Thursday, November 30, 2006

Old Man Winter

For the past several weeks, our weather consisted of temps around the mid 70s, 50-60% humidity (hello frizz), sometimes clear, sometimes cloudy skies, and few few scattered showers. But, after today all that will change. Our forecast says that tonight we will drop below freezing, and our high for tomorrow will be in the mid 40s! The rest of the weekend, we're supposed to be in the low to mid 50s. I was so excited when I saw that front start moving through Texas & Oklahoma, and I can't hardly wait for it to get here!
Out of curiosity, I checked out the weather in Livingston, MT, and this cute little sun is smiling in spite of the negative wind chill factor!
Oh, and my mom called R the other night to "inform" him of the record lows some areas of Montana have been experiencing! She went on to tell him that New Mexico has been averaging between 40-50 degrees. Are we ready for those kinds of winters? Okay, okay, I know I've talked about that before, but now it's really almost time!
Okay, off subject, but whatever, how great is this: I get a Free Dinner tonight (at one of our town's fanciest restaurants, Harvey's, and OMG, let me tell you about their New York Strip!), and a Free Lunch tomorrow (at one of my favorite restaurants, The Grill, where OMG they have the best ever fried cheese!). Both restauarants are "owned" by the same company, and they really are that good! Harvey's is curtesy of the Forest Products Society (I've had a pic of these guys before, but can't seem to find it now), and The Grill is my "Farewell Lunch" with my coworkers in the lab! I know this probably sounds a little greedy, but I wish my "Farewell Lunch" had been any other day, because I already had a Free Lunch scheduled on Friday (for this school group I participate in)!
Oh, how I will miss the Free Food (you know, once I'm no longer a student)!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Gift Horse

You know that saying, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." Have you ever thought about what that means?
According to Bartleby, it means:
"Don’t question the value of a gift. The proverb refers to the practice of evaluating the age of a horse by looking at its teeth. This practice is also the source of the expression 'long in the tooth,' meaning old."
Anyways, I've been asked by at least 2 family members what I want for a "graduation gift." And, honestly, I can't think of a thing. I know it may sounde rude, or ungrateful, but all I can think about is the fact that in less than 2 weeks I will be out of a job. The weight of our bills, groceries, and "entertainment" will fall entirely on R's shoulders, and that worries me more than anything. So, family and friends, if you feel so inclined (and believe me, I don't expect to get anything), I would not be offended by gift cards (Walmart, restaurants, etc) or cash. Trust me, they will go to good use! Of course, if you want to get something else, by all means, I won't turn a down any gift! :)

On another note, I finally got my final corrections in and approved. I turned in my final paperwork, and am all clear for graduation (well, besides the paper & 2 finals I have next week)! Not that I was pushing any limits, you know, the deadline was this Friday!
I think a few family members are planning to come for my graduation, and that makes me happy, too. R was the only person who was able to go to my 1st graduation (Dec 04), so it would be awesome for my mom & sisters (and R's mom & other family members) to be here! But then that leaves me with trying to find (interesting) things for them to do while they're here! I think we could manage, though, and I would love to have the chance to show off My MSU!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Turkey Holiday

We had a fantastic time in Shreveport. Of course, I took a ton of pictures, and it was hard for me to pic my favorites (and be fair to all the adorable kids).
First up is the one I call "a little ham." She grins and makes eye contact everytime she sees a camera, and that makes for some adorable pics. R had his hands full with the 3 kids, and enjoyed every minute of it!

Little boy is not as hammy as his sister, but oh, so adorable! Here, they were enjoying Lilo and Stitch on the way home from the park. I guess R wasn't that into the movie?

I like the way this pic makes Little boy look like he has a precious little red mullett! And, who can keep from smiling at the mixture of laughter, anxiety, and utter joy on his face?

I can't leave Stewie out. But, since I've put lots of pics of him on here before, I'm limiting his exposure to this one. Poor little guy just did NOT like the slide! We tried every size, shape, and direction, but the little guy just.would.not.!

