Wednesday, December 27, 2006

So I am currently one of two people at the lab today. The person I need help from isn't here so I am unable to do any of the work I had planned. I think I may just head home and try again tomorrow. I do need to get all the stuff i brought home organized and put away. My clothes are trying to take over my side of the room.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Back to work!!

Why did I put exclamation points after that? It's not exciting.

Anyway, I am heading back to IC today b/c I have a ton I need to get done at the lab ASAP and I told my PI I was aiming to have it all done by Friday. The problem is I don't know what I am doing. I don't know the technique I need to used to analyze my samples. I do like that I will be learning something new, but I am not sure that anyone is going to be in the lab to help me. I have a protocol for it so maybe I can figure it out between that and what I can find online.

I am looking forward to Josh opening the rest of his Christmas gifts from me. I kinda spoiled him, but I am ok with that. I let him open one of the smaller gifts early because it made the bottling process a lot easier last week.

I have been feeling very crafty lately. There are so many projects, mostly knitting and crocheting, that I want to do. I am also thinking about buying a sewing machine. I haven't done any sewing for years and I am not sure I really remember how, and I don't think I was very good because I remember my mom ripping out every seam I had sewn. I know it would be a good skill to have and I kind of want to make myself a fabric case similar to this one. I may end up buying one anyway since it will take me quite awhile before I can make anything like that. I am als thinking about making one of these for my kitchen. I want to put it on the wall above my stove since I don't have the counter space for my crock of utensils.

I better start packing up my stuff so I can get out of here!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I am still tired. I slept about a normal amount last night, but it wasn't enough.

Today we went to Ames to spend a little time with my dad and grandpa and exchange gifts. They each thoughtfully gave us some cash and my grandpa changed this up and gave us each a framed picture of himself. I think I will put it on my mantle. It was the usual awkward conversations and silence. At least Lex and I had each other to carry on a conversation with. My grandpa proudly told us about how he cooks for himself and eats very little meat. For lunch Hamburger Helper, Suddenly Salad and formerly frozen Dutch apple pie were consumed.

I used to be a total daddy's girl. I did tae kwon do with him, rode RAGBRAI with him, and watched sci-fi with him. Ever since the divorce it has been different. He turned out to not be the person I thought he was. I had suspected some things about him and much of what I suspected was confirmed. I also learned a lot about him that I haven't been able to put aside. He has changed a lot over the last 5 years or so and I don't know how to deal with him. He was awful to my mom much of their marriage and he hid a lot of what he did from us. I won't go into the details, but he really disappointed me and my sister. His latest weirdness, a month-long trip to China is weird mostly because he is going to meet his Chinese friend, who is a woman he met online somehow.

Spending time with him now is not easy. Lex and I spend a lot more time with our mom than our dad. Part of it is because she still lives in the house we grew up in, but the main reason is him. We both feel guilty that we don't spend more time with him and our grandpa, but it is so uncomfortable and not enjoyable.

I don't know what to do anymore. I don't want to spend time with him, but I know I should. I don't make time for him, but I know I should.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I am looking forward to sleeping like a normal person again. I was up at 4am yesterday to take my mom to the hospital in Ames for her foot surgery. Lex woke me up at 2:45am this morning for my turn icing my mom's foot every hour. I think I am going to put on the coffee soon and make some blueberry muffins from a mix I found in my mom's pantry.

I have spent my time making my mom's computer run a little better and downloading Firefox for her and giving it a X-mas theme. The toolbar is snowing!

Now I need to entertain myself while everyone is still asleep. Maybe I will figure out what to make for dinner. I am kinda thinking beef stew would be good.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I think I have all my Christmas presents ready except for one more meal to make for my mom. I will be making it tonight. I am almost out of freezer space. I still may make a few batches of cookie dough to freeze and slice into ready-to-bake pieces. I am thinking chocolate chip, molasses, sugar and possibly something else.

I need to figure out how to be productive tomorrow in the lab. A lot of what I need to do will take a couple of days in a row so I can't really get started tomorrow. I hate having nothing to do at the lab.

I keep wanting to buy books. I don't expect to get any for Christmas so I should be safe with any I buy, but I really don't need any more books. I have a whole library at my disposal! I may need to stop at the library before I head to Eldora tomorrow so I have something else to read. I may check-out some books by Cornelia Funke. I may also see if I can find any good knitting or crocheting books to take with me so I can improve my mad knitting and crocheting skills.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Soooo tired...

I have been so tired lately. During the last two weeks it has been so hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. I am not sure if the snooze button is my friend or my enemy. Part of it is due to how dark it is when I get up. I must be fighting off a cold or something because I am not really sleeping any less than I usually do. There have been a few nights when I stayed up a little late reading, but that was mostly on the weekends.

