Nov 23, 2008

I'm Off!

My mother and I are about to leave for Dulles, where we will catch a flight to Frankfurt and then on to Cairo! Once there, we will be met by a couple of my father's former students who will take us to another airport, from whence we will fly to Luxor. My father will take a train up from Asuit, and then the three of us are going to take a cruise down the Nile River. I'm so excited! Think good thoughts of me, my little chickadees.

Nov 21, 2008

Millicent, I hardly knew ye

Millicent and I met four years ago, when I started graduate school. She was an almost-top-of-the-line Gateway, and I loved her to bits. She was my very first laptop, with built-in wireless and great processing speed.

This month, she finally gave up the ghost. I took her to Best Buy and had all my data transferred to an external hard drive my brother had gotten for me previously. This sad experience was made marginally tolerable by the Geek Squad guy I met. He was a little scruffy, a little overweight, and more than a little socially awkward. In other words, My Type.

GQG: Here, write down all the files you want transferred.
Me: *batting eyelashes* Can I just put down "all of them?"
GQG: Ha ha ha - oh my god, you're serious.
Me: Yeah... Sorry.

When I went back to collect Millicent's remains, I wandered over to the Apple display. My brother has been talking to me about getting a Mac for several reasons. Mostly, I think, because he wants to play with one. So after much deliberating and discussion with family, I took the plunge and bought a 13-inch MacBook.

While Babs (short for Barbara MacClintock ... and now all my science nerd homies are snickering) will never replace old Millie in my heart, she's one hell of a machine. My family's very first computer was a Mac, so learning how to use her is like riding a bike. Although, given my experience with bikes, I probably shouldn't jinx it.

Nov 18, 2008

Long Time No Sri

The eternal conundrum - when nothing is going on in my life I have plenty of time to blog, but when I've got things to blog about there's no time. Anyway.

Work has been more hellish than usual, but I probably shouldn't get into details here. Needless to say, I have decided to start exploring other options in earnest. I'm thinking that I eventually need to get out of Virginia - I love it here, but I want to broaden my horizons. And if I'm ever going to live somewhere else, now is the time of my life to do it. Onward and upward.

Speaking of getting out of this jerkwater 'burg, I'm headed to Egypt with my parents next week! Monster is staying behind for work. I've enlisted him to take care of my bunny while I'm gone. Instructions will include: "Gilda is super cute, but not super social. Do not confuse your desire to cuddle her with a desire on her part to be cuddled. Luckily, she hasn't bitten anyone ... in a while."

In local news, my friend MK is moving in with me! It will be nice to have a roommate, so I'm not just talking to Gilda all night. Plus, she reads this blog (a sure sign of good character). The extra income in the form of rent is nothing to sneeze at, either. The major benefit for me, though, is the incentive to keep my house clean. Left to my own devices, I will quickly allow my living space to degenerate to the level between "pigsty" and "toxic waste dump." It's not that I don't like a clean house - I love it! I just hate to actually clean. But when there's someone around to judge help, it gets much easier.

Finally, I got a new computer! My faithful Gateway, Millicent, finally kicked the bucket. I blame myself, and the universal AC adapter I bought her (when the original started to spark and smoke). More about Millicent's demise and my new MacBook, Babs, in my next post.

Nov 6, 2008

Bush's Legacy

"You have to give him credit. For eight years, he kept us safe. We have not been attacked since 9/11. And that troop surge of his was so effective that just five years later, we're almost done in Iraq."

It was all I could do not to jump across the table and choke a bitch. Which probably would not have gone over well at the business dinner with my bosses I had last night. I consoled myself with the thought that this was all just sour grapes from Bush Doc, bemoaning Obama's (HISTORIC) victory on Tuesday. But I couldn't help thinking of that Simpson's episode where a bear gets into town and Major Quimby creates a Bear Patrol...

Homer: Well, there's not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is sure doing its job.
Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thank you, sweetie.
Lisa: Dad, what if I were to tell you that this rock keeps away tigers.
Homer: Uh-huh, and how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work. It's just a stupid rock.
Homer: I see.
Lisa: But you don't see any tigers around, do you?
Homer: ... Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

And maybe everything Bush has done has kept us safe. Maybe we need to be in the dark about those measures, because if he publicizes his plans the terrorists will strike again. Maybe I don't have the whole picture.

