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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Desert ponds

Before It started snowing again yesterday, I got a couple nice pictures from Desert Outpost...


Shit. I missed a grant application. It was right when I was getting here to Desert Outpost and I was so focused on that last one it snuck right by me. It was the smallest of all my organizations and thus, probably the easiest to actually get. Shit Shit Shit.

I start working up the next round of proposals which include the biggest organization I will apply for and the most amount of money (If not salary, I don't even know what I would use this amount of money for. My research is really pretty cheap with the set-up and resources I have currently). Of course, they are also far more competitive than the one I just missed. Crap.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Best knit ever

Progress has been made on the silk arm warmer. It is AMAZING. I feel like I am knitting so fast with this two circular technique. Even on 3s! I should get to the thumb gusset tonight and hopefully will finish this one off by the time I leave here. I would like to cast on the second one at the airport or take a different project for my trip. It would totally be my luck to have my Addi Turbos (chi-ching!) taken away by airport security right near the end of this armwarmer (which would of course then be ruined).
Hey, check out my awesome new watch too! Thanks, Mom!


I finished something!

I just wove in ends on this scarf to be gifted after blocking during my trip home.
Yarn: Kraemer Yarns new Alpaca (less than one skein)
Pattern: CO 24 stiches then used an eyelet pattern from Stitchionary Vol 1.
Needles: Size 6
This was a fun little lace pattern. Very easy. I am paranoid about patterns and memorized it quickly. It wraps around my neck and hits my waist and the recipient is MUCH shorter than I am. I love the alpaca and I am hoping the eyelets will keep it from being too warm.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Conversations from a tree...

"La la la. Hanging out in my tree. Lookin for some rodents. It is an awesome Saturday for rodents you know."
"What?!? Who are you? What are you loking at? Can't I just get some relaxing rodent-finding time without you all up in my grill? Come ON, man!"

"That is IT. I'm outta here. Geez..."


Friday, January 26, 2007

Grant submitted

I HATE pressing the SUBMIT button on things. I sweat, get clammy hands and then have to run around the room or something to calm myself down. It sucks. I've been told that I should just be happy that it is over and I don't have to worry about it anymore. But really, that is when you SHOULD worry about it. People are reviewing your work, critiquing it and criticizing it. I try to have as many more experienced people review grants and manuscripts as I can before they go off into the world. Despite all the feedback and suggestions and help and encouragement you still end up vulnerable. I think this is a good idea, I think this is important. What do you think? This is the best I could do right now. Is it good enough?

I realize that work, grants, and papers can be good and important without winning awards, being funded or getting published. Sometimes it is hard to remember that though when all you hear is that award winning work, funded grants and published papers are the only way to be successful.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Believe in Spring

There are actually 5-6 things I want to knit in the new Interweave Knits Spring preview! I usually don't think I could do the projects I like, or just hate the projects. I will have to see bigger pics but so far I am thinking of the Green Tea Raglan, Dollar and a Half Cardigan, Bonsai Tunic (might be too hard though), Swan Lake Cardigan (also might be a bit challenging), and I LOVE the Slanted Neck Pullover!

The thing about all of these is that they are classic looking. Detailed but not too busy with simple lines and subdued colors. So many pattens out there are so detailed with cables/color/etc that I don't feel that I could wear them often enough to make the knitting time and yarn money really worthwhile.

Of course, this want of simple, classic knits totally goes against my previous post about wishing I had a more stylized wardrobe.
There has to be a way to incorporate both without looking like a clothes schizophrenic. Oh yeah, and be a way to do so on a grad student budget. HA!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

You're it.

I’ve been tagged by Chris over at Spinneret …
Here are the Rules:* Someone Tags you* You post 5 things about yourself that you haven't already mentioned on your blog* You tag 5 people about whom you'd like to know more

I wish I could dress differently than I do. I would love to wear nicer clothes and have a wardrobe that could actually exude some sort of style. I know exactly what I WOULD wear- very stylized vintage stuff. I just can’t pull it off because of what I do. Cleaning fish tanks in a skirt is not fun (I have done it but it isn’t fun). Even if it were fun you’d ruin all your cool clothes pretty quickly. Even jewelry and actual hairstyles are pretty impossible. A ponytail is really the only way to avoid wet fishy hair. And all jewelry will get ruined. I managed to wear a simple bracelet for the last 3 years but have now switched to a more useful watch. I have all put given up my old habit of wearing cool (fake) glasses and even my engagement ring comes off when I am doing lab work.
I end up in a jeans and t-shirt rut that is hard to climb out of (Although, I do an ok job with my selection of band and actual old t-shirts I think. Of course, so does every halfway decent indie rock kid living near an Urban Outfitters). To make matters worse, I don’t really think that the type of style I would like to have is particularly professional for the academic setting. I guess my jeans and t-shirts aren’t either though….

