Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What is Dinner Etiquette?

Tonight R and I attended an "Etiquette Dinner" at the awesome M-Club. I bought these tickets from the Career Center a few weeks ago and have been pretty excited. Not so much for the "etiquette" but rather for the $10/person 5-course meal! What a deal! Of course, R had "issues" at work and with the truck and was running late. But, we made it there just as everybody was sitting at their assigned tables.
We were grouped with 5 other people (our "etiquette professional" never showed) and given a gift bag with some papers and a free t-shirt. I guess we had the International table, because there was a girl from Brazil and 2 girls from Korea (other 2 from small Mississippi towns)! The departments represented at our table included: Forest Products (me), International Business, Chemical Engineering, Math, Biological Sciences, and English. We had a lot of fun and it was refreshing to meet new people!
Now on to your Lesson:
1. Shake hands and introduce yourself to everyone at your table.
2. Sit and place your napkin in your lap.
3. Do not eat any food until everyone is seated.
4. Pass sugar dish and bread basked to the left--NEVER take the first roll.
5. Hold polite conversation with each person at your table--do NOT discuss politics, sex, or health issues.
6. Tear a bite-size piece of bread, butter it, and eat.
7. It is polite to leave a small bit of food on your plate.
8. If something is served that you don't eat, or are allergic to, just leave it--there's no need to discuss your "issues." **I had to keep this in mind when shrimp was served as our appetizer. Of course, somebody always asks me if I'm allergic, and I have to explain "no, I just don't eat seafood."**
9. Do not place dirty silverware back on the tablecloth. Once you are finished with a utensil, leave it on the plate to be taken up. If you will use it again (tea spoon, knife), place it on your bread and butter plate.
10. If you need to cough, blow your nose, use the restroom, or clean your teeth, excuse yourself and leave the table. You do not need to "announce" the purpose for your leaving.

Okay, I know, not my most thrilling post... but I've been Really Busy lately (yeah, imagine that), and haven't had much time to come up with anything good.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Jeep Update and Another Game

Pictures from Sept. 13. I know, I'm running at least a week behind R's Current Progress. I know that doesn't matter to any of y'all, but to him, it's like, a big deal or something. Here is the little thing before it all got painted primer gray. Note how messy the passenger side fender is. And, no, that isn't spray primer out of an aerosol can. It's real professional primer surfacer (can you say $15/can).

In Pic #2, note the turquoise color inside the tire wells. We've decided that that was the original color of this little "beauty." The red is a cheap (probably from an aerosol can) coverup. Hopefully all those hours of sanding and super thick primer/surfacer will be strong enough to prevent further paint peeling and rusting!

This was our 3rd home game (the 2nd that we attended), and the game that put us at 0-3. Yes, we know that we're terrible. But, we're still committed fans, and will attend all the games that we are able. This area of the stands is called the Dawg Pound. It started out as temporary bleachers while our stadium was under construction, but became so popular that a more "Permanent" structure was built. Still, when you have 2,000 people jumping around and stomping their feet, it's hard to entirely trust those concrete pilings and thin steel beams!

I must admit, I did not take this picture, R did. I must not have been paying much attention to not see how awesome the sunset looked shining through the stands. Great job, R!

Finally, the ever-present "Self Portrait." Somehow I managed to not have a double chin (hard to do when you're holding the camera th--------is f-------ar from your body). And R's eyes only look slightly weird. I can't figure out why he does that in Every Single Picture. Sadly, this is as good as it gets, because when I tell him that his eyes look goofy and we need to take it again he always ends up looking like...


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Career Fair AKA Engineering Day

So we have this "Career Fair" on campus each fall, providing students with the opportunity to initiate Networking and Internship Opportunities with many large companies. I have attended this little shindig once before, my sophomore year, strictly out of curiosity. And, once again, I was proven correct in assuming that it would better be titled: Engineering Career Fair.
Not that I have anything against engineers, or our engineering departments, but Give Me a Break. You do not make up the entirety, or even the majority, of this University.
So why is this even heralded as such an excellent opportunity for all students.

Regardless of the mis-labeling, mis-representation, and disregard for all the other students on campus, I racked up some Serious Free Stuff. :) This picture has all the paper stuff I picked up, too, so there's a better one. (Click to biggify, and look at Reina in the background watching CNN!)

Just look at all this stuff! There's a collapsible water bottle, 2 coffee mugs from the Navy, 2 can huggies from Honda, a bandaid holder from Merck, a back massager from Walgreens, a tin of mints from the MS DEQ, a pedometer from NAVSEA, a hologram mousepad from the Navy, a beanie tiger from Exxon, a cell phone "recliner" from Lane, a stress-reliever thingy with a cute hard hat, a cloth frisbee, and lots of pens! Mentioning all those names, I hope I get some kind of rebursement!

