Posted by: Trigger | 29 December, 2008

Breaking News!

Hi y’all. (If you’re out there!)

In case anyone’s still got this in their feed reader, or stops by from time to time, I’m writing an update to let you know what my deal is.

I’ve moved (am moving? whatev, tense is not important) on to slightly less anonymous digs and I plan to write a little bit more often with less detail…you’ve guessed it, I’m jumping on the Tumblr bandwagon. I’ve been feeling the need to change things up for a while now, actually. I think this move will help me get a bit more inspired, and I’ll be willing to share it with friends/family/the fella which will make me feel less sketchy and secretive.

As I will be using regular email & name for my new little slice of the internet, I’m not going to post it here. If you wanna read, just shoot me an email and chances are I’ll give you the link…I’m an oversharer, so don’t expect me to go all exclusive and elitist on you now.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and is in the process of getting together a very Happy New Year.

 

This site prob. won’t come down for a while (ever?), but I will only pop in ocassionally to write things, should I need a more anonymous venue.

Ciao ciao, bellas!

Posted by: Trigger | 24 October, 2008

Monkeys.

Another mid-day gchat selection.

 

BigCityBrotherhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7654267.stm

(here’s a version of the video linked to above, that I found quickly – it basically covers the same thing if you choose not to click through that link – you should watch it prior to continuing below)

BigCityBrother: man, what haven’t the japanese thought of?

Trigger: holy cow!

Trigger: that’s awesome

Trigger: they’re like little people

BigCityBrother: with tails!

Trigger: yeah!

Trigger: and opposable toes

BigCityBrother: man, what I wouldn’t give for opposable toes…

Trigger: ha

Trigger: it could come in handy

Trigger: BWAHAHA

Trigger: except when picking out shoes

BigCityBrother: but you could pick them out with your feet

BigCityBrother: and put on your shoes without bending over

BigCityBrother: well, at least you could put on the first one

This probably shows just how much we crack ourselves up…

Posted by: Trigger | 7 September, 2008

Hoping not to start a fight…

So, I’m not a political blogger and nor do I ever intend to be.

What I am, however, is honest. And for the sake of honesty, I hope everyone reads the following article (at least) before casting their vote or disparaging Barack Obama. We all need to get our facts straight. Our country is not headed in a good direction currently. When asked if they agree with the direction the US is heading as a nation, the lowest percentage of Americans in the history of polling agreed with the statement. A measly 17% felt the US is on the right track in June of this year. Clearly, something’s gotta give. We need this election. We need to get moving in a positive direction. I know who I think is the right candidate to do so (Obama), but before you disagree with me, I’d like to suggest everyone read the following article. And then see what criticism you have left of his legitimacy as a candidate, and I’d really suggest thinking long and hard about whether we want McCain, a 72 year old man who has outlived the average American life expectancy for men of his birth year by 12 years already, as our president, being backed up by a vice president Palin. Who is willing to perpetuate the myths shared, and debunked, below. Really think about it. Regardless of your choice, if you’ve thought through all the facts, if you’ve sorted out truth from lie, I will respect your opinion.

Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer Wed Sep 3, 11:48 PM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

Some examples:

PALIN: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending … and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.”

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a “bridge to nowhere.”

PALIN: “There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate.”

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

PALIN: “The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama’s plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain’s plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

MCCAIN: “She’s been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America’s energy supply … She’s responsible for 20 percent of the nation’s energy supply. I’m entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America,” he said in an interview with ABC News’ Charles Gibson.

THE FACTS: McCain’s phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she’s no more “responsible” for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.

MCCAIN: “She’s the commander of the Alaska National Guard. … She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities,” he said on ABC.

THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under “federal status,” which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska’s national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin “got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States.”

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor’s election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: “We need change, all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin.”

THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate.

___

Associated Press Writer Jim Drinkard in Washington contributed to this report.

Posted by: Trigger | 5 September, 2008

Stand Up To Cancer.

Modern life is distracting. There’s online shopping, texting, emails, business travel, fall must have fashion lists, workouts to do, the list goes on and on. There’s the Democratic National Convention, the Republican National Convention, candidates to follow, campaigns to slam, you get the idea. We have so much going on in life, sometimes we don’t pay attention to the small tragedies happening to those all around us.

Reno, NV – November, 1972

“Mom, I can’t believe they made my 12 year old baby sister take a PREGNANCY test! That’s so humiliating!” my mother whined to her own mother, my grandmother.

“Listen, sweetie, if that’s all this is, then we can deal with it. I’m afraid of the other possibilities’ my grandmother replied, silencing my mom and showing the gravity of the situation.

It started with a distended belly. My aunt felt a little under the weather, nauseated and vomiting a bit. Off to the doctor they went. During her exam, the doctor determined that her uterus was larger than normal, and harder than it should have been. Just to rule pregnancy out, they did a urine pregnancy test. Unfortunately, my grandmother was right to fear the alternate possibilities. The test was negative. They’d have to do more tests. Elevated blood counts; no explanation of the mass in her uterus. Exploratory surgery was scheduled.

