Friday, June 30, 2006

The Joys of

sharing a funny story. a backrub. a no-reason-at-all card. miniature roses. friday. cold sweet tea. a good belly-laugh. an unexpected text message. a cool breeze. airconditioning. a smile from a stranger. a mountain view. a purring cat. swimming. a hot shower. barbeque ribs.

I'm so glad it's friday, and a long weekend (although I will still be working). Nothing big planned, but I'm sure we'll enjoy the weekend, probably catch our local fireworks.

Hope y'all have a fun and safe holiday!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wish I Was There

I just got off the phone with my mom and am happy to say that they (mom, dad, and gramma) made it safely and not too broke from Las Vegas. Last week they were in SanDiego dropping my littlest sister off at Camp (Sea World Adventure camp, at that). Then they went to Las Vegas for a few days (gramma is borderline addicted to casinos). Mom said they had fun and pretty much broke even. I don't understand why, but they didn't go to any shows or concerts either?! Then they drove through/near Sedona, Arizona, you know, where they're having a lot of forest fires. And, now they're on their way to Palm Springs and SanDiego (to pick up littlest sister on Friday). Saturday they will be heading back home.
Wow. And I thought our 2 weeks was quick, could you imagine ALL THAT in just 1.5 weeks? Of course, I wish I could've gone, too. Even if just to say that I had been to SanDiego and Las Vegas! Oh, to swim in the Pacific Ocean again (haven't since I was 6)!! I'm sure R would love to see it, too.
Next weekend we'll go through Georgia and South Carolina (R's first time in both states). Maybe we can even swing up to North Carolina? The weekend after that I think we'll be down on the Coast for a family get together (R's dad's family). At the end of July, best-bud AJ will be going with her other girlfriend to Hawaii. Yes, HAWAII! (And :( she didn't even invite me.) Just kidding, like I could afford that. And besides, my little sister is coming to visit in August.
Co-Gradstudent GK just got back from Norway, where he had a conference. His wife went with him, too, having just gotten back from New York (visiting family). And, The Boss is going to Russia next week. (Work or pleasure, I don't know, but DANG! Sure wish I could go!)
Soon enough, Celina, soon enough. I have faith that one day we'll be able to just pick up and go whereever/whenever the desire strikes. But, wouldn't it be awesome to just be a fly on the wall for all those trips?!?!

Friday, June 23, 2006

At this Moment

  • Trying to convince myself to get back to tip-typing my thesis
  • Sipping a new cranberry limeade (from Sonic, route 44 size), YUM!
  • Watching my frozen bottle of water "sweat" all over my desk
  • Listening to Music: Everybody's Fool--Evanescence, I've Got You Under My Skin--Michael Buble, Come As You Are--Nirvana, D'Yer Mak'er & Whole Lotta Love--Led Zeppelin
  • Considering playing an online game: Soduku? MahJong? Diner Dash? Collapse?
  • Wondering how soon is too soon to plan a cookout at my house. To invite our friends, while my sister is visiting, as a sort-of back to school bash. Will be at the beginning of August, so maybe 2 weeks before we can do invites & plan menu?
  • Wishing the A/C wasn't broken in this building! ACK! It's getting toasty in here!
  • Wanting to be "creative" with dinner tonight, but having no idea what to cook (it's chicken)
  • Craving a perfect bowl of guacamole.
  • Thinking about singing along with the zepplin. Do you think my co-cubbies would mind?
  • Deciding that it is time to get back to the thesis.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Bad, The Good

When somebody asks "I have good news and bad, which do you want to hear first?"
Which do you choose? I always ask for the "bad" so that the "good" might make it seem not so bad.
So, here's the "bad:" upon reading one of my favorite blogs, I found my way here, then here. And eventually ended up (Please, do not read this if you have recently eaten, or had too much to drink. Otherwise, enjoy).
And, for your viewing pleasure, the "good:" Mr. Jason Thompson aka Dr. Patrick Drake (from General Hospital, don'cha know). Extreme hottie, eh? Can anybody explain why, in this high-tekkie world of instant gratification, am I able to find ONLY 3 pics of his hotness? And, why does he look so mad in his pics? Personally, I think he has a beautiful smile!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Look Into My Crystal Ball

