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Sunday, April 28, 2013


My aunt sent me this:

Then I sent her this:

I gotta admit, I'm loving my fairytale.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Vulnerability Hangover

Vulnerability hangover:  That feeling you feel the next day when you let all sort of crazy out. 

For the first time in a long time I was really into someone.  So much so he didn’t even have a fake name, he had one of those real names. I didn’t blog about him and make him some caricature in my life. He was a real person.  I didn’t want to jinx it.

He said he’d be here for as fast or as slow as I wanted to go.

He said that I’m pretty great and deserve to hear it.

He said, "I certainly don’t want to invite any trouble, but don’t be nervous.  And on the off chance it wasn’t apparent, you don’t make me nervous, but you do make me feel like all the decisions I made that led to me being single when we met weren’t nearly as foolish as I used to think they were.  I am excited to have found you."  

He asked how soon could we go away for the weekend. Just him and I.

He said a lot of really nice things that restored my faith in meeting someone I am supposed to be with.
I said I'm in. When I returned this weekend I said I missed him and that's when I knew I wanted it to be real.  I told him that I needed to go slow. I told him I know I could be the person he could depend on.  I told him I wanted to know him more, just as much as I wanted him to know me more.   

Then he said he didn’t know what it was like to be in a real relationship.  He said, he had no doubt that I could be the person he could depend on but that he didn’t know if he could be the person I could depend on.  He told me he was about the pursuit but when it came to the real relationship he didn’t know what that looked like. He said he’d never been in a relationship longer than 6 months. Then he said that he just wanted to tell me his issues now so that I knew what I was getting myself into.  Which we all know is code for so that way when it ends you can’t blame me because I told you so.  Then he asked for my email and left. Unresolved and open ended.


Talk about having the rug pulled out from under you and then run over by a MAC truck.  Frick. 

Hangovers are the worst. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

East Coast Whirlwind

I've just returned from a work trip conquering the east coast.  Few days in Manhattan, few days in Chapel Hill North Carolina, and rounding out the trip in Washington DC.   

Here's the recap of a a terrific, albeit terribly exhausting, trip.

 New York: 

I almost quit my job not too long ago. But when that Friday came around, I was really glad I hadn't, because I had one of the best days of my professional career.  I spent the morning with one grantee that I actually understand their program, can provide feedback and help shape their activities and see the impact they are making.  The afternoon we spent at Rockefeller University touring the labs and hospital where they are currently in preparations to conduct small phase 1 clinical trials using broadly neutralizing antibodies to prevent HIV acquisition (say what?!).  What they are trying to do is absolutely ground breaking science that could very well change the course of human events.  (I'm an optimist, what can I say?)

When walking the halls of the university, you could feel the rich history but the also the cutting edge research it is conducting.  We walked through labs where the actual research is happening (didn't really need to see that poor mouse being sacrificed, but ya know, do what you gotta do). What is incredible about Rockefeller University was the first US institution established to link biological research and medicine.   This laid the ground work for the future of biomedical research not only in principle but in discovery.   In 1944, at Rockefeller, Drs. Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty discovered that DNA is the what transmits hereditary information, and thus setting the course for biological research.  To this day the hospital is fully functional and conducting research on science that has direct application for medical benefit.   It's so (for the lack of better words)...freaking cool.

This trip to NYC was unlike any of the past for reasons unimportant to go into here, but I hit the hot spots, walked by the old place, spent a lot of time in new territory.  I developed new connections with old experiences. I felt alive there wavering between moments of absolute love of the city to soul crushing loathing of the place.   

NYC will always be the city that changed me and was a catalytic force that made me much of who I am today. 

North Carolina:

On ward from New York I headed to North Carolina for more site visits and advisory board meetings.   Big bonus was the opportunity to see my old roommate from NYC.  Our visit was so great for the spirit.  Our lives have taken very different yet paradoxically parallel paths that being able to indetify where we are in life to the other's is so refreshing.  What a treat. 

I really appreciated North Carolina for its southern hospitality, fried food, biscuits, BBQ and the revolutionary science and research being done.   Visits to these land locked destinations only confirm that I need to live near water; the absence of and need for it was palpable.  Also, vegetables, I need those, too, which there seems to be an absence of as well.


Washington DC

On ward from North Carolina was to Washington DC to meet with grantees.  That was a hugely informational trip.  We went to labs that are on leading edge on assay technology with all sorts of robots and computers and computational software that are all GCLP qualified with rigorous SOPs. Spotlessly clean and pristine. I had to wear a lab coat and safety goggles! It was legit.  Juxtapose that environment next to university and government research labs that look something like a nerdy frat house decorated with glass beakers, canisters of colorful solutions, pipets and assay trays strewn about in general disarray. No lab coast need.  I'm actually skeptical that any of the lab folks showered recently. The fact I was wearing tights and a dress literally caused whole lab benches full of post-docs to stop and awkwardly stare.

I also spent a good amount of scientists which is totally fascinating.  It became perfectly clear very early on in my tours that these scientists are the best of the brilliant doing really revolutionary  research. They are so passionate about it that they cant stop talking about it.  I'd like to emphasize CAN'T STOP TALKING.  Also, can't stop showing their data, speaking their science language and findings, drawing connections, applying real world scenarios to their work.  What is funny to me is the number of them that call me "Dr." (Ha! If they only knew but I certainly don't correct them) as if I have any idea what they are talking about.  I mean, I can fake it pretty well, but let's just say there is lots of smiling, nodding, repeating of word that I've just heard and intent "interest" in fancy heat maps, plot graphs, and structural animations. 

After the whirlwind tours, I got sometime to myself to explore  the city with a dear friend who as recently moved to the area.  We went on a "double date" which was basically chaperoning a blind date.  To which I'd like to highlight that we went to a cajun restaurant called the Bayou that was perfectly delightful.  Then at 10:30 the band took the stage and laid down some of the smoothest, funkiest, soulful, baby-making tunes I had ever heard live.  It was the Nat Osborn Band and mark my words folks, they're going to up.  Against my better judgment, we left to go find dessert and I regretted it all night.  No dessert can get you where you want to be with the music that was coming from that stage. 

I spent to rest of my time in DC exploring the sites, visiting the monuments, catching up with C and doing generally touristy things.  It was delightful. 


The biggest travel hiccup of the trips was this here flight home where we sat on the tarmac for 2 hours while something was done to the fuel.  The best question came from my seat neighbor who asked, "So does this mean our departure time will be later?"  I'm gonna go with yes. And that is why I couldn't be a flight attendant.   Exercising kindness to silly questions is more of a once a week thing for me, not every day.