Sunday, December 21, 2008

-35 degrees below?!?

The wedding went great, and the 12 inches of snow that came the night before (started at midnight and ended at noon on the day of the wedding) didn't put a damper on the wedding. The bride was gorgeous, the venue amazing, and was I ever glad that I decided to wear pants rather than a cute little dress (it was damn cold and snowy). After a day of "recouping" from the open bar, MrDrZeek and I headed back home this morning. Much to our surprise, we walked out to the mini-van in the morning and smack dab into the middle of the freaking Arctic wasteland. -35 degrees (F) below zero (wind chill, my children, -5 degrees F as a real temperature). Funny, once it gets 15 or so below, I can't seem to tell the difference between that and 35 below zero. But I am just weird like that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Craziness

Craziness. Absolute craziness. MrDrZeek's cousin is getting married this weekend (yes 6 days before Christmas, although from what I hear they got an awesome deal on the reception hall because of the date), which means we will be traveling out of town for a few days. The wedding is on a Friday, forcing us to drive in Thursday afternoon (only a 90 min drive) after he gets off of work and preferably before the 10-12 inches of snow gets dumped on us. Since MrDrZeek's sister has flown in from the state colder than ours, we plan on staying in town an extra day or two.

Sounds like fun, eh? (Did I mention there is an open bar at the wedding reception?) It will be, and I am looking forward to it, but there are a few drawbacks. For example, I usually leave Christmas shopping till the last minute. OK, not absolute last minute, but let's say that I do tend to "push" it a bit. I now have one less weekend to shop (and with 12 people, between MrDrZeek's family and min, to buy for, it can get hairy), but to make up for it, I took off this afternoon during my two hour incubation time and got 90% of the shopping done. In one hour. Wait, let me say that again. 10 gifts in 1 hr. Not bad.

So, after heading back to the lab, I sat down and wrote a list of what I need to do tonight/tom before I leave. (Another 1 hr incubation is the best time to make a list). I love lists. I make lists for everything. My monthly list of important things, weekly lists, daily lists, lists of my lists. Crossing them off gives me some sense of accomplishment, even if it is something as small as "Make 10 mL of buffer Y" or "Take simple measurement".

I digress. So, on tap for tonight/tom (mind you I have until 2:30 tom--this is when MrDrZeek will whisk me away in the van-yes, we own a mini-van and no we do not have any children-off to places unknown..well, OK known...never mind, I digress again). So here is the list for tonight, in no particular order:
  • dishes and general tidying up the kitchen (we have a cat-sitter coming, cannot let her see the house in total disarray)
  • clean the litter box
  • clean bathroom
  • wrap birthday present for MrDrZeek's sister
  • cards for MrDrZeek's niece and nephew (since they will go back to state colder than ours with MrDrZeek's sister)
  • wrap present for MrDrZeek's coworker (actually for his two kids-long story) since tomorrow will be the last day he will see him till after Christmas
  • Pack clothes for 4 days
  • make sure wedding outfit is packed along with necessary jewelery/shoes/hosiery, etc
  • make sure MrDrZeek's new shirt fits
  • and he likes it
  • and it isn't wrinkled
  • put on fake nails (yes, I am wearing some fake lee press on nails since I have bitten/tore up my nails so bad they look horrid)
  • find camera
  • find camera batteries
  • find my sanity
  • trim MrDrZeek's hair (didn't know I was multi-talented, did you?)
  • haircut/color etc. tomorrow at noon (yes, I do the girlie thing every once and awhile)

Somewhere in there I need to also take some measurements, set-up an overnight experiment tonight, and get together the goodie box I have of things for my collaborator who is driving in tomorrow morning. Doesn't seem too bad, and it is a lot of piddly crap, but sometimes it jut seems a tad overwhelming.

The really cool thing, we come back Sunday night, work (both of us) on Monday and Tuesday, and then get to make the trek back to the same place for Christmas Eve/Christmas Day family stuff (we get together with four families in two days, its quite interesting). Did I mention I wanted to work on the manuscript too, since I have thrown down some awesome science (and some not so awesome since the system isn't behaving). I don't know how people do this with kids thrown into the mix. I have a hard enough time looking after MrDrZeek, myself, and the furball, let alone throwing another person into the mix.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snow Day

So, I stayed home today, officially citing the weather as the major reason, but honestly I needed a day away from the lab and, more so the lab dynamics (more about this on a different day). So, I got up at my normal time, went through my normal routine, and here I sit, dinner ready to go in the other oven when MrDrZeek gets home, papers have been moved from the backpack to the coffee table, and still having absolutely no ambition to read/organize/write. I have checked all my normal websites and comics, checked everyone's blogs, and the second pot of coffee is finished brewing. *sigh* this was supposed to be a great day to get everything done......

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sleep, Snow, and Summary Statements

Time just has a way of getting away from me. Its been a long week and looking back at things, it doesn't seem like I got as much accomplished as I wanted to. I brought home a back-pack full of papers to organize for my manuscript, but after feeding MrDrZeek, doing up the dishes, cleaning the litter box and vegging on the couch for a bit, they are still sitting in my backpack, untouched. I should go through them tonight- and its not like I am not excited about going through them, finding pieces of previous work and whatnot that backup the really cool science that I have thrown down in the past few months, but...I don't know. Curling up with a book right now sounds so much more inviting.

I managed to finish the materials and methods and results section on the big manuscript, and my boss seemed fairly impressed by it this morning. One of the things I love about him is the 45 min to an hour turn-around time on rough drafts and things like that. It was an ego boost, going over everything and finding only minor grammar things (if you haven't realized, grammar is not my strong point). We discussed the re-submission of my NRSA fellowship in April. The summary sheets weren't as bad as I thought they would be. I have to completely rewrite my research plan, though. They liked the ideas, hated how it was organized, and want more big picture/hypothesis driven aims/research plan. No big thing.

What was surprising was what they said my referee's had said in my recommendation letters. I was surprised to hear how much my advisor and committee members in grad school "respected my abilities" and "fearlessness in taking on new challenges" (yes, that was a direct quote from the summary statement, cool no?). Now, the thing is, from the way my advisor talked about me when I was in grad school, you would think that he questioned if I was able to feed myself and tie my shoes in the morning. Wonders never cease.

So, all in all, its been an OK week. Nothing bad happened, nothing great, but OK. And, its snowing! As in snowing a lot (I believe we heard 15 inches by tomorrow night when the winter storm warning is over). I like snow, I like winter, but I hate waiting for the bus in the cold. I hate being cold. No, detest being cold. Who knows, maybe they will shut down the buses tomorrow and I will have another day off.

I was going to blog about a bunch of other things tonight, but my brain is NOT functioning (could be that I was up till 1:00 am last night watching a documentary one of my college friend's cousin did. If you get a chance, watch it! No, really, watch Dear Zachary , it was amazing) and I am too tired to think about anything but crawling into a warm bed with my latest read (even though I have read it already--have I mentioned I am a Stephen King junkie?) So, yeah...bed, book, sleep..not necessarily in that order.