Friday, June 30

Interesting sports news

So here is an interesting story about the Tour De France - some how I would have thought they'd be smarter than to do that sort of thing, but apparently not - I feel sorry they can't participate but glad they got caught - proves that cheaters never win!!!!!!!

So the Germany Argentina came just started about 10 minutes ago so there's no score to report, but I will be listening to the game on the radio in the lab :-)

ho hum

nothing really to report that's actually worth your time reading, but figured I'd write something so you won't be bored on a Friday. Check out this article if you need something to pass the time before 5pm rolls around, (course that's only 3 hours for me :) only in the USA would someone blame air conditioning!!!


Happy Friday & Happy July 4th weekend to all of you in the states - be sure to catch some fireworks for me, as I know we will be lacking in that department this weekend :(

Oh & here is another photo from the wedding - tried to add it to the other blog but it won't take it for some reason so here are Carolyn & Chase again (aren't they the cutest??) and look at that cake - yummers!!!

Well I'm off (like a prom dress) to uni to start my EnVision Doublestaining technique (CD3 & CD20).

Thursday, June 29

3 months from tomorrow will be what???

The day I arrive back into Logan International Airport, Boston, Massachusetts USA (hear that as "you-sa", that's how all my English mates from uni say it - lol)

Off to watch a mindless movie, can't read any more about monoclonal antibodies or EBV or HIV or FOXP3 or any other Treg cell!!

Tarra :)

Carolyn & Chase's wedding

For those of us who didn't make it to C&C's wedding this past weekend or for those of you who weren't invited here are a few of the 103 I received, many where of Carolyn's mates who I don't know so I'm just putting ones that I think you'll be interested in.
Tables with flowers (isn't it beautiful? I'm sure Aunt Susan designed this all!)
wedding party
wedding party
Chase & Carolyn
The happily married couple
Well that's all I've got for today . . . tarra

Weather update

So for a country that's always suppose to be cold and damp, the past few days have been warm, sunny & beautiful. I just checked the BBC weather site & today it's suppose to be 25C (77F), tomorrow 28C (82F), Saturday 28C, and Sunday 30C (86F), and Monday 31C (88F), of course I never believe the temperatures forecasted for more than just the day I'm on b/c the weather can change so fast, but still, it's looking like we're gonna have some warm weather ahead of us!

Should be interesting in the lab, there no A/C, no open windows, heavy long "white coats" as they call lab coats. But another interesting thing is they don't seem to have any rule about open toed shoes being warn in labs, even the BSL-3 can wear sandals, and yet BCG is a cat 3 pathogen - WEIRD ah?!?!?!?

I have not been able to do it yet, still freaks me if I were to drop HCl or a slide or something equally as dangerous, but with 88F, no A/C, & lab coat on Monday, I might want to change my tune about always wearing trainers into the lab.

Happy Thursday, tarra :)

Wednesday, June 28

Multiple Sclerosis

A friend of mom's was just diagnosed with MS, so far she's in good spirits about the whole thing & she's got lots of support, another friend is going to do the MS 150 Ride through Oregon wine country, check it out!

Today was the MicroScience conference at ExCeL, pretty cool, we got a free tote bag with tons of junk info in it & a cool pad of paper :) I also won a free t-shirt, Alero won a free memory stick, and I picked up lots of free pens (Shann would be so proud of me!) and a BD BioScience timer, not too shabby if you ask me!!

After the conference I went to the Antibody Group meeting at uni (London's
BSI group meeting) Ulrich Schaible & Anne O'Garra both spoke. It still makes me laugh when I see people from TI being mentioned in presentations over here. Anne mentioned many of Andrea's papers and 1 from Dr North & 1 from Yu-Jin.

Well it's bed time for me here in jolly'o England.

Tuesday, June 27

checkin in on tuesday

So Brazil is a happy country today beating Ghana 3-0 and at half time France v Spain is tied 1-1.

Nothing exciting to report aside from that fact that I now have 15 slides of staining which all look "beautiful" according to my advisor, Alero :)

Tomorrow is our conference at ExCeL out in zone 3 of south east London - gonna take forever to get there :( got to take the northern line to London bridge, switch to the jubilee line and go to canning town, then switch to the Dockland's Light Rail (aka DLR) for two stops.

If any of you know my sister, she has some exciting news, she got a promotion yesterday :) so if you want drop her an email, I'm sure she'd love to hear from you!

What would you do?

What would you do if you were the 2nd richest person in the world and wanted to give away 85% of your fortune?

Click here to see what Warren Buffet is doing.

Monday, June 26

Alphabet soup

Thanks to a fellow blogger . . .

A - Available: yeah
A - Age: 28
A - Annoyance: politics in lab

B - Best Friend: patty-o
B - Beer: nope - don't like beer
B - Birthday: jan 25th

C - Crush: not at the mo
C - Car: TFL - that's Transport for London (aka public transport)
C - Candy: gummy worms!

D - Day or night: day
D - Dream Car: mine at home in the states!
D - Dog Or Cat: dogs for sure!

E - Easiest person to talk to: SCM, PL, ES, PMO, SPC, and LEK
E - Eggs: scrambled
E - Email: yes, might die without it over here ;)

F - Favorite Month: this year it will be Sept cause my thesis will be done!
F - Favorite color: blue
F - Favorite Memory: too many to list

G - Gummy Bears or Worms: I'll take either, but guess I prefer the worms
G - Giver or taker: giver
G - Gum: dentyne ice (lemon ice)

H - Hair Color: blonde
H - Height: 5' 5"
H - Happy: yeah, but bloody knackered

I - Ice Cream: carmel cone explosion or mint chip
I - Instrument: none at the mo, violin for 3 years, viola for 8, piano for 2
I - Idol: parents

J - Jewelry: simple - silver
J - Jail: never

K - Kids: one day, till then I live vicariously through friends
K - Kickboxing or Finger Painting: depends on my mood

L - Longest Car Ride: NY to FL
L - Longest relationship: 5 years
L - Last Kiss: hmm . . .

