~the Microbial Lab and Friends, 'blebbing' in honor of Ben's newly minted doctorate (Ben is the one holding the bottle of champagne)~
What is 'blebbing' you ask? You can see an image of our model organisms here, a Gram-negative organism (the rod shape in the middle of the image) - surrounded by smaller, spherical 'blebs' or membrane vesicles. What does a group of geeky scientists do in such a festive photo opportunity? In honor of Ben, they form their own silly blebs...since much of his work focused on these fascinating exosomic structures.
It was fun. An hour seminar - followed by a three hour defense. Then a fun lunch with pitchers of margaritas.
Another student successfully makes its way through the Microbial Lab...
So what did members of the lab do next? Well, I left with my colleague who was in for the defense (we went downtown to a rooftop bar to further discuss science and life...) while other members of the lab went and painted the 'boat' on Folly Rd in honor of the new Ph.D. The lab's 'new' senior graduate student sent me the image below of the boat - I love it! The 'terminal masters' was related to an earlier incident when a member of Ben's committee suggested that he go for a 'terminal masters' if he couldn't get something to work. It was one of those 'you have to be there' kind of dry jokes, but one that has obviously stuck...but what I love is the smiling rod-shaped microorganism on the boat - surrounded by blebs! Yes, geekdom at it's very best.
~the boat on Folly Road~
And what did I do today? First, it was a simply spectacular day. Low humidity, crazy-blue sky - a breeze that reminded you that the Atlantic Ocean was just over there. After a mid-day seminar I decided to go and see the Folly boat for myself - but when I got there, it had already been painted over (and by the way, Happy Birthday to Allison, whoever you are!). Then - since I was already at the boat - and the day was just too too nice - I went onto Folly Beach, and sat and ate shrimp by myself at the Crab Shack (I've never been there - and basically stopped (because I wanted to eat outside and there was an easy parking spot). After I was done - and walking to my car - I couldn't resist a shot of Planet Follywood. It always makes me laugh.
~Planet Follywood, Folly Beach, South Carolina~
I made it back to the lab in time for another seminar - and then I left for home. I've been enamored of late by the roadside 'ditch' flowers blooming - the ageratums and goldenrod and helianthus - and couldn't resist pulling over and taking a photo or two. I want to go back, maybe over the next few days, to get some more shots - to drive home slowly and admire how beautiful a low spot and the right amount of neglect can be.
Sometimes, perhaps we work too hard.
As for work, and working too hard - I've got an invited review to work on. The lab's Poet Laureate (from a distance) and I are writing it together. She's gotten together the craziest, most impressive table that I've seen in a long time - as for me, I've got some writing to contribute - and the one reality of the Microbial Lab (and most labs, for that matter) is that there are natural cycles and a student's defense is one of them. Another bottle of champagne is on my shelf, signed and dated by a new PhD.
Today I took a breather, and tomorrow the cycle begins again.