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Thursday, September 27, 2007

But I didn't want a donut...

I stopped at my favorite quick stop place for coffee this morning. The general manager was checking me out and asked if I was hungry. I wasn't and said so. He tried to make sure I didn't really want a donut. I didn't and said so.
He goes on to explain to me that if I buy a donut, my coffee will be cheaper. Not in terms of the coffee being less expensive but the total purchase being more- the coffee itself actually costs more when bought alone than with a donut. I SAVED MONEY by buying a donut. Only about 12 cents but STILL.
While I was appalled at the shoving of donuts at me and the fact that I have trying to be good about eating healthy and really didn't want a donut (it was chocolate and very yummy) I didn't have much of a choice.


Can you believe it?


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Phone Went West

We got a call from our phone company yesterday. They are breaking up with us.
V just signed a 2 year contract and bought a new fancy phone in June. They will be terminating that contract at the end of this billing cycle. Usually it is impossible to get OUT of service contracts! Of course we have the problem where they ban us from ever being customers again. Can they even really do that?

Apparently, when I went to NM I was in roaming. For, like, the entire 8 months. But we have the free roaming plan so THEY had to pay for it and I guess if you cost them enough money, they will enforce that fine print on your contract. (I know plenty of people who are out of their area for years at a time. Do they just let it slide unless your 'out of area' is more expensive than usual?)
No matter what or why- they don't care that I am back now or anything. It is just over. We can choose a different carrier and keep our numbers or well, nothing. That is our only option. Our address is flagged so I can't even go all stealth and open a new account in my name when the last one was in V's.

I've decided the bright side to your cell company dumping you is that you get a new phone! I want a green one!
Does anyone recommend any great new phones out there (besides the iPhone- can't afford it)?


Monday, September 24, 2007


Bullets to update you on things I don't post about. Or more likely- write posts about but then never actually post...
  • My first exam was today. I spent the weekend thinking they would all get As or all get Fs. After grading parts of it- the average should be in the high C- low B range. Not bad for a first test.
  • I was just asked to review a manuscript. My first one! There is a series of easy lectures coming up so I even feel like I have time to do it and do it well! Cool!
  • This house is a pit and it drives me crazy. I am organizing my craft room. Most rooms of the house actually. I am also making a new office space so I don't have to work at the dining room table anymore. It works well except for eating over papers and laptops every meal.
  • Slowly but surely, knitting has begun. In the past I tried to knit an hour a day. Now it is 2 rows a day on a pair of armwarmers. A sweater will be made (or at least started) by the end of the year.
  • Could Rex Grossman be any worse?


Friday, September 21, 2007

A letter to my research

Dear Research,

I know it has been a while since we got to spend some quality time together. Remember last semester and all summer when we hung out everyday! Long weekends over coffee, late nights staying up together- it was fun and so nice to get to know you so well!
Lately, our special times have just become strained. There is so much riding on our collective shoulders! I am so aggravated because I care so much for you but cannot give you the attention you want and need. This relationship is a two-way street and you have been great- really giving me your all. Your significant differences, your beautiful graphs. I talk about you a lot and everyone seems to love you. It isn't fair to just take and take from you and you deserve better, Research.

Lately, I can understand you are feeling ignored. We both know that I have been spending late nights and weekends with Teaching lately. Even worse, when I am not doing that- I don't even bother to try to spend time with you. Well, I am truly sorry. I assure you, Research- it isn't you, it's me.
Despite our troubled times recently, I want you to know that it is just a phase and you mean no less to me than you ever did. We are going to get through this! Things will get easier if we can just stick together right now. Teaching is only here for a few more months and then you will again be my academic one and only. Maybe next semester we can go on a trip together or something. Just get away from everything and reconnect. Please just know how much you mean to me and that I miss you.


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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A limited time banner...

I started playing with Photoshop again. I was trying to avoid flowers, insects, fish and none of my landscape pictures were striking me as all that interesting tonight.
My mom LOOOVVVVVVVEEESSSS penguins. So I made a penguin banner for her (I was going to leave it until her upcoming birthday but this one may not last very long).
Of course, they are super cute and love the science and knitting but it is pretty obvious that these penguins are in an *ahem* compromising position.....sorry Mom! And anyone who might be offended by penguin procreation....


Talk Like a Pirate Day!

It is once again, me maties, that ol' time of year when we thrown cation to the wind (along with any folks who try to mutiny) and talk like pirates!

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!



Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Worst Class Ever!

