Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Hanukkah 2009

I would like to wish my Jewish friends/readers a very happy Hanukkah!

I found out the hard way that when using a thin sparkler candle as the center candle of a menorah you have to make sure to leave enough room between that candle and the ones next to it otherwise the middle will melt and it will collapse and start on fire... All was well though, I blew them out and the cake is fine (and very very yummy!). Maybe I should have consulted with Melisa on this one, I'm sure she would have known this, lol! I hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday season, and doesn't set their baked goods on fire like me ;)

Friday, December 4, 2009

All I Want for Christmas

Music is a funny thing. Music can bring out pretty much every emotion, fear, loathing, sadness, joy, love; the list goes on. Today the song "All I Want for Christmas is You" took on an extra meaning for me and I'm sure quite a few others as well. As any of my regular readers know one of the people that I have befriended through blogging is WeaselMomma. I hero worship should probably have a restraining order filed against me adore her and her family as does my niece who was bummed out that we couldn't visit them during the Thanksgiving holiday and who would have totally abandoned me to live with them had I not insisted she come home with me after visiting Weaselville last year (I am totally serious, it first time the "Well fine you can stay but I'M leaving!" trick did not work on her!). Today WeaselMomma wrote a post about two of her daughters and how this song inspired a sad yet beautiful moment between the three of them:

When most people hear that song they probably think of a romantic relationship, for WeaselMomma it is about Angel Weasel. Claire passed away unexpectedly seven years ago when she was only two weeks old and left a hole that will never be filled in the Weasel family so the song "All I Want for Christmas is You" is a painful reminder of the only person that WeaselMomma really wants but cannot have in this life. The other day when that song came on the radio her eldest daughter saw the pain in her mother's face and did the only thing that she could do for her mother, she gave her a hug and let her mother grieve for the child she lost while holding on to one that she is blessed to still have.

I encourage anyone who reads this to go read the post WeaselMomma wrote, it is a beautiful expression of the love between a mother and her children. If you are like me and wish you could give WeaselMomma a hug and make it all better (not that anyone or anything could make it all better) she gives you a way that you can do so virtually in the form of a donation to SIDS of Illinois, an organization that provides support to bereaved parents and family who have lost an infant, educates people to try and lower the incidence of infant death, works to inform emergency responders on how to be compassionate towards those who have just lost a child, and very importantly provides funding for researchers working to reduce and someday eliminate the incidence of SIDS and other causes infant death. This organization helped the Weasels get through the initial devastation of losing Claire and while it is based in Illinois many of the programs they have developed have been adopted nationally and research they help fund applies to all babies not just those born in Illinois.

If you make a donation in honor of "Claire Weasel" the Weasels will get a notification and know that their Angel Weasel has touched another heart, means something and is remembered by someone outside of her immediate family. From WeaselMomma and other parents who have lost a child I have learned that having their child remembered and matter to someone outside of their family is the greatest gift anyone can give and means the world to them. To sweeten the pot, if you donate and let me know I'll try and get Niecey to make a shout out video to say thank you, who could resist being mentioned in a video by this little imp???:

Please go give WeaselMomma some comment love and a virtual hug of any size you can afford, thanks! =)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You Veterans

I am taking a short break from my prelim exam to say thank you to the US veterans as well as those currently serving in the military and their families. Veterans are the reason I can have this blog, speak my mind, go to school, vote and live my life as I see fit (within reason of course). And if not for the army I wouldn't have this picture, given to me by my grandma, of my daddy looking like a snazzy young stud back in the day!

Daddy enlisted after finishing high school, he saw the Cuban missile crisis and spent some time over in South Korea after the war. His older brother got drafted and spend the Vietnam war over in Germany doing something involving supplies. Daddy fixed things with the army version of duct tape (think he calls it "green tape") and did geek stuff. He "fondly" recalls SOS, which is a delicacy apparently ;).

Members of the US military, current and past, and their families: Thank you for all you have sacrificed to ensure my safety and freedom, you are the reason I am proud to be an American and I salute you!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Influenza Information and Vaccination

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope this message finds you all well. I have decided to write this to help get factual information about the H1N1 influenza strain and its vaccine to you all to help you make informed decisions about what is best for you and your family. There has been a large amount of misinformation spread by both traditional media sources and the internet. When this outbreak first started in Mexico there were numbers coming out of Mexico that caused much panic in the US and the world. After awhile it was determined that these numbers were inaccurate and we may never know how many cases and deaths there actually were, the numbers reported were higher than they are in reality. When the virus spread to the US panic spread even quicker that the virus itself, newscasters were referring to this strain as if it were going to kill us all. After awhile it became pretty apparent that this strain is not nearly as bad as they hyped it up to be.

Current data show that this strain is highly infective but it tends to produce a more mild and shorter infection in many patients. This does not mean that this virus is "safe" and something to forget about, it can still cause complications and death just like any strain of influenza, especially in children and pregnant women. There is also the possibility that it will mutate or recombine with other strains of influenza that can cause it to become a dangerous hybrid strain. Influenza can be a very unpredictable virus and so people should always take precautions to avoid getting it and spreading it if they do get it. Frequent hand washing is quite possibly the best way to avoid contraction and spreading of influenza and other infectious diseases. When washing your hands use warm water and soap that does not contain anti-microbials (studies have shown they can cause more harm than good), make sure to get every part of the hand, people often forget between the fingers, the top of the hand (the part many wipe their nose with) and under the fingernails. Proper hand washing takes at least 20 seconds which is about how long it takes to sing "happy birthday". Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been found effective in killing influenza viruses and can be used if there is no access to a sink and soap, keep in mind that if your hands are dirty/grimy that the hand sanitizers are less effective. Avoid touching your face if you are out in public and have not washed your hands. Avoid coming into contact with infected people if possible. If you are infected the best thing you can do is stay home until you are no longer symptomatic. If you must leave your home make sure to wash your hands frequently, cough and/or sneeze into a clean tissue (or your sleeve if you do not have a tissue) and then discard it and wash your hands.

And now onto vaccination. It is recommended that everyone get a seasonal flu vaccine annually, there are select groups of people that should not get this vaccine, mainly those who are allergic to eggs as the vaccine is produced in chicken eggs. You most likely know if you are in this group, if you have any question about it ask your doctor to make sure. There is a vaccine against the H1N1 strain being produced and tested right now, it is made in the same way as the seasonal vaccine and thus far all safety testing shows it is no different than the regular vaccine in terms of safety, as was expected. Some of you may have heard of the 1976 swine flu vaccine issues, please do not believe the propaganda comparing that vaccine to the current one, trust me when I tell you that immunology and vaccine development has changed drastically in the past 33 years. No vaccine is completely without risk but the influenza vaccine has a very low risk and most of the side effects are mild and short lived, especially when compared to the symptoms and risks that the influenza virus poses. When it is made available to me I plan to get the H1N1 vaccine and I want my six year old niece and the rest of my loved ones to get it as well. I have already gotten my seasonal flu vaccine and recommend anyone who has not gotten it to get it as soon as possible, it takes time for it to kick in. Getting vaccinated does not guarantee you will not get the flu as there are many strains of influenza and they can only fit three into the one vaccine and it does not work against other viruses and bacteria that could cause an upper respiratory infection but as the three strains they choose are the most prevalent and/or dangerous strains it is definitely worthwhile to get the vaccine. Currently H1N1 is the most prevalent strain of influenza in the US but it is very early in the flu season, which normally peaks further into winter, and the seasonal strains could follow behind or coexist with the H1N1 strain as the season progresses. Flu season can be hard to predict but I believe that it is better safe than sorry and get vaccinated yearly.

