Sunday, October 08, 2006

The updated states-visited list

States I'd visited as of 2004:

After my summer in Michigan (2005):

After interviews:

After moving (mid 2006):

After the MCGD retreat:

create your own personalized map of the USA

I think I need to go to Kentucky, on principle.

More pics from the retreat and stories forthcoming. Genetics homework first. :(

Friday, October 06, 2006

Find a Dunkin' Donuts Store Location Near You

Find a Dunkin' Donuts Store Location Near You

There are 46 Dunkin Doughnuts within a 10 mile radius of my apartment. Why isn't New England fat?

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Thali Restaurants : New Haven, CT

The lab went here for lunch on Thursday for Jenny's birthday, and it was just amazing. Wonderful. Splendid. Happy happy happy wonderful food. I have to go again...too good for words.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Out the window at work, I can see the tops of an area of trees. The tops come up to about six feet below the window level. It's a very cool effect, swaying in the breeze, fluttering. Kind of like that exhibit of butterflies as soon as you enter the NC Museum of Art. One leaf is red. That's it. The rest are still green, but one vibrant red one. I shall call it Dulcina.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My day

Where I ate lunch:

Where I did my genetics homework:

Mom and the bunny

So the day before I moved up here, I was at my parents house. I wake up to my mom, very upset, yelling "one of the bunnies is gone!".

Bryson and Melissa have bunnies that are still (for some unknown reason) at my parent's house.

They started out with two bunnies, and were told they were both girls.

We now have eight bunnies. You do the math. :)

The bunnies actually nearly had two litters...but my mom would find the little ones dead (or worse). So when these were born, my mama moved them inside for a while and took care of them.

She is attached to these bunnies.

One morning one of the girls (we finally learned to sex them, ha!) gnawed a hole in the cage and lept four feet to the ground. My mom noticed she was missing when she went out to feed them.

We looked under the big deck closest to the bunny cage, no bunny. We saw a giant wild bunny across the yard, but it clearly was not the bunny we lost. I checked the garden because that's where Peter Rabbit went. No luck.

As we were giving up in despair, my dad notices something move under the little porch stairs to the kitchen door.

Bingo. Bunny.

But of course, the bunny was waaay too far underneath the porch to be reachable by human hands. Since we've seen many a cartoon, Mom lured the bunny out with...

a carrot.

Mom was very happy that the bunny was safe.

Rough Couple Weeks

Life has been okay, it's just been a rough couple of weeks. Bob, my grandmother's husband, passed away of lung cancer Sept. 9th. He was diagnosed Aug. 1 - just five weeks. It was quick. I flew home for the funeral a couple hours after they called me, and got back to New Haven after midnight a few days later...since then it's been the catch up game. Other than that...

-First small group at CPC tonight. I'm very excited.
-My roommates are great. Cooking together and playing games together is a lot of fun...and even talking about papers is better with them around. ;D
-I'm working on getting the hang of this paper-reading thing. I'll get there. Eventually.

Homesickness comes and goes. There are moments when I want to be back in Raleigh so bad that I could just sit and sob for a while, and there are moments that this place is really starting to feel like home. Transitions are hard, but in the end, I think they're worth it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Yesterday Jeanne and I went to the gym and swam laps. It felt good to exercise, but daaaaaang my shoulders and arms hurt today.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Matriculation was actually really really awesome. We started the day at HGS (Hall of Graduate Studies) for breakfast, then we processed - they closed the street and followed a cop on a bicycle - to Sprague Hall. The University President and Dean of the Grad school kept their speeches quite short, and then a grad student acapella group perform. It was great fun - the faculty in academic regalia and the whole nine yards. We then (and we is like 300 people) processed to the President's house, which is filled with art from the Yale art gallery (a Lichtenstein! a Matisse! insanity!), and into the backyard where we shook some hands, were formally welcomed to Yale, then signed the matriculation book.

After we signed the book (and picked up our pins with the grad school shield), we headed back to HGS for lunch. As we were leaving, President Levin left at the same time we did and we encountered him at his gate. He said we caught him leaving his own party, then joined me and Anna's conversation about whether or not hiking would be possible this weekend with some suggestions about hiking trails in the area. We ran into him *again* one day I saw him more times than I ever spoke to Oblinger or Fox. Too cool.

At lunch, they had grad school-shield embellished chocolate coins, though we imagine we can't redeem them for anything valuable, even if Chris does slay a dragon that clearly must live somewhere around HGS.

