Monday, July 31, 2006

Not much new...

I really don't have much beyond the usual going on right now, and really, I'd rather talk as little about day-to-day lab stuff as possible. There was a screaming match on Friday between the Chinese and Moroccan post-docs, which was a bit scary. I did everything I could to stay out of it. They both came up to me afterwards and wanted me to pick sides, but I just feigned ignorance and walked away. SO don't need to get involved in that.

Not too much else going on. It's supposed to be 96 today and tomorrow, which is unheard of in Cleveland. We moved furniture for Jen's room this weekend, but I didn't accomplish much beyond that in my ever-growing list of "things that need to be done around the house."

Yeah, I'm boring. I'm down with that.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A quick note

Just wanted to say howdy. The weekend went well overall--dinner Friday night was a ton of fun, and the grad party kept rockin' till 11 PM when we kicked people out. Unfortunately, Saturday morning I fell down a couple of stairs on our deck. I was taking the dog out before the vet, and a combo of wet stairs, slippery sandals, and excited dog pulled me right down. I don't think I broke anything--my hand swelled about an inch bigger than usual, but it feels ok. Other than a bunch of bruises and scratches on my backside, hand, and arms, I'll be fine. It did put a little damper on the weekend, but I am just figuring I got my six month clumsy spell out of the way. Besides, last time I fell on wet stairs, I tore a bunch of ligaments in my ankle. Bruises are nothing!!

Other than that, not much new. I am too swollen to use a pipette or anything else today, so I've been helping two other people in my lab do their stuff. I did have a lunch for MSTP women today, and I think we are going to get a women's group back up and running. I'm pumped for that--men don't understand how women can feel so much more pressure in the program. Having women to vent with is much better.

That's all for now. Typing is still pretty painful, so maybe more ramblings to come tomorrow.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Finally, it's Friday.

Things have calmed down for me a bit. I haven't seen Dr. B yet this morning, so my blood pressure is still low. I have been pestered by Ossama every ten minutes, but I'm learning to deal with that.

I'm just trying to write up a little summary of yesterday's meeting and organize an "action plan" of some sort. I am hoping to leave an hour or so early to get home, let the dog out, and run to the store. Then it's off to my newly married cousin's place for dinner.

Tomorrow is the dual grad party for Amy & Jen. After I take the dog to the vet in the morning, it's cooking time for the party. Poor Amy though--she had her tonsils out on Monday and has been in wicked pain. I knew adults have a tough time with the procedure, but I didn't realize it would be this tough. I saw her last night--the poor thing could barely talk. She can't eat, and she can barely drink anything. It's awful. Hopefully she'll feel like her old self before she has to make the cross-country drive to California in a few weeks. I can't imagine driving while on Percocet is really a good idea. Then again, maybe it would make it more fun.

I'm hoping to get things in order in my house on Sunday. I've sort of let everything slide the past few weeks. Jen is moving in with us soon for college, and her room has been the "crap room" most of the time we've lived in the house. It finally has a bed in it, but the bed is covered with clothes, paper, and other junk I've pulled out and have been meaning to put away.

It's nice to have a low-stress weekend ahead. I don't consider Tim & I to be very social at all, but somehow, every weekend gets filled. Next weekend we are going to Browns training camp with his friends, the weekend after that I'm hoping to visit a friend in Pittsburgh. The weekend after that, we are taking my parents to an Indians game, and Tim is staying to go to the second game of the doubleheader with his frat buddies.

So, that puts us at a month from now before we get a weekend totally free. And I am sure something will come up between now and then. Still, I like keeping busy when it's fun reasons to be busy. We don't have a lot of hobbies, but we try to get out. We got tickets to three Browns games this year. They aren't likely to win, but it's fun to go anyway. One of them is the Christmas Eve game--Tim got a ticket for Joe as a birthday/Christmas gift, so we'll all be freezing up in the stands in December. It'll be awesome.

It's nice to think about all that fun stuff. Anything to take my mind off the lab....

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It's over

One more committee meeting in the books. I really like this committee (unlike the one I had in Frank's lab). They are from very different backgrounds, and I always learn new things. They had some practical suggestions for me on things like antibodies and technical issues. Overall, they were very supportive.

And then there was Dr. B.

Several times in my presentation he interrupted me to say he had "no confidence" in the data because he would've liked to see different controls. My committee actually backed me up most of the time. At the end, I usually leave the room and they discuss. Well, since this was an informal meeting, they decided to discuss while I was in the room. Several of my committee members said they thought I had done good work and was right on the brink of getting this to work.

