Monday, December 29, 2008

has been?

There appears to be an inverse correlation between the frequency of my weblog posts and the activity of my love life.

I'd certainly rather have an active romance than an active blog.

I would argue, to myself, that a good writer ought to be writing... but I guess the pent-up angst from which the weblog once came has been released, or perhaps re-routed, into other channels of creative expression.

I suspect a lot of my posts over the past four years of blogging were just done out of joy for the attention they garnered. I've always been someone who loves to perform. The performer is shaped by the audience, though. I had a cool college blog, and college has been over for a while now. I don't have the adventures I used to-- I still have adventures, mind you, but they're quite different nowadays.

I dunno. I'm happier with my life now than I can ever remember being, even at the height of my creativity.

(especially at the height of my creativity, actually.)

But I guess I'm a little bummed that I'm not (what I consider) inspired anymore.

I imagine I'm just getting to that point in life where things are less about what will be and more about what is. Less thinking about creating a life of my own, and more living the life of my own that I've already created.

Not that there isn't still an infinite amount of what will be. And not that there still isn't a lot of shaping to do about the amorphous yet-to-come of my next fifty years or so.

But now I get to begin enjoying some of what I've already shaped for myself.

And when I'm busy enjoying, it apparently means I'm not writing about it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

make the nose breath stop

I'm sitting at my cubicle, and the only thing I can hear is a nearby co-worker breathing through their nose.

I'm about to scream.

Why does that stuff drive me up the wall?

heh, I also kind of hate it when people repetitively eat loudly.

The kind of gutteral, smacky, salival noises that people make when they pay no attention to the noise they generate. bluh.


I've got four weeks left of my illustrious Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship. I think I've gotten everything out of it that my particular host facility was able to provide... so it looks like from here on out I'll just be doing a little routine testing.

I've also sort of volunteered to be the PCR Lab Wench. I'm aliquotting reagents. I'm bleaching off the tube racks. Bust out the C1V1 = C2V2, 'cause I'm makin' us some 70% EtOH.

It's been a good run but I can't wait to start something new.



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

25 ain't bad so far.

Ladies and gentlemen, I got the clinical microbiology lab job.


I will begin in late January. It's a job with a lot of great features-- a high-complexity, high-throughput laboratory in a teaching hospital, where the longer I stay, the more I would learn how to do. There will be opportunities to participate in research studies and take free college courses.

Not to mention that I really enjoy the actual work.

Look, I already know I'm a huge nerd, so I have no qualms about saying how much I enjoy medical technology. Bacterial identification is interesting to me-- it's like solving small mysteries every day. Bacteria have personality-- they change their characteristics quite often as a means of survival and evolution, so the mind of a microbiologist has to keep up with the changes.

Anyway... I'm happy.

Know why else I'm happy? Because I have a great boyfriend.

I could write pages on what a great guy Mike is. I could tell you that he is friendly, positive, generous, funny, open, and amazingly smart.

But what you should know is that he makes me happy. And anyone who knows me can tell you, that is no simple task.

I've only been 25 for five days, but it's already looking pretty good.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I must not have a face for service-oriented careers

The interview went very well. I don't know how long it will be before I hear anything.

I certainly appreciate an employer that has good interview questions. Now, I'm still young in my career and haven't had more than a handful of "serious" job interviews, but I think you can probably tell a lot about a potential employer by the kinds of questions they ask you in your interview.

Ideally, in addition to general job qualifications and competence, an employer is looking for a good personality fit from a candidate. If I were managing a group of people, I'd want to hire somebody that wasn't going to make everyone's life miserable. I'd want to hire somebody the others could get along with, who would make coming to work a reasonably pleasant experience for the others. If possible. That's the kind of worker I try to be, so I guess that must be the way I think things should be done.

But that's pretty tough to determine from an interview alone, when everyone's got their game face on.

Anyway, this employer asked me some very good, technically-relevant questions. I felt like I was able to demonstrate that I am a competent clinical lab scientist, and that I do have good, unique qualities that would make me a good hire.

The easiest interview I ever had was at the hospital worked in back home. I think they were just thrilled to find an entry-level lab tech with my academic background.

The toughest interview was for the EID Fellowship Program. I prepared for that thing for weeks! Four PhD-level public health scientists, one Andrea. Nothin but net.

There are two interviews that tie for the title of "Worst. Interview. Ever."

1.) Barnes and Noble. Apparently shelving books and/or conjuring up a venti Frappucino is VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS, PEOPLE. They ran the gamut of "tell us about a time when you set goals and achieved them/dealt with a difficult co-worker/made the sun shine out of a bodily orifice of your choosing" type questions, but my absolute favorite was:

"Tell us about a time you failed."

I have no idea what I answered. All my job experience to that point had been retail (not that this interview was for a retail job or anything...) so I whipped up some obscure example of being unable to find a certain product for a customer and how that taught me the true meaning of Christmas or whatever. Because, you know, ALL my failures in life are things I'd readily discuss with a potential employer to show him what a gem I am.

At the end, the boss essentially told me that, because they were such hot stuff, they reserved the right to be as picky as they wanted. (i.e., BYE NOW)

The other real doozy of an interview was actually my very first "real" job interview:

2.) Etna Dairy Queen. I don't know HOW you fail an interview for DQ, but I guess I did it. But that's not really what made the interview noteworthy-- the clencher was that the DQ had not been completely built yet, so interviews for potential soft-serve slingers were being held in the back room of a garage in the gas station next door.


Me, sixteen years old, with a crusty middle-aged man in a dank, oil-slicked garage. Alone. With my Mom waiting in the car outside. HEAVENS YES, let's get this career STARTED!

Right, so... I never got a call back from that job. I went to that DQ a few times after it opened, and it was always manned by cutesy little teen queens.

Did I mention I wasn't much of a looker at sixteen? Cause I wasn't. Trust me, I was there. I'll always wonder if that's why I didn't get the job.

At any rate, here's hoping for the laboratory.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

north vs. south, volume twelve

Guess who's got a big fat job interview on Monday. daaaaaaaang right!

It's for a microbiology lab position, not unlike the one I had back in C-bus. I do so love the microbiology. It seems this job will also allow for me to begin part-time classes this fall. At this particular juncture, I am leaning more toward yes for school than no.


On an unrelated topic, the only Caribou Coffee to be found within a 50-mile radius of Richmond is in the Richmond Airport. That's not a location particularly conducive to my typical coffee-house shenanigans (studying, thinking, reading, usw.)

Not that there's anything wrong with the Starbuckies, but I just like Caribou and wish there were some around here. But then, I am not in college anymore. I don't have heart-to-hearts with my college gal pals over a steaming cup of what-have-you. Most of the time I just brew my own coffee (which I can do Caribou style, as they sometimes sell the beans in grocery stores) and sit around my apartment like an old lady. An old lady who plays Mariokart and sings out loud to nobody.

Also, I'm terribly short of coffee-lovin friends here. Dang Southerners and their sweet tea. If it weren't for that silly Mason-Dixon-fueled predisposition to tea over coffee, there would be Caribous and Cup O' Joes all over the dang place.

Maybe some expatriated Southerners are saying the same thing in Milwaukee. "Dang Northerners and their lattes. What does someone have to do to get some red velvet cake around here?"

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

ain't ready for the acrylics

Hellooooo, Newman.

I am back in R-VA after a lovely trip to my hometown. I didn't see all the people I wanted to, but I still got to have some good times.

I really think the shopping is better in Columbus than Richmond. I'm probably biased because I know C-bus so well, but even after a year and some change in Richmond I still don't get that jazzed about shopping like I do when I'm home. I know where all the same stores are located here, but I dunno.

Maybe it's the company. My Richmond friends aren't mallrats the way my Columbus friends and I are. It's probably because Columbus is a huge test market for a lot of stores, restaurants, and products, and we're a little spoiled by it. For example: Hello Kitty pop tarts. We have them back home at Meijer, but a.) there are no Meijers in Richmond, and b.) there are no Hello Kitty (or raspberry, for that matter) pop tarts to be found here anyway.

When people ask what Meijer is, I tell them it's Wal-Mart minus the Ick Factor. It's the love child of Ukrop's and Wal-Mart. The homeyness of Ukrop's with the size, prices, and selection of Wal-Mart. win-win situation.

But that's cool. You know. I don't need Hello Kitty pop tarts. No big deal.

Anyway, going home afforded me the opportunity to go through all my old stuff to look for things to take back with me. I brought scrubs, because I'm hoping to get a med tech job here very soon. I brought some old textbooks, some clothes, and some art supplies, but I still left so much behind because I don't feel all that settled yet.

I feel settled enough to bring the colored pencils and craft scissors, but not enough to bring the oil paints and the easel. Ya dig? There's a metaphor in there somewhere.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Journey Back to Cowtown

Tomorrow morning I'm heading back to the homeland-- Columbus, Ohio.

I can not WAIIIIIIIIIT to catch up with my family and friends. I want:
  • breakfast with Beth
  • catch-up and mutual googly-eyed boyfriend story sharing with Arielle
  • shopping with Martha
  • dinner with Tami
  • more shopping and happy funtimes with Jamie and Susanna
  • coffee with the Moore girls
  • tomfoolery with Emily
  • life re-evaluation with Sandy
  • yummy thanksgibbin with my awesome siblings
  • all manner of cheek-pinching and snuggly business with the nine offspring of said siblings
  • and --most of all-- youngest-child syndrome lovins from my Mommy.