On December 1st, 1972, doctors opened up the abdomen of my tiny, charming, sweet as pie, 12 year old aunt. A few hours later, they wheeled her into the recovery room. They sat my grandmother down. They told her that my aunt’s little frame was riddled with tumors. Malignant tumors. Her uterus was bursting with cancer. Her lymph nodes were involved as well. Her cancer was metastatic, and they could do nothing for her. They didn’t even remove the tumors. They took one look, closed the incision site, and sent my aunt to a hospital room where she would live out the remainder of her too short life.

On December 15th, 1972 my grandmother called home to my mom early in the morning. My mom’s baby sister, everyone’s favorite person, had passed away. On my grandmother’s own birthday. Ten days before Christmas.

My mother’s family was never the same. Her dad fell deep into depression and alcohol addiction. When he was drunk, he was mean. Her mom, already a hard worker, was rarely home after school, or any time, for that matter. My mom’s older brother left for college, and didn’t come back. He loved his baby sister so much, that it pained him to even be in the same house where they grew up, without her. My mom, a Junior in high school, went from a B and A average GPA, popular cheerleader, to a D average student, withdrawn, and solitary. Life was never the same for them, post-cancer.

Fortunately for me, my mom slowly picked herself up, put herself back together. Her parents divorced, and she took that time to leave home for good. She moved to Oregon, to live with her aunt and uncle, and graduate from high school. Living with them, under their amazing influence, she decided to apply for college. She was the first to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in her family (and later, a Master’s degree), from the University of Oregon. Where she met my father. To whom she is still married, 33 years later, with 5 children and a great life.

She always knew that she would name her first daughter after her sister. I am that daughter. It’s a privilege to share a name with someone as unconditionally loved, praised, and missed as my aunt.

She had long, straight espresso brown hair, glossy and thick, like my own. She had a messy room and was constantly irritating her neat parents, also like me. She had wide eyes, a big smile and a cute button nose, which is how I have been described as well. She was happy, always; sunny and bright, witty and engaging. While those are terms I’ve definitely heard applied to my personality as well, I can only hope to live up to those descriptors and her precendent. She loved ketchup sandwiches, pure ketchup and bread! Disgusting, but hilarious to think of – I definitely didn’t acquire that from her. Ew. Her favorite colors were jewel tones, like mine. And when she was out in the sun, our native heritage came through, her skin tanning to a deep bronze, her hair glinting with sun streaks. The same happens for me. Apparently, when I was small, I reminded everyone so strongly of her, that it was hard for my uncle, who still misses her terribly, to be around me without having to excuse himself to cry.

It might sound strange, but after I heard so many people remark on how alike we are, I’ve always kept her in mind when choosing how to conduct myself. When I was a young girl, on a competitive summer swim team, I would look up at the clouds during lap after lap of backstroke, find a particularly beautiful, puffy cloud, with sun streaking through, and imagine she was perched there, looking down on me, cheering me on, swelling with pride. I don’t have a particularly strong attachment to the Christian afterlife, but I’ve always known I had to make her proud. If I could be on this earth, and she couldn’t, then I had better make something of myself.

I’m older now than she ever was, by 13 years. I’ve outlived her by longer than her own lifespan. I’m still trying to better myself, to better the lives of others. It’s part of why I do the work I do, part of how committed I am to health care, and clinical and translation research. It’s part of why I sign up for every cancer supporting event I can, why I choose to volunteer with the Livestrong Challenge & Lance Armstrong Foundation, and also why I’m writing this post today.

One in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in her lifetime. Two in three men will be diagnosed in their lifetimes. (from the American Cancer Society) This is something that affects us all. More people in my family have been diagnosed with cancer since my aunt passed away: a grandfather – prostate cancer; a cousin – a rare sarcoma that almost ended his life; another cousin – late stage melanoma. Fortunately, treatment has been successful thus far for all of them, and they are all still living, with cancer either in remission or held at bay long enough to finish their lives un-threatened by their disease.

Today, an amazing group of entertainment industry professionals (actors, producers, news anchors, and more) are teaming up to launch a great fundraising effort. Stand Up To Cancer. They are fundraising for dollars that will go directly to “research dream teams” made up of doctors, nurses, scientists and support staff to make clinical and translational research a reality. I’ve been a part of translational cancer research, during my two year stint in a prostate cancer lab. Money is tight. Way too tight. Funding for research should happen now, and it should go to those people dedicating their lives – through small salaries, long hours, and tedious work – to making cancer a thing of the past.

Here’s how you can get involved. Tonight, three of the major television networks will broadcast a telethon. tune in to CBS, NBC or ABC at 8:00 pm Eastern/Pacific. Donate now. Add a star to The Constellation – in memory of someone you may know who passed on. Join The Stand on Facebook. Write a blog post. Show your support, or share how your life has been touched by cancer.

If you’re not already moved to do something, I’d like to leave you with the manifesto of Stand Up To Cancer:

We used to have such crazy dreams.
The kind of dreams that brought us together, made us not mere mortals, but a movement.

We used to dream we’d get to the moon.
And we were crazy enough, fanatical enough, relentless enough, to get there.

We dreamed we’d split the atom.
Make smallpox and polio whispers from forgotten history books.
Make technology infinite, individual.
Connect the world.

All the unbelievable and the impossible,
all the can’t do and the never will, we overwhelmed them, we overpowered them, we conquered them.
They said no and we, well,
We said yes.
We stood up.
We stood up and changed the world.

