Thursday, August 31

The Bodies Exhibit was super cool & expensive, thank goodness for student discounts :)

We ended up seeing Miami Vice last night, luckily it was 2 for 1 so we didn't mind that the movie was such crap since we only paid £3.75!!

Tonight I'm going to see England v Holland (women's football) with Katie, who got 2 comp tickets - gotta love free stuff!! So I have to rush off b/c we're meeting at 5.30pm & getting someChinesee before we head off to the match.

Wednesday, August 30

Day in Cambridge

So nothing too too exciting went on today, just wondered around Cambridge, bought £21 worth of fudge for only £12, what a steal ah?!?!?! We got boozy nut, strawberries & cream, maple walnut, and belgian choco cream - YUM YUM YUM!!!

Dom & Heather at The Eagle in Cambridge

Me & Amanda at the Eagle in Cambridge

Dom eating a bit of the fudge on the train ride home tonight

Take a look at this to see what my sis has been up to with her job :)

Off to bed now, bloody knackered still, hoping to go see The Bodies exhibit tomorrow & then have Lebanese food with Jeremy & Louise, before we hit up the 2-4-1 Orange Wednesday movie night, thinking we might see You, Me and Dupree, but not quite sure yet.

Tarra . . .

Tuesday, August 29

Cambridge here we come

So Heather Amanda & I are off to Cambridge at 1pm today . . . not sure what all we're doing, but dinner with H's mate Gio is planned. Gio worked at Johns Hopkins with H and now is a fellow at Cambridge. Happy Tuesday, tarra!!

Monday, August 28

"Veranda" Songs

A few songs we use to sing on Kev & Timmy's veranda at camp, I really missed everyone & camp today!!

ulgy kid joe

Fire And Rain

Piano Man - Billy Joel

Notting Hill Carnival

So I woke up early this morning to make sure that Mike didn't miss his flight, airports in London are a bit crazy with all the added security & today is a Bank Holiday, so everyone and their brother is flying. We left with plenty of time, waited 15 minutes for the bus to Kings Cross, hopped on the Piccadilly line & were at Heathrow terminal 3 in no time at all. I got Mike checked in & then headed back into central London, since I'd made plans to meet up with Amanda & Heather to go to the Notting Hill Carnival.

Not really anything like the
Saranac Lake Winter Carnival but honestly, what carnival can compare to SL's??? The one in NH, was CRAZINESS, tons of loud music, so much so that your chest hurt from the drumming. We walked around lost Heather's two flatmates in the crowd, had to pay £1 to use one of the grossest toilets I've ever had to use in my life, got stuck in a crowd that was being pushed back by bobbies, finally found out where we were on a map, discovered it was not anywhere close to where we wanted to be, also decided we were all knackered & wanted to go home, so we attempted to beeline it for Queen's Park (where Heather lives) but this time got stuck in a group of about 500 people all pushing & shoving down the pavement, aaaaahhhhhhh how I miss the quietness of the Adirondacks at moments like those!! Finally after about 2 hours of pushing, shoving, elbowing, and being bowled over by some guy who was 4x my size, we found our way home. We had thought about meeting up with mates from uni but once we discovered they were at the other end of the masses, we opted to all just go home & relax. We are potentially going up to Cambridge tomorrow.

When I got home tonight I decided to check up on some of my friends blogs which I've neglected recently while writing my thesis & all that jazz, take a look at what
LocuTus of Borg wrote today, I couldn't have said it better!!!!!!!! I'm off to watch a movie & eat some dinner, hope everyone is having a good Monday :) Tarra

Sunday, August 27

O'Neill's Irish Pub

Here a photo from last Monday night, when we attempted to do some work, but ended up meeting up with Jim & Rob at the Camden Tup (where Jade from the Assembly House now works) to drop off my flat keys & stayed for 4 hours . . . .
MissyLou trying hard to be studious

Last night, Mike went off with Jim & Rob around 5pm yesterday, while I took a much needed nap! I met up with them later at 9pm at O'Neill's Irish Pub the one on Wardour Street. Here are some of the photos from last night:
Mike & Jim
me, Jim & Brian (random guy we met from St Louis)
me, Jim, Brian, B's dad
Mike, me, Jim
me, Jim, Charlotte, Brian & B's dad
Sam, me, Julia, Jim, B's dad, Brian

Saturday, August 26

cake for Mike's 31st birthday, which he loved!

