Category Archives: General

Happy Birthday Dr. Samia photo travesty!

I’m not sure how I allowed this to happen, but there is only one single photo to share from all of the events of the weekend!


This little gem was taken during the later part of Dr. Samia’s birthday party at an awesome little divey beer pub in Hoboken. Dr. Trot Someone got too excited when she thought there was a “schlafey coffee” beer on the menu only to be corrected that in fact it was a “schlafly coffee” beer (whatever the hell that is). Oops!

A second oops was that they were OUT of this shlafly coffee! 😮 Total crisis was averted and the day was thankfully saved by one shake chocolate porter instead. 🙂

The long story short is that Dr. Annebelle and I had a fantastic weekend of eating (at Cafe44 and PJ’s Pancake House which both warrant a restaurant review…sometime soon…maybe), shopping (Greene Street Consignment is the best and colorful wedding shoes are way fun to troll the depths of the internet for) and trail-blazing running around P-ton.

The other long story (not short) is that one of my favorite partners in crime behaving well is one year older and over the last 6.5 years I’ve somehow amassed quite the lovely collection of photos illustrating the aforementioned good behaviors.

Happy Birthday Dr. Samia!


This is what you get for ruining the photo Dimitris.


T-minus a few hrs until finishing a marathon on a broken leg.


Dr. Marmia!!


Naked Dr. Samia!


Still naked...


You're never too old for carbon nano-tubes.


You are ALWAYS too old for whatever the hell these are.


Yay for broke-leg-free half marathons!


Happy Birthday from the past!! 🙂

Happy Birthday Babe!

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Happy Birthday Dr. Samia! Who’s excited to celebrate?!?!



(And also just a wee bit crazed after her short fast run this morning…)

A proper birthday photo post will be assembled over the weekend for my parter in bad decision making.

Dr. Trot is also excited about the arrival of her twin Dr. AnneBelle and for the weekend of working out, shopping, eating and partying that will ensue.

In the mean time, hope everyone had a delicious chocolate eating day yesterday! XOXO

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An update on the Princess Pheona

So it’s been almost a month since I first ratted out Princess Pheona’s bad behavior. All had been going well — bed covered, ground void of all soft items, litter box scooped 4839 times a day and completely cleaned out every week. All had been going well until last Monday when the Princess was busted marking the wall in the hallway!! x-( Now this was previously the location of one of our three litter boxes, but why in the hell did she have to reaffirm that this was one of the places that she deems as hers to pee?! There are no windows in the hall through which she could have been showing a neighbour cat that this wall is hers, her box was totally clean not more than 20 feet away, and there hadn’t even been any fights yet that morning to stress her out (thank you Penny and Sophie for waiting until after 6 am to have the first big blow out of the day). With all of these non-issues considered, why the hell Pheona?! 

That was the last straw! I had enough! I grabbed Princess stupid Pheona by scruff of the neck, opened the door and tossed her furry ass outside to pee wherever the hell she wants!




Just kidding!! 😀

Come on! Even I’m not that much of an ass hole. Close, but not quite.

I did however decide that it is finally/definitely time to go to the vet. Like now. Like today.

We made an appointment and went (that Monday night) at a kitty clinic that is awesome because it’s a) less than 2 miles away, b) opens at 6 am and stays open until 11 pm on some nights of the week, and c) is run by an adorable woman that is 3-4 inches shorter (never mind that she also looks about 5 years younger) than me. We went over our list of life transitions that we’ve made over the last 7 months, the very bad behaviors that have developed since making said transitions and what we’ve tried to do stop said bad behaviors. Overall Dr. Adorable said it sounded like the problems was stress related (although Princess did make a blood donation to check for a previously-undetected medical issue  — which has since come back normal — and she still needs to make a urine donation — ironic that her blader was too empty to do this on Monday night, eh? — to totally rule out any medical cause of the problem) and that I was doing the right things to try to alleviate the situation. Great, thank you. But, she did recommend a few things that I hadn’t thought of/didn’t know about before to add to our arsenal over the next few weeks–

