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

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Congrats to Nitty

just watched the gold medal game... hockey of course. peter forsberg and sweden beat finland 3-2. niittymaki looked sad to be receiving a silver medal instead of the gold, but he did all he could. the team in front of him just couldn't put the pucks in the net for him today. i don't think he knows yet, but he's tournament MVP and the best goaltender in the tournament. how sweet is that? and he wins a silver medal in his 1st big international competition... 3 shutouts, playing against the best players in the world. maybe having joni pitkanen on team finland could have made a difference? he's pretty good at getting the crunch-time goals for his team, but he opted not to play in the olympics because of that whole sports hernia surgery thing that has been aggravating him a little since he came back from the injury. oh well. niittymaki was still awesome, and of course i'm crazy excited to hear that he was voted the best goaltender and tournament MVP. henrik lundqvist played really well for sweden at the other end of the ice, especially in the 3rd period. too bad that guy plays for the freakin' rangers. he's really good.

now, considering robert esche's poor performance in the one game he played for team USA along with his mediocre play as of late in the NHL, and niittymaki's awesome play in the olympics, i'm wondering whether ken hitchcock of the flyers will officially hand the no. 1 goaltender job to nitty. i've thought it should be his all season long, but what do i know, huh? oh well. maybe the flyers can win a stanley cup now, with the olympic MVP and the gold medal winning peter forsberg. maybe. forsberg was all like, "i want to win a gold medal." then flyer GM bobby clarke was like, "well, i hope he wants to win a stanley cup, too." me too.

a while back, near the beginning of this hockey season, in my 1st post about niittymaki i said something like "you might be thinking, antero who???" well, i hope that no one is saying that now. he has really proven himself to be a world-class goalie, and he deserves the recognition. i really don't think that anyone will say that finland got silver instead of gold because miikka kiprusoff wasn't their goalie. goaltending most definitely was not an issue for the finns.

anyway, i guess i should congratulate peter the great as well, and i hope he and niittymaki aren't completely wiped out when they return to philly. i'm guessing that the well-rested esche will get the start in new jersey on wednesday, and i really hope that he plays well.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I <3 Olympics

as i'm sure you're all aware, i've been following the olympics as much as i can between classes and lab work, and so far they've been very interesting. i've seen men's and pairs figure skating (sorry, didn't catch the women's short program last night since there was a pilots game, but i hear sasha cohen kicked ass and is in 1st by a hair), curling, women's half pipe, cross country, men's combined skiing, speed skating (and all of the chad vs. shani controversy that came with it), ski jumping, men's downhill, and of course i've been watching tons of olymic hockey. wow, that's a lot of different sports, huh? i've tried to watch a little bit of everything, and i've tivo-ed some of the hockey games. i had to make sure i caught niittymaki in action, right?

just in case anyone is still wondering, that bit about the sport that "involves making your body do something that your brain tells you is suicide" referred to ski jumping. i was watching with my mom last weekend, and that was a line from the commentator. he said it when he was talking about how far the jumpers have to fall (20 stories!), and it was one of the best lines i've heard from any of the olympic commentators in any sport... and quite accurate, too. someone would have to push me down that very steep hill kicking and screaming. oh wait. they'd have to drag me up there kicking and screaming, too. i still like to watch, though.

i'm also pretty into figure skating (but not ice dancing, it's kind of boring). i watched part of the men's competition, but the only american i saw skate was johnny weir, whom my little sis and i nicknamed "girly man" when we saw him skate at nationals. you've gotta admit that he is pretty damn feminine. this view was confirmed when i saw a bio on him before the short program. the one thing he said that really stuck with me was, "people think i'm a diva. johnny weir is not a diva." his skating outfits are sparkly and girlish (even for a figure skater), his hair is kind of girlish, and he talks very girlishly. girly man fits him well. oh, and his program was pretty good. he came in 2nd after that...

