Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chopped off!!

Inspired by my sister and cousin M, I chopped off my hair today. I love it!! The real test will be how it fares with my wash and go styling. But I am super pleased - and more importantly - have found a hairstylist in my own town. (I have used the same stylist in Austin since I moved to CA...8 years ago). Bonus points, this great cut was only $45. Hurrah for small town prices.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pretty P

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Grant due in one week
Why do I procrastinate
every single time?

NSF Fastlane
so very complicated
Trying to upload

Thursday, June 23, 2011

summer tunes

Since I have been driving to school (since its been so hot) I needed to do something to avoid turning into more of a couch potato than I already am.

I hate working out and rarely rarely do it. I like being active and I like being strong/fit/healthy but I like sitting on my rear end in front of the tv/computer/ipad more. I also think I get easily frustrated with not being "good" at athletic things - Why do I not run faster? Why can I only do 5 pushups? Why can I not do a single pull up? (obviously the answer is that I do not practice very hard at these things...)

Riding my bike to work was the perfect activity for me because it was necessary and thus not easily avoided. Ditto for walks with the dog.

BUT since I am no longer riding regularly AND in an effort to get into better shape, I have started running using the Couch to 10k program. This has been around for a while and I initially dismissed it as something for losers (if you put a gun to my head I could run a 5 or 10k without stopping). But, based on a review from ProfHacker, I down loaded the ap and have been doing it. the basic idea is to do intervals of running and walking, gradually increasing the amount of time running until you can run for an hour.

Surprise - I love it!

You can use your own music which is great (as an NPR junkie, I rarely actually listen to my music). But the best part for me, is that they tell you when to start and stop and when its time to walk and when its time to run. So, when I am getting tired, I know that soon, very soon, the nice man on the iphone will tell me to stop. Genius!

The whole 10k program takes 10 weeks, so hopefully I can stick to it. I'll post an update each week.


It has been SO HOT here! So hot in fact I broke down and purchased a parking permit. I had been avoiding buying one, choosing instead to ride my bike. But my 8 mile round trip ride had become a sweatbath, resulting in me staying home and working from home every day.

BUT! Summer rains are finally starting!

Woo hoo!! Hopefully the rivers will be up a bit so my sister and I can go canoeing when she visits next week. Yay!

Although the increase in moisture is resulting in horrendous mosquitoes. No, nothing like those at my parents or sister in laws in Austin - but every time I go out with Prairie in the back I get at least a couple bites.

Monday, June 20, 2011

You are a very good doctor & a special delivery

I was tickled to get these thank you notes from our nephew J's class. They are awesome (and a serious ego boost). Imagine if undergrads/grad students wrote letters like this?? Click on the pictures to read them - they are hilarious!

And look at this special delivery - bet you didn't even know RodentPro existed. That's right - 100 frozen mice for me to feed TD's snake while he is away. Awesome.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Super P!

While we were in Austin, Prairie finally, really swam with all 4 paws off the bottom. Now that we are back, she can't get enough of the ponds at the dog park - although I guess the over 100 heat index could have something to do with it...

Every time she goes in she does these hilarious flying leaps into the water. TD brought the camera to the dog park and we got some fun action shots - although its really hard to get good photos of a fast moving dog!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Corvallis OR

Neither TD nor I had ever been to Corvallis - though we thought we might end up living there as it was TD's first choice for a postdoc for a while. We had a great time visiting our friends T & J and their adorable toddler M. The weather was unseasonably cool and rainy (blame La Nina - its the same reason its been unseasonably hot and dry where we live) but was a nice change. It never really rained on us so we don't have much to complain about.

We went on a couple of short hikes.
 TD showed M and T how to look for animals under logs

 Baby M is a budding biologist! She was super interested in finding insects in the dirt.

 Banana slug!

 BIIIIIG trees. They don't make them like that around here!

 Banana slugs were out in full force...
 We even got to see a newt pond. Too late for the breeding aggregations, but there were still lots hanging out in the water.
 A rough skinned newt - Taricha granulosa

After the hike, we did a little wine tasting. We visited a winery in the beautiful Harris Valley. It was so picturesque - there was even a covered bridge!
The winery makes only dessert wines. Yum!

 TD caught a frog - Baby M was very impressed!

After a hard day of hiking and wine tasting J and Baby M made us a pizza. We had so much fun hanging out with these guys - I wish we didn't live on opposite corners of the country.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Portland OR

We traveled to Portland, OR to celebrate the wedding of TD's cousin. We had a great time in Portland getting to see TD's family - these folks are on TD's Dad's side and all good midwesterners. They all trekked down to Texas last year for our wedding, so we were excited to see them again.

We had a bit of an epic time getting there - due to my plan for us to arrive on Saturday morning - rather than the night before. We arrived at the hotel 15 minutes before the shuttles to the church were leaving - but never fear- TD and I are quick change artists and we emerged in our wedding finery with 5 minutes to spare. TD's mom, who arrived the night before, did not and ended up taking a very expensive cab ride....but that is another story.

Unfortunately we didn't get any photos of the wedding. But on Sunday, there was a lovely brunch at the hotel and we headed with Tom's other cousins to Powell's bookstore. I could have spent all day in there - but we limited it to one hour and 5 books.

After Powells, we grabbed our bags and hopped on the light rail to the Amtrak station. Not sure why TD is giving me the stink eye here...probably for making him take public transit.

TD had never ridden a train before! He was very happy on the Amtrak - lots of leg room and outlets for computers. We did learn though that the Cascades train (between Eugene, OR and Vancouver, BC) was lots nicer (passengers too) than the Coast Starlight (between Seattle and LA).

We took the train to Albany where we met our friends T & J. We got to spend 2 nights with them in Corvallis.

On our way back to Portland and the airport we got to stop and have lunch at Dan & Louis Oyster bar. I had been hearing about it for years from my parents - so it was great to finally be able to eat there. We started with a dozen oysters, TD had chowder and a salad and I had Oyster Stew. Yum - the perfect end to a fun trip.