This weekend has been memorable. Allow me to demonstrate:

FRIDAY: After a 9am biochemistry class, I biked over to the hospital to get started on my thesis work. First came the 2 hour consultation with my PI about the underlying biochemistry, the proposal, methodology and security qualifications. After an unintended lunch break (my PI is adamant about 2 things: I must bike to work, and I must stop missing meals) came the most voodoo experience to date: the animal lab! It’s a clean facility, so you have to swipe into the vestibule with your SSN, carrying all your equipment in plastic baggies. Through a second set of doors is the equipment transfer room, where you spray your bags with this stuff that could kill Chlorox and put it through a double door to the lab interior. Then you head back out to the vestibule and over to the locker rooms, where you gown up: mask, hair net, gown, booties, gloves…the whole nine yards, also to be sprayed down with terminator spray. You can then head into the lab to go get your stuff, but your personal lab will be behind at least two more SSN doors, for which you must add a second layer of gloves and booties and terminator spray. Every time you go in and out that door, you have to add or subtract a booty layer. There’s no contamination from the supplies, either, since everything goes through the bedroom-sized autoclave. I kid you not – food, water, bedding, cages, and anything else a mouse might need – it all, gets sterilized. I just hope I never get locked in the autoclave room on accident.

We were there on business, with an entire rack of mice to genotype. In the process, I was bled on, shat on, pissed on, bit and scratched, and nevertheless came away with everything I needed and a wealth of advice from the superhumanly patient supervising tech (who is absolutely, unequivocally awesome). Then we did PCR! Whooooooooo! Hot dang, I love my job! Even when it means my day is 9am-7pm solid science and I smell like latex for the next two days.

Then we had Chinese and watched Memento until about 1 am. It was fabulous.

SATURDAY dawned early at 6:00, when I got up to prep for the International Crisis Aid 5k over at SLU. Six of us from WU formed a team, although at least 4 of us were under the weather: one suitemate is getting over swine flu and a sinus infection coupled with allergy testing, two of the other guys were at the tail-end of sick, and I had just given blood. Team of cripples that we were, we nevertheless piled into the car and headed off. The race was…confusing. SLU’s campus is pretty tiny, so in order to get 3.1 mi in, the route was pretty crazily complex. There were volunteers at every corner to direct you, though, so it all started off ok. However, someone had changed the route and not told all of the volunteers, so while the first about 50 people were shunted the right way, the next at least 100 of us got directed right instead of left and wound up doing at least a half mile extra and coming at the finish line from three different directions. It was all in good fun, though, and the complimentary bagels and massages afterward were entirely worth the ~4 mi run.

SUNDAY: tonight was chili night. With cornbread. Followed by monster cookies and rootbeer floats to Flight of the Conchords.

And my suitemate’s hipster moment. Heheheh. This is right up there with our budding Genji rap and vegan vapire epic.

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