Saturday, December 31, 2005

What's YOUR name?

Here's my married name:

My Holy name given by the Order of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is Prego Belinda de Conchigliette.
Take Flying Spaghetti Monster Name Generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

Inevitably, my maiden name is this:

My Holy name given by the Order of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is Prego Belinda de Tortellini.
Take Flying Spaghetti Monster Name Generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

I think I could have guessed that one.

I have found the TRUTH...

Fair warning, this is going to offend some of you, but I feel so strongly about the push to teach creationism in the public schools. Turns out I'm not the only person out there that feels this way. Bobby Henderson submitted an open letter to the Kansas Board of Education and others about if they are going to include ID in science class, then they need to teach other creation theories right alongside of it. The letter has rung a chord with many people around the world. Here's the original letter for you all to enjoy (note: this is not a true religion or anything remotely like it, it does not intend to make fun of Christianity or it's followers, just tries to point out the ridiculousness is attempting to teach it in science class):

If you read this, hopefully, you all see the truth in it. It is absolutely wrong to teach faith in science and have to redefine the very nature of science itself to do it. The term "ID" is nothing more than a Halloween mask for the Christian right to try to play off creationism as a science. It is not a science. It will never be a science. It is no different from other's cultures of the "myth" of creation and should be content to be taught in philosophy class and religion courses. If you want your publicly taught child to learn this, the home is the proper place for it and, alternatively, there are schools available that will follow your teachings.

People who firmly believe that ID is a real alternative to the scientific theory of evolution have no understanding of science and how it works. Period. They consistently point out the "holes" in the theory of evolution. Well, of course there are holes. Unfortunately, we don't know everything there is to know because that is the nature of science. We ask a question, we get evidence that either supports the theory or disproves it. There is no point that a hypothesis is ever locked in and unquestionable. EVER. Remember not too long ago, it was thought that the sun revolved around a flat earth! Not everyone believed this, but some truly did and people died for this belief. Would you today throw out everything we've learned about the universe because we don't know every single answer to every single question? Not too long ago, a cancer or AIDS diagnosis was an absolute death sentence. Not today, we've LEARNED more and more about how to treat these diseases. Have we cured them? Not by a long shot. But would you discount the treatments now available because we haven't all the answers. We're still not sure how a cell becomes cancerous, but we're getting closer. But that's a "hole" in the theory. So, better throw it all out.

If you believe in God and believe in the creation myth purported by the Bible, then that's fine. But don't parade it as science. Where's the scientific evidence? How do you support that hypothesis? You can't, except by faith. And faith is a fine and wonderful thing that allows many people to feel they are closer to their God and gives them comfort in a sometimes scary world. I do not begrudge anyone their personal beliefs as long as they lead a life full of love and kindness for others. But the audacity of the right-wing fundamental Christians in believing that not only are THEY worshipping the "right" god, but they are the only ones who matter and in trying to push their personal beliefs on others! In the immortal words of George Carlin, "Keep thy religion to yourself." And for that, I say, long live the Flying Spaghetti Monster!!


Thursday, December 29, 2005

DVDs and other stuff

I haven't forgotten about getting you all a copy of the DVD from Mom and Dad's anniversary party. I went and bought a whole bunch of DVDs and mailing envelopes a long time ago, but when I sat down to burn them, I had some problems. My DVD won't recognize the format, so I'm going to have to spend some time figuring it out. Sorry about that. I promise I will keep you all updated on it, but I haven't had a chance recently to work it out.

Oh, I found some great political cartoons and will share the best that I found. All are from

So, what's everyone doing for New Year's? Paul is working on the 31st, but they're supposed to close at 7 pm. We'll see though. I have a feeling there's a possibility I may be sitting at home going, "Wooooo.....wooooo....Happy New Year's to ME!! Wooo."

Hehe. Christmas was good although I was not feeling up to snuff completely. My big owie came back to haunt me and I luckily got into the doc last Friday. Got me on more antibiotics, which made me really, really sickly and tired. Missed work completely on Monday and only worked 7 hours on Tues.

We're starting to sell stuff on eBay again, especially since I've been buying so much. But I got some great gifts off there, for others and myself :)

Here's some fun cartoons:

Wish this weren't true...but my friend Eric sent me this link, check it out, it's pretty sad:

Wish I would've found this one before, it's so perfect!!

Oh, say it ain't so!!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land:
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Rossetti 1830-1894

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Ho Ho Ho!!

Once again, it's that time of year of spending entirely too much money, spending even more money, then taking out a small loan so you can eat in the new year. Merry Flippin' Christmas to all! Hehe. Here's some Christmas humor to get you all through the days ahead!!


Monday, December 19, 2005

One more down...hopefully

Well, sorry I haven't updated recently, but I had a nutty week of trying to get final presentations done, a paper written and study for a final. But got it all done. Got a couple of grades back, (finally!!), after we took the final. Got a 97% on the take-home, but that's not too difficult if you just read a little bit. Got an 85% on the stalking paper, which I wasn't too happy about. I asked them to explain where the points were taken off and they really couldn't give a satisfying answer. So, no clue. I shouldn't be bummed about it I guess, but I think if they're going to take points off, they should be able to explain where they went and why they took it off. I know one of his complaints was "there were way too many citations here." Hunh. Well, as I was going through statistics, I thought I probably should cite. Anyway, done whining.

Presentation went okay, but my group went over by 3 min apparently. Well, we had a lot of information and two of my group members are really monotone, slow talkers. I about fell asleep listening to them, haha. We're hoping to do much better on this presentation paper than we did on the last one.

Got most of the shopping done for everyone that we're going to either see on X-Mas eve or not see at all (Mom T., Dad T., Dad P., Marty, Renee, Laura and Al). Tonight is for wrapping presents and getting two packages to mail to Al and Laura and my parents.

Well, seeing as how I'm at work, I should probably get back to it. Here's a little X-Mas commentary for ya'll too.


This little gem came from:

Saturday, December 10, 2005

X-mas is creeping up...

It's another glorious Saturday here in the wilds of K.C. The temp is around 40 degrees today so we have massive melting and hugemongous icicles on the house. There's one in the back that is larger than me. I was going to take a picture of it, but my psychotic cat made a kamikaze run onto my computer desk, knocking my camera to the floor. When I tried to turn it on, it now says "change battery pack." I'm pretty sure the battery is okay, but can't find the charger to verify. I'm hoping he didn't knock something loose in there...damn him. I love my animals, but there are days I want to strangle them. This is one of those days with Max. He also dug out about a cup of soil out of one of our plants, throwing it around on the floor. Such a little shit he is.

I've gotten most of the presentations from my other group members, but one is just text with no pictures at all and the other doesn't cover 2/3 of her victims. Ack. Try to motivate these people and they give you crap. So, I'll be working on getting that all together. Got my part of the paper to one of the other members on Wed., but he emailed me saying he'd made some changes. I sorta freaked out and emailed him back telling him to send it to me and that it wasn't okay to be making changes to someone else's work without their permission. He apologized for making me think it was big changes, but he claims that it was nothing more than some "editorial" type changes. I still want to see it and told him so. Still haven't gotten it yet. Maybe I'm just over-reacting, but you never make changes to another person's content without their explicit approval.

Going to write another paper today on expert witness testimony, mainly focusing on the Frye (the original test) and Daubert (the current one). I'm going at it from a serology/DNA point of view since that has the most bearing on my life. The stuff I've read so far, it's pretty interesting how they decide whether your testimony falls under Daubert or not.

Next week is going to be awfully busy. My X-Mas party for work is Wed., and Paul's is Sunday. Of the two, Paul's should be a lot of fun, since it's at Dave & Buster's. When we lived near St. Louis, we used to go there all the time. We'll get to check out the new one here now. Mine is usually a bit stuffy, but free food and alcohol, so woohoo. And it's always entertaining to see your old professors get snockered and dance.

Since we've pretty much decided to have my family's X-Mas in January, we're only going to go buy Paul's side tomorrow. A little easier on the ol' pocketbook anyway to split up the purchasing. I haven't seen my great-nieces in forever and just haven't had a chance when I've been home recently. My niece is always working on my weekends there, so can't wait to see how big Macy has gotten. And, Mom, I'll try to take some pictures assuming my camera starts working again! Damn that cat.

Here's a little Christmas humor for ya'll that I got in the email the other day. Considered making it my cards this year, but we went with a pic of us instead. It was a tough decision, lol.

Naughty, naughty Santa!!


P.S. Forgot to mention that we ended up with a little over 12" of snow!! Holy moly on a sleigh.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Are we in Kansas City??

This here is for all you people who don't get to see this sort of thing. We're in the middle of a snow storm, so thought I'd share. Made the drive home from work a little hellish, but made it home okay. In this part of the country (well, Kansas City, really), they don't believe in shoveling the highways. The plows are apparently nothing more than pretty decorations. They're trying to sand and salt this stuff, not plow. Maybe it really IS rocket science!! We're expected to see anywhere from 8-10" but we're already at around 9" and still have hours of snowfall left. It's been snowing for 16 hours now and has about another 8-9 hours left. The last time we had this kind of snow with the temps was in 1978! Take a look at the pics and enjoy!! I know you're all jealous. Seriously, it's very pretty unless you have to be out driving in it. My toes are cold anyway so no going out for me!! (Hint, hint, Laura).