M - Milk flavor: coffee (thanks to Mom T!!)
M - Most missed person(s): TOO many to list - they know who they are
M - Movie Last Watched: DaVinci Code

N - Number of Siblings: 1
N - Number of Tattoos: 1
N - Name: Sara

O - One wish: find true love
O - One Phobia: opening up
O - One regret: try never to regret, everything happens for a reason

P - Pet Peeves: homeless man who beggs at the bus stop - he does my head in every morning on my way to uni!
P - Part of your appearance you like best: legs
P - Part of your Personality you like best: friendly

Q - Quick or Slow: if it's driving, fast :)

R - Reason to smile: experiment worked today when I worked on my own!
R - Reality TV Show: none
R - Reason to cry: missing friends

S - Song Last Heard: Marilyn Monroe - Blood Brother's sound track
S - Season: Summer
S - Shoe: 9.5 (USA) 7 (UK)

T - Time you woke: 06.37
T - Time Now: 22.46
T - Time for bed: any minute

U - U love someone: yes
U - Unpredictable: sometimes ;)

V - Vegetable you hate: mushrooms
V - Virgin: no
V - Vacation spot: Costa Rica!!!

W - Worst Habits: not being good at decision making

X - X-Rated Porn: no

Y - Year you were born: 78
Y - Year it is now: 06
Y - Yellow: yes

Z - Zoo Animal: polar bears
Z - Zodiac: aquarius

Shopping spree

Here are the clothes I bought this weekend - thanks to Aunt Helen R!!!!
linen trousers - ideal for work since we have no A/C
shirt to go with my black skirt
brown skirt (close up of design below)

Sorry the photos aren't so great, I'm knackered & not in the mood to retake & then copy onto here so you'll just have to deal with these, unless you're lucky enough to see me in person wearing one of them :)

Camp started (I heard from Anna) and she said the weathers been raining :( I still miss it! No Kris or Mo (JK & Travis are in charge with Pete advising), Pete arrived while we were chatting on AIM, Rog was up for the weekend, Keith's up for the week, Russ & Lanie are of course there! Steve & Ann were in the office & said hi to me via Anna's IM message :) Dan-o's got a real job as well, so not sure who all is in Buckskin this year.

Good day in the lab - looked for CD4, CD45Ro, and CD3 on 2 different tonsil sections . . . Light staining showed up, thinking my proteinase K is a wee bit outta date, so gonna try again tomorrow.

Wednesday we're going to the Microscience conference at the ExCeL center, put on by the Royal Microscopical Society - should be fun, fun fun!

Poor Aussies see here for how Italy beat them 1-0 (again thanks to a penalty shot!)

Switzerland v Ukraine is in extra time half time and still 0-0, possibly one of the worst WC games I've seen this year!!!

Sunday, June 25

The Man ON the Hour mark

So here is the man who made it all happen on the 60 minute marker:

For more details of the England 1-0 Ecuador game
click here so England will be playing Portugal next Saturday at the quarter finals (Portugal 1-0 Holland)

In other news - I did bugger all yesterday! Lou & I were in our pjs till round about 4pm! I had dinner at Lemonia with Susan, Marissa, Amanda, Dom, Simon, & Katie. Followed by a quick jaunt up to Primrose Hill for 30 minutes & then down to a pub in Camden to see the second half of the Mexico-Argentina match (Argentina 2-1 Mexico) Having missed the Germany v Sweden match earlier in the day
(Germany 2-0 Sweden)

Today I went shopping in Croyden with Katie Brennan - got some good deals - will photo & post later, too tired at the mo, off to bed for me, just wanted to post something for ya to see on your lovely Monday morning :)


Friday, June 23

Just found out

that my walk into uni in the morning is 2.4 miles long, way longer than I thought it was, but I guess it makes sense since the walk takes us about 45 minutes.

Finished my first official day of immunohistochemistry & not to brag, but it came out beautifully, well at least half of it did, the other half we're not sure what the problem is could be either enzyme sensitivity or tissue processing - neither of which have anything to do with me :)

So now I've got a heap load to read this weekend on EBV and I also have to look up NK cell Abs and see which would be best to order on Monday . . . fun stuff!

Tonight is dinner with Uncle Eric & his bro, who are touring around the UK for the next 5 weeks, now that's the life I tell ya!

Not sure what I'm gonna be up to this weekend, probably lots of reading & hopefully some relaxing I'm bloody knackered from the exams earlier in the week followed by starting straight in the lab.

TGIF, hope you all have a great weekend . . . Tarra

As previously predicted

The weather has gotten much cooler than before exams time, just as we feared . . . just wanted to give you that quick update, before Lou & I start out on our walk into uni.

Here is the update on the USA's not so great day yesterday at that World Cup.

Here is the Italy v Czech Republic match report

Here's the update on the favourite for the WC in their game yesterday against Japan

And finally here are the Aussie's holding strong in the WC in their match yesterday against Croatia

Ah yes, nearly forgot to tell my family, Uncle Eric (my Godfather) is here in London with his bro (from NZ) they're touring the UK for the next 5 weeks. He called a few minutes ago & we're gonna meet up tonight at 5.30pm :)

Okay, we're out the door now, Tarra

Thursday, June 22

First few days in lab

I started in the lab yesterday at 2pm with our safety training - which wasn't nearly as long as any I've had a Trudeau, it was much more, "here are the lab coats", "here are the fire exits", "please read this insanely long safety manual" and "don't bring food or drink into the lab". Okay, so I got all that down. Then then was the introduction to our desktop space, now after having an entire lab basically to myself (with occasional sharing with Pete or Paula) my wee lab bench top would make you all laugh so hard you'd cry! It's about as big as the bench top in the Pre-PCR room that's next to the sink, but it's all mine, so that's cool. I have a set of Gilsons (as they call pipettes), some eppendorf tubes, 1 spatula, 1 pair of scissors, 100 glass slides, FOXP3 antibody kit, four 500mL glass bottles, two 1L glass bottles and that's it folks! I don't even have a freakin pen or marker to write with! Oh I do however now have 1 box of medium gloves (had to trade a pair of larges to get them of course).

