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Final entry…made it home alive…but oh so tired. First, the good stuff. Sunday went to Mass at the Cathedral down town. Real pretty place…paintings of various Saints behind the alter, two organs, decent pews. The bishop didn’t preside (the rector did), and since it was the rector’s last mass, the homily was short. In all, a neat place. The neigherborhood was interesting. There was the Cathedral and Cathedral school, a HUGE Episcipal (sp?) church, and a massive synagoge with community center. With some nice apts. and houses…wouldn’t be a bad place to live. After mass and a baseball game, went out the Columbia River Gorge NSA. Oh, so pretty…mountains on both sides, great water falls (check out Multnomah Falls…if you can find parking, it’s something to see). Hit up a McMenamins Edgefied. McMenamins is a local brew pud, and the Edgefield site is a brewery, winery, movie theater, resturant, and hotel. Housed in a poor-farm (yep…if you were poor, out of a job, or just bored, you could go there and work and be hot), it’s a really neat place to go. I think there was two wedding receptions while we were there….

So, on to Monday….got out of the hotel at 11 (normal time), and got the car back…then had to sit…wasn’t much that we could do. Portland’s airport isn’t all that exciting (who’s is), so got some food and sat….then the long plane flight. I think I was lucky in that we had an open seat in our row, so I got to stretch out a bit. Of course, with the way of the airline industry, we flew to DALLAS(?!?!?), then to StL. And, we had to wait for an extra half hour for the shuttle to the parking lot cause the driver had her head up her ass. So we got home at 2 am…I hate people sometimes.

From this trip, I have decided that Portland International Airport has the nicest workers….I went through the “Air Puffing” detector at security, told the TSA person after I went through it that it was “damn weird” and she agreed with me instead of telling me to “move along” or shooting me. Also, I’ve found that 40% of the women in Portland are pregnant….seriously, they’re all nocked up. Also, getting stuck in traffic down there may be the most tree-filled area you’re going to…enjoy it

Fireworks yesterday were cool, but to low….add some more gun-powered, baby!!!

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Update 2…so the weather here isn’t what it’s suppose to be. Friday, for instance, the high was 90ish….the normal was 75. Yep…suck. But, Friday checked out Oregon St. University. Nice place…lots of engineering buildings. The campus is pretty, with really old trees everywhere. Dorms funny (to me), in that there’s no AC in all of them. But, when it rains nearly everyday from Oct. to April, I reckon that AC isn’t all that important. Corvallis is interesting in that no large chain stores are allowed in town. So you have to hit up the local mom and pop store to get anything. No Wal-mart, but no Target….how do they survive?? Also funny about the whole area is that it’s pretty much just like Iowa. Farms outside of town, train tracts in the middle. But, the mountains everywhere you look stops. Interesting views. Got dinner there at a Hawai’ian joint. CoMo could use one of those.

Saturday was pretty low-key, as the wedding (the purpose for coming out here) was that night. The wedding was outside in this pretty neat place….just exsists to have weddings, I think. Nice grass, lots of trees/shade…not to many bugs, the smell of horses. Intersting thing about the wedding was that how long it lasted. Sure, the cermony was short, but the reception was too…after the maditory dancing, there rest of the “open” dancing only lasted an hour. From what the bride told us, the whole thing was borderline nightmare. Tux’s either didn’t fit right or were dirty…flowers come up from Cali on Thursday…bride’s maid dresses were a bit off. but, it came out good, and folk next to this place had some fireworks going off, which made it pretty cool.

Today, it the cathedral downtown for mass…really pretty. And then off to see some of the nature before flying out tomorrow afternoon….which is really exciting, cause we get to go to Dallas, then StL…getting all the airports in.

Some interesting things about Oregon…one, you can’t pump your own gas here….if you do, the store and person that should have pumped it get fined….good idea or dumb as hell??? Also, the only fireworks that are legal here are those that don’t fly into the air. So, of course, the local news did a story about all the cool things you buy in Washington that you can blow up (Portland, if you didn’t know, is on the south side of the Columbia River…the north side is Washington state). And, there was a cop on it saying that you can buy it, and you’ll get fine $500 for it.

