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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Our Way to Fall

We ended up choosing "Our Way to Fall" by Yo La Tengo for our first dance. They are V's favorite band (besides Tom Waits and we also danced to "Coney Island Baby") and I took him to see them for the first time back in Austin. We also saw them in Hobokon, NJ on a New Years a couple years ago....

I remember a summer's day
I remember walking up to you
I remember my face turned red
And I remember staring at my feet
I remember before we met
I remember sitting next to you
And I remember pretending I wasn't looking

So we'll try and try
Even if it lasts an hour
With all our might
We'll try and make it ours
Cause we're on our way
We're on our way to fall in love

I remember your old guitar
I remember I Can't Explain
I remember the way it looked around your neck
And I remember the day it broke
I remember song you sang
I remember the way you looked tonight
And I remember the way it made me feel

So we try and try
Even if it lasts an hour
With all our might
We'll try and make it ours
Because we're on our way
We're on our way to fall in love


All the World is Green

Thursday morning- looking out on my Mom's backyard... A beautiful day Thursday for setting up. A beautiful day Friday (besides traffic pushing the rehearsal back an hour and 15 minutes)...
Saturday afternoon looking out at my Mom's backyard! The blurriness is raindrop induced. The umbrellas and shower-curtain-covered tables weren't for nothing! We were scheduled to start our running around taking fun pictures in about 6 different places at noon. I finally got dressed at 1:45 and made the call to go ahead with the outdoor ceremony rain or not. The puddles weren't so deep that you couldn't walk to the site and the cellist was cool as long as he had an umbrella. The rain held off for the giggle filled ceremony (the officiant started talking about our love of nature as 90 people sat cold and wet in the woods) and about 10 minutes worth of pictures. The dress was bustled and muddy, the veil even muddier as it fell off my head as we walked back down the aisle. Too bad we didn't really worry about rain- I was too worried about these guys who showed up on Sunday.

And I mean they SERIOUSLY showed up. This was at a friends' about 1/4 miles from my Moms' house.

We escaped North for a couple of nights as a gift from a group of friends. Beautiful weather Sunday and Monday as you can see from our view...

And to finish off the whirlwind-wedding-fun we had our "Cubby-moon!"

A loss for the Cubs of course, but an exciting 9th inning! It was a great weekend and we are so happy. Despite the laundry list of things that went "wrong" (there are a lot- from flowers being held for pests in Miami and subsequently ruined to the rain to the lack of pictures BECAUSE of the rain to fact that a tick got all up in my dress and made a nice home in my side during the reception), it was perfect. It was an adventure (thanks, weather!) and it was totally us. We are going to decompress for a few days, track down more cicadas and some more wedding pics and prep for field work (woo!). We can't thank everyone involved enough, everyone that came to celebrate with us and everyone that has supported us along the way!!

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Update, bullet style!

S, V is complaining I haven't blogged in SO long. Even though we are spending time with each other FINALLY. So, for V who already knows all this anyways, here is what is going on....
  • I didn't hotel blog because I didn't get their wireless signal then was stricken with a migraine. Non-smoking room my ass.
  • I have the cutest kitties ev-eh! Turtle, in 4 months hasn't really grown. It is weird but so cute as she is might just be eternally kitten sized. Seymour is bratty and awesome as always =)
  • I got my hair done today. It fell down in the wind.
  • We got the tent put up today. It also is falling down in the wind.
  • My dress fitting was horrendous. The seamstress hates me but if my 2 options are 1) have an inch gap at the top of the dress or 2) not be able to breathe and having my armpits look fat, then I need a third option as neither of those is acceptable. We got it worked out alright and will end up sewing my bra into the dress after I put it on so that it doesn't peak out the back. After altering the top to fit that particular bra, she decides to just pull the bra down 2 inches in the back. This messes up the front that we just spent 2 days to fix. Apparently I am the only one who sees that as a problem.
  • I need a drink and a nap.
  • V and I still haven't picked a dance song...
  • We spent alllll day yesterday at the mall picking attendant gifts and clothes for V. He has some nice new duds!
  • V is off to pick up his tux soon. I am going to buy ribbons and make place cards. gee. fun.
  • There is evidence of cicadas but I have yet to see a live adult. At our ceremony site (where we discovered there is no power) we hopefully won't have to deal with the noisy buggers. If so, my brother is going to McGuyver together a PA system with a wireless mic, a laptop and a car battery.
  • My Jaywalker is totally too small even for my moms size 8 feet! Will blocking help? I was on gauge almost perfectly so I don't get what happened! I have serious issues frogging. Should I frog the whole darn sock? Phooey! I need help with this thing!