For more information refer to the following links:
H1N1 Vaccine Safety Information:
Cool Public Service Announcement:
CDC's H1N1 Site:
Collaborative US Government Site:

I hope that I have helped clear up any confusion any of you may have had, feel free to link this to anyone you feel might benefit from this information. Remember that the worst thing one can do is panic in these situations, it can only hurt you as stress can lower the immune system. Knowing the risks so you can make informed decisions with confidence is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Feel free to ask if you have any questions about this topic or if something I wrote was confusing in any way, I will do my best to answer your question(s) or clarify points I may not have fully explained.

Take care,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Three Cheers for July 30th

While I try to live my life so that every day is special, today is a very special day for me, for three reasons. And since today is extra special I've decided to take the time to share why with all of you =)

Reason 1: It is Daddy's birthday! About a million or so years ago my father was born. He was raised on a farm in Indiana, and a member of the 4H club. Lucky for me Grandma gave me some old pictures of him growing up, isn't he adorable with his baby cow?:

Fast forward somewhere around 50 years and you have the picture Niecey took of him after snatching my camera (I may have given her permission to play with it) over Christmas:

Happy birthday Daddy, you have always been there for me and are a wonderful father to my siblings and myself as well as Niecey. You are the best daddy a girl could ask for and I love you very much!

Reason 2: It is Niecey's birthday! Six years ago today I had a very very very sore arm from being Middle Sis's leg holder. It was highly traumatic seeing my sister give birth, I NEVER want to view a baby being born again, including my potential future offspring! Even though I am scarred for life over seeing my sister shoving an 8lb 2oz baby out of her nether regions it was all worth it. I was blessed with the most adorable little niece after enduring all that and watching that tiny little baby grow into this little girl has been amazing:

And who doesn't like morning snuggles? Whenever I visit and Niecey wakes up before me she will quietly play by the room I sleep in and check periodically until she sees my eyes open. Often she will try to get me to get up and play with her but usually she'll humor me and give me some morning snuggles before "making" me get out of bed, one of the great perks of visiting the homeland!

Happy birthday Niecey! I hate that I've spent the last 4 years of your life so far away but know that I am doing it in part to be able to give you a better future and even though there are 350 miles between us I am always here for you. Thank you for making me an Auntie, I love you with all of my heart and am so very proud of you!

Reason 3: One year ago today I decided to stop being just an observer of the blogging community but to join it. I started this humble little blog for several reasons but one of the main ones was that I followed so many wonderful people and felt close to them even though they had no idea I even existed for the most part. I wanted to see if perhaps some of these great people would find me amusing and let me join the fun. In that year I have made friends with so many amazing people and am so proud to be a part of such an awesome community. We laugh together, we cry together, and when someone needs help people in the blogging community step up and do what they can to support whomever is down, whether it be with a sweet comment or by donating money/supplies or in my case a fellow blogger opened up his home and let me stay the night when I got stuck in traffic and was going to have to try and find a hotel in a city I had never been to (I have not forgotten you and your wife's kindness and what a great time we all had Kevin, thanks again and I will get around to writing a post about it one of these days!). I think the world would be a much better place if real society followed the example of the bloggers. Thank you all for reading my blog, for the great comments you leave and for befriending a nerdy grad student, I love you guys!

So two birthdays and a blogoversary all in one day, definitely reason to celebrate! What better way to celebrate than with a yummy chocolate cake:

The 6 yellow candles are for Niecey's birthday (yellow is her favorite), the green one is for Daddy and the blue one is for my blog.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Eyes for Jaclyn

The other day in water aerobics a fellow regular was passing out fliers and asking we post them and try to get the word out for a local charity. When she handed me one I told her I would try and do one better, given that it is summer there aren't as many people in my building and I'm not sure how many pay attention to the bulletin boards I told her I would write a blog post about it. I took the flier home with me and then went on the website listed, which led to a journal and I got to know a bit about this lovely family:

Don't they look nice? That picture was taken last summer when they went to Colorado, they had no idea that a year later they would be in a very different situation. This spring their sweet little Jaclyn, the one in the middle, started complaining about her eye. At first it seemed like it something minor and then they got a diagnosis that no parent wants to hear, their baby girl has retinoblastoma, cancer of the eye. They had to remove her right eye and unfortunately discovered that the cancer has spread and so she now is undergoing chemotherapy, she is only three and a half years old.

After surgery she made her puppy a patch just like hers.

Her first new eye, it has a little flower "tattoo" on the top because she wanted a pink eye, they compromised ;).

Given that this state is predominantly rural and the severity of Jaclyn's cancer they have to travel somewhat far for her treatments and to get her prosthetic eye. They thankfully have insurance but as everyone knows that does not cover every expense that they have related to getting Jaclyn the care she needs. As a result their family and friends are putting on a benefit next month to try and earn money to help them cover those extra costs. Anyone in central Iowa is invited to attend the event, it is on August 15, 2009 in Gilbert, IA from 5-7pm. They are also selling "Fight Like a Girl" clothing & merchandise and people can send monetary donations, for more details here is the benefit's website. **They recently added an online donation option, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and you can't miss it =)**

Big sister Courtney and Jaclyn at the zoo.

Jaclyn being totally adorable!

Please consider helping this family, whether it be through buying a shirt, attending the benefit, sending a donation or simply just keeping them in your thoughts and prayers. Any help in spreading the word is greatly appreciated, I have badges (see image below) that you can put in your sidebar, e-mail me at and I'll send you the code (let me know if you have one or two sidebars as the sizing is different). Also I would be thrilled and honored if any of you were willing to have this as a guest post on your blog. I will make sure all supportive comments get forwarded to Jaclyn's parents. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and for anything you do to help this family =)!


Note: All pictures are the property of Brenda and Leo Gessner and used with permission. The Eyes for Jaclyn graphic was made by Jaclyn's uncle, I just added the border and code.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thanks Daddy...

