Monday, September 19, 2011


This weekend, despite my anxieties, was actually a terrific event. It forced me to pick myself up and think about my research again. And I was reminded of a several things:

Awesome Deirdre and two 2nd year students that are just fantastic. Joy just joined our lab.

1. So so so many people get papers rejected. With much harsher reviews than mine. And the journal I chose to send our paper to is apparently very "clique-ish" and "snooty" and some very fancy professors have struggled to have papers accepted there.

It was slightly chilly, so many people opted for the hotel robes to keep warm during the after hours celebrations. It was hilarious how all the folks from CA thought this was a fairly typical beach weekend and were frolicking around in the sea, no problem.

2. The way I present my research in talks and posters is different than how we presented it in the manuscript. Which was probably a big mistake. We have to be excited about this work and sell it. Which is something I am pretty darn good at. Just need to remember that.

My boss-man. We decided for our next submission we will also send this picture. We are very scary, right? And classy, with our 40 oz. beers in paper bags...

3. I have some wonderful scientific colleagues who have been SO helpful. The best part was a frantic/slightly tipsy meeting between my PI and my amazing committee-member (the other Jean). We were all throwing out ideas and getting really excited about the story again. We have one experiment we want to do that is quite high-tech and fancy-pants. I am excited about learning a new technology!

Boss-man and his favorite students. Yes, there is a lot of drinking at this retreat. But also a lot of terrific presentations. The university just hired several folks who study what I am hoping to work on next so I had some great conversations/networking opportunities!

Plus, it was a weekend at the beach with some dear friends and lots of being silly and having a great time. I got a long run in along the ocean which is always good for my soul. This is my last retreat and it was lovely.

Home last night for a lazy day of catching up and then walking down to Panzanella for dinner with Porter. Poor P was shivering already!! Time for dog-jacket searching :) Motivated to get going on the revisions of the manuscript and learning about the new technology. This week is also the "peak" training week for the Ironman, I am exhausted just looking at my schedule. But is all downhill from here!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A million times blargh.
Paper was rejected.

I have a game plan, I have wonderful committee members and colleagues I am leaning on very hard and I will get through this.

It just stinks.
Off to the beach this weekend for our annual retreat. Fun to hang out with friends and discuss science, even if science and I are not friends right now.

But I did go to a marvelous talk yesterday from a fella who did his post-doc with the same big name that the person I am hoping to join their lab did (same science father). It was interesting and novel and exciting. I am definitely heading in the right direction. And leaving all this nonsense behind.

Updates soon!

Friday, September 09, 2011

reasons to celebrate

Trent passed his comprehensive exams!!

And I repeated a cool result.

This calls for a celebration.

Happy Friday, have a wonderful weekend. Trent has lots of Rhode Scholarship interviews this weekend so I am heading to Salutation Nation with girlfriends (and post-yoga brunch of course) and then lots of running, biking, and science.

(the picture has nothing to do with anything except Trent and I enjoy sending random pictures back and forth during the day and this was a particular favorite of mine)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

beach weekend

There will be several things about the South that will make me nostalgic for years to come. The beauty of fried chicken in a biscuit, taking time to talk to everyone you pass in your day, abundances of gardenias. But I have to say.. I will always love how people from the South have a beach vacation.

We had a busy morning Saturday, cleaning house and packing. Drove to Atlantic Beach with newlyweds Adam and Corienne and took pictures of the aftermath of Irene. Or "I-rine" as we called her the rest of the trip.

We reached Thomas's family condo and immediately got down to the beach for beers in coozies and conversation as the sun set. My favorite time of day at the beach is around 5pm. We finally walked back to the house for a big dinner of grilled shrimp and other beach goodies.

Then round two. Lots of card games and tropical drinks made with coconut rum. We were absolutely silly and rowdy and it was a blast. We headed down to the beach to go "Ghost-Crabbing," a completely Jean-tastic game where you spot tiny crabs with flashlights and chase them down and pick them up... and then put them down. I couldn't resist a midnight swim and was pleasantly rewarded by bio-luminescent algae!!! It was magical and I yelled enthusiastically enough to get everyone in the sea with me. More playing in the pool and rowdy adventures before crawling into bed in the early morning hours.

Up Sunday feeling pretty good and off for a long swim with Thomas in training for our upcoming Ironman. We did a nice and mellow 45 minute swim along the shore (I only ran into one bluefish!) and then Trent joined us for a 30 minute run. Back home for watermelon for breakfast and then down to the beach. Amazing fried scallop burgers for lunch, and onion rings at 3pm in honor of my grandmother. An intense touch football game for a couple hours (we won! no thanks to me, but still!!).

More lounging on the beach and visiting with other folks in the area. I read New Yorkers a bit, but mostly just listened to stories from friends. I was the last to leave the beach, it was tough to leave (the water was a perfect temperature and absolutely turquoise). Trent and Thomas went to get fresh fish for dinner and I made mashed potatoes and a big salad.

Another lovely dinner with good friends and another rowdy night of highly competitive spoons, beer-ball, Girl-Talk dance parties, and another round of Ghost-Crabbing. The water was too rough for another swim but we did play in the pool for a bit.

Sunday morning was melancholy. The weather was a bit cloudy (Hurricane Lee has been a way bigger deal for us here in the Piedmont than Irene was) so Trent and I took a long walk on the beach before helping clean and pack. Hit the road by noon, home to see the puppers (Heather stayed with them), and lots of laundry and grocery shopping. A wonderful, recuperative, hilarious weekend with dear friends and my sweet fella. Just lovely.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Endless summer

And we are off. Soaking up the last of summer at Thomas's beach house in Atlantic Beach. Thankfully the hurricane, although it landed in Atlantic beach, didn't do any damage. I am looking forward to reading books, eating potato chips and playing in the ocean. I had a long week of workouts and my body is ready for a break! Happy Labor Day weekend to you all.

This picture is from last year, but same crowd!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Breaking the Fast

Last night we went to a lovely banquet to celebrate the end of Ramadan. We ate our first mehjool date, and then feasted on a huge assortment of delicious food, hosted by one of Trent's classmates who has been observing the holiday for the past month.

It felt like a good way to break back into blogging. With something sweet and wholesome. There are a million stories to tell from this summer. But for now, here are some pictures. The past month has been filled with love. Two weddings, birthday dance parties, babies born.

It has also been incredible professionally. The paper is submitted and under review (hooray!). The book is published and my chapter sits proudly among them. I have interviews on the horizon. Trent is back in school and already running everything and pitching business proposals. This summer was incredibly inspiring for him, career-wise, and we are both thrilled to see what the year holds for us.

It is going to be a tumultuous year, for sure. In a wonderful way though. I am feeling incredibly fit and ready for my Ironman race at the end of October (!!), I am thrilled to be heading to California to see April and go to our 10 year high school reunion (!!!) and interview for jobs (!!!!). We are heading to New Orleans for Christmas, then Israel in March. Graduating in May, selling the house, quick trip to Europe, wedding in California, somehow getting ourselves and our herd across the country to start our next adventure. There aren't enough exclamation points in the universe to describe it.

So for a start... dancing. Lovely dancing. With my partner in all these adventures. Some wonderful memories associated with these pictures. Many more stories to come.