Saturday, June 30, 2007

Missing Singapore

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Vincent has been tearful the past few days missing his pals from Singapore. I know it's tough for him to adjust to the rough and tumble mannerisms of his camp-mates. It also doesn't help that he's the littlest one at camp. Each time we suggest something fun to do, he resists and cries. Also when I don't take his suggestions (Mom! Please wear your high heels and go bike riding with me!), he just crumples with sobs. It's not as if he doesn't like camp or the things we do, it's just that the moving and the job searching has been hard on him.

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It's pretty much impossible to get Edda to drink enough liquid. She knows how to drink through a straw, but she probably drinks less than on cup of liquid a day. I try, with orange juice, apple juice, milk, water... Today I discovered the magic elixir, I'm embarrassed to say that she loves cherry Kool-Aid. She drank 4 glasses at dinner without spilling a drop.

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Summertime smile.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

The world is small.

Today I had an informational interview at a biotech company about 2 miles from where we live. He's a classmate of mine (who I did not know) was kind enough to tell me a little bit about the history of the biotech industry in Montgomery county and figure out how I could find myself a position within the industry.

I'm always so nervous before these little sessions, I know the Martin men look at me strangely when I tell them that it takes me a lot of psychic energy to speak with people I don't know. It doesn't matter that we spoke easily about science and protein purification for two hours, found out that we have a close friend in common and, at the end, discussed the hourly rate for a high-school babysitter, it's still tough for me to start off a conversation.

I figure I have to talk to about 15-25 people face-to-face before I find a job, I've done 2 so far. Sigh.

The Sunday dinner was shifted to Friday night for various reasons. The cousins are getting more used to having Edda around and Edda is getting used to everyone else's house. Sarah was feeding Edda grapes (so cute!) and the kids put on a performance and Edda kept weaving in an out of the kids giving everyone a slobbery slap on the arm.

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Guess Who...

... I just met at the airport? Uncle Robert! On his way off to China to see his wife and kids. Funny. I was there dropping of Xin and Shwe in the Air China line, and there he was, like 6 people up. It was quite a shock to see him in SF. It was his layover. I wanted to invite him to lunch, since Xin ans Shwe and I were going to go out after checking in their luggage, but he disappeared really fast. Oh well. Lunch didn't happen anyways as Xin and Shwe were in the wrong line since their flight was run by United, and that line was at least 100 people deep, spanning past 2 check in aisle in the international terminal. Crazy.

It was good to see him, but you can tell Uncle Robert still smokes. Ugh.

Singapore Advice?

Yo ex-Singaporean-ish-type folks. A coworker is passing thru Singapore on the way to India. They have an 8 hour layover. Any suggestions on what to do? Mostly where to eat?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

IEP part deux.

Edda's starting school on Monday!

Taking the old bike out for a ride.

Jeremy rides Donald's high school bike.

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I'd like some bacon please.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Food continued.

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mmmm... bacon.

Erg.

I forgot my underwear again today.

There it is...


I wasn't there.. but here's the timpano...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Nervous.

I have a few job things I have to go to this week, so I headed to Lakeforest Mall to prepare myself to be seen outside the mom/playdate arena. I have been going to Lakeforest mall since the Limited came out with the Forenza sweater and my girlfriends were toting around LeSportSac purses. It is no longer the cool mall in the area, but I went back to my old faithful and she did not disappoint. I got a bunch of dress suits 75% off and some pants, I'm good to go.

Just to take my mind off job hunting, I channeled Marilyn Monroe.

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A career is wonderful thing, but you can't snuggle up to it on a cold night.
-Marilyn Monroe

Timpano!



Had a pretty good weekend. I worked on Saturday at the bike shop. Just for one weekend. It was nice to come back and tho I didn't sell any bikes, nothing had really changed in the past 6 months.

Saturday night, I went to a friend's place in the city, where they had a big 2 day cookfest. We were making Timpano, the signature dish from the movie Big Night. Basically they were making everrything from scratch. Eugene had a pasta machine, and we had a huge factory line of people rolling out the pasta and other people using dowels to roll our own penne.

The timpano wasn't actually served on Saturday, since all the pasta had to dry, but there was a delicious risotto that was served along with pesto noodles, made from another batch of pasta that we rolled. There's Jeff in the photo with the longest noodles made that night. Our Chinese ancestors would be proud.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

How the day went.

9:30 am - Nap #1

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10:00 am - Some knitting! (I'm using the yarn from Taos!)

