Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Burnin Down the HOUSE

I tried to burn down the house tonight. Actually, it happened on accident. I was lighting a match with one of those wooden matches, and mid-swing the match both lit and broke in half at the same time. The lit part flew across the room and landed in a pile of my clothes. I screamed and gasped (kind of like Doc Brown in Back to the Future when that flaming car sped across the room and lit the trash can on fire). I have super-awesome reflexes though and immediately jumped on the pile of clothes, extinguishing the match before it did any damage. Fortunately it landed inside a pair of my pants and only burned a very tiny spot in the lining. I was very lucky I think. Next time I'm going to use one of those super-safe six-inch long lighters that don't work unless you turn all the buttons the right way and have prayed to all the right fire gods and done a little dance.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Taxes!

Since I'm in super-procrastination mode I actually started working on my taxes tonight. That's how bad the whole thesis thing is, just to give you a frame of reference. Once I get going, I actually find the tax thing mildly interesting. It's a little like boggle in a way. If you don't look very hard, you only find one or two words, but once you start really looking (or cheating) you can save yourself some serious dough. For example, my super-Studly Hubby is in school and paid a hefty sum for tuition last year. The tuition exemption (if he's eligible, we're still finding out) would cut us a $1000 tax break. Holy cow! And then, sometimes you get screwed in surprising ways - even interest earned from a savings account gets taxed. Doesn't that seem wrong somehow? And whether we're married or not, we don't save any money in taxes, but lose everything in the renter's return (oh $700, how I miss you - I make the same as I did two years ago but where did you go?).

The thing that really freaks me out is this: once we have kids, and all our parents come live with us, and we have three houses in the US and one in Greece (to get away from the kids and the parents) and a Swiss savings account, and some Hurricane Katrina victims come stay with us a while, then what in the world are our taxes going to look like? I think they're pretty crazy already and we don't even have anything going on yet.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Jigsawed!




I finished my jigsaw puzzle man!!! Exciting times! Only.... there was ONE PIECE MISSING (shown at right). I kept dropping pieces all over the place when I was working on it so I was happy it was only one piece but really it does suck to work on a jigsaw puzzle for a month and then not quite be able to finish it.

It was really quite fun though, and provided an especially useful and well-timed distraction from my impending thesis. In my hot yoga class, a teacher once said they are trained to talk constantly to prevent the participants from thinking about anything else - and although this is a little annoying it really works, I spend the whole hour and a half anxiety-free and 100% thinking about the PRESENT. I think that's what the jigsaw puzzle (and boggle) is all about for me also.

Sexual Harrassment Training

By request, I am reporting that the University of Minnesota has now caught up with the times and required all of us lab monkeys to undergo sexual harrassment training. We thought we were good before (especially me, I've been through it twice at the YWCA), but oh no, we could do much better. The very excellent sexual harrassment training video taught us new, more interesting, and definitely illegal moves like the reach-around (guy reaches around girl to show her something on her keyboard) which we immediately implemented as often as possible and on as many people as we could find.

Seriously, the reach-around is a very good move.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Let's Talk About Work, Baby

I haven't blogged about work lately but WOW I've had some week so I feel like I outta give all y'all the rundown.

Actually, it all happened Thursday so I guess I should say I had some Thursday. First thing Thursday morning we were whiffing something that didn't smell so good in the ladies' bathroom. I know this sounds like it could just be some vile natural bathroom incident but when you work on a floor full of labs in a large University building and the odor reeks distinctly of chloroform (a toxic chemical) you tend to think otherwise. We couldn't place the source though. Shortly after, I headed down to the departmental dishroom (next to the ladies' room on our floor) and almost fell over from chloroform fumes when I walked in. The poor unsuspecting woman (K) that was working in there had no idea it was a hazardous chemical and panicked as I started opening doors and windows and searching around aggressively for the culprit. We finally found it; someone had opted to send their toxic waste down to the dishroom to be autoclaved instead of disposing of it as per federal regulations. The waste had been put into a trash can. We put the trash can out in the hall, took out the bags and put them in our chemical fume hood (which vents the fumes to the great outdoors) and opened every window on our floor. By the time I was done I was getting quite a headache and starting to forget my name. I went back to the safety of our lab but a few hours later when the Environmental Health and Safety people showed up to clean up the mess I had a momentary blitz and put all the agar plates for my experiment on the wrong cart, which got whisked off to the dishroom and thrown in the dishwasher before I even knew what had happened. A half an hour later I discovered my experiment was missing, and an hour later we got a note from the dishroom saying my plates had clogged up their sink and dishwasher and PLEASE don't ever send that kind of stuff down to be washed again.

