Thursday, September 28, 2006


Okay, so everybody has been wondering about the villa. I think it speaks to our personalities of not wanting to plan... it is so hard to pin down our decision! Plus, making the decision involves emails and money and contracts and then finding airline tickets...sheesh, and I thought planning a traditional wedding involved decisions...


Here's the villa:

We will not be renting the entire compound, but we will have most of it. It will be exactly enough for the group to go. We will be renting it probably for May 18th-25th, assuming those dates are still available when we're done.

It is 3 miles outside of Rome. Public transportation travels every 20 minutes to the center of historic rome. The trip to the center of historic rome is ~30-40 minutes. What a cool location, I say.

On other notes, I got a fish for my birthday (thanks mom and dad). His name is Carbon. He resides on my desk at work. He's adorable and fascinating. He's a beta fish. I read up a bunch on betta's before getting one, and contrary to popular belief.... although betta's can live in very small spaces, it's not good for them. In their natural rice paddy habitat, they normally are able to swim around large areas. It is only during the dry seasons that they may spend time in small puddles. More than space, temperature is very critical in keeping a betta happy. Room temp betta's just sit at the bottom of their tiny bowls. Warm betta's swim all over the place. Carbon appears to be a very warm and happy betta fish. I've never seen one so active, and I am convinced it is because of the 3 gallon tank and 80 degree water. I am glad that I rescued him from the little petstore bowl. He's a really cute, endearing fish.

Pictures soon.

Also pictures from a "Pirate Cruise" that Greg and I went on... fun stuff!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Ring

So folks, this is it:

Can we finally call it official? Yay.

It turns out that Greg did not have the ring the whole time and all of my second-guessing was pointless. The Jeweler actually didn't finish making it until Saturday. He was closed on Sunday. Greg teaches a 3 hour class Monday nights. Tuesday we had plans. Wednesday was...yesterday. So Greg picked up the ring on Wednesday at lunch.

I was totally exhausted and practically asleep in bed sometime around 8pm. He started quizzing me about whether I was going to keep napping or if I should get up, and then he just popped the question, "Will you marry me?" and I joked around, and then he pulled out the ring.

So yay :) Am totally in love the sparkly thing. It is fun to wear around. Very comfortable. We've spent an embarrassing long amount of time discussing its various qualities and shapes. I haven't hit it on anything so far. And I am grateful for my absurdly small (size 3.5) hands that make the diamond look about 2x as large as it actually is. Not that a diamond has to be huge, but you know, just right.

Area Exam tomorrow and then I will be done with that part of the to do list. Woot!

P.s. Sorry for the poor picture. I finally ordered my camera battery and got it (hurrah!), but I couldn't find my transfer card to get the photo onto my comp last night, so I had to use Greg's camera to take a photo, and that one can't focus very well

Friday, September 15, 2006

Towing and Mac'n'Cheese

Number of times my car has been towed since living in New Haven:

1) With the correct parking pass for Greg's street, aquired no more than 5 days prior to the towing...marked with the correct "valid through" dates. In the wrong color. And the tow guy did not check the color.

2) Neighbor calls me in for "being over the curb marker" for the driveway (which I was not, having specifically adjusted my car to not block his ability to pull out. Learn how to drive!). Cops apparently agree I wasn't over the curb, but tow me anyway for an old ticket...while I was out of town.

3) Having paid the $500 dollars to get my car out of tow in #2 (and been informed that I was "all good to go" with tickets and taxes and everything)...I get towed 8 months later. For the tow ticket from #2. Even though I paid the tow company. There was a $25 tow ticket to the city. That they didn't post to my account until two weeks after I paid up and retrieved my car. So, they towed my car for another back ticket. Additional $300 later, I get it back.

4) This Wednesday night, as we watched, from in front of our house, for not paying the 44 mill rate tax on my car this year (since, it so happens, they have a 2 year old address for me, despite my having the correct address on my federal taxes, state taxes, car registration, voter registration, and driver's license. They apparently don't know where to send a damn tax bill for $60).

Why, might you ask, am I blogging instead of working? Well, having survived Greg's 1 weeks "deadly" illness (bad head cold), I thought I was good to go. Then my officemate showed up sneezing and blowing her nose all day yesterday. And now I am sick. And in a really miserable, awful, terrible mood.

: (

I have slightly over 48 hours to finish this paper. Somebody help me! Save me from this miserable, awful, terrible mood that I am in.