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lovely Day

Yesterday the ladies at Desert Outpost threw me a surprise bridal shower (no pics since it was a surprise)! I had no idea and it was so nice. They even came up with an animal theme complete with fish plates and dog bone cookies labelled with my pets names. Apparently before I arrived someone at the coffee shop where it was held commented that it looked like such a fun birthday party for the 5th grader who was there! Is it weird that a biologists' bridal shower can be mistaken for a kids party? They gave us what might be V's favorite wedding gift- a gift certificate to Black Jungle. Wedding frogs!!!!!
It was really nice of them to do. It has been hard planning all of this while being away from V and I don't really know anyone here expect the people I work with- and since they all have families and lives, I rarely see them outside of work hours. So, for them to take time to plan and celebrate with me really means a lot. Of course, forcing me into a boutique to pick out lipstick afterwards was a bit much (my car was getting its oil changed so I was at their mercy). I got a good, not too mature looking, non-sticky, non-fading "Cherry Stain" though so I suppose it was a smart move overall.

I am done with running experiments for now. I have to clean up the lab and my testing area. Then it is off to packing, backing up data and finishing up/practicing my talk for 7th and 8th graders tomorrow. I also have to ball up the yarn for the second Jaywalker and I (foolishly?) cast on for another pinwheeel baby blanket. After socks on size 1s, the blanket on 7s seems like the fastest thing I have ever knit! I haven't picked out what projects go with me for the wedding either. The blanket would be mindlessly good but will soon require two colors of yarn. The Jaywalker would be best if I get the yarn ready. My second silk armwamer is the other option. Not yet cast on but really the best combo of a small, non-difficult project.
Wireless hotel blogging tomorrow night! Woo hoo!


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Decisions decisions

V and I have not yet decided on a 'first dance' song for the wedding. He, in particular, is a music buff and has quite a collection. I know he has at least 1 250 gig hard drive full. Possibly more.
We both are particular about our music and mostly listen to music of the indie rock persuasion. Music has played a major role in our relationship. The fact that Vance knew bands I liked that none of my friends knew was instantly impressing to me. He gave me his phone number for the first time on a mixed cd and a lot of our fun times revolve around shows and concerts.
Unfortunately, despite all of this we don't have 'a song'. There are songs we listened to constantly at different stages of our relationship but no sort of love song that we claimed as our own. So how do you pick something? A classic would be good but I am a DancingFish for a reason. I want to really, properly dance to a classic song and V and I haven't had the opportunity to learn or practice. We have a bunch of other songs we like that would be pretty good and acceptable but nothing just screams- this is the perfect song!

