Friday, January 27, 2006

When to think twice about auto-fill-in

So. I was at this workshop this week right? It was good overall and I'm glad I went.

At one point in the workshop we were discussing websites and the instructor had a laptop (not sure whether this was his laptop or one that had been provided) that was projecting up onto a screen so that we could all watch. He was using a web browser and going to various websites to show us how to use them. His browser was doing that auto fill-in thing, so as he was starting to type in website addresses it was filling in with other addresses that were in the history. I noticed one filled in address that came up - www.czech-girls.com or something. It was only up there for a second, because as soon as he filled in more of the address he was looking for it went away, because it was no longer a match. I thought to myself, 'Did I just see that?' but I didn't see anyone else in the room react at all, so I thought maybe I was crazy or that I had misread it. I totally forgot about it. Until now.

I am back in the lab now, and I was just talking to another girl who went to the workshop. She started telling me that she had seen something weird when he was doing the website stuff, and I said 'You mean www.czech-girls.com?' But she had seen ANOTHER one, something like 'freeporno.com' or something. And that she too had looked around to see if anyone laughed or anything but no one did, so she didn't think anyone else had noticed it. The fact that we both saw two different porn-y sounding websites makes me think that neither or us is crazy. Hee.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

busy this week

V. little posting or emailing is going on this week because I'm attending a grantwriting workshop. It has been good so far but it goes on ALL WEEK and I'm getting a little antsy to go back to the lab.
Just so you don't think I've fallen off the face of the earth.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Embracing my inner dork

Oh, I almost forgot!

I have joined the band at my institute. No, my rock star career has not gotten a start - I mean the band. Being in the band in high school often has dork-related connotations (I don't know what that is all about though - I personally was Miss Popular! Hee!). I'm thinking that when you're an adult working in a lab environment full of other people who were probably a little on the geeky side AND you're in the band on top of that?? That must be the HEIGHT of dorkitude. However, I'm doing it. For God's sake, I'm already in the bridge club. How much dorkier could I get?

I told the guy I play sax, flute and oboe - but that I'm a little rusty at the oboe and thus probably sound like a dying duck. A little rusty. That can be translated as "I haven't picked the thing up since I graduated college". They were pretty excited about that because they said they'd never had an oboist. Its too bad I don't own a bassoon or I'd be a double double-reed shocker! Now I'm trying to order some reeds online (I never learned how to make them myself, which was one major factor in the eventual undoing of my music performance major) so that I have something to play on. I think the music will be pretty darn easy, but I don't want to sound like an idiot. Also, I don't want to depress myself too much.

Back in the Duke blue

The past few days I've been on "sabbatical" - I'm working with Brian over at Duke. My PI said ' You know, most people go somewhere cool on sabbatical. You're just going to Durham.' Heeeeee.
I'm here trying to learn a technique from my husband, the fab cell biologist, We got through the whole experiment (two overnight steps, so it took ~3 days) and it didn't really work. The control did, but none of the stuff I was trying to use. Bummer. So now we're starting over, trying again.
Brian is seriously the most anal-retentive man on the planet. I don't know how we ended up together, but we did. And more importantly, he hasn't killed me yet. I am a bit of a disaster area. At home it works out okay though - I've reined my slobbiness in considerably, and he tries to not be too particular.
In the lab, his analness reaches new levels, because I'm not here to normalize him. I swear, the guy would draw circles on his shelves indicating the exact position to place bottles. He hasn't, but he totally would. I think I must be driving him nuts by not putting things back in the exact right places.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My love-hate relationship with bridesmaiding

Well! Blogging today from Herryn's house in Knoxville, while she's still asleep. We had a busy busy weekend of wedding planning stuff, which was mostly fun. The only not fun part? Trying on bridesmaids dresses. Holy crap.

I remember when I got married all those long years ago, I was wearing about a size 12 when I had to pick out my wedding dress. These dress shops have a single sample of each dress, which is generally a size 8, 10, or 12. The kicker is that the sizes are not the same as the sizes of the clothes you wear every day - they run about 2 sizes smaller (or the clothes you wear every day run two sizes bigger). So the samples are really size 4, 6, 0r 8. At the wedding dress time, I could get the dresses on my body but could not possibly even dream of zipping them up. So I had to picture what the dress would look like if it fit me, which was not always easy.

