Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Back in Memphis

And already missing home.  This past week was so nice.  I got to relax and spend some much needed Q.T. with the family.  Especially Sarah.  I think I gained about 35 lbs for 8 days.  Literally she would not leave my side.  But I must admit, its nice to be loved that much.  I got home about 11 this morning and took a very long nap.  Family time was nice, but I stayed up late a lot and woke up early a lot.  A long nap was necessary.  Not much work to do in the lab the rest of the week so I'll be taking it easy for the next 5 days.
Not sure what exactly my plans are for tomorrow night, but I know I'll be hanging out with some of the girls.

Here are some of pics of my time at home.

Sarah and mine's annual Christmas cooking day.

Family portraite with Great Grandma Doll.  Not the best pic of me, but oh well.

Sarah and I.

Sarah opening her gift from me on Christmas morning.  Who would have thought a 6 year old would love a science kit so much?  I'm training her early.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I'm heading home to the family tomorrow so I probably won't be posting much.  And I was so terrible this year and didn't get any Christmas cards out.  So, here is my Christmas card to you.  I love you all and wish you the very best Christmas and a wonderfully happy New Year!

PS I love Straight No Chaser.  They are so good!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dog Snuggies

Ok, so I am not sure how I feel about the whole snuggie thing.  I mean it seems like a good idea but I just can't get into it.  Then not too long ago I learned that they make them for dogs as well.  This I just thought was silly.  Who would ever buy their dog a snuggie?  And then about 10 minutes ago I received this from my mom.

You see, Molly (the dog) loves to go for car rides.  But it gets cold in the car while mom is in the stores and what not, so she bought her a snuggie.  Apparently Molly loves it.  And I guess I can be ok with that.  I mean she does look pretty cute.  But don't expect to see me in one any time soon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm dreaming of a long vacation...

Seriously.  Its all I can think about.  At least when I have a chance to think.  This past month has been absolutely crazy and I cannot wait to have some serious R&R.  A whole week of it!  Granted its not 2 weeks like some of my classmates are getting but then again they are not already getting published.  Got work hard to make a name for yourself I guess.  4 more days.  Only 4 more days until....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

As we approach the next decade...

I was listening to the radio this morning and they were talking about things that have become obsolete in the last 10 years.  I thought it was pretty entertaining so I decided to share.  Some are more fun than others. You can read more here.

1. PDA.
  Palm Pilots are now Smart Phones
2. Email accounts you have to pay for (AOL)
  Thank you Gmail!!
3. Dial-up
  So don't miss that!
4. Getting film developed.
  We're so digital these days.
5. Movie rental stores.
6. Maps (as in the kind you fold and put in your glove box)
  Now we all have a GPS
7. Newspaper classifieds
 Thank you Craigslist
8. Land lines.
9. Long distance charges.
10. Public payphones.
  I'm kind of sad about that one.  I have some VHS tapes that I miss watching.
12.  Fax Machines.
13. Phone books, dictionaries, encyclopedias.
  So much easier to look things up online.
14.  Calling 411.
  So true.  No one calls 411 anymore.
15. CDs
  Not sure I believe this one quite yet.  People still buy CDs.
16. Using floppy disks to back up your data.
  Flash drives are so much more convenient.
17. Getting bills in the mail.
18. Buttons.
 Think touch screen.
19. Losing touch and along with that boundries.
  Thank you facebook, myspace, twitter.....
20. Paper.
  Again, not sure I agree.  I use lots of paper every day.  I mean people still print stuff out all the time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Arise, Your Light Has Come

 We sang this song during our Lessons and Carols performance a couple weekends ago and I cannot seem to get it out of my head.  Its really good.  And I really enjoyed sing it.

Awake, my spirit, Awake lute and harp;
I will awake at the dawn of day.Arise,
I will confess You, O Lord among the nations.
I will raise a psalm to You, for Your love, is wide as the heavens,
And Your truth reaches to the skies!

Wake, awake, for night is flying,
The watchmen on the hieghts are crying;
Awake, Jerusalem at last.

Midnight hears the welcome voices,
And at the thrilling cry rejoices:
"Come forth you maidens! Night is past.

The bridegroom comes, awake; Your lamps with gladness take!"
Alleluia! Prepare yourselves to meet the Lord,
Whose light has stirred the waiting guard..

Now let all the heavens adore you,
And saints and angels sing before You.
The harps and cymbals all unite.

Of one pearl each shining portal,
Where, dwelling with the choir immortal
We gather around Your dazzling light.
No eye has seen nor ear has yet been trained to hear.
What joy is ours!
Crescendos rise; Your halls resound Hosannas blend in cosmic sound.

Arise, O Jerusalem! Arise clothed in light! Your light has come, and the glory of God upon your hearts will shine.

Monday, December 14, 2009


This past Saturday my roommate and I had a Holiday party at our place for our class.  Everyone brought a dish and we had a very nice dinner.  Then after dinner we exchanged White Elephant gifts.  My roommate wrapped up some pumpkins we had left over from Halloween.  I wrapped up some hideous lipsticks left over from all my Mary Kay stuff.  I was hoping one of the guys would pick it, but the Chinese girl of the group did instead.  It was still pretty funny.  I seemed to have lucked out.  While kind of ridiculous, my gift is actually pretty entertaining.  I ended up with DUH! The Stupid History of the Human Race.  Its a random compilation of the stupid things people have said and done throughout history.  As well as old customs and social traditions.  Here are a couple excertps from the book that I find particularily entertaining.