It is causing me major anxiety.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Let's Get Known

I gave a talk today for a local organizations' monthly meeting. Besides the creepy guy who raised his eyebrows at me a few times during lunch, and starting off with a prayer and pledge of allegiance- it went ok. I was volunteered to give this talk with 2 days notice. Probably because no one else wanted to do it and my boss thought it would be good for the "Invited Talks" section of my CV. I can't say I would agree to do anything like this again but I got a good response. As I finished (and by 'finished' I mean was cut off because they started late in the first place and their meeting was supposed to be over), one woman exclaimed "I never knew I could get so excited about [that]!!" Someone else said it was very clear I love what I do. Hearing those comments made the hassle and short notice all worthwhile.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Walkin' down the street

I have been doing a bit of knitting between house sitting, phone shopping, experiment running, actual running and abstract writing. I only have the toe left of Jaywalker #1. Then to start on the second sock! I also bought some yarn yesterday. I have a baby blanket that I would like to gift in July. That is a major stretch for me but hopefully will knit up quickly. I am doing another pinwheel with the same stripe-y pattern I used before. I got a great response for that one but this time it will be in purples for a baby girl. I bet it will be great to knit on 7's (or 8's- I can't remember right now) after these socks on size 1s!

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Pet sitting round-up

Usually critters with two different color eyes freak me out. I wasn't too weirded out my ol' Harv here until he started looking like pure evil...
Some of the 60 chickens. I collected eggs from these fatty hens. I got 68 one day and about 50 two days later. They lay so many eggs you can't even give them away around here (and no charities will take them). I had to roll them out in the field for other animals to find. I saw my first rattlesnake while I was dong this though! It was coiled and even rattled at me!

Pigeons with crazy feathers
Zan the horse
These are just a few of the critters but I finally uploaded some pics!


Friday, May 11, 2007

No phone

Talk about NOT falling off the face of the earth right? Ha!

My phone died. Totally and completely dead. V still has hope but I really don't think it is magically going to turn on. The closest phone company store is 4 hours away so I won't be getting a phone before at least Monday. And then it will likely be V's backup. So if you know me in real life- email me your phone number!

Time for a few bullets!

  • I finished the first trial of my third experiment. Woo Hoo!
  • I decided and registered for the conference! Now to finish an abstract....
  • Jaywalkers are still on the needles. Only 3 though- cats at house sitting job #3 got to them and broke a needle. They managed to not break in my carry on flying to IL and back but 1 night in a house with cats and they are toast!
  • House sitting job #5 has Internet, the Dish, and an awesome hammock. Yay, Saturday! You know, except for the whole needing to try to find a phone and run experiments thing...


Saturday, May 05, 2007

A conversation

Me: Happy Derby Day!
Person I see occasionally on the weekends: Of yeah, is that always on the 5th of May?
Me: No, just the first weekend. It is also Cinco De Mayo though.
PISOW: Well, I don't celebrate THAT. I'm an American. I celebrate American holidays, not holidays of foreign countries.
PISOW: Vague story about immigrants from his childhood.
PISOW: But at least those immigrants followed the rules and they had it pretty good. You know, I was looking over a list of immigrant laws and regulations and I couldn't believe some of them. Immigrants can not participate in protests or fly different flags. And those are the Mexican laws for immigrants!
Me: Yeah, in America we try to make it so that no one can protest. Ha!
PISOW: (ignoring what I said)- But you know, Mexico is a socialist country**. 10% of the people have all the wealth and everyone else is so poor your wouldn't believe it.
Me: Gotta go!

* This guy starts on lectures or rants and the next thing you know, it is 45 minutes later and you haven't got a word in edgewise. Not that it would matter because he is going to think whatever he wants based on nothing substantial at all. One time he yelled at me about global warming. I try to avoid him and say innocuous things when I do see him. Who knew Cinco de Mayo was such an inflammatory subject...

** I have also been told by this guy that England is a socialist country. I'm not sure why, possibly because of a carbon tax?

Friday, May 04, 2007

A mystery

All of a sudden, my molecular work is not, well, working. My primers won't amplify. They were working great 2 months ago! I thought maybe my new samples wouldn't work but in half of my reactions, even my controls didn't work.
I don't know if that makes me feel better or worse about the situation.

Looks like I have a pre-Derby PCR re-do tomorrow....

