the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Friday, April 29, 2005

Green Day Kicks Ass

many of you know that i am quite fond of green day's music. so of course i'm going to say that they kick ass. but unless you've been to their fan site lately, you don't know just how much ass they kick or how hard they kick it. somewhat surprisingly, seeing as i'm such a huge fan, i do not own either of green day's pre-dookie albums (well 1,039/smoothed out slappy hours is a compilation of a few albums). i know, i know. and i call myself a fan. how dare i. so, why don't i possess these albums, you ask? well, i'm cheap. yeah, yeah - chad's rubbing off on me. but every time i see these albums, they cost at least $13. i refuse to pay that for an album that is 15 years old. and forget finding a used copy. i've looked all over the place. anyway, today these problems disappeared. i went to the "audio archive" section of green day's fan site and happily discovered that i can download the songs from these albums - for free. sweet! there's gotta be a catch right? no! it's so awesome. well, the files are in a format that only realplayer will open, but so what? the realplayer download is free, too. i have every intention of burning all the songs onto cd's as soon as i get them all downloaded. so, instead of studying physical oceanography like a good girl, i've basically done nothing all day. well, i finally cleaned my apartment. that's something. i don't care, though. i'm getting 2 green day albums for free. kick ass.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Victory is Mine!

yes, i have triumphed over my nerve-wracking biometry assignment. well, i've triumphed over problem numero uno, anyway. and that's enough triumph for me for one day. i've spent over 4 hours of my day (i started a little after 8, and i just finished around 12:30) teaching myself how to write a program in minitab to do something that i didn't really understand in the first place. no, the macros in our notes did not help me out much. but i used them anyway. which is probably why the stupid thing refused to run the first eight hundred times i tried it...for 800 different reasons. stupid minitab. stupid mccreadie. stupid randomization. one program down, two more to write. but not today, baby...not today. i'm glad i didn't go to class today. if i had, i probably wouldn't have written a working program this morning. anyway, i wrote the program. it works. the results are comparable to the results i get with traditional statistics (the easy way - when i just type in "corr c1 c2" and minitab spits out a nice correlation coefficient and a p-value), which according to mccreadie means it's right. if the results are the same, just what the hell is the point of doing 1,000 randomizations (i'm not exaggerating this time. the program literally has to do 1,000 randomizations of the data)? anyway, it's done, and i did it all by myself! i'm like a little kid who's just learned to use the potty. i'm so proud of myself. and now i'm one problem closer to being finished for the semester...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What a Waste

the most useful thing i did today was clean my aquarium. i think it pissed off my snail (his name is gary, and he's huge), but it was much needed. he's been trying to hide under an equally huge sand dollar for about a week, and i moved it when i was vacuuming the gravel. so now gary's sulking in a corner of the tank. or that's how i see it, anyway. his being a snail, i guess i don't really know when he's sulking. now that i think about it, i don't even know if he's actually a he. maybe he's a she...i know the cleaning freaked out my nameless damselfish. but it always does, and he always comes out ok. the hermit crabs just don't give a damn. i actually moved a fake rock to a new position that facilitates their climbing up the airline, so maybe it made the crabs happy. i'll try to catch some new stuff to stick in there this summer. i really want a puffer. well, a striped burr fish. but i'm not paying $40 for one in the pet store. perhaps i'll rescue one from a trawl over the summer. i'll get a free fish and the satisfaction of knowing that i probably saved its life...even though i was the reason it would have died, anyway with my trawling and all. hmm...

so yeah, today's looong physical oceanography class was a big fat waste of time. there weren't that many notes to cover, and hashing out the details of the final exam didn't do anyone any good. i like dr. park, but sometimes he gives far too many details. i was quite excited when he returned last week's homework, though. i got a 10/10 on the first two probs, a 15/15 on the third, and a 78/80 on the last one (and the two points i missed were from one careless mistake). that's the best homework grade i've gotten in quite a while. and it made me feel not-so-bad about totally bombing the stupid problem i turned in today (the one that caused me to make vicious threats yesterday). dr. park went over the solution after we turned it in, and i figure i'll get about half the points for it. bummer. anyway, i intended to start on my biometry assignment today, but alas, i did not. yes, i still have time to start it, but you and i both know that just isn't going to happen. i've also decided that, despite the fact that lindsey is being a good student and going, i will not be going to biometry in the morning (sorry, lindsey). i feel that my time will be better spent actually working on the assignment in the morning than sitting in class with mccreadie just talking about the assignment. if i run into problems, i'll corner mccreadie either friday or early next week. i also need to start studying for my phys oce final. i intend to do the exam as soon as i get it monday and get it out of the way. then i can just finish up the biometry thing, and my work for the semester will done. oh, i can't wait.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

An Analogy

this semester is to me what the damn grrrowl were to the ice pilots in the playoffs (yes, i'm still pissed about that). i've hung in there all semester, valiantly procrastinating my way to A's in all my classes. but alas, the semester kills me at the end. it gets under my skin (another toenail fungus simile coming here...) and plants itself like digger the dermatophyte. i can't shake it. it's in my head and it's wreaking all sorts of havoc in my already fragile brain. i have to survive for 9 more days, and i'm already making threats to the safety of others. lucky, lucky vanessa whose semester is now over. lucky, lucky vanessa who can turn her thoughts to happy times in the future when she'll go on lots of fun trips and capture tons of great photo ops. oh, how i wish that my semester were over and that i, too, could turn my eyes toward the upcoming summer. well, i'm actually doing that anyway, even though i shouldn't. yesterday i got off my metaphorical ass (but not my physical ass, as i was sitting when i did this) and emailed dr. v. about the summer. he's kindly offered me an REU student to help out with my research in the upcoming months. for those of you who aren't familiar with the workings of research, REU means Research Experience for Undergraduates. basically, a student is coming to work in dr. v.'s lab for the summer. he/she will be doing a project of his/her own, but as i am now a grad student and no longer a little peon, i get to monopolize a bit of this poor sucker's time doing work for me. i'm told i don't have to worry about money for this research. and i quote, "monies are not an issue." the phrase "road trip" was also used in dr. v.'s reply to my inquiries about the summer, and i'm meeting with him next thursday or friday to discuss things...if i survive until next thursday.

at the rate things are going right now, i may be dead or in jail before next week. not really, of course...that's just the way i'm feeling. i'm doing this stupid phys oce problem, and i want to hurt people. it makes my head hurt. or maybe that's just my pal digger inviting a few friends in to see what they can screw around with in my brain. i think i've figured out an answer to the problem (i'll not even try to convince anyone it's the right answer). but half the information i'm using was pulled straight out of my white girl butt crack. and explaining why i made the (probably wrong) assumptions that i did is going to be a bitch. it took 6 sheets of notebook paper before i came to a workable solution - one that didn't give me an average pacific ocean depth of 49,000 meters. the depth of the pacific ocean is actually ~4200 meters. and with my new solution i get ~5000 m. reasonable, in my humble opinion. so now i have to summarize what i did and why in 3 pages or less. bleh.

another thing that's chipping away at my morale here at the end of the semester is our freakin' biometry assignment. i haven't the faintest clue what i'm doing. not that i've started it yet. it just seems so...hard. biometry isn't supposed to be hard. none of the previous assignments have made me cry or pull my hair out. this one hasn't yet (since i haven't actually worked on it) - but it will. i can feel it in my bones. so, when i get through this afternoon, i have to sit in phys oce for 3.5 hours tomorrow (we're meeting a half hour early), figure out the stupid biometry thing, and study for my phys oce final. which i'm strangely not worried about. the first test was pretty easy. it's the freakin' homework that's killing me. ok, ok. enough whining. i'm going to do what the ice pilots couldn't - make it through the semester unscathed and come out clean on the other side and into - summer.

