Sunday, March 29, 2009


Have I shared pictures of my cutest-ever niece? Ry & I have loved every moment with her since she came here!

She turned 2 this week, and I'll share photos of her amazing birthday party soon! But until then, here are a few from about 3 weeks ago!

How can you not LOVE that face?

Sitting in her tinkerbell chair (from us), enjoying some reading!

What cute little pig tails!

So Cute!

Love that smile!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Buffalo = small, large city

Yes, I am a Buffalo Girl, and proud of it! Being a Buffalo Girl means many different things, all interesting, and will surely be the topic of a post in the near future.

One thing I love about being a Buffalo Girl is that everyone in the world has some sort of Buffalo Connection. Seriously. I kid you not. And this has helped me out in many (little) ways, as I have traveled through this life. The Buffalo Connection, at the very least, allows me to always be able to make good conversation.

Two examples from the last week:

~When "Rex Manning" was in town, I brought him to breakfast. In conversation about undergraduate college, I mention that I went to a small, private college in Buffalo that no one has ever heard of. He says "Wait, you're from Buffalo?" and laughs. Despite now living in a southern town, he is a huge Bills & Sabres fan (he went to Syracuse for college) and is currently dating a Buffalo Girl!! We talk for a few minutes about T.O. and how this is the year for the Bills and then I make him tell me his Buffalo Girl's name, because I swear I know someone who knows her (which I am sure I do, somehow, but I haven't figured it out yet). Later in the night, after a few drinks and a 13-hour day, he laughs again and smiles and tells me he's not surprised I am a Buffalo Girl (surely meant as a compliment). Apparently, there's just something different about us!

~ Today, I am at lunch with a super nice local scientist who will be giving this week's seminar. She is very enjoyable, easy to talk to and the lunch goes on without any awkward moments or embarassing situations (as is usual at a science-people lunch). I really enjoyed the lunch and this great woman scientist! Then, I offer her a ride in my car to the very top of the mountain. She notices the dealer sticker on my car and says "Wait, are you from Buffalo?". Well, of course, I am a Buffalo Girl! So is she! She grew up in a neighboring town, her folks live around the corner from the place Ry & I are getting married, her dad teaches at the big university, her mom teaches at a Buffalo high school (my old "rivals") and we both are positive that we definitely know someone in common (though we haven't figured it out yet! But we will!)!

The Buffalo Connection just always amuses me and makes my day! These are just this week's stories, but there are many more! I know that my friends and family who live in Buffalo and have spent their whole lives there don't always realize just how special the place is! But Buffalo is a great city and I will always be proud to tell people that I am a Buffalo Girl!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Earth Hour

I am sure you heard about it in passing sometime in the last few days ...

Earth Hour is a movement by the World Wildlife Foundation to encourage everyone to save energy by shutting off your lights for 60 minutes on Saturday, March 28th, starting at 8:30pm local time!


Everybody (in the world) is doing it, so why don't we?

I am sure you can think of something fun to do in the dark for an hour at 8:30 on a Saturday night! Umm ... I meant watch a movie! What did you think I meant?

Another great afternoon of work

Is it weird that when my boss annoys me with a snarky comment about my productivity (which I consider relatively high), instead of blowing off work, I just want to work harder and prove him wrong?

Some people think that is weird.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Successfully finished

Yesterday's invited seminar went extremely well! (Except for the multple delayed flights, fire alarm, the rain, one grad student not showing up for lunch and still not letting me know what happened, multiple things scheduled for the same day resulting in a less-than-full seminar room (but not too bad, considering), and my advisor pretty much being MIA the whole day because he can't handle being chair of the department!!)

I really enjoyed hanging out with Rex Manning*! He's awesome, does amazing research, is super-super smart, is young and ambitious and is a really nice guy. And he offered to have labmate Joe and I travel down south to do an AWESOME experiment with him this summer. The experiment is really cool, relates to my dissertation (wow!) and would allow me to learn a totally new technique that I am dying to learn and that I would be able to use for the rest of my research career! How great is that???!!??

And now that his visit is over, I am done with this silly "grad club" and can get back to work! YAY!

*obviously his name is NOT Rex Manning.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rex Manning* Day

Tomorrow, I am in charge of hosting a guest speaker for the grad student organization in my department.