We were given the safety manuals & set free to start making reagents. I had to make up 1L of Tri-Sodium Citrate Buffer and 1L of TBS . . . easy enough . . . followed directions on protocol, pH them and was done around 4.35pm, when PI1 said, "oh, you might want to check with PI #2, I think the pH meter is broken." (PI #1 &2 had both been in the lab the whole time watching what I was doing, while they were chatting away about their personal lives). So I went to get the head tech and ask her if she knew of a new pH meter near by. She came in & asked about why the pH meter didn't have a note & how long it had been down (not that it really matters to you, but the answer from PI#2 came back as "not sure" & "about 2 weeks") So I learned where the other pH meter on our floor is. Low & behold it's in "lab Kevin's" lab space so I got to see him for a wee while yesterday (and today).

So the background on the above "situation" is that my advisor is very much a "by the books" lady & very OCD about the lab AND also has a rather large administrative position at the moment while Eleanor Riley is away, so PI1 and PI2 aren't too fond of her, thus the waiting till I was done to tell me about the broken equipment. So now I have to remember all my skills about working in a BIG lab (which I'm not sure I ever learned at TI, since I typically worked alone or with Paula, Pete, and Larry, who are NOTHING like this!)

By the time I was done last night I was almost ready to cry b/c I was still tired from all the exams & frustrated realizing that this situation was not going to be an isolated one :( I MISS TRUDEAU (especially the Sayles & Johnson labs!!!)

Susan & Sacha were going to grab dinner & see Jane Eyre, and invited me to go along, so I went to try to free my mind of my not so great first day in lab. Play was really good, imagine the book is as well, course I haven't read it yet . . . just starting Plainsong.

Well Alero had me come in today so we could "start fresh" and we did! We went over what we hoped to do in the next few weeks before my thesis is due (25 August). I remade up the buffers for my immunohistochemistry work, pH'd them in "lab Kevin's" lab down the hall, sent them to be autoclaved, and got to draw a few cool pictures of how the antibodies are all going to attach to the tissue antigen. I also got to put 100 slides of tonsil into metal slide holders & put into a 55C oven over night to make sure the samples are adhered to the glass slide. When that was all said & done I had a few free minutes so I went down to the computer lab to try to find background info on EBV and Tregs . . . millions of articles out there, so I'll have to spend lots of time filtering out the crap in the list!

Got home, Lou & I made chicken korma & watched Mystery Alaska.

Okay that's all I've got for today . . . off to bed now . . . tarra.

Wednesday, June 21

Last night

I had a hay fever attack yesterday evening, so I ended up doing bugger all & just grabbing Nando's on the way home, closed all the windows in my flat, watched a movie & went to bed early - which did help & I feel so much better today, so I'm sorry to have missed the big do that everyone went to, but not being able to breathe through my nose or see because my eyes were watering & itching really badly, just would not have been fun.

Lou got home at 3.30am & had a fantastic time with photos to show off :) We're gonna shower, go grab something to eat (since we have absolutely nothing in this flat to eat for breakfast) and then I'm off to safety training at uni.

Happy Hump Day . . . YEAH MY EXAMS ARE OVER!!!!!!!!! Quick little game: Who is this and where is (s)he?

Tuesday, June 20


Exams are all done . . . Now 24 hours of relaxation followed by lab safety introduction (ya know like the videos Tina shows & other fun stuff like that). All I know so far is that I'll be looking at T reg (FOXP3+) cells in EBV related tumours, more details to come on that after I meet with my advisor tomorrow. Looking forward to getting back into the lab - hope I haven't lost my pipetting skills with all this time in the library.

Hey Pete, what you been up to in the lab? Steve said he just spent a fun filled day in there working with you. At times I really do miss our time point with the Beatles & Bob Dylan.

Okay off to get dinner sorted & relax before the Zoo Bar, if I don't pass out on the couch before hand.

Morning of

Well while all of you lovely people are still dreaming of sugar plums fairies dancing in your head (or at least Miss JPM and Miss BAM are) I'll be taking my last exam.

Just wanted to say good morning & happy Tuesday . . . We're off to walk down to uni . . . By 8am EST this will all be a distant memory :)

Monday, June 19

One down

Well I'm done with the first of my two exams . . . Ugh I can't wait for this time tomorrow evening, of course I'm not sure I'll be conscious come tomorrow afternoon.

Today when the exam was over we (Ellie, Louise, Susan, Sacha & I) went over to Senate House to get something to eat. After that we made our way over to uni for our "class photo". Since Lou & I are in different courses I waited with Susan until her photo was done before we walked home. Was sorta nice to walk & attempt to clear our heads from the day.

On the way back we decided to stop at the Camden Tup (now stop thinking that, we didn't stop for a drink) we were looking for our mate Jade who has switched from my local to work there. As we turned down the road she was walking out :) We had a quick chat exchanged numbers & parted ways.

Tomorrow after the exam, we're all going to Regents Park for a cricket match (some of the Medical Parasitology kids challenged their lecturers to a match) & those of us who have NO clue about cricket will just be sitting on the side lines attempting to cheer and enjoying the sun.

Then in the evening some people are going on a boat trip (on the Thames). I missed getting tickets in time so I'm just going to meet them all for the after party around 11.30pm at Zoo Bar. So it should be good fun! It's open till 3.30am, wonder I can stay up that late?!?!? Anyone wanna make a bet?

