Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas dinner

What follows is an incoherent account of our Christmas dinner party:

This past weekend, I went to my parents' house to drop Lucy off (since we are going to New Orleans tomorrow) and to practice cooking a pork loin roast. It turned out pretty good at home, and I also spent the rest of the time Christmas baking and doing some last minute shopping with my mom.
When I got home Monday afternoon, we worked to get our house ready for the dinner on Tuesday. I went to HEB to find a pork loin roast, but they didn't have the kind that I had cooked in Corpus. I was really concerned. I ended up going to 3 different grocery stores. The HEB in Bryan had some organic pork loin roast but it was $7 a pound!!! I finally got two pork loin roasts at Albertson's but they didn't look quite the same as the one I had previously prepared....
We put the two leaves in the table and moved it into the living room (not in that order).

Our dinner was a fun time with friends. Including ourselves, we had 11 people around our table, with lots and lots of food and desserts. For dinner we had: pork loin; scalloped, cheesy potatoes (I used my food processor for the first time to slice all of the potatoes - it was great); salad; Andrea brought a side dish of delicious shrimp and vegetables; and Mariann brought a ton of leftover fajita fixings from work. AND believe it or not, people actually liked my pork loin. I think I was unduly nervous about it, because that afternoon, as I was preparing all the food, I actually got sick - it was weird.

Then we had a dessert table with a crock pot full of Keith's famous hot candy apple punch, lots of cookies, and some pumpkin spiced bread that I made in Corpus. We also had Bluebell peppermint icecream - yum. We played MadGab and Outburst before people left for the evening. Then, we spent an hour and half washing dishes and changing our makeshift dining room back into a living room. :)

We didn't really take any pictures - here's the only one with half of our guests:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas time!

It feels like Christmas time! Students are taking finals and are winding down for the semester. It's glorious - except I'm not really supposed to be winding down. I should be working - but sometimes it's hard. When I don't specifically have something that needs to be done by a certain time, it is harder to motivate myself to do it. And when it seems like people are finishing for the semester, it makes me want to finish too. oh, well, I am trudging along with my data, although slowly - with many, many distractions...

Adrian and I are also having a Christmas dinner next week with some of our local amigos and amigas. I hope people have a pleasant time. I am a little nervous, because for this gathering, we are kind of mixing "groups" of friends together, and I hope that's okay. We just wanted to have all our friends who are still in town to come and I am a little lazy and don't really want to have multiple dinners (plus there's limited days when it could be done anyways). I am going home this weekend for a longer weekend and will have a trial run of Rosemary-Scented Pork Loin Stuffed with Roasted Garlic, Dried Apricots, and Cranberries and Port Wine Pan Sauce. I've never cooked a big, chunk of meat before, so it will be a good learning experience. :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

fun weekend

We had a fun weekend filled with Christmas parties. On Friday night, we went to Dr. Popp's house for his annual mineralogists' dinner, where he invites old and new mineralogy TAs and his undergrad technicians. It is always a pleasant, low-key evening with a lot of reminiscing of old geology days.

Then on Saturday night, we had the Christmas party for our Sunday school class. It was fun, with a lot of people, in one of the mentor couples' homes. It was such a beautiful home, out in the country - but not really far from anything - you can still see Kyle Field from the road out there. We had a white elephant ornament exchange that was kind of fun. hee hee, we didn't tell which ornament we brought, because the girl who got stuck with it was not too happy...

Today, in Sunday school class we had a pot-luck lunch to celebrate all the couples who were leaving our class, either due to moving locations completely or moving on to a new Sunday school class to reflect their new stage in life (like the first time parents class).

Then...I went to get my hair done, so that we could take our "engagement/bridal" portraits. But our photographer had to cancel due to we decide, we're going to try and take some ourselves anyways...Mariann and Shawn were kind enough to help us out (and they are engaged now!!!! so much happiness for those two! =) ). It started out all right - and then it poured on us - and we waited under the library underpass for a spell - and people stared at me oddly...sigh...we might reschedule for later this week for happier weather - because for some reason, I am now fixated on having some photos of the two of us looking nice and wedding-ish. I will post some of the pictures we took here once we look at them. (another problem with us trying to take our own photos is that we have no idea how to pose...).

Monday, December 04, 2006

another switchover

okay, I think I'm going to switch my blog back over to blogspot from my xanga site.

ho hum

I haven't accomplished much at all tonight. Just waiting for Adrian to come back from his 3 hour meeting. I meant to go to the lab and get something done, but I couldn't bring myself to venture out. oh, well, I will be extra-productive tomorrow....