Cut to this weekend, where I have become a big fat bastard and I currently wear a size 16. Which is bad enough, but now those samples are 4-6 sizes too small, instead of 2-4. Holy crap. Many of them I couldn't even get over my hips. The ones that I could do were no way going to come even close to closing over my uh.. ample bosom. So jeez. Poor old Herryn is trying to glean any useful information from these ridiculous attempts to try things on, which clearly is getting her nowhere. So that was great! A whole day of being 20 sizes too big! I really don't understand why these places can't have two samples, one is a smaller size and one in a larger size. Even though I know I'm on the heavier side right now, but I'm pretty sure that statistically the "average American woman" is a size 12 or 14. I'm not asking for the sample to fit me perfectly, but it would be helpful if I could at least get it ON.

Then we went to David's bridal, which, although a complete and total madhouse, works differently. They have many sizes of every dress, and the sizes match up to what you wear normally. So that was nice. I would try on things that were my size or close to it (or even larger!) and we could actually tell what they looked like. The biggest challenge I think is going to be finding something that will look reasonable on me and another bridesmaid (both of us, even if I were at my thinnest, are super busty) and on the MOH who is very petite and small. Complicating things further is that there is the potential for at least one pregnant bridesmaid by the time this thing rolls around. You would think they would make a reasonable number of maternity bridesmaid dresses, but you'd be wrong. There are a few, but not many. And not like maternity versions of another dress - they're generally totally different.

Now I've really got to get back into the weight loss in earnest. You will recall that I was planning on starting back on WW, but that was back in November right before my brother died. Obviously I got a little off track after that. I am pleased to say that I haven't gained anything additional since then (even with that, and the holidays, and everything) which is good because it seemed to be piling on pretty steadily in the year leading up to that. I may try to go back soon.

Finally, it has been fun going around K-ville with Herryn, who is a TV reporter. Some people totally seem to recognize her and thats amusing to watch. I remember seeing local TV reporters around my neighborhood in Cleveland and you'd look at them like - don't I know you? Did we go to school together or something?

Ok, everyone's up now (including her dog who is practically trying to maul me) so I better go.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

What I wouldn't do to get Bravo!

My cable company doesn't have Bravo as part of the channel lineup. Its a bummer, especially since my mother got me hooked on 'Project Runway' when I was home for Christmas. I read the recaps on Television Without PIty, but its not the same!

Maybe its for the best though, because Santino just irritates the living crap out of me. Nervous Breakdown keeps an eye on Santinos equally irritating blog, so you don't have to. You'll want to check out those links there. My favorite one is 'Satano' (click on 'equally' above, mom!).

Its okay though, because I do still have Lost to watch on Wednesday nights! And yesterdays new episode was great, as usual!!

A few pieces of news

News #1 - My brother Jim just rode along with the 48hrs of Tri-state drive-a-thon for charity, organized by a Subuaru owners group. This year they raised money to donate to the American Cancer Society in memory of my brother Ed. If you're interested in this, he said that they are still taking donations - there's a link on the '48hrs of Tri-state' page linked above - but that so far they had raised around $2000. You can see some of his pictures here, if Subarus driving through snow is your thing.

News #2 - My parents adopted an 8 month old Sheltie female yesterday! She still remains nameless until they decide on something. She's a tri-factored (or mahogany) sable. This is their third sheltie. So now our Milo (he's a blue merle)has a Sheltie sister! Perhaps we'll have a picture soon?

News #3 - I am heading off to Knoxville, TN for the weekend to visit Herryn for some wedding planning excitement, and hopefully do some bridesmaid dress shopping! Hurrah! That means that Brian will be beginning his ritualistic eating of pizza, hamburgers and bratwurst tomorrow night.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Another day, another Diet Coke

I know I left you with a lot of reading yesterday, so today I'll just tell you this:

Diet Black Cherry Vanilla coke = yum

I got a free one a Target this weekend. I'm a fan. I was sad to read that with this good news comes some bad. Unfortunately, Diet Vanilla Coke will no longer be with us. I love that one too. But thats okay, I'll live with this.

Also, Diet Coke with Lemon is going away, which is also good because it tasted like crap. As my mom's friend said, it tastes like Lemon Pledge.

Besides, do people really put lemons in their cokes? I don't. Limes, yes. Lemons? No.

(Also, the free Coke I got was a 20 oz bottle. I drank some of it in the car on the way home and then brought it upstairs when I was playing PS2. I guess I also stopped in our bedroom and did something, I don't even remember. That night we got into bed and I was getting all comfy under the covers when my feet hit a cold, wet spot. I totally freaked out. I was trying to smell it using the 'wafting method' like we were taught in chemistry class, but I couldn't smell anything. Cat pee really stinks, you know. Ask my couch. Anyhow, I had to practically stick my nose in it to figure out what it was, and it smelled very vanilla-y. I must have not had the bottle closed all the way and put it on the bed, where it leaked)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The return of Sweaterboy!

