So after Hemi climbed up on the dining table and ate a slice and a half of pizza this morning, he puked a little of it up on MG's pillow. But since we didn't catch him in the act, it's hard to discipline the little bugger. Argh.

On a different note, I found an etsy seller, foryoo, that makes customized stamps. There are a lot of coolio designs that would make a great housewarming present. Strangely, there aren't any cute pug stamps.

aphid update


Well, my ladybug friend did not kill the aphids. There are still some lurking around my poor little basil. But my ladybug friend's children might! I found ladybug eggs that will hatch ladybug larvae that also eat aphids. Them little tykes plus a little soapy water might save the day! Since I've started spraying the plants with very dilute dish soap, there are a lot less of the little buggers. We'll see.

ice cream for non-eggers


According to Food and Wine and AT, the place to be for ice cream is Columbus, Ohio. Ice cream mastermind Jeni Britton has three stores in Columbus that serve seasonally-flavored frozen goodness. And not only is the ice cream purportedly delicious, it's gotz no egg in it! Hey BJ, when you visit home, got room in your carry-on for some dry-ice packed ice cream?



Oh how I love the various designs from Roost. There's just that beauty-in-nature thing that they've got down. I received this set of champagne glasses (picture above) from a friend for my birthday a couple of years ago now. Of course, due to the large clumsy-bf:glass-fragility ratio, they've never been used. One day, though, champagne will be poured into these glasses and thus rationalize buying more Roost products... such as these that I love being sold at Velocity.

ikea trip list


Just a couple more items to have around the filled-to-the-brim condo. Gotta pick up some more picture frames and a new stuffed toy for Hemi, too.



Two of my basil plants have aphid infestations. AAAAHHHH!!!!! So far I've just plucked off very infested leaves and cleaned off the sugary trails that they leave. I knew when I noticed the little buggers that it would be hard to get rid of them without pesticides and stuff but thankfully, today, I found a little ally. While squishing a smaller than usual morning crop of aphids, I found a ladybug under one of the leaves. I don't know how these guys got into my second-story window, but it's been an interesting little twist I wasn't expecting.

the other lab


I attended The Lab again last night. It was really fun and inspiring to see the creativity that abounds in Seattle. I'm sure that the uber-great Velocity folk will have links and the podcast for last night's event up soon so that everyone can see the coolness being made. I won't list all the sites of all the participants last night but here's a small highlight of the stuff I really liked: (which I won some cute cards from! i really need to buy a lotto ticket) (artwork from non-archival material) (follow the life of a tree)

LS on bread pudding


The Wallingford Bakery sells some leftover loaves on the weekends for cheap (like, a buck). So LS was able to pick up a lovely orange zest loaf to make some bread pudding. By the time I heard of the bread pudding, it was a distant memory. So like any good termite (a.k.a. mooching friend), I twisted her arm into making some while we roasted corn and ate peanut butter noodles. It, like the noodles, was uber-yummy and will require further arm-twisting to pry away her recipe. The crust was all caramelized and the center was just the right sweetness... I'll stop describing now to keep myself from drooling all over my keyboard.

peanut butter noodles


Randomly saw LS at the bus stop a couple of days ago. So I invited myself over for dinner. We ended up making peanut butter noodles with bell peppers and shaved zucchini. Topped with cilantro, it was ab fab. I'd post a recipe but we kinda just threw stuff into the sauce as we saw fit. But for a list of ingredients, this recipe comes close. We served it warm but a Taiwanese version is served cold (with blanched chicken and julienned cucumbers... delish, too). We used Hong Kong-style egg noodle but in retrospect, spaghetti would have been better (less absorbent). Not that I am a proponent of spaghetti in Chinese dishes, it's really hard to find the exact kind of Asian noodle needed for certain dishes. Spaghetti just seems better for this particular dish. Yummy no matter what, though.

view from our balcony in vancouver

but you were doing so well...


I'd say that I've been pretty consistent with blog posts until this last week. For the last couple of days, I've been at a conference in Vancouver. And while I appreciate my coworkers and love our work environment, I did NOT want to share a suite with them (five males) in the UBC dorms where six bedrooms are assigned a common bathroom with two showers and ONE toilet. And for those of you who do not work around doctors, you might not know how often (medically speaking) one can go drop a deuce. For those of you who don't want to continue along this conversation topic, now is a good place to get off the train. Anywho... the range that many are taught in medical school is between once every seven days to seven times a day. It's a big range. And let's say that some of my coworkers apparently fall towards one (the less friend-friendly) side of that spectrum. So I stayed with Brett. Which is good because then it left my bed unoccupied for others to pass out on. No one parties harder than neuroscientists.

But I'm back in Seattle now. So posts will now resume!

artsy-techy tutes


drawing people
powerpoint template

just trying not to forget...

decor8 loot


I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves. Thanks Holly and all the contributors! I tried to take pictures of every layer of goodies.

