Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Weekend Off

Oh, what a week! You wouldn't believe all the free meals I've had this week. Add that to the completion of 1 biochem paper, 2 good test grades, and "almost" completion of the biochem project (still waiting on the rest of my group)...and you have the making for a very enjoyable weekend.
Anyways, on the way home from one organization banquet, we drove past the Sanderson Center and I managed to get a decent pic. This is the state of the art facility provided to MSU students who are so inclined to utilize the fully-staffed (hot, not-too-buff personal trainers) weight room, numerous aerobic/karate/abs/etc workshops, basketball and racquetball courts, air conditioned running track, rock climbing wall, or "nearly" olympic size pool. Ha! Not me. I haven't been in there in over a year.

Here we are at the banquet. See how nice we "clean up?" (That sure Doesn't Happen very often.) Do our faces look a little pink?

And, as much as I love R, I could really use a sugar buy me one of these!! Wow, ain't she a beauty?

Well, now that classes are almost over I can finally get back on track with this thesis thing. Even better is the fact that I can get back to work in the LAB! Yay bacteria and DNA!! Let's just hope that my stuff works so I will be able to go on vacation (to New Mexico) with everything right on track!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mystery Flower

Okay, so my 2 tests are paper is almost finished...and the project is just waiting for the rest of my group's input...
What's left: 2 finals (May 5 & 9), and 2 chapters of my thesis (due by the end of May).

What kind of flowers are these? (I guess I could google it, but I just don't feel like it.) They grow in this big bush with long/tall, thin leaves. When I first cut this there was just the one bloom & 2 buds. The 2 buds opened up by the next day, now all 3 have wilted (petals curl up & still look pretty), and 3 more buds have popped up. This is like the cut flower that will never die. And, amazingly, the cats have not attempted to eat it yet! (I cannot keep houseplants because the cats eat them all!)
Nothing exciting going on. We went swimming at our trailer park swimming hole and I got a real nice tan. We bought a nice coffee maker that does espressos and lattes (Do any of y'all have tips on how to correctly foam milk?), and makes a terrific cup of coffee.
Well, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel & need to get this paper finished.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Contributing to Science

Okay, so it's been almost a week, and I still haven't finished anything, although I have made pretty good progress. I deserve a few minutes to post.
So, today I participated in a "sensory study" on campus. I've seen signs posted around my building, but never knew where the lab was. I'm not really sure who/what the study is for...but let me tell you what I did. I tasted milk. That's right, I sat down in a little booth with a "breadbox" that delivered a tray of 5 different milk samples, a cup of water, a paper towel, and a spitoon (or is that spittoon?). The directions were to taste the milks in order (as listed on questionairre), expectorate (spit it out), rinse mouth with water, and rate on questionairre. Two of the milks were pretty good, one was just okay, and the other two didn't taste very good at all. Now, I like milk, really I do. But, I usually drink it very, very cold (actually, I prefer an ice cube or two in mine), and most of the time it's with something (pb&j, chocolate, etc). Also, I mostly drink 2%. I grew up drinking whole, but then realized that 2% tastes just fine, is healthier, and feels lighter after you drink it. So, maybe I wasn't qualified to give my opinion on milk. But, surely, you too would have been lured by the offer of a "free coke & candy bar." So, I tasted the milk, spit it out (honestly, I'd prefer to just drink it), and gave my opinions. And, in just 5 minutes, I had earned a cold Snickers & Diet Mountain Dew.
I think now that I know where the "sensory lab" is, I'll participate more often. Sure, bring on the pizza, chicken nuggets, cookies, and even brachtworst (yes, that was on a sign once). Just keep away the seafood (I've also seen a sign for "smelling" shrimp). I'm sorry, but no amount of candy bars or diet cokes are worth that discomfort!
Oh, and my college (Forest Resources) had their awards banquet last night, and I recieved the award for "Outstanding Graduate Student (Master's Level)" in my department (Forest Products)!! How cool is that?! I've got them all fooled (just kidding, this grad school stuff is tough)!
Okay, "lunch time" is almost over, so it's time to get back to work.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Spring is in the Air

Yes, it certainly is.
I'm not a big fan of azaleas, but these are just outside my work (along the parking lot), and practically in full bloom. Actually, by Monday, they probably will be blooming as much as the white (see in the back).
Of course, my favorites are the gardenias that have taken over just around the corner (those usually bloom in mid to late May).
This evening R & I continued our Easter "tradition" of dying eggs. Yes, we dye eggs. (Just the two of us.) It's just something fun for us to spend a little time reliving our childhood!
Besides, it's so much more fun eating boiled eggs when they're pretty Spring Colors! And, really, I never boil eggs. The only time we have egg salad sandwiches and deviled eggs is at Easter! FYI: The 5 (boring) eggs on the left are R's and the 6 (creative) eggs on the right are MINE!

