Saturday, December 31, 2005

more snow days

I've taken the last two days off work to entertain my mom and brother but then we got another big snowstorm so it sort of turned into two more snow days. It was the very pretty heavy wet stuff that settles in the trees and all over and isn't too cold to enjoy. We've seen some excellent looking snowmen including one with at least seven body segments instead of the usual three. My mom and I did another round of hot yoga in which I almost passed out (seriously, I was seeing stars) and I guess I like that because we're hoping to go again tomorrow. Tonight, for New Years, my Studly Hubby is planning to make us Indian Tacos with buffalo meat and we're going to get totally drunk and streak up and down the block naked. Sometimes, we can see the fireworks from our block too.

And for the breaking news: we busted open a jigsaw puzzle this week and have been working on it vigorously. I forgot how much fun jigsaw puzzles are. Almost as much fun as online boggle. My Studly Hubby refuses to work on it because I believe he is morally opposed to jigsaw puzzles (and perhaps all games) but I think if we work him enough we might make a major breakthrough. Therapy may help too. Good thing my mom is a therapist. And speaking of Boggle, I got it for Christmas and we played a few aggressive rounds before busting open the jigsaw puzzle. Aaaahh, life is good with boggle and jigsaw puzzles.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Back in Black

We got back later than we wanted to last night and I went immediately to bed, so didn't have time to post about all my holiday adventures. Our holiday adventures were mostly family-related, with a little bit of mother-daughter hot yoga thrown in. Later this week my mom and brother will be coming up to Mpls to visit us and there will be more mother-daughter hot yoga, as well as mother-daughter spin (taught by the daughter) and mother-daughter shopping.

The holidays were a bit tough on me this year - I think because I went into them sick. I also felt pretty sick coming out of them but I'm hoping it was just allergies and nothing more serious. About ten cankersores found residence in my mouth also which will make it difficult to eat all the yummy leftovers.

Time for the dreadful part of vacations - going back to work. Wish me luck everybody!!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

sicky

we've been passing around some kind of intestinal thing at work and i finally got it today. It's a quicky, and pretty mild, and so far it's just stomach cramps (and only bad when I stand up) so I'm just hanging out in bed today playing some boggle, watching some movies, drinking some tea, and and blogging. Who could ask for a better day, really? My studly hubby was very well trained in dealing with sick loved ones (thanks to his studly mummy) and got me set up all nice with everything I'll need all day (except a bed pan, so i do have to get up every once in a while).

If I get any worse I'll blame it on the crack addicts that stole our stereo and bikes. Or maybe hot yoga. But for now, I'm having a pretty good day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

return to the hot yoga

I went to hot yoga last night, again. I hated every second of it but somehow found myself purchasing a ten-pack class package on my way ou the door. This time, the class was slightly more familiar so I had some time to look around at my classmates. There are several things about this class that definitely set it apart from the average aerobics class at your average YWCA (or YMCA as the case may be). First off, it's in Uptown. Everyone in uptown is ripped, has huge boobs, loves pain, and is not afraid to flaunt what they've got. So they all show up to this class wearing one square inch of lycra, and bend into each pose impossibly, and bust out of their lycra impressively, and it's so hot it all seems a bit surreal. And then there was the guy in front of me with the big silver underpants. From the neck up, he looked like the CEO of TCF bank, but underneath there was a lot of hair and skin and underpants. And every time I looked up at the mirror in front of me, I saw the big silver underpants. And eventually there was a steady stream of sweat flowing down from this guy's underpants, and the whole thing seemed a bit impossible.

And now I must go back because I've committed to at least ten more classes.

Underpants!

return of the crack addicts

The crack addicts have returned to our block, this time to break into my Studly Hubby's Studly Car and steal his Studly stereo. When a man gets his stereo stolen it's really bad news, and we were definitely pissed off this time. I called our landlord and yelled at him for a while, even though it was by no stretch his fault, then I felt bad and apologized and my studly hubby took over and yelled for a while. Then we took the car back to the Studly Mechanic, its second home, and went out with our other car (the one we're so glad we fixed now, which was happy not to be at the mechanic this time) and bought two Clubs. After an hour sitting in the car looking at the directions, we finally figured out how the Club works, and now the car is sitting happily secured back outside. My Studly Hubby is checking on it every few minutes to be sure it's safe.

We may start a crack addict donation box. This is the money that we get every time a crack addict wanders by and takes some of our stuff or wrecks something expensive. We might just get rich with a scheme like that.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sunday, December 18, 2005

recover

I made a big movie come-back from my horrifying previous experience (see below post) with the all-time great movie Elf with Will Ferrell. I highly recommend the soundtrack too. It's weird though, the last time we watched this movie was this time last year (and I think it's going to become an annual tradition) but it feels like it was much more recent than that. You know how all parents force their kids to watch some Christmas movie over and over, year after year? I think that's going to be Elf for us. Now we just need to catch us some kids to torture...

My Studly Hubby and I made a huge couple-committment. This is big for us. Generally we keep our finances separate because we're too distracted to keep track of each other's stuff. But my Studly Hubby found a pretty good credit card that sends him Best Buy and Amazon gift cards every once in a while, and I wanted in on it, so I asked him to order me a credit card on his same account. Then I realized, this is pretty neato... I spend the money, and my Studly Hubby pays the bill. So I went ahead and bought myself some expensive jewelry, a whole new wardrobe, lavish presents for everyone I know, and a new Porsche. I think this relationship is just getting better and better.

blow

Let me tell you about a movie that really blows. Mr. and Mrs. Smith. This movie blew so bad it made me angry, I think because I was really hoping for better. Maybe that's my problem, but I want to complain about it anyway. I think I was also mad because normally I totally dig secret-spy movies, like True Lies and the Long Kiss Goodnight. Let me give you some specifics, so that you don't fall into the same trap I did.

The plot blew.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were uber-hot, but they blew.
Seth from the OC was in it, and his acting skills really blew, plus the reason why he was in it blew.
The beginning blew.
The middle blew.
The end had a good shoot-out scene with no real purpose or explanation, and also blew.

I really hope none of you are in the unfortunate position of having to watch this movie. If you are, I recommend you buy yourself some mint chocolate M&Ms. They're so good they're like crack and they will get you through anything.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

double-duty

I got conned into pulling double-duty at the YWCA yesterday - I taught my usual spin and stretch class Friday at the butt-crack of dawn, then later that night I taught the cycle to the movies class. We watched Millions, which was quite a good movie. About halfway through the movie my rear started aching from so much active duty and so I got off the bike and pretended to stretch for most of the rest of the movie. It's good though to get paid to watch a movie.

Today we took the train to the Mall of America. Normally this time of year we avoid that place like the plague but we had to go watch a friend play in a quartet in the Macy's courtyard. They were very good and it was a lot of fun. There were also some other good perks: we got a little more shopping done (almost there!), we saw some LIVE models at Abercrombie and Fitch (oh my!), I had some Taco Bell (always good), saw some friends (except the ones that went MIA), and it kept me away from my new addiction, online boggle (website withheld due to dangerousness of the addiction).

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

SNOW DAY!!!

We got about 8 feet of snow today with more coming so my Studly Hubby did the thing a Studly Hubby should do in a situation like this and took a few hours off so we could go SKIING. Except, we realized on the way home that the warm weather was makng the snow awfully sticky and skiing may be more hard work than fun. So, we thought we'd go ICE SKATING instead. But then we learned that the neighborhood ice skating rink hadn't been cleared yet of the 8 feet of snow (and one lone guy was working on it so it would probably be several weeks). So we gave up and went running in the snow, then drove to the local fancy grocery store and bought banana cream pie and sushi and a muffin. And THAT was super fun. And my Studly Hubby pushed me on a swing which was also super fun. And then we watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which was better than I thought it would be (but wouldn't have been without the banana cream pie and sushi and muffin). Mmmmm all that chocolate is going to distract me for at least a week...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Paris Hilton as... the new Santa?

I'm almost afraid to post this, but it can't go without posting...

Joe Moretti of Cranston, RI, has built a Christmas display around Paris Hilton with 38,000 lights (most of which are pink) and giant 8-ft tall pictures of the gal. Is this modern art, or just a weird form of Santa-bashing? It got him on CNN anyway.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Beautiful Ring for a Beautiful Gal

Engagement announcement!

A good friend of mine from high school dragged home a boy I know from the same high school sometime after high school and managed to con him into proposing to her last week. He's a good boy, from the same stock as my Studly Hubby (went to the same elementary school). The boy further proved his worth when he had my Studly Hubby's studly jeweler parents make a custom ring for her that's almost as cool as the one they made for me. Way to go girlfriend!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Quest for Hot Yoga

I considered going on a quest for the Holy Grail, but chose to go on a more attainable quest considering I live in the Twin Cities.

It turned out to be harder than i thought it would be.

There was a hot yoga class at CorePower Yoga in downtown Minneapolis (the side closest to where I live) at 9 am today. I thought, okee dokee, traffic shouldn't be too bad downtown on a Sunday morning, neither should parking, plus they have a sweet student discount. I was wrong about everything but the student discount (actually I never found out about the discount). Even though the place is less than 2 miles from my apartment, it took me almost 20 minutes to get over there because every block has a light and every light was red. When I did get there it took another ten minutes to go around the block to look for parking because every street was an inconvenient 1-way. It turns out the studio has no parking that I could find, and thanks to a stupid vikings game all the ramps and lots were $20 event parking. All that left was the meters, which are short term and more expensive than I had quarters.

