Thursday, May 24, 2007

And we're off!

The 6 weeks of traveling starts today!!

I'll post when/if I can!

Enjoy your summer everyone!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dance, Dance!

YAY! Apolo won!!

YAY Apolo!

Although, I feel bad for my nephew (3.5 years old) who was cheering for Laila!

And so my addiction ends ... until next season!

(And no, I can't go see the Dancing with the Stars Live Tour -- they are near The Little Town when I am in Buffalo and in Buffalo when I am in The Little Town ... darn it!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's green, knit diagonally and a baby gift -- of course I love it!

Another baby, another blanket.

This one is for the baby boy of a woman that started this PhD program with me who is now leaving to pursue happiness outside these crazy steel walls.
It was a very exciting knitting adventure for me! While it looks like a square -- to me it is a diamond. That is, I knit it from one corner diagonally to the other corner. Which meant 150 rows of increases and 150 rows of decreases! YAY! I can knit triangles now!!!
I am gifting the blanket tomorrow and I hope that the mom-to-be likes it. She's also a knitter (and I usually stear clear of knitting things for knitters as they are aware of all of the mistakes that I make!).
I think I might knit one of these for me ... only bigger. But also in green.

Dancing, Dancing, Dancing!

Yes, it is true.

I LOVE Dancing with the Stars.

I don't know why, but I do.

Tonight, I will be cheering Apollo on!

Here's one of my favorite dance with him & Julianne from a few weeks back.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Surprise! Phillies Tickets!

While I am not a Phillies fan (after 2 years in Philadelphia, I am not a fan of ANY of their sports teams), I do enjoy a MLB game! And Ry LOVES baseball!

And so I was happily surprised by Ry showing up at my place on a Sunday (which is usually our day apart to get work done) with tickets to see that afternoon's baseball game! His advisor in some completely random act of kindness got the tickets for Ry from some guy at the bar that he frequents. (Yes, Ry's advisor was at the bar at noon on a Saturday and pretty intoxicated, which is how we got the tickets. He may have been there from the afternoon before for all we know!)

Sadly, I had to miss the hooding ceremony (like graduation, except not, only for PhD students) of my good friends and amazing female scientists. But they had lots and lots of people there cheering them on!

It was a beautiful day and it was nice to be outside and enjoying Ry and his amazing photo skills!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Shutting the door to unproductivity

I am trying to actually get some work done today after yesterday's wash. So, I shut my office door about 2/3 of the way. I can't shut it completely because, as you other grad students know, I have to "play the game" and be seen doing work.

I thought the half-closure of the door would say to people "I am here, working hard, please do not disturb me. When I have actually accomplished something today, I will throw open my door and invite you all in to chat about things that are completely irrelevant and unimportant."

Instead, people push on in, chat about whatever it is that is on their minds as they walk by my door, and then say "Oh, were you doing work? Is that why your door is closed like this? So people don't just walk in?".


Maybe I shouldn't be so nice. Or maybe I should stop "playing the game" and just get some work done.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Vortex of Unproductivity


  • Try to wax legs (so as to avoid fuzziness during 6 weeks of travel). Fail miserably.
  • Read another chapter of The Feminine Mistake for Saturday's book club.
  • Check email.
  • Call The Southern Yankee to make plans for an upcoming Georgia visit to see baby Katherine! Realize we haven't actually spoken in weeks and talk for 90 minutes (which made me very happy!!).


  • Lunch off campus to celebrate a grad student birthday and the departure for fieldwork(again) of a labmate.
  • Sit in puddle on chair at outdoor restaurant.
  • Visit with Ry.
  • Check email.
  • Check blogs.
  • Buy gift on eBay.
  • Check airline tickets to Savannah.
  • Change fish water of all bettas that live in my office.
  • Re-pot plant from student (into self-watering pot).
  • Lock-down office with Dr. D and friends to avoid Dr. D's crazy student (who failed his class and therefore cannot graduate and therefore brought in his mom).
  • Check email.
  • Check sizes & weights of luggage allowed on airlines.
  • Write blog.

Overall, an enjoyable, yet unproductive day. Again.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Summer of Fun" Schedule

One of the things that I love about my "job" as a graduate student trying to get a PhD by studying the behavior of animals is the traveling!

I usually study my fish in a basement laboratory (that was previously a mens' room). And, back in the day, I studied whales and dolphins at an aquarium.

