Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hair Style Exam

Man.. that is an ugly picture...

Upon leaving SF, I gave up my favoritest hairstylist Nikki. She somehow managed to give me a great style and color that I could maintain on my terribly low maintenance lifestyle. Right before I left, she gave me a brown all over so I wouldn't have to maintain my highlights out here. But it was semi-permanent. Which means, that those lovely hightlights are starting to reappear, albeit a few centimeters from my scalp. Not so good. I've made a bit of a reputation being a relatively well dressed scientist.. So I have a question. Get your #2 pencils out.

Should I:

1. Book myself into the fancy Aveda Institute downtown I've been dying to try and..
a. Go back to the blonde highlights.
b. Embrace Fall and do something darker.
c. With either color, should I continue to grow it out, although I am not sure it is the most flattering for my face, but cheaper and worth a shot since I've already come this far. OR go back to my old standby short style?

2. Or, continue to have Trent trim my hair on the front porch and just let the whole fancy dancy hair coloring work its way out. It isn't really bad, just kinda drab.


And, wow, are those "Hairstyle" websites horribly unhelpful. Who wants to look like about 95% of those girls. Any good sites out there? Mom and I saw a cute makeover on "What Not to Wear," but I can't find the episode on TLC. Hmmm... dilemna!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


It is a quarter to 8pm. I am waiting for some samples to dry before I can put my radiolabelled mRNA probe on them and let them incubate at 65 degrees overnight. Because, apparently, I didn't wait long enough on my first try and half my brains floated away. And I couldn't even get started till 2 because the radiation didn't arrive until then. Which is okay, because I needed a break after taking the HARDEST test I've taken in a good long time. Oh, and it is Trent's birthday, as you know. Which he spent at home sick. So it is awesome, that I am stuck here. Just really awesome.

But I heard we got our care package from SLO! How do you guys know when I am having one of the worst ones? Lots of yummy Trader Joe's and other goodies. Thanks Mom and Dad! Hope you are feeling better Mom, watch out for that precious noggin!

Real Story:
Lab: Ya, it's late. That part is true. But I am glad I can finish it tonight because then I can do "Day 2" of the experiment tomorrow, and not on Thursday when I teach. Which is a good thing. These samples look really good and my probe should be great, after I repeated that one time, but what is science if not trial and error? I still think my boss likes me..

The test: was really hard. But everyone thought so, even the girl who has a fruitfly tattoo (gotta love her). It was 9 pages of complex questions written by 6 different professors, one whose English is not so hot. So I am hoping for a good old curve. Or, they said I could have my job back in SF... Just kiddin'.

Neglecting Trent: Ya, this one is pretty rough too. He is such a great sport though, and wants me to do a good job. Which I am so grateful for. We've decided to go to the beach this weekend, I am thrilled to see the Outer Banks finally! And I picked up some tickets today to see James Taylor (a, I will not deny, huge factor in me coming to UNC- he is a Chapel Hill native!) and the UNC Symphony perform together this Sunday afternoon. Which we are both really excited about. He is feeling a lot better after his day home, but it was probably a good idea to not go to work, a lot of his co-workers are way sick.

So things aren't too bad.. just a little bit. But nothing a care package, some stunningly beautiful in situ hybridization results, and a massive curve on my genetics test can't fix!

Monday, September 25, 2006


Tomorrow is my sweetie's birthday. I know I tend to go on and on about him, but I cannot emphasize how much his love and support means to me. He is my best friend, adventure partner, and challenges me everyday to do my best. Enjoy a few pics!
(And who can't fall for a guy who is so good at costumes!)

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Hello strangers-
This week has been crazy, but in a good way. I feel like things are settling down into this crazy schedule. I even had some free time this last Friday, I hardly knew what to do with myself.

My students actually accomplished their lab (after I did a bunch of their prep work, but oh well), one of my favorite professors is the guest lecture in my class, and my frog project is about to actually start (tomorrow!!).

Friday night we hosted the first real dinner party at our tiny cottage. Trent made fancy rustic pizzas and we hosted BioAmiga's Dierdre and Kelly, and Kelly's visiting parents. The house was perfect, cozy and filled with good cheer. Since last year's apartment was so small, we were quite out of practice, but everything went smoothly. We even got to use our fancy dessert forks from Gump's!

Last night we went to a bbq hosted by some of the older graduate students. I couldn't ask for a nicer group of people. They are all friendly and open, and actually graduating, which is exciting, but unbelievable to even think about yet.

We've been resting up a lot because of lingering colds, but did try to go on a bike ride this morning (Trent went on a super long one on Saturday, but I was too sicky). Today's was not helped by me getting 3 flat tires, and finally Trent just went home and got the car and picked me up. But it was out in the country and lovely where he left me, so I got my "Friends' Meeting" in anyways, just in private instead.