Yeah...that's a ruler...and that's 9"!!

Paul definately got the short stick when he went out to measure. I got to stand in the doorway to take the pic. Notice the dead sexy hat.

Yep. That's our porch. The seat looks nice and fluffy enough to sit in. Fun times scooping!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Here's a little something to make all us geeks laugh!

How many days til X-Mas? Crap.

Well, it's definately December for those who might be wondering. We've been righteously spoiled with very good weather and now we're getting the cold stuff. Not much snow, but cold. But you can always find somewhere colder which makes me tolerate it better, oddly enough. Lincoln, NE, forecast for today was "bitterly cold" on And Paul said it was -33 in Montana near where we used to live! I'm not entirely sure if humans are supposed to live that far north of the equator.

Got my stalking paper done and we managed to figure it out literally in the 11th hour. Our last two questions got us our man, at least a very likely suspect. Other groups, who aren't quite as stupid as we were, got it by their 1st question and were able to definately nail the same guy. Felt a whole lot better once we got that dude's name. The "source" was feeling sorry for us and piled a ton of info into the last couple of questions, so yay for pity.

Class consisted of talking about fantasy development and rapists for 9 hours. Always entertaining. We're winding that class down and only have final presentations, two papers and the final due next class. Ack! And me with no X-Mas shopping done yet. But Paul and I did put the tree up (which is pre-lighted), no decorations yet. It looks pretty nice and due to time, may stay that way. Also, got our X-Mas cards yesterday which I addressed and have mostly done.

Got to spend some more quality time with the Pomeranian on Thurs./Fri. Turned out she adopted him to a family in Lincoln so I offered to taxi him up there. Paul picked him up on Thurs. and for once, all the animals were getting along. Pretty rare. The little guy was laying on Paul's chest when I got home. Traveled so well, slept most of the time, although for the first hour or so of the trip, he did it in my lap, which was interesting. Got him to another temp home on his trip to his final destination. The new owner, unfortunately, named him Herbie Husker. Tracy got to see him too and fell in love, although the dog wanted to bark and bark at the cats, who didn't have a clue what to make of this little furball who was about 1/3 of their weight.

Saturday night we went out for Nicole's (brother's girlfriend) birthday. Then went back to the house, where we played poker and shot darts until almost 4 a.m. I slept until nearly noon and now my sleeping schedule is all funky. It was fun, especially since I got to use my brother's money since he got up and I sat in for him and ended up winning the first couple of hands, so he let me stay there. Just got him his original money back in the end.

So, this week is mainly for getting papers/presentations all done and the weekend for X-Mas shopping, but we'll see how it goes. It doesn't matter a whole lot since we can't do my family's Christmas at all this year until Jan. Paul has to close on X-Mas Eve which is supposed to be at 4 p.m., but we won't know until that day when he'll be home. He didn't work last year, but knows they sold 6 cars. I told my family that we wouldn't be there X-Mas Eve, but we're going to try to go to Junction, unfortunately, it puts everyone in limbo until that day. If everything works out perfectly, we'll try to go to Lincoln, X-Mas Day, but who knows. Weather is also a consideration of course.

Time to go to work since I'm late as it is.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Puppy love

Okay, so here's a pic of the dog that I "saved" from a tough life on the streets. I rescued this little baby doll on Monday and took him in and gave him a flea bath and groomed out all the poop matted in his fur. This is after taking him to his "home" or so I thought. They said he looked like a puppy from their litter, but they had given him away and those people didn't want him anymore, and he just found his way "home." But they didn't want him, so I could do whatever. This poor little guy was dodging cars in the neighborhood for about three days or so before I picked him up. Of course, I feel deeply in love, but Max (the cat) was having none of it. He so tried to kick the dog's ass all over the place. He was practicing the fine art of ninja.

So, I feel in love since the guy followed me all over the house and then every time I would sit down, he'd hop into my lap. How can you not love a tiny dog like this? He was only about 6 or 7 lbs, maybe. And NOT a licker at all. But I knew he would find a good home somewhere and ended up giving him up to a Pom rescue group who was going to neuter him, get his completely checked out and adopt him out to someone.

Paul tried to be all tough with him, but no matter what he said he would have totally fallen for the dog too. By the next morning, he was trying to teach the dog how to sit and telling it to go find "mommy." Tell me this dog isn't the most adorable and you don't totally LOVE him. Be proud of me that I didn't keep me. Be very proud and very surprised. Paul was.


Friday, November 25, 2005

Once in a while...

Not often, but once in a while I surprise even myself. I'm currently typing this in my living room, no where near the internet modem. Yes, my Airport is working. Please don't ask me what was different, except for that software update (which I think somehow made it all work). It's quite nice and now I just have to get a card for the desktop and we're in business. It automatically put this massive password in and I'm not entirely sure about that, but it's using WEP 128-bit security, which I'm guessing is good enough to keep people like me (haha) off my network and out of my life. But I'll look into more and see what's up.

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving! We had a busy day of cooking. Well, I cooked and then Paul came in and would ask if I needed anything or if I was doing something correctly. He was lucky because when he would ask that, I never had a knife in my hands. But it was really a success and everyone ate a TON. We actually charged up the battery of the camera and then completely forgot to get it out. Smart us.

So, time to reach a whole new level of laziness. See you all soon!


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Here's to wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. May much food be eaten, much laughter ring through your home and much love shared with family and friends!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

I'm a web guru

I'm sitting here at work, not working so much. Just got done figuring out how to change the passwords for our webpage. Very exciting stuff there. Can't believe I actually figured that out and didn't screw it up (at least so far). Also did a bunch of updating to it and have been truly only productive doing the webpage today. Haven't done anything else yet. I just really want to go home and get to shopping for our Thanskgiving feast! We're (I say "we" as though "we" are cooking...haha) doing a ham and a turkey to mix it up a bit. And lots of other goodies. I'm looking forward to having a four-day weekend, three of which I have nothing to do except write a couple of papers. Sweet!

Had a great time bowling with the family Saturday, probably TOO good of a time, but it's all good. I was up too late (er...maybe that's early) and started to get a headache, so I think since I had stopped drinking, I eventually had a hangover. Or, it could have been since I'd been awake for nearly 24 hours by that time and the night before had only gotten about 4 hours of sleep.

Don't really have anything earth-shattering to report, although if you want to look at my pretty webpage, email me and I'll hook you up. Although I never intended to learn so much about computers, this can't hurt me and now I get to have fun with databases. Ack. I think I should go back to school for another undergrad degree, this time in computer science. Ha-Paul really would kill me! See ya all later.


Friday, November 18, 2005

I should be driving right now...

Well, I'm being lazy and not driving to Nebraska just yet, so figured I'd do something moderately worthwhile although the only thing I want to do right now is take a 4-hour nap. Also, should be writing a rough draft to a paper, but got the research done and started on the paper. That counts for 1/2 points anyway.

Went to the doctor today to get a current TB test and a tetanus shot. No worries, just for my internship. Also have to get the Hepatitis B vaccination done too. Decided not to get the shots today since the twit who made my appointment was wrong when she continually assured me that it could be read on Monday morning. WRONG!! Would've been read on Sunday and I would've wasted my money as they wouldn't have been able to do squat on Monday. Luckily, my nurse has a brain in her head and had me reschedule. Have to get the Hep B at the County Health Dept., so that kinda sucks. It's three shots over the course of 7 months, so I better get on that SOON! The official dates of the internship are in June and I may not make it, yikes. So, next week I'll be starting on that and hope that I'm just crazy and have miscalculated the time. Wish I would've known about the three shots before. Maybe I did and just forgot.

Been asking questions to a source about a stalker case I'm investigating with another group in class. I've decided I think I suck at asking the "right" questions. We're no where near having a clue as to who the bad guy is and the paper is due on Dec. 3rd. Figure we've got one more round of questions and then we'll have to figure it out, but so far every answer we've gotten has only confused us more.

We'll be submitting another publication for review at work soon. This time we're going for the big dogs and shooting for PNAS, one of the top publications. It's a pretty darn good story and no one has ever said the things we're going to propose, so that should shake it up a bit. Basically, we've "proven" that crystal structures may not always tell the whole story as a protein we tried to get a structure out of for two years through NMR (and never got), tells us one section of the protein is basically unfolded, but the crystal structure we just got, says it's completely structured in that region. Happens to be the "important" region too (that section is basically for Dr. Laura, since she's familiar with geek speak, haha). So, we're proposing that crystal structures, due to the very nature of the procedure, in essence, lock in the protein, giving a false sense of structure to regions that in solution are actually unstructured. Don't tell anyone about that until it's published, or I'll have to hunt you all down and slap you silly!!

Well, I need to stop being lazy and get in the car and drive up to NE so I have time to finish up the paper. No sleep for the weary, sigh.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Cyberland or Stalkerland?

