motetus: (art / mosaic wolf)
1. Got my MPhil thesis passed last week with minor corrections! After freaking out about them for a little while (what do you mean, an extra half page of future plans for the project? How's about "NEVER THINK ABOUT IT AGAIN, EVER"?), I realised that the majority of them won't take any time at all.
2. The email from my previous supervisor that I was dreading (we uh, had a bit of an awkward relationship) turned out to be how my thesis examiners were impressed with the range and amount of work I'd done, and that he'll be in touch soon about getting some publications out of it. Lovely publications! \o/
3. Cake bake sale this morning. I have cake!
4. My Uncle Aquila backstory art is looking fucking awesome. Shush, I'm allowed to be full of myself from time to time.
5. I'm halfway through an utterly amazing Arthur/Eames Blade Runner AU and I think this is the most brilliant and gripping story I've read in a long time. I even woke up early this morning to read another chapter and while it put me in such a good mood, I have to keep reminding myself NO ZOE, SCIENCE TIME NOW. FANFIC LATER.
6. These photos on my Tumblr dashboard this morning. IS IT BATMAN DAY YET?


Dear Tom Hardy, that is a magnificent beard. Small rodents could nest and raise their young in it without ever being spotted. Please don't ever buy a razor.


I'm realising that I've taken a crazy number of things on this month. Here are all the things I've got to do, all of which have deadlines at the end of July:

1. Thesis corrections. Augh.
2. PhD literature review. Only supposed to be 3K, but I think it'll be over that. TOO MANY THINGS TO TALK ABOUT.
3. 2x Eagle Reverse Bang entries. Finished line art for one which I think will do until after it's been claimed, the other is still at the rough draft stage. Hope to have the line art done by the end of this week, and then it can also be set aside until after claims.
5. Sutcliff Swap. Have made a (very) rough draft and getting pleased with how the faces are looking. Uh... is there anyone out there willing to look over it and give me feedback on historical clothing accuracy/make sure I'm not veering dangerously close to MAKE IT ALL UP territory?
5. Finish Inception Reverse Bang piece. Shouldn't take more than a few hours, but I really want to draw a few more pieces for my two authors. Um... maybe when I have a few of the above crossed out, because that would be the sensible thing to do. But then, I am not sensible.
6. Entertain [livejournal.com profile] ninja_orange and [livejournal.com profile] demon_rum when they stop by!

Ack. Will resurface next month, I guess!
motetus: (inception / arthur)
1. Thank you so much to [livejournal.com profile] lallyloo, [livejournal.com profile] ainsoph15, [livejournal.com profile] chantefable, [livejournal.com profile] poziomeczka, [livejournal.com profile] honscot and [livejournal.com profile] awarrington for the lovely glass hearts! I am celebrating Valentine's day with the wife the same way we've done for the last how-many-years-we've-been-together: by ignoring it. We're awfully romantic, I know.


2. Hello [livejournal.com profile] altri_uccelli[livejournal.com profile] rebeccaann08[livejournal.com profile] radiogaga33 and [livejournal.com profile] twasadark, my shiny new friends from the Eagle friending meme! Here is the briefest of introductions - I draw stuff, I like tea a lot, I have a bit of an obsession with Liam Neeson. And I'm a microbiology post-graduate student, finishing up my Masters (see 3.) and once that's out of the way, I'm immediately moving to Glasgow to start a PhD (SO EXCITED about this - the moving back to Scotland that is, not the 4 years of constant stress). Permanent student status! I promise I'll try not to make too many "Waah, research is HARD and NOTHING WORKS!" posts because I'm sure you'd all rather I shut up and only posted stupid drawings rather than attention-seeking whining.


3. Thesis! 19.5K words, 82 pages, all finished and spell-checked (which means there's probably a huge one I missed, most likely in the title), just waiting to be printed and bound and submitted. Which... all this time I thought the deadline for was tomorrow.

It's not. It's the 30th. Of March.

Yes, I am an idiot.


