Wednesday, October 31, 2007

BOO Chipotle!

A couple of the labs just got together and got all dressed up in tinfoil and headed down to Chipotle only to find that they weren't giving our their free "Boo-rritos" until after 5pm! BOO!! We left. They weren't getting our money after all of that.

Happy Halloween!

Yeah for Halloween! Most of the lab is dressed up and we're listening to Halloween music all day long! It's also Dress-Like-A-Burrito Day at Chipotle - so we're all wrapping ourselves in lab tinfoil and heading down to Chipotle to get free burritos! My hubby and I are also going to Chipotle for supper (since they just opened one in our mall) - that's a lot of Chipotle, but since it's free, I'm all for it! Then we're heading home and carving pumpkins and watching Saw II and maybe Saw III (if we can stay up for both!). Woo-hoo!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

John's Cocktail Party: "Heroes & Villians"

I almost forgot to post about my friend John's cocktail party! Every year he and his friend, Frenchy, host a kick-ass cocktail party. Every year it has a different theme, with themed cocktails, yummy food, and everyone is responsible for bringing an assigned bottle of liquor or mixers. Last year's theme was Saturday Night Live, and it was fun, however I'm not a huge SNL fan so I was pretty lost when it came to identifying others' costumes! This year's theme was AWESOME - "Heroes and Villians!" I've included a bunch of pictures below because the lab's costumes pretty much kicked ass! :) Laura, Elena, and Gabe went as the Three Amigos (heroes), Kristi and Tony went as The Incredibles (also heroes), Evan went as Professor Chaos from South Park (villian), David went as James Bond (hero), and I went as Cruella De Vil (villianess!). Oh, and John and Frenchy were Austin Powers (hero) and Dr. Evil (villian), respectively! I think my favorite drink was the Gandolf (hero), which was vodka, peach schapps, and cranberry juice (if I remember correctly). YUM!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It IS a wolf-dog!

It's official. My neighbor called me last night and we got to talking about our dogs. Czar, which my hubby and I have claimed to be a wolf-dog ever since we moved into our house and met him, IS in fact a wolf-dog hybrid. He happens to be 86% arctic wolf and 14% malamute. That means he almost ENTIRELY a WOLF! Crazy!! Evidently they have to have him specifically registered with the city because of this. And, this is the second hybrid my neighbor's have owned - they used to have a german shepherd/timberwolf hybrid! I think this is probably some of the craziest news I've gotten in a long time. Good thing he's made friends with Jonas and I don't have to worry about him jumping the fence to attack us! ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's done!

Yea!! I just finished my seminar and it went really well! I did have questions throughout - although I did not obtain the trifecta - which would have involved getting questions (during my seminar) from three particular faculty/senior researchers (Mushroom man, Lap Dog, and Mama Bear). Ha - if any of you can figure those out, it will be funny! I think I was able to answers all of the questions fairly well oh, and I didn't puke. And, if anyone was wondering - Evil Vixen showed up with her entire lab in tow! Hmm...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Crunch time

I should be working on my seminar. I am working on my seminar. However, I'm getting to the point where if I actually have to look at my seminar any longer I may puke. Good thing I'm giving it tomorrow. I've actually practiced this seminar quite a few times - which is saying something, because A) I do not normally practice these kinds of things and B) it's 45-50 minutes long - which is a LOT of time spent practicing! I gave my talk to my fellow micro students yesterday and got some very good suggestions, however that did mean that I spent my entire night revising my powerpoint presentation.'s still not completely revised. So now I'm in the lab, trying to do a quick experiment (which may or may not make it into the revised talk) and trying to finish making the suggested revisions. And - my hubby called me on my way into work to tell me that he was going home sick. So now I have to hope that I don't catch whatever he has (or at least not before tomorrow!). Here's hoping I can successfully accomplish everything before giving my talk tomorrow - without puking.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Starving Syd and a dog with a criminal record...

Our 3 year old cat, Sydney, has been on a diet since last Christmas. The vet back home recommended that he lose a couple of pounds (he was 12, should be closer to 10). Nothing was wrong with him, but it's easier to get him down to a more ideal weight now than to try to do it when he's older and developing health problems. Doc suggested that we reduce the amount of food he normally eats in one day by 80%. Now, this seemed pretty drastic, and my hubby and I were trying to determine if he actually meant a 20% reduction (down to 80%) as opposed to an 80% reduction (down to 20% of what he normally eats). Since we weren't entirely sure, we just reduced his food by about 50%. We also bought a fairly cheap scale to attempt to keep track of his weight. Since then Syd's been pretty difficult to live with (which, if you've met our cat, is really saying something!). For the past 3 months or so he's become very vocal. Meaning he meows. All of the time. Any time of day OR night. He was literally waking us up some nights - we had to get up and put him in the office downstairs just so we could sleep! (If we simply shut our bedroom door to keep him out he actually paws at the door and chews at the carpet outside the door - not to mention the fact that we can still hear him meowing!)

The past couple of weeks, however, he's started getting more ferocious about getting into our food. He's a cat. Of course he gets all excited when he smells meat or sees greens. But suddenly he was getting into EVERYTHING! I made a pan of muffins one morning. I took two with me into the living room, and when I came back into the kitchen I saw that Syd had literally eaten the tops off of the remaining 10 muffins!! Last week I was at home working on my seminar and he bit through a bag of potato chips! I woke in the middle of the night to find that he had been on top of the fridge and had knocked down a bag of buns and a bag of Cheetos. Then he proceeded to get both of those open so that he could munch on their contents. Finally I said - enough is enough. We are taking you to the vet.