Then Dr. B. spoke.

He said that he had told me this already, so I didn't need to leave--then he corrected himself and said he hadn't actually told me yet, but he was going to.

I braced myself on the podium, put on a smile, and waited for it.

He said he though my work was too scattered--I had too many things all going at the same time. He wanted to see me pick one little experiment, do all the time course/dose responses/antibody competitions, and then get an answer. He said even if I spent a month or so getting an answer that was negative, at least I was thorough. He wanted me to be more focused, and he made a point of it for several minutes.

I nodded my head through this whole thing. I agree--I have had a lot on my plate. Thing is, he put it all there. We've wanted to find one thing that worked, so we cast a wide net. Only now can I start picking what I want to do.

Anyway, he said this, and my committee said yes, I had been scattered, but I had learned a lot, and it had been a useful three months.

As we're leaving, Dr. B. said he wanted me to wait for him, and we'd walk back together. On the way back to the lab, he told me he wasn't criticizing me--he was just offering a suggestion. In fact, in the elevator, he called my project thus far "a crap shoot" and said we had to be so general to start off with. He continued to praise the project and said he was very excited about where we were heading. As we got off the elevator, he asked if I would be willing to take on an MSTP student who wanted to do a rotation.

I was floored. He publicly tore me apart, and then in private he has nothing but good things to say. I asked him if he thought my project had enough work that another student could help, and he said definitely.

Now, I am thrilled that at least I got some praise from him, but I thought it was terrible that he didn't speak up for me or my project once the whole meeting. All he did was cut it down! Dude, if you hate the project so much, why am I doing it? But then he went all nicey-nice on me.

I am so confused. I'm hopeful we can fix our technical issues before my next meeting (in three months), since they didn't really say anything about changing projects. However, it was sort of assumed that NOT getting this to work before the next meeting might make project switching an option. And yet, I can't figure out what I can possibly do to make my boss happy. He can complain and praise me at the same time, about the same experiments? Not exactly a clear message.

But, it's one more day down. Time to make a plan, I guess. I'm going to take Tim's advice and make sure he's on board for every experiment I do for at least the next few weeks--that way, if he thinks I'm too "scattered", he'll be the reason why.

Aah. I don't think I'll get much done the rest of the day, but I think I've earned that.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I counted to ten and took a little walk around my building, and I'm a bit calmer now. I've resigned myself to the fact that I won't be able to finish my stuff here, so I am trying to get as organized as I can so I can take my work home.

The lab isn't any better. Tim suggested I just tell Dr. B and Ossama what I wrote, but that would violate the unspoken lab heirarchy, and I really don't need that today.

I am usually pretty good at taking all the lab crap in stride--I've been doing it for two years now--but this last week had made me unusually angry. I feel like my project isn't important, and if no one else cares about it, why should I spend all my time with it? No matter how hard I am working on my stuff, I'm expected to drop everything for Ossama. He isn't even working with me! He's on a project with the postdoc. Plus, he's only in the lab for three months--they don't even expect him to accomplish much. And yet, his stuff is more of a priority than mine? That's what bugs me.

I just feel so incompetent. When Nadia, the postdoc, was gone all last week, she called and said something really nice: she wanted me to help this summer student we have because she knew I did good work. The other postdoc has said similar things. However, I feel like nothing I do is good enough for Dr. B. I try new things, do a ton of experiments, do all that is asked of me and then some, and all I ever get is negative. It's not, "you're making a lot of progress." It's, "why aren't you doing this too?" or "why aren't you in all day on the weekends, or here till ten at night all the time?"

I don't need false praise. I'm not looking to get a compliment for doing what's expected of me. However, it would be nice, on occasion, to feel like I am not worthless or incompetent.

I thought my last lab was tough. Frank would be gone, and since I had my own personal lab space down the hall, I may not see him for six weeks at a time. If no feedback with Frank was bad, constant negative feedback from Dr. B is worse. It starts to eat away at you after a while, and the lab stress seems much worse now than it ever did with Frank.

Still, that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Or, in my case, it makes me that much more sure that a career in the lab isn't what I want to do.

editor's note: right after I wrote this, Dr. B asked if I had new data today. I said no, not until Friday. He asked why I hadn't done the induction experiment yet (a solid two day experiment). Umm, because I've been doing Ossama's crap, and I have a committee meeting tomorrow? Do you have a way my meeting presentation is going to write itself? No? Well, then, thanks for caring.