now, what i'm really itching to talk about is hockey (like you all didn't know that already). who would've thought that finland and slovakia would be the teams to beat? or that canada would be eliminated in the quarterfinals... and get shut out 3 times? i'm not that surprised that the USA was eliminated so early, considering their scoring woes and the simple fact that derian hatcher is one of their top defensemen. i watched their elimination game against the finland powerhouse today, and derian hatcher was responsible for finland's 3rd goal. he managed to move in front of dipietro just in time for his big ass to screen a shot. so dipietro doesn't really see it, the puck goes in the net, finland regains the lead, and derian hatcher is to blame. well, i guess all of the dumb penalties the americans took probably had something to do with it, too. but anyway... niittymaki was spectacular in the 3rd period when the finns only had about 5 shots (last count, late in the 3rd was 3 shots for the finns, but i figure they managed one or two more) and the americans had about 20. he got scored on once in that period, but it was on a fantastic play, and he had no chance to make the save. his defenders should have taken care of that one for him. his flyer teammate mike knuble deflected one past him in the 2nd period that he also didn't really have a chance on, and if any member of the US squad was going to score on nitty, i'm glad it was knuble. hopefully, niittymaki will continue his streak of awesomeness friday against ovechkin and the russians. since the USA is out now, go team finland!

my "go finland" attitude is only increased by the news that russian darius kasparitis (see my hockey survey below and notice that he is one of my least favorite hockey players) managed to injure simon gagne in the process of eliminating canada today. bastard. gagne is the best forward that the flyers have right now, and that bastard had to find a way to injure the competition (the race between the flyers and the rangers [the NHL team kasparitis plays for] for 1st in the atlantic division is pretty tight). so, i really hope that finland kicks russian ass friday. niittymaki played well against jagr and the czechs, so i think he can manage.

all right. that's enough for one day, huh? i've got papers to read for tomorrow's class.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I Have Completely Lost My Mind

most people would think that this is a bad sign, right? don't worry, folks. my mind is completely intact. it's the mind of my nutty advisor that is lost. i just checked my email, and that was the first line of a rather frantic email from dr. v. asking if we could change our meeting from tomorrow to this afternoon. did i mention that i was meeting with dr. v. tomorrow? i don't think i did, but i was. but now i'm meeting him today... and i'm completely unprepared to say anything remotely intelligent to him. i have not seen dr. v. in person in... 4-6 weeks, back when he gave me that pseudo-deadline for getting my project outline to him. well, i sent him the outline last sunday night (not this past sunday, but the sunday before that), but as of this past thursday, i hadn't heard anything from him. well, this prompted speculations that he was so ashamed that he was off somewhere banging his head against a wall, muttering to himself what a huge disappointment i am as a grad student, fears that i shared with charlie, only to learn that this was probably not the case. dr. v. was working on a manuscript and a bunch of other stuff that had kept him fairly swamped. anyway, i inquired about the state of my outline on thursday, and dr. v. replied that he'd look it over this weekend and could we meet this wednesday? so, that was the plan. only now the plan is different... because i have to meet him today and find out what he thinks about my chosen methods for the project.

some of you might recall that i was freaking a little over a part of my project that i thought that i would have to either drop completely or change. well, i had a stroke of (genius) inspiration last weekend while i was working on my presentation for seminar and my outline, and i think i figured out a way to assess the costs of phenol production in turtlegrass after all. it has some problems, but it was the best thing i could come up with (i won't trouble you with the details). i hope that dr. v. will provide a little feedback on that... without making me feel like a big dumbass. what i really want is for him to come in, discuss the general methods a bit, and then tell me to start writing this up so we can submit it to ACES (the alabama center for estuarine studies, though all 4 of the project sites are in florida) or some other funding agency so i can get a grant and get going on this thing already. i've been talking to kelly, another sea lab girl who is working with the same species i am and at some of the same sites, and we are really hoping to be able to get going on things in late april. that's only 8 weeks away! thus, the need to get cracking already. so i hope that dr. v. doesn't make me drastically change my plans and just tells me to start writing. if i had a free day or two, i could get it done really fast... like in just a day or two. as it is, i'll probably need about a week to get everything together.

so, in about 4 hours, i'll learn the fate of the next couple of years of my life. sounds a bit daunting, eh?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Hockey Survey

ok, so i wasn't going to do this, but i changed my mind. my answers will be quite different from those from whom i snitched this (deva and nessa). maybe you guys will learn something about my hockey tastes... or maybe not.