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Day 2: July 30, 2006

Pretty much a perfect day. We woke up and watched a bit of San Diego news (no Ron Burgundy, though), and then ate breakfast up on the sun deck. Then, we headed out to Torrey Pines State Reserve and Beach. We drove up to the visitor’s center and looked out at the ocean vistas (Amy would be proud). Then we decided to find a grocery store to stock up on food. We found a Trader Joe’s and bought some two dollar wine and this weird blood red orange soda and a box of clementines. Then we went next door to Ralph’s to get other food that was a little cheaper and more available than at TJ’s. We were both wearing maroon A&M shirts and were recognized by a Texan who was a t-sip.

We went back to Torrey Pines and headed to the beach. It was so fun. The waves are so big – a lot bigger than Galveston. I had to get used to that, but it was great fun. I swallowed some sea water. I started wondering how anyone who goes to UCSD or lives in the area gets any work done. I would just want to hang out on the beach and village all day instead…

After we had our fill of the beach, we hiked a bit on a trail for some more picture taking opportunities (although, Adrian doesn’t need much to encourage him to take pictures). It was nice because the clouds had begun to dissipate and the blue skies were out. It is so beautiful.

After Torrey Pines, we headed back to our cute inn and talked and relaxed a bit. Then, we walked around the village some more on Prospect Street. I had read in a guidebook that Prospect Street is like the Rodeo Drive of La Jolla and boy were they right! Just on that one street we saw: a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, a Bentley, a Porsche-Carrera GT, a pink Cadillac, and several Land Rovers (also, throughout our day, we must have seen about 5 Priuses). It was pretty crazy.

After car goggling, we sat on some rocks at the cove and watched the sun set. Once the sun hit the horizon, it really started zooming down (or we started zooming up?). Also, I really think I saw a puff of smoke come up into the air just as the sun completely fell into the ocean.

At around 8:30, we heated up our leftovers from Jose’s (our room has a fridge and there’s a microwave on the premises) for dinner and ate on the sun deck and talked for awhile. Now, we are relaxing and trying our two dollar wine. Sadly, it turns out that we don’t like it too much…

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Day 1: July 29, 2006

Mark Ricci took Adrian and I to IAH in the morning, so that we could catch our flight to San Diego. It was so exciting to me to be going to the airport together, where we would BOTH get on the plane together. It seems like all our airport ventures in the past has left one of us behind, while the other flew away. I would always be so sad when that happened, but now it won’t happen again since we’re MARRIED now!

The plane rides were pretty uneventful. I have decided that I like flying with my husband though, because I get to lie in his lap and it’s a very comfortable sleeping position for me. :)

When we got to San Diego, we picked up our luggage and rode the shuttle van to pick up our rental car, which ended up being a Corolla. Then we drove to our hotel for the first 2 nights of our trip – The La Jolla Inn in the La Jolla village. It is a really cute little inn. They have a nice, little breakfast that they will either deliver to your room or up on the sun deck that overlooks the water and the village streets. They also have lemonade and cookies from 2-7 pm. Another great thing about the inn is that it includes parking in a parking garage a block away.

We spent our first night in La Jolla in the village, where we walked to the cove and park. We saw a wedding going on in the park. The cove is so pretty and the water is so blue. After walking along the water, we walked around the village area and looked at all of the shops and cafes that line the streets. We ended up eating dinner at Jose’s Courtroom, a Mexican food restaurant.

We came back to our room pretty tired from the day’s traveling and excited about tomorrow. :)

our honeymoon :)

I have been keeping a journal of each day of our honeymoon to San Diego and I thought I would post them here. :)

Monday, July 24, 2006

wedding reflections...

we're married! overall, i think the wedding went pretty well. i hope people weren't too bored or anything. i suppose there are some things i would change like: perhaps the music should have been louder (no one danced :( ); i felt we were kinda disorganized about some things, but i think that's okay. we got way too much food, but on the plus side i got to use my new food sealer to vacuum seal tons of meat. not very many people signed our picture mat, b/c it was hidden under a football. :( oh, hee hee, also, our kiss was really short b/c i pulled away since i felt so weird about everyone staring at us...

i am glad that we hadn't been planning our wedding for a really long time, b/c it goes by so fast and it would be more disppointing to have things not turn out as expected. but i think it was a good wedding. i think the kids had a lot of fun at it. adrian's nephews were busy trying to catch fish for most of it. :) i did feel like adrian and i for some reason weren't together for a lot of it. and i hope i talked to most of the people that were there...but i think that i am glad that it is over, i was kind of sad at first b/c there was a small feeling like that was the last time in my life to be lovely. but it is good to not have to worry about silly detail things and to just get on with our new life together. :)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

less than a week...