My flatmate has guessed that everyone will be "bladdered" by the end of the night. I have nothing to do till 2pm on Wednesday and that's just safety training (like those silly videos that I've seen a million times before - so that should be cake)

Well I'm off to bed in wee bit . . . Will check in tomorrow if my brain is able to function.

Sunday, June 18

Bedtime :)

So here is a photo of one of my really bad bug bite, which luckily has stopped itching, but the one on my finger is still giving me grief (fingers crossed it is starting to mend & won't be a problem tomorrow) Here is the photo of our lovely Cottage Pie just out of the oven . . . Wow was it fantastic! Here is a photo of the complete meal (with fresh salad of course!) Tomorrow we're getting up at 7am, showering, making pancakes with REAL Vermont Maple Syrup (yummers), and then walking down to uni to take the dreaded exam. By the time most of you read this the first half day of exams will be all over. I'll post something tomorrow evening if I'm not coherent enough after the three hours of essay writing!

Toodle pip, tarra, & goodnight

18.09 dinner time for us

So I'm so exhausted from studying that I actually slammed my finger in between the front door & lock earlier when we came home from getting some potatoes for our cottage pie dinner we're having tonight - YUM!!!

Trying to stay calm for tomorrow's exams, we were going to watch the first half of Van Wilder while eating lunch, but next thing I knew the movie was over, so I guess we took a little extra long break then, but at this point what else can I truly be learning - I'm sure it's all in there, just a matter of if I can recall it tomorrow when needed (keep those fingers crossed while you sleep tonight b/c it will all be over by 1pm BST (8am EST) and do the same on Monday night as well please!!! . . . CHEERS MATE!

Well I'm off to try to catch a wee bit of the Australia v Brazil - GO AUSSIES!!!! Have to say that it's my heritage & all my mates at the pub are from there as well, they'd kill me to hear me say anything other than that!

Found this and I liked it so I decided to paste it here for all of you to read as well,

Maybe of interest . . .

The Queen's 80th birthday celebration was yesterday, see here for details.

Queen Elizabeth II at her birthday celebration

the fly over Pallmall

The Queen & husband Prince Philip watching the trooping of colour at Buckingham Palace

In other news, The US tied Italy 1-1 last night :) see here for details.

Mastroeni awhile before he got sent off.

Only a few more hours left

Well it's my earliest start yet, thanks to some crazy crows outside our window this morning, who were scared of a wee cat that was prancing around below the tree.

So I have a HUGE bug bite on my leg, it was itchy & sore yesterday, but this morning it is now twice the size & I have two more!! What is up with that?!?!?! The two news ones, one of which on the back of my leg, doesn't so much bother me, but the one of my right hand pointer finger (top segment) is REALLY bloody annoying . . . it is swollen and rather sore. I've put Germaline on it as Lou advised me, but no relief yet. Just hope the swelling goes down by tomorrow (and doesn't balloon up more like my leg did!!)

Okay, getting offline so I can focus on work, MissyLou just left for teaching & will be back around 1.30/2pm :) till then I'm on my own for reading & reviewing . . .

Saturday, June 17

Evening update

So we just got back from the pub . . . DON'T worry we were watching the USA v Italy World Cup game, we had pints of water with lemon in them!!!

So the score at the moment, half time, is 1-1 (yeah) On our way home we got some chocolate to melt over our fresh raspberries that we picked up earlier 3 punets for £1, what a deal!!!

So my new word for the day is "pernicious" gonna try to use it on the exam Monday or Tuesday.

Also wanted to take this moment to brag a wee bit about myself. Earlier Dave (mate from uni) was IMing me to ask me a question related to the exams & I actually knew the answer, then he asked me to "test" him on a few things so I ran through the toll-like receptors (TLRs) which he knew all about, then I threw a curve ball & asked if he knew about alternatively activated macrophages or DC-SIGN & guess what, he didn't & I did :)

In otherinterestingg news from this week, MissyLou & I have successfully eaten 2lbs of cherries in just over 24 hours along with 1.5L of orange-pineapple squash juice (remember you dilute this stuff 1:6, or more when you're drinking as much as we are) which means we've drunk about 15L of squash liquid since Monday when we ran out food shopping this past Monday!!

an old one but still good

Me and Kylie at her wedding 2 April 2005

16.04 Saturday check in

So we're not enjoying studying today . . . It's really hard when we can hear everyone enjoying the sunny warm weather that is just on the other side of the windows! But here are some photos we took earlier . . .

Louise with all of her notes!

me with all of my notes (ignore the mess of cord by my feet, it's just to get 2 lap tops connected to the internet, we have to have them all)

Best off all a view of our study aids - Drumsticks (sort of a taffyish lolly), Starmix (gummy bears, gummy rings, gummy hearts, gummy colas, and gummy eggs), and Minstrels (sorta like M&Ms but larger & with Galaxy chocolate inside so it melts better)

(please also ignore the big white box - I don't always know who reads this thing and we don't want any nutters showing up at my door at some crazy hour ringing the buzzer & annoying us!!)

10.18 check in

We're off for a 10 minutes study break . . . keep those smart thoughts coming our way!!

We've been up for hours now . . .

Louise woke up at 4am and I woke up at 6am . . . What's that about you might be asking yourselves? Well I think it's the "oh crap our final exams is just around the corner" feeling starting to sink into our little brains!

To add insult to injury, Lou went to make tea this morning & as she poured the milk in (as you have to have when you're in England!) it "looked thicker than normal" (we keep skim in the flat, but apparently it looked like semi-skim) so she checked the date, it was supposedly good till Monday and then she sniffed it, at which point I hear, "does this smell ok?" So I lean over take a big whiff & say, "it smells like bread that's going off, sorta yeastish." Needless to say we did not use this milk, but this meant no tea for the morning :( Luckily some nice people in the states have supplied us with Lemon Zinger tea, so MissyLou cleaned out the mugs & filled them with herbal tea, not quite the same as caffeinated tea, but it will have to do!