Tonight I was harassing talking to my baby sister on the phone when my dear father person started laughing hysterically. Worried that he might have drank too much of his home brew, or was getting sudden onset senility or something we inquired what he found so funny. Turns out he somehow discovered what he has dubbed my theme song on youtube. It is a blast from the past, he thinks it came out when he was in high school or maybe jr. high, so back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. And what had my father cackling and risking brain damage due to laughing too hard to breathe? Well my dearest readers it was a song about people who are altitude-challenged like me and he learned how to send links on skype just so he could share it with me, behold my alleged theme song:

Now the question is would he have dared link me that song if he was aware of how kick ass I've become due to my water aerobics classes? I mean would YOU mess with this:

I think not! Watch out Daddy, I know where you live and sleep!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Angel Weasel

Since I joined the community of bloggers I have befriended a number of people, one of whom is WeaselMomma. I discovered her through reading NukeDad's blog and had the great joy and honor of meeting her and her wonderful family over the thanksgiving holiday. Her blog is one of my favorites and if you do not read it I highly recommend it, just make sure you take a potty break and don't eat nor drink while reading it as you might wet yourself and/or spray your computer laughing at her hilarious posts!

But not all of WeaselMomma's posts are funny. As I read through her archives (I am an archive stalker) I quickly noticed a discrepancy. She has five weasel children (and an adult child aka Mr. Weasel) listed in her nest but she made references to being the mother of six (not including Mr. Weasel). Being an anal-retentive person who had an English teacher hell bent on cramming "bookmarking" into my brain (basically critically analyzing books as you read them) this created a sense of foreshadowing for me, that and her references to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) charity and research. I didn't want it to come, hoped that WeaselMomma had forgotten how to count she does have quite a few weasels running around, a love for coors light and my mother couldn't even keep three kids straight, but she didn't and I cried when she introduced Claire to the blogosphere.

Claire Elaine

I am not sure what it is about Claire, she is sadly not the first nor only child I have read about who has passed away, but she is the one that has stayed with me and grabbed a piece of my heart. I think about her somewhat frequently and am so sad that I never got to meet her as I did her brother and sisters. I simply cannot fathom the pain her family has gone through losing her after only two weeks and how much of a struggle it has been for them to rebuild their lives as best they can. They are truly one of the most beautiful families I have ever encountered, even my niece could sense how special they are when we got to go and meet them and celebrate Monkey Weasel's birthday with them. We literally had to physically fight Niecey to get her coat on and come home with me, this was the only time I know of that the "Fine, I'll just leave without you." bluff was called and I think she actually would have let me leave without her (I totally understand, I honestly didn't want to leave myself!).

One thing that has allowed the Weasels to keep going and to get back to functioning is SIDS of Illinois, a long standing organization that offers support to families who have lost a baby, education to help prevent SIDS from claiming more babies (In IL incidents of SIDS has gone down 68% with the Back to Sleep campaign!), funds research to try and end SIDS deaths and more. And so, today on Claire's birthday please remember WeaselMomma and family in your prayers, go give her some love, and if you can spare some please help honor and celebrate Angel Weasel's life by donating to SIDS of IL or perhaps some other organization like it to help other families going through such a horrific loss and hopefully prevent other families from losing their precious babies.

Dearest Claire, I never got to meet you but you have touched me nonetheless, I love you and your family and hope you have a very happy birthday up in heaven.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Remembrance

American Flag flying over Main ISU Campus (State flag of Iowa beneath)

Today is Memorial Day, the day Americans remember those who have given their lives for our country. It is usually celebrated by spending time together with family and friends, often involving a cookout. Most towns across the US will be decked out with the US flag and have a parade. My niece will march with her girl scout troop in the parade of the town I grew up in and this Auntie couldn't be prouder! I feel this is an appropriate time to dust off one of my favorite patriotic songs of all time:

Thank you those who have died so that I can live free in the best damn country in the world! I'd also like to thank the family and friends of those who have given their life for this country and the soldiers currently serving us along with their family and friends. God bless you all and God bless the USA!

*Check out NukeDad's post, he links ways one can give back to help soldiers and their families.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pray for Dakota

Pray for Dakota Badge

This little girl is very sick, she has a blood clot in her leg and a blood infection. This is a very bad combo, the bacteria in her blood are growing/hanging out in the clot in what is called a biofilm. Biofilms are microorganisms living and interacting together in a goo matrix (goo is not the technical term), they are highly resistant to stress that would kill them if they were going it alone, this unfortunately includes antibiotics. So the bacteria in her blood get knocked down by the antibiotics (she is on several very potent ones) but they are replaced with ones coming out of the biofilm/clot. They are using medication to try and dissolve the clot, which is a problem by itself, so the antibiotics can do their job but this is not without risks. They are using very aggressive treatments to try and knock this out once and for all so that they can save Dakota's life. She was born prematurely and so has been a fighter since the day she was born, please pray, send positive thoughts or whatever you believe in that the doctors have gotten her on the right treatments and that she has the strength to beat this thing! Thank you all!

Note: Thank you to all my regulars who are still reading this blog, I am sorry I have been too busy with work and life to keep up with both writing this blog and keeping up with your blogs. Once I get my life balanced and some issues worked out I will hopefully have the time to resume blogging more, so much has happened of the past few months I am pretty overwhelmed. I've been trying to stay in touch using twitter, if you have it and want to chit chat with me on there I am Microblogology, send me an @ message so I know you are one of my bloggy friends and not a spammer. If you have skype that is even better than twitter. Miss you all!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tipsy Tuesday

Ever since I got my dad the Mr. Beer brew kit he has been hooked on brewing his own beer. I remember him attempting to make his own when I was a kid but it did not last too long between it not being very successful and my mother very much was against this hobby (it does create an odor that may not appeal to all). When I was an undergrad I took a microbiology course that included a lab component, in this lab we made a batch of beer and in doing so I became aware of what Daddy had been doing wrong. When you bottle beer while home brewing you need to add a bit of sugar, aka priming sugar, the yeast metabolize this sugar and convert it mainly into carbon dioxide, which creates the fizz that is associated with beer.

Daddy had been trying to add the priming sugar to the bottles individually and it was messy, difficult and often did not produce the right amount of carbonation. Too little carbonation and you have a flat beer, not very appealing I imagine. If you have too much carbonation you will have to get a ladder and lick the beer off the ceiling if you want any, which WeaselMomma probably would have done if this happened to her Coors Light the day after Lent. In micro we added the priming sugar to the bucket and then bottled it, worked every time. The Mr. Beer kit's instructions agreed with my lab protocol and Daddy adopted it and low and behold it works! And so without that challenge he has had time to experiment with other aspects of making fermented beverage. Like when I managed to get him a sample of super yeast, he is still playing with it since the first batch.

