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.