I've never been to a "fortune teller" or a "palm reader," as I don't really believe in those ablilities. However, I do believe that we all have a fate, and each choice we make along the way will pave the path with either soft rose petals or shards of broken glass (or an infinite number of variances between the two).
A path laid out with only rose petals will be much easier and more enjoyable, but perhaps the end result will be a life of dissatisfaction. You never had to work hard for anything, or experience the thrill and excitement of a challenge. Somebody always told you which way to go, and you will always rely on another person to provide direction.
The path littered with broken glass, blood and tears, will be much more difficult and unpleasant, and still the end result may be a life of dissatisfaction. You had to struggle for every thing in life, and never had the time or energy to sit back and enjoy the ride. You always chose your own path, and may never be able to trust another person to help you find your way.
Obviously, somewhere in the middle is the painful, yet experienced life that most people lead. We have chosen things we believed in, and had decisions made for us--even against our wills. But, in the end, we will be stronger and wiser. And, hopefully not too cynical or lazy. We will be ourselves. Each an individual, each reaching that fate that he was destined for. Each contributing a small (or large) piece to the puzzle of life. Maybe that's too simply put, but it feels right. Because you may not be my best friend, or my neighbor, or even a friend-of-a-friend, but we are connected. Something that you do will affect me, and visa versa. I just hope that my choices, my decisions will help to cushion your path with rose petals.
Sometimes that's all we can hope for.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

So, this horse walks into a bar...

...and the bartender asks, "Why the long face?"
So, I like, had this totally awesome post yesterday, but my time was in a crunch and I, like didn't have time to fight with blogger (he was being a jerk, you know), so I said "forget it." Then I got real busy and didn't have time to come back. Oh, and we're so stuck on this game we just bought for PS2, Warriors. Have any of y'all ever seen the 1970-something movie? Apparently the tag line is a weird voice calling out "Warriors! Come out and play!" Well, the game is extremely violent (make money by mugging people and breaking into stores, to buy "Flash" and spray paint--to ramp up health, and tag buildings, respectively). But, I like it. It has a whole storyline and interesting (challenging) bonus missions. And, it's something we can do together. Although I'd love to stay and chat, I actually have things to do. Bueno, adios!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Do You, Haiku

Over at ...So The Fish Said... we were asked to write a 10-word description about a recurring dream that we have. Several commenters did a sort-of haiku, and I liked their patterns. I've never written haiku, although I have written "poetry." And, this is what I came up with:
First love Just friends
Eight years Found again
Kiss me.

I know it's not the 5-7-5 pattern, so maybe I shouldn't be calling it "haiku" but just "10-word poetry?" Well, I was so impressed with my skills (hey, it doesn't even have to rhyme) that I've written a few more:

My best friend, true love
Then one day you asked, "will you"
"I do" forever.

TV distracting
There is much work to be done
Turn it off right now!

Okay, now I really am going to get back to tip-typing away at this chapter.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

See, I was thinking...

