Wednesday, March 29

slán a fhágáil ag duine

Who can translate that title?!?!?!

I'll give you a hint, I'm going to Ireland in a few hours, does that help??

Well I'm off to the airport in a bit, just wanted to say bye for now, should be back online around Saturday. Hope you all have a great rest of your week.

Tuesday, March 28

The jet setter

That's me!!!

Off to Dublin tomorrow for 3 days :)

Next weekend (maybe) Wales with my mates from uni.

In April, when my mum comes we might go to Paris (fingers crossed).

In May, I'm going to Berlin for 2 days with my mate Katie from LP (who lives in London).

Well that's my daily update, off to sort my washing & pack for my adventures, don't worry I'll take lots of photos!!


If you woke up this morning
with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the
million who won't survive the week.

If you have never experienced
the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or
the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people
around the world.

If you attend a church meeting
without fear of harassment,
arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost
three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator,
clothes on your back, a roof over
your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank,
in your wallet, and spare change
in a dish someplace, you are among
the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still married and alive,
you are very rare,
especially in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile
on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can,
but most do not.

If you can hold someone's hand, hug them
or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can
offer God's healing touch.

If you can read this message,
you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world
that cannot read anything at all.

You are so blessed in ways
you may never even know.

This blessing will only keep working if it is continuously
passed around. If you are a recipient of a blessing, keep
the blessing working by being the source of blessing to
other people.

- author unknown

Monday, March 27

I'm a good cook :)

So everyone just left to catch the northern line before it closes!!!

I made dinner, mild (b/c we had a few Brits who can't do much spice over black pepper) cajun jambalya (chicken, onions, red, green, yellow pepers, & garlic with hot pepper sauce) over rice cooked in chicken stock) for some of my mates from uni, Amanda, Dom, Dave & Sohel.

Amanda's from Wisconsin, Dom's from the southern coast of England (sorta near Brighton), Dave's from Southhampton, and Sohel's from Bangladesh.

Don't worry Susan, Louise, & Heather were invited but couldn't make it. Louise went out on the piss with the other kids in her course. Susan is in Bath with her friends who are visiting from the states, and Heather's sister & sis's boyfriend where seeing the musical Billy Elliot.

I have 2 cute photos of Dom & Sohel in the shamrock "hat" but I'm having trouble downloading - will try to post them later.

Dublin here I come

So I just booked a 3 day 2 night trip up to Dublin :) None of my mates from uni can go but I really wanted to go so I decided to book it!

Flying out on Wednesday afternoon & find my hostel for the night. Thursday a day tour of Dublin & castles (got a great deal through the hostel).

Friday I don't fly out till the evening so I'll explore Dublin on foot that day - I'm sure I'll have lots of photos which I'll post when I have some free time (probably over the weekend).

Okay off to get some food for dinner. Amanda, Dom & Dave are coming over for cajun jumbalya.

Sunday, March 26


You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.
You're always willing to lend a helping hand.
In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going.
"15 seconds to showtime!"
The Muppet Personality Test


You Have A Type B+ Personality


You're a pro at going with the flow
You love to kick back and take in everything life has to offer
A total joy to be around, people crave your stability.

While you're totally laid back, you can have bouts of hyperactivity.
Get into a project you love, and you won't stop until it's done
You're passionate - just selective about your passions

Do You Have a Type A Personality?

Airbus A380

Made pancakes for MissyLou & me this morning. After that she went back to work on her essays while I did the dishes, swept & mopped the floors, and cleaned the toilet - yeah I've been super efficient today! Then got a txt message from Jim saying he was finally awake, so I just back from a visit with him - he was so excited about his new shirts. Rob on the other hand couldn't get outta bed (apparently it was a SUPER late night last night) glad I missed it - I rather enjoyed my sleep!

Just heard from Dom & Amanda, looks like they're still up for dinner tonight so I'll probably have to do a little food shopping & cooking in a bit, but for now I'm going to veg in front of my computer screen & watch the rest of Under the Tuscan Sun (fell asleep last night during it).

So as some of you know my sis works for Pratt & Whitney. She's a test engineer and one of the plans she was tentatively work on was the A380, which is a joint venture between Pratt & GE. Here is a
recent article about how things are going - I found it interesting.

returning to the usa

just got my return flight for sept - weird now b/c it's so official, kinda sad :(

well it's 30 sept 2006 at 16.35 from heathrow arriving at boston 18.40.

for merely £75 switching ($100 ticket change & £25 rebooking fee)

off to make american style pancakes for missylou & me!

Saturday, March 25

Even on holiday I can blog!

So today was my first official full day of holiday :)

Was woken up at 11am by Rob who wanted to go for breakfast. I agreed to meet him in 45 minutes so that I could first shower, check my email, & get a parcel from the post - it was my present for Jim & me from my mate Pete in the states. Half way back from the post I ran into Rob who'd already been to mine & found I wasn't there. So we walked back to my flat to opened the box. Inside were 4 things!!
2 NY State Trooper shirts for Jim,

1 summit base tshirt,

and 1 cute little NYS Trooper bear :)
This parcel arrived so perfectly timed - I've been missing home & now I don't have to miss it as much b/c I've got my own little trooper bear (will try to get photos at some point).

So after that excitement was over we decided to head for some breakfast. Rob asked if I minded going down to Camden. To which I replied, "I've got nothing to do for the next month, I don't give a care where we eat" so we hopped on the southbound Charing Cross branch of the Northern line & got off at Leicester Square (not Camden at all! For those of you unfamiliar with the layout of London, Camden Town is one stop down the tube from Kentish Town (where we live) and about 6 stops south of Camden is Leicester Sq.) We turned left out of the station towards Covent Garden but when all was said and done we ended up eating very close to Charing Cross tube station.

