Saturday, July 29

Cooler temps :)

So today wasn't as hot as it has been during the past few months, yeah! I get nervous saying that as I don't want to revisit those 95F+ days again, especially tomorrow as Amanda & I are taking Susan to Heathrow so she can get her flight home to the yoU-SA, as Dom would say ;) I'm still in shock that it is the end of July & that Sus is leaving! I know I'm going to be a mess, she's been my closest female friend these past 10 months & I don't know what I will do for the next month without her, well I sorta do, I'll be locked in my flat writing & re-writing my summer thesis, but I won't be able to look forward to curry nights or random walks around London, or our hour long phone calls to bitch about everything under the sun!

Okay, gotta stop thinking about that since I'm trying to get some of my intro re-written tonight! Just to recap my last few days:

Thursday - came home right after I got done in the lab & went to bed uber early

Friday - went to uni as normal, talked with my adviser about my introduction and materials & methods sections, did a bit of IHC (immunohistochemistry) this time staining for CD3 on my patient slides but found nothing - I think this antibody has gone off, but I did get my CD4 and CD8 staining to work, which made me super happy :) Had lunch with my mate Dave - we shared fish & chips with tons of malt vinegar - yummers! Went home around 4pm, straightened up the flat for Lou's cousin's arrival & got the bus to Angel to meet up with Amanda, Dom, Susan, and Katie for our "final farewell curry". A&D and I were there first, Katie came next & since Sus was still working on her paper we decided to go for drinks (inspired by a man handing out 2 for 1 tickets) so down Essex Street to The Warwick we went. Sus showed up around 7.15pm and we headed to the Marsala Zone for some curries. Let me just tell you they have fantastic deals at this place!! We paid £6 each & were all podged by the end, it was absolutely brilliant. After dinner Sus & I walked everyone to the tube & then went to The Angelic on Liverpool Street. We got our drinks & a few minutes later Rob showed up, got his half pint of lemonade & we chatted till we were all done, then he walked us to Kings Cross. Rob gave Susan a big hug goodbye & she walked home to Goodenough College, Rob & I chatted briefly about Mike's arrival & then he went to get a train while I walked up to the bus stop & grabbed the first bus that arrived, luckily it was a 46 so I only had to stand around for about 3 minutes, Friday night at Kings X is not a place you want to be standing around alone for extended periods of time. Got back to my flat & had a message from MissyLou who was at The Oxford with Jeremy, Alison & Elaine, so I popped down there to say hi. A&E are super friendly & have the greatest Scottish accents, I nowrealizee that Lou's accent has changed & become more "posh" (Londonish) since she's moved down here. We finally turned the lights off at 2am - we were just chatting away notrealizingg the time.

This morning we all woke up around 8.30am, had "a roll with slice" - who knows what that means? for breakfast & then we left the flat. I was headed to the post office to mail a letter & then to the other post office to pick up a parcel. Lou was headed into uni and along the way was going to drop the girls off on Oxford Street for a wee shoppin trip . . . can't wait to see what they come home with!

This afternoon/evening Amanda came up to KT & we made homemade chocolate chip cookies as a surprise for Susan's plane trip tomorrow, since we've now after 10 months discovered that "plain chocolate" over here is the same as semi sweet as in the states AND this time we had brown sugar (a key ingredient!)

Now I'm just about to get back to work on my paper but figured I'd take a quick break to update you all on my past few days since I know I've been a bit bad about posting.

Can you believe AUGUST 1st is next TUESDAY!?!??!?!?!?!

Friday, July 28


Here is a wonderful poem a friend sent to me:

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask How are you?
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?
You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say,"Hi"
You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away.
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

Thursday, July 27

390th post

What do you think of that?!??!?!

Darn lot of writing I've done in the past few months (10 to be exact) while I've been over here. So I've finally just been lucky enough to get a computer at uni to check my email, print a few papers for fun filled reading at home later & update my blog. Nothing too exciting to report I'm afraid :( Weather is the same, HOT, bus ride into uni was the same, crowded & HOT, uni is the same, HOT.

Got nachos & pasta salad for lunch today with Susan & Amanda at ULU's Duck & Dive Bar, not really good at all, but it filled the void at the mo. The guac tasted like sardines - bluck!

I've been reading The Pact by Jodi Picoult on the bus ride to and from uni for the past 2 weeks & I'm already on page 236, almost halfway through it - it's a quick easy read :)

Well I'm grasping at straws for things to tell you so I'd better stop here so you don't get uber bored with my ramblings.

Wednesday, July 26


So the temps are again up in the mid 30C (that's in the 90F), I cannot stress how annoying it is! When I say nothing has air conditioning, I really mean it, the bus ride was 38C (that's about 100F) and fans can only do so much to push hot air around. It's screwing up my sleeping b/c I spend most of my time tossing & turning, sweating, waking up thirsty, so when I finally wake up in the morning, I'm just as exhausted as I was when I first attempted to fall asleep :(

PLUS today I got my introduction back from my advisor who said, "A good attempt but lots of room for improvement, needs to be shorter & more direct with a tighter message, much is irrelevant" which made me feel like crap. I think it's the heat boiling my brain, but this really pissed me off. Well I'm off to get myself some dinner, preferably something cold!!

