Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yay for surprises!!

The Bubs just surprised me with tickets to see G.Love and the Special Sauce, along with Slightly Stoopid (sounds like Sublime) and Ozomatli (I saw them at Davis and nearly danced myself into a stupor) this Friday at the Koka Booth Ampitheater in Cary.

I am so excited!! You get to sit on the lawn and eat dinner and watch awesome bands. I can't wait for our date night.

Check out G. Love, he is a fabulous nerdy fella.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The fishies

I just have to share another picture of my awesome fishy napkins. Yes, they are cute, but mostly I am impressed that I went to craft night with the Bio Ladies and actually completed this project, from start to "cute little green bead for eye" finish.

Usually we just drink lots of wine and gossip. I guess we are growing up!

I wish I could take full credit, but I did find the pattern from the "Sushi" themed iron-transfers from Sublime Stitching. I am definitely inspired to get to stitching!

Cate Blanchett is my hero. I really want to see this movie. I love Bob Dylan.

Apologies to my brother Joe.

Our Baby!

But I was significantly cheered up by the arrival of our awesome Mac the day I finished the exam. It is ridiculously cool.

And yes, as it has been shown by the last several photos, all I have been wearing in this abysmal heat is brightly colored running shorts, or brightly colored awesome shorts from J.Crew (Thanks Em!)

Test Pictures

Just wanted to show you so evidence from the test I was going on and on about. Check me out. Nerds, Smartwater, Diet Coke with Lime... and surrounded by a sea of papers. The tests were three 5 hour exams, and I do believe that this picture was taken about 8 hours into day two. Yuck. But it is over! And I don't get my results back for a month or so, so I am a big fan of blissful ignorance.

So nice to be done with!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fresh Herbs Just Outside

Emily's fresh mint post reminded me that I haven't yet had a chance to blog about our herb garden, which Trent kept alive while I was in DC. Located just outside one of our kitchen windows (literally, you slide open the window and pick your herbs) it's complete with fresh mint, rosemary, basil and oregano. The oregano is great in our fresh spaghetti sauce, the mint wonderful in mojitos and the basil a perfect substitute when you're out of lettuce for a sandwich and want to add a little flavor. The best part? It's virtually free and completely organic.

Carolina News Corner

Trent is now the UNC mens assistant rowing coach!

And craft night with the ladies ...

I embroidered two of napkins with some adorable little fish.


And we also got alot done this weekend, from baking my first loafs of bread to Trent perfecting his lathe technique.

All Done! A little R&R ...

And to the beach we went to celebrate being done with my test.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

test update

One down, two to go.

I kind of feel like my brain just exploded. But luckily I think some smart splatters got into the computer and I am pretty happy with my six page dissertation on the distinction between microtubule and actin filament nucleation and dynamics.

Off to the pool, gotta regroup before tackling the three main processes of RNAi and their effects on heterochromatin modifications. Whoohoo.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Apparently our department trusts us way more than they probably should. I just received by written exam in an email, with instructions NOT to open it until tomorrow morning. Which I was planning on doing. Tomorrow. All day. Me and the exam and lots of Diet Coke with lime.

But still, just a little peak, would be awesome. Who sends the exam a day early!?!

But no, Momma raised me right, no sneak peak. Instead, I really like this watch. I worry that it would be too big for my tiny wrists, but still very cute. Also, very expensive!! Oh well.

Off to play volleyball with the bio folks, gotta stop staring at these attachments!

89 Days Till the OBX Marathon!

So maybe I won't be running ON the beach but after the race, you won't be able to keep me away from it. Only 89 days left till I lace up the shoes and start my second marathon, The Outer Banks Marathon! My only goal: to beat last years time. Yes, it would be AWESOME to qualify for Boston, but we'll see. The time to beat is 3hrs 40min or 8:24 miles.

So come Thursday morning after my big test, you know where I'll be ... hitting the pavement!

Fabulous and Productive Weekend

I know I promised I was back. But dang.. these exams are occupying my life right now. Three 5 hour tests over two days. Yuckers. Oh well. I feel trained and prepped.. and ready to get them started! Wish me luck.

Brief weekend review:

Awesome. Chapel Hill is awesome. I missed it.

Friday night Trent and I had our date night which consists of riding our bikes to a restaurant on Franklin Street and a cheap, delicious, and healthy dessert of Ghirardelli Mint Chocolate Swirl at Yogurt Pump, a taste of SF here in CH.

Saturday morning, we took delivery of a Pasha the puppy to pooch sit, and had a fabulous breakfast including sushi and a breakfast strata at our community owned grocery Weaver Street Market on Saturday. Good times. Lots and lots of studying all day Saturday and a great trip to the dog park with all our other canine owning friends. We were just posing but it was good times anyways. Later that night, we had Deirdre over for a quiet dinner of yummy stuffed bell peppers with ground tofu and wild rice from Chef Trent.

Sunday the weather was absolutely gorgeous, a nice break from the recent heatwave, hooray! We celebrated by going on a 25 mile bike ride through the Chapel Hill countryside. So many happy cyclists enjoying the nice weather, it was as if there was an organized race!

After the lovely ride, we prepared the most delicious sandwiches with fresh basil and tomatoes from our garden, nitrite-free salami and locally made cheese from Weaver Street. With the weather still cooperating we took our lunch out on the porch, drinking ice tea with fresh mint from the garden, and enjoyed life ... for a moment ... before returning to the books.