4. Am currently working on the art for [livejournal.com profile] seascribe's Big Bang fic, and oh yes, I picked an AWESOME story to illustrate. I just wish I had more time/wasn't so busy right now so I could try scenes and styles that really challenge me, but at least I should be able to churn out a cover (finished!) and 3-4 illustrations in the time left. Stuff I am drawing for it that I've wanted to try for a long time now: Cub! Cottia! Uncle Aquila not dressed in speedos!

Once the Big Bang is over, I think I want to try some Arthur/Eames fanart, seeing as Inception fanfic has been keeping me going throughout the thesis (Eagle fandom, I love you dearly but you do not produce enough fic to keep me satisfied!) and I'm no longer content with just lurking. Problem is, I have no idea what to draw! I think I had the same problem with The Eagle, and made my first fandom appearance with a rather dull, crappy painting of Marcus and Esca glaring at each other - and then all the awesome and cracky ideas started flowing. So uh, if anyone has any (canon) ideas for me, let me have them! Otherwise I'll probably just end up drawing Tom Hardy cuddling baby animals. And then Channing Tatum would get his feelings hurt because only he is allowed to cuddle baby animals.


5. This post is looking extremely dull and self-indulgent, so to make up for that, have some fic/art recs!

A mixed bag! )
motetus: (star wars art / twi'lek)
Hey, remember back when I was doing this Star Wars alphabet challenge? No, me neither.

I've had this half-finished for months and months, and every time I sit down to finish it off I get distracted. But tonight I was all GRR ANGRY about all sorts of things (pretty much all of them silly trivial things that do not deserve anger. Except for the research stuff, because fuck Surface Plasmon Resonance, don't ever try to use it) so the best thing to make me less GRR was something nice and sweet and flowery and happy-making. So yay, more Padmé/Breha! I hope this makes up slightly for me never giving you your hardcore porny birthday drawing, [livejournal.com profile] swcajolings.

Also, now my WIP list is down to 2, with one of them almost done. I feel much better about this, because I have discovered I get very stressed when I have more than 1 (how do people I know have dozens of fic/art WIPs going on at the same time? I do not understand it), when really I should be stressed about other things. Like the stupid thesis and how I think I have to give my talk in January and oh god, I haven't given a talk in about 3 years. Ha, talking of the thesis, I realised that the draft copy that I emailed my supervisor this week had a section where I'd left notes to myself about things to brush up on for the viva with the heading: YOU SHOULD KNOW ALL THIS SHIT BY NOW, ZOE. Whoops.

Oh sorry, I am rambling. Right. Art. That was what this post was supposed to be about.

W is for... Waking
Padmé/Breha Organa, work-safe

Afternoon nap )
motetus: (animals / cat)
...one very small and soft and sharp bundle of fluff and claws. Everyone, meet Nimue, [livejournal.com profile] goblin_dae's little kitten mistress (she is so whipped). God, she is the most adorable thing ever, and it's very lucky for her that she is because I wouldn't have tolerated her using my hands and feet as claw-and-teeth-sharpening material if she wasn't. I would have smuggled her home with me and let her trash my apartment and make me incapable of ever doing anything productive for the next 18 or so years, but Goblin's bag checks are very thorough.

Look at that face!



Here be lots and lots of kitten photos. You have been warned. )

Oh yeah, you guys remember that post I made about a month ago where I rambled for a bit about the mphil and the experiment I needed to work in order to confirm the interaction between my two proteins? IT WORKED. I HAVE AWESOME DATA OR SO POST-DOC TELLS ME. You have no idea how excited I am about this - one postive result can get ripped apart in the viva, but two makes me so much more confident about things (and hey, could possibly mean a publication eventually). Oh hell, now I have to write it all up for the thesis. Next week's post: "Oh god, god, god, I don't understand anything HELP ME, WHAT DO ALL THESE NUMBERS MEAN?"
motetus: (blackadder / that's hot)
My research. Pornified. I am never going to be able to look at my data without blushing ever again.