Happy Hump Day . . . Tarra!

Tuesday, July 25

I'm a "Gooner", what about you?

Gooner is the name given to Arsenal fans coming from the fact that they are the gunners. Here are some photos of their new stadium which opened this past Saturday. These top two are of the pitch during the day (left) and at night (right). The big photo is a comparison of Highbury (old smaller stadium) and the new Emirates Stadium just round the corner.

And for those of you who could careless about football, I've put two photos of the cutest member of my family, if you don't like football or dogs you're SOL today, sorry!


Oh I do have something semi interesting for people interested in science . . . I've finally found CD4 and CD8 Ab which work with 1mM EDTA pH 8.0 :) Serotec is the company I have to thank for that! I got both antibodies to work yesterday & today I'm going to try double staining with FOXP3, hopefully it will work (fingers crossed) b/c that's what my summer project is all about, if not I'm not sure what I will look at under the CCD microscope or what I will take photos of. Okay off to uni now, happy Tuesday,

Tarra & Toodle Pip

Sunday, July 23

Susan's Goodbye BBQ Party

So of course it hasn't rained for over a month now, but doesn't it rain on the day we have a BBQ in Hampstead Heath planned out!??!?! Let's start off with the other important event that occurred yesterday, the opening of my Gunner's new stadium :)

Okay, back to the party, Dom, Amanda & I had done the shopping & cooking the night before (see post from Friday night). They also came over early on Saturday to help get everything just right for Susan's party.

Before the photos are shown, everyone needs to know a wee bit more about Susan. Susan is leaving us (LSHTM students) to go home to the USA to start medical school in mid August at Wash U in St Louis. She will be missed immensely by all of us! Susan is a great friend, one who you feel comfortable telling anything to. She's been one of my best friends during my past ten months here. From January till about April/May time, we would go every Friday evening for a curry at the place across the road from my flat. We'd walk in they'd seat us, give us the menus, we'd both look at all the options & then order 2 chicken kormas with 2 naan breads & tap waters, I think the waiters enjoyed giggling at us as we looked over the menu, since they knew full well we would be ordering the same thing as last Friday! Susan & I have had a ton of laughs together as well. We traveled to Spain & met 2 crazy old ladies, we sat in the back seat of the car on the way to Wales praying we'd survive the next corner, we flew to Toulouse to visit my sister, were all three of us giggled while eating our way through the city, we've spent evenings sitting in Haggen Daz eating waffles with ice cream & laughing over how to split the bill, attempting to make chocolate chip cookies w/o brown sugar or semisweet chocolate, and I think best of all we've gotten into absolute hysterics over nothing at all (trying to order baklava, split a bill, order lemonade at the pub) and had the hardest time trying to explain it all to Jim or Rob without laughing again, they never did understand us, but then again, I'm not sure what we were trying to tell them since to this day I don't know what we found so darn funny, but trust me it was hysterically funny at the time.

Well it's getting late here so I will get these photos uploaded & bugger off to bed. Here are Amanda & Dom getting the BBQ started: Here is the whole gang (minus Luci & me), watching the burgers cook, since it was too hot to wait inside my flat for it to be ready and it's a kids playground so we had to play on the swings!! (L to R - Sacha, Susan, Sarentha, Heather, Dave, Amanda, Dom, Jen, Sohel) Here we have (L to R) Susan, Dom, Sacha, Heather, Amanda, and Sohel enjoying the burgers, pasta salad, green salad, and veggies with ranch dressing. Notice the sun is sorta out at this point, just after we had all gotten situated inside. Susan, giving her "goodbye speech" and about to cut into the chocolate cake, which was just one of three desserts we had at the party. Jen brought apple pie & Sohel brought Bangladesh sweets, called gulab jamun (which were fantastic! reminded me of donuts covered in honey)
oh yeah, I got my hair cut on Friday night with Amanda, so here's the new look:
And that's all folks . . . Happy Monday to ya'll . . . tarra & cheerio ;)

Friday, July 21

More photos from prepping night

homemade flourless chocolate cake - sorry I don't have a finished product, but imagine melted chocolate over the top & raspberry coulis - yum yum yum!!!

my poor little fridge didn't know what hit it!! Pasta salad, veggies, burgers, more pasta salad, freezer packs in case the weather is sunny & warm.

note that the temp says, "too hot"

Cool links & photos for Friday

There is a great video on Pete's blog, click here to see it - got those of us who were cooking tonight in absolute stiches!!

