Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Beach House

Oh man.. Oh man oh man oh man.

I am SO excited about this beach house with my family this spring break. We are going to the Outer Banks, about halfway between Cape Hatteras and Nags Head, in Rodanthe. Easy day trips to Kitty Hawk, Ocracoke Island, and perfect for long walks on the beach and soaking in the hot tub. We booked it on Sunday and I am thrilled.

Em, start shopping!

Disney Party!

We do good science. And we do GREAT themed parties. Go UNC Biology Grad Students! And fabulous significant others who make the evening lovely.

Enjoy some more pictures here. It was a Disney theme, if you didn't catch that. Note how nerdy we are, drinking beer out of 50mL Falcon tubes. Haha.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

All about me. Kinda

I've been tagged by Sara to tell my blogging audience 5 things no one would know about me. This is difficult as most people who are reading this blog share most of my chromosomes, but I will give it a shot:

Nevermind- I sat thinking for 20 minutes and couldn't really come up with anything my family didn't know. And I need to get to studying. So here are five random factoids, with pictures!

1. I think ferns are the most perfect plant, molecular awesomeness to sheer charm. I love them. This is a photo of the lycopodia I studied in Costa Rica.

2. My freshman year of college I decided I couldn't cut it in science and pursued a degree in political science. I soon realized I couldn't handle not knowing WHO exactly started the decline of Mayan civilization, and learned that signal transduction pathways and their beautiful drawn notes (see #4) are my friend. Also I tend to get emotional in political arguments. Here is a picture with Mr. Jackson at the Hermitage discussing the state of the nation.

3. I once did a 200 mile bike ride in one day with my Bubs on a tandem because he called me three days before and said it was free. I couldn't stand the thought of him thinking I couldn't handle it. It was an incredible, and painful, experience. I feel this must say a lot about my character.

4. I maybe reverse colorblind. If I take a page of notes in black ink, I get nothing from it. If I take notes with my awesome four color pen, suddenly it all makes sense. Red's are kinases, greens are phosphatases, for example. Haley knows the glory of the four color pen, and my absolute addiction to it.

5. I love everything about the ocean. From the yummy creatures in it to eat, to long walks on the beach, to kelp (my second favorite plant), to surfing and sailing, I dream of one day living next to the ocean and going swimming in it everyday.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

You know what stinks??

When you spend nearly an hour making the best marathon training running mix ever and your beloved ipod mini suddenly dies in the middle of your favorite Scissors for Lefty song about 20 minutes into a 10 mile run. It makes me dream of one of these bad boys... Or just borrowing Trent's snazzy new Nano.

Lady Scientists

After a week of being completely overwhelmed by the staggering amount of knowledge that it seems everyone else easily comprehends, I've needed to find some solstice in other women in science who understand the plight. We know what Diana van Faustenberg's iconic dress is, as well as the complete MAP Kinase pathway from receptor tyrosine kinase to chromatin modification due to gene expression. I am immensely grateful for my fellow first year bio ladies, who will as quickly be crafty and go see "The Queen" with me as eagerly debate the best ways to optimize a lazy PCR product. After going to the lab this morning and realizing that, no, my flies haven't changed since last night.. losers, I've spent some time exploring the community of female scientists on-line!

1. First and foremost, the person that you always wonder if they existed due to eerie similarities, Sara of Life si Nich si Mal. From Davis roots, to love of cryostats, to admission of loving cute clothes, her blog is a must read for me.

2. Via her blog, I found some other gems. The Natural Scientist, InkyCircus, and On Being a Scientist and a Woman. The last one reminds me a lot of my 5th year grad student responsible for showing me around my new lab. Who was 9 months pregnant the day I arrived. We frantically spent the first week going over all the protocols I will need for my project, and Baby Giana Marie arrived remarkably fast (half an hour of labor!!) and easily last Sunday night. Congrats!! I hope I can make her proud with my beautifully antibody stained and in-situ hybridized fly embryos!

3. The true original.. Ph.D Comics. I remember seeing a TA back at UCD wearing a t-shirt from here and checking out the website, and not getting it really. But oh my goodness, I do now. It is amazingly correct. Also a great place to waste sometime waiting for a gel to finish running Homestarrunner!

You gotta check out this link from Science on InkyCircus : 2007 Resolutions.

Alrighty, enough for now. Off to read some papers. Or make cranberry orange muffins. The dilemma continues. But Trent gets home tonight, yay!!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Artsy Gal

Check out my painting done last night at an impromptu arts and wine evening with some bio ladies. I hesitate to call it a "stitch and bitch" due to the random arts and crafts, but along the same lines. Super fun.

I am very happy with my painting. I know it is "very Jean" as Emily would say, but isn't that the point of it all?

It was super easy and cheap, and I am quite inspired to keep it up!


I woke up this morning to THIS!!

It is my first day living somewhere that it snows (more than one inch, although this looks more impressive than it is, the snow is mostly melted by now, but still!!). Chapel Hill is completely unprepared for snow, so all schools and lots of businesses are closed today. Not sure what this means for my class, but I do have to go to work. Science doesn't stop for snow!!

But I do need to rethink my mode of transportation.

I wish my bubs was here to play in the snow with me!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tired Tuesday

An evening without Trent:

1. Work late in the lab. Last one to leave except for boss. Which is pretty impressive for a rotation student. Set up PCR and let it run over night. Tell fruit flies to have as much "fun" as possible this evening, we need some babies!

