Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gmail Video Chat

Google just released a new program through it's gmail chat feature.  It's free video and voice chat, and it even rings just like a phone!  Kyle and I have been setting up the family, but if you also have a Mac and/or a webcam, let us know and we'll add you to our chat list.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Doxy vs. Malarone

So there are basically two possible Malaria meds to take in SE Asia: Malarone and Doxycycline. The rest are ruled out because malaria parasites are resistant little buggers.

Doxycycline is an antibiotic, so taking it on a daily basis has its ups and downs. The ups are that it helps combat organisms other than Malaria (such as the kind that give you traveler's diarrhea) and that it's cheap. The downs are that it has to be taken for longer periods of time and has some yucky side effects such as photosensitivity, the possibility of a yeast infection, and since it's an anti-biotic it also kills beneficial bacteria (think gut) and reduces the effectiveness of birth control.

Malarone is an anti-parasitic. Its ups are that you have to take it for less time, there are fewer reported side effects, and it won't interfere with birth control. But the downside is insurmountable: it costs like a bazillion and half dollars for an 8-week course (more like five hundred-thirty-something dollars) and we need 6 months each.

After doing some research (mostly at Chase.com) we decided on the doxy. Our travel doctor recommended we try a Canadian pharmacy in the area that mail orders drugs from Canada. The guy got us a great price (about half), but we had to sign some paper saying we understood that the meds we were receiving were from a country other than Canada. Hmmm....

Sounded fishy so we called him up and asked him exactly which country they were coming from. The answer was a shocker: the U.S.A.

Apparently it's cheaper to get drugs that have been shipped from the U.S. to Canada and back to the U.S. again than it is to get drugs straight from the U.S.

No worries. Obama will fix it. ;)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Vaccines

So as you might expect, Kyle and I have to get stuck with multiple needles before heading out to SE Asia. We recently visited the nice folks at Travel Health Services, where they filled us up with dead and weakened versions the following diseases:

Japanese Encephalitis B. AKA the expensive one. A 3 course series runs $145/shot. That's 6 x 145 = $870 for both of us. But: Of people who are diagnosed with this mosquito-borne disease, 1/3 die and another 1/3 suffer permanent brain damage. We thought it was best to dish out the cash and be glad we won't end up (brain) dead.

Hepatitis A. Kyle had to get this one, but I already got it a few years back when I went to Central America so I just need a booster.

Influenza. The doctor told us we can feel good about this one because it comes from pig farms in China. (Why should we feel good about that? I'm not really sure.)

Typhoid. Kyle got the injected version, which is good for 2 years. I got the oral version 3 years ago and since it's good for 5 we're both on the same schedule for the next one.

Also recommended (but we've already had): Hepatitis B, Meningococcal Meningitis, and updates of our MMR and DPT. The CDC also recommends a Rabies vaccine for travelers of our sort, but apparently there's a limited amount available and they're saving it for people who have already been exposed. Rough.

Friday, December 5, 2008

No Curb Dumps Necessary

I'm really proud we didn't end up needing a curb dump when we moved. We had incredible luck and were able to sell all our furniture. We were actually able to raise enough money to cover our plane tickets. Most of the rest of the stuff we had we were able to give to friends or donate to Goodwill. Total trash from our move: not quite one bag.

On our way out of town, we had a flat tire and it snowed the whole drive. We've never had a drive to or from NYC where the weather wasn't terrible. Good thing we're out now. We're back in Dublin, and it's been pretty awesome. Hot tubs, fireplaces, and babies. I can't complain.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday cuz I love to eat!

I am grateful for....

Kyle
the support of my friends and family
lots of T-day goodies
Barack Obama winning the election
endless opportunity
and all that I've learned in NY.

enjoy your bird!

Friday, November 21, 2008

One last rejection from Williamsburg

I have had this nagging feeling that we're not that cool, and tonight it was confirmed.

Christin and I took three apple crates and one garbage bag full of clothes to Beacon's Closet, a hipster Williamsburg thrift shop. When we came back they offered us $3.13 for one item (maybe a sweater, but they weren't really sure). We took it.

They gave us the rest of our stuff back and said we could throw it in the charity pile if we wanted. Only one box looked like it had actually been sifted through. Our stuff was so lame it didn't even merit a once over. Ouch.


Williamsburg hipster

I shouldn't really be surprised, though. I knew the second we walked into that place that they wouldn't like our stuff. The first girl I saw was trying her damndest to look like the nerdy girl in a bad eighties dramady. Maybe if I had just taken off her comically oversized glasses and let her hair down I would have seen her true beauty shine through.

But anyway, our clothes are not nearly old or ugly enough and they're totally lacking in unflattering patterns. In Williamsburg it looks good to look like you looked bad twenty years ago. I guess that means we look pretty good right now.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

One Man's Junk...

Well, we found someone who liked the museum exhibit on our life. She bought a ton of stuff. (really, a ton. a car-full to be exact). Like the expression I recently taught my students goes, "It takes all kinds..."

So things are going OK on the apartment sale front. We've had some other people buy some of the furniture and whatnot as well. With only 1 week left at work and 2 weeks left in NY, I'm starting to get a little antsy. My ecofreak sensibilities can't stand the thought of throwing away anything useful.


The Farmer's Market at Union Square

We went to the Farmer's Market in Union Square today to order our turkey. I love the Farmer's Market, and the weather was beautiful today. It was my favorite thing in NYC so I'm glad we visited it again before leaving. That, and street musicians (of which we saw plenty).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

First Crack Party


We've decided to make our goodbye party into an apartment sale as well.  We're calling it the "First Crack at our stuff" party.  First crack because whatever our friends don't buy we're putting on Craig's List.

We've spent all day pricing our stuff, cleaning our apartment, and putting things on display.  It feels a bit like we're curating our life together for a musuem exhibit.  We've taken all the books and photos off of our shelves and put up random "sales displays" of sorts.  Everything, even the furniture, has a price.  It's a bit unnerving putting a money value on the things that have made up our life.

It's meant to be as much a goodbye party as a sale.  We made some special cinnamon and apple infused vodka punch, so hopefully it'll be fun and we'll see our all our NY friends one last time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What a great day it is!

Pffoooh.

We just booked two one-way tickets to Bangkok and Barack Obama is the President-Elect of the United States.

Last night was an incredible experience. We were driving down 125th Street in Harlem when we suddenly became part of an impromptu victory parade. People were dancing in the streets, strangers were embracing each other, and everywhere we looked there were massive eruptions of glee. The slightest show of solidarity with the rest of the crowd was instantly and whole-heartedly accepted. There was a collective sense that everybody had finally had their voice heard. Everything seemed possible.

It wasn't just Barack Obama's achievement, but all of ours. It feels like peace is possible. Everybody there was so different. People were from different countries and had different color skin but it felt like everybody was involved and everybody was happy. Even the cautious onlookers who couldn't muster as much enthusiasm were still genuinely moved by the good spirit.

It reminded us of pictures of V-J day. But it feels different because this didn't come from war, but from peace. We're so proud of our country.

That being said, we also can't wait to leave. We arrive in Hong Kong on Jan. 11 and leave for Bangkok 4 days after. It feels like the whole world is opening up to us. It's not that everything just seems possible. It's that for us, right now, it is. And we're so thankful.