Archive for June, 2010


look what i have!

June 30, 2010

Somebody awesome just moved to Denver last night, and brought me a present from western NC.

Yay for somebody awesome! Yay for regional cherry sodas!

Now I am full of good cheer.


climbing at night makes me a good girl

June 28, 2010

At the start of the summer, I bought a (perhaps ill-advised) summer membership to a local bouldering gym.  Bouldering, for those of you who don’t, well, live in Boulder, more or less amounts to climbing things that aren’t very tall.  Therefore, you don’t use ropes, and things tend to be more about the challenge of the route than endurance issues.  So I’m told.  Anyway, I am terrible at climbing of any sort, but it’s a lot of fun.  I go to the bouldering gym more often than the other one (three) because you don’t need a partner.  Handy, that.

Anyhow, I haven’t been going much, due to general slackerness.  Tonight I went for the last 45 minutes or so before closing, and gah.  Gah!  Grip strength has returned to zero.  Alas, I’ll just have to build it back up.  In the meantime, though, I’ve discovered a handy side-effect of the post-climbing spaghetti grip: it’s really, really hard to type or use a mouse.  Therefore, I have no choice but to cut short my nightly time-wasting forays into internetland.  Climbing makes me a good girl!  Yay!

Of course, this also means that I can’t comfortably do the dishes tonight.  Such a shame.  :-p


im in ur science, fixin ur grammerz

June 22, 2010

Submitted a conference abstract today, for the Fall MRS meeting.  Yes Mom, you are entitled to laugh, go ahead and complain that I had to wait until I’m working on my PhD to work on my “Mrs.”  Ha ha.  Moving on…

Let’s pretend for a second that I’m not made of awesome and the most powerful, brilliant, amazing person you’ve ever met.  Instead, perhaps, let’s imagine a really insecure graduate student who’s had a hard time finding a relevant role in her research group, and is really just now getting a proper grasp on the real down-and-dirty of the science she works on, despite being two-ish years in already.  Perhaps she’s even more insecure because she feels like she “cheated” on the admissions process (inasmuch as winning a prestigious fellowship and then just waving it at the admissions people is “cheating,” but hey, this hypothetical grad student has some issues).  If I were this imaginary not-made-of-100%-pure-awesome person, having to write up a summary of what I’ve done and will do for the next four months in 3,000 characters or less and then submit it to a conference so big it has fifty symposia you can submit to is kind of daunting.  Not only that, I have to show it to my mentor first.

If I were our imaginary grad student, I might find this somewhat challenging and perhaps totally terrifying.  Ironically, it’s the showing-it-to-the-mentor part that’s scarier.  A large part of what had to be written involved correctly interpreting results I haven’t worked on directly, and hadn’t even had a complete conversation about, and thus there was a risk of revealing myself as really not understanding what’s going on at all.   It would be mortifying indeed, were I not made of awesome and most assuredly immune from such things.

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oh, the irony

June 22, 2010

Yeah, so that post about seeing a skunk?

Pecan got skunked.

Even more ironic, I had just given the folks upstairs a stern lecture about how they must keep the screen door closed at all times (they like to open all the windows and doors when it’s hot).  They forgot and she went bolting out across the street (though I’m told she looked both ways first — riiiiight) to chase a skunk, and, well, yeah.  I came home from to find two kids and my roommate scrubbing down the dog for the third time.

Poor baby.  Worst part is that it didn’t do any good, so the partner and I had to scrub her down three times again, twice with a solution of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and detergent (from an NCSU extension site, for two scrubbings of  a Pecan-sized dog: 3qt 3% H2O2, 3/4c baking soda, 1tbl detergent), and then once more with her usual shampoo.  I have never seen an unhappier-looking creature.  Worst part is that it was still on her face even after careful eye-avoiding scrubbing there, so she got a paste of baking soda applied, and I ran the industrial air filter next to her crate (and probably will all day, too).  It smells better in here, so maybe it helped.

Best part of the whole encounter was going to the grocery store soaked in tomato juice and dog hair, smelling like skunk, to buy a few quarts of H2O2.  Didn’t really have to explain myself in the checkout line.

Update: didn’t do it.  She still has it on her face.  This is the part where I’m actually glad I have to go to work.


this stinks

June 19, 2010

I saw my first ever real-life “in the wild” skunk tonight.  It was stinky, but luckily I am not (and neither is the dog).  It looked a lot like this.