I have a feeling the weekend isn't going to be exactly restful. I have a few more Christmas gifts to make. I still need to make several of the re-heatable dinners I am giving my mom to help her while she is recovering from foot surgery. I am also making her a pair of socks to wear when she can wear normal shoes again. They are socks you can wear with flip-flops, since she does that anyway. I am also going to try to finish a hexagon motif blanket I have been working on, off and on, since February. I don't think I have a whole lot left to do. I am also going to make Lexsea a headband/earband thingy since she lost her last one and I found a cute pattern on Knitty I want to try. The problem is I have not been exactly motivated to make anything lately. I think it's because I feel I need to get them done and I prefer to make things just for fun. Not that it isn't fun to see someone I care about enjoy and use something I made for them, it's just hard to get motivated right now because I have been so tired and headache prone.

A guy in the lab completed his written thesis a couple weeks ago and gave his thesis defense yesterday. I think I read his 100+ page written thesis 3-4 times looking for typos and doing some re-wording. Apparently it paid off since one of his thesis advisers came up to him the other day to tell him his thesis was well written.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Some pictures a couple of other women and I took of embryonic frog hearts. They start at the top with the atria, then the spiral valve between the ventricle and the atria and the last one is the ventricle.

This is a different heart at a different angle and instead of being a single picture it's made of several images to form a projection.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I must say my favorite part of my new computer besides it's small size and speediness is that it has speakers. Well, actually one speaker attached to the bottom of my monitor. I can actually sit at my bench and listen to music! My favorite way since I haven't been able to download iTunes and get podcasts is to listen to Pandora. Basically you choose a song or artist that you like and it creates a station based on it and plays music similar to whatever you chose. It's a great way to find some new songs and artists. In my sidebar you can create your own station and try it out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New computer!!!

I finally got my new computer at work. My old one would freeze several times each hour. It was driving me crazy. It was nice that I could download programs onto it, but I have figured out a way to get a few of the ones I had on my old comp. I also wish I still had Photoshop, but I may be able to get that fixed. At least i was able to Firefox!!

Oh yeah...Amanda, there are links to the podcasts I was telling you about in my "Links" section.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

On Friday night my mom, Lex and I went to a Joan Baez concert at UNI. It was a great concert and my mom loved it! The only thing is my dad went, too. Actually that's how we found out about it. My mom was jealous that he was going so she decided the three of us should go as well and we would just avoid him. Well...hiding didn't go as smoothly as we had hoped, but I don't think we were discovered. Lexsea ate dinner with him before and that took a lot longer than expected. Then we ended up parked in the same row as him and sat about five rows back and just to his left. It ended up being a little crazy. At least the snow ended before I got there and the roads were fine.

Oh yeah...apparently my dad is going to China for the month of February to visit a woman he met on the internet. He told Lex at dinner. Now I just am waiting to see when he will mention it to me. I am guessing it will be my Christmas surprise along with a hundred bucks from him.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

How did people learn to knit or crochet before the internet? I don't know that I would have gotten much past a simpel crochet stitch if I didn't have the internet as a resource. I have found all my knitting and crochet patterns online or from books I found online. Now that I can knit I want to make a sweater for myself, since I can't seem to find any I like in a store; so I have been perusing the patterns online for a pattern or ideas so I can come up with my own. I must have walked around totally clueless before I had internet access because whenever I want to know something I just go look it up online. The one think I really hate about traveling is that I don't have my computer handy when I want to know something. That's one of the reasons I really wish I had a laptop.

Honestly...what did I do before internet?

Also, I think I have become entirely too obsessed with crocheting and knitting. I just want to go home and work on my hat right now.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I re-taught myself how to knit while I was in Cincinnati last week. I am making myself a chunky, green hat that I think will keep my ears very warm. I want to be able to combine my crocheting and knitting to make some fun stuff. I am going to go through all my yarn this weekend and sort it all out. I may even try to get rid of some and get my collection back down to one blue bin rather than two.

Since our first beer turned out pretty well, Josh and I decided to go for a slightly more complicated one on Sunday night. We made an Irish stout that used whole grains. It was fermenting really well yesterday, so hopefully it will turn out well. Josh wants to make our first beer again since it did turn out so well. I think aftern the nest batch or two we are going to forgo the recipe kits and try to make up our own. It's too bad there isn't a brewery supply store around here. I think the closest one is in IL somewhere.

Cincinnati was boring. I couldn't find a whole lot to do there. Downtown wasn't very interesting, but I did find a portion of town where there seemed to be some fun little shops, but I only drove by while I was kinda lost and trying to get back to the hotel. Josh like the school well enough, but he still has others to check out.

I really don't want to be at work today. It's that I-just-got-back-from-vacation-and-don't-want-to-work-yet feeling.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My next project.

That is after I get the yarn to make my socks, make my socks and figure out what yarn I need for it. I love hooded, zippy sweaters, but I have a hard time finding any I like. It's also hard to find crochet patterns that I like. I think while I am traveling this week I am going to work on knitting so I have a few more options. I did find a book recently that teaches you how to turn crochet patterns into knitting patterns. I must say, I am intrigued.

Now I am going to go eat my muffin! I exchanged the sugar for honey in the recipe and I think they turned out quite well.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I am now the owner of pink shoes.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My dress and glittery tights came in the mail yesterday. My crochet books came too! I also ordered my shoes which I don't believe have shipped yet, but I am hoping they will go out today. I thought everyone had my old address, but it seems they all had the correct one. I tried on the dress, sort of, well I put it on over what I was wearing and it looks like it will fit quite well. All I need now is my belt/sash and earrings which I plan to make both this weekend.