Stand up when everybody else sits down
Stand up when it’s easier to turn away
Stand up for everyone who can’t rise anymore

When the answer seems impossible, stand up
When the dream is right within our reach, stand up
When the powerful refuse your call, stand up

The moment is now and the time has come to stand up.
One out of every two men
One out of every three women
will face these diseases we call cancer.

Our sisters, our brothers, our fathers, our mothers,
our husbands, our wives, our children.
Our very best friends and those we’ve yet to meet.

One person every minute, one person in a moment gets lost, gets stolen, gets taken away.

We are a tapestry of lives touched and brought together by a terrorist we can actually find. And in the time it’s taken to read this, three more Americans have died.

Unforgivable.

This is where the end of cancer begins.

When together we become a force unmistakable.
A movement undeniable.
A light that cannot dim.

When we take our wild impossible dreams
And make them possible
Make them true

When together we rise as one
When we stand up
When we Stand Up To Cancer.

Posted by: Trigger | 26 August, 2008

Meme, the second.

I’m trying to keep up the momentum I seem to have gained in the past couple of days, with multiple posts that have come out within a single week. It’s like I’m actually blogging again! Except, today, is a meme, from the ever so lovely Hope, who said we could consider ourselves tagged if we need blog fodder. So. I’m going to raise my hand and say, “pick me!” And I’ll go ahead and fill this one out.

A: Attached or Single? Attached. Living in Sin, even.

B. Best Friend? I am so lucky, I have more best friends than I could ever dream of. It’s hard for me to choose just one person, there’s so much room in my heard for friends that I like to think we don’t have to narrow it down to one. My fella is most certainly the person on this world who I am closest with, and then there’s my college BFF, Finn; high school BFF, Skettio; my old work BFF, CoPirate; Sorority BFF #1, Newlywed; and Sorority BFF #2, Monster; Big Sis BFF, Red…and the list goes on. I love friends. They are the best.

C: Cake or pie? PIE. Pumpkin pie. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Marionberry Pie. Chocolate Custard Pie. Etc. Love it!

D: Day of choice? I really like Fridays of long weekends…otherwise, probably Saturday.

E: Essential Item: Deodorant. I really hate the idea of being stinky.

F: Favourite colour: Green. Like, grass green. Bright kelly green.

G: Gummy bears or worms? Worms. I know, I know, it’s the unpopular choice. But I like ‘em, okay?

H: Hometown: Little Small Place, in Rural Eastern Oregon. It’s charming, and small town America at its best and worst. It’s desert, which I find to be a fabulous climate to live in.

I: Favourite indulgence? Lip gloss. I could have a lip gloss for every day of the month. I probably almost do. I am always trying new ones out, and if I find myself in need of retail therapy, it’s my go to item. I find that it hurts my bank account much less than shoes would.

J: January or July? July. For one, it’s when the weather around here really gets pleasant. For two, I love the Fourth of July holiday – food, and beer, and fireworks, and picnics, and festivity without any present giving pressure…also, July is my birthday month, although I always get a little embarrassed about having much attention paid to that. For the record, January is a bit depressing to me. The Holidays are over, it’s all gray, cold rain, and nothing to look forward to until February/March.

K: Kids? I always planned on it. Although life could very easily get in the way.

L: Life isn’t complete without? Love ones.

M: Marriage date? Not sure. :)

N: Number of brothers and sisters? Three brothers, one sister.

O: Oranges or apples? Apples, sliced.

P: Phobias? Flying, stinging insects. (Bees, wasps, hornets, etc.)

Q: Quotes:

“Oh, dying for a cause.
Well, that don’t make it yours.”
-Ted Leo

My favorite lyric from a song written when the war in Iraq had been going on for considerably less time. Still rings true to me.

R: Reasons to Smile? I have a great life.

S: Season of choice? Early fall – when the air turns crisp at night, but it’s still sunny and warm during the day.

T: Tag 5 People: I’ll go ahead and leave this one open to interpretation.

U: Unknown fact about me: I have an irrational hatred of Sloppy Joes.

V: Vegetable? Any and all. Love them. Maybe not a fan of brussel sprouts. But I’m willing to bet I just haven’t had them prepared properly.

W: Worst habit? Spilling things and dropping things.

X: X-ray or Ultrasound? I’ll go with X-ray, since I had one yesterday and I got to see all the bones of my foot. Totally rad, yet completely nerdy.

Y: Your favourite food? Honestly, this is so DANG HARD. For trashy food, most likely anything french fry related, but especially chili cheese fries. For less white trash options, probably either vegetable samosas or masala dosas. I love a good potato based product…yum!

Z: Zodiac Sign? I’m the last day of Cancer in most calendars, but often I can be a Leo. Theoretically, being a “cusp” person means I have qualities from both signs. Which I think is sorta accurate. As accurate as any of those things can get. I’m a scientist, people.

Wee! That was fun. My foot hurts.

Posted by: Trigger | 25 August, 2008

Well, that wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for.

So, the upside is, I ran well this weekend. And our team placed well, all things considered. We ran 197 miles in 28 hours and 20 minutes. That’s apparently just under 8:37 minute miles, on average. I was more like 8:50-9:00 minute mile pace, so that tells you I was among the slower folks on the team, but all things considered, I was pleased. And we had a TON of fun.

