Friday, September 29

Fri at last

Went to boxing twice this week after doing my usual weight routine. I have lightened up my weight routine a bit (less reps/lighter weights in some cases) b/c I quite sore on the weekend. My knees and quads are the muscles that are really achy tonight, as well my calf.

Planned to take 1/2 day today, seemed like a good plan yesterday. But then today it was so rainy - i thought that I'd just come home and sleep. Still sounds good right? Except that if I sleep during the day, I have a hard time sleeping at night. Again, normally not a problem if the next day is Sat. Except that I have a defensive driving class tomorrow morning(have to be there by 830am). Class is boring true, but, food is provided and last time - the cookies were delicious. Plus it's only every 3yrs and it's great to get 10% deduction on my car ins. I can use all the deductions I can get. So I figured I 'd just stick it out today. I was very sleepy at times. But made it to the end. Did have a small nap on the futon for like 20min. But I'm kind sleepy now so no harm done. Bed in 5min.

Had to go to a seminar earlier this week. The mandate came from the senior VP of our dept that we should attend - meaning of course that it was mandatory and he would be checking to see who missed it. Yeah so I went. 90 min of my life..gone...poof! The man talked non-stop for 90min. Normally when you are given a time slot of 50min for a presentation, they expect you talk for 45min-hr max leaving the remaining time for questions. This guy kept saying that he'd come back to "that" or "talk more in detail about this" later. After he'd already bored us for an hr. Unbelievable. He had at least 100 slides if not more. Half of them could have been (and should have been) cut since they repreesented very similar data points. I don't recall much of the crap he talked about since I spent half the time trying to stay awake (this takes a lot of brain power) and the other half of the time being annoyed at having to be there.

Finally the bad karma, the bad juju, the skewed alignment of the planets that affect me are all gone. The chemistry gods are smiling on me again. So my boss told me that when our group head did the reaction I've been trying to redo he didn't add one of the chemicals that I added (perfectly legit for me to have done since I got the procedure from a literature reference) but apparently for this particular substrate, it is critical not to add it. Would have been nice to know that piece of info 3 weeks ago but no big. I repeated the reaction (4th time) and it worked. I could have done a happy dance today when I saw my product crashing out (chemist speak for solid coming out of solution). And what's even better is that I have a decent yield. I've left it to dry over the weekend but as is, it's at 90% and I expect to lose about 5-10% of the wieght after it's dried. Even so, still decent. Thank you God. I was getting really discouraged by it all and really needed this...success! Should have set up a couple reactions this weekend but was too tired to do it. By the time I got my results back for the reaction starting materials, it was 5pm and I was more than ready to leave.

This week I got 3 huge zits on my face. What is up with that? So not working for me. I managed not to pick the first 2 and they are both almost gone. The 3rd oneis just out and harder to ignore since it's near my chin - the others were on my forehead and didn't drive me to scratch them like this one does. I need to leave it alone b/c I tend to scar easily whenever I pick at them and the scars never fade, they just gets darker.

I'm off to bed. Nite.

Monday, September 25


Watched several movies this weekend. Saw Jet Li's Fearless. I really enjoyed it. Classic martial arts type film. My friend compared it to Hero saying it was similar before we went to see it. That turned me off a little cause I didn't care for Hero very much. Yeah, it had great cinamatography, yeah, the sets were great. I don't see moives b/c I'm looking forward to seeing great cinamatography or sets or how philosophical it is. If all that happens while not boring me to death, then ok, but otherwise I can do without all that. For me a classic martial arts movie has spectacular fight scenes with daring moves from both the hero and his opponents and the storyline goes something first our hero fights just for the glory... then some tragedy befalls him and/or his family...he goes away in shame or dishonor and ends up in some remote village...there he learns that it is better to fight for honor and for those who cannot defend themselves...returns to his hometown and fights only for honor and justice. What more could you want than that on a story?

I also borrowed a couple movies. Elizabethtown was a different kind of movie, doesn't quite fit into the usual romantic comedy/drama mold. I enjoyed it. Not a huge fan of Orlando Bloom, he's ok, but he just doesn't do much for me. Still liked the movie though.