Vice President Dan Quayle: "It isn't pollution that's harming the environment.  It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
Um, Duh.

The post office printed a batch of international stamps in 1999 featuring a picture of the Grand Canyon and this message across the stamp: "Grand Canyon, Colorado."  The Grand Canyon is located in Arizona.

In Colonial America people thought they could cure stomach aches by placing big boots on their stomachs.

Turkish scientists conducted a study in 1981 to determine if disco music turned mice homosexual.  It does, they concluded.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Its Beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Especially in my house.  I LOVE Christmas.

I really love decorating for Christmas.

Half of my living room all gussied up!

Pretty Christmas tree. 

And making Christmas cookies.

Only a small part of the aftermath of my roommate and mines baking day.

Getting ready to frost sugar cookies.  Lots of frosting colors?  Check!

And being a friendly neighbor and sharing my cookies.

Our pretty cookie gift bags for our most favorite neighbors.

We even made little goody bags for the dogs!

And tonight my roommate and I are hosting a little Holiday party for all of our classmates.  Should be fun!

Shopping time is running out

I know we still have like 13 days until Christmas, but I am starting to stress out about my gift buying.  The only person I actually have a gift for is my dad.  Granted it is a pretty good one.  But I am usually so on top of my gift buying and this year I am totally not.   I have absolutely no idea what to get my mom.  And suggestions??  I am pretty sure my brothers will just be getting gift cards which is so lame and unoriginal, but I know they are both really low on cash and there is nothing else they particullarly need.  And Sarah, well there are a ton of things I can get her.  She's the easy one.  And my Great Grandma is spending Christmas with us so I need to get her a little something.  She loves to write and send cards to people so my mom is making her a box full of homemade cards.  She's so crafty like that.  I might try to wedge my way into that gift.  I could make some fun cards.  I mean my grandma is well into her 80's.  She's not looking for a big extravegant gift.  Maybe I could make her a little lap blanket.  Anyway.  Even if I did know what I want to get everyone, I have no idea when I would actually get it.  My weekdays are packed full at work and working late so I don't really have any time in the evening.  And on the weekends, in between holiday parties and gatherings, I have to come into work to finish up some experiments before I leave for the holidays.  So how exactly I am supposed to get shopping done, I have no idea.  I might end up being one of those last minute shoppers this year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


That is me.  Trying to keep my eyes open at all costs.  I had my final exam yesterday (!!!) of the last class I officially have to take (!!!!!!).  I got about oh, 4 hours of sleep between Monday and Tuesday nights.  See not only was my exam Wednesday morning, but a paper that I have been working on with my mentor was due for submission by 5:00 yesterday as well.  So while I spent my entire days in the lab running around like a mad scientist, I had no choice but to spend my entire nights studying.  My plan was to go to bed early last night.  But then I decided that I just had to frost the sugar cookies I made Saturday and then I had to make the mint chocolate covered pretzels I've been wanting to make.  And then, stupid me, I started trying to fix the burnt out Christmas lights on my tree.  However after about 20 minutes of that, I gave up and went to bed.  And for most the night I slept like a baby, until I woke up freezing!  The temp outside dropped so low I am pretty sure I could see my breath when I breathed...In my bedroom!!  I put on an extra blanket and turned on my little heater but of course I couldn't get warm the rest of the night.  And to top it all off I had to get up early to be trained on how to use a machine I will need for new experiments I will be doing. 
Now I am sitting at my desk and trying my hardest not to fall asleep while typing.
Note to all of you who found good jobs without having to go to Grad School....I am jealous.

On a happy note, my choir performed our big Christmas concert this past weekend.  (the reason I was busy this weekend and didn't get a lot of studying done).  It was soooo magical.  I am so glad I got to be a part of it.  Here is a pic of our awesome choir!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Kitty Surprise

Too cute!  Couldn't stop laughing and had to share.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

All Christmas, all the time

I found the all Christmas music channel on the radio on my way home from work last night.  It was great.  Totally got me excited for the season.  Not that I need any help in that department.  I already have out all my Christmas decorations.  There is one large tree (in need of some new lights, half the strands are burnt out), one small tree, and LOTS of penguine stuff.  Although by the time I got all of the fall decorations put away and all the boxes of Christmas stuff out and unloaded I was pretty tired.  So while about half the decorations are put around the house, the other half are in a nice little pile on the couch and coffee table waiting for a permanent home for the season.  Hopefully I will have time this weekend to get that taken care of in the midst Christmas cookie baking and studying for a final.  Oh and I put my flanal Christmas sheets on my bed last night.  And seeing as how my room seems to be about 5 degrees colder than the temperature outside, flanal sheets are quite magical!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Today I am a Surgeon

And exhausted and wet and headachy and stuffy.  Yes I am complaining.  This past weekend was so wonderful with my family in town and I had such a great time with them.  Then I hit a brick wall and I am still looking for a way around.  Apparently keeping up with a 6 year old is very exhausting.  We had a lot of fun though. 
She visited me in the lab and LOVED it.  As soon as I showed her how to handle the pipets and tubes, she was all about it.  She saved all the tubes she filled and referred to them all weekend as her "experiments for her research".  It was too cute.