These are my 3 favorite goodies: There's my hip little phone relaxing on her new chair, the tin of mints (I really needed those after the huge cup of coffee I had that morning), and a pen with post-it tabs built in (I am so hooked on putting those things on everything)!

I did give the "Career Fair" a fair shot. I walked around about 4 times:
Round 1: Get my bearings, figure out where the booths are that I need to stop at.
Round 2: Stop at the 5 whole booths that were somewhat applicable to my degrees.
Round 3: Scope out the coolest stuff at the other booths.
Round 4: Play on people's guilt: "Hello. *smile* I'm not in engineering, or business, or retail, but can I have one of those? *smile*"

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the difficulty of obtaining an engineering degree and all that, but when we're walking around like a herd of scared cows and these official, business-like people look down their noses at your "Celina P. B.S. Microbiology, M.S. Forest Products (Microbiology)" nametag, make quick eye contact, and look over your head for someone who fits their standards, all I can think of is: Whatever.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Weekend Activity

This was actually a few weekends ago, but as I haven't taken any more recent pictures of the Jeep, these will have to do. Here is R taking stuff apart so we can pull the transmission. That's right. He wasn't content to take out just the transfer case, he just had to see what condition the tranny is in.

When he gets on a roll with automotive stuff, I pretty much turn into his "Tool Chick." Which means I have to stay within hearing distance so I can find and bring the tools he needs. "1/2 inch socket!" "Adjustable wrench!" "Sledgehammer!"
In between all that yelling, I managed to take a few pictures. Look how cute his little legs are--poking out from under the jeep!

In an unrelated note, I wanted to share this pic. I know it's blurry, but that's probably good, as I don't exactly have all these guys' permission to post their pic. This is a group pic we took at the last Forest Products Society meeting. Yes, I am the only woman in the pic, and yes they are all big country-type guys! Really, I wasn't the only woman there, because our Organization Sponsor is a woman (my boss, no less). But, it is still kind of weird "hanging out" with all those guys.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bulldog Bash

Last weekend, R and I attended the Bulldog Bash, held in the "cotton district" of downtown Starkville. This is a campus and city-wide event that is held every every fall. This year was the 7th year.
This hill is on our way walking to the activities, at the top of the hill (right) is a cemetary. Okay, so the story behind this hill is that last spring at another free activity (Down in the District), R had a little too much to drink and ended up yakking all over it!

Anyways, the Bulldog Bash included 3 stages with different bands (Christian rock, alternative, country) on each. You walk around this "city block" size area and listen to the bands:

Watch drunk people on the mechanical bull:

And try desperately to not get lost in the crowd!

Altogether, a good time. The headliner for the evening was Sister Hazel, and I was actually really excited to hear them. They didn't start until 11:00, though, and R made me leave at 10:50. Let's just say that the festivities had gotten to me, and I needed to get to bed...

Friday, September 15, 2006

His Favorite Toy

We buy these inexpensive toys at Walmart, practically in bulk (3 or 4 at a time). That way, when Guapo chews one up, we have a backup to keep him occupied. Usually, I pick the toys, and Guapo loves them. On the rare occasion that R picks one, though, that one always ends up being Guapo's FAVORITE. So, of these two toys:

Can you guess which one I picked and which R picked? Here's Guapo proving my point. I have him "sit" and "wait" as I place both of them equal distances from him. Then I give him the "good boy" command (which means it's okay for him to get up and get the toy).
And which does he go for? That's right, the blue one, the one R picked out. The one that was chewed up 10 seconds after he got it! On the other hand, the green one (the one I picked) has survived and thrived for nearly a month.

Now to explain to R why he is responsible for picking up all the little pieces of blue plastic scattered all over the house...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Waiting Room

Yesterday I took R to a doctor, (don't worry, everything is okay) and had a very Interesting Experience in the waiting room. We were perfect patients and arrived 15 minutes early to fill out new patient paperwork, file insurance, and etc. Then, we sat in the already crowded waiting room and waited... and waited... and waited...
Interesting Experiences:

1. 50-something woman answering cell phone: "HELLO?" pause "Wait, I can't hear YOU!" pause "She's getting the cath today, but I don't know WHEN!" pause "Do you have Aunt's number?" pause "OKAY, I'm at the doctor's too, so I'll just call YOU when I LEAVE!" I swear, if she had started calling out her "aunt's" phone number, I would've obviously written it down! She was just SO LOUD!