And while these studies teach us a lot about the specific animals and how they behave, nothing beats seeing the animals in their natural habitat. There is just something really exciting about going to an animal where it normally lives and watching it do what it does!

In just one week I start a whirlwind tour of scientific fun (and maybe some friends and family fun along the way too!).

For those of you interested, here's what my next 6 weeks look like:

May 24: Drive to Buffalo
May 25-27: Chicago for the wedding of Dancing Fish & V!
May 28: Toronto for a Yankees/BlueJays game with parents and awesome lil' bro and Kel
May 29-30: Jam-packed fun with family and friends in Buffalo
May 31-June 21: Jamaica* for 21 solid days of snorkeling, fish observations and rum drinking (I know it does not sound like it, but this really is HARD WORK)
June 21-24: Pacific Grove, CA for conference with Ry and company
June 25: 8-hour whale watch tour out of Monterey, CA (Too excited for this event! If I see a blue whale I will cry. Seriously cry.)
June 26-28: Monterey & San Francisco fun with Ry!
June 29-July ?: Buffalo (while Ry is in Alaska!) to recuperate, visit the family, and (FINALLY) buy a new car!

Pretty crazy start to the summer, huh?

* While in Jamaica I will have limited blog & email access. My cell phone will work down there, but it costs $1.29 a minute (darn Verizon Wireless and their international roaming charges!!), so please leave brief messages or text-message me (only 5 cents per text message received!)!

Relay Update

Dearest Friends and Family members,

You are all awesome!

I have far surpassed my goal of $500 for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life! At over $600, I'm the leading individual fundraiser on my team and in the Lehigh Valley!! I want to thank everyone (and I apologize for anyone I forgot)!

Thanks to Kim, Bill, Murray, Steph, Becky, Shannon, Bob, Becky, Mike, Steph, Kathy, Kathryn, Kym, Luke, Jamie, Ben, Becky, Jen, Mike, Vanessa, and Kathy!!!

For those of you who really wanted to donate but haven't gotten the chance yet, you can visit my Relay for Life webpage or mail me a check (made out to the American Cancer Society) for a few more weeks!

I am honored to call such wonderful people my friends! It means a lot to me and Ry and my family!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy 200!

Yep, this is my 200th post!

YAY 200!

I can't believe I have 200 ramblings posted on the web for all to see.


(This is 200 calories worth of celery)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dream Girl

When I finally got to work today (after a morning of driving to the Big City to get fish and stop at the zoo to say goodbye to the elephants), I found a fabulous email in my inbox.

It was from my old labmate. An (almost) exact cut-and-paste:

I had a night-terror last night:
All the [famous fish scientist that works at his university] people were running around getting ready for some hot-shot fish person to come visit and give a talk and they were all planning on how they were gonna suck up to the speaker and when I got to the talk it was...



Yes, that's right. A man dreams about me ... as a successful scientist!
Oh, the little things that make me happy!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Driving Ms. Sneks

As most of you already know, Ry and I got into a car accident a few days back.

It wasn't our fault and everyone was OK, so we're very grateful.

Well, I did get a fat lip and some bruises and burns across my face from the airbag. And Ry did bruise the back of his hand. So we told people he backhanded me for talking back to him. Because domestic abuse is funny. Like suicide and abortion.

Anyway, we though you'd enjoy our pictures below. The dark ones are from the night of the accident and the light ones are from when we went to say goodbye to my car that only had 40,000 miles on it that they totaled. Sadness.

For now, Ry is driving me around and Hamster_Grrl is nice enough to let me use her car while she is down under.

At least I get to buy a new car. After my many summer travels! Any suggestions??

The bumper was now in the backseat.

There was some crunching around the wheel that prohibited me from opening the door!

Ry, posing by my sad car!
We didn't think the damage was that bad, but Geico calls the shots!

The airbags cause some damage to the windshield (yes, it broke from the inside).
A fifth hubcap. Hmm. Probably belonged to the crazy girl that turned left in front of us, yet it ended up in my backseat!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Awesomeness Update!

In 4 days time, my super-awesome friends and family members have donated over $400 to Relay for Life!

You all ROCK!


My generous friends donated from all around the country! 6 states represented!

Next year, we'll try to go global!

I really appreciate all of the contributions! They really go right to cancer survivors and to cutting-edge cancer research!

The big walk isn't for another month, so if you'd still like to donate, please:

Visit my Relay for Life Web Page!!!

And please tell your friends and family too! Sadly, everyone is affected by cancer in someway!