Saturday, November 7, 2009

Win or lose - we booze!

just a quick note to say that I passed (!!) my Comprehensive PhD exam yesterday! I am so very happy to have that completed. Overall, it truly wasn't that bad. I feel like I stood my ground and didn't get flustered. Of course, I didn't know everything they asked me AND some of it I did know but couldn't quite get the correct words to come out of my mouth in an eloquent answer. Regardless, it's over and done!

And, I don't even feel depleted like I did after my Master's or Candidacy exams...totally excellent! I will definitely take some time to clean up around here (apt, car, office, puter, etc.), but I will also keep at it with my research with even more intensity.

Here's hoping to graduation in 2010!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

love my family! Comps Exam is Friday at 1pm (mark your calendar to send me positive vibes). I sent a note out to my family about it last week, and today I received a care package from my brother and his family (they live in NY) filled with delicious butterscotch oatmeal cookies (two bags!) and a handmade card from my adorable nephew.

It says "Good luck. Love, Drew" inside haha

My parents are coming tomorrow from Ohio so they can see my Comps presentation on Friday. I think they will also be sticking around for the questions. I'm super nervous about this exam, but I'm really happy that my 'rents will be there - they can see what I have been doing with my life! They've always been soooo supportive and encouraging, which is something I thrive on. I think my hubby will also be making an appearance. I hear Colin Cowherd from ESPN is going to be at the HUB, though, around the same time as my defense so we'll see if he shows up for my presentation. haha

...can't wait for Friday to be much to do before then!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Just a quick note to say that I participated in the THON 5K today with Nari.
THON is HUGE at Penn State, and it is deservedly so - through this organization, much money has been raised to support children battling cancer (I believe over $60 million!). THON certainly deserves its own post (which I do not have time to write about currently). So, for more information about THON (and to donote to the cause) go to this website:

I signed up for this race a couple months ago with the plan to do some decent training in preparation - of course, that fell through :) But, I did show up this morning and I did finish the race without walking in approximately 28 min and 5 seconds. This is not my PR (that is 19 min 30 sec...from high school), but it wasn't that bad either. I was worried about the start of the race because that is always really tight and people are literally pushy. I was just hoping that no one tripped me because my reflexes still are not 100%. Fortunately, I did not fall down (even though I was rude!). it's all fun, though :)

After this week is over, I'm going to look for another race to run in soon. Maybe this next time I will actually "race" in it instead of just trotting along. Still, it feels good to have completed it. It was also very encouraging to see the supporters out along the course - what a great group! It was a lovely day, which also helped.

I'm certainly pooped currently haha but I'm off to study for a bit! have a good week!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fun with Voice Memos: Squirrel Talk

With my amazing cell phone, I can record "voice memos" - and the fun that ensues with this feature is endless.

Today, while both working on my Comps paper and watching the Penn State game, I heard the most amazing noise coming from outside my sliding glass door. I creeped around the corner so quietly (I thought it was a bird, and I didn't want to scare it) to see the most squirrely of squirrels sitting on one of the branches of the tree nearest to our building. For about 45 seconds, I listened and watched as the squirrel continued its chirping. And then (Eureka!), I remembered that I could record the sound! I've heard many squirrels making this sound before, but usually they are chasing each other up and down and around the trees while making the sound. Today, though, this one squirrel just sat on a branch and with the magic of my phone and iMovie (and some luck in that the squirrel didn't run away)...

I bring you: Squirrel Talk (Turn the volume up!)

Note: I know my editing skills and photography are poor (to say the least haha), I will improve them both for future movies. Enjoy!

PS-If you listen closely, you can hear another squirrel chirping in the distance somewhere...long lost squirrel friends? I think so :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lonely Bananas

I have a soft spot for the bananas at the grocery that have been yanked from their cluster mates (and now they sit in a pile with all the other lonely bananas) so that people can get the "perfect" cluster amount of bananas. I see it all the time, but why does it happen? who knows...

Are the lonely bananas worse tasting than the clustered ones? doubt it.
Is it really too much for someone to take home 5 bananas rather than 4? apparently!
If so, why not pick 4 lonely bananas and leave the clusters for someone else who will take the lot?