Angrily, I drove back home, which only took 5 minutes because all the lights were green.

So the next class opportunity was at 10 am in Uptown at the Bikram Studio of India. This place supposedly heats their studio up to 115F and was a heck-of-a-lot more expensive, plus it was almost 6 miles away in a part of town with dubious parking, constantly horrible traffic, and a known population of uppity snobs (I think that's why it's called Uptown).

Anyways, it turns out I can take the freeway to this place so it only took 10 minutes, and it had its own parking lot (although I drove past the place three or four times because the sign was too small to see from the street). It was still super-expensive, but they had some nice amenities like rentable everything, lockers, a sun light in the ladies locker room (whoa!), and two extra teachers that were there to help the new people (that's me!). Plus it turns out the studio is actually only 105F (phew!).

The teacher for that class was a rather militant dude that ripped me into a horseback riding clinic flashback (clinics were done by this crazy screaming german lady). He barked all the orders, constantly came around and yelled at you to try harder, got mad at anybody who talked, and gave almost no water breaks or other kinds of breaks. Some of the things he said were uncannily similar to the wise words of my old riding teachers: chin up, look straight ahead or look where you want your body to go, heels down (or in yoga it gets slightly more complicated, heels may be up, or one heel down and the other up, etc). By the time it was over my hair was completely soaked with sweat (and I have a lot of hair), my clothes could have been wrung out, I stank like a pig, and I could hardly see straight. Now that's a good workout.

Post by request: Dandy Warhols detailed review

It appears some of you are Dandy Warhols fans and are demanding more details on the concert we went to Wednesday night. I didn't have time till now to do this, and it's already fading fast, so i'm going to expunge as much as I can before I completely forget where I went or who I am. I'm going to do it reviewer-style with some upsides and downsides. Don't get me wrong, I loved the show, but I feel it's my obligation to describe the whole deal.

upsides:
- they are super energetic in their music and made you want to dance
- they played almost all of our favorite songs
- the set was very long, at least an hour and a half
- Zia played with the opening band a little bit, causing quite the ruckus
- 1st ave club is a great place for a show, they played the movie "hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy" while we were waiting for the bands to come on
- they were surprisingly professional and very very good musicians.
- They also altered quite a few of the songs a little demonstrating a rare breed of versatility and skill and making it more interesting
- the audience was full of grungy young people wearing pretty entertaining and trendy outfits, it was definitely good for people watching
- the place was packed (I dunno if this is good or bad but I guess it's good for them). The floor was smashed full of people all the way to the back wall and you could hardly walk around upstairs, although we didn't have too much trouble getting a good spot for viewing the band (most everybody was on the floor and we stayed upstairs).

downsides:
- they had a strobe light facing the audience for a few songs, i hate when they do that because it gives me a headache - cool effect for them, not so cool for the audience
- A few of the songs went on and on and on with just instrumentals and not much change, we didn't mind so much the first time but they did it at least once more and it got old.
- Zia didn't take her shirt off
- The lead singer, Courtney Taylor-Taylor, wasn't incredibly interactive with the audience, he rarely spoke or made eye contact. He had a few cool dance moves and sang really well and had a cool outfit on though.
- They didn't start playing till 10:30 and we didn't get home till 1:00 am, and then had to get up at 7 am to go to work (ugh). Why don't bands ever play earlier on weeknights?

So overall it was super-great and we had a good time. I even had a few beers, since they claim (on their website) that they're a good band for listening to while drinking beer (they are). I think the Dandy Warhols are on the up-and-up, and I'm thrilled I got to see them at such a great venue.

PS There's an Andy Warhol exhibit at the Walker Art Museum in Mpls going on right now and I got to see it Friday night, it's pretty cool although some of his work is rather traumatizing since he liked to use death and destruction as his focus sometimes. So this week had a consistent theme - Dandy Warhols on Wed night and Andy Warhol on Friday night, although the themes are somewhat unrelated I suppose.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Dandy Warhols

For those of you who like to live vicariously through me, I'm about to go to a Dandy Warhols concert at the 1st Ave club in downtown Minneapolis. So get ready!

I'm going to get home late tonight, and I'll probably be distracted by my adventures, so you probably won't get a post about it until tomorrow night or even later. So right now, I'm going to give you a pre-review of the show (where I guess what the show was like and give you a review of it before I even go there):

The Dandy Warhols show was super-great! I got backstage tickets because I'm so hot and I met the whole band and they even let me play onstage with them during the concert. I was so freaking awesome that they decided to pay me to join up with them on their tour. They said it was because I'm musically talented but I think it was because I'm hot, so I felt a little under-appreciated so turned them down. I don't want to be valued for my good looks, I want to be valued for my extremely impressive musical talents. My Studly Hubby was enraged however that he didn't get invited backstage so he started a big fight in the mosh pit and ended up getting hauled out by security. That's when I left the stage, went out to find him, and we left to go hunt vampires with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Oh wait, that last part can't be true because Buffy is a fictional character.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bring the Pain

My friend, mwz, starting up an intense swimming regimen recently and writes,

>I haven't been using goggles. By the end of my drive home, I was fighting to keep my >eyes open. I couldn't work because I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to read >anything. After about an hour of laying around with my eyes closed, my wife went and >got some eye drops.

I know it's tough, my friend, but it'll pay off. Next time, as you're driving off the road with bloodshot eyes and your legs are too sore from hard training to brake properly, just start screaming BRING THE PAIN and maybe it'll get better. Or at least, more interesting. Then give us a full report.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Neon Green Frosting and Cotton Snow

My Studly Hubby made Christmas cookies last night and frosted them with neon green frosting with red sprinkles. He made all sorts of shapes with his 100-cutter set, including stars, circles, diamonds, little people, a 'J' (for J-Funk!), a volkswagen beetle, an ambulance, snowmen, hearts and more. I'm having a heart right now in fact. Neon green frosting is so much better than white.

It has become freeze-your-nose-hairs cold up here in the wild north country. The high today was 9 degrees, our windows are covered with thick frost, the car must be warmed before driven, and the snow is light and fluffy and stays on the ground for days (not good for snowmen-building). Meanwhile the Minnesota natives are still running and biking outside as usual. A friend of mine that's training for a marathon ran for 2 1/2 hrs yesterday until she thought her fingers were frostbitten, then stopped only because it was getting dark (it starts getting dark at about 4:15 by the way).

Me, I run at the gym, I get a ride to school from my Studly Hubby, and at night I put on several layers, drink hot tea, snuggle under a down comforter, and read a book about the tropics until my brain becomes convinced it's still summer.

But I do have some cross-country skiis in the closet, and oh boy, that's one thing that'll draw me out into the cold... but not until it gets back up to 20... at least...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Minnesota Winter and Killer Squirrels

I'll start with the killer squirrels. According to BBC news, a pack of black squirrels in Russia attacked and killed a dog as reported by three witnesses. Apparently they all swooped down out of a tree at once like an army of organized soldiers, and within a matter of seconds had killed the dog and scattered away with pieces of it. Did long-term starvation help these squirrels evolve into being capable of organized crime? Or is the media just getting bored? Or were the three witnesses all smoking crack? I'm voting for some combination of the three. (PS - the pic is of a viscious Brooklyn squirrel, a regular visitor of William Chubsucker Levin, who may be capable of such behavior herself, although he blames it on the squirrel supposedly being pregnant).

Speaking of doubtful journalism, I just want to make note of a recent article about Hurricane Katrina, They Shoot Helicopters, Don't They? How journalists spread rumors during Katrina by Matt Welch. The article cites many false claims during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, including the body count (10,000 originally reported, 900 actually died), the violence in the metrodome (only one slain victim was found in the two buildings, only 10 bodies total), and the supposed helicopter shootings (never verified). Don't get me wrong, it was a tragedy beyond comprehension, and the information vacuum and outcry for help during the aftermath of Katrina makes these false reports somewhat understandable. My point is, the media doesn't always know what's going on, and when they are wrong they don't always make a huge effort to correct themselves. I've become increasingly careful about forming opinions based on reports from the media. I'm starting to feel like if I'm not there to witness it myself, there's no way to really know the truth.

With that, I'll change to my second topic: IT'S WINTER HERE!! It's been below freezing for at least a week, we've had some good clean white stuff on the ground and falling from the sky, and today it's very sunny and beautiful out. Finally, my last year here, we have an honest-to-goodness Minnesota winter. Time to pull out the skiis and the ice skates!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Journal Club


I'm supposed to be working on a Journal Club presentation for work that I'm giving Monday, so naturally I spent the afternoon writing emails, catching up on my hollywood gossip, and updating my current events knowledge. In doing so, I found this super neat-o picture of a lava waterfall on CNN.com that I thought I'd share. Waterfall-ey!

Cold Yoga

A week after my Bikram (hot) yoga experience I had finally recovered enough to go back to my regular yoga class. A light snow precipitation made me very nervous about driving to the Y (a recurrent trauma since the car-drowning event) but I made it without incident. The studio where my yoga class was held was freezing, however, and when we checked out the thermostat to see what the deal was we found it dangling from the wall with some pencil thing sticking out of it. Clearly the deal was bad so we had to continue with our yoga class without heat, an unfortunate thing to do I say. I eventually warmed up enough to take off my coat, but I never did break a sweat. Ah well. Definitely the opposite from that hot yoga class I went to a week ago.