I must say I am looking forward to our trip to Cincinnati next week. It will be nice to get out of town for awhile. I am looking forward to wandering around downtown while Josh is sitting in on classes. I think I am going to bring my crocheting and a book as well. I think I will start on my socks, but I may need some different yarn before I start.

I am looking forward to lunch today. I have been wanting to go to Oasis for lunch ever since I had the falafel at the jazz festival, but it's across the river and a little far for me to walk to unless I want to take a long lunch. Now I don't have to walk over there to get some of their food. The cafe in the building nextdoor has started carrying a lunch box from them as well as a pita chip and hummus snack pack. I am going to try one of them for lunch today.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I have the glittery tights! A few minutes ago I realized the store I won the dress from has the wrong shipping address. I have notified them and UPS of the problem so I hope it gets fixed! I did the same with the store I bought the tights from and caught her right before she shipped them! That was lucky.

I have also purchased pink hair spray because it cost about 1/4 of what a wig would cost me and that's before shipping. I won't be able to get my hair that big but at least it will be pink. So, now I need shoes, earrings and sash/belt. I stopped by Ragstock after lunch and found pink 80's style pumps (it actually said that on the tag) but they were $25 and they didn't come in actualy shoe sizes just small, medium, and large. I plan to make the earrings and sash but I don't think I am up to making shoes. I have found a few possibilities at Payless and Wal-Mart, but I am waiting to get the dress.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My whole Halloween costume pretty much hinged on me winning this dress. I looked all over the internet and at the mall and coulcn't find anything similar. I really wish no one else had bid on it because I ended up paying more than I was really hoping to. When I saw the perfect dress for $9.99, I should have known I wasn't lucky enough to get it at that price. I ended up paying about $16 more than that, but at least I got it. I probably would have paid more for something else if I could have found it. All I need now are a pink wig, pink shoes, sparkly white tights, white belt/sash, pink eyeshadow and red star earrings and I should be able to complete my Jem costume.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Snow flurries???!!!! I am not sure I am ready for that yet. I haven't crocheted my wool socks yet!

I am going to buy Crocheted Socks so I can make myself some fun socks. I have mostly plain white socks and I decided it would be fun to make some fun socks. I don't think I bought the best yarn for them, but I think I can make it work. I have this problem where I buy yarn I like for a project I am not really sure how to do and when I get home and do the research I should have done prior to purchasing yarn I learn what I bought is not quite right.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My plan to start the cycling class this week hasn't happened. I may still try it, but it's not a priority. If they had more early morning classes I would be there, but the ones over lunch just don't work for me. I barely take a half hour for lunch on most days so I am having trouble working it into the daily routine. Instead of the class I have been going to Fitness West and running on the treadmill as well as the elliptical trainer. If I don't leave work early enough to go the tkd tonight I will probably head to the gym again. I plan to go every morning, but I know that's not going to happen. I figure if I plan to go every day I will make it more often than if I plan to go three times a week or somthing like that.

I also used the large exercise ball to do some sit-ups. I could only gt through about 25 before my abs were on fire. My chiropractor gave me several exercises to do on the ball as well. I think I may just buy one so I can do the stuff at home so when I fall off a gym full of people won't see me fall.

I have never been big on using the crockpot, mostly because I didn't have one, but now I am all for it. I made spicy BBQ beef sandwiches the other night and they turned out really well. I am trying to decide what to make next. I think I may try a soup or maybe another roast.

I think I need some coffee.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Sorry for the crazy colors. I am working on a green theme, but haven't quite worked it all out yet. I just thought I would give a little update before Lexsea started complaining.

I just figure out a simple thing about crocheting I was never quite sure of. I checked out The Crochet Answer Book because I have been thinking about buying it. I am pretty sure I will be purchasing it soon. It's cheap, small and very informative.

I have also been reading the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde and am quite enjoying them. I just finished the second one and plan to return it and get the next book in the series tomorrow.

I was too tired to try the cycling classes this week. My cold completely wore me out. So I am aiming for next week. I think tomorrow morning I am going to check out Fitness West and maybe hop on a stationary bike for a half hour or so just to get used to pedaling again.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

This blog has not been living up to its new name the last couple of weeks. Work has been crazy and I have been busy, but I can't seem to remember what I was so busy doing. honestly, I may have just wasted all my time playing my Beetle Adventure Racing and my new Zelda games on N64.

I got a brand new oak dresser. It's pretty. I think it is technically a chest of drawers, but that's too long to say in a casual conversation about clothing storage options. It has a really nice deep drawer, perfect for sweaters, 4 other good sized drawers and a small one at the top. I have gone without a decent dresser for so long that I am not quite sure what to put in all the drawers.

In other news I just bought a pass for all the university's fitness classes and facilities. I am quite excited. I already feel better since buying it. I don't walk as much as I did when I was a student and I can tell. I have gained weight since I graduated. I hope spending that much money on it will motivate me to get to the gym. I think I am going to try the cycling classes over my lunch hour a few times a weekd and lifting or running on the weekends at the new Fitness West since it's a little closer to where I live now and it's new. Fitness West is open on Monday so I may head over there since I don't have to go to work. I meant to try the cycling classes this summer but never got around to it. I can reserve a bike in the morning so I should always be able to go when I want to.