It didn't end there, although I'm not sure if it could have gotten worse. A post-doc in our lab decided a while ago to make a large-scale compilation of bacterial strains. To do this, he had a robot pick bacteria colonies and put them each into individual wells (in 384-well plates), and then he wanted to pool them all together. It doesn't sound so bad, but it turns out in the end that there were over 13,000 colonies picked and 13,000 wells total that needed to be pooled together. So at the end of the day Thursday he let us all know that we'd all have to devote most of our afternoon Friday to helping him do this crazy thing. Then my Kung-Fu Coworker, who had actually had time to check her email during all this, said, "hey, did you see that the director of our program picked us to present posters at that thing-a-ma-jig next week?" I was stunned and shocked and exasperated and a little pissed off, because I hadn't even planned to go to the thing-a-ma-jig next week and really didn't want to deal with making a poster, but then after complaining loudly for a few minutes I learned that my other co-worker had come up with the idea and my boss had volunteered me for it, so there was no weaseling out (and an apology was due since they had both been standing nearby whilst I unloaded my grievances). Then on my way out the door, my boss came up to me and said, "hey we need to talk, I think that the project your underling undergrad has been working on for six months isn't working out so great." I said to him in a high-pitched screaming voice that it was working out just fine and he didn't know what was what and then I left before anything else could happen, and I went home and held my teddy bear and ate chocolate.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

I've been meaning to tackle this subject for a while now and finally a few brave people in my department did it for me in the local school paper.

I feel compelled to comment.

Although there are a few well-trained scientists who don't believe in evolution, as a general rule us science geeks find it difficult to reject the well-established and rarely questioned evolution principles. We see it every day, therefore it would be difficult not to believe in it.

What we forgot to do was explain it to everyone else in a language they can understand.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who wouldn't listen to us even if we did explain it to them in a language they could understand. An excellent example of this are those rare individuals who study evolution for a living yet won't admit that's what it is.

Here is the current debate in a nutshell. There is one aspect of evolution that has not yet been thoroughly tackled by science, and that is of "macroevolution" - the development of complex organs and evolution of new species (i.e. dogs and horses and people). Opponents of evolution have chosen to narrow their scope to this one last remaining piece that hasn't been worked out and claim that this process occurs by "intelligent design." I am a scientist, and I know that it hasn't been proven yet that the development of complex organs and new species occurs through evolution, but I can say with great confidence that the evidence supporting this is quite good (see the above-mentioned article). There are many examples that I think about daily that support this idea of macroevolution, and anybody that does science at the level I do would be severely disadvantaged if they closed their minds to any aspect of evolution. As was said in the article, "when we throw up our hands and proclaim that biological complexity cannot be explained by science, we prevent ourselves from coming to a better understanding of our universe."

I'm not saying we can't believe in God, or that we have to stop believing in God if we accept evolution. That may be what everyone is afraid of. Science may disprove intelligent design, but it has so far supported a variety of other interesting aspects of religion (for example, the healing powers of prayer, researched thoroughly by the late Elisabeth Targ) and vastly increased our understanding of ourselves and our surroundings. Why can't we accept what science deals us and move on, adapting our religion as we go? Scientists are encouraged to keep an open mind about new ideas, and I encourage the world to do this as our long-standing religious beliefs get rocked by new scientific findings. By letting go of the old ideas, we may find ourselves moving into something new and better, or at least more accurate.
I've been so busy posting about brownies and yoga and such that I haven't even posted about my excellent weekend yet. After the hockey game, a high school friend of ours showed up and entertained us for a few days. We went out to breakfast at the extremely delicious Keys Cafe in downtown Minneapolis, then went to the newly renovated Walker Art Museum, which normally I would hate because it's a lot of freaky modern art, but this time I liked it a little bit and the building is really neat-o so I still had fun. Then our dear friend went to a death metal concert and we stayed home and worked diligently on our respective projects; my Studly Hubby on his animation assignment and me on my big jigsaw puzzle. On Sunday we went to one of the local hippy veggie places down the street (The Birchwood) for breakfast, then our friend took off and my Studly Hubby went to his soccer game and I went in to work and started stressing out about my impending thesis (hence the hot yoga class Monday night).


