Sunday, October 28, 2007

The times they are a-changing

My third-youngest cousin is wearing makeup. I feel so old.

Tragically hip

We went to DC Friday night. It's not something that we do a lot, but Matt Skinner and his girlfriend Shelly were in town for the weekend...announcing their engagement!! So we met them and Matt Green (Matt Cubed reunited again!) at Fogo de Chao over in Federal Triangle for dinner. It. Was. FANTASTIC. Oh my goodness. It's a Brazilian barbeque, which equals all-you-can-eat meat. And I mean, fantastic meat - bacon-wrapped filet mignon, seasoned ribeye and top sirloin, roast leg of lamb, lamb chops, sausages, chicken, beef and pork ribs, etc etc. They have 14 kinds of meat in all. And they have these guys ("Gauchos") that just run around with all these meats on big sticks, and whenever you flip your "card" from red to green, there's a guy there to serve you. And they keep coming until you flip your card back to red. And so it goes. They also had a huge salad bar, amazing cheese rolls, fried bananas, mashed potatoes and fried polenta. Our table was right next to the a regular restaurant, this is usually less than desirable but here it meant we got first pick at every meat coming hot off the grill. It was incredible. And incredibly expensive. But worth it.

After dinner we went to Dupont Circle and got into the tres exclusive 18th Street Lounge. And I'm not kidding, go google it, and you'll come up with descriptions like "beautiful people," "velvet rope," and "so chic it doesn't advertise." The last is definitely true, the second is technically not, and the first could be debatable. Anyway. Skinner's now-fiancee Shelly went on some kind of peace corp-like thing with a guy named Dennis (from Kenya, who was visiting DC for a couple weeks). Dennis is good friends with Lars, who coordinates a lot of the programs. Lars is a big-wig at the club. Oh, the connections you'll make! So Lars talked us past the bouncer (despite Matt's tennis shoes, what was he thinking??) And we spent an hour or so listening to club music at a reserved table and feeling the coolness exude from the walls and wash over us unworthies, hehe.

Saturday, I had a decent College Pick'em weekend - 5 out of 10 for 36 points, so not my worst week. Cal disappointed me again, as did Florida (Bah!!) but four of my five incorrect picks were at the bottom so overall the damage wasn't too bad. I'm still securely in my lead at 340 points, but only 3 points separate 2nd and 4th place, so next week should get interesting. I hope I have internet access at the conference to do some editing, because last year not being able to edit picks did not serve me well. Although with the way things have been going lately, it might not matter!

I didn't go to church this morning. I've been so exhausted lately, and I had a horrible headache when the alarm clock went off this morning...the kind I immediately recognize as being more curable by a couple extra hours of sleep than by a whole bottle of aspirin. So I slept until noon and I feel better now.

I forgot my AC adapter this weekend and I've run under 50% of my battery (although it's only that high because I used Matt's laptop to keep track of scores last night) so I'll go ahead and end this now. I'm going to be in NYC in four days...that snuck up on me something crazy. Oh, and my cashmere sweaters are coming tomorrow!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Too bad VT only played for 57 minutes last night instead of 60.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Funny Photos

1. Roxie is all in!

2. Look closely at this one. This is how you do yard work without a truck.


Today's high is only 56...currently 51. I'm breaking out a new sweater (in red) and my new wool coat!! Yay!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Having a good week!

And we're already over half-way through it :-) I got my car back this morning...I missed it! It looks perfectly fine now. A little over five weeks from impact to resolution. Whew.

I also got actual, real, good data on Tuesday! Like, data that can go on my poster next week. Awesome. I was worried about it for like three days straight, and when I got it, I was so shocked I didn't even know what to say at first. Rhoda asked me "What's wrong?" and I said "Nothing...absolutely nothing." Whee!

So, I'm hoping my good week continues tomorrow with the BC-VT game. TT is still questionable, but maybe, maybe SG can pull through. I've made a new friend in the department also (a VT grad who is currently a second year) though the football connection.

