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

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Got It Goin' on Like Donkey Kong

hehehe. even reading that line makes me laugh. if you've never heard the song (or if you never listen to country music, which i don't do often though i really have nothing against it), that line comes from trace adkins' "honkey tonk badonkadonk," and it is basically the only reason that i like that song. chad and i first heard the song while scanning the (mostly horrible) local radio stations on the way home from an ice pilot game one night. i left the radio tuned to the country station when i heard the words "donkey kong." i couldn't help it. my interest was piqued. so i kept listening and discovered that the song is pretty funny. and then i downloaded it a couple of days later. just because it says "got it goin' on like donkey kong." i'm such a dork.

anyway, it's raining here. again. it was cloudy all day yesterday, but it didn't actually rain. blah. the good news is that the rain is supposed to end this morning/early afternoon. that's good 'cause chad and i need to go grocery shopping, which is not so much fun in the rain. because we tend to buy a lot of stuff. and then we have to unload it all. so you see how that could be not so fun in the rain. i guess i could go tomorrow, but i have to run over to USA and drop off my final exam then go to dauphin island for a meeting about the spain trip. and i have to start studying for my fisheries oceanography final, which is thursday. then on friday i have a meeting with dr. v. to talk about starting my experiments and the REU student i'm going to have to help me out this summer and all that.

i'm sure you all think that i could start studying today - a rainy sunday, what else am i going to do? but why would i do a silly thing like that when the exam isn't until thursday? plus, today is game 5 in the flyers/sabres eastern conference quarter finals. the flyers tied the series up 2-2 on friday (i was really happy to see r.j. umberger score his 1st NHL playoff goal), and now they're looking to grab the lead for the first time so they'll have a chance to clinch the series at home on tuesday. damn ottawa finished off tampa bay last night, to no one's surprise, but still. i hate ottawa. evgeny artukhin (i refuse to spell it with that silly 'y' stuck in the middle) scored his first NHL playoff goal, too, which i was also really pleased about. too bad his team lost.

i finished up my take-home plant physiological ecology final exam yesterday morning, which i was really proud of myself for. yep. the whole thing is done. the 7 "short answer" questions that turned into half-page answers instead, the power point presentation on a topic we never discussed (which was done on purpose, since "as academics and educators we are often expected to present lectures or even whole courses on topics about which we know very little but are expected to quickly learn"), the editorial responding to this ridiculous article in discover magazine (which claims that we should learn to love invasive species because they aren't as bad as we make them out to be - which is total crap). all of it. completed two whole days before the due date! i really do have it goin' on - like donkey kong.

*laughing* that will always be funny.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

OMG, Stop Raining!

i guess the heavens are playing catch-up. that's right. it didn't rain here for damn near two months, and here it is, deciding to rain 24 hours straight. dammit. i have to go out in this ceaseless torrential downpour. what, are we trying to set a new record and make up for our foot or so rain deficit on the year in a single day? i know that i live in mobile, alabama, and it rains here. a lot. but this is nuts. it may rain every day in the summer, but not like this. normal rain for us is a half hour of hellaciously hard rainfall that forces drivers all over to pull to the shoulder and wait it out. then the sun takes over and creates that sauna-esque humidity that we in the south know so well.

you know what makes things better? my car, she is in the shop until friday morning. now, can you guess where my umbrella is? yeah. in the car. which is in daphne. and i am in mobile. in the rain. without my big umbrella. i guess i do have this dinky miniature florida lottery umbrella that will leave my ass exposed that vanessa's mom procured for me at an ice pilot game. damn. all right, dudes. time to go get my ass wet.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Night Robert Esche Went Psycho

we ice pilots fans all remember The Night Steven Later Went Psycho quite well. well, last night during that fiasco of a flyers game it was robert esche’s turn. after an absolutely stellar performance in game 1 of the eastern conference quarter finals (which, sadly, the flyers lost), i for one expected him to at least be decent in game two. i don’t consider allowing 5 goals on 10 shots in the 1st period decent. i call that sucking. not that his teammates gave him much help, but come on. he could have stopped at least four of the five goals he allowed. unacceptable, i tell you. the final score last night was buffalo 8, philadelphia 2. pathetic. utterly pathetic. i hope that ken hitchcock gave his team the worst ass-chewing they’ve had all season after that crap.