This week is going to be very busy. I have my first exam in Genetics on Tuesday, my frog experiment starts tomorrow and will take several full days, and I still have to set up for this week's lab I am teaching. Oh well! I am mindful today of how lucky I am, even on days when I feel swamped, to be able to be going to school and work with amazing people, and to have such a partner as Trent who is always there to boost my spirits. Today I was studying all day for this upcoming test and we went out grocery shopping and came back with 2 pounds of FRESH mussels, which we steamed with some onion, garlic, and wine and devoured. Lucky me!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Today was a rough day. Ever since things got really going, I've been feeling like there is not nearly enough time everyday. Today was no exception. I run hectically from one thing to another, am late to half of them, and feel like in one way or another I letting everyone down. I feel like a bad TA (they didn't finish their lab today), a bad researcher (I missed a meeting, cuz I was TA-ing), a bad student (I was too busy to print out the lecture notes), a bad friend (I can't go to a wedding in Sacramento), and bad girlfriend (because I bitch about all this to a certain someone).

So there was NO day like today to receive the BEST care package EVER from the BEST SISTER EVER. Emily is the pinnacle of style, charm, and grace. She always exceeds every standard for kindness and social graces. There is a lot of our Grandmother in her. I opened my first of the adorably wrapped packages (it is going to be SO hard to ration them, but I am sure I will have many more rough days to come) and was was given the perfect quote to reassure me after today (and yummy sample of Philosophy's Amazing Grace:

"how you climb up the mountain is just as important as how you get down the mountain. and, so it is with life, which for many of us becomes one gigantic test followed by one gigantic lesson. in the end, it all comes down to one word. grace. it's how you accept winning and losing, good luck and bad luck, the darkness and the light."

And with a long hot shower I realized that the challenging parts in life are even more important than the easy ones, and how I deal with this year will depend on my grace. So I went on eBay and bought a big bottle. And whenever I use it I will think of my best inspiration for grace.

(I also got the Purity face wash, I love eBay!)

Reality Check: I am not failing out of gradschool, no worries. I am just learning that I need to learn how to manage my time and how to say no. I have some wonderful new friends, my students are great and learning a lot, and my prof said my brain sections were some of the best she'd ever seen. And tonight Bubs got me and two girlfriends free tickets to the new Jason Statham movie Crank.. excited!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Yay for eBay!

Thanks to my awesomely technically savvy beau, I just successfully completely my first eBay purchase! I know that this sweater is from last season, but it is so cute (little scotties!), my color/size, and from JCrew which I am in love with/completely unable to afford. So yay for me! Fall is starting to arrive, this will be perfect with my dark jeans or jean skirt.. and perhaps some fabulous JCrew boots??

Monday, September 11, 2006

I've really started working in my new lab. Which is awesomely exciting and I love learning all the new stuff and getting to use my skills from previous labs. One skill I wasn't planning on needed so much was my experience on the cryostat. It paid off today. I spent about 3 hours sectioning one tiny frog brain into about 600 little pieces on or so slides. It is going to be great once I have them all done, but kind of a pain in the neck (literally) to do, even though this one is a fancy new one with a foot pedal that automatically advances the section (nerdy, but seriously awesome). About an hour in to it, I realized this was one time that having my amazingly awesome SLVR cellphone (which I am usually kinda embarrassed about cuz it is so gear head fantastic). I just uploaded the new G-Love and the Special Sauce album "Lemonade" which was the perfect blend of upbeat tunes to keep me chopping away happily.

Until 6 when my new UNC amiga and I tore it up at our weekly hiphop dance class. We are the oldest people in there by far (a girl today was wearing a shirt that said "Seniors (highschool) Class of 2006!!) but we have the most spirit, and the least amount of natural talent. But we love it, so that is all that matters.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Fancy Shade of Jean

All this new fancy furniture has changed my perspective on things. I like the fancy stuff!! I've been making an effort to dress nicely (which isn't hard to do when among most bio grad students), our house is classy as all out. And now I feel I need these boots to complete my awesome new persona. So... I am a size 7.. And broke :)

But just for when I probably buy boots from somewhere much much cheaper.. which is better, black or brown?? I've never bought them before, and want to wear them ALL the time. Thanks!

Weekend Furniture Bonanza!

We got internet in the cottage. Seriously, I no longer feel like I am in the Stone Age. Along with the internet, we nearly completely finished furnishing the cottage this weekend. We had several strokes of luck at our favorite used furniture place, Furniture Follies, including a beautiful dining room table and four chairs that I couldn't have fathomed we were fancy enough to own, but the price was right and I was in love. Trent bought a great chair with Flor di Lis print (go New Orleans!) that looks all classic, but reclines and is insanely comfortable. Then we lucked out with a Craigslist find of a $150 3 year old Broyhill sofa from some ridiculously rich folks in Clayton. Worth the drive, no question. Thank goodness for the truck. Now just gotta decorate it.. we have several fantastic ideas including a tree coat rack, an upholstered head board and framed botanicals in the dining room! I am scouring Real Simple and Blueprint for ideas. Please let me know what clever/cheap tactics worked for you!