Thursday, September 29, 2005

Crabbing and Laundry and the O.C.

My naked ex-coworker (I was going to write ex-naked coworker but she may still be naked) writes,

was out crabbing for the first time. They really were monsters! they were climby and pinchy and evil pointy monsters....... but we caught a crapload (48) and are now killing and cooking them.

Sometimes she's a little crabby so I thought at first, do they go to crabby conventions in Portland? Is it the new hip happenin way to vent your crabbiness? Then I realized, Oho! she means crabbing like catching crabs! What a weird concept for a midwestern gal. Well, enjoy those crabs!

Our washer and dryer weren't working today so we called the landlord (a luxery of renting) and said, Fix our laundry! and they rushed right over and fixed it, but we were out running so they called to tell us it was fixed. Our outgoing answering machine message is this: (my studly hubby's voice) "This is J & D, get ready to Rock!" and we get all sorts of good replies to that when people call us, including one long message from my aunt that was just laughter (she called back immediately afterwards). Anyway our landlord's message tonight was the best: "You can rock on down to the basement and do some laundry." We did! Rock on!

And the O.C.! Let me tell you, that is one fine show. There's pretty guys and pretty gals and expensive cars and shiny hair and ... well you can just watch it yourself. But the thing that really reels me in and leaves me gasping for more is the EXCELLENT character development. I feel like I'm best friends with everyone on the show. Oh, they are a WEE BIT dramatic but they are NOT SHALLOW at all. No sirreee. And the problems they face are REALISTIC and INSTRUCTIONAL, boy I have learned a lot of life lessons from watching all of them. I can't wait for next week when I can be with them again!

Seattle News

I have heard from the guru in Seattle - he has offered me a job and I have accepted.

Hooray!

I will start sometime next summer, probably around August 1 (because my apt lease ends then).

Monday, September 26, 2005

Talk About Bad Driving

An 18-month old in Poland got behind the wheel of the family car and drove over his entire family this weekend. It's true!

And you all thought I was the bad driver. I've never run over ANYONE, at least not in my family.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Rattlesnake Recipe

My friend Austinboy posts (Comment #14 in the Some Epidemiology entry):

I have a Rita refugee cat in the crawlspace above my apt that doesnt want to come down, it only wants to pee and stink up my nice place. Do you know any Iowa Cat Stew recipies?

To Austinboy:

I do not have a good Iowa Cat Stew Recipe, however I do have a Rattlesnake recipe that I acquired when I went adventuring in the Southwest, sort of where you are now. I hope it helps.

Rattlesnake Recipe:

Skin snake and cut in 3" and 4" pieces. Roll in mixture of flour, corn meal, milk and egg. Salt and pepper. Deep fry in hot oil. Serve hot.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

O Abhored Blog, I Found You!

I finally found a blog to abhor that is not abhorable due to any political affiliation but simply due to bad content and bad grammar. The opening sentence of the most recent entry was this:

One night when we were too young to drink legally and way too young to care what kind of company we were keeping, we hoped into the Frankenstein mobile and hit to road to for a wild and crazy adventure.

I was stunned to discover in the next sentence that the narrator is female. I had to read on. It turns out, she's also a MOM (next entry) and I quickly found myself grimacing as I couldn't stop reading her addictively disgusting account of child-birth:

Well, the nurse was checking my dilation and I had to puke while she was doing that, we all know that they way the body reacts to puking is a total body spasm and I ended up farting and peeing on the nurse at the same time! I was sooooo excited to have farted infront of Brea and the brat had her damn ears plugged!!

(I gather 'Brea' is a good high school friend)

Anyways I finally have added a blog under my list of 'Blogs I Abhor.' I knew the perfect blog would come to me someday. I may eventually move it to 'Blogs I Adore'; my relationship with this blog is already turning into a sort of love/hate thing.

Since I am here I may as well update you on my Full Recovery Saturday. I have discovered two new loves (well my love has at least been relinquished): Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show (on DVD - before when the show was constantly interrupted by commercials I just never got into it), and Jalepino flavored hummos. Mmmmm, good stuff. When combined, they make for a delectable Saturday afternoon.