Matt was the guest on The BuddyDank Radio Show tonight (poker blogger thing). The first question they asked him was "Blondes or Brunettes?" He says "Well, I better say blondes because my wife is listening." Damn straight!

I wasn't supposed to, but I caved and bought two sweaters from ON. They're cashmere! I've never owned a cashmere sweater before! It was actually meant to be a pick-me-up in anticipation of another research failure, but since I actually got data I guess it was a celebratory purchase then :-) I got a pink scoop neck sweater and a red cardigan.

Max is lucky that he's cute and I love him, because he peed all over the second bedroom. I had to buy two gallons of cleaner and a battery-operated sprayer (awesome purchase) and cover 2/3 of the room. I still have half a gallon to respray areas if necessary. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Telco Morons

The dumbest thing I've heard the telcos say in regards to turning over customer data to the government, quoted from The Washington Post: "The company said it does not determine the requests' legality or necessity because to do so would slow efforts to save lives in criminal investigations....Verizon and AT&T said it was not their role to second-guess the legitimacy of emergency government requests."

Yep, you got that right. It's NOT your role to determine the legality of requests. THAT'S WHY WE HAVE A COURT SYSTEM THAT ISSUES WARRANTS FOR INFORMATION, MORONS.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Almost $20 richer, woot

I was finally able to close out an online survey for $9.10 - it was kind of annoying, because there was something that you had to answer every day for 14 days. So I'd get the little pop-up box saying I had a survey waiting, and I'd answer the questions for the day. But then it wouldn't register that the survey was "done" even though I had already answered for the day, so I'd get the notification like once an hour whenever I was on my computer. For 14 days. Finally I'm finished. Now I just need 190 more points, and I can cash out for a $20 check. Which I can then immediately apply to my Old Navy credit card bill, bah.

I am going completely stir-crazy...senioritis...grad school fever. Whatever you want to call it. I just want to be in the real world! Making a real salary (~2.5x what I'm getting right now). Funding a retirement account and putting money into an IRA and taking the metro instead of driving 2100 miles a month. I already have everything worked out in my head, right down to how much I'd need to put into the TSP plan to get the full match and the Vanguard fund I want to start putting money into next year. Sigh. This is going to be a long year. At least I hope it's a year, and not longer. Who knows. Sigh.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Kevin Riley, you are dead to me

It was very, very simple. All you had to do was either pass the ball into the end zone, or get it out of bounds. You had practically guaranteed OT with your field goal kicker. Trying to scamper the ball yourself as the clock ran out was NOT an option. IDIOT. I hope the coach makes you cry like a baby in the locker room.

Two weeks in a row that I haven't gotten my #10 pick. Ugh. Damn you, Matt McHugh and your coin flips! I may or may not win week seven, but regardless of the outcome of the Colorado-Kansas State game, I'll at least keep my overall lead. It's just a question of whether it's a 6-point lead or a 20-point lead. Though it was a comforting thing to hear that Kansas State is 10-0 when leading at the half.

This has just been the craziest football season ever. I don't think I had anything lower than mid-30s last year, and that was only two weeks - one of which I had to make picks first thing Monday and couldn't modify them later in the week because European internet access is too freaking expensive. This season, I've had two (and possibly three) 29-point weeks.


Dinner was fantastic! Crabcakes, caesar salad, steaks, home-fried potatoes, mushrooms, and creme brulee. Yum-my.

Happy birthday to m...att

Hehe - some guy around here is 27...time to put in for a walker. I gave him his gifts this morning - additions to his poker library collection. I'm such a good sleuth. About a year ago, after he got the Harrington On Hold'em books, he wrote a post on his poker blog asking his readers for suggestions. A bunch of people posted books that they liked, but I don't think he ever got any of them. So I went back and found the post, and picked out three: Kill Phil, Caro's Fundamental Secrets of Winning Poker, and The Professor, The Banker, and The Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time. As expected, he was very pleased. I think it's amusing that I've bought him more books on poker than he's bought himself.

