Monday, September 26, 2005

A Crazy Wedding update

I know you were all just dying to know what has become of the crazy wedding couple, Jules and Dave. I'm happy to report that all is well on the newlywed front. I saw them this weekend, about a week after they returned from their honeymoon in Mexico. I got a little behind the scenes scoop too, which was all very funny. Julie said she's just about ready to laugh at it a little bit. Heh. I'm glad, because on the big sign-able picture frame they had at the wedding, I wrote 'Wish you were here!'. My absolute favorite part was when she was in the ambulance going from the chapel to the hospital and they asked her, 'On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, how nauseated are you?' To which she answered "8....9.....*barf*" Now, thats comedy right there.

She said that she heard other new brides at the resort complaining about what had gone wrong at their weddings.... a flat tire, etc. Julie just smiled, as she's clearly ahead of ANYONE in terms of wedding mishaps.

Thank god for the new TV season

The new television season has started well, hurrah!
First and foremost, Lost is FANTASTIC. I missed the airing of the first episode last Wednesday because I was at a retreat for work, but Brian taped it for me so I saw it on Friday night. Oh my god. Dying. Just DYING. When they were going down the hatch? And the scary light came on? Oh. And who was that guy? Was he the running up the stairs guy? I was happy I was watching it on tape because at least I didn't have to suffer through the commercials. So thank you Lost for delivering on all your promise, I love you. I was so hyped up after I watched it, I needed someone to talk to, so I called Pop-Pop (who watches it too).

Desperate Housewives, not so much. I think my disappointment with it comes from the fact that it was so hyped, now I feel that it doesn't live up to its expectations. As oppossed to say... Grey's Anatomy. Which I had no preconceived notion of, so I was able to just enjoy it. Its not an amazing show, but it is fun to watch. So... DH might not be must-see for me any more. I'll give it some time, but it just doesn't seem that great. And SO did not deserve to win the Emmy, so I'm glad that it didn't.

Another great great show is Arrested Development, which Bayly got us watching this summer. I would have felt personally responsible if that had gotten cancelled for lack of viewers. Thank god it is still hanging in there. Its on Monday nights on Fox, so please tune in. It is hysterically funny. When the show won an Emmy last week, in the speech they said something funny like "We'd just like to point out to you that this is the second year in a row that we're getting awards for a show that NONE OF YOU ARE WATCHING". Heh.

Diet Coke please.

The new Diet Coke guy (dancing in his red socks and suit) is my new television boyfriend. And now I can go to the website and watch his commercial any time I want.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Several items of note.

1. On Thursday night, we went to a live taping of 'Wait wait, don't tell me' at UNC. This episode will be airing on your local NPR station today! Or tomorrow!! So listen in.

2. Courtney Love has some fashion advice for Renee Zellweger and the Britster.

3. We're on our way to Chapel Hill for the Walk for PKD. Pictures coming soon!

4. My dad is at the Reno Air Races this weekend. Jealous!! I've been with him a couple of times and would love to go again. Maybe next year. Go Rare Bear!!

5. I have a cold, so I'm whiny and miserable. Apologies in advance for anyone who has to deal with me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

hummingbird nest

This morning we got an email on the all-work email list that someone had brought in a hummingbird nest, and it was available in the library for public viewing. So...being the nerds that we are, several of us went to see it. It was SO COOL. It was probably 2 inches across or so, a perfect little cup stuck onto a tree branch. I wish I had had my camera, but I didn't know. Don't normally bring my camera to work. Not that much of a dork.

Instead I found this cool website that shows daily photographs of the goings-on inside a hummingbird nest, from the time the eggs are laid until the chicks leave the nest. The nest pictured here is a lot more fluffy than the one we saw here, which was almost like a cup molded out of mud and lichen and tree bark. I read somewhere that hummingbirds use spider webs as 'glue' in their nest building and that they mould the sides of the nest between their body and their wings (like, in their armpit, if a hummer had an armpit).

We only have ruby-throats here, but I would like to see some out west or in Mexico or something where they have a lot more varieties around.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Dear The Gap

Dear The Gap,
Thank you for finally realizing that women have hips.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Craziest. Wedding. EVER.

I love weddings. I’m also a bit of a sucker for wedding bloopers (or just bloopers in general) so I always watch those stupid shows like ‘Wild Weddings!!!’ or ‘Weddings Gone Bananas!!!’ or whatever. However, this weekend I attended a wedding that was way way up there on the craziness scale. This is the tale of the wedding of Julie and Dave, a tragic (well, not totally!) opera in three parts.

Overture: The night before
Julie, a postdoc in my Ph.D. lab, also did her Ph.D. up in Cleveland, so many many mutual friends came down from Clevo for the wedding. It was a lot of fun to see everyone, some of whom I hadn’t seen since we moved to NC almost 2.5 years ago, so we gathered everyone (including our five houseguests!) at our house for some drinking the night before the wedding. At about 10:30, one of our guests (Dr. Jeff… er … I mean Dr. Sandwich – an actual medical doctor!) received a phone call from a slightly panicked bridesmaid saying that the bride was not feeling well, and what was his medical advice? We didn’t really know the details but all were waiting to see how she was going to feel the next day, sure that she just had a case of the pre-wedding jitters (“Did you check her feet? Are they cold?”).

