Sunday, July 29, 2007

Life's a beach

Haha. So we're here, we have "borrowed" wireless internet. Yesterday M and I were awake for 20 hours (up at 4:30AM, ugh). The day was mostly driving, lunch at a place in Nags Head, more driving, hanging out at Carly's family's house in Hatteras until we could get the key to ours, dinner (mmm, steamed spiced shrimp), grocery shopping, and watching a movie. We were up around 9:45am today and started working on the Starry Night puzzle...we have the edges and some bits and pieces here and there done, but it's going to be a challenge with all the blue in the middle. We're going down to the beach after lunch! I bought a kite, and I think M and I are going to get boogie boards sometime this week :-)

UPDATE: Itsy bitsy teeny weeny navy polka-dot bikini :-)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Rafting on the Colorado River

I got my pics from the waterproof camera put onto a CD at Wal-mart :-)

Me on the raft:


Okay, so the "rapids" weren't that rapid:


Though obviously I can't show you the best rapids because that's when I was paddling (and I wasn't about to pay $22 for the professional picture), these aren't too bad:


Getting ready for "rodeo" - in about another minute, I'll be in the Colorado River:


And there it is (brrrr!):



Beautiful!:

Disgruntled customer

Two nights ago while I was at VBS, Matt called my cell phone and said "You didn't pay the car insurance bill??"

Well, I had paid the car insurance bill. I mailed it with the mortgage and the phone bill on the 13th, before I had left for Colorado. On the 25th, NONE of those three checks had cleared. And our car insurance was canceled. WTF?

So Matt called the insurance company and paid with his credit card over the phone, and I paid the phone bill online (there's a fee for doing so, which is why it's one of the few that we don't normally pay online) and put a new mortgage check in the mail. Then Matt had Bank of America put "stop payments" on the original three checks.

Well, here's where it goes beyond annoying. One of two things happened to the checks - either they were lost somewhere in the postal system (but the birthday cards I mailed at the same time still got to where they were going), or they were stolen en route. Assuming the second, if we hadn't put in the stop payments, someone could have fraudulently cashed the checks, and Bank of America would have had to refund us the money (over $2500) per their account agreement. By catching the error and putting stop payments on those checks, we prevented this situation from happening. And Bank of America charged us $30 per check for it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oooh Ooooh Oooh!!

I just bought tickets to Fettofest 2007 on September 1st. Headliner? VIRGINIA COALITION! And Jimmie's Chicken Shack. I'm so excited!! AND VaCo is putting out a new album this fall too!

Quickly, quickly!

I gotta leave in like 2 minutes. But I spent my afternoon over in the neuroscience imaging facility. I had a series of MRIs while doing various tasks for a research study, and then took a panel of cognitive reasoning tests. It was actually kind of fun...other than my butt falling asleep from not being able to move in the MRI and my eyes watering *badly* from the air puff "distractions." I got $70, and this:


Pretty nifty, huh? :-) I know, I'm SUCH a nerd!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wooo, 700th post!

So, I finally signed up for a Facebook profile. Trevor made me do it. Really! So I could join the Cancer Camp group. I'm such a lemming.

I descended into the bowels of hell, I mean, Wal-mart, and dropped off my camera from the rafting trip this morning to get the pictures put on a CD. So I'll have those tomorrow, yay!

I took my car in for an oil change and new spark plugs yesterday morning. As soon as I got back on the highway, the check engine light came on and the car wouldn't accelerate smoothly. SO I had to go straight back (and by straight back I really mean in a 5-mile circle). Turns out one of the spark plugs wasn't firing (although you couldn't tell from looking at it) and they had to put a new one in. Bleh. I guess it was okay in the end though.

Um, that's about it. I'm so boring this week. Next week will be better, I promise! Stick around.

I'm finding my way back to sanity again
Though I don't really know what I'm gonna do when I get there
-Lifehouse

Monday, July 23, 2007

Cancer Camp Pictures

As promised. Rafting pictures will be up whenever I manage to get my butt over to (shudder) Wal-mart.

Hiking up Snowmass Mountain...yes, that *is* snow in the background:


They don't call 'em The Rockies for nothing:


Part of the awesomest path lab group:


Mmm, pizza before the concert:


Yes, that would be the Average White Band:


Always be prepared for crazy Colorado weather:


"The gang" out in downtown Aspen on Friday night:



Dinner at Su Casa:



Two opponents and one teammate in Aspen:


The ghetto-fabulous winners:


Trevor gets "yo' momma" joke advice from Josh and Ted:


Dean and I would not be this happy the following day when United canceled our flight:


With roomie Bernadette:


And apparantly, the following is what happens when you ask someone to hold your camera for you (ahem):

(Ted)

(Heather)

(Federico)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Nerd camp

Yeah, so it turns out that there are still places in the US that don't offer complimentary wireless access. Amazoring.