Check out the lonesome bananas when you go grocery shopping next - you will likely see 20-30 of them in a pile just waiting to be gobbled up while their cluster mates leave. I feel like I could make up a cartoon/story about this (I'm suddenly feeling very passionate about the lonely bananas), and I'm starting to giggle about the thought of it (am picturing the lonely bananas commiserating together while the teams/clusters of bananas have a party). heehee
Note: I'm actually slightly allergic to bananas (I really can't eat them without some kind of throat itching/swelling)...but they are so good, right?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

(Positively) Freaking Out

About 3 weeks ago, it was decided that I was ready for my Comprehensive Exam.

...3 weeks later (today!), I'm starting to freak out (!) because I haven't accomplished anything really, yet I have SO much to do. I thought I was ready for this exam, but I'm feeling anything but ready - I feel doomed! I can feel the doom and gloom mounting on me as I write this (forget the dreams I've already had about this exam!).

To show you how chaotic I am currently, here is a photo of my desk today - actually to clarify, here is a photo of my desk plus the neighboring desk that I've commandeered within the past week:'s wild!

But even with the "doom and gloom" feeling, I'm going to think more positively for there are others in the World who are more legitimately in need of positive vibes and prayers. I don't mean to get heavy, but take note: 1) A family (and our campus) is currently mourning the loss of their son, a freshman student, and 2) A family is dealing with health issues after already overcoming so much. I've never met either family, yet I feel very emotionally affected by their stories. And, I feel silly for being so concerned about my Comps Exam. Deep down I know everything will be OK regarding my exam - whether I pass it now or later. And, I think it's OK that I'm worried about passing it - I just need to put this part of my life into perspective by making sure it maintains its proper (and theoretical) place in "my life hierarchy" (I don't really have a diagram of this mapped out, btw).

So...wish me many productive mornings, days, and nights preparing for my exam! It should be a doozy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Since it's been soooooooo long since I posted, I thought posting some pics of puppies would be good. These schnoodles (poodle+schnauzer mixes) were listed on's website recently:

There's more of a story about these pups, but first I have a confession - I often look for dogs to adopt. Seriously, any downtime I have between runs at the lab or while I'm eating lunch, I'm looking at dogs (while still looking at Etsy, no shame). But I always check First, I search for "poodle" and then I search for "schnauzer" (all within our local zip code). If I'm really feeling wild, though, I'll search zip codes in Ohio. After all, is where I found Grady (he was originally named Stone) whom we named after Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians. We didn't know much about Grady/Stone before we got him - we just knew where he was located and what he looked like (see his pic below!):

Before we got Grady, I had been searching for months and months to find a dog. I filled out many applications naming friends and vets as references, but most places wanted owners to have some experience with dogs since the rescue dogs may have some "issues" (I had never fully been responsible for a dog, while Hubby has but it was a few years ago). I do understand this, but it was sad for me because I really wanted to help a dog! It was also difficult for me to find a dog because I'm very allergic to dogs that shed, so I really needed one that did not shed much (even though I'm sooooo in love with Rottweilers). I grew up with a poodle named Lady who was the prettiest lady ever (see pic of me and Lady below!), so I knew I could handle poodles (and likely a poodle mix).

When I saw Grady/Stone online (listed as a poodle possibly mixed with schnauzer), I called about him immediately and the woman on the phone was very friendly. She told me that Stone was "very manly" (haha), and a great dog. We talked for a few minutes more and then we decided that I was going to come pick up Grady/Stone that week! Hubby and I drove out to New Philadelphia, Ohio, to get him (kinda close to where Hubby grew up in Kent, Ohio) - That was nearly two years ago (we got him in October 2007), and I know we really got lucky with him. He had some issues with worms for a few months when we first got him, but he kicked that eventually and has been "clean" ever since. I'm not sure why anyone would ever give him up, but I'm very thankful that we get to raise him as our little guy. Because I can't resist, here are some pics of our boy:

Grady's comforting me during my recovery.

Grady's working hard.

