Thursday, June 25, 2009

Being a grown up can be so boring

The actual text messaging conversation I just had with Deano.

Him: What's 4 dinner 2nite?

Me: Veggie soup.

Him: What's 4 dinner 2morrow nite?

Me: Pulled pork sammies.

Him: Can we move up the pulled pork to 2nite? I'm excited 4 the draft and soup isn't really a good draft food. Maybe if it was chilli.

Me: No, I don't have the pork yet. I was gonna cook it overnite.

Me: Do u wanna order pizza?

Him: No, I want 2 go 2 Big Cheese on Saturday. Or maybe Mexican. We are in a tough spot now. What do you think?

Me: I have frozen chilli too. I can swap it out for soup.

Him: Keep the soup but maybe pick up some snacks.

Me: But it's ice cream night.

Him: What kind of ice cream do we have?

And so it continues...

Monday, June 22, 2009

130, Bitches

Lifted from Pole Hill:

Your IQ Is 130

Your Logical Intelligence is Genius

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius

Your General Knowledge is Above Average

A Quick and Dirty IQ Test

That last one is a little embarrassing. I can no longer think of myself as quite the well-rounded person as I once did.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cat Bomb

As most of you know, Dean and I have a problem child named Wrigley. This is a picture of him as a kitten that I found in my archives. See that absolutely demonic, possessed look he has on his face? 5 years later he still gets that look on his face. Every morning at 2 a.m. to be precise.

I reassured Deano that he would "grow out of it", and as a full grown adult, he has more energy and gumption than our not-yet one-year old. He was totally insane as a kitten, I'm shocked he survived to see 5 years old and his first few months with us were filled with jokes of why he might have been abandoned by his previous owners. No, I realize pet abandoning is not funny. But sometimes humor is all you have when you are sleep deprived because an eight pound creature is terrorizing you at all hours of the night.

After we returned from our trip to D.C., he was out of control for three nights. His chosen method of distraction was sitting on my pillow alternately howling (while loudly purring) and slapping my face. I had tried gently tossing him off the bed and squirting him with a water bottle, both tactics making him even more aggressive. Finally, too dysfunctional to work last Wednesday morning, I googled "cat behavior" and clicked on an article entitled Midnight Meowers. Perfect.

I actually learned quite a bit about cat behavior and why my naughty boy-kitty does what he does. Apparently it's not all that uncommon, and could have been predicted by us working long hours and just returning home from a long weekend. He wants attention and his body is tuned to be at its highest energy in the wee hours of the morning. One of the things the article advised was to have an intense play-session with your cat just before bed to tire him out so that he'll sleep through the night. Right. Like I needed one more thing to do nightly before I can finally hit the sack, but I was desperate.

So we dragged out his favorite piece of string, which attracted McLovin. Wrigley just sat watching while McLovin went nuts over the string. I brought out some catnip filled stuffed toys and Nellie promptly started attacking them and raking at them with her hind feet. Then we started throwing bouncy balls and rolling plastic balls filled with bells and beads. Allison chased all of them, Wrigley chased none of them. It was like a circus in there with three of the cats running around like crazy, Deano and me clapping our hands and chasing them in hopes Wrigley's interest would be piqued by the commotion. Finally, we brought out the piece de resistance: the nylon spring tube. We usually keep it coiled up and bring it out only on rare occasions. Wrigley's favorite mode of play is stalk and pounce so he finally got up after seeing the tube as a hiding place. He proceeded to hide in there and pounce out, attacking whomever walked past. Finally, success. After about an hour things started winding down and Deano and I felt like we could sleep through anything. We sat down on the couch and studied our surroundings, which consisted of the floor littered with strings, toys, and plastic balls. Empty soda cans were knocked over and papers strewn all over as Wrigley had skidded on them chasing the other kitties. According to Dean, it looked like a bomb had gone off in the apartment. A cat bomb.

But by God it worked! We do the routine now every night after we're done cleaning up dinner. I don't know how long it will last, but for the summer it is okay to watch the baseball game in the periphery while giving Wrigley his nightly dose of "running the crazies out". Not to mention it gets the others some much needed exercise as well. And the best part is Wrigley sleeps through the night, spooning against me and just as sweet as can be.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Home Stretch

We got back on Sunday after spending a long weekend in the DC area looking for apartments and meeting my new research group.

