Sunday, September 30, 2012

September reads

Bloodhound: The Legend of Beka Cooper, Book 2, by Tamora Pierce
I am incredibly gratified of the author's treatment of somewhat taboo issues in young adult literature; she deals with transsexuals, birth control, premarital sex, torture...all without it being too obvious that she is making the reader think about their opinions on the matter.  I wholeheartedly approve. 

The Education of Mrs. Bemis, by John Sedgwick
I love the Boston connection, but again with the predictability.  It just felt like I knew exactly what was going to happen next.

Educating Waverly, by Laura Kalpakian
Interesting connections between lives, that's for sure.  But a little on the depressing side, and the ending was incredibly abrupt.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores, by Gabriel García Márquez
A strange fable about the puppy love between the ninety-year old narrator and a 14 year old prostitute.  

The Seven Towers, by Patricia Wrede
I grew up loving her writing (so snappy!) and I was surprised to see that I had never read this one before--a quick read with an old fashioned conflict --think Game of Thrones without the sex and violence, and snappy, funnier dialogue.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Google analytics

I'm always astonished by the strange and random keywords people use to end up at this particular corner of the web...

sebulba always wins
grad school wardrobe 
101 dalmations dogs

My post about 101 Things To Do in Boston is my most popular, by far --- and for some reason, June 2010 is always in the top ten.  I keep trying to figure out why, but nothing comes to mind!

And in the August/September months, my posts about grad school tend to show up -- next year, I'm going to have to do some updating, I think, now that I'm old (experienced? jaded? realistic?).  For one, I've completely given up on having any sense of fashion.  I literally bought five pairs of Toms shoes to wear to lab simply because it's easier than shopping and searching, I know they will fit, and they don't click on linoleum floors.  Part of me can't wait for the day when my wardrobe can include heels again...sheesh. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Celebrating local foods

the oregano used for the tomato-basted scup (that's a fish)

Yesterday the dining hall in the dorm celebrated a local foods day, complete with herbs from the Penthouse, and a REALLY embarrassing story/montage about the "hours of back-breaking work" and "lugging gallons of water" to "fashioning a drip irrigation system" to create a "rooftop oasis" complete with a picture of me and our garden setup---it was written by one of the most cheerful dining employees I've ever met in my life, so I can hardly fault his enthusiasm, haha. 

And yes, IWU folks, he even beats Saga Dave.

I think my favorite part of the whole thing is the graphic at the bottom with the picture of the dorm saying "High Rise.  Hyperlocal.  Your garden here."  Love it.  Makes me feel a bit better about the vegetable bust of the season (curse you, cold June!  and early heat and late frost!  messing up the apple season here, too!)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's the little things...

I have been relentlessly rating songs thumbs up and thumbs down on my "Call Me Maybe" pandora station, and now it plays the perfect mix of happy top 40 from the past fifteen years and wonderful big band-Frank Sinatra-Bing Crosby tunes (The Way You Look Tonight by Fred Astaire,  Stronger by Kelly Clarkson, Lights, by Ellie Goulding)  So worth my time.

I went to Sephora with a friend in search of a cherry scarlet fire engine red lipstick to wear to a concert and party at the French Consulate this Friday...and found this winner:

from Makeup Forever, Iconic Red No. 8

However.  Let's be clear, I am an absolute fail with makeup, and the fact that I have dry skin and lips made this stuff almost intolerable after an hour and a half of wear.  That, and the aquaphor I normally use for my lips is something the stain sort of dissolves into, and every time I put more on, my applicator finger would turn red.  Fail. 

But---it does turn your lips a fabulous red, and I loved how it looked four feet away.   Even so, "coloring between the lines" is simply not my forte.  And something so bright is not the training wheels I need, I think, no matter how much I want to rock them.  So we'll see what I do.  For those ladies out there that actually know how to use makeup, this one is a keeper.

Also--Monday's groceries for the week?  Four pints of blackberries and four pints of raspberries, $36.  The benefit to being on the meal plan is the extra money I can spend on berries. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Remembering the lake

I can't wait until next summer.

Monday, September 24, 2012


All from Zuni, New Mexico, made by members of the Zuni Tribe.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

More flower pictures!


They are a little long, and I won't lie and say I was intending them to be that way.  But, they ended up looking bright and cheerful, which was exactly what the bride wanted.  I adore the colors, that's for sure!  The combination of the pointy magenta ones and the sunflowers turned out to be my favorite, but the dahlias are gorgeous, too! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Snuffy's Malt Shop

Growing up, this was the place with the juke box, the place that we always went after a dentist appointment, the place that serves great malts and burgers, old school style.  And to this day, because of Snuffy's, I always crave a malt after any dental procedure. 

Down to the stripes on the wall and the mustard and ketchup containers, definitely a place of my childhood.

Fudge malt.  The best.  Hands down.

Also the best?  Onion rings.  Seriously.  I flew home in a daze of greasy deliciousness because of these guys.  Yum.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

the "real" September

Despite the wonderful reminders of a great trip that I've been posting all September, this month has actually been a bit of a heart attack in progress, time and again.  I don't have a free night until October 5th, which in some ways is fabulous, the mark of a busy life.  (but in other ways, the complete explanation for why I want a nap). 

--See this?  This is what we can, in technical terms, the death spiral.  Our cold room in lab is a giant room at 4ºC (40ºF), and stores plates, experiments, and chilly grad students.  I actually spent an incredible amount of time in a cold room when I worked at the U of MN pulverizing mouse organs.  Brr.  At least it didn't smell.  Anyway, the cold room went down, and as EHS rep, I got the call.  Awesome.  Something more to deal with.  Haven't I had enough practice with the -80 freezer?

--I went to the Penthouse to tidy the garden when I arrived back, got almost all the way around, and ended up disturbing a wasp nest, and they started swarming.  Amazingly, I only ended up with one sting on my lower back, but man, it hurt. 

--I'm playing principal horn on Dvorak's New World Symphony with three new first year undergrads and a returning sophomore.  Those of you that know me well know my vehement dislike for playing first, even more so in a piece with exposed parts and transposition.  But that is how it is.  Sigh.  Thank goodness it's great music, in the very least.

--There have been a number of challenging incidents in my role as a GRT, though to protect privacy, I can't talk about them here.  But rest assured, I have earned my rent this month.

(although---a friend told a somewhat hilarious tale about coming back down from the Penthouse with herbs for dinner and a *very* bright-eyed young student seeing that my friend pressed my floor asking "Are you going to see Bridget?"  My friend looked surprised and nodded.  "She's my GRT!  And she's really awesome.  She bakes a lot.  And she's nice, too."  So there's that.  At least one person likes me here, that's a start, ha).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Food at the Minnesota State Fair!

Mini donut-making machine.  I want one.

Tom Thumb donuts...masterpieces.

My mom used to work in a root beer barrel!

Cheese nirvana

Apple cider pops:  $1

Beer flights at the Ag building: $8 for four 5 ounce beers, a great deal!

Fried turkey sandwich.  So good.

Yes, that is "Ole and Lena's Hotdish on a Stick" stand.  I forgot to search out the new "Ole's Cannoli's" -- it'll have to wait until the next time I'm at the fair!


My favorite, Dole Whip.

I nearly cried when they told me their raspberry machine was broken.  But!   I found some recipes online, and you can bet I'm going to try and recreate it at home.

And because the world always needs more delicious treats, lingonberry ice cream.  We thought about going for some Sweet Martha's Cookies, but goodness, there is only so much you can eat in a day!