After lunch (we'd missed breakfast by about 30 minutes) we decided to do a little walk about London. Rob suggested doing something "cultural" for those of you who know Rob will make you laugh! But I agreed it would be nice, so we headed west towards Trafalgar Square - when we got there we noticed a lot of police action so we had to go and check it out of course. There was a protest going on so we looked at that for a bit & then walked through all the pigeons on the steps (like in Mary Poppins).

From there we walked down Pall Mall & cut down a side street which got us to the back of the Horse Guard, so we took a little side trip to see them. We walked down Whitehall Road, past 10 Downing Street, to Big Ben/ Westminster tube station, across the bridge and finally at our destination, the London Aquarium. We both got in for £8.50 instead of £10 concession on being a student ID card and Rob's warrant card.

We wandered around the aquarium for over an hour - we saw lots of different kinds of fish!! Only thing we missed were the sea horses, but we got to see some awesome sharks so that made up for the lack of sea horses.

From the aquarium we crossed the river and walked east on the north bank until we got to the Queen Mary boat & seeing as I needed a toilet, we popped in for a drink. We were sitting out on the deck when it started to rain. That's when we decided to make a plan for the evening. Rob called his mate Simon & I texted my mates from uni. Rob & Simon made plans to meet up at 8pm at O'Neils in the west end. Rob invited me to go along. I couldn't find any of my mates, so we made a plan to buy something & eat it at home.

We jumped on the Circle line at Temple and switched to the Northern line at Embankment & got off in KT. Rob went home to shower, shave his head & get ready to go out. I went to Iceland's to pick up 2 frozen pizzas and get garlic bread (all £1 each).

MissyLou arrived home while dinner was being cooked so she joined us. Rob had invited me to go out to O'Neils with Simon, but turns out it's a "boys night out" with lots of the guys from Hendon (where all the MET does their training). So I am staying home tonight, actually slightly relieved as I'm not sure I could have stayed out really late tonight & I'm not such a fan of going a long way home at night on my own.

Well Louise has been working very hard on her papers for Monday (her course got an extension on their course work).

So about an hour ago she took a typing break & we went down to Tesco's to get a little midnight snack. We got dolly mix and Hob Nobs with out chocolate, not nearly as good as with it but we've been doing so well with giving it up for Lent we can't rightly stop now!!

Also just FYI, the EU starts it's day lights saving time differently than the US does, so as of 0100h on the 26 March 2006 we will be setting our clocks forward 1 hour. The US waits till 2 April 2006, therefore for the next week I will be 6 hours ahead of EST (9 hours ahead of PST).

Okay off to watch Under the Tuscan Sun

Friday, March 24

Just for Paula

Oh bloody hell, I'm knackered!

Finally done & with time for a little kip no less!

So as you can see from the time stamp below it's very early in the morning here in Kentish Town, but most of you reading this are in the states in which case you are probably just getting snuggled into bed or if you're on the west coast you're probably watching the evening news ;)

Just wanted to let ya'll know that I've finally completed my essay, all 1444 words done!

Good Night and sleep well . . . Here is the light coming into my flat since it's so bloody late, or should I say early in the morning!

(Luckily it's raining rather hard so hopefully it won't be get too much sunnier when I attempt to sleep in - LOL)


Hi everyone,

It's now about 20 past 2am GMT (that's 20 past 9pm EST or 5pm PST, for those of you who are too lazy to do the math in your heads - I know, I know, it's Friday). Well I'm taking yet another writing break from this clinical immunology essay. I don't know what my problem is - I just can't seem to make the essay work. I'm not sure if I've now had too much tea & too many gummy bears, (SCM read carrot sticks ;) or what, but I'm really having a problem writing this darn thing!!

Well as you can see in my title "Comments" I'd like to encourage readers to leave comments on the blog - positive, negative, indifferent, I don't care, just leave something so I know you're reading it. Also if you have questions about my life here in London you can ask & I will try to answer. Or if you are interested in a particular landmark that is relatively close by - let me know & I'll try to get a photo of it for you. For example, you will see that PdiddySL is continually asking, "So have you been to The Lamb yet?" (I PROMISE during my month off I will go & get a photo of me there!!) Who knows maybe you can help me discover some neat places in London that I don't even know about. With that said, don't get too extravagant like asking for photos of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II & me having afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace, but ya know within reason.

Okay, back to writing - let's see if I can get this finished without another blog break. Doesn't help when your flatmate is having the same problem - we just keep sighing & then giggling!

So don't forget to post a comment - you don't have to have a blogger account -
you can just sign anonymously or sign your name in the comment box (thanks H from NY!!)
I mean after I've spent all this time typing you can take 10 seconds to write a quick comment, right??

Thursday, March 23

Looking for any excuse not to do work, but this was a bit much!

So I was typing away for this freakin essay that's due tomorrow when I got interrupted by the police looking for the guy who use to live here - apparently they have a warrant out for his arrest b/c of over due counsel tax & assorted other things.

So the really funny part of the story (as you will understand in a minute) is that they ran the bell 3 times for long periods of time, so I thought it was Jim or Rob joking around or Louise (maybe she'd lost her key??)