I am preparing for the worst class ever tomorrow morning. I assigned a paper for the students to read. It is a difficult paper but I tried to define the terms in more general language so they would get the gist of it. They are not getting it. Not only that but they are getting confused early and giving up before even figuring out the point of the paper.
Of course, this only pertains to the less than half of the class that has looked at the assigned paper.
Web-based-learning-tool lets you track who and when people look at things! Who knew!?! It is like being a blogstalker* of your students homework habits. This feature makes me want to specifically call on the students who probably** didn't read the paper during our discussion tomorrow. Is that horrible? Do I care?
I should have assigned a summary of the paper or told them there was going to be a short quiz on it or something. Bah. At least I know to prepare more of a lecture on the paper to fill in all the blank stares....

*Hi blogstalker! Hope all is well!

**They could have had a friend print it out for them if they study together or something. Not looking at it is not a 100% guarantee they didn't read it.

UPDATE: Class actually went alright. There were a number of students who had read the paper despite not downloading it. The students that did read it had important and thoughtful comments. The rest had priceless 'oh shit' looks on their faces. We didn't make it through the entire reading so maybe more will have read it by the time we continue on Friday...


Saturday, September 15, 2007

New header

Check out the new header! I know it is a little taller than the old one but what do you think? I always forget that I have Photoshop on my computer but actually started to read about how to use it properly.

I also got around to the baking I said I was going to do last weekend and didn't do. Check out our yummy goods! Fresh wheat bread and homemade lemon-cranberry scones

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Somehow, sometime in the past I had decided I wanted to be a runner. Someday, somewhere I would like to run a marathon. V and I did an X-mas 5K together right after we started dating and he in the past has been a very serious runner. You can tell with the subtle differences between our running. Mainly- he has the mental fortitude to push himself whereas I slow down to a walk and think of pizza.

One of the greatest running things I did was a half marathon a little over 2 years ago. I finished in about 2 hours and twenty-some minutes which I though was pretty good as my goal was under 2:30. For 5K, I always aim for 10 minute miles. Nice and slow but usually with little time to train and my dislike of running when it is either cold or wet, it is a good goal for me. Last year, V and I ran a X-mas 5K and we finished in about 32 minutes which is just over that 10 minute mile pace (he is the sweetest and runs with me even though he could leave me in the dust).

Since my return from NM, we have been running regularly. I did a lot of running there to get in shape for the wedding and also because there was nothing else to do. When my labmate told me of his roommates' sisters' charity 5K that he was trying to get people to go to I was game. We did a practice run on Thursday to make sure I could handle the distance and we came in at just about a 10 minute mile pace. Since that is my aim, I was more than happy to go off in the cold drizzle today to run and get my free shirt.

In addition to my free shirt though, I actually ran faster than I ever have and ever even thought I could! My time was 26:07! What the heck?!? I put some new songs on my pod last night to encourage a little extra energy (and I was totally thinking about donuts) but that is ridiculous! I am so excited! Even more ridiculous was that I got 2nd place in my age group. Granted it was a small race and there were only 5 or less people IN my age group but still. Our group of runners got 4 trophies! Here is our babygirl* with mine...although it looks like she has claimed it for her own.
* I seem to only put pictures of her up here but it is mostly because Mr. Cranky-Pants-Cat won't play along with my little photo shoots.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

How you can tell I need the weekend to be here already...

One of my officemates came into the office for the first time all semester. He looked at me and said "Oh, hey there DancingFish" like he was surprised to see me in the office. I managed to smile and say 'hi' back but in my head it went more like this....'I hate you for taking the only desk near the window and then NEVER using it except to store your giant piles of papers while I stare at a wall 40 hours a week. And, also, you smell.'
Ok, I might be a little overly bitter about the window. But he really does smell- usually of cigarettes.
I can't wait for the weekend when these two are my 'officemates.'


Other options

There have been a number of people this week thinking (and blogging) about other career options. I have started checking out postdoc and job listings just to start to gauge what types of things are out there. Plus it is great procrastination for writing lectures! At least it is science related!

Well, all these things have got me thinking about the extreme lack of jobs I've ever had and what would really be other career options for me. There aren't that many and there are particularly few that I could actually do. Rockette? I'm too tall (really). As if that is the only thing keeping me from being a Rockette right? Anyways, here are my lists...

Jobs I've had:

Hardware store checkout girl

Dance teacher

Photo lab tech

Cowgirl at a theme park

College student tutor

Marine science camp educator



Jobs I've never want (Really way to many to name) :


Anything to do with cleaning

Anything where I have to be on the phone to people a lot

High school teacher (despite 3 years of being an ed major in undergrad)



Jobs I wouldn't mind:




Copy editor

Education department in a zoo or aquarium

Yoga/pilates instructor

Naturalist/outdoor guide


Genetic counselor


Scuba instructor/divemaster

Academic/professor (I assume this should be on here since it is what I am working towards!)