Monday night my Studly Hubby got pretty sick, I think because of his regrets for missing that death metal concert, or maybe from not going to hot yoga with me. He puked all night long, then felt woozy and achy the next day. He's still home now, although feeling better. I hope you feel better soon Studly Hubby...!

Monday, January 23, 2006

More Hot Yoga

I returned to hot yoga tonight after almost 2.5 weeks off. Surprisingly, I was even more limber than in the last class I went to. The teacher told me afterwards that if I breathe more, I could really kick some yoga ass. She also told everyone that the yogi masters believe that you only have so many breaths in you (so you don't age physically, you age in number of breaths). Because of this, we should concentrate on breathing deeply and slowly to extend life. I'm not sure if I believe the second thing but the first thing I'm going to go for.

I had a funny thing happen to me tonight. As I was bending over in a standing pose where my head is down on my knee, some sweat ran into my nose and I felt like I had just dived into a pool and sucked a bunch of water up my nose. I was putting up with it and thinking, wow, I must really kick ass to have sweat get up in my nose like that, when the teacher said, "yeah, getting sweat up your nose happens, you have to deal with it." I was like, damn, that happens to everyone.

Anyways, I think I'm officially addicted to hot yoga now. Or at least I will be until I get that dreaded Ph.D. thesis done - it's the only way I can wear myself out enough to not feel anxious about the whole ordeal.

The Best Brownies in the World

My Studly Hubby made the Best Brownies in the World on Sunday night. Seriously, I have never had a better brownie, and I try a lot of brownies. These were made from Ghiradelli sweet baking cocoa using the recipe on the can ("Ghiradelli's award-winning brownies"). I knew that Ghiradelli provides the goods (hot chocolate made with this same stuff is also pretty unbelievable), but I had no idea it would be that good.

Speaking of yummy chocolate discoveries, we've finally bought all the ingredients to make a killer Mexican Hot Chocolate. The secret is to buy Mexican chocolate, which is a kind of spiced chocolate that you can only find in Mexican grocery stores. Fortunately there's one in our neighborhood (attached to the only good Mexican restaraunt in the Twin Cities) and the nice lady who owns it helped us find it and told us how to prepare it: blend a quarter of a chunk per cup of warm milk in a blender. One of the yummy hippie veggie restaraunts down the street from us serves the Mexican hot chocolate with cayenne pepper, which sounds gross but is actually quite delectable, so I'm going to try that too.

chocolate! chocolate! chocolate! chocolate! chocolate!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Clicquot Club

There's a new cafe in our neighborhood, just a block and a half away from our place (and halfway to the park) called the Clicquot Club Cafe. It's in a cute building with a big Orange Crush ad on one side and a big ancient looking "Clicquot Club" sign on the other. It has been empty and closed most of the time we've been here (5 yrs), and we always wondered, 1) what did that building used to be for and 2) what in the world is Clicquot Club and how do you pronounce it? Well one day the Orange Crush sign got a fresh paint job, then shortly after the "Clicquot Club" sign got replaced with a bigger better one, and then a sign got slapped on the door that said "opening soon!" We were thrilled, although it took another year before it really did open. We went there tonight to check it out and see whether we could get our questions answered. It was a great place, with terrific food and an impressive menu with all kinds of hippie veggie stuff and fancy coffee drinks, but we're still not sure how to pronounce it, and we have no idea what the building used to be. We do know what "Clicquot Club" is though. It used to be a soda company that made high-class root beer and such and was the first company to sell soda in tin cans. They got "crushed" by Orange Crush and eventually ran out of business.
We like root beer, and hippie veggie food and fancy coffee drinks are totally righteous, plus it's only a block and a half away, so we awarded them with ten million points and decided to definitely go back, maybe even later tonight. It does stress me out a little that only three blocks the other way down our street is another restaraunt with the exact same hippie veggie food and fancy coffee drinks, so it'll be hard to decide between the two, and hopefully they'll both survive, but I guess for now the more the merrier.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Gooooooo Gophers!!