You can imagine my face when I opened the door and saw 4 coppers standing there! Again I wasn't sure if this was for real or a joke. I think you all know this by now but my mates Jim & Rob live just down the road and are cops & they are always saying how funny it would be to have cops show up and threaten to arrest me.

So the 4 PCs insist on seeing proof, apparently a female with an American accent wasn't proof enough! So they all had to come up to my flat so I could find my lease & my passport to prove I was not "Jeremy Wilkinson" ya know cause I look a lot like a Jeremy these days (MissyLou do I look like J???). I'm not sure when it was that I realized this was for real, at first I was just sorta joking around about it until I saw all the paperwork - they had to mark down that I lived here and was a student (had to prove that as well) so that I could avoid counsel taxes - ugh what an annoyance that was - took about an hour - apparently they don't have an essay to turn in tomorrow!!

Ok, enough fannying about, let's get back to typing!

For MET & others

I have a very good friend who is over in Afghanistan, and a few people I went to college with who are in Iraq, for them I'm posting this.
No matter what your thoughts on the war are, we shouldn't forget they are there.
(I didn't write it, it was sent to me)

Things you take for granted:

Your alarm goes off, you hit the snooze and sleep for another 10 minutes.

He stays up for days on end.

You take a warm shower to help you wake up.

He goes days or weeks without running water.

You complain of a "headache", and call in sick.

He gets shot at, as others are hit, and keeps moving forward.

You put on your anti war/don't support the troops shirt, and go meet up with your friends.

He still fights for your right to wear that shirt.

You make sure you're cell phone is in your pocket.

He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.

You talk trash on your "buddies" that aren't with you.

He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.

You don't feel like helping out your dad today, so you don't.

He does what he is told.

You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.

He walks the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.

You complain about how hot it is.

He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.

He does not get to eat today.

Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.

He wears the same things for months, but makes sure his weapons are clean.

You go to the mall and get your hair redone.

He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.

You are angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.

He is told he will be held an extra 2 months.

He does as he is told.

You call your girlfriend and set a date for that night.

He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.

He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.

You ditch class to go to a movie.

He goes where he is told.

You roll your eyes as a baby cries.

He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet.

You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.

He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own government and remembers why he is fighting.

You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of the men like him.

He hears the gun fire and bombs.

You see only what the media wants you to see.

He sees the bodies lying around him.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.

He does what he is told.

You stay at home and watch tv.

He takes whatever time he is given to call and write home, sleep, and eat.

You crawl into your bed, with down pillows, and try to get comfortable.

He crawls under a tank for shade and a 5 minute nap, only to be woken by gun fire.

You sit there and judge him, saying the world is a worse place because of men like him.

If only there were more men like him

Essay writing update

So I think I've already told you this, but maybe not (I'm too lazy to open up a new internet window to check yesterday's post).

So I came home from uni yesterday & started to read all my articles for my clinical immunology term paper (which is due by 4pm on Friday) on
IRIS. The articles were all very interesting, but not what I was looking for. I am suppose to "explain & discuss the immunological mechanisms underlying immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS)". Now normally that would sound easy enough right, just look for IRIS & mechanisms on PubMed. Yeah that's all well & good when the mechanisms are known!! According to a March 2006 review the jury is still out on the mechanisms - UGH, why did I choose this topic?!?!?!?!

So I decided to get a good night's sleep & return to 99 Gower Street computer room 1 today to get a few more articles which might help. Well again same problem as above nobody really knows much about it. So I printed off a few more articles & went to the coffee shop with Amanda to read.

Came home & started writing - I had 200 words as of 5.40pm, when I decided to take a quick trip to
Iceland to get a few essentials for essay writing . . . ya know Haribo candies!! I got yoghurt with dried strawberries & granola and some toilet roll as well, but that's not going to make the essay go any better.

Now I'm checking my email, updating my blog (I don't want another comment of, "what's with the one liners?" plus I know the person who said that isn't feeling so hot today so I want them to have something semi interesting to read about (hope McD's helped - I'm jealous, considered walking the extra 200 feet down KT Road to go myself but had already spent all my £s on candy) feel better soon, these sympathy pains I'm having are not fun, lol) & then I'll be back to writing :^(

World TB Day

So how many of you actually knew that tomorrow is World TB Day?

Of course it's sorta cheating if you work at Trudeau, since I'm sure there are posters in some of the labs about it.

At LSHTM we're having guest speakers:

  • Hazel Dockrell to talk "Towards correlates of protection against tuberculosis"
  • Ruth McNerney to talk about "Smelling tuberculosis: TBees and zNoses"
  • Peter Godfrey-Faussett to talk about "Zambia & South Africa TB and AIDS reduction study (ZAMSTAR)".

What are you doing to Stop TB???

Wednesday, March 22

48 hours and it's all over

2 presentations
1 term paper down . . . .

1 term paper to go!!!

(due Friday by 4pm)
Sorry it's such a small entry today but I've got heaps of work to do!!!
Just remember a little post is better than none at all, right?!?!?!

Tuesday, March 21


While Susan & I were at dinner we were wondering what latitude London was at . . . Don't ask me how we got onto that topic of conversation, probably just avoiding anything related to uni seeing as it's the last week of term!

I found this cool website check it out if you're interested, it has world cities & a link to US cities,

Well our clinical virology poster presentation on HIV went very well today, well all but Jonathan's part, but that's par for the course with this group member! Kat, Amanda & I were all prepared & comfortable with the way it went.

Revising my clinical virology paper on "factors & pathogenesis of HIV" right now & will hand it in tomorrow by noon.