The weather was bad Thursday and Friday, but we had a wonderful time sightseeing in downtown DC on Saturday and at the Nats game Saturday night. Dean, by nature a little pessimistic, was nearly distraught about the rain all day Thursday and Friday. Even though he was dead on his feet Thursday, having flown back from Minneapolis the previous night, he had wanted to go to a minor league game in Frederick that was rained out. I, the eternal optimist, pointed out that the more perfect and picturesque the trip was, the more difficult the two and a half months before we actually got to move would be.

I took a bunch of pictures, but didn't load them onto my computer yet. Besides, how often can you look at someone else's pictures of the White House and the Lincoln Memorial? So we'll see if I post them at all. The bad news is that apartments in suburban Washington, DC are f-ing expensive as hell. The good news is that we can afford it now. But that doesn't necessarily mean I want to spend that kind of money on rent. However, I do believe in getting what one pays for. I love our apartment now, it is cute and old and quirky and the rent is cheap because we live in a run-down neighborhood. Apartments by my new work are spacious, luxurious with modern appliances and amenities, and in a safe neighborhood minutes from the metro.

Speaking of the metro...ohmygod I love it. It's so easy and gets you so close to where ever you want to go. And it's clean with normal people who ride it, unlike some of the other public transportation I've been on.

Nationals Stadium is literally a half a block from the metro stop, which also was incredible. I love Fenway park, but my disdain for the Red Sox has made it impossible for me to feel like anything but an outsider there. Even though I don't follow the Nats religiously, I feel like I could go to several games there and fit right in. Plus, like Tampa, the DC area is full of transplants and we sensed there much more tolerance for people with other team allegiances. Not to mention the ballpark, in only its second season, was beautiful, clean and GREEN!

My research group seems pretty cool, even though I already new my future boss and the group leader from conferences and networking. But everyone else seemed nice and a tour of the facilities revealed a cornucopia of exciting toys and state of the art measurement systems including a one of a kind ultra high precision magnetometer and a top of the line high field magnet sporting a serial number 9, out of 12 currently in existence. To put it mildly, I was totally geeking out. I also saw an old friend who has been working there (in a different department) for a year. We competed for the same grant to work at the lab. Initilaly he got it and I didn't. I'm really looking forward to spending more time with him, and Dean was thrilled to see a familiar face from Tampa. I think he will thrive there as well, he seemed to hit it off with my co-workers and prety much everyone in the town we'll be living in is either a scientist or relocated there because they are married to one.

I don't have much else to share about the trip. We are still deciding between two apartments and will start the application process for one or the other in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, it's back to work and counting down until the next big move. One of these days, we'll stay put.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


This might be the single strangest statue I have ever seen. And we saw it outside the Seadogs' stadium in Portland, Maine. Before I tell you how awesome Portland is, let me just draw your attention to exactly how bizarre this statue is. First, the mom. Her attire is completely inappropriate for a ball game. Her dress looks like how I might imagine a Mormon prostitute and she appears to be wearing bedroom slippers. And she clearly is not wearing a bra. Not to mention, the little girl hanging from her hip is wearing an identical outfit. And don't get me started on the scary calf muscles. But the dad is even stranger. He seems to have sewn a patch of the American flag onto his polo shirt. But the weird part: he appears to be scalping their tickets. He is holding them up suggestively while the poor son looks distraught and protesting. I suppose the cynic in me might say that this motley crew bears a strong resemblance to many dysfunctional families I've witnessed at a minor league ball game. But to make a sculpture of it? Can any Portlanders help me out on this one? Very odd.

Anyway, Portland, Maine was freaking awesome. THAT was how I pictured New England - fun shops, excellent food, fun, small, family-owned pubs and the friendliest people ever. The vibe reminded me of the area around my parents' lake home if it wasn't quite so remote and the people were more outgoing. We went to check out the minor league baseball team (because that's what we do) and we ended up having a half-serious discussion on whether or not we should just cut our losses and stay there for good. Have the kitties shipped up, of course. But in the end we compromised that we'd try to make it back once more this summer and if we ever decide to retire in a harsh environment, it'll be in Maine.

Next stop - DC/Maryland tomorrow for apartment hunting. And a Nationals game, of course.