Saturday, September 08, 2007


Two weekends ago I got to play with one of our wedding gifts (the one in the foreground- the one in the background is still being figured out...

The result: Really nice, homemade wheat bread. Although it gave us the hiccups (from the yeast maybe?) it was yummy and awesome to have such simple, fresh food in the house.

It left me inspired so today I am making more wheat bread, banana bread (we have a ton of old bananas), and tomorrow I might try making scones for the first time.
I am so happy to have a fully functioning kitchen again!!!!!

We also did something else new last night- actually going to a bar to hang out with people. We are getting so crazy these days, we better be careful not to hurt ourselves. Anyways, I never really bothered going to the bars around campus. We don't live right near campus and don't particularly feel the need to live it up at the bars (plus we can't afford it really) so it works out fine. It was a warm evening with cold beer and fun was had by all. Until this first year, different department grad student starts asking about what we do. Then he starts saying that he doesn't really buy what we study. Particularly this one thing that I *happened* to have given a lecture on yesterday morning.
I'm a sucker. I took the bait and spent 25 minutes trying to talk science into some dude who was trying to be funny by being glib and putting down my field. As soon as I got away from him, we left. It would have been far more fun to talk with people I wanted to hang out with for that time. I surely learned my lesson though and next time, I will explain that I went out to take a break from work and if they annoy me enough, refer whoever it is to my office hours.

So as not to end on such a bitter note:
4pm EST.
Chicago Bears-San Diego Chargers.
Bears D vs. LT.
Watch out, now.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

It was on sale....

My LYS had a 50% off remodeling sale. I stocked up on yarn for a couple of big projects I hope to take underway.
I have made a deal with myself that as soon as I finish 1 project (thumbs on Fetching) and start a second silk armwarmer- I can start some sweaters. You know I've never knit one sweater but multiple sweaters- that sounds like a good idea....
I am going to make this...
Kelly Cardigan from Erika Knights' Classic Knits
Out of this
I am going to make this....
Tangled Yoke Cardigan from IKFall 07
Out of this...
I am going to make MY DNA scarf out of this...
yummy pile of alpaca.

I had some help taking pics today from Turtle.
"I will protect this fine population of yarn"
"I did such a good job protecting it....It is now ALL MINE!"
"I said, MINE, lady!"

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

My mathematical mind

I've assigned my first set of homework problems. The first email I got from a student about it was very respectful and very relevant (a word could be interpreted two ways- my bad). The second came asking if we could meet today. It came 20 minutes after my office hours were over. hmph.
Ok fine, I will be in my office all day anyways. The third. Oh, the third. The third did not ask a question. The third was writing to inform me that the problem was written wrong because it didn't work correctly when they worked it out. The fourth was the student from the third saying there is another problem that I wrote wrong, based on their calculations.

Really? I admit that I am obviously not infallible. I messed up and didn't use as specific a word as I could have in a different problem and I totally get that. But writing two problems completely wrong? It didn't occur to you that you might be doing the problems wrong?
No? Not at all?

Of course not.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Yarn substitution help??

So if there are any knitters left out there, I need help. Or opinions at least.
Do you think I can substitute this Crystal Palace Kid Merino yarn for Rowan Kidsilk Haze?
In a cardigan?

Please help, oh great knitters of the internets!

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

It's Caturday!

I am holed up in the house and sick as can be. I don't know what it is but my joints hurt, hot, sleepy, and I'll spare you the details of the problems with my bodily functions but I am to the point where I can't even drink water. Ick.
I am supposed to go knit and finish the baby blanket ends tomorrow but we will see. Of course, my first SnB back in PA and I am living it up by going from my bed to the guest room to the comfy downstairs chair but to my bed. Also, that whole 8 am Monday morning lecture thing (nope, no holiday for us) is sort of totally not getting done.
I'm through whining now. Here are some awesome pet pics for this beautiful Caturday (and Dogurday too!) He totally looks like he should be in a Gap ad or something.
Maybe Tyra should put him on Americas Next Top Cat Model. This is his sexy face. Miss meows-a-lot could also be in the running. She certainly knows how to strike a pose. She is the cutest but perhaps too cute is a little too commercial for Tyra and the gang. Cal just has crazy eyes! He's so fierce that he IS the Tyra of our little household.
Geez, I need to get back to sleep....

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