Also, I am finally not in the Rec Services calendar anymore. It was pretty much a picture of me holding a bag with my butt to the camera while the bag was being kicked and other people standing in line waiting to kick. Not the most flattering for me.

I can't believe there is already a football game this Saturday. It doesn't feel like tomorrow should be September. Not that I am complaining. I love fall weather.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I decided a long weekend at the cabin may have to be it for me this year. Thursday afternoon I drove to my aunt and uncle's house in Wisconsin and then Friday my cousin Bailey and I drove to our cabin in northern Minnesota. Bailey and I had a great time on the drive just talking about stuff. She's practically my other little sister. Before the rest of her fam arrived at the cabin I taught her how to make brownies from scratch, introduced her to hummus, taught her to crochet and we made cinnamon chip scones. I had shown my aunt the blanket I was working on and offered her one of the extra squares as a pot holder so I doubled it's thickness and added a simple white border. She was thrilled with it and said she had never been so excited by a pot holder. I hated to tell her how simple it was to make. My uncle and cousin Jordan made a beautiful oak pub table to sit on our cabin's enclosed front porch so I am going to make some placemats for it. Maybe some matching coasters too.

The weather wasn't the greatest. It was cool, windy and rainy so I didn't get to spend much time on the dock reading, playing in the water or sailing with my uncle. At least I was able to go to the cabin. I am thinking I may try to head up there sometime in September or October, so if anyone wants to see northern Minnesota in the fall let me know.

I also talked with my aunt, uncle and cousins about my mom. Since the divorce she has been living alone in a rather large Victorian house in need of a lot of work. She loves the house and really wants to fix it up so she can sell it, but I don't see how she could ever possibly do anything like that. It needs so much work and she doesn't have the resources to do any of it. The woman is too sentimental. She has a hard time letting go of anything. She can find value in almost anything no matter how little she uses or remembers it. Even a house that costs her over $500 a month just to heat to 60 degrees in the winter.

I don't know what to say to her or how to help her see what she is doing to herself. The house is a burden for her, but she isn't willing to let it go. I know she would be a lot happier in a house that "fits" her, but I don't think she sees it. She is more worried about not losing money on that house, but since we only paid $25,000 for it about 18 years ago, I don't think losing money should really be the issue. She is already will probably lose more money trying to maintain it than she would if she just tried to sell the house or somehow get rid of it. It has the potential to be a beautiful house, but the amount of work needed to make it a beautiful house is more than she can handle.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Obviously I have made a few changes. I needed something different. I think my new title is more fitting since that is really what this is all about.

In other news, I finally bought new tires for my car as well as fixing the alignment and getting the oil changed. Not only did it need it all, but I am going to be doing some long distance driving and didn't really want to blow a tire on the trip. There is a marked difference in the way the car feels. It's a lot smoother, quieter and I don't think it will be shaking quite as much when I get up around 60-70 mph anymore. Now if I could only find a book on CD that I can afford and would enjoy.

I think I am going to enjoy some free pizza now.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Almost all of my stuff is now in my new apartment. The rest of it is in Amanda's garage. I have a lot of stuff. I am not sure how it happend. I think I had 3 boxes of books and at least two of shoes. I think I had a suitcase, laundry basket, and suitcase or two filled with clothes. I probably don't even wear half of them. I think I need to do some major getting-rid-of-stuff before I move again. We still have to get Josh's stuff in here!!!

Today I went to Target to get the random stuff we need around here. I got kitchen towels and dishcloths as well as some scrubby thingies. For the bathroom I got a shower caddy and a rubber duckie to go with our shower curtain. I also picked up paper towels,toilet paper and napkins in somewhat large quantities. I also got a pair of shorts and a sports bra since I seem to be short on both. Somehow all that stuff added up to over $80! Most of the stuff was $3-4 and it all fit in 3 plastic bags, other than the paper products. It's crazy how the little stuff adds up so quickly.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Just call me Ice Woman...

My mom had her surgery today... I mean, yesterday morning, and she has to have ice on it every 30 min for 30 min along with a couple of drugs every few hours. I don't think I will be sleeping tonight. She and my sister haven't gotten much sleep during the last 24 hours so I decided to take the night shift. I am not looking forward to my 2 hour drive home tomorrow. Theu surgery went well and she hasn't been in any pain, so I think this is going well. I just need to figure out what to do with myself for the 6 or 7 hours.

I figure since my blog got all screwy (sp?) I will play with it for awhile. I am going to try a new color scheme. Please give suggestions if you think a change is needed.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another post!!!!

I am trying really hard not to freak out, but I occasionally just can't help it! My next 2 weeks are so crazy that I can't figure out what to do first!

