Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I don't wanna hear it

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Sus, you ninny, of course you're behind -- from the looks of this here blog, all you freakin' do is handwork and go to bars!"

Not true.

Well, not true anymore. At least the handwork part.

Observe: It has taken me over a week to complete one small thing. And I'm gonna make another because it was so fun and kind of addictive and neato and made me feel like an extreme knitter and it's cool. So there. I present the Garterlac Facecloth! (Missa! You've gotta try this! So fun!)

Yes, I realize this is not helping me finish my UFO/WIPs. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I'm about to get tres busy. Don't expect to hear from me until Saturday. Toodles!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

...and apparently other days, too.

Well, it's happened. It happens to some degree every semester I've ever been in school, and now it's happened again and that's why I haven't been blogging lately. I'm behind. In fact, I'm overwhelmed. There are several reasons for this -- super-huge workload, the little (and not-so-little) distractions of life, a possibility of ADD that I usually don't like to analyze too closely -- but we shan't really get into that now. Because now I'd like to focus on:

Old guys, bartenders and nerds dig my chili.

Did you know that, without doing anything particularly memorable, you can, in a city no less, go to a bar or restaurant or ride a bus once and be a regular?

Remember when I told you I went out and played darts? Yeah. Two weeks later I went to the same bar and ordered a Newcastle. The bartender said, "Oh yeah, you always get either Newcastle or Berry Weiss." Dude. I had been there once. Hi, cute little twenty-something bartender! I'm kinda old, kinda chubby, and not that hot! I'm not that memorable, I swear! What is your deal?

Fast forward to this last week. On Wednesday, Gator got some test results that ruled out potential horribleness after a health scare. I'm not going into details. But, since I was mucho relieved, I decided to give into my serious jonesing for a hamburger that had started to plague me. I went to Hegarty's, the little bar and grill next door to my building (it has a green neon sign outside that says "FOOD", but the "O's" are shamrocks -- you gotta love it!). They have awesome mushroom burgers, too. I was well pleased. The waiter/bartender was this young, kinda dorky kid who was nice -- but he was equally nice to everyone there (I have since learned that his name is Matt). I went back on Friday night because Friday is "Fish Fry" night in Milwaukee. I dig me some fish n' chips. And, far be it from me to ignore tradition, so I decided to partake of local custom. As soon as I walked in the door, Matt said, "Hey, Sus! Good to see you back!" and even though it was after seven (the time when they stop formally waiting on tables) he assured me that I was 'special' and could get personal service anyway. Again, Dude. I've only been here once!!

It's hilarious, really -- Matt and I got into a fight. The funniest thing is that I KNOW that this fight has only made it worse and now Matt has decided I'm his new BFF. Because, you see, we had this fight because he truly, in the very core of his silly little being, believes that the best Star Wars movie is Return of the Jedi. And I, of course, can only shake my head and chuckle with contempt. And his favorite Star Wars novel is The Courtship of Princess Leia. Again with the head shaking.

One game of Galaga later, and the owner and head bartender had adopted me, as well. Oh, yeah. THEY HAVE A GALAGA MACHINE! WOOT!

Now, rewind to earlier in the week. A friend had told me how to ride the bus to a particular grocery store. She was wrong -- very, very wrong. I ended up having to ask the bus driver if he knew where I went wrong and he instantly adopted me. Since I had gotten on a line that has little traffic, the next bus going back in the opposite direction would be his anyway, so I might as well just ride with him to the end of the line and back. He proceeded to tell me all sorts of things about the bus lines -- and all about the guy who hit his truck and minute details of the police reporting experience. Oh, and also, it was one of those situations where you start talking about your husband immediately, thankyouverymuch (I think that was right after the second time he told me how attractive I was. This only happens when old guys are involved. I swear. He did immediately get the hint, however, so no worries). Since about ten bus lines go past Marquette campus, this driver is in my area often. He now honks at me if he sees me. Hello! I have my own personal bus driver! Yes, I'm not quite sure how I do it, either.

All of this and I have yet to make an actual friend. Harumph.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I suck at posting on Monday

So, of course, this means that Snowflake Monday is being done on Tuesday this week. Hey, at least I actually did it. I tried, for the first time, metallic Knit Cro-Sheen which looks pretty nifty, even if it does make the teeny tiny plain white snowflake next to it look like it's from one of those snow drifts from which your mom warned you not to eat...