so we get married in less than a everything ready? no, of course not. there is slight freaking out going on...i feel like we have the major things figured out, but it is all those little details that are not really in place...ugh...i suppose a part of me wants everything to be perfect because it'll be my only wedding, but then again, i just don't have time due to ITS (which is really cool this session by the way - we are creating a proposal to do educational research based on the intervention we created last summer) and i think some of those details are silly (like wedding favors - do people really want these or care?)...also, i feel like i haven't been very bridely by undergoing beautifying treatments before the wedding, but then again i don't have time and i don't really want to spend the money...but on the plus side i've been riding my bike to and from ITS (sometimes our science team even meets on west campus for extra riding) and also home for lunch so that is about 40 minutes of riding a day in the heat, so perhaps that has helped with weight loss, although it isn't a consecutive 40 minutes...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Past four 4ths of July

Last night at the Bush Museum, Adrian and I recounted all of our 4ths together. Our first in 2003, we were in Shelter Cove, CA. We stood on the beach and watched the fireworks that people in boats shot off. In 2004, we were camping in Great Smoky Mountains NP (no fireworks there, but it was a nice 4th of July). In 2005, Adrian was in Wyoming or Boise (I can't remember which place), and Lucy and I watched the fireworks from the front porch of the old Foster house (kind of a pathetic 4th for me I suppose). This year in 2006, we rode our bikes to the Museum, listened to the symphony and watched the fireworks. It was fun. I particularly liked riding our bikes. We passed tons of cars in bumper to bumper traffic on our way back. I wonder what we'll do next year...

Thursday, June 15, 2006


someone left a plastic bag on my doorstep this afternoon. Its contents are: a burned copy of the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack, a sports bra, and a tiny t-shirt that says Windsor on the front. I am hoping that someone got the wrong house and it isn't some sort of weird voodoo thing...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Remember when I said I was done with my mini-mester course? Well, I'm really not. The graduate students have to complete 10 short papers on 10 different plants that were assigned to us by Friday. I am not done with those. :( I can't seem to find all of the information that they want included in these papers. I spent hours in the library and hours searching databases and google scholar. I am considering just turning in what I is only worth 45 points and I'm sure I'll get at least some points with the info that I currently have. I just can't spend anymore time on this. I want to start working on things more interesting (and more neccessary) - like my thesis. :( I hate turning in incomplete, low-quality work, but this is getting quite old and discouraging...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Today, Amy and I went to our first pilates class! We will be going every Tuesday and Thursday night in June to strengthen, tone, and relax (hurrah!). :)

One thing I learned: we are supposed to be constantly holding our stomachs in! I have been trying it tonight - it's kind of hard and uncomfortable so I'm not sure how long I'll last...

Friday, June 02, 2006

honest or just dumb?

I am done with my mini-mester course (which was actually a pretty good course - I learned a lot). However, we did have to buy $140 worth of books. Since this is actually the official first week of summer session I, there was a possiblity that I could return my books and get my money back. But I don't know, I felt a bit dishonest about it. So, now I'm stuck with these two huge reference books of the Aquatic and Wetland Plants of the Southeastern United States. The're actually pretty nice reference books - I'm just unclear as to when I'll need to use them...

Friday, May 19, 2006

dinner party :)

Last night, we had the opportunity to put in the two leaves of our new table! Mariann, Shawn, Andrea, Shane, Bret, and Sarah all came over for dinner. Our table is huge when it is expanded and doesn't quite fit in the little room alotted for it. But all of the food fit on it which was nice. I made the taco crossiant thing (Adrian's favorite) and lumpia (Mariann's favorite).

Even though our new table came with 6 chairs, we still didn't have enough chairs for everyone and had to use a stool and my computer chair, but I think it's better to have more friends than chairs then the other way around. It was a good time. We will have to entertain more. I am hoping that we'll have some perfect summer nights so that we can eat on our picnic table at some point.

Alas, I wish I had pictures to share of everyone around our huge table, but we didn't think to take any until everyone had gone...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

it's here!

The Austin City Limits line-up is finally here! And Nickel Creek WILL be there! I am most excited about Nickel Creek, Ben Harper, and the Shins. I will also be interested in seeing the String Cheese Incident, John Mayer, Ray LaMontagne, Aimee Mann, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Willie Nelson, and Van Morrison.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

too many papers...

Blech, I am trying to clean the purple room and get everything organized in there, but it is muy overwhelming. I have an insane amount of papers and binders that I need to keep as resources, but there are so many, and they are not all that organized...

Friday, May 05, 2006

funny wedding stuff

hee hee, this is a sentence from an article I happened to read about wedding planning on the internet. It goes like this, "Your wedding is a show - this is show business. This may sound crass or insensitive but let's get real. Your obligation is to put on a show that impresses the women, period. Forget about the fathers, the brothers, the uncles, the male business associates invited - plan your wedding specifically for the women planned to be in attendance. Give the women a good show and your wedding will be a success, guaranteed."

Isn't that horrible and weird???

