Monday, February 25, 2008

Old Videos

Just had to download all of the photos and videos I had uploaded on the Sprint website from my phone. Check out these goofball videos!!

NOTE: Make sure your volume isn't too loud initially because my voice is SUPER loud since I'm the closest one to the phone (sorry!).

Amsterdam Brewery in Toronto (ASM General Meeting 2007)

Amsterdam Brewery, again

The aftermath of the brewery...

E-train's 21st!

He's being drunk and ridiculous!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

RIP: TSS Crusaders

The lab blog is no more. I've been debating for a few weeks now whether or not to get rid of it. I finally decided that it was time. Most of the interesting lab stories get posted here, and the others probably shouldn't be posted anyways. :) In honor of the late-TSS Crusaders, I've chosen some favorite excerpts to post here.

If I were a beer, I would be a...

· Tedder Tots: If he were a beer, he'd be a Bud Light. It is what it is: a dependable, classic, American brew as comfortable at home as it is at a baseball game.

· Muffin: If I were a beer, I would have to be Surly Bender. This wonderful newcomer combines many different styles and flavors that add up to something that is quite complex and has a unique depth.

· J-Dawg: If J-Dawg were a beer, she would be a Sierra Nevada Stout. Dark and complex with notes of sweetness but plenty of bitterness available to set up a stimulating counterpoint.

· SV: If I were a beer, I would have to be Leinies' Honey Weiss. Classic, yet distinctive, simple, but sosphisticated, and of course, from Wisconsin.

· mj: If I were a beer, I’d have to be a Grainbelt Premium. Made from Minnesota’s finest grains and perfect brewing water, it truly is a beer of exceptional quality.

· Sam: If I were a beer, I would be a Guinness. For those of you who know me, an obvious choice you might say. But truly, Guinness represents all I love about life—insists on settling into greatness at its own pace, bold in stature, and filled with the power to bring joy to others.

· E-Train: Never before have I been posed with such a question that has caused me to peer so deeply into the content of my character and depths of my soul. I would like to appear cultured and refined, but I know that the majority of my audience knows I am phony. Since I am only an undergrad, I must be vain and be self-conscious of my image at all times. A real douchebag of a beer. I am Heineken Light.


On the last departmental retreat...

1. We DID NOT run out of beer - in fact, we had about 3 extra cases (yes, CASES) and an extra bottle of wine. This may be in part due to the fact that Mullet Man did not drink much - he was worried about his presentation for the next day...
2. We did play bizz-buzz around the campfire - but we only got to about 51. I think we had too many people and we weren't quite drunk enough to keep playing! ;)
3. Our boss did decide to drink - earlier in the day he said he wasn't going to because it was too many calories. I'm pretty sure he had 2-3 glasses of wine and was pretty goofy trying to play bizz-buzz.
4. During bizz-buzz someone decided it was going to start raining soon, so we cleaned up, spread out the fire, and headed inside. During this process we lost pretty much everyone - but the die-hards who stayed up playing games and drinking more. It was at this point when multiple things happened...
5. First, I started making fun of Mullet Man's mullet - which he promptly claimed was never a mullet but simply long hair. When I pointed out that it was still short in front and therefore a mullet, he said, "Fuck you." End of conversation.
6. PG then told the story of how Mullet Man was giving a guest lecture for a class during undergrad and everyone was confused when he showed up because they assumed they were having a female teacher (due to his unisex name)...this was also met with various cursing. Keep in mind he was still pretty sober (Mullet Man, not PG).
7. On the way to the retreat, someone, I believe KT, brought up the SNL skit "Dick-in-a-box," which resulted in at least a 15 minute conversation in the car, but then was brought up multiple times during the retreat (also involving various people singing and acting it out), but it was during one of these conversations that Antarctica Man looked up the skit on his iphone and played it first for us, then for Marc. Marc exclaimed "It's literally a dick in a box! There is a box attached to their pelvic regions!"


On Recruiting...

The highlight from these interviews for us was when, during an interview with a young gentleman, our boss came out of his office and started rummaging through a bag underneath his lab bench. I turned around at my desk to see that he was digging through the expired vaginal syringes that we have for a clinical study that's being conducted in our lab. He then grabbed one and headed back into his office. Once the door was closed again, all of us girls started laughing hysterically - that poor recruit! One of the other girls found the recruit later that day at the reception we hold for them once their interviews are done - he said our boss not only showed him the syringe, but asked him if he knew what KY Jelly was! When the recruit didn't know how to answer, our boss proceeded to squirt a little of the syringe out on his arm to show him the consistency of the product! That's one way to prevent new students from wanting to come to the lab!