Seriously. I love home.

c'est la vie, et la vie est bonne.

Monday, November 17, 2008

computer-chair psychologists, this one's all yours

I took that GRE, all right. I kicked it right in the teeth.

I'm actually pretty happy with my score. It wouldn't get me into an ivy league grad program, by any means, but it'll be quite sufficient for any of the graduate plans I've had in mind.

So now it's time for the obligatory grad school waffle. Am I going to go through with it? Am I just going after it because I feel I have a moral obligation to fulfill my mental potential? Is there any part of this plan that involves me doing this just for ME? Or is that even the point?

I can hear a cadre of thirty- and forty-somethings screaming after me, "DO IT NOW! GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY, DO IT NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN!" as they shake a can of Lemon Pledge and prepare to dust the baseboards while their 2.5 children are away at school.

I'm having a hard enough time finding a job for when my fellowship's over as it is. It seems kind of self-flagellatory to jump into a new job and part-time graduate school in the same year, doesn't it?

Maybe I should wait until I'm more established in a routine before adding school. I wish I could just do this program full-time, but financially it's just not an option.

All this from an overdeveloped sense of self-improvement.

I don't think it'd be too much of a stretch to call it a self-improvement complex, even.

Or just straight-up, dirty ol' perfectionism.

Friday, November 14, 2008

commencing schlump mode

Tomorrow's the GRE, and folks... I'm not gonna act like I've been studying a whole lot.

cause I haven't.

I've been spending all my free time with my, uh... boyfriend.

Geez. I feel like I should highlight that word with pink glitter or something(a la MySpace graphics).

Anyway, he left today for a month-long work trip. So... a.) knowing that it was coming, we've spent tons of time together lately, and b.) now I get to be THAT GIRL who whines about missing her boyfriend. Something I clearly should have gotten out of my system in high school.

Better late than never at all, I guess.

So tonight I'm gonna go be emo in a coffee shop and do some last-minute brush-uppins for the GRE.

And tomorrow I'll be taking it while all my friends are gathered on my front porch cheering on the Richmond Marathon runners. They'll be eating pancakes and drinking coffee. ON MY PORCH. And I will be writing essays in a testing center in Glen Allen.

Some choose a marathon of the body; I choose a marathon of the mind.

heh. I almost kept a straight face while writing that.

Friday, November 7, 2008

can't complain...

I'm sorta glad I got this research business out of my system before I committed to something deadly like graduate school.

(side note: i AM planning to go to grad school next fall, but the program i'm doing is NOT research-based.)

Someone in the lab made a great analogy to research in science as opposed to other kinds of research-based graduate studies.

"It's just like going into the library to do your research, except the books are all out of order and have no labels."

Some days I just don't have the energy to use my brain. My ASM presentation is tomorrow, and I can not wait to get that over with. Then I'm taking the GRE next Saturday. I'm only SLIGHTLY mentally occupied.

You may have noticed that I abruptly quit posting about

That is because I abruptly quit using

Why is that? Well, I'm glad you asked.

It's because I don't want any more matches.

Because I found one. Or rather, he found me.

And for now, that's all I have to say about that. :-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Sung to the tune of Alanis Morrissette's "Ironic."

An old man and his running-mate
he won the primary after a two-term wait
Or a black guy and a whats-his-face
In a big deal election, two thousand and eight
And isn't it iconic, don't you think?

It's like ray-ee-aiiiin on election day
A free Starbucks when you've already paid
A Krispy Kreme when you're gainin' weight
And who knows if your vote matterrrrrrrs

Misters Ben and Jerry have caught your eye
Free scoops of iiiice cream if you have time to stop by
Do you want Barack-y Road or McCain Chip tonight?
And as you eat free Chick-Fil-A
You'll think, "well, wasn't that nice"

And isn't it iconic, don't you think?

It's like ray-ee-aiiiin on election day
A free Starbucks when you've already paid
A Krispy Kreme when you're gainin' weight
And who knows if your vote matterrrrrrrs

Well, votes have a funny way of judging up on you
When you think everything's okay and the decision you made was right
And votes have a funny way of singling you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and the radicals are all up
In your face

It's a moral issue when the economy ain't great
It's "no compromise" when there's too much at stake
It's like ten thousand wrongs when all you want is what's right
It's voting for the man I agree with
and despising some thing in his life.

And isn't it iconic... don't you think?
A little too iconic... yeah, I really DO think.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dunder Mifflin, Richmond Branch

For Halloween, my lab dressed up as the cast from The Office.

Back row: Jim Halpert, Pam Beesly, Kelly Kapoor, Meredith Palmer, Holly Flax, Dwight Schrute
Front Row: Angela Martin (yours truly), Michael Scott, Jan Levinson with baby Astird

In what may easily be the best picture from the day: Meredith and Angela.

Unfortunately, there weren't that many people in the laboratory as a whole who understood our gag. They all had to ask why we were dressed up. We'd tell them who we were, and they'd say "ohhh.... ok... i don't really watch that show... "
Meh. what do you expect from a bunch of science nerds?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

another day, another microsoft office application

I'm giving a presentation next weekend, at the Virginia branch ASM meeting, on my fellowship project.

It's weird to see so many months of work and research and technical experience wrapped up in a paltry Powerpoint lecture. But hey, that's research for ya.

I'm honestly not that jazzed about giving a presentation. I did one last fall at last year's meeting, and it was fine. I don't have a fundamental problem with giving lectures or presentations, provided I know what I'm talking about. I even sort of enjoyed it during my school days, especially if I could inject some humor or creativity into it.

I don't quite feel the freedom to do that nowadays. Now that there's real taxpayer money involved. Stupid apperance of professionalism. What a farce. I'm no professional. I dance in the laboratory. I do the elevator/escalator/stairs/rowboat gag when I walk by the windows of the PCR lab sometimes. shoot. I'm not trying to fool anybody.

Oh well. Mycobacteria are NO LAUGHING MATTER.

On another note-- diatoms just blow my mind.

Monday, October 27, 2008

a riot a minute

One week and some change into the internet dating scene, and I'm a little overwhelmed.

I've also joined an additional network, thx to plumpdumpling's behest: OkCupid. dot com.

Since OkCupid is free and has a bit of an edgier user interface, I made my profile a little less serious and a little more snarky. Plus, I was (still) worn out from the exhaustive introspection I'd had to do in order to whip up my profile.

Either way... there are so many people out there. Sometimes I kind of feel like I'm trying to out-wit fate by doing my own self-matchmaking. Cheating. Give me the old fashioned days when a gentleman caller would come a-courtin' in the family parlour.

Mind you, quantity does not mean quality. I'm sure there are good guys in the mix (perhaps the male equivalent of myself lurks within), but they are hard to weed out among all the average, ho-hum kind of gentlemen in the field. All the dudes start to look the same after a while. Yeah, yeah, we get it. You're looking for a nice, friendly, athletic girl with a sense of humor who is just as happy sitting on the couch with you watching Family Guy as she is getting dressed up and going out on the town with you. No drama, no games. You're looking for something real. Blah, blah, blah. YOU AND EVERY OTHER DUDE ON THE INTERNET, JUNIOR.

Good thing I've got that whole "Christian, and yes I actually mean it" thing going for me. It's a good qualifying factor for interested parties. Best damn birth control I ever had. That and my sparkling personality.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

i think i just wasted sixty bucks.

Yesterday evening, while I was browsing, a local young gentleman contacted me (you can chat while you're logged on to the site).

I don't really like to chat with strangers online... but if I don't go out of my comfort zone just a hair, then I'll never get this dating business off the ground.

So I decided to say hello back to the gentleman. This wasn't even a guy whose profile I had looked at, or anything. His profile was sparse and uninformative, and all of his pictures were of him flexing, shirtless.

Muscleheads don't go after chicks like me, ok? It upsets the natural order of the universe. So I knew something was up.

After an especially brief exchange of small talk (hi. what's up. nothing much. what part of town are you from.) he asked if I wanted to come over and watch a movie. at 9 pm on a Wednesday.


I said that it sounded fun but I was awfully tired, and perhaps might be up for meeting for a drink sometime. (in public. where i can have friends come and make sure there's no, uh... funny business.)

His response?

"it's still early. i have bud light, do you like that?"

um. one of us is getting the picture, and one of us is not. i declined.

Online matchmaking at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

get ready

Obama's in town today.

From our building you can see the hordes of people outside the stadium he's going to be speaking in. The doors aren't opening for another hour, but people have been lined up for some time already.

I went to a presidential campaign rally once-- a Bush rally in 2004. THAT was a life experience. I was fresh off the heels of my study abroad trip to Europe, fresh from having met a world of new people with divergent ideologies (all of whom made it clear to us Americans how much they hated Bush and plead with us not to vote for him). I was back in the US with a new perspective, a new sense of independence, and a new eyebrow piercing.

-- Say what you want about the eyebrow piercing; I will maintain until my dying day that I liked it and have no regrets about having had it. --

Anyway... the Bush rally. An NHL hockey arena full of screaming Americans waving signs and chanting slogans for one man. My God, I don't know what it's like to be that excited about ANYTHING. Nothing's that black-and-white to me.

How absurd, it seemed, to see grown men in business suits booing the competitor as if he were a cartoon villain twirling his mustache and throwing a sacrificial virgin into a volcano.