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

tonight, Adrian and I went to the basketball banquet. It was quite fun. we got to see a lot of famous people (famous to Aggieland anyways), and I shook Antanas Kavaliauskas's hand (I had to look up how to spell his last name).

Also, I am taking a mini-mester course on Wetland Delineation. It is from May 22nd until May 27th and it goes all day, from 7am until 7 or 9pm. I went to a meeting for it today. It sounds like it will be somewhat intense, but I think it will be some good, practical experience. I almost think that with my experience with my thesis work (being in a wetland) and this class that I could possibly get a job as a wetland scientist...

sigh, I still don't really know what I want to DO. I'd like to do something interesting that leaves at least some sort of impact. I'm not too sure of the REAL importance of wetland scientists, but maybe I overthink things like that.

I had thought about teaching every once in awhile, but I don't know if I really want to do that full time, and I don't want to deal with discipline of little people at all, really. I also think that I might miss the opportunity to be directly involved in science, but I have enjoyed my TA stints and some of my experiences in the 5th and 6th grade classes. However, it usually takes me days and days to prepare one lab, and I don't think I could make a good, hands-on lesson everyday.

I think one of my favorite parts of teaching is when talking with a student makes both me and the student really explore and think about the topic. I think it's fun when BOTH of us learn something from our discussion. Perhaps that is selfish of me, I am not sure...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

some thoughts on gas prices

Gas prices are high. We are not happy with this. We want gas prices to be lower, because we want to keep driving our huge trucks and SUVs that get 15 miles to the gallon.

However, the government subsidizes the oil and gas industries. That is, the government gives oil companies numerous tax breaks that enable the price of gas to seem a lot lower in the eyes of the consumers. According to the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA), gas should actually cost anywhere from $5.60 to $15.15 per gallon. We actually do pay the remainder of this money through taxes, insurance premiums, and higher prices of other goods.

The CTA says it best when it states, "When the price of gasoline is so drastically underestimated in the minds of drivers, it becomes difficult if not impossible to convince them to change their driving habits, accept alternative fuel vehicles, support mass transit, or consider progressive residential and urban development strategies."

Therefore, I say let's get rid of these subsidies! Let the price of gas be its true value = $6/a gallon. That way people who choose to change their driving habits don't have to pay taxes that provide gas subsidies, and those who refuse to change their habits can fully support these habits on their own. Perhaps, doing this will really encourage us to actively seek new alternative fuels and more effective transit systems.

This article is a pretty good read:

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

our first wedding present!

tonight I went to Mr. G.'s for the very last session of my Bible study group. There they presented me with my and Adrian's 1st present! They painted a bowl from Upaint It with our names in it and 1 Cor 13:4-7 all around the perimeter. Then they all signed their names on the back. It is so cool! :) They also all chipped in and gave us some money that we can put towards something, perhaps a mattress. :)

also, I have been patiently waiting for the Austin City Limits lineup, but it is still not up! Well, we are going regardless, and I hope that Nickel Creek will be there. I have already decided that my attendants will walk to the Smoothie Song. :)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

petrology labs

As petrology lab comes to a close, I feel slightly sad. I also taught many of these students in mineralogy last semester, and I feel that I know all of my students really well. I enjoy working with those students who think! It is so much fun. If only teachers only had to deal with those kinds of students, it would be so fabulous!

amazing aquifers...

For some reason, I agreed to direct the Amazing Aquifers event for the Science Olympiad this Saturday. It has been somewhat of a headache to schedule all 23 teams, because the director of the whole Olympiad only alotted me 4 hours. The teams have to complete 4 stations: 2 written exams, a station where they build an aquifer based on surprise specifications that we tell them at that moment, and one station where they use their model aquifer to explain and demonstrate concepts to a judge.

The whole problem was scheduling the event so that it would be fair for each team involved. This is after all the state competition and we are sending a team to nationals, so I want the event to be fair, but sometimes I don't think the Olympiad director cares as much as I do. To be honest, I am not that familiar with the Olympiad and am not really sure how big a deal it is. Perhaps, I am being too anal in my assessments.

But I really do think we have come up with a solution! And I have already made the two written portions of the test, so I think I am now done with this until Saturday! hurrah. I am making Adrian help me judge the aquifers, because I think it is best to have two judges, plus he has a geology degree and there will be free pizza...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

our wedding plans thus far...

well, we haven't really done too much planning, yet. I don't even have a dress yet, but I do know three things for sure! When I walk down the aisle, I want to walk down to Nickle Creek's "Ode to a Butterfly" or "the House of Tom Bombadil"; after we're married, we will walk back down together to the Indiana Jones Theme Song; and finally, our first dance will be either Jack Johnson's "Better Together" or Watermark's "More Than You'll Ever Know." :)

Shakespeare recitation contest

Tonight I judged a homeschool Shakespeare recitation contest. They had three levels: K-2; 3-5; and 6-8. The 5 year olds were so cute! They were all very impressive actually.

hee hee, I went with Sharon (she leads my Bible study) and her three kids. Daniel, the son, did not win (though he was also very good). He was somewhat bitter about it on the way home. Sharon told him, "If you don't know how to lose gracefully, then I hope you keep losing until you can learn." She also told him that bitter losers are often proud winners and if he is going to be that way, then she hopes he never wins. And she made him quote some Bible versus on rejoicing for others and what not. I thought it was all very good.