Because the majority of grad students seem to be unable to do much (despite wanting much to happen), I have been in charge of:

  • choosing our lone guest speaker
  • contacting him and discussing the topic of his seminar
  • arranging his travel with the administrative assistant
  • setting up his schedule for the entire visit
  • begging other grad students to meet with him to give lab tours, have (free) lunch, and have (free) dinner
  • picking him up at the airport and being his chaufer for the entire 3 day visit (which has been a mess of cancelled flights thus far!!)
  • generally making it seem like the grad students are glad to have him here!

Now that I have complained, I feel better and can get through the next 2 days!

But this is it. I am done!

*don't tell me you don't know who Rex Manning is!

Thanks friends!

The voting has ended for Steve & Kel's Ultimate Wedding!

We know they finished in the Top 12, but we have to wait until April 5th to see if they were #1!

Thanks everyone for voting!!

(PS -- I made it to 230 votes yesteday, if they loose by less than 100 votes, I will be so pissed!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It's the last day to VOTE for Steve & Kel!

Please vote as much as you can!

(PS - In addition to being able to vote on multiple computers, I just figured out that you can vote on BOTH Internet Explorer AND another web browser (i.e. AOL, Netscape or Mozilla). If you have more than one browser, please vote again!!)


(My personal goal is to hit 200 votes today! Can you please try for 20 votes?)

Monday, March 16, 2009


Only 2 more days to vote for Steve & Kel!


10 times per day per IP address!

Tell your friends, families, students, enemies!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

3 days LEFT!!!!

The Ultimate Wedding contest ends MARCH 17th! Just 3 days left!!!

PLEASE vote, vote, vote for Steve & Kel! Tell your friends, tell your co-workers. Vote on all computers as many times as you can!

Go to their little proposal story

Click on "VOTE for this entry" at the bottom of the page.

Refresh the page and click "VOTE for this entry" again!

You can vote up to 10 times per day, per IP address (internet connection)! You never have to enter an email address or give your name or any information!

Please vote 10 TIMES per day, every day! If you have a computer at work and at home, you can vote 10 times per day on both!

Vote many, many times everyday, until March 17th!

They are in the "Top 12" and have been for almost the whole contest, so they definitely have a chance!!!!!!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Must vote, must vote!

Steve & Kel have slipped from the Top 12!

How can this be??????

(perhaps because I have slipped from 60 votes per day to just 30?)


Please tell your friends!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Oh No. T.O.


In Buffalo.

Please no.

(with secret hopes that we'll make it to the playoffs this year ...)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Latest Ultimate Wedding Update!

I know you're all dying for another Ultimate Wedding Update!

Kel & Steve are still in the top 12!! They have yet to fall off the "random top 12"!

You can click here to vote for them OR go through and then find them in the Ultimate Wedding contest on page 8 (no longer page 9!)!

You can vote 10 times per 24 hour period per internet connection!

Get out there and vote everyday until the 20th!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ultimate Wedding Update!

You can keep voting for Steve & Kel until March 20th (not the 17th as we previously thought)!


10 times per day per internet connection!

They are in the "random top 12", so we must be doing pretty good!

And if you have a blog or facebook or myspace, please urge your friends to vote too!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Rock the Vote!

My lil' bro recently proposed to his long-time girlfriend Kel! And we are all very excited about their wedding!!!

Kel has entered them to win a FREE wedding at!

This is not a randomly picked winner sort of contest -- the couple with the MOST VOTES wins a $30,000 wedding!

They totally deserve an awesome, fun wedding!

Helping them to win is so EASY!

1) Go to their little proposal story (if that doesn't work, go to , click on "Ultimate Weddings" and they are on page 9 under Kelly Rinehamer. Look for this picture!)

2) Click on "VOTE for this entry" at the bottom of the page.

3) Refresh the page and click "VOTE for this entry" again!

4) You can vote up to 10 times per day, per IP address (internet connection)! You never have to enter an email address or give your name or any information!

5) Please vote 10 TIMES per day, every day! If you have a computer at work and at home, you can vote 10 times per day on both! Also, I found if you re-connect to your internet connection, you can vote again (I have already voted 50 times today!!).

6) Vote many, many times everyday, until March 17th!

PLEASE take a minute and help Steve & Kel win!
(They are currently in the "Top 12!")
Also, please send this to any of your friends that would be willing to help out!

I owe ya one!

A letter to PennDOT

Dear Pennsylvania Department of Transportation,

The next time it snows, do you think you could possibly plow the roads, especially the major interstate?? Maybe even throw down some salt? Only if it's not too much trouble!

That'd be super!