Among the above referenced things to be considered, is the news that I gave myself a rockin’ muscle/tendon strain. And potentially a fracture hidden down in there, that’s just not visible on x-ray. So now I get to wear a boot. I’m really irrationally embarrassed by the boot. As a coping mechanism, I mostly laugh at and make fun of myself for needing it. For the next two weeks. At least.

And well, you know, the really important thing to consider, is: what am I going to wear???

(For the record, what I’m most upset about is not my newfound wardrobe dilemmas, but actually the fact that I can’t work out for at least 2 weeks, possibly longer, and I am going to be BEYOND pissed at myself if I wind up really out of shape and gaining weight over the next few weeks…grrr! Also, this means I won’t be running in the Komen Race for the Cure, which I LOVE. Over 40,000 people run each year in Portland, it’s a really good time! Oh well. Sad Face.)

Posted by: Trigger | 22 August, 2008

Wish me luck.

If you don’t hear from me again for a while, it’s because I didn’t survive the next two days. Please send Flavor-blasted Extra Cheddar Goldfish crackers, and hopefully some Wild Berry Skittles, too. Those might help revive me.

This afternoon, me and 11 of my friends will start running at the top of Mt. Hood, and we won’t stop until we reach the beach. That’s about 197 mi, for those unfamiliar with Oregon geography (which I’m assuming is most of you, because how many Oregonians are out there, really?). Why are we doing this to ourselves, you might ask? It’s call the Hood to Coast relay. There will be 12,000 runners out there, plus some high school runners and walkers who start in Portland and proceed from there to the beach. It’s seriously a good time, but last year when I ran, I had done a better job of preparing. This year? Not so much. I have a foot thing that’s bugging me, so I have been limiting runs to every other day, and well, some of the every others stretched out to be every third day kind of situations, so yeah. I’m going to be sore on Sunday. That’s an understatement!

Anyway, I hope y’all have lovely weekends. I’ve got to go pack some running gear and make rice krispie treats now!

Exchanged today, via g-chat:

Backstory: Something essential to Z’s job is not working correctly at this point in time. That’s about as specific as I can be about that. Sorry for the cryptic-ness. I’m lame. Also, Z is the most prolific nickname-bestower I’ve ever met. (I KNOW! “BESTOWER” IS NOT A WORD! You know what I mean, though, right? Bestower (noun): The one who gives out nicknames.) And apparently, I’m the easiest person to nickname he’s ever met. We make a great couple, if for no other reason. Annnnd, commence g-chat transcription.

me: so it’s not working for a while?
Z: yeah, until it’s fixed
me: I can’t decide if that is good or bad
Z: not sure either
me: in the immediate future, probably good
long term outlook is much less clear…
I sound like a god damn magic 8 ball
Z: always; I think you live by the 8 ball; ha! new nickname!
me: ha
wait, doesn’t that have some drug connotation?
(if you saw the time-stamp between these exchanges, you would see the 5 minute pause while I commence to internet search “8 ball” and “illicit drugs”…thank goodness for liberal employers, and also for academic institutions where there’s probably some legitimate reason – in some department other than mine, sure, but at least somewhere – to be searching the internet for info on drug slang)
me:
ahhhhh yes:
* Slang for one-eighth ounce (3.5 g) of a powdered psychoactive drug (especially cocaine, but sometimes heroin or crystal methamphetamine) or a ball of crack cocaine
* A nickname for the Olde English 800 brand of malt liquor
So, essentially what you’re saying is this: Trigger = All Classy, All the Time
Z: yep, that sums it up; I thought an 8 ball was cocaine + heroin, but I’m not totally sure
me: you could easily be right, it was just wiki that said the above
Z: wiki: written by someone who heard it at a coffee shop full of hipsters

Funny anecdote aside, I’m clearly having some issues with getting inspired to write these days. I’ve got this curious urge to keep up with blog world, yet I have a hard time committing to blogging about the details of my life. Not because of me, I could talk to a wall, or a broom, or a bucket, or…you get the point. But I have some specific needs to not share a lot of details about some topics – work, relationship, etc – and to over share would put these things that I care about in jeopardy, for various reasons. Which I don’t want to do.

What I really want to do is use this space to get away from the seriousness of life and my job and my career aspirations, and etc. I really want to write about how I went to the NARS counter at Nordstrom last night after work, and I tried on lip glosses after pouring over the NARS section at Sephora.com earlier in the day. I wanted to buy like, two or three. And how I walked out of there with only one, because the NARS girl wasn’t there, and some girl who stepped in to help was SO NOT HELPFUL, and also very judgey (TM: Slynnro, who I’ve been reading lately, and loving!) about the number of lip glosses I wanted to try on (I could hear her in my head, sighing in disgust and thinking, “OMG, dumb lip-gloss-tryer-on-girl, just PICK ONE!), and I don’t do well with shitty customer service, so I got all flustered, picked the best of the first three I tried on, and when she pulled it from behind the counter for me, I muttered that I needed to go find a couple of other things and would buy the gloss at a different counter. (Hello, run on sentence!) Which probably solidified her judgey-ness toward me, but IDC (I don’t care). And then I ended up buying not just a lip gloss, but a lip gloss and a foaming version of Philosophy’s “Purity Made Simple” wash. Alright, alright, AND a Lancome Maquicomplet undereye concealer. All because I had to escape the judgey makeup counter girl, and buy stuff at a different register, and I didn’t want to buy just the lip gloss at the wrong counter, I felt like I needed to buy something from the counter where I got wrung up to justify going to a different coutner. Yes, I am slightly (slash totally) neurotic. Don’t you all get judgey on me now, too!!!