I fully expect passionate people to care about the candidates they endorse. Don't get me wrong. If everyone approached politics the way I do, things just wouldn't get done.

But I wish people wouldn't approach elections as battles of good vs. evil. Because that is not what this is. Both candidates are human beings. Both parties have strengths and weaknesses, and obviously most people find they resonate with one's ideas more than the other.

It bothers me that I would actually lose some of my friends if I aired my political beliefs. That some people I know would truly think less of me if they knew I disagreed with them. That some people have such a misdeveloped sense of Truth, Justice, and the American Way that they don't see how anyone could be a worthwhile person and still vote for [whomever].

Some people even have the balls to say that someone "can't" be a Christian and still vote for the candidate they disagree with.


That's right, guys, I can't possibly have a legitimate, deep-rooted Christian faith and disagree with you. I mean, hell. There's no WAY my viewpoint could have any merit or resonance with the Bible, right? 'cause Jesus was clearly a bleeding-heart liberal/whip-toting conservative, right? With the American flag pinned on His lapel, right?

Wrong. He equally championed Justice AND Mercy.

Vote for the candidate whom you want to be President, but remember it's two politicians running for office. It's not Jesus vs. Beelzebub on the ballot.

Monday, October 20, 2008

i'm shocked. SHOCKED

Thus far into the game, I'd have to say internet dating is a lot like regular dating:
The ones you want to hear back from, you don't hear back from.
The others are in endless supply, and they're persistently interested.
Why did I think it would be any different?
On the plus side, my much-atrophied flirting muscle is getting a good workout. It's like a simulator for learning to navigate the bar scene. It comes so easily and naturally for some people, but others, like me, are constantly behind the social curve and thus in dire need of extra help. (um, it SAYS SO in my Briggs-Meyers personality profile, so it must be true)

Really! What's the natural flow of interactions in the world of the regular, well-adjusted folk?

(get ready to look inside the mind of, like, "my people" or whatever)

Where you have potential hangups at the rhombus-shaped action points, "reciprocate flirtation" and "decline advances." With online matchmaking, you can decline advances from the comfort of your own home, with the cozy blanket of anonymity to cover you. You're not rejecting a person. You're rejecting an internet profile. Rest easy, weary introvert.
The internet also makes it easy to respond with appropriate means of flirtation reciprocation. Where a regular nerd might strike out by making a terrible joke or a deer-in-headlights face (:: Andrea raises hand meekly ::), Match gives you the handy, tried-and-true options of winking back or sending an email.
And you go from there.
Not that you can ever really CURE the date-deficient with such simple means. You can lead a horse to water, after all...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

dot coooooooooommmmmmmmmmmm

I have a new toy. It's MATCH DOT COM.

Yes, the online dating service.

Recently, it came to me: "I should be going on more dates." I don't know what social rubric I'm measuring myself against, but once I had that epiphany, I was sure I was on to something.

I SHOULD be going on more dates. They are fun. I like them. I'm young. I'm in the prime of my life.

(actually, i kinda hope not. i hope it gets better in many respects.)

I'm probably not gonna get a whole lot better looking, though. And thus I should be going on more dates.

I filled out profiles on both match-dot-com and eHarmony-dot-com just to see if the fish were biting, so to speak. I know eHarm's supposed to have the more in-depth method of calculating what's a good match for you and what's not based on this EXTENSIVE personality test. I'm sure there's merit to that.

But I don't always agree with what personality tests say I am. I especially dislike the personality tests that just have you pick an opinion on a gradient of Not Important ---> Very Important or whatever, because I hate to pick an extreme opinion on things... I try to be balanced! And the alternative to picking an extreme opinion on things is just having a sort-of-lame stance on things that makes you appear, as my friend Melissa put it, "milquetoast." (ha! great word.)

Plus, on eHarm, they'll match you with someone for free but you can't see their pictures or communicate with them until you pay. (the communication part I understand, because they've got to make their money, but I am not gonna pay exorbitant fees just to find out my luuuurve match is some fugly dude. call me shallow.)

I would rather see what someone has to say about himself than what a test says about who he is. I might not be "the norm," but I --personally-- can tell a WHOLE LOT about a person by how they write and how they groom themselves. Which Match was willing to offer for free-- you just have to pay for the option of communicating with them. That seemed reasonable enough for me.

So now I wade through the sea of "winks" (analogous to the Facebook "poke") to see if anyone might be an option for me.

I dunno what I can say for myself.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Darryl Hall ISO John Oates -- w4w

What do all these characters have in common?

Paul Simon
Ethel Mertz
Felix Unger
Jennifer Saunders
Bud Abbott
Oliver Hardy
George Michael
David Spade

Although standing alone you sort of know who they are... they are not HALF as special without their counterpart. Seriously, what's George Michael without Andrew Ridgeley? He might have a little merit with a solo career, but if we're really being honest with ourselves we know he was at his best as half of Wham!.

I'm lacking a counterpart these days.

Don't hear what I'm not saying, now... I'm not lacking friends. I have friends here, and I like them a real lot. I don't want to diminish their value.

I've been embarking on my metaphorical solo career for the past year or so. I've had a couple of hits here and there... coupla chart toppers... but it just ain't what it could be. I could be so much more with a Garfunkel. I WAS so much more when I had people who could fill the place of Lucy, R2D2, Louise, et al. in my life.

They weren't easy to come by, and their current absence is a real loss. It just kinda takes a special person to complement my weirdifesto. Someone who sees the world through the same puce-colored glasses as I do. Someone who loves that I used the word "puce," for example.

I'm thinking about placing a Richmond Craigslist Personals ad for my local counterpart. I really might do it. If she's half the train wreck I want her to be, she'll be lookin'.

Or he.

I guess it could be a guy.

I spose if I found a guy good enough to be my cohort, it wouldn't be a bad idea to marry him.

meh. cross that bridge, etc. etc.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

vent thyme

So, I've mentioned before that my cubicle is in a central office area. There are eight cubicles surrounded by eight offices.

Only one of the cubicles is regularly occupied. That'd be me. There used to be a lot more people in here, but not anymore for one reason or another. Transients come in and out of the administrative area through the day to mill about, have meetings with the managers, check and see if anyone brought in snacks or candy, and use the cubicles for a spell.

Apparently since I'm still here, and since I'm probably typing or reading or something and not making baking soda volcanoes, that makes me a secretary and not a scientist.

No, I do not know where Manager X is.

No, I do not know how to fix a copier.

It's one thing when people ask me simple, quick questions. That's okay. We all do it.

It's the ABSOLUTELY POINTLESS self-justifying explanations that follow I can't take.

"well, i was just asking because we were supposed to have a meeting at four but it's five after and i called her blackberry and she didn't answer and she needs to approve this before the end of the day. well! that's fine, if she's not going to be around then i can just take off too, blah blah blah"


"well, i was trying to do this one thing where the page is longer and part of it is collated and i think we're supposed to use this special paper but i saw someone do it another way and nobody said anything about the server being down so blah blah blah"

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are not going to find someone on this earth who cares about your trifles less than I do.

I don't work with your manager. I don't even work with YOU. Obviously I must have "please come and complain at me" written on my forehead. I realize you are just trying to make yourself feel justified for being high-strung and petty and in a foul mood. But that's why they give you breaks during the work day, so you can go have a bitch-fest in the coffee room.

If I'm at my desk typing or studying, are we having a coffee break? No. We are not.

Do the math and let me work.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

If you depleted Dr. Torres of melanin...

Recently, someone said to me, "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Dr. Torres from Grey's Anatomy?"

That's not a show I follow, but I've seen a few episodes of it. So upon hearing the compliment, I thought...

"enh? seriously?"

I did a Google Image Search (GIS) for Callie Torres and Sara Ramirez (the actress), and had trouble making the connection. She's a curvy Latina. And apparently her character is currently experimenting with a female paramour. Picture after picture was of her being her voluptuous exotic self in a satin awards ceremony dress, with a starlet's camera smile on her face.

Not Andrea.

Although, let's not be skin-deep here, people. I kept looking for pictures to help me see what someone else saw.

[Dr. Callie Torres] - [hot lesbian latina action] = [Andrea]

NOW we're talkin.
I've cast that furtive glance many-a-time.

I don't have any photographic proof of that handy right now. Unfortunately, much like Ms. Ramirez, I'm hard-pressed to find pictures of myself on Les Internets that don't involve a fat grin on my face. But take my word for it.

Monday, October 6, 2008


If I had to pick a favorite time of year, autumn would be my answer.

It seems simple enough-- leaves turning, cooler weather, football games, bonfires, the upcoming holidays, etc.

But I get depressed every autumn. What the heck for? Nothing's wrong. Empirically, life now is just as good as it was two months ago. There aren't any major troubles that pop up when the leaves start turning.

There is something, though. And whatever it is, I am severely allergic to it. Not allergic in the well-understood "hay fever" sense... no sneezing, no runny nose, no coughing, but it's still a physical allergy.

My entire body is itchy and irritated. Everything I wear is uncomfortable. End result: moody, miserable Andrea.

Last night I lay in bed, irritated by the fact that I could hear my roommate eating. The simple, irregular noise of her hand rumpling the plastic lining of a box of cereal every 30-45 seconds was enough to drive me over the edge. And sometimes, God forbid, she would cough. How dare she make such human noises at the ungodly hour of 11 p.m.!

