Monday, March 30, 2009


So I just commented on Dooce's post about vaccines.
The non-vaccine route makes me nauseous. That's me. I don't expect anyone to agree, but there it is. My view stems from a lot of things: being a vaccinated kid, a scientist, working at an institute that is super-cutting-edge whose research focuses hugely on vaccines (cancer-curing vaccines!) and more than anything, from standing in a pediatric ward (if you can even call it that) in the middle of Kenya. Good lord. There are no words. To this day, it still makes me upset. I stood amongst dying children 90% of whom had something fixable, but would die because they had no access to what they needed - from surgery to vaccines. About 10% had devastating burns.
Like I said....there just aren't words for what I saw. I can't even....

So I decided, to trying and lighten my spirits on a Friday afternoon and feel more badass, I would list the things I am "immune" to (in quotes for those who think vaccines are a conspiracy and I'm not really immune to anything):

german measles
polio (US)
(here's where it gets fun)
polio (rest of the world)
hepatitis A
hepatitis B
yellow fever
HPV 6,11,16 & 18

**some strains this year....duh
*** not really immune, I just would not require RIG or 5 vaccines, I'd be a-ok with 2 shots, ideal for traveling in a rural setting.

hmmm. I feel significantly more badass, I must say, even though the likelihood of contracting yellow fever on my way to the T is practically impossible.

Well it's 63 degrees, balmy for Boston. I'm off to walk to the train without a coat!
Have a good weekend all, be back soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I work with another project manager, who is brilliant, talented and tenured, not to mention, published!

She is really really type A but I get along well with her, because in learning the ropes at the new promotion, I need her attention to detail very much.

Now though, I am wondering if my dependence has become a problem.

I sent out an agenda for tomorrow's big conference call and asked for everyone's input and approval.

My old boss said "looks good."
The statistician said "looks good to me, if something comes up not on the agenda, we'll figure it out"
The QA manager said "Nothing to add"

The other PM sent a list. Explaining what I should bullet and sub-bullet (even though the sub-bullets were extensive notes because we're just going to have a straightforward bulleted list in the final agenda....the subs would be WAY to confusing, but were in the draft to ensure I covered in my private notes for the call everything we wanted to talk about).

Her list was in paragraph form and numbered 1-6....I noticed in item #5 she totally pulled the rug out from under me! She took the liberty of consulting the statistician behind my back and getting all the information needed for another doctor's research concept. I didn't even get cc'd.

I know the old project manager was a super disaster and fairly inept and I know there are a lot of "trust issues" and crap still left over. The project manager I'm working with was even accused of not training old project manager properly, so I know she's afraid of getting burned again. Plus layoffs this week have us all on edge.

Here's the thing - I need to be assertive, but I don't want to burn bridges. I have to do it in a super-nice way, because ultimately I do really like this other PM and will most likely continue to work with her closely. But it's not cool that she's just going off and doing this stuff and then making me look kinda dumb by explaining she's covered it and already gone above and beyond (because she replied all in an email). Meh. I dunno what to do. Guess I'll go sleep on it. Figure out what to do in the morning. Maybe I'm just being all crazy.

Slogging through the Sludge in my Brain

Ok. So this week (ha ha and it's only Tuesday) I am just very mentally deficient.
I don't know what is up with me, but I am
1. feeling lazy
2. BEING lazy
3. Getting easily confused
4. Confusing others
5. Having trouble following directions
6. Feeling disjointed

None of it is actually unpleasant because all in all I feel fine. Finetastic. It's annoying cause I'm doing random sh*t. Like "oh let's buy some yarn online cause it's only $2." LIKE I NEED MORE YARN. Or let's enter a bridesmaid giftie giveaway and comment on the WRONG blog. And it wasn't like "oh I like these soaps" it was like "this is my plan and blah blah blah blah blah" Then I realized and recommented. Who does that? Silently slip away in shame, lol.

A mouse just ran in our office. Gave me an adrenaline rush. At least I'm a *bit* more awake now. ehhhh.