But Bush took away our rights with his Patriot Act. He started a war against a concept with no clear exit strategy, in a country that didn't attack us. He dehumanized "the enemy," leading to increased discrimination and violence against Arab Americans. Beyond that, he tried to amend the constitution to limit rights of same-sex couples to marry. He used his very first veto to hamstring stem cell research in this country.

Let me tell you what I do give Bush credit for - last Tuesday, we had the highest voter turnout in a century. And if each president is a response to the one before, electing Obama sends a clear message. We see what you did there. And we don't like it.

Nov 4, 2008

My bunny rabbit, Gilda, has been acting up lately. Seriously. When I try to pick her up, she's grunts and lays her ears flat (the universal sign for "go away!"). When I was cleaning her litter pan, she tried to knock the scoop out of my hand. I had to cut her nails the other day, and she scratched me! Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, certain that she's watching me sleep. And then I hear chewing.

I'm not telling you this so you'll feel pity. Far from it. I'm telling you all this so you'll feel fear.

Today is election day. If I find out that you didn't get off your lazy ass to vote, I'm going to bring my bunny to your house. I'm going to toss her inside with you and shut the door. And no matter how you scream, I will not open the door until you promise to be a better citizen. The choice is yours.

Nov 2, 2008

Hollywood, baby!

I'm back from my conference, and I had a wonderful time. I spent my days shopping on Rodeo drive, eating at fine restaurants, and hobnobbing with fabulous people. Well, window shopping. And I ate a couple of meals at Baja Fresh. But my companions, grad school classmates and friends from undergrad, were truly fabulous. Of course, none of this could prevent me from embarrassing myself.

My freshman roommate Erin just moved out to California, and made the trip to LA to visit with me. We were trying to catch an elevator to go down two flights (yes, we are lazy), but accidentally got on an elevator going all the way to the Penthouse.

Me: *peeking out* Hmmm, the Penthouse doesn't look any different from the other floors.
Erin (as the doors are closing): Just around the corner, there are men in underwear who will feed you fruit.
Me: *scrabbling at the closed doors*

It was then that the elevator stopped at the next floor and a handful of women tried to get on. God, I hope they were not genetic counselors. If they are, I will forever be known to them as that crazy woman on the elevator, poised to attack.

I also got to see my graduate school classmates, including a quite pregnant Alli. The baby's name is Abigail, but I like to call her Peanut Hamster (she used to be the size of a peanut, and she moves around, per her mom, like a little hamster in a wheel). Our conversation turned to how strange it was that Alli was growing a human being inside of her. Which led to hilarious impressions of the developing fetus in utero. I hope Peanut Hamster wasn't offended.

Amidst all this, I did find time to actually do conference-y things. I even attended a meeting of the Public Policy Committee. I showed up right on time with my lunch, only to find an empty meeting room. Figuring that other people would start filtering in eventually, I made myself comfortable and dug into my turkey sandwich. Two bites in I was joined by Diane Baker, author of A Guide to Genetic Counseling, the first textbook of genetic counseling and chair of the committee. Then came Barbara Harrison, the other committee chair. Then one of the judges for the poster presentations. Then the past president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Then the current president. Then the incoming president. Then the incoming president elect. All of them had the appropriate labels hanging from their name badges. What did my name badge say? I had gotten a fake label from the exhibitor suite that read, Kid At Heart. And I probably had mayo on my face the entire time. *head desk*

The best part of the entire conference was that I got to commiserate. I love my family and my non-genetic counselor friends, but when I complain about work to the I feel like I'm speaking a different language. It's such a relief to be amongst people who get it, you know? Many many thanks to Kara, Laura, Emily, Erin G. and Erin E. for listening to my tales of woe. Your support and faith in me gives me strength to keep going.

Nov 1, 2008

October at TV Sluts

Taking Sanctuary - 10/3/08
I guess I'm just a Knight Rider purist... - 10/6/08
R.I.P. The Riches - 10/8/08
No Bones About It - 10/11/08
Chick Lit for the Small Screen (The Starter Wife)- 10/17/08
DAG, yo (Chocolate News) - 10/19/08
Move over Tila Tequila... (Paris Hilton's My New BFF) 10/24/08