The good news is, I actually like the gloss I got during the encounter with the Not-NARS makeup counter girl, it’s called “Chihuahua.” Which, quite honestly is an unfortunate name, as I don’t particularly care to be putting dog-related things anywhere near my mouth. I know it’s a region (state?) in Mexico, but it’s also a small rat like dog. And now, it’s my lip gloss. When I had started out by looking at NARS glosses on Sephora named things like, “Stolen Kisses” and “Sunset Strip” and, the NARS cult phenomenon, “Orgasm” (which actually doesn’t look that great on me, at least in lip gloss form, but the blush is really as great as everyone says it is, as far as my experience with it goes). ANYWAY. SO NOT THE POINT. The tangential point is, my gloss is fine. But it’s just one, not three like I wanted. I was ready to INVEST, people!

BUT THE REAL POINT OF ALL THIS. I just got me to thinking, that’s the stuff I really feel like writing about. It’s the stuff I really like to talk to girlfriends about. Once I leave my (fairly serious) work, I don’t want to be stuck in serious mode. I don’t want to blog about science really, or controversial women’s health topics, or living an earth friendly lifestyle, or current affairs. Sure, I’ll keep up on those topics, and I try to live pretty eco-friendly (minus my make-up buying habit), but you know what? Sometimes I just want to gush about my favorite mascara, or labor over deciding whether this shade is too brown on me, or that one too orange. It’s a release! And one that I like talking about, and I like sharing. I’ve done the make up for three weddings now, and each time, I was able to supply everything just from my personal stash. And I had enough colors, and knowledge, and skill, to make everyone in the wedding parties look great – even when we were working with different skin tones, and face shapes, and skin types, and etc. So this is definitely something I’m interested in, and something I spend free time pursuing.

So I really kind of wish I wrote a makeup blog. Then I would actually write, I think. But I don’t think you get to just, up and declare yourself a makeup blogger. I have no street cred in the makeup world. I’m a scientist! Scientist girls are supposed to be all freshfaced and tshirt wearing, they’re not supposed to be writing makeup blogs.

I guess I’m having a blog identity crisis, is what this is. What do I write about? Do I keep writing? Do I try to do something to increase my posting frequency? Do I let sleeping dogs lie? I JUST DON’T KNOW.

But I do know this, I like NARS lip glosses now. It’s one of the best non-sticky glosses I’ve found.

Posted by: Trigger | 10 July, 2008

Meme, the first.

Today, I decided to do a meme. It’s funny, because I first read about memes like 7 years ago in a course called “Evolution of Cooperation and Ethics” for my little snooty college within a college, when I read a couple of books that used the term, written by Richard Dawkins (who coined the term) and Daniel Dennett (who applied it a little bit differently than Dawkins). That was a good course. And a good time in my life. And now, thanks to that course, I get a flashback to the HC colloquia room where we met, and spring term of that year – which was unseasonably hot – and the cute boy I sat next to, and the other cute boy who I hung out with, who was the first of many I dated during college, and and and…you get the picture. It’s a virtual kaleidoscope of memories, all rolled up into one little word that’s bandied about the interwebs daily. So there’s that. Back to the meme. (There it goes again! Eugene, spring 2001, cute boy, house parties, whew, it’s like falling through the rabbit hole each time!)

I found this when I was reading around the blogosphere, checking out some new peeps. This came from Shelly at “Not the Daddy,” who I believe found it somewhere else. Here goes.
1. You have 10 dollars and need to buy snacks at a gas station. What do you get?
WELL. A fruit punch gatorade. Berry Skittles. And probably Cheddar Chex Mix. $10 doesn’t get ya too far in convenience stores these days, I think.

2. If you were reincarnated as a sea creature, what would you want to be?
Probably…oh heck. I don’t know. Something totally unoriginal, like a dolphin.

3. Who’s your favorite redhead?
I really like Lindsay Lohan back when she was cute and young and not a crack head skinny coked out dyed blonde nut job. You know, like Mean Girls Era Lindsay Lohan.

4. What do you order when you’re at IHOP?
So, when you live in a city like Portland, it’s actually quite hard to get to big chain restaurants like IHOP. At least, in the neighborhoods within a 20-25 min drive radius. And let’s be clear, I’m not driving that far to go to an IHOP. I’m a bit of a foodie snob, I’m sorry to say. My favorite nearby breakfast place has this delicious Dungeness crab eggs benedict number, with crab, heirloom tomatoes, chevre and hollandaise sauce. It’s pretty divine. So that’s my go to order at our usual breakfast haunt. Although, I just looked at the IHOP menu online, and I’d probably order the Stuffed French Toast if there were one nearby. I’m a sucker for cream cheese, and strawberries, and whip cream!

