Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The cell phone diaries: Tampa for a conference

Back in November all the trainees in the lab went to a research conference in Tampa, FL. It was a blast! We were the cool kids at the party. Just ask us.

Before that, here is Kelly, my beautiful cheerleader undergrad on her birthday! This was the day we were leaving for the conference.

Then we were off!!!

Here is Danier at Brandon's poster there. She was pointing out her name at the bottom too.

The first night we decided to explore some of what Tampa had to offer. Below is a large statue of a rooster I think

We also got to see what was supposed to be a free Christian concert. Danier and I thought about sticking around, but we decides that was going to take too long (after waiting 20 minutes).

We then went back to the hotel and changed. Julia borrowed my down beat, and I gotta say she rocked it!

We found a delicious Mexican restaurant too! I gotta say that the below is my favorite photo of the whole weekend. Doesn't it just radiate joy?

The food there was amazing, and delicious. So good that we almost even went there twice. I loved he lunch adore masks too

The day we presented, after we were done we went out for some delicious lunch! I don't remember the name of he place, though Brandon might. It was a famous place in Tampa though.

They got sandwiches and I got rice. Aah the life of a glutard.

After Danier and another girl and I went to the aquarium. It was loads of fun.
Horse shoe crabs

I also turned into a snail!

And Danier looking pretty!

These dudes were massive!!

Finding Nemo kept popping in my head and I kept wanting to break into song! Just like their teacher.

Can you find the seahorse in this next one?

Hint below. His was the craziest and coolest looking one of all!

And we were there in perfect timing for the penguin show! They took them around for us to see.

There was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lego aquarium. Complete with characters and "giant" fish.

A school that kept swimming like a whirlwind

Awesome octopus

Cool turtle

This next dude is called a batfish. How cool is that? Not to mention he alone is super cool.

These things would beat each other. They burrowed in he ground underwater and fought over territory. Way interesting.

Massive fish.

And there were cute animal based souvenirs.

The place I can't remember the name of has a location that is bigger and more beautiful.

And I got to ride the trolley which was nice and relaxing.

There was then a social event associated with the burn conference. Since everyone at the conference interacts with burn survivors in some way the local fire department brought out their boat and put on a watershow just for us.

We also had live music. At one point no one realized he band was for us so Brandon, Julia and I were the only ones listening to them. They made up some random song just for us, and I wish I could remember how it went because it was funny.

Our last mornin we walked around, went to a farmers market and to a museum. It was great!

I'm glad I got to go. I was exhausted by the end but I had so much fun, and learned SO much at the conference. In other news I just got an abstract accepted to another conference, so look forward to hearing more later. My lab is great, and I love trips with them.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The cell phone diaries: my peeps, aka the lab

So I work in a lab, and in our lab we study the immunological repercussions of a large burn injury. However, on a normal daily basis I mostly interact with my lab mates. This post will probably not be very chronological, but that is ok. I also won't include photos from a conference we all went to recently because that one deserves its own post.

Last semester Brandon and I got to attend a cool lecture at Duke given by a guy who developed technology to do simultaneous sections of animals and site mass spectrometry. For those of you not familiar imagine taking a slice of you and determining the size of each protein across the whole slice to determine what proteins of what size come from where in the hopes of identifying them. Super cool!!!

Brandon is a 3rd year graduate student with me in the Cairns lab, and he is great. Just to give you an idea about how awesome he is: a while back he and his boyfriend came over for deserts and games, and he asked how he could help me get ready after he arrived. I told him I had meant to  vacuum, and he did it or me so I wouldn't have to be embarrassed. How nice is that?

Here is us on the way to the above listed seminar:

Gross, devils!

And of course we went out to geer street garden for lunch after!

Next is Julia. I am amazingly and selfishly grateful that Julia moved and joined our lab. I haven't told her this but I secretly think we are secret soul sisters or something. We like the similar movies, many of the same foods, every time I complain to her he gets it, and she is just crazy nice! For example, this last weekend we decided to go see the movie Frozen, and I couldn't help but notice that we each burst into laughter at the same times and at the same volumes. It was awesome! Not to mention that she is always there to make me feel less dumb when I am overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge. I am so glad to have her.

The only photos I have of Danier are from our trip to a research conference we went to in Tampa, and I plan to post that separately. She is an M.D. working in our lab taking 2 years off of her surgery residency to do research. She's pretty funny. Pics of her to come!!

Steven is our lab tech, and he is super nice. He never says no, and as yet hasn't complained about our joking natures! Our lab is full of sarcastic people. To give an idea of Steven's niceness, last week snowmegadden hit the triangle and I was stuck in chapel hill at work with no way to get home, and Steven gave me a ride! It was super nice (both Brandon and Julia offered me a place to crash too). Here he is digging out his car. Note that the car has a snohawk (snow Mohawk).

Then there are the bosses. Rob is a funny guy from London who works together with Bruce who runs the lab and burn center. Rob is a PhD and Bruce an MD so they make a good collaboration. Surprisingly I don't have a photo of Rob but here is one of Bruce at a going away party for our old tech Sha'Leema.

These are my work peeps and I love them!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mom for a visit (Day 2 till end of trip)

Wow, this all happened so long ago. Hope you are all still interested in all of this.

So after our initial day we went out and Carlin didn't have to work (it was Saturday). We decided to try and mostly visit the monuments and buildings that we had never actually visited. Therefore we went to see the Martin Luther King Jr. monument, which I kinda feel like it was cool, but could have been cooler. I think much of America feels that way though. I appreciated it though. Carlin and I agreed that it looked a little bit like it could have been a bouldering problem. It was really fun to check it out though and see a monument that is almost totally different from all of the rest of the monuments in the area (although the thought did pop into my head that it didn't fit in with anything else? But maybe that was on purpose). All I know is that it was very impressive and way better than anything I could have done.

This next picture cracks me up just because I look at it and think of how SHORT Carlin's hair is in it. For those of you who don't see us much, Carlin hasn't cut his hair in over 2 years now, and it has reached his shoulders (curled not straightened). He loves it, and when he leaves it the way I like to call "happy and free hair" I love it too. Sometimes for work or church he puts in Gel and slicks it though and that isn't as wonderful as the happy and free hair. Maybe eventually I will put up pics that are actually up to date and you can see what I mean. Just bear in mind the pic below is of "short" hair.

Mom and I had to get a pic of us in front of Thomas Jefferson's statue. When I was a little kid and my family went to D.C. I apparently thought Jefferson's statue was God. Ironic that I didn't think that of Lincoln when the Lincoln memorial is much larger, but we got to revisit some old memories, and that was fun.

We also decided to visit the national archives on Carlin's insistence. Truthfully mom and I just agreed to go to placate him, but it ended up being way cooler than I thought. The line was long-ish, but the view outside was nice (though sweltering). I do wish I'd taken more pictures of the inside, but oh well. That's how it goes! I'll just say I was spending my time living life rather than recording it, and call that good enough.

The next few are just random pics I took when alone and trying to figure out where my mom and Carlin went. I won't complain though because it gave them a chance to talk one-on-one a little more. I feel like since we have always lived away from my family he has never gotten much of a chance to really get to know them more than the casual interactions.

On the way home we ran into Psy the best look alike ever at Chipotle. Gangam style!

Here is Sophie sleeping on her sister in her hammock. Cute as can be!!

And as always when people visit we made a visit to the Duke Gardens, which are absolutely beautiful as always. It was a great visit.

I'm so glad she was able to come. I love my mom!!!