Dark Chocolate Torte with Spiked Blackberry Coulis

8 Servings

2 2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (16 oz)
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, salted
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder

5 large eggs
1-cup sugar

Spiked blackberry coulis (recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 350F. Brush 9” diameter springform pan with margarine. Line bottom with parchment paper. Stir 1 2/3 cups chocolate chips and ¾-cup margarine in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Whisk in cocoa and espresso. Cool 10 mins.

Using electric mixture, beat eggs and sugar in large bowl on high speed until thick, about 6 mins. (Dom did this with a whisk by hand and it took him about 15 mins. The eggs were really frothy and had about tripled in volume) Fold in chocolate mixture (a little at a time to make sure you don’t lose the volume in the eggs). Pour into prepared pan.

Bake until dry and cracked on top and tester inserted into centre comes out with some moist batter attached, about 42 mins. Cool in pan on rack 1 hour (we left ours overnight). Using spatula, press raised edges so top of cake is level. Cut around pan sides; remove sides. Place plate atop torte and invert onto plate. Remove pan bottom; peel off paper and cool torte completely.

Stir remaining 1-cup chocolate chips and ¼-cup margarine in small saucepan over low heat just until melted (do not overheat). Whisk in 2 tablespoons blackberry coulis. Cool glaze 15 mins. Pour glaze onto centre of torte. Smooth top with spatula. Refrigerate uncovered until glaze is set; about 1 hour.

Spike Blackberry Coulis

1 1-pound bag frozen unsweetened blackberries, thawed (You could really use any frozen fruit here, as we did for yours)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons semi-dry white wine
6 tablespoons sugar
3 whole cloves
2 small bay leaves
¼-teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon brandy (or to taste)

Place berries, wine, and 4 tablespoons sugar in blender; puree (we used a potato masher and did this by hand, worked just fine). Pour into medium saucepan. Add cloves, bay leaves, and allspice. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 8 mins.

Strain pureed into medium bowl. Discard solids in strainer. Whisk in brandy; add 2 tablespoons sugar if desired.

Friday, August 25


Louise & I just handed in our thesis papers :) :) :)

Now we're off to get something to eat, take a nap while Mike goes to the gym & then we have no clue what we're going to do . . . our minds are SHOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tarra & TGIF

Thursday, August 24

we're 99.78% there :)

So we've got the B&W copy of our papers printed, just need to xerox them, getting our colour copies printed as I type, then will bind them tonight in KT and hand them in tomorrow morning, we were going to hand in this afternoon, but since it's now that time & the colour copier we were going to use had a bit of a problem, we're not at uni having it done . . . there might have been some minor fits, but luckily Mike was here to keep the two of us calm, he said, "ok, what do we need" then made sure we had all of our stuff & walked us to uni (30 minutes) then has been sitting calmly with us while we print & find out the printer ran out of paper & the building is out of paper, so we switched computer labs & were able to get it all done. This might not make so much sense reading wise b/c my mind is SHOT. I'm just glad that Mike was here to keep the two of us from melting & from being hit by cars!! Well just wanted to let ya know . . .


Safe travels dad, see ya soon xxoo

P.S. for those of you who were wondering what Mike's been up to (Can't remeber what I've written so far), we had chocolate birthday cake for him when he first arrived, Jim took him out that night with the team (all his police mates) and Mike never came home (lol) he's not sure where he stayed but he made it back mine around 1pm the following day. Luckily Jim had written his mobile number on his arm so when Mike got lost coming home he was able to call him & get directions to KT, then luckily for him again he remembered where the Assembly House was and was able to get directions to my flat from Jos. He slept most of the day yesterday & then took us out to dinner (yes you read that correctly Mr. Michael Toste, bought me & MissyLou dinner last night) . . . not just any old McD's dinner, but STEAKS, for a grand total bill of £65 (that's about $120) then he watched movies while I put the finishing touches on my paper. Then he came with me to Jeremy's flat this morning & has been with us ever since.

Wednesday, August 23

"I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee"

"Won't my mommy be so proud of me, I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee, ouch it stung me!" That's the song Lou & I were just singing, man I hope that doesn't mean we've gone off the deep end ;)

Last night we were practicing our lullabyes, but then we realised we don't recall the words, so after Brother John, we just decided to go to bed!

Well off to finish this paper, hoping to print tonight and bind tomorrow :) :) :)


Monday, August 21

we're gainin

So it's coming down to tying up loose ends on our thesis, can't wait for this to all be over!!
EBERS stain of an IM patient
CD8 stain of an IM patient
CD4 stain of an IM patient
FOXP3 stain of an IM patient
Well that's all I've got for today, Tarra!!

