Thursday, June 22, 2006

Summer Vacation

Dear Faithful Readers,

Please excuse my infrequent blogging over the next week and a half. I am at home in Minneapolis for my summer trip. On the agenda:

  • Little Cousin's high school graduation party

  • Catching up with my girls

  • Bridesmaid's dress shopping for dancingo4's wedding

  • Seeing family including step sis who just turned 10 and is officially a "tween"

  • Showing off my new bling

  • CUBS vs. TWINS!!!

  • good food good wine

I will check in when I can. In the meantime, go read Lucy and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Both fantasic reads recommended to you by

Yours truly,

and with warmest wishes,


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Saturday Shopping Spree

I'm going home to Minneapolis tomorrow. So far this month I have been away from my family for father's day, my stepmom's birthday, my step sister's birthday, and my stepdad's birthday. I am going to Minneapolis primarily to attend my cousin's high school graduation. Thus, I had some SERIOUS shopping to on Saturday. I did indeed find wonderful, appropriate gifts for the aformentioned persons and had much fun doing so. I also had much fun finding a couple of gifts for myself. I got a new pair of khakis, and two new t-shirts both on clearance. I also got THESE:

They're Kenneth Cole and they weren't even on sale! I love them and the best part is they're comfy. They are luxious leather but the soles are rubber so I won't slip all over the place and I can finally throw away a couple pairs of pinchy heels. Sometimes, it's fun being a girl.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Congratulations, Apple Valley Eagles!

On Saturday Apple Valley High School won the state baseball tournament. Apple Valley is Dean's hometown, and he is a graduate (almost ten years ago, yikes!) of Apple Valley High. To win the title, they beat Cretin-Derham Hall, Joe Mauer's and Paul Molitor's alma mater.

But what is most exciting about AV's win is that Kent, Dean's younger brother, plays for the team! He pitched two relief innings and picked up a win in Thursday's game. He pitched without giving up any hits or runs and struck out three batters (read about it here).

Good job, Kent!

Minneapolis Star Tribune Game Summary

Friday, June 16, 2006


I have been dreaming about Randy a lot lately. It may be because my life seems to be changing recently and I can't help but divide events into pre- and post- Randy's passing. As much as I couldn't bear the thought of the world going on without Randy in it, I recognize that it must and all I can do is imagine what his reactions to things might be like.

Back to the dreams. They aren't disturbing (like a couple I had immediately after losing him) but more trivial situations that are rendered extraordinary because he is present. In one we were at a ballgame with runner girl. In another he was helping another grad student and me with a research problem. In yet another he, James and I were playing with some of the equipment in the lab (as we often do when we're bored). Last night in my dream he was along while a bunch of us were out to dinner. In these situations, it feels like old times but I know I must enjoy having him with us because he'll have to leave soon. In the first dream all I wanted to do was hug him. I didn't though because I could sense that the other people didn't know that Randy shouldn't have been there. I didn't want to draw attention to my happiness at seeing him, thus putting the dream on a much different course.

Lately though I have been hugging him in my dreams, taking in his familiar scent and letting my head fall to the place on his chest where it used to, about three quarters of the way up. When I finally allow myself to let him go in the embrace, he looks at me rather puzzled and the other people seem startled at my (out of character) display of affection. Then the situation resumes without further disturbance. I've learned to thoroughly enjoy these dreams and wake up feeling refreshed and ever so slightly healed.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I love my boys!!!

Brainhell: Don't bother reading this!

Last night I had book group, where we discussed Lucy, which I still highly recommend even after finishing it (in the nick of time!)

I got home during the bottom of the 4th inning of the Twin's vs. Red Sox game. Who knew that in only four innings, Santana would strike out 9 batters?! And that I'd miss his 1000th career strikeout? By the seventh inning he had only thrown 75 pitches. Unfortunately one of them was a homerun hit by Jason Veritek.

Schilling had a phenomenal night as well, despite the fact it was his first ever appearance at the Metrodome (that hell on Earth for visitng teams). I guessed this fact after coming home. Little did I knew the announcers had made a big deal of it in the first inning. Dean was thoroughly impressed by my speculation. Schilling made one mistake as well, giving up a homer to Michael Cuddyer in the seventh.

By the start of the ninth, both starters were taken out, neither given the win as the game was still tied at 1-1. A classic pitchers duel.

In the 12th, Jesse Crain gave up a run from a couple hits strung together by the Sox. It was 11:30 my time, I was exhausted and devoid of hope that we could come back and win it. But we decided to finish it out. Unless we scored exactly one run, the game would be decided in the bottom of the 12th.

To add to the despair, L'il Joe struck out to lead off the bottom of the 12th, and for once had some choice words for the ump. Cuddyer got beaned and Morneau smacked the ball into the gap between center and right field. Unfortunately it bounced over the fence so Cuddyer could only advance to third. Runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out. Torii was intentionally walked to fill up first and set up the double play. Kubel would have been a good bet to hit into a double play. He didn't though. He sent a long fly so Cuddyer could tag up and tie the came. Only it wasn't a fly. That little ball at the last minute sailed over the fence into the stands for a walk-off grand slam, and Kubel who has bounced up and down between the majors and trile-A was the hero. I love my boys!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Rainy Lazy Day

It is rainy and quiet here in the lab today. We have helium but I am off the hook for today and I am working on writing up some results. After I write a quick update from the weekend.