: ( : (

But, there's Mac'n'Cheese on the stove and that makes me happy. And the fabulous boy is still hanging around, despite my bad mood, and that makes me even happier.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Greg, you better not be reading this

Although we are officially engaged, there has not yet been an actual proposal, since there is not yet a ring. Well, sort of...there is a ring. It may or may not be located in Greg's sock drawer (I actually don't know, but I'll bet it's around here somewhere). We visited the Jeweler two weeks ago and he said the ring would be done on Sept 8th. But Greg wants to do something to surprise me, and I get the feeling he's waiting for my To-Do list to shrink down by a factor...though unfortunately that will not be the case until at least Oct 17th, when I get back from a conference. So I am just twiddling my thumbs, hoping and anticipating that soon I will get the wear the sparkly thing sometime soon, and guessing all of the oportunities he has to ask the question officially.

Resasons I have totally expected Greg to "propose" in the past week:

1) Really lovely romantic dinner that he made for me
2) The flowers that appeared out of nowhere on the table
3) Going out to dinner at the restaurant we had our first date at
4) Walking hand in hand by the spot where we first kissed
5) "I got you something" (AKA, CDs to help me work : )
6) Quizzing me on my schedule and To-Do list. "So you'll be done with your area exam and stress free on Sept 23rd?" reply, "Mmm. Not quite the 2nd thing"

So I wait. Greg, if you are reading this (which you're not supposed to): a sparkly ring would brighten my spirits significantly : ) And it'd match my suit I'll be wearing next week!. Plus, i fI'm putting your (our) last name on my prospectus, I'd really like it to be obvious why. Also...

Okay. Enough of that :P

Still busy with work, but I did manage to submit the draft prospectus to my adviser three days late. Here's my favorite paragraph:

"Modeling the release of drug from a polymer matrix into a dilute aqueous environment such as the brain or vasculature can be a straightforward or complex task: the intricacy of the model is depends on its purpose. Models with high predictive value can often be very simple and involve only one or two parameters; on the other hand, models designed to capture specific features of release or to predict a parameter based on experimental data can be highly complex. It should not be assumed that a more complex model has more utility. Rather, a more complex model is only useful if it isolates a particular variable in a way that can be experimentally confirmed."

Other than that single paragraph, I can't stand to look at the 37 page monster anymore! It will be submitted on Monday, presentation on Friday. My officemate is sick with a cold and I am praying that I don't get sick in between now and then.

Villa might be chosen, except that I'm not allowed to do any wedding planning. So I asked the guy over email to "put it on hold" for two weeks until deadlines are done with, and he seemed cool with the idea. It is 3 miles outside of Rome. More news later.


Sunday, September 10, 2006


I'm going to be MIA for about two or three weeks, due to the following commitments:

(1) Write a 25 (single spaced) page paper in fufillment of the only other major requirement to get my PhD other than my actual thesis - something called a Prospectus - by next week. Err, technically I need the complete paper to send to my adviser to review by tonight. Uh oh. Please don't let me fail.
(2) Write a 40 slide presentation to describe the 25 page paper to my committee - by the week after
(3) Memorize all of my 100+ citations that I could be quizzed on during aforementioned presentation by Sept 22nd
(4) Train my new 40-hour-per-week lab lackey (a great help, but requires training)
(5) Do the work for a poster at a conf in the first week of October that I submitted 8 months ago...that I actually haven't done the work for yet...
(6) Get complete form of the poster to folks at Boston Scientific by Sept 30th so they can send it through their "We Love Academic Research (yeah f'in right)" legal department
(7) Anticipate poster getting completely rejected by then, and completely rephrasing the research question in less than 24 hours
(8) In the meantime, do 8 weeks of work to prep for research update with BS group (my-favorite-company, Boston Sci) on October 11th, since haven't done any research for them in the last two months...
(9) Assemble 100 photos for Mark's book by drop dead deadline of Dec 1st
(10) Not plan a wedding
(11) Forgo eating, sleeping, and all other activities to finish these things in time.
(12) Maybe not #11, but it's tempting

Excuse me while I squeek "SAVE ME!". So I might not be returning phone calls or emails as much as I should. And at the very least if we do chat please do not ask me about wedding planning, seeing as it is that distraction which got me into a worse mess than I would been in otherwise. Thanks for understanding. Wish me luck