Saturday, August 19

Ugh I dislike writing up this thesis

If you are bored & want some fun papers to read, feel free to check these out:

Wood KJ and Sakaguchi S. Regulatory T cells in transplantation tolerance.
Nat Rev Immunol. 2003; 3:199-210

Ziegler SF. FOXP3: Of Mice and Men.
Annu Rev Immunol 2006; 24:209-26

Zou Weiping. Regulatory T cells, tumour immunity and immunotherapy.
Nat Rev Immunol. 2006; 6:295-307

These are just 3 of the MANY fun articles I've been reading & re-reading for the past few weeks.

Got some nice graphs which I will try to put up here, course they will not mean much but I have nothing else exciting to report or cool photos to show you, well blogger isn't letting me so guess you won't be able to see them after all, sorry!

I'm staying over at Jeremy's flat this weekend since his flatmate is back home in Spain till 5 Sept. This way, Lou & I can get up semi early & work all day on our laptops, while Jeremy draws physics things on his laptop . . . if anyone saw us they would say, "Oh my goodness, what geeks, three laptops on one computer"

Well back to my graphs . . . tarra :)

Wednesday, August 16

Oyster Cards

Opps, for those of you who don't live in London, you were probably wondering what the heck is she talking about an "oyster card" for???

Here is an over view and click here for more details.

sooooo much better today

So the past two days weren't my greatest of days, we've all had them, and luckily it only lasted 2 days!

On Monday I said to Amanda, "Don't worry I'm in the boat with ya, course it's the Titanic, but at least we can float around on rafts in the sea and slowly freeze to death together - lol"

She replied with, "I think its more the Lusitania. Pleasure cruise near Ireland and then suddenly getting torpedoed and dying in a firey blaze."

My rebuttal, "Ah to be on holiday on a cruise . . . though I do think we're on the Titanic b/c it's a slow painful drowning, with glimmers of hope every so often, like an occasional really good grade similar to the lifeboats that you can see in the far off distance."

It's just that the stress of our thesis, final exams, and lab issues (like the entire building not having any RO water for 2 days straight - WTF???). All of these things at the same time just has a way of getting to you, no matter how hard you try to stay positive. I'm sure it doesn't help that all of us are in the same situation, so even when things are sorta going well for you, one of your course mates is having a melt down & since we are all so close, we try to pull each other up out of the down times, but that can be trying as well.

So the point of my story thus far is that I broke my crappy attitude today, got a complement in the lab & could possibly be allowed to leave early on Tuesday to go pick Mike up at Heathrow, don't worry I'm thinking ahead & have my backup plan in place, Jim booked the day off so he can go and picking Mike up and bring him to me in KT . . . I'm just so darn efficient in my planning ahead, wonder where I get it from, maybe a bit of an OCD planning father, gotta get something good from him since I didn't get his affinity for law, economics, or maths (no that's not a spelling error, the Queen's English says it plural)

Okay I need to get more of my paper sorted before tomorrow! Did I mention Amanda & I are having a slumber party at mine tomorrow? We're gonna get curry take-always, read each others papers and watch Best in Show, now aren't you all jealous you're not here to join us!?!??!

Trials of today

Woke up late, walked to the post which was suppose to open at 08.30, but at 08.55 it was still closed :( so I went into uni, ran into Sacha, we chatted about exams & projects (I think that's all I ever talk about these days), took some photos with the microscope in the Malaria Reference Lab on 3rd floor, thanks to John Williams!! Had lunch with Amanda at Senate house, mmm £2.50 for a small salad :( Re arranged all 80 my slides for Alero, found Louise in the common room talked about exams, walked to 99 Gower to get Amanda who was crying b/c she'd lost her oyster card & got into a fight with Dom (over his lack of understanding about her stress!) went to call Heather & noticed my mobile was missing. Lou, Amanda & I all started to laugh & cry at the same time . . . apparently the stress level is very high for all of us! Went back to uni, found my mobile, did not find A's oyster card, Louise went to meet Jeremy for a drink on Edgeware Rd, found Dom, had dinner, came home, checked email, read A's intro & wrote a few comments, listening to noisy boys getting drunk in the kids park behind my flat and planning on brushing my teeth as soon as this is posted so I can go to bed. Tarra . . .

Tuesday, August 15

We're the same age, I cannot imagine!!!