And, finally, the Little Ham again. I think her momma was surprised by how cute (and utterly perfect) this picture turned out. To tell you the truth, so am I, but hey, when you're gifted, you're gifted! :)

I hope y'all had a fantastic holiday, and I can't wait to get back to reading all about it!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I haven't felt much like blogging lately. I have so many unfinished projects that need tending that by the time I have a few free minutes, I don't even want to look at a computer. Last weekend we went to Gulfport so that R could "save the day" (fix his mom's car). This morning I took Guapo to the vet (he'll be boarding there for nearly a week). And, this evening we're driving to Shreveport, LA. It's about a 5-6 hour drive, and I have a TON of things to do before we go.
R's aunt and uncle are hosting Thanksgiving at their house this year, so we'll be gone until Sunday or Monday. I'm looking forward to visiting with the extended family, especially since I don't have to cook!
My job search is underway, and I sent out my first application yesterday. Graduation is right around the corner, and I can't believe how many things I have to finish before then: Large homework/project assignment, 1 powerpoint presentation (it's next Wed, and I haven't even started on it), and a 7-10 page paper (that I only have the rough outline together).
Well, I need to get something productive done before R gets home, where should I start: Bathroom, Living Room, Kitchen, Bedroom?
I don't know if I'll be up for blogging while I'm gone on vacation, so if I don't "talk" to ya before then, I hope y'all have a fantastic Thanksgiving and enjoy your holiday/family/food!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Family Guy

A few weeks ago I was "introduced" to Family Guy. I think I've tried watching the show before, but it was just too something and I didn't like it. This time, though, was different. We've now watched several episodes and I just can't get enough. I think it's just the silly-nothing-ness that gets me. You know, sometimes you just need to zone out and laugh a little.

Get this video and more at">

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Worst Meal, EVER!

Last night, R and I went to Chilis for dinner. We've had poor service at just about every restaurant in town, including Chilis. But last night topped them all!
We started out by waiting 10 minutes for our server to take our drink order: two waters. 5 minutes later they were brought to us (but we weren't asked for our food order). 10 minutes later the server returned and asked if we were "ready to order." We were, so we ordered their "take two" meal which includes 2 meats (we chose the house sirloin & honey sirloin) and 2 veggies (steamed veggies & mashed potatoes). We asked for it to be brought out on 2 plates (house sirloin + potatoes, honey sirloin + steamed veggies). I also ordered a cesaer side salad. 10 minutes later, I got the salad and the server realized that we didn't have silverware. We got our silverware, I finished my salad, then about 20 minutes later, our server told us that one of the steaks was done, and it would only be "a few more minutes" until our food was brought out. 5 minutes later our food came out. I had to ask for a refill on my water, and we asked for A-1 sauce. By the time those were brought those to us, we had realized that we hadn't been asked how we wanted our steaks cooked, and they were well-done. (We usually get medium, or medium-rare.) Not only were they overcooked and tough, they were also extremely dry, and barely warm! R told the server that the meat didn't look good, and why hadn't we been asked how we wanted them cooked. The server told us that "they normally come cooked like that." R said he wasn't happy, and could we please speak to the manager. The manager and server came back out and we explained that we weren't happy about waiting 25 minutes to order and another 30 minutes for our food. We weren't happy about the server's job (we had to ask for refills and we weren't asked how we wanted our steaks cooked). And, we weren't happy with the FOOD itself. The manager offered a free dessert or discount off our meal, and we could just let the server know when we were finished. So, we attempted to eat the tough steaks and cold veggies, but it really was that bad. Besides the crappy steaks, everything else was terrible, too. R's mashed potatoes were burnt on the bottom, cold in the middle, and the cheese on top had that crusty look that cheese gets when it's been sitting out. And, my steamed veggies included burnt broccoli (how do you burn steamed broccoli?) and cold carrot and bell pepper slivers. We both took a few bites of our respective veggies and steaks, debated on if we could even eat the nasty food, and waved for our server. We explained that the food was terrible and we were too angry (and hungry) to wait for new food (yeah, like they wouldn't SPIT in it after all THIS) and we didn't feel like we should pay for it. The server left and came back with a zeroed-out check.
Being the nice guy that he is, R still left a $2 tip.
I've been very non-descript in the details of the server and manager. I've had bad service (not nearly this bad) from all kinds of people, but I'm curious if y'all would guess that our server was a man or woman. I don't know if that has anything to do with the attitude and bad service we had, or maybe the person was just having a bad day. Either way, it will be a long time before I eat at this Chilis again. Now I'm wondering if I should go to Chilis "corporate" and complain.
Have you ever had worse service than this? What did you do about it?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Patience is a Virtue