She helped me get the turkey ready.  How many 6 year old girls do you know that willingly stick their hands into gooey stuff and then rub it all over a cold turkey?  She loved it.

We made homemade gingerbread for our gingerbread house.  The construction was a little iffy, and looked like it was about to fall over, but it was still standing this morning.

We went to Zoo Lights at the Memphis Zoo.  It was a lot of fun.  The weather was perfect for walking around outside.  We didn't get to see as many animals as we wanted though.

We went to the dog park and met one of my friends and his dog there.  She had a great time with the dog.  I keep telling my mom she needs a real dog, not some little fluffy thing.

It really was a great 5 days. 
But now its back to reality and I have 36 mice to operate on. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mi Familia

I get to see my family tonight!  Not all my family.  The boys don't get to come out for Thanksgiving.  I have to wait until Christmas to see them.  But my parents and Sarah will be here in about 7 hours.  I am super excited!  This is the longest I have ever gone without seeing my family. 
While they are here we are going to have an amazing Turkey Day dinner prepared by your truely (should be interesting), with special guest Diana.
Of course Friday we are going to brave the wild and crazy consumers and participate in Black Friday
One of the nights, Friday or Saturday, we are going to Zoo Lights at the Memphis Zoo.  We used to go to the Portland Zoo for it, so I am excited that Memphis does one.  I heard its pretty good too. 
And we may catch a movie at some point.
Should be lots of fun!  Now if this day would just go a little bit faster....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Friday!

This Friday seems to be going by pretty quickly.  Which is great because I have a pretty good weekend planned.  Tonight is dinner and movie with New Moon!  Yes I am like a 13 year old and in love with the series.  Although due to class reading I actually haven't read all the books yet, just the first two.  But still, I am excited.  Too bad my high school won't be making an appearance in this one.
Tomorrow I am getting together with some class mates I haven't seen in a while for lunch.  We haven't all hung out as a class in a while so I am looking forward to seeing everyone.  Then some serious house cleaning.  I mean serious.  My house looks like this.  Okay, maybe not that bad.  Actually no where near that bad.  But it does need some TLC.  Especially since my parents will be in town in only 4 days!  No one wants their mother to think they are a messy house keeper.  At least I don't.
And Sunday I have church and choir practice for our Christmas program.  And I might rake some more leaves.  Dawn and I raked a bunch last week yet it looks like they are all back.  Its a never ending job.  I love the trees in the summer, but not so much now. 
Hopefully only another hour left here in lab and then I'm off!!

Happy Weekend!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm thankful for...(round 2)

As Thanksgiving comes closer and the weather gets colder there are more things I find myself thankful for.

1. My parents coming to town next Tuesday!!!

2. Banana bread.

3. Warm soup.

4. Big warm blankets and my space heater.

5. A good workout from raking leaves.

6. Boots.

7. And don't judge me, but the release of New Moon!

(Pics: hereherehere, here, here, and here.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Recipe-Must try

I got a bug to do some cooking today.  I have been craving twice baked potatos for a while now and I found a recipe for Carrot and Squash Curry soup AND I had quite a few frozen bananas just begging to be made into banana bread.  So I made all 3.  However, the recipe I feel I must share is the one for the soup.  I found it on The Pioneer Woman website and made a few modifications.  It is the perfect fall/winter soup and so delicious.  I'm glad I decided to do some cooking!!


3 Teaspoons Olive Oil
5 Gloves garlic, minced
1 whole large onion, diced
3 whole carrots, washed and sliced thin
1 1/2 Acorn squash, baked and cubed
Salt to Taste
1 Tablespoon Curry powder (more to taste- I used more!!)
1/2 cup dry white wine
48 ounzes chicken broth
Heavy Cream


Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and stir to coat. Add carrots and cook for 3 minutes, or until they start to get soft. Sprinkle in a little salt.
Add squash. Stir and cook for a few minutes, until squash is soft and tender. After a few minutes, add salt to taste and the curry powder.
Pour in wine if using. Let evaporate for about 30 seconds, then pour in chicken broth. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot, and cook for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, taste and adjust seasonings. Turn off heat.

Enjoy!  Your tummy will be happy.
Puree soup using an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender. Return to soup pot and bring to a simmer. Serve hot.
Drizzle heavy cream over the top at leisure.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New movie I can't wait to see

Its really not a secret.  I love movies.  I would rather watch a movie than a television show.  And I am signed up for 3 movies at a time from Netflix.  Like most girls I also love Disney movies.  Especially Pirates of the Caribbean.  All of them.  Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom = hotties and action = great.   Which is why when I heard about this new Prince of Persia movie I was thrilled.  Jake Gyllenhaal?  Um yes please!!  I did a Google search for "Jake Gylenhall Prince of Persia" and the image results were so fun to look at.  You really should do it.  I promise it will make your weekend.  Here is just one to give you a taste. 