  1. Add more shelves/perches where she can sit up high and safely keep watch over her surroundings
  2. Add more boxes/nooks/crannies where she can burrow in to safely watch over her surroundings


    Pheona the Princess bush-dweller

  3. Burn citrus candles or spray citrus in areas/rooms that she has been peeing because they do not like citrus (I had no idea!!) and wipe down places where she has peed with citrus instead of vinegar — unless I have developed a fondness for the scent of vinegar of course…
  4. Feliway. Apparently mama cats secrete a “comfort” pheromone after having kittens that comforts and calms the kittens. This pheromone is also secreted when a cat happily rubs against, furniture, legs, etc… Thanks to the wonderful fields of biological and chemical engineering, for $25 (+ shipping and handling for 2-day delivery) we can purchase the plug-in version of this happy pheromone. The plug-in is designed to controlled-release the pheromone to diffuse throughout the apartment and sooth the Prima donas Princess felines  that live there. Said soothed kitty-cats are then less inclined to pee in stupid/irritating places. Supposedly. Our Feliway arrived yesterday and was out of the box and plugged in ~0.0234 seconds of arrival.

What? All of your pet products aren’t French? Weirdo.



...go time!

…go time!

Our fingers are crossed (but our bed is still covered) that over the next 1-2 months (Really? Really?  It really takes that long? what size apartments/houses do these people think we all live in? Never mind the grades on my transcript, but if I remember anything that Cussler tought me the Princess and I would literally have to be living in a castle for it to take that long. I think I smell a money racket — since it can’t be pheromone yet of course…) and we’ll keep you posted on how things go.


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It’s a (good) Small World after all!

There is something about the $2 mark for a small cup of regular dark roast that is prohibitive for me to splurge on coffee-house coffee. $1.9x isn’t great but I’ll do it and $1.8x seems like the norm. Of course, $2 is (at most) only %10 higher than both of these, but there’s something about that evil #2 out in front that sends me over the edge.

To make matters even worse for the egocentric Dr. Trot, Princeton is one of the most $#@&ing expensive places in the US, and this statistic most definitely includes the price of coffee. Princeton is also one of the smallest $#@&king places in the US, and as a consequence there are only two coffee-house options within walking distance of jail work.

#1. Starbucks. Honestly, I debated whether or not to even include these guys at all. Starbucks food/beverages are unhealthy and over packaged as well as over priced. Never mind the low wages they pay their employees and the amount of food they waste. So, no. No thank you big evil corporation.

#2. Small World Coffee. Now, these guys are a bit more my style. They’re a small business with two coffee shops, one on either end of town. They sell locally made pastries that you can carry out in paper bags, good coffee and apparently (keep reading) are cash only to keep overhead low and prices as low as possible.



They also however charge $2 for a small, 8 oz (I think) cup of dark roast coffee. 😦

Small World coffee only hit this nasty $2 mark over the last few months as it was not this way when I moved here in June. Upon  jacking up increasing their price last fall they did explain that it was in response to rising coffee bean prices. With the current state of the market and Small World’s desire to maintain the wages of their workers (rather than saddling the lower end of the payroll with absorbing the increased price of beans) up went the price of coffee for those of us who have no problem paying $1.8x/cup. Thanks a lot Small World. This is all well and good, but it has also sent you into the “too $#@&ing expensive to justify on the post-doc salary” category. Until today.

Long story short is that my horse $hit work schedule required the day to begin at 3 am today — brain on and fine motor functions working at 3 am — and last until ~7 pm tonight. Lovely. Happy Friday all. As a direct consequence of this I had no second thoughts about splurging for a $2 cup of joe once I finally had time to come up for a breath of air (and gulp of caffeine) at 6 am. I bundled up, grabbed my credit card and headed back out into the dark. (Let me tell you, after being at work for 3 hrs already that’s just cruel!)