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Update 1…so far, I’ve survived. Wednesday was spent mostly in the stratosphere. Cramped planes, as usual. Kati’s bag that she had in DC managed to stay in Charlotte instead of coming to StL, so started the trip as a bummer. But, once we got to San Fran, things did change. Was supposed to fly Alaska Air north from San Fran to Portland, but they wanted people to fly to Seattle first, then to Portland on a commuter plane. So, took that…got a voucher for a round trip ticket anywhere Alaska flies. So, Chicago to Anchorage, I’m thinking…that should make up for the trip. Also, on the way from Seattle to Portland, I got a great look at the mountains…Hood, Ranier, and St. Helens. Man, that one was impressive. When they talk about it blowing its top….wow. Also, the northern face is still a wasteland….about a mile of nothing. The clifface north of that is all chewed up. Of all the power that man believes that he’s got. Then you see the power of God/Mother Nature…..they’ll get you anytime. Onward….got into Portland at 8pm here….get a Malibu (wicked cool) and off to the hotel…for a bit, as we had to run and get replacements for Kati’s stuff. And that’s where we saw the really cool shit….Target with TWO FLOORS!!! And the best things…they had an escilator…FOR THE CARTS!!! Wicked awesome (n’stuff). Then food and sleep.

Thursday morning was calm…answered bunch of email, then did a bit of work on the grant, and sitting around. Managed to have internet in the room (when they said we wouldn’t) so good there. Went to a mall west of here, and went to pottery barn for the first time (yeah, well, it was exciting for me). Also had chow at “The Cheesecake Factory”…good food, good cheesecake. Met two of Kati’s friends from OSU, which was good. And managed to eat myself stupid…stupid cheesecake.

Today we’re off to Corvallis to see OSU, then I’m working a bit more on the grant. And Germany and Argentina are in penalty kicks…

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I have freckles….that pretty much it for the title.

So, been working on a grant here…and for some reason (which I can’t figure), I’m actually looking forward to finding and reading various papers that are needed (or not) for this grant. Does this mean that i’m actually pressing forward with my graduate education??!?!? Perhaps, but the end is in sight. I’m looking to graduate either in May or in August, depending on what grants we do/don’t get.

So, last Friday, I went and saw that there musical “Godspell”…of all the glorious words in the English language that I could use to describe it, I think I would go with…….Kooky. I’ve never seen it before, and really didn’t know much about it going in…only that it was the “70’s styling” whatever that happened to be. Anyways, it was done by one of the community theater groups and it wasn’t to bad. Jesus and Judus were played by rather good characters, but some of the esemble was weak. Also, the mics that where used were pretty much junk. I could either here the people that had good pipes or not here them at all. One girl’s mic kept failing, so her song would go in and out like a bad drive-thru speaker. But, take away the hippie clothes and werid set, and you’ve got a great way to teach the parables to kids. So, good in my book…7/10

Also, much to many’s dismay, I’ve started playing world of warcraft….or warcrack, as Dana Sedai likes to call it. Well, crack be damn, cause I’m not addicted. I seem to manage not playing every day (ROOMIE PRIME can have difficulty with that) and I’m doing pretty good in the game itself. But, it’s still cheaper to play that then go to the bars.

Going the Pacific Northwest for the first time wednesday…I’ll give a report this weekend.

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It’s summer, so I must have hurt myself…again. But luck friends…this time, IT’S THE RIGHT KNEE!!!! Now, not sure what I did to it. I think it has something to do with softball and running, but not anything major. Just pain and swelling when I do to much. So, had a MRI this morning. Got all the pictures on a disk, and in my wholely untrained eye, I don’t see any ligament damage (good) and the menisci look intack (real good)…so maybe it’s just tendonitious (or something). So, rest and maybe not some much softball for a while.