This is not like me, but I've been thinking about skipping all my holiday parties this year. Normally I get invited to about four (at least one for the Y, three for all the different departments I am part of at work). When I skipped the first one last week it felt pretty good, and I'm darned tempted to skip the next one. Being a little delinquent once in a while is fun! I have a twinge of guilt, however, - these are going to be my last holiday parties at these places and they usually are pretty fun. Maybe I'll go to one or two of them. For my lab, we often demand to be taken to a very expensive fancy downtown restaraunt for our holiday party, and then give thanks by refusing to drive or be on time. Our boss is always genial and still gives the impression of enjoying himself around all us ungratefuls, but this year the most demanding among us (my naked co-worker) has left so he managed to persuade the rest to do a cheaper catered lunch/movie event in our conference room. At least we do something... my Studly Hubby's company doesn't host any kind of a yearly party and doesn't even give out candy canes or anything. Bummer!

And now time for some holiday decorations...! We still have yet to replace our (halloween) pumpkin lights with the (declared thanksgiving/christmas) eyeball lights, but it'll happen soon I promise.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Christmas Cookies!

The post office has Christmas cookie stamps!

My little brother's tub full of Perler bead masterpieces looks like a tub full of Christmas cookies!

My Studly Hubby has 100 Christmas cookie cutouts!

Christmas Cookies!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hot Yoga

I have experienced a new phenomenon. It's hot yoga, also called Bikram Yoga. It's yoga that's done in a heated room, sometimes 115 degrees (the room I was in was only 100), and done with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvination of your muscles and ligaments. The poses are sufficiently challenging, and the class is made more difficult because the heat skews self-judgement, causing falsely increased flexibility and hugely increased soreness the next day. I am experiencing that soreness right now. Bikram yoga seems to have a cult following, however, and I am tempted to go back and see whether the soreness eventually gives way to a constant state of euphoria - the only thing I can think of that would make it worth all the pain of the class and stench of my sweat. Actually, I'm guessing that the heat would increase my body's flexibility at a pretty fast pace.

The problem is, the only Bikram yoga studio in the twin cities is located in the nightmarish Uptown area, which is not far from where I live but hell to get to. After a drive like that there's no way I could relax into any kind of a yoga pose no matter how hot the room is (and I've heard they keep it at the upper end of hot) or how relaxing the yoga pose (and very few are relaxing, let me tell you). I am still pretty tempted by the thought of becoming more flexible, though, since my whole life I've been embarrassed by inflexibility, and this has reached a new level now that I teach a stretching class at the YWCA (you teach WHAT? my chiropractor asked one day, then laughed until she fell over). Also compounding my decision is that the classes are $18 each and I've heard can be a little crowded, since the cult followers are loyal and dedicated like good cult followers should be.

So will I attempt a twin cities Bikram Yoga class? You will just have to wait and see. Meanwhile I may take advantage of Christmas break and return to the one I originally went to in Coralville, Iowa (which was started by the man who owns Mondo's, for you Iowa City familiars). It is clearly an internationally popular spot, attracting regular visitors from Alaska, Seattle, and all over the place, like a good cult would. Their classes are only $15. And it's easy to drive to (especially when my cultish Mom drives me there). And I always like to support my hometown. They might just make a cult follower out of me yet.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ten things to love about thanksgiving

I had a good nine hours of driving after our two thanksgivings to process what was so great about my favorite holiday, and came up with a list to share with all y'all (texan plural):

1. Pie, pie, more pie, all kinds of pie, unbelievable pie
2. Playing boggle with your brothers in a crazed addictive continuous haze - while your spouse and stepsister look on with astonishment and increasing disbelief
3. Listening to the entire book The Da Vinci Code on CD during the 20 plus hour car ride
4. Rockin out to almost completely uncoordinated music that somehow sounds good played by the two brothers, the Studly Hubby and the fiddler-father
5. Seeing my dad's crazy new hairstyle, we think he's going for the crazy-einstein look but he blames it on his new daily swimming habit
6. Getting hoardes of free books, mostly ones you know you'll love but a few mysterious gems (or rocks, I'll let you know) in the mix to shake it up
7. Giving away some free books, and five bags of clothes
8. Soaking up the 60 degree weather they have over thanksgiving in the south country we were visiting (and hearing a few good accents)
9. Going to the grocery store in Columbia, Missourri - they had cheerleaders dressed in gold skirts and boots called in to cheer a shopping-cart decorating contest that actually looked like fun
10. Coming home to Chipotle burritos and an entire season of Pimp My Ride on DVD... oh the luxury

Sunday, November 27, 2005

My Brother's Doinger

No, this is not what you think (you dirty minded readers you). My four year-old brother has invented a rather ingenious system to fight off all the unwanted affection he gets from his many older siblings. It's called a doinger. With his doinger he can remove all unwanted kisses and hugs from older siblings and even parents, even those kisses which you blow across the room at him, and put those kisses and hugs back on the evil perpetrator who gave them to him. This is a very powerful doinger indeed. It can remove even the stickiest of kisses and when those kisses are put onto someone else they are stuck there FOREVER, no exceptions.

This same brother is into a new very popular phenomenon called Perler Beads. They are beads that can be put together into a colorful design, such as a heart, then ironed so they are stuck like that permanently. He has a whole shoe box full of Perler Beads in a multitude of colors and can do Perler Beads for hours at a time at his little desk in the family room at my Dad's house. On one occasion, he fell off his desk chair and began wailing miserably, then got back on his chair and returned to the Perler Beads even while continuing to wail. Now that's some serious dedication.

Two of my other brothers are thick in the middle of college applications and writing college essays and all that jazz. I helped one of them with his essays on Wednesday, except that he's a lot smarter than I am so his essay was way above my head. I pretended to help him a little bit and then motivated him to send off the application, and a few others, and now he's almost finished which was a huge relief. Deciding which college to go to is the first really big decision of your life, and I think a totally overwhelming one, and getting a busy 18-yr old kid to get it done is pretty tough.

Well today I'm in Iowa reflecting on my Great Midwest Tour for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, on my way back to Minneapolis tomorrow. We went to Carbondale, Columbia, and Iowa this year, hitting almost all major relatives (and the rest will be visited at Christmas) and eating turkey and pie at each location. I'm going to be full for another two weeks I think.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Gotta love that turkey!

After a l-o-o-o-ong drive down south to where the grass is still green, the garden still smells good, and southern accents prevail, we arrived at our destination just in time for some serious turkey and pumpkin pie. Promptly after eating we all passed out. I think that's just the way to do it. Now we're waking back up, jamming on some instruments, familiarizing ourselves with the complicated life of my brothers aged 7 months, and 4, 13 and 18 yrs. The 7 month old's life is significantly less complicated than the rest. I like that aspect of babies, they can find wonder in a tablespoon for 15 full minutes, then be just as fascinated with the same tablespoon less than an hour later.

I am also stocking up on Janet Evanovitch books, passing around the recent Science blurb about me, soaking up some good southern sun and warm weather, and trying to pass judgement on everyone in as many ways as possible so they can remember me for the rest of the year. Oh, and trying to pick up some Christmas present ideas, because that's the third most important purpose of thanksgiving (turkey and naps coming first and second, but maybe pumpkin pie is in there too somewhere, and whip cream, and all that other good food).

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Mall of America... yay!

We metro Minneapolisites usually stick our noses up at the Mall of America but every once in a while we have an unresistable urge to go there that can't be fought. That is exactly what happened today. The mission this afternoon: seeking out the elusive chocolate-covered blueberries (which can be found at Harry and David's) and to watch the new Harry Potter movie... whooooo! what a rush! While we were there we thought we'd stop for dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp for the experience and for one of their cups. I have one from Honolulu and now I also have one (a pink one!) from the Mall of America. These things with local reference become infinitely more important as soon as you find out you're leaving. We also bought a neat-o cup with a bear on the handle at Harry and David's, but it turns out when you drink tea from it the bear gets a little freaky in an in-your-face sort of way.

We have a new dog on our block, a rather delinquent one. He stays up all hours of the night, barking and making all kinds of noise (and encouraging the rest of the dogs in the neighborhood to make some noise as well, turning it into a late-night neighborhood party). He has also been reported to be seen publicly behaving inappropriately with other dogs right in front of our very apartment. This is not a family-friendly block any more I'm afraid.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

welcome to saturday...

As I say in my Sat am cycle class... welcome to Saturday! And on Fridays, i often say 'happy friday everyone!'

Yesterday was a happy friday indeed. My fully-clothed kung-fu co-worker (who went to Denmark with me) passed her oral exam and officially became a pre-doctoral candidate. This test is the biggest and most nerve-wracking of everything you do in graduate school and was a pretty big deal for her. Not only did she pass it, but she did a super-sweet job, impressing our boss even, who has seen quite a few oral exams in his day and is tough to impress.

In addition, it was the last day for our visiting Swedish post-doc, who was here for 6 weeks doing some experiments and passing on some of her clinical perspective. It was a lot of fun having her and we were sad to see her go.

So last night we went out for a happy hour to celebrate, and the Big Bossman even came and paid, and we all had several drinks and several greasy appetizers and toasted a variety of things and unraveled a variety of inappropriate stories. It was quite a lot of fun.