Don't get too excited yet though.  The movie doesn't come out until next May. 
Guess the pictures will just have to suffice for now.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Downtown Dining Experience

Last night my friend Amanda gave me a call while I was out on a walk.  I normally don't take my phone with me, but I was talking to mom before I left and just continued to talk as I started my walk.  (Note:  I am not running because of my f-ing hip, but that does not me I have to be sedentary.)  Anyway, just as I was about finished, she called.  Unbeknownst to me a bunch of the downtown restaurants are participating in a special promotion:  3 course meal for $20.  There a bunch of really nice places that I have always wanted to try, but they are all so expensive that I never go.  So last night Amanda and I set out to try one.  What an adventure that was.  The first place we went to was actually closed for a private event and wasn't going to open to the public.  So we went to our second choice.  The wait for a table for 2 was waaaay too long, hence we continued our way to the next location.  Our third choice said (before we could even say anything) that unless we had reservations, we should go somewhere else.  Ok, thank you rude hostess.  So on the fourth place.  We got a table, yay!  Or not.  We were there for like 15 min and no one came up and even asked if we wanted anything to drink.  The couple next to us had been there longer than us and weren't having any better luck.  So we left.  And went to the fifth place.  At long last!!!  It was 9:00, but finally we found a table AND decent service.  And the food was really delicious.  I went home very, very full and only out $20 (well and I guess a couple wasted hours, but whatever).  Who can beat that?  And who knew there would be so many Memphians out to dinner on a Tuesday night.  Guess we weren't the only ones excited by a deal.  Go figure.

Monday, November 9, 2009

"J" baby names

So the shower tonight was really fun.  A few of the girls are nurses and were telling their stories about working in the maternaty ward and all the babies.  One of the girls told us of a mom who really liked to name her babies starting with J.  Her twins names are Ja'Kyra and Ja'Kyrin.  Not too bad separatly I guess, although way too similar for twins if you ask me.  Her new baby however, who was delivered by emergency because the mom had the swine flu and pneumonia (terrible), is...get ready....Ja'Angel Grace.  She apparently thought it was a beautiful name and so fitting because of the state in which the baby had to be delivered (2 months early) and the fact that she is doing so well despite all the odds.  Ja'Angel.  Seriously?  Where do people come up with this stuff??

Surprise Baby Shower

Tonight, instead of bible study, us girls are throwing a surprise baby shower for our bible study leader.  She is the most wonderful woman, so sweet and caring.  She is already a mother of 4!!!  (This one came as quite a shock!)  Lori (the mom) is due mid December and the new little baby girl will be joining 3 older sisters and an older brother.  I kind of feel sorry for Wesley (the brother), the only boy AND now the middle child. 
Lori really is an amazing person.  She was so good to me when I moved to Memphis and opened her home to me.  I am so excited to do this for her tonight because I know how much she deserves it.  Plus, I got to go shopping for baby stuff, which I didn't realize but is kind of super fun.  I went a little bit crazy.  Oh well, its all really cute.  Can't wait to see what everyone else got her!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dining Out

I always look forward to Friday and Saturday nights because rarely do I eat at home.  Last night I made lasagna.  Oh and it was tasty!  So to continue the ethnic food theme, I am hoping to get some Indian food and/or Thai food.  I just found out that this Indian place has a great dinner buffet on the weekends and it comes highly recommended by people from India.  And Bhan Thai is probably the best Thai food in Memphis.  Its no Siam, but its definitely delicious!! 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Life Lesson

Do not make out with people you do not know in the middle of flu/cold season with the H1N1 flu buzzing around when you have a big test within a few days. 
Case and point: I have been sick for almost 5 days.  During which I couldn't focus long enough to get any productive studying done and therefore am pretty sure I failed my exam yesterday.  I had to leave one answer completely blank! 
Whether he was actually sick or not I don't know, but I am blaming the cute, good kisser boy from Halloween.  However cute, I would have prefered to keep my health.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Animals Love Pumpkins Too

Also, these are pretty cute as well. Happy Halloween Weekend everyone!!

Animals Love Pumpkins Too

Dogs in Funny Costumes

These make me laugh. The last one is probably my favorite.

Dogs in Funny Costumes

I like, I mean...

I am pretty sure the pharmacy that I go to must think I am a crazy person by now.  I have much been in there every week for the past month with at least one new prescription for a potent medication. They don't even ask me to verify my address anymore I go in so often. 
So my doctors appointment lasted about 10 minutes this morning, and went something like this.

Doc:  Hi Danielle, how did those last medications work?
Me:  They didn't.  I still have a headache.
Doc:  Hmmm, I figured, you don't look so good.  Let me figure out what we should try next.  
    (doc leaves for about 5 minutes to consult on whether or not I could take Imitrex (other med complication possibilities) and at what dose)
Doc:  Ok, here is a prescription for Imitrex.
Me:  Thanks.  I hope this works.
Doc:  If it doesn't I'll see you in here next week and we will probably get you set up with a Neurology appointment.
Me:  (sarcasm)  Awesome.
Doc: (chuckle)  Have a good Halloween, Danielle.
Me:  You too.

And now I am at home and just took my first dose.  (I came home cause who knows which side effects will actually effect me)  If I still feel the headache after 2 hours I get to take another dose.  Weeee.

Side note:  I am again very thankful for my rain boots today.  I am pretty sure I will be seeing Noah's Ark float by any minute now.  This rain is crazy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm thankful for...

