Garnet's Life Adventures
Tuesday, January 31
Term final doneSo my term final exam was this morning & it wasn't as bad as it could have been - I was able to answer all the questions in the allotted time, so that's a plus!! We won't know how we did until 20 February, so no need to worry about it since there's a lot of work to do before then.
After the exam, Luci, Susan & I grabbed some lunch at uni and then all headed to the gym - Luci did an aerobic kick boxing class while Susan & I just did cardio on our own. Susan & I decided we'll try the class on Thursday, we just couldn't handle it today.
Now I'm home & about to take a nice relaxing bath before we all (students from my course) meet up at Nando's near London Bridge for dinner & drinks.
Monday, January 30
Dinner tonightSo today my new roomie (or should I say flatmate) Louise, moved the first half of her stuff into my flat. I guess I can't call it my flat anymore, seeing as it's our flat now.
She's been letting a flat where every time it rains the wallpaper falls further and further off the walls & now there is actual mold growing on the walls. To be honest she doesn't stay there that much b/c her boyfriend lives on Edgeware Rd so she stays with him & just uses her flat as an extra wardrobe (closet). Just before Christmas she asked if she could store some stuff at mine & pay 1/2 the rent since she doesn't like her flat. I thought about it and figured if I could save about $500/month & really only have to give up a few shelves in my wardrobe - it would all be worth it!! I've got two beds so even if we both ended up here on the same night we'll be okay.
Tonight I made some chicken korma for dinner looks good doesn't it?!?!? Here is what my kitchen cabinet looks like now that Louise has moved in her dry goods. Can you tell we live in England??? (note all the tea!)
I had so much stuff in this cabinet that some of my American food had to be moved to the living room shelf, not nearly as convenient, but it will do for now.
Well I'm off to bed now seeing as I've got my term final tomorrow at half 9 (9.30am)
Wish me luck!!
Sunday, January 29
Dom, Heather & Amanda awaiting dinner
Friday, January 27
Cartwheels & me (left)after a wonderful curry dinner & baklava dessert.
Susan reading to Cartwheels (above) out of my new Illustrated Dictionary of Immunology - he's going to be a smart little NHP (non human primate)
Other exciting daily news: We saw snow - well not really what those of you in the north country would consider snow, but for London it was exciting!! It's what I would have called flurries (if that). It didn't stick but everyone ran out to put sand & salt on the walkways just in case.
Okay exhausted from these past 3 weeks & the fact that I though it would be a good idea to run at the gym tonight (haven't run in goodness knows how long!!) Should have stuck with the stepper & ellipical, but got over zealous - LOL!! Off to watch a movie & hit the hay.
Last day of class for term 2So today was the last day of class for term two!!
Monday we have a mock exam followed by the real deal on Tuesday (yikies!!)
Starting 1 February we have 9 days to write a grant proposal to be handed in and graded for the other 50% of term two's grade. We have to follow the Wellcome Trust "rules" for grant writing, aka it's not as long as an NIH (National Institute of Health).
So I had two ideas for grant topics, since of course this has to be a grant on unpublished data! My first two thoughts of course where related to the work I did with Pete. Let me just side track here quickly & tell you that if it weren't for the 100s of things that Pete (& Paula) taught me in the 4 years I was at Trudeau, I would be DYING in this course right now!!) I never realized how much I learned not just lab based!! Thank you Pete & Paula!!! Okay, back on track now - my two possible grant topics are as follows:
1. Comparison of different strains of BCG, the Microbiology (CFU, duration of persistence) then Immunology (which cells are affected), then challenge the mice with Mtb (CFU & pathology) from there check the genetics of the different strains
2. Effects of BCG & worm infections - give primary jab of BCG (without nematodes) then give H. poly (or similar) and give subunit adjuvant or MVA boost & follow what occurs. This idea is much less thought out but came to me earlier this week from a discussion we were having in class about how a Th2 response dominates a Th1 therefore if you already have a Th2 going on it might "screw up" the much wanted Th1 response of the BCG.
Any comments on those ideas?!?!? I've been given the "stamp of approval" for either topic - just need to make sure I'm up to date on the literature of these issues - that's what this weekend is for :)
Well Susan should be here any minute for our Friday night curries, so I'm gonna get going - hope you all have a wonderful rest of your Friday & a great weekend!!