Have you spotted my mistake already? While the motor functions were still working, the brain function was not. I grabbed my credit card! My credit card! For the coffee-house that’s CASH ONLY!! I (of course) didn’t have the slightest clue of my error until I was standing at the counter with my card in my hand and struggling to comprehend that “no, I’m sorry, we only take cash.”

UGH! DUH! MY GOD! x-( What an idiot am I?!?!?!

After the patient barista patiently explained to me exactly what the hell was going on and we established that I had absolutely no cash on me, much to my surprise/delight she responded with “ah, no big deal, it’d cold out there today, this one can be on us!”

WHAT?!?! REALLY?!?! WHAT?!?!

She must have seen my jaw drop because she giggled, kept filling my coffee and repeated that it really is “no big deal. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do. Have a great day!”

With that, I bumbled through thanking her profusely, folded up my gaping jaw and staggered to the door with my steaming cup of highly caffeinated SW joe.


And also with that, I have to take back my animosity towards Small World’s $2 cup of coffee. They have a choice to make. Many choices to make in fact. They could buy different (read: worse) beans, they could pay their employees less and they could reduce their payroll and work their remaining employees more. They could do all of these and kept the price of coffee at $1.9x.

They also could accept credit cards and charge even more than $2/cup.

Finally, they certainly could send me (and every other idiot that doesn’t have $2 cash on them) packing for Starbucks w/o said cash.

But, they don’t and they didn’t (5x).

They also didn’t choose my job for me – the job that over-works and under-pays me – the kind of job that they are trying to avoid for their employees.

You have been taken down off of the cross Small World and I’m sorry I had you up there in the first place. Thank you for the cup of coffee and for understanding that while I can’t afford to support you very often, I’ll sink my $2 into your good coffee and great cause when I do treat myself to such luxuries. 🙂

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A special thanks to Bruno and my sweet animals (and states)

I usually really really like the Super Bowl. I like the intensity of the game, the ingenious commercials and the over-the-top halftime show. Unfortunately, we only went a miserable 1/3 this year…too bad this was a football game and not baseball, eh?…and while I do appreciate that my close, personal friend Bruno had the performance of the night, I doubt it would have killed anyone if a just a few other people showed up to the game.

Fortunately, Queen Penny and I had the pleasure of attending a pre-Superbowl bake-a-thon that essentially made up for the lack of actual Superbowl.


Thanks to Dr. Allison for the genius cookie cutters (genius = squirrel, flamingo and cowboy boot … What do you mean that is strange? Pffff!! What’s wrong with you?!), to Dr. Samia for the cookie-cutting/baking/frosting-help and to Dr. Alex for being the very best taste-tester of overly salty chocolate chip cookie dough ! (It isn’t every day…hmmm…or ever…until now…that I give someone a handful of chocolate chip cookie dough to eat and within 5 seconds find them spitting it all directly into the trash can, complete with sound effects and horrified facial expressions!)

Note 1: Rock salt does not go in cookie dough.

The good news is that these efforts were well worth it as illustrated by an abundance of pink flamingoes, blue squirrels, red cowboy boots and North Carolina and Minnesotans sporting a variety of political and social interests themes.



Caution! See above and note #2 below for details.



These boots are made for eating!


My favorite 🙂

Note 2: Overly salty cookie dough –> overly salty cookies. At least it doesn’t make them any less pretty. Right? :-/


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The New Jersey Beetle

Yesterday was a big day for The Beetle, she officially became a legal resident of the state of New Jersey!

It was really quite the understated transformation:



...and after!

…and after!

For a mere $350 (for a new rear O2 sensor…and the $729 belt she bought herself for Christmas, but never mind…) she now has a set of lovely yellow plates that complement her vortex blue paint.

