Friday, May 27, 2011

Unexpected Answers to Stupid Questions

We were cuddling in bed getting ready to sleep when I ask my chemist husband that killer question:

Me: "Sweetie... what are you thinking?"

Him:  "Um, the reduction of cytochrome C by superoxide..."


Not quite the answer I was looking for... Serves me right for asking!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Call of Pacquiao

Amidst the craziness of Finals Week, there is only one thing that would gather all the Filipinos in our campus together: a Manny Pacquiao match. It doesn't matter who he's fighting. If he's on, you can be sure it'll be an unofficial national holiday for Filipinos anywhere in the world.

Zero crime rate in the motherland.

All academic concerns of struggling Filipino grad students abroad go out the window for all 12 rounds.

And I don't even understand boxing.

Pacquiao's humility is very charming.

Then you look over at his opponent's swollen face and think that humility must hurt a lot.

Congratulations, Manny, ang Pambansang Kamao!

* The National Fist

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Inevitable End-of-Semester Procrastination

As the impending deadlines for final exams and research papers loom over me, I am overcome with the overwhelming need to...

... scour YouTube for videos of obscure singing groups I vaguely remember listening to in college and get fixated on awesome chorale singing by the Philippine Madrigal Singers;

... do online window shopping for shoes, corsets and clothes when I never buy any of those things online anyway;

... give a shout out to all my elementary and high school classmates on Facebook that I haven't spoken to in years but whose photo albums I must go through with a fine-toothed comb;

... rearrange the medicine cabinet and go hunting for the perfect container for double edged razor blades;

... clean out the refrigerator and disinfect all surfaces in the house because the thought of all those microorganisms rampaging through my living space makes it distracting to write;

... catch up on all the blogs I follow but have not "had the time" to look at since the beginning of this term;

... pack away winter clothes and organize the wardrobe closet;

... try out different permutations of outfits I would probably never wear in public; and

... write a blog outlining all the ways I've been procrastinating instead of writing research papers that are all due in 3 days.

I know you feel my pain.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Piercings of the Medical Kind

My husband fell off a bike and injured his little finger. Bike as in bicycle, and not the cool kind of the Harley persuasion.

The pre-doctor's appointment swollen finger. 

Post-doctor's appointment giant cast. You'd think he broke his entire arm!
But, oh! The possibilities!
It was a totally unfortunate accident that is going to cost us, ironically, an arm and a leg. But from great misfortunate comes a possibility for great entertainment. Mostly for me. Good thing my husband is such a good sport.

So he needed some surgery and they had to put pins in to align the bones as it heals. They used power tools! Imagine that! This is one of those moments when I regret not becoming a doctor. I could have been watching inside the operating room. Hmph.

Live x-ray of little finger. Isn't that fascinating?!?

10 days after the surgery. Checking out the little finger's progress.

Piercings of the medical kind

I guess the lesson is... find joy in any misfortune? Edward isn't as happy about it, of course, but well, what can you do but laugh when life throws you a curveball?

I'm Married to a Chemist, Reminder #237

Even before I was erroneously accused of being pregnant, I've decided that this mindless snacking has got to end. I've been doing well for a while until I felt like I needed to eat something crunchy or so help me God I will invoke pain onto the world.

I've purged the house of the usual offenders - chocolate, chips, crackers. The only thing left (that I was remotely interested in eating) was some Honey Nut Cheerios. I figured a handful isn't going to hurt. But then I wanted just a little bit more... and then a little bit more... and then i just ended up finishing the box (about 3 bowlfuls. Ew.)

So I tell my husband about it, in the spirit of being accountable for my actions. 

Me:  "I cheated!! I ate all of the cereal!!!"

Him:  "Oh no... Why didn't you eat the banana instead?"

Me: "I hate bananas. Bananas are monotonous fruit."

Him: "But just think, polysaccharide chains! They're good for you!"

Uh-huh. Yes, that's EXACTLY what I think about when I think of bananas. 

He means well. 

Baby Doll Dresses are Cute But Dangerous

I'd been helping out this lady with some academic thing she was working on and I decided to drop by her office that afternoon to let her know my research results for her project before I headed home myself. 

I guess she was really excited to see me so she came up to me, beaming with excitement as she placed her hand on my belly and congratulated me for the pregnancy! How thoughtful! 

Except... I wasn't pregnant. 

Great. Thanks. 

Haha. Awkward laughter. "Oh no... I'm just fat!" 

Haha. More awkward laughter. 

Sadly, this wasn't the first time I've been congratulated for a phantom pregnancy.  So, I've had practice giving this standard answer, which, I hope, makes the greeter as uncomfortable as he/she has made me feel. Though some may decide to take the moral high ground on this, I never do.  Unless you're my mother, I don't care to spare your feelings.  An eye for an eye! 

Anyway, in an attempt to cover up her mistake, this woman tries to remedy the situation by saying:

"Oh! No, it's okay. That's better, because me... (places both hands on her flat midsection)... look, I am very thin."

Well, thank you for that again. If my self-esteem didn't plummet with the first comment, it surely has hit rock bottom now! Aaawww... it was so sweet of you to clarify things for me!


I usually have a good sense of humor and can brush off a lot of insensitive comments like that but there's a certain time of the month when my hormones decide to listen to every single comment and translates it to "You're fat and ugly." This woman hit the jackpot!

A couple days later, my classmate takes one look at me and says, "Awww, Carleen, you ok? You look so... (long pause as he searches for the word)... dejected." 

What?!? Do you mean I'm fat AND ugly?!? 

"Hey, Carleen, you dropped your pen..." What?!? So now I'm fat, ugly AND clumsy?!?

Stupid hormones... 

It's been a week now and I've since calmed down. And I know I shouldn't let it get to me but whatever.  It's never pleasant being told you're fat. It's NEVER an appropriate greeting ("Carleen! I haven't seen you in ages! What happened? You're so fat now!" Grr...) and it is NEVER a compliment ("Wow, living in America must be so good for you. You've gotten so fat!" Double grrr!!!)

It's perfectly all right to comment on the weather, people!  Leave me (and my fat!) out of it. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Library Volunteer Fun Day

The awesome graduate assistants (GA) at the Center for Children's Books are just the best. They give me the best  things to do around the library.

Today, they taught me to shelve books! Hee hee...! They use the Dewey decimal system for the non-fiction and reference books, but they have a different system for the other books. It isn't a surprise how valuable my OCD is at this job. Actually, there are a lot of jobs in the library that involve a lot of detailed, tedious work. I love it.

After I shelved books, they taught me how to make spine labels!!  With an electric typewriter, no less!!  I tried to contain my joy and just managed to not jump up and down and hug the GA.  Tedious work again but oh so relaxing. Like meditation. Except for the tak-tak-tak! of the typewriter keys, but you get used to it and then it sounds really soothing.

Insert contented sigh.

Hmm... doesn't look much in this picture, but this is a fabulous typewriter!

I made these happy spine labels. My mother would be so proud.  

 My mother and her mother before her were librarians.  I should have had the sense to go into librarianship too. I would have liked it a lot, I think.