Sunday, December 28, 2008

A post from the couch in my pajamas

Sorry I've been so bad about updating my blog since I've been home. I don't really have an excuse, it's just that I haven't been thinking about it. But my brother bought a wireless router, so now I can do it from the couch sitting beside the Christmas tree, which is way more pleasant than sitting in the room where the computer used to be. Also, since it's been so long you may not be surprised that this post will be in list format again. I started off doing a good job of documenting things, but that quickly deteriorated, so there are no pictures of, say, Christmas. Here we go....

1) I've been hanging out with some GT friends. Here they are one day when we went to lunch. It reminds me of how few men I ever interacted with in my old lab. There are definite advantages and disadvantages to an all female lab.

Also, they traced my body on a giant white board that was in the hall by my old office. I think she looks just like me. Although it does make me worry that my hips are really very wide. That quote from R. Kelly was already there (for reasons that I don't understand).

2) My brother is now a college graduate. He's looking for a job, so if you know of one tell me and I'll pass it on to him. In the meantime he continues to be a bagel manager, a job that does not utilize his full potential. Here he is, looking thoughtful after the ceremony. Germans really miss out by not doing the whole graduation thing. The hats alone make it worth it.

3) There are good things and bad things about being back int he U.S. I'll start with the bad - traffic. I was driving home from Atlanta - it's forty miles or so, but it took more than two hours. I tried to document it adequately, but it's probably not a good idea to take pictures when driving. Anyway, I had a hard time conveying how many cars there were all jammed up on the road, and started taking pictures of the Atlanta skyline.

And now for a good thing. Check out the peanut butter shelf in the grocery store. Take that Germany. You may have superior bratwurst, but nothing beats the variety of American peanut butter. If you look at the picture closely you can see a lonely jar of nutella.

I thought I might have taken pictures of some of the Mexican food I've eaten, but I guess not. I'll try and get that before I go back.

4) This is my last day of long hair. I actually have an appointment scheduled for tomorrow, and unless I loose my nerve I'm cutting off 10 inches (25 centimeters). I'm sure that some bald kid will appreciate it. Also, think of the money I'll save on shampoo. Anyway, here I am with long hair a couple of days ago. Sammy also has a lot of hair, mostly because his clippers are broken and I haven't tried to fix them yet.

I'll try to post pictures of the haircut (because why bother blogging if you don't share inane details of your life?) tomorrow. I'm getting a massage immediately before, so hopefully I'll be really relaxed. I've been watching too many make-over shows on TV since I've been home, and the women who get their really long hair cut off always cry. I'm hoping to avoid that.

5) I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas. Like I said, I had stopped carrying my camera around by then, so I don't have an pictures of the Christmas celebration at my grandmother's house, my aunts house, or Christmas morning at home. But really, this blog is long enough, right? I'm thinking of showering and taking the dogs for a walk. Or maybe doing my German homework. But probably the walk.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Coming Home!

I'll be back in the good ol' U.S. of A. tomorrow, barring any unforeseen disaster. I've got about a bazillion things to do today, but before I start, let me mention that I'll be in Atlanta until Jan. 6 at 4:30 p.m. This is the longest vacation I've taken since I started grad school, so I'm pretty excited.

If you're thinking "wait, but will she have time to see me?" you can stop worrying. I want to see you. I miss everyone. We can go get Mexican food or something (although if you want Schnitzel and Sauerkraut I'm may be busy). Call me. Or I'll call you - but probably not tomorrow, because I'm going to be a little jet lagged.

Okay - off to prepare samples of the microtiter plate reader demonstration that is happening in an hour.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The City of Light

I've sort of given up hope that I can get my sister to do a guest post here, so it falls to me to recount the Paris adventure. However, I'm leaving in less than a week, so I'm including the pictures I have (click on picture) and one story. See below.

Perhaps the most exciting thing to happen was that I left my wallet on the train. Well, either that or it was stolen, but since no one used my credit cards I think it was lost. This turned out to be a bit of a problem, since you're supposed to have the card you used to buy the ticket on the train, and I didn't. The nice Deutschebahn man wrote a note on the ticket and stamped it (essential for all official German business), so fortunately we didn't have to buy new ones. Everything is okay now - I should have a new American bank card and credit card waiting for me at home. I'm going to my German bank today to explain the situation. I've been practicing (Ich kann nicht meine bankkarte finden...). Feel free to make fun of me for the wallet situation.

I was sort of lazy with the picture taking - maybe once I get home I can post Sarah's pictures as well. Charles is a way worse blogger than me, but I keep hoping that he'll put his on his blog also. Speaking of which - Jenny has pictures up from Thanksgiving. Check them out - you can see how good I am with children. Don't laugh.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Literary Dissapointment

Do you ever worry that you're spending too much time wandering around the Christmas market and not enough time expanding your cultural horizons? I mean, it's certainly optimistic to expect me to keep up with say, the art or music scene. I have limited abilities to grasp the full complexities of these subjects. But I thought I might be doing better with current literature. It turns out I'm not.

Actually, I have this sort of crisis every year when the NY Times publishes it's list of 100 notable books. This year I have read exactly 0. Last year was a little better - at least I had read the seventh Harry Potter book. But since no Harry Potter book was published this year, I can only say that I've read other works of seven of the authors. At this point, I'm really over Philip Roth (and frankly, I don't care if he ever wins the Nobel Prize). Both Annie Proulx and Toni Morrison make me want to throw myself off a bridge (not necessarily a bad thing, but I have to save up emotional energy for that). And - does it count that I listened to Jhumpa Lahiri read from her latest book on NPR? I swear I'm going to read it! But see, um, I have to order English books from the internet here, which limits spontaneous book buying.

Anyway, I'm just now getting around to reading "A Man in Full" and that's partly because I'm borrowed it from Georg at the same time I borrowed one called "Just Friends" with flying pigs on the cover. I don't know if you've read that one, but here's the spoiler: Freya and Jack end up together in the end.

Are other people doing better? On the plus side, since MTV is mostly in English here, I'm more up to date with my pop culture than I was in the U.S.