Another fabulous present I got my Studly Hubby for his birthday was tickets to a U of M Gophers HOCKEY game (WHOOOOO!!). We went tonight after a fabulous dinner at Campus Pizza amongst hard-core hockey fans (all coupons valid any night but hockey night) and a quiet mint hot cocoa at my favorite coffee shop Espresso Royale (WHOOOOOO!!).

This was our first hockey game ever and we noticed a few things:

1. There are THREE (3) periods in a hockey game. If you get up to leave after the second period, people may look at you funny.

2. Hockey fans are HARD CORE. Their focus never wavers. They know all the players by their first names. They threaten the ref constantly and take everything personally. They are so completely riveted they may not notice when you get up to leave after the second period.

3. Goalies get worn out and like to lay down during breaks; often they stretch too. It's a little weird watching some guy covered from head to toe in pads lounging around and limbering up at the center of a stadium full of people.

4. "Tickets" to a hockey game mean general admission, standing room only. If we had known that, we could have gotten there early to secure prime spots standing at the rail. Instead, we hung out at the coffee shop a little too long and ended up on tiptoes trying to see over the people at the rail.

5. People who buy "season tickets" to the hockey games get burned out by the heavy schedule and often don't show up, leaving empty seats to be taken by anybody who bought general admission tickets. These freebie seats can be whereever you want, next to whomever you like, and may change if you get up to leave after the second period and then realize the game isn't over yet but don't want to walk all the way back around the stadium.

6. Hockey players aren't afraid to fight, play dirty, knock each other over, razz, choke, slam into or trip each other and they really aren't afraid of falling down. I think I would be a lot more brave too if I was all padded all over and wearing funny looking shorts like them. In fact, watching the game was very inspiring. I think I might go start a brawl right now, that might be fun. It sure looks fun.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

My new BOOTS

I wore my new boots today. I knew I was on the right fashion track when a gay dude saw them and exclaimed excitedly, "those boots kick ass!" I haven't had shoes or boots that ranked so well on a gay dude's scale for quite some time so I was elated.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

dates

Over Christmas break an old friend of mine convinced me and my family to go to a fancy Iowa City restaraunt that she works at, Devotay. I had never been there for a full-out dinner and was very impressed. Especially with their bacon-wrapped dates in BBQ sauce. They sound gross, but oh, no, they're fantastic. The other night my Studly Hubby mentioned Devotay to a friend on the phone and my mouth started watering thinking about those bacon-wrapped dates. So tonight I bought some dates at the co-op, brought them home and ate a few. I learned something I think I already knew - plain dates are not that great. So I didn't have any bacon but did have some BBQ sauce and thought I'd dip them in there and see what that turned out like. It was kinda gross. But, a little bit good. And after a few more it turned into pretty good. And now, if I don't think about how gross it is, I'm thinking I got a pretty yummy new snack to munch on.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I am an ACTOR!

my Studly Hubby wanted me to read some lines about how much I love health insurance so he could make a movie to it for work. I realized quickly that I only had to change a few words to make the lines much more interesting but he wouldn't let me change ANY words. I couldn't even change "are not" to "aren't." It's actually a little tricky acting out lines. My Studly Hubby has a very good voice for it but I have a kind of young sounding voice so I sound a little like a kid saying "my health insurance options are great!" which is something kids really don't say. Then after I got it just right he replayed it about a million times, discovered some way to record it with even better quality, and made me re-record it, and replayed it a million more times. Then he recorded himself saying a bunch more lines and practiced them in several different voices beforehand, including using Keanu Reaves Matrix-y "I know kung fu" voice. I thought it all sounded pretty good afterwards!