Anywho, I blame the previous list of 6 items on:

1. allergies and allergy medication. Makes me sluggish
2. hormones (ok I dunno, sounded good)
3. coping mechanism for extreme stress at work, tomorrow's 3PM principal investigator call in particular
4. coping mechanism for extreme disorganization at work
5. techinically having too much time on my hands and not effectively filling free time with productivity, thus falling back on laziness/disjointedness to fill time
6. because I can

I don't know the answer. All I know is this: I have got to get my shit together. And FAST. I am soooo scattered. I think it might actually be PI call stress. Ugh. I shouldn't be stressed....One PI loves me. The other didn't want to hire me...but I got hired anyways and it has kind of blown up in his face, right? So I am the victor here...BUT I STILL want to make a very good impression and prove that I am smart and capable and able to balance everything out. I think I have an intense fear of being really spastic tomorrow. Oy. I'm off to do some stuff before I go bowling....where I will probably be doubly spastic but will have the sense not to compare myself to a S------ O-------, ahem, Mr. President.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Jamaal dropped a bomb last night...

He said "I have a revision for a honeymoon destination"

I said "should I be worried?"

He said "NOOOOOO"

So I said "Better tell me..............."

Then he said "Botswana."

If I hadn't felt like my right leg was going to fall off at the hip, I would've started jumping on the bed.

Of course nothing nothing is final. It will all come down to cashmoney in the end. Am I super-excited to be putting dollars in the bank right now though? HELLS YES.

I'm off to make a conference call agenda....and research safari camps on the Okavango.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Time for a New Post - No Wedding Stuff!

It is 59 degrees today. It's enough to make a girl want to run around outside without sleeves - you know, go really wild.

Unfortunately I feel a late season cold coming on. UGH. I was sick this time last year - how do I remember? I had my yearly physical just about a year ago, and I have one tomorrow, so all in all if I had to pick a time to be sick, it's kind of ideal to feel ill right when you're planning to go the dr's anyway.

I have to admit, as lousy as I may end up feeling tomorrow (and this could sister is bringing me medicine and then we're going out to party for EE's bday to drink, and isn't liquor a cure-all? LOL) I am looking forward to taking a personal day, and it's worth enduring the physical invasion that is ye olde pelvic exam. Just wish I had had the sense of mind to make my appointment in the early morning - it's a 2pm, and I'm just going to be twiddling my thumbs all day waiting for the moment of truth, the "slide your butt down" moment (*shudder*) Oh well. At least I don't have to get any shots! That is a bonus! And I still hate going to the dentist more, and let me tell ya, the dentist is a hell of a lot more expensive too. So there.

Actually I won't be completely wasting my morning. A local TV station reporter is coming to my house to film my account of my "brush with death" on the Turnpike. By "brush with death" I mean "flat tire in an inconveniently dangerous location." I kept telling the woman over the phone not to be disappointed by the lack of dramatic flair in my story, but she was into it. I guess the Turnpike was thinking of cutting the Emergency Service Patrol program earlier this year. It does have a million dollar price tag, but seriously? Gov. Patrick could totally come up with that if he stopped wasting money on useless sh*t like THIS. Anywho, Commerce Insurance picked up the tab for some advertising, so I guess Channel 7 just wants everyone to know how awesome ESP is and how they've helped all these people, me included. I think all in all it's kind of a dumb story (not the ESP is awesome, but my particular part of the story, my lame flat tire story), but did I get my eyebrows waxed for it? Obviously.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Year Ago Tonight.....

Jamaal made me one happy lady
. Sure, maybe the basking glow of the initial engagement has worn off, but the buzz of excitement I get everytime I think of the man? Well it has yet to weaken or fade and I think it may even be getting stronger as time goes by. Can't wait to marry him...CANNOT WAIT. Love you sweetness.

(clearly my accessory whoredom hasn't faded either - like my brand new pretty pretty green bag which my sister totally pressured me into buying? ha ha)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Drooling, Gnawing Off Arm in Excitement

Now if you read the entry below, you already know that I went to a "Make your own invite" class and found it totally rocked and inspired me to take on the DIY challenge of wedding invites...

What I didn't tell you was the thought of picking out fonts, placements, colors and graphics to go with the fun stuff (like gatefold cards, japanese silkscreened paper accents and ribbons and eyelets) made me want to bang my head against a wall. Not that I don't appreciate font, color and placement; on the contrary, I LOVE IT, it's just that I don't do it well and with the flair of a graphic designer. Never mind the whole tech-savvy issue. Not that I'm computer-tarded by any means (I blog, right?!) but I lack the patience that people like my sister have when designing things online. Actually, she was pretty much going to be my design process crutch. I hadn't told her yet, but I fully expected her to help me with fonts and the like.