Also saw Finding Neverland tonight. It was much better than I thought it'd be. I'd resisted seeing for a long time b/c I wasn't sure I'd like it. There are parts of it that are so sad. I got really choked up watching it. Great movie.

Meant to go get my allergy shots today but then this reaction I was heating started over-heating and it one that can become explosive if heated above a certain temperature. So I couldn't leave it. I changed the heating mantle but the new one still went over the set point and didn't seem to be stabilizung. Don't know what is up with my temp controller. It's supposed to keep it at or below the temp I set it at. In any event by the time I switched it out it was too late - I had to use an oil bath which I don't like using b/c it's very messy.

Can't go tomorrow b/c had to take my inhaler tonight. Don't know if it's because of the weather change but my asthma has been acting up a lot lately.

Went to dinner at C&T's last night. Delicious. Had couple glasses of wine, wheat beer, dessert. I slept very well last night.

Thursday, September 21

looooong it fri yet?

I'm exhausted but in a way it's a good exhaustion. I will probably fall asleep quickly tonight once I get to bed. Went to boxing class twice this week. ONly planned to go to the Tues class but I was just finishing my regular weight routine when the class was starting so I figured I might as well join even though I felt tired. I wasn't sure that I'd have enough energy for it. But I did. I've been practicing the ab work every other day - lying flat , lifting legs off the ground and holding for 10-count - this really hurts. Tonight finally I was able to catch the medicine ball without going "Ooof" or having it hit me in the lower abdomen.
And I was also able to throw it back to our trainer with some force - he said " hey, looks like I'll have to make you do more of this, you're getting good".
Nice to be good at something new. This class rocks. I can feel the fat burning away literally :) I did sretching exercises Tues night after class and also Wed night. It helped I think b/c I was only a little bit sore today before class. I should have done some hamstring stretches before I ate tonight but I was too hungry.

Went to an alumni network thing at a local hangout last night. It was fun, met up with a few friends from college that I knew are living here. Also met a few new people - who's faces I recognized but never really talked to them before when we at school.

I'm going to try to go to the gym Sat after my am walk. That'll make 3 days at the gym this week. That's my real goal. I've also been trying to avoid snacking on crap at night before bed. Also incorporated whole wheat bread into my regular diet.

It's difficult to find whole wheat bread that
a. tastes good
b. doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup
c. doesn't have "enriched" in the ingredients

Apparently "enriched" is bad. I only found this out recently. Was watching discov health (as usu) and saw program where the authors of "you, the owner's manual" were helping this woman take control of her life - where they figure out her "real age".
Anyhoo, this got me on this whoe checking ingredients, at least the first 5 ingredients anyway for the buzz words "enriched" "sugar" "corn syrup" "hydrogenated" and "salt". I had no idea that hydrogenated was bad or that enriched wa not a good thing. Well, I 'll see how long this kick lasts.

I'd better get to bed. My apt is cold. I havent' checked to see if my heat is turned on yet. I might do that tonight. I got a whopper of an electric bill this month. Probably due to air conditioner(when it was hot)/the fact that I've been falling asleep with the light on most nights/space heater(now that it's cold). My bedroom warms up much faster than the living area did. So great to be able to sleep in my bed.

This has been a crap week at work - reactions I've done before that worked fine now have gone to crap. have not been able to repeat same reactions with same sucess as before. In one case I've just set up the reactions again and that synthesis is not long so not a huge deal. with a couple other things though, very bad b/c one has 14 steps and my yields were really low. This means that I probably won't have enough to do the last 2 steps. It took me 2 weeks to get to this point in the synthesis. Bascially I'm screwed and am going to have to explain this somehow. then there's this other reaction that I've done about 7 times before - each time with fairly decent sucess. Last week, I repeated it, crap. This week, repeated it, again crap. I really wanted to take tomorrow off but I can't. I jus have too much to do and I needed to set a couple reactions up tonight before I left. I will have to check them tomorrow and purify, etc. Maybe I can take a half-day. I just need a real break. the boxing tonight really helped me work through my frustrations about work so that's something I guess.
Going to bed now. Nite.