New topic: And warning -- this gets disturbing. Do your dreams ever just completely freak you out?? Last night I dreamed I was reading a graphic novel. I saw every picture and read every word in my dream. That alone is kinda weird. But the content! It was a story about a man who lost a bet to two of his brothers, so they got to tie him up, beat him, and then they started cutting parts of him off, cooking them, and placing them on his chest. For some reason, the victimized brother didn't even know the fingers, toes, etc. on his chest were his own. They did this until he was just a head and torso and he was still trying to figure out where this stuff on his chest was coming from. The art was a sepia-toned wood-cut style and it was really freaky. I kept wondering to myself in the dream why I would be reading this, but I couldn't stop. It's haunted me all day. I hate it when this happens. It hasn't happened for a long time. I sure hope it's not a trend.

Maybe it comes from crocheting yellow snow?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Well, maybe a little...

Progress, that is. I know I've made it sound like I just haven't had a spare minute to crochet or knit. Now, c'mon. You knew that wasn't true. But it hasn't been anything terribly exciting.

I made another set of dishcloths for the awesome administrative assistant who helped me so much during my financial aid woes:

And I've been plugging merrily away on the Crazy Quilt Coverlet and I got to move the progress bar this week! (Get used to pictures of these squares. Get very, very used to it.)

So, I got a message on my voice mail from Missa, who went to her niece's wedding this weekend in Colorado. She was just wondering where I was going to get to watch the Broncos game, because she was going to be watching from Section X, Row Y, Seat Z!!!!! "Gadzooks," I thought, "what a little snot. Calling and rubbing it in my face like that." Then for most of the game, instead of being all nervous or bummed because we were, again, playing lousily, I was thinking, "Ha! Boy, bet you're glad you were there to see that!" (Don't worry, it's already been established I'm a horrible friend. She's the same way. We totally deserve each other.) But my boys actually pulled it off in overtime!!!! I almost couldn't believe it. So, I'll grudgingly admit that I'm glad you were there to see it, Missa.

Now, post-transcriptional gene silencing in Arabidopsis! I can feel your jealousy.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hi! I'm not running, I'm reading!

Here's the hazy sky from my roof over Miller Park.

Look at all the tiny people getting ready for Al's Run! The course starts right in front of my building so the street is closed. I'm not sure what this has done to the bus routes, but it has put off my trip to the grocery store. Oh well. I had thought I would participate in the run (walking, of course -- let's not get cwazy!!), but my fun, fun! plantar fasciitis made me reconsider. Next year.

Last night, instead of doing something constructive (or crocheting, even!) I read most of a book. A conversation with Gator caused me to look at information on the Oneida Community, where they, among other things, practiced "Complex Marriage", where all members of the Community were married to all other members. They were encouraged to have sexual intercourse with people of higher moral constitution in order to improve their own spiritual standing. Through the practice of "male continence" they seperated "propagative" sex from "amative" sex. Later in the Community's life, they started, in effect, a breeding program, where individuals were selected to mate with each other to create a perfect race, the children of the union to be raised by the Community as a whole. The community finally fell apart after the founder, John Humphrey Noyes, resigned as leader and his replacement (his son) could not sway the community as John had. During the Community's heyday, they had several successful businesses and developed the silverplate business that is synonymous with Oneida to this day.

I found the book Special Love, Special Sex, a transcribed and annotated diary of a member of the Community who had a hard time with many of their practices but stayed because he believed in the central tenets and because his love was there. It's fascinating!! The idea that a place like this exsited in the 19th century is still amazing to me. The diary also provides a look at what life was like in a relatively technologically advanced community during the mid-1800's. It's hard to put down. I'll probably finish it today.

So, no handwork to show you today. I'm sure you'll live.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Goodbye, Ann

Dear Ann Richards,

You did it all, girl, backwards and in high heels.

So long.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Feel better, Sweetie!

Hey! Wanna hear about gene silencing in bread mold? Lead cleavage in tRNA? The FANTOM III mouse cDNA database? Alternative splicing of RNA? No? Well, now you know why I'm so quiet lately -- that's all I've got.

In far more important news, my boy has the flu! And still with the broken foot! I wish so much that I could be with you right now, Punkin! ::smoochies::

So, since I can't be there to be cute for you, I'll post super cute pictures and maybe they'll make you feel warm and fuzzy inside (and not just because you have a fever).
Kitty food!

Kitten = Cute! Pile o' kittens = ZOMG IT'S SO CUTE!

Puppy = cute! Bag o' puppies = ZOMG IT'S SO CUTE!

Cuddly baby!

Dude! Being so galdarn cute wears me out!

What?!? We're not doin' nothin' but bein' cute!!!

Applause! I'm so cute!

All pictures courtesy of Cute Overload.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Good news, better news, bad news, good news

Before I even get to the good news, let me just shout out the wonderful thing that has allowed there to be any of this news to begin with:


I am a die hard Denver Broncos fan. Now, living up here in Packers country, and especially living up here without a TV makes catching the games difficult. Though I've spent most of my life in Chiefs country, so really this is kind of like a cake-walk.