One of the more valuable things I learned last night is where to buy chocolate covered blueberries at the Mall of America. I may just have to venture out there tomorrow and try some. Yum!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Further Probing the Blogosphere...

through the miracle of the internet I have tracked down two of my fifteen brothers in the blogosphere, several high school acquaintances and a few people I totally don't know but who have interesting blogs. I have discovered two easy ways to track down people's blogs: technorati.com and myspace.com. Technorati has a more up-to-date blog tracker than google, and stays more focused on blogs, and myspace is it's own world altogether, kind of like passing notes during class in high school without the class part. So I became immediately addicted to tracking down people i know and discovered there are a lot of people I know whose last name I've totally forgotten or can't spell. I think there's a limit to how many names I can retain in my head and sometime during college I reached that limit and had to start letting a few go. What a bummer. There's also a problem with my friends who have names like Joe Smith, since there are about as many people named Joe Smith as I have brothers (and that's too many to sort through, let me tell you).

I'm doing this tonight because it's so fantastically cold outside I have to bury myself in deep denial or risk losing my mind. It's actually not that cold compared to our usual January weather (today it never quite got up to 20F, and the windchill was below ten all day), but three days ago it was a balmy 60. I can't take weather swings like that, it makes me nervous.

In an unrelated side note, a visiting Swedish post-doc in our lab spoiled us rotten yesterday with some fantastic cheese, crackers, some Swedish cracker-spread and some Danish beer. I filled up on it all then craved more all day today. I'm even craving it now. It's very distracting.

Other news: I've decided to write a murder-mystery novella that takes place at my work. I got this idea from my dad and have been chewing on it for a few years now. My co-workers even helped me hash out an outline one day. I'm going to try to get one chapter at a time written and put up on either this blog or another one, but I can't guarantee that the chapters will be linear, coherent, or in any way conclusive. I warn my audience that this is my first semi-serious fiction attempt, it hasn't begun yet, and I have no real goals or honed skills to keep me focused, so it may be somewhat of a wild ride. I wish you all luck.

.... mmmm.... swedish cheese.....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Jeff Gordon references Dr. Seuss in a recent Science article

Jeff Gordon, a researcher at Washington University (St. Louis) who unfortunately has the same name as the famous NASCAR racer (but is not the same guy, we're pretty sure), recently referenced Dr. Seuss in the supplemental section of his ground-breaking Science article (Science. 2005 Mar 25;307(5717):1955-9). Why, you may ask? Because they decided to name some disgusting combination of bacteria, food and mucous they found in the gut after "who-villes" from the Dr. Seuss story 'Horton Hears A Who.'

For my next Science paper, I plan to reference Harry Potter, and possibly also Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham.

First Snow!

We got our first snow last night. In past years the first snow has often been some light flurries that don't stick around long, but yesterday we had a severe turn towards winter, with howling winds, temperatures dipping into the low twenties, and all day and all night of precipitation, so this morning there was a light dusting of the good white stuff and still a few more flurries coming down. Unfortunately there's ice underneath it so the morning traffic is slow going, and my trip to the YWCA last night a little nerve wracking (particularly due to having drowned my car during the last bout of precipitation on a Tuesday night). But, in true Minnesota fashion, the whole city is excited and it's finally starting to feel like the holidays.

Get ready! It's now winter and the holidays are closing in!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Giant Microbes and dna11.com

I have gotten a few comments on my blog that have made me suspicious and very interested in a new type of marketing oriented at blogs. I am not sure whether both of the comments were part of this marketing venture but a recent article in Minneapolis' Star Tribune confirmed that companies are starting to keep track of and target the blog buzz.

According to this article, Google, and several other blog search engines, such as Technorati and BlogPulse, keep close tabs on what's going on in the "blogosphere" (that's where you are right now!). BlogPulse additionally "ranks what's "the buzz" moment to moment in the blogosphere and tracks which bloggers are getting lots of attention measured partly by numbers of hits and links."

Companies hire these types of blog-tracking services "to stay on top of postings that could within minutes swirl into serious corporate damage as a 'blog storm,'" or to watch and wait while the blogosphere generates good buzz about a new product or service. Mazda even went so far as to create their own fake blog that generated good buzz about their cars, but eventually took the blog down when it was found out to be put on by the company and not by real bloggers.

The Star Tribune article also cites the tactics of companies that hire blog-tracking services, "When bad news cascades from an influential blog" clients are advised to "post a message on that blog explaining why they believe the original posting is wrong or unfair" - this may stop a 'blog storm' at the source.

So what about my blog? I'm very happy to report that I believe this has happened to me at least once, by a company that markets Giant Microbes, and may have also happened with someone from www.dna11.com (the company that makes giant DNA gels to hang on your wall). Or perhaps these comments were posted by anonymous bloggers that happened to be passing through... either way I'm happy because that means I have enough importance for people to stop by here every once in a while and post a comment. Thanks for stopping by everybody!

Where the Buffalo Roam


.... In the great midwest! An article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune last weekend discussed the increasing popularity of the buffalo as money-generating livestock. The article brings up interesting points, and explains what the buffalo meat is all about that is sold at our local Seward co-op.

As we all know, buffalo were originally very happy on our great plains, but went nearly extinct years ago. They are making a comeback, and agriculturists are starting to look at them as more than just a comeback-species.

According to the article, buffalo may be a much better livestock for the prairieland than cattle, which is logical since they were doing pretty well here before. "...Bison graze differently than cattle, clipping grasses and leaving wildflowers. They work the soil in ways that preserve plant diversity..." Although the article doesn't embellish, it implied that cattle have the opposite effect.

The article speaks to the toll cattle and other farming has taken on the midwest prairie. "In 1987, New Jersey professors Frank and Deborah Popper published an essay suggesting that traditional agriculture couldn't be sustained on much of the Great Plains." Unfortunately, nobody has taken that seriously until recently.

The goal of the Buffalo farmers is to create a Buffalo Commons, where buffalo can roam freely as they once did but still be a source of meat and fur. "In North Dakota, a state agency recently suggested that a Buffalo Commons could "provide new industry in areas of North Dakota ravaged by the rural exodus [and] transform our rustic, barren landscape into a natural attraction."

So that buffalo meat in the co-op is part of a new industry! One aimed at bringing back buffalo and creating harmony on the prairie! Sounds good to me. Plus, "Producers market buffalo meat as leaner and with less cholesterol than beef." Yum! Maybe Chipotle will start putting it in their burritos.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

what to do with a weblog?

My dad is making a list, on his department's website. He is shooting for 100 things to do with a weblog, and has 73 so far. Lots of good stuff, many of which I've done myself and many of which I'm still wondering how to do or where to get the nerve to do. My favorites:

27. Test the limits of free speech and see if anyone notices.
29. Hide poetry in the template code.
32. Tell everyone the log-on and the password and see if anyone uses it.
39. Make secret doors that go places that are interesting. Make punctuation into trap doors.
40. Make things that look like advertising but aren't.
44. Invent your own writing system: start leaving out vowels.
53. Leave "Post removed" and "comment removed" tags all over your weblog.
69. Make a national anthem play the moment your weblog is opened. You choose the nation.
70. Do the same only with a country song. Drive away the serious people.

My Studly Hubby's Studly Fall

Last night my Studly Hubby somehow convinced me to videotape some reference material. He wants to make a 3D animation of a character sitting on an egg, then the egg shakes, and the character topples off the egg, then the egg rolls away and the character chases after it and is utterly disappointed when he can't catch it. Anyways we used my exercise ball as the egg and my Studly Hubby is the character he wants to animate. He was supposed to roll backwards onto the mattress we carefully placed behind the ball, but he didn't, and I was laughing so hard I forgot I was holding the camera. Watch for yourself!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

DNA is now FASHIONABLE

Make your DNA into a giant portrait to hang in your living room! only $400. Ethidium bromide background, smearing or other contamination may or may not be removed from the photo. Adobe photoshop may be used to change the contrast and/or colors for several hundred dollars more. Available through dna11.com.

Or, contact me to get a picture of some other random DNA that looks about the same for FREE. You'll have to enlarge it and/or alter it in photoshop yourself though.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The REAL Value of My Car

Check it!

My car, estimated value $1000, maybe, was the no. 2 stolen car in 2004. No. 1 is the 1995 Honda Civic.

Based on this, I'd say I'm driving around in a huge hunk of gold with gold plates and gold rims. Sweet!

Monday, November 07, 2005

It's Better with BUTTER

I ate a half a stick of butter yesterday, all by myself. Here's how:

For LUNCH, I had an entire box of Annie's Mac and Cheese. I was thinking that since it was the whole wheat shells and cheddar variety it was ok, but later it occurred to me that it was still two tbsp of butter and the whole package of cheese.

For DINNER, I had stuffing with chorizo sausage (still practicing for thanksgiving), which was made with a whole stick of butter. Unlike the mac and cheese, I did not eat the entire dish. However, instead of making this the side dish to a healthy meal, we made it the meal itself, which amounted to at least another tablespoon of butter (as well as some chorizo). I do not recommend doing this. Stuffing is usually a side dish for a reason.

AFTER DINNER, I had to have some popcorn. I had already eaten so much butter that day that I went ahead and dumped another healthy tablespoon on there, as well as some salt.

By bedtime, I was feeling quite ill. My studly hubby, who had skipped the mac and cheese and the popcorn, was feeling slightly ill himself from just the stuffing.

My point: butter may not always be better.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Week in Review

Another busy week, I'll update you with a brief summary:

Wednesday night - went to a local biker bar to watch a couple of blues bands, as usual the opening act (Ronnie Brooks) was better than the headliner (John Mayall's Blues Breakers). New no smoking law in Mpls proved quite effective and lovely.