Road to Recovery

I'm on the road to recovery after my long string of adventures. I've been so exhausted this week I've been going to bed at 9 pm every night (earlier than that seems abnormal so I was actually waiting up till 9 pm to go to bed each night). Last night I went to bed at 9 pm, and this morning, Saturday, was the first Saturday I was at home and had nowhere urgent to go and nobody visiting in about 10 weeks. I slept until 9:30 am (12.5 hrs, that's right). I woke up sore, bleary-eyed, desperately having to go to the bathroom, desperately thirsty, but refreshed. Now I will begin the difficult task of sorting through and taking care of all the untended aspects of my life. This may not be this weekend, however, as I'm barely able to get off the couch and I suspect my brain isn't fully functional yet. My Studly Hubby found a tupperware full of plum pits in the fridge yesterday and although I denied being responsible for it, I'm pretty sure I was. Still haven't heard back from Seattle yet.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

More Stormy Weather

We got pummeled by some angry weather on Wednesday night. There was destruction in the north suburbs and loud raucous and torrential downpour and the whole shabang. CNN reported on it today. I happened to be in a meeting in a room with no windows when it started and was busy working in the lab when the tornado warning sirens went off and hadn't even realized it. My Studly Hubby had to inform me to go to the basement but my kung fu co-worker and I instead oggled out the window at the disaster going on outside. In the heart of the city, where we were, the winds weren't as fierce as in the north, but there were sheets of rain and loud thunder and we could see every once in a while a lone soul running through across it thirteen stories below us.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Some Epidemiology

Here is an epidemiological puzzle for all you analysts:

My Studly Hubby and I both got sick last night, Derek more so than me. Symptoms: nausea, and general gastrointestinal distress (further info withheld for your protection). This weekend we ate the exact same meal three times: at El Ranchero (Friday night), Taste of China (Sunday afternoon), and at my mom's farm where we had a bunch of fruit straight off the tree without even washing it (Sunday afternoon). We also shared a bag of Chex Mix on the drive home from Iowa. We made out almost constantly all weekend, so were exchanging germs as much as possible. Nobody else got sick. My mom and my Studly Hubby's parents ate with us at El Ranchero (but not the same dish), my mom ate with us Sunday (but not the same dish or the same fruit, although it was fruit from the same tree, and she has been eating fruit off those trees all week) but Sunday night and Monday she ate all the rest of the Taste of China leftovers including the leftovers from the dish my Studly Hubby and I were eating.

Is it:

A. Food poisoning from El Ranchero, Taste of China, or the fruit
B. The flu
or C. Nonspecific gastrointestinal distress due to eating too much fresh organic Iowa grown fruit in combination with El Ranchero and Taste of China.

I will now perform a rectal swab and do careful microbiological classification of the bug afflicting my poor Studly Hubby, if I can catch him before he can get away from me.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Plums, plums, EVERYWHERE!

We went to Iowa this weekend so I could be with my mommy, kiss my horsey, and enjoy the fabulous September weather - my all-time favorite. We also got to eat at all our favorite places: El Ranchero, Taste of China, and Pagliai's Pizza. The weather treated us well and all my mom's fruit trees were at their peak this weekend, which is the first time that's happened in a long time (her plum tree, my favorite, only mass-produces every seven years or so, and this was IT). I felt like a kid in a candy store and picked about a million plums. I even dragged out the stepladder and went crazy in the top branches. We also shook a few apple trees, then ran for our lives while the apples rained down on us (then filled up our sacks and ran for our lives again when the horses discovered what we had done and came looking for treats). We also acquired a few bags of asian pears, which are a staple every summer. Now our refrigerator is completely full and we are brainstorming ideas for adding them somehow to each meal we eat.

My husband's Animation Mentor class began this week after a (much needed) week and a half break - his first assignment is to animate a 'personality walk' so he's been dragging his feet around all night acting all dejected and upset, and videotaping himself doing it. It's a little weird, but I got used to these things last semester and I think I can handle it. Meanwhile I have to wash all my clothes from my Weekend In Iowa because somehow I ended each day all covered in mud with green slime all over my shirts (the green slime is from my horse, the mud I'm not sure about, especially since they're having a drought right now). Anyway now that I live in the city I'm not used to getting so dirty so it was a little disorienting soaking my stuff in the sink with laundry detergent and wringing it out, but I'm proud to say it all seems to be coming out no problem.

I also bathed my mom's 115 lb dog while I was in Iowa, cleaned my bird's cage (much to his chagrin), hauled some horse feed around, sat outside and drank tea, saw my brother just before he left for a fencing competition in Chicago (that's right he fences now), and had lunch with my stepdad. Now, I must bid you adeau (or however you spell it) because I'm off to BED.