I know I had something very interesting to talk about, but since I decided to put it off until the end of the day, I've completely forgotten. And, I'm sure it was a really good one!
So, I've been making decent progress on my thesis Lit Review chapters (3 of 'em), but not one of them is ready to be turned in for "professional" review. I am finding it extremely difficult to concentrate on all things work related. When I start tip-typing away on one chapter, I come across something that would be just perfect in the other chapter. After a few hours of flip-flopping between THREE topics, I get bored (or confused/frustrated), so I head up to the lab. Once there, I run some samples (takes 15-45 minutes) and wait (THAT's really the name of the game, just wait, because after 15-45 minutes of doing stuff I have to wait 2-4 hours for it to do it's thing). In that wait break, I hit up my favorite blogs, check and reply to email, and try to get re-interested in tip-typing thesis chapters. Lather, rinse, repeat. Ad infinitum.
To alleviate the monotony and help me feel constructive, I write lists. Yes, that's correct, lists. Currently I have 3 on my desk:
A) To Do Saturday (housecleaning day): laundry, vacuum, fridge, dishes, Birdy, litterbox, trash, bathroom, stuff back in bathroom, clean out storage bench, organize shed (this will most likely spill over to Sunday)
B) To Finish Bathroom: cut and install ceiling trim, caulk tub faucets, install tub fixtures, seal around tub/floor/wall, buy floor trim (cut & install), buy shelf/rack for inside shower, hang mirror, find new sink/vanity, seal floors, buy rug, buy trashcan/toothbrush/tp/soapholder set (to match snazzy new paint and fixtures)
C) For SC Trip: cooler, air matress/blankets, waterproof bags, watershoes?, swimsuit, board games, camera (need to find battery charger), food, drinks, MAP

Oh, I haven't mentioned the SC trip yet, have I? Well, in 3 weeks, I'll be going rafting with a group of my friends. Best bud AJ, high school buds JE & JH, her hubby MH and brother FB, and R & I are staying at this cabin in Mountain Rest, SC. I mean, really, who wouldn't want to stay in a place called Mountain Rest?! (ooh, wait, there IS a link for it...) They'll all get there around 6 on Friday, and R&I will get there around midnight (they're missing work & flying, while we're going to work & driving). Saturday we'll all hang out in the hot tub, maybe play a few board games (or bored games, as R calls them), and have ourselves a little part-ay. Bright and early Sunday we'll be headed down the Chattanooga River in some sort of floating rubber vessel. Hopefully, a fun 6-hours later, we'll settle back in to the cabin, cook up some burgers (or STEAKS, yum), and head home on Monday. It will be a quick weekend, but I'm thrilled, as I've NEVER been rafting before!
So, I want to be excited about that, but it's still 3 WEEKS away, and it gets really depressing when I think about all the other stuff I have to do/finish before then... Oh, and I really hope that nasty rash on my leg clears up by then! It's not poison ivy per se anymore, it has now progressed to a BIG nasty patch of pink and white crustiness (and still itches like the dickens)! YUK! Maybe I should google "rashes" and see if it's something a little more serious? Like Necrotizing Fasciitis? Really, I'm not a hyperchondriac (as a Microbiology major, I feel like I know a little about a lot, so I'd be able to ID many bacterial/viral diseases), and I hate going to the doc because they charge the co-pay even if all she says is "Yep, it's a rash, here's some benedryl cream." (Like when I was really sick right after NewYear's and she told me to "take tylenol, drink juice, and rest." Yeah, thanks bunches.) I'll refrain from posting new pics, as the rash is looking much, much grosser!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lettuce Alone

That's the name of our new bathroom walls: Lettuce Alone. Originally, I had thought we would just paint our new walls white (for simplicities' sake), but, after 2 coats of primer, we decided that we needed MORE than that. Off to Lowes to pick (argue over) the best paint color. These pics don't really do it justice, you'll just have to go to Lowes, dig through the Olympic brand greens, and look for Lettuce Alone, it's an awesome color! It's much more lemon-limey than either of these pics give it credit for.
This is our new vanity light strip. We used to have tons of those cool round bulbs, but finally got rid of them last summer when we figured that we'd never go back to one of these fixtures. That's another trip to WalMart for special bulbs. But, what you can see is how pretty the brushed nickel finish looks with our paint color. The tub/shower fixtures are the same finish, but we haven't completed the caulking, so I didn't take a pic of them. Eventually, our sink will sit under this light and have matching fixtures.
This is the best shot I could get of the tub (avocado green), new surround (white "tile" hardboard), wall paint (Lettuce Alone), and FLOOR (maple laminate), without showing a bunch of ugly stuff. We still have to put up the ceiling and floor trim (white) and finish caulking where the tub, walls, & floor meet.
The floor boards looked much browner in the box, but I guess the green paint really brought out the orangey-ness, and I like it! Oh, and we have a special sealer to put down (since laminate wood floors are not exactly ideal in a bathroom). It's absolutely hilarious to watch the cats peel out & skid across the floor!! I wonder how long it will take them to get used to the new slick floor?
On another note, I just got these pics from my aunt-in-law, and wanted to share (I hope she doesn't mind*). Now, aren't these just the most ADORABLE kids, EVER?!?! Seriously! They will be celebrating their first birthday in 2 weeks, so Happy Early Birthday, cousins!!