Sunday, September 17

bull riders

Since when do bull riders wear helmets? Sure it's probably safer for them but isn't the danger the whole point of it. Bull riding in a helmet instead of cowboy hat just seems wrong. At least some of them are still wearing hats like they ought to. I find it kinda funny that the bull also gets a score as well as the rider. Why am I watching bull riding? I was channel surfing and bored, that's my story and I'm sticking to it :)

Slept on my bed for the first time(since my move) last night. Had a great sleep. My friend met me there and we picked up the box springs, then he carted them both inside for me. And all it cost me was asking and buying him lunch the day before(at my suggestion).

Still have some residual cold virus in me. Skipped chior/church today. Was very hoarse when I got up in addition to wheezing. I was wheezing a lot last night, even after I'd taken all the meds I could take. A bit worrying. I think it may just be my reaction to the cold. If I'm still sick in a couple days, I will try to get a doctor's appt. I missed getting my shots last week b/c I felt the cold coming. I'm hpoing that I'll feel better tomorrow. Definitely going to bed early tonight.

Fir night I went to see a play at local university called "Art" by Yasmina Reza. Just 3 actors and one basic set. I enjoyed it, it was very funny.

Thursday, September 14


I found this link to strongbad a couple days ago - I'm probably the last person to do so. It's so funny and each one is different. I love it.

talking muscles

Today, all my muscles were talking to me...all at once...and they were not happy. Had to take a couple advil last night and this morning as well just to get me through the pain. I could barely lift my arms above my head - the muscles hurt so badly. I'd planned to go the gym again today and maybe even do the boxing class again in spite of the pain but I fogot my gym clothes. Plus I feel really congested, my chest hurts when I cough b/c all my abdominal muscles are still in shock from Tuesday's boxing session.

And it's also that TOTM. So I guess it ok that I came straight home instead. it's been a crummy week at work. Sick of trying to purify this crap I've been working on. Sick of repeating the analysis. So little material left. If I had my way, I'd have repeated this stupid synthesis, made more material and have a decent amount to work with so I could get it clean enough to ship out. But no, i have to keep working with this crap, supposedly b/c it'd take too much time to remake it, it'd be better if I could just get data from what I've got. What I've got is 15mg (think a pinch of salt). What I'd prefer to work with is 50mg-100mg (think 1/8 - 1/2tsp) of material. I've been re-analyzing this crap for 2weeks now, more than enough time to have remade it twice since it's 2 steps from a common intermediate that we already have made. Unfortunately I don't get final word on this.

Another not so great thing is that our group leader is quibbling about the last thing I shipped. Saying that I should have different amounts even though they are similar to stuff my supervisor(SV) has shipped this week as well. My supervisor at least didn't give me any grief about it - he was just letting me know what the boss said. there's not much I can do to improve the numbers. I know that is all a bit vague but basically he's arguing that my numbers are off by ~.35 from what he thinks they should be. Even though the data makes sense as is and the customer has not complained about it. I guess it could be worse - my SV could be giving me grief about it. SV actually said he didn't think it was an issue but he was just giving me a heads-up.

I feel really out of sorts all round. I'm tired and cranky and crampy and my throat is also sore. I want mallomars :( Not back on the shelves yet...I've checked...anyday now they'll be back. I sure could use a couple right now. My apt is cold. I turned my space heater on and that helped a bit. Still sleeping on the futon. My box springs are finally in but they don't have a delivery service right now. the guy said they are between companies but he gave me a recommendation of a mover to call. So I called them adn the guy has a message on the machine to call his cell. So I call that number and he has the worst message on it, lots of mumbling/weird pauses/etc. I leave 3 messages. We played phone tag for a week. So we make a tentative plan for him to pick up/deliver on Tues. I call the furniture place only to have them tell me that my order was not there but still in transit. So I was confused - why call me a week ago to tell my order had arrived when it hadn't. I have a very uncommon first name and not very popular last name. How many people could he have in his system with a name like mine? Anyway, he said it would get here by this Fri. This all happened Tues around lunchtime. So I call back the delivery guy to cancel and ask him if we can do it Fri. He tells me that he's not sure, call him back Fri.