Paul and I watched Dateline the other night and got to see 19 adult men go to a house where they thought they were going to be able to engage in sexual acts with a 12-, 13-, or 14-year-old child (either male or female). You may ask how these men were inticed to the house. Let me tell you. It was through a group called that poses as young girls and boys in regional Internet chat rooms. The posers did not in any way solicit or approach the men, rather allowing them to initiate conversation and the sex talk. I added a link to the left if you want to check these guys out. They've worked with law enforcement and gotten 39 convictions out of their work. They are a group of volunteers from around the country that do this to help stamp out the evil perpetrated by pedophiles on the internet. So please, if you have children that in any way use the Internet-TALK TO THEM!!! Tell them about the dangers of chatting/IM-ing with strangers! Show them the Dateline if you can get a hold of it. There are many children from seriously dysfunctional families that these guys LOVE to get their hands on, but YOUR children do NOT have to be victims if you teach them how to be proactive and use extreme caution when on the internet, especially in chat rooms. Try it for yourself if you don't quite think it's that bad. Sign up for a Yahoo ID and pose as a 12-year-old. Go into any chat room and see how many men quickly IM you and start in with the sex talk. No parent wants their child to be exposed to this and you can go to Perverted Justice to get some tips about how to make your child's internet experience safe and fun. Okay, rant done.

Hope you all had a good weekend. I have a cold that finally decided to kick my ass all over the place. And let me tell you, I am not a good sick person. Poor Paulie had to put up with my supreme crankiness but he's a heck of a trooper. Even made me eat since I've had no appetite at all since the cold hit (yeah, that's only about 48 hours, maybe I'll lose a pound or two, lol). But did manage to get all my reading done for the rest of the class and the take home exam done. Didn't get my rough draft for a paper read yet, but I'll do that this week.

WARNING: Boring computer stuff below...feel free to skip and ignore. Did a software update on my desktop and it pretty much fried out my internet browsers. Spent a little while reading up on the issues in the Apple discussion forums and it turns out this update has been causing all sorts of problems. Did it on my laptop and no issues there, so I have to try to figure out what got flamed.

So, that was my fun and exciting weekend. Got to spend the time with kleenexes shoved in my nose and tossing and turning. Have taken heavy drugs (well...Nyquil, but I'm sure that's a near-illegal narcotic) for tonight so will sleep well (I hope). All for now and see ya soon!


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Soothing sounds of hammering...

As I'm typing this I'm hearing the questionable sounds of construction being done on the house. The boy couldn't take it anymore so is ripping up some moulding around the living room and redoing it. Please don't ask me why. You have to let them have their little quirks or they'll go nutty. He's feeling fine (obviously) and is already scabbing over on the majority of the spots, so is probably not contagious anymore. Doctor doesn't need to see him again unless "something changes" or he has concerns. I have a paper to write this weekend, so I'm waiting for my iPod to charge up to help me find my "quiet space" or at least a semi-quiet place since all I can hear right now is a hammer and saw (don't worry, not at the same time, of course).

We're refinancing a credit line on our house, since lo and behold...I got my credit up. Everybody should check their credit once in a while because I had all these bizarro things on there that was putting a serious dent in my rating. Example-I had a Kinney charge card (a shoe store) from 1996 or something that never had a charge on it, but yet was reporting it as BAD credit!! That was a shocker. Honestly, didn't even remember having the card. Got stuff like that taken off and my score jumped 40 points! Woohoo! So, now I'm no longer a detriment and can take on some responsibility of the debt that Paul has. Being a grown-up sucks. Although my illustrious school loans are still there (I guess making a wish isn't enough for them to go away, haha), I'm still relatively debt-free. This is all a devious plan on my part of course. Sheesh. Well, I'm done boring you all and am going to immerse myself in the FS world for awhile and try to get something accomplished today. Have a great weekend!!


Friday, November 11, 2005

Poxy Paul

Well, as I'm waiting for a backup to be completed at work, I'll fill you all in on the latest and greatest. It's official. The boy is all "viral-ed" up with chicken pox. Fortunately, it's not terribly serious-literally maybe 100 spots all over his upper body, none on his face at all. He's awfully lucky that it's a weenie strain of pox!

Most likely, I'm in no real danger of getting it, since my mom says (NOW!!) that I had chicken pox twice. I told her to stop smoking that crack-it's obviously affecting her memory. She's told me my entire life that I better stay away from people with chicken pox since I'd only had it when I was less than 3 months old-which is the same as not having it at all I guess. Supposedly, she suddenly remembers me having it at age 4-8. So, here's to hoping that Mom isn't thinking of some "other" daughter she had. :)

Paul is banned from work until the 15th, so we'll see who survives the weekend. He's been cooped up for about a week, so he's starting to go stir crazy. He wanted to start tearing shit up yesterday, but thankfully didn't. I was so sure that I'd come home to a huge mess. I've got quite a bit of homework to do this weekend, so I wont' be any sort of entertainment at all.

Completely throwing out this bit of randomness. I'm archiving our data folder to do a backup and that's what I'm waiting for, is it to make the archive. It's said it has 5 seconds remaining for the last 10 min. Fun. After that FINALLY gets done (Windows SUCKS!!), I'll copy it into our nifty backup disk and go home. Just been waiting...waiting...waiting some more. I think I'd better stop blogging before I make any one who's unfortunate enough to read this cry or pass out or whatever. Sweet. It's done. I'm outta here!


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Did the chicken or the pox come first?

Do you ever have those moments in life that you're not sure whether to laugh your ass off or cry? This isn't one of those. I'm too busy laughing to worry about it. My poor hubby has been tentatively diagnosed with possible chicken pox. I can laugh because it's not very bad if that's what it is which we won't know definitively until the lab tests come back on Friday morning. I'll be sure to update you as to whether it's chicken pox, shingles, a severe allergic reaction, or perhaps genital herpes all over his upper body. Ha. He'd be in such big trouble if that last were true. The bad thing is that I've never really had it and neither has one of my co-workers at work, so that'd be a serious bummer. Paul says he's had it, which if that's the case, we need to go get a PowerBall ticket or two, since obviously he's bucking the odds in getting chicken pox twice.

Okay, here's the things I've learned about chicken pox over the course of the last day or so (the internet is terribly useful and since I live in Kansas-uberconservative-it must be the work of the devil).
1) It can take up to two weeks after initial exposure for the rash to show up and you are contagious most of that time.
2) After the rash shows up, you are actually contagious until they scab over.
3) Internet pictures of pox are nasty-they invariably pick the most horrible pictures to parade around, so not very good to self-diagnose.
4) Just because you've had chicken pox, this does not necessarily make you immune to it. It depends on the severity of the first go round.

Those are just a few of the things I've read. I recommend, they always seem to have the most information without starting panic attacks, although they have none of the grisly pics some of the other sites do. If he would let me, I'd take a pic of him and share, but I don't think he'd go for that right now.

Off subject here, but I just purchased a hair straightener that nearly requires a loan. After doing tons of research on the internet (THE DEVIL!!!!), I found the best one for the money and Paul is letting me get it. I think it's my Christmas present from him and I just don't know it yet. When X-Mas rolls around and he's forgotten to get me a present, I'm sure this will be brought up and that's okay. In case anyone is wondering, I've purchased a Sedu from Sadly, it's on sale ($50 off!!!) and free shipping. I say sadly because the amount off is how much I spent on my first straightener. But, it's still cheaper than the other ones I've seen that got bad ratings. This one had 380+ reviews and 4 and 1/2 stars out of 5. I'm a sucker for customer reviews. The one I was trying to get off eBay, got nailed over and over again for suddenly stopping working, or shorts in the circuitry (although the extreme excitement of never knowing when it's going to start on fire is tempting). I'll let you know how the new one goes...can't be any worse than the one I'm using now which is yanking out my hair every time I pass it over my head. By the way, yes, I have "straight" hair. In my advancing years, it's getting wavy. Not curly. Not straight. Wavy. In a bad way. Someone please tell me this is normal. I used to have perfectly straight hair when straight hair was not "in" and now that straight hair is "in" I have wavy hair. WTF? I didn't even know it was possible for your hair to change. Learn something new every single damn day.

Alright, for those of you who have requested a DVD, I'll be trying to get that done this weekend. I'll send out an email if I actually get 'er done. I think that's all for now and please no one faint that I've updated this so much recently. And, I've added some fun links to the left. They include other's blogs (both friends and family) and a few other sites. The snopes and urban legends are where I go when someone forwards me an email that I don't quite believe. They're both great resources when your bullshit meter goes off. Usually, it's something that's been floating around on the net for years and years and is total crap. But once in a while, I do get surprised. Like the one that raisins will kill a dog. Totally floored that that one is TRUE! So, have fun looking up goofy stuff on those. Talk at ya soon.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We're not in Kansas anymore Toto

Ah, I could only wish that statement were true. Today, the Kansas Board of Education voted in a 6 to 4 vote, to implement not only criticisms in evolution into our public schools, but redefine science itself "so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena." Yep. That's right. Thank GOD!! That means that I and my fellow lab members no longer have to have any sort of support for a hypothesis that we're trying to get published. We'll just tell the editorial board of Science or Nature that we're from Kansas and they will sadly shake their heads and allow it through, with a small disclaimer, of course, stating that the poor authors are from the "moving backwards in science" state of Kansas. I'm so glad that I haven't gotten my driver's liscence updated to Kansas yet. I'm completely ashamed to live in this horrific state. I'm trying to convince Paul to sell the house so we can get out of this conservative hell-hole, but so far, he's reluctant. I'm so relieved I have no children right now. I would pull them out of the schools with the first indication that this atrocity is actually being taught. I can only pray (haha) that the vast majority of science teachers in the public schools will treat this decision as it should be treated. As no more than religious right hogwash. You can bet a good ol' American dollar that my ass is going to be voting this year in the school board elections. Ack. I'm going to see if the local chapter of the ACLU is doing anything about this issue and donate some skills their way if they'll have me. I'm already a card-toting member, so might as well. Watch. I'm going to become some political ragamuffin through all this. Never piss off an Italian. It's written. In blood.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Holy smokes, I've updated this

Well, hell. Apparently I suck at blogging when I'm busy. Good to know things like that.