1) What’s (Who’s?) your favorite team?
ECHL - Pensacola, of course; NHL - Flyers; AHL - who cares about the AHL? i don't get to see them, so it almost feels like the AHL doesn't exist (unless they take pensacola's players and break them, those bastards)
2) What’s your least favorite team? ECHL - the damn sea wolves when they're around (but i do miss their presence), damn greenville; NHL - damn ottawa; AHL - like i said before, who cares? (well, i guess i'd care if i lived near an AHL city)
3) Who’s your favorite player(s)? ECHL/AHL - chris st. jacques, kelly hultgren; NHL - antero niittymaki, michal handzus, joni pitkanen
4) Who’s your least favorite player(s)? derian hatcher, jaromir jagr, darius kasparitis
5) Favorite American team? Pensacola
6) Favorite Canadian team? i have a... strong dislike for most of the canadian teams in the eastern conference of the NHL, and i don't really see much of the western teams, but if i had to pick one i'd say calgary. if i didn't have to pick an NHL team, i'd say this year's olympic team.
7) Favorite International team? i guess i have to say team USA, but team finland is so kicking ass... and they have some of my favorite NHL players (though sami kapanen and joni pitkanen opted out of the olympics due to recent injuries)
8) Who’s your favorite goalie? Antero Niittymaki
9) Least favorite goalie? Roman Cechmanek
10) Favorite fighter? Donald Brashear, Bill Kinkel
11) Least favorite fighter? Tie Domi, Brian McGrattan, Dallas Anderson
12) Favorite jersey/uniform/outfit/sweater? last year's pensacola blue jerseys
13) Least favorite jersey/uniform/outfit/sweater? Philadelphia's 3rd jerseys, boston's 3rd jerseys, nashville's 3rd jerseys, atlanta's 3rd jerseys - it's a tie. they're all butt ugly.
14) Do you like home, away, or "third" jerseys best? (If your team has all three…) Flyers home jerseys, last year's pensacola blue jerseys (i don't like the red/black thing this season)
15) Who do you want to win the Cup? since i don't think the pilots have a snowball's chance in hell, i'd like to see florida with the kelly cup and the flyers with the stanley cup
16) What player do you most admire? Donald Brashear - he's historically known as a fighter, but his "finesse game" has really picked up this year, and he's become a pretty good all around player.
17) Which player would you most like to sit and have coffee with? Keith Primeau
18) What about a beer? hmm... don't do beer, but i'd do a nice fruity malt beverage with a jacquo or a cam keith or maybe a mike richards or joni pitkanen
19) How about just watch the game with? Ben Eager or Branko Radivojevic
20) Have an in-depth hockey conversation with? Keith Primeau
21) Do you collect hockey cards, memorabilia, etc? no to cards, yes to random memorabilia
22) If so, what’s your favorite card? N/A
23) Which is worth the most, and what’s it worth? N/A
24) Do you live by any hockey players? nah, but there are some baseball players pretty close
25) Do you play hockey? dude, i can't even skate (the wall is my savior)
26) What do you wear to hockey games? jeans, my jacquo jersey, sometimes a cute shirt, sometimes a plain ol' t-shirt, sneakers or cute shoes depending on what else i'm wearing, usually a light jacket under the jersey too (i get cold at games - even with all those clothes)
27) Do you have any "watching hockey rituals" or anything anyone might consider weird? nah, but i talk to the players a lot even though i know they can't hear me
28) What’s your favorite hockey memory (as a fan?) these aren't really hockey memories, but they involve hockey players, and there are two: 1) kissing valentino passarelli on the cheek at stick up for kids (then blushing and giggling like the crazy teenaged girl i was) 2) going up to an injured martin lachaine for an autograph, asking him why he wasn't playing, and bursting into mad giggles when he said, "i hurt my groin." hey, i was like 15... (maybe 16)
29) What’s your favorite hockey commercial? the budweiser ones are always good
30) Rudest/meanest/most annoying, etc? ...Tie Domi, Brian McGrattan, Darius Kasparitis
31) Who’s the best looking? Kelly Hultgren
32) Other off-handed/off-ice comments? eh
33) Why do you really like hockey? the physical play - i love the hitting
34) Fav. hockey player: not a goalie- Joni Pitkanen

