Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So many events, it's as though I have a life.

Friday, Goo and I went to the Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall. We got there just in time to have lunch and join the 3pm tour.

I LOVE art and history and culture but in all honesty, usually the best part of any museum is the gift shop. Granted I liked the gift shop; I even bought a dream pillow filled with a lot of nice smelling herbs. But! at the Museum of the American Indian, the best part is the cafe! They have foods from all over the Americas. You can get a tamale from the south, a lobster roll from the northeast, buffalo from the plains, or even bass ceviche from...somewhere. Sure it's a bit pricey, but the museum and the tour are free, so it's fine. Goo and I both got tamales and soup and aqua fresca. Goo's chicken tamal was really good; the shredded chicken was so succulent, it was like pork. Goo also got the shrimp and coconut soup and that was really good and a combination of flavors we had anever really had before. I got a bean tamale and scarlet runner bean soup. I was really craving beans, I think. We don't eat many beans at home because they are high in potassium.

Anyways, the museum was really neat and it was nice to get a tour of a new museum. All the tour guides are American Indian/Native American/First Nations/etc. Our tour guide was from Arizona and is half Navajo and San Carlos Apache. It's strange to go to a new museum on the mall having grown up in the DC area and gone on a million field trips to the Mall as a child. I was particularly impressed at the bead exhibit and the insanely intricate beaded dresses. Having done a little bead work with small beads, I can't even imagine how long it would take to completely bead a shirt. One really interesting point is the name of the museum. The name was given by Congress in 1989 when the act for the museum was approved. Remember back in '89 when "American Indian" was the PC term?

My cousin Donna and her husband Vinnie came to visit and it was very good to see them. I didn't really spend much time with them because I had to work Sunday and on Memorial Day Monday I drove down to Richmond to spend it with my best friends Grace and Danyel. Danyel actually lives in Philadelphia but had an interview in Richmond on Tuesday.

I was a teensy bit worried about my friend worlds colliding, but it was all for naught because I think Grace and Danyel got along very well. Especially once they started talking about Lost. I was twiddled my thumbs at that point because I do not watch Lost. Yes, I am sure it is a good show. Somebody get me the DVDs. Seriously though, all y'all Lost fans iz cuh-razy.

We had a jammed pack day of crafty funness. We walked Carytown looking for all the stores that were open on Memorial Day. Luckily one bead shop was open and Bwahahahah!!! Grace got sucked into the world that is beading and jewelry making!!!! She bought a handful of strands and a really neat polished fossil for me to make something for her. Soon she will be making her own jewelry!!!!

Later that day we went to mall because it has air conditioning and the Olsen house does not. When we were in Carytown we though we might go to a paint your own pottery studio but it was closed. But there was one at the mall and it was open! So CRAFTY! And it is actually another craft that Danyel and I have done before but was new for Grace! Join the crafting cult! I mean, uh, movement? Hopefully our pieces will be finished and glazed by Friday because I am planning to go back to Richmond.

Grace keeps telling me I need to move to Richmond.

The plan for Friday is a trip to the Gallery 5 Disrobed 2 exhibit. Here's the link. NSfW!

I also plan to go to the 25th annual Southern Maryland Pow Wow on Saturday.

I'll post again soon and hopefully this time I'll have photos!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Don't lose your photos!

Since I have many a photo on Yahoo! Photos and this news from Target Photos (partner of Yahoo! Photos) caught me by surprise, I wanted to let all y'all know: Yahoo Photos is shutting down in the fall to concentrate on Flickr. Later this summer Yahoo! Photos will remind you to choose another photo repository like Flickr or Shutterfly or Photobucket, etc. and they'll do all the work for you. So don't ignore those emails from Yahoo! lest you lose all your precious memories!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Work is hard

Just kidding. It's not.

The only hard part was the fact that the guy training me had to go out of town this weekend and so he scheduled himself for four long days instead of five regular days. The first three were fine, noon to 10:30pm. But then on the fourth day he was catching his flight at 5:30pm and so had to come into work at 4AM and left work at about 2pm.

Hells no, I didn't go in at 4AM after getting home at 11:15pm. Instead, I did a couple of 5 hour days with someone else in the lab and finished off my week.

