Archive for August, 2007

some new bling

For those of you who haven’t heard yet (though I suspect most of you have heard by now…), Jason and I are engaged! As of 11:30 this morning! Yes! I am so excited!

Here are some pics of my new bling:

side view: cathedral setting


it’s much sparklier in person


see – sparkly!


Jason and Barley


August 31, 2007 at 6:35 pm 4 comments

buy me! buy me! buy me!

(at least that’s what I hope my house is screaming)

I listed it today. Let me know if you’ve got any critiques on the listing. Or if you want to buy a house in Lexington. I’m ready to make a deal.

In Barley news, he not only licked the realtor’s foot while we were trying to fill out paperwork, he subsequently fell asleep on her foot and also jumped into her very nice and very clean Acura SUV with wet, somewhat muddy paws. I was a little mortified.

Jason’s coming tomorrow, so you can look forward to posts describing our packing progress (I’ve threatened that whatever he doesn’t pack will stay in Lexington, so I suspect he will be packing like crazy all weekend).

August 30, 2007 at 10:05 pm 3 comments

jason needs more to do at work

Clearly he is being under-utilized in the workplace. Here is another story he sent me and I struggle to determine exactly which part of the story is the most ridiculous.

Here are possible contenders:

  1. That there was an officer in plain clothes in the Minneapolis Airport bathroom because of “citizen complaints and arrests for sexual activity there” – are you kidding me?
  2. That there are particular signals that those who wish to engage in lewd behavior typically make. Who are these people?
  3. That he plead guilty and is now trying to take it back. Seriously, Senator. I suspect that if he wasn’t guilty, he wouldn’t have plead guilty and tried to hide the whole thing.

Speaking of ridiculousness, if you haven’t seen this clip of Miss South Carolina in Friday’s pagent scholarship contest, it’s appalling. But I’m not sure which is worse – Miss SC’s answer or the fact that some Americans can’t find the US on a world map (although I suspect that the number of Americans that can’t find the US is less than 1/5. I mean, I can find the US, and I’m pretty sure you guys could find the US, and that’s got to be worth something). Anyways, it’s clear that Miss SC could use that scholarship to learn more about Africa or The Iraq.

Finally, for those of you who are fans of The Hills (which I am completely addicted to), Heidi and Spencer’s new “hit” is both horrible and ridiculous. Barley gives it 2 wrinkled foreheads with head tilt and a run to the other side of the room with his tail between his legs.

August 28, 2007 at 9:37 pm 1 comment

research math

Jason sent this to me today, and it was great timing, because I was having this sort of a research day. Let’s just say my recent data is not as intuitive as I’d like it to be.

Anyways, if you get it, you’re probably as much of a nerd as I am.

August 28, 2007 at 7:52 pm Leave a comment

the brain-eating dream

I often have strange dreams (nightmares) relating to the things that are going on in the lab. For example, one night I had a dream that the rats were housed in my room without cages – they were just running around on the floor. And another night, I had a dream that the monkeys escaped from their cages and were sitting in the lab office with me.

But this one takes the cake.

I’ll qualify this by saying that I sat at the cryostat (aka tiny meat slicer in a -18 C compartment), freezing my hands off while slicing frozen rat brains (we will not discuss how said brains were obtained) all day Thursday and Friday. So maybe it was really natural that I had a dream about eating rat brains Friday night – I was just popping them in my mouth like they were cherry tomatoes. On second thought, that is not natural at all.

In completely unrelated (and a bit more pleasant) news, I found this on my front porch planter the other day:

I don’t remember ever seeing a praying mantis up close before, much less finding one in my garden. Excellent.

This weekend was low-key – a much needed break since I’ve been out of town the past 2 weekends. Plus, I needed to organize and update my data spreadsheets (oh boy!) and I had some things to do at work this morning.

My neighbor had a party Friday night, and Barley was a good protector dog – he barked as some of her guests were walking down my driveway to leave. And it was a ferocious bark. So I feel pretty good about that – like there might be a slim chance that my afraid-of-everything pit bull might actually do something in the event we had an intruder. I will continue to hope, though, that we do not have any intruders.

Today, we had Tracy and Bella over for dinner, and the doggies had a ball! Even though Bella is about 1/3 Barley’s size, she managed to keep up with him, and I think she may have even have asserted her dominance over him. Tracy is super-cool – probably my favorite new Lexington friend – and I will be trying to convince her to move to Minneapolis when she gets her degree. (note: it appears that she is not the only one that I will need to convince to move to Minneapolis).

August 26, 2007 at 10:26 pm Leave a comment

Breaking News

Quote from this evening’s news:

“There are just as many hillbillies in New York as there are in Lexington.”

Given my limited knowledge of New York (I went once with the fam several years ago), I am unqualified to analyze the hillbilly:non-hillbilly ratio up there.  I will say that given the high hillbilly:non-hillbilly ratio in these parts, I am skeptical that this statement is actually true.

Click here for the full news story that spurred this conversation. 