Someone very close to me is having serious issues at work. He vents to me, and I vent to you.
R works at a local furniture store as a warehouse and delivery guy. His job includes unloading furniture from semi-trucks, stocking the warehouse racks with inventory, moving and setting up the displays on the floor, loading purchased furniture into people's vehicles, and delivering to towns up to 3 hours away. He also has to do "general maintenance" like sweeping, mopping, and yard work. R has been at this job for 3 1/2 years and somewhat enjoys it (he's good at EVERYTHING). The building/business is owned by his boss JC. JC is out of town a lot for business, so CG is the "lady in charge." This spring, a new guy JH, was transferred from another store (that JC also owns) and given the position of "warehouse manager." Practically from day 1, JH has "had it out" for R. We'll just sum it up to a "personality conflict," because R has NEVER had a problem with a previous manager/boss/coworker (at this job, or any other), and JH doesn't fight with any of the other employees.
Let me also say that R is a VERY hard worker. He's polite to the customers, considerate of his coworkers, doesn't miss work or request off (very often), and does his job without needing constant supervision. Besides the salespeople and CG ("lady in charge"), only one other employee has been there longer (by a few months) than R. There are also between 3 and 6 "part-time guys" who tend to be college students.
Okay, back to JH. I don't even know where to start, so I'll just give you a few examples of the "Wrath of JH." One time R and another guy were getting some stuff together for a delivery. They were pulling and organizing boxes and getting ready to load the truck. JH came along and TOLD R to put some labels on some other boxes. R said "Okay, I'll do that as soon as we're finished." JH walked away. He came back about 5 minutes later and asked why R hadn't done what he asked. R explained that they were "almost finished" and he'd do it in "just a second." JH got very close to R and told him that he NEEDED to do it RIGHT NOW. And, if he didn't want to do the job he was told to do, he could just get in his f***ing truck and GO HOME! (Yes, those words!) A few more words were exchanged, and R said that they should take this conversation to JC (he was in town that week). JH kinda got nervous, but managed to explain that he knew he was "out of line" to JC and apologized (to JC, not R--he has NEVER apologized to R).
They've had a few more little run-ins since then, but nothing big... until last week. R pretty much goes on every.single delivery. In fact, one of the salesladies personally requested that he be on all of her deliveries. Well, this day R was supposed to go on a delivery, but JH told him that two other guys were going and he needed to "go do yardwork." (For these guys, yardwork=punishment. I mean, WHO mows their grass and weedeats in November?!) R didn't argue or say anything (although he was surprised). When lunchtime rolled around (11:30) JH told R that he HAD TO take lunch. Usually, the guys who are on delivery will stop somewhere in the town they're delivering to and grab lunch on the road. Also, the furniture store is about 10 miles from the closest town, so they would have to drive a little ways (through town, in lunch-hour traffic), eat, and be back in 30 minutes. Anyways, JH "explained" to R that he didn't want R on the truck anymore because sometimes the other guys didn't want to eat on the road, and it was like R was "forcing" them to stop (does that even make sense?). THEN, he said "Besides, once you're on the truck, you go and JACK OFF all day and don't get back until 4:30 (when they close)!" He said this in front of TWO other employees!
There are other stories I could tell, but these will do for my purposes. So, the problem here is obvious, right. JH and R just can't get along. What's worse is that JH may be "demoted" when the previous "warehouse manager" comes back in January, and I believe JH will do everything in his power to "take R down." I think he's pushing all of R's buttons to make him QUIT. But, when he realized that won't work (R is very, very stubborn), I don't see any reason he wouldn't just FIRE him. JH has told R several times that he has a "problem with authority." (He could be telling the boss all kinds of crap.) I just want R to tell him (heck, I'D tell him) that "I don't have a problem with authority, I have a problem with YOU!"
Right now is NOT a good time for R to not have a job. I mean, after December I won't be getting a paycheck (unless by some Miracle I find a job SOON), and we'll be moving (eventually). And, R gets paid pretty good for what he does. And, you'd hope that 4 years in a job would provide you with at least some kind of References (for future jobs). So now the debate is if R should explain to his boss (JC) that he likes his job, and honestly can't afford to leave. Or should he just "wait it out" because we'll be leaving soon anyways (he can tell JH to go to hell and just not use his boss as a reference)? I feel so guilty when R come home mad (or calls in the middle of the day to vent), because I'm the reason he's stuck at that job with that idiot! I'm the reason he has to put up with JH's attitude.
So, what would you do? Do you think a 4-year employer is that important as a reference? Should R just focus on the people there who do appreciate his work (the salespeople like him a lot, as do several of his coworkers)? Should he just look for another job here, knowing that we could be moving at any time?
Sorry this turned out so long, I just needed to release some of my frustrations. Remember, I've had my own issues with personality conflicts.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Crude Humor

