Friday, February 25, 2011


OK, so I've been seeing this float around a bit, and I can't resist doing it.  Mostly because I have nothing else to write about but thesis-writing, and that's boring!  Here we go:

A. Age: 27…I’m still getting used to that!

B. Bed size: Queen, currently – when I move in with Brendan, we’ll have a king to share with the three kitties!

C. Chore you hate:  Cleaning the bathroom.  I definitely go too long between cleaning times…considering the rest of my house is usually clean, it’s surprising how gross my bathroom can get!

D. Dogs: I definitely want one, when we can handle it – but I love our three kitties a lot!

E. Essential start to your day: Breakfast, for sure.  I didn’t love breakfast food growing up, but now I can’t imagine not eating breakfast right when I wake up!

F. Favorite color: Probably red?  I dunno anymore – I like a lot of bright colors right now.

G. Gold or silver: Silver, most of the time.

H. Height: 5’6” – on a good day

I. Instruments you play: I was an avid recorder player back in the day (I know, I know, I’m a huge dork), and I played french horn in middle school.  I really wanted to be a drummer instead!

J. Job title: Lab slave.  Almost Ph.D. finisher.  Soon to be lab slave again – but with a slightly better position?

(yep, that's me)

K. Kids: None yet – some time in the future I want one or two, but we’re not going to be there any time soon.

L. Live: I’ve lived in four places in my life thus far – Minnesota, Boston, D.C., and Philly.  Going back to Boston!  (cue Augustana song here)

M. Mom’s name: Janise

N. Nicknames: When I was little, my hair had this awesome sticking-up thing going on.  It was the 80s, and my parents thought I looked like a punk rocker – hence the name “Punk.”  I’ve mostly grown out of it, but occasionally they still call me that – I don’t even notice, but my friends are always confused!

O. Overnight hospital stays: Only when I had my tonsils out when I was four.

P. Pet peeve: When people just don’t care.  I’m a bit OCD about everything – I just can’t relate to people who are so laid back they manage to not care about something important.

Q. Quote from a movie: As much as I do watch movies, I don’t remember most of them – so no favorite quotes!

R. Right or left handed: Right.

S. Siblings: None – I’m an only child.

T. Time you wake up:  Usually between 6 and 8 – depends on the day and how hard I worked the day before.

U. Underwear: is necessary.

V. Vegetables you dislike: Brussels sprouts.  I’ve tried to like them, but have only enjoyed them once!

W. What makes you run late: Reading too many blogs, and insisting on making a full breakfast every day.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Ankle, when I twisted it when I was 8 or so.  A zillion x-rays of my left foot, when I broke it in 2007.

Y. Yummy food you make:  The stuff that’s unique(-ish) to me?  English muffins, coleslaw (my Mom’s recipe), really yummy burgers and meatloaf.  For dessert – chocolate chip cake from scratch, peanut butter brownies, and margarita bars.

Z. Zoo- favorite animal: Golden lion tamarin monkeys are the cutest.  I love giraffes and tapirs because they’re funny-looking, though!


And there we have it - hope you enjoyed :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentines Day in Pictures (and Words)

Brendan and I had a wonderful weekend - I have been crazy busy since January 1 even though we've gotten to have a few weekends together, and it was nice to have him visit me for a change.  It was really a very nice weekend, even with the little snafu we had on Saturday night (more in a sec).  Here is our Valentines Day weekend in pictures:


After sticking around for a little lab work (boo for having to bring Brendan back to lab when he got in early!), we headed over to City Tap House for dinner.  It was a nice, laid-back meal, and we got to sample a few different beers by having their custom flight.  We were going to go to the movies Friday night, but it got a bit late when I had to go back to lab to finish up an experiment at 9pm.  Instead, we ate homemade chocolate cheesecake and watched King of Kong on Netflix instead.  It was actually quite interesting!


Saturday morning, we went for lunch at a sushi place, then went on our own little chocolate tour of Philadelphia.  Instead of spending $90 for the two of us to go on a touristy tour, I got some ideas from the internet and we went on a little walking/chocolate-tasting tour.  The highlights:  Brown Betty Petite, Teuscher Chocolates, Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates, and 4th Street Cookie Company.  My favorites were the sweet potato cupcake at Brown Betty and the truffles at Teuscher Chocolates (which should be perfection, at $3 a piece!).