Now invites are probably going to be the next thing I start tackling for a couple of reasons. First of all it will force dear fiance to make a guest list, which will in turn make me super organized and get addresses and info together. Second, it will force me to tie down my minister (who is leaving our church in June *whimper*) Third, it will force us to pick a church and times. Yes. Lots of forcing. But honestly we've done a lot of the things you can do without a time and church, and most of what's left needs to have those things in place. Soooo. Invites it is. Also, handmade invites allow me to indulge in things like bone folders and embossing powder. ROCKIN'

So I was killing a half hour between conference calls and decide to look at some favorite wedding sites for a bit of inspiration. It's a little rough out there - we don't really have the budget for fancy letterpress or engraving. Yeah, we could make it in our budget, but not how I envision it, unfortunately, because I have fancy ideas ;) So I am forever on the lookout for something that is pre-designed but affordable. I found BLISS. Through a series of links I came across A Practical Wedding featuring THIS. Yes. This amazing woman designs the invites and sends them to you in pdf form to self print. SO they are custom designed and totally badass and a fraction of the price. So you still get to look suave and hip and amazing, yet save money and have the whole DIY experience. AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Could it get anymore exciting??!!!?! If Jamaal were here he'd look at me funny and say "of course it can get more exciting. Well not for me, right now, at this moment. This is the ideal solution. And I want to start NOW!

I am seriously in love with ALL of these designs:

I love the flourish on the top of this one. Since we don't have a firm "theme" it'd definitely work well...
This is simple and manly and very Jamaal. Though I hope he lets me pick, bwaahahhaaha.

Birds are my thing. Kinda perfect.

Again, simple. I think that 10/09/10 would look awesome in the design too...

We will be in a rustic this design reminds me of fall...

Simple but fancy. I think this design could go with anything.


Birds again. Clearly I'm drawn to the nature thing.

I love this for 25 bazillion reasons. It's a shoutout to me growing up running wild in the woods, my love for mice and chipmunks (yes I absolutely rescue them from the pool. shh. don't tell my parents about the mice!) It's whimsical, unusal and could totally help pull the wedding together. How? We-eeellll. I would love love love to have a bit of a woodland theme. Nothing too strange or ridiculous woodland or too focused around the theme (cause that's weird and people would hate me lol), and because it still needs to be a bit elegant, but woodland in the sense that there's a strong natural influence in the decorations, place settings, etc. This would work.

These two are actually my top favorites though, because I'm still to unsure about the rodentia theme ;)

Awesome awsome swirly design. It's elegant but it STILL HAS BIRDS

Sigh. I just love this one. Fantastic. Fabulous.

Ok I'm wedding'd out. Gotta check my email, and change - my sister and I are off to see Fleetwood Mac tonight (her FAVVVVV) Yay!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Haven't Blogged in FOREV

Whew. Well I was all excited about blogging every day and sh*t and then I totally fell off the bandwagon. Part of the problem is this promotion I got at work. It's great cause I get paid more and stuff and have a ton of responsibility, which is a bonus since my old job really only required a warm butt in a desk chair and someone with half a brain able to push computer keys down. Ok, that's a huge simplification of what I used to was actually more difficult than's just that after four years I had sort of reached the learning capacity for my job. Sure there's always plenty to learn about lymphoma itself, but since new things weren't really making their way into the database, I had leveled off. This job is so much more multifaceted - not only am I responsible for integrating new things into our database, but I have to keep up with doctor's papers and concepts and abstracts, help them with stats (ack!), make research presentations, etc. So yes, more stuff, but it's good stuff, learning stuff, and it keeps me uber busy.