Monday, April 25, 2005


avoiding things...that's what i'm doing now. it is not a pretty day. it's cloudy and sprinkly but it won't just rain already. it's the sort of day for curling up with a good book or maybe taking a nap. not a good day for homework. and it's just one problem, right? no harm in just doing it tomorrow. i had a little chat with charlie today, and he made me feel that i really need to talk to dr. v....about my plans for the summer, about deferring my stipend while i TA, about plans for my project, about his TA situation for marine ecology, about funding for my preliminary research. i need to make a list of questions and corner him one day soon.

anyway, my final geological oceanography class was good. that is by far the best of the four core courses in marine sciences. informative and interactive. doug got a good evaluation for that one. today, we sat around picklefish, talking about global warming over pizza (which doug paid for) while charlie and marcus passed a pitcher of beer back and forth...across me (i was sitting between them). in retrospect, charlie and i should have traded places when he and marcus decided to split a pitcher of killian's irish red (which doug also paid for). it was a good (free) lunch and a good discussion. rochelle showed up late because she got engaged and couldn't get her mother off the phone. congrats to her. i like rochelle. i think we have a lot in common. i decided this one day when we bonded over a shared love of shoes and purses, which we discovered when she complimented me on my lovely green liz claiborne purse and asked where i got it. towards the end of lunch, we stopped talking about global climate change and just started chatting about grad school in general. doug asked if we had opportunities to teach in the marine sciences dept (he's really focused in the earth sciences dept), and we don't really. my teaching experience comes from my senior year of undergrad when the bio dept was basically desperate for someone to teach a couple of labs. perhaps in a year or so when my fellowship is over and a grant is paying for my education, i'll be able to do some teaching for cash again. i think i've decided that i want to go into academia. i like teaching, and i'll still be able to do research in a university environment. doug also brought up the subject of comps in that conversation. damn comps. i'm really scared of those. basically, each person on your committee gets to ask you one question about anything related to your field. the question can be in any form, on virtually any subject (within the realm of marine science), with any time limit. some profs ask a question and say, "i want your answer in two hours." some give you a couple of days. some give a little advance warning by handing you a stack of books and telling you to read them. some give you no clue. some want an answer straight from you. some want references. some want a paper. some want an oral answer. some allow you to go home and answer the question. some require you to sit in a room alone with no references until it's done. some ask simple questions. some ask the most complicated things you've ever heard. and almost every grad student enters comps with absolutely no idea what to expect. everyone i know dreads comps. everyone i know who has already taken their comps studied for them for at least a month prior to the actual exams. thank god you don't have comps until after all your coursework is complete. for me, as a PhD student coming straight from undergrad, that'll take a while. i need 60 credit hours plus my dissertation...i'll have 19 hrs at the end of the semester. at least 37 of my 60 credits need to be from courses...i can do 8 hrs of directed study, and i have to have 12 hours of dissertation credit (but i can have up to 15). hmm...maybe it won't be that long before comps, after all. 18 more actual class credits only amounts to ~2 semesters. wow. i can finish my coursework next year. sweet! then i can just do directed study and dissertation hours. that is so awesome. i may finish my PhD in 4 years yet. i might actually be able to fulfill my dream of getting my PhD at 25. well, i'll turn 26 a couple of months after i get it, but still. a doctorate at 25...

Sunday, April 24, 2005

There IS Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

it's nice to be in grad school, with (mostly) very small classes that allow for things like deciding to have class in a restaurant one day. doug emailed everyone yesterday with the articles we're supposed to read for monday's class, and since he'd promised us pizza he declared that we should just meet at picklefish (it's right next to campus, anyway) at 11:30. sweet. a very nice end to geological oceanography. no lecture for the last class and no final exam. just hangin' out, having pizza, for those who like beer (i'm not one of them, which really surprised some of the guys in the class for some reason) havin' a beer, and discussing our thoughts on global warming and sea level rise. it should be fun. it's really quite interesting what a bunch of scientists will talk about if you give them pizza and beer...even at 11:30 in the morning. anyway, no review to write this week, just have to read some articles, some of which are pretty intense, claiming that global warming will cause famine and nuclear war. actually, that was one that i submitted. doug said he wanted unrefereed publications that didn't necessarily have to be based on science, so i thought it was a good choice. it came from a seattle newspaper.

the end of the semester is so close, i can practically taste it. i just have to read stuff for tomorrow's class, solve a problem for physical oceanography and summarize my answer and the assumptions i made in less than three pages, do 3 biometry problems (which *scarily* involve writing programs in minitab) by may 5, and study for my closed-book-take-home phys oce final exam to be emailed to us may 2. 11 days. i can survive for 11 more days. actually, i'm looking forward to my free picklefish lunch tomorrow...then i can get to dreading the rest.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Ahh, Darwin

so, i was browsing through the darwin awards, as i sometimes do when i'm bored...or when i've done something stupid, and i need to reassure myself that i am not, in fact, the dumbest person on the planet. anyway, i ran across this one, and it made me think, "wow. that is so something chad would do. he should read this." and it also reminded me of the time that i electrocuted myself. don't know that story? it's kind of funny. let me enlighten you. if you don't know me, you aren't aware that for three years during my undergraduate career, i worked with seagrass. well, one november during that time we were preparing an experiment in which we were infecting turtlegrass with a protist whose growth slows during cold weather (actually, most of our experiments did the same thing, but most of them were conducted over the summer). since it was november, the ambient water temperature at perdido key, fl (our collection site) was too cold for the protist to be infectious. so, we had to use aquarium heaters in the lab to bring the water up to near-summer temperatures before we inoculated the plants. so, i went in on the morning that we were supposed to put the plants into the tanks to check the water temperature in each tank. since there were twenty tanks and only two thermometers, i had to move the thermometers from tank to tank. well, i stuck my hand in one tank to retrieve the thermometer, and i noticed that the water was cold. then i felt something weird. it felt sort like minnows nibbling at my fingers. it didn't hurt. it just felt weird. so, i'm standing there with my hand still in the tank for maybe 30 seconds trying to figure out what i'm feeling. then it hits me - duh, stupid. the water's cold - the heater is busted, and you're getting shocked. and that's when i removed my hand from the tank, and unplugged the heater. then, i took it out of the tank, and sure enough, the glass on the bottom is broken, exposing the coil inside to the highly conductive salt water. i laughed at myself for being such an idiot. then i went and told my advisor so i could replace the heater. well, she didn't think it was funny. neither did my mom, for that matter. my arm was pretty tingly that day, but that was all. i turned out ok. and for some reason, i feel the need to tell people this story, even though it makes me look dumb. but not nearly as dumb as this guy. read on.

Resistance is Futile
1999 Darwin Award Nominee
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(1999) A US Navy safety publication describes injuries incurred while doing don't's. One page described the fate of a sailor playing with a multimeter in an unauthorized manner. He was curious about the resistance level of the human body. He had a Simpson 260 multimeter, a small unit powered by a 9-volt battery. That may not seem powerful enough to be dangerous… but it can be deadly in the wrong hands.

The sailor took a probe in each hand to measure his bodily resistance from thumb to thumb. But the probes had sharp tips, and in his excitement he pressed his thumbs hard enough against the probes to break the skin. Once the salty conducting fluid known as blood was available, the current from the multimeter travelled right across the sailor's heart, disrupting the electrical regulation of his heartbeat. He died before he could record his Ohms.

The lesson? The Navy issues very few objects which are designed to be stuck into the human body.

August 2000 Dan Wilson elaborates:

I'm a former Navy petty officer, enlisted for six years as an electrician aboard a US Submarine. I got a lot of training. This story was used frequently during my training in the US Navy as an example of what can happen when procedures and safety measures are not followed. I considered the story an urban legend until I found the incident report referenced in the official Navy electrical safety guidelines. I now know it is true.

The actual event is slightly different than described above, and even more deserving of a Darwin award. This sailor stuck the sharpened ends of the probes through his thumbs intentionally. You see, he had just taken a course that taught a critical concept called "internal resistance."

Internal resistance is resistance to electrical power flow that exists inside any power source. It causes the terminal voltage to drop when load (current) increases. You can demonstrate this concept, if you're careful, by monitoring your car battery's terminal voltage, while someone starts up the engine. The reading will be ~13 volts while the engine is off, but during the period where the starter is cranking it will drop to 8-9 volts. The voltage drop is due to the internal resistance of the battery.

This sailor, like all other electricians in training, had already been through a safety class in which one of the excercises is to measure your body's resistance by simply holding the probes between your fingertips. (Most people read 500Kohms to 2Mohms.) Evidently, adding information from the internal resistance class, this sailor wanted to determine his own body's "internal resistance.". So he intentionally pushed the sharpened probe tips through the skin to elimate the rather high skin resistance and get only the "internal resistance". This, of course, caused his death.

