Monday, June 23, 2008

RICE ST PUB CRAWL '08!

Another year, another successful pub crawl. I think the pictures really say it all, but for those of you NOT in attendance, here's a quick recap.
Bar 1: The Lamplighter (2 drink minimum), the girls were prettier, the bartender and waitress recognized our group when we walked in and said they'd just been talking about the pub crawl from last year(!?!), and no, we did not see Ivy. [David started us off with the timer, we stayed approx 45-55 minutes, he set it back only once because Dan's girlfriend Tory met up with us late and we wanted her to get the full experience!]Bar 2: The Chalet (shots, first one there called it), Erin and Ted's friend Michael drove from the Lamplighter to the second bar and tried to call the shot, Laura and Elena ran and called the rest, which resulted in half of the group doing 3 Wisemen shots (mostly the guys, plus Erin since she called it!) and the other half doing Scooby Snacks (thanks goodness!), stale popcorn, some nudie photo hunt, and more booze. [David handed off the timer to John, since he had traveled the longest to crawl with us - from Madison, WI, maybe there for approx 1 hour?]Bar 3: Dean's Tavern (vodka drink), pulltabs (I won $1 and promptly spent it on the jukebox, where I played Chumbawamba Tubthumper for the lab peeps!), 75 cent tacos (freshly fried tortillas and everything - yum!, I think this is where a couple of David's fire fighters met up with us. [E-train had the timer and he says we stayed there for 51 minutes and 51 seconds, after everyone got their first drink ordered.]Long walk from Bar 3 to Bar 4: Visited the green dinosaur by the Sinclair gas station (we matched it this year!), Wendy and I pretended to fall off the overpass for Hwy 36, Mike found a dirty glove. No hill rolling this year.Bar 4: Brady's (rum drink), David and I took peppermint shots (McGillicutty's - yikes!) with the fire fighters, Katie and I called Damon and Justin to tell them we were drinking rum and cokes, some inappropriate touching occurred (within the group, not by some random stranger, but it was all good), my memory starts to get hazy here, but at this point we did lose David (he cabbed it home because his mix of cold medicine and booze was no longer working for him...). [Laura had the timer, we stayed god-knows-how-long because we had been crawling a little too quickly and didn't want things to end so soon!]Bar 5: Hoggsbreath (pitchers only), Wendy almost didn't get in because the bouncers thought she was too drunk and slurring her words (so were the rest of us...), we tried unsuccessfully to order a pitcher of margaritas, so I think Cheryl and Laura and I just drank individual ones
(oh no! we didn't follow the rules!), lots of drunken dancing, fire fighter Andrew took lots of pictures of us dancing with Laura's camera (evidence that our dancing was not nearly as good as we thought it was!), a friend of a friend that was on the crawl with us tried hitting on Tony, so us girls all went and "rescued" him from her, she promptly turned her affections to Andrew, who we did not save, Tony wandered off with Bob and ended up mixing his own cocktails at the basement bar, which led to his extreme drunkenness, the bouncers cut off E-train and eventually kicked him out - they blamed it on his Kanye West sunglasses not adhering to their dress code, which we read and it didn't say anything about sunglasses (unless they considered them to be gang-related), we argued with the bouncers for awhile and all just ended up leaving. May have to boycott them next year... [I had the timer, really have no idea how long we stayed - at least an hour because I remember re-setting it at one point, but then cutting all the rest of the time on it once we heard that E-train was getting kicked out - I really needed to hear it buzz!]

Long walk home from Bar 5: Gabe led a very drunken Tony to Subway to get $5 footlongs, then got him home by walking ahead of him and saying "Come on Tony!", Andrew and random drunken friend of a friend were caught making out alongside the road by Laura, who just walked around them so as not to disturb them!, we did not stop by the liquor store (it was closed by that point and there was plenty of beer back at the house).
Back at the house: Ryan and Mike got David safely to bed and took care of getting everything else ready, including setting up the tiki torches and starting the bonfire, some people headed home, others kept drinking, eventually we all crashed. We did manage to break three things throughout the evening - the garage window blew in at one point and shattered (still have to clean that up!), the old full-length mirror in our bedroom was propped on top of a box fan in order to have it at the right height- I'm guessing David or one of the guys knocked it down when they were getting David to bed (good thing we were replacing it anyways!), and I managed to leave my favorite Summit pint glass in a lawn chair by the fire and then went to move the chairs away from the fire at the end of the night and the glass shattered on the pavement. Damn.

Morning after: Half of the group that slept over headed home, the other half -consisting of me and David, Laura and Gabe, and Ryan - went further down on Rice St to Tin Cups, which I had heard was a good greasy-spoon-type place for breakfast. The food was good, but it took an hour to get it (and the place was not busy), we got to watch a gangster interact with a drunken, probably mentally-challenged man (which involved a lot of hollering) and a father and his young boy sit and play at the bar (good family times). But the bloodys hit the spot and were only 50 cents. So although we probably won't go back, we can confirm that it was cheap, good food, with yummy bloodys, you just have to be willing to wait a while and hope that you don't get shot.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Visit from Family

My uncle and aunt, who are currently living in Alaska, and their three kids came to stay with us for a night earlier this week. They were on their way down to San Antonio for a family wedding and get-together and, since David and I are missing the gathering, they decided to schedule their layover in Minneapoland to come see us! While they were here we took the kids to David's fire station - Zachary has been excited to see the fire house ever since he heard they were coming to visit us. The fire house visit was great- the kids enjoyed using the walkies (and the fire fighters enjoyed (?) talking back to them!), but Zach kept hollering "Put your hands up!" into the walkie! (Evidently he just got to sit in a police car last week and that's what the cops were telling him to say.) We also got to ride around the block in the fire engine - it was me and the three kids in back, with David and fire fighter Andrew in front. It was a bit challenging to figure out how to buckle into the back seats - with the air packs and their buckles also in there, I got a little confused which one was the seat belt! Luckily, Andrew was able to help me out - but he did say "Way to go, Mrs. Shift Commander." All in all, it was a great visit from the family, and we were so thankful that they were able to come see us and our house before they headed down for the big get-together!