On Beef Heart Day...
  1. EVERYONE is required to participate in Beef Heart Day.
  2. The appropriate music must be downloaded, featuring the words "heart, cow, or beef."
  3. Everyone must dress in ridiculous blue disposable gowns in an attempt to stay moderately clean.
  4. Booties as hair nets are required for girls, optional for boys. (This is not to prevent hair from getting into the beef hearts, but to prevent beef heart blood from getting into the hair.)
  5. Screaming "BEEF" or "MEAT" is completely necessary to ensure that someone comes to collect the chopped up hearts for delivery to the grinder.
  6. There is no extensive examining of the hearts while chopping. This only wastes time and prolongs the experience.

And finally...

Tip of the Day: Gimlets made with real lime juice versus Rose's Lime juice are definitely worth a try!

Seriously? Seriously.

Can this week get any better? Got back from a lunchtime seminar yesterday to a phone call from Radiation Protection saying that during their monthly survey they had found a spill. We were strictly told NOT to leave the lab and that they were sending up a decontamination team. Of course, it was just Kristi and I in the lab and our boss was nowhere to be found! Thus, we began one of the most ridiculous days we've spent in the lab. Radiation Protection showed up, told us about the spill counts and how it had spread from the radiation corner in the lab throughout the lab. Turns out, our boss was making radioactive toxin (for my experiment that never happened in Iowa) and he must have splashed a small amount onto the floor. Our well-meaning undergrad then mopped the following day and proceeded to spread it throughout the lab. Luckily the vast majority of the radiation was still confined to the place of the spill. In the meantime, however, we had to have our shows swabbed and surveyed and we couldn't leave the lab until the results came back. Both of us had to use the bathroom so we were only permitted to leave if we put booties on over our shoes. The results from our shoes came back negative, so we then proceeded to wear booties around the lab to protect our shoes from picking up radiation. At that point our boss finally got back from this two hour lunch meeting and was quarantined with us until his shoes were checked out. After Radiation Protection did a thorough survey of the lab, they were able to determine which part was the most contaminated - unfortunately it was my half of the lab. They decided that they couldn't decontaminate it until this morning, so they roped off the area with duck tape (to which Laura added flowers made from "Caution: Radioactive" tape) and we were told not to go into this area until it was properly cleaned. This morning I came into the lab to find my boss in cleaning mode - he didn't want to wait for Radiation Protection - and lots of numbers written all over the floor. He was cleaning areas, surveying, and then writing the counts on the areas as the results came back. So now I think the lab floor is clean (we're not wearing booties anymore, and there are numbers on the floor throughout the entire lab), however the other major spot of contamination was his office - which is carpeted. Radiation Protection was put in charge of cleaning that and we moved the "Caution: Radioactive" duck tape to his doorway. Ah...all in a days work.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I love my job.

Just spent 6 hours in a small car with my boss. We made it down to Mason City, Iowa, which is about halfway to Iowa City and had to turn around because of the horrible driving conditions. So now I just spent most of my day in a car (again, with my boss) and didn't even get to do my experiment. And to top things off, it's likely that if we HAD gotten to Iowa City in one piece, the pigs wouldn't have made it to us - the semi that was picking them up was evidently stuck in the farmyard! Now we have to A) ship the reagents down to the lab and let them do the first set of experiments and B) reschedule another trip down there to do the next set of experiments - just so I can see the experimental set up! The only thing that could have made this trip worse was if we had ended up in the ditch with one of the many, many other unfortunate individuals! And they weren't towing anyone out! Bah!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Off to Iowa

My boss and I are headed down to the University of Iowa to do an experiment with some collaborators there. It's an experiment that we've been talking about doing since I started grad school 3 1/2 years ago, so it's about time that we got it taken care of! Especially since it'll wrap up some experiments that I did when I started my research, so essentially I'll have a second paper out of it. still means a 5 hours car ride with my boss (one way). And since there was a big snow storm in Iowa today, we had to postpone our departure until bright and early tomorrow morning. Once we get things rolling, we'll run the experiment for 12 hours (not sure if this involves someone staying in the lab to collect the hourly samples...hopefully it's automated...). Then we'll turn around and come back home the next day. Here's hoping that the trip is swift and safe and the experiment goes smoothly!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just wanted to share this great Valentine's video from PostSecret that I found on youtube!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Relearning microbiology

