Thursday, July 31

quote to live by

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.

-Auguste Rodin


cool video


Tuesday, July 29

experiments coming out of my ears

good news is i won't be bored for the next 2 weeks, bad news is i'll be swamped in the lab! a quote from my meeting earlier today was along the lines of "i can't ask you to work weekends, but if you work for the next 16 days straight, i'd be willing to give you an extra week off" . . . as if that's actually going to happen (the latter part i mean) i know i'll be working for the next 16 days straight, but now i have no reason to feel guilty about leaving a bit early when my sis is here :)

so if you don't hear from me in the next few days i can assure you it's not my oh so exciting social life as some cheesewizers might think, but instead i'll be strapped to a FACS machine or with my arms stuck into an isolator similar to this (ours is MUCH larger!!!)one in our category 3 lab. For those of you not familiar with the different categories of laboratories, here are some cool diagrams I found which might help you understand a bit better my daily life . . . thanks to "Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories" 4th Edition, 1999.

Biosafety Level 1 (BSL 1): well characterized agents not consistently known to cause disease in healthy adult humans of minimal potential hazard to laboratory personnel and the environment
Biosafety Level 2 (BSL 2): agents of moderate potential hazard to personnel and the environment
Biosafety Level 3 (BSL 3): indigenous or exotic agents which may cause serious or potentially lethal disease as a result of exposure by the inhalation route
Biosafety Level 4 (BSL 4): dangerous and exotic agents which pose a high individual risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections and life-threatening disease

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Friday, July 25

Les Femmes de l'Ombre and Wall-E

Joined the Cineworld Unlimmited, which means for £15/month I can see as many movies as I want at Cineworld theatres around the UK. So this week I've seen two! On Sunday I saw Wall-E. If you haven't yet seen this movie you should consider it . . .

I thought it was a really good movie & even Rob (Mr. Tough Guy) enjoyed it! Yes, it's true there is no speaking for the first 20 minutes or so and even after that it's very minimal, but the points which the writer was trying to get across to the viewer comes through very clearly! I think one of my favourites was his pet cockroach :)

The other movie which I really enjoyed & if you're not into pixar movies, maybe this is more up your alley, was called Les Femmes de l'Ombre (aka Female Agents a french movie subtitled in English)

I know that lots of it wasn't true, for instance in my opinion the girls wore too much lipstick! I wonder how did she learn to shoot so well, like a pro? And rather confusing to me was how the SS guy was fluent in three languages (German, French & English), but all that said the movie had enough of a story line and moments of tension to keep you interested in watching. I guess it wasn't any sort of cliff hanger since I knew the outcome of the war from history classes, but still attention getting - or at least in my opinion!

Has anyone seen any other recent movies which you think I should go see? I think Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging comes out today, but aside from that I'm not sure what's out there, so any suggestions would be wonderful!


Wednesday, July 23

only "bummed"?

As I've mentioned before I read Confessions of a CF Husband on a daily basis. I must admit the past few days I've been rubbish about following most blogs because of craziness at work with summer students and a lack of home computer, but I went over to the site this morning and found this post. I cannot imagine being in Tricia's shoes. For those of you who don't follow the story, here are a few lines from what Nate wrote:

"Tricia's lymphoma in her lungs did not respond well to the meds over the past five weeks . . . I've been explaining to you that the chemo Tricia had been receiving was not the heavy duty stuff...CHOP is. CHOP is the stuff that you hear about that comes with a lot of potential side affects . . . Tricia will receive her first treatment tomorrow . . . A few weeks after that second treatment, they'll reevaluate to determine if the cancer is responding as hoped for. If so, she'll receive four additional treatments every three weeks, for a total of six over the next eighteen weeks. If, after the first two treatments, her cancer is not responding, Tricia is in serious trouble . . . Needless to say, we're both very bummed tonight. Tomorrow is a new day, and I'm sure we'll be more optimistic, but tonight we're very discouraged."

Bummed is the word that Nate used, I don't think bummed even begins to explain how I'd feel. Tricia & Nate are just so strong. I hope that should I ever be in a similar situation I think that if I had 1/4 of their strength I'd be doing really well. I suppose it helps to have such a wonderful & supportive family and that I know they have! If you have 3 seconds to spare maybe say a quick prayer that these new rounds of CHOP will work better for Tricia.


Tuesday, July 22

a fw more dog photos

Kumquat in his frog pose
mom & Kumquat
Quid swimming in Schroon Lake - look at him go :)
all three conked out after a day at the beach

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an excellent photo exhibit

Any of you in the Portland, Orgeon area, should really go and see Adam Bacher's Rwandan photo exhibit!! Here is the link to his blog from the month he spent in Rwanda last October.

Rwanda Photographs on Exhibit:
Now through September 1st
World Forestry Center - Discovery Museum,
4033 SW Canyon Rd., Portland Oregon
Let me know what you think, I so wish I was closer & could go as I think his photos are wonderful!

