Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fire, fire everywhere...the update

This is a picture my friends took (one of the couples that lives in the complex).

Turns out this incident was the seventh in a string of apartment complex fires in my area since Sunday! Luckily in this case, no one was injured but 25 people and 1 infant were displaced.

If you want to see some pics (as I was unable to email them from my phone) go here. Picture #2 was from my view.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stop, drop, and roll...

Fire sucks. Especially when you live in the south where it hasn’t rained in months, therefore making everything matchstick potential. Apartment fires have been the new “trend” in the little town I live in lately. Just this summer there have been three separate instances of apartments going up in flames, destroying belongings, and in some cases individuals’ lives. Hearing these reports sends a chill up my spine, b/c I can imagine how devastating something like this can be. However, the events that transpired tonight brought that feeling to a whole new level.

I had come home in the evening around 6 pm, I started to make dinner and the next thing I know I hear running on the steps outside my apartment and a subsequent knock on the door, “GET OUT NOW THERE IS A FIRE!” Mentally, I think, “yeah, right,” until my heart starts skipping beats and my blood pressure rises to an unhealthy level (snaps to the autonomic nervous system on this one). I quickly grab what I feel is essential to my life without possessions, namely my wallet, car keys, and passport. Why passport? I don’t know. Perhaps my subconscious thought it necessary that I not only leave my apartment but also the country to be as far away from this damn fire as possible? I run out of the building, noticing that my neighbor was in such a panic that she left her door open. It is at this moment that the realization hits me that *my* building is not the one on fire, but rather the neighboring complexes building that are about 100-200 ft away from mine. It is literally right across the parking lot. There was no way to miss it. I have never seen anything like this in my life and I was scared! The sky was filled with smoke, the whole building was consumed in flames, and I was being covered in ash by the minute. Now I have a number of friends that live in this complex, and at first I seriously thought it was one of their buildings that was on fire. After about a dozen panicked phone-calls to them and just about anyone who would be in contact with them, I finally found out that 1. It was building J that was on fire (they live in building K) and 2. They were OK, but not before I totally freaked out.

By my calculations, it only took the fire less then a half hour to completely consume the building. I entered my apartment a little after 6 pm, and I heard the sirens about 20 min after that. Whatever started that fire was major, and since these building were constructed before the NC alterations in fire-code they do not have sprinkler systems and still contain functioning wood-burning fire places. Yes, feel free to gasp now. They are the ideal tinder for a fire.

It is one thing to hear about such devastating events, but it is totally another to witness it first-hand and have friends who may be directly affected by it. Which brings me to another point, local news here is awful. In OH, if something happened to a person who was related to someone in our city, it would immediately be posted on a ticker and scrolling on every major channel. Here…nothing. So I still don’t know the fires source or if anyone was hurt…I certainly hope not.

Well, thanks for listening to me. I am starting to remember to breath now, so I think I am calming down a bit. In the meantime, I have mentally planned my own fire escape routes, namely jumping out the windows.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Get your freak on

So yesterday, as many of you are well aware, was Halloween. Halloween, for whatever reason, is a huge "holiday" here. Upwards of 30-60,000 (I don't know how they accurately track the numbers) people congregate in this little town, on one main street and parade up and down. To the extent that probably 90% of the police force are walking the beat, closing down streets, and confiscating potentially harmful objects (e.g. plastic/real knives, scythes, battle-axes etc) from the intoxicated and thug-type. One would think that the frightening part of the whole night would be the undergrads and fraternity types in their scantily clad outfits (yes, and there were many!), and outrageous costumes milling about in an orgy of drunken debauchery. In fact, the scary part of the whole event was the people NOT in costume, lining the edges of the streets gawking at the costumed and taking their photographs. Now for full disclosure, there are some who watch for pure jest and enjoy the festivities of the evening without trying to touch, or visually rape you. The latter are those that made my skin tingle. It was reminiscent of those individuals who produce "girls gone wild" and convince the drunken to do outrageous things and then film and broadcast their stupidity for profit. Well, maybe not exactly, but you get the picture.

