naturallypixie: (Default)
I signed up for health care yesterday and went to see my assigned doctor today. When I saw that she is located at V. Salvator Rosa 55, I was very excited! We are at V. Salvator Rosa 46, right down the street! I made Bart come with me to see her because I was feeling nervous. When we got to her office, which was really a floor of a several story house, Bart looked around and said, "This is what our courtyard looks like." He then went on to describe the similarities. Then we looked down. Bart instantly realized that this in fact, IS our courtyard. He had just climbed up the wall on our patio and looked into our neighbor's yards the day before. After some convincing, I began to recognize things from this peculiar angle. It is very odd because many times we tried to figure out how to get inside that courtyard, which isn't really a courtyard at all, but many patios from separate apartments converging in one space.

So, my new doctor is directly above us. She recognized the address immediately and asked us if we lived underneath her and if we knew our doctor neighbors (we do). Very cool. Now we know why the security buzzer that we can hear coming from our bathroom goes off all day long and starts so early in the morning. Now we know what the noise is above our living room: It is the people in the waiting room moving the chairs around. She actually has the top two floors of this building. We think that maybe there is a smaller apartment in the front that another older woman lives in. We are still trying to figure everything out.

Anyway, I have a doctor who speaks no English...thank the gods for Google Language Tools. She was nice enough to refer me to a gyno nearby who speaks "inglese bellisimo." Fabulous!
naturallypixie: (Default)
So we have a french bed, and as romantic as that might sound, it is nothing but troubles. First when we moved in, the mattress on this French box spring had an odor that... well lets just say we were not gonna sleep on it. So the land lord (Livio) agreed to buy us a new mattress. But, he bought the wrong size. Turns out, there is no Italian mattress that fits a French box spring (an so our trouble begins) He chose to buy the mattress one size smaller than the box spring so the mattress would not hang over the edge. Thoughtful of him, right? (the one he choose was nearly 100 Euros cheaper than the size we wanted) Well, needless to say, we did not even take it out of its bag. We knew it was to small. So we began looking for a new mattress. I found the store from where Livio purchased the baby bear sized mattress, and asked if we could switch to a larger size and would they pick up the old one while delivering the new one? They agreed to do the switch, and credit us the amount paid for the little mattress, but would not deliver. Only after my lovely wife visited the same store did they agree to everything. They delivered a new mattress (of the proper size) we paid them the difference in price between the two sizes, and everyone was happy. BUT, I think I paid the delivery man twice what I should have. I was home that day to receive the delivery, and tried to convince the men to carry the mattress upstairs to the bedroom. When this did not work, and after I had made several trips up and down... talking and exchanging paperwork, it is quite possible that I paid the fellow twice. Which means we paid 100 Euro for our upgraded mattress instead of 50. *sigh* None the less, we had our new mattress. We plopped it down on the French speaking box spring, and it was too big. As Livio had predicted, it hung over each edge. Now the good news in all this is that it only hangs over 5cm on each side. Not enough to endanger us as we sleep.. so no worries right? Well, here is an interesting side note. The walls in our bedroom are not square, that is to say... the wall against which our french box spring lives, is crooked. So when aligning an over sized mattress on a french box spring against a crooked Italian wall, one has the choice between spacing the mattress evenly with 5cm overhanging on each side, thus creating a gap between the wall and mattress on the right side capable of swallowing pillows, or to fix the mattress against the wall smoothly, thus unbalancing the overhang so that sitting or rolling to the left side of the bed becomes equivalent to stepping on a tiger trap in the Amazon. Ah, the fun in our bed never stops! Personally I prefer the tiger trap. If one carefully sets the mattress in between the two positions I just mentioned.. then carefully stacks the pillows over the gap, and arranges the bed cover just right, you can create the illusion that not only our mattress fits its box spring properly, but our wall looks straight. This leads to even more excitement the next morning when Brandie has stolen 3/4 of the bed sheets, and I am sleeping naked, wedged between wall and mattress, shivering with no covers. OK Ok ok... I am exaggerating all this a bit.. sometimes I wear pajamas to bed, and Brandie only steals 1/2 the covers. Oh, and speaking of refrigerators... you know you own a short fridge when the coffee-maker machine, thing... (I don't know how to say it when it makes Italian coffee) is on TOP of the fridge, and Brandie can still reach it, and make coffee with it! I am not saying that we have a small fridge, we have plenty of space, its just that now I have no excuse not to clean it daily, since everyone can see on top of it.
naturallypixie: (Default)
It has been a while since I wrote anything worthwhile here and I am afraid that today will be no exception. I have been spending most of my time doing nothing at work. I was given several different projects, all of which went nowhere after I immediately jumped on doing the research for. But, I have finally gotten a project and actual DNA to do the work on. If you are scientifically minded, read on...if not, feel free to skip this next bit, I'll let you know when it is okay to read again.

I am doing two projects. The first is a methylation analysis of the p57 gene promoter in different types of thyroid tumors. This could be a very exciting methylation versus chromatin configuration experiment. The second project is much more long term. I will be constructing differential ChIP libraries from a prostate cell line, and if it works, I'll be doing more libraries from other cell types. The purpose of these libraries is to see what genes are differentially methylated after the addition of a stimulus. In the case of the prostate cell line, the stimulus will be 5-dihydroxy testosterone (DHT) which binds to the androgen receptor and is then translocated to the nucleus and those two molecules along with some other stuff, directly binds the DNA. I'll be doing two rounds of ChIP with anti-AR antibody.

Yesterday I wanted to go to a meeting of English speaking women here in Naples, but alas, I could not find the place. I received very sketchy directions from a random lady in the market down the street...They meet behind the Anglican church near Piazza Amadeo at 10 the second Saturday of every month. The really sad thing is that I brought a new friend along, she has been here a little longer than we have, and we totally went on a wild goose chase! I felt very bad about this. In fact, I was disappointed on several levels. *sigh* I will try again next month. It would be really great if the group's website goes back up between now and then so that I can get an address.

Finally, there is a new smell in our apartment, and neither one of us can figure out it's origin. Bart can smell it. That says something.


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