One of the other judges was this man who was a speech communications major at A&M. He took his judging responsibilities very seriously. I tried to make some small talk with him afterwards, and he tried to sell me a house! (He's a realtor for Century 21.) It was kind of weird.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

yikes :(

I can't find my keys (my work keys - that includes keys to ALL my labs AND to Norman)! They've been missing for days, it seems. And I feel like I can't function and be truly productive until they are found. Oh, where can they be??

One positive note, I finally successfully made two chocolate pies today! (One is for my neighbors for watching Lucy Saturday). Previously, my pies have been way too runny. But with more cornstarch and extra patience over the stove, my pie is now the proper consistency.

Monday, April 10, 2006

rummaging through the hay stack...

In one of my all-time favorite Breakaways, Gregg Matte says the following, "God's specific will for your life is not the needle in the haystack - it's the hay in the haystack."

This statement has often struck me. I suppose it is a good thing that God gives us this ability to choose how we spend our time here on earth, but even so, I often find myself wishing that we each had a specific path in mind that we should pursue. As Adrian and I are now engaged (insert smiley), occupational choices become even more difficult. Throughout our 3 years of dating, Adrian and I have both pursued our own goals, and as such, approximately half of our 3 years together has been long distance. I am glad that we had the opportunity to do that, but now we have made the commitment to be together and to put our relationship ahead of other worldly pursuits. Since we have both of us to think about, rather than just ourselves, it makes some decisions more complicated.

This definitely isn't a bad problem to have - it is a blessing to have another person to share my life with. But I always have been a person who frets over the next step in life, and I also like to have things figured out. We still have quite a bit of time, though, before we really need to come to any conclusions. Plus, I really just need to get through this semester first!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lawrence, KS

I am actually here in Lawrence, KS after a FULL day of interviewing. Here was my day's schedule:
8:30 Intro to the KGS
9:00 My (30 minute!) presentation to KGS Staff
9:30 Questions and Informal Discussions with KGS Staff
10:00 Interview with Search Committee
11:30 Lunch with Search Committee
1:15 Meet with Annette Delaney, Human Resources
1:30 Meet with Barb McClain, Associate Director for Administration
1:45 Meet with Bill Harrison, Director
2:00 Meet with Rex Buchanan, Associate Director for Public Outreach
2:30 Meet with Public Outreach Section
3:00 Candidate’s Questions
6:00 Dinner with 2-3 KGS Staff

It actually wasn't too bad. Many people (mostly the non-technical people) told me that they enjoyed my talk and were able to understand it. I was also treated very well. I'm staying in the Marriot on the Kansas River in a very nice room and was treated to two very nice meals. For dinner, there were only 4 of us and the bill was $145!

The cool thing about the job is that even though there are still some things that are required, there is a LOT of room to really take the position in whatever direction I am most interested in. There is a lot of flexibility to do whatever I consider most important. Another cool thing is that they are really great about continuing education, and if I were to ever want to pursue a Ph.D at KU then I would be able to do that.

Now, do I think I'm going to get the job? I am not really expecting to. I think I am pretty inexperienced compared to the others. Bob Sawin told me that even though I was pretty young compared to other applicants, that my cover letter was really good and convinced them to interview me. :) so, all in all, it was a good experience for me - I have never been in a whole-day interview situation like this.

Also, to be honest, I am not particularly drawn to Lawrence (or at least from the little that I have seen).

Sunday, April 02, 2006

caterpillars everywhere!

eating my roses, on my clothes, in my house...they better turn into beautiful butterflies...

Friday, March 31, 2006

5th graders are...

...exhausting. It was my 2nd lesson at Mary Branch Elementary. I think the lessons are going fairly well. I like the 5th graders a lot. If I do ever decide to teach, I think I like that grade level. However, the energy level is high and it can be all consuming.

The lessons are a little tough, because at this point, I am asking the students to ask some researchable questions that we can answer with our river models. It is a pretty difficult request. I told them that often the hardest part for a scientist is to know what questions to ask first. Some of the students are incredible with their thinking skills; others don't seem as interested in really delving into the whole concept of rivers - they just like playing in the model...what do you do when you have students at different levels of engagement?