The big night out for Valentine's was dinner at Moshulu, which is a restaurant inside a restored historic grain-running boat.  The restaurant was beautiful inside, and it was very neat that we were on a boat - which mostly made up for the lack of particularly beautiful scenery out the window (concrete walkway, anyone?).  The best part was really the food - some of the best seafood I've ever tasted.  It's too bad we didn't take any pictures while we were all dressed up, but we had a lot of fun!


There is a dearth of good movies out there, but we did both agree on wanting to see Black Swan.  It was a total mind trip - and a pretty decent movie.  I'm sure it will give me bad dreams for days!


.....And here is where our evening takes a bit of a turn.  When we got out of the movie, we walked back to where the car was parked......and found no car.  There was a bit of scrambling and walking around a bit to make sure we hadn't forgotten where we parked, but we hadn't.  A call to 911 later, and we found out the car had been towed.  Turns out what we thought was a legit parking spot was actually a no-stopping zone.  Brendan handled everything like a champ and kept me calm - and the whole thing wasn't too terrible.  I hate Philly Parking Authority, though!  We refused to let them ruin our night, though, and enjoyed a bit of SNL and eggnog ice cream when we got home.

Sunday was stay-in day, and we had yummy heart-shaped red velvet pancakes for breakfast. We did go out to get heart-shaped pretzels, but other than that we had fun watching TV and making shrimp scampi for dinner.

All in all, a wonderful weekend.....even with the little adventure thrown in!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mimu enjoys the Super Bowl

We enjoyed cocktail meatballs (actually, I used Mom's secret recipe, but it's pretty similar), BBQ chicken pie, chili cheese dip, and peanut butter M&M cookies.  We enjoyed the commercials and had some cuddle time on the couch, since I haven't been around lately.  We didn't really watch the game, so much......but we're happy the Packers won, since I can't stand the Steelers!  Even if it means rooting for the Packers while wearing my Vikings shirt.

And now it's time to work on figures until I fall asleep.  Oh, the joys of science.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Work work work

Oh Starbucks, how I love thee.

Not only can I get yummy oatmeal AND coffee in one place - this place also has magical powers to bring words out of my brain that were all jumbled up just moments before.  I have been very productive this morning!

I have definitely found that writing a paper is a much simpler task the second (or third?  Does my review count?) time around.  I'm sure that editing will be just as painful, but the starting point is a bit less......jumbled.  The only thing, though, is that I still have absolutely no ability to command myself to write - I just have to sit for a while, let things swirl around in my brain, and wait for them to all come streaming out at once.  Is that normal for people writing scientific papers?  I thought that was more of a creative writing thing....

Also, I'd like to thank my English teachers from grade school and college for making this whole thing a little easier.  If I didn't have a command of the English language to start with, I wouldn't be able to write coherently while drinking WAY too much coffee......or wine.....or while half-asleep in bed first thing in the morning.  Somehow, those times are the best for writing, for me.

Today is going to be a busy day - I've gotta get back to work!  Hope you all have a more restful weekend than I am going to :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Crunch Time

This month will be a bit insane.

Although my thesis defense isn't until the end of April, and the official thesis isn't due until then, I need to get a draft to my PI by March 7 or so, so that he can take a look at it before my committee, who apparently (according to the department) need it 6 weeks early to look at it before the external reviewer.  This series of totally artificial deadlines, accompanied by the refusal of my data to look good at any point before January, means that I need to finish up a bunch of experiments, write (and hopefully submit) a paper, and put together my thesis in the next 4 1/2 weeks.

Yesterday, I spent the hours of 7-8am running, 8-10:30am writing my paper, and 10:30am-10pm at lab.  I spent a majority of that time with a giant bag of blood.  The rest of the time was spent doing 4 other day-long experiments simultaneously.  And stressing about how I haven't written nearly enough of my thesis.  And today I'll basically do all of that all over again - except instead of running, I'm spending the morning writing in bed.  Somehow being in bed makes the whole thing easier to handle :)

So what do I do when faced with an unfathomable amount of work?  I stop fathoming......and just keep working until I hopefully come out the other end of this month with a paper and a thesis.