Then on my way home, I get a message from the furniture store telling that they'd made a mistake, my order was in and I could pick it up anytime. Why is this so hard? So I try to make arrangemens with the guy again and he's not sure he can fit me in and tells me to call him on Fri and he'll see.

I asked a friend at work who has a pickup if he'd take me to pick it up and he said it'd be no problem. So hopefully, if nothing else screwy happens, I'll be sleeping on my bed by Sat night. Can't wait.

Wednesday, September 13

things that make you go Ooof

I think I'm coming down with a cold or something - a guy in my lab has been hacking up his lungs since last Fri so it's probably due to him. I don't get colds very often. I hope it passes soon.

It's hurts when I cough, not just b/c of this stupid cold. Last night I went to the gym and after my regular weight routine, I took a boxing class for the first time. I've always wanted to try it out. I was talking to one of the trainers there and he convinced that it'd be great.

It was great. We all got boxing gloves and the instructor went around to each of us in turn (10 women, 2 men) and we had do series of punches. We all stood in a circle around him, he'd say - 6 punches - then we'd have to start with left glove (always left 1st - I wanted to ask why but decided to just keep quiet as it was my first day :) and hit the pads on his hands and he'd go around to each of us. After we each did it then he'd change the sequence. It was fun. He said I was a natural. He then asked if I'd done a kick-boxing class before b/c I really got the hang of it quickly. It really helps if you count :)

I really enjoyed it though it was tiring. He also made us jog around the room in between sets and I didn't like that at all. We'd punch for about 5min then jog for 2min. At the end, we did ab work. First on exercise ball. He had us all lined up, each of us reclined on a balance ball and he threw this medicine ball to each of us 8 times and we were supposed to throw it back to him, 4 times with our hands behind our head. It looked easy enough for the 4 people ahead of me. When he threw it to me I went "Ooof!" literally. I tried to catch it but it still hit me in the lower abdomen. I wasn't expecting it to be as heavy as it was. It was hard to throw it back to him. Every one else seemed to find that easy. Even the other new girl who was there.

Monday, September 11


I'm really sleepy and need to go to bed soon.
Had a busy weekend. Went to an out-of-town party Sat, a surprise party for a friend. It was fun. We had quite a meandering drive there, what with stop for gas, trying to avoid traffic but taking alternate exits and back-roads. It was all good b/c we carpooled and I wasn't driving. We got there eventually and before the b'day guy got back which was the important thing. We all yelled surprise and he was vey surprised and also very pleased. Lots of food, great wine, wonderful sangria, ouzo shots and birthday cake, brownies and blondies. Got back home around midnight but didn't get to sleep until 1:30ish.

Sun was first day of choir - we're off during the summer. I was going to skip it b/c a) i was tired, had woken up at 7am to do my weekly talk to family (only time we were all available - someday, I'd like us all to live in the same time zone again :)
b) i was hoarse - no doubt due to my late night and the fact that my allergies/asthma had been bothering me all weekend.
I took my meds and after ~45min I felt better so I decied to go after all. By that time I was an hour late but I still went and it was good to be back.
We saw 2 movies yesterday with dinner at great Vietnamese restaurant in between. The first was Hollywoodland. It was quite interesting and moved along at a good pace. I felt it was 15min too long though. Still, worth seeing. Adrien Brody is perfect for his role in this movie. I didn't much care for the ending of the movie.

Then we saw Trust the Man. I enjoyed it a lot. In part b/c I haven't seen David Duchovny in so long and was glad for the chance to watch him again. It was very funny. Even though they gave DD the most awful hair-cut I still enjoyed looking at him. And Billy Crudup is usually not too bad himself but he had one of those stupid triangles of hair under his lip. you know what I mean - I can't quite rememeber what its called. I do know that I want to walk around and shave that off most of the guys who sport it. I'm also quite fond of Julianne Moore. Maggie Gyllenhal has the largest earlobes I have ever seen on a woman, so large that I could see the holes in them when she wasn't wearing earrings. Kind of an odd observation, I know. The ending was a little cheesy but I could live with it.

