Monthly Archives: November 2011

Mariam gets a reputation…

I’m a mild-mannered person. I don’t like to be showy or draw unnecessary attention to myself. Plus I get self conscious. Hence, I don’t like karaoke.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to sing. I sing in the car, I sing while I cook, I sing in the shower, I sing while I’m getting dressed, I sing all the time. The threshold is that even though there might be people with me, I am not in “public.” But I love singing to myself, and I love having music playing at all possible moments of my life.

Therefore, I like having music playing while I work…who doesn’t? I do tedious pipetting, all in a tissue culture hood (in the “TC room”), and it’s just sterile and boring. So why not jam out to some Nena and her luftbalons, or to some Dr. Dre and Snoop De Oh Double Gee, or to roll some heads with the Yeah yeah yeahs, or to ponder how I’m not sick, but I’m not well? The best kind of music to listen to at work is something that gets your spirits up, loud melody, heavy bass, hard groove, and crazy fun lyrics. Chromeo/MGMT pandora radio station for any interested players has been sustaining me for a long time now. And my 80s, Hood, and Woman Power playlists.

I started out listening on my headphones, like most people would do. But it’s annoying to have the cords in the way, worry about the earpieces falling out, not hearing/noticing when other people were in the room trying to talk to me or get my attention. Since I’m usually alone in that room, I graduated to just using the speakers on my phone to stream music out loud while I worked. When this happened, I got made fun of a lot by my labmates (mostly one person in particular, let’s call him Ollie). All the following quotes are courtesy of Ollie.

“You know how you know when Mariam is here? When there’s bass bumping from the TC room.”
“Whooaa, what is this? Club TC! Boom chik boom chik.” *mocking bass noise and fist pumping dance moves*
“You kids and your hippity hop, gangstER music.”

Anyways, Ollie and I are on good terms. He’s kind of my boss, kind of my coworker. He’s essentially training me  in this lab, showing me the ropes. He’s about to be finished though, and leaving the lab soon. Ollie knows how much I like listening to music while working that he brought some speakers for us to use. He hooked them up in the TC room, so now I can listen to my music at a decent volume and rock out. I make fun of him, though, cuz he listens to terrible “old man” music.

Here’s where the problem [reputation] happens. I’m usually the only person in or around that room, although other people do come in there (usually to see where the noise is coming from). Well it turns out that I sing A LOT, even in public, even without realizing how loud and emphatically I’m doing it. Apparently- most of the people I work with can hear me sing while I’m in the TC. I just lose track of the volume and since I don’t see people, I forget they’re in the next room over. And I lose control. Apparently.

Another coworker, his desk is behind mine, finally broke the news to me. Let’s call him Aiden.

“I heard this music, I had to take out my headphones to make sure what it was. So I came over here [to the TC room], and you were just belting it out, you were going at it.”
“OMG, I’m so embarassed! Why didn’t you tell me to shut the eff up??!”
“It seemed like you were enjoying yourself and I didn’t want to disturb you!”

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I’m never going to work again.


On a lighter note, here’s a picture of my cat, Tadyah aka Toota aka Toes. She has this thing for plastic bags. Like, LOVES them. Likes to lay on them and jump on them and crawl into/through them. So the rare times when I go grocery shopping, she has a field day until I get tired of hearing crinkling swhooshing plastic bags and throw them away.

My cat after my trip to Tom Thumb


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Haunted Hotels, Homeslice, and Heartache

College Station is stupid. Except for my cousin, Sara, who is a major rockstar. I went down on Thursday night to visit her in her gigantic suite of a dorm room. I won’t go into details, but Katy and I got majorly gipped in our dorm situation if this is how college students can live.

There aren’t very many things to do in College Station (surprise, surprise). Sara’s friends were chill, and instead of going to see a movie, they wanted to take me to the Plaza Hotel. This is a local legend-an establishment that closed down the previous year due to “mysterious activity” after a young boy died in the pool. Basically, it’s a haunted hotel. I was skeptical, but excited to see what this place was made of.
After convincing my scaredy-ass cousin to go along, we rolled up to a giant edifice. We had to jump a 10ft iron fence to get onto the grounds.

Sara, breaking the law...