I am horrible about sending things in the mail. Cards, presents, anything. I never go to the post office and if I do it is always months after I say I will. There was a period of time when I couldn’t find stamps for the life of me and if it isn’t stamps it is a box or something else vital to packages. I still haven’t sent a scarf to a friend whose birthday was in September. Currently, I am making a concerted effort to send things. I already sent a card to V!

I love pickles. On sandwiches, by themselves, slices or chips. My favorites are the ‘Bread n’ Butter’ ones.

I don’t think I’ve talked about this here, since it is usually a big love fest with our cats. I used to be deathly afraid of cats. Hated them! I stood on a chair for 2 hours when I was a sophomore in college because there was a kitten on my porch. All my roommates also hate(d) cats so they were no help. I am very happy I got over this.

I started SCUBA diving when I was 12 (both pics in my title header I took myeslf!) and am a certified Rescue Diver. I haven’t been in years and I miss it. I used to dive for work (marine education programs) and loved the feeling of being so familiar with a coral reef that I knew what species of fish were where and could see them week after week. It is because of diving that I got interested in fish behavior and research as a whole.

I tag….Ok, I don’t really know who reads this here blog regularly so if you are reading, consider yourself tagged. (And leave me a comment so I can learn more about you!)


Monday, January 22, 2007

No, who is THIS?

For some reason, it seems my cell phone lines have become crossed. Yesterday I kept trying to call V. I call him. My phone says I am connected to him. I talk. It is not him. I feel foolish. He simultaneously gets a call that says it is me calling. It is not me.
This happened 4 times when I called V and once when I texted a different friend. Not only is it weird, but I am apparently pretty scary if you don't know me....

Embarrassing crossed call #1.
Bears just got a turnover.
Me YELLING to who I think is V: "HOLY CRAP!"
Guy who sounds a little like V: "Yeah, uh holy crap!?"
Me: "That was totally crazy!"
Guy: "I can hardly believe it!" Hangs up.

Embarrassing crossed Text #1
My text: "I'm so glad you were wrong! Woo hoo! The bears totally squashed them!"
My phone rings saying it is the friend I wrote.
Me: "Hello, how awesome is this?"
Strange girl: "Hello? who is this?"
At this point I think my friend is playing a trick and either gave the phone to someone else or is just pretending to not know me. Other people have done this to me before and I always fall for it.
Me: "How great is this!"
Girl: "I just got a text from this number. Do I know you? Why are you talking about Bears?"
Me: "Are you kidding? Just stop it- I am really excited!"
Girl: silence
Me: "Isn't this friends' name?"
Girl: "No, and I have never heard of them before."
Me: " ummmm" then I go on to explain that I wasn't talking about REAL bears. uhhh, football team? Chicago? Apologize profusely.
Girl: "Oh, ok." Hangs up.

What is going on? I really hope this stops. I don't like having to ask who it is when I can V. Plus, yelling at strangers and scaring girls with texts about bears is just weird.

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Best. Day. Ever.

February 4th is V's birthday. As I mentioned Friday, I am going to be with him for it (therefore I am officially going for his B-Day- not the game. I bought my ticket before the NFC championship game). BUT, it is also the Superbowl! AND the Bears will be playing!
What a great day it will be! I can't believe how excited I am already for my trip and it is still 10 days away! Over use of exclamation points all around!!!

If this is how happy I am just to see Vance and about football- I am going to be a crazy, Happy, grinning mess when I get married!

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Friday, January 19, 2007


I just booked a flight to visit V for his birthday! It is before the rest of my training starts and before my experimental setup will be ready to go. It is soon, but really the perfect time as I won't be missing any important experiment-running time. Once experiments start it will be really hard to leave and I will have to split time between the lab and field sites to begin with. Throw in a couple regional conferences and wedding shower/fittings in IL and I will be pretty busy.

I get to see V!!!!!! and the Pets!!!!!! Yippee!!!!!

Winter A-Go-Go

Right. I thought cold temps were bad? Try 6-12+ inches of snow! I brought two pairs of flip flops and no boots with me here (again I must stress IN THE FREAKIN DESERT!).

Things are better here now. Folks are really helping me get started on my work and are doing a lot of work for me to get me all set up- which is truely awesome. I am feeling like I will be able to accomplish everything I was hoping to while here, which is a pretty great feeling. Plus, I really like my 'boss'. She is this liberal, no-nonsense, super encouraging, great research woman who has a tendency to use terms like "crapshoot."