So... who thinks I should see if I can get away with using that at the start of my thesis' introduction?
motetus: (inception / arthur)
I am uncharacteristically enthusiastic about my masters project after this week. The stuff I was doing in Liverpool did not work (idiot protein, bind to the target protein fixed on the chip, not the chip itself!) but a lot of what we were trying to do worked better than I thought it would, and I'm hoping that with a few changes it'll behave and give me nice data. Also, a set of crystallography trials I set up two months ago and gave up on suddenly produced crystals - and not just any crystals but literally hundreds of nicely-shaped fat little things. I have to wait another month before they are taken to the synchrotron to find out if they diffract to the resolution I need, but it sure beats weeping over my inability to get any crystals at all. I should not jinx everything by being too optimistic, but should either of these two give good positive results I'm looking at my second publication. I CAN BE REAL SCIENTIST.

Hey, want to see what my proteins look like? No? Tough. I am in a WITTER ABOUT WORK BECAUSE I'M GOING THROUGH A BRIEF MOMENT OF NOT HATING IT mood. Also, I'm really chuffed about managing to load them into this scary-looking docking software (the actual docking is going to be a complete nightmare, but - baby steps).


Human one on left, bacterial on right. No, I have no idea how they fit together.

Ha, to think that a few weeks ago I was fretting that I would have too few results for my thesis. Now I have too many! From about now on I will be easing off the painting (BOO) and get down to writing in the evenings if I want to have a chance at submitting by March. 159 words written today using 750 words that [livejournal.com profile] seascribe mentioned (I like it, but the lack of sub- and superscript makes it a pain if you're writing out a lot of chemical formulas), which would be excellent (for me) if they weren't mostly buffer recipes pilfered from a PhD thesis. WHATEVER, THEY STILL COUNT.

-

Oh, Passion & Profession. It makes Fridays the BEST DAY EVER, and leaves me completely unable to focus on anything else. One of the PhD students just asked me why writing up my lab book was making me grin so much. Bold sinning, dear PhD student.

-

Hooray, holiday on Sunday! I am all prepared for it - and by prepared I mean my camera is cleaned and packed and I've got a whole load of books/fanfic loaded onto the Kindle. All that other stuff like clothes and guidebooks and passports can be scooped up 10 minutes before the taxi to the airport is due. PRIORITIES.
motetus: (random / poopin)
Me: You know, brain, it might be a good idea to take a short rest after finishing that massive time-consuming painting. Read a book. Take a walk. Just watch some mindless drivel on TV.
Brain: No no no no no DRAW STUFF.
Me: Okay, fine. Why don't you finish off that Morgana painting you've had sitting on the desktop for months? The deadline for that is coming up.
Brain: NO. MAMMOTH HERDING.
Me: What? No! There already is an awesome and hysterical mammoth drawing!* You don't need another one!
Brain: Yeah, but BAAAABY mammoths.
Me: But we agreed we had a list and were going to do things in order. Morgana, St. John/Marcus, W is for, HG(M)F mkII. You promised to stick to it!
Brain: This baby mammoth is going to be so adorable, it will trigger everyone's vomit reflex.


Yeah, the reason I have been churning out so much art lately is because work is going shitty (I used the word "motherfucking" a bit too much in my meeting with my post-doc today; luckily she is awesome) and flinging myself at the computer and tablet every night stops me from thinking about it. I am going to get started on the introduction for my thesis, which means I'll be sitting at my computer this weekend making noises like I'm constipated because for me, writing is extremely similar but without the feeling of satisfaction you get afterwards.


* You should all LOOK AT THIS ART that [livejournal.com profile] the_little_owl  drew. Stone-age famers Marcus and Esca! Angry rock-throwing dwarf mammoths! It is hilarious and adorable, and you should all bully her into drawing more Eagle stuff.
motetus: (tv / sweet zombie jesus)
I could write a massive 10-page essay on how low I've been feeling for the past few months due to work/masters stuff, and by stuff I mean a complete lack of progress that made me feel like an utterly worthless failure. But I think it's best if I don't - instead let's skip to what's ended all that.