How, you might ask, with only a 9V battery? Easy. One of the "rules of thumb" that the Navy teaches is the 1-10-100 rule of current. This rule states that 1mA of current through the human body can be felt, 10mA of current is sufficient to make muscles contract to the point where you cannot let go of a power source, and 100mA is sufficient to stop the heart. Let's look at Ohm's law. Ohm's law (for DC systems - I will not discuss AC here) is written as E=IR, where E is voltage in volts, I is current in Amps, and R is resistance in Ohms.

When we did the experiment in the electrical safety class to determine our body's resistance, we found a resistance of 500K Ohms. Using 9V and 500K Ohms in the equation, we come up with a current of 18 microAmps, below the "feel" threshold of 1mA. However, removing the insulation of skin from our curious sailor here, the resistance through the very good conducting electrolytes of the body is sharply lower. Around 100 ohms, in fact, resulting in a current of 90mA - sufficient to stop our sailor's heart and kill him.

As my electrical safety instructor said, "The reason we now have to teach the electrical safety course to all electricians at least twice per year is because some joe was bright enough to be the one person in the world who could figure out how to kill himself with a 9V battery." © 1994 - 2004
Submitted by: Brian Lallatin
Enhanced by: Dan Wilson
References: US Navy Safety Publications

A Note on Mobile Bookstores

today, instead of cleaning as originally planned, i drove around town and killed time in a couple of used bookstores. sorry, nessa - no luck locating the last two The Last Vampire books. but i haven't given up hope. anyway, i'd never been to the book rack in the skyland shopping center (government @ azalea rd., if anyone is interested) before today. it's an ok little store. but the book corner next to office max (actually it's right next to the dentist's office in that shopping center by wal-mart on schillinger) is better. there's this little old lady who runs the place, and she's very sweet. her store is a little less claustrophic than the book rack, and i think she has a better selection. i joined the book corner's mailing list today...they send out postcards with discounts every so often...the one i got today was for 15% off my next purchase. i'm sure that there are other used bookstores in mobile, but these are the only two that i drive by in my daily least, that i've noticed. i'm not the most observant girl in the world, as my mother won't hesitate to tell you. actually, thrift stores are also good for finding used the goodwill and america's thriftstore at airport and schillinger. they're just not as organized as bookstores, so it's often more difficult to find what you're looking for...but they're usually super cheap.

you know, i really didn't need to go book shopping today...i really need to clean my filthy apartment. and i've bought a lot of books lately that i haven't had the time to read. oh well. it seemed like a good idea this morning. i should be able to get them read over the summer. hmm...a dilemma - to spend the afternoon curled up in the recliner with a new book or to spend the afternoon cleaning? that is the question.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


i feel like i've done nothing but homework all week. oh wait, i have done homework all week. that 'splains it, then. anyway, this afternoon i'm just chillin', listening to some tunes, printing pictures from the locker room tour and our trip to greenville (there's something weird about my camera - my pictures always look better when i print them myself than when i take them to wal-mart). i picked and chose...between the two groups of pics, there are way more than 100. no way i'm printing all of those. but's nice not doing homework. that doesn't mean that there isn't homework to do, it just means that i'm putting it off until monday. since i'm doing nothing useful this afternoon, i guess i'll be cleaning tomorrow. i live like a pig, and it's time i fixed that. but not today. today is for relaxing. tomorrow, chad and i are going to pay a visit to best buy and look into getting a wireless internet laptop is equipped for it, and plugging the cord in every time i log on is a pain in the ass.

anyway, i finally finished all the crap i said i was going to do last week before we went to greenville. i handed in my biometry assignment this morning...i think that lindsey and i have acquired a new member for our circle of statistical symbiosis (say that 3 times fast). marcus has been chatting with us a lot in class lately (he's also in my geological oceanography class), and tuesday he discovered the symbiotic nature of the relationship that lindsey and i have going in biometry (she corners mccreadie with questions and tells me what he says, and i help her out when she doesn't know what the hell he means). so, he saved us loads of time by just telling what to do for problem 4 (he'd already talked to mccreadie) instead of making us hunt through our notes for what to do, and he emailed me for help on problem 3, which i gladly gave, as he'd been generous with his knowledge of problem 4. like i said, it's a nice symbiosis we have going.

but anyway, not a whole lot's happening in my life right now...i'm just trying to get through the next two weeks until this semester is finally over. my core courses are done after this semester, so now i can take classes that actually interest me. hooray! oh yeah, i told deva about the "jason is my homeboy" poster, but i don't think she ever saw it. so, this is for you, deva.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Blame Game

yep, it's time for me to play the blame game. and there are a lot of people to blame for the ice pilots' disappointing performance in the playoffs. sadly, that performance is now over, following an absolutely embarrassing loss last night in greenville. from the sound of things, the game was wide-open, which should have helped our guys out. but it did the opposite. they just got killed. they were outshot and outplayed for most of the game. i have to give credit where credit is due. the grrrowl defense did an excellent job, and brodeur stopped everything that made it through. i'm just sorry that our guys couldn't hang with greenville's repeatedly changing style. first, they played dirty, then they laid off the holding, played fair, and we won. then last night, they played a wide-open hockey game, and had a good power play. our penalty killing, on the other hand, left something to be desired throughout the series. i've also got to say that, with the way pensacola played for most of the series, greenville deserved to win. we didn't seem to really get serious about trying to score last night until the 3rd period - too little, too late, if you ask me, and the score says i'm absolutely right. well, the last two goals were empty-netters, but it's still pretty pathetic that we got shut out.

my first rant of the morning will showcase the pilots' coach, dave farrish. throughout the regular season, i was singing dave farrish's praises. we were winning, he made some good roster moves (i.e., materukhin), he was a great coach. then he started mucking with the system at the end of the season. he tried to fix us when we weren't broken. rooneem came in near the end of the regular season (ok, we may have needed a forward at the time), and we lost turon through methods i still don't get and seemingly didn't even try to get him back. the turon thing may not have been entirely farrish's fault, but i have to wonder whether he made any attempts get him back in pensacola for the playoffs. what i'm really pissed about is our playoff roster. rather than going with players who had been with us all season, farrish chose to put guys on our playoff roster who had played very few (palahnuk, newbury, even rooneem although i'm not that upset about his being on the playoff roster) or no games with us (heid, fortunus). i don't necessarily have problems with any of these players (except chris heid - i have some issues with him). i just hate that they were chosen over guys like bill kinkel and david turon for our final roster. farrish's excuse for kinkel: he wasn't sure if he would get reassigned to us. hello, dave! you weren't sure about half the other guys you put on the roster, either. anyway, i also disagreed with the guys farrish scratched last night in favor of the not-so-impressive palahnuk - chris st. jacques and jordan krestanovich. all i can say is that for jordan to get scratched, he better have been hurt. why else would farrish have scratched our leading scorer in the regular season, a guy who also had points in the playoffs? he should have scratched rooneem instead. rooneem has not played well in the postseason, and if anyone should've gotten scratched last night, it was him. i like him, but materukhin would also have been a better scratch choice than jordan - he hasn't been so impressive lately. this may surprise some of you, as you're well aware that jacquo has a special place in my hockey thoughts, but i'm not that upset that he got scratched last night. cory stillman did deserve a chance to play, and he had to take someone's place. also, st. jacques has a bit of a temper, and he's been taking some bad penalties. but so has matty...and jacquo had an assist on cam's first goal on saturday. but there's nothing anyone can do about these mistakes now. and it's really doing me no good to bitch about them now...but it makes me feel a little better to get it off my chest. so, my final thoughts on dave farrish - an awesome regular season coach, but maybe not so good for the postseason.

now, i know that dave farrish is not wholly to blame for this disappointing playoff series. the guys out there on the ice played a big part in that. but i've already ranted pretty hard on the guys in previous posts, so now i think i'll point out some of the pilots i feel sorry for because they played well and deserved a better performance from their teammates. aaron phillips, corey neilson, dwayne (particularly in the last game), cam keith (particularly in game 3), ryan vince, and of course freddy...the guys you can pretty much depend on to play well. some of the other guys also had some good moments, but these are the pilots that stood out to me during the playoffs.