In the past, however, if you couldn't get access to a television broadcast somewhere, you were a little out of luck, because no radio station that broadcast the games was set up for internet streaming. This year, this has changed! 850 KOA, the Denver AM station most beloved of Broncos fans, now streams and we can listen to all the games all season long! Frabjous day! THIS IS THE GOOD NEWS.

So, I turned on the stream today at noon and felt the wonderment of Broncos football coursing over me. Then, about halfway through the first quarter, I had a wild hair. The workout room here has a television with basic cable. I ran upstairs just to see if, by some miracle, the Broncos game was on in this market (but I didn't really expect it to be). BUT IT WAS! Callooh! Callay! THIS IS THE BETTER NEWS!

I runs back downstairs, changes my clothes and heads in to ride the exercise bike AND knit while watching the game. It was heavenly.

Except for the fact that the Broncos offense was apparently playing for St. Louis today. My boys really stank it up old school. Although, our defense was actually playing for Denver and kept what should have been 42 points down to only 18. And the offense did manage, somehow, to put up 10. So, it wasn't actually nearly as bad as it could have been, but boy, it was not good. THIS IS THE BAD NEWS.

But, ever the optomist, two good things came of this afternoon's game. One, I was able to knit on the fatigue hat to the point where it is now half done. Woot! And two, I rode the bike for over 100 minutes, upping the tension every 30 minutes! Yay, me! And, let me tell you, during some of those plays, I was riding really fast. THIS IS GOOD NEWS.

Now, I'm back to reading journal articles and preparing for tomorrow's classes. THIS IS NOT NEWS.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Roof shot, head shot

While talking to my friend, the Rhino, last night (I like all my men to be called after fierce animals), I realized that I had never posted pictures of and from the roof of my building. The roof is twenty stories up, and has a heated pool. It's quite nice and I like to spend time up there.

The view, especially to the east, is lovely and I can see Lake Michigan if the weather is clear at all:

And, since I've been taking random pics for Gator, I decided to go ahead and add one here. I'm not doing anything exciting; as you can see, I'm standing in the bathroom (duckies in background!!). Sometimes I wear makeup. Today is not one of those days.

Off to the Marquette 125th anniversary celebration kickoff. Ta!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My problem, and dinner!

After yesterday's post and, specifically, Missa's repsonse to it, I've been thinking. I realize that I made it sound like, after picking up and moving two states away and leaving Gator in Missouri to come here and become what I finally decided I want to be when I grow up, that actually doing school stuff is not how I want to spend my time. But that isn't it at all.

Going back to school after working is hard. I've done it twice now and it's hard for reasons you don't really anticipate right off the bat. It's not about the information you forgot, it's not about how to write a paper or read a paper or take an exam. It's not about interacting with professors or students or meeting expectations. It's about deciding what time is your own.

When you work (at many jobs, but not all, I realize), you go to work, you do your job, and you come home. You make dinner, you pay bills, you clean what absolutely must be cleaned. Then, you do what you want. If you blow off cleaning the bathroom, no one really gets hurt. And if, like me, you don't have kids, any of the above can usually be blown off anytime you want (bill paying notwithstanding). All after work time is your own to schedule as you see fit. If you want to spend all of it crocheting then, as a Big Girl, you can do that without guilt.

When you go back to school, you have this great big new priority whose boundaries are not so easily defined. I only spend about six hours a week actually in class. I could spend every second of time out of class doing something school related and really never run out of things to do (especially read). And, yes, this program is what I want to do and I love learning about these things. But, in all honesty, I don't want to read ten journal articles in a row. About anything. Ever. I may have to, but I'll never want to. And if I can "streamline" the process, I will. And, really, I probably should. But I'll always feel bad about it. And, until I'm established in a lab and have passed my qualifiers, I'll find plenty of things to complain about. 'Cause that's when the fun's gonna begin. ;)

In the meantime, I'm going to have to go through this adjustment period. I don't know how to quantify work and personal time -- it's going to just have to come to me. This method has worked before, I can only assume it will again.

Okay, so enough of my non-witty introspective bullshizz. On to the completely irrelevant thing that I looked forward to all day!!

Tuna and noodle cassarole!!!

Yes, that fabulous 50's comfort food has made its way into my humble abode! I realized several weeks ago that I had not had tuna and noodle cassarole since the last time my mom made it for me. Probably twelve years ago. After my initial shock and horror that I'd somehow managed to survive so long without something that was such a staple in my childhood, I became fervent in my dedication to making it (which I also couldn't believe I'd never done). Luckily, I knew that Mother used the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (the best cookbook ever!!) so I had the recipe and I knew what changes to make (fried onions on top!).