Now that we're both showered, we're gonna get started with our oh so fun studying *giggles*

Friday, June 16

23.03 BST (last one for Friday)

So I have to ask a favour of all the reader of my blog, please visit this website, and see what you can do, if anything. I thank you in advance!! Try to think of all those who are unable to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend because they are too sick to go out, while you without a second thought can go do whatever your heart desires, YOU are very LUCKY!!

Here is the email I received earlier today, from my friend Barbara's friend Heather:


Well, it's official...I've run my first marathon!

I trained to run the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's "Team in Training" Program. I was blessed to unite my ability to put one foot in front of the other with an opportunity to support a great cause that is dear to my heart.

Through the TNT program I had a coach, a training regimen, nutrition advice, and a great group of people to train with. Besides the challenge of running 26.2 miles, I committed to raising money ($4,000) to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in it's battle to fight leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.

I am writing to ask your support in contributing as generously as you can to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The contributions will aid in funding research and supporting patients and families.

Please join me in this challenge. Whatever you can contribute all adds up! Contributing is so easy...just click on the link
(I've linked it above in red) below to go to my TNT homepage where you can make a donation and read about my progress as well.

Thanks so much for supporting me in this challenge! Every little bit of support adds up and it's a great, great cause! Let me know if you have any questions!

Thank you! Heather

If you can help her out in any way we'd really appreciate it! Here are her photos from the race (note to all of you at Trudeau, who the bib is in honour of)

Well good night from London . . . will keep posting over the weekend if you fancy checking in on my sanity as it get down to THE BIG DAY . . .

21.05 BST

Well we just got back from our first official outing for this week! We walked into LSHTM, picked up some notes & I printed off 3 articles I wanted (on schisto & malaria) met up with Susan & some of our mates from the Med Para course & had dinner at the Hare & Tortoise in Brunswick Sq (around the corner from Russell Sq). It's a noodle bar that we love to frequent because for £5 you can get a HUGE portion of food (enough for dinner & lunch the next day --> meaning each meal only costs you £2.50!!) Then we walked back to Kentish Town & grabbed a mini milk at our new favourite newsagent across the road - the owner is super sweet!!

Okay back to studying now . . .

Oh my Goodness!!!!!!

Louise & I have not left Kentish Town since she moved in on Sunday morning - that might sound weird, you have to understand MissyLou lives with her boyfriend, Jeremy, just off Edgeware Road most of the time, but he's in Spain on "Physics PhD summer school" for three weeks so she's back here with me - VERY HELPFUL to keep me focused!! Tonight when we go to uni to pick up a few papers we forgot in our lockers will be the first time that either of us have left KT, isn't that crazy?!?!?!?!

We think so!

Things have chanced, I'm afraid

So to answer Pete's questions:

1) No we don't have an oral exam (not sure if I'd want that or not)

2) I don't think the Royal family is involved in our graduation, but I will check into it, that would be a reason to make a trip back over, that's for sure!!

Our graduation will be on Saturday 10 March 2007.

Well our afternoon study break is running a wee bit over, but we're having problems focusing today for some reason, not sure if it's because we've just spent too much time doing it or if the nice warm weather is finally starting to effect our brains . . . who knows, hopefully we'll be able to buckle back down for the rest of the afternoon after a few more fresh cherries and email writing, we should be good to go.

13.19 BST

Well we're consistent in our study breaks (I posted at about the same exact times yesterday as I am today)

Here is a beautiful photo of our lunch . . . YES, it's a salad (cost £3) of lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, cheese, bacon (real none of those baco crap things!) & red pepper.

close up of the lovely veggies :)

salad with the beloved "Salad Cream"

I spoke about this dressing once before in a post (I think), we all know how much I love Hidden Valley's Ranch dressing, well Heinz's Salad Cream is even better!!!

Let me think of other interesting things we've done this week that I've forgotten to post about . . . ah yes . . . drink our body weight in orange squash a day! You can image we spend lot of study breaks running to the loo because of this! And yet another fun study break this week has been answeringquizzess on myspace and reading our mates responses.

Well it's nearly 13.30 and we took a rather long break earlier when trying to post MissyLou's dad's Father's day card (I had to post mine awhile back if I wanted it to arrive anywhere close to Father's day, along with a Birthday card since Dad's birthday is coming up on Tuesday)

TGIF . . .

09.08 BST

So we're about to start studying again. Figured I'd let ya know that it's another sunny, beautiful day here in London, this marks about the 15th day like this. I'm sure it will all stop about Tuesday around 12.55, seeing as our exams gets out at 13.00 and we're convinced that "summer" has been these past few weeks we've been stuck inside in the library.

Okay, TGIF to those of you who have the weekend off - have fun for those of us stuck studying inside again all weekend :)

Thursday, June 15


Of course MissyLou & I were hard at work studying when this match was being played, but there were two occasions when we were sure that England had scored due to the loud cheers coming up through the floor boards, but it wasn't until we took our study break at 20.55 that we learned the official score . . . England did it again beating Trinidad-Tobago 2-0 this evening! Apparently the USA team could use a little counseling.

Crouch & Gerrard smiling away

So did I tell you we figured out the "ideal" study schedule for ourselves here in KT??? We study for 1 hour, take a 10 min walk/study break and then work again for an hour . . . works out very well, we found without the breaks we were getting TOO tired & agitated, course no clue what we will do on Monday & Tuesday when it comes time to sitting the exam for 3 hours of writing :( but I'm sure we'll figure something out (fingers crossed!)
Interesting fact that not many American's seem to know (apparently) England, Scotland, and Wales all have separate football teams & during common wealth games they play separately, but in the Olympics they play together under the title of Great Britain . . . interesting little tid bit, ah?