One of his recent challenges is making hard lemonade, one of Baby Sibling's alcoholic beverages of choice. They have very different versions of how this came about, Sibling says Daddy just offered to make it because he was interested in the challenge, this account is Daddy's version:

The continuing adventures of the BrewMeister……

Following my great success with Bill's Kickass Ale, I have continued to develop my excellent, high quality low cost Brew. I found a hops source which charges less than $2.00 per ounce for high quality leaf hops in pound quantity, which drops the price of 5 gallons by up to $5.00. The first batch was a bit weak but drinkable; Richard loved it and with his revitalized taste buds that is saying something. The latest batch is the best of all. I used the new Hops (Glacier alpha of 5.9) and boiled it for an hour.

But alas my euphoria of creating the perfect brew was short lived; my bubble was burst. My ego deflated. My youngest daughter asked a very degrading question: Can I make Hard lemonade? The BrewMeister was degraded! Humiliated! Why would the BrewMeister want to make disgusting swill like lemonade? Nonetheless, if a true BrewMeister can make peanut butter out of shit (sorry Texas) hard lemonade cannot be that difficult.

A Google search for hard lemonade gave several ghastly recipes involving killing the yeasties and artificial carbonization. Peasants!! A true BrewMeister does not kill yeasties and artificially carbonate. They deserve to drink supermarket swill! My first batch will be bottled in a few days and my bet is that between Richard and my daughter it won’t last long.

Now, about that Peanut butter challenge…

Microblogologist again, I have no idea what this weird peanut butter reference is, perhaps NukeDad can enlighten me as he is from Texas. There is a chance Daddy was testing his experiments when he wrote his post, I wouldn't be surprised one way or the other with him, lol. According to the Sibling this nasty concoction was delish, as I have in the past I question her taste... Of course the fact that I am not a fan of lemonade and any form of lemon with the one exception of lemon bars might make me a bit biased about something lemon flavored (do NOT get me started on one of the most vile drugs in the world, carbonated lemon flavored magnesium citrate, and what I believe should happen to the idiot who came up with this absolutely wretched drink!). I hope you all enjoyed this post, feel free to leave some ego inflating comments for Daddy, mayhap we'll convince him to start his own blog, though that might not be a good idea since I won't get these lovely guest posts from him then! Quit laughing Uncle Richard, you might not get enough oxygen to your brain if you keep it up!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm a huge McFan of McMommy!

McMommy, who is fabulous and if you do not read her blog you are totally missing out, had a fun idea to have her McFan's post fan pics similar to the one she made for Oprah when she joined the twitterverse. This has given me the motivation to go through with an idea I have had for awhile now and show you, my dear reader(s), how a blog addict such as myself views the world, which can be very different from how "normal" people view the same world.

It all started when I decided I was hungry and didn't want to go home and cook or perhaps had no time to do so because I had lab work after water aerobics and decided to hit the local Wendy's before heading back to my hermit cave rock I live under according to BFF Pasha apartment or lab. I did this somewhat frequently until one night I was totally thrown off, they had to close the road in front of the Wendy's and I REALLY wanted my kid meal and chocolate frosty with cookie dough added (I love that they will spike my frosty with the dough stuff for I think a quarter!). I was trying to figure out how I could get to the Wendy's as I passed it and observed the layout of the barricades. And then, just when I thought all hope was lost I looked ahead and saw the golden arches of a McDonalds. I had no idea it was there because I don't get out much this is on the opposite side of town from where I normally am. I got my happy meal, complete with toy for Niecey and decided that I like the McD's kid meal better than Wendy's except for the lack of the awesome frosty goodness (I hate that McD's "chocolate" shakes are really vanilla shakes with some chocolate flavor added, gross!) and so have switched over.

Another reason I enjoy going to the McDonalds is that it reminds me of two of my favorite bloggers, McMommy and HappyHourSue (her blog title is Happy Meals and Happy Hour, which you would know if you aren't her husband and read her awesome blog!). And so dearest reader(s), I present to you what I see in my mind when I am going on a happy meal run:

Welcome to McMommy's, can we take your order please?

Here is the menu for the food:
A happy meal option that is extra happy!

Here is the McCafe menu:
McMommytini anyone?

And here is what comes with the most popular meal by far at McMommy's, The Happy Hour Sue Happy Meal:
The yummy crusty browned part of the turkey stuffing.

And your very own Bathtub Gangta Mini!

So there you have it, a blog addict's view of the world. And Melisa, I remember you bringing up this question in a post at some point and this should be proof positive for you that you are not the only one that is often reminded about their bloggy friends/idols, though my being the one that is proof that it happens might not be the most reassuring as far as if it is sane or not ;).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I have not posted in a long time. There are various reasons for that, most of which I will eventually blog about but mainly fall under my being very busy with work, dealing with my health issues, having family visit, and just life in general. I've tried to keep in touch a bit, through twitter, blog comments, e-mail and skype. I thank everyone who has cared about how I am doing and especially those who have checked up on me to make sure I am ok, I am (mostly) and I will be fine. I have not forgotten about you all nor this blog, I have many plans for it, unfortunately more plans than I have time at the moment but I will eventually get this blog back up off the ground. In the mean time you can browse my archives, I have a few decent posts mixed in there, if you haven't already and want a Microblogologist fix ;).

All that aside the true purpose of this post is to pay tribute to one very special little girl, Madeline Alice Spohr. This is a little girl who was born prematurely on 11/11/2007 (11 weeks and 1 day early), she passed away on 4/7/2009. In her short time on this planet she has touched a lot of people, in her death she has touched even more, both in person and on the internet. People from around the world have heard about this beautiful child who was taken from her family way too soon and in the week since she has passed away have donated thousands of dollars to her March of Dimes team. That money will go towards helping families with sick babies and towards research that will help prevent prematurity and find treatments for those babies who are born premature or with other conditions.

The March of Dimes was founded in response to the polio epidemic that claimed many lives in the US and around the world, they proposed that everyone could spare a dime to help find a cure/vaccine, and one of the most successful and long-lived charities was born and as a result polio has been eradicated from the US and most of the world (it is still an issue in some third world countries due to lack or resources, education, and anti-western sentiments in certain populations). Their current focus is now primarily on prematurity, both its prevention and treatment and research funded by the March of Dimes has greatly improved the chances of babies born prematurely and made it possible to save babies born extremely premature (about 23 weeks is the current minimum gestational age that is potentially viable outside the womb) and they are working on treatments that will help spare these micropremies from the high chance of disabilities associated with being born so early.

Maddie's amniotic sac broke early, when her mother was about 19 weeks pregnant, this resulted in Maddie's lungs not being able to develop properly. During gestation the fetus "breathes" amniotic fluid which aids in lung development and maturation. Maddie fell ill with a respiratory infection and her fragile lungs just couldn't keep up. Today, the 14th of April, a mother will speak at her baby's funeral. They have asked that people wear purple to celebrate Maddie's life and that instead of buying flowers that people donate to the March of Dimes. I have included the badge for Maddie's March of Dimes page, their original goal was $3000, since news got out about Maddie's passing they have earned over $25,000 in donations. That is simply amazing. If you would like to donate to Maddie's team simply click on the badge below, maybe we can help prevent another mother from speaking at her baby's funeral, because no parent should have to go through the hell that Maddie's parents are going through and every baby deserves a chance to live. Thank you to all who donate and to Maddie's parents for sharing their precious daughter with the world and reminding us what is most important.