5. Last book you read?
“Drown” a book of short stories by Junot Diaz. Definitely recommend.

6. Describe your mood.
Antsy – I want to get all my work done and go home. This meme isn’t helping that cause, but oh well.

7. Describe the last time you were injured.
WELL. Let’s see. I would guess that it would have to be when I was at the rehearsal for that wedding a couple of weeks ago, and one of the other bridesmaids stomped on my foot with her stiletto, which hurt like hell. It broke the skin. And it swelled up in an area about the same size as an egg. I iced it for a couple of hours that night, and it was already bruising by two hours after the incident. Funny this came up, too, because it’s been two full weeks and it still hurts in one of my metatarsals…so this morning I was starting to wonder if something kinda serious went wrong…who knows.

8. Of all your friends, who would you want to be stuck in a well with?
Jeez. Just one? I have awesome friends. Probably either my best friend from college, Finn, or my best new friend in Portland, who we shall call…HotMama (she has a six week old baby, and is already back in smokin’ shape!). She’s just about the most hilarious person I know. Also, she’s a very kind friend.

9. Rock concert or symphony?
Indie Rock concert, boy howdy. I’ll be there, you name the time/place.

10. What is the wallpaper of your cell phone?
Some little gray/silver number I got off the Verizon server.

11. Favorite soda?
Well, first of all, it’s not soda, it’s pop. And my favorite POP is Dr. Pepper.

12. What type of shirt are you wearing?
I actually have three layers on. Bottom layer: cream cami with little lace detail from Maurices, middle layer, sleeveless black/cream kinda floral outline patterned shirt from Old Navy (it’s about 5 years old, but it’s held up well), and top layer – black cardigan from Express.

13. If you could only use one form of transportation?
BICYCLE!

14. Most recent movie you have watched in theater?
Iron Man. AND I LOVED IT!!!

15. Name an actor/actress/singer you have had the hots for.
Oh jeez. I am currently deep in like with James McAvoy.

16. What’s your favorite kind of cake?
Cup-cakes. Any and all kinds.

17. What did you have for dinner last night?
Tortellini with gorgonzola sauce. Way indulgent, but it was the first time Finn and I had seen each other since the engagement part had turned into a wedding, and so we needed to be girly and linger over a scrumptious dinner and talk details.

18. Look to your left, what do you see?
Well, a lot of stuff. My phone. My coffee mug. My water bottle. And my window, looking out into the courtyard in front of my u-shaped building. Mysteriously, there are always dogs barking down in that courtyard. I say mysteriously, because I WORK AT A HOSPITAL! A large one. All there is, for blocks and blocks, are building associated with the hospital/children’s hospitals/research laboratories/medical school/nursing school. WHERE ARE ALL THESE DOGS COMING FROM? Dogs don’t belong in hospitals!

19. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
You betcha.

20. Favorite toy as a child?
My favorite toy was my imagination, especially shared with my childhood BFF. I know that’s cheesy, but seriously. We came up with all sorts of fun games, most of them that involved elaborate plots and few props.

21. Do you buy your own groceries?
Yes. Z sometimes helps. But then we just wind up with, like, a bunch of protein bars and eggs and steak. And little that combines to make a full meal.

22. Do you think people talk about you behind your back?
Um. No. I have done relatively few scandalous things. Oh, wait! I have managed to be involved in several roommate type relationships that went down in spectacular and very spiteful flames. So I bet the ex roommates definitely talked about me behind my back.

23. Gummy Worms or Hershey Kisses?
Gummy worms. Also note: worms are perferable to bears.

24. What’s your favorite fruit?
WATERMELON, DUH. (My hometown is famous in the Western U.S. for it’s watermelons, as a child of that town, I am practically required to love them. But, also, they are DELICIOUS. So it’s win-win, really.)

25. Do you have a picture of yourself doing a cartwheel?
Sadly, of all the many things I have done in my life, a cartwheel is not one of them. I never learned! I climbed trees, played about 6 sports growing up, did three different types of dance, and not a single successful cartwheel to my name. One of my more embarassing teenage memories was when my dance team instructor wanted to see if she could teach the whole team to do an aerial cartwheel (basically a no handed cartwheel, they’re very cool to watch). And so she started to teach us, and I had to confess that I couldn’t even do a regular cartwheel. They tried to teach me, but…no luck. I think that’s the only thing I’ve truly ever failed at. It was mortifying.

26. Do you like running long distances?
Yes. Very much so. I’m not sure I’ll ever do a marathon, but I like the idea of it. Running is so satisfying, and challenging, and rewarding. I love it.

27. What is your secret trash food pleasure?
Chili cheese freetos. And cheese stuffed corn dogs.

28. What color are your bedsheets?
White.

29. What’s your favorite flower?
Ranunculus. (Ranuncu-who’s? You might ask? Here’s an example. And a second example. At least, that’s the kind I like. It’s a whole family, and includes buttercups. Don’t eat them, they’re poisonous!)

30. Do you do ballet?
Not lately. But from age 4-14, yes. I quit after two and a half years en pointe. I do not have a dancer’s body, I’m short and all curves, so the point shoes and I had a long fought battle. I was never going to be better than mediocre at point, and there was no one in my small town to partner me, so I kind of reached a dead end, ballet-wise. Plus, I started cramming my feet in to point shoes while I was still growing, so as a result I have effed up toes and ankles now. Oh well!