2. Wrap self up in as much cashmere and Windstopper as possible for 5 minute bike ride home. Realize tropical storm means that it maybe dark and dreary, but it is still about 60 degrees. Rethink cashmere about 3 minutes into ride.

3. Home. Flip aimlessly through unexciting mail, check email, etc. Realize that the 12 miles run on Saturday, 20 mile mountain bike ride on Sunday, run last night, and swim this morning have left you utterly exhausted. Figure you owe yourself an evening off. Cook and eat nearly entire package of mac and cheese and a big salad. Yumm.

4. Try to read papers. Realize that if you read about TGF-beta and G protein coupled receptor signaling once more today, your head may explode. Congratulate yourself on clever (and first ever this year by a first year grad student) question at cool seminar this afternoon. Figure you owe yourself an evening off.

5. Realize you are pretty bored without the bubs. Come home from Idaho!!

6. Imagine/realize noises are coming from the china cabinet that sound like little mice-ies. Daydream for good 10 minutes about them having little tea parties with the good china. Ponder leaving science to pursue a career as a children's book author based on this idea and these two pictures from late Saturday night..

"Who is this in our cute but non- functioning lantern by the door, asks Trent??"

Ah yes, it is Mr. Chipmunk who had tooo much fun at the tea party in the china cabinet and thought that this was his home. How did he get there? We have no idea!!

But we were so tempted to shut that little door and bring him inside and make him be our friend.

7. Realize Mr. Chipmunk wouldn't have been too thrilled at being our latest house guest, and make mental note to wash all china and dishware in cabinet before next party.

8. In sudden burst of energy, scrub kitchen and tidy cottage.

9. 7:40?? Time to fill a Nalgene with hot water, put one of Trent's old t-shirts on panda and call it an a night. I am exhausted. And missing my babe!

Just thought you'd like to know!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A typical Thursday evening..

A typical evening for us here in the cottage.

Trent's new cold weather training regime, the bike trainer and the Xbox.

While I write fascinating papers about the molecular biology of frogs mate choice preferences. Cheeky buggers.

But anniversary emerald and diamond rings, tend to make even functional mapping papers more fun to look at!

Hope you are having an excellent evening with whomever it is that makes you happy!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Some Holiday Pictures

Happy 2007 everyone!! I hope you all had a fabulous time relaxing and eating lots of good food. We had a blast, we were gone for quite a while and saw tons of family and friends along the way. But it is kind of nice to be back in our little house, which I think is a good sign. We missed Chapel Hill!! Here are some random (I was bad at taking pictures this trip) photos from our holidays.

Emily proves she is not only stylish but can find nearly all the hidden stuffing with grace. Excellent job. For folks who've been to my parent's house, check out the new cabinets. They did a great job on a kitchen makeover, it was gorgeous!

Christmas Eve (for us at least) dinner. Someday I will have a big enough table, how different does that look from my Thanksgiving dinner event!? So much great food and it was fun having a 8 year old to get excited about Christmas with.

Being sunny California, and having dog like Miss Penney, we spent lots of time at Olde Port Beach. She was one happy camper that week, Trent has excellent ball "chucking" abilities..

I cannot even tell you how many hours my Mom and I have walked this beach, discussing everything from the most mundane to the most important. I am very fortunate.

After a lovely week in SLO which included climbing San Luis Mountain, great times catching up with my Aunt Lucie, and plenty of good fish (I am still dreaming of the crab and swordfish, Trent and I drove up to Davis. Here we are at a hip Mexican restaurant in Sacramento with his whole family. I missed Davis.. it is quite a place. We did the Farmer's Market, breakfast at Ciocolate and Crepeville (holla Haley!!), and lots of long runs just like the ones we used to do when we were.. courting (I guess that is the word, at least when you date someone like Trent, it is imperative you can keep up with him for 10 miles on your second date).

On New Year's Eve we headed to San Francisco via Amtrak and Bart (so lovely). We arrived around 3 and proceeded to have a wonderful week filled with all our favorite restaurants, lots of good friends, and even a yoga class. The weather was quite nice and Emily and Rob were kind enough to teach us how to do archery. Here I am giving it my best shot..

I think Trent loved it SO much. Maybe visions of Lord of the Rings or something. His arm was so beat up afterwards, but he was thrilled. We should find somewhere to try it out here! Admire Emily's perfect pose.

Rob was the definite best. I was quite impressed.

The targets are little animals on a burlap bag tied to a hay bale. Looks like someone had it out for the groundhog in this photo.

To protest the burlap animal cruelty (and when our arms got tired) Emily and I made daisy chains instead. I wore mine to the Park Chalet where we got yummy snacks afterwards.

Unfortunately, that is about it. Too bad because we had lots of other adventures but a good overview I think. We got into Chapel Hill late this morning to be picked up by friend Deirdre. We all had a cup of tea as we tried to get the musty old cabin smell out. The neighbors (the blue cottage) were kind enough to collect our mail while we were gone so we went and chatted with them. Turns out her cousin is dating Ernesto Sandoval from the UCD greenhouse where I used to work.. very small world. We borrowed our other neighbor's registration card because he looks like Trent and just got back from our very first Carolina basketball game. It was a trip, everyone was wearing Carolina Blue and screaming the entire game. Very fun.

Tomorrow I start my next rotation and I am all nervous like it is the first day of school! Wish me luck!