Tuesday, November 29, 2005

back to work

Well, I figure its time to get back to blogging.

Its been nearly three weeks since Ed died, which is hard to believe. The night we found out that he had died, I didn't really think that I would make it through ONE more day. But here I am. So thats promising. Everyone says that it gets easier over time, which I am sure is true. However, it hasn't even really sunk in yet, which is strange. I mean, you go to the wake, you see him in the casket and you know that he is really dead. You bury him. But still, I find myself thinking of him as just being out of town. Or something. I don't know when that changes, or if it ever does.

It was nice to see all of our relatives that we don't often get to see. My dad's side of the family in particular is spread out across the country and thus it seems we only get together when people get married and when they die. And although none of my friends were able to make it from out of town (Melissa/Matt and Mel's family are relatively local, so they were there, as was a good friend from grad school who is now living and working in Boston) I got a lot of nice phone calls (which admittedly I have not returned yet), cards and flowers. It was funny, some people who I didn't really expect anything from really surprised me with their thoughtfulness, yet some others who I did expect to hear from haven't even called or sent an email since, which was equally surprising. I guess you never know.

Thanksgiving was more difficult than I thought it would be, as we don't usually all get together as a family on Thanksgiving (since I have been living far from home for so long), its not unusual for me not to see everyone on that day. We went to a friends house for dinner with the two girls from the lab who were suppossed to have spent Thanksgiving in Florida with us and my parents this year. I was okay during the day and dinner but a little sad when I got home. But my mom called, with impeccable timing, to give me some good news! Nick and Jessica had finally broken off their sham marriage!! Hurrah! Run, Nick! Run!

The single upshot of my Thanksgiving was that I was in town to see the Dandy Warhols play at Cat's Cradle. I love the Dandys. I dragged Brian along as well as some other friends from my current lab and from Duke. It was good. They were good, and also, the lead singer is hot and he took off his shirt. We liked that a lot. Who cares if he's a jerk (which I've heard)? I just want to look. Also, I really liked that there was actually a guy playing the trumpet in the concert. If you've listened to the Dandys, you'll know that a lot of the songs have trumpet in them. I kinda figured that was just something for the album and that it would be played on synthesizer or something at a concert. But no! I was wrong!

Finally, Brian knows how to take my mind off of things, so he bought me 2 video games. I have since been spending inordinate amounts of time training Pokemon (because yes, I am ten years old) and fighting in 'Pokemon Colesseum'! After I finish with this, its back to Final Fantasy X, which I've already played through, but I wanted to try again. And I had borrowed it from someone, so we had to buy it again. I'd better be done these by Christmas at which point I hope to be playing the new Dance Dance Revolution game with a set of new RedOctane dance pads! Hint hint!

Oh. Also have had some very good news from Herryn which I will wait to post about until it has been disseminated to all relevant parties.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My brother

As you may have heard by now, my brother Ed passed away on Thursday.
Brian and I are on our way to NH at the moment to be with my parents and my other brother Jim.
Thanks so much to everyone who has been calling and emailing. I really appreciate that you're all thinking of us.
At the moment, we don't know when the wake and services will take place, but I'll try to disseminate this information somehow (probably by email) when this has been planned.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I almost forgot.

Kristin sent me a link to this post, which I wanted to link here for everyone's enjoyment.

This is a thorough analysis of why the "Mom Jean" cut is not good for ANYONE. High waist? Tapered ankles? First of all, tapered ankles make your hips look bigger. No woman in the universe needs this, so please! Jeans-makers across the world, unite!! Save us from ourselves and do not make these!

The butt comparisons are also of note, although I personally couldn't wear the alternative pair of jeans because the pockets are too low on the butt.

Oh also, mom? Note the Camel Toe.
(A few weeks ago, our phone rang. I answered it, innocently. My mom was on the other line to ask me if I knew what a camel toe was.)