2. R and I were making chit-chat and I was working on the Reflector's crossword and sudoku puzzles when another patient wheeled up and asked me to "explain" how to do sudoku. I have nothing against "special" people, but this guy made me feel really uncomfortable. He seemed to be mostly "there," but enough "off" to not understand "personal space" and "self-invitation." He was extremely overweight (probably the reason he was in a wheelchair), and was wearing a tight t-shirt, socks, and spandex pants!

3. It started pouring down rain outside and the door had been left open (the waiting room was probably 12x20 with about 25 chairs). One old man huffed and puffed, mumbled to himself, and stomped over to slam the door shut! 5 minutes later, I felt for sure that I was Absolutely Suffocating!! Would it be rude if I had just stepped outside and waited?

An hour and 15 minutes after arriving, R was finally called into the back, and left me to be oogled by the Spandex Guy.

4. Of the 15 or so patients, I noticed that 12 were "over 50," 10 were men, and I was the only woman under 40 in the room! Then, a 30-something business-type man started ringing: "DOES THAT MAKE ME CRAZY? DOES THAT MAKE ME CRAZY? PRO-BAB-BLEEEE!!!" You know, the Gnarls Barkley song "Crazy?" He not-so-quickly answered the phone, had an entire conversation, and started text messaging (at least, that's what I assume he was doing: see #6).

5. The walls must be really thin, because then I heard the doctor (nurse, whoever) WHISTLING the "Crazy" song!! I just hope that wasn't the doctor who was examining R!!

6. "Crazy" ringtone man didn't turn his ringer off, because a few minutes later, it started to rev like a NASCAR engine, and "bvvvvt, bvvvvt" like the air lug wrench used in the pits! I mean, DUDE, this is a DOCTOR'S WAITING ROOM!!

R was only with the doctor for about 15 minutes! WHAT? We waited 1 HOUR and 15 MINUTES for him to see R for 15, and say "oh, everything looks okay to me." Of course, we are thankful that everything is okay, but it feels kind of frustrating when you KNOW something doesn't FEEL right, but the doctor says it's "Just Fine!"
Nevermind that R missed half a day's work AND I missed my first class of the semester (and a quiz--which was also mentioned to my boss)!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Random Pictures

I hadn't noticed how smart these books made me look until R made a joke/comment about it. But, truth be known, the "Simple Fool's Guide to PCR" is a troubleshooting guide for my current research. I've been having issues with this specific procedure, and I was hoping this guide would help me figure out what I was doing wrong... Apparently not, as I had to have my major professor do the procedure to see if she can make it work. And, Exploring Genomes is a workbook for my class (that I have only started the first 2 exercises in).
This amazing house caught my eye the first time I saw it, and I sat ready and prepared, camera in hand, for when we drove past it again. Wow, just Wow! (Sorry it's not the best pic, R was flying!)
Oooh, can you read that sign? It's advertising a "Labor Day All Night Skate. 7pm to 6 am." YES! That's 7 o'clock at night to 6 o'clock the next morning! Could you imagine? I don't think I had that much energy even when I was 16!
Finally, in memory of Hurricane Katrina, our campus flags were lowered to half-mast. This is the big one in the middle of campus, and I waited 5 minutes (with impatient R rushing me) for the wind to blow Just Right so I could catch the Stars and Stripes looking very pretty.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Why Me?

I shouldn't complain, cuz it just means that I have "virtual friends" out there who actually think about me! So, I was tagged by Mon to this word association thing...
1. Auto--Pilot
2. Spy--James Bond
3. Wind--Storm
4. Loud--Music
5. Sexy--Body

I won't tag anyone, because I'd feel sad if you didn't do it. But, if I were going to give 5 words they'd be:
1. Bacteria
2. House
3. Jeep
4. Party
5. Exam
(Hmmm... I guess those are the things that are on my mind right now). Possibly in that priority order, too! :)
Tonight is our little shindig, the Bulldog Bash. I would write more about it, except that I've spent the day being productive (no, really i have. okay, you can quit laughing.), and it's now almost 5:00, and I'm all out of energy. Okay, that's not entirely true. I have a little energy on reserve for tonight. I mean, who wouldn't enjoy a free concert?! So, *cheers* to the weekend, *cheers* to Sister Hazel (I hope they're good music), and *cheers* to having a formatted thesis (my progress of the day).