Monday, August 14

Fit can I say pure dead brilliant!

You are A Glaswegian if:

1. Ye can properly pronounce McConnochie ;-), Ecclefechan Milngavie, Sauchiehall, St Enoch, Auchtermuchty and Aufurfuksake.

2. Ye actually like deep fried battered pizza fae the chippie.

3. Ye get four seasons in wan day.

4. Ye canny pass a chip/kebab shop withoot sleverin when yer blootert.

5. Ye kin fall about pished withoot spilling yer drink.

6. Ye see people wear shell suits with burberry accessories - pure class!

7. Ye measure distance in minutes.

8. Ye kin understaun Rab C Nesbitt and know characters just like him, in yer ain family.

9. Ye go tae Saltcoats cos ye think it is like gaun tae the ocean.

10. Ye kin make hael sentences jist wae sweer wurds.

11. Ye know whit haggis is made ae and stull like eating it.

12. Somedy ye know his used a fitba schedule tae plan thur wedding day date.

13. You've been at a wedding and fitba scores are announced in the Church/Chapel.

14. Ye urny surprised tae find curries, pizzas, kebabs, fish n chips, irn-bru, fags and nappies all in the wan shop.

15. Yer holiday home at the seaside has calor gas under it.

16. A big flash car has a ned at the wheel.

17. Ye know irn-bru is a hangover cure.

18. Ye learnt tae sweer afore ye learnt tae dae sums.

19. Ye actually understand this and yurr gonnae send it tae yer pals.

20. Finally, you are 100% Glaswegian if you have ever said/heard these's it hingin, clatty, boggin, cludgie, pished, get it up ye wee beasties, arse bandit, amurny away an bile yer heid, peely-wally, humphey backit, Ba'-heid baw bag, dubble nuggit.

If you can't read this call me & Lou will read it to you, course you probably still won't unerstand it, but it's a hoot to hear her say it all in her Scottish accent!

Offside Rules explained for Ladies

You're in a shoe shop, second in the queue for the till. Behind the shop assistant on the till is a pair of shoes which you have seen and which you must have. The female shopper in front of you has seen them also and is eyeing them with desire. Both of you have forgotten your purses. It would be totally rude to push in front of the first woman if you had no money to pay for the shoes. The shop assistant remains at the till waiting. Your friend is trying on another pair of shoes at the back of the shop and sees your dilemma. She prepares to throw her purse to you. If she does so, you can catch the purse, then walk round the other shopper and buy the shoes. At a pinch she could throw the purse ahead of the other shopper and, whilst it is in flight you could nip around the other shopper, catch the purse and buy the shoes, always remembering that until the purse had actually been thrown it would be just plain wrong to push in front of the other shopper. Understand it now?

Thanks MissyLou for this :)

Final Exams

Well it's official, I've passed my final exams, now I just have to turn in my thesis & I'll be done!! I know the thesis is a big part of the grade, but I'm not as worried about it since I am able to talk with my adviser about it & so far she's approved my introduction along with the materials & methods sections, so all I have to really worry about are results & discussion & I've got a little less than a week for that, so I should in theory be good to go . . . course this could be just one of the phases of denial, lol!

Hope everyone is having a happy Monday

Sunday, August 13

Sunday in review

So as expected dinner was FANTASTIC! We had what I like to call, "Amanda's Mexican Meal" . . . fajita wraps with avocado & melted cheese (toasted under the grill), chicken, onions, bell peppers, garlic, chili pepper, tomatoes done sorta stir fried on the hob and basmati rice.

After dinner we became stupider after watching Airplane 2: The sequel. After that was over I headed home to KT, where I am now waiting for my wash to finish so I can hang it all up & go to bed.

11.5 days left . . . YEAH, but before that, next Sunday Dom, Amanda & I are going to make dinner at mine & bake a birthday cake for Mike, it is the one thing that is keeping all 3 of us motivated to make it through this week!

Rangers v Sabres

So I'm in the computer lab at uni, not enjoying writing up my results, so I've been surfing the internet. Discovered that my favourite ice hockey team (NY Rangers) record for last season was 44-25-12 while Jim's fav team (Buffalo Sabres) which I knew were doing better b/c I've been having to hear all about it for the past few months was 51-24-6, luckily not too far off so the 2006-07 season could be interesting! I also found out that the Rangers will be in Buffalo on Oct 14th, so I will have to be sure to catch that game & hopefully send an email back to Mr Strother bragging (fingers crossed)!