This here mass of dots my postdoc gave me this week is precious to me. The black ones show that after 2 years I've finally found a way to get my stupid protein to fold correctly in its little bubble of detergent (though I suppose 2 years isn't bad after hearing about other membrane protein groups who needed 5), and the blue ones mean I have a masters thesis to write (first in vitro proof we have that this bacterial protein binds to a particular human target - could squeeze out not just a thesis from this but hopefully a decent paper). I don't even feel excited about it, I'm too busy being overwhelmed with immense, immense relief.

(but there will still be alcohol-and-cake-related celebrations at chez Motetus this weekend, and you're all invited)

Also my boss said he could extend my contract for another 18 months if I wanted. He didn't look so impressed when I said I was planning on doing a PhD elsewhere. Sorry boss, but I'd like to work in a lab where people actually talk to me. Even if it's just a hello once a day. Bloody socially inept scientists.
motetus: (art / qui-obi)
Bah. Am super grumpy tonight, which I suppose was my fault for breaking the Don't try important experiments on a Friday afternoon because they will not work and your weekend starts off shit rule. At least this experiment may have just been ruined because of one of my proteins getting pissy about being concentrated and precipitating, but I really, really need this to work and show some binding between my two proteins - it's the difference between a lame negative-result dissertation and an awesome dissertation with an awesome publication to boot. So, you see why I'll be spending tonight cheering myself up with sausages and gin.

Anyway, I've had these two paintings that I did way back in June that I never got around to posting, so I'm correcting that. They're complete unoriginal and painted directly from references, because they were done when I was in a bit of a slump and needed something easy that wouldn't tax my imagination in order to get back into painting. I thought they'd be good as A4 prints, but I haven't got round to doing that either.

Preview:



Yes, it's these two again. I'm so predictable. )

Back to the eopie painting now, and ARGH PERSPECTIVE I SWEAR I WILL DEFEAT YOU. Or maybe just drink more gin and mangle you beyond recognition.
motetus: (food / cake)
I'm surprised my keyboard isn't smouldering given the amount of writing I've been doing this weekend. I'm feeling much, much better about this literature review now I've got a half-dozen pages of notes and a few vertebrae of the backbone planned, and getting back into some serious writing after a break of two years isn't as difficult as I was fearing. It's an improvement on Friday when I was going through the "Oh god, I have no idea what I'm doing!" stage, which ended up with me having a little sob (my first of this degree!) and snarling at my mother on the fourth phone call she made about the stupid wedding invitations. My reward for this weekend's work will be another viewing of Clash of the Titans this evening - I was tempted by Agora, but I think I need something that will require as little brain activity as possible.

Anyway, this is my weekend baking attempt: buttermilk scones with clotted cream and raspberry jam. It was utterly delicious - the scones were beautifully light and airy, nothing like the stodgy ones from the supermarket. My first time cooking with buttermilk too - I always imagined it to be thick, creamy and buttery, but nope, it's like thin sour cream.



The recipe, courtesy of Delia Smith )
motetus: (art / sappho)
I have a very bad habit of blindly painting away without thinking too much about what I'm trying to create. And then at the end, I have no idea who or what the person I've drawn is, and any names or descriptions I come up with just sound ridiculous. So er, some sort of tattooed lady who likes yellow make-up and is in dire need of a hairdresser?



Full thing under here )

I'm not going to have much time for painting in the next few months... or anything fun, for that matter. I found out today that I only have 4 months to get my literature review written and handed in, which isn't actually that much time given I'm also working full-time. And I really have to get most of it done before the wedding and holiday in July so I don't have that hanging over my head while I'm meant to be on holiday. So, goodbye evenings, goodbye weekends, and apologies if I'm a grumpy bitch up until the end of August!
motetus: (misc - science)
Got told today that my part-time MPhil has been given the green light, and I should be able to enroll in April (but I've already got the work started). So... more work, less pay, and I have to get back to reading papers and writing (along with the temper tantrums and locking myself in the bathroom to have a good sob that the latter entails). Why am I doing this again?

Oh yeah, PhD prospects. I'd better have potential supervisors grovelling at my feet in two years. GROVELLING.

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Motetus, Mammoth Rider

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