Sunday, March 30, 2008
This morning I drove to the store in my hybrid car and hauled my groceries in reusable canvas bags and felt rather virtuous. I will not take it one step further, however, and buy my groceries from an organic localvore co-op. I am rather partial to my prepackaged, overprocessed, easy-to-prepare foods. I choose my battles.
We participated in Earth Hour last night. For one hour, we shut down the network and the furnace and turned off all the lights; the house was utterly silent (except the fridge, which we can't unplug). We played Sorry! by candlelight and made cracks about the olden days when Lincoln had to play Sorry! by the light of his fireplace.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Spring break, still sucking
I planned to give myself a glorious, well-deserved weekday off this week, do some shopping, eat something tasty, pick out new glasses, color my hair. Well, it's not gonna happen. Too much to do! The field season is looming, the Evolution meeting is looming, and I have to have a committee meeting soon so I can tell my committee that I am not really sure where the last 10 months went but I apparently didn't spend them working on my project. Maybe I should show them my progress in Morrowind instead?
I mentioned to my advisor yesterday that I was feeling dull and unmotivated this week, and instead of commiseration I got: "Why don't you try screening some new primers?" Nothing will snap you out of the doldrums faster than primer screening! Wheeee!
Walked to Subway for lunch and got to marvel at the luxury auto show that is the Tuscany parking lot on Taylor Street. A glossy black Yukon with high-end trim package had the improbable license plate "WILD PIG". Cop with an attitude problem? Now, now, Bintie, get off your Jump to Conclusions Mat. I'm sure the FOP sticker in the window is just a coincidence.
Oh - and it's @#*@&! snowing.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Spring break sucks
Somewhere, someone is having a sunny spring break filled with friends and alcohol (and of course studying for the upcoming exam in 230 - right, my little students?). I am at my desk, involved in a silent battle with the guy across the hall for possession of the Sequencher license key, and bored out of my head. Going to lunch in a minute, but first I took a moment to blog-crawl, and found this:
Also: the ultrasonic hearing test: http://www.ultrasonic-ringtones.com/
I could hear up to the 15.8 kHz tone, which surprised me because I don't think my hearing is that great. For anyone with pets, please don't crank up your volume trying to hear the tones while they're around.
Monday, March 24, 2008
We had a sunny, snowy Easter yesterday. Easter came unusually early this year, rather disappointing for all the girls who wanted to show off their cute spring dresses. We drove the new car to Rockford and obsessed over the real-time gas mileage calculator. Unfortunately, had to leave little Foley at home, because in two trips in the new car she has peed both times. I am convinced she is making dominance plays at us, showing her displeasure with the change in routine by lashing out with one of the few tools she has. Between that and the other stuff she pulls, I'm about this close to resorting to the anti-anxiety medication, or hiring a doggy psychologist. I never wanted to be one of those people who uses a doggy psychologist but she has a behavioral problem and I don't know what else to do :(
Anyway - standard Easter with the food and the conversation and some really excellent brownies, made by me (Ghirardelli is the best). The rest of my family is religious but nobody really talks about it or makes a big deal about it. This year, for the first time in my memory, grace was said before dinner, because a new addition to the family is particularly religious and is being somewhat assertive about it. I remain firm in the resolution I made to myself at a wedding long ago never to pretend to participate in prayer, so during grace I sat up straight, looked ahead, and waited politely until it was over. I respect my relatives' right to have their beliefs, but I won't play along. If they're following their own rules properly, they'll never see my heathen behavior and everyone will be happy.
But later, I was nearly thrust into an argument I didn't want to have. My husband had just accidentally eaten a walnut (this new family member isn't familiar with the nut rules yet) and had calmly but rapidly gone to the car to find a store where he could buy antihistamines. While he was gone, the conversation turned to which stores were or were not open on Easter, and the general consensus was that everything should close on Easter. I felt my ire rise instantly; had everyone forgotten that their own relative was at that moment looking for an open store to save his life?? (Not that his reactions are life-threatening, but some people's are, so I exaggerated to myself.) Yes, it's nice to have a day off if a holiday is important to you. However, compromises can be made to the benefit of both employees and consumers.
Only two dozen marshmallow eggs this year. I've been a real slacker.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Happy Pi Day!
I just emailed away my second grant application of the week. Phew!! I sat on the email for about 15 minutes, checking and doublechecking the application materials for typos or crucial missing pieces or misspellings of the name of the guy collecting the applications (when someone's last name is Naczi, you must be *very* careful of the spelling!). Hitting "send" was very difficult but it is done. Then I checked my spreadsheet of grant and abstract deadlines, and oh look! There was another one due today that I totally forgot about. Poop.
Considering taking a half-day class at the Botanic Garden next week on trees and climate change. Another equally intriguing course they offer is Spring Baking: Cream Puff Pastry Parade. I'm sure I will be saying "cream puff pastry parade" to myself for the rest of the day.
First dozen chocolate marshmallow eggs is nearly gone. Easter comes early this year; I may not have time for many more.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008
I seem to have come down with a lovely case of bronchitis. I mostly feel fine, except every half hour or so I have a coughing fit and bring up about a gallon of mucus. Aren't you glad you know about that? The irony is, just last weekend I was congratulating myself on not being sick all winter. Oops.
Made a surprising discovery when editing my DNA sequences yesterday. I can't tell you what it is, and I'm not sure how to interpret it, but I feel confident that at the Evolution meeting this summer I will have something worth presenting. It's too bad I'm only going to one meeting this year...seems like a waste to have my expenses covered for a trip to Minneapolis.