Oh my god. Something so amazing happened yesterday that I can't believe I didn't post about it immediately.

One of the other postdocs (we'll call her 'Stalker') in my lab talked to Sweaterboy!

OMG. Oh. My. God.

She had gone down to the cafeteria ahead of me, and when I arrived with another friend we scanned the cafeteria to find her. The friend spotted her first. The exchange went like this:

Friend: "Are you sure she's already down here? I...don't...see... .... OH MY GOD. Ohhhhh my God!'

Me: "Wha??"

So, Stalker asked him about his soup habit. We've got an answer now: He had had a tooth pulled and was still having some trouble, so had been sticking largely to soup. Also, he's Russian and thinks that the American diet is horrible (which, of course is generally true) and that we should be eating a lot more soup, because its better for you. Of course as soon as she sat down with us we gave her a steady stream of crap. She said to our boss, who was also sitting with us 'Do you see why I can never get a date with anyone that works here?' To which he replied: 'Yes, because you stalk them. We don't like that'. Heeeeeeeeee.

Today was even more exciting, if you can believe that. Because today, we found out that he has stalked her as well. He asked her something about her twin, which she was totally perplexed by. But as it turns out, he was referring to her sister, who visited her here like THREE MONTHS AGO. So that long ago, long before she ever spoke to him, he noticed her and who she was with and REMEMBERED it. This is a big development in the Sweaterboy tale.

I'll be sure to keep you posted. I know you're all on the edge of your seats. Its like waiting for a new episode of 'Lost'!!
(Which comes TOMORROW, btw. The long drought is over!!)

The Annals of Internet Dates

I noticed that my old roomate mentioned on her blog that she may regale us with tales of her internet dates. I may be happily married now, but I was once a lonely single girl living on the mean streets of Boston, a town that while really cool, isn't filled with friendly single men. It was tough to meet them, so I turned to the internet dating thing. Keep in mind that this was right after I graduated college... 1997. Internet dating was not as mainstream as it is today, so it was filled with other geeks like myself. But I figured - hey, I was out there. So perhaps there would be other relatively normal men looking for dates. Boy, was I mistaken.

My first few dates were with this guy who was a law student at BU. He was nice enough but totally had a drinking problem, earning him the title 'the Alcoholic Lawyer'. What really tipped me off was when he said (and I quote) "My last girlfriend said that I had a drinking problem. Sure I do. I've got two hands and only one mouth!"

I went on a date with a postdoc in like, geology or something at MIT. I was not really feeling in the mood so I dragged along my friend who then dragged along my future husband (whom she was secretly dating at the time!). I wasn't really into this guy, so she and I took off after dinner. Brian however stayed out with the guy until late, went to another bar and played pool or something. Hee. Brian had a better time with my date than I did.

One guy that lasted more than one date became affectionately known as 'Stonehenge Teeth', christened as such by Brian for his widely spaced chompers. On the (I think) third date (where he asked me and thus, I think, should offer to pay - especially as he had a real job and I made $20K/year living in downtown Boston) I didn't bring any cash with me, and when the check came I said something about paying him back if we stopped at the ATM on the way home. He said 'Sure, that sounds good'. And I, already having been pretty sure I didn't want to date him further, said "No. What you meant to say was: 'No, of course not. I asked you out and I'm happy to pay for your lunch.'" He was a little taken aback, but did pay for lunch. He explained this by saying that previous women he had dated had stopped seeing him at the moment that he paid for things on dates and so he was wary of doing so. Well, that was the last date we had, so I was no exception to the rule.

By the time I had dated enough of these guys I got a little less wary and a little more tired of trying to find the random stranger who I was going on a date with at whatever venue we had chosen. So one guy I just said could come to my apartment building and buzz me. I know, probably not the safest but, I figured he'd have to get past the locked front door to come in and kill me, and that was a chance I was willing to take. Also, we had the 'ghetto bar' to keep us safe - this bar that held the door closed by sticking in a slot in the floor and one in the door. I had even gotten lazy at checking the guys profiles out online before agreeing to meet them in person. When I did this, you filled out a profile that included a question about your body type. Your choices were like 'slim', 'athletic', 'average', 'slightly overweight', and 'overweight'. I had observed to someone when I was filling this out that even though I personally felt that I was slightly overweight, I certainly wasn't going to answer that, and I put 'average', which I really was. After all, who would admit that they were overweight in a setting where you're trying to get dates sight unseen? No one. And by extenstion, anyone who put 'slightly overweight' and was actually admitting to being at all overweight, was probably significantly MORE overweight than 'slightly'.