Have you ever heard/seen the comedian Dane Cook? I've seen him a few times on Comedy Central, but I guess I never stayed awake long enough to watch a whole routine. Somehow this particular speel has snuck past me, but now that I've "discovered" it I can't get enough! Thanks Dane Cook, for adding more Humor Ammo to my vocabulary! WHOPPER! WHOPPER NO ONION! **Oh, and if you're easily offended (by "bad" language) you might want to skip this one! No, REALLY, it is THAT bad! And, I would suggest you NOT watch this while at work, eating, drinking, or holding a small child.**

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Excuse Me, Are My Brains Showing?

I feel like everything in my head just got scrambled up with a whisk, a mixer, no no, a blender. And, I may not regain control until I've been able to obtain 6-8 hours of mindless nothing--you know, like watching Family Guy, playing Mario & Luigi, or um sleeping.

Okay, let me explain. As you may recall, I had a Molecular Biology exam this morning (at 7:45 to be exact). I had studied for it previously, but nothing was sinking in. Actually, we even had new material added on Tuesday. Well, for the past two days, I've been avoiding everything Mol Bio, but last night I realized that I probably should at least take another look. So, I stayed up until, maybe 10 (that's the problem with studying in bed) looking over everything and redrawing all my diagrams. That's it. I came up with a few "analogies" for remembering details: Like, the binding sequence of initiator proteins in Class 2 genes (Dog, Bog, Frog, hE-HA). Okay that looks really silly when I type it here, but it made sense last night, and I actually remembered it for the test today, and that's what matters!

The amount (and details) of material we're expected to KNOW for this class is really unbelievable. And, if I had taken this as an undergrad (it's a split-level), I'm sure I would've had to repeat it. This test in particular would've done me in. So what's the difference between Celina the Undergrad, and Celina the Master's degree Candidate? Is it just the easier class schedule? Is it the increasingly brighter light at the end of the tunnel? Or am I just older, more motivated, and hell-bent on getting out of here? Whatever the case, I'm just glad that's over with. Now it's time to focus on the other things that I have to take care of. Yeah, like my 2 presentations, Homework assignement/project, and Thesis corrections for the library. No biggie.

Please, just look away while I pick up my scattered brains.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Countdown Begins

One month from today I will be graduating! And, you can't even begin to understand how excited/nervous/anxious/absolutely scared I am! I finally turned in my thesis to the library, and am expecting to hear back from them today or tomorrow. I'm sure there will be something I have to fix, nevermind the few new things I need to add, so I'm expecting to have that completed by the end of next week. I also have another exam tomorrow (same class we just had an exam last Tuesday), and I already know that one is going to be tough. Then, either the Thursday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I will have to give a 20-30 minute presentation (along with 7-10 page written report) on BioPiling. And, um, I have not yet even started! ACK! And then I have to give a 30-45 minute presentation (class lecture) on the role of bacteria in wood decay. I am in Forest Products, after all. Again, I haven't even started reading the reference material! I think that will be a good "project" for me to work on over Thanksgiving break, no? Finally, the Monday after Thanksgiving is my 2nd Anniversary (but no time to celebrate), followed by Final Exams on December 4 and 5 (at least neither of them are at 8am!)!
And, that's it. That's all. It'll all be over with!
So, at least for the time being, I will Continue to be "Way Too Busy, Celina P." After that, who knows!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bonfire on the Lake

A few weekends ago, R and I went to a Bonfire/Cookout at the Lake. It was hosted by my College, and included bar-be-cue by Mr. Charlie, a 6-foot tall bonfire, canoes, s'mores, and lots of candy.