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10:30 am - Getting ready for sprinkler time!

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11:00 am - summer fun (Edda also enjoyed playing in the sprinkler much more than I thought she would)

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2:00 pm - homemade cupcakes.

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3:15 pm - nap #2

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

On the upswing.

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  • I checked out Anna Karenina from the library for the 50th time today. This time I checked out the audio version, so maybe I will someday finish one of Jeremy's favorite books. I already know how it ends.

  • I love the dress that Edda is wearing - she always seems to be in a good mood in this dress, but now it's getting really short.

  • Vince and I ate lunch at McDonald's today.

  • Jeremy rewired the house again today, the phone is still not fixed.
  • Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Running away.

    Jeremy's slimmed down nicely since he left his previous place of employment. The grippy love handles have shrunk down and the chubby hubby belly has pretty much disappeared. The suit that he's been wearing is a little too big and his neck isn't constrained at all by his collar. It's because he's been running everyday.

    Ruby can keep up with Jeremy for about 3 miles at a moderate pace, but today Jeremy wanted to run fast, fast, fast. Too fast for Ruby, so he told me that I had to take Ruby running. So I did, I took Ruby for a 25 minute walk + a five minute jog. It was nice. As soon as I got home, Jeremy said that I sounded much better, more relaxed.

    On another note, Edda has these cute, cute dresses that she likes to wear. The trick is that sometimes her diaper falls off without anyone noticing. Today she peed on the carpet. I'm so sorry mom!

    Wednesday, June 20, 2007

    Family updates.

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    Ruby: Running 8 minute miles with Jeremy. Loves to hunt the groundhogs in the backyard. Still afraid of thunder.

    Vince: Camp-dude. Went swimming today and made a sand jar with different layers of colored sand. Ate only 50% of sandwich at lunch, ignored his juice box, apples, carrot sticks and Cool Ranch Doritostm (!)

    Edda: Her happy, carefree TV watching days are numbered - school district has all the paperwork, may go to summer school as soon as Monday (highly unlikely, but I'm hoping). We are gamely trying to get her to use her hands again to eat grapes. It's not fun.

    Jeremy: Totally cute in his suit which he wears 3 times a week to meet with his "contacts". Walked past Barbara Boxer's office in the House yesterday (wearing the suit). Has used the suit more times in the past 2 weeks than the prior nine years we have been together. He has become Middle Aged Mantm.

    me: I fill out endless forms and various resumes hoping that I'll find a job. I've also been trying to mulch in the backyard to tame the weeds on the property, but it's a losing battle.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    Hands down baby!

    Edda had her first physical therapy session in the US. They duct-taped her to a tricycle.

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    Oh, yes, the Verizon guy came this morning at 9 am to fix our phone lines. Our appointment was Saturday morning at 9am, he was only 3 days late.

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    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Seeing an old friend and meeting new ones.

    Leslie and I were friends in high school and we got reacquainted through this blog. Today I went downtown to see her for the first time in 17 years and to meet her little adorable girl, O. Babies move too fast in low light to get a good photo, but you have to trust me, this little girl is soooo cute and good natured.

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    Since I'm all about Consumerism...

    I read an article about this company that makes T-Shirts that are designed by people that submit designs over the internet. Fun. I kinda like this one.

    A Nice Day...

    Ah. It's definitely nice to finally (finally!) get my road bike back up and running. I missed her. I had been riding my TT bike soooooo much. First for Wildflower training. Then for the France trip, cause that was the only bike I could put panniers on. And now, since I've had problems with 2 rear wheels and I had to swap out my fork on my road bike. I'm sick of riding my TT bike!

    Today, I finally managed to get my road bike together (Thanks Bruno!) and go out for a ride. My face isn't in the dirty anymore. I'm back to having a double setup. My front end doesn't weigh a ton. I have many handlebar positions! Oye. I'm in heaven. It really was A Nice Day.

    Sunday, June 17, 2007

    Pinata night.

    R. giving the cactus pinata a final whack!

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    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    Hello Saturday...

    Edda is always a little off center when she walks, so she uses her abs a lot to maintain her balance. Look at her six pack.

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    Quince Orchard Community day at the library. What would a community day be without a fire truck?

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    Looked at Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding for Edda. Gave the horses some carrots, saw a horse getting a bath, got to see a 3 month old foal! Edda laughed and laughed when she saw the foal.