iPod

I want to take a moment to reflect on the whole iPod phenomenon that has swept the nation. My Studly Hubby got me an iPod a few years ago and I love it. Although mine hasn't caused me any trouble until recently, almost everyone I know that has one has had it break at least once (most have broken twice). This is a pretty high rate considering they've only been out for about three years. Plus, there was a class action lawsuit against Apple because the rechargeable battery the iPods come with was such a piece of crap. They're awfully expensive (about $300) to have them break so much but they come out with new much cooler ones so frequently it's dizzying. I'm impressed that Apple has made such an excellent comeback from the huge hole they were previously in, but honestly this whole iPod thing is starting to translate into one more cheap crappy electronic device that is going to give everyone a huge headache. I put a lot of work in transferring music to my iPod and setting up playlsits etc and now I'm afraid I may have to start all over. For the next round I'm going to do a little research and see whether there's a more high quality MP3 player available from somewhere else (although iTunes is pretty sweet and I hate to give that up).

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I'm a Kung Fu Fighter!

The ladies at work decided to try out each other's sports for the heck-uv-it so I went to my kung-fu coworker's kung fu class yesterday afternoon. After singing the song, "I'm a kung fu fighter!" all week at work it was a little bit of a letdown - no music, no hampsters doing the hampster dance, and only three other dudes were there and their clothes weren't ripped up or bloodied or anything. We did a few interesting stretches and some jumping jacks, which kind of reminded me of gym class in elementary school, then we shuffled across the floor doing kicks and punches in a squat position for about forty minutes. It was extremely mentally draining because it requires a lot of coordination, but I'm sure that if someone had been doing it for a while it would feel more natural and wouldn't be so bad. I found myself missing my oh-so-familiar yoga classes though. Then everyone showed us some sweet solo floor moves and we finished with a long round of Tai Chi, which I think is generally very boring but after all that kung fu it seemed like a nice thing to do.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

more grapefruit

Last night, after eating a very filling chinese dinner, I ate a grapefruit. It was so good I went crazy. I couldn't even relinquish a piece to my Studly Hubby. I was handing him the piece, and somehow as I was transporting it from the plate to his hand it ended up in my mouth and I ate it. We had to get out a second grapefruit and I ate most of that too. Why would a person crave grapefruit so ferociously??

Friday, January 13, 2006

Holy Flying Cows Again! Glow-in-the-Dark Pigs!!


Haven't you always wanted a pig that glows in the dark? Well now you can get one. Or at least look at one in a picture, I'm not totally sure they're for sale. According to the BBC News, a group in Taiwan have bred the first totally fluorescent glow-in-the-dark pigs. I guess they're a little green tinted in daylight as a bonus. Since their heart and internal organs are all green all the way around you may finally get your much-anticipated green eggs and ham.

vile

Somebody laid out my whole spin class this morning with the most vile-smelling fart I've ever smelled (and I've smelled some vile farts). It wafted around the large studio for a good ten minutes before it started to lighten up and then BAM we were hit with another one. Everyone was making faces and slowing way down because they couldn't breathe, but, I had to withhold from saying something because somehow it seemed inappropriate.

So now I'm going to say something.

Holy flying cows! That was a whopper of a stench man! I'm still in recovery.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

grapefruit

It was an inspiring forty degree day out today so my Studly Hubby and I decided to go for a walk after work and somehow ended up at the co-op buying grapefruit, which we plowed down aggressively when we got home. It was a good thing, too, I had at least a half a bag of Lay's Salt and Vinegar chips this afternoon during lab meeting and was starting to really drag a belly. Then we watched My Name is Earl, my new favorite show, and I headed to bed early again (spin class at the crack of dawn tomorrow). Goodnight everybody!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Food Babies

My Studly Hubby and I were planning to have a classic Salmon Neopolitan home-cooked dinner tonight but the ladies at work were talking fries all afternoon and it was a long gruelling day so when the Hubby picked me up after work we lapsed in nutrition judgement and went to the Lake Street Garage instead. MMMmmm what a tasty treat. We were starving and not thinking clearly so ordered everything on the menu plus a banana milkshake and was it ever so good. This restaraunt has a half a car in it so you know it's gonna be good. And the waitress kept calling us "kids" which I think made us eat more. Anyways when it was all over we both passed out in the booth for a while then went home and passed out on the couch for a while. In between we were grunting and groaning and belching and farting and causing quite a scene.

