Monday, October 26, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NIH roses

i took some pictures of a rose garden i stumbled upon at the NIH at lunchtime today. here is a mosaic.

NIH roses

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

photoshoppery

a new thing i'm trying to learn ...

strawflower

Sunday, October 4, 2009

ticking away

back to last week ... or the week before? where does the time go?

there were a lot of nice things about my birthday, but i knew i'd be taking friday off too and decided that i would let erik go to school so i could have some time to myself. it was nice not having to rush around in the morning to get him there, and after i dropped him off i went to phipps conservatory to have a look at the frabel glass exhibit in the daylight. it was interesting and weird driving through schenley park because the roads were still completely lined with heavy iron fences from the g20 reception the night before. there were dozens of people all over the park on forklifts and large trucks dismantling the fencing and clearing it out. when i got to phipps, there was a small group of protesters on flagstaff hill and wpxi newsman gordon loesch was reporting on them, but they were very peaceful. the group dressed as buddhist monks was also there. i got my camera and lenses ready to go, and immediately after getting out of the car and closing the door, i realized i had locked my keys in there.

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d'oh! well, i immediately called AAA and wandered around near my car for about an hour or so. here is what i saw:

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finally the AAA truck arrived and, though my car proved particularly tricky to unlock (which i guess is at least somewhat comforting), the nice man was eventually about to open it so i could retrieve my keys and go into phipps. i went around the entire conservatory twice, once with my "everyday" zoom lens and then again with my macro lens. i didn't go into the stove room with my macro lens because it was so humid and i didn't want it to fog up like my other lens did. so unfortunately all of the butterfly photos from that day are a little clouded over. they would have been better with the macro lens, but i didn't want to risk damaging it. here are some of my favorite pictures:

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visitors

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and my absolute favorite, the cosmos (i want to plant some in my yard next year!):

pretty flowers

a brief summary of other things that have happened recently:

i horribly broke the tooth that i had the crown replaced on in december. it's bad. really bad. what's left is going to have to be surgically extracted, but i couldn't get an appointment for weeks. fun.

i left my headlights on in my car in the parking lot at the lab. all day. i made a second call to AAA within a week of the first and waited for almost an hour and a half to get a jump start.

we went to the delmont apple 'n arts festival and it was A-W-E-S-O-M-E! great job mom!!! i know you work really hard on it! erik got stung by a bee for the first time. he whimpered a little but didn't cry. at least we know he's not allergic to bee stings! there was a huge inflatable slide that erik LOVED! he did a great job climbing up and sliding down by himself.

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they had a petting zoo where you could feed cute baby animals and give them a bottle.

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we ate scrumptious apple dumplings and bought yummy apple cider to take home.

on the way home we stopped at walmart where i put a franklin regional (my high school) hat on erik and asked him to smile. why does he make this face when i ask him to smile?


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sadly, later that night when i asked him what his favorite part of the day was, his response was "walmart!" he did get a prius at walmart.

on sunday we made a long overdue trip to the playground. it's been a little chilly, but it was still a beautiful day, and the playground was almost empty. i think erik had fun.

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now the end of the week is close at hand and i'm looking forward to(hopefully) doing some fun things over the weekend. yay for friday!

home again

home again

pittsburgh sunset

Friday, October 2, 2009

halloween interlude

fall is my favorite time of year and i am so excited for all the fun that comes with the season. it starts tomorrow with the delmont apple n' arts festival which is ALWAYS a great time and it looks like the weather should be just perfect for it this weekend. my mom works really hard year round on the planning and execution of the festival and she does an amazing job!

we've been talking with erik about halloween and reading books about halloween and pumpkins to get ready for the upcoming holiday. i think he's going to really enjoy it this year, although the thought of him getting all that candy is scarier to me than all the ghosts and witches! i've asked him a few times what he would like to dress up as for halloween and he always gives the same answer - "an orange!" i'm not sure if we'll be able to accommodate him. this is one of those times i wish i was crafty and could make him something ... although i guess as far as difficulty goes, an orange would be much easier to construct than a bulldozer or a knight or something. i think maybe i'll take him somewhere that sells costumes and see if anything appeals to him. if not, we'll work on making him an orange!

things erik has been that are not an orange:

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erik frog

macee and erik

erik trick-or-treating

erik trick-or-treating

relative

how can the days go by so slowly, but the weeks fly by faster than i ever imagined possible? it's already october 2 yet it feels like it should still be the end of spring! today is friday, but it seems that friday should have arrived days ago. long week, short year. how is that?