Part I: The ceremony
(I would like to begin this part by stating that in the car on the way over to the ceremony? I felt totally nervous and slightly nauseated. So if I turn out to be psychic, this will have been one of the first examples of my powers.)
At 2pm, we all show up at the Duke Chapel, where the wedding was to take place. Everything is beautiful. We get our programs, are ush-ed to our seats, and sit down to listen to the pre-wedding organ music. After a while the priest comes out with the groom, and we all get a little nervous. The priest tells us that our Jules is not feeling well enough to get married. She’s not really strong enough to walk down the aisle, and it has been decided that we’d try again later at the reception. He did stress that she wasn’t having cold feet and that she was, in fact, actually at the chapel in the back room, but secretly we wondered. Their engagement had been called off once before, and although things seemed to be fine this time, we thought that it was theoretically possible that she was having second thoughts, and had gotten herself so stressed out about it that it made her sick. Hey. It could happen.
Anyhow, the ambulance came and carted her off to the Duke Hospital. Most people had left by this point, but a few remained, and we actually went into the chapel and staged pictures – sat one person in each aisle seat and had the bridesmaids and groomsmen pretend to process for some pictures. It was pretty amusing. Here are Amy and Missy during the fake picture posing:

Part II: The reception
At 5:30, the cocktail hour begins. The reception is at this swanky country club. Everything is beautiful. I drink gin and tonics. Mmm. And later gin gimlets, which are really quite tasty. We all chat. Here's Bayly, Kristin, Tori and Karen chatting:

We file into the reception hall to be seated for dinner. Eat our salads… still not quite sure what is going on. The head table has all the bridesmaids and groomsmen sitting at it, but the bride and groom seats in the middle are empty. Next, dinner. Dinner itself is eaten, still no sign of the bride and groom. By the time we get to dessert, we’re pretty sure they aren’t getting married that night. The DJ tries to get everyone dancing and my friends and I are happy to comply. It was still pretty bizarre though, because we were celebrating a wedding that still had not occurred, without the primary participants. At about 9:30 or so, Dave (groom) and parents arrive without Julie. Here's Dave being grilled for info (At first, I felt tacky about taking this picture as it seemed a bit like rubbernecking, but I saw the hired photographer doing it too, so I felt better):

Mom and Dad of the bride give a speech to tell us what is going on. Julie’s dehydrated and her electrolytes are all out of whack – she’s been on an IV at the hospital getting back in shape. They were concerned about possible unexpected side effects if they let her out of the hospital early, so she ended up staying, but the wedding was going to take place after all, at the hospital (!), with room only for a few people. Also, hey! We need to eat the cake, so someone cut it and they served it. Crazy. It was tasty though. Yum! We had about an hour and a half until everyone was leaving for the hospital wedding, so the strange party continued.

(A side note: at some point during the night, I found out that I had pulled an Alexandra Kerry and that my undergarments were visible under my dress in all the flash photography. See here (in the daylight):

and here (with a flash):

At least I was wearing a cute bra, but I was wearing FUNCTIONAL (read: ugly) underwear. Hurrah. So when everyone develops their pictures and sees me in my undies, thats what happened. I am not the wedding floozy! It was an accident!! The dress was DARK MAROON for gods sake!)

Part III. The hospital
We show up to the hospital at about 10:45ish, and had a very surreal conversation with the security guard where we said ‘We’re here for the wedding’ and he pointed us towards the hospital chapel. The room was very small, but I’d estimate that about 40 people were crammed in there, including the wedding party:

The bridesmaids filed in, we all hummed the wedding march, and Jules came in looking radiant in her actual wedding dress and veil. A short but sweet ceremony followed:

and they were married! Hurrah!

Then we went downstairs to the hospital lobby for pictures:

Epilogue: Our house
We got home at probably 1 am, but everyone was wide awake from all the excitement. And we wanted some drinks. So other Clevelanders also came over for the planned merriment. HOWEVER. We do not typically lock the door that goes from our garage into our home, as the garage doors themselves are locked, and there is no alternate way into the garage. But this time someone had inadvertently locked the door on their way out. And we had no house keys. I have mine on my car key ring, and I hadn’t driven to the wedding and had only a cute LITTLE purse, so no keys. Brian doesn’t carry his house key on his car key ring, he’s got this little key wallet – which he hadn’t brought. Of course, we’re in the garage with all of the tools, so everyone gave their best shot at picking our lock (where was brother Jim when we needed him):

But we gave in eventually and ended up calling a locksmith.

A good time was had by all. The End.

P.S. to wedding attendees - I will post pictures online and send you all a link, and I hope you will do the same!! I'm dying to see the pics!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Various updates.

Hope everyone had a nice Labor day weekend. Like a good little postdoc, I spent much of it working. Well, I was actually getting DATA! From actual EXPERIMENTS! How very exciting. So I couldn't wait until the end of the weekend to see the results and I had to come in. Because thats just how geeky I am, in case you were questioning it.

We did do some fun things though. We had a Labor Day potluck dinner which was fun, and Mehrnaz brought the best samosas I've ever tasted in my LIFE. I already miss those samosas and I had the leftovers for dinner on Monday, so its not like we've been apart that long. Samosas really are the best food ever. Spicy, starchy food wrapped in lovely pastry and deep fried. The only thing better really is deep fried cheese.

The PKD fundraising is going well! I've surpassed my target by $70, but I'm continuing my efforts to raise more money than Leo. There's still time to donate online here, or you can make donations to me in person. You'll also find some more helpful information about polycystic kidney disease on my fundraising page. Also check out Brian's (click on 'Tobias Team' over on the left side of the page and then on Brian's name). Brian did his PhD in one of the labs where the PKD gene was cloned, so he has a personal connection to it.

I know that many of you are putting your charity dollars to Hurricane related causes as well. Here are links to several worthy causes: The Salvation Army for general relief, and Noah's Wish or the Humane Society of America, two groups that aim to assist all the pets and animals that were left behind.

EDITED: New PKD Update!! Team Tobias is in 3rd place for fundraising at the Chapel Hill Walk for PKD! Behind such creatively named teams as 'Cease and De-cyst'. HAHA. See... we're trying to cure polyCYSTic kidney disease? Get it? Hee. Ok, I'm a dork.