so, now that our season is officially over, i can move on to other things - specifically, i can put more time into planning my project and get some research done over the summer. also on the upside, chad and i now have to spend less $ on next year's tickets. i will, however, be keeping up with the rest of the playoffs. i hope that columbia beats charlotte, then florida will play gwinnett. and i hope florida wins that series. we'll see.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Anal Lysis

i know that's a weird title for a post, but ever since lindsey said that this morning in biometry, i crack up at the phrase. we're sitting there, for the most part paying attention (that doesn't happen very often), when lindsey leans over and whispers, "have you ever noticed how the word 'analysis' is a combination of the words 'anal' and 'lysis'?" i hadn't. but now that she's pointed it out, when i see the word 'analysis' i giggle. and in a stats class, 'analysis' shows up frequently - analysis of variance, principle component analysis, multivariate analysis, you get the idea. then, while i'm fighting to keep my composure, she said, "so, stats is like a rectal explosion." and i totally lost it. i thought something like, "multivariate rectal explosion," and i put my head on my knees (my feet were up on the back of the chair in front of me) and just laughed, which is really hard to do when you're trying to be quiet. it probably looked like i was head down, my shoulders shaking pretty violently, the way they tend to do when i'm trying to control my laughter. mccreadie looked at me funny, but he didn't say anything. i finally managed to get myself under control, but every time i looked up at the projector screen and saw the word 'analysis' i would start giggling again. ahh, lindsey. god love her, but she makes me laugh at the most inappropriate times.

Cheap Shots

so, scott gomez has broken his pelvis and will be out for the rest of the playoffs. damn. so no matter what happens, i'm not gonna see him play anyone in the echl. this is what happens when guys feel the need to take cheap shots. he was leaving the ice when a bakersfield condor slammed him awkwardly into the door of the players' bench, sending gomez to the hospital with a broken pelvis. i just happened to be cruising the net, and for some reason i visited alaska's website and discovered this. i can't believe the story didn't make it onto the echl news page. oh well. maybe he'll still be traveling with the team if they come close to us, so i can do something like when nessa and i accosted martin lachaine for an autograph long, long ago and asked him why he wasn't playing to get the reply, "i hurt my groin." only this time it's, "i broke my pelvis." or "some jackass broke my pelvis."

so, gwinnett has beat the damn sea wolves to advance to the next round and florida has beat south carolina. so, pensacola needs to some way, somehow, by some miracle survive this round and go on to play the gwinnett gladiators. starting tonight, we must be better. we'll see how tonight's game goes...i'll be listening.

Monday, April 18, 2005

It's Only a Game

so, i just reread last night's post and realized that it was pretty intense. but so were my feelings about the game, obviously. i tell myself that it's only a game, a form of entertainment, something to take my mind off of other facets of my life. i feel like jimmy fallon's character in fever pitch when drew barrymore's character says, "it's only a game" in a bar full of red sox fans. only, i'm trying to tell myself that it is just a game, not my life. and it isn't my life. the guys who are out there getting paid to play it weren't as upset as i was. and maybe that's my problem. i guess it's not a rare thing for a fan to have more intense feelings about a game than the people playing it. it just seems so wrong. why should i care more about the way the ice pilots play than they do? hmm...i guess because i'm paying to see these guys play hockey, and i expect them to play hockey to the best of their ability. having seen "the best of their ability" up close and personal for six months, i know that what i've seen in the playoffs is not their best. and i'm disappointed. and pissed off. and feeling cheated. and not getting my money's worth. so,'s only a game. a game whose season is rapidly coming to a close. as jimmy fallon's character morphed into "winter guy," i am about to become "summer girl" again, and my life will no longer revolve around hockey. it is, after all, just a game.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

I'll See You Thursday

this may seem like a thoughtful, innocent comment, but it was enough to send me over the edge after last night's harrowing win over the damn grrrowl. this is what cam keith said to us last night in greenville. and it pissed me off like you wouldn't believe. ok, i'll start at the beginning. the trip to greenville was actually fun, even though i was only running on 4 hours' sleep. the scenery on the drive up was awesome, especially after we crossed into south carolina - it's a beautiful state. the hotel was nice to have only cost $43, and it was located right next to the greenville mall. we didn't spend much time in the hotel, though. shortly after checking in, deva, chad, and i headed for downtown greenville to check out the bi-lo center and see what the city of greenville, sc has to offer. in a word, it's gorgeous - the bi-lo center and downtown greenville. while pulling up to the parking garage next to the bi-lo center, we spotted ryan vince coming from an undetermined location. of course, deva and i were excited at the sight of one of our beloved pilots, even if we were still pissed about the outcomes of the previous two playoff games. then, we spotted even more pilots heading into the arena, including scott may (we said hello), coach (said hello to him, too), corey n. & jacquo (saw them from afar), various other pilots (from afar), and cam keith. we saw cam up close, wished him luck, he thanked us for coming. it was very nice. the team seemed to be having issues gaining entry into the bi-lo center - the doors they had come out of earlier were locked. it was kind of amusing. anyway, we picked up our tickets and wandered around downtown. again, a beautiful city. tree-lined streets, tons of fun little shops and restaurants, gorgeous flowers planted along the streets (most of which were in grrrowl colors, as chad pointed out)...anyway, we eventually made our way back to the bi-lo center for the game, where the greenville fans were especially nice, going out of their way to say hello and thank us for coming. we soon discovered the reason for this - no one else goes to their games. the echl site may say that there were ~3200 people at that game, but that is the biggest lie ever. there may have been 1,000 people in attendance. that beautiful, beautiful arena was pretty bare. that is an awesome building, and it is going to waste on a team with very little fan base.

ok, now for a game synopsis. first, the officials in greenville were the fairest i've ever seen...and the grrrowl fans still bitched. they wouldn't know a bad call if it walked up, smacked them, and said, "hey, i'm a bad call. remember what i look like." a couple of trespasses went uncalled (an elbow here, a hold there), but they were committed behind the ref's back, so he's not really to blame. and they weren't over-the-top injury-causing infractions, so i'm not too upset about it. there was another disallowed goal (man in the crease), but rooneem was standing in the crease, although he had nothing to do with the puck's going into the net - morrison had a wide-open view, and rooneem never even tried touching the puck. again, it could've been worse, as we saw on thursday and friday. i was shocked and awed to discover that the grrrowl weren't up to their usual clutch n grab tricks last night. there was amazingly little holding happening - i attribute this to a referee who actually calls holding rather than just pointing at the offender to make him stop. let me tell you, it's astounding what the ice pilots can do given a free arm or two - passes work, they skate better, and they try to make things happen. the first two periods were excellent, our guys worked hard, and cam had an awesome couple of periods. i was feeling pretty good about life. and then came the 3rd. our guys seemed content to just sit back and play D, and try to win it 2-1. bad idea. the puck was in our end for most of the 3rd period. a little knot of badness began forming in the pit of my stomach as the pilots spent more and more time in their own zone. i was holding my breath, praying for a quick end to the period, that we could just hang on for a few more seconds...and then the world imploded. or that's what it felt like, anyway. 9 seconds left, i see the puck heading for net, our guys are scrambling, i cover my eyes...and hear the bi-lo center explode with sound. score one for the damn grrrowl. i didn't have to see the red light to know what had happened. with my head still in my hands, covering my eyes, i think, "we're toast. burnt, black, charred, nobody wants to eat me toast." i feel as if we've already lost. my morale is non-existent. i just want to cry. i glance around and see ryan o'keefe and cory stillman looking stoic up in the stands. not again. another freakin' overtime. i didn't think i could take it. i wished dearly that it had ended in regulation. the intermission was pure hell. then, we were playing again. i didn't care. i couldn't bring myself to feel much during that OT. the holding started again. the damn grrrowl were all over the pilots. but the puck stayed in greenville's end, and in the confusion in front of the net, somebody poked it in...i didn't see who did it. they announced it as ryan vince's goal, even gave him the 1st star. but the news reported it as dwayne's goal. who knows? anyway, i should've been happy, but i wasn't. i just felt...well, i wasn't sure how to feel. yes, we'd won. but i still wasn't happy. i didn't feel much of anything to tell the truth. i didn't cheer. i stood up before i'd realized that i wasn't happy about winning. it shouldn't have ended that way. it should've ended in regulation. but our guys fucked up at the end again. we just made it out this time, that's all. so, the new theme song of this series is "stayin' alive." ah, ah, ah, stayin' alive, stayin' alive.