Thursday night - needed a little vacation, so turned on our pumpkin lights, turned off all our other lights, attempted to make some Mexican hot chocolate, and pretended like I was watching the sunset. It sort of worked.

Friday night - went out for a very classy dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, then a very romantic movie, Wallace and Grommit. Our first dinner-and-movie combo date in about a year.

Another thing I've been doing this week: collecting college memoirs to pass on to my brother (on my mom's side) to help in his decision about which college to go to. So far I've gotten two from Augustana alums, one from a Gustavis alum and one from a Cornell College alum. They are all very interesting and sometimes hilarious reads and unexpectedly insightful. I hope my brother finds them useful. My other brother (on my dad's side) is also looking at colleges and has the complete opposite search agenda: like me, he wants a big school where he can remain somewhat anonymous and yet get access to some good, experienced faculty. The two types of schools (big state schools vs. small private college) are so different in so very many ways it's mind-boggling. Every day I am more happy with my experience and how well it fit my needs, but will forever wonder what the opposite experience might have been like.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Nod From Science

Science, an extremely prestigious journal pertaining to many different fields of research, has highlighted my recent PNAS article in this week's issue. They titled the section, "Bacterial Pheromone for Sex and Abstinence" which just about says it all. Sex? Abstinence? How about both! And it's in Science! Check it out for yourself.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Trick Or Treat!

For the very first time ever, I handed out candy to trick-or-treaters this year. I missed out as a kid because first I was trick-or-treating, then later on I lived way out in the country where we only ever got one trick-or-treater and it was on a night that I wasn't even home. In college and grad school I lived in apartment buildings that are locked from the outside resulting in a high level of trick-or-treat deterrence. I took matters into my own hands this year, however, and put up a sign at the front door of our building encouraging them to ring our doorbell for treats (and then left a basket full of treats as a further attractant).

Our neighborhood is a nice residential family-friendly place but as you can tell from my most recent blog it's also not necessarily the safest place. Thanks to the geniuses who invented Daylight Savings Time, the sun now goes down at 5:05 pm, ensuring utter darkness for little kids running around trying to score candy. I was concerned about this, and in anticipation only bought one bag of candy (with glow-in-the-dark wrappers). I was dead wrong in my anticipation, however. On Halloween, in my neighborhood, it is still safe enough to be out and about and there were plenty of people that stopped by looking for treats. I'm sure the nice weather helped.

For handing out candy on halloween, I give two thumbs up.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Break-in at the Hotel J & D Rock

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

There's been a break-in at the hotel J & D Rock, thought to have occurred at approximately 2 am Sunday, October 30. Two bikes, a blue one belonging to the D and a red one belonging to the J, are the only things that appear to have been stolen. They were taken from the basement of the 4-plex that the Hotel J & D Rock is part of, the perpetrators entered through the back door after breaking a window. The approximate value of the bikes and accessories stolen is $900. Fortunately, J & D carry renter's insurance and a claim has been reported.

Upon hearing the news, the landlord of the building cussed a stream of swear words and immediately changed his plans for the day so that he could change the locks, fix the window, frost the basement windows, and speak to the neighbors and police. Several tenants in the building subsequently came home to find the locks had been changed and they had no key, and had to ring all the other tenant's doorbells to be let in. In addition, the spray paint used to frost the windows caused all the tenants to experience dizziness and creative hallucinations.

J & D, as well as another tenant we shall call "Truck," heard the break-in but were unaware that it was not just a third tenant, who we shall call "Lamp," getting home. "Lamp" actually did get home around the same time as the break-in occurred, but was drunk, and came in a different door, so didn't suspect anything unusual. The noise that occurred during the break-in was quite unusual and J & D considered going out in the hallway to check things out, thinking "Lamp" may have passed out in the hallway or something, but decided not to and are now glad they didn't considering the scene they might have found was beyond what they could have dealt with in their pajamas in the middle of the night. These thiefs may have been coming home from a costume party! They may have been dressed up like some scary political figures like George W and Dick Cheney! And worse, they may have been riding J & D's bikes as they fled the scene!!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Heptamurder by PrgY

I gave lab meeting this week at work that I titled Heptamurder by PrgY, which is a nerdy Halloween reference to my project. But, I'm proud of it so I'm posting it. I also found the following picture to put on the first slide:

I'm not sure if anyone even noticed it because they were too busy oggling over the beer I brought, which was a big hit. We all got wasted, went bar hopping, and I came home with two strangers that my husband had to angrily send home. Who ever knew lab meeting could get so wild! I also made pumpkin pie, as practice for my upcoming favorite holiday (Thanksgiving). So, I am publicly patting myself on the back for such a great show at lab meeting, even though I had hardly any data to present due to my month-long absence from the lab.

I also hung up some pumpkin lights in our window in celebration of Halloween. We have some eyeball lights, but from the street you can't tell they're eyeballs so I decided to make them Christmas eyeball lights and hang them up at Christmas. This may greatly anger some of you, and I know it's not right, but it's just the way it is and there's nothing that can be done about it.

We won't be going to any parties this year, because my naked co-worker who usually throws a good party and even puts some clothes on for halloween is now living in Portland and it's just too far. So this year we probably won't dress up at all and since we live in an apartment we have never gotten any trick-or-treaters so it should be a pretty mellow night. I did buy a bag of candy about a month ago in case we got a trick-or-treater but the bag got eaten much faster than I anticipated due to the enormous capacity of my candy-fanatic-husband. So now if we get any trick-or-treaters we'll just have to yell at them out the window to go away.

I guess in Sweden they have a day near Easter where all the little kids dress up like witches and go out with their broomsticks to collect candy from people. They all like a good strong coffee there and since no witch would ever be without her coffee pot the kids actually collect the candy in the coffee pots instead of in plastic pumpkins like US kids do. I guess that ensures a perpetually good coffee market there whereas here it's more like a perpetual love for pumpkins and pumpkin pie, although we still have a pretty good coffee market.

Speaking of pumpkins, I have to mention that cnn.com and several other sources are reporting the phenomenon of the new trendy "ghost pumpkins" (white pumpkins). You can also buy miniature white pumpkins, which are called "baby boos." While the sexual orientation of these white pumpkins has been brought to question, it appears that this new trend is in large part due to a recent spread in Martha Stewart Living. These new "designer pumpkins" are expanding to include green, blue, and beige pumpkins (according to the Chicago Tribune). Personally, I'm impressed. Our society never ceases to find new twists to old themes and market them into popularity.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Big Thank You

I got my car back yesterday from my Studly Mechanic at Como Imports. I owe them a big thank you for putting in all the extra work without charging the extra buck for it. They even kept it in their garage overnight with the windows open to help air it out (carpet is almost dry now). It's running pretty good and has a turn signal and seat belt back where it belongs and it starts when it should and all those nice things good legal cars do. I'm still mulling over exactly what to do to thank them and thought I'd start with a nice card that goes something like this...

The card has a BEFORE pic on the front:










Then inside is the AFTER pic:




and then a big THANK YOU!!!!






Some of you that have seen my car may be thinking, wow, I don't remember it being so shiny and new looking and rust-free and all the same color like that. Some of you that are more observant may be saying to yourself, hey, I'm pretty sure J-Funk's car isn't a station wagon. Well, you are all correct in your wondering because this isn't really my car, even though it's the same color and definitely just as fine. I hijacked this pic off of a website advertising this 1989 Toyota Camry for sale for $4,599. It only has 128,249 miles on it. It even resides in the groovy state of Washington. If you're interested you can check it out yourself at http://www.motorzoo.com/view.php?VIN=JT2SV21W9K0278335.

I've been thinking, if I could get on Pimp My Ride and get my car fixed up all nice maybe it would be worth that, too. Only a few dollars less because of all those extra miles. And maybe a few dollars less than that because of those couple of blemishes in the History Report (what deep water? accidents?). But I could still at least make back what I've spent this month don't you think?

So here's a summary:
Having your car towed to Como Imports: $80
Getting the water drained out from under the hood and all the spark plugs replaced: $200
Pop-starting your car to get it back to Como Imports: free (thank goodness)
New starter, alternator belt, and some pre-deep water long-needed maintenance like a new turn signal: more than I care to admit
Having an old car: PRICELESS

Let's go over what's so great about having an old car, just so we're on the same page. I can bop up onto a curb, run into a street sign, drive into a ditch, get keyed on the street, get my trunk busted into, leave it unlocked at night (which may prevent getting the trunk busted into again), and run into it with a shopping cart... all with the worry-free attitude of an old car owner. Plus I pay less in car insurance because if I wreck it I sure won't fix it.

Now we just have to decide... is it safe enough to drive out of the neighborhood?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hurricane Wilma

Another hurricane was heading for Florida on Sunday so of course my mom hopped a plane heading straight into it and dragged my grandma with her. My uncle (her brother) is getting married Wednesday near Orlando and they had originally planned to go Monday. They thought they would go a day early instead to be sure to be there for all the chaos. From the sounds of it, some fruit got blown off the trees, a few branches fell here and there, the fence is looking a little worse, but all seems to be ok. I guess when it comes down to it there's actually not much to do but stay inside and wait it out, and that's exactly what they had to do. They sent a few emails to me and checked my blog, and probably watched some tv and took a nap, and then when it was all over they went outside and helped clean up the yard. I guess in addition to the hurricane there were a few tornados and unfortunately the golf course was closed today and several people in the party had wanted to go play.