My mom has foot surgery tomorrow. It was supposed to be Tuesday, but that didn't happen due to insurance complications so it is now tomorrow. That kind of screwed up my plans. AFter her follow-up appt. on Monday, she wants togo to our cabin to convalesce because she likes it better there and my grandpa was in a wheelchair so it has ramps and wide doors and stuff that makes it easier to get around. I have gone to our cabin every year since I was born. I would feel weird if I didn't go. The problem is they, i.e. my mom and sis, will be up there the two weeks around the time I am moving. Ergo, I can only be up there a couple days. Two days worth of driving for two days of cabin time. Kind of a waste of gas, but I am going ahead with it. I have to be back by next Friday to give my dad a ride home after RAGBRAI.

So basically I am going to Eldora tomorrow afternoon and coming back to IC sometime Friday. I will pretty much finish packing this weekend and go to work on Monday then back to Eldora that night. We will caravan the 7 hours to our cabin on Tuesday. On Friday I will drive back to IC and Saturday I will drive to Muscatine then Ames then back to IC again. I don't think I am going to have enough money for gas. I should probably go to work on Sunday for a little while. Monday we have to be out of our apartment at 11:45am and then I can move in on Tuesday at noon.

Ok...I'm done.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ahhhh!!! My sidebar disappeared! It was there yesterday. It's even missing from my template. I am confused. I guess I am starting over. Maybe this is a good time for a little change!

Monday, July 17, 2006

I know I am probably biased being a research assistant in a molecular biology lab, but I think embryonic stem cells should be used for research. I think the possible benefits of stem cell research are worth making a few people mad.

There are several types of stem cells. Some can develop into almost any type of cell and some can only become a few types of cells. I won't go into the boring details of how and why. Since not all stem cells are competent to become any type of cell, human embryonic stem cells are incredibly important for research purposes. They offer a much wider range of possibilities for the treatment of diseases.

In 2001 Bush allowed for federally funded research on stem cell lines produced before 2001. There are only 78 stem cell lines that meet this criteria and even fewer (less than 20) are actually usefull for reasearch purposes and clinical trials. He also compared using embryos for research to abortion.

Bush has already vowed to veto a bill in favor of federally funding embryonic stem cell research using leftover embryos from fertility clinics. It's likely the bill has enough votes to pass the senate, but not enough to overturn Bush's veto.

Embryos have the potential to become a person. They are a bundle of cells with all the components needed to become all the cells in the human body. If some of these cells are sitting in a freezer waiting to be destroyed, why shouldn't they be used for potentially life saving research? One embryo could be the beginning of a stem cell line that may save thousands or millions of people when put in the hands of the right researcher with the right amount of funding. So much potential is in such a small package.

I was just reading about some recent polls in which 70% of the public agrees with stem cell research. Generally, depending on the circumstances leading to an abortion, fewer that 70% of the public agrees with abortion. Is destroying leftover embryos in fertility clinics abortion, too? Should the clinics keep the embryos indefinitely? I think we may need a few more freezers.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Finally! Some success!

I have successfully inserted a gene I cloned into a bacterial vector. I got a tip from a co-worker and my ligation reaction worked! Well...1 of 20 bacterial colonies I screened had the inserted gene, but I only need one! Who says your success rate should be over 5% anyway? I am doing one more thing to verify it is actually in there then I am going to clone a bunch of it so I don't have to worry about it anymore and I can have plenty for my next step!

Now for something completely different...

Is it weird that I have memorized my 14-digit library card number? I think I am a nerd.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

5 years?

My mom handed me the invitation to my high school 5 year reunion. Two of my former classmates are throwing a 3-day event to see what our class has accomplished our first 5 years after high school.

It starts out on Friday, July 28th with a "get together at the Firehouse Saloon & Grill" (which I didn't even know existed) for drinks.

On Saturday, July 29th the fun continues with a social hour followed by dinner at the Wildlife Club. Dinner cost $20 per person and includes BBQ por sandwiches, various salads containing mayo, cheesy hashbrowns and beer until the keg runs out. After that anyone can buy another keg or you can drink whatever you want to bring.

Sunday July 29th brings even more fun with a "Potluck at Deer Park where hamburgers and hotdogs will be provided...Tablewarewill also be provided." Significant others are welcome at all events and the kids can come to the potluck. I don't want to think of any of the people I went to high school with as having kids.

Just reading the letter shows you how small of a town Eldora is. I won't be able to make it, but I am not sure I would if I could.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

This is the blanket I made for Tacia to give to her friend who recently had a baby.

This is the detail on the corner.

Another project I am working on. It will be a blanket of at least 10 rows like these two.

These are some of the items I have made for the Preemie Project. My mom knitted the hat in the right corner.

This one's kinda gross...

The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions.

This is a little freaky!

Big Spanish Castle

Are You a Yankee or a Rebel?

Are You a Yankee or a Rebel? - alphaDictionary * Free English Online Dictionary

My results: 38% Dixie. You are definitely a Yankee.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Pandora Internet Radio

A co-worker of mine discovered this site and I think it is a neat way to do internet radio.