An interesting things that we reviewed this morning where:

that M cells take up antigen in the gut

Oh yeah AND vit A is good for children & adults but not good for HIV/AIDS patients or preggers.

The future is bright over here :)


Yes, it's 09.06 and we're about to start another day of studying . . . But I wanted to give you something interesting to read about so we did a little brain storming & we've come up with a few interesting (at least to us) facts that we've learned thus far in our courses:

1) What helps protect you from
Malaria actually hinders protection against Onchocerciasis.

2) Having
Schistosomiasis can lessen your chance of getting allergies & asthma.

Can you tell MissyLou's in Medical Parasitology??

Okay off to study now . . . check in later.

P.S. We didn't go to the movies last night, stead we sat at home, studied, & watched an episode of Green Wing.

Wednesday, June 14

Who could resist?

Now who could resist furry microbes like these??

Louise already has the cute
trypanosome & giardia

This summer my thesis is on
this little bugger!!

They have a cute
TB microbe as well, just under "professionals" at the bottom of the screen.


So I have more puppy photos for those of you who enjoy puppies. They were born last night between 6 and 8.30pm EST.

Aside from that I don't have much new to report, we studied till 10pm last night & we're starting back up now . . . Will check in at a later point.

Happy Hump Day :)

Thanks to MissyLou

x- Stop Racism -x-


Tuesday, June 13

PM study break

So here are the photos from Sunday's Girls Night at our flat.

We had Susan and Amanda over for Pizza Hut pizza, salad & a
Green & Black's chocolate cake, which to be completely honest was too much chocolate for MissyLou & me! So interesting how our likes & dislikes for food are so similar - must be that we were born on the same day!! We watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding - it was fab :)

Well here is the cake:

Here we are enjoying the cake (Lou took the photo):

me, Susan, and Amanda
So we're just taking our dinner break now, gonna have mangetouts (aka snowpeas) with salad cream for a starter, southern fried chicken breasts with boiled new potatoes, peas, and Yorkshire puddings.
Ah yes, and we need some input into which study break movie to watch tomorrow evening, our choices are American Dreamz, RV, Confetti, or United 93. Any suggestions??

Thanks to another blogger

The most important

thing in our lives is

what we are doing now.

~ Anonymous

Are you Spoiled??

This is a good study break, should you be looking for one, it's the Are you Spoiled Quiz:

1. your own cell phone? Yes, I actually have 2, one in the USA and one in the UK
2. a television in your bedroom ? I don't' own a tv anymore =(
3. an iPod ? Nope, not anymore, I gave it to a friend who needed it more than I did & who I know appreciates it!
4. a photo printer ? Nope
5. your own phone line ? Yes
6. TiVo or a generic digital video recorder? No, see question #2
7. high-speed internet access (i.e., not dialup) ? Yes, must have!!
8. a surround sound system in bedroom? No, not anywhere
9. DVD player in bedroom ? No, see #2.
10. at least a hundred DVD's? Yes, my collection of DVDs is a wee bit large :)
11. a child-free bathroom ? yeah since I don't have any kids - lol.
12. your own in-house office? No.
13. a pool ? No.
14. a guest house ? I wish!
15. a game room ? It's a studio flat, how can I have rooms?
16. a queen-size bed? nope, double
17. a stocked bar ? as if I could afford to buy all that crap?!?!?!
18. a working dishwasher ? yeah if you count MissyLou & me.
19. an icemaker ? bearly have a freezer!
20. a working washer and dryer ? Well washer, but we air dry everything.
21. more than 20 pairs of shoes? Ummm, no.
22. at least ten things from a designer store? Probably not.
23. Expensive sunglasses? nope
24. framed original art (not lithographs or prints)? No.
25. Egyptian cotton sheets or towels ? Nope!
26. a multi-speed bike? yeah at home in the states I have an awesome mountain bike.
27. a gym membership? Yes.
28. large exercise equipment at home ? No,
29. your own set of golf clubs ? No, who plays golf?
30. a pool table ? Nope.
31. a tennis court ? Nope.
32. local access to a lake, large pond, or the sea? Yes, I only live 10 minutes from Hampstead Heath's ponds - not that I would swim in them with all the algae!!!
33. your own pair of skis? Yes.
34. enough camping gear for a weekend trip in an isolated area ? Yep.
35. a boat? No, but I would really like one.
36. a jet ski ? No, but use to.
37. a neighborhood committee membership? No.
38. a beach house or a vacation house/cabin ? Yes.
39. wealthy family members? Yes.
40. two or more family cars ? That would be no, but I do have one car.
41. a walk-in closet or pantry? Nope.
42. a yard ? Nope, I have a public playground behind my flat does that count?
43. a hammock ? Wish I did - that would be awesome!
44. a personal trainer ? No.
45. good credit ? Yes.
47. a designer bag that required being on a waiting list to get? No.
48. at least $100 cash in your possession right now ? No way, not even £20 :(
49. more than two credit cards bearing your name ? Yes.
50. a stock portfolio? Yes.
51. a passport? Yes.
52. a horse ? Not anymore.
53. a trust fund (either for you or created by you)? No.
54. private medical insurance ? Through work?? NHS baby!!! That's National Heath Services for those non-UK readers out there.
55. a college degree ? Yes, Bachelors of Science in Biology with a minor in Sports Medicine and (fingers crossed) in Sept I'll have a Masters of Science in Immunology of Infectious Diseases.
56. shop for non-needed items for yourself (like clothes, jewelry, electronics) ? Yes of course, who hasn't???
57. do your regular grocery shopping at high-end or specialty stores ? NOWAY, MissyLou & I go to Iceland & PoundStretcher looking for deals!
58. pay someone else to clean your house, do dishes, or launder your clothes (not counting dry-cleaning) ? No.
59. go on weekend mini-vacations ? Yep sometimes!
60. send dinners back with every flaw ? No, I pretty much eat anything.
61. wear perfume or cologne (not body spray) ? Yes.
62. regularly get your hair styled or nails done in a salon ? No.
63. have a job but don't need the money OR, stay at home with little financial sacrifice ? Ummm no .... I'm a student.
64. pay someone else to cook your meals? Nope.
65. pay someone else to watch your children or walk your dogs ? Not applicable so no.
66. regularly pay someone else to drive you ? No, unless you count public transportation!
67. expect a gift after you fight with your partner? No.
68. an only child? Nope.
69. married/partnered to a wealthy person ? Nope.
70. baffled/surprised when you don't get your way? No, too easy-going.
71. been on a cruise? Yes, to Canada.
72. traveled out of the country ? Yes. France, Netherlands, Bahamas, England, Spain, South Africa, Wales, Ireland, Canada, and Mexico.
73. met a celebrity ? Yes, but not really interested me.
74. been to the Caribbean? Yes, see #71.
75. been to Europe? Yes, see #72.
76. been to Hong Kong? No.
77. been to Hawaii ? Yes, Waikiki Beach with my fam back in 1988.
78. been to New York? Yes, lived there for many years.
79. eaten at the space needle in Seattle ? Nope, never been to the state of Washington.
80. been to the Mall of America ? Nope.
81. been on the Eiffel tower in Paris ? Nope.
82. been on the Statue of Liberty in New York ? No, well seen it many times.
83. moved more than three times because you wanted to ? Yes .. more than 3.
84. dined with local political figures? Nope.
85. been to both the Atlantic coast and the Pacific? Yes.
86. gone to another country for your honeymoon ? Never married.
87. hire a professional photographer for your wedding or party? again, not married, so no.
88. take riding or swimming lessons as a child? Yes.
89. attend private school? Nope public all the way.
90. have a Sweet 16 birthday party thrown for you ? Nope.