It's dangerous 'round here...

I'm about to blow my top. Seriously. The next person who tries to talk to me may just be the victim of a total blowup on my part. Allow me to take a minute out of my gel analysis to explain....

My thesis committee meeting is tomorrow. I'm not prepared. Some of it is that I've been waiting to have Dr. B decide what he wants to talk about. He still hasn't decided, so I'm deciding for him. Some of it is that we have no scanner in the lab, so I scan all my films at home and then analyze them here. However, most of it is that I can't get one minute's freakin peace to focus on anything!

I've been helping Ossama with his plasmid DNA preps. First, I've done it less than a handful of times, so I'm hardly a pro. Second, I gave him all the info I had, including an extremely thorough protocol I wrote up. He still can't handle it. Third, it's eaten up almost a week. It started last week, I had to come in and do it this weekend, I killed all day Monday waiting for his stuff to grow (it didn't), and then yesterday was doing the actual prep with him. Today, I am trying to analyze my crap, and every two seconds, he or Dr. B comes to ask me something.

"Why is the pellet so big?" It's probably got genomic DNA and RNA in it.
"Why didn't the RNA get dissolved?" Beats me.
"What tubes should I use?" Who cares?
"Will it pellet out at this speed in the centrifuge?" How am I suppose to know?
"Is it a problem with the plasmid, the bacteria, or the isolation?" See previous answer.

And on and on and on....

Really. I've done this a few times, and I haven't had great success either. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I helped you as best I could, now figure it out! You have an MD and a PhD, for goodness sakes! I should be asking you for help!

All freaking day. And when Ossama and Dr. B talk, Ossama always points to me. "Well, she said to do this...." Dude, I told you to ask Dr. B, or look it up. This is your freaking experiment. Take some responsibility. I've told him the whole time, "I don't know what else to try" or "I don't know why it's not working." I have some ideas, but the last thing I am going to do is put myself in the situation where he can come back and blame it on me. However, he is quick to take all the credit if something works. Funny.

I didn't volunteer to be the expert on this stuff. I've continuously asked for help myself. Instead of bitching about everything, how about an occasional thank you? No? Well, maybe you could at least speak to me nicely. No?

And I don't know if it is a cultural thing in my lab or not (every male in the lab is either Middle Eastern or Indian), but a guy will ask me a question, hear my answer, and then go ask a male in the lab the same question. Only if his answer is the same as mine will he believe me. I've had it happen with everyone--Ossama, Dr. B, Sriram, Ajay, Guptha. And it happens to the other women in the lab too. If you aren't going to believe my answer, don't waste my time by asking me the question!

Ok, that's my little break for the day. Back to analyzing gels. Hopefully, I'll be calm enough by the time they all get back from lunch (PS: haven't had time for a lunch break in over a week) to not rip someone's head off when they started hounding me again.

Honestly. When will this all end?

Monday, July 17, 2006


Do I speak another language? Honestly! Talking to my boss is the most frustrating thing I do all week!

I saw him on Saturday when I was in taking care of Ossama's experiment. That's a whole different, frustrating story: basically, Ossama couldn't come in this weekend to do it, so Dr. B looks at me and says, "Well, you'll be here this weekend, so you can do it for him". Umm, I wasn't PLANNING on being in, since I had to take all of my films home to scan for my committee meeting, but sure, go ahead and sign me up! I have no life, right?

So, I saw Dr. B on Saturday when I was doing Ossama's experiment. He asked me about an actin blot I did (we do that to make sure there is the same amount of protein in all of the samples). I had told him on Friday, pre-actin blot, that the last three nuclear samples of my time course looked a little off, so we shouldn't draw a ton of conclusions from them. Well, he drews conclusions anyway, so when the actin blot showed that yes indeed, those samples were different, he got all bent out of shape. He was lecturing me on, "Well, you have to take this with a dumptruck of salt now, blah blah, how can we draw any conclusions, blah blah..." It was swell.

This morning he came in and started with, "I've been thinking about your blot....." This is never what you want to hear him say. He proceeded to tell me the same thing for an hour:

1. We should set the experiment up differently. Of course, the way he WANTS to do it is the way I INTIALLY did it, but he told me to change the method about four months ago, so I've been doing it his way. Now I have to change everything back! I told him I did it that way at first and he wanted it different, and he starts with the, "No, no, you have to do it this way...." Duh dude. That's why I started it like that!