Thursday, January 26
More presents arrive 3I was finally able to meet up with Jim this evening, since we didn't have schedules that worked well yesterday and here is my 3rd present of the day . . .
I must tell you his intension was to get an England rugby cup shirt (since the Six Nations is on), but they're very difficult to get at the moment, so he found his second choice (I can hear Paula, Will, & Kevin now "AWESOME choice!!!")
Here are some close ups of my flowers - I was smelling them & just had to add them in b/c they're so beautiful & smell so wonderful!!!
So I really must get back to reading now - I've just had such fun with all my surprises - almost better when the presents come in slowly, makes my birthday celebration last that much longer :)
I don't feel any older yet either, guess your late 20s are the same as your mid twenties!! Must admit I'm looking forward to 30, I think I'll feel like a real adult then, but then again, maybe not - LOL!
More presents arrive 2So 2.5 hours after I posted my birthday present photos my flat buzzer goes off - I run down the stairs so as not to miss whoever it is & discover there's a delivery for me :) I just love deliveries!!!
This one came from a good friend back in the states as well - you will note a common theme with my presents (I must have made it very apparent what I was lacking in London & I was missing from "home")
gym bag, 2 pair of gym pants, 2 bags of Tositos, 2 containers of salsa, a bottle ranch dressing, 3 packets of ranch dressing mix, and possibly the cutest monkey in the world who's name is Cartwheels (see close up below)
More presents arrive
Lovely flowers are from Maureen & Bob (probably can't read the card, huh?)
Mom remembered about the lack of Margarita mix in this country & so she sent the mixer :)
I think the title explains itself
Well I'm off to read the papers for tomorrow's class - my presentation went very well today, when I was done with the materials/methods & figures Greg said, "Fantastic job Sara" so that makes today a great day!!
Birthday in reviewIf I'd been in the states yesterday I would hav asked to go to Despos, since they are lacking in good Mexican food in England, we've got Indian food up the wazzoo!!!! So if you're dying for a curry come on over, but if you'd like a burrito, stay home.
Yesterday was a pretty good day - I was in class till noon, grabbed a quick lunch at the refractory here at uni (humous & peppers on brown bread), went to hear a "flu expert" talk about preparing for the flu pandemic in the UK - he didn't know much more than what I think I already knew so that was a little disappointing but then thinking about it later of course it makes sense to me that he can't know that much more because he won't know much until the pandemic starts - he can't predict the future!!
When the talk was over I went & worked with my group (Amanda, Dom, & Dave) on our presentation for today till around 5pm - that is a long time to be talking about TLRs, DCs and CD8+ T cell tolerance.
My group plus Heather (also from uni) took me out for drinks which was a total blast & then I hopped on the bus to head home to Kentish Town in order to have dinner with a friends from my neighbourhood, but they ended up having to work late (they're both coppers) so I just sat in my flat with my phone pasted to my ear most of the night (friends & family from the states) & got to bed around midnight!
Off to my class
Wednesday, January 25
Happy Birthday to Me (& Louise)Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday dear me,
Happy Birthday to me!!!!!
And also to my friend Louise K. who's here in London and Jim H. from Trudeau!!
Tuesday, January 24
1st arrivalSo my first birthday present arrived today and thanks to the dry cleaners downstairs who held it for me I actually received it today - I have 2 other notices of mail that wouldn't fit through our mail slot which I will attempt to pick up later this week.
I tried to wait till tomorrow to open it but it was calling to me from my table while I was trying to read immunology - it won :)
Take a look:
All the essentials which I can't easily find over here in England!!
I can't wait to start enjoying them all!!
Thanks lil sis, you're the best!!!
I have to admit I love it here, but I'm not a fan of their salad dressings. So last week when we went out for lunch they had 2 choices, French dressing that was like a bad creamy Italian or Russian which was a thick white dressing with no real taste. VERY peculiar if you ask me, oh yeah and different places call them different things, but they never seem to taste like what I'd expect, learned to just eat salad's at home with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pepper & salt.
Cold Update: Throat getting better, headache getting better, nose still stuffed and an added bit of fun was having NO voice today!
Well off to take a bath & read some more Immunology journal articles - fun fun fun!!
