Archive for April, 2008

bye bye, second winter

Jason has been referring to our recent “cold” spell as second winter. (“cold” because it’s not technically as cold as real winter, just kind of a disappointment after having weather in the 70s… with sun). It kind of cracks me up, kind of makes me nervous.

Funny because I get to hear about how Jason saw the breath coming out of his mouth. Nervous because what if the pipes burst? Anyways, it should be slowly getting warmer this week… perfect timing since the heater is getting fixed Friday – just in time for the warm up. Oh well, it’s Minnesota, we could still get snow. (but I really really really hope we don’t).

Anyways, some important things going on at work: I have been offered a new job in a new lab. The new job would technically be a promotion above my current position. So it’s decision time – switch labs? or stay? And really, it should be an easy decision, right? Take the promotion, I’m sure you’d say… but! I’m in academics, remember? Things aren’t always what they seem in the crazy world of academia and I find myself asking (myself) where would I learn more? Current lab? Other lab? That seems to be one of the most important factors in my decision, the other main factor being where would I be able to retain the most independence?

I hate big decisions, and this is one of those times when I envy the suits and skirts working in the “real” world. Because I’d assume that in the real world, a promotion is a promotion, and you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Or something like that. Maybe I should go back to business school?

Another note about work: I sat on my desk chair the other day, and something broke. And that something was metal, and it was responsible for holding the chair more than 1 foot off the floor. Oh! The embarrassment! Two of my office mates were around to witness my little moment… Perhaps this is a sign telling me that my pre-wedding exercise and eat healthy is not going quite as well as planned…  And you know what, sign, I already know!  I’ve been eating gummy bunnies and other assorted candy to excess recently and not running!  I get it already!  You didn’t have to break the chair!  I’ll cut back on the candy now that the 10 bags of gummy bunnies I stockpiled at Easter are gone, okay?  I’ll walk the dog!  (I can’t run because my knee is broken and I know I need to go to the doctor and get it fixed and I just don’t. want. to. go. to. the. doctor.  Not interested at all.)

Anyways, in a sneaky, top-secret manuver, I eventually managed to swap out my desk chair for another desk chair in the office (oh! the new guy joining our lab this summer has a real treat in store! hee hee!). Only, the new chair has buttons that poke into the back of my legs, and is constantly trying to spin me to the left. So I’m mostly spending my days at work typing away on a computer (I still have 4 manuscripts to write, down from 7 earlier this year), and fighting my stupid desk chair, trying to pull it to the right so that I can actually look at the computer instead of my coworker’s cubicle.  And those buttons are getting really close to just getting torn off altogether.  Don’t push me, buttons!


April 30, 2008 at 10:33 pm 1 comment

that’s me – the idiot with the dog

As mentioned about a million times already, we’re trying to train the dog. One of the best things that we’re going to train him to do is to walk next to us, instead of in front of us. So far it’s been hit or miss. For example, last week he was so good that I took off the gentle leader and he did great. Today, not so much.

He still wants to sniff every single dog we pass, and the instructors at his school suggest that somehow, I need to be more enticing than other dogs. So I’m all <in an enthusiastic voice> “here boy! here! hey! hey you! puppy! big doggy! over here! hi! yo! look at me!” and really, the only looks I’m getting are from anyone – and everyone – in the immediate area. Other dog still beats out Jen in the what-is-more-enticing contest.

Finally, about 2/3 of the way through the walk, he gets tired and gives up. A little. But he’s still scanning the horizon for other doggies he can sniff, and I am dreading approaching dogs, because, really, that just means I make an idiot of myself all over again.

One fun part of his homework, though, is the part where we test his sit-stay abilities. It’s kind of awesome, because you get to dance in front of your sitting-staying dog. Until the neighbors walk by and see the crazies dancing while the dog watches. Then, it’s back to idiot-with-a-dog status.