Note: Please forgive any errors in this post, it was mostly written from memory and I've been trying not to cry while writing it, not an easy task (I simply cannot imagine what her parents are going through).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Workin' on my Fitness Melisa Style

As some of you are aware I have recently added Melisa to my list of people I stalk blogs I read. She is so cool, though her sons may not always think so they are teens and so don't count (unless they are agreeing with me) ;). One of the things I learned about Melisa is that she is a group fitness instructor, I enjoyed reading posts from the instructor's point of view. Many of you are aware that I do water aerobics, that is a group fitness class, after I graduate I will most likely be moving back to the Chicagoland area and have been contemplating how I can keep doing water aerobics there. Of course this led to the logical conclusion that Melisa is going to have to start teaching water aerobics and WeaselMomma should totally become my water aerobics buddy, how fun would that be?! I tweeted this to her and she admitted that she actually has taught water aerobics in the past but she found it boring, guess most of the people that went were little old ladies who weren't the cool ornery kind. And so with this post I am continuing my campaign to convince Melisa that my idea is brilliant and she needs to go with it (and on days she isn't our instructor she should totally join WM and I, once again I predict much fun!).

Dear Melisa,

I already showed you the post with the video of how awesome Flat WeaselMomma and I are at water aerobics and from that and meeting her one can predict that the real WeaselMomma would be even more awesome. Well I decided that I should suck up "up the ante" as OhCaptain might say and show you why you should definitely become my water aerobics instructor because I am so your kind of instructee! Back in May of 2008 you posted about how you wore one of your fabulous tiaras while teaching your spin class and it was a mega workout and challenged your readers to try it as well. Being as I did not have time to hit the "mall" before leaving for my next workout and figuring that it would probably not stay on my head given the movements we do and it could possibly rip up the swim cap so I busted out my silver and gold sharpies and the tiara swim cap was born!

Not too shabby I think, drawing a tiara on the swim cap while wearing it was not the easiest of tasks (because it stretches I figured this was really the only way to do it). I made sure to take pictures in case metallic sharpies are water soluble, wouldn't want to spend all that time and effort and not get a pictures of it! Here is another shot of me before I got in the pool, showing off my awesome water aerobics outfit and if you squint you can see them massive muscles I've gotten over time (thanks to the lifeguard for snapping this shot for me).

And to answer your question if wearing a tiara made for a more butt kicking workout:

YES IT DID! Look I'm too exhausted to even give a real/full smile and totally look like a drowned rat fabulous. And so there you have it Melisa, I am the perfect candidate for your water aerobics class (that currently doesn't exist)! We would all have so much fun, even if the rest of the class were little old ladies and WeaselMomma and I were the only young people in the pool while you taught (unless you decided to teach from the pool like some of my instructors have done or do) and the three of us were the young people if and when we had a different instructor. People would be so jealous of us given how much fun we would have while looking fantastic. And so you should definitely start teaching water aerobics again, in a heated shallow pool (cold locks up my knee and I am short and HATE deep water aerobics and freeze real easy).

Your Future Devoted Class Member,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Christopher Updated

2/28/09: About 6 weeks or so ago I introduced you to a little boy, he is the nephew of one of the bloggers I read, VegasDad. For those who don't have time or don't feel like clicking, Christopher is the adorable 2 year old with a bum ticker pictured above (Sorry VegasDad, I stole your pics for this post, hope you don't mind!). In January he had to have an extremely risky open heart surgery to try and correct his defective heart. His parents were given the choice, try to save him with a series of highly risky operations or watch him slowly die, no parent should ever have to make such a decision! Obviously since I mentioned his surgery in January his parents decided to risk the surgical option, it went rather well though I guess they found his heart is worse than they thought in some ways so they are doing the second surgery sooner rather than later, as short of a break between as possible from the sounds of it. This week he faces some tests that will determine what surgery/procedure he will get at the end of the week and so it will be a tough one for him and his family. Please keep this little guy and his family in your hearts and prayers this week.

Christopher's uncles have been raising money to help out their sister and family with some of the costs that insurance does not cover, not only medical costs but also things like time off work and driving from their home to Duke. They set up a free tech help service in which people can ask a tech question and get an answer for free, and he is a professional tech nerd, and ask that if you benefited or just feel like helping out and don't need advice that you donate to the fund. In the two months since they set up the fund people have donated over $3000, you guys are awesome!

Christopher after his first surgery, pic stolen from here.

And here is where I ask those of you who are parents or have experience with 2 year olds or are just hit with inspiration for help. They need to keep this poor kid on bed rest after these surgeries, which has been difficult as I am sure any of you who has been within 500 feet of a 2 year old can imagine. Does anyone have any ideas that would be free/cheap and easy to do to help keep Christopher from getting bored but keeping him still/in bed? Please leave your ideas/suggestions in the comments and I'll harass ask VegasDad to pass them along, thanks in advance!

3/4/09: Amazing news, his heart valve has improved to the point where he does not need the surgery right now! The docs were beyond stunned because this NEVER happens, how awesome is that?! Thank you everyone for praying for this little guy. He is not completely better by any stretch, he has multiple heart defects, but for now he can go home and be a 2 year old =).

Also about the request for ways to keep him occupied while on bed rest: Thank you so much for the lovely comments first of all, love them! I may not have been clear enough, though awesomely the subject is somewhat unnecessary at the moment given he is not having surgery right now (not sure when but from what it sounds like down the road at some point he will have more). After his surgery he of course is going to naturally have a period where he is hurting too bad to try to get up and such, the problem they were having, and VegasDad specifically mentioned to me, is that he starts to feel better BEFORE he is supposed to be off bed rest. I think part of it is because he has been sickly his whole life and so is used to pushing through more than someone who hasn't. Also the heart surgery improved his circulation significantly, so he probably suddenly has more energy than normal and feels better perhaps than before but that does not negate the fact that he had just had open heart surgery and NEEDED to stay still. Niecey was an extremely energetic and active 2 year old and so I can't imagine trying to keep a kid that age in bed and not bored, which is why I was appealing to you all for tips, thanks =).

Monday, February 23, 2009

Time to Celebrate Ian!