Monday, January 23
My presentation topicsHappy Monday :-)
So today we got our packet of articles we will be presenting on this week :) This packet contains the articles the groups have to present, as well as a few "background articles" that Greg thinks will be helpful to read (he likes to call them articles for 'fun'.)
While flipping through the packet I noticed a review article by David Woodland from 2004, not for presentation but background info on prime-boosting. Even more interesting was that I remember being in Jean's office when she was making the figure. Woody came in to check on it and asked me if I thought it needed an extra set of blue dots - I said yes, so now when I look at the figure I know that those dots are there in part thanks to me!!
Well my group for this entire week is: Amanda, Dom, David and myself. Luckily, since we've got the group all week long, it a good group!! The paper we're presenting tomorrow is, Increased vaccine efficacy against tuberculosis of recombinant Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guerin mutants that secrete listeriolysin. It's not a bad acticle at all, rather interesting and makes sense, compared to some of the articles we've read over the past 2 weeks with Helena & John!
I think we have to present this article on Thursday, which means on my birthday I'll have to put together a presentation, but since we know our group ahead of time and we'll know for sure tomorrow which paper we have I think I'll start working on it tomorrow so I'm more free on Wednesday night, especially since I already have dinner plans that I don't want to miss!!
Well I think I will start to head home now so I can pick up some food for dinner on the way & be able to have time to review my presentation at home and add any extra info into the margins.
Cold update: still sore throat & stuffy nose, new today is a cough & crackling ears BUT my friend Heather says that the cough is the last stage of the cold. Heather's cold lasted 3 weeks (one week throat problems, one week sinus problems, one week cough) so I'm hopeful I have the same cold just the shortened version.
Sunday, January 22
Sunday night dinnerSo Susan & I had study group at my flat today since I'm still not feeling great & didn't want to travel into uni. Since we normally have dinner at my place after with Jim & Rob we decided to offer to cook fro the boys since they normally cook for us & seeing as we'd already be home, it made more sense this way.
We studying for 1 hour then went shopping (b/c stores close at 5pm) got word that the boys couldn't make it, we were starving, so we started to cook immediately!!
We made teriyaki chicken (sauce we made from scratch) with roasted vegetables (red, yellow & green peppers, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, & onions) and garlic bread (was still cooking at time of photo)
After dinner was done we studied for another hour when I remembered about the dessert we were going to make!
For this we made blueberry scones from a mix that my sister's god-mother gave me for Christmas - it just needed water to be added - they were fantastic!! The shiny parts on the exterior are the sugar crystals.
Note that our meal had red, orange, yellow, green & blue in it - MUST be healthy if you can get all those colours onto the same plate!!
Since the boys weren't able to come we now have lunch for tomorrow with our leftovers - we actually mixed the chicken & extra sauce in with the veggies - YUMMMMMMMM!!!!!!
This week's paper topics (given to us by Greg Bancroft) have to do with memory & vaccination - I'm looking forward to it.
My mom's friend Mindy's dog just had 6 puppies, here is a cute photo of mom with 5 out of the 6 babies - Aren't they just the cutest?????? If you would like more photos and details of the puppies, feel free to visit her blog site by clicking here.
Skunk with Jack, Christian, Richie, Billy and Robbie (missing is CJ)
ONLY 3 MORE DAYS TILL . . . .
Okay, now off to finish reading a few more articles for my grant proposal due in a few weeks!!
Saturday, January 21
Shannon's BirthdaySusan & I went to meet Andrew at 4pm for coffee. Andrew is a junior at Norwich University, studying here this semester. The Dean of Students at NU emailed me and asked if I could check in on him from time to time. He seems to have settled in very well and has actually seen more of England than I have and he arrived 10 January!!!
We then came up to KT to get our ritual Friday night curry. On our way up we decided to borrow some movies from Jim since I knew I would not be going out at all this weekend plus he & Rob were going to be working earlies (06.30-14.30) so I wanted to be stock up!! We borrowed Lee Evans Live at Wembley, the Rock, Good Morning Vietnam, Men of Honour, St Elmos Fire and Troy.
We had our usual chicken korma with nan bread followed by a walk down KT Road to get some baklava, but to our dismay the store was closed, so next Friday we'll have to buy dessert first and save it for later. Last week we must have eaten much earlier b/c we were able to get the baklava and bring it with us to my local and eat it there with the group of people we were meeting that night.