Well I'm off to Dom's house with Amanda, we're making Mexican food tonight (YUM!) so I should get my arse in gear, save this thesis, print a copy to read at home & pack up my bag for the trek to Brixton . . . all the way down the Victoria line, yuckers :(


Saturday, August 12

T minus 13 days

Well I'm now at uni attempting to get my results & some dissussion done, but for some reason others in the room (Public Health of course) are talking at normal voices & of course not about thesis related work, but rather about their children & holidays they've been taking since exams back in June . . . Heather & I are trying to remain calm, while Amanda is fuming b/c she's been trying to get into uni & has been dealing with public transport all morning - tube line was done, got a bus that is slower than molasses & now is on diversion b/c of road works . . . fun fun fun

So I just got a bottle of Coke Zero, my new drink obsession all of which is Heather's fault ;) funny how after being here for 11 months I'd basically stopped drinking cola sodas, but since this thesis writing has started I'm hooked again! Well back to the point of my story, when I went to open the bottle earlier I got a good giggle from reading the bottle top, "Coca-Cola Zero Open by Hand" as if I was going to try shoving it up my nose or something?!?!?

Okay, back to work now, tarra!

Thursday, August 10

So what do you think about his/her prognosis?

Here is one of my 20 patient slides:
All photos at 40x unless otherwise noted
EBERS and FOXP3 are both nuclear stains

negative EBER stain (looking for EBV+ RNA) if positive you would see dark purple nuclear staining all over the tumour section
negative CD8 staining (if positive it would look more like the next photo)
positive CD4 staining
positive FOXP3 staining

FOXP3 staining (20x)

P.S. For those of you who emailed and called about the "craziness" here in London, rest assured I am fine! I am safe & not worried about being in London, there are crazies all over the globe, just so happens that world is focused on about 25 of them in the UK at the moment. Thanks for your concern, I will try my best to return phone calls tonight, but do not worry if I'm unable to reach you. Just be happy Mike's not coming to visit tomorrow as i'm sure Heathrow will be a bit of a mad house for the next few days, rescheduling all it's flights etc. Tarra xxoo

Transparent carry-on luggage

So I remember sitting around the coffee table at Trudeau when we joked that maybe we'd have to fly in our birthday suits to make security happy . . . well the UK is moving in that direction at the moment. Check this link for more details.

Click here for the new and apparently temporary rules & regs for hand luggage. All I have to say is there better be some GOOD movies if I can't bring anything on the plane with me!!

Here is what John Reid (home security) and Douglas Alexander (transport security) said.

Susan, be happy you got out on when you did, had you been flying straight to STL you would have been part of this long delayed process which is occurring.

Well I'm off to uni, tarra :)

Tuesday, August 8

Thanks to Lelan

So I took this post from an email I sent to a friend of mine who recently asked me, "What ever happened with Chas, do you stay in touch with him at all?" which I'm sure is a question many people have wondered but have been scared to ask, so here it is folks: (background is in blue for those of you who have no clue who Chas even is, lol)

Chas & I met at Norwich University in Sept 1997. We were both phone callers in the Admissions office - we called prospective students in the evenings to answer questions about NU. But before we met, Marlene & I had noticed a cute boy & his mate sitting on the other side of our Biology 101 class (come to find out later they apparently had noticed us as well, a quote from Tom I will never forget, "Chas turned to me & said I'll date her, just wait and see". After about the second week of working in admissions, I admitted to the lady who ran the place that I fancied him, so she ever so sneakily sat me in the corner & put an "out of order" sign on the phone he typically used, so that he'd have to sit next to me. We started chatting & one night ended up leaving around the same time. I remember it well b/c it was snowing out & we had to walk back up to the upper parade ground to our dorms, his dorm was 2 building over since he was in the corp of cadets. The group of us were all having a laugh, when all of the sudden I was tumbling down the embankment. When we landed at the bottom I realised that his mate Tom had pushed the two of us & buggered off back to his room. I think from that day forward we spent every day together, but I officially asked him out on my birthday (January 25, 1998).
Fast forward a few years to March 2000 just after our spring break trip to Washington DC, we got engaged. Fast forward again to the fall, he drove up from RI to my mom's new house in the Adirondacks for Thanksgiving and as we were trying to fall asleep that night he announced, "maybe we need a break" of course totally thrown off I asked "why?"to which he replied "I think before we get married you have some issues with your parents divorce that you need to deal with" All I remember after that is balling for hours on end, getting up the next morning, walking into the kitchen (acting like nothing was wrong) and having Tom, Mom & Patty stare at me, I had not realised my eyes were red & puffy from crying all night. We stayed in contact through Christmas, exchanged gifts for eachothers families, but after that it sorta went down hill fast. The last time I heard from him I was in Ithaca with my mom at Easter. I had just gotten off my crutches from my knee surgery & I was pushing a trolley (cart) around Wegmans. I nearly fell over when I figured out who it was. Still to this day I have no clue as to why he called, I have my thoughts (like he wanted closure on the whole thing before he could totally move on with his life), but he never gave a reason, and we have not spoken since.