Tonight was great fun as well - we went to BAR, had some pizza, then to GYPSY.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Look what I got last Monday...

New nephew named Tyler. He's tiny but will be huge before I see him.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Here at last...

Finally, in my apartment, with internet, this is the life.

So last week was hectic, getting my life together and on it's merry way. We picked up the mattress I bought right after we picked up the Penske Truck last Thursday. Before we did all that, we went bunny chasing, but that's a story for another day.

Clearly, I'm very very happy with my new mattress.

We packed up the truck that afternoon, then some wonderful peoples who weren't in Raleigh to tell me goodbye came over for dinner...

And we hung out til late. Finally, though, it was time to say goodbye.

The next day we left Rockwell at 7, Salisbury at 8, and saw lots of the open road.

And we drove on and on and on...Maryland rocks for having free internet, New Jersey is RIDICULOUSLY long.

Here's the Deleware Memorial Bridge, btw.

We took the NJ turnpike to the Garden State Parkway to the Tapp An Zee bridge, then we FINALLY got to Connecticut only to find ourselves sitting in an hour and a half of traffic (at midnight) due to emergency road work on 95. Insane. Once we arrived at the hotel, we pretty much collapsed into bed (at 1:15 AM). This is what we saw out our hotel room, though...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Maryland ROCKS!

I finally got my computer back Wednesday. Obviously, lots of updating to do, but the really amazing thing to share right now is that Maryland is the GREATEST STATE EVER because they have - get this - FREE wireless internet at all their welcome centers.

I heart Maryland (with the exception of the Terrapins) with the firey passion of my soul!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I'm really leaving...

The moment I realized today that (for my years in the Sikes lab) I had run my last PCR, loaded my last gel, and walked into Mike's office with results for the last time...really sucked.

I just realized I can pack my close-toed tennis shoes cause I won't need them here anymore. Here come the tears - again. I'm a weepy weepy wimp.

Driving away from hanging out after homegroup last night also really sucked. I'm going to miss those saints more than anything in this world (and I know I'm not supposed to want the world, I just want them in it).

It's hardest to leave when you're insanely happy.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Last week in Raleigh

Five years's my last week in Raleigh.

I feel very very torn. I talked to Kristie for a while yesterday and it helped (look, people leave and go on to live healthy and normal lives!). I'll miss this place like crazy - these people, this city, my life here. It's great and it's glorious and God blessed me SOOOOOOO much here - He sought me out, and I have this amazing community of friends and Brothers and Sisters in Christ. But...I know that there are plans for me that involve tearing myself away from this place I love. I sincerely believe it is the will of God for me to go, now. I'm just leaving a lot behind, and trusting that God really does have the best in mind for me, and that He will abundantly bless me where ever I go.

I'm working on finding a church in New Haven...that's the biggie that's totally unsettled. I've got the list down to a few, but I am also hoping to find some places to check out once I'm there. I'm really into churches that realize that they are not a building, but the Body of Christ, and the people who serve really are the church. Not the easiest thing to ID from afar.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Big big bummer...

I just woke up (11:15 AM).

This means I slept through my last Sunday at Grace. :(

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Modern Living / Neurotica series

Modern Living / Neurotica series

Interactive, kinda creepy, black and white flash animations. Just odd.

How to tell you've worked at your job a long time

So the power flickered during the thunderstorm this afternoon - more than enough to turn the power on most of the machines off.

Everyone walked around, testing this machine and that machine, getting it all back going. After that people started to just go back to work.

Then it hit me - it was waaaay too quiet. Something big and loud was missing.

Sure enough, the -80 was totally off. Turns out that even though it is on the emergency generator, the flicker tripped the circuit. Disaster-avoided.

I feel like Wonder Woman today. :)

Itchy and scratchy and Andi's my girl

Andi is a beautiful, wonderful, servant and daughter of the God on High.

She happily picked me up last night and carted me to Rex to the ER.

I really thought I was going to make it out of Raleigh without a trip there.

So the verdict: IgE mediated hypersensitivity to Nantucket Nectar's Organic Cloudy Apple Juice.

I'm going to be itchy for my last week in Raleigh and perhaps a bit splotchy too. And I have enough drugs to make anyone sleep through the whole thing, but they never do that to me usually (whohoo). Out of the woods for anaphylaxis, despite my giant swollen tongue - that would have been a very immediate reaction.

Now off to try to work (yes, I'm nuts but it's better than lying in bed thinking "I itch I itch I itch."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The worst day ever...