On our way back to my flat we stopped into talk to Bianca who was working - we chatted with her for a few minutes before we contiued on home. Once home we each got some tea and sat down to watch the Lee Evans movie - It's one of the funniest things I've seen in awhile!!! He's really hysterical!! If you get a chance to watch it, please do, it's well worth it. He does curse a lot, but his jokes are wonderful!!!!!!
Susan caught the 12.45 bus home and I went to bed. This morning I got up, went to the post office, came home, showered, had breakfast, and went to study group. We reviewed Cre/lox system and ChIP assays. After that we went to grab some lunch. Then it was off for ice skating, but at this point I bowed out seeing as I've still got my cold, but it's not really getting any worse, so I'm happy for that, just don't want to push it since this is a very intense term!!!
Came home, caught up on a few phone calls, drank some Celestrial Season's Lemon Zinger tea, watched Good Morning Vietnam, checked my email, and now updating my blog for all of you to read.
Thursday, January 19
|Your Power Color Is Gold|
At Your Highest:
You are engrossed in passions that mentally stimulate you.
At Your Lowest:
You seek thrills and neglect what's important in your life.
You see dating as adventure and approach it with an open attitude.
How You're Attractive:
You passion for life makes others passionate about you.
Your Eternal Question:
"Am I Having Fun?"
London cold/flu seasonWell our presentation on Markus' paper went very well today - everyone in class was saying what a good job we did of presenting all the facts & figures so that was nice to hear.
I have to admit I'm glad I'm done presenting for this week as I seem to have picked up the London cold that's been going around - it's just a sore throat at the moment, but I fear it will get worse, if I'm not careful, plus I can't afford to miss any of my classes this term!! Jim started getting sick last Friday, went to the doctor's on Monday because he still wasn't feeling well & was tested for bird flu - 4 hours later they told him "it's just your common cold, take Paracetamol.
So now I'm off to the library to read the two papers for tomorrow's presentations, grab some more clementines & OJ then catch the first 134 bus back to Kentish Town for a nap!!
Wednesday, January 18
Cool things from the pastSo 1 week from today is a very special day see why . . .
On January 25, 1759 - Scottish poet Robert Burns is born on this day in 1759. The day is still celebrated by Burns fans across the English-speaking world, with high-spirited "Robert Burns Night" feasts, featuring haggis and other Scottish delicacies, as well as enthusiastic drinking, toasting, and speechmaking.
1776 - the Continental Congress authorizes the first national Revolutionary War memorial in honor of Brigadier General Richard Montgomery, who had been killed during an assault on Quebec on December 31, 1775.
1869 - Pat Garrett, both celebrated and despised as the man who killed Billy the Kid, abandons a life of luxury in Louisiana and heads west.
1882 - Virgina Woolf, British novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and critic known for her stream-of-consciousness style and feminist perspective was born. Woolf developed innovative literary techniques which spun elements of lyric poetry into prose fiction. As a young woman Woolf moved to Gordon Square, Bloomsbury. The house became a gathering place for writers, artists and intellectuals and this "Bloomsbury Group" is remembered as an incubator of modern artistic thought. Her first major published work was The Voyage Out (1915); other books included Mrs. Dalloway (1925), A Room of One's Own (1929) collected her lectures and meditations on the place of women in literature.
1890 - United Mine Workers of America Founded
1919 - in Paris, delegates to the peace conference formally approve the establishment of a commission on the League of Nations.
1924 - the first Winter Olympics take off in style at Chamonix in the French Alps.
1942 - Thailand declares war on the United States and England. On this day, Thailand, a Japanese puppet state, declares war on the Allies.
1948 - Fatal Tokyo Bank Robbery
1956 - Khrushchev declares that Eisenhower is "striving for peace"
1960 - the National Association of Broadcasters proposes that disc jockeys accepting payment from record labels for broadcasting particular songs would be charged a $500 fine and spend a year in prison. The practice, known as payola, had provoked an extensive investigation by the NAB.
1961 - President John F. Kennedy becomes the first U.S. president to hold a live televised news conference
1972 - President Richard Nixon, in response to criticism that his administration has not made its best efforts to end the war, reveals that his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger has held 12 secret peace negotiating sessions between August 4, 1969, and August 16, 1971. The negotiations took place in Paris with Le Duc Tho, a member of Hanoi's Politburo, and/or with Xuan Thuy, Hanoi's chief delegate to the formal Paris peace talks.