*Aunt K, if you don't want these posted, just let me know, and I'll take them off immediately.

Friday, June 09, 2006

More Vacation

I attempted to post this yesterday so I could talk about something different today, but Blogger, my computer, and the internet in general all ganged up on me and said "No Way, Jose!" So, today you get to see more pics from New Mexico.

Este es el Santuario de Chimayo (This is the Shrine of Chimayo). It's an adorable adobe mission chapel where many testimonies of healing powers have taken place. We arrived 15 minutes too late to go inside, so I wasn't able to take any pictures of the Miraculous Crucifix. But, I have been in before, and it's very old and awe-inspiring. And, there's a small room in the back where a saint is said to have appeared. The walls are lined with abandoned crutches, wheelchairs, and letters of healing from many people who have visited.

This is Nambe Falls. I had never been up there before, but it was on the way back from Chimayo, so we decided to take the scenic drive. Little did we know that we would have to climb a 1/4 mile very steep and crumbly path to see it. We just kept telling ourselves that it's just around the bend in order to make it.
The falls were nice, but we only stayed long enough to take this beautiful picture with the sun setting behind us.
Here we (me, gramma, little sister R, and mom) are at the Roswell Art Museum. See the painting? Turns out that is my gramma's great-gramma! Please excuse the weird look on my face, I must have been annoyed that my sister & I looked like twins!
And, finally, who can visit Roswell without taking a picture with a real ALIEN? I know, this one wasn't really real, but he sure was cute! By this time, we had just eaten at a side-of-the-road Mexican diner, and could only think about the very long drive backhome, hoping and praying that we didn't get an upset stomach (surprisingly, we didn't)!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Just Call Me Dilbert (or Bob Vila)

As in I have been "downsized" to a cubicle in the "Grad Student General Office." I probably should've been in here from the beginning, but since this office wasn't set up when I started grad school, I was put in a nice (big) private office. Yes, it was too much for me, but here I am, 6 months to graduation, typing away in a not at all private cubicle! I don't mind too much, it's just that I'm right here in the doorway, so every.single.person who walks in the door looks directly into my cubbie and at my computers! So, I have my laptop off-set at an angle, and I have a very important looking screen in the background (and articles scattered all over my desk)! Hopefully it looks believable.
So, over the weekend we started more HOME RENOVATIONS. I know, the fun never ends! We had this nasty plastic-y backsplash in the kitchen that has been bugging us to be replaced. And, it didn't go so far as to cover the section of paneling that was bowed and peeling due to an old roof leak. Well, a while back we found this nice stainless steel/tile-like paneling that we really liked. Everytime we'd talk about getting back to working on the house (we go through phases every couple of months), we'd bring up that really snazzy paneling. Well, we finally did it. We bought a sheet, installed it, and replaced the 2 outlets on that wall (painted in a shiny/glittery/chrome color). Now the wall looks great, but the cabinets need to be repainted (the previous owners used some weird stain that refuses to be covered with paint).
And, since we were demolishing stuff, I decided to re-caulk the tub. But, nothing is ever that easy with us. Nope, we decided to just go ahead and replace the tub walls (they were pretty bad). And, since we were doing that, and some previous owner had used duct tape to hold together the old paneling, we decided to replace all the walls in the bathroom! So far we have the new tub surround up (caulk drying over 24 hours) and 1.5 of the new wall panels up. Now we just need to find a new sink/vanity (the sink we have is old, ugly, cracked, and set up on a frame of 2X4s)!
I would post pics, but I think R would kill me if he even knew I was talking about this to y'all! (He's very sensitive about this house.) But, like we've said about everything we've done to this place: It's All Just Practice (for when we get our real house).