Amanda's friend from the US sent her
this link & it's a brilliant read as well. Shann you'll be happy to read that my Gunners' American comparison are your Soxs :)

And here are the photos from our cooking & prepping for Susan's Goodbye Party tomorrow afternoon - not to toot my own horn, but I sorta brought the idea up to all of our coursemates, most of whom were very willing to help, while others still have not gotten back to me! The main person who "tracked everyone down" was Sacha. Amanda & Dom were with me tonight for all the food prep work . . . wait till you see the photos, you can tell we're VERY hot & baking a cake no less! It was so hot that we went down to the pub for dinner - I bought quesadilla & nachos for all of us since they were so nice to help me with shopping, baking & organising this shin dig for Miss Susan.

dogs being trained to attack (yes, that's the kids' playground just outside my flat window :(

here is the dog owner, looking at a passer by who asks him to stop his dog from biting the kids swing (not the graffiti in the background)

Food prep, making chocolate cake & pasta salad

Amanda & Dom in the kitchen that might just be around 110F!! Note Amanda's nice "shirt" the cake has raspberries in it which you have to mash & since she was in a white shirt we tucked a kitchen towel into her shirt - lol

Susan LOVES cucumbers, so we made a tupperware of cucs just for her :)

Okay it won't let me upload any more photos, will try to get them on in a separate post later tonight or tomorrow.

So I went to see The Break-Up last night, probably more so that I could cool off than any other reason, since I think the cinema is the only place in London that's air conditioned :)

It's a funny movie, not gonna win a grammy, but it kept everyone in the theatre laughing for the full hour plus it was on!

I think that any guy who is obsessed with watching sports on the telly should go and see it. It reminded me of a guy I know (MMW).

Tomorrow is Susan's goodbye party :( She leaves on 30 July to head back to Connecticut for about two weeks and then off to start her
MD/PhD program at Wash U. It will be a sad day in London for those of us who aren't leaving!

Okay gotta get back to the lab now . . . TGIF & hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!

Wednesday, July 19

medical update

So touch wood the migraine is gone, sleep was all it needed :) Well I don't have much to report since I slept all day, so I'm gonna just head back to bed now & hope that the temp goes down a bit so I can sleep better, the hottest day in July for London ever (according to the radio earlier)

Well now I've gone and done it . . .

gone & gotten myself my first ever true migraine! We at least I think that's what it is, since I rarely ever get headaches, it might just be a bad one, but my mate told me if you become sensitive to light & have a stomachache it's probably a migraine, so that's what I'm going with since I can barely stand to open my eyes & I normally LOVE the sun and my poor tummy isn't feeling so great either. I was sorta joking that I was excited to have a migraine, since I didn't know what they were like, but man if this feeling keeps up I'm not gonna be a happy camper in about an hour or so :(

Woke up this morning, slight headache, jumped in the shower, eat breakfast & through it all I felt my head starting to pound more & more and became nauseous. I've been advised to take some Advil, close the curtains & go back to bed, so I think that's what I'm going to do . . . depending on how I feel later I'll post an update.

Monday, July 17

IHC question

I'm not sure how many people who read this blog will be able to help, but we're sorta stuck at the mo, so I'm asking anyone who will listen . . .

Has anyone ever done FOXP3 staining on paraffin sections? I've finally got it working but have discovered you really have to use 1mM EDTA pH8 buffer. I want to be able to double stain my tonsil sections with CD4 and FOXP3, BUT I can't get the CD4 to work with this EDTA treatment . . . any ideas?!?!?

E-Bioscience, BD, and Serotec don't have a clue, since they primarily use the Ab for FACS. BD actually doesn't even have a FOXP3 Ab, the rep on Friday told me "if we don't have it, it must not be that important, have you looked into CD127?" WOW are they high on themselves!!

Okay, any suggestions are more than welcome . . . I know the majority of you have no clue what I've just said & those that understand it don't do a lot of IHC, but I'm grasping at straws.

I might have found a CD4 and CD8 Ab from Serotec that will work on paraffin sections, gonna try to get a smigin for free to test to see if it works with my *crazy* buffer (that's what Alero likes to call it)

Sunday, July 16

London Weather

Check this out . . . Is that not CRAZY or what??? What happen to it never gets above 82F?!?!??! What about the poor blokes who have to ride the tube to work every day . . . they might just melt to death down there!!

Saturday, July 15


Isn't it funny how you can smell something in particular that you haven't smelled in a long time & bang you mind has an association with that smell to either a place or person?

This has been happening a lot to me recently, not sure if it's because I've been over here for so long or if my nose is just extra sensitive these days or what but it's been sorta fun. Here are my examples:

I smelled a Sainsbury's peach pie baking & immediately had a flash back to Tina Savin's summer place in NJ, I know you're thinking how did I make the connection, right? Well the week we went to visit, Tina & I went to the CVS is Ardsley to get shampoo before we left, just so happened that Suave Peach Shampoo was on sale, so we got it . . . now whenever I smell a strong peach sent I think of that summer with Tina.