2. I shouldn't be standardizing my blots to the amount of protein. Now, when I entered the lab, I got a long talk about how ALL GELS should be loaded with the SAME AMOUNT of protein, so that the results could be compared against each other. Today, he said I should load the SAME VOLUME of sample, regardless of the protein concentration.

3. Why am I using the system of cell lysing that I am? Because I did it a different way and my protein was getting degraded!! I brought this up a few months ago, and he LIKED the way I was going to change the protocol. Now, he doesn't.

The list could go on and on. And he re-explained things ten times. I kept saying, "I understand" or "Right." He didn't stop. I can't go back and re-do this particular experiment to make it the way you want it! You'll have to wait until I can grow more cells and start over from the beginning.

Ug. I get such mixed signals from him. It makes me crazy. And I feel like he never listens to a word I say. When he met Tim on Saturday, he said, "Now where do you live? Akron?" I've been in the lab almost a year, and he asks me at least twice a month where I live, and I always say, "Parma." He can't remember where I live, when I am going to be gone on vacation, why I have to leave for seminars and journal just makes me crazy!!!

Anyway, I had to vent. I thought I was going to lose it in my lab. I don't understand why he can love things one minute and hate them the next. At this rate, I'll never graduate.

On another note, the research tech in my lab finally got his paper published. It's on the project I took over from him. I still don't think it's a very good paper, and it took about 8 months to get it published, but at least it's out there, I suppose.

I need another vacation.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Jen, Tim and I went to see Panic! At the Disco Wednesday night. It was pretty sweet. I expected to be one of the oldest people there, which I was, but sitting in the bleachers instead of squeezing down front in the mosh pit helped me not feel TOO old to be there. The two opening bands, The Hush Sound and the Dresden Dolls, were ok. The first was pretty good actually, although their sound equipment was crappy (and the band members were their own roadies!) The Dresden Dolls were, umm, more interesting. It was a drummer and a woman on keyboards—that was it. Their songs were pretty strange, but you have to give them credit for putting a lot of emotion into their act.

Panic! was really good. I expected it to be all weird and emo. Actually, it was a lot more straight up rock than I figured. They did have three dancers that came out in costumes and acted to a lot of the music, but that wasn’t the primary focus.

Panic! did two covers, and the song choice made me feel a bit weird. Bands usually cover classics that everyone knows or the band thinks everyone should know. The Dresden Dolls did “Imagine”. That’s a pretty standard cover choice. Panic did “Karma Police” by Radiohead and “Tonight, Tonight” by the Smashing Pumpkins. Ok, we have both those band’s CD catalogs, and I’ve seen them both in concert. I didn’t think I was so old that my teenage bands would already be classics! That was a bit disconcerting, for sure. At least Jen had heard of the Smashing Pumpkins song. I would’ve felt super old otherwise!

It was over before 11, so we were home and in bed by 11:30. Another thing I definitely appreciated. I’m not young enough anymore to do the late-night weeknight thing. Man, 26 is old!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Walk for Wishes

Vacation has me all messed up--I meant to do this earlier:

I am walking in the Make-A-Wish foundation's Walk for Wishes this Saturday. If you would like to contribute, you can go here and make a secure donation online. It's tax deductible, of course, and it goes towards supporting the wish of a terminally ill child. Or, if you are in the area and you want to come walk the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with us, drop me an email and I'll give you the registration forms.

I've been a bit lax in my donation collecting--it should've been a higher priority for me, plus I hate asking people for money--but if you'd like to help us out, that'd be great. No pressure though. I am always uncomfortable when people ask you to buy stuff from their kid's schools and whatever, so I totally understand if you can't/don't want to make a donation.

Thanks for helping!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Vacation redux

I keep meaning to get into vacation stuff, but I’ve been so sidetracked lately. Anyway, here are the highlights:

1. No lab for a week! Woo hoo! That was probably the best part—I could’ve gone anywhere and been thrilled to be away.

2. Friday the 30th: staying at the La Quinta Inn, Research Triangle Park, NC. For how cheap the rooms were, by far one of the nicer hotels we stayed in. It was great to break up the drive: nine hours to Durham, then four hours to Myrtle Beach the following day. We swam in the pool and worked out in the fitness center. And, we got our own room. This would be the last time we would have our own room for a week.