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Well, I've already tried this post once and the internet decided that it didn't like what I had to say. So, I'm trying again...
Before I get back to pics from our trip, I have to share my two complaints of the week:
I missed the Grand Blooming event that is Gardenia. This huge bush is outside my office and produces the most beautiful and perfumed gardenias I've ever seen. They literally cover the whole bush! Usually it blooms in early May, so I had been keeping my eye out for it, but must have missed it by just a week! By the time I got back, most of the blooms had started wilting and falling off! But, it still smells absolutely delicious!

And, nevermind the hairy-ness...I Have Poison Ivy. Okay, so that may not be news for some of you (if you've had it before). But, in 25 years of camping, fishing, hiking, and other various activities in the woods, I have NEVER had Poison Ivy! Yeah, Really! I'm sure you're all saying "Oh, it's not THAT bad." And, I guess I'd agree. But...
Yeah, that's right. It's also on my FACE!! I'm trying desperately not to scratch--so as not to become Scarface! ("Say hello to my little friend!")
Enough complaining.
This is the St.Francis Cathedral in downtown Santa Fe. It's one of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen, and I love to take photos of it. Sorry no pics of the inside (amazing stained glass) because they were having 6:00 Mass.
Here is my "little" sister, J, at her graduation. Isn't she a cutie? It was a long time coming (she had issues due to her "previous life," i.e. before she came to live with us) and I am extremely proud of her! And, she has already started summer school at her local community college! You Go Girl!
On the way north (out of Santa Fe) we drove past Camel Rock (yes, it's really named that).
Here we are at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. It's not as high or wobbly as that awesome bridge in Colorado, but it was still pretty cool.
And here we are at the Taos Pueblo. Can you believe that people still live & work in these buildings?! Yeah, their living spaces are in the back/top, and their shops (sell jewelry, pottery, crafts, food) are in the front/bottom.
There are more pictures to come, but since I'm blogging from home this afternoon, I can't upload any more pics (I lack patience, so sue me).

Friday, June 02, 2006

It's All About Him

So, I'm starting out my vacation review with pictures of R only. Since I was the official picture-taker for the first half of our trip, I was not in a lot of them. But, R is a good-looking guy (at least in my opinon), so you'll have to endure his absolute cuteness for this first set of pics.
The trip went really well, and we were able to see so many areas of the state (took my mil to all our "favorite" places). We even made it out to one place I had never been: Roswell. But, that's for later.
This was at the Jackalope store in Santa Fe. This is a "lounge chair" carved from a single piece of wood. Isn't that just awesome? Oh, and the price tag (in case you were interested in getting one): $2500. R!! Get out of that chair! (You better not break it!)

Okay, so I decided to put in one picture with me. But, this was just too cute to resist. This was on Canyon Road in Santa Fe. It's just a long narrow road lined with artist galleries and a few eateries. I'm sure the intention was not for us to sit on the artwork but this bear sculpture was just just made to be sat on!

Further down Canyon Road was this "sculpture." I know, I messed up the shadow thing, but I had to show you, because really WHO would put this in their house/yard?
This was a funny little character that I was able to convince R to mimic. But, PLEASE, don't tell him that I put this pic up here! And trust me, there is no resemblance between the two!
We finally took one of those "Old West" pictures at this museum we like to go to in Madrid, NM. But, I'm not going to put up the picture with me & mil in it, you'll just have to be content with my adorable little soldier!
"Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton! Old times there are not forgotten! Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land!"