So...back to the 4 puppies above! Where we live, there is another schnoodle named Socrates (the owners call him Socks for short, and Hubby calls him Grady's "philosopher friend" heehee). Socks and Grady are great friends! Socks is originally from Maryland where he was found wandering the streets (He had mange and was unable to do his business easily b/c he was so dirty and uncared for - poor guy!). We usually get together on Sundays outside to let the dogs romp around for a bit...I have to get it on video because it's so cute. Socks' owners love Grady (they call him Big G heehee), and they are always telling us about how they are searching for another schnoodle to adopt.

To make an unnecessarily long story short - They are actually who told me about the schnoodles on - so I had to check them out online! Of course, Hubby and I loved them instantly. But, we know our time currently is very limited (and we still want to rescue a more needy dog), so instead I showed other people close to us in hopes that they would want one! After pining over them for a week, I showed the ad to a friend and she was smitten, too! On Friday, we made a visit to the pups and now she is going to get one! I can't reveal who the new owner is yet, but I will post a sneaky picture of them together (and maybe you can guess). :)

New owner and new schnoodle!

I hope you enjoyed the puppies, and I hope you get a dog!! :) They are the greatest companions and friends.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I'm in Media, PA!

I have a good friend from Media, PA, and I sent him a text upon arriving here saying "I'm in Media!"...his response was "haha why?".

I'm in Media, PA, at the Penn State Brandywine campus attending a workshop as part of my TESSE Fellowship responsibilities (FYI: TESSE stands for Transforming Earth System Science Education). Essentially, I serve as a content expert (along with two other grad students) on earth and space science to a suite of teachers from primarily Pennsylvania (there are also a handful of teachers from Delaware, Kentucky, Michigan, and North Carolina).

Like most things involving grad students, this fellowship is made possible through a 3-year grant (this is the final year of the grant). I was lucky to be involved with this program last school year, and I feel even more lucky to be involved with this program again this school year. The workshop itself is geared toward current and budding Earth Science teachers who are interested in enhancing/refining/developing/etc. their content knowledge and teaching practices/methods/techniques involving earth sciences. Several topics relating to earth sciences are covered during this workshop, and there are also wonderful exercises that we go through as an entire group to demonstrate some of the activities that can be implemented in their classrooms.

Some quick reminiscing of my childhood: Once upon a time, I was going to be a geologist. I had chosen this occupation when I was in 5th grade based on my love of collecting rocks. Not similarly (and more of a side note), I also loved to stand in my backyard with an umbrella while it was raining and give fake weather reports to the trees. I digress. I have loved the Earth from an early age, which carried over to my undergraduate years when I was an Earth Sciences major. So even though my current work is in energy, I still have a very strong love/interest/passion for the Earth Sciences.

While I do not consider myself an expert of Earth Sciences, I do consider myself as a great resource for the participating teachers due to my different research experiences in Earth Sciences and Energy. At some point this week, I will be paired up with a handful of the teachers and we will continue interacting throughout the school year. I had a great experience with the teachers I was paired with last year, and I am hopeful about the teachers in this group - they are a lot of fun already.

I have much more to say about the TESSE program and workshop, but I will save those for later posts as I can tell I'm beginning to ramble. BUT! I will quickly say that being around the teachers really makes me appreciate the work/desire that goes into teaching. They also have wonderful stories - both amusing and heartbreaking - about their experiences...but, you can tell that they really care about their students AND they really care about doing a good job. I love that! I am excited about the rest of the workshop!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Out West for a Bit

Hubby and I traveled to Oregon over the July 4th holiday weekend - we traveled for two reasons: 1) to attend a wedding on July 3rd for one of my best guy friends ever, and 2) to spend some time together away from work, PA, and our apt (sadly, that also meant our little Grady Bones, too). I had it planned that we'd spend the first night away in Portland then travel to Bend, OR, for 3 nights, and then the last two nights were up in the air (we weren't sure if we wanted to spend more time in Portland or try to make a run for the coast). I tried to highlight some of our travels here (if you'd like to read about it).

Per usual Bran and Mere fashion, our first night was kind of a bust as we weren't really prepared for what to do or see in Portland. Once we settled into the hotel and got cleaned up, we wandered the streets of the city in search of food (we're almost always driven by food in our travels). I like to try places that are popular with the local people, so we asked around and no one really suggested anything exciting except the food carts (that were in the process of closing down booo). Armed with iPhones, we did the best we could to find something to eat (damn you semi-fancy hotel for charging $17.95 a night for wifi, while I can get free wi-fi at the cheapie hotels!). side note: Thank goodness for our phones! They were such a great help with food suggestions (thanks to the nifty Apps available) and with map directions (although, my interpretation of those directions is less than desired...).