We've found a vet near our house that we really like - we've taken our dog there for multiple ear infections and vaccinations. We've never taken Syd, though. So we get there and they weigh him first. He weighs only 9.14 pounds!!!! Then they asked us how much food we were feeding him and what brand of cat food and they did some calculations to determine how much we should be feeding him to lose or maintain weight. We were feeding almost half as much as we should have been. So he lost more weight than he should have. The vet claimed that the amount of food we had been feeding him was equivalent to us eating one rice cake a day! Luckily, we brought him in before he lost any more weight. Now we're putting him on a maintenance diet to get him back up to about 10 pounds. The vet thinks he should be much easier to live with on this diet.

So Syd's getting more food, but he's still pretty crazy. He hasn't been digging into our food as often, so maybe it's just a matter of him adjusting to this new diet. Poor guy.

On another note our dog now has a criminal record. One of our neighbors called him in for barking Sunday morning. I thought that I maybe heard him barking while I was upstairs getting the dirty laundry together to start washing clothes, however when I got downstairs and stuck my head out the window to listen there was no more barking. I didn't think anything of it, I figured he was probably in the neighbor's yard chasing squirrels since I didn't see him in our backyard. I went downstairs to start the laundry and heard a loud knocking on the door. It was a cop! So, as I'm holding Syd (who's desperately trying to get outside), wearing my p.j.s, I'm trying to hold a conversation with a police officer about my dog (who has now shown up and is sitting in our yard staring at the cop, quietly, mind you). Then Jonas gets upset and starts loudly barking at the police officer (awesome - he looked so innocent if only he'd stayed quiet!). The police officer tells me that the neighbor called in to say that he had been barking for 20 minutes and that it was a bit extreme to have him barking for that long (he's a dog.). Then he left and Jonas got to wear the bark collar for the rest of the day. Of course, he spent most of the day sleeping in the garage or on the deck - probably because he was worn out after all of that barking!

I don't know what we're going to do when my hubby and I want to start having children...

Sunday, October 07, 2007


My husband works for a fire department here in Minneapoland and for the past 60+ years this dept has been doing a fundraiser called BOOYAH. What IS BOOYAH, one might ask? Well I had my first encounter with it this weekend when I was semi-coerced into helping set up on Saturday. Basically it's just a hearty stew - all sorts of veggies (carrots, potatoes, beans, corn, cabbage, onions, celery, etc.), chicken, oxtail, and spices. Yes, I did say oxtail. No idea exactly what that is, but it sure was tasty! The craziest thing about BOOYAH is the humongous quantities that they make it in - they cook it in 13 large kettles outside on the lawn of the fire station. My hubby estimated that each kettle probably holds about 30 gallons, which would mean that they make almost 400 gallons of BOOYAH! AND...they SOLD OUT in less than 2 hours!! Crazy! I will say that chopping vegetables for BOOYAH was reminiscent of chopping beef hearts for lab media - a slightly disturbing thought, considering we don't actually end up eating the beef heart! That, on top of the mysterious oxtail had me wondering if I would be able to eat BOOYAH - but surprise! - it was great! Go figure.

The Vixen's Got the Goods!

Props to Fixen Vixen for finding a great recipe from Rachael Ray! Check out her post for the chicken and pear turnovers - we just made them tonight and they are AMAZING! (Don't forget the add the brie - the perfect addition!)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Buffalo Cheese Dip

Here's a great tailgating recipe - I got it at a friend's party a few weeks ago!

3-4 cooked chicken breasts, cubed
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. blue cheese
8 oz. pepperjack cheese
8 oz. Frank's Red Hot Sauce

Cook until cheeses are melted and bubbling. Serve warm with chips!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gopher Tic Tacs

KT and LC came down first thing this morning with a package for me. It was a little package, but it was wrapped very securely...a layer of packing tape, then foil, then more packing tape, then all sorts of colored tape, then paper towels...then (finally!) a case of tic tacs! But not just any tic tacs - maroon and gold tic tacs. These are not, in fact, Gophers tic tacs, but are a new flavor called "cherry passion." Nonetheless, they look U of M themed and therefore, KT thought that I needed to have some! Too bad I scraped up the case with the razor blade I had to use to get to it!

Zombie Pub Crawl

This is probably the most fun thing I've heard of doing in a long time! Evidently there is a zombie pub crawl happening in Minneapoland on Saturday, Oct. 6th (this Saturday, that is!). It starts at 3pm and everyone that wants to crawl meets up at Gold Medal Park (aka the Guthrie Greenspace). You have to come dressed as a zombie (they give helpful tips and blood recipes), but you can get help with your makeup at the park if need be. The crawl is free, and there are drink specials at the bars (all you have to do is groan at the bartender, since zombies don't actually talk). They're hitting up Grumpy's, Bullwinkle's, Town Hall, Sgt. Prestons, The Red Sea, Palmer's, The Nomad, and Triple Rock. I've posted some pictures from previous crawls (this is the third annual, with a Bride of Zombie theme). Now all I have to do is convince my hubby to be a zombie with me...