Then I have to switch gears & write my clinical immunology paper on "immunological mechanisms underlying immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS)" which is due Friday by 4pm.

After that it's party time for 1 full month. Susan & I are going to try to do some traveling. My mum is coming to visit for 10 days as well, it's going to be great.

President Bush

"I'm confident, I believe, I'm optimistic we'll succeed -- if not, I'd pull our troops out," Bush said during a White House news conference. "If I didn't believe we had a plan for victory, I wouldn't leave our people in harm's way." "We are doing the right thing. A democracy in Iraq is going to affect the neighborhood. A democracy in Iraq is going to (inspire) reformers in a part of the world that is desperate for reformation." "No question that sectarian violence must be confronted by the Iraqi government and a better-trained police force, yet we're making progress," Bush said.

Apparently President Bush doesn't have friends over in Iraq or Afghanistan!

Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has stepped into the controversy between religious fundamentalists and scientists by saying that he does not believe that creationism - the Bible-based account of the origins of the world - should be taught in schools.

Giving his first, wide-ranging, interview at Lambeth Palace, the archbishop was emphatic in his criticism of creationism being taught in the classroom, as is happening in two city academies founded by the evangelical Christian businessman Sir Peter Vardy and several other schools.
"I think creationism is ... a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories ... if creationism is presented as a stark alternative theory alongside other theories I think there's just been a jarring of categories ... My worry is creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing it," he said.

The debate over creationism or its slightly more sophisticated offshoot, so-called "intelligent design" (ID) which argues that creation is so complex that an intelligent - religious - force must have directed it, has provoked divisions in Britain but nothing like the vehemence or politicisation of the debate in the US. There, under pressure from the religious right, some states are considering giving ID equal prominence to Darwinism, the generally scientifically accepted account of the evolution of species. Most scientists believe that ID is little more than an attempt to smuggle fundamentalist Christianity into science teaching.

From the Guardian Unlimited

Monday, March 20

Vernal Equinox

Happy Spring Everyone : )

Today is the vernal equinox.

I have made a lot of friends here in London who are Australian. After reading about the storm down there, I'm hoping all their family is alright. Was happy to hear that nobody died, luckily people were evacuated ahead of time! I didn't have time to stop in and visit with them seeing as I've got two essays to write this week & a group presentation tomorrow. Well back to my essay writing . . .

Sunday, March 19

Ellie's 23rd Birthday

So tomorrow is Ellie's 23rd Birthday, but since my cousin Tim will be in town we're going to be meeting up for dinner, so MissyLou & I decided to have her over for a mini party tonight.

Lou made chicken fajitas (thanks to Old El Paso box mix) along with strawberry cupcakes and apple crumble for dessert.
Here are a few fun photos of the night:
Ellie & Louise laughing at "me shoe too" joke
Ellie & Louise goofing around with my free St. Patty's Day hats
Ellie stunned at the surprise mini birthday cake & our singing of Happy Birthday

6 Nations Rugby

So today was the final day of 6 Nations Rugby. It's been a blast to watch - I've really turned into a football & rugby fan in my time here thus far. So France secured the title today :(

First match of the day at 1.30 was France v. Wales ending with a score of 21-16.

Followed by Scotland pulling off a win over Italy by a score of 13 to 10.

The final match was England v. Ireland. Rob, Marlene, MissyLou, Susan & I watched this at the pub. It really was a close game. It was a little tough to cheer on England with Rob standing right behind me in his Ireland shirt (lol). Our cheering was to no avail, Ireland came back in the last minutes to win 28-24. This of course made Rob very happy! I was a bit worried when England took the lead with about 7 minutes left, since Rob had promised to cook us dinner. I wondered what would happen to the roast in my oven should Ireland lose.

So dinner was honey covered pork loin baked with sweed & potatoes, carrots with olive oil & lime juice, & mashed potatoes with spring onions (has an Irish name that I've now forgotten, starts with a B, similar to colcannon, but instead of leeks & kale we used spring onions) As always it was fantastic!

Okay getting late, off to beddy-bye now . . .

Saturday, March 18

Oh what a night . . .

All I'm going to say is that pictures will speak more than 1000 words for tonight!!

It's 04.10, just getting back from the west end - had to get Marlene & Meghan on a night bus then walk over to our bus a few minutes into the rise Rob had to use the toilet so we had to get off our bus, take a trip down a dark alley (wicked scary even with a copper!!) & then wait for yet another bus which only got us to Camden Town so from there we walked back to KT - ugh am I bloody knackered!!

Friday, March 17

so far today

typically you have to drink 4 guinness to get the hat, but I know the pub staff too well :)
my badges for st patty's day and my real shamrock
shamrock from Rob & my Guinness hat!
Off for a curry now with Rob, Marlene, Meghan, and Susan
(doesn't that make Rob sound like such a stud??)
Then we're off to O'Neils in Soho

St Patrick's Day 2006

Thursday, March 16

Cool Website!!

What's your political typology?

Where do you fit??
I'm a liberal according to this . . .


BASIC DESCRIPTION: This group has nearly doubled in proportion since 1999. Liberal Democrats now comprise the largest share of Democrats. They are the most opposed to an assertive foreign policy, the most secular, and take the most liberal views on social issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and censorship. They differ from other Democratic groups in that they are strongly pro-environment and pro-immigration.

DEFINING VALUES: Strongest preference for diplomacy over use of military force. Pro-choice, supportive of gay marriage and strongly favor environmental protection. Low participation in religious activities. Most sympathetic of any group to immigrants as well as labor unions, and most opposed to the anti-terrorism Patriot Act.