3. Saturday July 1: We met up with Sarah for breakfast at Elmo’s diner. This was totally awesome. I’ve never done the whole meet-someone-from-the-internet thing, so I was not sure how this would go. It was cool! Sarah was a great sport and answered our constant, crazy questions about life and Durham. It was a lot of fun to put a real person to a blog, and I totally appreciated having someone who’s been in a situation like mine to talk to. Afterwards, we drove around Durham and Duke (the most gorgeous college campus I’ve ever seen). We got a nice feel for the area, and it’ll definitely stay on our potential list of residency sites.

We got to Myrtle Beach, after hours of traffic, about dinner time. We had a fun time in the ocean, and although I was nervous Tim would hate the ocean, he and Joe had a good time boogie boarding.

4. The rest of the week: We spent time on the beach Sunday and Monday, but after that, there were a ton of jellyfish, so we spent our swimming time at the pool.

I have a bit of a rant about the beach, so bear with me: I have never seen so much smoking, drinking, littering, and general rudeness on a beach in my whole life. Maybe it’s that Myrtle Beach is so commercial (even though we were pretty far north of the real Myrtle Beach), maybe it’s a cultural thing, or maybe it’s that there were almost as many trailer parks as condos on our section of the beach. Whatever the case, I was disappointed with the people and their disregard for the environment and for others. Shooting fireworks off on the beach (not the little ones—the biggies) is not only dangerous, but the packaging litter is gross and deadly to wildlife. I can’t tell you how many dead fish we saw washed up on shore the morning of July 5th. Just gross.

Speaking of gross, everyone down there smoked, and people had no courtesy for those of us that don’t. I even saw people walking into stores while smoking! They threw their cigarette butts everywhere. At the pool and the beach, you could be laying out on a towel, and people would light up right next to you, close enough that the ash occasionally fell on you. Now, my parents are both smokers. I hate it, always have, and I would love to see them quit. However, they try to at least be concerned for the non-smokers among us. The only time they smoke around us is in the car (which is why we always drive separate) or at restaurants (and they’ve been much better about this.) I was totally unprepared for the sheer proportion of smokers, and I was very disgusted.

Up here in Cleveland, everything is moving non-smoking, and I am a big fan. I don’t think smoking should be outlawed—if people want to kill themselves, it’s their choice—but they should have to do it in private. Public places, like restaurants, parks, bowling alleys, etc, should go non-smoking, in my opinion. I think Big Tobacco has too much money for this to catch on nationwide, but it’s been happening slowly in individual neighborhoods.

Ok, enough about the ranting. Despite the fact that it was a little dirtier than I expected, it was still the beach. After the jellyfish washed in, we mostly walked the beach and the pier, and then we headed back to the pool at the condo. I spent a lot of time napping. The beds in the condo were rough sleeping for everyone, so we usually napped in the afternoon to try and get some sleep.

Besides the beach and the pool, Tim and I drove around the area. We stopped at two state parks on two different days. On Tuesday the 4th, we drove to Huntington Beach State Park. It was crazy hot, so we didn’t hike much, but we walked some trails and a boardwalk. There were supposed to be alligators, but we only saw a whole lot of herons. On Friday, we went to Myrtle Beach State Park. We hiked all the trails there, but we didn’t see much wildlife. I did take a whole lot of pictures between the two parks, so that’s a plus.

Other highlights of the week were dinners at Medieval Times and Cheeseburger in Paradise (dang tasty). I had never done the Medieval Times thing. We paid for the royalty seating, so we were in the second row. It was very tourist-y, but pretty neat anyway. I enjoyed all of the horsemanship they did. The dinner was hard to adjust to—you only eat with your hands, no silverware—but it was pretty tasty. After dinner they act out a tournament, complete with killing each other. The end was a bit violent for little kids, I thought, but at least they bring all the knights back out so that the kids can see they didn’t really die.

Unfortunately, the week had some lowlights too. Wednesday night, after Cheeseburger in Paradise, the four of us (me, Tim, Jen, Joe) went mini golfing. When we got home, my parents told us that my great-uncle Jerry (my dad’s uncle) had died. He had gone in for surgery about the same time my grandma had (late April), and he had been at the Cleveland Clinic since because of complications. I guess he had minor surgery and was doing well, but then he had a massive heart attack. Eerily similar to what happened to my grandma.

The funeral was on Saturday, so my parents decided to leave a day early to be home in time for it. They left early Friday morning. Tim and I stayed back, since dad said we didn’t have to cancel the second leg of our vacation for this. I was relieved, not because of having to change plans, but because I didn’t think I was ready to do the whole funeral thing again. It was at the same funeral home and the same church as my grandma’s funeral, and it had only been two months since she passed away.

