Friday, March 31, 2006
Most of the day was spent sitting on my butt, watching powerpoint presentations and listening to scientific mumbo jumbo. There was one entertaining seminar from a crazy faculty from a nearby university who insisted that one man's junk DNA is another man's treasure. Or something. (About 97% of human DNA aren't "functional genes" and for the most part we don't know what this "junk" is for. As egotistical humans, we like to think every molecule of our body is of great worth, but when it comes to DNA, we're clueless). The keynote speaker didn't do anything I was interested in particularly, so I wasn't really into his talk and I didn't make an effort to talk with him.
Lunch was catered by a deli. I lucked out and got a roast beef sandwich with light mayo and baked chips. I was trying to be good with the diet by bringing my own snacks of yogurt and fruit because I had the feeling that the snack foods were gonna be butter laden, and I was right. Among the brownies, cookies, muffins, crossiants, and cheese, there wasn't a single lowfat item. Plus, I wanted to save my calories for the free dinner at a fancy restaurant the end of the day.
I really look forward to this event because I like free expensive food. We went to Ouisie's . I kept singing the theme song to the Jeffersons in my head. I had shrimp and cheese grits. The grits weren't as good as the polenta I had at the Crossing at Casey Jones in La Plata, but all in all, it was a good meal. The bread was good and the appetizers were alright. I don't consider myself a foodie. I'm not a cook and I have a hard time isolating tastes. But I was impressed with myself or I was surrounded by food ignorant people. One girl mistook a spring of rosemary for thyme. I identified the cilantro in the dip. I figured out that some broccoli was seasoned with anise seeds *YUCK*. Anyways, I wasn't thrilled with my entree, but I wasn't disappointed either because I didn't crave anything else on the dinner menu. It's kinda sad, but I'm craving fried pizza from Pizza Hut more than anything else. But the WORST part of dinner was that we didn't get DESSERT!!! We apparently had to stick to a budget of under $1000 including tip. And apparently we couldn't afford dessert. BUT we apparently could afford 5 bottles of wine and I didn't even drink. So I was BUMMED. I was pretty damn full off the grits, but still. There's a special place in your tummy for sweets, I swear. Like cows or something.
Anyway, this is out of order, but we also had a poster session during the day where all the students (8 masters/precandidacy phd and 8 postcandidacy phd) stand next to their posters and answer questions from mystery judges. It's often easy to figure out who's a judge because they're trying to hide a clipboard for their scoring notes behind their backs. Anyways, I ended up with 3rd place in the masters/precandidacy division. Kinda cool because I've never gotten anything for my work here. I get a certificate and a small monetary award, which I'll probably spend on dessert.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
This one is just messed up. Makes me laugh. Had to share.
By the way, Cadbury Mini Eggs are coated in crack.
Perhaps I should do some actual work now.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Gauchos - They end right at mid calf and I have no desire to accentuate that. Plus they look wide. I want to stay away from wide.
Cropped pants - Once again, mid calf issue. Plus cropped pants on me have the magical ability to make me look like I had an unexpected growth spurt and dumpy at the same time.
Jeans with giant cuffs - If you unrolled the cuffs, they would be proper pants for women who are 8 feet tall. Why are these in existance to begin with?
Sweaters that tie above the stomach - These are actually better than empire waistlines at making people look pregnant. Bravo! I applaude you, stupid sweater.
Boho skirts and Chunky jewelry -I have no desire to look like Mrs. Roper.
No offense to those of you have these clothes. They just arent right at all for me. I suppose I could be a trend setter so I would never even think of buying any of the above items, but then everybody would be walking around with t-shirts with tiny holes at bellybutton level. a.k.a "the homeless look".
By the way, in case you didn't know, the holes in all my shirts are caused by leaning up against the counters at work which usually have residual bleach on them. So when I wash my clothes afterwards, the bleach eats through the fabric. You'd think by now I'd learn to wear a lab coat. The holes are also caused by my bellybutton. It's evil and chomps through my shirts with its tiny teeth.
Friday, March 24, 2006
In addtion to the iPod shuffle, the Williams Sonoma gift card, and the earrings, I also received a GREAT circuit training DVD and a book that will help me through my mid-twenties crisis . Those were from my bestest friend Grace. Thank you Grace-face covered in lace at home base eating Pace spiked with mace! And from my parents and Goo, I got a fancy scale that tells me not only how much I weigh, but also my percentage of body fat and body water. So, now if I lose or gain weight I'll have a better idea if it was actually fat or just water. Those three items were on my Amazon.com wishlist. I swear, that thing was the best thing I ever spent time putting together. In addition to all that, Goo got me two bars of what is apparently the best chocolate in the world from an Italian chocolate maker . The one made of Venezuelan chocolate (70%) was better than the other made with 75% chocolate, but they were both pretty good. Both were bittersweet, so it wasn't as fun to eat as milk chocolate, but I ate them with a little peanut butter so that was good. Plus, dark chocolate is good for you, so that's good, too.
