Saturday, March 25, 2006

Project Spectrum

The new button on the side is for Project Spectrum, a project with the goal of making us notice the colors around us. Lots of people are crafting something for each month's colors. It is unlikely I'll be organized enough to do that, but I like the idea of thinking about a certain color each month, and noticing it around me. To that end, here are some red things around my house. Red/pink is the color for March, and I plan to get some of the nice reds and pinks that are outdoors and post them before the end of the month next week.

Book Challenge

28. Mr. Dacy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues by Linda Berdoll
This is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice (as the title says). I came across it in my search for the book "Mr. Darcy's Daughters" which is also a sequel to Pride and Prejudice that my library refuses to buy for me. I guess I could buy it myself, but I am poor and my apartment is so overwhelmed with books I just can't bring myself to add more, unless they are very important ones such as Primate Conservation Biology or Primate Males.

Anyway, back to the review. I was shocked at first by the trashiness of this book, and a little angered at the treatment of my beloved Pride and Prejudice characters. However, after awhile I got really sucked into the story, and the characters. I stopped thinking of them as from P&P, and just saw them as their own entities. By the end, I was staying up after R slept to get in a few more pages -- that's how engrossing the story became to me.

This is a pretty fluffy, somewhat trashy, period romance dressed up as a sequel to a classic, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit, and have requested the sequel from the library.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Crochet plans

This is my next crochet project. I have, possibly insanely, agreed to make it for a Craftster swap. I am optimistic as I think the swap deadline will motivate me. Although my 2nd sock is still unstarted, I can put that off for awhile for this wrap, which will be done in black. I even went right from teaching yesterday to JoAnns to get the yarn which is Lion Brand Micro-Spun and is so soft! And acrylic, yet soft. I have been having some problems with my ethics and crocheting. I am a vegetarian, and I try really hard to not wear animal products like wool, leather and silk. However, so many nice yarns are wool! I've managed to stick to the acrylic or cotton this far, but a lot of the acrylic does feel plastic-y. The sock was in cotton which I really enjoyed, and now this microspun is impressing me with its softness, so maybe that is something I can use more of in the future.

On that note, if anyone knows of some cruelty free wool, I'd love to hear about it. I emailed KnitPicks to ask about the conditions in which the animals they get their wool from are raised, but they never wrote back, alas.

Monday, March 20, 2006


R and I had a great weekend up in the panhandle. That was the last part of Florida we needed to explore -- now we have seen it all. We went to a little town of Apalachicola and had the best time. It was very relaxing and we wandered about and R ate lots of oysters. Our hotel was right on the Apalachicola river, and all rooms had a view of the water.

The hotel also included an oyster bar, a restaurant and a bar which were awesome. On Saturday we went to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, where we had hoped to camp, but it was full. We did have a great day wandering around the park which was really beautiful. It is on a peninsula off of the Florida peninsula, and you can see the ocean and the bay sides in some of the Flickr pictures. After that we returned to Apalachicola and had a good dinner at one of the non-hotel restaurants. Sunday we drove home and I was so sad to leave but at least we got to stop at a Dairy Queen on the way.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fortune telling meme

Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING. Found at Profgrrl and Reassigned Time.

Here is a disclaimer that I have some weird music on my computer, and a lot I haven't actually listened to yet, as I am new to the world of computerized music. Still, many of the results are quite interesting.

1. How does the world see you? "We'll Meet Again" Johnny Cash
2. Will I have a happy life? "Names" Cat Power. Yikes. I think this means no.
3. What do my friends really think of me? "Army of Me" Bjork. This is pretty cool.
4. Do people secretly lust after me? "When the Roses Bloom Again" Billy Bragg and Wilco
5. How can I make myself happy? "Speak for Me" Cat Power
6. What should I do with my life? "For We Are the King of the Boudoir" Magnetic Fields. Not bad! But I think it is illegal to get paid for this. Maybe I need to move to Las Vegas.
7. Will I ever have children? "All Kinds of Time" Fountains of Wayne. Maybe when I am old?
8. What is some good advice for me? "Wrapped Up in Books" Belle and Sebastian.
9. How will I be remembered? "Road Movie to Berlin" They Might Be Giants. I think this is fitting somehow...
10. What is my signature dancing song? "Moonshiner" Cat Power
11. What do I think my current theme song is? "The One You Really Love" Magnetic Fields. This is pretty depressing. Maybe it is not about R dreaming about the one he really loves, but about the cats dreaming of the one they really love -- Fancy Feast.
12. What does everyone else think my current theme song is? "The Further I Slide" Badly Drawn Boy. Oooooh "everyone sees you in the wrong way..."
13. What song will play at my funeral? "My Flying Saucer" Billy Bragg and Wilco. I like it!
14. What type of men/women do you like? Men: "I Looked All Over Town" Magnetic Fields Women: "Blue Train" John Coltrane. I would like women who were like this song.
15. What is my day going to be like? "Gave Me Love" Catie Curtis. yay!


26. Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer
27. Humans by Robert J. Sawyer

These are the first two books of a trilogy called "the Neanderthal parallax". Basically, there is a parallel earth where Homo sapiens died out and Neanderthals survived. One of the Neanderthal physicists gets transported to our earth. In the first book, we see him adjusting to life here, and how our earth deals with him. The second book continues with more interaction between the two worlds, and a furthering of a relationship between the first Neanderthal to come to earth, and a Homo sapiens geneticist.

I really love the premise of the these books, and it allows Sawyer to make some interesting observations and points. I also really like how he didn't make the Neanderthal world just like earth, but with Neanderthals. There is a lot of rich detail about how the Neanderthals evolved along a different path. As far as I know, even though paleoanthropology is not my specialty, Sawyer also does very well with discussion of human evolution and the Neanderthals. He even mentions the American Association of Physical Anthropologists by name! Them's my peeps!

That said, I find the writing clunky at times, and there is a part of the 2nd book that I can tell is right from Guns, Germs and Steel (which Sawyer mentions). I also have problems with some of his descriptions of how evolution works, and which level of animals are 'conscious', i.e. able to make decisions. But still, the books are so imaginative and interesting it is easy to overlook these faults, and I am running out to the library today to get the third book in the series.

Last bit of procrastination

Well, no Angel for me yesterday, although R and I did decide to head to the faboo panhandle for the weekend. It is the only part of Florida we have not yet explored. We want to go camping, but apparently every single state park is totally booked up. Many have a few non-reservable camp sites, so we may try for one of those, or we might try the national forest which does not take reservations, or we might sleep at a Super 8. Anyway, as long as we do not have a repeat of the Great Spring Break Disaster of 2005 in which, exhausted and crabby from our tent falling down the night before we drove across nearly all of Florida before finally finding an empty room at a crappy Days Inn that cost $200, I will be ok.

This is my last bit of procrastination, as I am about to start the following plan for the day:
1. Work on reorganizing excel files for paper #1, which is suffering from 3 collaborators messing with the data. It is my charge to organize it and make a table of contents so I don't keep getting asked to make tables I made months ago.
2. Plan my class for next week.
3. Mail a shirt I made for a Craftster swap.
4. Work out? (I got my free 3 month membership yesterday. Very excited for plentiful elliptical machines!)
5. Finish planning for class next week.
6. Get someone to look in on the cats on Saturday.
7. Find tent and sleeping bags.
8. Return library books to school library.

I think this is do-able. I am usually very efficient at working, once I get started.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I finally got off my procrastinatory butt today and finished off my last grant application! Yay! I even emailed it away, so now all I have to do is sit back and await the rejections. Now it is all up to the granting organizations whether or not my dissertation is funded or not. At least I have my plane tickets. The grant money will just make the whole experience less painful, although it will be done, no matter what.

I read today that one should start applying for post-doctoral positions a year before you want them. That means I should start in August! Although I will be in the field then so I don't know how well that will work but today I did send for an application to a residential fellowship that would be sweet.

I am glad I finally got the grant finished as it is my spring break and so far I have spent it working. I had big plans of crocheting the second sock and finishing off the last season of Angel, but I also have 3 papers to work on, one of which will be my very first first-author publication, so I feel like I really need to buckle down on that. However, I think I will now go buy treats to send to a friend in the field, and then pick up something yummy for dinner and try to squeeze in some Angel watching. Also R is off work Friday so we are deciding between going camping or to Sea World -- that will be some good spring break fun at least.

Evolution Song

Thanks to K8, here is an awesome song about evolution.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bad, bad blogger

I apologize greatly for my recent blog neglect. I have been a busy busy bee. My friend Shannon visited at the beginning of last week, and then my friend Melissa was here for the second half of the week. yay yay! So much fun.

