Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Cool Photo Blog

I don't know who this guy is, but I like the photos on his blog. I like that it seems he lives in New Hampshire, yet he has lots of photo ops in Europe. Anyway, I stumbled upon it whilst looking for a picture to post on my "Early Bird..." post.

If you like black and whites, check it out!

The Early Bird Gets the Report Done (isn't that how that saying goes?)

It is 5:40 AM. I have been at work for ten minutes.

I have this dreadful final report due on Friday for the Office of Minority Health. I've been working on it from home, from work, in my head a little while trying to sleep, etc.

This morning is the final day that I would feel good about sending it (although I'll probably still overnight it just to be safe).

Why do I care about a FINAL funding paper (ie, they've already given us the money and now they're done)? Quite simply, if I do not complete this report, and to their satisfaction, they will not give us any new money in the future.

Plus, I kind of feel like I owe it to them after using almost $500,000 of their seed money to start the pilot program that's now the backbone of our department.

And now (dramatic pause)...I must work!

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Irony...maybe not irony, but strange for sure

Interesting story…I was checking to see who was viewing my blog…not because I’m a narcissist, but because I wanted to see if my Mommy’s been reading (even better, right?). I noticed a referring URL that showed up on a couple viewers. I linked to where it was coming from...and it was a site that apparently searches for blogs that discuss online games. In this case, the mere mention of Eve Online brought my blog to to search.

That in itself is not so interesting...and the part that I find interesting may seem quite lame to you. I found it interesting because whenever The Boyfriend is playing said game, I always ask him, "How are the geeks?".

He replies with, "Oh, you know, they're good."

My next question, "Do they miss me?".

"Of course", is his answer every time.

So I felt a little creeped out that I ask him about the game, I taunt him about it, I refer to the players as if they're his pals (which they kind of are when they chat on those little microphones...that The Boyfriend MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE *wink wink*), and of all blog shows up on a sight when some gamer typed the name of the game in a search.

Below is the little can view it in all it's glory by clicking on the post title.

I can't WAIT for The Boyfriend to get back and read this!!

• Dr. Boyfriend
>>>1 day ago in Inside the Mind of a Maniac • 2 blog links here
Congratulations to The Boyfriend!! It's official, The Boyfriend is officially Dr. Boyfriend. I'll still call him The Boyfriend, mostly because he doesn't seem all that interested in being identified as someone with a PhD. I've overheard him on more than one occasion say, "It's just important that I know I did it"
• » Show details

Lonely and Hungry

The Boyfriend is somewhere in Arkansas. I'm fasting...and really hungry.

After the last five months of academic hell, The Boyfriend needed to go camp by himself somewhere. So, he got in his car and drove until he found a good BBQ place, which was apparently in Eminence, MO. He called today to give me his top three camp sites, which I wrote down in case he doesn't show up on schedule. I'm actually not all that lonely, as I could use a little alone time to recharge and regroup...that five months was no picnic for me either.

I decided with him gone, it would be a good time to do a fast/cleanse. I usually go for three days, but I had to break it when I got home from work today (almost 2 days in). I began feeling irritable, confused, and my head was pounding. I did all fruit juice yesterday (with a couple cups of brown rice because I was STARVING). Today I had fruit, juice, water, tea, and a little brown rice. And when I got home, a lovely salad with pine nuts and pecans.

I have to say, I do feel like I have more energy and I'm craving healthy food.

Is it wrong that in the back of my mind I kind of want a big cheeseburger (I won't give in...all this starving WILL NOT be for nothing!).

Saturday, September 23, 2006


The Boyfriend asked specifically for a sunflower in the yard when we were planning our yard. I thought it was an adorable request, so I got an envelope of seeds. He excitedly brought the first flowers that had come in and put them in a mason jar. I think of him whenever I look at them.