but anyway. i was going to tell those who didn’t see it for themselves of robert esche’s psychotic break. it happened in the first period, shortly after he allowed the 4th goal of the game. coach hitchcock opted to pull esche in favor of my boy antero niittymaki after that one, and he was at least okay in goal for the flyers. he only allowed three goals, anyway. but that’s also not the point. the point is that at the next stoppage of play after he was pulled, esche left the bench to attack every buffalo sabre he could get his hands on, steven later style. yeah, this is a goalie i’m talking about here. a very frustrated goalie. it was crazy. flyer captain and Most Overrated Defenseman in the History of Hockey derian hatcher eventually ended up grabbing and holding esche from behind (hatcher was on the bench at the time) and whispering sweet nothings in esche’s ear in an attempt to calm his livid starting goaltender. it seemed to work, so perhaps hatcher’s leadership skills aren’t as deficient as his defending skills. just a note here, but sabres goalie ryan miller wanted to get in on that action, too, but buffalo coach lindy ruff waved him back. i guess he didn’t want to see Patrick Roy vs Chris Osgood: Part Deux. i kinda did. ryan miller may be a better goalie, but i think that esche could kick his ass.

i was quite surprised to see esche back in net for the flyers after all of that. then he allowed his 5th goal of the first period, so niittymaki relieved esche for good in the second. like i said, he was okay. not great. but he didn’t allow five goals on ten shots. god, that whole game was so unbelievably bad...

oh, and then the stupid guys at TSN, whose feed i was watching on NHL center ice, inexplicably switched over to the rangers/devils game (which was broadcasting on OLN) in the middle of the 2nd period. WTF??? i’d been saying from the first five minutes of the game that i wasn’t going to watch anymore, but who was i kidding? yeah, the game sucked big ass, but i couldn’t tear myself away. perhaps TSN was trying to do me a favor? i was pissed anyway. about halfway through the third period the good folks at directv realized that TSN just was not going to show anymore of the philly/buffalo game and switched over to the MSG feed... just in time for me to watch the end and witness buffalo’s 8th goal late in the period. yay. (that was a sarcastic ‘yay’, in case you didn’t get that).

and that, my friends, ends the tale of The Night Robert Esche Went Psycho. it was not a good night for philadelphia fans.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Minor Freak Out(s)

wanna know what i did last night? i had a minor breakdown of the nervous variety... and then i passed it on to chad, so now i feel better. you see, due to the nature of the graduate fellowship, i don't get paid when university classes are not in session. so, i get paid on cinco de mayo then no dinero para mi until the middle of june. then i get to go through all of that again in august, when i won't get any money. allow me to remind you that i'll be heading to maine in august (when i don't have any $$$), and then at the end of the month, i'll be going to spain (when i still don't have any $$$). plus, chad and i have to pay off our pilots tickets by sept 1 (that's about $640-something)... and there are the $346 in university fees that i have to pay out of pocket every semester.

why didn't i freak out about money this way last summer? well, last summer i was working as a TA for summer school classes at the sea lab. this summer, i am not. TAing those two classes provided us with somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000 that we won't have this summer. why can't i be a TA again, you ask? well, because it kind of got in the way of real research last summer, and by george, i have got to get the bulk of my experiments done this summer. so, no TA position for me... and all of those nasty tropical systems that haunted me last summer/fall had better stay far, far away from the gulf of mexico. they will if they know what's good for them... or they shall face the Wrath of LaTina. it's painful, trust me.