So I'm taking the second half of this class called Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) - the first half of which was totally lame, but at least semi-amusing because my labmate and I could sit back and make fun of all of the crazy "active learning" techniques they were trying to teach us. I could do an entire post on active learning in the sciences, but that's for another time. The point is I'm required to find a mentor and work with them to give three of their lectures over the course of the semester. Luckily, I quickly found a mentor at Hamline University in St. Paul - she's teaching both biochemistry and intro to microbiology for the biology majors. I give my first lecture in just under two weeks, so I've been trying to prepare for it. This particular lecture covers certain aspects of microbial metabolism - until today I wasn't sure exactly WHICH aspects I was supposed to be covering, so I've been trying to give myself a brief review. My conclusion? Microbial metabolism may be the most boring part of microbiology. Well...that or microbial genetics - it's probably a toss up for me! So I'm digging through my micro textbook and old notes from MY general micro class (yes, the one I took from Marty Dworkin here at the U while I was an undergrad!), and I'm basically trying to find a way to tie together a cohesive lecture on anaerobic metabolism (chemical cycling microbes and fermentation - yea for beer and wine!) and bacterial photosynthesis. Bah! Good thing my last two lectures are on bacterial pathogenesis - much more my area of expertise!!

Friday, February 08, 2008

I'm now a crackberry owner!

I finally decided to give up on my Motorola red razor phone. I got really excited about buying the razor - it was new to Sprint and a part of the Product (RED) program. It wasn't even available in the Sprint phone stores, so I ordered in online and set it up myself. Then I realized how horribly SLOW it was - every button you pushed had a delayed response. Sometimes I would erase all of my text messages and that would help for awhile, but it never lasted. (Note: this is NOT the case for ALL razors - most of my friends have razors and they're all just fine!) So I started looking for a new phone. This time I was adamant about not only checking consumer reviews, but also going into the store and playing around with a couple of options before making a final decision. That's how I ended up with the new Blackberry Pearl. It's quick, small, and has a boatload of functions (calendar, memopad, web, email, navigation, sprint TV, music, etc.). I opted to order this phone online, too, so I was completely overwhelmed as I tried to get it all set up! After finally getting it activated over the phone (I had to call in twice because the first person had NO idea how to activate a Blackberry), I still had to run into the store to have them put a data plan on it so that I could actually get online. In hindsight, I should have just bought the phone in the store and had them take care of everything. Oh well. I'm still sifting through everything trying to figure things out. E-train tells me that there's even a program that you can download to change the color of your trackball (which is white right now), so that should be fun. All in all, I'm already starting to realize why these phones have been nicknamed "crackberries!" Hopefully I can control my addiction!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Another Packers fan in my blog-o-sphere?!?!

Yes. I'm officially surrounded by crazy Packers fans! My cousin has just joined the blogging world, and although she is just getting the hang of things, I'm sure come football season next fall I'll have one more person to harass about their Favre obsession!! You can check her out here.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Icebreakers Commercial

We saw him! Our friend, Patrick, was on the Icebreakers commercial with Carmen Electra during the 3rd quarter! If you missed it you can see it here. Scroll down to the 3rd quarter ads and click on the Icebreakers one. Patrick is the third guy - the super excited spiky-blond hair one!

Giants WIN!

That was a hell of a game. And after all of the excitement that the Giants beat the Packers I wasn't even cheering for them! Can't help it, but I really enjoy watching the Patriots - maybe not as much as I like to watch the Vikes or the Colts, but when they're on - they're ON. Tonight, not so much. Oh well- I'm mainly a Patriots fan because Laurence Maroney, their RB, is a former Gopher player and he rocked it out in the first half - so props to him! And I love to watch Randy Moss play - he is a kick ass player when he's in his prime. Too bad the Giants shut him down tonight, I would've enjoyed seeing some jaw-dropping receptions from him! All in all, even though I was cheering for the Patriots, I'm really really happy that the game was 1) close and not a total blow-out and 2) a happy ending for the underdogs!

Photos courtesy of

Superbowl Commercial ALERT

Those of you that read this before or during the Superbowl - one of my hubby's friends from college landed an acting gig on a Superbowl commercial! He's a spiky-haired blond guy that is acting with Carmen Electra on an Icebreakers commercial sometime during the 3rd quarter. So keep your eyes peeled!