How many of the 100 did you know already??

1. How many keys are on your keychain?
3 for England and 6 for US
2. What makeup do you wear on a daily basis?
3. Is your AIM away message on?
Nope, I'm not away at the moment
4. If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
turkey w/ cranberry sauce, stuffing, & sweet potato casserole
5. What curse word do you use the most?
hate to admit it but probably the F word :(
6. Do you own an iPod?
use to but gave it away to a friend who I knew could use it more than I could - hope he appreciates it (LOL)
7. Who on your Myspace "Top 8" do you talk to the most?
Michael, Jenn, and Kristen
8. What time is your alarm clock set for?
9. Have you ever bid for something on ebay?
10. Do you wear flip-flops even when its cold outside?
For sure, wore them to a Christmas party a few years back!
11. Where do you buy your groceries from?
Tesco's or Iceland - depends on the offers that week
12. Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture?
Be in the picture
13. What was the last movie you watched?
What about Bob (dvd) & Flight plan (cinema)
14. Do any of your friends have children?
Yes, love them!
15. If you won the lottery, whats the first thing you would buy?
Larger flat that all my friends could stay at for free.
16. Has anyone ever called you lazy?
Not today, got up at 7 & don't have to be at uni till 2!!
17. Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep faster?
Nope, never had that problem - lol
18. What CD is currently in your CD player?
Best of REM
19. Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk?
I'm not a milk fan, but I can drink skim if forced to
20. Has anyone told you a secret this week?
21. When was the last time someone hit on you?
Sunday night at the pub - scary old drunk guy - not so much fun :(
22. What did you have for dinner last?
hamburgers with coldslaw, letuce, & ketchup on a toasted roll, a side salad with ceasar dressing, glass of water, & blueberry scone for dessert -- thanks to a great flatmate who cooked!
23. Do you wear hoodies often?
Yeah, occasionally
24. What color is your car?
Black with grey interior - MISS IT!!!!!
25. Can you whistle?
26. What is your favorite Christmas/winter movie?
Christmas Story
27. Do you make your own jewelry?
No, because my friend Kristen makes it all for me :)
28. Have you ever participated in a protest?
29. Who was the last person to call you?
Amanda to ask if she could borrow the ImmunoBiology txt book for our presentation tomorrow
30. What is your favorite ride at an amusement park?
None, they make me sick to my stomach
31. Where's your favorite place to vacation?
Costa Rica
32. Have you ever dated one of your best friends?
33. What area code are you in right now?
34. Did you watch cartoons as a child?
Yes I did
35. How big is your local mall?
Have not seen any malls in London yet
36. What is your job title?
37. How many siblings do you have?
One biological sister, but I do have a few non-biological "older" brothers
38. Would you ever sky dive?
39. What are you allergic to?
40. What is your biggest regret?
Can't say that I have one at the moment
41. Have you ever had Jamba Juice?
42. When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt?
At dinner with Amanda, Dom, Heather & Susan - happens quite often actually!!
43. What movies do you know every line to?
Office Space
44. Do you own any band t-shirts?
45. What is your favorite candle scent?
Evergreen or Lemon Zest
46. How many aunts and uncles do you have?
1 aunt
47. When was your last plane ride?
Feb - trip to La Pineda, Spain
48. Do you crack your knuckles?
Yes, I know it's a horrible thing!!!
49. How many chairs are at your dining room table?
50. What is your favorite salad dressing?
51. Do you read for fun?
52. Can you speak any languages other than English?
Yes, sorta
53. Where is your cell phone?
Right next to me
54. Do you do your own dishes?
Yes, if I didn't who would?!?!?!
55. What color is your bedroom painted?
Everything here is peachy-orange
56. Are your parents divorced?
57. Have you ever cried in public?
I might have
58. Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?
59. Which do you make: wishes or plans?
60. Are you always trying to learn new things?
As if I have a choice? I'm in school for goodness sakes - lol
61. What messenger programs do you have?
Yahoo, AIM, & MSN
62. Do you shower on a daily basis?
Yup, can't wake up without one!
63. Are you currently wanting any piercing or tattoos?
Sorta, but not really
64. Do you believe that the guy should pay on the first date?
65. Can you skip rocks?
Yes - favourite past time growing up!
67. Have you ever been to Jamaica?
68. What do you like to snack on at the movie theatres?
Sour Patch Kids or Gummy Bears
69. Who was your favorite teacher?
Mrs. Buchanan - 1st grade
70. Have you ever dated someone out of your race?
Not yet
71. What is the weather like?
Very cloudy & 40s (welcome to England)
72. Would you ever date someone covered in tattoos?
Probably not if they were covered in them
73. Do you have an online journal?
Yes, this is it!
74. Did you ever play Capture the Flag in school?
Of course!
75. What was your favorite class in high school?
Biology & Earth Science
76. Do you sleep on your side, tummy, or back?
Primarily on my side (facing the door - I know I'm a freak about it!!)
77. What personality trait is a must-have in the opposite sex?
78. Have you ever been attracted to someone physically unattractive?
No b/c they become attractive with a good personality!
79. When was the last time you slept on the floor?
New Year's Eve
80. What is your favorite alcoholic drink?
Magner's Irish cider
81. If you were born the opposite sex, what would your name have been?
Andrew Scott
82. Do you like your living arrangement?
They are fine for now
83. Has anyone ever called you spoiled?
84. What is your mothers and fathers hometowns?
Mom - NJ & Dad was Dobbs Ferry, NY (same as me!)
85. Did you ever go to the same school as your parents?
86. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
87. How much is gas where you live right now?
£0.99/L (way more than the US!!!)
88. What was the last thing to scared you?
The blood curdling scream the other night that woke MissyLou & me up from a sound sleep
89. Do you own a Playstation?
90. How many times have you brushed your teeth today?
Once so far, but it's only 11.25h
93. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
4 that I wear on a regular basis
94. Are your days full and fast-paced?
Not fast paced but full
95. Did you ever get in trouble for talking in class?
96. Is there carpet, wood or tile in the room you're currently in?
97. Were you a "planned" child?
I think so
98. What is your mom's name?
99. What is your dad's name?
100. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?