Every once in awhile while on the bus or tube I smell
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male it reminds me of MMW where as Axe Body spray reminds me of hanging out at my local pub with BJS after he's just come from showering.

Even the faintest of almond smells can turn my stomach thanks to Mrs. Buchanan's second grade class! We were learning about different countries & someone brought in marzipan to taste, I thought yum at first, but later that night I got some sort of stomach bug, to this day I associate almond scents with throwing up :(

Smells of pine needles brings back memories of driving to the Adirondacks when Patty & I were little, we'd typically leave Westchester after school was out on a Friday so we'd be getting into the ADKs at night, mom would roll down the windows & all of us would inhale deeply . . . ah vacation!!!

Radox body washes, either the Aloe or the Lavender & Waterlily scents will forever remind me of my first 4 months in London, when I wasn't staying in my flat much so I'd end up having to use it as shampoo & body wash when showering in the morning before heading into uni. Noticed it this morning when I opened up the lavender radox bath gel to shave my legs . . . it was a mini trip down memory lane - I can see myself standing in the stand-up shower washing my hair and then drying off with an Arsenal towel & putting on a blue fleece dressing gown before walking down the flight of stairs & corridor to the room so I could get dressed.

Well I'm sure this post doesn't mean nearly as much if you don't know the smells or the people, but maybe you can relate to what I'm sayin . . .

In other news, it's not definite, but Greg would love to have me join the lab :) the pay is not great for London, but it's a job with great experience & a fantastic boss, which I think is very important. It would give me great "cat 3" (Biohazard Safety Level 3) skills which is the containment labs needed for such diseases as TB and B. psuedomalli (Bp would be what I'd be working with). So I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, but I also think it would be such a wonderful opportunity :) I just have to get these freakin work permit issues sorted out (PLEASE keep your fingers crossed)

Just before I sign off, what do you think of this outfit or what about this one? Would you ever let your child wear it? Does everyone know what M.I.L.F. mean? Well here's a clue, "Mother I'd Like to F***"

Off to bed now . . . as I've got afternoon tea at 3pm at the Orangery in Kensington Palace tomorrow with Jen, Amanda, Dom & Susan for less than £10, what a steal - can youbelievee it?!?!?!? Tarra :-)

Thursday, July 13

Cambridge 8 July 2006

As I mentioned earlier, I went up to Cambridge with 6 of my mates from uni. this past Saturday, 2 of them graduated from Trinity Hall so they got us a punt & we punted on the river for 2 hours eating strawberries, freshly baked tomato & olive oil bread with local goat cheese, and drinking Pims with Lemonade - it was a totally British adventure!

Amanda, Doug (our talented punter), Sohel and Susan

Jen, Dom, me

Sohel punting, Doug and Susan with Pims & Lemonade

We had lunch at the famous Eagle Pub, where all the military guys wrote their names on the ceiling then toured a few more of the colleges, before heading off to my ex-fiance's step aunt's house (can you follow that one!?!?!?) His step aunt (Kathy) is from Providence, RI, but married a guy (Tim) who's from England so now they live in Cambridge with their two children Jackson (12) and Bella (6). Kathy's mom (Vivian) and step dad (Poppa as I call him) had just arrived from RI to visit for a month so it was like a mini reunion :) It was fantastic!! They fed & watered us for 4 hours, while we sat in their garden laughing & swapping stories . . . it was JUST SO PERFECT!!!! Just what we all needed, relaxing, fun, low key evening!

Well I need to get back to work, or actually it's almost 11pm, get to bed is more like it!

Friends with Money

Well the Break-Up isn't out till next Thursday (at least over here) and Just My Luck is only playing during the day so we saw, Friends with Money . . . not bad, not great either. Leicester Square was CRAZY tonight b/c it was the premier of SuperMan Returns.

Saw the preview for Cars and thought it was rather cute, anyone seen it? Am thinking I might like it.

Next Thursday will be The Break-Up. Not sure if I'll catch JML in the cinema, Thanks Zee for your comment :) My mom loves the movies so I'm surprised she hasn't replied, but maybe she hasn't found a movie buddy in Portland yet and maybe she can't leave the lil one alone for that many hours yet.


Which movie do we see?!?!?

Just My Luck


The Break-Up

Any comments on these???

Don't be confused, I took it down

My post from Monday has not been totally lost, just put into a "draft" file. It might have been more info than I should have said without piror permission from my dad, so I've taken it down for the moment. Hopefully it will pass inspection & I can get it back up. I'm torn b/c it's my blog & I can say what I want, but others are worried about the potential backlash it could have on my dad. We will see . . . Oh yeah thanks to all of you who commented!

To keep you busy in the mean time take a look at
these photos, how thankful are you that you don't have to live your life in such termoil, never knowing what will happen next, nothing like the daily "problems" that most American's have . . . should I have a beef burger or buffalo buger tonight?!?!?!