I was tempted to bust out the door and petition that she pour out the amount of cereal she wanted into a bowl so I would not have to hear the crumpling of plastic and rustling of honey-glazed, toasted oat tori every god-forsaken minute. Fortunately, I was still able to understand what a ridculous request that would have been.

And even if I had gotten her to stop that racket, I'm sure some other innocuous noise would have driven me up the wall. Like... her breathing or something. Maybe a cricket chirping outside would have had to meet with the business end of my shoe.

So here I am, at work, feeling miserable and uncomfortable. BUT YAY, IT'S FALL.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

100th Post

Have I really posted 100 times on this blog? That seems like a lot.

I'm currently updating my resumé.

And I really hate that I had to look up the Windows Character Map to find out how to make that stupid "é." But I think I'd hate it more if I were updating my ruh-ZOOM.

Anyway, I know I have a lot of assorted professional skills... just like anyone who's done lab rotations for a year ought to have. But I don't enjoy finding the most grandiose verbage to describe my work experience. Unfortunately, unless I use said grandiose verbage, I know I'm not actually doing my resumé correctly. And if I'm going to bother writing a resumé at all... I'm going to want to do it right... because it actually matters these days what goes on my CV (that's curriculum vitae, or the Latin way of saying resumé).

There's actual pressure on me now, to be accurate and thorough on my CV. If I don't list everything I'm competent in, then I'm potentially short-changing myself out of the right job. I feel, though, that the more I list, the more I look like a pretentious schmuck. But apparently I have to TELL employers that I can make a 70% ethanol solution, because it's just not safe to assume that sort of competency in a job candidate anymore.

I didn't work the cash register at Kohl's. I carried out point-of-sale transactions.

I was not a babysitter. I was a child-care technician (kidding... I'm not really listing that).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

a model? model citizen, maybe

A while ago, APHL (the people sponsoring my fellowship program) came to my lab to do a photo shoot for their website and quarterly lab magazine.

They took a lot of great pictures of people working in my lab... including a few of me! And they used three of my pictures as thumbnails on their website. All three are pictures of me in the BSL-3 suite, with a surgical gown and respirator mask on... So if you want to check it out...
Professional Development main page, next to "developing laboratory leaders"
Scientific Programs main page, next to "Pre-event plan for public health laboratories"
Programs --> Emergency Preparedness & Response, next to "for public Health Laboratory Preparedness and Response"

Honestly, you wouldn't have any idea it was me in those pictures because a.) they're tiny, and b.) I'm totally suited up. But I know it's me. And now, you do too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Supportive data, FTW

Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal.

Personality tendencies grouped by region. It's pretty interesting.

Ohio, to no surprise of mine, ranked super high on the Neuroticism scale.... aaand pretty low on the Conscienciousness scale. I definitely think neuroticism gives rise to a distinct flavor of humor. And weirdness. And high sales of Zoloft.

I was VERY surprised to see that Virginia scored very low on the Agreeableness scale. That doesn't match my experience at all. I think the data-skewing factor is Northern Virginia (or NoVa, as they call it here)-- the outer Washington, D.C. area. High population of people, all concentric to the hive of scum and villainy (okay, not scum and villainy, but certainly terrible traffic, high crime, and high cost-of-living) characteristic of DC.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

iTunes Roundup, take two

I had another go at my $25 iTunes gift card from last Christmas ...

(here's hoping for a repeat this Christmas... wink wink nudge nudge)

Stay (I Missed You) -- Lisa Loeb - My brother used to say Lisa Loeb reminded him of me. I took it as a compliment. I do have a pair of LL-esque glasses. I'm even wearing them right now. AND she loves Hello Kitty.

One Headlight -- The Wallflowers - 90's nostalgia. Plus, what a good name for a band!

Money For Nothing -- Dire Straits - Part of the reason I love this song (aside from its auditory pleasance) is that it was occasionally referenced in the 1st major CGI cartoon, ReBoot. Does anyone else remember that show? Anyone I know? I loved it.

California Dreamin -- The Mamas and The Papas - Oldies classic.

Workin For The Weekend -- Loverboy - This song's eighties awesomeness is so huge that it overcomes the fact that my good friend's ex-boyfriend made a hilarious music video to this song. With himself playing all four people in the band. It was honestly funny. The whole EX thing is a lot less funny. But above all: the 80's hair bands transcend social ills.

P.S. Has anyone had a go at the church sign generator yet? Big time fun ...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

miscellaneous junk

I don't care what anybody says, Strong Bad emails can still crack me up after all these years.

Become an instant Virginian-- make your own vanity license plate.

For more online tomfoolery-- the church sign generator

and.... mix tape generator.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We're really doing it, huh, Harry?

I finally scheduled myself to take the GRE on November 15.

I'm going to grad school....?

I'm Ron Burgundy?


Anyway, yeah. All circuits are go with beginning grad school part-time next fall. Barring any sudden (and lasting) inspiration to change careers or something, that's the plan.

With the return of the internet to my dusty, crotchety ol' dinosaur of a computer, I was finally able to download all those iTunes singles I'd been jonesing after for the past... what... year and a half? Songs that I like enough to buy alone, but not enough to justify buying the entire artist's album. Not even used (although I probably would buy Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs used if someone were dumb enough to part with it, but I haven't seen it lying around anywheres).

Here are the songs I grabbed the day the internet was restored:

Get It On (Bang A Gong) -- T. Rex - classic awesome.

Final Countdown -- Europe - if you know me at all, then I don't have to explain that one.

Relax -- Frankie Goes To Hollywood - why are the songs with dirty meanings always so catchy?

Road To Nowhere -- Talking Heads - well, I actually would buy another Talking Heads album. this was a last-minute addition, though. I remembered liking it from the end of the movie Little Monsters. it's that romanticized nostalgia thing.

Wonderwall -- Oasis - because I am a sap.

Learning To Fly -- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - loved it from Elizabethtown. didn't love the movie, though. but that's neither here nor there.

Wicked Game -- Chris Isaak - I guess we'd file that one under 'guilty pleasure.' *shrug*

Barracuda -- Heart - not motivated by the Sarah Palin RNC theme debacle, although reading about that did remind me how much I like this song. that, and Guitar Hero.


Layla -- Derek and The Dominos - wow, what a song. I remember the first time I heard it on the radio (um... last fall... heh). all I knew from my lifetime was Clapton's 1993 unplugged version that won him a Grammy for Best Song. and sure, I guess I liked that. but I did not realize where it came from. whoa, have I got some music education to acquire, or what?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

oh goody

Good morning, youse.

I joined the 21st century last night and got wireless internet and cable avec DV-R in my apartment. I went for a year without having my own computer hooked up, and with no TV stations except fuzzy versions of the big three networks.

In fact, at my old place, one evening I wanted to watch LOST (I usually watch it with friends on a fancy toob), and the absolute only way I could get ABC reception on Tiffany's tv was if I took the cable (the unhooked tv cable, mind you) and held it in ONE EXACT POSITION where part of the cable grazed the top left front corner of the TV. Anything else and the picture and/or sound would be lost. So I had to TAPE the cable to the front corner of the television -- scotch tape, no less -- in order to watch a show that requires ALL attention be paid. One false move and the picture goes fuzzy, the sound blasts into static, and I've missed a crucial element to answering one of the six trillion questions we all have about the series.

Anyway... no more of that. Last night I was like a kid in a candy store. I can watch videos online. I can watch from of a seemingly endless array of TV show choices. I can download music. I can update my blog. I can create memes specific to my social circle. I can screw around on Facebook. I can join (it's okay to look!!!).

Monday, September 15, 2008

What's so funny about Ohio?

I have a hypothesis that there is something about Ohio that breeds funny people.

I'd be remiss if, being an Ohioan myself, I didn't point out the obvious bias.

I'm not saying everyone in Ohio is funny. They sure aren't.
I'm also not saying that people outside Ohio are less funny. Also untrue.

What I AM trying to do is suggest an anomaly in the Buckeye state. Is there something about the place that just breeds a certain blend of humor? It's been said there's not much to do in Columbus other than eat, shop, and watch movies ... I can't really refute that claim too much, being somewhat portly, materialistic, and obsessed with pop culture myself... and it seemed like all anyone in Ohio ever wanted to do was get out of Ohio...

(i never particularly felt that way, but i can't say i hate it here in VA...)

I think the frustration of being in such a place with such tendencies certainly fosters an environment of growth for the bizarre, dry, disaffected-intelligent, and sarcastic wit. Maybe Ohio's unofficial state motto should be, "Ohio! There's So Much To Criticize!" Because, while I can't account for some other major cities, Columbus is chock full o' complainers. I have nothing to back that claim up with, but hell, I was THERE. Complain-fest 2k8.

For some examples of Ohio's finest humor, check my links to the right. But before you do that, you should be informed that Bill Watterson went to college in Ohio (Kenyon), and lived in Chagrin Falls while drawing Calvin and Hobbes. BILL WATTERSON! Drew, the writer of Toothpaste For Dinner and Married To The Sea, is an Ohioan, as is his wife, Natalie Dee, and they live in Columbus. The writer of Indexed also lives in Columbus.