Had another late night and was too wired to sleep. Banged my arm again on Sat just before I left for the party. I was just out of the shower when the phone rang. While running for the $%#*^@& phone, I literally ran into the door, this time with my left arm just above the elbow again. I did put ice on it and it doesn't hurt nearly as much as it did the last time I did this. When will I learn that phones are not emergencies. I am able to ignore the phones at work easily. I rarely answere them when they ring. I never rush for it since it is rarely for me. And if no one else is around then I don't even try to ans. I figure that I'll just have to tell the caller that so-and-so was not there and a)have to go look for them or b)have them leave a message. Neither of which I want to do when I'm in the middle of working up a reaction. So I play deaf ;)

Got to go to bed now. Nite.

i was in class

I wonder why 5yr mark is more special than 1st or 2nd or 3rd or 4th and will prob mean more than the 6th. Where was I? Just walking into my 1st class of the day. There was a tv in that classroom and the other guys were watching - that's when I heard. My professor came in and told us, "ok guys, time to turn that off, let's have class". I don't think she realized that anything had happened at that moment. We tried to tell her but she must have thought we wanted to delay start of class - we often tried to side-track her for the first 15min or so with random shit (all I can say in our defense is that it was junior level chem class-instrumental analysis- that started way too early). We still had class. It wasn't until we were wrapping up and talking amongst ourselves that she realized. Went to my next class(hoping he'd cancel it) but no, he didn't either. At least he knew what was going on but I think he felt we could use the distraction. So I had both my classes that day.
By lunch time, TVs were on in most of the common rooms and everyone was watching. It was horrible. Even though I wasn't personally concerned about family who worked in or near the Towers (like many students there) I was still traumatized by the visuals...the reality of it. Watching the planes crash - you just couldn't help but watch again and again. It was on every station. Just felt like the world was about to end and I'd barely begun to live. It just seemed so unfair for all those people who didn't have a chance or a choice. I had to get out of my head.

I went on a retreat that weekend with a group of students from 3 local colleges and our local parish priest and sister B. No tv, no phones, no radio. We spent our time canoeing, kayaking, swimming (not me b/c the water was too cold but almost everyone else did swim). Fellowship, prayer. Walking along the sandy shore, hiking (yes, even me) playing in the sand, playing badminton, stories around the fireplace. Most of us slept in the huge common area around the fireplace, some 25 students huddled together in sleeping bags and on blankets. It got us through that weekend. Made new friends. Got away from the horror of 9/11 if only for a short while.

Wednesday, September 6


Went to the dentist today. Had to get a cavity filled, it was between two of my molars. I usu have to get 2 shots of novocaine at the dentist whenever I have work done and today was no exception. He gave me the first shot, then waited, checked with the sharp dentist tool, still not numb. Waited some more, still not. Then he said he'd give me a booster. He's got really great technique b/c I hardly feel the needle going in and he goes slowly enough that I barely notice it (apart from the fact that my mouth is open wider than is comfortable). Took another 5 min then boom, numb numb numb. He did lots of drilling. Then halfway through one of the nurses came in and was asking him questions so he stopped for a bit. I wanted to say - "hey c'mon, we're on the clock here" b/c even though my mouth always takes long to become numb, it starts wearing off along the gumline fast. Finally he was just starting to do final shaping and polishing when I could feel everything he was doing. Not good. So I waved and mumbled that I could feel it and he tried to finish quickly.

My tongue and lip stayed really numb for about 2 hrs but my gum tissue returned to normal. Very weird not being able to feel half your tongue or lip yet be able to feel how sore your gums are. The numbness is all gone but now I feel the after-effects of all the pressure I felt while he was working on my teeth - pressure is all you feel while under novocaine's wonderful influence. I can now feel the pain of all that pressure. I took a couple advil 40 min ago and the pain's just beginning to lessen. Thank God. Don't feel like I can eat anything solid yet. Maybe in another 30min. I hope b/c I'm hungry.

