March 2010


sketch dudes

Alright for Wednesday! I must admit to loving the halfway point of the week, but, then again, that means you have fewer days left in which to finish the week’s work. This was complicated today by my PI putting me in charge of the digital x-rays, and setting me to prep our samples, which meant my spending the day in the sac lab and making up formalin. Nothing like the stench of 37% fomaldehyde to blur a gorgeous day.

Anyway, these were a few sketchy figure drawings that cropped up in my notes a while back. I draw people a lot these days because I’ve never been able to (other things have always been more interesting – like architecture, lizards, horses, and such). Generally they crop up on odd corners of problem sets, napkins, or schedules. Next week I might post some of the ones that appear on my bio notes, but we’ll see.

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It appears that I’m late with this week’s Wednesday posting. Me late. Can you imagine that?

Anyway, I just came back from a day of wildly disparate experiences. I started the morning draping Aphrodite’s chiton for Metamorphoses, then got sopping wet walking in sideways rain to the metro, moved into my labcoat and a stint in the dissection lab, came back to work on a paper and a couple of problem sets, then found myself going to see Dana Leong with Milk & Jade. I can’t say enough good things about their style. It makes hiphop, Stomp, jazz, McFerrin, and Fleck all come together in an intense bout of musical vision. Just the ticket when you’re feeling down from life. Or any other time, really. Seriously, go check those dudes out.

The actual intended update (I swear I have things planned at least 5 minutes before they happen) is something I drew one grubby day in London, when all I really wanted was a hot, green afternoon and somewhere quiet to sleep it out. The result somewhat compromised between daydream and reality.

cancer

cancer

If you click the image, you will also see that this was an excuse for me to use green pencil in skin tones, as well.

Here’s an ink I did last semester, which is now pleasantly faded into the haze of the half-forgotten. The pencils were courtesy of my roomie EB, and I did the inks and hair. Hair can be surprisingly fun to draw.

I highly suggest looking up Margaret Trudeau on Kate Beaton’s website, as well.

Margaret Trudeau's Night Out

Architect

Architect

Since I have little better to do right now (oh, aright, I have “better” things to do, but I’m putting them off in favor of slacking off), I thought I’d go ahead and post another sketch this week. This one I did a few years ago, but it was hanging around in one of my folders.

In other news, if you haven’t read Un Lun Dun by China Miéville, that should happen in short order. I devoured that thing like the bookworm of Exeter, and enjoyed every line of humor and imagination. Miéville is one of the very few authors I’ve encountered of late who’s made me go look up words, which is fantastic. You don’t meet many people who can toss deracinate or nacre into a casual sentence, then follow it with a line like “The plunger edged sadistically closer and closer to the cheese.” However, I am resolved to become the kind of person who can employ palimpsest, desquamate, and kukri in everyday conversation. Let’s be honest, if I were aiming for normality, my trajectory bounced years ago. I might as well make the most of it.

Oh, and say hello to my study buddy. He inhabits the herpetarium at the zoo, where I’ve been the past couple sunny days.

lizard

lizard

As promised, here’s a sketch update from one of my notebooks. He looks a bit sheepish for a riddling scourge of the Mediterranean. Cat got your tongue, little sphinx?

slinking sphinx

slinking sphinx

As much as I love my roomies, I must say I’m giddy at having the flat to myself. Dishes get done, the place is aired and temperate, I can play Jacqueline Du Pré at full volume at 8am, and no one worries when I disappear for the day with my bike and leave my cell at home. Granted, the skyrocketing spirits owe a great deal to it being spring break and my grant being submitted. That and the weather is nice enough for me to bike absolutely everywhere and do my MCAT studying in the herpetarium. Today I think I may head South to the gardens, as well. The temperate house in the climatron would make an excellent study spot.

Apart from MCAT drudgery (I’ve been correcting the book as I go), life is incredibly abnormal. I’ve actually slept and eaten and gone to the movies and can remember my reasons for walking into a room. It’s a little creepy, to tell the truth. I also discovered a fantastic webcomic whose hero looks and acts suspiciously like one of my friends (he’s a graphic design major, too). The artist has an unerring sense of composition on top of catchy characters and good writing, so go check out Hanna Is Not A Boy’s Name.

I’ve actually been doing a bit of art of my own, and thought that maybe I should start posting weekly sketches. As always, I’m open to critique and would appreciate it at any level, from the intellectually abstract to “dude, stick to biochemistry.” Anyway, here we go with some tattoo designs I did for one of my friends.

Tattoo Designs 6 Mar 2010

Tattoo Designs 6 Mar 2010

I briefly considered researching the totems of the Pacific Northwest to use as compass points, but I wasn’t really sure that they would be distinguishable in a small-size tattoo. Personally, If I got a tattoo, it’d be a torque of bars from Dvorak’s New World Symphony, but I have a pretty robust dislike for other people waving needles about, so I guess that one’s a moot point. Anyway, check back Wednesday for more tales from the sketchbook! You know you want to (laugh at them).

EDIT: I went ahead and put this and some of the subsequent refinements up on my DA account, if you’re interested.

Cresting into the evening here on 2 hours of sleep, a cup of tea, and (finally!) a bowl of soup, I decided I might as well share at least one of my tormentors. On the bright side, I got my problem set, research proposal, cv, transcripts, research paper, project files and fosmid presentation all turned in. Were it not for the horrors of formatting figures in MS Word, this would never have posed such difficulty. Nevertheless, I persevere for the moment. On a further bright note, I was late to biochemistry because I was playing with a husky named Bode while discussing the politics of soil economy and biofuels with a visiting faculty member. To cap it all off, my research supervisor gave me a thumbs up for reasoning during my presentation and asked me to present a second time for the sequencing center director, and none of the professionals had any criticisms of my work.  So I guess it payed off. Still, I wish this meant that I actually got time off (no such luck: the SURF grant is due Wednesday).

Oh, and it turns out that the post office was holding two boxes of Girl Scout cookies for me. It’s the truly important things in life that make up for all these petty scamperings.