April 29, 2008 at 10:41 pm 1 comment

the next level

Barley had his first level 2 obedience class tonight. In honor of this momentous occasion, he decided to mark his territory with urine and vomit. Fantastic! Bleach spray is my new best friend.

My shining moment in tonight’s class: We were asked to introduce ourselves and our dogs and our dogs’ breed. So I’m all, “I’m Jen, this is Barley, he’s ummm… well… we think he might be some sort of Mastiff/Pit bull mix, but we don’t really know.” Sweet intro, Jen. But it’s even better when paired with the little walk I had to do, parading Barley around a circle of dogs and owners. Not only did I trip over Barley during this walk, but he decided it was time for vomit #1 of the evening. Awesome. He vomited right in front of Mrs. Loverboy, an overly friendly woman that we had met before at the training club. She had all sorts of… umm… helpful? comments about Barley and his behavior. I kind of wanted to tell her to shove it.

Anyways, Barley did pretty well tonight, if you ignore the bleach-requiring components of the evening. And I managed to convince Jason that he should come watch the class, even though he was sleepy and wanted to be lazy tonight. And here’s what we talked about on the way home:

Jen: Have you ever noticed that people really DO look like their dogs?

JT: Yeah, well, Loverboy’s mom definitely does.

Jen: And that weimaraner’s mom kind of does, too…

JT: Sweet! Does that mean we’re all muscular and stuff?

Jen: No. That’s why our dog is overweight.

April 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm 1 comment

My fingers are freezing

So this post is going to be short.

Our heater is broken.  At least, I think it’s broken, because when it comes on, it doesn’t blow warm air.  And since heaters should blow warm air when turned on, that was my first clue that its not working.  And I refuse to call the emergency heater-fixing man in.  Because he is bound to cost a fortune, and you all know I am much too cheap to pay for that.  I mean, it’s supposed to be spring here, right?  So you wouldn’t think I’d even need to have much heat.  But no, it was actually SNOWING yesterday, and today has only been slightly warmer.

It’s a balmy 43 degrees up in here.  Spring!  I miss you!  Please come back soon!

Jason was supposed to brew today, but declined after last night’s performance at Mike’s April Birthday party.  We were there till 1:30 am!  Which kind of proves that I am not really old enough to get gray hair yet.  You read that college kids?  I am still young enough to party with the best of them!  And so is Jason!  So there!

The sun came out for a minute today, and heated the air outside to a temperature that is higher than the one inside the house, so we took Barley dogg to the dog park.  He is a muddy, sandy, wet mess.  But he had a great time.  He even braved sticking his paws in the Mississippi… but there was no way he was going swimming like the labs and retrievers.  He opted to stay on shore and watch.  But then wrestled with the wet dogs, and rolled in the mud (of course!  why would he opt to stay clean?).  So we’re off to bathe the doggy now.  Which is especially appealing because we actually have a space heater in the bathroom…

April 27, 2008 at 5:23 pm 4 comments

Baby blues

I scanned in a bunch of Jason’s photos tonight.  Why did I not get out the scanner sooner?!?  I’m having way too much fun with these old photos.  So I will share.  Even if you are sick of seeing obscure pictures about us, the truth is that the day-to-day events up in here are not that exciting.  Baby pictures are much better.  So here goes nothing.

Check out this cute baby!  Look at those baby blues!  As his mother brags, “he was such a beautiful baby!”  I also love his crazy hair in this picture.

Unfortunately, he still eats like this sometimes.  Chipotle anyone?

This is a picture I like to call, “Ross kids pose for the J Crew catalog” – it’s my all-time favorite Ross kids pic.  How cute are they!?! (even if Kevin has Bridget in a headlock).

And, of course, no trip down memory lane would be complete without a picture of my beau dressed as a bag lady.  I’m not sure if I want to know the story behind this one…

PS If you have any pictures of Jason – especially from high school or college – and it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to email or send them to me, I would greatly appreciate it…  The ratio of pictures of Jason:Jen (especially in the HS and college years) is about 1:8.