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    For father's day, we are hosting the DC Martins family dinner. It's a great father's day gift for Jeremy because he loves to cook and he hasn't really, really cooked for a while. He started tonight by roasting the pablano chilies.

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    Edda and her cottage cheese mess at dinner. If we ever do the gluten free casein free diet with her, cottage cheese will be the thing she will miss the most.

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    Since I know Ted is reading this blog...


    That's my weight for this morning. Woo hoo! First time I'm under 170 since the 24hr race.

    For all you science geeks out there, you know how I weighed myself with my camera right? :P

    Choices...

    I've been thinking a lot these days. (When have I not thought a lot?) I've been at my place for 2 years now. I've been at my job for 2 years now. I guess life is sorta moving forward, and I feel like nothing is changing. I'm pretty much responsibility free, so it's kinda nice to lead my own life. I suppose I was/am working on the girl thing, but it's a lot of work and as mentioned in a previous post, perhaps it's better to make my own way first? Anyways. It might be time for a change. But I have a healthy fear of change. So I'm mostly talk.

    Here are some choices for me:

    - Move back to DC

    I could spend more time with Doris and her family, which I find to be a fun time. we've talked about this briefly. Vince is getting to a good age to go out and have fun (if he doens't whine). And dunno. there's a definite draw with family. While we've joked about it before, but it migght be nice to start some business with my sister.

    - Move into the city

    Might be a good change of scenery. I'd probably hang out with a different crowd than I do right now. It'd probably be pretty expensive. I would want to live in a hip part of town. Of course, I kinda dislike hip pretentious city folk. Oh well.

    - Change jobs

    Honestly, I've never changed jobs "responsibly". I've always quit a job before getting the next one. It would boost my confidence a bit if I could get a job this way for once. :)

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Playing at the C&O canal.

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    Vince has been a whine-a-minute machine. Typical car ride: "I don't want to go adventuring. I would rather not go. I want to go home. I was just starting a video game. Edda just told me she wants to go home." Repeat eighteen hundred times. But as soon as we got to the C&O canal, he scrambled out of the car and took off his pants and threw rocks into the water for 30 minutes.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    Camp and medical frustrations.

    Getting a camp physical and vaccinations up to date so Vince can start summer camp on Monday was complicated today. Two referrals to two pediatricians led to two phone calls which said, sorry, no appointments until August! Argh!

    So we went to a minute clinic at a CVS and then they referred us to a walk-in clinic down the road. I love the minute clinic, service just like in Singapore. You walk in, no appointment necessary - staffed with folks who can treat ear infections and seasonal allergies - it's great and (relatively) cheap. Then you can pick up your prescription 10 feet away. Genius.

    It's also a relief to be able to answer in quick succession -

    any medical problems - no!
    any medications - no!
    any developmental delays - no!
    any speech problems - no!
    any physical limitations - no!
    OK - kid you are ready for summer camp - let me sign all the forms....

    because I have had many, many, many conversations with medical professionals are much more complicated.

    Boston! MIT! Harvard! Wedding!


    Well Got in from Boston yesterday. Had a pretty good time. It's quite sad tho. I don't know Boston at all. I spent waaaaay too much time on campus. I never had time to do the touristy stuff. Choon would ask me, "What's here? What's there?". I could only say that I had never been to those places. Sigh.

    MIT was interesting. I saw the new Stata building. I heard from Amy that everyone hates working in it cause it's all weirdly shaped. Oh also the new Sponge dorm, apparently all the furniture is made from poured concrete, so if you want to change your room around, you have to call Facilities to have people come and move your furniture.

    Oh yeah, there was a wedding. There's Ken and all the girls. Hahah. Too bad it was on the only cloudy day of the weekend. Oh and I absolutely loved their photographer. She was a photojournalist for a long time, and doesn't normally do weddings. But since Ken and Lia are easy going folks, with an easy going wedding, she agreed to do it. We bonded over our Nikon kits. Basically I had the same camera that she had, except that she had two of them. :)

    Too bad we couldn't get Ken to say "Pianist" in his Austrailian accent.. ha!

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Singin' the blues.

    Finding a job and new friends make me feel blue. I know that I will find both, but today the tasks seem daunting.

    Saturday, June 9, 2007

    Chasing my childhood.

    As a kid, my parents took me to the National Zoo almost every weekend. Today we spent one of our first weekends back in Maryland doing the exact same thing.