So Proud...

dudes! my boy antero niittymaki is kicking ass in the olympics! i'm so proud. first, he gets a shut out in his first ever olympic hockey game against switzerland (while carolina's martin gerber got lit up), then he shut out the canadians. wow. switzerland kind of sucks (though they did manage to beat both the czech republic and canada... but got shut out by finland), but that whole beating canada thing had to be a proud moment for him. finland has a really good team. there's been all this talk about canada, russia, and the czechs, and here are slovakia and finland beating everyone. surprised much? sadly, the U.S. men are sucking (and the women's team has disappointed as well - i blame the men's suckage on the ever-present derian hatcher), so nitty's success gives me something to cheer about. unfortunately i only got to see him play against switzerland, but hopefully i'll catch the next one.

before i have to run off to class, i'll leave you with a link to TSN's olympic hockey coverage which kicks NBC's coverage's ass.

now, i had much more to say about many olympic events (including the one that involves "making your body do something that your brain tells you is suicide"), but i don't have time right now. i was just so excited to learn of niittymaki's latest shut out victory that i just couldn't wait to share it.

anyway, i'll probably write another entry about the olympics this afternoon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Valentine's & More

hello all. i know that it has been unacceptably long since i posted, but i have excuses... good ones. of course, from my last post, you know that i was out of commission with bronchitis for a few days, and as a matter of fact, i still have a lingering cough from it. i feel much better now, though. i ended up alternating napping, studying, coughing, and feeling pukey from the anitbiotic last tuesday, and i went ahead and took my exam on wednesday. i still wasn't feeling well, but i gave it my best shot... with no cough medicine, since the prescription stuff the doctor gave me "may cause dizziness, may cause drowsiness, do not operate machinery while taking." of course, as i am susceptible to all side effects of all medicines, it did make me dizzy and sleepy. so, it was a bad idea to take it and then take a test. so i coughed my way through, and i'll find out how my disease-muddled brain handled it in about half an hour.

on to my second excuse, i have a huge (35-40 min) presentation on friday, not to mention the project outline that i had promised dr. v. this week. so, i had to work on both of these, and as of right now, the outline is dr. v.'s hands and the powerpoint for friday's presentation is finished. i just need to practice and time it now to be sure that my 35 slides will do the trick. in addition to this extra work, i have all of the regular class stuff to contend with, too (you know, readings, class discussions, etc.).