Shannon's visit was excellent and made me go outside and walk about some places I have never been before. We went to a little fishing town on the coast, to the big sinkhole, and to a state park. The weather was beautiful -- clear and amazing, but not too hot. We also used Shannon's visit as a reason to eat tons of good food at our favorite restaurants. yum yum.

With Melissa, I went 80's dancing (where I saw one of my students! eek!), to the anthro bar of old and back to the same fishing town. Both visits were excellent, but after all that activity and then R's work's big fundraiser on Sunday, I am worn out! It is great I have this week off for spring break, so I can get caught up on my various projects. I am currently working on three papers and really need to prioritize so I can actually get at least one submitted soon.

I can't get the Blogger photo uploader to work right now, but I'll have some pictures of my last week's adventures up soon.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Book Challenge

24. The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula LeGuin
Another great Earthsea book. Very good!

25. Saint Fire by Tanith Lee
Another in the "Secret Books of Venus" series. This one was about a woman who can create fire from her hair, and how the Church uses and judges her. I liked this one a lot, more than the first book in the series. I think I related more to the main character, and I liked the visions of religion and the church represented in this book.

5 Meme

Melinda tagged me for this, and since I am going to destroy her in our Oscar prediction competition tomorrow, I decided to post so she could be happy until then. Also, while I have like one million little draft post nubbins, I am unable to complete any for some reason. So this will have to do.

What Were You Doing Ten Years Ago?
In March 1996 I was in my second semester of college. My dad had just had a heart attack in February -- it actually might be 10 years ago today that I returned to college after flying home because of the heart attack. I remember he drove me back to college after Christmas break, and when he left I had such a weird feeling that he was going so far away. And then in mid-February my mom called early one Sunday and woke me and my roommate up to tell me my dad had a heart attack and was in the hospital and I should come home. At this point, the doctors apparently were not optimistic for his chances and had told me my mom to get me home. So I packed up my stuff and was just in so much shock. All the stuff I am going to write about it is really cloudy for me, which is weird because I have a pretty good memory. I think I was on auto pilot, and it was 10 years ago by now.

My fantabulous roommate Shannon drove me to the airport which was like 2 hours away and I remember that while we were in the car the Billy Joel song that goes "You may be right, I may be crazy" came on and I had a hard time because my dad always said that was his theme song. We got to the airport and something was wrong with the ticket -- maybe my credit card was at its limit? I totally lost it then and started crying and I called my dad's hospital room where my mom was and we tried to figure out what to do. At this point we were at a loss, but I think my uncle appeared and gave my mom his credit card to use so I made it home in the end and my dad got better. I stayed at home until he was released from the hospital, and the good news is he is fine now. But it was a really scary experience. Wow, I feel like I brought the blog down, but that is what happened 10 years ago.

What Were You Doing One Year Ago?

Around this time one year ago R and I went on our spring break trip to the Everglades which was supposed to fulfill my dream of sleeping on a chickee. Unfortunately, our vacation was instead beset by mosquitoes, rain, wind, a fallen down tent, exhaustion, crabbiness, and tears. I did not even get to see a chickee. We left the Everglades early and then could not find a hotel room in all of Florida but I did find some sharks' teeth on the west coast and we went to a random art festival filled with zombie-like old people and ate good Greek food. So there was a happy ending after all. It was also the one year anniversary of R moving here, so we must be on the two year anniversary now!

Five Snacks You Enjoy
- Oreos
- Samoas (the girl scout cookie)
- nectarines
- These sweet and salty almond granola bars I just discovered
- popcorn

Five Songs To Which You Know The Lyrics

- Many Indigo Girls, most notably "Get Out the Map", "Power of Two" and "Closer to Fine"
- The complete Dar Williams discography excluding the newest one which I do not own yet.
- All of "Into the Woods" (Stephen Sondheim, of course)
- I just discovered I know all the words to "Desperado" by the Eagles
- Enter Sandman
(I am a complex person)

Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire
- Fund my PhD research and also fund my wonder-monkey-twin Erin's.
- Support R so he could live the life of leisure he was meant for.
- Buy a big vacation house where all my friends can congregate regularly.
- Go to India, Africa, Antarctica, everywhere else I have never been and some places I have been before.
- Pay for my parents' retirement.

Five Bad Habits
- procrastination!
- laziness
- talking too much
- not thinking before speaking
- bossiness

Five Folks I'm Tagging for This Beeotch
I think most people who read this have already done this meme, so I tag no one! But if you haven't done it yet, do so.