Wednesday, March 15

News from Holland

I met the author of this blog site a few summers ago in Plattsburgh through a mutual friend we have in the Plattsburgh/Saranac area. A few months after meeting her she decided to move to Holland & is really enjoying it. She has posted a very interesting blog entry so I'm going to link you to it, should you care to read it.

Well getting late over here in GMT, so I'm going to start getting ready for bed now.

Catch ya later :)

Good Night and God Speed

Grading at LSHTM

Nothing much exciting to report aside from the fact that I think I'm going to become a writer instead of an immunologist because I did better on my grant proposal than I did my exam, go figure!!

I got the highest grade in the class and considering I'm in class with students who got full rides to Duke, Stamford, Oxford, & Cambridge and I only have my little "well rounded" Norwich education I must have done something right :)

Grading over here goes like this:

E = none of the major points present, serious lack of understanding, or not submitted

D = a few points are included but lack of understanding is shown with irrelevant points

C = sufficient importation in included not all major points are discussed and there may be some errors

B = major points discussed, less important considerations omitted

B+ = a full discussion of the topic that includes all relevant information and critical evaluation

A = same as B+ but with the addition of going beyond conventional answer & bringing in additional relevant ideas & materials.

According to the course organizer nobody ever gets an A, those are reserved for at the end of the year, if you have a B+ average then the committee gets together to decide if you're qualified for a "distinction" and then they can give you an A. So what I guess I'm trying to say is that my B+ is really great!

Okay off to eat my dinner which MissyLou has made - I think tonight is hamburgers with coldslaw & salad night (yum)

Bottle night photos (finally)

So I finally got the rest of "bottle night" photos - see all under "my photo" link to the left or just see a few below.

Liz & Meredith attempting a drinking game

Mer, Max, Amanda - Cheers :)

Amanda & Dom at the end of the night

me, Susan & Amanda - early in the night!!

Sunday, March 12

American visitors :)

OMG, it was SO great to see Marlene today!! Her friends are super sweet! Plus she brought me 3 boxes of Celestrial Seasons Lemon Zinger tea!!

I went down to Sloane Square to pick up Brian & Mars since they're not familiar with the tube system and a few lines are down this weekend for engineering work. We had a quick peanut butter sandwich and then came up to KT and watched England get their butts kicked by France in rugby followed by the Arsenal game.

When we first arrived Brian was debating what drink to get & in the process made 3 friends, James, James and Nikki, not local but coppers (weird, huh?? I must attract them or something :) Thanks to the two James' Brian was introduced to a Snakebite (half lager, half cider, shot of blackcurrant) Mars had a black & tan (half lager & half Guiness) while I stuck with my usual Magners (Irish cider) which was presented to me about 3 minutes after our arrival before the other two had even made up their minds about what they wanted to drink, LOVE that the bar staff know me so well!! To quote Jade when she was talking to Marlene, "Monday thru Thursday she gets a pint of lemonade, but weekends she starts with a bottle of Magners, then moves on to lemonade, I always have the drinks for my regulars ready"

Then the rest of the group joined us (can't remember all of their names now). After about an hour of learning some British slang & hearing all about how coppers don't carry guns in England we went for fish & chips across the road. During dinner I could see all of them fading fast so we took a quick tour of my flat and now they're on their way back to their flat with my hand written directions as to which tubes to take, underground maps, my Lonely Planet guide to London & my A to Z book - what more do you need?!?!?!

Did I tell you their flat is very swanky!! Beautiful area and they paid near to nothing for it since the head radiologist at Yale owns it and auctioned it off for a good cause - pretty cool!! (they're all PA students at Yale)

Well I'm off to figure out more about my presentation for Friday. Mars & I are going to get together on Wednesday night - I think I have the afternoon off so that will be good to do some work before we meet up (fingers crossed it will be productive)

FYI, not sure you care but England lost to France with a score of something like 24-6 :( but in good news Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1, GREAT game!!! Ta-ra & Toodle-pip!

Saturday, March 11

Look who's coming

To New York, none other than the president himself!! With a visit next week to Canadaigua. In other news, here's the week in review in photos. Mom do you like the Free Tibet photo(#9)? Pretty cool, eh?

How interesting we just had 2 lectures this week on measles & the "problems" surrounding the MMR jab. Jab is what the Brits call a shot - I rather like the expression :)

This also sounds really cool. Can you tell I'm reading the news this morning??

