Decade the Third

I’m 20! Gotta figure out how to change that tagline (“teen with MS” no more! but yeah, I still have MS).

I love my family and have nothing inaccurate to say about them.



Brain Week

is not for the weak.

but it is for the week! (I can’t, I just can’t…)

(for a quick getting-you-up-to-date type of thing about me/my rats/my internship/the lab, click here!)

(here’s a playlist to go with the post)

Brain Week is sort of like Shark Week and Bike Week in that:

  1. they all occur in the summer
  2. they all have “Week” in the title
  3. they all supposedly last a week (sidenote: @Bike Week, four days does not a week make)
  4. I would probably rather not participate in any of them

But Brain Week is different from the others in that: it is useful. Brain Week (a title that I have made up and am thus using like it’s a commonly said thing) is the week in the lab when we take some rats’ brains out. To like. Study them. And stuff. Brain Week is not just useful to the lab (since it gives my prof a bunch of brains to study), it is useful to me. In my current thinking (please don’t burst my bubble, this is the thinking that’s getting me through Brain Week), doing this week means I can get over my fear of blood/guts/surgery/etc once and for all and feel a little bit more prepared for med school.

Yeah, I know a human cadaver is very different from a dead rat (hint: the first one is bigger), but they’re both mammals. And this might be a bit harder, because hopefully I won’t know my cadavers in med school personally*, while I care pretty deeply about the ratties at this point. Yes I call them ratties. Let’s not talk about it.

I’m honestly a little terrified. Yesterday and today we made the necessary chemicals for the de-braining process, which was pretty cool, but tomorrow starts the actual killing of the rats. If you want to know how, I’m just going to assume you’ve seen Law & Order/CSI/Bones or something and say: desanguination. Gross. Sad. Terrifying. But. For science!

Anyway, that’s what I’m up to, I realized I hadn’t written a blog post in a while. Perhaps this is because it is summer in rural PA and:

MS + heat = no bueno

Math is so cool. Wait, that was math, right? It’s been a really long time since AP Calc.


*oh my god, if I know any of my cadavers personally I will freak out. Actually, if I get into med school I will freak out (but it will be a more positive freaking out)**

**the good thing is that if I don’t get into med school, Kraksy said he’d buy me two guinea pigs so that either way I am happy about my life


My pictures from the Gettysburg reenactment 2012, taken during a brief foray into what was possibly the “Confederate camp.” My favorites are probably the ones that juxtapose new technology with Republicans¬† reenactors in period costume (check out the lady who’s texting).

PS the Confederate flags and the Republicans displaying them (the bumper stickers on their cars include “Obamascare” and “Nobama”) make me fairly uncomfortable. Aren’t we above the Mason-Dixon line, guys?

Google me, baby

So I’m constantly amused/surprised/bemused/horrified/creeped out/confused by my google results. WordPress lets you see the terms that people search to get to your blog and the view counts from each of those searches, which is really kind of crazy.

My list is ridiculous. It ranges from random to pornographic, with a bunch of common sense thrown in. This is kind of a throwaway post, and I’m gonna stick a cut in here because it’s really long and I don’t want it to take up my blogroll. Just thought you guys might want to take a look ūüôā Also, whoever is googling my friend Talia… why are you doing that? Stop it. We’re creeped out.

If you’re interested, click “Read more” and have fun. And keep googling random things to get to me. I love it.

Continue reading “Google me, baby”

That Time When Oprah Was S.O.L.

So. My mom and I both (separately) leafed through her new Oprah magazine and both (separately) were shocked by the same thing. For the last page of the magazine, Oprah always writes a letter to her adoring public (at this point it should become clear that I don’t like Oprah), and this month’s letter was about perseverance in the face of adversity. Not that she’d phrase it that way. It turns out that her new TV network is not doing that well (what? people don’t want a whole channel of Oprah’s not-exactly-expert BFFs giving us advice in various categories? how strange) and so she had to do a bit of being embarrassed and talking about adversity.