As much as I enjoy griping about the hassle and expense of the NJ state vehicle inspection (and the resulting required Beetle repairs), I have to admit that it’s nice to know the most densely populated state in the good old US-of-A is doing what it can to ensure safe and environmentally friendly vehicles are on the road. Never mind the bloated luxury SUVs that many a soccer mom/house wife drive around town or the hand-made Italian sports cars (think 0-60 in ~3 sec and requiring a change of shorts when your done sort of car) that their sons and husbands enjoy (when not being delivered to their destination by their driver of course). Yes, never mind those…


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Check out yet another reason why —

Mile Posts is great 🙂


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Pheona has been seriously pissing me off! HELP!

Since moving in with our new housemates, things have been a little rough. For both of us.

Has a human, I avoid being home, complain to my friends and eventually say nasty things to two particular individuals when living conditions plummet below what I am willing to endure.

As a cat, Pheona pees on things. Lots of things. On the roommates’ couches, laundry, cosmetics and bed. And on my bed. With or without me in it. x-(

As it is, I usually only get between 5 and 6 hrs of sleep a night. It isn’t much, but fine, this is what I signed up for at this point. However, having to sleep on the floor because my mattress is still wet with the vinegar solution I used to scrub it, or being chilly because I’m only covered with some fleece blankets I could scrounge up after she somehow manage to soil not one, but both of my down comforters, or when I’m already putting up with both of the above and I wake up to this blunt tool of an animal pissing ON ME in my crappy (and now pee-y), make-shift nest… Let’s just that I have never before been so close to owning a pair of beautiful grey fur mittens as I was that day.

After both surviving the immediate minutes, hours and few days following we have been taking steps to try to solve this problem.

1. The bed is now covered at all times (aside from when I am sleeping in it) with a most hideous plastic mattress cover from an equally hideous discount store from which I refuse to admit making this purchase…


2. All items are kept off of the floor, bed, desk, chair or anything else that the princess could climb into and pee on and put in the closet or piled on the clothes drying rack…


3. We have come to accept that the cheap down comforter will be washed on a weekly basis with no hopes of it lasting through to next winter.


4. The precious German down comforter will not see the light of day once it returns from the cleaners.

5. Laundry detergent will be purchased on a monthly basis in volumes that I previously would not have been able to use in a year.


6. The litter box is scooped twice a day and the litter is completely changed and box is washed once every 2 weeks

But wait? What? What is that Princess Pheona?… That still isn’t enough?!?!

It is in fact apparently not enough as this morning I again woke up to her peeing in my bed. x-(

SO, tonight a new mission has begun.


So far we have done the following:

1. Cleaned the bathroom.
2. Cleaned the litter box.
3. Sprayed the litter box with some litter-box-freshener spray (the pet product market is seriously something else…but that is for another post…)
4. We have lined the litter box with a fresh sent litter box liner (for easy litter removal and replacement
5. We have changed to a new litter that is more clumping, does “DOUBLE DUTY! ELIMINATES BOTH! Feces odors and urine odors!” and is conveniently sold in value size boxes (typically bought by cat ladies with more cats than she can remember names for)


Hopefully this will finally be enough for the princess. If it isn’t, hopefully she will grow some English language skills (or Spanish or German or Bengali or Russian … I’m not picky) and tells me WTF she needs!

In the mean time, if anyone is interested in consulting for the doctor, I’d love love love any suggestions/recommendations/tips to help put an end to this once and for all!




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Cool sh*t!

I’m very excited to report that one of my 14 New Year’s resolutions is going well. I have made it through the most HYSTERICAL book Sh*t My dad Says and it’s only Jan 12th. (Yes, this is absolutely the kind of classic literature that I had in mind.) The book is a collection of short stories and quotes from Justin Halpern’s father. Justin started a Twitter account to share his father’s hysterical one liners and before he knew it media outlets and book deals were (literally) knocking on his front door. I strongly recommend this for anyone that needs a good laugh (i.e. EVERYONE). This is great new (both the content of the book and the fact that I’ve actually read it) but the icing on the cake is that I’ve also been knitting! Now I haven’t actually completed a single full pair of socks yet, but I have started 3 that, IMHO, are going to be cool sh*t…





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How went the 13 in 2013?