there have been many things going on around here lately that i haven't yet had a chance to blog about. my cousin robin was in town for work and stayed with us twice in the past few weeks. i got to go out with my friends for dinner at the cheesecake factory a couple of weeks ago, which was great! the weather was warm and sunny, we had really yummy food and fun conversations, and they surprised me by singing and giving me birthday presents. that was really so thoughtful and sweet. i had some time down there at the southside works before my friends arrived so i wandered into rei, my mom's favorite store that she talks about all the time. i had never been there before so i really wanted to check it out. it's a lot cooler than i thought it would be. i'm not really much of an outdoorsy person like i used to be, but they had so many neat things there. i found a purse that i REALLY liked, which is so odd for me because i tend to be very anti-purse. but i have grown accustomed to carrying around a diaper bag (which also conveniently holds my keys, wallet, gum, phone, etc.), and i realize that when erik is finished with diapers (which will hopefully actually happen someday in the not-too-distant future), it will be nice to have something to carry my stuff around in. long story short (too late!), my mom got the purse for me for my birthday, and i really love it! it's the perfect size for all the things i need to carry with me plus i can also fit a lens for my camera or a bottle of water or something.

i had my first thesis committee meeting last week and that went pretty well, although i had to give my presentation twice because one of my committee members was an hour late. his teaching schedule got rearranged because of the G20 so i couldn't really fault him for that, and it was much easier the second time around and i got to skip through most of the background stuff. my project received mostly favorable feedback with a lot of "you should try this" and "you might want to think about/watch out for that." there were a lot of helpful suggestions that will hopefully help to guide me to the successful completion of my dissertation someday (although that day still seems far off in the murky future to me). the worst part of the whole thing was the anticipation of it, and the terror associated with public speaking. i wish i could get over that. actually, the worst part about the whole thing is that my PI really loved the presentation, thought i did an excellent job, and then his wife accused me of copying the presentation from someone else because she had found something similar online. for those of you who know me, you know that i would never intentionally copy someone's work and claim it as my own. when i prepared my presentation, i compiled it almost completely from my own had and data that i took directly from the primary source (papers i downloaded from pubmed). i never looked up anyone else's presentations on the same topic, so i didn't realize the striking similarity of one of my slides to one that queen bitch had downloaded. i admit that it looks very very similar in style and content to mine, although mine is much prettier. however the first time i saw it was a week after i gave my presentation. i suppose it's just my bad luck. i've had a lot of that lately. i don't know if my PI believes that i didn't copy it. i was totally distressed because i don't want to lose credibility. even if he does believe me, that seed of doubt has been planted and it worries me still. and i want to smack queen bitch upside the head for suggesting that, but of course i can't.

aside from my thesis committee meeting last week was a full and *mostly* good week. wednesday my human embryonic stem cells were FINALLY delivered. they arrived in a vapor shipper that looked not unlike r2d2. they are now nestled safely (i hope) in liquid nitrogen storage until we move to our new building in december when i will wake them up to play. wednesday also marked the official start of the G20 craziness (see my earlier post) with the greenpeace protesters unfurling a banner and hanging from the west end bridge. it also marked the beginning of the unrelenting helicopters circling over oakland, schenley park, and my neighborhood where absolutely nothing was happening (other than the storefront for the G20 resistance movement located on murray ave. and right across the street from erik's daycare). thursday was my birthday and lock-down of schenley park for the reception the obamas were having at phipps conservatory for all the dignitaries. i stayed home with erik that day. my mom came in to have a nice breakfast at eat'n park with erik and i. we did a little shopping at the waterfront and then went back to my house. erik played and watched a maisy while mom and i hung out, and a bit later we walked down to rialto to have some pizza for lunch. after my mom left, i got erik to go down for his nap and i watched a movie, awake with hayden christensen. it was ok, full of plot holes, but entertaining enough. during the movie, i got a special delivery of some beautiful flowers from my father-in-law and his wife:

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peter came home with a big box of toys for erik from a friend at work, so that kept him entertained for awhile. we fed him some dinner and then let him eat his blue smiley cookie from eat'n park outside. i took this opportunity to take and pose for some pictures:

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me being silly, looking at the helicopters buzzing overhead:

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peter and i got take out from pf changs for dinner which was really yummy, and i decided that after a busy day with erik, i was going to let him go to daycare on friday and do something nice for myself.

to be continued ...