So back to answering Lelan's question:
No, Chas & I don't stay in touch, BUT I stay in very close contact with his family. His family & I were so close I could not lose touch with them, we had been through too much together.

His older brother (Mike) has been like my older brother for nearly 8 years now (WOW long time!) Mike is currently in Afghanistan so we're closer to the same time zone than any of our friends or family back in the states, so we instant message on almost a daily basis and talk through Skype about once a week. He's actually coming to visit 2 weeks from today for 6 days.

Chas got married this past Sept to Terry, a girl who I've never met but I've heard a lot about & from what I hear, not many people in the family fancy. I feel really bad for him because from the stories I hear, he is not being true to himself. His wife won't really let him stay in touch with his rook buddies - which I guess isn't the end of the world, but at least in my mind, the past is part of who you are and you should never have to lose touch with it, unless you want to. Of course I'm sure these stories are slightly one sided since they come from his mom & brother, and it is probably hard to talk to me about it, but still, it's one thing if one family member doesn't like her, but if the majority are not too keen, then I start to wonder.

I guess I might have a different outlook than some others, but I feel that everyone we come in contact with has something to give us. At times it's hard to figure out what those things are that we learn from others, but none the less there was a reason for the interaction, however brief it might have been.

I am so happy with the way my life has turned out, there are too many things I've done that I doubt I would have been able to experience had I gotten married so young. Every now & again I wake up in a panic that we did get married & that I'm pregnant with our third child & that he's still driving the Mustang, and that he still has not graduated, and ALL of that just FREAKS me right out! Course I'm sure his mom is reading this now wishing it were true, ;) right RIMom?!??!!

I honestly hope that he is just as happy as I am as well!! So that's the not so short of the long :)

Time for me to sign off and get some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, Tarra!

The 8th day of the 8th month

Back home, after getting kicked outta the computer lab at 99 Gower by a security guard who couldn't even speak English (WTH) - got frustrated by the abrupt stopping so I came straight home instead of moving back to Keppel (PLUS no guarantee that there would be seats free in those labs, hence why I was in 99 Gower to begin with!)

While in the computer lab I received a cool photo from my sis, originally sent to her by her mate Joel, who is currently living & working "somewhere in Germany" (to quote Patty) , followed a few minutes later by a funnier photo which was sent (or should I say made) by her coworker, Mike, who I've met & think is a super cool guy! So I've decided to post them since I seem to be on a role with posting photos these past few days, maybe it's because everything in the lab is falling part, so I spend more time on the computer looking for interesting things to share with you all (feel honoured!)

Oh crappy-crap-ola, blogger won't let me post them :( well hopefully the suspense will not kill you, I know it's hard to have to wait like this, but I will keep trying over the course of the evening.

Update: I was finally able to get the photos uploaded, so here they are for your viewing pleasure!
Photos #1: (from Joel)
Photo #2 (from Mike)

Monday, August 7

Response to comment/question

Hi Ellen,

Wow, it is a small little world we live in, amazing that Andrew & I came all the way to London in order to find out that we have much in common back in the states :)

I was born in Yonkers, but went to school in Ardsley, my dad grew up in Dobbs Ferry (next town over from Ardsley) and they lived there till I was 20, then my parents retired to the Adirondacks & I was off at Norwich (spent one of my spring breaks moving my bedroom from W'chester to Adks). My parents divorced around November of 99.

My dad continues to live there, actually on East Shore Drive in the hamlet of Adirondack (on the east side of Schroon Lake). My mom is checking out the rest of the country. She started first by moving to Ithaca and after a cold snowy winter, she up and moved to Las Cruces NM, after two sweltering hot summers, she moved to Portland, OR (where she's been since Sept).