Happy Annaversary! Can you believe you’ve been reading this high brow literature for a year already?! Crazy, right? Well, time flys when you’re having fun 😉

Those of you who’ve been here from the very beginning, I’m sure you’re itching to know how I did on my 13 goals for 2013. Well, you’re in luck! Here is how they went…

Dr-ing goals:

  1. Become good at learning and remembering peoples’ names 
  2. So I’ll be the first to admit that his is still not exactly my strong suit, but I have become loads better at knowing who the hell I’ve talked to and why. It doesn’t come particularly naturally yet, but the embarrassing situations of clearly not having a damn clue are much fewer and farther between.

  3. Become comfortable making non-painfully-awkward small talk 
  4. Much better. Still not my favorite, but a necessary evil game that I can not only play but also now usually win.

  5. Read one paper a day (NOT the MN Daily)
  6. HA! Fail! Big fail! This will be recycled for 2014. At this stage in my career this really shouldn’t be hard. But it is. It really is. 😦 Why?

  7. Graduate
  8. image
    Done! 😀

Trotting goals:

  1. Run 5 days a week (1 mile, 5 miles, 20 miles, whatever, just get my ass outside and do something)
  2. Nope, didn’t happen! In retrospect, this was also not realistic. 4 days a week is reasonable and this happened when it needed to (marathon training season…the second one).


    ...come hell, high water or 100°F + 100% humidity...

    Unfortunately it didn’t happen during the off season. We will be revisiting this issue for 2014.

  3. Finish the Mt. Kilimanjaro marathon (t < 6 hrs)
  4. image

    Done! (By the skin of my teeth and thank god, but never mind…)

  5. Half-marathon PR
  6. So I didn’t have the chance to race any 1/2s this year so officially this was a fail. But, if you’re willing to grasp straws with me, the middle half of my Philadelphia marathon was a 1/2 marathon PR… If you’re not buying this (you shouldn’t be….I’m not…) it’s ok, this will be on the 2014 list with some uncharacteristically high stakes attached. The plan is to pace the first half of a BQ marathon for my faster, more dedicated couisin. God help me.

Me goals:

  1. Be a non-promiscuous, healthy vegetarian again (i.e. eat loads and loads of fresh fruits and veggies, no cheating on tartar, sushi or bone marrow and cheese curds and beer are NOT an acceptable dinner — even during orals season)
  2. I’ve been better… This probably needs to stay on the list.

  3. Drink  enough water
  4. Hmmmmm….unless coffee and tea count in the tally this also needs to stay on the list.

  5. Get a reasonable start on my/our children’s book series TAPP — hopefully this will make sense in a year
  6. 😦

  7. Maximize the use of my electronics: iPad, cell phone, computer(s), mp3 players. All of them.
  8. I’ve definitely been better. This will also continue to be a work in oprogress, but I’m happy to report that my technologically challenged self hasn’t totally failed here.

  9. Be at work during “normal business hours” (+/- 20%)
  10. So this was going reasonably well in MN but is literally impossible in the land of persister assays. Consequently, reestablishing something that loosely resembles a work/life balance has a special place reserved on the 2014 list.


    Note: it IS important to still look cute when leaving work at 3 am

  11. Start and maintain a blog on the joys, frustrations, enigmas and epiphanies of science and running —  you’re welcome
  12. We’re all still here, aren’t we? A year later you are still most welcome 🙂

This year has been rather eventful actually. I (somehow) managed to graduate with my PhD and move 2000 miles to the armpit of the northeast lovely Garden State for a postdoc (with which I’m still having serious relationship issues), in the opposite direction of all parts of my family. In my “spare time” I got to spend 2 weeks on an adventure in Tanzania (complete with a safari and Mt. Kilimanjaro marathon) and managed a second marathon with my second-to-none Team CEMS and a 10 min PR. Not bad.

Happy end of 2013!

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