The next day was much more exciting as we made a stop at Peet's Coffee & Tea and Voodoo Doughnut before driving to Bend. The coffee was deliciously strong, and the doughnuts were more than delicious.

There was this humorous "sign" on one of the buildings nearby.

We also walked around the Riverfront Area (Willamette River) and observed the locals. There was a nice fountain called Salmon Street Springs where the kids gravitated to (makes sense due to the 90 degree weather).

Perhaps the only photo of me during our travels :) (note to self: get Bran his own camera!)

The drive to Bend was GORGEOUS. The first 45 min of it was mostly driving through strip mall areas, but eventually we were out of the city (and its borough areas)...and we were out in the open where there were mountains and hills and nature! Here's just a few shots during the drive from Portland to the high desert of Bend!

Along the way, as the elevation increased, you could see the noticeable difference in the amount of trees alongside the road. This is partly due to the low amount of rainfall (normal for the high desert), but I hear it's also due to an out of control infestation of bark beetles. You could see many MANY dead trees. These beetles aren't invasive, but they are thriving more than ever due to the unfavorable changes in climate over the past 20 years (if you believe there have been changes in temps). The winters aren't getting cold enough to kill them off each year so they are multiplying in record numbers and killing off the trees instead. :( I'm not sure if I have this issue completely understood, but it's definitely something I'll look into when I have more time.

We finally reach the Hillside B&B in Bend (our destination for the next three nights) where we meet our Innkeeper Annie. She was great, and her house was beautiful!

We stayed on the second floor in our own suite.

We did a quick clean up and change, and then we were off to one of the outdoor pavilions within Sunriver Resort for a "Wedding Celebration Grill/BBQ" (aka casual rehearsal dinner for every guest). Sunriver, OR, is about 30 min from Bend, and it's pretty much an all inclusive "resort". The majority of the wedding party and the guests stayed in Sunriver, but I found it too expensive for our short stay. So with the 30 minute drive, we had to be extra on time to make sure we weren't late for the events. The BBQ, though, was fantastic - amazing food (I can only describe my meal as a mix of bruschetta and tri tip beef with grilled veggies) and an entertaining cornhole tournament. It was also good to see some of my old acquaintances from Ohio there. We stayed out late with other guests and part of the wedding party, which was also a good time. Bran got his poker fix in, and I got to know some of the groom's friends better (those that are not from our high school).

The next morning we went white water rafting on the Deschutes River, and it was such a great time! We did a trip called the Big Eddy thriller, and it left us wanting more. I don't have any pictures, unfortunately, but I can tell you that I swallowed a lot of water and got a lot in my eyes. BUT I did not fall out of the raft or hit anyone with my paddle. :) We then had lunch at The Trout House, which is a little restaurant in Sunriver that's situated right by one of the marinas on the Deschutes River. As we ate lunch by the windows overlooking the river, we watched countless numbers of people (and dogs) launch their boats, kayaks, canoes, inner tubes, etc., to float down the river. Food was OK but the view was quite lovely, actually.

The wedding was this same day in the evening at 5pm. The ceremony was outside and Mt. Bachelor was seen in the background. It was truly picturesque. Here are some pics from after the ceremony.

The wedding party:

Two well-dressed sillies:

This is the interior of the Great Lodge (aka Camp Abbot) where the reception took place. I'm sure my photo will not do it justice, but just know that it is a beautiful building with a lot of very interesting history.

There was much fooding, dancing, drinking, and reminiscing during the reception. Aside from my own wedding reception, it was the most fun I've had at a wedding. This was also honestly the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended. The colors, scenery, people, bride's gown, location, and reception (plus so many other things), meshed so well together.