Um, yeah. This doesn't help my conference decision making!


dawn can't decide

I have been faced with what seems like an incredibly easy yet somehow impossible decision. Do I stay here and work my tail off all summer trying to finish my research or do I go to a conference in July?
Incomplete lists of...
Reasons to stay...1) I would get more data and would be that much closer to finishing my experiments. 2) I have already gone to 2 smaller conferences this spring. 3) Traveling halfway across the country is seriously crappy. 4) Did I mention the data? I only have a limited time here and can not run experiments when I get back in the lab in PA. 5) Abstracts are due in about a week. 6) I am taking time off for other things- my wedding, 2 other weddings

Reasons to go...1) I have already gotten conformation that I can return in the Summer of 2008 to finish experiments if I need to. 2) It is my sub-fields biggest annual conference. 3) I'd present a poster on my preliminary dissertation data. 4) I would get to see V on my way there and back. 5) Networking is one of my favorite things about science and getting even more important as I get further along in my degree. 6) An extremely relevant symposium I would go to. 7) Super duper fun time will be had. 8) I don't think I've ever been to the state where it is held.

I know that I *want* to go. But I feel like I *should* stay here. 'Data above all else' is pretty much drilled into my head. I've only skipped this conference once since I started grad school though and that was only due to the costly location. I wish I had more time to assess if I will be far enough along to leave or if I will have to spend more time troubleshooting protocols and be further behind schedule. Is a week spent away from the lab going to make or break my dissertation? Probably not....

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Little House of Savages

I love the pet sitting (hot shower- woo!) but it is starting to get ridiculous. Over the course of this week and next I am house sitting for 4 people. Here's the breakdown...
House 1: 1 turtle, 1 lizard, 1 fish tank and 1 cat.
House 2: 1 fish tank, 1 gecko, 2 tanks of frogs, 1 tortoise, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 1 coop of pigeons, 48 chickens.
House 3: 1 horse (!!!)
House 4: 2 dogs (I've been here a couple times before).

House 2 has cable so I can enjoy Derby Day too! Last year I was all about Bluegrass Cat (who finished second) and this year, it is Cowtown Cat. He is a long shot but I just can't get over a horse named Cat. He has Funny Cide for a half-brother, Bluegrass Cat as an uncle and Secretariat for a great-great grandhorse, shares a trainer with Bluegrass Cat, PLUS he won the Illinois Derby. Sounds like a good pick to me!

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I'm a Pepper

One of the best parts of being back in the Southwest is that I still know a few people around these parts. One of my great friends (and set-er up-er of V and I, who I will call 'Cactus Queen') has been able to meet me for the last two conferences I attended. The first, we ended up taking a whirlwind tour of the Dr. Pepper museum during a particularly irrelevant afternoon session. I lived in Texas for over 2 years and always wanted to go to the Dr. Pepper museum. Finally, I made it!
This past time, we ended up with what had to be one of the last hotel rooms in town. And what an amazing room it was. Nothing like relaxing in the bathtub after your talk! Of course, that whole bathtub in the room thing was a bit weird...
I am so happy to see Cactus Queen on a semi-regular basis. She is living the field scientist life as well and has been doing it far longer than me. Commiserating with someone over research conditions you can't control, thousands of miles traveled, and which frozen meals are the best (we agreed- the ones with a little cobbler desert!) makes life at the DO a little easier.
Of course, not all of having old friends at conferences is good. After getting that grant at the banquet, Cactus Queen actually held me to my previous (not really serious because I didn't think I would get the darn thing) promise of a celebratory tequila shot. Of course right AFTER that, I was shuffled from the bar to be introduced to the spouse of the grants namesake.....Nothing makes a 'thank you' more heartfelt than smelling of tequila!
Although, despite my feeling like an ass, I am sure no one there really noticed or actually cared at all. There were far more folks doing far more embarrassing things. Like dancing. And giving speeches after a few too many. Or Cactus Queen herself having a very loud interaction with the bartender right as the keynote speaker was trying to start their talk...

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