Friday, September 27, 2002

LoL#5: A day in the life of my nose

Yes, you read it right. Instead of my usual Lisa update, I want to take a different spin on a day in the life of me. It's recently occurred to me how many bizzarre/disgusting/awesome scents I encounter in a typical day so I invite you in on a semi-normal day of in the life of my nose.

* Pina-colada (my froo-froo shampoo/conditioner)
* Bacon (my parents breakfast)
* Coffee (my breakfast - yeah yeah bring on the nutrition lectures...)
* Dew (outside heading to the car - dew as in wet grass, not the soft drink)
* Naperville train smog
* Chicago train smog (what can I say, the train stations each have their own unique smog)
* Bus smog (way worse than train smog cause it's usually mixed with cab smog and car smog and general Chicago air pollution)
* Construction smog (there's a new building going up across the street from where I work. They're in the "moving dirt" phase of construction. They take an empty lot and move dirt around for two years and then overnight - poof! a building appears. There's a theory that in the "moving dirt" stage they're actually planting building seeds.)
* Elevator (did you ever notice that elevators have their own unique smell? Pay attention next time. And I'm not talking about smelling other people on the elevator. That's just wrong. I just mean that elevator air in general smells...different. Ummm, yeah, moving on...)
* Latex lab gloves (I go through probably close to 100 pairs a day and if you've ever worn them, you know the scent I mean. And yes, I'm exaggerating on the 100 pairs. But I do change gloves really frequently. Especially working with RNA, it's super important not to contaminate anything. I've come to the conclusion that there are few things worse than being in the middle of RNA purification and having your nose start to itch. Let's just say it happened yesterday and if there had been anyone watching me they would have thought I was doing an impression of a hyperactive rabbit sniffing crack.)
* Bleach (it's the biohazard disposal stuff in our lab. I almost got high on it the other day too. I think it's some sort of super strong extra potent uber bleach. Actually it's just regular clorox but once you mix it with random cell culture waste it smells... in one word: nasty.)
* Alcohol (the other all too frequent chemical I work with. All you chem/bio people know too that Ethanol is abbreviated EtOH but it's funny cause we have Ethanol wash bottles in the tissue culture lab - for sterilizing hands/tables/bottles/etc. - but one of the bottles got the OH part rubbed off so it was just a bottle of ET. hee hee... wash bottle phone home...okay maybe I'm still high on bleach fumes. The other weird thing about the alcohol is that when you work with cells and stuff you have to keep your hands really clean so we wear gloves and then periodically wipe them off with EtOH which sterilizes as it evaporates. The problem is that the evaporation also cools your golves down which is fine for most people, but I'm cold-hands girl to start with, add in the fact that our lab is overly air conditioned and you can guess that a good portion of my train ride home involves thawing out my fingers!)
* Cafeteria (forget everything you ever heard about the grossness of hospital food. The NMH - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - cafeteria is awesome. Or maybe I've just been subjected to Allen dorm food for four years and have lost all sense of good/bad cafeteria food.)
* A toaster that's been left on too long (that's the only way I can really describe the smell of an autoclave to anyone who's never smelled one. It's not really a burning smell, just sort of a something fried here a long time ago and only it's scent remains type of smell)
* More elevator smell
* More bus smog
* CHOCOLATE (it's really cool cause on the way back to the train staion the bus I take goes right past the Blommer Chocolate factory/outlet store - the corner of Kinzie & Des Plaines for all you Chicago-ans out there - so if the bus windows are cracked you get this wonderful smell of cholcolate wafting through. So imagine after a long day being tired, hungry and eagerly anticipating dinner and all you can smell is's bad enough to turn anyone into a ravenous chocoholic.)

I guess that about sums up a typical day in the life of my nose. It's been an insanely long week and I can't tell y'all how happy I am that it's Friday. Sorry if this was a little too bizarre or not quite amusing enough for some of you, but as a further warning, my next update will probably be something more on the serious side of things (but on the plus side I'll try to keep it shorter).

On that note too I want to add in what I'm gonna call the "PR" section of my updates. PR stands for prayer requests or press releases depending on whether or not you're the kind of person that believes God would heal a headache (and don't worry, I love you regardless of your stance on that one). Basically it's just gonna be the bigger things going on with me that are outside the bounds of the more trivial and humorous standard lisa ramblings. It'll go something like this:

This week's PR: I've got some big decisions on the drawing board these days. Some of you have the inside 411 and others will be filled in shortly but right now I'm in need of guidance to make some choices and confidence that the choices I make will be good ones.

And since I seem to be forgetting them lately - this week a very special spiffy shoutout goes out to Slovett (we'll do a one name thing for ya like "Madonna"!). She earns this shoutout by providing the awesome quote that's gonna be my motto if I ever need a campaign slogan:
"Lisa: living a normal life in an abnormal way."

have fun & keep smiling,

lisa (and her nose) :-)

p.s. note the inclusion of the nose on my smiley!

p.p.s. About that whole campaign slogan thing, no I'm not going into politics. But if anyone wants a really good book to read about some politicians and other cool people read "The Greatest Generation" by Tom Brokaw. It's a series of short story/biographies about people from the WWII era and considering I don't normally like biographies, WWII books, or Tom Brokaw if I say it's one of the best books I've read in a long time you KNOW it's gotta be good. :)

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