Most important, the wedding is still on (I think) and all the activities are resuming as planned this afternoon, without the golfing. Congrats Steve and Sandy! Sorry I couldn't be there!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Pork Chops

Exerpt from an email I wrote this morning (I think it's very funny so I thought I'd post it):

"My Studly Hubby had something he had to finish at work - he had to set up this thing to 'render' which I guess takes about an hour. So I thought I'd sit down and write a few emails and all of a sudden he started cooking pork chops at the stove behind me. It's 8 am! I don't get it.

"Ok I just asked him what the hell, are we eating dinner now or what? because it smells damn good and now I want some. He pushed me away and exclaimed No! this is going in the crockpot for dinner. I was like, Damn! We had a brawl with some kung fu action and now I guess I lost because I'm back at the computer finishing up my email and he's still cooking pork chops."

Girls are BETTER

More evidence that girls are better:

This week's issue of Nature has an article about how pollution increases the probability of girls being born in that area. In addition,
"Research shows that natural disasters and crises such as terrorist attacks can increase the probability that a newborn is female."

Why would this be?

According to the article, there are two possiblities:
1. "This is thought to be the safer reproductive bet, as girls are likely to grow up and have a few children of their own. Boys are a more risky venture: they could father dozens of children, or none at all."

OR
2. Boys are the weaker sex: "...
some scientists speculate that Y-chromosome sperm, which will produce boys, are weaker than X-chromosome sperm, and therefore more susceptible to environmental stresses. But that has not actually been proven..."

I venture a third option:
3. GIRLS ARE SMARTER, PRETTIER, and REQUIRE FEWER RESOURCES, therefore are better able to survive and overturn challenging circumstances.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Attention Germ-Phobes!

Finally! A study is done that shows the ineffectiveness of antibacterial soap!

Please stop filling our sewers up with antiobiotics and chemicals and use plain old soap that works just as well. These antibacterial soaps can be "evolution in action" and promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria, right on your hands after you wash them. According to this same article (through CNN.com), the FDA is considering putting warning labels on antibacterial soaps due to their potential danger to the environment.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Successful Pop-Start

I found out today that I can successfully pop-start a car. It was extremely fun. For those of you who want to try it, I suggest the following:

1. Find a high traffic area, such as a freeway or major intersection.
2. Push uphill
3. Recruit the weakest-looking person you can find to push your car, and have someone very very heavy drive it, and throw some bowling balls in the trunk for extra weight.
4. Put your car in any gear but 2nd
5. Keep the car going very slow, if the speedometer moves it's too fast
6. Leave the emergency brake on
7. Get drunk first

If you follow these seven tips, I guarantee you will have an exciting adventure.

Looooong Week

I haven't blogged since Monday, so I will sum up for all y'all (that's a Texan plural) in case you missed me.

Tuesday:
Discovered something I have been working on at the lab for the last three months was impossible due to an error I found in the sequence, banged my head against the wall all day. Got home, meant to take my car in to the mechanic to have a few more minor things looked at, and the car wouldn't start. Tried to pop-start it with no luck, but my Studly Hubby is only one man and couldn't push as fast as perhaps him and a football player would. So I called up my football player friend and made a date for Saturday. Went to yoga at the YWCA, was too pissed off to loosen up, ended up pulling a muscle in my hip.

Wednesday: Can't remember due to severe rage leftover from Tuesday.

Thursday: Went out to lunch with a person applying to do a post-doc in our lab. She paid (yay!). At 5:00, a mechanic at the car place called. He thought the problem was the safety on the clutch (a button on the floor that is depressed by the clutch when it's in - this ensures that the car can't be started without the clutch being in, because if it were started in gear and the clutch was out the car would lurch forward dangerously, hence it's called the 'safety'). I've been having problems with the safety on my car and apparently the mechanic found a penny super-glued to the bottom of the clutch so it could better reach the button. This penny fell off when he discovered it, and he super-glued it back on and thought maybe it had fallen off again. For the record, I had no previous knowledge of this penny. Apparently one of my old mechanics did this and forgot to tell me. Everyone at work decided I should name my car "Lucky Penny" or "Calamady Jane" depending on how things went that night.

Thursday night: my car's name became "Calamady Jane." I called the mechanic and discussed with him whether I should tow it back to the mechanic or off to the junk yard. His advice of course was to tow it to him (we now think the starter is broken) but I still haven't decided. We're still planning to try to pop-start it on Sat.

Friday: Taught a painful spin and stretch class in the wee hours of the morning, cleaned out the cold room and freezers at work and found some interesting stuff, including a clear plastic bag full of contaminated liquid sitting on a lead plate in the cold room. Finally heard from my long-lost naked co-worker in Oregon, it turns out she's been "busy." Overheard an interesting conversation between my boss and the new visiting Swedish post-doc about antibiotic development and how bad vancomycin is (the current "last-resort" antibiotic) - and how any newly developed antibiotic, when compared to vancomycin, looks like the new wonder-drug. Apparently drug development companies, after they've developed a new drug, have to make a large, clean quantity of it that can cost millions in order to test it on all the different levels required by the FDA. This visiting post-doc is a clinician that likes to swab people's butts in the ICU of the hospital to see what kinds of antibiotic resistant bugs they are carrying around, so her input on our research has really opened up some new considerations.We have had one other Swede in our lab in the time I've been there, and both of them have offered an interesting perspective on what I thought I knew about science and technology and industry.

Monday, October 17, 2005

PNAS....!

If you do a search for ME on PubMed you will now find an article in PNAS....! My Studly Hubby claims total lack of comprehension of even the abstract so I apologize if you are also confused. This abstract was actually much more comprehendable than my last one so you all should really be thanking me.

Gvisit and Blog Sloggers

I have had my website monitored by a tool available at gvisit. You can see who is visiting my website here. I, of course, am obsessed with it and check it quite frequently and have realized the following:

- a LOT of random people visit my website (welcome! grab a cookie!)
- a few of these random people visit my website regularly (glad to see you again! more cookies?)
- my friends visit my website less regularly (what happened to 50 times a day people? You've been slacking! RSS feeds don't cut it!)
- the gvisit thing misses a few visits, and misplaces even more visits, but gives me a pretty good idea of the kind of traffic I'm getting which is quite fun - the bad thing is it only updates about three times a day
- I visit my own website obsessively

I have also had quite a few blog sloggers come through here. This is my definition of any kind of solicitor, but is not limited to that definition as I have used it before to describe other kinds of blogging. When I changed the comments section to require re-entry of a random string of letters the frequency of blog sloggers went way down, but I still get a few. One was specifically for a post I made about giant microbes (a few down) and may have been the result of a smart kind of web crawler search engine thingy that I was pretty impressed by. I want to get one of those thingies. I would search out all blogs that mention ME and then comment about MYSELF on their blog. That's probably only a few blogs, and they are probably all blogs I know about. But still! it would be pretty neat-o.

You look as good as me.... and I look REALLY good!

My day today (atypical):

7:20 - drag myself out of bed
8:00 - drag myself to work, check email, set up short experiment
8:30 - 10:00 - mtg with visiting faculty - find out during the meeting that I may have to present something but hadn't prepared and was saved by the bell
10:00 - 11:00 - get back to the lab and am mobbed by an undergrad full of questions
11:00 - attempt to finish my experiment, run to the sequencing facility to drop it off
12:00 - attend seminar
1:00 - 2:30 - lunch with visiting faculty, I ask: "as a woman, what's your advice to a woman going into your field?" her response: "hire a housecleaner"
2:30 - 3:30 - drop off the receipt for lunch, watch a "car commercial" halloween joke sent through email by a friend and pee my pants when a ghost jumps out at the end, have to go change my pants
3:30 - 4:30 - Go to a presentation on a journal club article I hadn't read, realize as usual I should have read it
4:30 - 5:30 - attend 'beer and science,' eat half a bag of salt and vinegar chips despite still being totally full from lunch
5:30 - waddle home
6:00 - go out running with husband, pass TWO people that come to my cycle class at the gym, ask my husband "do I look like a slog when I'm running?" and my husband responds, "you look as good as me... and I look REALLY good!"

Sunday, October 16, 2005

More Giant Microbes

Again, speaking of giant microbes, I have been trying to keep the microbes at bay that are growing in the carpets of my still-wet car. Last Thursday I implemented a genius plan, hatched with the help of one of my fully clothed co-workers, to rent a carpet cleaner from Menards (only $15!!). I borrowed another friend's garage and shopvac and went crazy. Unfortunately it was dark so I wasn't sure how good of a job I was doing until later but it turns out I did something right because the next morning the car no longer smelled of swamp or of Febreeze but instead reeked of the heavenly scent of carpet shampoo (which I'm just as allergic to but at least it's a more appropriate smell for a car than swamp). I'm not totally in the clear yet though, the automatic seatbelts are still not working (although there is a manual override buried deep in a hard-to-reach crevice between the front and back door, and I'm working on manually inching them back into place). The overhead light is dead, the turn signal still hasn't been fixed, and a huge hunk of rust fell off the bottom of the driver's side door last week leading me to believe that the door may not be 100% protective from the elements anymore. In addition, the safety on the clutch has thrown a fit and now you have to stomp the clutch in with all your might to get the car to start (it was already what the car mechanics would call 'theft protected' - incredibly difficult to get the clutch in far enough to start - now it's nearly 'owner protected' as well). I will take it back to my mechanic next week with some fresh-baked cookies and see what kinds of things we can rig up. Ignoring all these little setbacks however the car is doing great and purrs like a kitten when driven through the neighborhood (we won't venture onto the freeways for fear of our lives).