April 24, 2008 at 10:35 pm 4 comments

Jen: the college years

Ohhh… boys and girls, you are in for a real treat today! I’ve scanned some college pics, and (for better or for worse) I am ready to share all.

Freshman Year

This is my freshman year roommate, Mandy, and I washing dishes. It’s actually a historic picture, because we never washed dishes. We’d let them pile up until one or both of us couldn’t stand the smell anymore, and then we’d sigh and wash them. Gross, but true. What were we to do? We were too busy telling fairytales in ebonics, singing to Mariah Carey and Radiohead (you wouldn’t think those go together well, but they do), and hiding a pin that said “Say NO to malls on Hwy 9” in each others belongings.

Sophomore Year

This is my sophomore roommate, Sarah (we affectionately refer to her as “the boss”), and I in Colorado. If you can’t tell by the matching coats, we were on the ski team together. We had a great time as roommates and teammates, and as far as I know, her only complaint is that I never did the dishes…

Junior Year

I spent fall semester of my Junior year in Lancaster, England. This is my friend, Emma, and I at a birthday party. The birthday boy wanted a cowboy and indian-themed party, so we dressed like cowboys and indians. The whole semester was amazing! (I did finally wash my dishes at an appropriate time my Junior year).

Senior Year

Oh crap, I really hope Elizabeth doesn’t kill me for posting this, but I just about wet my pants when I found this. This is a picture from one of our favorite games – “Classic Pairs Through History.” Yes, we made it up ourselves. No, we weren’t drinking at the time. In this game, Elizabeth and I paired off against our suitemates, Kate and Kelly, and would suddenly show up in each other’s room dressed as a classic pair. The other team would have to guess what pair we were. See, really quite clever. Much more fun than beer pong, or whatever else you college kids are playing these days. If anyone can guess which classic pair we are in this picture, I’ll risk Elizabeth’s friendship and post another.

April 23, 2008 at 11:46 pm 5 comments

He passed!

For those of you sitting on the edge of your seats in anticipation, Barley passed level 1 obedience class yesterday!  You can send your congrats to him at Barley.Dogg (at)  No, I’m not kidding.  The dog has email.  And an iphone.  Or so Jason tells me.

A brief update on the weekend:

– Premarital counseling ended up being more of a discussion about what we want in the wedding.  Basically, we can do just about anything we want.  So we’ll be picking out verses and songs and whatnot in the upcoming weeks.  Suggestions?  Let us know.  Also, we’ll fill out a PREPARE inventory, which is a questionnaire that will give the pastor some things to talk with us about next time.  We’re supposed to fill in these scantron forms and send them in in the upcoming weeks.  We already peaked at the book… but we’re not cheating.  I promise.

– Cake = yummy.  My mouth is watering just thinking about how delicious our wedding dessert is going to be.  Folks, you are in for a real treat! Mmmm…

– The florist appt went well, but we’ve got more deciding and meeting to do before plans are finalized.

– My Grandma’s  75th birthday was Saturday night, so my mom and aunts and uncles threw together a surprise party!  How fun!  My family is pretty darn cool, even if one of the more entertaining members of the family skipped Grandma’s birthday to go clay pigeon shooting.  Only in Wisconsin. (hee, hee, just teasing, Uncle Brian).

– My Grandma, Mom, and I went shopping for fabric for the flower girl’s dress.  Turns out the color of my dress is INCREDIBLY difficult to match (why are there so many shades of white?).  We haven’t found anything yet.  But!  My mom has some leads on other fabrics that might match, so cross your fingers.

Jason and I will be taking a trip down memory lane this week as we begin to scan pictures for a wedding photo montage.  So stay tuned and you might get a glimpse of how cute I was in the 80s.  Perm!  Huge bangs!  Rolled socks!  Yes!

April 22, 2008 at 11:01 pm Leave a comment

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