Well off to start some research only 5.5 more hours till my allotted "break" for
the rugby (Ireland v Scotland)

Thursday, March 9

What my friends think of me

Can you read these??
note says, "Dear Ra I miss my frosted flake, I couldn't resist . . . Enjoy Love Kris 8)"
blue says, "I'm having a blonde moment"
pink says, "I was raking the leaves when I fell out of the tree"
gray says, "frosted flake"
All I have to say to this one is,
At least my hair is natural colour (AI) & I'll always be younger than you!!!!
Miss you & PJ. xxoo

Wednesday, March 8

Monday Night at Highbury

Champions League Round 2 Leg 2
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury
Wednesday, March 08, 2006, 7.45pm

Arsenal 0
Real Madrid 0

Richard Clarke said, "It was a goalless but glorious night at Highbury as Arsenal marched into the Champions League Quarter-Finals at the expense of Real Madrid . . . The streets around the ground had been buzzing since the middle of the afternoon. You could feel this was a huge night. Europe's most successful club side had never visited Highbury for a competitive fixture. The anticipation and expectation would be more than met in a breathless first half . . . Goalless and glorious, Arsenal march on." Sadly I didn't get to watch the first half of the match but it was great to be able to catch the latter part. Missed the first part due to dinner with MissyLou & her bestmate and boyfriend from Aberdeen Rachell and Jason). We went to the Hare and Tortoise Noodle Bar in Brunswick Sq (just round the corner from Russell Sq tube station).

Thought I had tomorrow morning off, but Amanda just reminded me they changed our time table, so now I have to get to uni for half 9!! Off to bed I go . . .Catch ya later :)

Tuesday, March 7

My nicknames

So over the years I have had a few nicknames, some have stuck longer than others. But here is a quick run down on the main two names that have stuck. Enjoy :)
"Ra"Ra was regarded as the creator of everything, the god of the sun. Ra is usually represented with the body of a man and the head of a hawk, holding an ankh & sceptre. The chief location of Ra worship was Heliopolis (a Greek word meaning city of the sun).


Grigory Rasputin (1872-1916), Siberian peasant and self-proclaimed holy man, whose friendship with Russia’s last emperor and empress wrecked the Romanov dynasty’s prestige and contributed to the coming of the Russian Revolutions of 1917.

Born in the Siberian village of Pokrovskoye, Rasputin attended school but remained only semiliterate. He married, probably in 1889, and had four children. He left home in 1901 to become a pilgrim and soon became known both for his alleged healing powers and for his scandalous sexual exploits. In 1903 Rasputin arrived in Saint Petersburg, where he owed his entry into high society to the fad for spiritualism, exoticism, and popular religion fashionable in some circles at that time. Although he was unordained, Rasputin enjoyed the favor of some prominent leaders in the Russian Orthodox Church.

Rasputin first met Russian emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra in the autumn of 1905, when Russia was in the midst of an uprising against the monarchy. The imperial family was also shaken by the discovery that Alexis, the heir to the throne, had hemophilia. Rasputin seemed to embody the simple peasant faith in the monarchy that Nicholas saw as the chief support for his dynasty and the main justification of his role as autocrat and protector of his people. Above all, Rasputin seemed uniquely able to alleviate the incurable illness of Alexis, on occasion intervening successfully to end dangerous attacks of bleeding. This won him the passionate support of the worried empress.

Between 1906 and 1914, Rasputin’s association with the imperial family was used against the regime by politicians and journalists who wished to undermine the dynasty’s credibility, force the emperor to give up absolute political power, and assert the independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from the state. Rasputin helped the propaganda by boasting about his influence on the imperial couple, by his debauched lifestyle, and by a number of public disputes with church figures. Even within the church, however, his role was a limited one. In government it was minimal.

Dinner Last Night

For dinner last night I had leftovers with Louise & Susan. Dad you would have loved it :)

We started with an appetizer of Dom's homemade lasagna, followed by vegetarian tikka marsala with basmati rice.

For our pallet cleanser we had sour gummy worms followed by Louise's strawberry flavoured cupcakes with strawberry icing and rice paper Tom & Jerry faces - YUM was that good stuff!

So good we licked the paper cups :)

In sad news today a Wonder Woman of sorts has passed away from lung cancer.

Old photos

So I just found a few "old" photos on my photo disk. These are from a few weeks back when we went to see Windsor Castle. Of course when we arrived the weather turned cool & rainy, but we still did the full tour - doll house & all the rooms. It is beautiful, but a little weird I thought. I mean the queen & others actually use the dining room yet 1000s of unknowns have walked across the floor just touring around. I can't imagine having a house that doubled as a tourist site, ya know?!?!? Not like it's just your family & friends taking a tour of your house that they've never been to. I don't know that's just my opinion - you'll note I'm full of them!!

entrance to castle & doll house tour

Courtyard in the rain
side of castle with gardens

Sunday, March 5

Thoughts thanks to my book

I try to live each day so that at the end of it I can be thinking, if I died tonight in my sleep would I be happy with my life? Content in the choices I have made? If I had my life to do all over again, would I do it all over again exactly the same or would I have done some things differently? Do I have any regrets about the way I treated people or things I have done? Did I go all the places I wanted to go? Do all the things I wanted to do? Did I remember to say I love you to all those around me who I cared about?

In the same aspect, do you ever wonder who will actually show up to your funeral? What will they be saying about you? What will your obituary say about your life? Ten or twenty years from now who will still remember you and what will they be telling others about you?

Does it ever worry you that not nearly as many people as you thought will show up to your funeral? I mean aside from those who have to be there, like your immediate family. You like to think that all your friends would come but who are your real friends? I think that is when you will truly know who they are. If you think about all the people you communicate with on a daily or monthly basis – would those people make the effort? What about those people who you didn't expect to show up - will you feel guilty for not spending as much time with them?