What else is new? Not much admittedly. I went to the "make your own wedding invites" class, and it was awesome. I was totally inspired and I think I've actually modified my color scheme to go with the options for make your own invites. Ok, specifically I found the most amazing silk-screened Japanese paper that would be ideal on invitations, and that esentially wiped out the possibility of using a heavy influence of fall colors to shifting towards theme colors of navy and champagne with fall accents. Now I get how moronic that sounds "theme colors" and sh*t, cause I am NOT one of THOSE girls. I didn't even get that people "did" theme colors and I think it's kind of obnoxious when someone picks "Pink and Brown" (not that there's anything wrong with the colors themselves) and you show up to their reception and everything is pink and brown. blaaaah. Of course that being said there will definitely be a navy/champagne influence lol. Well the bridesmaids will be in navy....and the centerpieces will be white pumpkins....aaaand....maybe there will be some other navy stuff.....and maybe some more champagne/off maybe I haven't actually planned it all the way through, but I'll be going with those colors for the invites and letting the other stuff fall into place.

So with regard to weddings, I have this friend who is lovely and amazing and wacky and married. So naturally, she asks a lot about the wedding, which is fine, I like talking about it (to a point, I don't want people to glaze over!! oh. though my family is not spared from glaze-inducing conversation, mwahahahahha). The thing is is that she has something to say about EVERYTHING I tell her. To the point where I want to stop telling her things. She hasn't seen my dress because I fear what she has to say. My other friends are like "oooh pretty" but I know with her it will be an exhausting conversation with words that are carefully picked out so that if she doesn't like it, I'll think she will, etc etc (though she forgets sometimes that I know her tricks!!! ha!) But some days I've been really frustrated and almost upset at our email exchange because it's judgey and seemingly setting me up for failure...or sometimes simply condescending. I don't want to dwell on it too much, but it's getting to me. I've told Jamaal some of the things and he laughs it off and says "well she's crazy" but he's really not on the receiving end! I think the thing of it is, if it were coming from an unmarried friend, I'd almost prefer it because with her I'm thinking "she's had her moment, it was beautiful and memorable. The food and drinks and DJ were great and the bride look fantastic" so why is she picking on me? Maybe that's the whole problem....she's had her day in the sun....she wants it back! I just need to learn to keep my mouth shut because if I have to hear about how lucky I am for having SUCH A LONG engagement, or how I need to include Jamaal in the registry process because he might need the black and white Welcome mat as opposed to the brown one, or how I'm so lucky that I won't have to cut a guest list resulting in tragically hurt feelings and broken friendships, I may poke myself in the eye!

In other news, I changed my Ravelry profile pic to this today:
I hope it doesn't portray the wrong message, ie "I'm as vain as a peacock"!!! I took it the weekend before last at the parrot shelter and am kinda in love with the colors. Speaking of birds, I'm going to go get Lily out...he is SCREECHING! Ah quiet.

Hmmm for taking a break this post is not that interesting.

What else is new? Oh. I decided to start officially training for the Portland (Maine) half marathon in October. I figure that six months is a decent enough training window to get in shape, considering that I am NOT in any sort of shape to be running 13.1 miles. Yesterday's workout was stretch and strengthen (aka do 25 minutes of pilates, say you'll finish after dinner, fail to finish after dinner, do hip stretches for injured hip). Today was 3 miles and I decided that if I did it in 45 minutes or less I'd be happy, because even though 45 minutes is pretty slow, it would prove that I could run for 45 minutes, could run 3 miles, and on top of it all, would get a pretty decent workout in. I did it in 38 minutes! I was ready to do a victory dance...except I was too tired. The thing that sucks about this week and training in general with a busy schedule is that tomorrow I'm leaving the house at 5:30am and won't be home til probably midnight and Thursday I'm out til 9 at least. boo hiss. I guess I just have to stick with it best I can and start modifying my schedule to fit in running. The nice thing is that if I wear sneakers to work I can probably fit in a 2 mile walk, so that's cool. Hmmm I could probably even do that before work if I get off the train in the right place......sweet, 1 problem solved, now I just have to get the 3 mile run in on Thursday :)

What else? Nothing, I've bored you all enough. I leave you with a video I just made. Ignore the fact that I look like I have a mustache, it's dark as hell and I tilt my head oddly to avoid having a double chin, lol, and admire the cuteness of my bird and his demanding neediness as I typed this post:

(no video right now b/c firefox/google/blogger hate me :( will try again later!)

Monday, March 09, 2009


五色粉散 So Pink !, originally uploaded by John&Fish.

If you like birds, photography, nature, color - ANYTHING you must look at this extraordinary photostream on flickr. I am practically drooling over the gorgeousness of it all. Hoooooly crap.

Perhaps more regular posting or even wedding crap for tomorrow :)