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Monday, July 21

i'm connected

from home again :) course i have lots to do to get back up to speed, but at least I can access my computer from home now!


potential good & sad news update

my computer guy just called to say he's fixed the problem :) he's going to bring it by round 7pm tonight - YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Saturday after my bed was fixed we tried to go to Bar Lorca, but due to police cordoning tape we couldn't get there, here's the story behind that - yes that's correct just a few 100 feet from my front door this stabbing occurred . . . a bit scary, no?


feeling unconnected

you never realise how much you rely on your home computer, broadband & the internet at large until suddenly your computer fails & you have to go for over a week without it! my computer crashed the sunday night i arrived back in london (a week ago yesterday) and at first i thought it was going to be a quick fix, but after 2 days of bringing it to work and hours on the website, i had to call in the experts, who thought it was going to be a 5 minute fix, but low & behold found out it's way more complicated than even they could sort out in 1 hour, so the laptop got taken away & supposedly is going to be returned to me tonight, FINGERS crossed, since these days with the crazinesses (is that really a word!?!??!) at work i don't have lots of time to give you updates on my oh so exciting life (LOL)

briefly this weekend:
friday night at home
saturday jaiden & john came over to fix my bed, then we went to the junction (pub) to meet up with rob, kaylie, naomi & andy, then on to primrose hill for greek food, before wandering back down through camden
sunday rob & i went to the assembly house for lunch & then waited whilst the computer guy attempted to fix my computer, after he finally gave in we went to leicester square to see Wall-E, a cute movie with very very little talking!

found out my mom has another dog in her life, his name is kumquat & he was the runt of the litter (and to be honest the one which I said way back when he was born if i moved back to the state I would want just cause he was such a cutie & i LOVED his name)

here they all are, Kumquat, Alice & Quid

with my boss on the Tour de France,Tash in the south of Spain, Mel in the south of France, this week is going to be hectic!!!

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Tuesday, July 15

back in the UK

safely back in London & didn't take long to get back into the correct time zone :) now just super busy getting back into the swing of things at work . . . will try to write more later, but home computer is not working (possible virus) so until I get that fixed I might be outta touch & photo updates will be delayed!

Friday, July 4

major changes to come in june 2009

Just got an email from my Peace Corps Regional Recruiter saying she's nominated me for:

Program: Health Degreed
Region: Sub Saharan Africa
Program Info: All nominees must be learning French in preparation for service. All nominees encouraged to gain HIV/AIDS experience prior to departure.
Stage Range: June, 2009

How exciting is that?!?!?!?

Aside from that my holiday thus far has been fantastic, as you know dad's party was amazing with all the people who came from all over and apparently dad must have some sort of connections with the weather gods because it didn't rain during the party times.

I left upstate NY after a visit to Saranac Lake to see my former boss for a chat at Blue Moon Cafe. It's always great to see him. He taught me a lot whilst I was working with him & then when I announced I wanted to go to grad school he stood by me 100% (even was the one who pushing towards applying to LSHTM). He's been so supportive of everything I've done since we met in June of 2001 AND a big plus he makes an effort to get together (unlike some other friends of mine who can't be arsed to make a date to meet up). Okay back to the point we met up for brunch & had a great catch up chat. I also ran into a great mate of mine Eric who just happened to be there as well. It was great to see him since he wasn't at work that day so I'd have missed him if I'd dropped by like I'd planned to. I also had the chance to see his son who was graduating from HS that day & to meet his girlfriend who I'd heard a lot about but being so far away hadn't yet gotten to meet.

After that I ran down to Scott's Florist to meet with my mate Kathy & then we went back to Blue Moon to see my mates Betty & Kate (bonus as I hadn't planned on seeing them, but news of my arrival traveled fast in such a small town). Following those chatting sessions we headed to meet my mate Dan for lunch. During which we ran into another mate of mine Kristen. Do you believe me now when I say it's not a big town? She & I had a 5 min catch up while Dan & my mom were sorting out seats & drinks. After a long lunch we walked mom's dogs & headed back home. I'd had a horrible cold & so we didn't want to stay up north too too late, plus my sis was coming back from CT & we didn't want her to arrive at an empty house.

The rest of the weekend we spent celebrating my 30th birthday, yes yes I know my b'day was in January, but since none of my family was there to celebrate with me we had it during the weekend. Mom, Patty & I went shopping in Saratoga. Auntie Ann, Patty & I went out on Schroon Lake for a few hours both days. Dad cooked dinner one night & we had homemade chocolate chunk walnut brownies with vanilla ice cream another night - YUMMMMMMMMM.

On Tuesday Patty & I headed to NYC, stopping along the way to see Paul in Westchester for lunch before hitting up Lou & Jeremy's place on W 52nd. We had a great evening with them & on Wednesday I had my interview & then Patty & I buggered outta the city (WAY too hot in NYC for me!) We met up with my best mate Kristen & her husband PJ for a wonderful Mexican dinner before driving to Patty's condo in CT.

Yesterday we woke up early got picked up my rental car, went to Lowe's & got flowers for potters & wedded her front garden area. That evening we drove to Old Saybrook for dinner with Aunt Pat & Diane at Bill's Seafood in Westport, before I headed to Wallingford to stay with my wonderful mates Anne & John. When I arrived to my surprise Katie came out to greet me, which was just awesome! She just finished her masters in May & is in limbo at the moment but we got to catch up on her internship in the Philippines. We of course couldn't shut up once we got going so we were up till 1.30am.

Today I slept in till 9am & have just been vegging out with Katie, Anne, John & Matt who arrived around 1pm. We had charcoal grilled cheeseburgers, cold slaw, potato salad, tater tots, and red/white/blue frosted cupcakes :-) Later we're going to see the fireworks.

Tomorrow I'm going to see Matt's "new" house & on Sunday I'm going to see Kev, Sylwia, Owen, Maya & Grace and best of all Sylwia, her sis & I are going out alone . . . first time ever - a girls afternoon - yeah!!!!

Hope you're all doing well & enjoying your 4th of July, I really just wanted to give you the PC update, but then figured as the Sox Yanks game had such a long rain delay I had time to give a full up to date report. That's all for now

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