Monday, March 27, 2006


This past weekend, Mariann and I went to Fredericksburg for Lori's wedding. It was nice, but it did re-emphasize that I don't want to have a wedding. Phew. That is good to know, because at first, a small part of me thought that perhaps I would want one. But after going to another wedding, I remembered that no, they are not for me.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

iTunes shuffle

I tried this game where you put your iTunes (or other music player) on shuffle to answer questions for you. Sort of like the magic 8 ball, but a little more sophisticated. Here's what I got:

How does the world see me?
"Destination" by O.A.R

Will I have a happy life?
“The Joy of the Lord” by Breakaway – Ross King style

What do my friends really think of me?
"Hungry Heart" by Bruce Springsteen

How can I make myself happy?
"Whale Noises" by Brian Regan :)

What should I do with my life?
"You Deserve Flowers" by Chris Thile

What is some good advice for me?
"Love Bites" by Def Leppard - yikes

How will I be remembered?
"Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead

What is my signature song?
"The Boy in the Bubble” by Paul Simon

What do I think my signature song is?
"Never Again” by Nickelback

What does everyone else think my signature song is?
"Autumn Jane” by Weezer

What song will play at my funeral?
"Mission Impossible”

What is my day going to be like?
"Tonight I’m Lonely Too” by Alison Krauss

Thursday, March 23, 2006

so much...

...has happened since my last post! Things have been getting very hectic with school and last weekend, Adrian and I got engaged! :) He surprised me with a weekend outing of unknown destination. We ended up at a bed and breakfast in Waco. We went to the Hilton to eat and watch the A&M bball game and then he surprised me with a Nickel Creek concert! They are the best! Then in the morning, we walked the trails at the B&B, and he proposed to me up a trail by the cross. It was nice. :) He gave me his grandmother's ring from 1938. I like it a lot.

One thing funny about the B&B is how you have to small talk with the hosts and eat breakfast with the other guests. We met Patrick and his wife, an older couple from Houston and a younger couple (Chase and I just forgot the girl's name). Anyways, Chase was a strange character who did not seem to enjoy breakfast (it was really good - yogurt parfait, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and this egg casserole thing), and he made us seem dumb about everything we said by saying, "What?!" a lot. Hee hee. Patrick told us not to worry about that numbskull. I just thought the whole thing was pretty funny. It reminded me a little about a Gilmore Girls episode where they end up having to stay at a B&B, and Lorelai and Rory try to dodge the other guests. But I'm glad we had a Chase, because I think it adds a funny story to our engagement weekend. :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Big Bend!

I just got back from my trip to Big Bend last night. It was the perfect getaway - the perfect balance of hiking and exertion with relaxation. Pictures will be posted in the next week, because of all things I forgot, it was my digital camera. So I ended up buying a disposable one in Johnson City.

The drive was long - about 10 hours in all to get all the way down to Christy's place - but it wasn't unpleasant. It was kind of nice, going through Hill Country. Nothing too eventful occurred on the way over. Outside of Bastrop, a truck had on its bumper, "Keep Bastrop beautiful, shoot a yuppie." I thought it was funny, because instead of it being an actual bumper sticker, he had fashioned it out himself with individual letters. I was just thinking, wow, this man hates yuppies so much that he would go to this much trouble to let everyone know. Also, for some reason, I drank tons of water on the way over and had to stop on the side of I-10 to use the bathroom. But I'm pretty sure no one saw me; I had good coverage.

We did not do too much once I got there. Christy's other friends, Kristi and Robin were also visiting - but for a whole week (sigh, I'm jealous). Her place is quite cute. It is a duplex with a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. The best part of course is the porch with gorgeous views. That night we mostly got everything together for our backpacking trip. We made guacamole and granola bars! Christy also mixed some spices with cous cous for our dinner when we backpacked.

The next day we backpacked in the Chisos Basin! I was nervous, because I had never gone before and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to carry everthing. But it was not bad at all! Christy helped me pack and adjust my backpack, and it was perfect. Although, I will admit, at one point in the beginning, I had to take my pack off and sit for a few minutes, but then I felt fine - it was weird. On the way to our site, we checked the other backcountry sites for trash and leftover food in the bear boxes. We reached our site and set-up camp. Then, without our packs (hurrah), we hiked to the South Rim, which I have never been to before. It was nice. :)

When we got back, we made supper. After supper, it was about 6 pm. It was quite windy and a bit chilly, so we retreated to the tent. Neither of us had brought any books or cards - I hadn't because I didn't want to carry anything more and Christy had forgot to. So we just layed in the tent and talked for over 3 hours about anything and everything.