Basically, got the grades for the class last Sat. (as in two weeks ago). But first, the director of the program felt the need to come in and rip our asses for 10 min for 1/4 of the class failing (below an 80%). That was fun. Then had to sit through the alphabetical return of our grades. This was extremely stressful since I KNEW I was one of the 1/4. Well, I better get started on some animal sacrifices or something to appease whoever, but I managed to pull out a passing grade. Actually, I was one ever-loving point away from an A-. Tough. But you have no idea how very relieved I was when I saw that lovely 89 staring me in the face. Also, got a 93% on the final I was so very concerned about (that's curved by 4 points, so I really, truly got an 89 on that too). So, whew!

Already started on the next class which is "psychological, social and legal aspects of forensic science." Yeah, I know. That's a serious mouthful. Whoever came up with that name needs to be diagnosed with diarrhea of verbiage. So, more fun times ahead. Learning about dipolar disorder, serial offenders, etc. Also, they somehow managed to pile on even more work. Amazing. I'm completely convinced that the entire purpose of graduate school is to convince students that they don't know shit, will never know shit and shouldn't even attempt to know shit. Luckily, I already have a knack for convincing myself of this, so they can't break me!!! They WON'T break me, haha.

As far as work goes for anyone who might be interested in protein structure. We're pretty much done with the structure of the TB antigen we've been working on. We've already gotten it to "publishable" quality, but we're still holding off since we're plucking off new noes right now. Did I say WE? I meant ME. Damn. I'm freakin' special. And we're doing some really cool stuff with new experiments with it and gearing up to write a grant. Our hands are out and we're desperately hoping someone, somewhere will put some money there.

Just to throw this out there-fur is evil and if any of you buy fur, you're evil. Okay, that's pretty harsh, but dammit. The neato thing the fur industry is doing is they get sneaky with the labeling and you may not even know that you've just bought 100% real fur from some poor animal who is now naked (and dead). So, be careful in what you buy kids!! Here's the "official" poster from the Humane Society and if any of you want this for whatever, email me and it's yours. Also, there's a pledge to sign to lead a "fur-free" life so here's the link to that too at the bottom. Down with fur!!


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Whew...long one here!!

I have a feeling this is going to be a really long blog since I haven't updated and there's tons and tons to talk about. We'll start simple. My parents came in on Wed. last week and I was a bit late in getting them, but they were still waiting for their luggage, so all was well. Mom and I ran around while we forced Dad to slave over getting a DVD player hooked up (we'd gotten one for Christmas last year and Paul just never did it, so yay! It's finally hooked up and running!). We were actually supposed to be looking for an outfit for me for the party and a shirt for mom, but I got an outfit and Mom got nothing. But we decided on something else for her anyway. Then we drove to NE on Thurs. I had to rush a bit to get to class since my group was supposed to meet beforehand at 5 pm. I totally sped to get there and was 15 min. late, but no group. Oh well. Some members trickled in, but it was really too late to do anything. I had the presentation on a CD and showed them after checking for software updates on my computer through the wireless network at school (don't worry, this is all very important, but much, much later in the story). So, shut the puter down and went to class to watch others present. After that was done (woohoo, got out an hour earlier), my group and I sat down to go over the presentation and suddenly, the laptop wouldn't boot up. Got a windows-like blue screen of death. CD is still in puter and won't come out. Presentation stuck in puter. So hop online to Apple Support and tried what they told me. No luck. Called Tech Support. Closed (since of course, computers never get broken after 7 pm). Eventually called my wittle buddy Ewic, who was nice enough to hold off on a shower to try to help. After much trying, we finally got the CD to come out, but still no booting going on. By this time, an hour and a half has passed and I now have a raging headache. The whole family is hanging out waiting for me, but we had to get this figured out. Handed the presentation over to another member and made the changes to my part of it after profusely apologizing to her for dumping the rest of it on her. There wasn't a ton of stuff to do, except get the references on there and finish up referencing the paper. Did I tell you that Eric was seriously my life-saver? I was considering how to crack the sucker open before calling him.

Missed out on most of the family that night, but caught up with them the next day. We started out early, my cousin Sherry, and my two aunts, Elaine and Ida and ran around Lincoln trying to come up with centerpieces for 28 tables that wouldn't require a loan. We ended up with 28 decorative fish bowls with turquoise pretty marbles filled with water and flowers (turquoise) floating in them. Really wanted to do candles but the hall wouldn't allow any open flame. Tied in both the Ruby Red for 40th and mom's original colors though, so it turned out pretty. Got those made on Friday and then Auntie Ida and I went shopping for shoes for her and pants for me since I stupidly left mine in the dryer in KC during the mad rush to leave. Ended up with two pairs of pants, two shirts and a new pair of shoes. Hunh. Funny how that sort of thing happens. At around 11:30 pm I made some changes to my paper, printed it out and then by midnight started studying for my final. Couldn't last long so ended up asleep by 1 pm, but woke up a few hours later and started cracking on it. Felt totally nauseous by this point, completely unprepared and seriously cursing myself for getting any sleep. I just can't pull an all-nighter like I used to. Sigh. Getting old is such a bitch.

Got the final done. Got my grades up to that point then went to lunch with one of my group members and we tried to finish up the presentation (although, nothing to really finish up as no one got us their references, haha). Power slammed a chef salad at Perkins and dashed to class to sit through more presentations. Since I have done public speaking, I offered to start us off with an intro and you all know me. Big mouth and loud. Got through our presentation okay and that class is over. Feeling the pressure now of waiting for grades. Please, God, if you're out there, I promise to never attempt to plan a party the same day as a final again if you just get me through this class!!!

Ran back to Chris' for a quick refresher shower, got prettied up, got to the party. Started out very, very good. We had a couple of surprise visitors that made mom and dad really happy and all these people running around. I don't think my mom sat down for 5 min. Before everything really got rolling, my brother and I presented them with the 8x10s we had professionally done of us and the family. Now, I expected my mom to cry, but I didn't expect Niagara Falls. We had to get a mop to clean her up. I think even my dad was really happy with them too! So another surprise we managed to keep secret.

The only bit of a downer was when one of my uncle's tripped on the slightly (and not marked!) elevated dance floor and really took a nasty fall. He actually passed out a couple of times, so we had an ambulance in to check him out. I think his ego will never recover, but his body did. He's doing okay, but we had a terrible scare for a while there. Luckily, one of the guests was a nurse and she kept watch over him until the paramedics got there. Sheesh. Poor guy felt terrible for "ruining" the party...we had to prove to him he didn't ruin anything and we just soldiered on and had a good time. Well, I somehow managed to not eat and only had two drinks all night long, but enjoyed seeing so many people.

The slideshow was apparently a massive hit and now I've got requests for copies all over the place. I have no idea who wants one so I will send out an email for requests. Don't worry, Paul isn't the one doing it, so you can ignore his $19.95 price tag! Sunday, we baptized my great-niece Macy and Paul and I and Mitch's brother were the godparents again. Service took forever so we barely made it back in time for the baby shower. Ran out of time for getting a gift, so opted for cash. Always a safe bet. Then we went to Tom and Sherry's for dinner and drove home.

Mind you the puter still isn't booting at this point, but yesterday after work I fussed with it for awhile. Tried every flipping thing I could think of. Every single diagnostic comes up totally fine, but still won't boot. All of my computer is still there when I boot in single-user mode, but just can't get the puter to do any damn thing. So, connected the desktop and the laptop by firewire and enabled the laptop. Copied what I needed over to the desktop and did a re-install of OS X with an archive. Everything worked fine. So took a look at my console logs and came up with some odd things. Apparently, at some point after connecting to the school wireless, my computer couldn't "see" my hard drive anymore. After doing some research, came across others having the same problem. Turns out it corrupted my daemon server and basically no go joe. Near as I can figure, it did something to one of the basic preferences and while I changed the most common ones, that did nothing. Someone else I came across wiped them all out and his worked fine. So, didn't have to do what I did, but it's okay since all of my stuff is still there. So, big ACK!! Never connecting to school wireless again I guess although at least now I know what happened and it wasn't something wrong with my disk or with the computer. Total wireless problem, messing with my junk. Now that I've bored you with all that mumbo jumbo, here's some pics of us at the party. (Yeah, that was brutal to make you go through all that just to see some damn pics!)