After finding an open door (locked, but the glass broken so we can crawl though) amidst the boarded up entrances, we started our adventure. This place was cray cray. The pool area was enormous, and creepy because there were plants around the perimeter,  and the pool was drained. Everything was dark, and the only light was from the traffic outside and our phone flashlights. The front desk area still bills littered on the floor, along with broken glass from mirrors, windows, and artwork. All the furniture in the whole building was still there- chairs, statues, artwork, a baby piano, bottles, plants, beds, mattresses, clothing, etc…it looked like the owners literally closed the doors with everything in it and never came back. It was perfect 🙂
Full disclosure, I genuinely screamed at one point when I heard something rustling behind the desk. My rational brain knows it was probably just a rat, the wind, or my imagination, but my romantic brain is sure it was a ghost.

We climbed the stairwell, all the way up 18 flights of stairs to the top floor. [Technically it was only 17, since there was no 13th floor. Lots of difference that made…]. The room on the top was completely trashed, the windows were busted out so the wind was blowing into the suite. It looks like a combination of a haunted place and the remnants of a frat party. Hell, I’d go party there. It was fully furnished, and no neighbors to complain about the noise, and you don’t have to clean up the next morning.


Penthouse suite on the 18th floor, with the windows busted out and the furnishings wrecked.

The rationale for going up to the top floor was because from the roof, “you have a great view of college station.” You can imagine how amazing and exciting that view was. A completely flat expanse of nothing, not even enough lights to be classified as a city. The best part about the roof was all the spray painted graffiti.

Plaza Rules

Plaza Rules- sprayed on the roof

My cousin was FREAKING out the entire time, that was really the most entertaining part of the whole adventure. Sara’s so calm and cool, so it was awesome to see her be scared and vulnerable. Haha. ha.

My cousin, freaking out at the shutter noise my camera made while taking this picture.

Needless to say, we made it out alive. We made it to Houston alive. With a great playlist.
The wedding, which was the primary purpose of traveling to Houston, was fun. It’s always good to see people you like.

But really, the highlight, was seeing my cousin’s baby.


The cutest child in the world being a rockstar

He had a miniature backpack, just perfect for his little one year old body, that’s from Northface. Embroidered on the bag is the word “Homeslice.” You can imagine my excitement. Inside the backpack is a daily report of the boy’s activites during daycare. What he ate, how much of it he ate, number of bowel movements, number of diapers used, how much he napped and the exact times of sleep/waking, what his mood was like, what he did, etc. His parents get this detailed report EVERY DAY. How awesome is that?! I want a kid, already.


The end.

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Lie to me

I love it when you lie to me and I know you’re lying because I already figured out the truth on my own and then I can sit there and laugh to myself watching you make up things and I judge you and my opinion of you plummets and I love it because it makes me feel better than you for once.

People are weird

Guitar Update!

I’ve learned so many new songs! I’m a rockstar!
How to Love – Lil Wayne
No Rain – Blind Melon
Lights – Ellie Goulding
Tired of Being Sorry – Enrique Iglesias
Mr. Jones – Counting Crows
Days Go By – Dirty Vegas (in progress)
Come Undone – Duran Duran (in progress)

Songs I thought I could play but failed: Dynamite Hack’s Boyz N Tha Hood, REM’s Losing my Religion, and No Doubt’s Don’t Speak.

I made my own makeshift capo by rubberbanding a pencil to the neck of my guitar. It’s ghetto and probably bad for my guitar, but it works.

So for my improv class this week, we’re doing “characters,” and our assignment is to people watch and make note of how people walk, talk, facial expressions and mannerisms, inflections to their voice, how they carry themselves, etc, and then try to mimick them. It’s amazing once you start paying attention….how weird people are. One girl walks ONLY on her tiptoes and bounces when she walks. Her elbows are always bent and never at her side. Another guy always has his chest puffed out and his shoulders behind him, and talks with a huge booming voice and has an obnoxious laugh. and yesterday in response to a funny/sad story about a labmate’s cat dying 5 years ago, I heard him say, “Oh, well. I’m very sorry to hear that, a Ha ha. That must have been very difficult.” You know his intentions were good, but he just had this goofy grin on his face the entire time. Another guy has perfect marching band gait, heel to toe, peeling his feet off the ground and placing them purposefully when he steps. and he is always playing with his iphone at belt level, but he manages to walk in a straight line even though he never looks up. I hope I’m conveying this well.
More of why I love Judge Judy:

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