The next day was July 4th and I had planned for us to go kayaking in the afternoon. We got picked up in Bend upon which we were driven up to Cultus Lake that's located in the Cascades. We were joined by a family of four and a couple. They were all a lot of fun, and I think we were all newbies at it. The kayaks were 2 seaters, so it was interesting (and often hilarious) for Bran and I to get the timing and motion of the paddling just right. This excursion was supposed to include a tour around the lake with stories from our guide about the area, but we only got to hear one story due to thunder being in the area. When the guide finished his story about NASA astronauts from the 1960s training on the volcanoes in the area (they thought the terrain may be similar to the moon's terrain), we quickly paddled to the shore and waited for 15 minutes to see if we heard thunder again. If we didn't, then we'd venture back out onto the lake. Luckily, there was no more thunder! So we got to spend a few more minutes on the lake, but we didn't get to hear anymore stories :( Still it was a good time, and I think it was a good activity for Bran and me. We'll definitely be looking into doing more kayaking in the future. Here are some photos of our kayaking adventure:

Hubby before we left the beach:

The only pic I managed to take while on the lake:

Two sillies during the thunder waiting period:

We stopped for a swim in this part of the lake:

The water was chilly, but not unbearable. It was a really good time!

To celebrate July 4th, we met much of the wedding guests at Les Schwab Amphitheater to watch the fireworks get set off from Pilot Butte. Apparently, with it being the high desert, the Butte always catches on fire. We heard many of the locals joking about this, and we actually got to witness it as well. Since it happens often, the fire department was ready for it and they got the fire under control within 30 seconds. The fireworks were OK (not as impressive as Columbus' or State College's), but fireworks are always fun. It was also good to see some of the wedding guests again along with the bride and groom.

We decided to go back to Portland for our last two nights. Again, the drive between Bend and Portland is AMAZING!

I have always thought that driving through Pennsylvania is really beautiful (and it still is), but Oregon is pretty impressive. After checking into our hotel in the city, we headed to the Safeway sponsored Waterfront Blues Festival. The purpose of the five day festival was to get food and monetary donations to support Oregon's food banks (we donated four cans of tuna!). I knew this festival was going on before we left for Oregon, and I got lucky that two acts were playing that Sunday night (the last night of the festival) that I REALLY wanted to see: Ryan Shaw and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings.

This is Ryan Shaw:

Two sillies in between performances:

The one and only Sharon Jones and her band:

I had such a great time seeing them! I still can't believe I actually got to see them perform. I wish we could have seen acts from earlier in the day (and earlier in the week). There was also lots of good looking and smelling food (we ate before we got there...silly us!). Afterwards, we got beer, more food, and dessert at McMenamins Market Street Pub. It definitely was a local joint - very laid back and homey. I wish we could have visited it again the next day.

Our last day in Portland consisted of more fooding at Sugar Mamas' (sooooooo good) and then an afternoon at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).

We saw Bugs!: A Rainforest Experience at the IMAX theater, and then visited the rest of the museum. It's very similar to one of my favorite museums in Columbus called Center of Science and Industry (COSI). It's essentially a hands-on science center geared toward kids and families yet it can still be enjoyed by much older "kids" like us. I think we could have spent a full day there instead of an afternoon.

A pic with OMSI's submarine! (unfortunately, we didn't get to tour it)

Bran took a particular interest in all of the brainteasers spread out within the center.

View of the city from back of OMSI.

Two sillies outside OMSI:

We concluded our day with delicious burritos from Taqueria Los Gorditos...the tastiest in Portland! I found out about this place from a blog - too funny!

With that, we ended our night early due to our 6:45am flight the next day back to the real world. If you're still reading this, then you're a champ! Overall, we had a great time in Portland and Bend - we'll definitely try to visit again in the future. Maybe you can come with us :)

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back in Town

I was away the past 7 days for a much needed vacation/getaway with my hubby...we were actually attending a wedding in Sunriver, OR, but we decided to squeeze in some vacation activities while we were all the way out west. I promise to write about most of our adventures :) but for now I'm off to bedness.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Energy Camp

Last week I worked at PSU's first Science-U Energy Crew Summer Camp (aka Energy Camp).

It was five days of energy topics/activities/tours for students entering grades 5-8. I knew going into it that it would require lots and LOTS of energy, so I made sure to get extra sleep the weekend before it started (which definitely helped). I could tell you about the whole week, but I'll just touch on some highlights. If you don't want to read the highlights :) then at least check out some of the photos from the week here.