Hello everyone, remember me, the dorky quirky microbiology grad student who goes by "The Microblogologist", "Micro", "MB", and occasionally my first name, Karen. Yeah it has been over a week since I posted, working a lot trying to knock the current project out ASAP and trying to catch up on my blog reading has not left much time for this. Oh and twitter totally does NOT help, evil addictive thing that it is! So why am I posting now? It's Ian's birthday!!!!! Put on your party hats and get ready to sing! I do NOT sing and when I write songs I make Ian sing them for me (he has finished 1 of 4 that I have written, I'm cutting him some slack because he is a first year undergrad and is in plays and operas and such, 2 or 3 at a time the past month or so) and so of course I made him sing the happy birthday song for me, feel free to join in:

OK time for the cake! I thought about having it be a dual purpose cake to also serve to celebrate Randy's journey to S. Korea but it is definitely not a "Randy cake" as it does not contain full frontal nudity, in case you want to see it and keeping in mind I am 100% NOT kidding about the nudity (my keyword list is likely to get interesting after this!) I'll link to his official farewell cake. I have never tried linking a facebook pic so if it doesn't work it doesn't work, I am NOT going to put it on my blog or into photobucket or whatever, go bug him (actually you should, he'll get sad if Gregg and I are his only readers!) Here is the cake that I got for Ian:

We've had our cake, it was pretty yummy too! The smiley face is definitely appropriate because Ian is totally a big ball of sunshine =)! Now it is time for the presents, here is what I picked out and if I were totally wealthy I would so get them for him:

Manpris for when it is too hot for pants but too cold for shorts!

Uggs, because he loves them and says they are comfy,
these match the manpris so he can show them off!

A nice polo shirt to go with the manpris and boots.

And what outfit is complete without a matching man purse!?
Coach of course!

Oh and here is another rendition of the birthday song for you Ian, I found it in the related vids for the first and HAD to post it!:

I hope you had a wonderful day, I am sorry that you had to spend it 400 miles away from your family and Pasha! My advice, celebrate it again when you go home next, it is not about the date it is about spending time with those you love. Love you kiddo!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Randy the Globe Trotter

Twenty years ago at the ripe old age of five I started kindergarten. In my class was an Asian boy, he was very quiet. Over the next 12 years or so this Asian kid and I attended school together, though we did not become friends until high school. In high school we spent many hours hanging out in the school library before classes started, my group and I had claimed this area for the unpopular kids to hang out in. Being as it is a small school it is hard to break out of whatever reputation you have, the Asian kid stayed quiet for the most part until prom night when he just let it all out and danced his heart out, the boy has got some major skillz and I wish I had been there to see them that night. He was starting to break out of this shell that he had formed early in his schooling.

You see when this little Asian boy walked into kindergarten he knew very little English. The language barrier was one reason he was quiet, the main reason at first really. He learned English but it was so well established that he was a quiet person he just stayed that way. In June of 2001 we graduated together. While he had started to break the mold before we graduated high school in college he was no longer bound by what people expected from him and he was able to reinvent himself. Gone was the quiet Asian boy and in his place was an Asian man who shared his ideas and showed his passions. It was wonderful to see my friend come out of his shell and become the person he is today. And remember how I said he didn't really know English going into school, he now has a bachelor's degree in the subject!

On Tuesday he is going to complete the circle, he is getting on an airplane. That airplane will take him out of the country. At the end of his trip he will arrive in South Korea where he is going to teach English. He has never been over there, he was born here to a Vietnamese and a Cambodian, neither of those countries were good places for him to go to since I think they have some bad blood between them and also they prefer white people to teach them English, guess they feel it is more Englishy or something, lol. I bet you he would be a way better English teacher than I would be and I am about as pasty as it gets, haha! Either way he is going to be worlds away form home and I think that takes some major courage. Oh and I pestered him incessantly and he caved and started a blog, a real one and not a facespace blog/note! I am looking forward to reading about his adventures on the other side of the globe, if you are too give him a click, maybe give him some comment love in case he is lonely over there.

I know I have said it before many times but I am so proud of you Randy, you have overcome so many obstacles along the way and become a person that I am honored to call my friend. Stay safe, have fun, and remember to stay in touch with your hermit friend back in the states! And you're welcome for not stealing a pole dancing pic from one of your facebook albums to share with the blogosphere ;).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Dishwasher

A professor once told my class that if you have a question you should ask it and not feel stupid because most likely if it is not clear to you there will be more people who don't get it too but are too scared to ask and will be grateful you had the courage to. I took this lesson to heart and have found that when I have asked profs to clarify something there are a lot of murmurer and pens/pencils moving! So I have decided to apply this lesson to my blog, Nonna asked about the Dishwasher, who starred in my documentary about the pink goo. She wanted to know if he minded being called "The Dishwasher" and why I call him that (note: I call him by his real name most of the time).

To answer the first part of that question watch the documentary, notice that when I called him "The Dishwasher" he didn't miss a beat, the poor guy has been working in the same lab with me for way too long and so that totally didn't phase him nor upset him. The skip in the vid was my deciding to explain to him why I called him that (I totally forgot in my excitement to get the interview recorded to inform him of my privacy policy and what I named him for the blog) and asking if he minded or if he'd prefer another nickname or his real name. He laughed and said he liked "The Dishwasher" and so that he shall remain.

And as to the why, besides me being insane there are actually two reasons I call him "The Dishwasher". The first is because of the lab jerk (aka Prof Wannabe). The lab jerk is one of those go get 'em types in many regards, which can be good. His is a first class butt kisser when it comes to the higher powers (professors or people he can exploit), but us lowly fellow lab workers do not deserve his precious time that he doesn't have enough of. Idiot is a grad student in I have no idea how many clubs and wonder if he knows, and wonders why he has no time! I am in one club, which I might quit since he recently joined and seems to be taking it over, besides I don't have enough time for it really since I have to focus on my research, writing and prelims (currently 100% focus is on research). When he first started as a grad student it was after he had done a summer internship in the lab, during the summer he managed to piss everyone off including me, and I was only in for a few days before my wrist forced me to take the summer off.

Everyone but I was an undergrad in the lab and when I came back he was trying to be friends with me in hopes of having one person in the lab not loathing him. The arrogant SOB was telling me how he felt the lab dynamics should be, basically the undergrads should be our slaves and do all of our prep work and wash our dishes and basically do our job while we just do the thinking part. I tried to nicely explain that our lab did not work like that, the undergrads in our lab had experience and were among the top of their class and hand picked by the lab's prof to do actual research. These were not minimum wage freshmen, they were slightly above minimum wage upper classmen! They were hired for specific projects and undergrads here can only put in 20 hours a week working for the university while classes are in session as per university policy, that is not much time and really they did not have time to do their work and ours! His response was to say we should hire a slave then, I told him that was highly unlikely and that the prep and cleanup was our job and most grad students have to do that stuff too, least the ones I have worked with in all the labs I have worked in. His views have not changed, his attempts at trying to get me to change mine failed and we are currently mortal enemies. What has changed is the lab dynamic, the undergrads graduated and one got a real job while another decided that grad student life was for her (poor misguided soul!), suddenly we were a lab of grad students and there was but one undergrad, the lowly Dishwasher. Being the pain in the butt hilarious coworker that I am I would tease him about how he is the undergrad and I am the grad and so he should do all my work for me and wash my dishes and everything! He and I would go back and forth exaggerating the lab jerk's insane ideas a bit as a form of playing around and stress relief, working with someone like the lab jerk is highly stressful which is great for blogging since it triggers GI issues that make it hard to sleep so might as well write a blog post and feel guilty my brain is too mushy to do lit review to make my boss happy.