The next day we headed back down. We encountered tons of people backpacking up. I felt such a sense of accomplishment when we got back to the car and took our packs off for good. Now that I know I can do it, Adrian and I will need to make arrangements to backpack in the Narrows at Zion. :)

It was very relaxing the rest of the day. We ate lunch on the porch and then drove around the Castolon area, looking at the old ruins. Kristi and Robin came back from their own adventures, and we made spaghetti for supper. It is so fun: Christy has a huge plastic bin just filled with books of all kinds of subject matters. I picked up a collection of essays by John Muir and read a little of it on the porch. Right when supper was ready, Justin and his dad came in, after not being able to get a campsite due to the spring break rush. We all sat on the porch, ate, and talked for a bit. Then, the men went to sleep in Christy's room and we (the 4 girls), set up in the living room and watched a movie (Kristi was very prepared and brought her laptop with tons of DVDs to watch).

In the morning, we ate more of the homemade granola bars on the porch, and then I set off to come back to College Station. On the drive back, I stopped at this HUGE wildflower store outside of Fredericksburg. I must have looked around for almost an hour. I ended up buying two rose bushes (I guess they would be called bushes; I am not sure) to plant in the front yard. :)

All in all, it was a great time. :)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

spring is here!

Hurrah! Spring is here. This morning I saw a bluejay and a robin in the yard, and most of my daffodils are blooming! As you can see from the picture, they are a little droopy but they are still pretty and happy looking. :)

This has to be the best spring break weather I have experienced in a while. It seems like past spring breaks have always been somewhat rainy and cold. Tomorrow, I leave for Big Bend to see Christy! Then a week of lab work, followed by a weekend of fun with Adrian. :)

Monday, March 06, 2006


Saturday, Adrian, Lucy, and I spent all day outside gardening. I planned the whole plot out with my garden book and carefully positioned vegetables together that like each other. Also, we are going to plant a new row of corn every two weeks, so that we will always have fresh corn. We planted: corn, okra, green and red peppers, carrots, onions, tomatoes, watermelon, and pumpkins. According to the seed package, the pumpkins are supposed to grow to weigh 100 pounds! We shall see.

We had a slight set-back with the garden today, though. We went outside to look at it and we found huge giant dog paw prints and a dig hole. It seems that Mason came over to inspect the garden more carefully - oops. Hopefully, we can construct a fence to keep all curious dogs out!

Hmm, I just uploaded the pictures, and they arranged them in a weird, random order. Oh, well. :)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Lucy and the daffodils

The daffodils are starting to bloom! In the last picture, you can see Lucy's shaved leg from Tuesday when she had her dental...poor pup. She came back home that day extremely tired, as you can see from the 1st photo.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday, February 20, 2006

so cold

hmm, I'm a bit tired of being cold. I feel like I'm cold ALL the time. Now some people may say, I'm fine and I don't even turn my heater on in my apartment. But let me say, that my house is pretty drafty. Air comes in everywhere, including under the front door and along all the windows. I think my house is pretty much the same temperature as outside. Oh, well, I suppose it isn't that bad. I can't remember what it's like to be hot, so right now I can't decide if it is more painful to be cold or hot. Right now, I am at home in my fleece pants and sweatshirt and my funny hat on. I am sitting in front of the gas furnace (yes, it's finally been turned on. My dad showed me how to light it when he was here) trying to get some work done.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Valentine's Day...

I really don't put too much emphasis on Valentine's Day, because I do feel like it has turned into a more materialistic holiday rather than the opportunity to tell your loved ones that you love them and appreciate them (although, this should be done regularly). Still, I have to say I was really excited about getting roses from Adrian. I've never gotten roses before and it was nice to get them (but I don't think getting roses should be a regular occurrence as they are expensive and don't last too long). He also got me chocolates, a Charlie Brown book on Valentine's Day, and a stuffed Cottonelle dog with a frame in his tummy. Adrian put a little picture of Lucy and Patches in it. It's funny. I like it a lot. As a Valentine's haiku goes:
Flowers and candy
Do not prove love, Valentine
But they do not hurt

I got him the books with the Fish comics, our favorite Aggie comic (and only, it seems from looking at the Battalion these days). Then we went to Quiznos and split a sandwich (turkey on rosemary parmesan bread) and watched the epispde of Simpson's called "Lisa's Wedding." It was cute. It was a good Valentine's Day. :)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

yonder mountain string band

Last night, Adrian and I went to Houston to see the Yonder Mountain String Band. They consist of 4 guys: a mandolin, guitar, banjo, and upright bass. They were really good. There were a lot more people than I had anticipated. The only bad thing was that it didn't start until 9, so it was a late night and a lot of people were smoking. I think I washed my smoky clothes in 3 different loads.

It was a very different crowd from the Nickel Creek concert we went to in Los Angeles. I think Nickel Creek might be a little classier. YMSB was a lot of fun, though. But I think Chris Thile plays the mandolin better.