Love, B

Friday, September 23, 2005

Let's not forget "man's best friends"

If you can help the humane society keep doing the unbelieveable work they're doing, please donate to the Katrina Fund. Below are some stats from

• Run a massive search-and-rescue operation in Louisiana and Mississippi, where we have saved more than 6,000 animals from some of the most deplorable conditions imaginable. The operation has required massive numbers of people and massive amounts of equipment and supplies, from vehicles to telecommunications to food and water. It's believed to be the largest deployment for animal rescue in the nation's history.

• Maintain the world's largest shelter in Gonzales, Louisiana, about 60 miles north of New Orleans, where dozens of HSUS staff, more than 40 veterinarians, and hundreds of volunteers from local animal care and control facilities and humane societies across the United States and Canada provide around the clock care for dogs, cats, and exotics. We also maintain a parallel operation in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, again with staff, veterinarians, and volunteers. Animal control personnel, many of whom have gone through our Disaster Animal Response Team training, have deployed to both locations.

• Feed and water animals in their homes and on the streets. This approach allows animals who are in no danger to stay in their homes, where owners will eventually return and resume care of them.

• Rescue more than 1,000 farm animals and placed them in shelters, where they will live out their natural lives.

• Finance the rebuilding of animal shelters in the devastated region. We recently announced a pledge of $2.5 million for a Gulf States Shelter Reconstruction Fund. We are seeking to raise $10-$15 million for this program alone.

• Fund the emergency animal shelter in Baton Rouge, which is run by the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association. We have donated $150,000 to support the facility, which is caring for owned animals until owners can return to their homes or find new places to live.

• Pay for a basic veterinary services plan for animals whose owners have been displaced by the storm. We have committed an initial $25,000, and will provide more as needed, to help fund the HSUS/AAHA Katrina Pet Wellness Program, a joint effort of The HSUS and the American Animal Hospital Association. The program offers reimbursement of veterinary practices, up to $125 per pet, for basic treatments, including physical examinations, vaccinations, heartworm medications, and short-term supply of chronic medications.

• Cover the costs to transport thousands of animals to local humane societies and other rescue groups across the country. What's more, we are paying to reunite owners with their companion animals, even if the animals have been sent out of state, to create more space for rescued animals. Nearly 400 animals have already been reunited with their owners at the Gonzales and Hattiesburg sites.

• Press the federal government to include animals in future disaster plans. We are expecting the government to help with direct rescue of animals in future disasters, and to make plans to allow evacuees to bring their pets to shelters.

• Operate a national call center to obtain information on pets abandoned in New Orleans and other stricken areas. Our operations took thousands of calls from people who lost their pets; from caring humanitarians willing to foster abandoned pets and, in many cases, their evacuated families; and from individuals who have offered to travel to the impact zones to assist with the rescue and care of the animals.

• Deploy a team of HSUS reporters and videographers to document the crisis for the world to view via The national and local media have used this site for video clips, and HSUS reporters have provided coverage of every phase of the crisis, with daily reporting from the field.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It's been a while

Yeah, yeah, so I haven't updated for a while. Oh well. Here's the update you've all been anxiously awaiting. Hah. It's hard to be this funny. Anyway, not much to say, but I'll yabble for a bit. I've got to get a presentation done and didn't get it done last night so tonight's the night! Fun times. Also, wanted to get my paper done that's due next class (not 27th, but Oct. 8th) and didn't do that either. My excuse is that I went and bought a scanner, but Office Max is getting rid of the one I wanted, so they could only find one in the entire area but they're picking it up today and it should be waiting for me. Then stopped into the new Shoe Carnivale and had a great time checking out boots. Ended up buying some wicked bitch boots with a stilleto heel. And bonus! I can walk in them! I figure I'm going to build my entire outfit for the anniversary party from the boots. So, need to go shopping eventually and find something. Also, since I'll be getting the scanner (finally!) I can get the DVD done for the party too. I have a TON of pictures to scan in so I'm guessing that will be a several night thing. Although, I just may marathon it and get the damn thing done. Can't wait to see my parents and my aunts that are coming for the party. The time is flying by and I still need to get some decorations bought and decide on a "theme." We're going with a hot meal, so pass the word on! Don't eat. Haven't gotten hardly anything for the scrapbook of memories, but hopefully, they'll start rolling in. There's no way I'll get that done before the party since I haven't gotten but three so far. Damn you people! Get to going! Actually, though, haven't bought the scrapbook either yet, so that's okay too. I'll do that sometime as well. I think I better make a list of things that still need to be done and start getting to it as it's only a few weeks away now. I can't wait to get this damn thing over with so I can just relax and enjoy my parents. Also, need to put in time off at work. I think I still have 8 vacation days to use, but I'm not sure what or how much I'll be asking off. The structure that has been giving us fits maybe is getting tons better as of yesterday, so that's a relief. We've been struggling with the stupid thing forever and finally we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's not publishable yet, but it's closer. Okay, well, better get to work. Sorry this was so boring, but my brain is pretty well fried.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I'm an addict

Well, so I got my new makeup and absolutely love it. I can't imagine ever going back to creamy foundations again. But that's not what I'm addicted to. It's eBay. My hubby is always on there and I checked to see what the prices for the new makeup are and um...yeah, there's THOUSANDS being sold at dirt-cheap prices. And tons of sample sizes to try stuff out. I just got a heck of a special deal from a wonderful grammy on the internet. She was nice enough to put together a sample package just for me to try out on my mom. She's got darker (MUCH darker) skin tone than I do and I got the light foundation for me, but just wanted some to use on her, so I ended up with two different colors of foundation, three (or four, can't remember) colors of eyeshadow, three blushes and a brush for $20! eBay rocks my world baby. So, Mom, if you're reading this...can't wait to try it out on you. I can't imagine you'd be allergic to this stuff! It's absolutely wonderful!

Eric, no that comment wasn't towards you, sorry man. It was something else, but figured I'd be getting some wiggy about it. I'm bummed out cuz my little buddy Ewic is coming to KC, but it's a school weekend, so he'll just have to TRY to have fun without me (if that's possible, lol).

Okay, just a short little blog and now I'm off to bed.


Friday, September 09, 2005

Funny ol' me

Well, this is turning into a "weekly" update. Been busy at work (as usual) but I actually am very proud of myself right this second. I have a paper due on Sat. and I got the bulk of it done several days ago and printed the final version out last night. This having to travel is forcing me not to procrastinate which is a new thing for me. Hopefully, I continue to be a good girl and get a gold star. It was a really weird paper to write and I have no idea if I did it the way she wanted. But I have the same teacher for the next year, so once I know what she's going for, I'm golden. Next up is finishing up the take-home exam and getting the presentation ready.

So, did something last weekend, but since the person that can't know about it, reads this blog, I can't say anything. Ha! That'll make ya'll wonder. I was trying to find my pin number for my new debit card from my Stafford loan refund and instead found a bunch of old pictures. I'm attaching one here for laughs. This was last year at Halloween. I went to a friend's mother-in-law's bar where they have a big to-do and costume contest. I didn't know about it until just a couple of days before Halloween so had to just randomly pick something out of the leftovers at Wal-Mart for a costume. You can tell too. It's kinda out of character for me to look slightly slutty, but it was all they had that actually covered all my naughty bits.

I've ordered and am trying out a new makeup (please don't tell my Mary Kay lady, haha). It's Bare Escentuals mineral makeup and it's supposed to actually be good for your skin since it has zinc oxide in it (same thing in a lot of acne medications) and is made entirely of minerals (no chemicals and nasty stuff that's usually found in cream makeup) but we'll see. I've discovered the wonderful world of eBay through this and have been getting helluva good deals on the prices. I'll let you all know what I think of the makeup. What I'm hoping for is not to break out. So, there's my goal. It's good to be shallow. If anyone wants to try it out, tons and tons of people on eBay sell samples (usually 1/8-1/4 tea) for really pretty cheap, and the nature of this stuff is that small amount will last about 20 days, so plenty of time to figure out if you like it or not. Look at me! I'm selling a product I haven't even tried yet. Ack. It should be here sometime today.

Also, throwing around the idea of trying microdermabrasion to lessen the scars on my face. My own personal makeup guru has said that it's wonderful for that, but recommends doing several treatments to get the full effect. Unfortunately, it's $160 a pop, so have to try to balance that out with the idea of doing it. Basically, it's apparently like sand-blasting your skin and that sounds like just the ticket. She even offered to do it for me for free if I can just get to Chicago! Which I would love to see her and maybe just need to plan a trip on a holiday weekend and just get the hell out there.

My cousin set up a meeting with the Hy-vee caterer today at 2 pm so I can get more information from them about how much and what exactly they do for the party. But it's looking as though we're going to serve a pretty full meal at the party with fried chicken and baked ham. Hopefully, since it's so late, we'll still have people to feed. I've asked pretty much everyone on the planet if they were going to something that started at 7 pm whether they would be expecting a meal and Tracy said it the best. That if it were she, she would eat something light so if they did, she'd still have room for food, but if they didn't, she'd not be starving. I'll let everyone I can know if we decide to have a meal, so the word can be spread around. I would've included it in the invitations, but at the point we still hadn't made a decision and this catering idea is a fairly new one as we thought it'd be way too expensive, but Hy-vee is actually about half the price of everything else we've seen.