I know it's not quite November, and things in my life aren't necessarily the best, but there are still so many things that I am thankful for right now.

1.  My rain boots.  Without them walking through the river that lead from my front door to my car this morning would not have been nearly as enjoyable.  (or dry)
2.  Pumpkin spice lattes.  Even on the most dreary cold days, they make me feel happy and warm.
3.  My co-workers.  They are so fun and understanding and encouraging.  I don't think I would like my job half as much if it weren't for them.
4.  My moms new love of texting.  Its fun to get little messages from her throughout the day.  It lifts my spirits.
5.  Thursday nights.  My friends Lindsey and Josh host dinner at thier house every Thursday.  Lindsey makes the main dish and we all bring something to go along with it.  Tonight:  homemade mac and cheese and fried chicken.  Yum :)
6.  Payday tomorrow.  I have about $5 in my account right now.
7.  Plans for a fun Halloween!  They may not be a crazy kegger reminiscent of the big house, but fun none the less.
8.  Choir practice.  I love to sing.

With Thanksgiving coming up I like to take the month of November to remember all the things I am thankful for in my life.  Really I should do it more often.  When you really sit down and think about it, I'm sure you could come up with a huge list of things.  And how could that not make you happy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Its raining, its pouring

Oh I miss my blog.  I so enjoy getting things out into cyber space.  But sometimes I get so busy, I forget and then all this time goes by...
My headache situation is still pretty bad.  The original medication that the doctor gave me didn't seem to do anything.  So I went back last Thursday and he gave me some pain meds that I had to take for 2 days.  I was completely out of it.  I could barely walk around enough to get to the bathroom.  It was supposed to get rid of all my pain so that I could start fresh and take this new migraine med on Saturday.  But I think I was so groggy and hung over from the pain meds that the other medicine wasn't working.  But now its Tuesday night and still no effect.  I am so tired of this.  So. Completely. Tired.  And to make matters worse I think I pushed myself too hard running last week trying to make up for the training time I've missed I must have pulled a muscle in my hip.  I can barely walk around. Lab stuff isn't going great.  AND I was up all last night sick.  Luckly I felt fine this morning in that regard, but seriously, when it rains it pours.  And it is pouring. 
Next step with the headaches is to try one more medication and if that doesn't work, on to a neurologist for a full work-up and CT scan. 
On a happy note, I am so exicted for the weekend! 
Friday night: Chili Cookoff
Saturday morning: Merry Marketplace (aka Christmas crafts, clothes, foods....)
Saturday night:  HALLOWEEEENNNN!!!!!  Love Halloween.  And my costume!
Hopefully I can stave off the pain enough to enjoy my weekend.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Where did my day go?

I think its been about 3 weeks since my last run.  This 1/2 marathon thing is looking more and more like something that is not going to happen.  Why did I decide to go to grad school?? 
This is totally how I feel:

I need about 3 more hours to my day and I'd be good.  I thought I was getting to used to less sleep, that is until I passed out in class this morning.  And in a class of 5 people, thats kind of noticable. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A love letter

                                          Oh my dear Pumpkin Spice latte,
How I love you so.  You complete my mornings with your tasty pumpkiny spicy goodness and warm me for the rest of the day with your foaming milk.  My life is imcomplete without you.  Can't you stay all year long?  Its not fair that we should only be together in the fall.  I will cherish our next few months together and not take a single morning for granted.  I love you.

Friday, October 2, 2009

It's Here!

Fall that is.  I LOVE fall.  Which I know you all know since this is not my first time blogging about it.  But it is actually here now.  And its beautiful.  78 degrees, breezy, and NO humidity!!  Love it. 

And with fall, of course football.  I may have been a little disappointed in the Husky's performance last weekend, but I have high hopes for tomorrow.  But before that, I am going to a high school football game tonight.  My friend Amanda's fiance is a teacher at one of the high schools in Memphis and tonight thier football team is playing thier rivals.  Now I probably should mention that this is a predominantly black high school and so is the team they are playing.  And the game is in Orange Mound which is pretty much the roughest neighborhood in the greater Memphis area.  And by roughest I mean scariest.  Why did I agree to go watch this game you might ask?  Because this is probably the only time I will ever set foot in Orange Mound and I want to experience life on the dangerous side.  Don't worry, I got the low down on correct clothing colors, and I won't be walking anywhere alone.  And I'll make sure to keep my white girl ghetto-ness in check. 
I'll let ya'll know how it goes.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Already Gone

I recently bought Kelly Clarkson's new CD.  And I am currently obsessed with this song.

(I don't know how you all make the video actually appear.  Help?)

Listen.  Love it.  Buy her CD.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fa la la...

I joined the choir at church.  Tonight is my first rehearsal.  I'm pretty excited about it.  I might say I am this excited about it:

I love this picture.  Check out these pics.  Some of them are quite hysterical. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Say What?