Friday evening we watched the Twins win a nailbiter 12-inning game. We watched Joe Mauer continue his out and out assault on the American League. He is aboslutely tearing it up. While he could use some more home runs (which will come with time), Justin Morneau continues to be our best power hitter, hitting two home runs, one the game winner in the bottom of the twelfth.

Saturday I woke up and found waiting for me and Einstein's bagel: honey whole wheat with lowfat strawberry cream cheese. My favorite! And a cup of coffee. Dean knows me too well. I went in to work for a few hours to help our post doc out with sample preparation and socialized with some other hard working grad students that dragged their butts in on a Saturday as well.

Then Dean and I went to a minor league (singe-A) game in Sarasota. It was a bobblehead game so we arrived a few minutes before the gates opened. We were fifth and sixth in line. I really like the minor league bobble heads because the uniforms are all so different and they are easy to get. There were not a lot of people at the game, which turned out to be a bad thing. I was harrassed multiple times by the Sarasota Rally Gator which was mortifying. I finally begged Dean to leave because I hated the attention. It's a Minnesota thing I think.

Yesterday I slept very very late, watched part of the Twins game (Liriano was filthy AGAIN) and went to go see my friend who just had her second little girl. The baby is beautiful (of course) and slept like a rock the whole time I was there. I stared at her in awe for about an hour occasionally stroking her cheek or her fine hair. I tapped her hand with the pad of my index finger and she promptly held on to it for awhile. I've had a bad case of baby fever since.

Then last night I stayed up way too late reading Lucy, this month's book group selection. The thing I absolutely love about book group is that it forces me to read books I never would have picked up otherwise. I distinctly remember passing this book up several times when it first came out. Now I can't put it down. It is a historical novel about Lucy Mercer, FDR's long time mistress and it's based off of real correspondance and other historical records. Besides being a fascinating story, it's beautifully written. I'm only about half through but I already highly recommend it.

That's all for now, time to actually get something done around here. After a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Story

Blogger's note: Not every future post will be about my impending wedding and my kickass ring. Normal posts will resume shortly, after I have come down from my diamond high.

I'm sure many of you are wondering how this all came about. I will begin by sharing a universal truth: things in life rarely happen the way you expect them to.

When Dean and I moved to Florida, I came to terms with the fact that we wouldn't be married let alone engaged for quite some time. We were broke, living paycheck to paycheck supporting ourselves and our growing family. And I have always been so happy with that.

This past September when Dean got his grownup new job, he remarked that he could finally start putting money away to buy me a ring. Once in awhile I inquired about this fund and finally about a month ago he gave me some website information about a jeweler with a contract through his company. And a budget. I did some research about how to buy a diamond, and built my own ring online. A few weeks ago, we placed the order together.

I know a lot of you may think so far that this isn't very romantic, and truthfully- it wasn't. I'm not big on surprises and the fact that we went through the whole process together is really fitting to our relationship. We are best friends. Going through life and making decisions together as a team.

A couple days after we ordered the ring I started checking the mail for it. It didn't show. After a week I made Dean call, and they said they had shipped it but didn't give us a tracking number or anything. Day after day, I shook like a crack-addict as I struggled to get my key in the mailbox. And still, it didn't show. The woman he talked to told Dean 5-7 business days. So Monday, Day 7 from the shipping day, Dean called them asking what the hell is up. They said they shipped it FedEX and their records showed repeated attempted diliveries. To the wrong address. They gave him the FedEX tracking number. Dean called FedEX at 6:45 with his tracking number. They said it was at their pickup center and that after repeated delivery attempts (to the wrong address) they were going to return the package to the sender the next day. And by the way, they closed at 7:30.

We jumped in the car and burned rubber to the FedEX pickup place. We made it with fifteen minutes to spare. Dean ran in and got the package, opening it on his way out the door. Then he proposed to me, right in the FedEX parking lot. That's a story to tell the grandkids.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Perfect Salad

Cover a dinner plate with romaine lettuce. Add:
Five slices cucumber, cut again in half.
Three heaping teaspoons cooked, chilled peas.
One hard-boiled egg, chopped.
Two teaspoons sliced black olives.
One small ripe tomato sliced into twelve wedges.
One handful cheese and garlic seasoned crutons.
Drizzle with three tablespoons Naturally Fresh brand lite ranch dressing.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Now I've Seen Everything

I went to go feed the dumpster kitties this evening and as I was walking through the parking lot, I saw a guy I've seen around before standing perfectly still holding a laundry basket. His mouth was hanging open and he appeared paralyzed. I followed his gaze to where a bush was rustling, but the bush obstructed my view. I shifted to the right to peek around the bush, and that's when I saw what was shocking the hell out of my poor neighbor. (Sorry about the image quality, it was dusk)

Yep, it was a peacock. In the ghetto.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

If you are looking for something to read...

...go check our Scott's latest short story, Damned Carnival. It's really good!