Well, anyway, I think I'd better get in the shower and get to steppin' so I'm not late for my appointment. I have to mail some stuff off to my parents anyway, so will get that done too. And something off to my Uncle Johnny so he can stop being mad at me. Haha. Love you all! Type to ya in another week!


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Ham is now on the "ewwww" list of foods

I had class this past weekend and got to see all sorts of gooey things. We had a forensic entomologist team, a forensic odontologist and a cadaver dog demonstration. The entomologists were exactly how you would think of a bunch of people who love icky bugs. But man, they were entertaining and fun. They set up three mock crime scenes for us to work so that we could identify bugs and where they are at. The first was an indoor scene that they recently removed a body, the second was a skeletonized remains scenario outside. The third was a pig. Not a fake pig. A real pig. A real DEAD pig. Smelled wonderful...kinda reminded me of sunshine and rainbows. Really though, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I could handle it completely. We collected maggots from the decomposing body and got to keep them in a little vial. Heh. My poor husband...wonder what other souvenirs I'll come home with.

But now, I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of well over 160 pages to read, and two papers to write. I'm an official CERT dropout now. I just emailed him this morning with all sorts of apologies. It's just that work just keeps piling it on. I can't do all the stuff now, so CERT has fallen to the wayside. Our structures are getting worse, not better and we added a work study that I have to train, also the website needs to be completed as our computer girl is now officially on her way to India. So, it's up to me to do that. Also, training the other lab members on how to run a program which I just learned last week. I was stressed out yesterday, but feel better today since I dropped out of CERT.

Been following the hurricane news and am so bummed that we never did get to New Orleans. I hope the damage isn't too bad in all the coastal regions and that the loss of life is a minimum. Just one more reason to not live in the coastal areas! Scary. Well, I'm going to go watch the news this morning and clean up my study area a bit, since I just passed out last night and left it scattered everywhere.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Gots a Full Mouth

Well...I believe I may have bitten off a tad more than I can chew. Months and months ago at a community watch meeting, I'd volunteered for a CERT program training session. This stands for Citizens Emergency Response Team and is where if there's a disaster (natural or otherwise) in your neighborhood, you can help "bridge the gap" between when it happens and when the professional emergency team can reach you and your neighbors. Turns out (of course) that it started about a month ago. Classes are every Tuesday from 6 to 9 pm. Well, I missed one week because of my boo-boo (some of you know that story...not to worry, I'm all better now--insert big fat smiley face here) and now I've missed tonight as well. I'm not a skipper. I attend every single class that I am physically able to attend. I rarely missed in school. I feel horrible about missing tonight, but work is my priority and we had a small emergency situation. Not a true "emergency" but we are under a lot of pressure since about a month ago, we found out that another team is trying to solve the structure we're in the process of solving. Well, the last couple of weeks our structure expert is taking some time off to study for a test which ultimately decides whether he stays in graduate school (and in this country!) so it's been up to me and me alone to try to refine the structure.

Well, this past week, I had to take a day to get all the software back on my computer at work (we upgraded to Windows XP-oh joy) and my boss went on a two-week vacation. So...also had to take a couple of days to train our new undergraduate researchers. So...also had to leave work early last week for a doctor's appointment. So...also have to miss work every other Friday to get to my graduate class. (Are you getting the picture yet?) Yesterday, our structure calculation program decided to not work anymore so I've spent the last two days trying to get the mother-humping thing to work. Still no juice. I was at work until 9 pm trying tonight. No dice, baby. Hopefully, my narrowing the problem down and at least identifying where it was at will help me figure it out tomorrow (insert multiple cuss words here). If not, I may go on a hammer rampage. Or just get really freakin drunk. Anyway, long frustrating day and now I can't sleep. Sigh. The life of the stress insomniac. If that isn't a diagnosis, dammit, it should be.

I'm off to try to get some sleep, but the whole point of this blog is that I think I'm going to become a CERT dropout. I just can't see it realistically fitting into my schedule right now. I still have three chapters to read for real school and I have to get a paper written by the 10th of Sept. which is creeping up on me. Oh, did I mention trying to plan my parent's anniversary party? Heh. Shit.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Yay!! I've got a kitchen!

Here's a few pics of the new kitchen that Paulie did a wonderful job on! It looks amazing compared to the old kitchen. I did a little pretty decorating stuff tonight, but we still have things to hang on the wall yet. All that's left is dealing with the moulding around the top and maybe some handles, although we're sorta edging away from handles. Pretty darn good for a rookie! I added the same before picture so you can all ohhhh and ahhhhh along with me! The man definately earned a cookie for getting everything done so fast. So, mom and dad...thanks for coming and pushed him into doing something amazing!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Whoa...graduate school...who me?

Last week, we got the cabinets all mounted and Paul got the sink in and all the plumbing hooked up and a new disposal in so that was very exciting! Still haven't taken any pictures of the new kitchen yet, so apologize for that. Paul was his usual busy self over the time I was gone and got the new light fixture installed. It was a chain-pull, but we found a handy-dandy little wireless get up that allows us to install a switch. It works really well and I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a problematic chain you want to get rid of.

I started my graduate program this weekend. We had an orientation on Friday and all the instructors and assistants gave a little presentation and basically scared the bejesus out of us. This is going to be a lot of really hard work, but I'm confident I can do it. We give a presentation with a group at the end of every class and we investigate a "cold case" and we have to do our own research and know what to ask for in that research to answer the questions our instructor poses to us. Our case is a woman who was murdered in 1966 and is sometimes thought to be an early victim of the Zodiac Killer, one of the most famous unsolved serial killers in the US. He told investigators through letters that he'd killed 37 people, but there's only 7 that they definitively have attributed to him. So, I'll be getting immersed in his world for the next two years. I'm absolutely convinced without a shadow of a doubt that you can find whatever you need on the internet these days. Our group wanted to request the autopsy report from our instructor (who has a case file of some sort, but she won't tell us what she has in it) and lo and behold...I found one on the internet.'d we ever do anything in the old days? We also have to do two internships, not one like I thought. We do a short two-week, full-time one in the summer coming up where we just do observations (um...of 6 autopsies and we go to one crime scene, yikes!) and then a much more involved one after classes are over. Then we basically write a thesis and give a dissertation defense., yeah, I thought this was NO thesis, scary! But it was so much fun on Saturday (actual first day of class). I already feel as though I've learned a ton of stuff, now I just have to get back in the habit of studying and all will be fine. Heh. I have about a ton of pages to read before next class and want to get started on writing a paper that's due on Sept. 10th and then I have a take-home test due on the 24th, so I'm now a bit overwhelmed! Bye-bye little bit of social life I once had. Ah well...all is good.

So, be prepared to be bored to tears with school crap for a while (two to three years to be exact) and everyone, please say a sympathy prayer for poor Paul, who belatedly realized he's in for it now! LOL!


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Blah, blah, blah

We're getting even closer on the kitchen. Yesterday, hubby and I mounted the last of the countertop and several days ago we got the sink in. We picked it up and checked it out and both of us were surprised at how big it looked. I don't think it's going to be a problem at all! It's 8 inches smaller than our old sink, but I just can't see it. Paul was so convinced it must not be the right sink, so in the middle of Lowe's he had to measure it. It is, in fact, 25" big. Just very deep. So, we plan on trying to get that done tonight, depending on when Paul gets home from work. It's been a challenge to find time to do this stuff as it takes two people to get 'er done. But hopefully, later on this evening, I will finally have my sink back! I'm so excited about that. I'm going to go do some running around today and try to find some organizers for the cabinets. I'm definitely going to try to get the most out of the space, so there's not one square inch that can't be used. I'm also going to get and put on some of those felt buttons so when we close the cabinets, it doesn't make such a loud banging noise.

Also, found out that I'm going to be taking over the webpage responsibilities at work. Which is a bit of a challenge since I know absolutely nothing about it. I'm learning though and have until around December until I have to officially take it over. HTML is somewhat complicated, but I'm getting the hang of it with a fabulous online tutorial. We use Microsoft FrontPage, so I'm sure that will be my biggest challenge since Microsoft is famous for making the simplest things way too complicated, ie look at Word with it's "automatic" formatting. I hate that program. I would use Appleworks all the time, but can't if it's something someone else may have to look at.

Here's a story for ya'll. So, I'm really sensitive to changing out laundry detergents. Pretty much allergic to almost anything brand-name. Well, on Fri. and Sat. I was feeling a little uncomfortable in my "nether", my ass. So asked Paul , kinda desperately, if he'd bought and used something different when doing the laundry. Turns out he did and when we looked at it, turns out the Target brand of fabric softener is, in fact, made to be like Bounce. Ugh. Fortunately, the only piece of clothing I was wearing that he had washed with it was underwear. Unfortunately, it WAS underwear, which sits right next to my skin. So, today I will be re-washing those clothes with my old fabric softener and Paul has learned a very valuable lesson about his poor wife's sensitive skin, lol.