Except it had its tail up, and its stink cannons aimed directly at me, and it was hanging out in the middle of the sidewalk.

Considering that a) it was 1am, and I am tired and have been up since six; b) I was walking home with a very excitable dog, who thinks small smelly creatures are cooler than just about anything else on this earth other than velveeta and shreddable squeaky toys; c) three of us finished two bottles of red wine this evening before I began my 15-minute journey home; and d) I didn’t find it until I almost tripped over it on the sidewalk, I consider myself lucky to be just normally smelly, and not skunk smelly.  The universe looks kindly upon me tonight.

I am also leaving for a backpacking trip in the Never Summers in five hours.  I have to go to the grocery store before then.  I am a dumbass, yes.


the hands-down best feature of my new phone

June 17, 2010

…is its alarm clock.  Ladies and gentlemen, this phone does not allow you to completely turn off the alarm just by pressing random buttons.  No, it demands that you are at least aware enough to hit the down key, then “OK” before it stops going off every few minutes.

YESSSSS!  My old phone shut up after you hit some random buttons, without even having to open the phone if you didn’t want to.

[The old phone died in a saltwater deluge — no, not from the beach, long story there — after four years of hard usage.  May it rest in peace, knowing that it has been replaced by a phone that actually lets me wake up from naps and get to softball games on time.  Also, this new phone is awesome, because it’s new and still doesn’t have any extra features and junk on it.  I can’t afford to buy a plan with features, so why on earth would I want those things on my phone?  I also really don’t need a QWERTY keyboard when it costs me 20 cents to send a text.  I’m honestly shocked that Verizon even has a camera-less, keyboard-less, 3-G-less phone.  Shocked, but grateful.]


the show must go on

June 12, 2010

I left work before 5 on Friday, but didn’t get home until 1 am Saturday.  When I got home, I was soaking wet and quite cold, and the weather today has been absolutely epic. Sounds familiar, right?

Wrong!  It had nothing to do with the bus this time, and was all completely voluntary (yes, I’m an idiot).  I went to see MGMT at Red Rocks with friends.  To quote a conversation overheard as we were leaving, “That totally rocked my socks…so hard that my feet are numb.  Or maybe that’s the weather.”  Definitely the weather.  We’re under a flood watch, my car now has hail dents, and the temperature plummeted about 40 degrees.  Yay?  I’ll say that the famous acoustics at Red Rocks are a little dampened when you’re listening with a soggy hood up all night.

This is Red Rocks, for the uninitiated. It's an amazing venue.

Anyway, the show-related sock rocking still did happen.  Somewhat.  I’d say my socks were gently rocked, like rocked as in a rocking chair, not rocked as in “holy shit that show blew me away!”  I had a good time, but unfortunately MGMT doesn’t have the stage presence to really engage a large crowd.  Especially a large, wet, and cold crowd.  They basically played their songs as they sound straight-up on their albums.  It also didn’t really help their case that the second opener, a funk/hip-hop/R&B group that reminded me a bit of Outkast, had absolutely incredible energy and presence.  Their singer was dancing all over the stage, they had crazy costumes, they even had dancers and a dude in a top hat and coattails who introduced them.  Definitely a headliner-worthy show, for sure.  And in the rain, too!  I wish I had heard their name, or that it was printed on the ticket.  No dice, though.

A big shout out also to the Red Rocks stage crew.  I can’t believe they kept the equipment running when half of it was quite literally sitting in puddles.  There were people sweeping water off the stage to try to keep it clear, and they saran-wrapped the laptops MGMT used.  Yeah.  I was pretty impressed that nobody got electrocuted, to be honest.  It was a sight to see, to be sure.

So, all in all, I’m glad I went.  It was a solid show, and I had a nice time.  But alas, I think the bar for my Red Rocks show experiences might just be set a wee bit too high after seeing the Flaming Lips perform there last summer.  Talk about sock-rocking.  That show was insane.  Confetti cannons, laser pointers for everyone in the audience, a crowd-surfing hamster ball for the lead singer, and a giant dancing catfish in a sailor outfit.  No lie.  So yeah, kind of hard to top.  I’ll keep trying, though.