Since I was at a conference all weekend I feel like tonight, Sunday night, is Friday, except there will be no weekend tomorrow. This is going to be a long week. Or perhaps I'll have to throw a little weekend into the middle of my week.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Giant Microbe

An undergrad I supervised on a directed research project a few years ago recently sent me a stuffed giant microbe. They don't make one for the bug I work on so he sent me the Flesh Eating Strep bug, which is the most closely related one that they make. Since Great Science Nerds think alike I was already aware of this company and had previously given a Giant Microbe to My Naked Coworker as she bolted out of town a few months ago - since she was going out to the west coast to work on gonorrhea I gave her the Clap. Now I can tell everyone I gave my Naked Coworker the Clap, which is something I had always wanted to say but had never actually wanted to do. Anyways the gift from my former undergrad was a nice token of appreciation and made me feel squishy good all over which is always great, plus I finally got a Giant Microbe for myself.

Speaking of giant microbes, the Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference is being hosted here at the University of Minnesota this weekend which the chair of my committee organized so I felt obligated to attend and present a poster of my recent work. Plus, a post-doc in my lab presented early this morning and was preceeded by two former post-docs of the lab I'm going to in Seattle, so I had even more motivation to go so I could introduce myself to my future colleagues and see what everyone had to say. It was for the most part a good show. The post-doc from my lab said at the beginning of his talk, which was about the bug we work on (Enterococcus faecalis): "you may not know much about Enterococcus faecalis but it certainly knows you." I thought that was pretty funny since Enterococcus faecalis is a poop-bacteria. As he was talking I was thinking Poop! Bacteria! Poop! Bacteria! My advisor has actually been known to show a picture of his own colon on occasion when introducing our beloved poop bacteria at national conferences.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Thwarted

My plans tonight were thwarted - I had rented garage space over at a friend's house who lives in the neighborhood so I could clean the carpets of my car using their shopvac. It was a pretty sweet deal - they have all the things you don't find out on the street like good lighting, electricity, shelter from the rain (and it's raining) - however one of them is sick and they have a baby so we postponed for tomorrow night. I instead settled for spraying a half a bottle of Febreeze on the carpets to calm the stench. Now it stenches of Febreeze but I think that's better than the previous stench which was something like dirty laundry and swamp, not that I'm totally sure what a swamp smells like since I'm from Iowa.

I was all psyched up to clean my car tonight so when I couldn't it was too late to psych myself up for another project. I instead decided to watch Buffy on DVD but my Studly Hubby, in a moment of extreme un-Studliness, kicked me off the tv to watch Martha Stewart's The Apprentice. Zing! If you think that's pretty un-Studly of him, you should let him know at his blog. I think he'd really appreciate it. I found a way to circumvent this - since I am pretty studly myself, I have a laptop that plays DVD's so I retreated to the bedroom to watch Buffy on my laptop in peace and quiet - no boys allowed. In the event that my un-studly husband discovers that Martha Stewart isn't all he thought it was going to be, I barricaded the door with tampons and nail polish and de-cootied myself with lavender scented body spray. That'll stop him! Or at least make him extremely uncomfortable! Although after watching Martha Stewart my diversions may not prove nearly as effective.

Well, I better move on to the Buffy-thon without further ado.

Adieu!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Car Homecoming

My car has been diagnosed healthy and was brought back home today with a prescription for heavy driving and lots and lots of shifting. I guess some water got into the transmission when it was flood out by - ahem - a little water in the road - and they're afraid it's going to rust and lock up, so keeping the gears moving will help prevent that. So, my Studly Hubby has been assigned the task of taking it to work and driving it all around which should give it the ego boost it needs right now.

The car has suffered some permanent damage. The automatic seatbelts, which were on the fritz for many many years, have finally declared life too difficult and thrown in the towel. I will discuss with the mechanic later this week my options for locking them permanently back into place. Also, the "fasten seatbelts" light, obviously traumatized by this whole ordeal, is no longer on or off, but constantly flashing. Since tonight is the first time I've been able to drive it, I still haven't properly washed the carpets so they are starting to stink just a wee bit - I will do my best tomorrow cleaning them out but I fear there may always linger a slight stench. And most disconcerting, and possibly what may be the eventual doom of my car, the clutch now sticks when you push it in, although shifting through the gears is fine. It also idles nice and smooth, starts up well, stops and goes as usual, and maintains a generally cheerful disposition. My 1989 Toyota Camry will never die!

In other news, my mom's car is most likely totalled. She's upset but it was insured so it's not as bad as it could be. We sent off the proofs for my PNAS paper today, which means it will be coming out within the month (or so they say), and I spent the evening helping my Studly Hubby videotape himself pushing his car up the alley so he could have reference material for a "big push" animation he's working on. As he replayed the movie, he discovered some audio commentary on it describing his bulging muscles and amazing strength. I don't know who did that, but it wasn't me!

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Car Prognosis

My Studly Mechanic called me today to let me know he thinks he can fix my car up - it needs to have the water drained out and the spark plugs replaced and the oil and filter changed but it seems to be ok. It still hasn't started however because they haven't actually done anything but look at it. He estimated it would cost about $250. Not bad! Now I just need to remember not to do it again.

We are having totally fantastic fall weather here, this is the best season in the midwest. We have loads of sunshine, warm weather during the day, and lots of autumn smells and colors. Everyone tries to get out in it as much as possible since every nice day may be the last.

After a distracting week last week my Studly Hubby had to spend the entire weekend trying to get his assignment done at top-speed. He pulled out all the stops to maximize his work time and was so exhausted after he turned in the assignment Sun night he could hardly see straight. Not too exhausted to go to Chipotle though.

Mmmmm, Chipotle.

A Happy Birthday to my little bro Eli tomorrow! Hope being four is as good as being three. It certainly was for me.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Angry Cars

I think the entire race of cars are out to get me and my family. Or, a higher Car Accident God is trying to get us and the cars themselves are actually fighting it, because we've all stayed relatively safe (and dry). My little brother on my Mom's side got into a doozy of an accident last night taking some ladies to homecoming - they were all dressed up and caravanning there, picking up people all over the country side when a corner was taken too fast and a rollover ensued. Everyone made it out safe and sound although the car may be done for. And last night, my husband's car tricked me into forgetting to turn the lights on TWICE and I almost hit someone.

Another funny thing happened last night. I went to the airport to pick someone up, parked in the short-term GREEN lot, followed the signs to the international pickup area, found the person I was picking up, then all the elevators changed location and the GREEN lot moved to another side of the airport. I swear. It took us forty-five minutes to find it again.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Angry Furnace

We turned on the heat yesterday because it was getting really cold but mostly because we were having some friends over last night and didn't want everybody to be chattering their teeth. In Minnesota people generally go as long as they possibly can in the fall without turning their heat on and we're typically no exception to that rule. When we turned on our heat yesterday our furnace got angry and sent out as much heat as it possibly could full-blast until we called our landlord to come turn it off again. It turns out some valve was catching on something so it was constantly in the 'open' position. Anyway our apt got up to 90 degrees and wouldn't go below 85 even with all the windows wide open. Our friends were very toasty warm last night.

Today I made use of my wide-open afternoon and took four towels over to my car to towel-dry the carpet. I folded the towels, set them on the floor in the front or back seat, then hopped in and stomped on top of them as they soaked up all the water. Then I came home and threw the towels straight into the laundry. It seemed to be a very effective method because the carpet was starting to finally just feel damp at the end instead of sopping wet, and the towels also seem to be ok (I was afraid they would stain but they didn't). The only part that I can't do this to is the patch of carpet under the seat, and I may have to use creative and excessive measures to get that part dry but the rest of it has been surprisingly easy to deal with.

I also got some specific instructions on how to pop open the distributor to let it dry and excitedly went back to my car, popped open the hood, then stared under it with increasing disappointment as I realized I know nothing about where anything is under there and even if I did I am not strong enough to pry off a distributor that hasn't been touched in 17 years without killing myself in the process. I called up the tow company, found out it'll cost $100 to tow my car the 3 miles to the mechanic, and tried to convince my Studly Hubby that it's worth pushing it over there instead. Then my Studly Hubby decided maybe he's like to help me with the distributor and we settled on a date for tomorrow afternoon, at my car, dressed for success. Wish us luck.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Free Pizza and Oreos!

My day has just been made. I had free pizza at 10:30 and oreos (4 so far) at 11:00. Now I really feel like a nap.

I have learned two things from the google map thing:

1. Google maps are highly inaccurate - when I check my own website from my apartment in Minneapolis the Google map tells me it was in St Paul and indicates on the map that it was Washington, DC. Hrm.

2. You people don't check my blog enough, or the Google map isn't keeping track of you very well. I insist you all check my blog every hour at least!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I know where you are!


Thanks to gvisit.com, I can now keep track of all of you!

This sweet little map by google shows me (and you) where you all are. Super fun!

Helloooooo Munich!

Car Visit

We visited my car yesterday. She's kind of lonely over there in that strange neighborhood four blocks away but my Studly Hubby thinks it's good for her to socialize with new people and new cars. She still wouldn't start, even when my Studly Hubby's Studly Geo tried to lend her a battery jump-start. She's trying to turn over with normal sounds but not actually starting which my Studly Hubby's car-knowledgable dad thought meant that the distributor got wet and my Studly mechanic over at Como Imports thinks may be a good sign (at least the motor isn't wet and it didn't get water-locked like two other cars he got in yesterday - they both had to have new motors put in). Anyway we're going to give it another day or two to dry out and then we may give up and tow it over to the Studly mechanic over at Como Imports.