PCRs mysteriously stopped working.

Thought life was bad.

Then I had a serious allergic reaction to *organic* apple juice.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

At last

Finally got that haircut. Nice to have it all gone.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Slipcovers and sweet views

I spent pretty much all day yesterday with Andi, and she is, in fact, one of the most amazing women alive. She's moving into a new place, so I made her slipcovers. The little sewing machine that could from Greengate held up great (but they aren't done yet...) and Andi and I took a couple breaks and had some very very good talks enjoying the deer and great views of downtown from inside the beltline.

Three more Sundays at Grace, including today. I'm just a little bit scared. But that's okay. At the moment, Raleigh seems like the most perfect place on Earth, and I must be CRAZY to leave, but when facing the totally unknown, of course the familiar is idealized.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I really like art.

I think most people don't realize this, but I really dig art. Especially modern art.

My love affair with art started in June 1999, when I was in Scotland and saw Van Gogh's Olive Trees: Bright Blue Sky. This crummy online picture doesn't even start to do it justice.

What got me was the color, and the brushstrokes. Oh, the brushstrokes. I think I would love the painting even if I had only seen two square inches of it. There's texture and there's life and...oh. Beauty.

But really, these days, that's not the art that gets me going. Don't get me wrong - making it to MOMA to see the Van Gogh's was very important to me when I was in NYC back in February. Van Goghs still take my breath away, and I nearly wept at my first sight of Starry Night. I walk into a room and they call me, draw me in.

Conceptually, though, more modern art is what actually gets me firing on all cylinders.

I've started to develop quite a love of photography. Albelardo Morell does really cool camera obscura work. I adore one of the photos under "recent work" - 'Hourglass 2004".

At a mere $2500 for a print, I think I'll be enjoying it online for a while.

More later on the stranger stuff...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

When to get a haircut

I'm very glad that I'm not a boy.

See, I hate going to get haircuts. I never like the cut at first, and it's another thing I have to make time to do. I'm bad at finding time to do things.

I haven't had a haircut since January. Remember the disasterous one right before the Penn interview?

Now it's too long and a little ratty but I still keep putting off the haircut.

Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Today was a Monday.
And a Wednesday.
And a Friday.
All in one.

Can't remember what we were doing, dumb mistakes.
Halfway to Friday!
2 hour lunches a la Friday.

May the rest of the week be just as laid back.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Photos and Cars

I got to talk to Teresa a long time last night, which was awesome. :)

Today my mom and I went over to her (recently deceased) mom's house and went through a lot of pictures. It's still strange she's gone...I saw the death certificate for the first time today and that was kind of odd. It's not til you see "ovarian cancer" printed on there that it really rang home for me - cancer SUCKS.

My mom and I went to see Cars (I'm actually four at heart) and had a GREAT time. Such a cute little movie, and growing up in Nascar country makes it even funnier. Pixar totally blows me away. They're not only technically superior to every other CG animation studio out there, their stories are second to none. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

It's also nice to have "hillbilly hell" as another potential name for my hometown.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Content at Home

So I decided this afternoon what I really needed was a weekend with my mama, and since I can't decide to do that on a whim but a little while longer, I headed on home.

We went to the fair in Faith with the little people. They had a BLAST. Little kids are so amazing. This is my Meranda (the redheaded girl), my Shelby (the blonde girl), and my nephew Hunter.

When Hunter said, "Kristy!" as soon as he saw me get out of the car, it made the whole drive home worth it.

BBQ, Cheerwine, and fun with family. These are the glorious things New Haven will lack...though I'm sure it will be filled with amazing things that I can't find here.

Clearing on out

Engineering a Recombinase-Inducible T-Lymphocyte Line
May someone else finish you.

So, my project is dead. Yeah, the one with the glowing red (RFP). My construct works but the transfection is having issues and I won't be around long enough to see it through.

I threw out all the RNA and DNA made from all the cell lines we know are duds this AM. It was much harder than I thought it would be.

So I'm doing a different project for the next few weeks, and that's pretty exciting, but it's still sort of hard. At least:

1. It's not my grad school project.
2. My hope is not here.

Jesus doesn't keep a scorecard of science projects. Hallelujah.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sometimes these things just pop up...

So among my favorite verses - ever - is this:

I will gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you the more, am I to be loved the less?

- 2 Corinthians 12:15 (NASB)

No particular reason why today, but it's just on my heart. There's never a Biblical reason to hold some of ourselves back for ourselves, rather, pour it on out there. Eternally, we will never be loved the less.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Worth trying again...

