Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I have the privilege of being in Washington D.C. at the moment, and I assure you that as soon as I am finished with listening to scientific presentations, engaging in interesting discussions, making new acquaintances, sweating in the sunlight, walking mile after mile looking at impressing buildings, and photographing myself in front of endless amounts of white marble, I will be back with another update.

In the meantime, please enjoy my meeting with the legendary vampire hunter himself.

Over and out from ol' Abe and me.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shelter from the storm

This colorful display caught my eye on an evening walk downtown yesterday. A specialized umbrella store! I like it.

But I guess I shouldn't be too surprised... Like my friend Isaac said: this is Seattle, after all.

Nonetheless, it sure takes the gloom out of a rainy day!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Down by the water

Seattle was good to us on Friday, spoiling us with sunshine and 10 degrees C. Sadly enough, I spent most of the day indoors, but I started out good by walking to work; a meditative 45 min stroll along Lake Union.

It was still pretty dark when I crossed the Ship Canal, but as I continued along Westlake Ave the sky was progressively turning brighter.

I kept my pace, dreaming of the countless yachts and houseboats I passed on the way.

Lake Union Park still looks rather gloomy, but winter will soon turn to spring. I can feel it already; it's there. Waiting.

Fred Hutch is hiding behind the white building that harbors the Museum of History and Industry. Not far now. But before getting there, I must pass the Center for Wooden Boats.

And dream some more.

Just imagine how lovely this walk is going to be in a few months' time. A treat, every morning!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Last week, the 2013 Healthy Challenge started at Fred Hutch; a six week drive to encourage healthy habits and stress relief among the staff. Points are achieved by having nutritious breakfasts, taking the stairs, engaging in physical activity, choosing whole grain, fulfilling personal goals, and much more. It's really quite fun and I admit that I haven't had trouble collecting high scores without actually making any significant changes to my lifestyle. Except for one topic, that is. Sleeping. No matter how hard I try I really have to struggle to get seven hours (or more), and most of the time I fail miserably. I seriously have to work on that. Any words of advice?

Besides the satisfaction of feeling healthy and good about yourself, the campaign has another perk. Little pictures like this suddenly appear in stairwells and other public areas, making my day.

Hey Gosling, I've got 99 problems but my vegs ain't one. (But thanks for caring!)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The essentials

Gearing up properly before engaging in perilous activities is crucial, no matter what line of work you are in. Besides my Fred Hutch badge, lab keys (with Sounders keyring), and radiation dosimeter, I always wear a special piece of jewellery when arduous experiments are at hand.

The silver necklace was given to me at my dissertation by four fantastic girls that have stood by me since childhood. It carries their names, and wearing it reminds me of the fact that I'm never alone, no matter what challenges I face. Wherever I go, my friends are with me.

A truly precious gift!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Artificially flavored

Working hard, chewing hipster gum. Who doesn't want to be like these two funky goofballs, clearly enjoying the company of each other and life itself. The joy! The love! The artificially flavored berry melon! Hooray!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A letter of thanks

Dear Seattle,

Thank you for the crisp January weather you have provided recently; I really can't get enough of sunshine and blue skies at this time of year. And I actually don't mind the cold, even though I have to turn off my noisy heater during the night; I'm fine with sleeping in long johns and double blankets. Getting out of bed and into my chilly bathroom in the mornings may be somewhat tough, but it's definitely worth it if it means that I get to walk along Lake Union on my way to Fred Hutch as the day dawns under a clear sky.

You would think that me being swamped with work at the moment and not even managing to take a quick stroll in the sunshine during lunch break would dampen my gratitude, but it really doesn't. Looking out the window and dreaming of spring as rays of light hit my pale face is enough to raise my spirits considerably.

Hastily skimming through what I've just written I realize that one could mistake parts of it for irony, but I assure you: my gratitude is sincere. Please, if it's possible, keep this up for a few more days. There are many of us who need to recharge our batteries, and solar power seems to be the supreme source of energy during this season of darkness and gloom. A few more days, that's all I'm asking.

Yours truly,
Ms. Pasty-Faced

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vital signs

Blood heat, body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, rate of respiration; check, check, check, check, and... [huffing, wheezing] ...check.

I'm clearly alive.

I'm also back in Seattle but not quite back in my normal routines, hence the lack of updates. But rest assured, there will be improvement! Just bear with me a couple of days. Thanks!