I really didn't expect all this generosity but I'm very greatful for all of it. Living alone and far away kinda sucks, to be honest. Presents aren't ever as good as actually being present, but they aren't bad at all.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I'm ignorant when it comes to politics and federal spending. It's complicated and I tune out quick. Cartoons make things easier (thanks, animation people of the world)! But is it really THAT simple? Either way, it should make you think. And maybe it might make you act.
Monday, March 20, 2006
And I love food entertainment almost as much as I love food.
I love food writing. Just last weekend I bought It Must Have Been Something I Ate by the king of all food snobs, Jeffrey Steingarten (food writer for Vogue); and it was in the bargain rack fo $6 down from ~$30, so I was even happier. One of my recent favorite books are Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl. She used to be the food critic for the NYTimes and thereby arguably the most powerful person in NYC. It's a really funny and true book about how she would go to restaurants incognito (in burrito? Heh heh, Beavis you're a dumbass). Another good food book is Kitchen Confidential by Tony Bourdain. It revealed the dirty underbelly of NY restaurant kitchens, when it was still mostly a dirty crap job and not anything you would ever get famous from. You know Bourdain from his Food Network and Travel Channel shows. His show on Food Network was my all time favorite. He was honest and ate weird things from all over the world. I cannot stand food tv hosts who think that everything they eat is "Mmmmmmmm Yummy!" You know who I'm talking about (Rachel Ray!!!) Unfortunately, Bourdain's show was only on 0.5% of the time that Emeril BAM guy is on.
By the way, never buy Emeril's orange poppy seed marinade. Something about the smell of it made me want to vomit. Maybe the concentrated rind smell? Oh, and dispite the fact that I love Food Network, I cannot stand Mr. Lagasse. I NEVER understand what the hell he's alluding to when he says, "You know what I'm talking about". No, sir, I have NO IDEA! Quit mumbling!!!!
I like watching most people on the Food Network. I don't have cable so I savor every butter soaked minute of Food Network when I can. Alton Brown rocks because he's science geeky and even though he can be tendious, I learned how to make a damn fine pancake and learned almost everything I know about tea from him. Paula Dean is a HOOT! and I LOVE her, even though she once drank melted butter . I'm not sure whether to gag or cheer on that. All of the documentary type shows like the one that OCD Mark Summers hosts are pretty good; who doesn't like watching stuff getting made? I know my favorite part of Mr. Rogers was when he got that tape from Mr. McFeely and show us all how crayons are made in the factory. Mario Batali is really smart and informative, but DUDE, calm down. Take a breath. We're not going anywhere.
I skip over Emeril shows, especially the old ones where he has so much pale make up on he looks like a mime. Rachel Ray is really irritating but draws you in anyway,until you can't stand to hear her say "E.V.O.O." or "Chop it and Drop it" one more time. She's got jack o' lantern smile like Cameron Diaz, too. And speaking of people on FN with weird body parts, let's talk about Giada Delaurentis, shall we? She suffers from the same affliction Natalie Portman does. Both very pretty girls, petite frames, but...BIG HEAD and tiny hands. Unfortunately, Giada isn't as smart as Harvard grad Ms. Portman. On a recent Late Show with David Letterman, Giada didn't know where saffron came from. No, Giada, not the saffron flower. The stigma of the crocus sativa. Not to be confused with the autumn crocus from which mitotic spindle inhibitors, colcemid and colchicine, come from. Anyway, I'm not a big fan of Giada. I dont think she's that interesting. My mom hates her fake smile. Giada even flashes a fake smile after eating something she doesn't like.
Nevertheless, I'd kill to be a successful food critic or food host on the Food Network.
Seriously, I'd kill.
Please ask me to kill.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
I mentioned before that Goo had left some songs on the shuffle. There were some I really wanted to save. Most was stuff I could seriously live without. But, um, OOPs. I erased all of it. DAMMIT. But thing was, my iTunes couldn't "see" any but 16 tracks. My computer could only "see" those same 16 tracks. Then I thought maybe I needed to update my iTunes. I did. But then iTunes said that the iPod was linked to another library (who's?) and for me to even have the iPod on the Source list, it would have to be linked to my iTunes and my songs would replace the songs on the iPod. Only thing was, I had no songs. So, yeah...oops.
But I did have fun adding my music to it. I had to learn all the basics of CD burning and whatnot that everyone else in the world learned about 5 years ago because my other laptop didn't have a CD writin' drive. Thankfully, iTunes made it easy.