In further summer news, I’ve moved into the new place…4001 Hyde Park, behind KFC. Not to shabby a place. Lots of room, but lacking in general closets…no where to put the vacuum. Also going to miss having a garage, but with the lease, all the utilities are included in the rent, so can’t bitch about the air being on all the time. Just need to up the thermostat a smige…but pretty good times. The girl is moving into the same neighborhood in August, and will start biking to the Lab when my knee situation gets clearer.

He’s something I don’t get….I read yesterday that some scientist out east thinks that if we want to completely run our cars on Ethanol (which would be good, cause Pop makes money that way), that we would need 97% of the fertile land to grow it all. So, corn’s bad (lies). Why is it that everyone is preaching something…but not everything? Sure, oil’s bad…and corn’s takes to much energy to make energy…and nuclear is the devil. Lies, I say. FDR had it right with the TVA. I think. But, we surely need to get more. I recalled the Australia is setting up a solar system in the Outback…but that’s completely unihabited land. But, something that may work in New Mexico. If anything, more ethanol, nuclear, solar, and wind are needed…and hydroelectric (why are there no hydroelectic plants on all the locks on the Mississippi?). And tax the hell out of the oil companies…6 billion per quater…robbery.

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Man, I hate lazy bastards that refuse to update…oops…that’s me. So, what in the hell have I been doing since the musical??? Well, I went to San Fran for a meeting, got rained on, told Jonny Damon that he threw like a girl (and he laughed at me for it…HA!!); spend lots of time in the lab/scoperoom/”office” doing sciency stuff; hung out a lot. So, it’s been a busy time. With moving again (yes, I’m moving again…deal) and softball (now I’m managing, and coaching, but not hitting to well), the time continues to slip away. Last week, I found out that finals are next week…didn’t know, and didn’t care when I did. I think the final remnets of my undergrad life have finally slipped away. I’ve lost the ability to stay up late (not that I had that anyway) and to party all night…crap.

More later…got to “interview” for a writing job for the musical next year.

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It’s time to praise the store…GOODWILL!!! So, yesterday was “Fire and Ice,” the annual dance for Newman Week. This years theme followed the mucial, being “Rock” oriented. So, it was semi-formal (most folk went this way) or dress as a rock star. So when trying to think of something for Kati to wear (a t-shirt idea failed), I found THE GREATEST BOOTS EVER. Black, pointed, with a chain on them. So, I turn her into Ann Wilson from Heart, circa 1985. Wasn’t as noticible as I wanted, nor did she get the compliments I’d hoped for, but I think she looked awesome, so poo on you. As for myself, I found (again at Goodwill) a blueish wool suit that sorta fit. Go to my place, a little measuring, Kati’s steady hand, and BAM!!! I’ve got short pants…and I’m Angus Young of AC/DC. So, get there and a few people realized what I was….the ones that mattered….sad that Rick wasn’t there. He would’ve loved it. Also, LaRue (went as Scott Wyland/Billy Idol cross) was again wearing the OFFICAL SKINNY BLACK TIE…so, I found one at GW (as the hip kids call it), so I’m giving him that t0night at Mass. In all, the dance was pretty cool….didn’t like the music all that much. Regardless if the DJ was free (a brother of a committee member), experience counts way more…ie: ROOMIE PRIME. Shell out two bills for that.