At this point in this conversation that I’m having with the internet (aka a blog post), I’d like to introduce an acronym.

SOL- Shit Outta Luck

or at least that is how both my mom and I recognize the letters SOL.

Oprah has decided to be clever and come up with her own acronym! Wow, you go girl, 58 years old and still innovative. Except Oprah’s acronym is kind of … already taken. Here it is:

SOL – Scream Out Loud

er… so that’s awkward. Oprah introduces this acronym and then uses it in her letter thingy. However, if you read it with the more common meaning of SOL in mind, it becomes… comically semi-scatological? Here’s the quote. Try not to SOL.

So when I want to SOL, I usually go to a quiet place. A bathroom stall works wonders. I close my eyes, turn inward, and breathe until I can sense the still, small space inside me that is the same as the stillness in you, and in the trees, and in all things. I breathe until I can feel this space expand and fill me. Then I usually do the exact opposite of SOL: I smile at the wonder of it all.

So. Uh. Trees have bowels? Meditation? Constipation? Gross, Oprah. TMI. (Tree Meditation Influence, clearly)

Probably what makes this even more hilarious to me is the irony. Earlier in the article Oprah says “Today part of the price of success is that my lessons are public. My errors show up on Access Hollywood and the CNN ticker!” #oprahproblems

But anyway. Most likely, this is not actually Oprah’s fault. She probably never heard SOL before and thought her new acronym was the hottest thing since the East Coast heat wave (but really) (it’s hella hot here!). The real blame (probably) falls more to her staff, who were careless/terrified/still living under a rock/sneakily amused/anti-Oprah moles and didn’t tell her that she should probably come up with a different acronym.

but also, Oprah, this is the definition of scream

to utter a loud, sharp, piercing cry.

That definition includes the word loud. Screaming is loud. You don’t need to say you screamed out loud. You can just say you screamed. Or, er, wanted to scream… but meditated about trees instead.

Mister Matthew Krakaur’s Birthday Card

This is a blog post. It is also Matthew “Eli Manning” Krakaur’s birthday card.

Dear Matthew Krakaur (“Kraksy”),

It has been many days since I last saw you* and I miss you dearly. On this day celebrating your birth (“birthday”), I wish I was there to watch you turn, before my very eyes, into a human being who has lived for twenty years (“twenty-something”) and anticipate that it will be very entertaining. You should probably watch it happen in the mirror just so you don’t miss anything. You have been a great and wonderful friend (“bff-sky”) and a member of my nearest and dearest group of human acquaintances (“keyform”) for now several years. You have, among other things, introduced me to many lovely songs (“Pentatonix covers”) and ideas (“call me maybe”). Were I there, I would play you a song on my large guitar (“cello”) and discuss with you the wonders of life (“beanbag time”) whilst occasionally bursting into song (“happy birthday to you!”) and harmonizing (“plush”).

Since I am not there, I am instead writing you a blog post (“self-indulgent”) and I have taken a picture for you. This is that picture:

It was blurry so I made it more beautiful (“the cartoonify feature on Gimp”). In this picture, I am holding one of the two largest and oldest rats who live in my lab (“the elders”). You may not be able to tell from this picture, but he is exceedingly large and mauled my left wrist after I took the picture (“assisted suicide”), but I prevailed. It made me very sad to hold him, as I had never done so before and hope to never do so again. It was fairly awful and he is too old and big to clean himself so he is fairly disgusting (“ohmygod”). I only did it because it is your birthday and I hoped you might find it amusing. I hope that soon I shall see you by way of a webcam (“skype soon?”) and that your birthday is exceedingly wonderful.

Affection and debauchery,


*cleaned your room and moved out all your stuff for you with Talia! and then you SAID you were going to come back for a day to pick up the remainder of your stuff which you must have done because it was necessary but you did not see me on such an occasion. This was highly uncool.