anyway, we spotted some more pilots fans and went out to greet the guys, even though i wasn't feeling particularly supportive. most of the guys didn't say much. some greenville fans had cards of some of our players, and they were getting autographs. deva told cam he had a good game, he gave his thanks, again thanked us for making the trip, and as he was walking away, he turned and said to us, "i'll see you thursday." and i snapped (inwardly - i didn't say anything to the guys...but i fumed on the way to the car, and there were a couple of ice pilots behind us). thursday? thursday?!? what happened to tuesday? he sounded so sure of himself. "i'll see you thursday." like tuesday's game was in the bag. like there was nothing to worry about. like they hadn't struggled against this team three nights in a row and totally screwed up in the last few minutes. hello, guys! there might not be a thursday for you! so, i was finally feeling something - anger. and it felt good. much better than the emptiness i'd felt ever since greenville tied the game. i was absolutely fuming. and chad and deva thought it was funny. but i'm ok now. not too mad anymore, although i think our guys really need get their shit together, pronto. tuesday, they'd better be prepared to play a full 6 periods of hockey, if that's what it takes. i'd better see cam on thursday. i know he was just being nice...he was the nicest and most talkative of all the pilots last night. but i just couldn't take it anymore. i'm actually kind of thankful for his comment. it made me feel something other than empty. so, while you inadvertently pissed me off, thanks cam.

we saw nick and matty crossing the street on the way back to the hotel...i was still pissed. i'd made chad drive, as i probably would've hurt someone in my state of mind.

the drive back today was nice. i was in a better mood. we stopped at a state park on the georgia/south carolina line and took some great photos. then we stopped at a georgia rest area to get some pics of the mountains in the background. and now i'm tired. i need another weekend to recover from my weekend. but it's over now, and i have lots of work to do in the week ahead.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Weezer: Proving Even Nerds Can Get Laid

so, i heard the new weezer song "beverly hills" on the radio last night on the way home from the game (more to come on that in a bit). that's the first time i've heard it on the radio, but i've seen the video a couple of times. the song is pretty catchy although not as good as their old stuff (but what 90's band is putting out albums now that are as good as the old ones? have you heard the new beck? it's just not "loser"). anyway, skeet (the dj) was talking about the band, which is full of your average nerds, but they're cool nerds. and he said something like, "i love those guys. they are proof that even nerds can get laid." this comment is based on the video for the song, which was filmed at the playboy mansion. for those of you who may not have seen the "beverly hills" video, it starts off with a shot of hugh heffner and a couple of bunnies, and heff is making a call to rivers cuomo, the band's lead vocalist, saying that the girls want weezer to come and play for them. so the video is basically a bunch of scantily clad playboy bunnies mingled with random shots of the weezer nerds (although their "other" guitar player is quite stylish) playing at the playboy mansion. so i guess this really does prove that even nerds can get laid - or at least get an invite to hang with hot (if somewhat slutty), half-naked chicks.

ok, now that i've mentioned the new weezer song, i can talk about last night's atrocity. i mean the ice pilots' game, of course. i can't believe they lost. i don't think they took the grrrowl seriously. those salty bastards (greenville, i mean). it went to OT, but overtime means caca in the playoffs. get it together, guys! they'd better absolutely kill greenville tonight to make up for last night. we took too many stupid penalties (i'm talking to you, st. jacques), didn't pay attention to the puck, made stupid, stupid mistakes (talking to chris heid here), got pushed around, and overall our guys just sucked. the virtually blind referee didn't help matters. that jackass. i hope nygel pelletier is not one of the officials tonight. i know that we got away with a few things (the most obvious being materukhin's blatant stick-holding, or rather stick-yanking), but greenville was especially dirty, with mucho clutching and grabbing, holding of anything they could get their hands on, and countless flying elbows. our guys played well for perhaps the first 5 minutes of the game. then we scored. and the team fell apart. greenville got under our skin and planted themselves like digger the dermatophyte (from that toenail fungus commercial). our guys can't make the same mistakes tonight. they have to play better in their own zone (chris heid again - no more taking the puck behind the net on the penalty kill when you have the perfect opportunity to clear it. that's how greenville scored their first goal. i blame you for that one). they also have to play better in the offensive zone. find some way to shake those guys. as you can probably tell, i was not impressed with chris heid's performance in his first game as an ice pilot. however, i am reserving judgement on his hockey-playing ability. he's rusty. but if he doesn't impress me tonight, i may decide i don't like him. yes, he had an assist last night, but his mistakes were far more common than his good play. if he'd just been so-so, i wouldn't really care. but most of what i saw was inconsistent. he made a lot of bad decisions (it wasn't just heid making bad decisions out there, most of our guys didn't appear to be thinking clearly. it's just heid who has to justify his position on our playoff roster to me...and i still think of him as a damn ice gator). heid wasn't all bad. he had his good moments (i.e., his assist). and he is nice to look at, but that counts for nothing on the ice. i hope to see a better performance from him (along with everyone else) tonight.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Wound Up Like A...

all right, i can't think of a good simile here, but you get the idea. i am entirely too wound up to concentrate on something as trivial as piles upon piles of school work. this morning i told lindsey that i would actually start on our biometry assignment today...she told me i wouldn't, i said she's probably right, and she said she'd let me know if mccreadie told her anything earth-shattering regarding the assignment (which we've both agreed not to turn in until next thursday). if it weren't for discussing the problems in class with lindsey, i wouldn't have a clue what the assignment was. you know me, i still haven't bothered to start it. yesterday claire was talking about not working efficiently even after being in grad school for nearly a, it's been that long and i still don't have a definite project. damn. anyway, she works a whole lot more than i do. she can actually ask questions in class because she's actually been working on things. i hope it makes her feel better to know that there are lazier people in her classes. anyway, it looks like i'm not going to get anything done today, so i'll probably be left scrambling to get piles of phys oce homework done on tuesday afternoon (as predicted, even more was accumulated after yesterday's hellish 6-hr ordeal). yeah, i know i have tomorrow to work on stuff, too. but i have papers to read and a review to write for monday, which takes precedence over something due on wednesday. hmm...that only leaves wednesday for biometry...maybe i'll work on it monday. i know i'll get nothing done over the weekend in greenville. :) i don't care. that's my problem. i don't feel any pressure to get things done. and even if i did, i don't think i could concentrate on anything right now. after class, i went over to the gym thingy by the pool and walked 5 miles on the treadmill while reading a new book (living dead in dallas by charlaine harris). i was speed-walking, too. but not even burning off over 1,000 calories has managed to curb my incessant energy. this probably means that i'm going to crash hard later tonight (after the game, i hope). the only thing fueling me right now is excitement-induced adrenaline brought on by excitement over the upcoming hockey-packed weekend.

ok, i'm hungry. i should stop typing now. and i need to register for fall semester (my schedule is dr. v.-approved: freshwater ecology with lindsey, ecotoxicology [even though dr. rice drives me crazy], and seminar at DISL).

Playoffs, Baby

ahh...the playoffs. gwinnett killed the damn sea wolves last night, and alaksa has a chance to sweep bakersfield tonight. awesome. go alaska! now, i know as a die-hard ice pilots fan, i shouldn't be rooting for another echl team, but i really want alaska to win the national conference. chad says i should root for someone else b/c alaska's good. oh well. i'm not pulling for reading. i want them to lose...that game didn't work out too well for us. not that our guys couldn't pull themselves together and beat the royals, i'd just rather see alaska (ok, ok i just want to see scott gomez). i sort of hope gwinnett beats the damn sea wolves so we can go see their (i hear) kick-ass arena if we play the winner of that series. on the other hand, if the damn sea wolves win and we play them, we'll be able to go to every single game. i'm sort of working on the assumption that we'll win the series over greenville. speaking of greenville, the trip is still on. chad, deva, and i are going...we're leaving around 6 am on saturday. i bought our tix yesterday (section 106, row A, seats 9-11) and booked our hotel (i found one nice and cheap - $43 and i didn't even lie about the number of peeps staying in it. it's a la quinta inn, so it's not some no-name ghetto motel; the pics look nice). i'm so excited. i can't wait for tonight...round 1, game 1. oh yeah. let's go pilots!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


there went my little bubble. chad's father has apparently decided that a trip to greenville is a bad idea, offering up all sorts of excuses. the main one of which was the cost of gas. well, if he bought a new truck with a V8 engine for the sole purpose of being able to pull the camper then why turn around and complain about its terrible gas mileage? and why keep the camper on the condition of using it and then use gas as an excuse not to take it anywhere? why not just sell it if they aren't going to use it? which they apparently aren't going to because they're depending on me and chad to go places in it. how silly is that? if they want to go camping, they should just go since they don't want to go to the places that chad and i will want to. the only place they intend to use the camper is the state park in gulf shores. sorry, that's not my cup of tea. i'd rather go explore a new place. their reasoning makes no sense to me. really, i wish that they had just said they didn't want to go when chad asked them about it last night.