I got my three work issued lab coats this week. The rooms where I work have numerous machines and get very hot. My lab coats have elasticized cuffs and are not made of a very breathable material, so it's not going to be very comfortable. On top of that I have latex gloves and sometimes I wear disposable sleeves. I need to get some astronaut underwear, the kind with a cooling system sewn inside. By the way, wearing disposable sleeves makes me feel like doing the rumba and shouting "Babaluuuu! " Not that they're frilly and ruffled...just that, well...I'm a big weirdo. And I think the people at work may be realizing that.

Payday is tomorrow! Gem and Jewelry show is also tomorrow! Yay! Dangerous combination, but YAY anyway! My mom has the day off and she's going to go with me. It's funny (not haha, but hmmm, interesting) that I have to actually pick up my check tomorrow (direct deposit hasn't kicked in yet) and the show just happens to be just down the street from work. It's also funny that I seem to either live or work within five minutes of a gem and jewelry show convention center. Still not funny haha, but I'm still laughing at the dude with the sleeves.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


And so ends the first week at my new job.

Turns out my trainer is from Houston and actually worked a couple of floors above me for a little while. I think I recall seeing him in the break room once. Maybe.

I'm being trained to do a particular kind of experiment and that is going well. Nothing totally new. My biggest challenge is just getting used to the new environment and remembering the little details of the protocols so that I can work efficiently.

Going from academic research to clinical for-profit is probably my biggest adjustment. I have to clock-in and out now and have to be mindful of my hours. So that means I have to get work finished before the end of the day; I can't just keep working until the work gets completed nor leave if there is not much to do. Also, I don't think anybody cares if I understand what I am doing. All I have to do is put the right samples in the tubes with the predetermined amounts of solution, stick them in some machines that are already preprogrammed and report the results. Now I am beginning to understand how someone could have lab experience and yet arrive in grad school without knowing how to make a properly diluted solution. Everything is already figured out. It's like making cake from a box; you could probably make a few mistakes and it would still turn out okay. But honestly, the best thing in this industry is that since there are such high volumes of samples coming in, we have machines!!! that do a lot of the work for us. Machines are fast!

My schedule is currently synch'd with my trainer's so I don't really like it. I have to work Sundays and have a bunch of ten hour days because my trainer is going out of town. But I don't foresee having any problems with this bit of training so I hope to be on my own schedule very soon.

I work a strange second shift that most departments in the building do not have. Which means when I take my lunch/dinner/supper?/food break at about 5pm, there really isn't anyone in the cafeteria. And my department is kinda small. Lonely and sad little lunch. or Dunch? Linner?

I need to find me some friends around here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Did ya notice?

I updated the layout a wee bit and added my favorite websites over there on the right of the page.

Have fun wasting your time.

First Day

Today was my first day at my new job. I'm a bit stressed because of anxiety of starting something new but the people are so far very nice and it seems like a nice place to work. Today was pretty boring because it was only orientation. And I still have another day of orientation tomorrow. I should be in bed now since these orientation days are scheduled from 8:30am to 4:30pm. This also means an average of 1hr 15min in rush hour traffic each way. FUN.

I can't wait until I work my regular hours from noon to 8, but I'm not sure when that will happen because I have to be trained in the lab while those who will be training me are in the lab. So that actually might be 6am to 2pm!!!! Nighttime! But as long as I don't have to drive during rush hours, I don't mind too much.

So I suppose it's finally sinking in that I have a regular job. Being "hired" for that last job and not getting it really threw me for a loop because I keep having this feeling that this job is going to dissolve for no reason at any time. Having a job is something you may tend to take for granted after a while. But ya never know when you're gonna be out of one. It didn't really help that pretty much all we talked about in orientation today was the many ways you could get fired.

In other news...

Saturday was my last day at the bead shop. I couldn't leave without buying SOMETHING, so I bought some supplies for a Mother's Day gift. Here it is:

This photo needs cropping.

It is a bracelet made of "pearls" knotted (I taught myself to knot!) on gray silk thread with matching earrings. The beadcaps and toggle clasp are sterling silver. Black diamond Swarovski crystals with an aurora borealis coating top each beadcap.

On Sunday I stopped by a Craft Fair in Cheltenham to check out if there was anyone selling jewelry. There were a few. I wasn't impressed so I didn't buy anything. One of the jewelry makers recognized me from the bead store. The one really interesting thing at the fair was the person selling an abundance of fake display food. Donuts, cakes, pies, even crabs in a bucket and a platter of fish with fries. I don't know why the general public would want fake food, but I was really tempted to buy a fake donut for no reason. I did however buy a real apple dumpling. And since I got there late and the fair was about to end, I got a second one for free :).