After leaving Norwich I moved to Saranac Lake, so I know Raquette as well! The Boy Scout camp in Brant Lake is owned by Westchester-Putnam council. I got involved in it b/c it's the camp my dad went to when he was a kid, then worked at when he was a teenager & one summer they took the risk & hired me. I have to say those were the best 4 summers of my life! Of course growing up with just one younger sister, I use to ask Santa for an older brother (not realising it would be rather difficult) so during my first summer in 1995 and still now a days, I'm in shock to have 10+ "brothers" who watch over me, but I LOVE them all dearly!! Here is the link to prove it!

Well my "life update" thus far is that I've had a job offer from a lab at the school I'm currently at, which I'm super stoked about, just waiting to see if my work permit will go through or not (being American is not a plus when trying to get a job in England these days, "why do you want a job here when the US has all the money for research") if that goes through, as I'm hoping it will, I will be home in the states for the month of October, in which case I will be sure to plan a trip over to the wick (Norwich University) to catch up with both you and Martha :)

Okay, I'm off to grab some dinner & watch a movie, my brain is mush after spending all day in the lab & then doing 2 hours of write up in the computer lab.

Cheerio :)
- Ra xx

Laura & Randy

So I just got an email from my sister's bestmate Laura & she said that her boyfriend, Randy, asked her to marry him this past weekend at her parents house. (That is not a photo of her ring, just a random one I found online but I thought it appropriate for the blog topic)

So I wanted to let everyone know & put a note of CONGRATS LAURA & RANDY (and Tyler (L's dog) too) on my blog. I'm super excited & can't wait to hear all about it :)

T minus 18 days

That's right, I've just got 18 days left to finish my lab work, write it all up, get it bound, and turn it in . . . yikes!! Which also means that Michael will be here in 15 days (yipee!) AND that Susan leaves for St Louis in about 24 hours (holy cow)

Well I'm almost on my way out the door, but I wanted to take this opportunity to wish MissyLou's boyfriend,
Jeremy a

Well that's all folks (did that sound like the looney tunes at all??) . . .

Sunday, August 6

Tonight's puppy photos

For those of you who love photos, Quid & Henry are looking good in these photos. I think they're sitting in the grass of mom's garden: Quid
H & Q

Good flick

So two good flicks that I've seen recently & recommend are:

Bride & Prejudice (traditional family anxious to marry all 4 girls by creators of Bend it Like Beckham)


Suzie Gold (Jewish girl in North London who's sis is getting married to the "perfect" Jewish boy)

In other news, Happy Birthday to Robin Van Persie. I think he's my new Arsenal crush, I love Thierry, but I sorta like to cheer for a player who isn't as nationally (or internationally for that matter) popular, ya know what I mean? Course if Robin keeps it up, he'll be just as popular very soon - lol.

He was born in Rotterdam (Netherlands), he's the striker and his squad number is 11. He joined the team just over 2 years ago. He was in his first World Cup, starting in all of Holland’s games and scoring a free-kick to beat the Ivory Coast. His idol is Dennis Bergkamp, who is now retired :( but there are hopes Robin will replace Dennis as Arsenal's resident Dutch "master". Team manager, Arsène Wenger, says that he has every chance of doing just that!!

Well I better get back to my work now, just wanted to give ya my movie recommendations & my new mini crush update :)

TBIAS (too bad it's already sunday)

Tarra & Toodle-pip

Saturday, August 5

Kate's "hen" party

Hen party = bachlorette party
Laura on the mechanical bull
Kate on the bull (note no shoes!)
my lil sis Patty riding the mechanical bull
Just had to post these, too funny not to! Should any of you want to ride this bull, it's up in Potsdam for your riding pleasure :)
Reason for lack of shoes is that there are air mattresses below the bull (just in case) so the girl had to take their high heal shoes off - LOL

Our competion . . . who will win?!?!?!

willy wonka dance

Our Uumpa Lumpa Dance - live

Uumpa Lumpa Dance

Uumpa Lumpa Dance

So last weekend MissyLou's cousins came down from Scotland to visit London for the weekend. On Sunday night we got dressed up, walked down to Pizza Express, stopped in at our local & came home to test out our skills as uumpa lumpa dancers, (the new Charlie & Chocolate Factory's second disk has step by step instructions) Here are the photos:

Meredith's BBQ last night

Andrew & Meredith (left)

Amanda, Dom, Heather & me

Amanda, Jen, and me

Julia & Heather tending the fire

Meredith cutting the vodka soaked watermelon(left)

Jen, Dom & Amanda bartending (left)

Meredith, Heather & Julia doing a shot of tequila (right)

Joe, Andrew & Jen (right)

Amanda, Jen, Julia, Heather & me (photingo of ourselves)

Friday, August 4

A chocolate-caramel digestive to the winner

Why are the lights in public loo's blue????

