lab and was rather intimidated by Pal at that point, so when he snuck up behind our canoe and splashed me with his paddle, it was a little disorienting. I knew he liked to crack jokes in lab, but I hadn’t reached the point where I dared crack my own. I like to think the turning point was when I unleashed the fury and splashed the hell out of his canoe. Toey, unfortunately, was collateral damage, but you know how these things go.

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Designed Sulfur Gene for Maize and Sylvestris. Told Pal a dick joke.

.: It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since designing the sulfur gene. I still haven’t had success with it in the lab, but hopefully that will change in the very near future (I was going to italicize “very”, but that seems excessive).

.: I don’t remember what the dick joke was. It seems weird that it was good enough to write about but not good enough to write down. I was probably nervous that he wouldn’t get it. Have I mentioned that my brother unwittingly told a dick joke to George H.W. Bush?

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