Anyway, college football until about 6ish, and then we're heading to Bethesda for another expensively delicious steak dinner at Ruth's Chris. They sent me a $25 gift certificate via e-mail, and I'm never one to pass up a gift certificate. Yum!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Off

I drove Matt home from his endoscopy today. They're going to put him on Prevacid and repeat the procedure in a year to see if it's getting better or worse. I can't help but feel like I'm contributing in some way to it though, because I get home so late every day and we usually don't eat until after 8pm.

Before they let me take him home, I had to sign a paper saying I wouldn't let him drive or sign any legal documents for the next 24 hours. Darn, there goes my plan to get all of our money and property in my name! I keeed.

A bit early for Dios de la Muerte, but how does it feel to die? Creepy if you ask me.

Is it moral to kill 19 suspected terrorists, if doing so also kills 15 civilians (including 9 children)? Immanuel Kant would say no, John Mill would say yes.

Oh, and my copy of the latest PostSecret book came today...I love it!

Now that the weather seems to have righted itself, I switched out the halves of my closet. I culled 4 shirts from the short-sleeve side and put another 3 into the lounging/PJ section. I also decided to separate my 3/4 sleeve shirts from the long sleeve shirts, because the LS section was getting pretty crowded (i.e. things were coming out of the closet wrinkled because there's not enough space for them to hang properly). I know, I have too many clothes. I miss my walk-in closet :-(

Dinner at Ruth's Chris tomorrow! Mmmm steak...I can't wait!

Another thing I can't wait for...lasik. My contacts are so freaking expensive, as was evident yesterday when I ordered them. Almost $300 even after the discounts. Bleh.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Movin' on up

I forgot to mention the other day, that our heat pump is paid off! We sent the final payment in last week...a month before the "first" payment was ever due. I love it.

I'm hoping to get my car back before the end of the month...


Monday, October 08, 2007

It's my fault

I'm sorry, I broke the weather. It's because over the past two months, I've spent over $200 on a wool coat and six sweaters. Like everything else, the universe has come back to bite me in the butt.

You might be a grad student if...#37: people (non-grad students) ask you "Are you going to be done soon?" and you laugh but inside a little part of you dies. (courtesy of the Facebook group "Grad Students: They're not bad people, they just made terrible life choices.")

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Wrapping up another Saturday


That's really my only complaint about this week. Yeah, I didn't get points for Georgia or Wisconsin, but they were playing decent teams. But there is absolutely no excuse for Miami to lose to the second worst team in the ACC. AND it cost me 10 points. Lame.

But all three of my picks that went against the ESPN majority paid off!

I think Missouri's got their game in the bag, so I'm going to go ahead and call 36 points for this week. Not my best, but certainly better than the last two weeks. VT's defense/special teams totally ran all over Clemson...there were 29 points on the board (24 of them Hokie points) before the first offensive touchdown was scored late in the second quarter. And how about that LSU game? I initially didn't want to switch to it when the Ohio State game got boring, when LSU was down by 10 points, because I thought it would only make me mad. But ooh boy. LSU was 5-5 on 4th down conversions in crazy risky spots. But when that last Florida hail mary pass was batted down in the endzone, I jumped so high my knuckles hit the ceiling. Not that that's very hard to do in our place, but still.

Matt McHugh is going to move into second place, but my lead has stretched to 14 points, yay! I don't know where my overall ranking will end up for this week, but I'm in the mid-6000s at the moment.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

New "specialty blog"

I created another topic blog - CopyWrong. I wanted to start collecting reports of copyright abuse, because some of them are just so outrageously funny. As it was with this blog, I ran into the "blog abandonment" issue with the URL I wanted - I ended up having to get because was taken by someone who posted for three months in the beginning of 2003 and then quit. Grr! Anyway, the link's over in the menu bar on the right, and I've already made two posts.

I also made a post on the photoblog today too!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Football picks!

Did my research, got my picks in. They were HARD this week - a lot of seemingly evenly matched teams - only 2 teams out of 20 had lost more than one game, only 5 teams out of 20 unranked. But with how crazy this season has been going, who knows? I went against the crowd on three of my picks: VT, Kansas, and Cincinnati. I just can't pick against VT in a game that I'm able to makes it no fun. I'm willing to potentially sacrifice one point to be able to whole-heartedly root for them.