Pandora Internet Radio - Find New Music, Listen to Free Web Radio

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I have four books checked out from the library and 3 books on hold. I started reading 2 books before picking up the one I am currently reading. I will definitely finish one of them, but the other I am not so sure of. I thoroughly enjoy reading. I used to read all the time when I was in high school because I liked reading better than doing almost anything else and I didn't have any homework and studying was pretty pointless since it was all so easy. When I got to college I became to busy and only read something other than textbooks during the summers. Now I read on the bus to work, while eating lunch, on the bus after work, while walking from the bus stop to my apartment and before I go to bed. I sometimes even read at work when waiting for reagents to thaw or while something is incubating and I don't have anything else to do. The only reason I can get away with it right now is the bosses are out of town.

I can't wait to get to the end of the book to know how it ends, but then I wish I didn't finish it because the story is over and I have to find something else to read. That is why I love series; the story continues in the next book and you know exactly what to read next.

I think I am turning into an old woman. Three of my hobbies are reading, crocheting and baking.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Looking at it makes me hurt...

My neck x-ray that is. I went to the chiropractor for the first time ever this morning. My neck has bothered me for quite a while and I decided it was time to do something about it since I have a job and my own insurance and my mom doesn't have to pay for it. I am glad I finally went. I think I may be a little sore tonight, but I look forward to finally feeling better. I am going back tomorrow to see how the adjustments she made today turned out.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I have been completely frustrated at work lately. I can't seem to get anything to work! I don't know how much of this will make sense to most of you, but I will try to explain anyway. I am in the process of putting together an expression vector that will allow us to express mutant genes in frog embryos. The problems is I can't seem to get the pieces I need out of their current vectors to put into this new one! Not only am I frustrated, but the boss man is frustrated with me. The protocols I am using are standard and not difficult, but they just don't work for whatever reason. I am not doing anything incorrectly; they just aren't working. Molecular biology is so frustrating sometimes. I keep doing the same experiments over and over again, and they just don't work. There is no reason that I can see for this stuff to not work. A guy I work with is having the same problem with his stuff right now, so I don't feel quite as bad. I still dread having to talk with Dr. Weeks about it because then I feel quite incompetent.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Name the 75 bands

The idea is to name the 75 bands represented in this picture. Our lab has figured out about 20 right now. I htink they are the easy ones. Have fun!

75bands.jpg (JPEG Image, 1280x960 pixels)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Yesterday I learned the women who died in Thursday's tornadoes was the housekeeper for our apartment complex. I never knew her name, but I did talk to her when I saw her. I even helped her get a dining room table and chairs to her car that Tacia's roommate's didn't want anymore. I can't claim that I really knew her, but I know she has done a lot for me that I probably don't even realize.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Well we had some excitement tonight. We finally get a good storm and I don't get to see any of it because I spent the whole time in the "basement" of the GymNest. We were down there from about 8:00 until 9:30. I was with my landlord, so he kept me updated on the status of my apartment.
The all-clear siren went out at 9:55 or so. I happened to be driving right by the siren on my block when it sounded.

It sounds like downtown IC was hit pretty hard. Apparently classes at the UI are cancelled tomorrow. That is the first time I have ever heard of that happening. I wonder if the university is totally closed. Maybe I won't have to work tomorrow!!!

I really hope no one was hurt. I am sure there were a lot of students downtown because it is Thursday night. I am sad that our favorite Dairy Queen was pretty much wiped out.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Super Nintendo!!!

I have in my possesion a Super Nintentdo Entertainment System (SNES). I also possess three games: Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, and Super Mario All*Stars. It arrived today and even though I taught at the Gym Nest until 8:30 tonight, my thumb is already sore from playing. I never had a SNES when I was a kid, so I am not very good at the games. Tacia did a lot better than me in the 5 minutes she played. I still want Donkey Kong and Tetris, and maybe even Pac Man, but I think I will wait a little while. When I go home for Easter I am going to get our Nintendo 64. It's funny how similar they made the N64 Mario Kart to the Super Mario Kart. I wish I had my N64 right now. I didn't realize how much I missed it until tonight. I love having a little free time to play stuff like this again. Josh and I think a Nintendo party is in order!

I really need to go to bed if I am going to be awake for 8:30am lab meeting.

There you go Lex. A real post about something happening in my life. Is that what you wanted?


A girl in my lab showed me this site. Instead of using your regular search engine use this one. It donates one cent to a charity every time you search with it. I have mine set for UI Dance Marathon. All you need to do is type in University of Iowa Dance Marathon at the bottom, click "Verify" and select the correct one. You can even add the search bar to your browser.

GoodSearch : Welcome to GoodSearch, a Yahoo-powered search engine that donates money to your favorite charity or school each time you search the web.

Also if anyone is interested in joining The Preemie Project with, let me know. You can donate supplies or I can teach you how to crochet and possibly knit. I have a link to their website in the sidebar under "Links". I dreamt that I could knit last night, so I am hoping I still can.

Thursday, March 30, 2006



This is strangley fun!

Random stuff on the internet!


Research on bread indicates that:

1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.
3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.

4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.
5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month!

6. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis.
7. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days.
8. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.
9. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.

10. Newborn babies can choke on bread.
11. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.
12. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.

In light of these frightening statistics, it has been proposed that the following bread restrictions be made:

1. No sale of bread to minors.
2. A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, complete celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers.
3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.
4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.
5. The establishment of "Bread-free" zones around schools.