I didn't get the full instructions but I know that if you answered "Yes" to at least 40 of the questions, you're considered "spoiled".

I got 31, so I'm not spoiled :)

Monday, June 12


Please go to Pete's blog, but your computer volume on high & click where it tells you to & see if you can hear the ring tone. Then put a comment up about if you heard it or not.

MissyLou & I heard it, but need a bigger population of people to test if old people really can't hear it.

Well it's 10.30pm, we're on yet another study break with fresh strawberries & double cream. It's still rather warm here in London! Earlier we were so hot we couldn't focus on studying so we took a mini study break, filled the bath with a bit of cold water & sat ourselves on the edge of the bath, soaking our feet & hands in the nice cool water. We felt like little kids playing at the water station in nursery school - it worked!

Well we still have more studying to go so I'm gonna bugger off & get it done, so I can relax & try to fall asleep in this warm little flat of ours!

A Sad State of Affairs

So here is the update on how the USA did today in the World Cup :(

Still 82F and sunny here in London, I would normally be happy about this weather if I had a lake to jump in or had free time to enjoy it, but since I'm trying to study & it's hotter than heck in my flat, MissyLou & I are NOT enjoying it. Fingers crossed it will cool down later this week. We did find that our local library has A/C but it's not a quiet library, reminded me of the Ardsley Library (from growing up) where the librarians are the loudest people in the whole freakin place. The visitors whisper & the librarian says, "WHAT?"

Ok, my study break time is up in 2 minutes so I'm gonna run . . .

Flatmate & her brother

So my flatmate has started a blog as has her little brother who is working in Chicago for 3 months this summer - I've added them to my "links" section on the left hand side of the screen - feel free to check them out. My flatmate is "Loulabelle" and her brother is "Neal".

We did spend all morning at the Kentish Town public library where they had the A/C on :) It's been freakin hot in this wee country and few places have air conditioning!!

Okay, study break over . . . back to the grind stone . . . one week from today is the FIRST EXAM day.

Miss B & Shann's best friend

So I heard via email that Shannon & Barrett's best friend in the world passed away last night, Scout, their 11 year old Siberian Husky.
Here is a recent photo of him at their house.

This is a typical Scout pose
(note the beautiful blue eye)
relaxed & enjoying the day
but with one eye waiting &
watching over Miss B while
she's playing in the yard.

Well I must get back to the library, but I wanted to post this quickly . . .

May Scout rest in peace up in heaven playing catch with Mom's dear Henry!

Saturday, June 10

England WON!!!

So they did it, England 1-0 Paraguay.

Trinidad-Tobago 0-0 Sweden and Argentina 2-1 Cote d'Ivoire were the scores from today :)

Of course I was in the library from 1-5.30pm, but when I got out I checked so I could be up to date.

Well I'm off to bed now, tomorrow Louise & I are going to Hampstead Heath to study & get a bit of sun (since we've been locked up in the library all week long!)


Take a look at this, it's the weather forecast for London for the next few days - can you believe it? Fantastic I tell ya!!!

Already gotten two panicked phone calls from course mates with different questions, like, "How is the
CD4+ T cell involved in CD8+ T cell activation?" and "What does TAP do?"

I'm off to the library now till around 17.30 (when it closes) and tonight's study break is
Mary Poppins, at times I just love being a student in this city, you get the greatest of deals every so often on theatre tickets & the like.

Well I'm off . . .
like a prom dress . . . LOL!!!

Germ. 4-2 C.R. and Pol. 0-2 Ecad.

So I'm super excited that CR was able to get 2 goals tonight, but of course I was hoping for Germany's sake that they would win, and they did :) always nice when the team that is hosting the event can win a game or two. There were many people who doubted they could do it, but they pulled it off!!

Ecuador did quite well for themselves as well tonight
see here for the details of their 2-0 win over Poland.

