Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Friend Appreciation

This past Sunday I was seriously studying some bacterial tranformations and other genetic analysis techniques, at my new favorite study locale "Padgett Station," sipping on a coconut iced latte and making beautiful notes with my trusty 4 color pen (essential). And I had to stop mid conjugation (hahah) and think of my dear friend Haley. The fates threw us together into a tiny tiny room/broom closet 5 years ago at Davis, and it was such a gift for me. This girl put up with my shennanigans for the next 4 years. And we managed to have the perfect balance of having an amazing amount of fun and also getting outta there in 4 years with Bachelors of Science, not an easy task. We spent countless hours at "Crepeville" in Davis, drawing benzene rings and practicing our 20 amino acids with our four color pens and lattes. Haley is now in Oregon, taking classes in Newport and getting ready to attend OSU for a Masters/teaching credential program. I could not be happier. We chatted on Sunday, catching up on old times and the latest happenings. I am such a lucky gal.

Plus, thanks to Haley's awesome coaching, we finally won our division in innertube water polo, and even went all the way to the playoffs!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

JCrew Ad?

I felt very much like I was living in a JCrew catalogue today. It could not have been a more gorgeous fall day, I was cruising around on my sweet bike, strolling on Franklin Street with my amiga Kelly, and came home to carve pumpkins! If only those JCrew girls were fabulous scientists...

Check it out, I finally got boots. Trent found my darlins' at Macys right as they were closing, and what a find. I love them!

Halloween Pics

Here are some pictures from Saturday night. Peter Pan was the hostess, and Trent's coworker who we stayed with while house hunting way back.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Photo Recap!!

Hey friends! Sorry for the lack of posting. This grad school stuff is keeping me pretty darn busy. But we are having a good time as well. Here are some pictures, again totally out of order, of the latest happenings!

This is Trent this evening. His work is having a contest to build the best scarecrow. He was in charge of making the frame. Mr. Crafty Amazing was not satisfied until it had complete animated arm waving. He used his power drill as the motor. He is gonna be the BEST dad for science projects!

I finally put up some art in the dining room. We had quite a stormy week, but it was lovely this weekend and we went on some great hikes in the forest behind our house. I couldn't get over the amazing fall foliage (seriously, it boggles me) and kept picking up my favorites. Which ended up being like 100 or so. I picked my 4 top representatives and put them in frames. They look lovely and hopefully will keep their anthocyanins and xanthophylls for a little while so we can enjoy the trees while inside.

On Wednesday nights, if we aren't too exhausted, we all like to go to trivia at a local pub called Tylers. We always do very poorly, and get beaten by older bio grad students, but have a blast. We have a seminar that goes late into the evening on Wednesdays, so it is nice to relax after all that. Here is (from left to right) Adam, Kelly, Steph, myself, and Trent cracking up.

Here is the rest of the gang on Wednesday. Lotsa bio kids who don't know much about a lot of trivia. I love Trent's face in this, as well as his buddy Jared's amused expression back. I guess I caught him off guard.

Okay, so last weekend, we went to the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. It was a total trip, but really fun. This event was my favorite. Pig racing. The crowd showed up like 30 minutes before it started to watch, but it was hillarious. They also raced ducks, billygoats, and pot bellied pigs! You can kind of see a little porker dashing about in the lower left corner.

Pig racing plus lots of cotton candy had me very amped up about the entire situation. Yes, the man behind me is wearing camo. I love it.

A true State Fair, there was tons of fried food, carnival rides and crowds, but we had a great time checking out the local flavor. We watched 4H'ers showing their goats, Trent talked shop with some potato farmers and we saw lots of produce judging. Because of this, Trent was technically "working" that whole time. Awesome! Adorable baby horses and cows as well.

Here are Matt (my TA actually for the class I am taking, but also a Genetics 2nd year grad student), Steph and Kelly enjoying the last non-fried thing they ate at the fair. They were troopers and tried EVERYTHING, fried twinkies, oreos, pickles, it was amazing what people would pay to eat if it was fried. We opted out, I don't even like twinkies regularly! But they were good sports.

So ya, just a little peek into our lives. Last night we went to a really fun Halloween party that was hosted by Trent's coworkers, so hopefully I get pictures of that soon. Things are going well over here, teaching is becoming very rewarding, I love science, and our little house. I do have a test this Tuesday, and a ton of brains waiting to be sectioned, so this is gonna be a busy week. Hope you all have a great one!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Weekend Happenings

A photo recap of this weekend. Although it is horribly out of order. I don't know how to fix that. Hope it makes some sense. In a nutshell, lots of UNC pride, long bike ride, and lots of cheese.

My new awesome helmet. We went on a beautiful ride this morning, enjoying the not busy roads, lovely fall foliage and a cup of coffee at the dairy. On the way home, we stopped by Performance Bicycle. There I realized that the helmet I have been wearing for years is quite too small (oh yes, funny, i know) so I found this treasure for a great deal. I figure I am investing quite a bit in this noggin, better treat it right. Afterwards we went to yogalates (pillates+yoga) and a spinning class, I am exhausted!