Later that afternoon, we went for a quick 1200 meter swim (I am trying to get back into triathlon training) and then spent the rest of the evening studying (surprise) and doing lots of laundry. For dinner, Trent fired up the grill and we had some Alaskan Cod fish tacos, complete with red cabbage and fresh pineapple. Delicious.

Lovely weekend, but it will be nice when this exam is over and I can enjoy Chapel Hill without all the stressing!

Hope you all had a great weekend, see you in a couple days!!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Excellent movie. Excellent way to waste a little time! Go Simpsonize yourself today.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Stylish Scientist: Rewards

Sure, I am all for being a determined, dedicated, scientist.

But every dedication requires a little reward. When I get done with this written exam, which is currently occupying 99% of my life...

I am going to get pretty-fied. Aveda Institute here I come!! It is the scientists paycheck version of Aveda. I am thinking.. deep conditioning treatment and a facial? Sounds good.

And then I start cooking dinner. And cleaning house. And doing all the normal things in life that I have been horribly neglecting and poor Trent has been doing fabulously.

Stylish Scientist: Necklace

Not too "in your face" sciencey, but still gives an opportunity to appreciate how beautiful biology can be. Simple but lovely!

Moma DNA necklace

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

ain't she pretty!?!

Introducing the newest member of our family...

The super snazzy new iMac!! It is the first big purchase we have ever made together, our first desk top, and so gorgeous. We both became Mac lap top enthusiasts in college, but now that we are in the big leagues, time to step it up. Hopefully I will be writing lots of fabulous papers on this bad boy. When it comes. And when I have data.

Small details..

I am back!

Alrighty... So. Yes, it has been two months. Two absolutely wonderful/crazy/bizarre/totally blog-worthy months. But I guess life kinda got in the way. That, and the fact that I was sneaking internet from our neighbors without them knowing, but it wasn't always so fantastic. So anyways..

I am back!

And D.C. was fabulous. Such a learning experience in SO many ways. Being dropped off in a new city for 2 months without a car is an experience I recommend highly. You learn a lot.

A list, I believe, is called for:

1. The social amoeba Dictystelium discoideum is an utterly fantastic model organism. So fun!

2. My charisma and enthusiasm about science will take me further than my actual knowledge.

3. There is a big age gap between 21 and 24. And between vet students and graduate students. But I still think I lucked out with a great roommate.

4. Wow, it is hot here on the East coast.

5. The NIH is the pinnacle of biomedical research. I feel SO fortunate to have worked there.

6. And perhaps I will work there again soon!

7. I am really, really, talented at making new friends when the situation is desperate. And there are some fabulous female scientists I am honored to have met up there. There is something so lovely about discussing PI3 Kinases in the same evening as dancing like crazy in Dupont Circle.

8. The Smithsonian museums and zoo makes me proud to be American. Seriously. Fantastic and free!

9. If invited on a rafting trip in Pennsylvania with 20 Italians... go. Your social calender will never be the same.

10. European men don't want to be "just friends."

11. I have the most fabulous boyfriend. And I really need him in my life. He is my keel.

12. My mom knows me perhaps better than anyone. And knows exactly what to say when I am feeling down.

13. I have a workaholic tendancy and I am very tough on myself.

14. Seeing your friends get married (Congrats Kristen!!) makes you feel old. Seeing your friends whose wedding you attending get divorced, makes you feel even older (I am so sorry Calen).

15. Having an excellent role models as a women in science is crucial.

16. Seeing a cancer biologist deal with a devastating diagnosis of a family member is heartbreaking. There is something to be said for naivete.

17. The field of cancer biology is at such an exciting crux right now, I feel very fortunate to be involved.

18. Catching up with my dear friend Jill was just lovely. We have both gone a long way since rooming together in Davis.. but we are both doing great.

19. Kayaking on the Potomac? Awesome. As is blueberry picking in Maryland and lots of homemade dinners. Thanks Hammonds for providing me a little slice of family life.

20. I can give a fantastic talk.

That is a good round up. In general, my time there was great. I loved my lab and had a great time learning about Dicty and all the cool questions it can address. My PI was a fantastic, successful, female biologist, who had her game together and will continue to be a source of inspiration. I worked my tail off up there, but loved it. At times too much which made me realize I need to really work on balancing my professional and personal life. I think Trent will be critical in this balance. People were amazingly dedicated to their field, but also quite insular, and I definitely missed my grad school community. So, although I was offered a position there, I am going to stay down here and be the best scientist/grad student/activist/mentor I can. I am starting to organize my desk and thrilled at the idea of applying the work ethic I learned up there to my slightly more laid back life here.

I have my written exam next week so have been studying my heinie off, but it is great to be around my fabulous female scientists again. We had a great review session last night. Trent's office has great little reading rooms that have been critical in my studying efficiency. He has also got me back in the pool and out on the beach volleyball courts, which is fabulous for my sanity. My social life up there was ridiculous, but awesome. I met some great folks but it was also hard keeping up that schedule of going out. I am loving Chapel Hill's mellowness.

So, in the days to come (well, more honestly, probably after the exams) I will be posting lots of pictures of our New England trip, my adventures in DC, and life in Chapel Hill. And lots more about being a stylish scientist, my blog comes up first on a Google search for that.. better make sure I share my wisdom!

Talk to you all soon, sorry for the break!