So, we just about finished getting our whole entire lab moved into our new lab space and someone comes in and tells us we have to move it.  Again.  What?  You mean we just spent a week moving all this equipment and material and specimens and you want us to move it all again?  Of course my immediate reaction is "ha funny joke."  Unfortunally no one is laughing.  We really do have to move it all again.  I guess the only good thing is that its just down one floor and it will be the exact same set up we just put together.  But still, I really don't want to move again.  I just want to do my work.  And go home and take a nap.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Its Official

Well I kept saying that I was training for this half marathon, but as of last Friday I am officially signed up.  No turning back now.  Well I guess I could turn back but really I am not going to waste that $62.  Not unless I or a family member is on their death bed.  And even then....
I am kind of freaked out though.  I mean, I just finished week 2 of my real training and I thought I was going to die after 4 miles.  I really am not sure about 5 this weekend.  Or for that matter the entire 13.1 in 10 weeks.  AHHHH.  I have decided that my only real goal is to finish.  If I finish, I'll be happy.

On another official note:  the boy.  Its official.  Its over.  Done and done.  So done its not even worth writing the details.  Of course if you really want them, you can ask and I'll probably tell you.

And my last official note: I officially have my own space in our new lab!!!  A whole bench all to myself, and no more sharing a desk.  For those of you unscientific people (which may be everyone who reads this) having your own lab bench is pretty huge.  Ok, really its like a social status.  No lab bench = poor.  Sharing lab bench with other lab members = middle class.  Very own, very long, very workable lab bench = high roller.  Yep, I am officially a high roller.  Well, in terms of lab space, but no need to get technical.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Life is kinda crazy right now.  I barely have time to check my email at work I have so many things going on.  And I would almost say I have too much of a social life in the evenings. (But I won't give it up, having a life outside of science keeps me sane.)  Things have been so busy (why did I decide to go to grad school??), when I finally had a free afternoon Sunday, after I did some cleaning, I sat on the couch and didn't move until I went to bed.  It was magical.  Of course then Monday came and the craziness started all over.  And on top of all the craziness I haven't run since my race.  Finally tonight after a week and half I found some time.  My one free night for the next few days.  I would try to run in the morning, but I think maybe I should wait to see if I have some slow time at work so that my body can get used to the early mornings.  Last time I tried an early morning run I about died by 10:00 am.  I did a little experiment and found that I really seem to do best on 8 hours of sleep.  Which means I go to bed about 11 and get up about 7.  I guess I could try to get to bed earlier to get up earlier.  Anyway, just the usual thing, so much to do and not enough time and an advisor who things I have all the time in the world = the joys of grad school.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A pain in the...

head.  I think I have chronic daily headaches.  According to this website I totally do. 
Pain in both sides of head = check
Mild to moderate pain, often pressing or tightening feeling = check, although its usually moderate to severe
Sensativity to light and sound = check, especially light
3 or more headaches a week = double check
Usually have to take greater than prescribed doses of pain killers = check (and it still doesn't work)

Yes, I am complaining, but I am so tired of my head hurting all the time.  No relief.  Hopefully the doctor can tell me something tomorrow.  And then give me lots of drugs so I can have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stormy weather

One thing I love about Summer/Fall in the south are the night storms.  I love being curled up in my bed and hearing the rain hit the house and see the flash of light outside my window followed by loud booming of the thunder.  I don't know why, but I feel so cozy and content.  Must be my Washington roots.  (However, Washington doesn't seem to get the crazy lightening and thunder.
Last night was one such stromy night.  I went to bed early due to one serious headache that I could not beat.  I woke up about midnight to bright flashes of light in my room...."ah just the storm" I though.  And happily turned over to go back to sleep.  Then all of a sudden there was a HUGE crashing sound.  I seriously thought a tree had fallen into my room.  I sat straight up in bed, wide eyed and realized there was no tree...thank goodness.  But somewhere extremely close by lightening had touched down.  Now this happens every so often but usually its just the one or two extremely loud ones.  Last night, though, they just kept coming.  I was kind of getting scared, but my headache finally won out and I fell back to sleep.  I was worried that I would hear about some house having caught fire in the neighborhood last night, but thankfully, none did.  And as far as I could tell, no trees were down this morning.  Guess it was an all talk and no action kind of storm.  Fine by me, but maybe tonight it could tone down the chatter.  I need a good nights rest.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Buying Jeans

I HATE buying jeans.  Actually I hate the process of trying on a hundred pairs of jeans and not finding a single pair that fits just the right way.  Unfortunately I really need some new jeans so I must keep up the hunt.  Last weekend I seriously must have tried on 20 different styles.  I found one that was ok.  But I wasn't going to spend $80 on ok.  So it looks like this weekend is round 2. 
At least she feels my pain.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I did it!!

I finished my first ever race.  The Forrest Spence 5k!  (which benefits a great cause by the way, check it out)  I'm not a fast runner by any means.  More of a jogger actually.  And seeing as how this was my first race and I wasn't really sure what to expect my goal was to finish under 35 minutes.  And I did!!!  32:32 to be exact.  Yay me!!  My friend who is a girls cross country coach said that most beginning runners tend to come in around 36 minutes in their first 5ks.  He was quite impressed with my time.  Yay me (again)!!  I was so excited after the race I was running on adrenaline and had such a high.  Now however, I am ready to go to bed.  Probably should have gone to bed earlier than 1:00 am for my 8:00 race.  I got up at 6:30 to make sure that I woud be awake enough and to give myself time to eat a mini breakfast.  Me with only 5 1/2 hours of sleep, no good.  Now I am quite ready to crash.  First though I need to go let out and feed the dog I am watching.  Then sleep.  Then study.  Big exam on Monday.  Ugh.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Please Sir, may I have some more?