And lastly, here's the pile that the goodies made on my table.

daily deals


Some daily-updated sites ranging from doodads to t-shirts.

dopamine and neuroeconomics

Anyone ever see the movie Dopamine? The movie implies that dopamine mediates love and other warm, fuzzy feelings. How did anyone come to the conclusion that dopamine has anything to do with love? Becuase small, furry critters (prairie and montane voles) showed different amounts of dopamine activity (really, dopamine receptors). In the wild, prairie voles form pair bonds. Often, one night of mating can lead to a lifetime together. Montane voles on the other hand, are promiscuous and never call when they say they will. Bastards. But if you tweak dopamine in the right brain area in the right way in montane voles, voila!, they become pair-bonded. Thus, tweaking dopamine can be construed as giving a vole a love potion (as illustrated in Nature).
Too bad, though that pair-bonded voles aren't really monogamous. Sexually, they're promiscuous, but then raise any pups in their pair-bonds. So really, dopamine mediates Catholic guilt.... (mostly kidding).

What brought on this rant on dopamine? Well, this morning, AT posted how dopamine is a "chemical in the brain that triggers sensations of pleasure when you buy something new." That's about as correct as dopamine mediating love. True, for a couple of decades, most scientists believed that dopamine=pleasure. But this isn't really the case anymore. It's so not the case that the guy who originally posited that dopamine=pleasure doesn't believe it. Easiest, lay person's example of dopamine NOT mediating pleasure is a Parkinson's patient. Clinical symptoms of Parkinson's don't develop until about 80% of the cells making dopamine are dead. Yet people afflicted with Parkinson's do not have any problem experiencing pleasure.

So if not love or pleasure, what does dopamine do? That's the million-dollar question. Actually, it's probably the trillion dollar question, considering how all drugs of abuse as well as a crapload of prescription medication (Ritalin, anyone?) affect the dopamine system. And the answer, is, of course, 42.

In other words, lots of scientists have lots of ideas and are doing lots of experiments to figure out what dopamine is doing in the brain. And no one doubts that it's doing a LOT of different things. Primary symptoms of Parkinson's include the inability to begin or control movement and the slowing of movement. There are other symptoms, though, that are less visually obvious: cognitive impairments, memory issues, sleep issues, mood disorders. And when patients take L-DOPA (which is one of the more well known Parkinson's medication), some become pathological gamblers.... These patients take risks with their money similarly to how hard-core drug abusers risk their lives for a high.

So dopamine might also have a role in decision-making (which was implied in the previously mentioned AT post). Should I buy that? Is it worth it? Will the wrath of my significant other be too much to bear? What does the dopamine spiking in my brain have to do with how I'm going to decide? And how is this decision-making process altered by drugs (both prescription and illegal) or disease? Do we really know anything concrete about what dopamine's doing in the brain?

Hopefully, I'll know more in the next couple of years.

scarier than how they wax?


This, my friends, is a nail file made from the scales of a monstrous Brazilian fish. It works pretty well. In the six or so years that I've had it, I've barely worn down one a small area while the rest of the thingiema-scali-file has stayed as abrasive as the day I bought it. Not bad for less than $2.

This file was one of those i'm-at-the-counter-oh-what-the-bob-is-this purchases from Body Time. Whenever I get back to the Bay Area, I go to a store and stock up on the antioxidant hydrating serum. The only thing I've found that's similar to its weight and what it does to my skin health is Creme de la Mer Face Serum (I got a sample... I definitely CANNOT afford Creme de la Mer).

canadian wares

I have a serious crush on this smocked top. In the words of the female- Shakespeare- loving- sidekick from 10 Things I Hate About You, "We are involved." Alas, as fortune (literally) would have it, I can't afford it... making our relationship more Romeo and Juliet than Taming of the Shrew. But for those who have the dabloons, you can find this top and a bunch of cuteness at the recently launched GoodEGG Industries shoppe!

Aside: Since GoodEGG is Canadian, would GWBush consider spending my economic stimulus money on this top unpatriotic?

mango lassi


Easy Peasy Mango Lassi

1 cup mango chunks (frozen from Trader Joe's)
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (also from TJ)
1/4 cup water
Sugar to taste
Mix yogurt and water in blender. Slowly add cold (but not frozen) mango chunks. Blend until smooth. Add sugar to taste. Did I mention it was easy?

doodle stitchin'


Doodle Stitching is a wonderfully inspiring book! I was inspired enough to try a bit of embroidery myself. Being 9pm on a Saturday evening, though, meant no quick trip to the craft store for embroidery thread or canvas. So I took around eight inches of leg off of MG's ripped corduroys and some leftover lace-weight yarn to start doodlin'. Not quite sure what this little doodle will end up as... maybe stretched over a frame, sewn into a small pillow, made into a little bag... any ideas?

urban squirrel


The first of many projects made with spoils from the decor8 inspiration give-away. He's a little squirrel. Didn't quite come out the way I wanted because the paper can't be wet to make curves. And to try and make the image a little more interesting, I experimented with recently downloaded brushes on Photoshop. More come including a layer by layer pictography of the package of goodies :)

diy decor


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