now, i am just bursting with tidbits that i wish to share. unfortunately, time is not on my side. i have class in a little while, and a big pile of stuff (class work, household chores, etc.) waiting for me when i get home. so, i'll share as much as i can now and save the rest for another time. i'll start by wishing everyone a belated happy valentine's day. a totally commercialized holiday designed to sell candy and flowers to be sure, but one that i (along with most women) enjoy nonetheless. chad and i celebrated not with our usual hockey game and dinner (since the pilots didn't have a game at home this year) but by spending the night in a (free) hotel room at the isle of capri resort and casino in biloxi monday night. i know what some of you are thinking - me (who as a general rule doesn't see the thrill of slot machines and is disinclined to fork over tons of cash for things like black jack, a card game that i do enjoy sometimes, poker, or roulette) staying in biloxi? yeah, i did. and it was fun, despite excessive smoke inhalation (which you can be sure exacerbated my lingering cough). chad brought me peach roses monday afternoon before we left (lovely, i tell you, and they smell wonderful), and we headed for biloxi shortly after. the hotel room was free, which made it that much better. we were also curious to see how biloxi is faring in their post-katrina clean-up efforts. most of the folks i know who are from the mississippi coast say that things aren't really as horrible there as the pictures from the news would have us all think. driving down hwy 90 (right along the water), things still look absolutely horrific. that is where all the houses were washed away, with nothing but concrete slabs left, along with quite a few casinos. there is a sign on what's left of the grand casino that says, "may it rest in pieces," which amused me. the demolition crews were hard at work trying to get it cleaned up, though. amazingly, there are houses along the water that look perfectly fine... right next to a slab where a neighboring house used to be. of course, chad and i had to drive down and have a look at the mississippi coast coliseum (home to the sea wolves, one of the ice pilots' biggest rivals - when they play, that is). it actually looks like it's in good shape. there were a lot of people working there, and we did not see a casino in its parking lot (there was one there right after katrina - we saw pics on the news). the workers had air conditioners hooked up, and the building itself looks really good. i don't think it's impossible for them to have a hockey team next season. this feeling is enhanced when we consider that the rest of biloxi doesn't look too bad. yes, there are blue tarps, but not as many as you might think, and you know the prevalent sight of snapped off trees that typically follow a hurricane? well, we saw very few...and there are a lot of people in biloxi right now. the neighborhoods that weren't right on the water don't look too bad. casinos are reopening, and the imperial palace looks positively grand (from the outside). the isle of capri definitely took a hit (there is a gaping hole where part of the parking lot between it and casino magic caved in), and construction is ongoing, but the part that is up and running (including the two restaurants) looks quite nice. all of the hotel rooms have been remodeled, and they look really cute. so, if sponsorship is an issue for the sea wolves, it shouldn't be for too much longer since there are several casinos open.

anyway, there was a couple checking in behind us, and we eavesdropped a little. they were supposed to go to new york for the week, but due to the big snow storm up there, they ended up going to biloxi. how disappointing would that be? anyway, we had a lovely time... lost some cash in the casino (which was to be expected, but it still wasn't nearly as much as the cost of the room, so it was still a fantastic deal with the free room and all), but we got free drinks (pina colada, yummy) out of it. we ate at the buffet instead of the other restaurant because i couldn't decide what i wanted. i ended up eating a little bit of a ton of really different foods (chinese, pesto salmon, au grautin potatoes, asparagus, etc.... then yummy pie), and it was tasty. we planned to order room service for breakfast, but ended up doing the buffet again - and again, because i couldn't decide what i wanted, so i ate a little bit of a lot of different stuff. anyway, we had a good time before we headed home yesterday (i'll spare you any more details that might make you uncomfortable).

ok... i have to go to class now. but expect more soon on the topics of the olympics and a couple of recent phone calls from my brother (and i'll explain why just the fact that he called me is weird). ta ta for now.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Not Procrastinating This Time