We were true Tarheel fans this weekend. It is pretty fun going to a school that takes sports so seriously, being Aggies we are used to winning the "Most Spirited" instead of "Conference Champs." Here we are at Saturdays painful game against FSU. At least we had spirit.

Friday night we cruised over to Midnight Madness. Which luckily for us got moved to 7pm this year. It was our first time in the famous "Dean Dome" where Jordan himself got his big start. The place ended up being packed and Stuart Scott from ESPN (a fellow alum) was the mc. This event kicks off the official beginning of when the basketball team is allowed to start training. Lots of dancing and showing off moves.

Then off to our weekly dinner party. This time Kelly hosted a fantastic fondue party with two different types of cheese and Dierdre made a delicious chocolate one for fruit. Trent and I brought wine.

Saturday was a gorgeous fall day, perfect for a home football game. Too bad our team isn't so hot this year. It all started badly, even the mascot "Ram" refused to walk nicely across the field. He is being dragged in this pic. We stayed until it got too sad to watch and then decided we wanted to have a bbq that evening so went to Sam's Club to stock up on goodies. And by Bandolino to try the boots. They didn't work, too big around the calf. Oh well, I tried. The bbq was a lot of fun, tons of good food thanks to Trent and we got hooked and watched the entire first DVD of Showtime's new series, Weeds. It was pretty hillarious.

At Kelly's house, Trent and Adam found a Mr. Potato Head. They were quite entertained.

They call the Midnight Madness show, Late Night with Roy Williams, after our awesome coach. Here is the packed stadium. Stuart Scott is down there somewhere.

Sorry about the lack of order. As you saw, we worked out a ton today. Trent made fajitas from left over chicken from the bbq and we just watched "Lucky Number Slevin" which required a lot more concentration than I had imagined. So I can't be bothered to figure out to order the pictures correctly. Sorry! Have a great week-

Friday, October 13, 2006

JCrew for the rest of us

I love the JCrew sales. Especially when they have the extra 20% off. You have to be tenacious and go nearly everyday, but I have found some awesome lovelies there. Like today. This awesome cord skirt for $19.99 plus the additional percentage off. That is fantastic! Skirts with pockets are my favorite.

Week in Review

Happy Fall everyone. It certainly has started to arrive here. This week has been actually pretty great, although busy as usual. Some highlights-

1. Ask real nice and the girls at Old Navy will go out of their way to find you the right sized pants. Also, switching the buttons on those pants makes them 100x's better. This sweater.. not cute in person however.

2. Trent going away for business is rough. I tend to eat only Triscuits and cottage cheese and be lazy. However, thanks to my excellent friends Kelly and Dierdre, this time wasn't too bad. We did lots of kickboxing and dinners together to keep me from being too sad. And it helps when he comes back with lots of nerdy science magazines and the latest gift from Clinique. What a man!

3. Michael Pollan, the author of "The Botany of Desire," one of my all time favorite books, as well as the more recent "Omnivore's Dilemna" came to speak at UNC on Tuesday. It was absolutely lovely. It made me excited to go to Farmer's Market and the local dairy this weekend!

4. Everyone of higher rank than I has left the lab this week for a Neuroscience conference in Atlanta. Which makes me boss. Which is funny because I have been here the least amount of time. But great because I get to teach the young'ns which makes me realize how much I do know about this crazy science stuff.

5. Next week is going to be one dark week for the frogs. I apologize ahead of time.

6. My students have become my pride and joy. I am almost a little territorial now that the actual professor is back, not that he actually teaches them anything. And not that they don't drive me crazy a lot of the time. It is just great to see them actually learning, and knowing I had a part in that.

7. UNC had it's birthday yesterday. I love being at a school with such a rich history. The bell tower played our fight song and then the happy birthday song and we all ate cake. A lot of the professors got all dressed up in their University regalia. Turns out UNC's doctoral gown is pretty spiffy. Trent and I are thinking of going to the UNC v. USF football game tomorrow. Tonight is Midnight Madness, officially kicking off the beginning of what looks to be a very promising basketball season. Go Heels!

Not too many plans this weekend, although the NC State Fair starts this weekend in Raleigh and there is some grad student birthday celebrations this evening. I am looking forward to relaxing with my bubs and watching the leaves start to turn. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I really want boots. I am just horribly stubborn about them. Somewhere out there, my perfect boots exist. Perhaps these beauties from Bandolino? Or these. Can't decide about heel height.. want them to be comfortable, but not look like my old riding boots too much (although I know those are in style now). Perhaps if anyone (coughemilycough) happens to be by the Bandolino store in downtown SF, they could check 'em out and report back. I know there is an Aldo and a variety of other shoe stores in the nearby mall, just not sure about a Bandolino. Any other good places to look for boots?

Monday, October 09, 2006

What Not To Do

I've been crunching lots of numbers lately, spending a lot more time on the lab computer than at the bench. So to keep myself occupied I had fun listening to other people's networked iTunes libraries. Which is really fun. Esepcially on Shuffle. But what wasn't fun was when I stopped to play my frog call to my boss and then starting the music again. And of course it took me about two minutes of listening to the CREEPIEST Tori Amos song to realize that I hadn't plugged my headphones all the way in and the entire lab heard what I was listening to. Embarrassing!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Winter Coats!