As for the Musical…it’s be nice not to have to deal with that now. But, Saturday was fantastic. Big crowd, laughed, danced….Kevin’s twin brother was there, and when the Apostles are trying to sneak on stage, Dana grabbed the twin, thinking he was Peter (Kevin’s character), but Wes throws down the great line, in the effect of “that’s not him, Peter had a beard” (the twin was clean shaven). I about wet myself…..while trying to sneak up there. Anyways, Sunday wasn’t as nice….I kept thinking about other stuff and blowing my lines. But, my benefactor was there and she dug it. Also, Sunday’s performance was taped, and we’re all getting DVD’s, so the parents can enjoy the revealy. So, you’d think that I’d have free time starting this last Tuesday, but then I moved back into working 10-11 hours a day. Kinda nice though, getting some data. The Boss thinks I can start a manuscript after the meeting in April, and maybe another one at the end of May. Further, going to push up the timetable on the third stage of my project to this summer, So I may defend earlier then expected. Or not…wishfull thinking now. But, I think I’ll get approval to work a side project that I’ve been thinking of, looking for changes in gene expression of my receptors after pathological states. If anything, it’s another technique for me to learn.

Lastly, a sad moment. Patrick Colleran, a post-doc who worked in the building, died last week in a car accident…..sad. Also, it’s sad as the police report said Patrick may not have been wearing a seatbelt, and was ejected from his truck. I think I’m going to be more conscious about wearing my seatbelt from now on.

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One down, three to go. The show went pretty good….no real glaring errors, save for Wes nearly tripping at the beginning of a song (in which he had the first line). Songs went ok. As for me, I didn’t hose to many things…crowd laughed when they should have, and I didn’t frack my lines noticably. I do hear the same thing from people. When I’m doing my solo, people think I’m going to die. You see, when I get stressed, or move at all, I tend to sweat…….A LOT. In that people can see the beads forming on my face and stuff flying off my arms. Not to worry, as there’s plenty of water holding all this fat together. And with all the adrenaline I’m secreting (or epinephrine, if you’re not English), that fat’s getting burned anyway. Now only two left, and my nights return.

Also, for people that were there. Kati showed up (and is coming to the other two…I think she’s stalking me). Sarah, one of my students from Elements came, which was cool. Also, the Chair of Biomedical Sciences (Vet. Physiology folk) was there as well……didn’t expect that. And the rest of the usual folk. I wish that Mom and Pop would be able to make it down, but they have Chirstmas Party IV to go to (Fagen is getting utterly out of hand…they’ve got offices everywhere…but going to these things is the luxery of being a VP).

Right…so what in the hell was I going to say….mmm……so, need new roommates soon. Girls are heading out, and I don’t want to move (I like the garage). Uh…damn…I’m actually writing, and now I don’t know what to say….frack me. Bah, I’m going to bed…

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So, you may have noticed that I haven’t written anything in, well…yeah. So, I’m in this musical at Church. Singing, dancing, acting, comedy, tragety, all that fun stuff. It’s pretty much all I’ve been doing. So, if you’re not doing anything Thursday, Saturday, or Monday night, come out and take a peak. It’s free, and donations will be taken for New Orleans hurricane relief.

Also, been spending a lot of time with the girl….odd. Two posts ago, I say I’m bummed, then I get a girlfriend. I think I’m going to start complaining about my research to see if gets better

In that area…research isn’t too bad. Things are looking up, and the boss is fairly pleased. Going to spend the next two months getting my poster up to speed. If the control data does what we want, then happy times in San Fran.

So, I swear I’m going to update more. I think….

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Again, the day for the turning of the calender is here. I think back to this same time last year. Much has changed since then. And I can only think that the next year will be better. The science is really coming along. I passed my comprehensive exam, the second part. Have to finish the rewrite next month, but that shouldn’t be to bad. Have another abstract deadline, but I think I can get something done with that next week. So, things are looking good. At least, at work. I don’t recall if I said earlier, but I’m in the hallway now, with T, so I don’t have near the privacy that I did. And I miss my door too.

Christmas was utterly relaxing. Slept too much, ate too much, won $7 at the casino. Good times. The offical niece talks up a storm, repeating everything you say. Good thing happening next month is the final elder cousin is getting married, so the whole clan will be there….YEAH!!!

Things with the girl are, well, not really going anywhere as she still not here. Spending new years out west in the hinterland. But patience shall save us all….or something like that.

New Year’s at the House of JERK (their name, not mine)….if I didn’t live so damn far away….

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