The other reason behind my naming him "The Dishwasher" is because as an undergrad he takes a ton of coursework, which requires a lot of time and does not leave as much time for him to do lab work. One thing that tends to suffer when one is busy and trying to get their job done is dishes. You HAVE to do prep work or you can't do the research, of course doing the research is the whole point, and in the end the only thing one can really slack on is doing the dishes afterwards. Sometimes this causes conflict, it is very annoying when you come in and all the dishes are dirty and my pet peeve is when all the sinks are full of them, the lab has 3 sinks with two basins each there is no excuse to fill them all! Also sometimes one of us who is feeling benevolent or who has given up on the person ever doing them, will just wash the dishes for that person, this makes Dishwasher feel very guilty. His way of trying to avoid conflict and guilt was to write a note on the board saying to leave the dishes for him to do. Being the smart ass comical coworker that I am I would usually either write under it that my test tubes are waiting for him on my bench or I'd tell him it in person if I saw him. Sometimes I would refer to him as the lab's dishwasher and such, yep I'm a hoot to work with!

And that my adoring public is why I call him "The Dishwasher", the combination of inside jokes and slight insult aimed at the lab jerk (who I'm naming my ulcer after if I have an ulcer, find out in a few months probably). The Dishwasher is a great person to work with, he is laid back and puts up with my silliness. I would never let him wash my dishes as that is my job, the only one I let do so is V and that is because we share when we are both working and rotate who cleans the dishes and does the prep work, easier than splitting everything up. And I told him I was going to make him famous so look forward to hearing of him in the future, when I get around to it, lol.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Microblogologist Production

A few days ago I noticed a container in the hallway outside my lab. Being the snoop concerned citizen that I am I of course had to investigate. It was unlabeled and contained what appeared to be seeded pink hand soap. Yesterday I looked at it again and decided to make a documentary about it, enjoy:

Unfortunately the goo was gone by the time I got back to do my last set of plating so there was no explosion and no more trying to capture the pulsating/bubbling of the goo, it was fun while it lasted! The goo is actually a part of a competition thing that the food science major nerds do every year, it is a big deal to their kind and so the Dishwasher and I can't tell you what their ultra secret pink goo is at this point. If I am aware of it after the contest is over I can try and find out more about it and let you know if anyone wants. It has another endorsement from a coworker who has tried it, in its non-fermented form, no one seemed interested in trying the fermented form for some reason! If I get a memo about a taste panel for it I think I'll give it a try and maybe get a vid of it, if I have time.

Note: I am being exceedingly kind calling him the "lab jerk". He is a vile and loathsome creature (can be nice, chooses not to).

Special thanks to the Dishwasher for participating in the documentary!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Math Major Monday

The other day I was doing some prep work for my current project and was making up the tubes I need to make dilutions for spread plating. If you click that link note that it is one of my first videos and so I was still working on the whole learning to talk coherently and do lab work at the same time, lol. Oh and I plan to bring Guess that Gizmo back I just have been busy and it was not getting the response I wanted so I kind of put it on the back burner figuring I might pick up a few more readers and revive it.

Back on track. I was doing this prep work and one of the first thing one should do while doing prep work is to figure out how much of something you need. I have become a white board addict for this kind of task, don't waste paper and it is quick and easy to correct errors. The lab has a big one but lately it has been filled up with the chicken scratches of the lab jerk (he makes my crappy handwriting look good!). For that I am not really faulting him since I am as well, I tend to be less of a hog about it. It just so happened though that I had gone shopping at Cubs, which used to be the place I bought most of my groceries but the opening of the Super Walmart has changed my life forever, one stop shopping is a beautiful thing! Since I was in the area though I decided to snoop around Cubs and found a dollar bin, I am a sucker for those, LOVE the ones at Target! They had these little white boards, pretty crappy but only a dollar, I decided to get it for the lab and imagined using it to harass people. Well between lab jerk hogging the white board and me liking to have reminders to help me not miss something on a long day I've basically only used it for legitimate reasons. This day I used it to write out the calculations for figuring how much peptone water (water with stuff in it so it is gentle on the bacteria) I needed to make. Here is the picture of it with the calculations all written out:

I promise you that 3000ml (3 liters), is the correct answer. There are 72 tubes per rack. If I have any engineers I think some of them would get it and the rest are likely convulsing on the floor. I wrote it out and afterwards decided it looked funny, makes perfect sense to me but to an outsider it probably looks like a math FAIL. Anyone want to take a stab how someone with a bachelor of science degree and a calculator managed to make 1300+1440=3000? And no, it is not an example of my having lost my sanity, though the lab jerk has been pushing it to its limit lately. I keep reminding myself that the prison probably wouldn't let me have much internet access and that Doc actually checks the police blotter to see if any of his patients did something stupid (he told me after I expressed my semi-joking wish to hit lab jerk with a rolled up newspaper). I was instructed not to get my name in the paper, being the super compliant patient that I am I did actually get my name in the paper that week, just not the blotter, lol!

My boss saw it before I did and now won't stop harassing me to get going on writing up the current experiment, get the stuff that does not involve the data and data analysis written up now, so not my style though, especially after a long day in the lab! Good thing she does not know about the bloggity! Though this is seriously very very different writing wise and I am using this to try and help me sharpen up my writing skillz a bit since it has been awhile since I took a course that required that much writing and I am incredibly intimidated by this technical/scientific writing thing. I have never really done it before, my one attempt I felt sucked really bad, so it is kinda scary, but I will figure it out and she will help by ripping it to shreds until I get it right! Hopefully it won't be too bad, we shall see. Between that, and lab work, and twitter/facebook I have not had as much time for blogging, both as a writer and a reader and am behind on both, miss you all and I will eventually catch up with reading and am trying to make sure I post once in awhile so you all don't think I died or something.

One last thing before I crash, on twitter a few of us were chatting and Flat WeaselMomma came up and McMommy decided she wants to host FWM (that would be so cool) and then she started contemplating making a Flat McMommy and sending her up to hang out with the Weasels. Then the idea snowballed and she wants to come visit me and hang out in the lab too! I totally played it cool and was all saying it could be arranged but I was totally doing the excited tween girl contemplating meeting a Jonus brother or something tweens are into these days!!!!! I'd consider Flat Microblogologist but it would cause Baby Sibling to make fun of me since I am already flat, she got almost ALL the boob allowance for our family and did not leave much for Middle Sister and I, Middle Sister is the one that actually wants it too! Anyone have any ideas for what I should do if and when Flat McMommy comes to visit? For sure she'll join me in the lab but I have to show her more than just that. Something fun to think about =)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


While catching up on her blog (or is it this one...) I once again came across Nonna's obsession with the vile white crap that falls from the sky like manna but evil and not from heaven. Never mind the death and destruction it leaves in its wake, Nonna wants to play in it! I believe her and Niecey would get along quite well as the child loves snow (she will probably grow out of it living in the midwest). I decided Niecey was old enough to play outside by herself as long as she stayed in view of the window so I could supervise her from the warmth of my aunt's place over thanksgiving. She got her fix and stopped whining and I got to be the coolest auntie ever and stay warm, perfect!