Well I'm off to give blood so someone in the building can do some research :)

PofC 2 : Dead Man's Chest

Went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2 : Dead Man's Chest, which was good, not nearly as fantastic as the first, but sequels never are.

Off to bed now, was out LATE last night with my mate Dave's 23rd b'day drinks after uni which turned into a late night and then the early showing of PofC was sold out so we went to the 8.30 showing meaning we didn't get outta there till 11.30pm & OF COURSE the 214 bus couldn't be on time so I waited around for 30 mins . . . I cannot lie, public transport sucks at times!

Monday, July 10

Another loss for NY State

For a country that thinks it's got it's shit together, they could surely learn a thing or two from others, in particular their views towards homosexuals!! How many police forces in the US can say they are completely open?!?! I know for a fact that here in London it is truly open. My friends Jim & Rob have a lesbian skipper and if you asked them what they think about it they look at you funny as if to ask why are you even asking? She's one of the team members & we back her fully! Probably the other reason I get so hot headed about this topic is that it's near & dear to my heart. Most of you who read this blog have known me a long time, if not my whole life. Do you think I'm a "normal" person (yeah yeah yeah, what's normal). Let's remember how many of you "grew up" at my house . . . close to every weekend, Kris, Colin, Patrick, Matt, Kevin, Adam, Pete, and I'm sure I've forgotten someone where sleeping over at my parents house . . . why you ask? Because I had parents . . . yeah I know that might sound funny but when you think about the family situations these boys were coming from (drug dealing dads, alcoholic moms, deadbeat dads, etc) my parents became everyone's parents. I know on more than one occasion poor Kris got taken into "Mr O's office for a talk" - that's one place I never wanted to go for any talks!! To this day Kris talks about it, not in an "I got yelled at by your dad" way but more of a role model supportive way. Maybe hard to understand if you've never hung out with my dad for long periods of time, but bear with me.

In the fall of 1999, the week of Thanksgiving to be exact, Chas & I flew from Albany, NY to Austin, TX to visit with my cousin Ned & his wife Terri. Chas & I had the week off from Norwich so we went down a few days before the rest of the family was meeting us. We were having a fantastic time boating on the river, touring around the city, relaxing by their pool.

Auntie Ann arrived 2 days before thanksgiving & a few hours later dad called to say he'd missed his flight & would be arriving later. The day before Thanksgiving Chas' mate (Doug who had been at Norwich with us)was driving up from Waco to have lunch with us. I will NEVER forget this lunch, it was so surreal. That morning Dad asked if Chas & I could talk to him in the TV room about some personal family business. Understand Chas was a part of my family we'd been dating for 3 years. Dad, Chas & I all sat down on the couch & dad pulled out his legal size yellow pad of paper which he always had no matter where he was, he brought some with him. He said something along the lines of, I have something important to tell you both about our family and he started to cry. I of course immediately thought he was dying or that something was wrong with Patty or Mom. To be honest I'm not sure how the next few minutes went or what he said but the bottom line was he was coming out of the closet. To be honest my first reaction was happiness that nobody was dead or dying. I was in such shock about what he had said I didn't really say much aside from, "you'll always be my dad" we hugged and he asked if I wanted to call mom or Patty or one of my godparents who knew. I said no thanks & just went back to the room I was staying & tried to comprehend what he had just told us.

Then Chas walked in to say we had to leave to meet Doug & his girlfriend at the BBQ place just down the road, as we were leaving the house (me still in a haze) I recall Dad asking if he could come along, I have no clue what I responded but I think Chas said "yeah sure". I got out of the car & could see Doug's brand new silver mustang from across the parking lot. We walked over introduced my dad & Doug's girlfriend, then proceeded inside. We got seats by the river, ordered our food & I'm sure there was talking, but I'm 90% sure I stared out the window most of the meal. I could barely eat, I just wanted someone to pinch me so that I would wake up.

The rest of that night was uneventful - nobody talked about it & when my sister called us she told me how mom had told her while she was driving on I-87 and she nearly drove off the road. Neither of us knew what to say so I said, "see ya on Saturday" and we hung up. Chas & I tried to talk about it before going to bed but I still didn't know what to say. Chas was so supportive, I know I might not have been able to hold it all together if not for him.

Thanksgiving day went without a hitch, Terri's whole family came over & the day after Thanksgiving we went Christmas tree shopping, eat leftovers & went swimming.

Saturday we flew back to NY and everyone met at my parents house on East Shore Drive. Part two of the whole surreal experience started here. For some reason up to this point I think it had not truly sank into my head, but now with my mom, dad, Patty, and Chas all sitting around the living room table discussing what was going to happen next it was slowly starting to seep into my brain, "My dad is gay" Again came offers to call family or friends & again I still wasn't sure what I would say after they answered the phone.