Dr. Boyfriend

Congratulations to The Boyfriend!!
It's official, The Boyfriend is officially Dr. Boyfriend. I'll still call him The Boyfriend, mostly because he doesn't seem all that interested in being identified as someone with a PhD. I've overheard him on more than one occasion say, "It's just important that I know I did it". I don't anticipate any bratty outbursts when a server brings his credit card receipt to him and calls him Mr. Boyfriend instead of Dr. Boyfriend (which is good, because that wouldn't be hot at all). Note: I thought posting the above picture of his "smart person" napkin scribblings would be a fun way to start the post...he took the picture for his thesis defense presentation, but I found it on my camera. I cannot tell you how many bar napkins he desecrated with protein-genetic-markov-whatevers.

The Defense
Can I just say that The Boyfriend is the sexiest scientist ever?!? He looked like he might puke before we left the house, but once he was in front of, he was ON! He seemed completely confident, relaxed, and able to joke at mishaps (such as the battery going out on the laser pointer and hitting the wrong powerpoint button and starting the slides over). He answered all the questions in a manner that seemed knowledgeable, but not arrogant.

Then he got grilled by his committee (in the meantime, The Boyfriends parents and I went to Home Depot to buy a part for our ailing toilet. We've been tortured by it's weak performance for months...and now The Boyfriends father has fixed it...hurray!). When the dust cleared, he had a PhD. in Genetics, without having to rewrite any chapters or anything.

The Yard
The Boyfriend's father is a total maniac. I mean that in the most positive way possible. He asked if there was anything else I needed to do, and I said casually that I was going to try to weed the patio. We went in the backyard for two hours, and we did a whole seasons worth of yard work. Then, I couldn't get him to stop. "Well, that looks about right, I think we can go back in now". The Boyfriends Dad replies, "Are you kidding? You can't get me started and then pull the rug out from under me!". He weeded, he edged (with a shovel!), he cut down random tree branches, he cleared the gate. It looked so amazing that I dubbed it the Party Cove and bought a fire pit! It only seemed appropriate since it had gotten chilly and I could see our place bursting at the seams with people...having a heated outside area would give an extra seating option.

The Party
I couldn't get The Boyfriend to commit to having a party. I really felt it was my duty to mark the occasion with a gathering, but he isn't very easy to pin down. Finally, last Sunday night he agreed - we would have a small party on Thursday. I began making calls, we planned the timeline of things to do. Our plan was simple and easily executable...especially with the aid of his energetic parents.

We had a full house...a perfect balance of scientists and not-scientists. It was so much fun, and everything went perfectly...even with 25 people in a 820 square foot house. The Boyfriend smoked 2 pork shoulders and we put it in a crock pot for pulled pork sandwiches. The other crock pot had baked beans...for sides we had salad, cole slaw, corn on the cob...and two excellent desserts from Z and T.

Descriptions of Photos (on the right):
  • The first photo is The Boyfriends Father grilling chicken...which was the topic of conversation among people with cheeks filled with delicious BBQ bird. I had wanted to post one with both his parents, but it turned out too dark.
  • The second is the sexy Dr. Boyfriend making pulled pork. If he hadn't finished his PhD., I really think he should have looked into being a grill master...give the man a couple charcoal briquets and a few hours and he can smoke anything in our Weber grill!
  • The Party Cove in daylight.
  • The Party Cove at can see the Christmas lights I put up. We don't have a back porch light - those strings provided a shocking amount of illumination.
  • The Boyfriend showing his fellow Geneticists his dorky Eve Online game.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Red Tail Guilt

I did something last night that I feel SOOOO bad about. I came home from work - exhausted...and a little sassy. I was venting to The Boyfriend about something I had to do, and about how I suddenly felt resentful. Like I was venting...getting my negative energy out.

While I was spewing forth all that is evil and wrong, I began absentmindedly coloring the tip of Luna's tail with a red Sharpie pen. At the time it was kind of fun, sort of like when I use Manic Panic in my hair to add purple or red streaks. Luna looked at me, howled, and ran away.

When I saw her slinking around later, all I could see was her red-tipped tail. It looks bloody. I feel really horrible. The Boyfriend insists that she has no clue, and that when/if she cleans herself (in her old age she's disgustingly let her self go) she won't be poisoned by the ink.