So...28 hours of path lab, 8 lectures, and three poster sessions. I think I learned some stuff. And it was pretty cool as well.

I also went with 40-ish other people for margaritas, hiked most of the way up Snowmass Mountain, went rafting on the Colorado River, saw the Average White Band (!), went to downtown Aspen for mexican food and pool, hot-tubbed and got my groove on on the dance floor. I'd say it was a pretty good week.

EXCEPT for the travel. So, I already wrote about last Sunday and the fallout from my flight time change. Well, I had to fly standby on my flight from Denver to Dulles today as well. I got into Denver right around noon and went to Quiznos with another girl from the same flight. As I'm walking back, sandwich in hand, my 3:31pm flight that, as of 15 minutes ago was leaving from gate B39, is now canceled. I and another guy from the workshop are both supposed to be on that flight, so we go to the United counter to see what's going on (and wait in line for a very long time). They tell us that they can get us to *Philadelphia* today, but the earliest they can officially rebook us to anywhere in the DC area (Dulles, Reagan, or BWI) is tomorrow afternoon. Ugh. So we're on the standby list for two of the next three flights (1:25 and 6:55, there was no way we were going to take the midnight flight). Amazingly we both get on the 1:25 flight. But seriously, this is the first and last time I fly United.

Anyway, I'll get some pictures up tomorrow. I'm still slightly on MST so even though I went to bed reeeeally late last night, I'm still not super tired at the moment.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Aspen!

Well, so I made it here. On time, amazingly. My flight was supposed to take off at 10:15. Matt dropped me off at Dulles at 9:10, and I go to the kiosk to check in. I put in my confirmation number, and it says that it's too late to check in for that flight. Huh, I thought domestic flights were supposed to be an hour before takeoff. Glitch in the system? More like glitch in United. They moved the flight back to *9:38* and the check-in window closes 40 minutes before takeoff for checked bags. They can't check me in. So they put me on standby for the flight at 12:15, and I have the long uncertain wait to see if I get a seat. Oh, and I got the "standby special" courtesy of the TSA. Puffer, radiation swabs, hand search, the works. Fun.

The bright side is that I did get a seat on the 12:15 flight, and because I was originally supposed to have a three hour layover in Denver, we landed and I still had 35 minutes to get off the plane (and of COURSE I'm in row 30), get my boarding pass printed, and get from gate B25 to B59. Moving walkways were my best friend today.

So here I am now, and I have a little over two hours before we get underway. I'll try to get the wireless internet working tonight (haven't tried yet but I think all I need is a code from the front desk) so I'll hopefully be posting throughout the week (MST).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

It's almost here

Holy crap, by this time tomorrow I'll be on a plane to Colorado. Three years of trying and now it's less than 24 hours away. Crazy.

So, I was the last one out of the lab three days running (and I do mean *last* as in later than Byungwoo, who is a little too dedicated to science and is usually the last person to leave every day). But, the stupid thing (see post below with bar graph) finally worked with the new control. Jason helped me test the old one, and sure enough there was twice as much of the old "control" in one set of cells as there was in the other. Rawr rawr rawr. But at least we're going to get a short communications paper in JID from all this, yay! And I finally have a gene to work with, yay! I bought Jason a donut to thank him for saving my sanity.

I finished all my poster slides (18) and printed them before I left last night. So I just have to mount them today and then that's all done. I was up pretty late last night doing stuff around the house (laundry, bills, etc) and I still have a ton of stuff to do today too - in addition to the regular pre-trip stuff I have to make two desserts for our pastor's family and make the house presentable enough for Matt McHugh to come stay a couple days next week. I'm planning on making lemon-blueberry pound cake and white chocolate-raspberry mousse cups.

Oh, I picked up my new shoes from payless yesterday. The woman at the counter at the Kentlands store hates her job, I think. I had actually seen the black ones in the store, but it was BOGO sale time and I couldn't find anything else in my size that I liked, so I ordered online. And I can always manage to find a coupon for a couple bucks off too. I really love the new American Eagle line they have now...I've bought 4 pairs of AE shoes already (all flats, coincidently).

Speaking of ordering online, I ordered my dad's birthday presents this week. I ordered them both from amazon.com, but when I got to the checkout it turned out that one shipped from amazon.com and one shipped from an amazon.com merchant, so I couldn't use the order total to qualify for the free "super saver" shipping. Thus, I had to pay two separate shipping charges! Ugh. At least it'll get there on time.