Here is the part of the story (by Joe Glazer) that I love:

Yes, it’s not a typo, I’m in Kentucky: They said I’d never, ever step foot in Georgetown. I’ve often joked around that I would never go, being that I’m an ethnic New Yawka and I’d stick out worse than Joe Pesci would, or actually did, in “My Cousin Vinny.” I mean, I’m a complete dead giveaway for someone who, well, isn’t from Kentucky.

Just as the folks from small towns like this have certain preconceived notions about the Big Apple and loud, arrogant, obnoxious, aggressive folks like myself, I’ve seen things on TV about how city boys and country folk don’t exactly mix.

Sorry, Georgetown but there was nothing to change my view in the least.

First of all, it’s in a dry county. Why is there anywhere in America that is dry? Let’s get real people. Not selling alcohol in one area is the dumbest thing in the world. You know what it does? It forces you to travel long distances to the next county to get drunk and then drive aaaaalllll the way back to Georgetown. How stupid is this rule? It also leads to the freaking hillbilly who was selling moonshine out of the back of his truck. Did I just say moonshine? Did I just say hillbilly? Folks, I’m not making this stuff up.

There are actually people who still sell moonshine in Kentucky and there was a guy giving it out from the back of his pickup the weekend I was there.

How do I say this gracefully and without half of Kentucky wanting to hang me by my you know whats? Let’s be honest, parts of Kentucky don’t exactly have a reputation for hording the members of MENSA or the contestants for the National Spelling Bee. With that in mind, I’m begging the folks in the Georgetown area to hire a full-time scout to walk around the town and correct grammar and spelling in order to dispel the myths.

The two best signs in America are both in Georgetown. First one hung in a WalMart that read, “All movies needs to be pay in electronics.” Huh? You is a honor student? Didn’t, oh, I don’t know, ONE PERSON realize that sentence simply isn’t English?

Then, I didn’t see this sign but I heard about it, the local Wendy’s originally had their big sign out front say, “Now hiring closers.” However, the “c” in closers fell off so for a while Wendy’s was “Now hiring losers.”


Also, it’s hot here.  Really hot.  And the only benefits to the hot weather are:

  1. I had to eat ice cream for dinner in order to cool down.
  2. I work in an air-conditioned building.  (Thanks, mom and dad for gently encouraging me not to go into manual labor, such as construction work.  And by “gently encouraging” I mean, “telling me how much I sucked at painting the back of the house the summer after my freshman year at college.”)

More on college, my movie’s soundtrack, and the heat tomorrow.  I’m getting good at blogging.  Which should help me document events for publication in my book. (and I’m only semi-serious about that statement).

August 23, 2007 at 10:31 pm 4 comments

Back to school!

Today was the first day of the fall semester at UK. That means a few things:

  1. Lost freshman everywhere.
  2. Starbucks was extra-crowded this morning.
  3. Lots of people driving around campus = greater probability I will get hit by a car.
  4. Most of my 20,000 words for the day are used training new students.

In other news, my morning glories have taken off fabulously:

Perhaps I do have a green thumb after all?

And Barley brought in a surprise for me the other day:

Note the large bug to the right of Barley’s nose

He seemed genuinely upset that I wasn’t as thrilled about the bug as he was. In fact, he sat next to the garbage can for about 10 min after I threw the bug away.

Which brings me to my next point. I’ve been thinking (okay, daydreaming) a lot recently. Analysis of neurotransmitters with HPLC is going slow – as in, it’s 20 sec of work followed by 13 min of waiting. Anyways, Amy’s post about the publish-it-yourself book reminded me that I have been brainstorming potential titles for my autobiography. I figure that if John Grogan can write about his dog, I must have something to write about. I’ve also decided that the title should have a colon in it (I’m not sure why). So here’s what I’ve got:

  1. The rat lab: Adventures of a self-proclaimed animal-hater in academia
  2. 6U: Tales of a northern girl living in the south
  3. Ripping out my hair: Travel to China and beyond

I figure that my other option is to change the book topic from just basic stories of what I’m up to (which, after you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know would not be exciting enough to make the bestseller list) to something a bit more contrived. I would have to go on an adventure and write about it. Like Amy Sutherland’s adventures at an exotic animal training school, my adventure would be exciting enough that most people would want to hear about it. Right? So if anyone’s got any suggestions on appropriate adventures, let me know.

I’ll keep you (y’all?) updated on who will star in the movie, and which songs should be used on the soundtrack.

Also, while you’re at Amy Sutherland’s website, you should check out this article on animal training – Modern Love: What Shamu taught me about a happy marriage. (there will be a book on the topic soon). FYI: for those of you who have otherwise been unimpressed with my animal lab gig, I have learned the techniques Amy mentions in the article and others that I *hope* will come in handy. I’m not going to announce who I’ll be trying them on first, or who I have already used them on. Mwa ha ha ha (evil laugh).

August 22, 2007 at 9:18 pm 1 comment

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