Now of course what truly matters is Monday night's game, but being that I'm in England I am suppose to be excited for
tomorrow's game . . . BIG things to watch for - England's striker (and Manchester United's) Wayne Rooney's foot is "better" but apparently not going to be featured tomorrow. Of course I'll be in the library studying so I'll have to check in & give you the update in the evening, after all the fun & excitement is over!

Nights :)

Friday, June 9

World Cup

So the Word Cup starts today . . . Wonder how many Americans will be watching it? It's a HUGE deal over here, every pub has adverts saying, "watch the World Cup football on a huge plasma telly"

Ok, off to the library, running a wee bit late today, but don't you worry I will tack the missed time onto the end of the day :)

TGIF (as if that means anything to me for the next 10 days!)

Avenue Q

So I went to see Avenue Q with my "cultural group" tonight, you might remember we went to see Two Thousand Years at the National Theatre last month. Well this show is fantastic - everyone in the audience had a sore face from laughing & smiling so much at the interval (intermission) Well I'm off to bed, another fun filled library day tomorrow . . .

Thursday, June 8

2-4-1 (week 2)

So some of us took a wee study break this evening and went to the movies (again the Orange two student tickets for the price of one - I mean how can you go wrong??)

Jeremy, Susan, Louise & I went to see
The Da Vinci Code. As we all sorta expected the book was better, but there wasn't much else we were inclined to see, since the only other choices were X-Men III (we saw last week), United 93 (not sure I want to see that), and Da Vinci Code.

Well I'm doing fine, still living in the library . . . Sorry if I haven't been in the best of moods recently. I'm a bit stressed with all this studying & exams. I apologize in advance if I've been short or not kept touch, but when you get home from 10 hours of library studying, you're just not in the mood to check emails or talk on the phone. I read all the emails that come in, I just rarely reply.

I promise 2 weeks from today this will all be over & I'll be in a better frame of mind.

Wednesday, June 7

What's going on???

Hint: Thank you JB down at John's Hopkins

Tuesday, June 6

mom & quid

Saturday, June 3

Check in part 2

Guten Tag = Good day

Weather today was 75 and sunny!!! I LOVED IT, I had to actually come back to KT to change my shoes to flip flops & trousers to capris because I was so warm in my trainers & jeans!!

Had a lovely dinner at the Thai place with Susan, Heather, Dom & Amanda, followed by dessert at Haagen Daz!

Then Susan & I went to Borders for a bit, followed by a walk back up to Kentish Town.

Tomorrow's plan is library from 1-4, followed by study group, and if the weather holds a walk in Hampstead Heath!!

Danke Schon = Thank you

Auf Wiedersehen = Good bye

check in

Off to the library, yet again, then for a swim (study break) then study group at 3.30pm, followed by Susan's birthday dinner at the Thai place down the road from uni (on Store Street).

Nothing exciting to report . . . sun is out this morning :)

Friday, June 2

Thanks to Susan I learned this tonight:

Poll Shows Many Can't Find La. on Map
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, Associated Press WriterTuesday, May 2, 2006(05-02) 07:06 PDT WASHINGTON,

(AP) --Despite the wall-to-wall coverage of the damage from Hurricane Katrina, nearly one-third of young Americans recently polled couldn't locate Louisiana on a map and nearly half were unable to identify Mississippi. Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 fared even worse with foreign locations: six in 10 couldn't find Iraq, according to a Roper poll conducted for National Geographic. "Geographic illiteracy impacts our economic well-being, our relationships with other nations and the environment, and isolates usfrom the world," National Geographic president John Fahey said in announcing a program to help remedy the problem. It's hoping to enlist businesses, nonprofit groups and educators in a bid to improve geographic literacy. Planned is a five-year, multimedia campaign called My Wonderful World that will target children 8 to 17. The goal is to motivate parents and educators to expand geographic offerings in school, at home and in their communities. They will have their task cut out for them, judging by the results of the survey of 510 people interviewed in December and January. Among the findings:

  • One-third of respondents couldn't pinpoint Louisiana on a map and 48 percent were unable to locate Mississippi.
  • Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.
  • Two-thirds didn't know that the earthquake that killed 70,000 people in October 2005 occurred in Pakistan.
  • Six in 10 could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East.
  • While the outsourcing of jobs to India has been a major U.S. business story, 47 percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.
  • While Israeli-Palestinian strife has been in the news for the entire lives of the respondents, 75 percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East.
  • Nearly three-quarters incorrectly named English as the most widely spoken native language.
  • Six in 10 did not know the border between North and South Korea is the most heavily fortified in the world. Thirty percent thought the most heavily fortified border was between the United States and Mexico.

Joining in the effort to improve geographic knowledge will be the 4-H, American Federation of Teachers, Asia Society, Association of American Geographers, National Basketball Association, National Council of La Raza, National PTA, Smithsonian Institution and others. "Geography exposes children and adults to diverse cultures, different ideas and the exchange of knowledge from around the world," said Anna Marie Weselak, president of the National PTA. "This campaign will help make sure our children get their geography - so they can become familiar with other cultures during their school years and move comfortably and confidently in a global economy as adults."

Thursday, June 1

? I keep 4getting to ask

A question I kept meaning to post:

Which one of the X-men would you be??

By the way studying today went really well in my new favourite library (Senate House) and then I met up with Sus to do some revision from 3-6pm, well we probably gabbed for about 30 minutes during that time!

Tomorrow is more studying at Senate House, quick swim in the afternoon, Andrew's b'day drinks at the uni bar, followed by curry with Susan. Saturday is yet more studying, possibly a swim, and Sus' birthday dinner at Lemonia in the Chalk Farm/Primrose Hill area!!

Oh yeah, Susan asked me earlier what is a uMT mouse? I know that I've read about them but can't remember what is so special about them, can anyone help out here??