Let's see, nothing much else that I can think of at the moment...my head still feels a little fuzzy. I'll be almost guaranteed to have internet while I'm away so I'll try to post some updates this coming week!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Yeah, my camera phone sucks

I took this picture at work today...someone in our lab wrote this on the board (I'm not sure who). Dave is a research assistant who is going to medical school. And he likes karate or jujitsu or one of those things.


I know, the image quality sucks. But it says "Ninja Dave, We will miss you. But we might not realize you're gone right away. You're very stealthy."

This is why I luuuuuuurve advice columns

Dear Prudie,
My daughter is 5 years old and has, like most girls her age, a hamper's worth of stuffed animals. While she has her favorites, she constantly wants more and usually connives to get someone (read: her grandparents) into procuring a new one every couple of weeks. The new one immediately becomes her favorite and she must sleep with it every night and haul it around half the day. My question is: Does this behavior indicate she'll be overly promiscuous as an adult, or at least unable to commit to a single partner?

—Perhaps Overly Worried Father

Dear Perhaps,
Of course that's what it indicates. You'd better start thinking now about what you're going to do when she's a young woman and throws over that big, chubby guy with the annoying laugh, Barney, for the sexually ambiguous Tinky-Winky, whom she then dumps for that moron, Elmo, who every time they come over asks you to get down on the floor and tickle him.

—Prudie

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's not a truck!!

Matt got this screen grab last night :-)

They're only keeping me safe from myself

Good grief, you'd think I was trying to buy morphine or something.

I tore a contact lens on Friday. My contact lenses are monthly, so if I went on to the next one in the box I'd be a month behind. So I took the box (with the prescription on it) to the optician today.

Me: Can I order a single, replacement contact lens?
Optician Guy: Sure, do you have your prescription?
Me: (Hands him the lens box)
OG: No, we need your prescription.
Me: Isn't that the prescription on the box?
OG: Yes, but we need the written doctor's prescription.
Me: (blank stare)

So I go to the optometrist, to get a copy of my prescription on file.

Me: Can I get a copy of my current contact lens prescription?
Receptionist: (spells my name wrong, can't find it, finally gets my file via SSN) There's a 48 hour turnaround, do you want to come back and pick it up or have it faxed?
Me: 48 hours for a piece of paper in my file??
Receptionist: Well, we have to go pull it from medical records.
Me: (blank stare)

So now, I won't have my written doctor's prescription and be allowed to order my contact lens until Thursday, and it usually takes 4-5 days for it to come in. Oh, and I'm leaving town Sunday. So I won't actually have the lens until the 23rd.

But at least I'm not ABUSING EYE CORRECTION.

News, brought to you by overused internet meme

Pope to non-Catholic denominations: No you can't have religion. Not yours.

China to former head of food and drug agency: No you can't have life. Not yours.

Gonzales to Senate intelligence committee, circa 2005: No you can't have truth. Not yours.

I'm horrible, I know.

Monday, July 09, 2007

One day our generation is gonna rule the population

It's not that we don't care, we just know that the fight ain't fair
So we keep on waiting, waiting on the world to change
-John Mayer

Work, work, work...Hello ladies!

Stupid stupid stupid. So it turns out that the "control" we had been using (the one that most everyone uses, actually) may not be so controlled in our experimental conditions. Nice. We're checking it sometime this week, and looking for another control in the meantime. Stupid.

Reminiscing

Like I said on my Myspace page once, I occasionally have delusions that other people are interested in my life. Especially at 1AM. Well, I was dreading going to work tomorrow and feeling pretty unaccomplished, and not sleeping. So I went to my computer and started looking through my old college papers. I think I wrote some pretty darn good stuff. Aside from my 66-ish credits of biology and chemistry, I accumulated lot of anthropology papers (six classes for my minor), with some history and other humanities thrown in for good measure:

~Giving and Sharing: The !Kung and the Ju/’Hoansi
~Herbal Remedies for Anxiety and Depression
~Malaria: African vs. Western Medicine and Development
~The Meaning of Kinship in African Healing and Health
~A Multi-Cultural Examination of Wedding Ceremonies and Rituals
~Kinship Structure and Its Functions in African Healing Rituals
~Analysis of Ancient Greco-Roman Women’s Cults: Isis and Bona Dea
~Creativity and Stephen King
~Conquest and Collapse: The Imminent Failures of the British Economic System in Africa
~Ideology versus Implementation: An Analysis of Tanzania’s Post-Independence Economic Difficulties
~Symbolism and Functions of Labyrinths in Early Christian Worship
~"God, Gold, and Glory” – Motives of Imperialism
~Chinese Censorship and the Banning of “To Live”
~Medical Ethics: “To Clone or Not To Clone” and Other Questions

No English papers? That's why I took children's lit!