In other news - our phone got fixed yesterday two days ahead of schedule which was really exciting, although the blogspot website seemed to be down all night so again I am posting while at work today. We heard on the news that there was water damage all over the city from the storm and it was a crazy amount of water we received (equivalent to 6 feet of snow) - the most in one storm all year and comparable to a chaotic mess in 1987 when the 494 freeway was flooded and people could jump off the overpasses straight into the water (I'm not sure whether anybody did, I wasn't here at the time).

Stay dry everyone! And keep warm - winter's coming (I wore my coat today!).

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Tuesday Soak

I had to drive to the YWCA last night in the pouring rain because I'm a die-hard Yoga fan and also because I didn't realize how hard it was raining until I pulled into the YWCA parking lot. It was raining so hard that in the 20 feet between my car and the front door of the YWCA I got completely soaked, and it continued to rain that hard through my 30 min run, 1 hr yoga class, and another 15 minutes later as I stood outside hoping it would let up (and it didn't). So for at least two hours it was a torrential downpour, and understandably my drive home was a little challenging. Visibility was really bad (even with the wipers on full-blast), and the streets were flooded enough that you couldn't tell what was deep water and what was shallow. Thinking I was being smart, I stayed on the main road but found out soon it wasn't the high road and ended up driving through (or you could say under) a flooded intersection. My impressively tough car made it through the deepest stuff (the wheels lifted off the ground a little during the worst of it but touched down again before I ran out of momentum), but then my car stalled out as I hit the more shallow middle of the block. I conveniently stalled out about 10 feet from a cop car, who was blocking the intersection from the other direction. After my car stalled I opened my door to check out the situation and found that the water was almost up to the door, about an inch below the floor of my car (and this is the shallowest part of the road). I'm guessing that was about 6-8 inches, and I'm thinking the deepest part was somewhere between 3 and 5 feet, since the water was over the hood of my car. Since I had nowhere to go, I rolled down my windows and leaned out and had a look around. The rain was starting to let up and I could finally see more than a half a block, and I found that there were stranded people all around me - a car was being jump-started in a parking lot across the street, an SUV was stranded right behind me, and down on the other side of the intersection were at least five more cars that were more deeply submerged (but all bigger than me). I want to make a note here that of all the other cars in the intersection, mine was the one that made it the furthest, AND mine was the smallest (since they were all SUV's or minivans, although mine is no small potato of a car).

The cops finally wondered what I was going to do and pulled up alongside me - since I was in the more shallow part of the block I was the only one they could reach by car. I rolled down the window and the dialogue went something like this:

Me: "what do I do?"
Them: "we dunno. Damn, that's deep back there."
Me: "Yeah, it went over my windshield!"
Them: "Yeah, we saw, it was AWESOME when you went through it!"
Me: "So what do I do?"
Them: "we dunno. Maybe try restarting it in a few minutes after it dries out?"

So I continued to sit. The cops got called away and disappeared. Meanwhile, I saved a few oncoming cars from the same fate as mine by flashing my lights and yelling at them before they could get past me. A few didn't get the signal soon enough and ended up stalled out in the middle of it with the rest of them. After about five minutes, I tried restarting my car again with no luck (although it was turning over which I consider a good sign). I heard some yelling and car horns behind me and looked out the window again and saw a city bus coming down the block. I had been sitting with my lights and flashers off, except when a car approached, so I turned everything back on and watched in horror as the bus actually sped up, hoping to make it through the intersection and around all the submerged cars. Both me and the stalled car behind me were immediately in the middle of the road and I braced myself as the oncoming bus made its path directly for us. At the last minute the bus swerved one way to miss the car behind me and then went the other way to miss me, coming within a foot of my back bumper and causing a huge wake that rocked my car forward a few feet and filled up the floor of my car with two inches of water. I knew there was another bus coming soon and I would wreck my car if I stayed there (if it wasn't wrecked already), so I opened my car door but before I stepped out the woman in the car behind me came wading over. The water was up to her knees, and she was wearing a dress and tights that I'm sure were ruined. She offered to push me out, and told me her car was unpushable due to something or other (it was locked in gear or something). She wanted to get me out of the way though so the next bus could get by and a tow truck could get in. As soon as she got behind my car, three guys came out of nowhere to help (I think they had also been sitting in stalled cars down the block). Since my car was half floating, they easily pushed it up into the parking lot (which was dry) and pushed me into a parking space. I tried to start it again, with no luck, then got out but they were already gone, wading through the water down the block to push the next car out. Again I heard yelling and honking, and another city bus came barreling by, but this time it slowed right in the middle of the deepest part of the intersection because another car was trying to get through. Both stalled, the people on the bus were yelling, the people on the street were yelling, and next thing I knew the bus had started up again and gone on its way and there was yet another car that needed to be pushed out.

At this point I had to decide what to do - I either would wade in and help push cars out, which could take all night, or go home four blocks to my husband who was no doubt very worried. I opted for the latter, since there seemed to be quite a few car-pushers already and I didn't have a cell phone to check in with the husband. I yelled to make sure they didn't need anything, like a cell phone or a flashlight, and then began trotting home. I trotted because I was in the one part of our neighborhood that I would consider sketchy - and once I left the well-populated lake-block full of stranded people there was nobody and poor lighting and a big scary park for a whole block. But, my shoes were still dry which was amazing so I figured I could make it. About halfway there my husband found me in his car, I was drenched, without a car and a little wild-eyed but glad to see him. We opted not to go back, since his car is smaller than mine and I wasn't totally sure where the flooding would start getting bad. I still feel a little guilty that I couldn't thank those people for helping me, so I guess I will someday have to repay the favor to someone else that's stranded.

This morning we went back to get my car and it still wouldn't start. We had to get it out of the parking lot, so we pushed it down the block to a spot on the street. All the submerged cars were gone, the street was dry, and everything looked normal. I'll keep you posted on the car.

A soak of a Tuesday

we had some more big rains last night and an exciting involuntary adventure in the water (more later) but for now I want to let everyone know that our main phone line is out (including our DSL line) so if you want to call us either email or use our cell phone number. The phone will be out till Friday.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Soaking up the Sunday

Last night we finally got around to celebrating all the good stuff - my new job in Seattle, sending off the final proofs for my PNAS paper, and a great summer. My Studly Hubby made up a pitcher of mojitos - my new favorite drink, and we watched crappy tv and made out like high school kids right on our couch. This morning we cheered at the sweaty whipped crowds at mile 19 of the Twin Cities Marathon, then went out to a long brunch with our good friends and talked careers and big decisions and moving and all that grown-up stuff. To counter that, we went out to Afton Apple Farm and picked rasberries till our hands were red and our faces were sunburned and we couldn't eat - no wait, pick - any more. We competed for who could find the most perfect one (my Studly Hubby said, "I found the most perfect one of all - you!") and then we battled the hoards of city folk like us at the check-out lanes where we purchased our pickins and bought some apple cider (NOT as good as Sand Road Orchard Apple Cider that can only be found in good ole Iowa City, but close).

The rasberries at this place are from the Twilight Zone. They are growing full-throttle for about three months straight (late July through the end of October), they can survive repeated light frosts and mobs of children and adults and yet the rasberries are constantly ripe and delicious and plentiful (although a little less so at the end of a long beautiful weekend this year than they were at the time of our visit last year due to thorough cleaning-out by the city folk like us). We have now found out the Afton Apple Farm secret: they grow lots of kinds of rasberries, so some kind is always growing (there are apparently summer-season berries and fall-season berries and they have lots of both) and they have a sprinkler system that sprays water in a protective arc over the berries whenever it frosts so they can extend the season a little longer. Genius! And I thought it was smart to put my bread in the freezer so it doesn't mold - I guess I have a lot to learn.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sweet Weather Saturday

We are having a bit of sweet beautiful weather before winter and cold sets in. I woke up this morning excited to spend the day outside, but by mid-afternoon I couldn't take the sun anymore and had to move indoors - I guess my body is ready for winter. Before that I got a good share of the sun and outdoors at the Farmer's market, where I had some tamales (yum!), and walked around some. I had a post-traumatic stress massage this morning to try to help along my recovery from the last two months, then immediately had a chiropractic appointment, and my muscles are now all confused and disoriented from being ordered to relax after such a long time being tense.

Tomorrow is the Twin Cities Marathon, and the route goes down the Mississippi River Blvd which is about five blocks from our apartment. We are going to go watch and cheer on one of my good friends who is running the marathon for the fourth or fifth time and hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon (in her age group that means finishing in about 3 hrs 40 min, which means maintaining 8-8.5 min miles throughout the 26 mile race). In past events she has been extremely close and I have my fingers crossed she'll make it this time (she got sick just before the last two and was significantly slowed down but has been in good health all week, and we're having good weather, so things are looking up this time).

My Studly Hubby is working diligently on the second part of his first assignment for class - it's a Dejected Walk, complete with Anticipation of Dejection at the beginning. He's been acting all dejected all week, everywhere he walks, whatever I say to him, wherever we're going. It's rather entertaining but a little weird. I hope he's not doing it at work too.

I rented my own personal chick flick to watch this weekend while my Studly Hubby is preoccupied with dejection. It's Ella Enchanted, and I think it's going to be awesome. So get ready! Here I go...