And so, for Nonna, I put aside my hatred and "played" in the snow just for her:

Note my awesome not falling skillz! And in case anyone notices, no I am not wearing gloves, I do not get adequate circulation to my fingers to be able to really wear them. I am better off keeping my hands in my pockets with the exception of when I am cleaning/shoveling the snow I have a pair of gloves that have a mitten shell that work to a point and are better than leaving my hands completely exposed to the elements. I hope you all enjoyed my romp in the snow and those of you blessed with a warm climate free of the retched stuff appreciate how awesome you have it, if not I propose a switch, I live at your place and you can hang out in the frozen wasteland! I will admit that it can be pretty, here is an example:

I snapped this shot as I power-walked across campus to get to water aerobics, I was late and so went straight from work as the sun was setting. I couldn't help but stop to capture the bell thingy with the snow and sunset thing going on. It has a fancy name that I forget how to spell and it is a huge campus landmark, it makes noise every 15 minutes and a prof plays music on it at noon and I think sometimes later in the day as well, it is cool.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Facebook Facts Meme

Uncle Richard decided to tag me for a meme thing on facebook. Since I am a blogger I decided to do it here and not there, I only use facebook to harass people.

25 Random Things About Me:

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note containing 25 random facts about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you.

1. Until I left for grad school and with the exception of two work injuries at the deli I always went to the same clinic/hospital that I was born in.

2. Doc has spoiled me by being competent and putting up with my silliness so I'll probably die if I go back. Seriously they are messing up my middle sister, her doc never heard of fricking MS (she may or may not have MS, we don't know because he is too stupid to test her).

3. I love my plants. They have their own room in my apartment, they share it with my computer/home office.

4. When I was an infant I shared my nursery with Daddy's computer until we moved into our house not long before middle sis was born.

5. The number 5 is my favorite number, I am all into multiples of 5, LiteralDan shares this obsession.

6. I collect GIANTmicrobes, I'm such a nerd!

7. If they made my research organism I would be so happy!

8. I am seriously considering using GIANTmicrobes to decorate any future offspring's nursery, if I have girls then syphilis and kissing disease, a boy perhaps cold and the clap...

9. I would rather have girls than boys if I procreate, which means I will definitely end up with boys with only the weird family thing to protect me from that fate. My Dad has three girls and has a granddaughter, his sister (who really wanted a girl) has three boys and a grandson.

10. I have a friend who only wants boys, I told her we should plan ahead so we can trade!

11. While Richard was top speller in the 3rd grade I peaked in 2nd by winning my class's bee, I blew the first word in the big bee (thru not through, lol).

12. I wanted to write a microbiology version of the 12 days of Christmas but got too busy and sick to actually do it, maybe I'll get it written for this Christmas!

13. Researching the Dreidel Song for my newest song made me fall in love with it and I think given how Christmas seems to be trying to kill me I might want to consider celebrating Hanuka instead, of course that holiday would have 8 days instead of just 2 to get the job done should it decide to kill me too...

14. I hope Ian records my new song soon...

15. Like Richard I can't dance, we are just too pigmentally challenged my dearest adopted uncle! It was hilarious when Niecey was learning to dance, you could tell who she was copying in the beginning, the slightest bob thing was my signature dance, with my bad knee and her poor coordination at the time it was the best move for both of us. Her style has evolved a lot since then but I think you can see some of her early influences, you be the judge (the tongue out arms outstretched is a new move she invented, the zombie!):

16. When I had my appendix out I "raced" the other appendectomy kid and totally smoked him, of course I was a few years older and had the laproscopic and I think his burst and they had to cut him all the way open. Either way I gave him a head start and I dragged my own IV and held my own guts in, he had two nurses!

17. I rode a mechanical bull when I was 16 (give or take), it messed up my wrist and I suspect is part of why I messed it up so bad here. The only good part I can think of is that I was in a volunteering group and we went to the mayor of my hometown's wake and I made his widow laugh when I answered her question as to what I did to my wrist (it was splinted) with my standard, "I got into a fight with a mechanical bull, it won." It is one of the prouder moments of my life, it felt good to be able to give that poor woman something to laugh about in such a horrible time.

18. I wish I knew where my appendectomy video went, I'm afraid my mother recorded over it, it was pretty cool and I brought it to school to show my biology class.

19. I am going to ask for a vid of my stomach scope, if I think it is cool enough you will all get to see it too.

20. This is my least favorite kind of meme, I suck at thinking of stuff off the top of my head, I need inspiration to work my quirky magic!

21. I am giddy over the impeachment/impeachment trial of my former governor, my office mate told me I was enjoying reading the paper too much the other day since I kept cracking up while reading about it. Seriously how can you not when you read about how he is trying to cast himself as the victim and boycotting his own trial. He is a lovely dramatized version of Chicago politics, never trust a Chicago politician, the corruption jokes aren't actually jokes, the politicians are!

22. The thought of Blago making Oprah the replacement senator amused me greatly, I think I would have considered watching whatever channel broadcasts the senate stuff just to see if she treated it like her show, hehehe. Hell I'd consider voting for her just to see that, especially if the republican candidate sucked (probably would, it is IL and they all do in both parties)!

23. Adam Sandler has a special place in my heart, my mother really needs to start paying attention to if he is in movies she takes us to see. My prude and somewhat religious mother. Did any of you see Little Nicky? She made me see it because she somehow got free tickets and didn't want to waste them by not going even though I had a paper due the next day... Only reason she didn't walk out is because of the huge fit she threw to make us go, she was extremely offended by that movie and I enjoyed it greatly knowing that! His Zohan movie offended her too just not as much, hehehe.

24. I think I harass my doctor too much but probably don't see him as much as I should. I have trouble figuring out if whatever is bad enough to warrant a visit and since I am sickest at night and usually feel a lot better in the morning I usually put off calling for weeks. If he talked to me at 2am many nights in the past he'd have been able to convince me to have just about any test/referral he wanted. Figuring out this stuff was always Mom's job, I am so not into this grown up crap!

25. I always procrastinate going to bed, even when I am exhausted and it doesn't make much sense because I love being in bed!

Tags: Cheryl and Nonna, because you both bitched that I didn't tag you before when I made a point of not tagging anyone, congrats you've been tagged! Anyone who is bored and wants to use this has my blessing.