Tuesday, September 5

demo-derby, gotta love it

I went to a figure-8 demolition derby Labor Day night. It was alright. Not as awesome as I imagined it'd be...I was invisioning mass mayhem...headon crashes...many sideswipes while making the figure-8 turns. But they had to do 8 laps and the car that finished 1st won $100. They had 8 races like that, then for the grand finale, the winners of each of the previous races(whose cars were still drivable) had to complete 10 laps in the last race and the winner got $1000. So they were really not trying to hit each other at all. I was kind of disappointed. There was one great crash in the 3rd race but that was about it.

I had the requisite fried dough topped with cinnamon/powdered sugar. Then I ate a sloppy joe. Haven't had a sloppy joe in years - they used to be my fav thing to get from my high school cafeteria, well, that and aloo-pie (fried potato-filled pie).
After taking my order, the lady asked, "are you here for the demolition derby?"
Me: Yup!
Sloppy Joe Lady: are you enjoying it?
Me: It's good but I'd have preferred it if there were more crashes.
Kind of strange questions but I was amused. I guess she doesn't see many black people there specifically for the demo-derby. I wanted to say that I travel around to the different county fairs just to experience the demolition derby but I figured that might be too much :) T said that it was probably b/c of my accent why she asked. maybe.

We also sat and listened to an Eagles cover band who were fairly good. What really made it great was that the picnic tables and stage were set up just downwind of the barn that held the chickens, ducks, and rabbits. You can't begin to imagine the smell. Nothing like Eagles music along with the scent of duck do-da. Then we looked at some of the animals. I could have done without that part but my friends are big on petting livestock. So I just followed along and kept my distance. Oxen are HUGE! They are about the size of a slimmer Honda Pilot. I kid you not. No way was I petting anything whose head is half my body size. That's one of my rules :)
They seemed docile enough and just stood there while my friends petted them. I also saw a huge goat as well as some regular sized-ones. It was taller than me, it had a long neck. Kind of like a giraffe-goat. C & T both insisted that it was a normal size but I have seen many goats in my time and never have I seen anything that was my height. Think about it - 5ft goat - so not normal. The fence was about 3ft tall and it looked like it was going to make a run for it soon. I stayed clear of the goat enclosure after seeing it put it's hoof on the top rung of the fence. The pygmy horses were kinda cute and well as the other baby animals. I like baby animals, just looking at them is enough for me, I don't need to pet them. There were really cute shetland lambs.
I was pretty tired after all that. Luckily T drove so I could just relax on our way back - 40min drive.

Monday, September 4

croc hunter

It's just so sad that the Croc Hunter is gone. I feel really sad about it. I didn't even know him personally but I feel really upset. I can only imagine how devastated his wife and kids are. The younger one probably won't really understand for a few years. I expected that he'd be killed someday by a croc or venomous snake. He's had so many near-misses recorded on tape but a stingray - in a freak accident. It just seems unreal.

Saturday, September 2

times like these

It's at times like these - U.S. holidays, when my friends go home to their families/their families come visit them, that I feeel lonely. Most of the time I'm fine. I barely notice it. Times like these when I wish I had a significant other. Think I'll go to a movie tonight. Get out of my head for a while.

I need to get out for a bit anyway. Did most of my laundry today so at least I was out for a little while. My landlord re-varnished the front stairs and railing of my apt and since then my apt has reeked of it. He told me it probably wouldn't be dry until Tues in the am so I have to use the back stairs until then. I made sure to take my inhaler cause I can just imagine the havoc all the fumes are doing to my lungs. Might sleep in my bedroom tonight on my sleeping bag. I've turned on a couple fans and opened the windows to try to disperse the fumes and circulate the air inside. Has helped a bit but I can still smell it. Before I turned on the fans I could also taste it which was very nasty. Ever smelled something so strong you get the sensation that you were tasting it. Yeah, just like that. Yuck!