Eventually we found ourselves staring open-mouthed at the tv with glazed eyes, and my Studly Hubby asked whether I wanted to watch something in particular. "No," I said. "I really outta get to bed." He pointed out it was only 7:30. I was shocked. I thought it was at least 11. So here I am in bed staring at my bulging stomach wondering whether there really is such thing as a food baby and whether I should be embarrassed by going to bed before 8 pm. Well I've done it before and it worked out ok so I think I might try it again. Nothing like going to bed with a tummy full of nummies and a brain-numbing food buzz.

Bradelina and the Cruise baby

Whoa! Angelina Jolie is preggers with Brad Pitt's baby! As reported on cnn.com

who would have thunk it? certainly not me.

And on the note of hollywood gossip, I'd like to make a point about Katie Holmes' "Cruise baby" - isn't Tom Cruise sterile? and homosexual? oh wait, those were just tabloid rumors that he filed lawsuits over. But wouldn't you guess the lawsuit implies the rumors may actually be true? I'd like to believe they're true just to make things more interesting. Imagine it - Katie Holmes pregnant by some male gigolo, Tom Cruise badly in need to turn some rumors around, hooks up with her, and causes a scene that rocks the media. What a scandal!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Yoga vs Yoga

I went back to my regular (hatha) yoga class tonight at the YWCA after about a month break between sessions. Meanwhile I have been doing hot (bikram) yoga so have been doing that for about a month now 1-2 times per week. I definitely noticed some changes. My hips and legs are a lot more flexible (what I would consider major progress after only one month). My elbows hurt a little for some reason, and I have a crooked arm that previously wouldn't straighten and I think it's straighter now although I have no proof. On the flip side, my arms became weak like spaghetti again, a longtime problem, because the hot yoga is more focused on the legs. I'm not nearly as totally exhausted after the hatha yoga, and it doesn't feel as totally relaxing or satisfying as the hot yoga but is also not as horrifying or painful. Hmmmm.

Some quotes I picked up from these yoga classes that are particularly memorable:

"Smile with your eyes..." (??)

"Haul your butt flesh back." (said by at least three different teachers with a totally straight face, but when I said it to my class my face could not be kept totally straight)

"The future is a fantasy" (whoa!)

"No humping!" (said by ME to my class on accident when I meant to say 'no HUNCHING [of your back]')

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Studly Hubby!


My Studly Hubby turned 28 on Sat and we celebrated with an eventful and fabulous weekend trip to Chicago (full-detail post below). I gifted him well this year with a Napolean Dynamite action figure from Spawn.

J & D Do Chicago

My Studly Hubby and I took a weekend trip to Chicago to celebrate his birthday and one last weekend of freedom before school starts for us both.

Highlights:

Read Janet Evanovich #1 to my Studly Hubby to make a fan out of him on our radio-less drive 6.5 hrs to Chicago.

Made a fan out of him after the first two pages.

Arrived at our super-fancy art decco hotel Allegro in the Chicago Theater District (downtown), had valet take our car to the ramp and got spoiled by the polite staff, wine tasting, complimentary Aveda products, and fun high-rise view.

Went out to dinner at the super-funky Sushi Samba down the street, had delicious Sushi and an interesting time experiencing the glass bathrooms and carpeted walls. And check it! If you go to their website you can listen to the funky samba music we listened to right now while you read this blog.

Wandered the Theater District, saw a huge lit Christmas tree and heard some Christmas songs chimed by a neighborhood church, but most notably smelled the strong scent of chocolate that drifted through the whole neighborhood. The source of the smell was never pinpointed despite our sniffing expertise and increasing motivation to find it.