Does anyone else have this strange fascination with fire? You couldn't get within 4 feet of this fire without feeling like being on the verge of spontaneous combustion, yet I still had the overwhelming urge to poke the logs with a stick!

I suppose sometimes a "leash" might be helpful when keeping up with kids, but when you only have one, and you're outside (no breakables, traffic, etc), is this necessary? Please, tell me if it is, because you know, I don't have children, and it might be entirely necessary. Nevermind the fact that it is a leash, what's more, is the funny thought I couldn't keep out of my head... "You ain't goin' nowhere, unless you get that Monkey Off your back" (it's an Aerosmith song).

Friday, November 03, 2006

Arkansas or Bust!

In about an hour, I will be heading out with 4 of my peers to a conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is the MANRRS Region 3 conference, to be exact. And, sorry, but there isn't a link, or else I'd put it here. In fact, I wish I could find a link, because it would be nice to know what's going on once we get there. You know, like in case I should be dressed up this afternoon.

We'll be driving two vehicles, and how cool is this: MSU pays $.44 per mile of travel! That's for gas and "wear & tear." Little Rock is about 320 miles from here, and I will probably have to fill-up 3 times at about $35 each. You do the math. (I'll actually be making a little bit of money.) Our hotel and meals are covered, too.

Anyways, I'm bringing some homework with me (for 2 powerpoint presentations I have before Thanksgiving and an exam next week), but who knows if I'll actually do any of it!

Oh, and in case you didn't know, Little Rock used to hold the record for most murders per capita than any other city in the US! They've also had an HBO show about their "renowned" Gang Wars. Let's just hope that our conference will be on the other side of town!

See y'all on Monday!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wind Chill

I don't want to hear any moans and groans from y'all living up north, because I have a point. Yesterday our weather consisted of temps in the mid-70s, 90% humidity, stormy skies, and strong winds. The front moved through, and today we're sitting in a chilly 55 degrees and practically no humidity. My hair went from being fried-frizzy to silky-smooth, literally overnight. This morning, I had to get up and turn on the space heater in the bathroom. I had to take the dog out to pee (in my flannel pants, tank top, and barefeet). I had to get the house moving. All while R absorbed the shriveled remnants of our under-the-covers warmth. When he finally drug himself from bed, the first words out of his mouth were: "We need to dig out the bigger comforter! I was freezing last night." Granted, it probably did hover near freezing in the wee hours of the morning, but give me a break!

We want to move to Montana! You know the place. That's right, where the elk and buffalo roam. Where the bears steal birdseed from your front porch. Where you get snowed in with 4+ feet of snow, overnight! Where a stockpile of chopped wood and non-perishable foods may save your life during a "rough" winter.

So, please, I need your help! I need to know that we can make it "up there." That you, too, have had to adjust to life in a New Environment. That we will get used to the bears, the snow, and the months-on-end of cold, cold, COLD. Tell me your favorite winter story. The one where you built a life-size igloo out of the snow in your front yard. Or the one when you took your kids sledding/skiing for the first time. Or the one about how you found the "secret" ice-skating pond where you had your first kiss. Anything, please.

Oh, and let me tell you something my mom said (R's family, please tell me if you think this could be true). She said that she believed I would be okay in a "harsh" winter, just because I would want to prove that I could do it. But, after our first "real" snow, R would hitch the first plane back to Mississippi.

There's a real confidence booster for ya!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Ms Reina says "Mama, I'm very hungry, see, I'm wasting away!" (The scale reads 17 pounds.) I try to ignore her, feeling a little guilty because they ate the last of the cat food the day before, and I don't even have a spare can in the cabinet.

She begs, "Mama, I'm really, really hungry! I've already licked the bowls and picked up all the crumbs.

Then my Little Angel, Nabi chimes in: "Mama, she ate all the food, and I'm hungry, too!" who can deny those precious little faces? Not me! I immediately drove to the store and bought a 40-lb bag of food.