Other funny Ohioans: (and I have to use the term "funny" loosely in some cases... )
Erma Bombeck
Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson et al)
Dave Chappele
Drew Carey
Tim Conway (of Carol Burnett fame)
Phyllis Diller
Cathy Guisewite, creator of "Cathy" cartoon
Rachael Harris (of VH1's I Love the 80's/90's commentary fame... aka MY DREAM JOB)
Bob Hope
Molly Shannon
Hal Sparks (again, of VH1 commentary fame)
James Thurber (cartoonist for The New Yorker among other things)
aaand basically most of my friends and family from Ohio. i think we're pretty funny.

I dunno. Think about it. Think about the Ohioans you may know.
(...yours truly, if i may be so bold?)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

you could use a little 'psst' and some 'shh'

What IS it that makes some people chronically unaware of the volume of their voices?

Do they really not understand that hearing their voice ricochet off of every surface in the building makes a person want to resort to violence of comic proportions?

I have earplugs in, and still... her voice just drills into my precariously balanced, high-strung soul... not unlike the way the bitter, damp cold of a January blizzard in Columbus just soaks into the deepest marrow of one's skeleton....

Like.... um... let me try to describe what this does to me.

Imagine you're back in college, poring over a complex scientific paper (if you're not a scientist, well then... all the better). It's 3 a.m., you're in the science library (the one that's dead silent, the one that's open all night, the one where the Asians have been hiding all quarter, curing cancer and designing particle accelerators and other such what-have-you. This is no big deal, they're here all the time-- it just adds to the mix that they're here working hard all year and you're sitting there like a fat American doofus who doesn't really understand nested qPCR even after having read over the textbook definition for the fortieth time). This is how I feel EVERY DAY.

Okay, got that? Now imagine Elmo busts out of the elevator, right behind you. It's Elmo... and he's got a pair of cymbals. And a cell phone that has something by Fergie as a ringtone.

The pointless noise, it penetrates your soul. Well, there might be a point to the noise, but it's got nothing to do with you. And nobody else in the library has the fortitude to approach Elmo and break it to him, gently-- "hey, you're disrupting my otherwise acceptable life. could you be a lamb and NOT make me want to smother you?"

Good God.

Just turn it down a couple of notches, arright? Don't yell.

Brought to you by:

Monday, September 8, 2008

J.Crew has my number

Not news: My favorite store.
Not news: My favorite season...
Blogworthy: My favorite city!?

J.Crew's fall line advertisements are all based in *gasp, swoon, stagger* Prague.

And one of their "looks" for the season... black and grey. gray. grey.

Short of someone with a severe depressive disorder/ desperate attempt to be emo, you will not find anyone who wears more black and gray than yours truly.


Are they trying to get my business or what?


I didn't come up with the idea myself, but I think it's worth repeating: I wish I were more like a dog. And by that I only mean I lived every day with the attitude of "OH BOY, THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!"

I mean, shoot. Dogs are so dang happy all the time. Case in point:

see more puppies

Just a thought.

To be fair, though, I've yet to meet the dog who has had an entire year's worth of work deleted from his/her supposedly secure work hard drive for no apparent reason.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cruel summer

When I returned to work after vacation, I discovered that I'd been deleted from the network.

Yep, just plain deleted. As in, all my files, folders, and work e-mail... deleted. Why, exactly? Nobody knows. Who filed the paperwork that has to be completed in order for a deletion to take place? Nobody knows. Who approved said paperwork? Nobody knows. Everybody's just kind of shrugging and looking at each other.

Really? Thanks guys.

At least I'm still getting paid.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Particleboard Furniture and Other Dreams-Come-True of The College Graduate

Nuff said, right? I'm the new queen of DIY transitional furniture. Of the five major pieces of furniture in my bedroom, 5/5 were
a.) purchased at Target and
b.) put together by yours truly

(not to mention that 3/5 were hauled through the backyard, up the stairs, and into said bedroom by yours truly).

*flexes and frowns charismatically*

New furniture, new apartment, new roommate, new phone, new relationship status (went from "it's complicated" to "business as usual"*), and the beginning of a new year in Richmond.

That's right... I've been here for one year now. One year in Richmond, and counting. Even though I constantly re-evaluate my life and plans, scrapping one grad school idea for another, I'm still fairly settled on the thought of starting work on my Master's next fall here at VCU. I've got a decent niche; it'll do until further notice. I like it here.

I still can't get comfortable committing to anything permanently. Hence, particleboard furniture. I'm still too, like... free spirited...young... unsettled... or whatever... to plunk down some Benjamins on a fancypants mahogany sleigh bed that says HAY WORLD, I'M-A PLOP DOWN RIGHT HERE AND GROW ME SOME ROOTS.

Particleboard. It's a step above Sterilite plastic containers (notthatthere'sanythingwrongwiththemmindyouinfacti'mgonnahangontominecauseyouneverknowwhenthey'llcomeinhandy), and it says "i've got the look of someone who has their stuff together, but i can be easily jettisoned on craigslist for a cool thirty dollars." It's transitional furniture. And I give it a thumbs-up.

*yes, that means "single."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

If I hate your love seat, may I call it a hate seat?

Big time changes.

First off, new apartment. Goodbye to the old cavernous place, hello to the cozy new one. It's a lot smaller, but I actually like that. It doesn't feel like a waste of space. It feels like a good fit. So now I want to get a few pieces of real furniture. I think I've reached a point in life where I don't need to live out of Sterilite stackable modular plastic storage units. I can buy a grown-up's dresser. I've already started this post-adolescent upswing with a fancy do-it-yourself bookshelf from Target. My books no longer live in milk crates and Yaffa blocks.

When I bought my fancypants DIY bookshelf, the cashier asked me if I was a student at VCU. tuh! To her credit, I did buy it amidst the swarm of college n00bs who were there to fill their dorms with cheap, wobbly end-tables, beanbag chairs, mini-fridges, and James Dean posters (ah, if only they'd been Che Guevarra). Anyway, I said no, that I was just working these days. Nope, not a college kid anymore. I wanted to answer with a big, flagrant "HAAAYYYLE NOOOO" but a.) I don't actually see myself saying that, like... ever, and b.) I thought that might've been a bit superfluous.

In my search for cheap-but-not-crappy furniture, I've browsed craigslist on a daily basis. And people... I can not say this enough... I can't BELIEVE how terrible some people's taste in furniture is. Most of my craigslist browsings are punctuated with outbursts of "eww, REALLY?" at the ugly-ugly-ugLAY things people are getting rid of. The real kicker is that there WAS one point in time where someone saw this crap and said, "HAY, THAT'S GREAT STUFF RIGHT THERE" and put it in their home.

I prefer sitting on Yaffa blocks to a mojave-patterned love seat, thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back to you, Dan

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

It's another fine day here in the land of Public Health. The coffee I made this morning is the ideal ratio of grounds:water:creamer, the office is peaceful and quiet, and they just replaced my ghetto old work computer with a shiny new one. Life is good.

I've kept busy in my little blog-sabbatical. I've done some traveling, I've had two different kinds of tonsilitis, and I passed my ASCP Medical Technologist exam. The only significance that last bit has at this present juncture is that I've added MT (ASCP) to the end of my name on my auto-signature on outgoing work emails.

I'm seriously thinking about doing more science writing. I'm considering lots of things, from creating a science blog, to writing books, to doing nothing in particular at all. I won't get anything started for another solid month or so, because I've got a busy month ahead. I'm moving to a new apartment next weekend, and I'm going on what will easily be THE BEST VACAY EVAR* for the last week of August.

*A week spent in OBX with 17 other people in one gigantor beach house.

Oh! But something I did want to write about was the fact that it has almost been one year since I moved to Richmond. That in itself will be a good, solid post. It'll be a collective look at the year. A review, if you will. The good, the bad, and the fugly. I didn't technically get here until September 1st, but I'll call it a year as of now. It's like every December when newspapers and tv stations start having "year in review" articles and shows when technically, the year is still in progress. That sort of thing. So that's something to look forward to on another day. Or perhaps later today if I don't have too much going on.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This made me laugh.


In other news, there is no other news.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I need new material.

Maybe everybody knew this, but I tend to do my most prolific blogging when I'm trying to impress someone. Sometimes it's some one in particular, sometimes it's just anyone, sometimes it's a tangible person, and sometimes it's an abstract idea of someone who might just amble by the old blog here and discover I'm a real gem and make some magic happen so I can just write stupid crap all the time and get paid handsomely for it.

I mean, a lot of writing is about knowing your target audience.

Anyway, I kinda gave up on that crack-pipe dream. Maybe I'll strike it up again when I get the urge for mental exhibitionism. ew, is that really a thing? I probably have it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Things that get said to me a lot

  • "Well, at least you're honest."
  • "Wow, Andrea. Tell us how you really feel."
  • "Nerd."
  • "Oh no, you're one of those people, aren't you?" (in reference to a variety of things, ranging from my religious preferences to my love for ER reruns)
  • "Okay, but, like... what do you do?"
  • "You've never seen The Goonies!?!??!?"
  • "No, you've got it wrong again. Erysipelas is caused by S. pyogenes, and Erysipeloid is caused by E. rhusiopathiae."

Just kidding about that last one.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

darn you, television

So, I subscribe to Paste magazine. And I lurve it.

I've been listening to last month's sampler cd, and there's a song on there that I like... well, okay, there are many songs on there that I like. But there's one in particular that stuck out to me. It's guitar-picky, dreamy, and swoontastic, and I almost get tears in my eyes when I listen to it. ahhn.

you just kind of want to... i dunno... close your eyes, tilt your head, wear a dumb smile on your face, and think about flower fields and autumn leaves and hipsters in awkward, bookish love and stuff like that.