And how much of that body of knowledge do I actually still use? Big fat zero, sparky. Liberal arts education at its finest. Although it might occasionally be useful in Trivial Pursuit.

I think I'll try going to bed again.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Money money money money...MON-NEY

Pre-vacation shopping, part 2 (part 1 was books). We dropped about $85 today at Child's Play, an awesome toy/game store down in Chevy Chase. They have one in Rockville but it's smaller with less selection, and the people are too pushy and hover-y. Matt picked out Scotland Yard, a detective chase game. I picked out Apples to Apples, which is hilarious for a group. The only trouble is that we can't play either of the games with just the two of us! I also got a 1000-piece puzzle of Van Gogh's Starry Night. I plan on assembling it a second time after we get back (luckily it will fit on our card table) and then getting puzzle glue so I can frame and hang it. It's about 26"x14" when finished.

This is going to be the funnest vacation EVAR!

Friday, July 06, 2007

I'm a little behind

I told someone that today was my last day of 20th grade. Now that I think about it, that's pretty depressing. As is the fact that I could have been in a coma for the last 13 months and not be any farther away from graduating than I am currently. Sigh.

Okay, happier thoughts. Um...

Okay, my Old Navy order was actually delivered today. And I got the gas tank I needed at work.

Well, that's all I got. They say that in order for someone to believe they had a good day, they need seven good things for every bad thing. So, I figure I need about 40 more good things. Everyone start ponying up.

UPDATE: Okay, I took care of one for you guys - made dessert to take to mom and dad's tomorrow; I was nervous while it was in the oven because the reviews (that I only read after it was in the oven...what, it had 4.5 stars overall!) said that the chocolate chips all sunk to the bottom, the cake stuck to the pan, it was kind of oily, etc. Looks like it came out okay though. Seriously though, you guys are still on the hook for the other 39. Oh, the cake? Orange and dark chocolate chip pound cake.

Why the farking hell can't anything ever *work*

This is the bane of my existence:


Why? Because only two of those bars are supposed to be down (and thus red). Especially the last one, should absolutely not be down. I've done this I don't know how many times, and I *cannot* get the damn confirmation.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Scratch that

Sigh.

Why does the weather hate me? The first year I really want to go to DC for the fireworks, and it's a better chance than not to get rained out. And I didn't sleep well last night either.

Put this one on the list of less than great holidays.

Monday, July 02, 2007

No! Bad Bushie! BAD!

Picture that with a rolled-up newspaper.

So, Clinton obstructs justice over a blowjob, and we impeach him. Libby obstructs justice over the outing of a CIA agent, and Shrubya says "Yeah, he's guilty, but I'll toss his jail sentence anyways."

Well, at least that's basically what he said by commuting the prison sentence instead of pardoning him. I think that's actually worse than a pardon. I mean, if you're gonna give the rest of the country the finger, at least have the balls to do it 100%.

This has got to be just about the most corrupt, non-democratic government in the history of the country. We're so FUBAR, I don't even know what to say anymore.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The day after the 3rd day of the 7th month

So, Matt and I are going to Washington DC for the Fourth of July. If anyone is interested in meeting us and spending the day in DC, we'd love to hang out with you. We'll be metro-ing in around 11AM (NOTE: The Smithsonian stop on the blue/orange lines at the National Mall is closed on Wednesday), doing some museums during the day, having a very late lunch somewhere (4-ish?), and then parking ourselves on the National Mall or the Capitol/Memorials area afterwards to have a good view of the fireworks which are scheduled to start around 9:15PM. Bring a blanket, and maybe a book or something. And sunscreen. Do not forget the sunscreen.

If you're interested, give us a call and we'll figure out where to meet you!

Summer Reading

I took advantage of Borders/Waldenbooks' "buy three get one free" sale today. Since I'm going to be having a good bit of free time coming up with vacation at the end of July, plus rather long flights and layovers to and from Aspen in two weeks. So in addition to finishing The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis) and the rest of the short stories in Everything's Eventual (Stephen King), I now have the following to tackle:
~ The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
~ Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
~ Lisey's Story by Stephen King
~ The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (and apparently Matt says I'm not allowed to read this one until I read Brimstone and Dance of Death, which we already have)

Good thing I'm a fast reader :-)