So posting about all my interviews didn't work out so great.

Turns out in the end, got into Yale, Penn, Baylor, and Duke, and decided to (well, God told me to) go to Yale.

But I really do need to get better at this so I can share my life in New Haven with my beloved Grace and Wolfpack family in Raleigh. Cause ya'll rock my world.

The transition is starting to be very real...I'm realizing I'm...

an adult.

Yes, an adult. As in, I bought a bed and was excited that Hecht's had sheets on sale. It's no longer odd that my friends are getting married and having kids. And the scariest part of this realization is

We are largely already who we are going to be.

I'm NOT saying that people don't change. After all, "And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again (Phillipians 1:6, NLT)." And Paul knows his stuff. It's just that since I was a little girl I had these ideas about what I'd do and who I'd be and the time for those things is upon us. I always thought I'd enjoy going to see plays when I grew up. Why not start this weekend finding something to go to? I always thought I'd read a lot and be very thoughtful. Hum...what was the last thing I read for the sake of reading?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

One Down (A Weekend in Philly)

My first interview weekend is now officially over. Man, this is an exhausting process. Penn was great - it's somewhere I can really see myself feeling at home. The environment is very friendly and cooperative, without mean-spirited competitiveness. The administration and faculty seem very supportive of the students. Philly is a fabulous town - not too huge of a city to be unmanageable but still clearly has a lot to do.

Next up: Baylor.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I'm packing for my visit to Penn, and now I'm starting to get a little nervous. I feel like, on some small level, tomorrow I have to admit that I'm getting to be a grownup. I'm just terrified of looking like an idiot, seeming like I don't belong...aaagh!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Something new

So, I'm going to spending more days than not out of town for a while, and to sort of consolidate and record this experience of interviewing and selecting a grad school (then moving my whole life God-knows-where), I've decided to do the completely rational thing and blog it. Maybe the air in Michigan got to me. Who knows?

It's been a week since I first started getting interview offers and such. And what a week it's been.

Last Thursday, I got my first interview offers around noon. Actually, one had come via email at five the previous afternoon (Penn) but I hadn't checked my email until noon. I was shocked and estatic and accepted. Then I notice I have another in my inbox. That one was from Baylor. Again, shock, estatic, accept. Then one from Cornell arrives. Gosh. Exciting! Finally, around 2 PM, I get an offer from Duke. Woohoo!

At this point, I realize:
Maybe applying to nine schools was a wee bit of overkill.

At about 4, one of the professors on Duke's admissions committee calls to tell me about the interview (if I hadn't already checked my email) and let me know they were impressed by the honesty in my personal statement (I actually told them I once thought biology was a dead and boring subject), I think she got the impression I didn't care very much, but I was in such a state of shock it was hard to sound excited...I talked to her for a couple minutes and I think she figured out how in shock I was...and she didn't even know the whole of my day!

The next day, driving to the Detroit airport (which is a long and glorious story in and of itself), we were running late. It was 5:02, my flight leaves at 6, and we're still on the Interstate. Oh dear. Emotions and endorphins are already running high. My phone rings, and I answer it. The lady on the other end indentifies herself as a professor at Yale on the admissions committee. She says they were very impressed with my application and are calling to offer me...


I was really honestly expecting her to say interview, so when I heard admission, I was quiet for a moment then said, "Excuse me, could you say that again?". She very nicely said admission then told me that they'd like to fly me up for a visit, but it wouldn't be an interview - I'm in and should get the letter in the mail very soon. I thanked her profusely, and have been floating ever since. Really.

Tuesday I recieved an interview offer from UNC, which I'm declining.

Wednesday I recieved an interview offer from UW-Seattle, which I am declining largely because they demanded an absolute yes or no in response to their email in less than 33 hours (in addition to calling me three places), and I don't like that style. If you have irrational time demands on people you're recruiting, what are you like to your actual students who are stuck there? Blegh.

Thursday I recieved a sort of "pre-interview offer notification" from WashU St. Louis.

On Thursday I also recieved my first rejection letter, from Rockefeller. They're the school that was my first choice back in December. I'm a little heartbroken, to be honest. I feel like a horrible, ungrateful person for being disappointed, but they were my clear first pick. So, I'm chalking it up to clearly, God does not want me at Rockefeller - cause if I had gotten in, that's probably where I would have gone. Now, I'm just ready to go visit everyone and see where I fit well (though if I could fit best at Yale, that really woud be something).