We went on a tour of the Nuclear Reactor on campus, which I've never even been to (totally surprising since it's literally feet from my office building!). What a cool place! They did some background stuff for the campers about the purpose of the facility and also about how it works. Then they took us to where the reactor's housed and let us watch it as they "pulsed" it. We got to see the distinct blue glow that occurs as a result of the pulse, which I hear is something that many people don't get to see first hand. I REALLY liked that tour.

We got to see PSU's house that's being built for the Solar Decathlon, which many of the campers enjoyed. One of the students working on the site gave us a great tour, and he explained all of the energy efficient aspects of the house including some of the special technologies that PSU's installing that other schools participating in the competition are not. Several of the campers had great questions, and I think they could have spent days at the site if time allowed.

The students also shot, edited, and presented, their own videos of public service announcements advertising different energy options. These videos were so good...I'll post a link to them when I have it. They had some really creative ideas on presenting the material, and they are so smart! I believe that the future looks good :)

We did a lot of hands on activities (e.g., lemon batteries, solar cars, fuel cell cars, making ethanol, etc.), which I think the students enjoyed. I'm sure, though, that their most favorite part of camp was eating in the Pollock dining commons, going to the outdoor pool, and going to the creamery :)

Two other cool things about the camp were that there was a journalist and videographer at almost every activity so that the campers would have some documentation/video of their camp experience. Each morning the journalist had a newsletter that was designed to look like a newspaper that highlighted the events from the previous day. The videographer also made a great video (to be linked soon) that chronicled their entire week...I think the campers and parents really enjoyed that.

I think the camp was a success for the first time it was ever run! If you are are some photos from the week: Energy Camp Photos

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Day!

Today is my 2 year wedding anniversary! Hooray! I truly loved every part of my wedding and thought the overall day was great and stress free (at least, I think it was)...ahhh...but if I knew then, what I know now I would have definitely utilized Etsy more (I would have still married the same guy heehee). If you have never checked Etsy out, then quickly click and explore all the fun items you can buy there. You will honestly be so pleasantly surprised at all the coolio stuff you can buy that's handmade! They also have a lot of fun vintage stuff, too. Hint hint: buy me some pyrex!

It's no surprise, though, that I didn't utilize Etsy more because I really didn't get into the site until after my honeymoon. During our trip in Hawaii, my hubby and I stopped at a little market that had a lot of generic, tchotchke crap. BUT it also featured a few local of which sold me an awesome ring. She gave me her card, which had her etsy site on it...and upon returning to the mainland, I checked her shop site out (along with the rest of Etsy) and I was hooked with all things Etsy! Since then, I have bought many items for myself and others including shirts, jewelry, baby gifts, holiday cards, birthday cards, dresses, bags, holiday decorations, laptop accessories, etc., etc.!!! It's become a joke w/ me and Melly Rae - she'll see me wearing or using something new that I got from Etsy, and she really doesn't even ask anymore where I got it. Any free second I get, I check the homepage out just to see what items are featured...I'm totally addicted. Not so much to spending money on the site (although, after tallying up what I've spent as a whole I'm beginning to wonder about that), but more addicted to "window shopping". I said originally, I think it would have been fun if I could have incorporated some Etsy into my wedding. I did have a really good friend make all of the jewelry for me, my bridesmaids, my mom, and my Mother-in-Law (so that's definitely along the lines of Etsy). I also had an awesome printer/designer create my invitations. But maybe I could have used these wild birdseed favors or these wildflower seed favors. My bridesmaids could have worn dresses from Ureshii or Miss Brache. I could have danced atop one of these tables...kidding, of course! I think you get the idea...

There's much more to life (and relationships/marriage, whichever you like) than having a "great wedding", I know...I really thought of it as a big party where we celebrated our relationship. For my next big party (ahem, PhD graduation?), though, I'll definitely be incorporating some Etsy stuff into it! I'll let you know when you can mark your calendars for that special occasion :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

11 baby ducks rescued

thought this was a good story to share on a Friday :)

see story here:  OPP saves ducklings!

happy Friday!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I want a (fake) beard!