Monday, November 07, 2005

busy busy busy

The last week or two have been so busy, no time to blog!
I went to Boston... well, Medway anyhow, for the weekend for Melissa's 30th birthday. Very fun and exciting and filled with shopping and general eating of crap. Seriously, I do not have the ability to not eat things that are in front of me. Especially when they are that most wonderful treat of salted peanuts mixed with M&Ms, of which I think I ate about 12 pounds of. And ice cream sundaes immediately before bed, on more than one occasion.
I did not have any issues at all with USAir, so I have nothing to complain about. Which is too bad because we know how I love to complain. The only problem that I did have is that my iPod froze up, which has never happened to me before. I am a little bit of an obsessive music listener and must have a constant soundtrack in my life. Especially when in a boring place such as an airplane with a loud crying child behind me. I had to let the battery run down, which sucked because I wasn't able to find my wall charger before I left. This problem was solved by buying a car charger, which I kind of secretly wanted anyhow, as I just bought myself an iTrip (which broadcasts my iPod onto an empty radio station so that I can listen to it in the car). Then I was also able to charge the iPod in Matt and Mel's super ugly Honda Element.

I did try to surprise Melissa with this trip. In fact, Matt and I had an elaborate cell phone ruse that we tried in the car on the way home from the airport, which was almost tragically cut short by the fact that my cell phone seems to hold a charge for about 10 seconds, and was almost dead. I called Mel to 'chat' and Matt called her while I was on the phone with her to ask if she wanted him to bring anything home for dinner? I tried to maintain the charade while we were walking in the door, but of course Mel is COMPLETELY unsurprisable and watched me walking up the front walk, not surprised at all. She said mildly 'You're right out front' or something completely unsurprised like that. This is not the first time that Matt has arranged a surprise for Mel that I've been involved in, and this is also not the first time that she's been completely and utterly on to us. Oh well. Surprise or not, it was fun and I'm glad I could be there for the ascendancy into the 30s!

Almost immediately upon my return I attended an epigenetics meeting that thankfully was local. It was good, and mostly I just got to see some people from the old lab and from my PhD science-life. Also, there were some painfully bad graphs included in some of the talks, so I was happy to see Karl's recent post about bad graphs. It is sad when potentially interesting data is rendered completely incomprehensible by Microsoft Excel. And it happens a lot. And I won't even start on people's PowerPoint faux pas. I have very definate ideas about what makes a good slide and what makes a bad slide. Number 1: TOO MANY WORDS.

On Saturday I attended a Weight Watchers meeting with a friend from work. I had been taking Paxil for about a year to control my irritable bowel. It worked MIRACULOUSLY for that, but even though I was taking a very low dose, I did not escape the Paxil weight gain. After some reading on the internets I saw that the average person on Paxil gains 20 lbs. For me it was closer to 30 over the last year. Add that to the 10 pounds I gained in the selling house and moving frenzy of a few years ago, and you've got one big porker (Granted, I cannot blame this ALL on Paxil. Towards the end, I would be eating my pizza or whatever and literally think to myself, 'What the hell. I'll have another piece. I'm already fat!'). Because of that, I decided to stop taking it (for better or worse), so I stopped about 3 weeks ago. I did try going to the gym for a while, but it didn't seem to make a huge difference. Those of you who have known me for a while know that I was quite successful with WW once before, I lost 30 lbs in the year prior to my wedding and kept the vast majority of it off for several years. So I decided to go back again. I'm a lifetime member now (because I hit my goal weight before and stayed there) so I don't have to pay inititation fees etc. I did fine the first week, stayed the same the second week, and this Saturday gained 3.6 pounds (well, that was a 2 week total gain) after the party weekend and the ten million fun size Milky Way bars that I was completely incapable of not eating. Hurrah!!

So now I have to get back on the stick. And primarily I have to cut way down on the drinking. Too many of my points are spent on wine, which is not always accurately accounted for. Also, once I've had a glass or two I become more likely to eat those Milky Ways or whatever. I thought also I would mention my progress in the blog occasionally, so that I am accountable to someone other than me and my Weight Watchers book.

Other than that, not too much else going on. I got my hardback bound copies of my dissertation, which is cool. I wrote a book!!