This article was written by B.S. Wheatberry in a desert after consuming mass quantities of yeast bread then realizing his canteen was empty. (seriously :P )

Friday, March 10, 2006

I can't believe it is already Friday again. The two weeks since I started working have gone really fast. It's not that I have done anything incredibly fun or interesting, but the days have gone quickly. I did the same experiment 3 times, with little success so I may have to try again next week. I did work with some of the frogs yesterday. I helped get buccal swabs for DNA extraction. It was harder than it sounds. It was also a little messy.

I better do something productive before I leave for the day. I drove today because I missed the bus by about 10 seconds and had to be in for a meeting at 8:30am, so I will need to get to an ATM before I leave so I can get out of the parking ramp. I bet it is going to be almost $15. I could park for a whole month for less than that if I had a parking pass here. Crazy!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

My mom taught me to knit yesterday! We started on a baby at, but we misread the pattern. Oh well. I think I am still going to try to finish it, but I will have to modify it a little. I think it will be ok. I am going to buy some knitting needles today, and possibly some more yarn and some fiber fill so I can make some bears and a dragon for my sis.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Chelsea's first real job...

I started my new job on Monday. So far so good. The one experiment I have done went well. Dr. Bartlett gave me about a 5% chance of having it work, and it turned out very well. Other than that I have been reading articles and grant proposals to figure out what kind of stuff I will be doing here. I have also been given a book on Xenopus laevis development to read, so I will have a better understanding of them before I start using them. I took online courses on bloodborne pathogens, lab chemical safety, radioation safety, animal use polices and surgical techniques. I still have a couple to finish on anesthesia/anelgesia and something else I can't remember. I also got to watch some microinjections of Xenopus eggs. I will probably learn to do microinjections in the future.

Thanks to Amanda and the hospital's Noon News I have a new project to channel my crocheting skills into: The Preemie Project. I bought a few skeins of baby yarn and have started on a blanket. I also have plans to make some hat and bootie sets and possbly some teddy bears and burial buntings, if I can make sense of the patterns. I may also make some hats for the UIHC's volunteeer services. They give handmade hats to all the newborn babies. Tacia said she would like to learn how to make baby stuff to donate too! If anyone else wants to learn to crochet, I will gladly teach you.

I better be productive for a little while. My PI, Dr. Bartlett, said she would stop by this afternoon, so I better look busy when she comes.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

maybe some new shoes...

I will be starting my new job on Monday. I know what my PI is investigating, but I don't know where I fit in, i.e. what I will be doing on a daily basis. Since I am not sure what I will be doing, I think about the things I will be able to buy now that I will be making over three times more than I was while I was in school. A nice chef's knife is definitely on the list as well as a couple pairs of shoes (I love these and these), of course. I haven't bought any fun shoes in quite awhile. I am also thinking about buying a KitchenAid standing mixer. As always, there are all sorts of kitchen gadgets I think I need but don't really have the storage room for any of them since our kitchen isn't much bigger than my closet. I am thinking about getting a new computer as well. Most likely a laptop, since my desktop is still fine yet almost 5 years old. I am not sure if I will have a computer at work, so a laptop would be nice if I don't.

Now, I just need to motivate myself to go running when all I want to do is go stare at shoes. I don't get my first pay check for a month, so I

maybe some new shoes...

I will be starting my new job on Monday. I know what my PI is investigating, but I don't know where I fit in, i.e. what I will be doing on a daily basis. Since I am not sure what I will be doing, I think about the things I will be able to buy now that I will be making over three times more than I was while I was in school. A nice chef's knife is definitely on the list as well as a couple pairs of shoes (I love these and these), of course. I haven't bought any fun shoes in quite awhile. I am also thinking about buying a KitchenAid standing mixer. As always, there are all sorts of kitchen gadgets I think I need but don't really have the storage room for any of them since our kitchen isn't much bigger than my closet. I am thinking about getting a new computer as well. Most likely a laptop, since my desktop is still fine yet almost 5 years old. I am not sure if I will have a computer at work, so a laptop would be nice if I don't.

Now, I just need to motivate myself to go running when all I want to do is go stare at shoes. I don't get my first pay check for a month, so I

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I haven't started my new job yet, but I haven't been completely lazy. I have learned how to make granny square blankets, mittens (or a small oven mit)and zig-zag blankets. I also decorated cookies for Valentine's Day. I did watch a lot of Stargate, but I was usually crocheting while I was watching.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I am no longer an unemployed college grad!!!!

I got an RA job with a pediatric cardiologist, Heather Bartlett, at the University. I think I may have to kill tadpoles. Maybe I can keep one as a pet.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I can't decide if it's a good or bad thing that I am not feeling well. I don't have to worry about not feeling well at work or in class, but I also want to be able to take advantage of having time off to do some fun and relaxing things. Not that taking a nap from 1:30 until 4:30 is not relaxing, but I wanted to get stuff done today. My headache hasn't been helpful either.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I am not sure what to think. Dr. Smith can only give me a temporary appointment that would last until about June, and as much as I want to keep working there, mostly because I am comfortable, I don't want to have to find another job in June. I would pretty much have to keep job hunting now to have another job by then. The thing is, I know I want to leave Iowa City in about a year, and I would feel guilty leaving a job after a year. I know people do it all the time, but I would still feel guilty. I wouldn't feel bad leaving the Smith lab because I have already worked there for more than 3 years.