Today was such a beautiful day. I like Saturdays spent doing chores around the house and outside. I washed tons of clothes and blankets and sheets and washed Lucy. We cut up a pineapple, stirred the compost, and tried to clean my quartz clusters that I got in Arkansas last semester some more. We also tied some more corn cobs in the trees for the squirrels. Lucy got to run around with her dog friends, Mason and Dixie. Now I am making a volcano for my petrology lab next week.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


oh, Bonnaroo, how I yearn to go...but I suppose I probably should not. It would cost too much and would probably be a bit too crazy. Still, Nickel Creek and tons of others will be there...

Thursday, January 26, 2006


I think teaching 3 labs may be the death of me this semester. But I did have a good time in today's lab - only 6 students. Still, sometimes I think the department treats us more like employees than students...not sure what to think about that...

Monday, January 23, 2006

sad choices

This morning I actually dropped my nonprofit course through the Bush School. So sad. But I had to really think about things, and I realized that I just cannot keep putting my thesis on the back burner. so, there it is....

more about this past weekend later. such fun to see the girls again. 'twas like old times! :)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

eek...spoke too soon

well earlier it seems that I felt quite optimistic about my tasks ahead of me, but now I'm starting to freak out and wondering if I can do it all....extreme sadness awaits....

Bush school and stuff about school

I always kind of like the first week of school. It is exciting to go to your classes for the first time and get so fired up about them and think, yes, this is going to be the semester for me! I already feel a bit bogged down, but sort of in a good way, like I am a person who has things to do. That can be a good feeling sometimes.

Today, I went to my nonprofit class at the Bush School. It is going to be a pretty intense class with a lot of work, but I think it'll be really interesting. I enjoy taking the occassional class that is different from what I usually take. I do feel out of place in the group, though. They are, all with exception of 2 others, Bush School people and the other 2 that are not have already done a lot of work with international nonprofits. Plus, more than half of them had their laptop computers with them. I felt like I was in a law school class at first. But I peaked at a lot of their screens and they hadn't been typing anything so I guess it isn't an imperative class utensil, because I really do not want to lug mine around. Also, I found this funny: During the break, several of the Bush school people were making fun of Democrats and liberals! It was funny to me, b/c it seems like there are mostly Democrats and liberals in the hard sciences and I am used to hearing complaints about the current administration. I guess since this is the "Bush" School they are much more conservative. I think that difference is very interesting.

Let's see what else? I have been frantically trying to get everything in order for my petrology labs but it's been a bit frustrating. I asked one of the profs to get more lightbulbs for 2 of the scopes two weeks ago and he still has not ordered them. I also have been trying to see if I can shuffle people around in my sections so that everyone will have their own scope, but it has been pretty futile. Instead of people moving out of Monday's lab, I have gotten more people requesting to be put in it. I finally borrowed some scopes from the mineralogy lab to use, but I am a bit peeved that my professor is not more interested in fixing the 6 scopes that are not working. They are much better scopes than the mineralogy ones. Oh well, I have tried.

Also, another funny story. I was in the petrology lab working on the lab when a student comes in to chat. He was in my mineralogy lab and will be in my petrology lab. He said that the other students who were in the other mineralogy lab are terrified of me. At first I felt sad, but then I thought oh well, it is better that they fear me than don't respect me, right?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

the first harvest

The broccoli is ready for harvest. Actually some of them were past harvest, because the heads were starting to loosen and flower. I am planning on making a chicken and broccoli casserole Tuesday night with my fresh broccoli.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

gilmore girls

It is hard to get work done when I still have lots of Gilmore Girls to get through. Good thing Monica, Christy, Mariann, and I are having a girls' weekend soon. We can have a Gilmore Girls marathon with chocolate fondue. Yum! :) Season two is so good. Emily and Richard seem really nice in these episodes. There are still conflicts of course but mostly because they come from different worlds.

Another good thing is that my petrology labs may not meet the first week of school, so I still have lots of time. However, I am getting a little concerned because the professor I'm teaching for has not been available, and I have many questions. Most importantly, what's up with more than half of the scopes that have burned out light bulbs???

Monday, January 09, 2006

another reason why professors are more apt to be at school than the grad students

I stole a donut today from the faculty lounge for the first time. It had chocolate icing on it and was filled with chocolate in the inside. :)

Saturday, January 07, 2006


i ended up updating my facebook profile so it had real information. it is kind of stressful b/c i only have 3 friends, while most people seem to have hundreds. :(

here is my profile link:
Facebook me!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

excellent news!

I talked to my advisor yesterday and she said that she does not see why I shouldn't be able to graduate next December! Hurrah! I was starting to get worried as I started to take stock on everything that I need to complete. Currently, I am continuing on my scrapbook kick by making pages of the Norman Slough over time. Perhaps not completely scientific, but I think it will be a nice addition. :)

Also, my hundreds of readers may be happy to see that I have allowed all readers to comment on my blog. You don't have to be a member of blogger but you have to do this word verification test thing. ;)