Good night!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Big Decision

I have chosen to go to Seattle, now I am waiting for a response (it's between me and someone else, and there's a chance he can take both of us). Although I didn't do any other interviews, I did very seriously consider several other labs - but before I interviewed, and even after, I knew that the lab in Seattle head and shoulders more appealing to me than the other labs that I was considering, for several reasons: it is at the forefront of the field I'm interested in, thereby giving me many options for projects that will all take me into an interesting and potentially successful career; this lab is also the size I'm interested in, with several other experienced post-docs as well as a few grad students (who were all very nice and cooperative, just what I was looking for); the PI was just the type of guy I get along with and comes highly recommended as a good person from both my boss and my connections; and the geographical location fits what both I and my husband are looking for.

In making this decision, I considered those other labs on my list very seriously, which took most of my energy and time last week. I sought advise from my boss and another post-doc in my lab (who were both very helpful), carefully researched the other labs that I was originally interested in (and ruled them out one by one as significantly less ideal than the one in Seattle for various reasons), and determined whether the projects that I heard about in Seattle were what I really want to do and what will really help me spark a successful career (I decided that they are). After all that, I'll be disappointed if I have to start over with a new round of interviews, but if I must I will - and I'm trying to keep my mind open to it in case it comes to that - it'll be a new round (Round 2) with slightly lowered criteria. At least I gave myself plenty of time for this whole thing, I can't imagine trying to make these big decisions in the middle of a time crunch.

This whole thing is hard! I can see now why a lot of people (women especially) drop out of it at this stage - it takes a lot of guts and a really clear perception of one's own interests to do this kind of thing. You have to figure out what it is you've always wanted to do (and make money doing), go through a scary interview process (at least in my case, where it was a competetive interview), make decisions about what kinds of things will carry you into your dream job, and worst of all, you are constantly picturing yourself in an unfamiliar environment - doing unfamiliar experiments, surrounded by people you barely know, working for a boss you just met, and cultivating a project you just found out about in a field you've only ever been peripherally familiar with. I was way outside of my comfort zone the entire time I was in Seattle and missed my husband and my cozy Minneapolis apartment more than I did the whole time I was in Europe. I even missed my mommy!

Now back to my regular life, and trying to distract myself as always from my scary and foreboding future. I'll keep you all posted if I hear anything!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Rock Star INXS

My husband has fallen head over heels for a new reality show, called Rock Star INXS. It's a little like American Idol only it rocks out a little more, so the chicks wear shorter skirts and the dudes take of their shirts sometimes. Plus they play mostly rock songs instead of stupid crap like they play on American Idol. They also play some songs they wrote themselves, and some songs by INXS. So I guess it's American Idol Rocked Out. The thing that blows me away about both Rock Star INXS and American Idol is that there are actually people who make it almost all the way without really being able to carry a tune all that well. They're better than me, I'll admit that, and they sound ok and look good, but a few of the notes they hit are just way off. What's up with that? Is it better to have a generally good sounding voice, even if you miss a few notes? I guess I'm too much of a scientist - I feel like you should be on key above and beyond all else (perfection rules over creativity). On that same note, I have a hard time with cover songs because they never sound the way I think they should. Maybe I'm too left-brained.

Left!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Deciding my fate

I returned from the Southwest, Europe and West Coast Extravaganza to a busy semester start complete with two fresh new undergrads to supervise, a schedule full of seminars and journal clubs and lab meetings, and already a presentation coming up and report due by the end of the week. This is manageable compared with the huge career decision I'm facing. I now have to take what I learned during the 12 hours I spent on the West Coast and process it into a huge decision about my career and where I'm going with it.

The thing about this job I'm deciding on is that it involves the research I'm going to be taking with me and working on for the rest of my career. Therefore, I have to pick something that is 1) interesting to me and 2) interesting enough to everyone else to bank my career on but 3) not so interesting that someone else does it and publishes it before I can.

The problem with all that is that I feel much too young and naive to make a decision like that. Who am I to say what I'm going to be interested in some fifteen years down the road? And how am I supposed to know what other people are going to be working on? Especially when we're talking about a field that is totally unfamiliar to me (they say it's good to change fields for this move, which to me just makes it all the more difficult).