Anyhow, this guy, I noticed way too late, had indicated that he was 'slightly overweight'. And when I met him, I found that my theory was correct. I did go to dinner with him. I told him when he picked me up that I wasn't feeling great and that I would probably not be out long, just so I'd have an out. He was so very boring and talked about his high school marching band the entire night. I was in marching band (in college too - but I was on the colorguard, so give me a break), but come on!

The most exciting one that I can remember was a guy I talked to on the phone for several hours the night before our date. I thought that, if nothing else, I would have a new friend in Boston. At the date, he was wearing a t-shirt and jeans. I noticed a little bit of tattoo sticking out from under the sleeve and asked to see it. When he pushed up his sleeve, his ENTIRE shoulder was covered in them. A totally random assortment too, ranging from bloody daggers to cute cartoon cows. I was a little surprised and he told me he actually had THIRTY tattoos, only a small proportion of which I could actually see. I asked (not really sure if I wanted to know the answer) where the rest of them were and he said 'Oh you know. My back, my legs, my stomach... and I have one here...'

At this point he pulled down his lower lip and (and I'm totally not kidding here) on the inside of his lip was tattooed 'EVIL'.

Holy crap.

I didn't go out with him again.

I'm interested to hear whether any of you have had similar freakish experiences.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pass the cheddar

Yet another reason to love cheese. As if I needed one.

Edited to add: Ok, fine. Thanks Keith for the article! Nyah.

Friday, January 06, 2006

A cautionary tale

Yeah, so I like wearing heels. I like shoes. Give me a break. As a result, I usually click loudly when I walk across hard floors, such as those lining the halls of the building that I work in. As a general rule, academic scientists can be a bit uh... lets say "very casually dressed", so I'm generally the only person wearing such shoes.

(Actually, in the last incarnation of my PhD lab, our lab was located near the administrative offices, including that of my advisor, the big cheese. Two other friends who have real jobs -i.e. admin jobs- also wore groovy clicky shoes. My advisor got tired of listening to our shoes outside of his office and installed carpeting in the hallway. Hee.)

The other people I work with like to make jokes about my noisy shoes. One friend, who is a PI and thus has her own office (!) likes to feign surprise every time i walk into her office and say something like 'Oh! You really snuck up on me!'. Heh. However, yesterday one of my co-workers made a shoes-related assumption that almost ended in disaster.

I had told my lab mates that I was going to go heat up my lunch so that we could go eat. I walked my lunch and my clicky shoes down the hallway to the microwave and fired it up. Unbeknownst to them, I then walked down another hallway so that I could hit the restroom while my lunch heated up. One of the other postdocs in the lab heard clicking shoes coming down the hallway and, thinking it was me returning from the microwave, decided to sneak up on me and scare me. So she crouched down along the wall to hide, and was just about to jump out at the clicky-shoes person when she realized that it was not in fact me, it was some woman in a suit. Accompanied by the DIRECTOR OF OUR INSTITUTE. She quickly straightened up and said 'Oops. Sorry' and retreated to the lab.

This just goes to show you that clicky shoes does not necessarily = me.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

No, it was definately 'Darjeeta'

Website I love, The Sneeze just had a post about people hilariously misnaming things. I tried to leave a comment but it isn't working at the moment, so I'll post my story here.

Any of you who have met my husband know that he is the evil master of doing this. He inadvertently makes up names for things, places, etc. and I'm suppossed to know what the hell he's talking about. Once he names something in his head he always uses the same name, so at least I've got a shot. For example, Pizzeria Uno is inexplicably called 'Deep Pan', and a bar we used to frequent called 'The Common Ground' was called 'The World's End'.
My favorite example is when he told a friend we had just seen a movie where Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (although surely he actually said 'You know, those guys from that other movie') played two angels. He said "I think it was called 'Darjeeta'." The friend said "Oh, you mean 'Dogma'?" After he thought for a minute he said "No... no, I'm sure it was 'Darjeeta'."

Also, upon reflection, my dad (he may have seen the light by now, this is a historical account) at one point called the state to the south 'Massatwosetts'.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Why aren't you watching Arrested Development?

Well?

I'm waiting...

Last night we watched two episodes of AD on Fox, one new and one rerun. How many television critics have to tell you people that this show is one of the best on television before you'll watch it?

Seriously. Before it gets totally cancelled and we can't watch it anymore.

(OK, Showtime or ABC may pick it up. But you still have to watch it)

(also, I spent a lot of time putting in all of those links, so you'd better check them all out)