I thought, I swear I've heard this before. Where was it? Was it on the Juno soundtrack? and it was really bothering me, so today I scoured the ol' intertoobs to dig up what I could about where I might have heard this song. And lo-- the artist's MySpace page revealed the answer:

I heard it on a diamond commercial.

I feel like the biggest schmuck.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Boston and The City of Brotherly Disdain

You have failed me for the last time, US Airways. *Darth Vader neck pinch*

If you've been following my blog for a while, you may recall an unfortunate flight incident of mine that occured one year ago:

Twas an instance where US Airways totally failed me.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it happened again. And this time, I brought a pal (Missy).

We were supposed to leave Boston on Wednesday night, and fly directly to Richmond. On Wednesday afternoon, we were chatting with our cabbie (if you can imagine a swarthy, gold-chain-and-long-fingernail-bedecked Mediterranean man with a dual Greek-and-Bostonian accent, it'll do you all the better), who recommended we check our flight ahead of time, as flight plans in the Northeast are commonly derailed due to weather.

We checked our flight-- or rather, I checked our flight at the computer terminal in the convention center while Missy was downstairs winning $250 in a drawing-- and yes sir, our flight was just plain cancelled. So we called the airline to say "um, hey. FIX IT" and they booked us on a flight through Charlotte. Okay, whatever. Let's just get home.

Missy and I got to the airport to find that our flight to Charlotte had been delayed significantly-- so much to the point that they wouldn't allow us to take that flight because we'd miss our connecting flight back to Richmond. So we waited in a long line of frazzled customers (par for the airport course these days, really) to talk with an agent to say "um, hey. FIX IT" and they hesitantly booked Missy and me on a flight through Philadelphia.

I say "hesitantly" because the agent I spoke with (who was the shining light in an otherwise unsatisfactory flight experience) said our 45-minute layover in Philly would likely not be enough for us to make our flight. She put us in the front row of our plane so we could be among the first to disembark. Missy and I scoffed-- "45 minutes? that's plenty of time."
"you ever been to the Philly airport?" our agent said. There's foreshadowing right there, for all you literature buffs.

So we boarded our Philly flight, which pulled away from the gate right on time. Early, even. But, sure as the shrieking 3-year old behind me coughed her tiny tot's case of TB into my ear, We did not leave the tarmac for another hour. Thus, forcing us to completely miss our connecting flight to Richmond. Stranding us overnight in Philadelphia.

As we got off the plane, an attendant handed us boarding passes for a nice 7:30 a.m. flight the next morning and a paper telling us where we could stay the night for a discounted rate. Because, you know, they don't put you up in hotels gratis anymore. I mean, really... a free beer alone would have been enough to say "we care." But no such luck.

Missy and I went to the baggage claim to get our luggage. Can you feel the general trend of things? Guess where our bags were. NOT THERE. Missy went to the counter to say "um, hey. FIX IT" and they said our bags were "in a secure location, and we can't get to them, but they will be there when you arrive in Richmond tomorrow." But they handed her two shiny quart-sized baggies with shampoo, toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, and a razor. Because I may be sleeping in my clothes tonight, and I may be wearing the same underwear for another day, but BY GOD, I WILL HAVE SHAVEN ARMPITS.

So. We stayed the night in Philly, and woke up bright and early for a 4:45 a.m. shuttle to the airport to catch our 7:30 flight. Want to know something fun? All the computer monitors said our flight time had been changed to 8:20... but Missy and I decided to wait at the gate anyway, where we discovered by word of Miss Cleo, our gate attendant (call me now for your free readin') , that the flight was not in fact at 8:20, but would most certainly be taking off at 7:30 until her computer monitor told her otherwise. And sure enough... the flight took off at 7:30.

We arrived in Richmond... and our bags were most certainly NOT there. I mean, really, why would they have been?

But we didn't care that much. We were back. And they got us our bags by the end of the evening.

So there you have it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

you're killin' me heah!

Well, folks, I am back from Boston. There's a lot of blog-worthy stuff to cover, so fasten your seatbelts. I'll probably just post it all piece-by-piece, so here's your first installment:


If you'll recall, I was very disappointed in the lack of free pens at the ICEID conference I went to in March. However, the ASM conference more than compensated for that disappointment. The ASM was the Harrod's to the ICEID's Sears-Roebuck & Co.

Free pens? Yes, many free pens. But so much more. Vendors galore. Let me list the best of what I took home with me:

- Stress-relief squishable toys from Applied Biosystems (an apple), Nikon (a hippo), and MP Bio (a pig in a bikini)
- A 1GB flash drive bracelet from Thermo Scientific (that's right, folks. it's a bracelet... AND a flash drive. mmmmhmm.) and another flash drive from Biotage (although I don't know if I can use it-- it's got product information on it)
- hand sanitizer from CLSI and APHL (only appropriate)
- drink cozies from MIDI (I took two)
- a tin of Jelly Bellys in a jellybean-shaped tin from Beckton Dickinson (BD)
- reusable tote bags-- one from the conference itself, and one from some place I would never remember otherwise, and still don't remember because I haven't used the bag yet
-I'd say the best cumulative showing was from Gen-Probe, who provided pens, post-it notes, (high-quality) dark and milk chocolate coins, mints, and flashlight keychains.

Don't worry, I learned some stuff about microbiology too. But I'd put money on it that nobody who actually reads this would be remotely interested in hearing about microbiology. Seriously, who are we kidding? You think science is boring, and I think what you do is boring.

er... probably.

Unless you're an artist, a writer, or a rock star.

Which I'm guessing you aren't.

Friday, May 30, 2008

i guess i'm gonna stick around here for a while, then.

Huh, funny. I forgot I had a blog for a while.

Well, let's see what Auntie Andrea has here in her bag o' updates....

First off, and clearly most importanly: I dyed my hair brown again. Last time I did it, it stayed "brown" for about two days, then it looked like my natural color for a week or so, then it all faded out and it just looked like I had cheap highlights-- which was exactly the case, mind you-- but it was still a thousand times better than the awful self-done highlights I'd dyed to cover up in the first place. Maybe this time it'll hold a little longer. All I'm saying is, could my hair just remain a color which actually occurs in nature?

Sunday I'm going to Boston for the ASM national conference. Missy and I are totally stoked. It's nerd heaven, really. All manner of swag, yes of course. But even more than that, the sessions, symposiums, consortiums, and all such what-have-you will be so interesting, and exclusively specific to the field I'm most interested in (which is, of course, microbiology).

Now, on to real business:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm thinking about graduate school. Only this time, I went so far as to meet with a professor of the program I'm considering. Let me lay a bit of background by reminding you that I'm a medical technologist. That's one of the programs I graduated from at OSU. What MTs generally do is become certified post-graduation, work in a clinical laboratory, and make a career out of it. There isn't presently too much of a career ladder-- you can become a manager or a senior technologist, certainly-- but your job doesn't change a whole lot over the years.

In terms of furthering your education as an MT (as scientists-at-heart often want to do just out of a love of learning and), there currently only exists an official Master's degree (MS)-- which is all well and good, but the opportunities for MT's with a MS are really not all that different from those for MT's who just have a Bachelor's (BS). This is a well-known problem that clinical laboratory associations and societies are working on to improve.

What we, the lab people, would really like is to have more opportunities for a career span, like pharmacy for example: there are pharm techs, and there are PharmD's. We want a clinical doctorate. Someone with a clinical doctorate could potentially be a real expert on the science while still having the experience and technical knowledge that a tech would. Presently we have three very separate things: we have techs, we have scientists, and we have doctors (although doctors, pathologists namely, do know their science). The techs know the tests that they run. The scientists are experts in the hard science, and what they know is research. The doctors know clinical care. Wouldn't it be great to have a position that a.) knew the technicalities of clinical testing, b.) knew an area of science REALLY well, and c.) knew how to work with clinicians to make good patient test choices? That's the aim of creating a clinical doctorate, from what I understand.

That's something I would really like to be. And it doesn't exist-- yet.

But the people in my profession are working on it. It's been a decade in the making, but they're getting close. And the likelihood is that it'd be available for me to start by the time I finished my MS in clinical lab science, and that my work in a Master's program could be counted as work toward the doctorate. I could be one of the first.

That's kind of exciting.

Monday, May 19, 2008

someone else "noticed"


*dies in peace*

Friday, May 16, 2008

ain't it grand

This article reminds me of the blogs I used to write while in college:

10 Items You Think Make You Cool, But Don't

I've got some mixed feelings, dude.

It's witty and acerbic, and hey-- it makes fun of people. I find myself equally perturbed by those stupid Fidel Castro hats and people who quote the same movies all the time.

Part of me is a little sad I didn't think of such a list first. I mean, that sort of thing used to be my mantra... those people who are so much in the pursuit of avoiding triteness that they themselves, their actions, and their fashions become trite-- ridiculous! Let us lampoon them.

But I just don't have the widespread angst anymore. Crap, where did it go? It was fodder for some great writing. I no longer have an axe to grind against anyone in particular. I'm just too darn happy with my own life.

Just another reason adulthood sucks: no more adolescent snobbery. Let the college kids wear their ironic belt buckles. Let 'em sit and ponder their existence in dark, smoke-filled bars as they swill an obscure micro-brew. Let them write slam poetry as they congregate in hookah lounges. Let the clean-cut mainstream kids continue to disdain the slam poetry writers and emo disasters. That's what the late teens and early 20's are all about.