So what I found out about this lab in the 12 hours I was with them is this: They are all great people, who I got along with well. The PI is also a great guy who I get along with well, and I think I will do well under his supervision (although that you never really know). The research fascinates me. The projects are all forward-thinking and high-profile.

So that makes me 95% sure I want to go to his lab for this job. What is the 5% holding me back? The bug he works on is the bug everyone and their mom works on. Since his research is cutting edge, that means they get scooped (someone else publishes on their work before they do) all the time. This means the pace is a lot faster than what I'm used to. A fast pace is ok for doing a post-doc, but I'm not sure it's a pace I can maintain for my career. Plus, if they are always competing with everyone, the environment is not as nurturing and pleasant as that which I'm in (where we have very few competitors). So that aspect is very unfamiliar and uninviting.

So what do I do? I wish I had a fairy godmother that would tell me. Dang! Where did she go?

Biker Bill's Spaghetti with Maniacal Sauce

No, this is not a recipe. This is a story about a feast that occurred last night at the Hotel J&D Rock and the events that followed. My studly hubby makes a murderous spaghetti dish from a cookbook of his mom's by a guy named Biker Billy. Biker Billy likes to add so many hot peppers to his recipes you have to cut most of them out just to have room in your dish for the real stuff. So if you generally cut back the peppers to about 1/4 his suggested dosage, you get really fantastic, spicy, tasty, creative dishes and as you eat them you can imagine your dining with some of the toughest Hell's Angels who only eat dishes from Biker Billy's cookbooks. The spaghetti with maniacal sauce is one such fantastic recipe, tried and true. It's too hot (even with 1/4 the suggested peppers) to eat every night, or even every week, but about once a month my studly hubby whips it up and we cry tears of joy (and pain) as we eat it. Last night was a maniacal spaghetti night, and since I've been travelling all over for the past month I was very happy to have a home-cooked meal and inhaled it once it was made.

I woke up this morning on the toilet. My husband busted in right after me. All day, I had to work in the chemical fume hood to disguise the fumes created by Biker Billy's maniacal recipe. I have an undergrad working with me who barely survived. When I got home, again my husband and I fought each other for the toilet. The good thing was, usually food like that burns on the way in AND on the way out but this stuff burned on the way in and just gassed everyone on the way out. I'll take that anyday over the former.

It's the end of the day now, and I have to report, I think we've survived. Hopefully tomorrow will bring everyone new, more pleasant smells.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Successful Interview

My interview was a success, I think. I didn't get a job offer by the end of it but I did give the best seminar I could give (and they were all impressed) and was in my best form for most of the time. I also had a really good time although the desicion to go isn't going to be as easy as I was hoping it would be - there are pluses and minuses to it as with everything and I was hoping it would be all pluses or all minuses. If I do go I have several options for projects and my head was spinning by the time I walked away from all the possibilities. Now I have to regain my composure and go in to work tomorrow and act competent enough so that the two undergrads I'm working with don't think I've totally fallen off the wagon.

Seattle was very nice. It reminded me of Minneapolis only a little more metropolitan. I went to the fish market and saw some fish being thrown around and generally enjoyed myself.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

All Packed Up Again

All packed up again and ready to go to Seattle for my interview tomorrow. Leaving tonight, will be back Saturday. I've prepared a talk and practiced it yesterday for my lab groupies, got some good feedback and now it's awesome spectacular and includes a halftime show with ponies and acrobats. I'll be back when I'm back!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Home Sweet Home!

My fully clothed (kung-fu) coworker and I made it home safe and sound on Friday night, 6:00 Minneapolis time (1 am Copenhagen time). I managed to fight off my jetlag and stay up until a whopping 9:30 pm, slept well through the night, got up and taught a spin class early Sat morning, trashed out our apartment completely in an amazingly short amount of time, then crashed sometime Sat afternoon. I feel much better today, although my apetite is still pretty screwed up. I have to pull myself together and get ready for my next trip - my big interview in Seattle. I leave Thursday night, and have to prepare a talk to give Friday morning. I also have to read up on this guy's research, as well as my own, so I can sound as brainy as possible during my interview. Soon I have to get my jetlagged butt into the lab because I have to meet with a couple of undergrads this week that I'll be supervising. I can't remember for the life of me what projects I was planning to have them do a month ago when I agreed to take them so I need to get refreshed and get ready. Meanwhile, I still have the rest of the holiday weekend to get over my jetlag, get caught up on the laundry, clean up all the trash I've scattered everywhere, and get caught up on my blogging.