It's no secret - I love beards.  See T-shirt evidence below (T-shirt and photo courtesy of melly rae):

I don't want to be a bearded lady...I just want a fake one.  So it's no surprise that I found this etsy shop a long time ago:  I Made You a Beard.  I show it to B every now and then, and I tell him that I'm getting one in dark brown (like my hair color), lumberjack style.  He insists that I will not.  I mostly wanted one for the long walks to the BJC to get my car in the winter.  I thought it would look much more stylish than a scarf.  But since I wasn't driving around at all during the winter (let alone walking), I never got one.  But my love for the beard hasn't died.  Perhaps, I will still get one.    

I hope you get one for yourself (or me!)  :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My 2+ seconds of fame!

my officemate just showed me this video:

look at 1:11 (don't blink, or you'll miss it!)  :)  

it's my video debut (in an uncredited, non-speaking role)  haha

Monday, April 27, 2009

Waste of Space (temporarily)

I am realizing today that I have been a waste of space:
  1. I haven't accomplished much this semester (if anything) regarding research.  
  2. I did manage to take two classes but eventually dropped one of them due to bizarre issues.
  3. I started a blog (heehee).
  4. I don't respond to emails in a timely manner.
  5. I have been forgetting important deadlines and am having to give lame-o excuses to compensate for being such a chump.
I'm sure there are others not listed, but I'm telling you this b/c it stops today! Everybody is somebody, and right now I'm nobody...and the realization stinks. I'm not depressed, so no worries :) I'm just really seeing that I'm in a research slump (and have been in one since the new year), and I need to snap out of it...or I'll never EVER graduate (and we can't have that)  :), I'm going to think about how to improve my situation and get back to you in a bit 

PS-it's so hot out today, that I'm actually wearing shorts in public

Monday, April 20, 2009

Paranormal Desktop Computer

As I watch "Paranormal State" on A&E, I'm reminded of my paranormal desktop computer incident from today...

I've killed computers before with my strange electric touch, so it was no surprise that the desktop computer at my office wasn't turning on today.  I pushed the power button at least 15 times to try and turn it on, wiggled the computer cords, held the button in just in case it was in sleep mode...but nothing worked.  It's been on the fritz for a while now - literally taking at least 10 minutes to completely boot up, slow as a tortoise when any program is executed, known to moan every now and then - so I thought to myself "well, it's finally died".  I accepted it's sad fate, said some silent thoughts to myself about the desktop (e.g., "you've been good to me), and then I pulled out my laptop so I could begin checking my email and finishing a project.  I even started an email to send to our computer support person to tell him that my computer has died so he could come haul it away.  I got sidetracked and never sent the email (it's still in my draft folder!).  Then...maybe 4 hours later, the desktop computer turns itself on!  I looked around to see if it was a joke someone played on me, but no one was around!  too strange!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Moose and Ice Do Not Mix

Nari sent me this story about a moose getting stuck in some soft ice on a lake in Washington. Fortunately, firefighters were able to successfully save the poor moose!

Here is the amazing story: Dramatic moose rescue caught on tape | NECN (Thanks, Nari!!)

This proves that moose and ice do not mix :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Sound of Silence

I heard a cover of "The Sound of Silence" (originally by Simon and Garfunkel) yesterday, and it made me think about my idiosyncrasies involving silence.  Sometimes I crave absolute silence (e.g., when I'm trying to sleep), and sometimes I can't stand silence (e.g., anytime I'm writing).  

I am that person that cannot fall asleep when there is a leaky faucet or when there is a clock ticking.  I can't even sleep when I hear someone else breathing while they are sleeping - it makes me crazy!  Sometimes I'll sleep with earplugs, but they make the inside of my ears itch.   We have an oscillating fan in our bedroom that acts as white noise for me (for B, he needs it because "(he) gets hot in (his) sleep").  I remember being annoyed by the fan on several occasions when we've set it so it wouldn't oscillate (you just push a button).  I get annoyed because even though it isn't rotating anymore, the motor in the fan still makes a sound like it is oscillating.  You can hear it change (well, maybe only I can with my superhuman hearing), and I can't take it!   I have a special way of dealing with this - aggressively moving the head of the fan around to stop the motor from trying to oscillate (I'm positive it helps).  I have it "set" now so that you can't hear the motor...I just have to make sure B doesn't touch it :)  (and he doesn't) :)