    Edda and I playing in the new kiddy area (we are standing in the middle of a big foam pizza)

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    Vince, just finished with his blue ice cream.

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    The treasure of the Chesapeake - the blue crab. I remember going down to the bay with my mother and buying 2 bushels of these guys straight from the fisherman. At home, the table would be covered with a thick layer of newspapers, everyone would get a nutcracker and a mallet and we would have the most glorious messy dinners ever. We'd hand the orange roe over to Mom who would gobble it down..

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    Friday, June 8, 2007

    Heat wave.

    Washington D.C.
    A severe thunderstorm watch
    Nice weekend ahead

    Thursday, June 7, 2007

    Mighty Mighty Boston...

    Off to Beantown tonight. Going to go to YAM (Yet Another Wedding). My friend Ken. I guess it's time to be a tour guide for all those Stanford folks. Of course, it looks like we'll crash MIT's commencement on Friday. Whatever. Chuck Vest is the keynote. How boring is that?

    Interesting news.

    International Rett Syndrome Foundation is formed from the merger of IRSA and RSRF. This is cool news - the Rett Syndrome community has been split for about 10 years now. I'm glad that the two organizations are coming together as one.

    We are starting some simple home repairs. Yikes!

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    Wednesday, June 6, 2007

    End of procrastination.

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    We've been busy at Johns Hopkins participating in a study for the Pathogenesis of Rett Syndrome. Edda and I stayed at the hospital for 3 days - NIH is funding this study and everything (except the parking) was paid for - including travel. The following tests were done:

    1. Neurological exam
    2. Neuropsychological exam
    3. Gait study
    4. Occupational and physical therapy consult
    5. MRI
    6. EEG
    7. EKG
    8. Swallow study
    9. pH probe study
    10. Dexa-scan (bone density)

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    Whew. We are beat.

    Monday, June 4, 2007

    Rafting!


    Well this weekend, we all went rafting on the Merced River. Another one of those follow Yi-Ling adventures. I had a great time as usual. We managed to go down some Class IV rapids, watched some dudes pan for gold in the river. I even managed to body surf some of the easier rapids. Our guide, Pam was super cool, and she loved us cause half of the people were Dragonboaters and could actually row.

    Saturday, we drove up to Yosemite and did a super short hike up to Inspiration Point - the look out for one of my favorite Ansel Adam's photographs, Clearing Winter Storm. The length was actually nice, but I think we're getting old and slowing down... Sigh.

    Sunday, June 3, 2007

    Sunday dinner with DC Martins

    One of the best things about living in DC is being close to family. Tonight we had dinner with the DC Martins.

    The young cousins put on a play.

    Backstage prep:
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    The suspense:
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    The action:
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    And the appreciative audience:
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    Saturday, June 2, 2007

    Shifting stuff around.

    I spent the morning emptying closets and rearranging furniture because even though my parent's house is empty of people, it is overflowing with a lifetime of possessions and our own possessions (about 5 tons worth) are about to be delivered on Monday morning.

    Jeremy had the pleasure of looking at all my science fair projects which are on display in the basement - my favorite being the fire fighting robot.

    This cold is still lingering and we are still not 100% better yet.

    We went to Lake Needwood and had a snack and walked around a bit. I remember going fishing there with Mom and Dad many years ago.

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    Friday, June 1, 2007

    Oh the horror!


    Sadly, my Guitar Hero save data got corrupted yesterday. I was saddened by this, since I was pretty much 80% of the way thru the expert mode. I guess it's just an excuse really to go back an redo all the songs better than before.

    I managed to clean up medium difficulty in under a day without missing a 5 star, earning a cool $32,000. :P

    Evolution of the printed word.

    1. The World Book (circa 1984). "Researchers are seeking ways to improve computer memories and auxiliary storage equipment. The expect to produce an efficient magnetic bubble unit, which is faster and cheaper than mechanical tape or disk units. A magnetic bubble unit is a semiconductorlike chip that stores data in tiny, cylindrical shaped area called bubbles. Up to a million bits of information can be sotred in one bubble unit the size of a matchbook."

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    2. IBM selectric typewriter. I loved the self-correcting ribbon.

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    3. Shrine to the IBM PC. Still on display in the family room next to the TV.

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    4. After many a dial-up service and surreptitious hanging onto errant neighborhood wireless connections, today (finally!) marks the inaugural day that my parents' house has high speed internet. We may still have 2 rotary phones in use in the house, but hey, we are cruisin'