Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Science-y Post For My Third Favorite Scientist

Look everyone, I'm a scientist. Conducting research.

Aren't I a natural, leaning into the microscope so quizically. Hmm, interesting. Interesting indeed... I shall write this into my lab notebook.

Thanks to my scientist colleague Patrick, I am looking at HeLa cells, the most famous cells ever.

Patrick knew I was on a mission to see these little babies in person after The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks came out, so he was all, "Hey babe, I got those cells you wanted to see." And I was all, "Meet you in the lab, babe."

(Because Patrick and I are friends in a sweetly condescending way.)

Then he told me why he needed the HeLa cells:
"We're looking for mutant protein something-something, so we can transfect the cells to see something-something; and then if we can get the aggregate to something-something, then we'll understand how it impacts the genome, gene by gene, something-something."

Which sounded very interesting but mostly what I heard was "blah-blah-blah" because, "Ooh, neato! Cells! And they move if you stare at them long enough!"

Then I think Patrick mentioned replacing the cell's catalytic converter and fixing the Johnson rod, but who knows... I was busy considering the medical impact of these microscopic blobs, which have provided the building blocks for countless breakthroughs, including the cure for polio, AIDS treatments, gene mapping, fertility and our understanding of viruses.

My desk is only about 20 feet away from this spot, so basically if Patrick discovers any breakthroughs, I will be right there.

God I love science.

This is Patrick looking at the same cells. He doesn't look nearly as science-y as I do.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

A month ago I was traipsing around Europe all wide-eyed and impressed by every single little thing in life - Look, Euro girls where panty hose under their shorts!; Parisians sit on the Seine River bank and get crunk!; the fries in Brussels are slathered in mayo, amazing!

And a week ago I was in Boston sipping salted caramel mochas, eating Italian food, dancing in bars and watching strapping, sporty hotties oar down the Charles River with my besties.

And what am I doing this weekend? Well, look out for this crazy train, y'all. I caught a cold on the plane (aka, those petri dishes of infection known as the contagious skies) so my weekend will involve soup, reading and having way less fun.

Talk about your all time slaps in the face.

Traveling, good food, new cities, exploring, great friends. It's all over too soon. The world opens, then it closes again.

Being home is great because you can get all the gas-free tap water you want, but everything else is... grim.

The only thing traveling does is make me realize all the amazing things I am missing elsewhere, like Brits with good teeth and the mushroom ravioli at Trattoria di Monica.

I can't even bear to set out my souvenir coasters of the Eiffel Tower because I'm so damn sad I'm not in Paris anymore. (But I know what you're thinking, 'Damn girl, those coasters are terrific. I can't wait to sit a glass of iced-tea on one.')

And I've already wore the new boots I bought in Boston, twice. (Sadly, clicking the heels of them didn't transport me back to boot shopping on Newberry Street with Julie and Kari.)

Maybe this cold is a good thing. Force myself to finally, officially unpack my suitcases, unwrap my souvenirs, do some laundry.

Just kidding. All that sounds horrible. Denial ain't so bad. At least it comes with all the tap water I can drink.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cassady Wants His Latte Like, Now

Ray. Ray! Are you awake?

Hand me my pumpkin spiced latte, will ya? I'm so exhausted from trekking around Ikea and DSW I literally cannot take another step. Haha, don't you hate it when people say 'literally.' But seriously, I literally cannot take another step.

Ray? RAY?

Ok well, I asked you nicely. It's your funeral now, mister.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I ♥ Boston

And these lovely ladies.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me

Ray (inspecting my head, eyes widening): Wow.

Me: What?! It's lice, isn't it. I knew I had lice!

Ray: What? No, you don't have lice. (pause) It's worse. You have tons of gray hair.

Me: Oh. You think that's bad, look at this. *points to gray streak in the front, like that chick from What Not to Wear

Ray (*eyes bigger): WHOA.

Me: It's not me, it's my genetics.

Ray: Your genetics says you're old, and you need a dye job.

Me: Pshht. And a new boyfriend.

But I forgave him. What Ray misses in tact he makes up for in little blue boxes and fancy birthday dinners. With age red wine comes indifference wisdom.

Besides, what I lack in hair pigment I make up for in high heels, boxed brownies and laughing until I cry. Plus, I almost never turn my laundry pink anymore.

Youngins', you can't hold a candle to that.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Doing It For My Country

Everybody, quick! Get out your credit cards - let's share a cold one with Uncle Joe.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vigorous Biking Ahead

About 100 million years ago I got this bike rack at Meijer for $40. Because when it comes to securing a bike (or two) on the back of my car, I want quality.

In spite of my fears, not once has a bike bounced off into the street and caused a horrific accident. Until then, we roll.

This weekend we rolled around Lunken. Twice. We had to eat bananas and protein bars in between loops.

Just a couple of athletes doing the athletic thing, you know.

Afterwards we ate Graeter's in the park because we were still feeling 'outdoorsy.'

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cause Baby It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over

Tomatoes are still ripening on the vine.

Saturday we rode bikes.

Sunday I scootered.

And I'm sitting on the balcony in shorts and t-shirt.

Suck it, fall.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

'Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish'

It's impossible to state the impact Steve Jobs has had on my life.

I've been using Apple computers almost exclusively since middle school. I learned to type, design newspaper pages, edit photos, appreciate typography, create movies and blog all on Apples.

My first byline was written on an Apple computer in 1991.

Tonight I learned via a text message on my iPhone that Steve Jobs died.

He is the only CEO I can imagine shedding a tear for, and I feel sorry that we've lost a true innovator.

*hat tip

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Steve Jobs, 2005

Do yourself a favor and watch this video, or read the transcript.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

C'est Magnifique

Or I should say, it was magnificent. I am home now and NOT happy about it.

The trip was absolutely magical and I enjoyed every single moment of sightseeing, wine, cheese, chocolate, beer and complete exhaustion.

Another blister from walking all over Europe, well then, YES please!

The Paris subway door nearly ripped off my arm, oh, that's ok!

I'm an idiot American who speaks only one language while everyone else speaks at least three, insult me, I deserve it!

Since I landed in the good ol' US-of-A I have done nothing but plot my return, mostly to Paris. London and Brussels were wonderful stops, but it was Paris that stole my heart.

It's impossible to not gush whenever I tell anyone about the trip, but especially Paris. The narrow cobblestone roads, the Parisian booksellers lining the streets of the Latin Quarter, the sun shining on the French architecture and the gorgeous bridges spanning the Seine.

Paris feels magical because it looks magical.

It seems impossible to miss a place where you spent only three days, but already I feel nostalgic. I was explaining to my mom why I loved Paris so much and I felt almost melancholy thinking how beautiful it all was and how I might not ever see those things again.

I want more blisters! I want another bruise from the subway! I want more crappy French service! (Though to be honest, the service wasn't bad at all and no one insulted me not even once. Disappointing.)

I took 540 photos of the trip, 354 of them of Paris, many of them idle street and café shots in the hopes of burning them into my memory.

Isn't it gorgeous?

The last few days I've started and stopped a dozen blog posts about the trip - the majesty of the Arc de Triomphe and the kinda awful but mostly hilarious story of me peeing my pants there (oh yes, it's true); how being in London was like one big BBC comedy to me; my new friend Nibila who graciously showed me all around Brussels on her day off. So much to remember.

There are so many stories that my mind hasn't filtered through them all yet. So look forward to European travelogues for the next year or so. Hooray! (Drinking French wine, Belgian beer and eating chips is strongly encouraged during such travel reading. It's only fitting and totally not your fault if you get hammered.)