To be perfectly honest I have no clue when it all "sank in" and I think there are still days when I wake up and wonder if this has all just been a dream - I don't say that in a bad way, just that what I thought my life would be has been dramatically different with my dad being gay & my parents understandably getting a divorce.

I still don't know any people my age who have a parent who came out of the closet during their teens or adulthood, but I'm guessing I'm not alone. I have to say one great thing that happened in part because of this was you found out how supportive your friends can be. I worried that maybe friends who reject me if they found out my dad was gay. I worried that boyfriends wouldn't want to meet my dad b/c he was gay. So far none of that has happened & I think that even a few friends have become a wee bit more open minded now that they actually know someone who is gay & realize he's just a normal person.

BUT I must take this time to thank the Toste family (esp Mom & Dad T) for "taking care" of me & Patty. The summer after we found out my dad was gay, my parents decided to get a divorce & move houses. Understandably Patty & I did not want to be around for the division of property etc, so we hid in Rhode Island for the summer. Thanks to you both Patty & I were able to make it through the rough bumps of the divorce & we will never forget you for that!

Okay, so what got me in a twiddle was reading Pete's blog (not mad at Pete, he was just posting something he read) that gave this reason for why gays should not marry: “Intuition and experience suggest that a child benefits from having before his or her eyes, every day, living models of what both a man and a woman are like.”

And so I ask you, am I F***ed up because my dad is gay?

I THINK NOT!!!! If anything I think my family is more open than most in NY State or in America for that matter. Okay, done with my rant . . . I've got just about 1000 words written for my thesis, have a good afternoon/evening, Tarra xxoo

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Sunday, July 9

Flash back photos!

Photos are not great b/c I've taken digitals of real ones so bear with me. I still think you will laugh at the flash back photos!
me, George and Ellen at C.S. Read Scout camp (summer of 1997)
Jim & Kylie in our dorm room of Crawford Hall, so must have been junior year (99-00), I'm guessing
Susan (from Norwich University) posing in one of the barrack rooms
Tom & Patty on Auntie Ann's boat 5/16/99
me and Patty (5/17/99) after a day of shopping in Glens Falls (at 416 East Shore Dr house)
me, Stephanie, Veronica, Marlene, Lelan, Meghan, Kylie, and PJ watching the Labour Day Parade in Northfield, VT, I think Chas took this photo, but not really sure (Sept 98)

Sunday check in

Well easy & uneventful did not describe last nights trip home from Kings Cross! We were able to get the 9.30 train from Cambridge to Kings X without a problem, but I did not realize there were problems with the northern line so I just jumped on it - got the Edgeware branch of the northern line (only edgeware was on the line up) figured I could just change at Camden Town easily enough. While at Euston station they made some announcement about Camden & Kentish Town but I could not hear it because they had the fans blowing so hard to try to keep it cool (aka below 85F), none of us in the carriage could understand a word of it, the doors closed & off we went so I figured it was nothing important since Camden Town was the next stop. Then just outside Camden the train made a sudden stop & no announcement was made, after about 10 minutes the conductor came through the doors (we were all sitting in the last carriage) with a not so happy face on & went to the back of the carriage, slammed some doors, did something & came stomping back through. The girl next to me tried to ask him a question & he yelled at her with a grumpy mutter & again none of us understood him. Then another 5 minutes later we started up again, stopped in Camden Town & I got off to get the High Barnet branch BUT they had the gates up over that entrance, so I just went upstairs & got the bus home :) Turns out the northern line between Camden Town & Finchley Central was done for engineering works, guess that's what the guy was telling us at Euston . . . luckily I can jump on any of the three buses that go up Kentish Town Road!!

I had a FANTASTIC time - I must say it was one of my favourite outing this year! Will write more about it when I get the photos, I forgot my camera, so I'm waiting for Jenn to post hers.

Well I'm off to get some milk & whatever else I think I need to make it through the day of typing (aka some sugary snacks)

Saturday, July 8

Home from punting!

Cambridge was fantastic, but I'm knackered so I'm off to bed, but a mate of mine sent me the link to this site with the documents from Columbine, if you fancy reading it click here, be forewarned it is not "nice" stuff!!

Friday, July 7

Remembering 7/7

From the BBC website:

Nation prepares to remember 7/7

"The UK is preparing to mark the first anniversary of the London bombings that claimed 52 lives and injured hundreds."

"At midday, a two-minute silence will be observed across the country, including Wimbledon and other events. The bells of St Paul's Cathedral will toll for those who died, at the times of the bombings and after the silence . . .

The commemoration comes as the chief constable of one of the forces investigating the bombings on three London Underground trains and a bus says he believes another 7 July-style attack in the UK is "very possible" . . .

From 0800 BST until 1600 BST the public will be invited to lay a purple carnation within a giant floral mosaic in Queen Mary's Gardens, Regent's Park. The flowers will be provided . . .