Funerals are different from other milestones in your life such as 21st birthdays, weddings, and children’s births. Those sorts of events you send out announcements to whom ever you want – you send them out to everyone who you consider to be your friend, but when push comes to shove, would those same people take the time off from their busy work schedule and drive long distances for your funeral?

If they do happen to show up – what will they say? Will they be telling funny stories about your time growing up together and how much they loved hanging out with your? Or will they just be saying the generic things like, “so sad to loose her so early” or “she had such a wonderful life”?

Who will write your obituary? What will be written about you? She was friendly and adventurous? She enjoyed life to the fullest? She made so many friends wherever she went. She is survived by parents & siblings or husband & children?

10 or 20 years down the road, long after the funeral is over and some of those people have forgotten you, what will you be remembered for? Your smile? Sense of humour? Or will people feel bad for you that you never got married or never had children? Or on the other hand, just the fact that you died too young or had a fulfilling life?

Isn’t life strange at times that these thoughts pop into your head? Here I was reading my non-school related book thinking it is just a quick mindless read yet it spurred on all these thoughts – guess I should stick with scientific journal articles, huh??

Happy Sunday to all you all (like that southern expression) off to read some science now!!

Saturday, March 4

Arsenal v Fulham

So they pulled off a win today :)
I think in part since I was showing my support with my red & white Arsenal shirt all day long while I got stuck on the Northern line thanks to a "person under the train at Kings Cross" I've decided I'm going to email the owners of the Northern line and ask them to rename the line Frustration line instead!!!! Take a look at
this website, click on "listen" and then "London Underground" - you will need speakers but it's good for a laugh!!

I met Amanda & Dom earlier today at Borough Market - we bought fresh basil, onions, mushrooms, & 2 HUGE loaves of chibatta bread (one with tomato and one with spinach) for £2!!! What a deal!

We then came home to my place and made lasagna, garlic bread and steamedbroccolii -yummym!! We also had fresh veg as an appetizer with ranch dressing (Dom's becoming addicted to it) while we were waiting for it to finish cooking.

veg with ranch dressing (above)
lasagna & garlic bread - the green/brown stuff is fresh basil (below)

After dinner, Susan & Heather did the washing up & then everyone left - they were pretty knackered for a late night last night. I went down to the pub to meet up with Rob & Mark - I stayed for 2 pints of lemonade & then back here to chat with my friend Mike online & give this quick blog posting.

Skunk update

Hiya :)

Just a quick little update on my great nephews, they're just too cute not to put a photo or two up!! If you'd like more details please click on the "Skunk Puppies" link on the left hand side.

Here's all of them sleeping

Richie and Billy sleeping

So yesterday I went over to Julie and Eime's house to celebrate Japan's Girls Day - it was fun - Eime had made a ton of food, pizza, orange, leek, and nut salad (I know you're thinking that sounds gross, but it was AMAZINGLY good), sushi, roasted parsnips & beets with ricotta cheese & herbs, and foccacia from scratch. Julie had made a ton of different cocktails with her new blender, ie pina coladas, mango daiquiris, strawberry daiquiris, sea breezes, and others I forget the names of. Susan and I stayed until about 10.45pm when I was getting rather tired so we headed home.

Once back in KT, I ran into Rob who had just gotten off work and was at the pub, I popped in to say hello. Stayed for about an 45 minutes after closing with the Rob & the bar staff, got a free half pint of lemonade ;) love being a regular!! Then headed home to sleep, after a good chat with Patty & Matt of course.

Today I'm off to meet Amanda & Dom at the Starbucks near London Bridge where we can all sit in comfy chairs and study - nice to get out of the flat and not be at uni every once in awhile!! After we've studied for a bit we'll pop over to the market & pick up whatever looks appealing & then back here for dinner.

Still cool temps here but the sun's been out quite a bit recently, so that's nicer than cool and rainy!

Thursday, March 2

The Cat in the Hat

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!!!

Just finished making tikka marsala and boy was it good, sorry I didn't get a photo, but there's one on the recipe page.

Well aside from that not much else is new with me . . . Tomorrow night is "Girls Night" at my friend Emie & Julie's flat - Susan & I are going to go over for a bit, after Gareth's birthday drinks in Holborn. I think Saturday night Amanda, Heather, Susan & I are going to Borough Market then dinner back here at my flat.

Okay, off to get ready for bed - really tired this week!

Wednesday, March 1

Summer Project Figured Out!!

So as most of you know I've been stressing about this summer project - "Positions already taken by Med. Micro student", "You're over qualified" blah blah blah bottom line I've not been the happiest of people to be around - I know you find this nearly impossible to believe since I'm just so happy & wonderful all the time, but there's a first time for everything :)

So here is the reply I got back from Dr. Alreo Thomas today,

Thank you for the paper and for coming to see me. I will be happy to have you working in the lab this summer - the immunohistological techniques you will learn are different to those you already know and I believe will be a useful addition to your current portfolio of lab skills. The next thing for me to do is to write a short abstract of the project along the lines of ' Investigation of T regulatory cell microenvironments in Epstein-Barr Virus related lymphoproliferative disorders' . If you are happy with this, please let me know and then you can inform the teaching office.

Now isn't that super cool?!?!?!?!? I'm excited about it!! So I'm off to learn more about EBV,

Normal human B lymphocytes proliferating in response to EBV infection. The cells grow indefinitely in culture as a lymphoblastoid cell line.

well maybe not tonight, I'm craving chocolate & since I'm suppose to have given it up for Lent, I might just watch a movie and go to bed early - I'm in lectures all day tomorrow!