Josh is hoping I can go on a trip with him in late February. He has to take a week of vacation by April or he is going to lose vacation time. He is hoping I will be able to go with him and so am I. Working in a lab is pretty flexible and I may not even be able to start for at least a month after being hired, but I am still worried that I may not be able to go with him. I don't want to jeapordize my 'career' just so I can go on vacation with my boyfriend, but I really want to go on vacation with him.

Is it weird that I keep forgetting about my birthday? I am gonna go clean my closet.

Monday, January 16, 2006

So yeah...

I don't have a job. It's kinda weird. I will probably not have a job for at least the nest two weeks if not for a month. I am really hoping for an RA job at the university or a job doing what I have been doing in 'my lab' since that may once again be a possibility.

First Dr. Smith didn't want to hire me since he thought I was leaving in May then later he thought I already had a job so he didn't offer me a job doing what I am already doing. The woman I am working with and the lab manager are pretty upset with him for not hiring me. Especially since he has been talking about hiring a full-time techinician to do exactly what I am doing. Even if they do offer me a job it will probably take at least a month to get all through all the paperwork and through all the HR departments.

I think I have a pretty good chance for an RA job in the Department of Dentistry. Plus I already know someone in the department, Kristen's aunt Barb! It was funny when we figured out how we knew each other during the interview.

I know I will get a job, it's just a matter of time. I would feel better working in 'my lab' since if I end up leaving in a year I wouldn't feel so guilty becuase I have worked there for over 3 years already. If I start another job and leave after a year I would feel kinda bad about it. I can see myself leaving Iowa City just to leave or go to school somewhere else.

I am thinking about nursing school. Josh doesn't see me as a nurse at all and I am not sure if I do. It interests me because it is still sort of related to what I went to school for and it isn't research. Doing biological research does not interest me all that much at this point. I am still not sure why I picked biology as my major. I find it interesting, but I don't want to study it. I like knowing how the body works and how to fix it, but I don't want to be a doctor. Ergo, I am thinking about going into a professional masters nursing program.

I have also thought about going into industry such as
IDT in Coralville. They pay well, but the work can't be that interesting. There would be less creative freedom, but I am not all that creative, so it may work for me.

I know I will figure it out, but I want to figure it out now!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I just bought two books from Barnes & Noble with a gift card I received as a graduation gift. I bought two books I have really wanted, but I could have gotten them a lot cheaper at and even Barnes & was cheaper. I would save $12 at Amazon and$7 at Barnes &, which is almost another book!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

It's pretty frustrating knowing that I won't have a job in a week. I probably won't have a job until sometime in February if I get offered one at all. I have applied for 17 jobs at the University and have had interviews for 3 of them, but have yet to hear anything from any of them. Granted one interview was only Thursday so I won't hear until mid February at the earliest, but the others were during finals week. My current PI offered to be a reference for me, and after talking to one of my prospective employers he said she was very interested in hiring me. I was all excited after he told me about their conversation. That was about 3 weeks ago now. I hope to hear from her next week at the latest.

I would also love to work for the department I interviewed with on Thursday. It sounded like an interesting project that could use my expertise in genetics and computers and I already know one of their RAs. She is Kristens aunt Barb! The rest of the people were extremely nice as well. The position is only guaranteed for a year since they don't have the funding for the next year yet, but I am fine with that since I may go back to school anyway.

I hate having everything so up in the air and out of my control. Not only will I not have a job, but I have to present an article at lab meeting next week. I think they are trying to punish me before I leave. I hate public speaking.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I got a digital camera for Christmas.

Look at my beautiful sister.

Isn't she just the sweetest thing you have ever seen?

My mom for those of you who haven't met her.

You don't need to tell me how much I look like her.

My cousins Bailey and Jordan, along with Jordan's bearded lizard Buddy.

Yeah, I know, I look like Bailey too.

Josh and Tacia being themselves.

Oh The Cheeeat, bring me some cookies!!!

I made cookies last night.

Josh and I decorated them with some icing I made.

We didn't make a big mess.

Then Josh ate them!

2006 has arrived

I kept forgetting it was New Year's Eve. I guess since I had no plans I had no reason to remember what day it was or it may be due to the fact that I have had no idea what day it is since finals week. Christmas didn't feel like Christmas either. It was just another day that happened to include lunch at Granny's house. I don't think I have been in the holiday spirit this year.

I am drinking sparkling wine right now. That has to count for something. Josh and I thought about going downtown, but decided to decorate cookies instead. I had never done it before, so I had a lot of fun. I am not very good. I think Josh did better than I did. I even taught him how to flood the cookies with frosting and he was better at that than me. I only new how to do it because I watch the Food Network all the time. I have it on right now.

I am going to get another glass of wine and start writing my thank you cards. Tomorrow, I am reorganizing my closet!