After my fam left on Friday, we basically just spent the day cleaning and chilling. We did go to the park for a few hours, but we just relaxed. Saturday the 8th we left at 7:30 AM and headed to the Great Smoky Mountains. This was our own leg of the trip—we had planned to do it as a side trip, just the two of us, on our way home. It was about 6.5 hours there. We checked into our hotel, and then we drove through the national park and on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was really beautiful. We had planned to do some hiking, but between being exhausted and being at an elevation over a mile up, we just didn’t have the energy. We got back and took a nap, and we got up at 7:30 to try and catch the sunset. We decided to try the peak right on the state line of Tennessee and North Carolina. Unfortunately, when we got there, the overlook faced east (so no sunset), and it was too late to try and make it to another overlook before the sun was gone. Alas, no sunset picture over the mountains.

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was 9:30, and the only place open was the Harrah’s casino on the Indian reservation. The food was ok, definitely not as good as it was expensive, and although we had planned to play the slots for half an hour or so, it just wasn’t meant to be. We had exchanged our money for quarters, but after a half hour of wandering, we found out that no machines take quarters! You would think the cashier would’ve told us that, but not so much. We decided that was a sign we weren’t meant to spend our money, so we left.

Sunday was just the drive home. It was a nine hour drive, and we got home about 5 o’clock Sunday night. After that, it was reconnecting to the world via the internet and some housecleaning. Since then, it’s been back to work. I got nothing done Monday and very little done yesterday. Today I am running four gels at the same time, so I’m hoping that will help me catch up. I have my informal thesis committee meeting next week, so I’d like to get some stuff done before then.

Overall, (despite how it might sound) we had a good time. I think it might be a while before we try a vacation like this again, but it was a nice break for both of us.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I'm back!

Hey! Just wanted to say hi. Tim and I got back less than an hour ago, so I'm butt-numb from riding in the car for ten hours and brain-numb because we didn't think ahead to pack music and thus were stuck listening to whatever radio station came in. Not cool.

I'll post another time about vacation, but I wanted to finish up something that started before we left.

The house drama is over!

Tuesday, June 27th (weird that I have to specify that), our realtor called in a panic. The first thing she asked was, "Are you on vacation yet?" After I said no, she proceeded to tell me that the house we had been looking at since January may be back in play. The seller's realtor had called her to say that the other buyer, who we were told was offering asking price in cash, had been unable to come up with the money on three separate closing dates. They were now several weeks past when the close of the sale was supposed to happen, and the sellers were going to give them one more chance (the next day, Wednesday the 28th). If they couldn't come up with the money, would we be interested?

Well, Tim and I thought, "What the heck!" We had gotten a ton of rain recently, so that night, we asked to see the house one more time to make sure the creek hadn't flooded the house. We had to meet up at 8:30, since I had volunteering at the stable till then. When we got to the house, the realtor had locked the wrong bolt, and we couldn't even get in! We walked around the back and things looked ok, so we made an offer (our third offer on this house) on the hood of my car.

That was Tuesday night. We heard not a whisper from the realtors Wednesday, when the "last chance" was supposed to be for the buyer. Our realtor called Thursday night to say she hadn't been able to get the other realtor on the phone. We told her our offer was good until 10 AM Friday the 30th, which is when we were leaving for vacation.

She called us Friday at 10 AM to tell us she still hadn't heard anything. We took our offer off of the table and decided to let The Big Guy work while we were on vacation.

That brings us to today. When I got home, after sifting through mounds of email to see if there was anything urgent, I checked the county auditor's site. Sure enough, the house had sold. It didn't sell until July 6th, more than a full week after the supposed "last chance", but it sold at full list price, which we weren't willing to give.

It's over. We decided that specific house was it for us. And to be perfectly honest, I'm glad it sold. It's been probably one of the top two stresses in my life (next to lab) for the last six months. The are-we-or-aren't-we-moving thing got old a long time ago.

And to be honest again, I think this trip has us looking to move for residency. I'll get into it more later, but seeing different areas really helped us decide what we want. Plus, we learned that a seven or eight hour drive isn't all that bad. I think we are ready for a change, and knowing we'll have four or five more years in this house to fix it up and gain equity is very very comforting.

So, one big drama down!!!

I'll get into vacation and whatnot later, but tonight I need to rest. I think I need a vacation from my vacation.