Behold my icon that's totally in accordance with the clarification of LJ TOS :)
It's also from the sketch of the not-really-working-until-now Senegalese fertility goddess standing on my computer desk.
All of this to say that I'm once again sorry for not updating, and that the icon is relevant to what's happening right now, see below. I still sort of was on LJ this last month and even sketched semi-regularly and uploaded the result to sketching_daily
(and oops, there are comments in need of answering there - and here). I'll upload those sketches here too, but I wanted to do it with an added comment, as most of them would work as a "one month in a life of nassima
series, only with a few sketches instead of a truckload of photos. But I never found the energy to make those posts and the sketches are only piling up in my image account. Life outside of the computer has been somewhat hectic as my father had another operation (he's recovering now) and I tried to visit and take care of my mother a bit more. Also, I couldn't completely avoid research meetings at work, not that they weren't interesting (swamps! ten thousand years old! registering climate changes! being dried up for agriculture!) but they were, well, work.
Here's an aerial picture of the swamp we're working on - it looks like a heart, don't you think? The camembert-like things (brie-like? US people seem to know brie better than camembert), well the pie-like shape is caused by the agricultural draining. People in the 13th century actually dug a hole in the middle of the swamp and a subterranean gallery rejecting the water in the main valley some tens meters below.
And while we're at work-related pictures, why not using this entry to begin posting sketches?
Here's an archaeologist sketched precisely during the meeting we had about that swamp. You can see a small map of said swamp in the corner!
He might not look like Indiana Jones, but this doesn't mean his working activities aren't glamorous! During lunch, he told us about his field project for this summer : they're going to dig into a medieval cliff settlement. The path is so steep that even mules or donkeys won't be able to go through. Everything and everyone will have to be roped up and down...
Those things above the stereomicroscope are the ostra.codes (dot added to prevent academic googling) found in the older sediments of the above swamp. I'm very proud of the resemblance, I must add :)
A more recent (and temporary) swamp at uni. I've never seen such a rainy spring, it's scary! There are mushrooms and green things everywhere...
Not the greatest drawing ever because my notebook got wet after a while and it was too cold for me to be patient enough.
Oh, and something else I found in two consecutive work notebooks : drawings from field trips with the third year students. The goal is to learn to identify rock outcrops, so every student has to sketch the landscape with special attention given to rocks. Meanwhile, I do it too to provide a reference.
Here's the 2007 sketch :
And the 2006 sketch :
Still the same rocks...
As for the fertility goddess : I'm in the middle of my third IVF cycle (fourth if you count the frozen-thawed embryo transfer).
Now is the thrilling part where things are happening (I'm injecting hormones to make hopefully just the right amount of eggs) but it's also very very tiring. After last January's failure, the medical team had lots of complicated analyses done and found additional reasons for us not to have children yet. Something about Franck's sperm DNA being too fractured... We're lucky to be attempting IVF in 2008 and where we live since the technique to try to bypass that problem, IMSI, has only been invented in 2003 and in France is done only in a few large cities. They're going to look VERY closely at individual sperm cells (at their head, even) and chose the best-looking ones.
All in all, my RE also decided to try to improve the quality of my eggs (hey, I'm now officially in the age category where I'm producing OLD eggs : I'm 35!) and for the moment the change in the treatment is making me produce more
eggs (well, egg-containing follicles) and hormones - let's hope the quality is better too. The problem is that producing too much hormones is potentially dangerous, so I'm closely monitored. I might get an early egg retrieval without all the eggs being mature and suitable for fertilisation to avoid my abdomen and lungs filling up with liquid. I had bloodwork and an ultrasound on Saturday, then another today and I'll go back tomorrow morning when the decision for the retrieval date will be final. A Friday retrieval would probably yield more mature eggs, maybe up to 16, but would mean an increasing risk ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, while a Thursday retrieval would mean less mature eggs but also less OHSS risk. We'll see! I must admit that I'm hoping for a Friday retrieval...
That's all for now! I'm off answering comments :)