ok, now that that's off my chest, i can get to the real point of this post. chad and i might still go to greenville on saturday and stay in a hotel. but we would like it if others (you know who you are) would agree to join us...get a room with 2 double beds, take my car, split the cost of the room and gas. this way, we aren't springing for a hotel room and gas and tickets. i haven't looked at hotel prices in greenville, but the room we stayed in in tampa had 2 queen beds and was ~$70/night. so, how 'bout it, guys? up for a road trip? we'd have to buy gas ~4 times the whole trip in my car. that comes to ~$15-20/person for gas. the tickets in the section i want to sit in are $12 plus ticketmaster'll probably be ~$16. we can order them online and have them waiting at will-call. if you guys are interested, i'll check out hotel prices and find out how much that would be a person. if the hotel peeps are sneaky and charge by the person, i can say it's only for 2 people and we'll be just as sneaky as they are. we'd like to visit an arena we haven't been to, and this (i hate to say it) might be our only chance this season.

Road Trip!

greenville, here i come. yes, last night chad and i decided to go to greenville on saturday to see the ice pilots play there. we looked at where we want to sit so we can get tickets in that section at the BI-LO center (section 106 or 110), and we checked out campgrounds in greenville. i even went so far as to get driving directions and discover that this trip is nearly 100 miles shorter than the tampa/fort myers trip we went on in december and that the campground we'll be staying at is only 15 minutes from the BI-LO center. chad's parents are going on this trip with us, and it is actually because of them that we are going at all. now that the repairs are almost complete on their house, ALFA is no longer paying for the camper they've been staying in. but rather than sending it back to paw-paw's camper city, the in-laws would like to keep the camper on the condition that they have to go on more road trips and actually use the thing. thus, the campground thing. this really works out well for us, as we're only staying in greenville one night and a $14 campsite is much more affordable than hotel rooms for the four of us. sure, we'll be driving all weekend, but who cares? i can handle it. and now that chad brought this up, he's not getting out of it. we're going. yes, i'll be sleeping in a tiny camper instead of a nice hotel room, but one night won't kill me, especially since it means i get to see another echl arena this year. chad and i have also decided that if the pilots play gwinnett in the playoffs, we're going there too. so, after friday night's home game, we'll be headed to flomaton for the night before waking up at the butt crack of dawn on saturday and heading for south carolina. yeah, i'm up for some traveling, even though it means that i can't procrastinate this week. with the road trip this weekend, home games thursday and friday night, and a hellish 6-hr phys oce class tomorrow, i'd better get some work done after biometry this afternoon. i haven't so much as looked at the assignment mccreadie gave us on thursday, and i really should go ahead and start on my superlong phys oce homework, since i'm sure to accumulate lots more tomorrow. but i guess an awesome end to the week (yup, after biometry on thurs, it going to be hockey, hockey, hockey) is worth one afternoon jam-packed with work.

Monday, April 11, 2005

My Package Arrived Via UPS...

and they still suck. so, i finally got that package today a little after 4 pm. and at the same time, i got another package that shipped more than a week after the original package that i've been waiting for since last wednesday. stupid UPS. i guess it's nice that i finally got that book, but it sucks that it took so damn long. you know what sucks even more? well, friday when i talked to a customer service rep from UPS, i was told that someone from the place where my package was being held hostage would call me by 10 am today. they called me before 10 am, all right. my phone rang at 6:30 this morning, and it was of course a lady from UPS telling me that the package would arrive sometime today. and she couldn't make life easier by giving an approximate time or even the time of day i should expect it. so i was here piddling around all day so as not to miss the UPS woman, lest she mistakenly mark my box "return to sender". and the lady didn't even apologize for the mix-up (the woman from the pick-up center or the driver). stupid UPS. for future reference to those who have my digits, i do not enjoy being called early in the morning without a prior arrangement. if you know for sure that i am awake and expecting your call, fine call me before 8 am. otherwise, if you call me that early in the morning someone had better be dead - or i will make someone be dead. i know, i know. i'm not usually this threatening, but this whole UPS situation really has me peeved. if, by chance, you are reading this and don't know me, you probably wouldn't take my threats seriously if you did. i don't look very threatening. and most of the time i don't act it. but i can do some serious damage when rudely awakened for no good reason.

**a little aside here that has nothing to do with UPS. i checked out the playoff rosters on the echl site, and bill kinkel is conspicuously absent from pensacola's. houston keeps sending us all these damn ice gators when all we want is bill. ok, ok. i don't hate rooneem, but first david turon gets condemned to louisiana from st. john's and now houston is keeping kinky? damn the ahl. those bastards! sure, they're sending back ryan stokes and giving us maxime fortunas and chris heid, but i'd trade heid for kinky in a heartbeat. i guess beckett has been tyring to fill the void in our physical enforcement, but nobody beats bill kinkel. and another thing - st. john's took tyler away (beechey, that is) and broke him, and now we can't use him for a month! damn them. ok, i'm done now, i swear.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Boys Are Gross...

...and corey neilson is funny. i like that. i don't like that boys are some of the most disgusting creatures on the planet, which i rediscovered today. the season ticket holders' get-together was much fun. the locker room tour was nifty (even though it smelled...and it wasn't a good smell). nessa gave in to temptation and joined us (she called me while chad and i were on the way and asked what i thought she should do - of course i told her to skip the honor society induction and come with us). we skated...i may have pretty good sea legs, but hockey legs i do not possess. it was fun anyway. i made many squeaky noises, and i even made a couple of pit stops at the players' bench (pilots', not visitors'). that's where i decided that our guys are really repulsive. there were countless pieces of chewed gum strewn haphazardly around the floor of the bench. gross. and it smelled (the general bench area, not the gum - i didn't get close enough to the nasty old gum to catch a whiff). somebody really should clean in there. anyway, nessa and i took pics around the locker room (i took a pic w/ st. jacques' stuff), which is also smelly btw. we examined some of the guys' belongings...chad informed me that kinkel's jock strap is in the pic i took of his area. i didn't notice. i was paying attention to the hat. here, have a look and you can see bill kinkel's funny hat as well as an old jock strap (the plaque is his "honorary pensacolian" award from the booster club).

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jordan krestanovich was icing up his foot while we were touring the locker rooms. that was entertaining for a bit. then, after our locker room tour, we were just hangin' out with casey when corey n. walked out and saw us. he spontaneously flexed for us (memories of last night...). we giggled, and while he was walking away, he did it again down low and behind his back. so funny. he was in a good mood. nessa and i were too chicken to ask *jacquo* to flex for us, but he did say hello to me. that's what eye contact will do for you. he walked by, i made eye contact, he felt that he would look like an ass if he didn't acknowledge me, and we exchanged hellos. nice. nessa and i attempted futilely to locate dwayne (he would have flexed for us, and we're not too chicken to ask him). but anyway, it was a fun day.

after the playoff rally, we decided to go see Fever Pitch, which i highly recommend. beforehand, while out in the parking lot deciding what we should do, we saw dominic d'amour and his gay, gay rental car (we assumed it was a rental, as it had a florida tag) and laughed our asses off. it was a tiny white suzuki, and it just made him look so gay. we also checked out the rides of aaron phillips and frederic cloutier - not gay in the slightest, nice manly SUVs. anyway, we also killed a little time playing games at sam's fun city before the movie (i know how much you love that place, deva). we got a bag of marbles and a tiny compass for our trouble. overall, an egg-cellent day.