i haven't begun to study for my plant physiological ecology exam tomorrow, but this time it's not due to sheer procrastination. i actually have a valid excuse this time. i am terribly ill, and yesterday i even tried to study a little while i was waiting to be diagnosed at the doctor's office (but to no avail - nothing is sinking in, and my brain is a little swimmy). now, i generally hate doctors (the M.D. kind), and i won't go unless there is a dire need. i think that a 103 degree fever (that drops to 100-101 with tylenol), horrible cough that keeps getting worse, and a sore throat that no over the counter medicine can kill and keeps me from sleeping warrant a visit to the evil M.D. so i went, and his exact words were "i don't think you have pneumonia." he doesn't think? damn, i hope i don't have pneumonia. he thinks i have a pretty severe case of bronchitis and an upper respiratory infection. so, he gave me this crazy strong antibiotic that makes me feel like i'm gonna blow some serious chunks (if i'd eaten real food in the last three days, i would have, anyway - as it is, it probably would have just been colorful liquid), something to kill the pain in my throat, and something to make me stop coughing... and he said i should keep taking OTC decongestants. i swear, i'm popping so many pills i can barely keep them straight. the good news is, i actually do feel a little better today, but my back still hurts like hell (a result of all the crap in my lungs), my throat still hurts a little (despite the darvocet), and now that i can actually sleep, it's all i want to do. i am seriously considering calling dr. major and asking if i can take the exam friday instead of tomorrow. she already knows i went to the doc yesterday, and she knows me. i don't just bail on class and miss exams because i have a little cold (not since undergrad, anyway). plus, i think that as soon as she hears my croaky voice, she'll know i'm seriously sick. ok, dudes. i'm going back to sleep. g'night.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

No Wonder Chad Likes Me!

You Are Lightning

Beautiful yet dangerous
People will stop and watch you when you appear
Even though you're capable of random violence

You are best known for: your power

Your dominant state: performing

Feeling Self-Confident... and Maybe a Little Egotistical

do you guys remember my... incredulity, let's call it, over all the guys that honked at me and lindsey in grungy field clothes last semester? i just didn't get the apparent allure of a girl in dirty, raggedy jeans, a plain old t-shirt, and a ponytail. it just seems wrong that a guy could find a girl at her most appealing when she puts the least effort into her appearance. i attributed this nuttiness to the hicks that live outside the city limits where we were, but now i think that i was wrong. a girl can be at her most appealing when she doesn't try. maybe guys see that girl as one who is low-maintenance... and not afraid to get a little dirty ;) or maybe it's that 'natural beauty' thing. i don't know.

anyway, this turn-around in my thinking was brought about the other day when i put on some jeans, and a long-sleeve t-shirt under a short-sleeve t-shirt, and when i looked at myself and my ponytail in the mirror, i think i saw it. you know, what all those guys saw when they honked at me and lindsey. i said to myself, "i look hot." now, i say that to myself a lot (gotta keep the confidence up, you know), but it's usually after i take considerable time making myself cute. that night, while i was in the kitchen making dinner, chad came in and said, "you know, that's kinda hot." i was like, "cooking?" and he's like, "the t-shirt under a t-shirt." i just shook my head and laughed, but maybe there's something to that. for instance, i am also wearing a long-sleeve t under a short-sleeve t today, complete with raggedy jeans (frayed at the bottoms, with little holes forming at the corners of the pockets - man, are they comfy) and ponytail, and i swear that the eyes of every male in the USA library were on me this morning. this was not imagined, and it sort of creeped me out. i thought that maybe i had a really huge hole on the ass of my jeans or a huge booger hanging from my nose or something, but no. i didn't. i went to the library before class to do some actual work, and while i was making copies three different guys walked by and totally stared me down. maybe they really needed to make copies, too. or maybe i'm just hot in raggedy clothes (well, my t-shirt is kinda cute)... or maybe they were attracted to my bright green purse.

then, when i went over to check my email (i was waiting for a reply from dr. v. about refilling the helium), every guy at one of those computers looked up and kept looking. what's up with that? then, dr. forbes (from the chemistry dept - it's his HPLC i borrowed) saw me and came over to chat, which attracted a little more attention and a little more staring. i did not open one single door for myself today (at USA, anyway). a guy was walking into the library ahead of me, and he stopped to let me through first, another one was leaving behind me and rushed ahead to hold the door for me, another one was going into the life sciences building to get that one for me... you get the idea. it was just one of those days. maybe i should do the jeans, t-shirt, and ponytail thing every day... or maybe i imagined the extra attention. but maybe i didn't. either way, i still think i'm hot.