Oh, and I just broke down and bought a new, fancy-pants digital SLR...so I was excited to take lots of fun, beautiful pictures this week!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Way to go KG!

Wow. That's one hell of a way to end a season.

Photo from espn.com by Charles Krupa.

Photo from espn.com by Elise Amendola.

ASM BOSTON

I spent the first week of June in Boston at a national conference, and since it was in Boston, I was lucky enough to get to spend a week with my college roomies. The conference was good - barring some awkward situations involving another grad student that I was basically forced to let "present" my poster with me. Long story. Probably not all that interesting so I won't get into it here...but, suffice it to say that I played nice and I'm doing everything I can to avoid that situation in the future!

It wasn't all work, though. We made time to visit both the Sam Adams and Harpoon breweries while there (I actually visited Sam Adams again with David two days later!) - both were fun, but none compared to our Toronto escapades! :) We ate a lot of good food and had lots of yummy beer and cocktails (including this amazing blackberry margarita from one of our hotel bars!). Kristi and I sought out an Irish pub that our buddy John had told us about - the Black Rose. It was fabulous, and we got to enjoy a live celtic trio and a few pints of Smithwicks on a Tuesday night! I think we must be getting old though, because we never stayed up that late and we didn't get nearly as crazy as we did in Toronto. Hmm....maybe we're just growing up.The conference ran from Sunday evening to Thursday morning, but then David flew out to join me for the following weekend. It was great to spend a weekend staying with Kate & Leif and getting to explore Boston with David. Plus, we got the added bonus of meeting Jenny's boyfriend (finally!), who introduced us to Mega Monopoly (bigger board, another die, and when you turn it into a drinking game, it's a lot of fun!). Leif tried to take us out sailing twice, but we never got enough wind to actually go - maybe next time, Leif! We did take a DUWK tour around Boston, which was fun and traveling on the river after a 90 degree day was just what we needed. Then we headed back to Kate & Leif's to grill an amazing supper of steaks and veggie kabobs, with plenty of ice cold margaritas and beer. All in all, the weekend went to fast and we just have to hope that they'll all come visit us in Minneapoland sometime soon!

Oh and...I ended up picking up some 24 hour viral thing before I left home, which resulted in me having an upset stomach on the plane and then at the Barking Crab, which is a fun seafood place on the channel, which I couldn't enjoy because I felt like crap. I did drink a bunch of water and ate some oyster crackers, though, but that just resulted in me throwing up in the restaurant's bathroom. Kate showed up after that and, since I was now feeling better, we tried ordering food. But then the crab came and it didn't sound very good, and the more I sat there I realized that I wasn't getting any better. So Kate & Leif finished up their meals and volunteered to drive me back to my hotel (which was only across the bridge, but I wasn't even up for walking that far!) - we stopped at the nearby 7-11 to grab some gatorade and pepto bismol, but when I got into the store I realized I was going to throw up again. I had already noticed that they didn't have public restrooms, so I found the closest thing - a styrofoam cooler - to throw up in. In the 7-11. In front of people. Eew. Kate eventually helped me clean up and paid for my stuff (including the vomit-filled cooler!) and sent me back to the truck. Luckily they got me home without further incident, and I was able to sleep it off that night. I seriously felt like some crazy drunken girl that couldn't handle her liquor (which I am not, generally). At least it is a pretty funny story, in hindsight.Now that I'm back home again, it's been a whirlwind of activity - both at home and in the lab. Hopefully I'll have time to update you on the latest puppy drama and some cool landscaping we did in the backyard! And - it's Rice St. Pub Crawl this weekend, so there will be plenty of stories and pictures to post soon!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Beef Heart Day

It's that time again! It's officially Beef Heart Day in our lab! Woo-hoo! We get to spend the majority of the day chopping up nasty, fresh, bloody cow hearts and then running them through a grinder and putting them into freezer bags for use later on throughout the next year or two. Hopefully two, so that I will not be around for the next Beef Heart Day! On the plus side, we were able to coerce two past lab members to stop by for part of the afternoon to help, so at least we'll have a few extra hands to help with the chopping! I'll try to take some pictures of the fun and post them later.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Bedroom!

We just repainted our bedroom. It was the final room to be painted - and after three years (yes, three already!) in our home, it was nice to know that we've officially put our mark on each and every room in our house! The room wasn't too bad to begin with (which is saying something for those of you that saw our kitchen and dining room in all of their 1980s forest green and magenta wallpapered glory!) - it is in the attic, technically, so the back wall is slanted up to the ceiling. The low wall behind our bed was already a dark red, the slant and the ceiling were white, and the three remaining walls were a dark taupe color. But the best part were the doors and trim- they were all white! And everything was done in a flat paint, which just made everything look dirty. So, we repainted the doors and trim a dark brown, in high gloss, of course, and the walls and ceiling went a light, buttercream-type yellow, and while we kept the wall behind the bed a red, we went a little brighter and extended it up the slant. Now all we need is a few finishing touches, like a new curtain and full length mirror, and it will be done!
Oh, and David was super excited to be painting. :)