I know Eric says that research is bunk and says that "my theory is that anyone who's predicting games correctly must not know anything about college football." But remind me again who's currently winning? :-) I'm currently checking 6 sites weekly - AccuScore, Fearless Predictions,, MSN, College Football News staff picks (7) and Fox Sports Head-To-Head matchups. I do try to take rankings and home field advantage into account as well. I need a good week - I've had two weeks of only 29 points (that's less than 2 points over 50%).

Okay, I'm beat for the night. I worked back-to-back 10-hour days, ugh. Grad school has been like running marathons on a treadmill. You expend tons of effort, but when you're done you're still in the same place that you started. Someone needs to start pushing my treadmill forward for me!

More IP humor :-)

I did finally hear confirmation that my car will be repaired. After calling the body shop three times and Nationwide once. One less thing to worry about.

I am sooooooo glad it's Friday. And yet, I'm still at work, bleh.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


After finding out that *yet another* person I know is pregnant:
Me: Geez, what the hell is in the water?
Matt: Babies?
Me: I think I'd see that in the tap...
Matt: That's how they get in your tummy, right? Good thing we have a Brita filter.


Something else I learned the hard way - don't reach into the dryer while the barrel is still moving. I tried to grab a shirt out and one of the "paddles" on the inside caught under my arm and smashed it up into the top edge of the dryer. Now I have an awesome, *extremely* sore bruise on my arm.

I got all my stuff from Old Navy yesterday and today. The coat is gorgeous. I can't wait for cooler weather now. I ended up buying one of those external clothes racks to get my skirts hung up (instead of stuffed under a pile of pants). I think I need a shopping hiatus until I make more room in my closet. I did the twist-tie thing, like where you turn your hangers one way, and then as you wear and wash stuff you put it back on hangers facing the other way. But I need all my hangers facing the same way (AR, I know), so I put twist ties on all the hangers and then took them off as I took clothes off the hangers. The summer season is almost over, and there's at least half a dozen shirts that I didn't wear in the last 6 months. I love switching out my closet for the seasons. Although I wish I still had my walk-in closet so I didn't have to move stuff around twice a year!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Monday, Monday

So good to me? Well, I'm not sure.

I think I might have sprained a finger this morning. We have an ice machine for the floor (for research purposes, not for human consumption). I was getting a bucket of ice and when I reached over to close the door it fell onto my finger and caught the first knuckle of my middle finger. Ouch. As Nick only half jokingly said when I told him what happened,"At least you were within easy access of ice." No kidding, I stuck my hand in my bucket immediately but it still hurts on the joint.

I called the Ford service center about my car this morning; they said they hadn't started the repairs yet because the insurance company wanted more pictures (?) so they sent those over on Friday and they're still waiting for the go-ahead to get started. And they told me that the repairs would take about three weeks to complete. I think it's hilarious that Nationwide initially authorized my rental car for 10 days "based on the amount of time it is estimated to repair your car." Yeah, that was before they saw $5K in damages. Sigh.

I am all caught up on my class reading finally. It's pretty interesting. And I got a chance to talk to one of my classmates today; she is already a patent examiner and is getting ready for law school. She said that HR at the PTO takes a really long time to get their act together so I should put in my application as soon as possible. I decided that I'm going to submit it after my next committee meeting in January, as I think I'll have a little more firm grasp on when I'll actually be finishing then.

Upset Saturday - crazy! I was especially mad at Texas (20-point loss??) and Oregon (fumbling the ball inches before the goal line??) But yay to Wisconsin, and I suppose to USC for managing their win (a little too close for comfort at the end though) despite something like 160 yards in penalties. Wisconsin-Michigan State = a fight on field, and over 1000 yards combined total offense...good stuff. Despite only getting 4 correct picks, I still managed to hold on to first place in my group and extend my lead to 8 points over second place (Sarah).

I'm doing a college fair in Frederick on Wednesday evening.

My snowman shirt finally came in on Saturday! I'm wearing it right now, actually :-)

Another month done. Geez.