Blogging first.

Below are two things I've been meaning to do since I got back: the List Of Unimportant Differences Between Copenhagen and Minneapolis, and a few select pictures from our trip. Have fun! Oh, and thanks for your continued enthusiasm for my blog, it keeps me inspired to document my fantastic adventures.

Unimportant Differences b/w Copenhagen and Minneapolis

You've been wondering about it, so here it is:

J-Funk and Kung-Fu Co-worker's List of Ways Copenhagen is Unimportantly Different from Minneapolis.

1. There are NO SUV's (although at the end of the trip we did see a few along a fancy wide road in a hoity-toity neighborhood).

2. Most of the escalators are flat.

3. The toilets flush in all sorts of weird ways, sometimes not immediately obvious and sometimes with several options.

4. Traffic lights turn yellow AFTER red (and again after green)

5. The red 'don't walk' signals never flash - they just go from green to red and you better hope you're safely on the sidewalk when it happens.

6. Bicycle riders are more hazardous to pedestrians than cars.

7. It costs $10 for an ounce of herring, 3 raw onion loops and half a slice of buttered bread, and $3 for a small bottle of water. It was the best herring I ever had though.

8. Hotel rooms are the size of a closet, generally don't have private toilets, and showers can be free-standing and anywhere.

9. Horse tack is sold at the grocery store in the middle of the city - this includes all the goods; bridles, full-seat breeches, saddle pads, polo wraps, boots, etc. I was in heaven. Apparently horses go grocery shopping in Copenhagen as often as people.

10. Almost everything closes at 6 pm on weeknights, 3 pm on Saturdays and all day Sunday. If you want something to do during those times, you go to Sweden.

11. All the street names are unpronouncable, even when a native speaker says it very slowly several times, and therefore immediately forgottable. This makes it impossible to navigate without a map open at all times.

12. Doors going into buildings PUSH instead of PULL. This can be particularly embarrassing, especially when it takes three tries to get buzzed into your hotel because you were improperly operating the door.

13. Two trains going in opposite directions can miraculously end up in the same place; one train going in one direction can miraculously end up in two different places. I'm totally serious on this one, both things happened to us.

Select Scandinavia Pictures

My dad found out that the term 'mobroll' is for posting pictures as you're traveling - I couldn't do this because I didn't bring my computer with me, in fact I was lucky to figure out how to recharge my camera while we were there, but now that I'm home I'm going to pick a few out and put them up so there's no doubt I was there.

First the hotel. This is actually our second room in Copenhagen, that had a private bathroom, so unfortunately I don't have a picture of the free-standing shower that totally freaked me out. The first room was about the same size though so you get an idea of how small it was (the picture is taken from outside the doorway, standing as far back as I could get). Despite the small rooms, the hotel was very comfy and nice, with beautiful curtains and attentive service and a fabulous breakfast buffet (featuring the usual smorrebrod - open faced sandwiches). The beds were also made all nice when we got there, but it was dark so I had to take the pictures in the morning after we had messed everything up. My fully-clothed co-worker throws some wild parties, despite being fully clothed. She knows kung-fu you know.

Next, the peacock in the Frederickberg garden. I could show you pictures of the garden, which was a spectacularly groomed piece of work, but the peacock was what really got me excited. It was just hanging out, taking a break, perfectly relaxed and happy to have his picture taken. That's what I want to be in my next life, a peacock in the Frederickberg garden.

Below the peacock is the Copenhagen public library. The new part is right on the canal and has huge windows that look out over the canal (and the outside is made of imported marble, so it looks spectacular from the water). The new part is attached directly onto the remodeled old part, so you can't tell the difference from the inside. This picture was taken from the old part, looking out over the canal past the weird straight escalators that take you from the first floor to the second. Man, if we had libraries like this in the states our literacy rate would be a whole ten points higher (like Denmark's!).