I have decided that I need to become a better cook.  I have taken the steps to a healthier life style by starting my running.  So far, that is going pretty well.  I'm running my first race, a 5K, this Saturday.  However, when it comes to food, I just don't really pay attention.  More often than not I eat out.  And lets face it, most restaurants I visit aren't exactly "healthy".  I mean, I live in the south were fried chicken and BBQ rule.  And now that I am in a new place with a fairly decent kitchen and some pretty nice appliances, I really have no excuse.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to diet. I just want to be able to make real food, good food, at home by myself.  So I've been doing some research.  I have a couple cook books that I am buying.  One I know I will love because my friend Maddie has it and when we were in Seattle she made fun recipes out of it all time.  The other just looks fun and easy.  I'm all about easy.
I also found this really fun website.  Not only is the author hilarious, seriously cracks me up, but the recipes look delicious and for the cooking novices like me, she posts pics of every step!!  Now that is awesome!
Can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

As Autumn leaves are falling from the trees....

Ok, not yet.  But soon!!  Can I help it if fall is my very favorite season?  I just love the way the air smells, and all the beautiful colors.

And the warm, tasty food. 

Yes.  Fall is nearing, and I am very pleased!

10 cool points if you can name what movie my title is from.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First day of school

My cutie pie little sister started her first day of kindergarden today.  She called me last night, so excited, "Danielle, tell me everything about Kindergarden."  So I told her some stuff.  And I hear this big giggle and "Keep going.  Tell me more.  Everything."  So I made up some more stuff.  She was so giddy and excited.  It was pretty adorable.  Here are a couple pics getting ready for her first day.

Mom and Sarah (and Sarah's cat in the background)

So big!  All grown up in her first day of school outfit.
Waiting for the bus.
And just because I think they are fun, her are a couple more pics of her camping this last weekend.
Fun on a boat ride.
Cutest little fisherman there ever was!
Also, the best little fisherman there ever was!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chi Omega, Chi Chi Omega

Visions of fall recruitment danced through my head today as I volunteered at the Rhodes campus Chi Omega. Not that I was ever a huge fan of recruitment but I did get a little rush of excitement as all the girls were getting dressed in their coordinating outfits and singing all their cute Chi Omega songs. And memories of rotations as the older class men would secretly complain to us alumna that the younger class men had no idea what they were doing. And the last minute reminders from the Recruitment chair: "Don't be awkward. Don't talk about alcohol...." Then there was of course the bad mouthing of other sororities and how terrible it would be if this girl went there cause she was everyone's favorite and just had to be a Chi O. Oh, and did I mention the theme was Always Chi Omega and they served Coke floats at the party? So cute.
Not that I think I would want to go back, but its fun to remember it all for a day. Or two, this Friday I am helping with preference. Can't wait to see what they do!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The start of a beautiful weekend

I decided that since it is a 3 day weekend my Friday post should be a little more happy than my previous one. Although it does feel great to get that off my chest. So here is a little list of things that are making me truely happy right now.

1. Due to my unfortunate morning, I took the day off! So really I am getting a 4 day weekend.
2. Oregon got beat last night by the smurfs!!!!!
3. College football has offically started! GO DAWGS! I'm a true Husky fan, even through loosing seasons and hundreds of miles distance.
4. I am finally going to see 500 Days of Summer tonight.
5. Having sushi for dinner. Yum!
6. I got my full deposit back from my previous apartment.
7. I already decided on a Halloween costume.
8. Recieved a coupon in the mail for something I have been wanting to buy. Not a fan of dirty windows.
9. The doctors finally decided on a plan of action for Sarah's legs. (even if it does kinda suck)
10. ITS FRIDAY!!!!

Its raining, its pouring

I would just like to say that I am sick and tired of people telling me that I am lucky to be used to so much rain since I am from Washington. Sorry, but in Washington you don't step outside to be immediately standing in a puddle up to your knees because its flash flooding and as a result you are soaked up to your armpits. And because it took 2 minutes to walk to your car you look like you just got out of a swimming pool and have to go home and change before you can go into lab because it would be hazardous to go in as wet as you are.
Fact: Memphis recieves more rainfall annually (52 inches) than Seattle (36 inches).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is it ok

to reward yourself with something BEFORE you actually do what you are rewarding yourself for?? I just bought 2 new pairs of pretty expensive running shorts. I was going to wait until after the 5K I am running next weekend and buy them as a reward for finishing my first race. But I was running errands last night and was right by the running store, where my friend just happened to be working, and splurged. They are super nice and I am really excited to go for my run tonight just so I can wear them. I told myself I was going to be more conscious of my spending which is why I was going to wait until after the race. Hence the purchase would have been earned. I guess I'll just have to remember that I don't get to buy anything next weekend as a reward since I already have it.

Side note: Stopped by a new coffee place this morning on my way to work. The coffee is AMAZING! We all know how I love my coffee and now I found a place that is actually really good in Memphis. Yay no more Starbucks!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Florida Fun

I went to Florida this past weekend for a friends wedding. Not only was the wedding super adorable, but the house we stayed at was AMAZING!!