I feel like I disfigured her. I feel like a terrible and abusive person. :(

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Flyin' Solo

I've never eaten alone in a restaurant. Why? I think probably because when I see people (more specifically, OLD people) sitting alone, it makes my heart hurt. My mind makes up little scenarios in which they're sad, their families have abandoned them and they have nobody to eat with. The Boyfriend, on the other hand, enjoys eating alone and does it well as seeing movies by himself. So this morning, I was bouncy, and he was not awake. I'd gone to bed early, he'd been up until 4 am. I wanted biscuits, he didn't really give a crap about biscuits.

He suggested I go to Chris' Pancake House, a neighborhood place that's less than a block away, and eat by myself. Hmm. What is it that makes me uncomfortable about that suggestion? Seriously, if someone chooses to eat alone, they must have some level of comfort. If they felt sad at a table alone, they could stay at home and make/order food. My own perception of what constitutes "loneliness" is my main hang-up. I ASSUME that someone is lonely just because they're alone. Keep in mind, I'm fully aware of feeling lonely while in a crowd of people that care about me.

After little discussion, I was convinced.

I think The Boyfriend knew how to get me sold on the idea. "You can be whoever you want! You could be a business person in town for a meeting, or maybe someone just finishing your shift on the East Side (ie. strip clubs)". I did have at least $18.00 in ones in my purse. Interesting, I could be whomever I want. The irony is that when I am out of town on business without a co-worker, I usually eat my McDonald’s Cobb salad and Oreo McFlurry in my hotel room, watching HBO’s “Hookers on the Point”.

I set some rules for myself, a list of "Do's and Don'ts", if you will:

DON'T: Explain why you're there under any circumstance. Tell nobody that you have a super sexy Boyfriend in bed sleeping, and that this is a personal experiment.
DO: Hold your head high and appear relaxed (when I concentrate I can seem a little gloomy, must concentrate on keeping a small grin on my face...which may actually come off as a bit creepy).

DON'T: Rush eating my food, then grab the check, pay, and scamper out with my tail between my legs.
DO: Linger after eating and stay until my place is cleared, leisurely finishing my coffee and water.

DON'T: Scrape the bottom of my butter container - that just seems like a good policy for me when eating alone - there's something kind of desperate about clinging to that last ounce of buttery goodness.
DO: Eat deliberately, look around, and take home whatever I don't eat (that was tagged on because I figured The Boyfriend would be scrounging for food by the time I made it back).

DON’T: No books or magazines!
DO: Become a part of the environment – no fidgeting or acting self-conscious.

Ok, now to put the plan in action. I walked across the street and entered the place. As usual, it was packed. I approached the host and held up my pointy finger, "One please". I was taken immediately to my table, apparently single tables were in low demand. I was seated at the last table in the "row of shame" (I made that up, I'm 99.7% sure they don't call it that). Above is a picture of the inside of the restaurant. I've made a small white circle where I sat.

Anywho, there are three tables against the wall that lead to the kitchen and bathroom. I had the last one, with my lone eating companions being two grossly overweight middle-aged men that looked freakishly alike.

So far, so good.

I ordered coffee and noticed a young server give me a strange smile with her eyebrows slightly furrowed. She was the only one that seemed to notice my lack of companionship. I realize now that I may be the individual that gives a weak smile to people when they're contentedly dining alone (note to self: stop doing that, it's really annoying).

Elderly people streamed in and were seated together, while I realized I was glad they were not in the “row of shame”. Servers greeted them as they walked by, obviously they were regulars. "HEY, why do they get plates of delicious-looking little cookies!?!" I've gotten them in the past, why not now? Shouldn't the lonely chick get cookies?!?!” They're really not on my healthy eating plan, but it's the principle, really.

Anyway, my service was fast and it diminished my pain at not having delicious tiny cookies. It occurred to me that I didn't need to wait around for anyone else’s order...just my veggie omelet, hash browns, and biscuits. I ate one biscuit, and a couple bites of omelet (they needed some SERIOUS doctoring, meaning cheese - that's what I get for trying to be healthy).

I got my check, sat for a few minutes, absorbed one more look from the sympathetic server, paid my bill and walked back home.

And yes, I paid in all ones.

(Anyone wondering the fate of my leftovers should be rest-assured, The Boyfriend added cheddar cheese and hot sauce to the omelet, then gobbled it up)