31. Do you listen to classical music?
Only when the admin I share office space with plays it at work. Fortunately, she’s only here half time. So I get to rock the new wave and indie rock the rest of the time.

32. What is the first TV Theme song that pops in your head?
“Unwritten” by what’s her face, the theme from the Hills. Love that trashy shoe. Kind of hate the theme song.

33. Are you really worried about Global warming?
Yes. This is a catastrophe that is of epic proportions. We might be okay, but in the end, I’m guessing we’ve done some long lasting damage. Not necessarily unfixable. But we’ve really gone and done a number on our climate. What I’m most worried about is the disruption of the global wind patterns, because if things keep warming unchecked, the whole wind gyres on each hemisphere will shut down, and there will be little to no air exchange between the hot equatorial regions and the cold polar regions. From my limited understanding of marine biology/climatology/other natural geo sciences, this will be disastrous. More disastrous than I think many people can imagine. People, I’m not trying to tell you what to think. But global warming is not some fad. It’s a scientific theory. In science, a theory is different than the vernacular use of the word, and also different than a hypothesis – a hypothesis is something that needs to be tested, a theory is something that HAS ALREADY been tested, multiple times, and has empirical data and evidence to back it up. Virtually no scientists dispute global warming at this point in time, although the media has portrayed that as the case. That portrayal is untrue. The scientific community is almost unanimously united on this topic – something which is no small feat. Hell, the nobel prize went to people educating the world about man-made climate change last year. That’s a BIG DEAL. They don’t hand those out to fakers. Okay, so I know I’m getting all preachy right her, but listen. I’m a scientist by nature. For CENTURIES, the general populace of the world has had a knack for disregarding scientific discoveries that are not convenient for the status quo. Ever heard of Galileo? And what he went through? Hmmm, quite possibly not so different – people didn’t want to believe the Earth rotated around the sun, or that the world was not flat – but that didn’t mean their beliefs were true. Anyway, regardless of how you feel about climate change, I don’t see why we shouldn’t all want to be responsible citizens. Burn less fossil fuels, so that our air quality improves (less pollution, yay!). Recycle more, so that we don’t have to keep finding new places for landfills, that will eventually mean we have them right in our backyards. Spend less money by slashing our consumerism. Save more money, have a more stable retirement. I think that stuff (which will help our ecosystem) all just makes sense, regardless of the motivations you have for doing it.

34. What temperature is it outside right now?
Weather.gov says it is 89 degrees F. It’s going to be a hot bike ride home!

35. Do people consider you smart?
Yeah, I am guessing so. When you major in science, especially when you zero in on neuroscience specifically, you kind of automatically get stuck with the smart label. I like to think I’m well-rounded, though…

36. On what occasions do you lie?
I’m only a white-lie type of person. So, like when I’m setting up a surprise for someone and need a cover story. Or when my family is trying to convince me to do something boring that I don’t want to do, and I am miraculously “already busy” that weekend…

37. Are you signed on [to] AIM?
not anymore

38. Have you ever tried gluing your fingers together?
I have glued my fingers together (thanks superglue), but not intentionally.

39. How do you feel about your family?
They are noisy, and funny, and warm, and caring, and occasionally annoying, and everything I could ever ask for (and more). I feel very lucky, even when they get on my nerves. (They’re pretty needy when they make their way from my small hometown to my current big(ish) city.)

40. Do you have an iPod?
Yes. A nano. Z gave me his old one when my 3 year old one gave up last year. I think they should be able to last longer than that, but oh well.

41. What time do you go to bed?
10:30-11:30 pm.

42. What CD is currently in your CD player?
I think Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s self titled debut? I don’t know, I’m not around cd players much.

43. What movie do you know every line to?
Empire Records. Entirely too many viewings with the high school BFFs, back in the day.

44. What is your favorite salad dressing?
Bleu cheese, or balsamic vinagrette

45. What do you want for Christmas this year?
Well, not sure. But! My birthday’s coming up sooner than Christmas, in just a few weeks actually. And I do know what I want for that. A new transmission, so that my car will work again. Something tells me I can keep dreaming on that front.

46. What family member/friend lives the farthest from you? Where?
BigCityBrother lives in Manhattan. I live in Oregon. That’s a whole continent away.

47. Do you like hugs?
Love them. Get me drunk, and I like them even more! I can even coax hugs out of traditionally non-huggers.

48. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach?
Well, it’s not a happy time, but Z and I had a particularly bad fight recently and I got SO MAD. I never get mad! Being that mad at him made me nervous, and I totally get nervous tummy (a la Tessie).

49. What’s the way people most often mispronounce any part of your name?
My first name gets mispronounced, but if I told you specifically how I’d have to kill you. Let’s just say, my name ocurrs in multiple languages, and is pronounced differently in English vs., let’s say, Spanish. I look vaguely hispanic (dark hair, can at times be quite dark skinned), so sometimes it’s gets pronounced that way. Also, my last name which is QUITE unique, always confuses people when the see it, because usually I’m the only time they’ve seen it. There are two vowels, one of which (if not both) is usually mispronounced. That’s all I can say, little anonymous me over here.
50. Last person you hugged?
The bf, Z. A “have a good day” hug this morning. :)

Posted by: Trigger | 8 July, 2008

Cheaters never prosper.

