Sunday, April 26, 2009

All my friends are liberals...

And on some points, I have to say I am, too. Thanks to E-train for posting this link - some non-liberal viewpoints on the swine flu outbreak. Wow. These people are completely ill-informed, and yet, they are running our country.

You know you've had your head in a hole when...

Your dad has to call you to tell you about the recent swine influenza outbreak! To be fair, though, the news hadn't officially broke in the US until Friday afternoon - and he was sitting in the tractor listening to the radio all day, while I was out shopping with a friend.

Gopher Football '09

Well, we got our student season tickets for Gopher football this fall - we have yet to see what kind of roadblocks we'll come across when it comes to actually using them (since neither of us will actually be students by then!). Luckily, I was able to bribe an undergrad in my lab, and one of his friends, to purchase the tix for us. If all goes as planned, it's going to be an AWESOME season!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


As most of you are well aware of my semi-obsession with Barbra Streisand, I will simply say that I'm super excited for her CBS special that will be airing this Saturday at 8pm ET. The special celebrates the upcoming release of her 3 DVD - Streisand The Concerts on Tuesday. Exciting!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


After a whirlwind of activity - and lots of inactive waiting - I finally scheduled my thesis defense for Monday, May 18th! I was hoping to defend a little earlier in May, but it seems that my committee members are all heading out of town as soon as May hits. And of course any of the rooms that I wanted to reserve are all unavailable, so I've been wandering around checking out the available rooms to decide if they're satisfactory or not. I think I finally found a room that meets my specifications (updated, plenty of space - without being too big, and good layout), so I think everything it about set! Thanks goodness!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The flaming tree, why I will never be a firefighter, and other stories...

The hubby and I have spent a decent amount of time outside in our yard, trying to clean things up for spring. This weekend we managed to rake half of the front yard (hey, we have a BIG yard, so we have to tackle things in smaller portions!) and we cleaned out the garbage, leaves, and other debris that had accumulated under and in between our large lilac bushes that shield our house from the busy street. We had a sizable pile of twigs and branches that we decided were perfect to burn in our firepit, so we had a bonfire later Saturday night. Sometime during this fire we started talking about burning down a Christmas tree that we've had sitting on top of our compost/yard waste pile for the past 2 years - which is orange because the needles have completely dried out, but it isn't decomposing at all. I suggested that we cut it into a few pieces and slowly add it to the fire, but my hubby decides to just put the top in and see what happens. He's a firefighter, so I figure he knows what he's doing...he grabs the tree, drags it over to the HOT fire, and sticks the top in. It lights VERY quickly and starts traveling quickly down the rest of the tree...towards his hands and the rest of his body. I freak out a bit (I'm not a firefighter, so I think I'm entitled to flip out as I see this flaming tree in our yard!), and tell David to take it out of the pit (so we can put it out or something). David pulls it out of the pit (meanwhile, I have to explain that our neighbors were also in their backyard having a bonfire, and I heard one of them exclaim "holy shit!" when the tree went up in flames), and calmly watches while the tree continues to burn - the needles and branches are going up in smoke, but the base of the tree is fine. I run into the garage, partly because I'm still freaking out a bit (I will also mention that I had suggested earlier that we should have a bucket of water around just in case the fire got out of hand, but David didn't think that was necessary - which it wasn't, until we started the Christmas tree on fire) - so here I am, running into the garage, away from the flaming tree, to get the dog locked into the garage and out of harm's way. I then proceeded to grab a bucket, watch while my husband calmly walks into the garage, grabs a rake, and starts to put out the coals - on our grass, of course. I head into the house to get some water, and when I come back the tree has already burned all through the needles and is just smoldering. David had moved the tree into Jonas's hole-digging area, which is all dirt and no grass, but the damage was already done to the lawn next to the firepit. So now we have a large dirt hole right inside the gate for our backyard (courtesy of Jonas, which he has already started digging in AGAIN this spring!) and a large black space where we killed the remaining grass with the flaming tree. Awesome. Thank god my husband is a competent and CALM firefighter, or it may have been a bit worse. And thank god it wasn't up to me to solve the problem of the flaming Christmas tree - although I will maintain that I suggested we CUT it up first...

Note: The picture I have here is NOT our tree, thankfully ours didn't burn quite as much as this one!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Flight Attendant doing raps!!

This is pretty amusing. Especially fun to watch the people decide if they're going to be annoyed or not, but eventually they all seem to have fun.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Update on the thesis process

I officially dropped off a copy of my thesis for each of my reviewers yesterday - I felt a little funny leaving my entire thesis in a container attached to the well outside one of my reviewer's offices, but I'm sure he found it all safe and sound!

I'll give them a week to look it over and make sure there aren't any major revisions that need to be done (I'm guessing there won't be, since Pat has looked it over already!). Then I'll send out an email to the rest of the committee to schedule my thesis defense - hopefully for sometime in mid-May. The rest of the committee will also get copies of the thesis at this point.

Mid-may I'll defend my thesis. I still need to put together the seminar for that, but it's just a matter of determining what, and how much, I want to talk about. That will give me something to do while I wait for my reviewers to go over my thesis.

After that, all I'll need to do is take care of any revisions from my committee, turn in my thesis to the grad school, get some official copies bound for myself, the boss, the program, etc., and CELEBRATE! :)

Today I'm submitting my third manuscript. Hopefully it goes through without too many hitches. The end is near...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The one!

My cousin, Missy, and her sister, Nicole, came up to the cities from WI today to pick out (and then purchase) Missy's wedding dress. She narrowed it down to two dresses a couple of weeks ago, one at the Wedding Shoppe in St. Paul, the other at David's Bridal. This morning we hit the Wedding Shoppe first, and as soon as she had the dress on, she knew it was the one! So we spent the rest of the time taking photos, trying on veils, and getting her sized. Then we hit Cafe' Latte for lunch and yummy dessert. After all of the wedding business, we decided a trip to the local 'goody' store was in order, so we hit the 25% off sale at Unique Thrift. I think my cousins (who both work with elementary kids) just about cleaned out the children's book area! I found a few novels and an old Funny Girl record for $0.60. All in all, it was a great girly day!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Did you ever wonder why?

I just got the following email from my adviser, I think it pretty much sums up my thesis.

"Hi Mandy,

When you were writing the thesis, did you wonder why am I doing this? As I am going through the thesis, I realize that >>> and many others theses are about half as long...datawise, and considerably less complicated.

I have only the discussion to go through, but I am pooped."

So was I.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009