My toad has moved on to greener pastures I guess. I haven't seen him in the onions for a few days, so hopefully, nothing bad happened to the little guy. I guess when I moved the pot around while he was in it, he probably felt like there was an earthquake. But I was spraying my tomato plants with a pesticide and didn't want any to get on him. I got the most environmentally friendly product Lowe's had available, but it's still harmful to fish. I'm glad that I'm doing container gardening, so none of the nasty chemicals will reach the earth's soil. I resisted doing that for as long as I could, but eventually just had to as these little buggers are eating away at my plants. I've got some tomatoes growing, but not as many as I would like, so I've been diligently feeding the plants yummy things that they need to produce. Speaking of, that needs to be done today, so add that to my list of things to get done.

Well, I think that's about all I can think of right now. I'll be sure to post some pics of the kitchen if we get something done tonight!


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Kitchen Update

We're getting really close with the kitchen. We now have the countertops on, but not yet mounted. But I'm attaching a picture so you can judge for yourself. I'm really pleasantly surprised with how nice this has turned out. Now I just need to get in there and start organizing like crazy. Oh yeah, and a kitchen sink would be nice. I'm starting to get sick of having to go to the bathroom to wash anything or get water for anything. Right now, the stove isn't hooked up, so we can't cook even if we wanted to. The sink should come in tomorrow and then I hope we'll be able to get it in and take care of it. Tonight, I think I'm going to go buy a faucet set for the sink as Paul has given me free rein over that one thing.

Paul wanted a kayak for his birthday and is right now on the lake enjoying himself and getting some exercise. I'm all for anything that will help keep him around longer, but I hope he sticks with it when the weather is nice. Otherwise, we'll have a great big kayak to sell, lol.

As for me, I'm getting really excited about starting school. I've got a week and a half until my first class and then I'll be able to see just what this is going to entail as far as time is concerned. That's my only worry, is that I'll not have enough time to keep working my 40+ hours a week and till do well in the program. Fortunately for me, my boss is very understanding and says that school will be my number one priority and I'll be able to modify my work to fit my school. I got my trusty old bookbag out and it was like seeing an old friend! That's how pathetic I am! But I must say, my mom bought me that bookbag after I'd complained that I'd gone through one every semester because I was buying cheap ones. We got it on clearance so it was only about $40 and I'll tell ya. That thing doesn't look a day old. There's absolutely no wear on it, even after lugging 50 lbs of books around for two years. The master's program luckily doesn't have a lot of really heavy books so that's helpful.

Preparations for the 40th anniversary party are in full swing, but it's sure sneaking up on me quickly. Just like school did. I can't believe they're finally going to be here in Oct. I really miss my parents once in a while and get awfully lonely around here since I have so few friends. That's probably a big component to my excitement over school. I get to go home every other weekend and see all my friends and family a lot more often. The downside is that I won't be seeing Paul as much, but I think we'll be okay. Well, I'd better get off to work!


Saturday, July 30, 2005

My little buddy

A few weeks ago, I went out to check on my plants and saw an empty hole in my onion plant pot. Concerned, I wondered what the heck was living in there? Well, to my surprise, I discovered Morty. I don't have the heart to kick him out, so he's now living in my onions in peace and we discuss life together. He's pretty spiritual, is our little Morty. Sort of the "you can't see me, so I'm not here" school of philosophy, but he sure is a good listener. So, say hi to little ol' Morty. I got my frog and didn't even have to pay for an aquarium or feed him or anything.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

More Pics

All right, so here's the kitchen being updated again. I had the fun of staining some last night and decided to take a pic of how it looks nearly completed. And also attaching another pic of my great-niece for all who want more of her. She's sooo cute!!

Amazing News!!

I feel like doing a little dance! My friend who's been fighting cancer got through her big chemo and did all of her tests. The tests show...NOTHING!! What that means is, the residual cancer that had spread to several places in her body are no longer there and the doctor could not feel the main mass at all! Yay!!!! I can't stress how very good this makes me feel. She's been so brave and rarely allowed a negative thought to get her down and had the wonderful support of family and friends to help her get through this awful ordeal. So, cancer, zero. Modern medicine and the power of the human body and mind, 10! Yeah, baby.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Finally!! A fun weekend!

On Friday after work, I headed out to Nebraska, the first stop being my brother's house. It took forever to get through the city. There's construction everywhere and instead of the handy-dandy freeways, I have to take this back roads with tons of stabilizes. Ugh. And had to get cash and had to swing through a drive-through. So didn't get into Lincoln until about 9:30 pm after gassing up too. I hate when that light comes on when you're only 15 min. away from your destination. Anywoo, got to bro's place and freshened up a bit, then we headed out to July Jams, downtown festival thingee, where we met up with Tracy and company. Cost $7 to get in, $5 for 9 tickets, 6 tickets for a 10 oz beer. Listened to an Irish band. Watched random men in kilts. Laughed. Found out that they stopped serving alcohol at 11:30 pm. Scrambled to get tickets together to buy final beers. Gave final beers away as not only were they stopping serving, but apparently the whole thing was closing down too. Went to a bar. Had a couple of cheap beers. Was happy. Went home. Slept.

Woke up Saturday morning and went to the kitchen to get the coffee started to pry my eyeballs open since it's dangerous to walk around a strange place with your eyes closed, but found the bro already on top of the coffee issue. Had some java while sharing bullshit, then they headed out to pick up the kids to go to the waterpark in Grand Island. I showered and headed to my niece's to meet little Macy who you can see two posts below if you're so inclined. Such a cute baby!! And hardly ever cries, so she's totally my favorite baby ever. Hung out at a cousin's house most of Sat. with my niece and great-niece. That night, Tracy came over to their house too and we all played poker and had a great time. My cousin and I realized that if I ever moved back there, we would be spending tons of time together and Paul and her husband would hate us. It was great that my niece and her boyfriend got to come and get some much needed fun time! Taught her and Tracy how to play poker. I haven't laughed that hard in forever!! It was so much fun. Should've packed some Depends, just in case, lol.

Sunday, Tash and I went to the mall and got the baby some clothes along with her older daughter. Couldn't pass up some of those outfits, they were adorable! It was so much fun, but kinda nutty at the mall. Course, also bought Tash and myself a little something (er...somethings, that is). Then dropped her and Macy off and headed back home. Got to have a great weekend with my niece and great-nieces, spend some quality getting drunk time with family and friends. Sheesh, if all my weekends back there are like this one, I'll never want to come back home!


Sunday, July 24, 2005

Kitchen Update

Also, attaching a photo of the hard work that Paul did this weekend while I was out enjoying myself with friends and family. It's coming along!!

Baby pics!

Here's a couple of pics of the new arrival to the family! I got to visit this weekend and spend some wonderful time with them!


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Doggie Adventures

I forgot to add some things that happened over the weekend, and since this week has been relatively uneventful, I'll talk about that bit of excitement. Sat. morning I woke up around 8:30 am, about 15-20 minutes after Paul had left for work. Usually, he just leaves the dogs outside so they don't bother me and I can sleep in a little extra. So, I made my coffee, got myself a cup and sat down in front of the puter to check email. As I'm sitting there, I'm looking out the window into the backyard. Can't see the dogs. went outside to see if they were under the deck. Called their names and whistled...still no dogs. Go back inside, trying not to panic. Paul's Dodge was gone and I knew he had to go in early to work, so figured he hadn't taken the dogs to the lake, which he used to do before Brody's surgery. Called him at work, no answer. Called him on his cell phone, no answer. Left pretty frantic-sounding messages to call immediately. Went through the house to see if they were stuck in a room or something. Then as I'm walking around, I look out the front window, and lo and behold, there's Brody looking in, panting as though she had just run a marathon. I let her in the front door and she's limping like crazy. Ugh. By this time, I've figured out that they obviously got out and at that point didn't know when Paul had left for the day, so wasn't sure how long they were running free and even how they got out. As I'm outside, trying to find Toby, I spy him across the street, running around, peeing on everything vertical and standing still. He was enjoying his freedom a little more than Brody and didn't want to come when I called, so here I am, in my PJs, barefoot standing in the middle of the street, yelling for my dog. I'm sure I impressed my neighbors. He finally comes running over and I get him in the house and dash to the backyard to figure out how they got out. Well, there's a gate, but it was closed and latched. The latch is this ancient thing though so figured that that's how they made their jail break. Rigged up something to temporarily stop them from getting out again.

Later in the day, the dogs were in the backyard, and I was watering the plants in the front and I notice that Brody is nudging the latch with her nose as to open it. Aha!! Gotcha. So, my dog again has proven that she's entirely too smart for her own good. She limped around the rest of the day but got better as the day wore on and by Sunday seemed okay. Paul got a new gate along with a new latch that is now doggie-proof. I stood out there Sat. evening to help him put it up, but there was a hotspot for mosquitoes right there and in the five minutes I was standing there, I got seriously swarmed. Resulted in 14 bites. Yes, I really did count.

So my dogs got an adventure, I got attacked by mosquitoes and we got a new gate, that looks fabulous next to the rusty ol' fence (that comment is entirely sarcastic). Moral of the story is, to make sure you get the dumbest dog from the pound, not the smartest.