I, of course, participated in the full glory that was Halloween, along with my fellow compatriots, dressing up and crashing undergrad keggers. All in all, good fun. I even had two somewhat non-creepy people ask me to pose for a photo. By far the best part, was being in the entourage of a friend who dressed up as Frosty the snowman sans button nose (he used a carrot instead). Mr. Frosty was *the* local celebrity. Girls and guys alike clamored to take their picture with him. Let's just say Frosty was in pure snow heaven, and his wife thought it was hilarious. He even had the best cat-calls, such as "it's too hot for you mother f*ker," "it's frosty the gosh-darn snowman" (but didn't use gosh) and "it's Jesus as a snowman." The last one is my personal favorite.

The rest will be explained via photographs as this is the best medium with which to express the flavor of the evening.

Welcome to blue heaven.

We can totally kick your ass.

Frosty. Note to self, long orange nose makes it hard to consume alcoholic beverages.

How true it is. (You don't have to have a good time to drink)

God, I loved this game.

Britney post-break down with Samuel L. Amazingly, Britney in this photo is a man, his celebrity resemblance was uncanny.

The masses *before* midnight.

My other all-time favorite part of the evening was when birth-control (blurred above) got "attacked" by the mass of sperm-dressed fraternity boys...complete with accompanying egg. I give them credit for the original, positive, public-health promoting costumes. We can send a message.

Hope your "holiday" was just as spooktacular.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It's a small world after all

My life has been complete chaos and change. Part of this upheaval was due, in part, to moving to a new state for a new job after graduation. When I came down to NC, I did not know a soul, and I have to admit that is pretty frightening. However, I soon learned that southern hospitality is real, even in an area dominated mostly by northern/foreign transplants. After being here only one month, my social network is slowly growing thanks to my labmates, as they are extremely friendly and hospitable, as well as alcoholic beverages.

Just a couple of days ago, I got a nice surprise. A girl I went to highschool with, I will call her "S", and whom I hadn't talked to/seen in 7+ years dropped by for an unexpected visit. Turns out she is a graduate student working in a lab on the floor right above mine. She had apparently spotted me in passing and found me via the directory (the internet can be used for good). I love meeting new people and forging friendships, but there is something about being reunited with old friends that is different. I cannot describe it. Needless to say there was a lot of shrieking, hugs, and talking very fast. I am still trying to calculate the odds of two people from a graduating class of ~100, from a mid-sized Ohio town, relocating to NC at the same time, in the same city, at the same institution, and no less in the same building one floor apart. If you get a number let me know, I stopped doing higher level math a long time ago.

What's in a name?

Hello and welcome. Like many of my friends, I have finally decided to join the blogosphere. Partially, as a sort of free therapy, partially as a way to kill time between the not-so-exciting parts of my day, and partially as a way to virtually harass all those I used to harass personally, on a daily basis.

I thought as a first post, I should probably give all you soon-to-be loyal readers (snaps to Lil Kate in advance) some of my background history. I am a scientist. I have my doctorate degree in Pharmacology, and no, that is not code for a drug dealer. Although, I would make hella more money, and get to carry a firearm. I do scientific experiments. Unfortunately, not real *cool* experiments (e.g. monkey head transplants), but that leaves me something to strive towards.. I now live in North Carolina after spending most of my conscious years in Ohio.

So, you may ask (code for: I want to tell you), what is the deal with the title of your blog? Well, to let you in on a little secret, I like Sci Fi. Particularly, the "B-rated" films they release such as Mansquito, Chupacabra, etc. and especially any of these films they make sequels for like Anaconda. Anyway, in keeping with the sci-fi theme, but of *much* higher quality, is the BBC series called "Dr. Who" This has soon become my all time favorite show, and my inspiration. David Tennant, sexy scally. I am a doc trying to figure out exactly who I am and what I want to I like being enigmatic, so the title works. And to all you loyal Dr. Who fans who found this blog by accident, sorry! But you are in good company.

Until the next time, and I hope you come back for a next time...