1978 - I was born!!!
1983 - My friend Louise was born!!!
My second paper this week :(So I got stuck with a paper to present tomorrow - normally we get a day off in between presentations!!
Only part that makes it more interesting for me is that the paper was written by someone I use to work with at Trudeau :)
Well off to read the paper and meet with my group - I'm presenting the discussion section.
Tuesday, January 17
Photos and presentationHere are some random photos I found and have never posted - some are from this past May when Dad and I came to visit (hence the green leaves behind Cleopatra's Needle) - Enjoy . . .
Me at Tooting Bec Tube station - waiting for the tube to the West End
Black Friar Bridge - prettiest of the "low bridges"
Here is my paper for tomorrow's presentation - can you understand figure 5??? We can't!!! But then again neither can our prof, Helena Helmby, so we're in the clear :)
Sunday, January 15
Chefs hard at work
Thursday, January 12
Bits & BobsThis morning I woke up extra early to make it over to the post office pick up site since I'd received a notice saying I had some mail that didn't fit into my very small mail slot (anything larger than a child's hand won't fit!!)
When I arrived the post man told me I had more than one and would I mind picking them all up - I of course told him no problem. After producing my passport ID for him to verify he handed me 3 packages!! VERY exciting . . . I knew one was a present for Jim, which I'd been anxiously awaiting as his birthday was on Monday!! The others were somewhat surprises always nice to have pleasant surprises first thing in the morning, don't you think?!?!?!
Second package was a birthday present for a friend of mine in the states which I've been half expecting but thought it might not be here till Saturday, so now I can get that all sorted out and be ready to mail in February.
Third package I could tell by the writing who it was from (see bottom right corner of the photo - those of you who know her will recognize the writing immediately) but I had no clue what was inside. It is a beautiful fleece dressing gown (bath robe for you Americans - LOL) from Liz Clairborne and a pair of socks (that's them in the middle, not a tie) from my god-mother in NJ. I'm not sure how well the photo will come out so I'll tell you it's blue, green and white strips. It's perfect for these British flats that have a tendency to be a bit drafty!
Totally off topic, a good friend of mine down in Key West sent me this link which you just have to check out - it's too funny not too! You'll need to have your sound on as well when viewing it.
Here is the paper I have to present tomorrow - sounds like fun huh?!?!?
Well gotta get going on my power point slides.
Tuesday, January 10
First two days of term 2I've just finished with the second day of term two and all I can say is WOW, I was right when I told some of you yesterday that this term was going to be a doozie!! For those of you who missed it, yesterday we got a 12 page paper today to read over tonight and give an hour long presentation on it tomorrow!! (next 3 weeks are all the same as today - just different paper topics) The part they neglect to tell you is when you read this 12 page paper you then have to go and read all the supplement info on-line and in my case print out 2 more papers before you can fully understand the topic enough to present it in front of the whole class. This work is done in groups of 3, of course I got the group where everyone wanted to go home early so we're going to email our separate sections of power point presentations to each other at 6pm tonight - I'm not a fan of this method, but I was outnumbered. LUCKILY the groups change weekly!!!
The following 2 weeks we have to write up a grant proposal to be handed in and graded :( Good practice, but TONS of research and work that will go along with that.
So my group gave our presentation today and all went well - better than I thought it would to be honest! It was nice to be done with classes at noon. Susan, Sacha, Meredith, Luci, and I had lunch at uni together. Susan & I then went to the library to read for 1 hour before going to the gym. We both joined the gym today! It was good fun, BUT to be honest I think we are officially geeks now, I'm afraid to admit this, but while we were on the rowing machine we were trying to think of ways to make the time go by faster . . . we ended up talking about the cytokine from the paper we're reading for tomorrow's lecture - is that bad or what!?!?!?!?!?
Well I'm off to grab some dinner & then finish reading the second paper for class.
Monday, January 9
NYE 2005 photos
Lonnie, me, Steve, Roger & Kathy
Friday, January 6
A British Bills Fan
Thursday, January 5
Home Sweet Home (London that is)
Me, Dad, Mom & Patty 26/12/05
Coolest Christmas Present!!!!
Windy road with beautiful scenery