Great Season

well guys, i must say that this has been the best ice pilots' season ever. i enjoyed it immensely. our guys totally kicked ass, and vanessa and i pulled some of our goofiest stunts involving the players ever...and deva joined in on our fun this year. see vanessa's blog for picture proof of our antics. we finally got nick lindberg to flex for us (even though he wouldn't do it alone - i had to do it with him...wait, i didn't mean that the way it came out). and corey neilson flexed, too. i'd call that a success. i took a pic w/ *jacquo* while standing in the autograph session line (even though i had nothing to sign). he was funny. i'm glad i bought the jersey of one of the nicer pilots...but even jordan krestanovich was nice and actually spoke to us last night. guess they were in a good mood. hmm...the autograph nazi (the scary lady with the bright yellow sign proclaiming "one autographed item per person only") didn't yell at us for wasting the guys' valuable time getting photos with their fans. i was a tad surprised - she seemed to think that we lowly fans weren't worthy of the time of the guys we support. and the woman in line in front of us was annoying, acting as if we were just a bunch of stupid, giggly girls (maybe that's true) who needed to be told who the guys were (name and number) each time one got close to us (as if we haven't memorized every one of their faces by now - definitely not true). i hope that dwayne's recognition of us ("i haven't seen you guys much lately, except at games of course") put that lady in her place - not only do we know who they are, a couple of them even know who we are...and corey n. and cam of course recognized nessa. yup, last night's win over the damn sea wolves (and the festivities following the game) was the perfect cap on a great regular season. let's hope the guys keep it up in the postseason.

as for today, it's the season ticket holder's end of the year get-together, aka playoff rally for the team. chad and i only bought a 16-game plan this season, but we went to so many more games than that, it's not even funny. anyway, we merited an invite to today's festivities. and i intend to skate today. even though i can't skate. so i'd better not wear anything tight that might hinder my dragging my bruised and aching body up off the ice multiple times. it's ok. chad's never been ice skating, so we can look slow and inept together. or just fall down together. maybe we won't hurt ourselves too badly. maybe i won't lose a finger when i fall and accidentally run over my own hand. i'm actually quite paranoid about that. i keep thinking about that scene in Happy Gilmore where happy says he's the only guy in hockey who's taken off a skate and tried to stab somebody with it. it always reminds me of the dangers of ice skates. even if those dangers are just in my own head. oh well. it's gonna be fun, anyway.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

UPS Sucks

i'm not quite to the point of referring to them as "damn UPS," but i'm getting there. i order a lot of stuff online. especially i pre-ordered the new artemis fowl book (sort of a kiddie series, but fun to read nonetheless) from, and it shipped last friday (4/1). wednesday, there was a notice from UPS on my door when i got home saying they would re-deliver on thursday. well, it's saturday, and my friendly neighborhood UPS guy (actually, it's usually a woman) still hasn't made a repeat appearance. so, i go online and enter my invoice number, only to discover that no attempt was made to redeliver my package because someone had marked that i would pick it up. the big problem: i have no idea which UPS pick-up center my package went to. so, i called UPS customer service. which also isn't easy to use - way too many automated options with no way to get to an actual person. anyway, i finally got to talk to a person, and i was told that someone would call me by 10 am on monday to arrange for delivery and find out what the hell happened. usually, i get things when they're sent via UPS. usually, when i'm not home and they try to make a delivery, they come back after 5 pm the same day. but not this time. what a pain. i've never had an issue with fed-ex, however. i can pick up my package at the fed-ex place the same day they try to deliver it. or they'll try again the next day. so, fed-ex is better than UPS.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Damn Flood

damn flooding. you know, i damn a lot of things. i complain a lot on this blog. oh well. anyway, back to my rant on flooding. something always seems to happen when i go to dauphin island lately. if it's not a major chemical spill, it's mega-flooding. last friday...and yesterday. friday the flooding prevented me from going to the island and left me stuck with huge quantities of baked goods. but this time, i had to go. i had my phys oce class. and what a disappointment that was. for once, we were going over chapters that didn't come with homework. i was getting happy, we were about to leave...then, bam. we get stuck with a looong problem that we had skipped way back in chapter 2. but we get two weeks to do this one. and it came in exchange for another test. so, maybe one long homework problem isn't so bad, since it means that we won't have the open-book take-home exam in a couple of weeks (as opposed to the closed-book take-home exam, which we will have). also, i was pleasantly surprised to see that i actually made a decent grade on last week's was a B. much better than the last couple of homework grades (the last one was embarrassingly bad - i won't tell you what it was). i'd really better start putting some effort into my phys oce homework. i don't want it to cause me to get a B in the class. and anything less than a B would make me cry. literally. in grad school, a C is failing. absolutely unacceptable. so i strive for A's, as always.

anyway, i have digressed big time. remember how i sent the really pathetic email begging dr. v. not to have his seminar class next friday and he said he wouldn't? well, it no longer matters. we will be subjected to a 6-hr phys oce class anyway. one of the girls in the class made plans to go out in the field that day. damn. so, we're left with making up our missed class on wednesday morning...before our regular class that afternoon. yuck. a 9-4 class with an hour for lunch in the middle. i think my brain might really explode after that. wish me luck next wed., folks.

ok, i'm really getting back on track this time. i started off talking about the flooding going on around here. well, it started to storm around the time i reached DISL yesterday...thunder, lightning, the whole shebang. it was so bad, the projector screen kept vibrating. anyway, the rain had lightened up some (but not the lightning) by the time i was leaving the island around 4:30. it didn't matter. the island still hadn't drained from last week's storms (claire's yard looks like a pond), so with the added rain, the whole island was pretty much under water. i probably shouldn't have driven through some of the water that i did. but my tiny kia didn't stall, thank heaven, and i made it back to mobile safe and sound. i did notice, however, that there are lots of new potholes appearing with all the rain. i ran in a series just after the bridge by the fowl river marina and another set on knollwood just past the hospital. they weren't there last week. anyway, it's been beautiful today, but there are still lots of roads closed and washed out completely in some cases. christian lives in pascagoula (or somewhere near mississippi, anyway), and he said that a tornado hit his neighborhood right after he left for DISL yesterday. he wasn't sure he could get home. i don't know if he did...he was still at DISL when i left. i hope things turned out ok for him. you know, i don't know anyone who also knows christian who would know what i'm talking about, but he looks like a smaller version of nikolai khabibulin (goaltender for the tampa bay lightning, for those of you who don't know). i've never told him that, but i think it every time i see him (twice a week for three hours at a time). that was my first thought when i met him. he doesn't twitch, though. but he does smoke.

alas, i have digressed once more. anyway, the moral of this post: heavy rain and flooding suck. damn flooding.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Computer Issues

damn computer. i can do everything i need to do on it...except run live update on anything. and no one seems to know how to fix my issues. this all started a while back when i couldn't run live update on norton antivirus. so the symantec support peeps advised me to uninstall the program and reinstall it...which didn't work. so they told me there was probably a leftover registry key, and i had to delete it. but the stupid registry editor won't open. my mouse arrow turns to an hourglass for a second, and then nothing happens. so, i was advised to restart with no programs running on startup...but MS configuration won't open, either. nothing else is messed up. everything else works fine. i suspect that when trendmicro removed a virus from my computer, some little file was deleted that controls these things. but no one can tell me what it is or how i can replace it. norton antivirus is the only file that won't install on my comp. all other installation cd's work fine. i even reinstalled windows, but my problem is still there. certain windows won't open...or they appear for, like, half a second and then disappear. so, i downloaded a trial version of trendmicro's pc-cillin, and it worked fine for a while. but now, i'm having the same problem with it and spyware doctor. but my anti-adware has been working fine through all these issues. so far, symantec support, microsoft support, and hp support have all been unable to solve my computer problems. the last resort: reinstall windows. done. and it didn't work. when i try to reinstall norton, the cursor flashes for a second or two and then nothing. i'm going to scream. i guess my next step is to go to DISL and harass tommy (our resident comupter guy). maybe he can help me. but i don't know.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Just Stand There and Look Pretty