As well as at the end of the two-minute silence at midday, the St Paul's bells will toll at 0850 BST. That will mark a year exactly since bombs went off on underground trains just outside Liverpool Street and Edgware Road stations, and on another travelling between King's Cross and Russell Square.

They will also toll at 0947 BST to mark the fourth blast that tore through a number 30 double-decker bus at the junction of Tavistock Square and Upper Woburn place . . . "

Thursday, July 6

"Spoiled and lacking toughness"

My mom and I have been noticing all the "not so tough" American athletes recently, in things such as World Cup Football, Wimbledon Tennis, and now apparently the US Ryder team can join the ranks.

Check out this article about the US Ryder team.

Okay, I'll get off my soap box now and get to writing about EBV and T reg cells.

Here are the photos that go with the previous blog:
you can get the idea from this photo of how you can just peal off some of the edges of the injera ("bread") and scoop up the stew in the center,

here you can really see the pourousness of the injera, this photo looks a lot like what we had last night, except we had a third item . . . YUM was it good, makes me hungry just thinking about it!

Carbon nanotubes and HeLa cells

So today I took photos of some of the slides that I've stained :) I will soon be able to save them to memory stick & then hopefully post them for all of you to see as well - aren't you excited about that?!?!?! I know you will all be waiting with baited breathe, or at least you should be ;)

A wee bit more science for ya today, check out
this site and this paper both sent to me by Scott, Patty's mate from Clarkson Uni. Scott's dad was just diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and having to undergo chemo & radiation therapy, but so far seems to be having few side effects & has a bright out look. He asked if I knew anything about this stuff . . . which I didn't.

Times like these when I feel oh super lucky to be healthy!

On Saturday we're going to Cambridge. "We" being: Amanda, Dom, Doug, Jen, Sohel, Susan, and me. We're going to go punting & visit with Kathy, Tim, Jackson (12), Bella (6), along with Poppa & Vivian (Chas' paternal grandfather & step grandmother) who will have just arrived from RI the day before!! Should be "uber-fun" (that's yet another one of the many famous Dom expressions)

OMG, how have I forgotten to tell you, I had Eritrean food for dinner last night, down near Oval tube station, it was sooooo interesting, nearly impossible to describe, but I will try to find photos & a description on the web. Well let me start by asking, who knows where & what Eritrea is . . . click here for more info. So one of the majorly cool parts to the meal is that you eat with your fingers (who doesn't love that idea?!?!) The "Injera" which is a spongy crepe-like bread (slightly sour), is almost always eaten with Eritrean stews, they typically used the injera as both plate and utensils. The injera are layered on a round table and the stews are piled on top -- then more injera are used to scoop up and eat the stew and of course once the stew is gone the injera underneath it are suffused with all the yummy juices.

Okay it won't let me upload photos at the mo, but I'll get you some of the injera later on when blogger is working better, now I'm going to attempt yet again to write more of my introduction for this gosh-darn thesis paper.

Why support

scientific research?? Well thanks to Lou's lil bro, Neal's blog I found this article, which you can all read by clicking right here.

TGIAF (Thanks Goodness It's Almost Friday) is all I have to say, I'm bloody knackered, all this hot weather & no A/C has really drained me this week - I mean how can you be expected to wear a lab coat & gloves when it's 33C outside and about 30C in the lab? I think it's a safety hazard, the guy who works next to be in the lab literally had a few mini puddles of sweat on the ground, I could have slipped & hurt myself!!

Well I've got training on the CCD microscope today, "how to look at histology properly" sounds like fun, ah??? Should be, the machine is worth the same as buying a 1 bedroom flat in central London!

Here is a photo of our new home (Arsenal football that is): beautiful I tell ya!!!!

A shot of the stadium bowl taken from the south stand

Wednesday, July 5

This is especially

for MET, but applies for anyone of my mates from Norwich, really for anyone who is serving in the military.

How cool

Take a look at this . . . what do you think? Could be really neat but then again kinda annoying, plus how far will it go?

In other interesting news,
here's who was in town night before last for a wee pre-view of Pirates of the Caribbean 2.

And finally what would you do
if this happen to you?

Well that's all for the 08.30 edition, check in laters . . .

Tuesday, July 4


So tonight I went for a curry on Brick Lane with Joe (from Manchester), Jen (Calgary, CA), Andy (Scotland), and Ian (north London), and Susan (Hamden, CT).

We met up at uni around 6.15pm, took the tube over to Liverpool Street Station, and meandered our way to Brick Lane - got haggled by all the Indian places & found a place with free drinks & 25% discount. It was great!

We then walked back towards the tube station & found a pub called Jamie's, which had outdoor seating & HUGE flat screen tvs that were facing outside so we sat and watched the second half of the Germany v Italy game - turned out that the last 2 minutes of the 2nd ET was the only part that mattered . . . Hats off to Italy!!!!!! (final score 2-0)

Well I'm ruddy knackered so I'm gonna head to bed now . . . speak soon, Tarra.