On another note, I'm getting over my fear of needles & fainting when giving blood! I've now donated 150mL (3 separate pokes) of BCG negative blood, a much needed commodity in a country that up until this year vaccinated all it's residents. Just thought I'd let ya know that . . . can you tell my Friday was not so exciting. Hoping it will get better, I'm off to a BBQ in Kew Gardens at my mate, Meredith's house. We're all meeting up outside uni at 5.20pm, getting the Piccadilly line to South Kensington then Richmond branch of the District line to Kew Gardens. will try to remember my camera so I can show you later this weekend.


Thursday, August 3


Here are two of Anna's photos which I promised you yesterday:
photo from the side - you can see the building is just gutted :(
from the front of the building - if the photo
was bigger you could see the fire house is
just behind the floating dock!!

This wonderful expression when said with an English accent can at times sound like, "ta-da" ya know like little kids do when they get done with a gymnastics move or like a magician says with. So for quite some time whenever (not just with me) Jim got off the phone I heard him say, "ta-da" and wondered what the heck that was all about, but I let it go, just thinking "well he's welsh and all . . ." (luckily he can't read this!!) Come to find out he's been saying "tarra" which is interchangeable with "toodle-pip", "cheerio", "bye-E", "see ya later" etc.

I know what you are going to say, do people really say those things?!?!?! The answer is YES, even straight men say these words, on a daily basis! Tarra being my favourite since it still makes me giggle inside thinking "ta-da" (lol)

well that's my funny Thursday morning story for ya'll.

Ellen, I grew up down in Westchester, but I uses to work at a boy scout camp in Brant Lake (
Curtis S. Read Scout Reservation on Palisades Road, just off route 8 on your way to Hague)

Okay off to uni now, Tarra . . .

Wednesday, August 2

Thank goodness for kids who don't go to bed when suppose to

Check out this article, the place they are talking about use to be the general store that I went to every Saturday on my day off from boy scout camp, we'd stop there on our way to Lake George, since we typically took the "back" way to I-87 so we'd hit up Daby's General Store instead of Stewart's.

Here are some photos Anna sent me (she's still working at BS camp) of what the building looks like now :( It was somelike like 111 years old! well I'll have to post them later, blogger isn't letting me access them - there are some good photos with the article as well.

High temps have finally subsided for the mo & that makes it much easier here in London. Interestingly since then none of my experiments have worked out very well, maybe all that extra heat was helpful for something, lol.

I'd discovered another interesting thing . . . since announcing that I've gotten a job offer to stay here in London, I've stopped hearing from some of my mates back home in the states, I'm very sad by this. First off, nothing is official yet I'm waiting on work permits & to hear back from other jobs that I'm applying for. Second, aren't you suppose to want your best mates to be happy? Not like I'm never coming home, plus so many changes have taken place in all of our lives, it's not like life was going to back to the way it was when I left last summer. Thirdly, oh crap I forgot this point now, well it will come back to me eventually, I hope (It must be a Rowfully Bubble moment, gotta love our mums, right AI?!?!? ;) Yeah well I can't remember my final point but I just wanted to throw it out there that it's been strange, there are of course some people who are thrilled (SPC, AM, DM, DS, PMO, PSO, MJO, BH, DB, K&RS, K&LF, PU&DC, H&EM, M,B,B&MW, and DM) and want me to do what I think is best.

Well I should get back to something productive now, will try to download the photos once more then I'm giving up. (tried & it still won't go) Also, if you want to read a book & understand what my life is sorta like, check out, Bill Bryson's book,
Notes from a Small Island, I'm on the second chapter but so far it's funny to realise all the things that "threw me off" when I first got here & that are now part of my daily vocab or lifestyle - lol, PLUS you can get it used for $0.98, how can you go wrong with that!?!?!

a few of my staining photos

CD3 in brown & CD20 in red
CD3 is brown
Three FOXP3 cells - I FINALLY GOT IT TO WORK - YEAH!!! Course I totally changed the protocol I was given, but who cares, it works, plus I read a ton of papers on human FOXP3 staining and that's how I made up my protocol!!
Okay gotta go get the bus into uni now :) Happy Hump Day . . . Tarra