Headed back to the hotel and ordered some chocalate mint Haagen Dazs through room service, delighted in the fancy tray and glass bowls it came with and snuggled into bed beneath down comforters and pillows to eat it while watching a Chicago restaurant show on public access.

Sat am, ate at the fancy hotel restaraunt 321, then headed out to Michigan Avenue to do some shopping and sightseeing. Bought some super-sweet Ariat cowboy boots and wore them around until the blisters won. Had some delectible Chicago-style pizza at Lou Malnati's. Checked out the spitting fountain at Watertower Place and went up in the Hancock Building to see Chicago from way-up-high (at dusk). Then went to Kingston Mines for some chicken wings and serious blues headlined by a lively John Primer with a surprisingly excellent Joanna Conner providing two opening sets.

Sun am, went out for dim-sum at Three Happiness in Chinatown, a must-do for any Chicago trip. Ate so much we felt sick, then went to Shaumburg's Woodfield Mall and shopped a little more till we were ready to do the car ride again with some more Janet Evanovich before dark.

Chicago trip: Ten stars (out of five)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Note

Of note:

Lindsay Lohan finally admitted in Vanity Fair that her recent weight loss was due to bulimia - which isn't surprising. What is surprising is that SNL's Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels held the intervention that helped her realize her problem. Where are her friends and family?

Another note:

There was a lime-green speedo behind me in hot yoga tonight. Go speedo go! Also, the guy to my left almost puked on me and the guy to my right almost fell on me so all in all is was a very exciting night.

Broomball and such





There's an interesting game here in Minnesota called broomball. I'm not sure if it was invented here, but I had never heard of it until I moved here. Broomball is a little like ice hockey but you wear shoes instead of skates and kind of hit the ball with a broom-looking thingy. Now that I am a Minnesotan, I have several friends who play this game regularly (any Minnesotan would) and they have obligingly sent me pictures of the spectacular bruises they got playing this game which I will pass along to all of you. The big question is, why does ice bruise more than cement? We are still working on that. I recommend to anybody who plays broomball that they wrap themselves up completely in Charmin toilet paper so that every part of their body is totally padded.

And a big pat on the back to my two brave friends who posed for these pictures... may your broomball days become less colorful once you get going on the Charmin trick. Good luck to you!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Best and Worst of '05

Here it is (get ready!):

Best of '05:
Boggle, blogging, jigsaws, world travel, Janet Evanovich, Animation Mentor, hot yoga, PNAS, cookies, crockpot cookin, Buffalo Wild Wings, Netflix, the YWCA triathlon, the Newlyweds, Buffy, Seattle, my Camry (the Survivor), cake, the Dandy Warhols, iTunes, the new hot water heater

Worst of '05:
Robbers, hot yoga, dirty dishes, the Longfellow Grill (and all their food), flooded intersections, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, onions

2006 New Years Resolutions:
Eat crap
Exercise less
Watch more TV
Blog constantly

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Old Man is Snoring...

We woke up this morning to a nice steady drizzle and some frozen death-trap sidewalks and streets. It was very strangely warm for January in Minnesota (35F) but I had a dream last night it was 85F and it wasn't quite that. It was pretty surreal though.

We said goodbye to my mom and brother this morning who took off around 9 am for a tour and interview at Carleton College (we visited Macalaster on Friday). It was a splendid time we had with the fam this week and I want to offer a big CONGRATULATIONS to my Studly Hubby for being such an excellent hostess and putting up with it all with such grace and sincere enthusiasm. Good job Studly Hubby!

The highlights of the week were: drunken italian at Buca (second annual adventure), intense jigsawing, TWO rounds of hot yoga, a trip to the Mall of America, Chipotle (of course), Boggle, homecookin (thanks to the Studly Hubby) and zipping around town in my mom's new Jetta (sweet) (I want a new Jetta).

Happy Birthday to those of you who are obnoxious enough to have birthdays in January: my Studly Hubby, my Naked Co-worker, some nieces, some cousins, my Studly Mummy, and anyone I regrettably didn't mention here.