If I weren't so moderately satisfied with the little niche I've carved out, I'd be right there along with them, saying, "what's the deal with American Apparel, anyway?"

Sorry, kids. Gotta disappoint you once again. Adulthood beckons.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Where the Rabbit hits the road

Eight hours by myself, on the road. That's what I have in front of me today.

With that in mind, I'll give myself license to indulge in all manner of Starbucky treats. Girl's gotta stay awake, after all. I'm kind of excited. The Rabbit's got cruise control, a six-cd changer, and as-yet unused air conditioning.

I've got plenty to think about, too. There's a lot going on-- mostly good, partly bad-- that I can consider and debate internally. What is the life I'm going to make for myself? Where does that highway lead to? Am I right? Am I wrong? I'll ask myself, "What will I be?"
Will I be pretty,
Will I be rich?
And I'll tell myself, tenderly...

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera

And then I'll feel like a prize idiot for a hot minute, having not only asked myself questions and answered them (aloud), but having answered myself in a Doris Day song.

Then I'll probably start singing another song. And it will probably be a Shirley Bassey number.

GOOOOOLD- FINGAHHHH (dun dunnn dun dunn)

It's so cathartic.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Yep, I must be in the middle of an existential crisis again-- I'm thinking about grad school.

The idea just comes up as a possible means to pacify that gnawing question, "what am I doing with my life?" which I believe I addressed in an earlier post. Is everybody else like this, or do I just have some kind of complex where I never quite feel like I'm doing enough?

Here's the internal conversation with myself:

What am I DOING with my life?
I don't know, but you could go to grad school. Then you'd have a shiny degree and more monies with which to buy knick-knacks.
I like knick-knacks.
They say grad school is a big bag of suck, though.
Ew, that's right.
But sometimes you think your job is a big bag of suck.
True 'dat.
So maybe you should go. You might learn more things.
Hey, I like learning. I like it even more than knick-knacks.
You'll probably regret it down the road if you don't go.
Also true.

I might really do it this time. Might not. Maybe if I go ahead and go, then later in life when that question comes back --because it will-- I can cope by saying to myself, "well, I may feel like my life meant nothing more than those of any of the other millions of peonic ants that populated the earth with me, but at least I went to grad school." (i.e., at least I tried.)

Seriously, though, every time I think about going back to school, the task seems a little less and less like suicide and a little more and more like a noble enterprise. I mean, shoot. I'm obviously not satisfied with my career as is, so I might as well ... I don't know... do something about it...

Other news: I'm going home this weekend. I am SO happy to see my old crowd. So I've got a massive solo road trip ahead of me, here. I have a PhD in self-entertainment, but there's a real chance I could get bored. Those are the breaks, though.

Clap your hands, everybody, if you've got what it takes-- 'cause I'm Kurtis Blow and I want you to know that these - are - the - breaks.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

significance is overrated

I lack inspiration lately. I hate that feeling!

I'm not very satisfied with my job. It was supposed to be a little more awesome than this. I'm not considering a career change, by any means, but there are just an increasing number of days where I wake up and say, "really, what am I doing?" and I don't have a very comforting answer to that question.

People ask me what I do, and by default I want to give a defeated sigh and answer, "that's a good question." But nobody's really asking me the deeper version of that question; they're just making polite conversation. The answer is, I squirt various liquids into tiny tubes and push buttons on machines, and at the end of the day, it really does not make a significant difference to anyone or anything. YAY ME!!!

I bet everybody feels like this at some point, though. I was just hoping this point would come, for me, around my mid-life crisis or whatever... and not within a year of my graduating college.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The hair color that would not die

Remember how I said I "dyed" my hair "brown"?

It's back to brassy dark blonde again. Did I dye it? Um, no. It just faded that much. People ask me if I dyed it.

I followed the rules and everything ... color-safe shampoo, color-saving conditioner... it's no use. My hair has spoken. Try as I might to have the colors I think I want, ultimately it's just not up to me.

Metaphor for life, really.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The AMNS is currently inducting new members.

Andrea's Marathon Nap Society had an ad hoc meeting yesterday.

In order to be a member of the AMNS, one must take naps that fulfill at least five of the following eight categories each:

1.) Start time: after work or school. End time: past midnight
2.) Total nap duration: >5 hours
3.) Evening plans entirely slept through
4.) At least one missed call/text with message that contains the phrase "call me when you get this"
5.) Frequency of Marathon Nap must not exceed 2 per week. That's too far, dude.
6.) Upon conclusion of nap, bedtime rituals commence and bed is re-inhabited in a time frame not to exceed one hour
7.) Nap taken in work/school clothes (possibly including shoes)
8.) Roommate/family/friends ask if you're feeling okay

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lab Week

It's National Laboratory Week. Or, as we in the industry prefer, "lab week."

Yessir. One week where the country takes a moment to recognize and appreciate the hard work it takes to produce laboratory results. One week where everyone considers the years of hard science, Westergard principles, reagent optimization, reference range memorization, quality control adherence, and beaurocracy-muddled project proposals that all scientists have to trudge through in order to become competent professionals.


*wipes tears from eyes* ... ahh...

More like, one week where we enjoy a group potluck and some free pens and tote bags while we continue to report, with a 99.5% confidence interval, that you, the lucky consumer, do in fact have the clap.

ah, lab science.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

ow, ow, OW

I'm tense.

Let's not mince words, here. I get muscle knots in my back and neck all the time.

Know what other myalgic joy working adulthood has brought to me? Muscle knots... in my eyebrows. As in, I use my eyebrows so much (and apparently in such a non-ergonomically friendly fashion) that they're getting knots in them.

That's got to be the stupidest thing in the world. I'm scowling, frowning, squinting, and giving The Eyebrow to people so much that I have a buildup of brow tension. I am, in effect, overusing my eyebrows.

I didn't even know that was possible.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's about time you wrote something... geez

Right. So.... I've been occupied lately. In a good way.

In other news, on Monday I got to visit my best friend. You know, the dentist.

As far as dentists go, I like mine well enough. She's thorough and efficient. Gal after my own heart, really. No lame small talk, yet a pleasant demeanor.

And it's a good thing I like her, because I'm almost singlehandedly putting her kids through college. If she's got any, that is. I don't know, because she's not a Chatty Cathy. And neither am I. Anyway, seriously-- floss, people. Floss. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, FLOSS!!! It's too late for me, but SAVE YOURSELVES!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

making do

I really hate to be all Chicken-Soup-For-The-Soul, but I got to enjoy one of my all-time favorite simple pleasures last night: driving at night when the weather is nice-- windows down, music up.

It is then that I have fewer qualms about belting out with Klaus Meine and Simon Le Bon (of Scorpions and Duran Duran fame, respectively).

That's something I miss about where I used to live in Columbus-- there were a lot more open, cruise-friendly roads to do this on. Now I just live in a city where there are stoplights everywhere. What a buzzkill.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Hey, remember that airline, Skybus? The one that flew me home and back for prices I could afford?

Well, no more of that. They shut down on Friday.

And now I'll never see my friends and family again.

Not really. I'm sure I could manage the eight-hour drive back to Columbus, especially now that I have wild, raging luxuries such as air conditioning and cruise control. It just sucks, big time. Plus, I'm not that anxious to put a ton of miles on my new car, although it's nice to have a vehicle that I know for sure could make the trip in once piece.

(I think the beige wonder is currently rolling over in its grave. er... new driveway.)

Anyway, on to happier events from the weekend. Rebecca, Beth, Sarah, and I went to cheer on our friends who ran the Monument 10K this weekend (And Rob-- sure! Let's run it next year. I'm game). We made signs with most of our friends' names on them (apologies to Melissa) and posted them on trees along the race route. It was fun picking out our people from the 30,000-strong crowd. That's the only time I've ever been thankful for anything that involved matching t-shirts.

And then there was the luau. Best one I've ever been to. I swear, how did they find so many fun people and put them in one city? Must be something in the mai-tais.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

mmm, lilacs

Spring comes a little earlier in Richmond than it does in Columbus. So it comes as a tiny little extra packet of awesome that, in the alley behind my apartment, there is a LILAC TREE blooming right now. I love lilacs. I snagged a little cluster of blossoms as I drove by on my way to work this morning.

And I kind of wish I hadn't, because they're not my flowers. I don't know who the plant belongs to, but it's not me. I felt bad the minute I plucked it off, because it was pretty selfish, after all. Now I'm the only one who's going to enjoy that little cluster, and at the end of the day it will have wilted. But I'll still enjoy it in the meantime.

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may; old time is still a-flying,
and this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying."
--Robert Herrick

I don't have anything to follow that with. I'm not really in a "carpe diem" kind of mood right now. Like, I would carpe the diem, but ... I mean ... I gotta wash my hair. er. something.

Lauren's having a birthday luau on Saturday... so that means it's time for MADRAS PANTS! That's what it means to me, anyway. That's as close to tropical as my wardrobe gets. Seein' as how I left my sarong and coconut bra in sunny, sunny Ohio.

Plaid pants: always a win.

Other notable events: This Saturday is the Monument Ave. 10K. I guess it's a really big deal around here. A LOT of my friends are running in it. I was urged to sign up multiple times. And see, that's funny, cause... I don't really do that stuff. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Finally, someone who doesn't hate their job

Let me tell you about a man I work with.