I'm terrible at keeping CDs. I often lose them or scratch them. So the CDs I actually imported are just a small sample of what I like and bought over time. For some miracle they have survived. Unfortunately, my copy of 40oz to Freedom is nowhere to be seen...so if anybody wants to burn me a copy, I'd be greatful!
Happiness! came when I realized I still have the CDs of my old laptop's hard drive from when it crashed 3 years ago. I hadn't any music to it since then so it contained almost all of the songs I got off of Napster from way back in the golden age of the internet (as well as some old photos :) good thing most of my new photos are online). I wasn't a heavy downloader, only having a couple hundred songs, but I'm glad to have some random tracks, like the Ralph Wiggum compliation and one of the later versions of the Hannukah song.
Having Lightscribe on my computer is mildly neat, too. Some laser inside my computer etches pictures onto special discs so I don't have to get paper labels. Which is good because after the last time my printer ran out of ink, I stopped using the machine. I print stuff at work instead. I burned a copy of the Garden State CD for my friend J. (the one who stood me up for exercising AGAIN!!!!! just this past Thursday) and used lightscribe to label it. It's kinda neat, but limiting because the label has to be in b&w and the selection of backgrounds sucks unless you upgrade. But, upgrading is only like $12, so I'll do it. Also, finding the lightscribe CDs is kinda hard. I guess I should stock up before it all gets discontinued.
Crazy thing though, I filled the shuffle a lot quicker than I expected. Does this mean I need a REAL iPod with crazy amounts of space??!?!?!? Am I becoming one of THOSE people? One of those crazy kids with their white ear buds and tuning out the rest of the world making other people wonder how soon it will be before they get hit by a car they didn't hear coming?!?!?!?!?
Nah. I'll have more space one I streamline the tracks to the ones I can exercise to. And of course, I'll get bored with it all pretty soon.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Goo left about 100 of his songs on it. We have similar tastes, more or less, so it was all good. I put the surprisingly chunky apple ear buds into my ears and had a few thoughts:
1. The shuffle looks like a Barbie toy and I kept accidentally pulling the earphones out of the jack, despite the company's obession with good design.
2. I forgot how much I like music.
3. It takes a while to regain rhythm while dancing if you haven't danced in a long time. Good thing I was dancing alone in my living room.
4. I never realized Peter and the Wolf was so good for headbanging.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
I was supposed to finish up a presentation for tomorrow afternoon, but instead I spent the day pretty much eating cake. My boss was working from home today so the *tiny* lab went over to her house and had cake and ice cream. Whenever we have cake at her house for birthday or some other celebration, she dresses up the kitchen table with streamers and confetti. But I also got a tiara! (besides, somebody has to wear one since the resident Queer, I mean, Queen moved away)
It was so funny because every time the lab manager orders stuff from Fisher (the science world's Sears catalog), I ask for a tiara. I wore it all day, even when we went back to the lab. I made a few people laugh, but strangely...or not strangely, I didn't get any weird looks. I suppose it was just appropriate. LOL.
My boss also gave me a pair of pink handmade (by whom? dunno) cluster drop earrings that match the tiara beautifully. And my lab mate gave me a gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma. Directly after work lab mate and I went to W-S and I got a bottle of Olivier Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Dipping Oil and some Fleur de Sel (fancy schmancy gourmet French salt). They sang "Happy Birthday" with plenty of falsetto and ridiculous bravado. The cake was lit with 24 candles (only 24 because that's how many come in a box). My lab is just so sweet. It all really made my day, especially since I've been kinda down and mostly sad because I'm far from all you guys. (Life's not fair, hate my life, blah blah blah. wah.) I've been told I am to expect more gifts (love you guys so much, you have no idea). I eagerly wait by the mailbox.
But thanks again to all you guys. It reallllllly means a lot.
Happy birthday Albert Einstein! When you were 26, you were a mere clerk at the Vienna Patent office. In your spare time, you wrote three papers (Brownian motion, special relativity, and photoelectric effect) and declared it your Miracle Year. One of those papers, the one on photoelectric effect and the one I know the least about, won you the Nobel Prize.
Happy Pi day, nerds! It's 3/14; start celebrating at 1:59.
Happy Steak and BJ day! Kinda gross. But don't you think it's a funny coincidence that it's also Pi day? You know, you could eat a steak...and some pie. Hahahaha...euphemisms. That's pretty gross, too.
Who doesn't like BJ?
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Here's Kane with a rawhide candy cane in his mouth. And who doesn't like to look at a cute disproportional dog?