Sunday, July 17, 2005


Well, here's my diatribe about FedEx and their utter uselessness. I ordered a laptop which had to be signed for (something I didn't know but should have figured out, duh on my part). It was supposed to come Fri. Well, they were quick I'll give them that. The first attempt was on Thurs. obviously no one was home. I called FedEx customer service that evening as soon as I got home. Basically here's what she told me: There is no where that I can pick it up at, I can't change the delivery address, they can't tell me when the 2nd or 3rd attempt might be or the times. Great. I was getting annoyed at this point. I was planning on going to Nebraska this weekend to see my little new great-niece and go to the zoo with the cousins. Well, apparently my only choices to avoid the computer being sent back were to miss a day's work (not even knowing if an attempt would be made) or cancel my weekend plans (again, not even knowing if an attempt would be made). So, I cancelled my weekend plans which put me in a remarkably bad mood! I really look forward to spending time with the family and seeing my friends from home as they are my oldest and dearest people in my life. So, I waited around on Sat., afraid to even get in the shower for fear of missing him (they did attempt on Fri and if they were unable to deliver on Sat, bye-bye puter-it gets sent back). So, around 3:30 pm the dude finally shows up. And I got my new baby which I am using right now to type this blog!! Unfortunately, I'm having issues with airport and can't get it to work, so I'm going to have to mess around with that. I called RoadRunner to make sure it was compatible with a wireless network and he said it shouldn't be a problem (haha, I've heard that before) and gave me some pointers on how to get it to work. Well, after doing exactly what he told me, it still didn't work, so right now I'm directly connected to the internet, which isn't what I intended at all. But, give me a few days and dammit, it will work!!

So, I cancelled the laptop case, didn't want to be lugging it around for a month in a backpack or something. Went the Apple Store in the plaza. Walked in and wanted to fall on my knees in awe and devotion. Managed to hold myself back. Got a new little case that I love, it looks more like a purse than a case, so maybe it won't get ripped off. Need to call my insurance agent and add this baby to the policy just in case. Also was going to purchase an airport card for the eMac, but apparently my year is just in that weird time that they were changing the cards from regular to extreme, and of course, I went all girl on the guy and couldn't remember anything about the computer. Will be returning for one soon though, since a friend helped me figure out which one I need (thanks Eric!!) Also, the same friend sent me a kick-ass link for cases for my iPod since the little guy already has a ding in it from being in my purse. I would probably have never purchased an iPod, but I love it now!! I listened to music for 8 hours straight at work and didn't (obviously) have to change out a CD. It was heavenly. The only problem I have is that I'm still trying to get good at using the click wheel. I have a tendency to just move it until I can get what I want and it's a little frustrating right now, but I'll get better!

The top of the kitchen is officially done and we've figured out how we're going to do the bottom. We have to get a smaller width sink in order for the lazy susan to work, but we found a great website that is dirt-cheap!! I assume we'll be ordering that shortly. I'll post a "before" (white cabinets) and an "after" (wood cabinets).

I just got done cleaning the house in the ever-losing battle against dog hair. Also, transferred the software from my new puter that wasn't on my old puter, so now have iPhoto. Played around with iMovie/iDVD and will have no problems putting together my parent's slide show for their party. Just have to get the photos scanned in now. Also, got the invitations all stuffed and ready for addressing which is what I'm about to go do. The hardest thing about my new puter is that I'm trying to get used to not having to type so hard. I'm not very good at this gentle touch thing. I'm used to banging away on the keys and this is causing typos, so I apologize for any oddities in the words. Well, I'm starving so am going to go eat a little something.


Monday, July 11, 2005

Apple Rocks

Wow, I've had a good day! Apple emailed me and they've gotten all of my order shipped to me (except for the stupid labtop case, which may take 6-8 weeks, argh!) So, very soon, I will have several new toys to play with. An iPod mini, an external hard drive and a new computer! And I have to figure out the whole Airport Extreme thing I also purchased so I can be on the internet and watch TV on the couch at the same time...ahhhh, I will be able to reach a whole new level of laziness!

And also got mom and dad's anniversary party invitations and lo and behold...everything is spelled correctly! And they're very simple, but elegant. So, I will be working on those too. I think I'm most excited about the DVD burner I got on the laptop. I checked out how big those disks are, and, holy moly! I'll be able to put so much info on them. I can burn massive stuff! Fun times! Well, off to bed!


Sunday, July 10, 2005

I Done Spent Some Money

Well, today I dropped some serious cash and I am still reeling. I'm trying to keep myself from hyperventilating by heavy breathing techniques. I purchased a 14 in. iBook today with 1.33 GhZ SuperDrive with an upgrade in memory to 512 MB since it only came with just a little bit of memory. Then purchased the AppleCare Protection Plan, an external FireWire hard drive (only went with the 40GB, should take care of both systems) and the AirPort Extreme Base Station so I can be on the internet in my damn living room and watch TV. Also picked up a case for the lap top and a firewire cable for the hard drive. Phew. Thank God for educational discounts. Also, got an iPod mini for free with my purchase of the lap top so that's freakin' cool as hell. But still panicking a little. I went ahead and applied for the Apple credit because I get no interest, fees, etc for 90 days and by then I will have my school money and be able to pay it off and close the darn thing. Thought that made more sense than putting it on a current card and paying interest for a month or so. Haven't broken the news to the boy yet, but he'll get over it. He knew I was going to do it, but I just couldn't pass up that iPod :)

Besides, I got free shipping and I wanted to make sure I got what I needed before school started. Decided to not buy iLife since the new puter comes with it, I'll just pirate it on to my old puter. Haha, screw you Jobs!! No seriously, I apologize to the Mac gods for the previous statement. That was so wrong of me. Okay, I'm done, just wanted to share my super news (ack!!) of my purchases. I'll let you know what's what when I get it all.


Saturday, July 09, 2005

Can't think of a title to cover all this crap

Here's the promised blog about my parent's anniversary party. So, it's going to be their 40th wedding anniversary on Oct. 9th and we decided to throw them a little party. Well, my parents should know that I'm not good at "little." So, talking to my brother's girlfriend, she got a hall for a seriously discounted price and he's throwing in the linens and some of those little mirrors for centerpieces on the tables for free. It's going to be on Oct. 8th at 7 pm. When I started to plan this, I figured we'd be inviting around 60 people or so. Sheesh. I was soooo wrong. The guest list (which is not yet completed) is well over 160 people, which has turned this party upside-down. My parents are convinced that I'm padding the guest list because they think there's no way that they know that many people. And that's not including some of the kids in some of the families. Granted, many of these are out-of-staters and I'm not thinking they'll be able to come. But the ginourmous size of this party prompted us into not serving a full meal. I recently got in contact with a caterer who is going to help me plan out how much food to purchase and we're going to just do snack-y type things and cake, etc. Because we're poor and spending $10/head on 150 people is just not financially feasible for us right now. I really wish I could, but it's just not in the cards. I am planning on doing a slide show with pictures of their life together, starting with them both as small children and going chronologically from there. I wasn't sure how to approach this because while I could do it with Power Point, how do I project it. Then N., gave me the idea to burn a DVD movie with it and then I can just play it on the big screen they have there. What a great idea!! Unfortunately, I don't have a DVD burner, but have decided to buy one with my laptop I will be purchasing (probably today, in fact). The only thing I need after that is a scanner and about 2 weeks to scan all the photos in. I have sooo many that I have to go through and decide whether to use them or not. The other thing we're doing is that instead of gifts, we're asking everyone that is invited to write a memory/well-wishes to the couple and enclose a photo of their family. Then I'm going to make a scrapbook for mom and dad and also include photos of the party at the end. I think they'll really enjoy this and what a wonderful keepsake! I've ordered the invitations and they're on their way here already!!

Today, I have to go to Lowe's and pick up some tomato cages as the plants are now huge and the little ghetto ones I did some time ago no longer support the plants. I'm hoping we're going to get a lot of really nummy tomatoes soon, but think we won't see any for another month probably. Hopefully, they don't grow too much bigger since they are already crowded in their pots. Also, am going to separate out some of the pepper plants since they're definitely choking each other out. The onions are doing fine but I have no idea when to harvest them. The pea plants are actually producing some sugar snap peas, but so far have only three peas :) I really enjoy this gardening business and maybe next year will actually do some in the ground so I don't have to continually worry about transplanting them.

The kitchen remodel is going well although it's temporarily slowed down a bit. Hubby tore down all the top cabinets and has hung new ones on a little over half of the kitchen. I'm going to stain the doors today for him so that he can get the doors on. Maybe when I'm at Lowe's today I'll see if he wants me to pick up the last two cabinets and I can get those done too, just to prompt him into hanging them. It looks really good and now I'm very excited about seeing the finished project!!

Watched De-Lovely last night which is the story of Cole Porter who was a composer and a gay man who's greatest love happened to be a woman. I cried when she died. Tonight, I'm going to watch the Machinist if I feel up to a truly disturbing movie. Probably won't make me cry, although seeing Christian Bale look so scrawny is enough to induce tears.

And, here's all the info on the baby since I got some wrong when I blogged about it. Her name is Macy Rian, she was born at 4:35 am, at 6 lbs 7 oz, and 20 in. long. I'll be going next weekend to visit the baby and check her over :)

Well, I think I've made up for not blogging in a while with this extremely long post and for that I apologize profusely (not really).