I really think silence is deafening when I'm working on a paper.  When I really need to crank something out in a 4-6 hours, I usually play a movie on my DVD player while working.  This can't be just any has to be a movie that I've seen thousands of times.  When I was an undergrad, those movies were "You've Got Mail" or "Step Mom" (heehee).  I don't have copies of either of them anymore, so currently it's any one of the following: "The Fugitive" (haha), "Bridget Jones's Diary", "Center Stage", "The Long Kiss Goodnight", or "Baby Boom".  Strange variety, I know.  But, it's amazing how much work I get through when I have those movies playing.  When I'm working at the office, my productivity really spikes when I listen to Justin Timberlake or Ladytron.  Two very different genres of music, yet I can work like no other when I'm listening to them.  I'm really no different than I was 10-15 years ago...I was always studying and/or doing homework while watching TV or listening to my CD player.  Old habits never die, I guess (or do they die hard?).

I do wish I wasn't still so addicted to TV...maybe next year I'll give it up for Lent...we shall see :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Scarred for Life

As a result of my recent accident, I now have two scars on the inside and outside of my left leg.  They are significant sizes - the scar on the inside of my leg is about 4" long, while the scar on the outside of my leg is about 8" long (keep in mind they are holding some good stuff inside like a sizable amount of surgical steel and screws).  I know people are in awe of my scars, and I'm not sure why.  I know they are not envious of my scars.  I know they wish the scars never even existed.  But, I also know that people love gore.  I think they just can't help looking at (and in some cases touching) the scars.  I find it amusing, and it's easy for me to talk about with people.  

I have had several people suggest different products that can be used to help conceal or lessen the scars.  While I appreciate the suggestions, I simply reply by generally saying "Thanks, but I like my scars the way they are".  I could try to say something philosophical about my scars (e.g., I look at them as a reminder of how unpredictable life is), but I don't think that's necessary or completely true.  The truth for me is that I don't want to hide them, because I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of them.  When I tell people this, they look at me like I'm foolish for not wanting to treat them.  Perhaps, they have had traumatizing experiences that resulted in scars (I hope not!) or maybe they just think my scars are ugly.  I don't ask.  But for my personal situation, I am indifferent to the appearances of my scars.  If they look better later in life - great!  If they look the same or worse later in life - fine!  I don't think the appearances of my scars will affect my confidence or my everyday attitude.  I won't forget how I got them, but I won't dwell on it either.  I'm just happy to be (generally) healthy again - scars and all.  


Friday, March 27, 2009

I can walk!

OK...I've actually been able to walk on both of my feet for a few weeks now with the aid of my walking cast (aka das boot).  But today I'm going to attempt walking without das boot for the entire day.  This may sound like a small feat to you, but it's not so much to me.  I'm a very active and independent person, and this injury was very difficult for me in that I really needed all the help I could get.  Of course, I will take your help if/when I need it (I was so very fortunate to have my family come to help me along with my great friend, MR, and my hubby that all helped me with all the simple tasks while I was laid up for 6 weeks), but I prefer to accomplish small everyday tasks on my own.  Something as simple as taking my dog out was pretty much unfeasible when I was hobbling on crutches and one leg.  So it's pretty exciting to be able to literally stand on my own two feet and get shit done, whether it's taking my dog out, going to the post office, or picking up some groceries.  I suppose working on research fits in there, too...  

Well, I've already taken my dog out twice now without das boot, and it's been great!  I feel like I can hear "born free" playing as I step out into the sun with my dog in tow.  Soon, I'll even be able to run again...but for now, I'll settle for the "cool walk" (as passed down from my dad).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I don't really have a purpose to this just provides a place for me to yap about crap (contrary to only thinking about crap).  Lucky you.

Actually...I was recently injured, and I really feel like a different person now that I'm getting more mobile again.  So much, that I got a new haircut and will probably shower every day.  I think this space will help me find my way to being an even better person (that's right, I thought I was a good person before).

This small blog is just one part of my purple life...