Here's some of the food we had for Christmas. In the foreground is a cheesecake from Desserts by Gerard. And there's also some empanadas there on the silver tray, some ham, sweet potatoes, cassava, fish, asparagus, stuffing...Man, I'm hungry. What was the point of this post? I dunno. I'm seriously hungry now though.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
I really like the corn and black bean salsa on the upper left. I would vote for him on that alone. Obviously, I should not be making any decisions regarding elected officials.
*save yourself for kinky refers to the fact that in order to petition Kinky for governor, you cannot have voted in the republican or democratic primaries
I guess I just got bored. Bored with the food, the exercise, the routine. I had done the same cardio DVD so many times, I was almost doing it by memory. Yoga was getting a little too flaky so I wasn't really getting much strength/resistance exercise anymore. I had learned that I could cheat and eat things off the JC menu and still lose a little weight. At one point, I gave in to my cravings and just ate whatever, whenever, without compensatory exercise.
But you see, it's easier to lose weight at the beginning of a diet and cheating a little is more forgiving. But when you're at the steady rate of a little (about a half pound to a pound) weight loss, a cheat has more of an impact.
Not losing weight has been hurting my mood too. While school will always be a source of crappy stress, getting fitter could always make me happier. And not losing, and not even trying to lose weight, really bummed me out.
So the scale has been hovering around the same number, give or take a pound. Water weight, right? Maybe. But it went up two weeks in a row. Still within an acceptable possible water retention range, but still. I'm scared I'm actually gaining back fat. THAT SUCKS.
What to do? I got a great suggestion from my coworker to write down everything I eat. I got a cute little notebook that fits in my purse and a cute little matcing pen from Target. It forces me to be totally honest with myself about what I'm putting in my mouth. It will discourage me from cheating because I'll have to face it right there in black and white. And the portability is good because food memory is SO short. What did you have for breakfast yesterday? Did you have two or three pieces of candy?
But the best thing about the notebook is the novelty. It's like starting all over again. Also, it restarts the process of setting little goals for myself again. In the beginning back in October, the little goals were things like starting the diet, starting to exercise, start cardio, do cardio 3x a week. And after a while, I forgot to make little goals and lost site of the final goal. So this week, my little goal is to keep up with the notebook. I'm thinking and hoping I'll keep it up; it's like food blogging, (only private)!
And I did the old cardio DVD again for the first time in a while, so it feels like new. Plus I got a new DVD in the mail the other day.
Despite the crappy crappy school crap and sad birthday, I think I'm back on track to being happier :)
Oh, by the way, the best advice I got this week was to learn from your mistakes and congratulate yourself for the things you did do right.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
What? Is the origin of the word not obvious? Plaid shirt --> Lumber jack --> Hungry Jack--> Hungry. Without that explanation you'd think we were just retarded...right?
But look! Now there's a perfect belt buckle for our beloved Hungry. See ya at the Waffle House**!
*What am I talking about? I'm always hungry.
**I used to always wonder why every Waffle House only had a maximum of 15 seats, even though they're really pretty popular places to go when you live in the middle of nowhere. I've recently realized they must have used all the money for chairs into their thousand foot tall signs.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Saturday, March 04, 2006
I came across this ring
I Definitely Covet.
I have to cancel my weekend (March 10-13) in Vegas. I was really looking forward to meeting lil' baboo Alexis . And though my birthday is on the 14th, I wanted to celebrate it with my brother and his family.
The reason for my utter sadness, is that I'm trying to get a large experiment done before March 15th, when I have a minor presentation to do. Though relatively minor, it's still a stressful thing to do. Since I don't teach labs or anything every week, I'm not used to getting up infront of people and talking any more. And I am trying to finish school this semester. I have about ten million things to do before then and just the thought of it makes me feel like my head's going to explode. I'm trying really hard to keep it from depressing me because I can get rather stagnant when I'm sad and anxious. One day at a time, I guess.
So sadly, I won't be going away next weekend. I'm not sure when I'll make it out there. Someone suggested I go after I'm done with everything and I can take a really long vacation and have time to go to the Grand Canyon. I would LOVE to do that. So it may have to wait a couple months. Or I'll just schedule another weekend in the nearer future. I'm not sure.
Once again, it feels like I've had to postpone my life, my happiness, for school.
I need to get out of here.
Am I being overly dramatic? Maybe. But it's my blog.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
I got them because Metro Rail was celebrating its existance and handing out scratch off cards on the platforms the other day. The prizes included 2 Continental Airline tickets, $500 gift certificate at Foley's (same as a Hecht's), Rockets, Astros or Texans tickets, and Science or Arts museum admission tickets (yeah, whatever with paying for museums!).
I thought I'd try my luck again this week with the $235 million Mega Millions jackpot.
Oh. My. GOD. I WON!!!!!! nothing.