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Bridal Shower

Last weekend, I returned to the coast for an old friend's bridal shower. It was a nice experience, but I'd like to start by telling you a little about the Guest of Honor, Jessica.
We met in 9th grade (when I moved to Gulfport) through mutual friends and shared classes. However, it wasn't until 10th grade, when we both joined the High School Colorguard (band), that we got to be friends. At first all the "rookies" hung out together, but we quickly separated into our pairs and cliques (you remember how that high school drama was). Jess and I were the definition of B.F.F.! We planned class schedules together, passed notes, had sleepovers, gossipped about everybody else, and shared many intimate stories. Throughout high school, she was the best friend a girl could ask for. We trusted each other and never betrayed that trust (a hard thing to do when there's so much drama). Of course, we had our little arguments, and did some things with our "other" (non-mutual) friends, but for those 3 years, it was Celina and Jessica, BFF! Oh, I guess I should mention that she also has a twin sister.
Then, we started college. We both came to MSU, and lived 3 doors down from each other. We were both members of the Air Force ROTC (although she had gotten their full scholarship), Honor's Society, and intermural soccer team. Slowly things changed. She started meeting more people in different social circles (read: sorority/fraternity), attending real college parties, and moving away from our friendship. That freshman year we realized (or at least I realized) how different we were/are. Sophomore year, she and her sister joined a sorority, became more involved in the AFROTC, and we practically lost touch.
The last time I saw Jessica was about 4 years ago when she stayed at our house for the weekend (yes, it was sort of out of the blue, but whatever). Last time I heard from her was nearly 2 years ago, when she called (left a voicemail message) offering "Congratulations" for mine and R's upcoming wedding.
Since "losing touch," she's completed college (bachelor's), joined the Air Force (Ms Lieutenant), moved to California, then Montana (I know, what are the chances), and met her very own Mr. Perfect.
Seeing her (and her sister) again after so long brought me to the reality of my Developing Maturity. I now realize that my hurt feelings of losing such a wonderful friendship were justified, but not necessary. More than that, I realize how thankful I am that I had such a wonderful friend for those years. Someone I could count on. A best friend I could talk to, trust, and yes, love.
Also, I realize why her sister and I were not exactly friends. We're very much alike. She's also an amazing woman, and I can now appreciate her strong, opinonated, and sometimes judgemental personality (cuz hey, that's just like me).
Finally, being around the two of them for those few hours made me all the more grateful for My Very Own Best Friend, AJ. In the picture are left to right: Jessica, me, AJ, and Jennifer.

Let me add one more thing... I could say a few more things about the whole Bridal Shower experience, but I'm trying to keep this thing very positive... so I won't... :) I will just say that I didn't appreciate the little side comment about not wanting "a cake from Walmart." Okay, so your bridal shower cake probably cost more than my wedding cake (from Walmart), but I didn't hear anyone complaining! Yep, I can definitely see clearly why we're not close friends...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Looks Like Game Day!

We had our First Football game last week, but I don't wanna talk about it. It started out good (at least we were tied with everyone else in the SEC--0 to 0). Something cool was the Grand Opening of The Junction.
This is why 2 main roads through campus were closed down: To make this BIG Grassy Area for tailgaters. Looks like a mess to me, but hey, at least we're holding our own in the Cool Factor.
We took our usual seats in the Dawg Pound, the best seats in the house (IMHO). Besides, check out my view...
Yes, those are young, shirtless men, painted up for the game!
Once you get over the young and crazy (drunk) college kids, it was a decent good time. See Bully running out in front of the football team? He's so Kewl!
Even cooler is the Real Bully! He's such a cutie! And, he managed to run all-the-way across the field without passing out!
One last pic, before it all went downhill...aren't we Just The Cutest?! :)

BTW: Final score, 0 to 12. Yes, shut out in our own territory. Too bad.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm Baaaack!

This week has been practically unbearable without my laptop. But, through the magic of mail delivery, my new AC adapter came in today (I ordered it Wednesday night)!! So, I've kept y'all in suspense long enough...now introducing...our Newest Addition ...
It's a 1967 Jeep CJ5! If you're anything like me, you're thinking "Okay? What's the big deal?" Let me just say that it has been a dream of R's to own, restore, and drive a jeep Just Like This since he was young. Finally, his dream has come true! We got an awesome deal on the thing, besides having to drive 2 hours away (and back) TWICE--once just to look and again to load it on a trailer to tow home (although I can't complain much, as gas was only $2.50 on the way, 30 whole cents cheaper than in our town).
Yes, I know, I know, it looks like a Mail Jeep, but it's a bonus that it came with the hard top (minimal rust/damage inside). So, there's another pic--with it looking more like a Real Jeep (sans roll bar, which would be necessary before driving anywhere)! The thing runs, but is not drivable (transmission/transfer case, don't even ask), the tires are in excellent condition, and the body is nearly perfect (besides one dented fender, and desperate need of sanding and painting)!!
As I'm typing this, R is outside pressure washing it. That's right. He's washing the 40-year-old, non-running, rustbucket Jeep in our front yard! We've started ordering parts for it, but it will probably be a few months before it's really ready to drive.
And, when we reach that point, R promised me that I can drive it "first." Now that's True Love.