Even though all the things I'm going to say about him are good, I'll still use an alias just for the sake of privacy. We'll call him Marcus. Hey, that works.

So Marcus is a man from a small South central Asian country who is very enthusiastic about the work he does. He came to this lab from a very cutting-edge and prestigious medical laboratory elsewhere in the United States (and sometimes I wonder why... but I think family is the answer). He is very excited about the nature of his specialty, and gets very involved in things related to the advancement of lab techniques and studies.

Unfortunately this can make his job (as well as others' jobs) difficult, as sometimes, lifetime lab professionals can get stuck in their ways if they're not used to constantly looking to the latest professional developments (and for people who are like that, I wonder why they became scientists in the first place).

Anyway, part of the work I will be doing soon in this laboratory will be in Marcus' lab. I am so looking forward to that. He knows this, and often comes by my cubicle with updates on the project. He's great about getting others (or maybe it's just me) interested in what's going on. How nice is it to work with enthusiastic people?

As a celebration of the project finally coming under way, Marcus is hosting a meal at his home in the fashion traditional to his native country. And he has invited everyone involved in the project to attend. Isn't that cool? Every time I pass him in the hallway he says something about it-- "hello hello-- everyone is coming to the meal. it's going to be very traditional. like nothing you've had before! you are coming, right?" and of course I am. He gave out official invitation cards to everyone, and mine was addressed to Andrea Lorenz, PhD. ha ha! What a sweet talker.

Yay Marcus.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Journal of a would-be blonde with a limited income.

Chose "caramel" colored highlighting kit. Got ORANGE CHUNKS.
Dyed blonde to off-set the orange. Got strawberry blonde hair.

No activity.

No activity. Starting to see roots.

Bought blonde highlighting kit. Successful execution of instructions. Got blonde highlights.

No activity.

Starting to see roots. Chose to dye hair again, hoping for blonde hair. Chose dye color called "champagne fizz." Got strawberry blonde. Again.

No activity. Cheap orange hair bringing out acne.

March 30:
Planned to highlight again. Bought different highlighting kit. Executed instructions. Got brown roots, orange hair, and hi-liter yellow highlights. Looked like cheap hooker.
Dyed hair brown; said "screw blondes."

Friday, March 28, 2008

The gospel of shallowness

Once in a while I like to take personality tests, even though the answers usually don't come as much of a surprise. I'm a person who is driven by a need to understand things... so I guess it's natural for me to spend a lot of time trying to understand myself, and mainly how I relate with other people (because there is no shortage of things I don't understand there).

According to the Briggs-Meyers personality test (which I've taken multiple times-- you have to account for fluctuating moods, trends in maturity, and other random error in order to get an accurate reading. duh.) I'm an INTJ, or "mastermind." I think the assessment's pretty accurate-- all the profiles I've read over have some really poignant observations about, um, my people or whatever. It's a flattering title, but it's got a dark side: (my commentary in orange)

  • "Social 'niceties' often seem unnecessary and perhaps even ungenuine to the INTJ, who is always seeking to improve their substantive understanding. " In essence, small talk: I don't get it. But I've learned to mimic it so I can be easier to get along with. I can't for the life of me understand why you care what I ate for lunch. But I'll still go along with it.
  • "May have unrealistic and/or unreasonable expectations of others " I'm afraid this is true, but it mostly applies to people I feel I know pretty well. Not that that makes it okay.
  • "May see so many tangents everywhere that they can't stay focused on the bottom line or the big picture" Yet another reason I can't focus on a specific career path.
  • "Masterminds do not feel bound by established rules and procedures, and traditional authority does not impress them, nor do slogans or catchwords." Word. Slogans are lame. If something's worthwhile, it speaks for itself.

Anyway, I wanted to bring up a point about a type of shallowness I fear I give off. I think in my dumb quest for understanding and getting along with other people, that I just end up resorting to conversational brush-offs so I won't blow my cover as a closet misanthrope (or so my personality tests would have me suspect).

As in, I find myself using a lot of dismissive phrases like, "whatev," "enh," "you know," and the like to keep my conversations shallow. Why do I do that? Maybe a lot of us do, but I hate to speak for anyone else. But really-- why? Maybe I don't think that anyone honestly gives a crap about what the end of those thoughts would entail (hey, I certainly find myself glad the person I'm talking to elected not to go on some useless bunny trail... I just expect others are the same).

I mean, shallow conversations are so EASY. I can totally navigate the shallow convo formula.
A: "movie quote!"
B: "ha ha, another movie quote!"
A: "and that one time? with the thing and the guy and the place?"
B: "ha ha, yeah I know. that was hilurrious"
A: "good times."

And then, when other people have real things to say, I usually just let them talk because I like to listen. I'm interested in the things people say, because then I can understand them more. And I tend not to want to add my spin on what they're putting out there.

As a result of those things, I often find myself wondering when the last time was that I had a real conversation about something that matters. It's a little exhausting.


It's a widely-accepted scientific law that physical matter in the universe tends toward entropy (disorder). Things with higher structure or order require more energy. The easiest/most natural thing to do is tend toward a state that requires less energy, and thus less structure.

Dare I say that human interaction is shifting toward entropy? I can attribute my natural aversion to discussion and debate to all kinds of things (e.g., my personality type). But I bet it's just as much a factor of energy and efficiency. For example, after writing this I imagined myself having the supposed "useful" conversation with any number of my friends. And I already felt bored and frustrated. Just from imagining a discussion of, like, politics or something.

Did I miss a crucial stage in development where I was suppsosed to learn to be an effective conversationalist? I mean, obviously I can think and write cohesive thoughts and arguments. But for some reason when I'm with people, there's no instinct to really communicate verbally. It's times like these when I wonder if maybe a little part of me is autistic.

approves. (some people suggest Dr. House has Asperger's, and some further suggest he is an INTJ...)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Twenty years later, MacGyver STILL saves the day

Jamie and I stepped out for ice cream on Tuesday, a couple of hours before her flight home. Upon returning to my apartment, however, we discovered that I had definitely locked us out: out of the apartment, out of my car, out of everything. Tiffany (my roommate) was still at work. I didn't have my landlady's number. And we don't keep a spare key under the mat.

Luckily for us, this Christmas I received none other than The Unofficial MacGyver How-to Handbook. With two bobby pins (courtesy of Jamie's purse) and a secret third tool, I PICKED THE LOCK. (Thank you, thank you-- you can have the trophies and gift baskets sent to the delivery entrance in the alley.)

Some little girls wanted to be princesses. I wanted to be a spy. I think it was all that Cold War hype. My brothers camped in tents in the backyard, hoping for a reenactment of Red Dawn. We had MacGyver on the tube, who was always stickin' it to the Iron Curtain. No helpless damsels in my house, boy.

And we're gonna look into changing the locks, BTW.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The quest to take back the 90's

Epic weekend, folks.

One of my best friends, Jamie, came to visit and we had a great time together.
To start with, there was the 90's Party we threw for Jocelyn's birthday, better known as Joc Jams '96. That morning, six of us girls went to Goodwill to hunt for appropriate vintage attire. The best find, by far, was Jamie's dress, which you'll see in a following picture. Other great outfits included Lindsay's purple crushed velvet, off-the-shoulder party dress, and Laura's one-piece, zip-up sleeveless shorts jumpsuit. Participating partygoers also donned jean shorts, spiked hair, flannel shirts, and birkenstocks.

I was able to do the hair for a number of the girls. Alison wore a knit headband, not unlike the type I wore every day in middle school. Rebecca let me do the teased, multi-ponytailed Jessie Spano hairdo on her. For Lindsay, we tried to do a deep side part with a lot of mousse, a la D.J. Tanner. I went for an Elaine Benes bouffant, with one tendril pulled out in front and spiral-curled. For Jamie, I just double-fisted with Aussie Sprunch and Insta-Freeze style spray and went nuts on her natural waves.

Andrea and Jamie in 1990's finest.

Anyway, there was a lot of dancing. And a killer playlist. We did the Runningman, the Hammerman, the Roger Rabbit, the Jessica Rabbit, the Kid N' Play, the Cabbage Patch, the Shopping Cart, the Lawnmower, the Sprinkler, and (natch) I pulled out the Elaine.
If you've ever watched When Harry Met Sally, you may remember the line where Billy Crystal mentions the "white man overbite" -- the natural position one's mouth takes when one is an untalented dancer trying to bust a move. Jamie and I decided we had our own versions of the WMO, because we kept making the exact same faces when we were dancing. Ours were sort of puckered-lip underbites, though.

So, those of us who are close to my age (24) tend not to look back on the 90's with a great deal of fondness. I, for one, try to block most of the decade out of my memory. It was a time period rife with awkwardness, attitude, acne, betrayal, social outcasting, and all such horrors that come with most people's puberty experiences. I can mostly only speak for myself, but I know at least Jamie and Lindsay were in that "eww, the 90's were not good for me" bracket with me. That said, this party was our way of exacting revenge on the 90's. It was our way of taking one night and redoing an era the way it ought to have been done in the first place-- with great panache and much more self-confidence*.

*I am a firm believer that there is a positive correlation between one's confidence and the size of one's hair. Bigger = better.

Andrea, Rebecca, and Jamie at the party.

More on the weekend at another time.