Well, time to print out a bunch of papers and get ready to hibernate (i.e. watch Felicity DVDs, knit, and read said papers all weekend). I hope the ol' RV it can hold up in all this!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007


So it is a bit chilly here in Desert Outpost. Funny- I didn't think it would be in the teens in the DESERT but alas, I am wrong again.
It is so cold that all the pipes froze. Forget no HOT water- I now have NO WATER. I haven't showered since Sunday morning and I would like to do so soon. When I was an undergrad, I went to Costa Rica for 11 days as part of a class. We spent the last part of our trip deep in the rainforest. The rainy season started early so we were an 8 mile walk with whatever you could stuff in your backpack because the trailer couldn't bring the rest of your luggage deep in the rainforest.
Anyways, conjure up your best idea of the rainforest and I bet it is hot, humid and muggy. That was what we all expected too, but alas, it was humid, muggy and 45 degrees. The place we were staying at ran for 2 hours a day on a generator but other than that- no heat, no light, and definitely no hot water. I find that if you take a cold shower in a cold place- you just end up miserable. Sure you might be clean, but was it really worth it? On that trip I won the award for "longest without a shower" by going 6 days with no formal shower (I did hike in the rain though!). Hopefully I won't have to do that again considering that I am now surrounded by new colleagues who I am supposed to impress (of course they are all clean). I hear that the trailer with the laundry room still has water so I might go try to spruce up a bit after work tonight.

Wish me luck- and some warm weather!


Saturday, January 13, 2007


I have been meaning to post some things with substance lately. Unfortunately, everything with substance that I have thought of lately has been pretty depressing. No one really wants to read about how miserable and alone I am in a crap ass town where the grocery store doesn't even have boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Trust me, V and my mom have listened to me complain and cry enough already I'm sure. I think I have held it together pretty well by telling myself that things will get better after an adjustment period. That was at least until the chicken thing happened yesterday. Luckily, I had also spent more than I can afford at Target (thank goodness for Target retail therapy and Cute Overload). When I returned to the RV where I now reside, I put some rugs down, washed some new cups, and got to put up curtains so I didn't have to change clothes in the kitchen. Ahhhh, small luxuries.....

Anyways, in addition to getting back to the knitting updates, hopefully I will ruminate on some of the fascinating things about being an academic (if I may be so bold as to call my measly grad student self an academic) in a non-academic world. Things like set hours and something they are calling "breaks."
In addition, the RV life is really.....special. Living with essentially an airplane toilet for 8 months will be interesting. Also, I like hot showers. RVs don't have much hot water. I imagine the solution to this one is more complex than whatever terrorist plot Jack Bauer will have to diffuse this season on my beloved (and unavailable where I live) 24.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

For the bird(er)s...

Who am I?

Holding down the fort

So V left yesterday and Advisor left this afternoon. I have a few days in this ghost-town till my move a bit North to my new Desert Outpost. It isn't really much if a a town, nor just a field site so for lack of a better name Desert Outpost it is! Until my move on Thursday (or Friday?) I should be busy with writing grant proposals and manuscript reviews. Unfortunately this afternoon all I did was read a bridal magazine and catch up on blogs.

There seem to be a lot of great things going on in the knitting blog world right now. New KALs, Project 365, 100 miles by April 1st (no links due to slow internet...) are all things I would join if I knew what life were going to be bringing me in any way in the near future. I wish everyone luck in their organized endevors and hope to be in a stable enough place soon enough to get involved in some of these. If not, I'll just be following everyone elses' progress so keep things updated!

The worst news I have to share is that I am having a really hard time knitting. Some of the lifting and research related work all week made me use muscles I don't usually use... including lifting heavy things with only arms and grasping heavy things with only finger strength. Noooooo!!! Not sore fingers! I am even more disapointed with this development because I am knitting armwarmers with this....
Talk about a great experiance! I am loving the silk yarn, new Addi Turbos, and not-so-much loving the sore fingers....grrrrrr...

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Here I am posting again....

I think this should be out Xmas card next year..."We hope your gas fields are plentiful and your boots are dry
Love, V and Dancingfish"


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

We made it!

1500 miles in two days and we are in our desert wonderland! It is cold, too rainy to do any of the field work we drove those 1500 miles to do, and foggy...
We stopped in to the only Internet cafe for 100 miles to pass the time till dinner. Hopefully we will be in the field or hiking for the rest of Vs' time here. As we were driving around today we saw the following which leads us to the question of the day....
What the heck is with these things?!? Cow- colored mules??