I realize this is totally cheating. Oh well! Let’s recap the past few weeks, shall we?

Work is busy. Life is busy. Etc. And aren’t we all, I know. I just haven’t done a good job of prioritizing the blog.

I took this test. Basically all my science knowledge, ever (minus only those upper division neuroscience classes); plus verbal reasoning – which is like comprehensive lit & logic combined; and also some writing. All on a computer, sans calculator, spell check, etc. Plus, you get to pay a couple hundy to take it! Not sure how it went, I think I did well on some sections (Biology & Organic Chemistry), not so well on other sections (I’m look at you, Physics). So that was fun. We’ll see, I might be taking it again.

I was in the wedding associated with the Best Bachelorette Party Ever – West Coast Division. (Laurel and I decided it was okay to have an East Coast/West Coast split on the topic. We obviously did really well during the sharing lessons of pre-school and kindergarden!) It was intense, you guys. Five bridesmaids, all in sky blue satin strapless dresses, silver satin shoes with bows, matching pearlish earrings & bracelet, identical manicures and pedicures, complete with full updos. This takes matching to a whole new level. I’m serious, we were little satin drones out there. We’re all pretty fair, but none so fair as the bride – so she even instructed us that we weren’t supposed to tan or anything before the wedding. Not that I would have anyway, but COME ON. Type A control freak, much? The event was gorgeous, though – I’ll give her that much – even if it was not my taste. At all. It was elaborately choreographed (down to which hand our walking partners used to turn us in which direction to take our place after we walked down the aisle, and the opposite instructions for how the groomsmen picked us up after the ceremony was over). Nothing went wrong. Everything went right. There was an open bar (I had to leave Seattle to drive home at 9 am the next day, so I didn’t get to take full advantage of that, unfortunately), and delicious wedding cake. So, all the other girls and I just silently mouthed a shared mantra throughout the event, to make it tolerable: “It’s not my wedding. It’s NOT my wedding.” I did all the make up for everyone except the bride, and they all looked beautiful. I used all my own (expensive) cosmetics and brushes, and I don’t think I got more than an offhand “thank you” from the bride. Including when I ran to get her undereye concealer the day of the wedding and paid for it myself! For her concealer, that she’ll use for months and months now! Needless to say, I am a bit miffed at this friend, which is sad. Should I be only happy for her now? I just don’t understand why she became such a different person…it saddens me.

Finn (best friend from college) has been planning an engagement party before she and her bf/fiance move to Germany for a few years. To happen the first weekend in August. Well, with her sick dad (who is still very sick, and will probably not get better), it turns out that with six weeks left before the “party” they decided it was time to just go ahead and make it a “wedding.” So now I’m a bridesmaid in that, too! But I feel remarkably less pressure/stress related to her event. Maybe that’s because a) there’s only one other bridesmaid, b) even the term bridesmaid is being used loosely because we’re not having to wear a dress or anything like that (as Finn put it, I’m her “bridesmaid that she’s not asking to wear a bridesmaid dress”), we’ll just be giving a toast sort of thing at the event. Her uncle owns a winery in Oregon wine country, which is beautiful and perfect for a wedding. So the ceremony and reception will be there, and there will be about 50 guests, tops. It’s going to be so refreshing, coming off the planned down to the minutia experience referenced above. And my attitude is so drastically different about it, it kind of surprises me. But I’m happy for her, and for her soon to be husband. They’re great people.

Let’s see what else. Oh yeah! Also a couple of weekends ago, Portland’s LIVESTRONG Challenge took place. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the little yellow bracelets, and maybe also the LIVESTRONG ideals, but did you know there’s a Challenge? In four cities across the U.S. the Lance Armstrong Foundation sets up fundraising bike rides & 5k runs. The bike rides range in distance from 10 miles to 100 miles. And they are meant to be challenging, but rewarding. Participants raise money for the LAF, which funds cancer research & cancer care programs. Including research & programs where I work, which is how I got involved. I sit on the organizing committee for the event, which means I’ve been working behind the scenes for lots of months. And then it was event day! It went well, and I was more involved this year than I had been before, so it was a pretty cool experience. I’ll also be traveling to two of the other three events, including one in the Bay Area this weekend. Which makes Trigger a busy girl. If you ever have any cash lying around (ha!), burning a whole in your pocket, I totally recommend this cause & foundation. Or, volunteer your time! Good people, doing good things. I’m already exhausted and only one of the three event’s I’m working on has happened, so we’ll see how this all goes…

Plus, at work I have lots of new patients, and a couple of new studies that I’m working to get approval for, and one SERIOUSLY messy desk. Well, I’m not gonna lie, it’s been worse. But, you know. Whatevs.

So that’s me, these days.

Oh yeah, and it’s finally turned into summer here, so that also means I’m outside at happy hours and dinners along the river(s) and watching fireworks in parks and bike riding and running and generally soaking up the sun while it lasts here. I’ll sleep when I’m dead, right? Isn’t that the saying?

Hope y’all are well. :)

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