The owners are Mr. and Mrs. Dave Campo. Dave just happens to be a professional football coach. He has coached the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaquars and a few others. He was with the Cowboys for 3 Superbowl wins.

He has been coaching the Jaquars, but just went back to the Cowboys. So I didn't actually get to meet him. But his wife was great. She wouldn't let us pay for anything. And Saturday (the day after the wedding) she took us to her private beach club. We spent the entire day there soaking up the gorgeous sun and hunting for shark teeth.

BUT the whole reason for the trip: Samantha and Tyler! I didn't get to actually go to the ceremony. They are mormon and I am not which means I was not allowed in the temple. But after, they had a cute little ring ceremony and reception. It was so good to see Sam, even if it was for such a short time. She looked like such a happy bride. Although I am pretty sure I saw her face turn 10 different shades of red when he took the garter off!!! She was soooo nervous for that night! I haven't gotten to talk to her but I hope that it was magical.

It was a good weekend. Scratch that, great weekend!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Goodbye Samantha

My dear friend Samantha is getting married Friday. She was the first person I knew in Memphis, my first friend in a foreign city. And she is leaving me to get married. I am so, so sad to see her go, but terribly happy for her finding love and the new adventure she will be starting.
I am driving to Florida tomorrow in order to go to the wedding on Friday evening. She's been in Florida for a while now getting things ready. She transfered to UF's graduate program and started there earlier this month. With that and finalizing all the wedding stuff, I haven't had much of a chance to talk with her. So I am very excited to see her tomorrow!
Things I love about Samantha:
~She could kick Martha Stuarts bum in any homemaking competition!
~She loves to dance even though she knows she looks ridiculous.
~She puts up with my sarcasm and loves me in spite of my (occasional) bad moods.
~She is extremely giving.
~She's funny without trying to be.
~She doesn't judge people but accepts them for who they are, even if it goes against what she believes.
~She likes the color orange enough to buy an orange couch and love seat. (Although I give her credit, it is pretty cute. And very comfortable.)
~She is comfortable enough to show how terribly unflexible she is by doing pilates in her living room with someone she barely knows. (That was a funny day!)
~She has her own state of happiness which has been coined "Samantic" by another close friend.
~And simply that she is a wonderful friend.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


No not me!!!
My friend Amanda celebrated her 28th birthday tonight. And we have known for some time that sooner or later her boyfriend Nick was going to propose. But no one thought it would be so soon and especially in front of so many people! (Nick is a little shy) All of Amanda's really good friends were there (that were close enough to come). And we really all thought we were just there for her birthday party. We all gathered around to sing Happy Birthday (yes I know its copy writed, but really who is going to know Erika). And as we were finishing, her boyfriend says (something along the lines of ), "We are all so glad to be with you tonight and we all love you, but none as much as this guy. So close your eyes and blow out the candles." And as she closes her eyes, he gets down on one knee and pulls out the ring. And when she opens her eyes he starts talking and proposing and he gets all choked up and she is crying and we are all crying. It was simply magical. And I had no idea what was going on and I was standing right next to her during Happy Birthday so I was practically right up in there with her during the proposal. But I had no way to get away, they were both blocking my exits!!!! (believe me I really tried to get away) The video is quite funny. Its so cute of Amanda and Nick and then there is Danielle in the middle like some sort of preist. Terrible. I totally ruined the moment. Although they have no idea because they are focused on eachother (thank God). I don't have a picture of the ring, but as soon as I get one I will have to show you. It is HUGE, and gorgeous!!!!! The setting is so unique too. I may have tried it on and it fit perfectly. If only I had my own boy to ring shop with.....
I'm so happy!!! Congrats Amanda and Nick!!! I love you both!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fading Fast....

Ok, so I am really trying to stick to my training schedule for running. I have been doing really good this month so far, but I have a pretty packed weekend. I didn't want to get too far off schedule so I forced myself to get up extra early this morning and run. I thought, hey this will be great. I'll get woken up, I'll have lots of endorphins running through me, and I will have a great and productive day. SO wrong. I could barely stay awake through class this morning even with the extra large cup of coffee I had to buy when I got to campus. When the professor turned all the lights off I was sure I was in for it. And in a class size of 5 I would have been more than a little conspicuous. Somehow, thankfully, I managed to stay awake. But then I went to lab. I don't have much actual bench work to do today. I am doing a bunch of research on the computer, looking up reference papers, protocols, things like that. Well, let me tell you. Sitting here reading from the computer screen is definitely putting me to sleep. I don't usually go out and buy lunch when I work. But today I treated myself to Arby's just so I could get an extra large soft drink, full of caffein. Still not doing the trick so well. Hence I decided to take a little break in hopes of regenerating myself. I told myself I was going to work until 6 today, but I think its going to be all I can do to be here til 5.
Seriously, how do some of you get up everyday early just to run? And how do you stay awake during the day?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kitty Pics

So I may not have the fun Diana Camera that everyone seems to be talking about. But I like my camera just fine. And the cute pictures it takes of my kitties!

They think if they try hard enough they will be able to get that moth on the other side of the window.

Wondering why he has to be stuck inside when all the fun is outside.

Seriously good nappers! And so cute!

Finn loves Twilight, but it makes him sleepy.