Emily recently found that there are some great deals on winter coats at Victoria's Secret of all places. She found several awesome ones, especially this empire waisted one, but I thought I'd point out some cuties I found. Love this tweed if only it wasn't some sort of pink blend. This guy is pretty simple but could be awesome. Any thoughts? Or I could just get this bad boy and not eat for a month or two? Since, well, winter apparently decided to start today. I think we saw a tree on campus get hit by lightning. Time to break out some new winter wear!

Friday, October 06, 2006

New Website Friday!

New website to love. www.Outblush.com Trent introduced it to me. Pretty much.. you could buy me anything from it and I'd be thrilled. And for the fellas, check out the highly analogous Uncrate.com. Now back to analyzing frog calls. I never thought I'd be doing this, that's for sure..

Last night was our first gathering of the UNC Lady Biologist's Stitch and Bitch. Although only a few girls came over, we had SO much good food, mainly thanks to my amazing Bubs and Kelly's heavy hand with garlic, and had a great time taking a break from science and just chatting and stitching! Thanks Sara for the great idea, we are going to try to get together at least once a month. I bought some patterns from Sublime Stitching for embroidery, gotta ge cracking on Christmas presents! The picture is of a pillowcase I finished last night. I sadly forgot to take any pictures during the event :( Next time!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cool things about Chapel Hill

To enlighten my Western compadres on the little events in life that I find wonderful, a new segment. "Cool things about Chapel Hill." I probably could think of a better title, but it is early. Other than being the hometown of James Taylor and having a great University, there are some small details that I am finding simply charming:

First. Maple View Farms. It is a local dairy in Hillsbourough (where I hear there is a tea place where you get to keep the fancy tea cup, if you'd like.. gotta check that out.) At the fancier grocery stores, which happen to be the ones closest to us, darn fancy neighborhood, you can buy their milk. For about $2 for a half gallon. Which isn't the cheapest, I understand. But it is amazingly fresh, all grass fed cows, a true treat for a milk connoisseur such as myself. And the best part, you can take the glass bottles back and they give you $1.20 back. So you pay like $.80 for the yummiest milk! Then I put that money into my decorated spaghetti sauce jar and someday.. we'll be rich! Or go out to dinner or something. But still fun. We are going to ride our bikes to the dairy where you can get fresh ice cream (my kind of bike ride!) if my bike will ever stop getting flat tires.

SO ya, nothing too fancy, but who says the simple things in life can't make me very happy? Find something to enjoy in your lovely town today.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I (heart) James Taylor!

Yesterday we saw James Taylor receive a Lifetime Achievement Award given to him by UNC. He grew up here in Chapel Hill and was a loyal Tarheel. I am a huge fan. Ever since I was about 10.. and from then on. He is so kind and gentle, while still being an amazing guitarist and singer. He was buddies with Joni Mitchell and Cat Stevens back in the day. Seeing him at Bridge School Benefit concert in SF, was one of the best moments of my life. And then yesterday!! He gets on stage with the NC Symphony and they play "Carolina in my Mind" together. It was beautiful. His mother was in the audience, he said a couple strong words against our arch-rivals Duke, and snuck in another song. Then we all sang the school song. It was a lovely, warm, fall day. We got all dressed up and walked over to the hall. It was just perfect.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Wrightsville Beach, NC

This Saturday we went to the coast for the first time. It was BEAUTIFUL. I can't even believe it. We left pretty early and by the time we arrived (about 1.5 hours) I felt like our dog Penney on the way to the beach, just dying to get out and get in the water. But then I had the initial, "oh, the water is going to be super cold..better tiptoe in." But.. then I noticed all the people surfing and playing around.. WITHOUT WETSUITS. The water was delicious, not too warm, but comfortable enough to hang out and play. We enjoyed the sea for a bit before getting out and walking about a mile up the beach where we lucked out finding "The Oceanic," a very nice restaurant that all of Trent's coworkers recommended. We sat out on the pier and had all sorts of sea food, crab, shrimp and mahi mahi, and nice La Crema chardonnay from CA, to celebrate Trent's birthday in style. So full, we walked back to the other pier where our car was and took a quick nap on the nice white sand. Then back into the sea to frolic around for a bit more. Getting out, we ran into (SMALL WORLD!) a fellow graduate student Anna and her husband Chris. What are the chances. We drove around the town for a bit but decided to head back home that night since Trent is still getting over his cold and I had to go into lab for a bit.

Such a lovely day. Today we are going on a long bike ride and then have the James Taylor concert this afternoon. Happy October, I hope your fall weather is as lovely as ours. Enjoy the pictures!

The yellow boat is exactly the same as my Dad's boat. The dingey we found is dying for his TLC. We found lots of houses for sale, for actually affordable prices. Open Atlantic on one side, the inner passages just a block away filled with beautiful boats.. sounds like an ideal retirement spot??