Computer here at uni has no sound so I'm not sure what is being said but I enjoyed the display, mom now you can see them with the volume on mute & the puppies can enjoy it as well :)

July 4, 2006

For all the American's who read this . . . Happy
I'll be thinking of you :-)

Monday, July 3


Has anyone ever done immunohistochemistry with FOXP3 antibody? We followed the protocol today & it didn't work :( course the buffer they sent us turned very cloudy when we micorwaved it so that might be the problem, gonna use the buffer that I've made up and see where that gets me tomorrow - just figured if anyone at TI had any clues I'd take them up on it.

I got a parcel today!! From my In-Law-Mom (JET in RI) she sent me my much loved coffee syrup, some herbs and a photo magnet. Course the last of which is more of a gag gift for her son when he comes to visit in August, but I'm gonna be sure to play it up!!! Oh I just found these which I took awhile back but forgot to post them - my free bag with the conference programme, the t-shirt I won and my free pens.

Look at all those free pens :)

Well just had myself some spaghetti & a glass of coffee milk, now off to brush my teeth & try to get some shut eye early!

Sunday, July 2

The Right Time to Go

Shann this ones for you as well :)
David Beckham has chosen to step down from England's Football team. See here

Green Wing - LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

Green Wing Series One Best Bits

For those of you who don't have IT4, these are mini clips of the oh so funny show that I love!!!


That's Too Bad It's Already Sunday. So I'm making some of my favourite "porridge" as they call it in this country, but mine is a special brand, Bobs Red Mill 5 Grain Rolled Hot Cereal. For those of you who live in Oregon, as I know some of you do, their address is: Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods • 5209 SE International Way • Milwaukie, OR 97222

I add dried cranberries, white raisins and cashews to it as well - YUMMERS!!!!!!!!! Normally I make up a huge batch of it so I have enough for every morning (thinking ahead ;) then I just take a few spoonfuls into a bowl, give it a quick zap, sprinkle a wee bit of sugar on top & a swig of milk, that is if it doesn't come out of the container in clumps like it did for me today all over my cereal, yuck!

Sunday's quote: "Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments, but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures." – Joseph Addison

Another gorgeous day here in London & I'm off to read yet more T reg and EBV papers & maybe even start to write the intro . . . I'll keep ya posted, Tarra

Clogging or Tapping?

Hot Clogging Dancers

Not sure if this is clogging or tapping but it looks cool

Saturday, July 1

Portugal goes to the semi

0-0 at the end of the match, penalty shots turns the game to Portugal 3-1 England. Mike T is at least happy (I had forgotten his heritage) and considering what he went through on Friday night getting to his helicopter (details of which I cannot divulge) I can't complain that I wanting England to win.

Now here is a football player!! Thierry Henry (France) flies past Brazil's defenceman Lucio and at 57 minutes he scores, gosh I love him!! (He's a Gunner :)

90 minutes up

So the score is still 0-0, and to be honest I'm not sure who will win this . . . David Beckham is out due to an ankle injury, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, what were you thinking!?!??! guess his young age of 21 is showing through here! So Wayne Rooney is out on a red card (no need to stomp on another players private parts - very poor sportsmanship)

not sure why they are surprised it's a red card - what was he thinking?!?!!?

so England is playing one man down, but still holding their own :) I'll continue to keep ya posted even though I'm sure no one cares or even reads this blog anymore, but it gives me something to do on my study breaks and I know my mom & sis are still reading it so just wanted to tell them I miss & love them - hope they are enjoying their 4th of July weekend.

P.S. I've gotten through two T regulatory articles in the mean time. Mom do you remember which marker is used for Tregs?? (hint: the number is associated with my birthday ;)

Half time


Just starting to write my thesis paper & I'm taking a break to check the England v. Portugal match, at half time it's 0-0.

David Beckham just after the national anthem - Shann this ones for you :) Steven Gerrard talking with coach Sven-Goran Eriksson about tactics during a break

Well best get back to reading & writing . . . fun fun fun (as Dave would say)

Fantastic games

So Italy & Germany will be playing again, after tonight's wins.

Germany 1-1 Argentina (Germany winning 4-2 in a penalty shot out)

Italy beating Ukraine 3-0

Now, if England can just beat Portugal tomorrow this city will be able to function, if not my ride home from Brixton could be a bit dodgy! I'm going to Dom's house for a BBQ tomorrow evening. Susan, Dave, Dom, Amanda & I will all be having hamburgers stuffed with cheese, cooked over real charcoal - YUMMERS!!!!!!!!!!

Got my double staining to work today . . . Just sad that I've not gotten any good comments or emails from any of my friends this week (well aside from DM, who's always good about emailing and LofB did leave me a comment, thanks :) Okay I'm off to bed now . . . tarra