I have a few pictures of the Fredericksberg castle (in Hellrod), and all of them are spectacular because everything in and around the castle was spectacular - a novice photographer's dream come true. The first is of the back of the castle, taken from the castle gardens which are past the moat. The front of the castle was equally spectacular but I couldn't get far enough away to get the whole dazzling spectacle in one frame. The second is of the Great Hall, which has been redone to look like it did before it was destroyed by fire in the 1600's. Tapestries on the wall were remade, the musician's stage (black, in the middle right) was recarved and rehung, etc. It was breathtaking. The Fredericksberg castle, like many great old buildings in Denmark, was commissioned by King Christian IV, who also commissioned the Kronberg castle in Helsingor (near our hotel during the conference). Both castles were of similar architecture, except the Fredericksberg castle was turned into a museum in the 1800's and restored, and is also a little bit bigger. The Kronberg castle still has a Great Hall, but it isn't nearly as dazzling although it still is huge, covered with old georgeous pictures, and has impressive architecture, tile, and ornamentation. It is still rented out for large events although I wouldn't think it would be all that great because it smells a little like very old mold.

I can't help but post a picture of one of several grey ducks we saw. In Minnesota, natives have a weird version of the old 'duck duck goose' we used to play as kids - they for some reason call it 'duck duck grey duck.' I have always been a little confused by this strange deviation but I think this picture explains it. You see, THEY HAVE GREY DUCKS in Scandinavia, and I've got a photo to proove it.

Below the grey duck is a picture of a viking ship from the Viking Ship museum in Roskilde. On the left side of the picture, though you can't see it, the windows look out over the Roskilde Fjord where the ships were recovered. They recovered five, and this is one of the smaller ones.

Last, but not least, is a picture of the famous Nyhavn "New Port" canal in Copenhagen. It was the center of all shipping into Copenhagen and is a prime piece of real estate filled with old wooden ships and spectacular waterfront housing. One of the houses is the former home of the famous H.C. Anderson fairy tale writer. This picture is taken from the canal during a canal boat tour we took on our last day before the conference.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Malmo Mia

For our last day in Europe we took the train over to Sweden, which is about a 30 min train ride from Copenhagen. First we had to get from Helsingor, where the conference is, to Copenhagen, drop off our luggage, then get back on the train to Sweden luggage-free, so it actually took a little while and we didn't make it to Malmo until early afternoon. Malmo is the town closest to Copenhagen that is right on the Oresund part of the Atlantic ocean between the two cities. It's a beautiful town and we had a spectacular time looking at the Malmo castle (built by Christian II, way earlier than the other two castles we looked at), shopping in the much less busy pedestrian malls, and visiting the parks. Like Copenhagen, Malmo had a spectacular public library, and both libraries boasted an older-than-the-USA part with a modern and huge addition added onto it. We were amazed.

A friend of mine, who posts here frequently as austinboy, is originally from Sweden and sent us some recommendations for our journey there. He recommended: cheese in a tube from the grocery store, blood pudding (real blood), candy, chocolate, pizza, kebab, cake and cheesecake. Noticeably, no places to go or see were included on his list. While we nixed the tube cheese and blood pudding, and were already full on candy, chocolate, cake and cheesecake from our stay at the fabulous hotel during the Enterococci meeting, we did try Swedish pizza and it was very good. I think they have a major advantage over us on their pizza because their cheese is so heavenly. They also put some interesting things on it like shrimp and mussels.

Pictures:
Malmo Castle









Pedestrian Mall












Windmill in the castle park

My aunt the star

My aunt, who is a famous clarinetist in a bluegrass/klezmer band called the Klezmer Mountain Boys, has started a message board on her website for postings about her adventures at home (in NYC) and away. I will be checking it regularly to get updates on her glamorous life of stardom. If you stop by be sure to post and let her know it's getting looked at.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Enterococci, enterococci, everywhere!!


Despite the tragedies associated with hurricane Katrina, we had a fantastic time at the enterococcus meeting this week. Our hotel was amazing (picture at left, the Kornberg castle made famous by Shakespeare's Hamlet can be seen in the very distant background, upper left), and we had a high-class seaside room and were fed like kings. The science was also very good and I learned a great deal. We finished the conference with a bus trip to the Tivoli gardens in Copenhagen and had a three-course feast at the NIMB restaurant. The Tivoli is an amusement park right in the center of the city, and the restaraunt, which is in the Tivoli, was one of the fanciest I've ever been to and provided us with a full staff of waiters and waitresses, a different kind of wine with each course and increasingly yummy and beautiful plates of food. We got back to the hotel at 1:15 am, drunk and wired, and completely pleased with the whole show.