that was marcus's advice to me this morning when i came in soliciting lots of questions for my discussion. the geolocial oceanography class wasn't that talkative today. that sucked for me. as promised, my presentation was short...then, i just had to stand there looking pathetic while doug implored people to participate in the discussion. i'm not good at just standing there looking pretty. i get fidgety. i'm not a fan of being stared at unduly. when i'm talking, it's fine. there's a reason for people to look at me then. but to be in the front of a room, just standing there, being stared not fun. if it had been a less serious occassion, i would've done a little dance and made everyone giggle. i feel like, if people are looking at me, i should be doing something. i actually did make people giggle a little during my presentation. i used the word "poop." yes, i said "poop" in a presentation for a graduate-level course. actually, while giving examples of critters that cause bioturbation, i said, "...and detritivores like sea cucumbers [points to picture of sea cucumber] that ingest the sediment, extract organic matter, and poop it back out." larry the engineer laughed, and the presentation moved on to a discussion of trace fossils. anyway, doug said i did good (even though no one talked much), that i chose good papers to read, and that's what counts, since doug's the prof. i think it could've been crap, and he still would've said that because he likes me and doesn't want to give me a bad grade. have you ever been in a situation where you suspect that your reputation has clouded someone's opinion of you? like when people first meet you, and they have certain expectations, so whatever you do will be judged according to what they expect. so, if they think you really know a lot about something and ask you a question, no matter what your answer is, they'll take it as gospel because they assume you must be right. i hate that, and it unfortunately happens to me a lot. especially in the academic community. i really don't think i'm all that great a student. i'm lazy. i procrastinate like crazy. i cram for tests. i don't do things unless i'm told to. i've got next to no initiative. yet, when i enter into a class with a new prof they've most likely heard of me via other profs i know pretty well, and they automatically assume that i will be an A student. which i am, but sometimes i wonder if i deserve my A's all the time. think cher in Clueless. i'm not that manipulative, but sometimes i would swear that my excellent reputation among professors is at least partially the result of their predispositions toward me. i think i'm a fairly likable chica. it's rare for me to have a prof who doesn't like me (not that i'm being cocky, it just happens). and that's part of my current self-doubting state of mind. i really have very few enemies. actually, i don't think i have any at this point in my life. which is good. but, what if profs go a little easy on me because they like me? or because they expect me to get A's and think that if i don't, it will upset the balance of the universe? what if all this hypothetical "going easy on me" is sheltering me from all the scathing criticism out there? what if when i get out there on my own in the world of science, i discover that i don't have what it takes? i guess i've been fortunate so far not to have worked with any uber-assholes. but maybe i need to experience just one mega-mega-biiitch (to quote cartman's "kyle's mom's a bitch" song) to fully prepare myself for the world of egotistical, self-centered scientists.

and maybe i'm distressing over nothing. maybe my laziness really isn't a problem and i'll make it just fine without the protection and shelter of senior scientists. i'm not a little girl who needs to be sheltered and protected anymore. but sometimes i feel like people still treat me that way. ...and all of this came from doug telling me that my half-assed presentation was good. maybe he's a little biased. i met him in the context of "charlyn's boyfriend" not "dr. haywick." i really do think he'd feel bad if i did badly in his class. but, based on his comments when i took his introductory earth history class, i also think he respects me as a scientist. he freely admits that i know more about some biological processes than he does. so maybe it wasn't as bad as i thought, and i don't suck as a biologist and a student just because i procrastinate. i do get things done, even if it's usually at the last minute (or sometimes two weeks late). at least people like me (or, they act like they do), so i won't be one of those hella-bitches people can't stand to talk to and won't listen to anyone's opinion but their own. i've been warned about a few of those...and met one of them. dr. v. says he doesn't want me to "get mixed up with that crowd. there are some real assholes there." oh, speaking of dr. v., my plea for him not to have class on 4/15 was successful. here's how that went:

LaTina's email:
Pretty please with a cherry on top don't have seminar on April 15th. I think that Christian is going to ask this of you, but I thought that I would also contribute a plea. If you don't have seminar that Friday, we'll have a make-up Phys Oce class that morning. But if you do have seminar that Friday, we will have an all-day Phys Oce class that Wednesday (4/13). I don't think I would surivive 6 hours of Phys Oce in one day. My brain would explode. Okay, I'm exaggerating a little, but I would definitely absorb more if the class were spread out over two days. I can only take in so much physics at a time. Have mercy on everyone taking Phys Oce this semester.

Dr. V's reply:
I promise.

i have a tendency to be a bit dramatic. can you tell?

Quick Note Before Class

ahh...monday. not the best day of the week. i have to lead the discussion in class today. i hope people talk. my presentation is extremely short...7 slides, ~6-7 minutes. just a little intro for my topic. i'm strangely not nervous at all. oh well. nothing to be nervous about. i actually feel a little like i did when i was teaching labs. i didn't care what they thought of me - i knew that i knew more about whatever i was talking about than those freshmen did. even though i know very little about sediment-organism interactions. but i'm pretty good at pulling the scarfs out of my sleeve. i can make it seem like i know what i'm talking about, even if i don't really. oh well. i actually read all three papers this week...which is good since i picked 'em. all righty, then...enough chatter about my impending presentation...gotta get ready for is "lunch in class" day. i better go pack one.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Hello, Mr. Brabham

so, what can i say that hasn't already been said about the pensacola ice pilots' smashing win over the damn sea wolves last night to win their first Brabham Cup (ECHL regular season championship) ever? not much, probably. it was an awesome game - for the most part. it kind of sucked for half the 1st period when the damn sea wolves had the lead. it turned out ok, though. we took it back, and that was the only lead mississippi had.

not to ruin the joyous mood surrounding the game, but the only thing i can say about the pilots' brabham cup-clinching win that hasn't already been said is a bit on the negative side. for the past few games, we've had little defense. look at the number of goals scored on us lately. the guys are not playing well in their own end. they seem to be relying on their ability to keep the puck out of their zone and outshoot opponents to keep the other team from scoring - and it's not working out the way they planned. and we're taking way too many selfish, stupid penalties. now, i am aware that not all of the calls against are good - the damn sea wolves took a ton of dives last night. but our guys did a lot of retaliating against un-called trespasses on them. *jacquo* included. he's no stranger to the sin bin, but he's been getting to know it better and better lately. so, while i'm extremely happy with the win and with the number of goals our guys have been scoring, i think that if we're to go anywhere in the post-season, the guys really have to pick up play in their own zone. they need to dominate at both ends of the ice.

wait, this has pretty much been said, already. i think dave farrish echoed these sentiments (well, most of them) last night on the post-game show. i like dave farrish. he keeps our guys down to earth. he doesn't let them get too cocky, even though he knows he's coaching arguably the best team in the echl. and definitely the best team that pensacola has ever had. maybe that's our problem lately - the guys know they're good and think that it doesn't matter what the other team does, they'll still win. who knows?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Want a Cookie?

...or five? i have a butt ton of baked goods that i no longer need. yes, i spent yesterday afternoon baking for no reason, apparently. due to the bad bad weather we've been having, discovery day at DISL has been cancelled. the grounds at DISL are too soaked to set up for tomorrow. i'm pretty upset about that, since i've already made cookies and brownies. but if i'd waited until today to bake stuff, i wouldn't have had time to get things to DISL...which i don't have to do now. i'll unload some stuff at my mom's house, but i'll still have a bunch left. so, if someone would like to to take some off my hands, that would be awesome. on the bright side of things, i don't have to dodge flooded roads to make it to dauphin island today. i needed to pay a visit to the sea lab library, but driving in this crap isn't worth the info i could get. the library will still be there next week. but now i'm stuck with more cookies than any two people could possibly eat. and i have 8 huge brownies. so, if you'd like, i can try and sneak some stuff into the game tomorrow...or i can meet you guys after and load you up with fattening stuff. please, please don't make me eat nothing but cookies and brownies for three days. *light bulb* maybe i'll see if judy has all the snacks ready for this afternoon's seminar and unload some stuff there in the bio dept.

wow, i'm watching the news, and i don't think that i could get to dauphin island. it looks as if all possible routes are flooded...rangeline is finally open, but it's flooded at halls mill rd. and hamilton blvd. and my "get around rangeline" route is also out - hwy 193 is flooded at laurendine...and bellingrath is closed at cold creek. hmm...fowl river rd. might still be open...but that's probably a bad idea, too. but anyway, i don't have to go out until 3:45 this afternoon now, so i guess i'm staying in to work on my discussion for monday. i've read the longest paper i the 8-pg one, then the 4-pg one. i always read the longest 1st so it feels like less work by the time i get to the last one and i'm tired of reading. and then...look up all the words i didn't understand (i'm making a list) and put together my power point.

hmm...i've already read a lot of school-related stuff this morning. i think i'll go work out and do some recreational reading before i do the rest.