Happy Easter, y'all! And thanks for your support in my academic endeavors!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Just Call Me Busy

Okay, so this is not a "farewell" message, because I'm sure I'll still find very interesting things to blog about regularly, but rather, it is an early notification for the days I will NOT have the time to post. Once, when I was young, a therapist (I only went like 4 or 5 times) told me that "It's always easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission." I guess that's why I used to get in "so much" trouble; I figured that I was already having fun and I could just worry about saying "sorry" later. Anyways, I'm not asking for permission, nor forgiveness, just letting y'all know that these next couple of weeks are going to be very busy. I have 2 papers, a small project, 2 exams, 3 homeworks, the beginnings of a thesis, labwork, 2 banquets, a recruitment interview, and 2 finals to get through...and that's all between now and the first week of May! (Just Letting You Know)
And, FYI, I have been working all day, I'm just taking a little break from reading so boring articles about water quality, bacterial source tracking, agricultural impact, yadda-yadda...
But, Eeeny-Ways (that's how my 13y/o sister says it)...
I've noticed lately that whether I'm driving around town, walking around campus or walmart, or just sitting in my office I notice things that I'd like to blog about. It used to be that I'd just do everyday stuff and struggle to make it interesting so I could blog about it. But, now everything seems appropriate for an amusing post!
Of course, all these very interesting things get lost in the whirlwind of my mind and I don't blog about them. So, would it be totally weird for me to take notes? Hmm, I might have to try that. (Like I don't have enough stuff to keep me busy!)
I was interested to read y'all's input on Miss TMI, too. I pretty much figured the same thing: She just needed to "vent."
So, who do I "vent" to? You!
Here goes: Last weekend R was leaving work early (headed to the coast to visit his family) when **skreek** he hit his BOSS's truck with the tailgate of (my) truck! He called tThe Boss and told him, and they decided to take care of it this week when R got back from the coast. Our insurance company says that it's covered in "liability" or whatever, and they needed to get an estimate to fix it. You'll never guess...$800!! The damage is about a 10 inch long dent in the BUMPER. Isn't that what the bumper is FOR? To take "bumps?" Well, The Boss drives a 2004 Suburban and the bumper is All.One.Piece. So, there's no such thing as replacing it (I guess). And let me just tell you, the estimate includes 8 hrs labor to "fix" (at $50/hr), 5 hrs to "paint" (at $40/hr), and 5 hrs for "paint supplies" (at $35/hr). What the heck?!?! 8 HOURS to hammer out a dent??? 5 hrs to paint, I guess I can understand (if they're painting the And, 5 hours to...what? Put paint in the sprayer? Then, to top it all off, The Boss is going out of town in a few weeks and wants his truck fixed ASAP, while our insurance people are twiddling their thumbs waiting for their "guy" to "approve" the repair (I guess how much they'll cover for the damage). So Bah-Humbug! Isn't this week going Just Beautifully!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Too Much Information

Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you just met somebody, and they feel that it is entirely appropriate to tell you EVERY SINGLE detail of their life? I mean, obviously, anyone who has a blog (or reads blogs) must feel part exhibitionist and part voyeuristic, but you always know that if the reader is not interested, they can just click away.
So, what do you do when you find yourself in a very personal conversation about--(a) considering changing majors from one field you know nothing about to another field you also know nothing about (b) being from a nearby small town (and not planning to go anywhere else) (c) how "momma" helps out with everything (d) going through a "messy" divorce and (e) an ex-hubby who abused daughter-- with someone whom--(a) you don't know (b) can't get the "I was busy" signal and (c) you can't relate to?? Yes, this happened to me. Today.
She sat down by me (I was sudying/doing crossword/listening to mp3) and asked me a perfectly benign question about student IDs. That led to a discussion about classes and advisors. That led to her explaining about having a "hard time" in school...due to the very serious issues of her "messy" divorce. That led to a discussion about how you just "don't know someone." Really, it was a hard story, but I really felt uncomfortable. See, I tend to worry about other people's problems, and hearing her story really made me unhappy. (Her ex-husband molested her daughter when she was 3! She also told me other very personal things that I won't mention here.) But, I figured that maybe she just wanted/needed to talk? So I listened.
After about 30 minutes, she said that she had to get going, and we exchanged our "Nice to Meet Yous." So, now I'm wondering, do y'all share your personal information with people you don't know? Okay, that's a silly question. I guess the better question would be: Is talking about personal stuff In Person any different than talking about it On a Blog (or in some other Detached media)?