Here's my little beauty, after I ate a big, heapin' helpin'. It was heavenly! (The onions aren't really nearly as burnt as they look in this picture. I swear. Although next time I will wait and add them closer to the end...)

The only downside is that, after eating this for every meal until it's gone, I won't want it for another twelve years. Oh well. Next month I may do swiss steak.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Playing to my faults

I just had a long meeting with the professor with whom I'm doing a 10-week lab rotation. At the end of last week, he emailed me six journal articles. I assumed that he expected me to read them before we met today. So I tried. I kind of did it haphazardly and had some problems with a couple of them and skimmed part of one, but I basically read the articles, sort of, for the most part. Kind of. But not like I thought I should have. Not like I would have, if I hadn't been ADD Sus all weekend.

At the meeting today, he was impressed that a) I actually read them at all, b) that I read them closely enough to know that I had problems understanding parts of them, c) that I cared that I had problems understanding parts of them and d) that I understood his explanations of the problem areas. He kept telling me how impressed he was. It was a little embarassing, considering I thought I had sort of blown it off.

You would think this would be good! You would think, "Rock on, Sus! Grad school is agreeing with you!"


This is bad! This is very, very bad! This means I have less incentive to do things the way I think they should be done! And, kids, I am all about incentive! If I can rationalize doing something school-related in a half-assed manner so I can do something I really want to do, like crochet or nap, I WILL DO IT. And the more often I can pull it off, the more I will continue to do it. I managed to get a 4.0 at Columbia College with such nonsense, but REALLY, PEOPLE, I MUST BE STOPPED.

But, I want to finish Gator's fatigue hat before winter, and I'm really late making one of my nieces an afghan, and I really did promise that my sister would have a hand-crocheted tablecloth one day, and I am a little sleepy, come to think of it...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Rain haze and snow flurry

It's rainy and icky today. So, alas, no sailing. But! Instead! The sinus headache! Woot! A fabulous exchange, I assure you. So, no Arrr!, but Aarrgghh!

It's Snowflake Monday, so you know what that means:

Don't get too excited; I didn't make a single one of those this week. I simply stiffened my stash. Is it just me, or does that sound vaguely dirty?

And, on a totally unrelated note: Alas, poor Steve! I knew him not, Jane.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Progress? Surely, you jest!

Though it would be nice, let's just not get too used to this kind of progress, now shall we?

What is it, do you think, about a week so full of stress that you're too distracted to get the amount of work done that you would like, that makes a weekend-after-the-stress so equally unproductive? From an acutal work standpoint, anyway? I have felt as if I needed a reprieve, a way to actually see something I'd done, moreso than another journal article in the "have read" pile. This will somehow later bite me on the butt, I'm sure of it. Or, I'll pull it out. Actually, I'm pretty sure I'll pull it out.

So, yes! Progress! Of the handcraft variety!

Pssst! Girls (especially Em and Beck)! Don't show your mom this page until she gets this in the mail!

I present the completed Picasso!

I don't remember the last one I made being such a pain in the @$$ to put together. I'm not sure there's another of these on the horizon. So Sis is getting something special, indeed! ::BG::

And, though I had forgotten to post a progress bar for it, I had a partially completed amigurumi cactus in my bag that I decided to get at least mostly done today. I haven't figured out how to put pricklies on him yet, or decided if I'm going to at all. Also, I think his base needs something. A little scrub or pebbles or something.

But, anyway, witness Spike, the amigurumi cactus as he wanders through the land of giant silver, twisty candlesticks!

He's cute and that's good and I won't hear any more about it.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Not just another Saturday sky

I love this sky. I think it is rather majestic. I dedicate this picture to Robert Lee Lynch -- a beautiful, loving man whose funeral is today. He was my husband's maternal grandfather and I was honored to call him Grandpa as well. He was well and truly loved and will be missed horribly.

Goodbye, Grandpa. I love you.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

-- Crossing the Bar
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Friday, September 01, 2006

End of First Week report

Well, I've learned two incredibly valuable things so far about Marquette University.

Suffice it to say that financial aid got me into a huge mess and the biology department faculty and staff, through great time, effort and compassion, got me out of it. This problem has taken a lot of my brain (and foot!) power this week and has left me a little distracted. Nothing like a relatively worry-free three-day weekend as a reward for overcoming a giant stress-o-rama.

Not like I don't still have a ton of stuff to read, but...

Lastly, in tribute to the fact that, barring unfavorable weather conditions, I will be going sailing on Lake Michigan on Monday, I decided I just might need this:

My pirate name is:

Iron Prudentilla Vane

  A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you a tough person. You tend to blend into the background occaisionally, but that's okay, because it's much easier to sneak up on people and disembowel them that way. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

Ahoy, Matey! Arrr!

Screaming for joy

If this is true, then thank God.

Life is fine. I'll write more soon.