Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dress Like a Burrito!

Today at Chipotle, it was "Dress Like a Burrito Day" - if you showed up dressed like a burrito you got a free burrito. This is an annual lab event, so we generally go all out. We wrap ourselves in tinfoil (from the large lab roll, of course!) and walk the couple of blocks down to Chipotle, trying hard not to look like a bunch of fools. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if only one person were walking around in a tinfoil costume, it is Halloween after all, but a whole group of people dressed in tinfoil probably makes quite a sight. We even had a van full of kids roll down their windows and yell something about martians to us. Luckily, we couldn't understand them due to the tinfoil wrapped around our ears.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Halloween Cocktails

Now that the stress of my prelims are over, I decided that it finally time to have a Halloween party at our house. Last year we were still reeling from the wedding, so we couldn't manage it, but this year we're having a cocktail party the night of Halloween (who doesn't like drinking on a Tuesday night?). Mostly the party will be lab people, but since my hubby and I do have a few other friends left in the cities, we're inviting them, too! Last night I had a trial run of the cocktails that I'm planning on making - S and K came over to watch Grey's Anatomy and to be my taste-testers. This allowed me to tweak the recipes as necessary, plus I got to put them to work helping me make the radish and green olive eyeballs pictured to the left (too bad ours aren't quite this pretty). This is what the official drink list will be: Jack O' Tini (I'm still working on this recipe), Green Goblin, Ghostbuster, Witches Brew, Eyeball Martini (pictured, of course!), and Smashed Pumpkin. Most of them feature vodka (the Green Goblin features my watermelon-infused vodka), but I am trying to include some gin and rum. Yum...just the idea of all of these yummy drinks makes me thirsty!

I'm also pretty excited to see everyone's costumes, although K informed me last night that her boytoy is coming as a baby (adult diaper and all) so now I'm a little afraid. Oh well - as long as everyone has a good time, all will be good! I'll try to take some pics to post later...hopefully the baby isn't camera shy.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Nuclear warfare: it's a funny thing

End of the world video

Check it out. It makes me laugh every time. Props to John for finding this, by the way.


My hubby surprised me earlier this fall with tickets to see Barbra Streisand in concert. I know I'm a bit young to be a fan of Babs, but I didn't think it was that weird. Then I went to the concert and was surrounded by people my parents' and grandparents' age! So maybe I do have an unnatural obsession with a 64-yr old entertainer...oh well. The concert was AMAZING - even my hubby thought it was pretty good (which is saying something since he's not really a fan!). Her comments regarding the current president were met with laughter and applause (maybe that's why she finally decided to make a stop in the twin cities - after initially testing out the crowd with a comment about Mps/StP holding the Republican Nat'l Convention, she murmured "ooh, good crowd" after the warm response). All politics aside, her performance was unforgettable. I did come across a story when I did a quick google search to find a pic of her from the concert - here it is:

"Barbra Streisand Demands Strict Security While Touring

Barbra Streisand has implemented stringent security measures on her U.S. tour to deter any potential assassin. The 64-year-old singer demands metal detectors be installed at every venue door, extra security staff is present and police sniffer dogs patrol the auditoriums.

According to documents obtained by website Smoking Gun, Streisand also requests plain clothes guards be "neatly dressed in dark jackets, blazers or sweaters."

She also asks for 120 towels, 10 end tables, 10 floor lamps and five coffee tables at each concert venue."

Is it just me, or is it weird that people actually care about this stuff? Especially the towels, end tables bit at the end - what does that even mean - or have to do with security??

Strange. But yea for Babs! Oh, also on my google search, I found a story on her concert that she just had in Boston - there she only did one encore song (Don't Rain on My Parade, from Funny Girl), but she did 2 or 3 encore songs in St. Paul (including the one from Funny Girl) - that makes us better, I think! :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bad speakers

So...I'm officially back in Mpls and out of Cincinnati. The conference sucked. Can I just make a large, all encompassing statement that too many people in science have HORRENDOUS public speaking skills? Granted, I may be one of those people, but at least I try to tell myself that I'm just a student and therefore have plenty of time to hone my speaking skills. The vast majority of the speakers at this conference could either not speak clearly or put so much data (and other various pieces of junk) on their slides that I was distracted by everything else besides their actual topic. What's so wrong with putting together something in a logical way that presents everything simply and concisely? I realize that most people want to appear to be the experts in their research areas, but does that mean that they've forgotten how to actually make their research interesting to others? Maybe this happens gradually over time so that the older researchers don't even realize that it's happening...the few younger professors and post-docs that gave seminars were (in general) much more interesting to listen to.

Nonetheless, my time in Cincinnati was saved by the presence of a bar in our hotel lobby that made very strong, very yummy margaritas! That, and the fact that I ran into someone I did my undergrad with, Jessica, that is now at UIUC and will be starting her masters in microbiology next fall! Yes, Fixen Vixen, that is THE Jessica that we both know and love - crazy, huh? I was going to call and let you know all about it Friday night after all of my margaritas, but decided that you probably would not appreciate a call at 1:00 in the morning...which I was thinking, drunkenly, at the time that it would actually be 2:00am for you, but since we were actually a time zone over from MN, it would have been 1:00 for both of us, and alas, I should have just dialed you up and at least left a semi-incoherent message on your voicemail! ;)

Here's to good margaritas that save the day! Yippee!

(University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, for those of you who were staring at that abbreviation for awhile trying to figure it out!)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I have to go to a conference this weekend in Cincinnati. I'm slightly annoyed for two reasons: 1. I have to miss the Gopher game against NDSU (yep, North Dakota...if we can't beat them we need to seriously reconsider our DI standings!) and 2. What the hell are we going to find to do to keep us occupied in Ohio? (On second thought...maybe there's a football game somewhere on the University of Cincinnati campus...) Granted, we're actually supposed to be attending the conference, so I'm sure that will take up most of our time, but what about the times when there is nothing scheduled? After 6:00pm on Saturday it's free time. So, my question to you is, any great ideas for a night on the town in Cincinnati? All my hubby had to say was something about some old TV show based in a radio station in Cincinnati, so I had to figure out what the hell he was talking about online today (hence, the picture).

Monday, October 16, 2006

Give me the coffee!

You know those days when you just can't get enough caffeine?

I'm having one of those days. Maybe it's the dreary Minnesota weather we're having right now- cold, wet, and windy. It looks frankly miserable outside the lab, maybe I should just stay here forever...oh wait! The lack of caffeine is making me crazy!

Maybe it's the fact that I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night. My hubby and I headed to the Fine Line for an amazing concert last night (the weepies, yea!), but that meant that we didn't get to bed until after 1am this morning. Added to the fact that my hubby then had to get up at 5:30am for work, it simply means that I most definitely did not get enough sleep!

I managed to drag my butt outside to feed and play with the dog at 6:00am and then get into work to set up an experiment, all before my first cup of coffee, which I think is pretty spectacular! Now I've had coffee and a cherry coke and I still want to just put my head down at my desk and take a little nap...

Oh well. At least it's too wet out to do the yardwork we planned on doing this evening - maybe I can fall asleep on the couch instead!