Friday, April 07, 2006

A week in the Life...

I'm greatly amused animals wearing clothes, so here is La Reina wearing her new t-shirt. It's pink with little wings and says "Lil' Cupid." Silly, I know, but it's tough to find clothes that fit for a full-figured gal!

This weekend is Mississippi State's Baseball/Spring celebration, Super Bulldog Weekend! On my way to a lunch meeting today I was "serenaded" by this bluegrass band playing in the middle of our drill field. They sounded pretty good, although I couldn't stay long to listen.
Besides, there were a LOT of people out there, and as you already know, I'm sort-of antisocial! Maybe the crowd had something to do with the Free Food? You know, I would've been all over that, had it not been catfish (yuk! I do NOT eat seafood--and YES catfish is seafood!). Anyways, I already had a "Free Lunch" for today!
Big News (at least for me): We got new cell phones! I hate spending money on things like phones (also: shoes, paper, pens, and books), but we were really overdue for phones that actually work (all the time). So, Tuesday night, we gave the fellas at RadioShack a run for their money. We did it, we actually BOUGHT our first cell phones (previous 3 phones were whatever came "free" with the plan/contract)! Of course, R is a Big Spender, and the Slvr...Yeah, you know the one! I opted for the MUCH CHEAPER Rokr (hey, check out this link, they play a video & music for you!). Both have practically all the same features, but mine looks more "feminine" (in my opinion) and R's is more "cool" (in his opinion).
What do you think? I'm just tickled pink that it also replaces my mp3 player! (But, a little dissapointed that I have to use iTunes.) Generally, I don't like Apple stuff, but the soft pearly-white finish, matching earphones, and cutesy screen effects won me over!
And, I already have 82 (can fit 100) songs on it! That's almost twice as many as would fit on my old mp3 player!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

In Recovery

Another long weekend gone by. And here I am, it's nearly Wednesday, and I'm still trying to recover from the stress/drama/aches of the conference! For starters, carsickness is one of my biggest "weaknesses" and the 8 hour drive back was killer! At least we didn't have another blowout! Add that to the early-morning lectures each day, the steady 4-course meals, and the partying I did Saturday night, and you have the making for a Very.Long.Weekend!
Never thought this would happen: me complaining about Free Meals! But, after countless baskets of bread and glasses of water and tea, 3 salads, 3 entrees, 3 desserts, 1 buffet, 1 sack lunch, and 3 continental breakfasts, I am STUFFED! (Maybe that explains the upset stomach I've had since Sunday, too?)
But, you know, nothing makes you feel more comfortable in your own home (& bed) than spending several days out of it!

Pic descriptions:
1. Me "partying." (But, really, that's just punch in my glass. Note my shiny eyes and very red cheeks.)
2. The formal setting at nearly every lunch and dinner. But, boy, the salads were awesome! (And, no two were the same. Note: This must have been before our etiquette lunch where I learned that you do not leave the sugar packs on the table and my coffee cup should be turned down if I do not want coffee.)
3. Some of our group at the stand-up tables at our dinner under the arch. This was a buffet of ribs (YUM), pasta, hotdogs (HUH?), and nachos.
4. The biggest salad I've ever seen in My Life! This was at a restaurant in Missouri (on the way up) where the logo is "Home of the Throwed Rolls!" I got the ribs (Double YUM), but someone else got this salad. We ALL could've eaten off of it and been full! It must've weighed nearly 10 pounds (reallly)! And, all that in a Bowl made of Bread!!

The honey and I are going to see Ice Age 2 tonight...hopefully there aren't too many little kids and highschool kids down there!