enough about my finances. it is now time for me to enlighten all of you wonderful folks out there in internet land about my current freak out. it is a much more immediate concern than being penniless in a couple of weeks... and then again a couple of months after that. the special guest star in today's episode of The Things That Make LaTina the Nut That We All Know and Love to Bits is my car. i suspect that it has some sort of horrible disease whose only symptoms are pain and discomfort so intense that it makes my poor little kia cry. not tears, mind you. these are more dry sobs. as far as i can tell, the atrocious noises spewing from under the hood aren't having any adverse effects on the actual getting-me-where-i-need-to-go (and back again, even)-even-if-it-is-33miles-from-home power of the car. it's just really noisy. but what the hell do i know about cars? it's probably something really and truly horrible, and when i get around to shuffling it over to a mechanic, he will probably (after asking me the best way to catch red snapper in the gulf - which i don't know) tell me that i shouldn't have driven it all the way to dauphin island and back to mobile with it making that crazy sound. in my defense, the car made that god-awful noise when i cranked her up this morning, continued to sound as if it would explode at any moment for a couple of miles, and then, miraculously, the sound was gone when i started the car after stopping for gas at the BP station down the street. no flashing lights or jumping needles that would indicate a problem presented themselves, so i figured that all was well, and there had just been something stuck somewhere in my engine and had worked its way out between my humble abode and the gas station.

but i was wrong. upon arriving at the sea lab with my lovely little kia making only the normal car sounds, i still thought my gas-station assessment was going to hold up. but like i said, i was wrong. when i got back in my car to leave the sea lab and drive the 33 miles back to mobile, the turn of the key in the ignition was once again greeted by a devilish, howling screech that continued for a while. but eventually it stopped... *sigh*

chad isn't home from work yet, or i would have had him out listening to my car and its kooky sounds already. as it stands, the sounds probably won't manifest for him. because my car, she only likes to freak me out.

Monday, April 17, 2006


i've been neglecting the blog a little lately. i know. my deepest apologies to those who check here often to see what bits of my brain matter end up here. nothing much has been going on, really. i went to my mom's house for easter, and we ended up at my grandmother's house, where i've spent every easter for the past 23 years (that's every easter since i was born, in case you didn't catch that). my cousin wendy was in town with her husband and their two children. i haven't seen her in, like... oh my god, i don't even remember the last time i saw her. it's definitely been more than five years. i actually only saw them for about an hour before they headed back to south carolina. oh well. i played about a zillion games of monopoly with my little sis, and we did the regular easter stuff, then chad and i headed back home. i watched the flyers game against the rangers from saturday (in hi def) then the flyers game against the devils from yesterday. the rangers game was awesome (the rookies were shining in that one), but the devils game sucked major ass. i hope the flyers don't end up playing them in the first round of the play-offs. they'd have a better chance against the rangers.

today i had class, as usual. then i went on a marathon grocery shopping trip, and i spent nearly $200 (well, i bought some non-food items, too - like batteries, light bulbs, body wash, tweezers, make-up sponges, etc, etc). chad and i were seriously impoverished in the food department, but now our fridge, freezer, and pantry are once again well-stocked. then i changed all the burnt-out light bulbs in our ceiling fans. the one in the bedroom was down to one working bulb out of 4, and one was burnt out in the fan over the table. i also (finally) called and put down the deposit on our ice pilots tickets for next season. we moved down two rows, so we're in the first row in our section now. yay. we were supposed to move down a row this season, but when i called i was told that row wasn't available, even though the lady who had those seats last year didn't renew them for this year (and that row was empty most games this season). oh well.

i'm looking forward to the NHL play-offs, which start this weekend. i'll know for sure tomorrow whom the flyers will play in the first round. here's hoping it's the rangers... they don't have such a great record against the sabres, and the devils are really hot right now. the last two times the flyers have played the devils, the devils have really burned them. those are the only three teams that it's really likely that the flyers might play. once the play-off schedule is set for the first round, perhaps we can see if anyone would like to join chad and me for some play-off hockey. anyone interested?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Good Girl

it's been a while since i wrote a good post that actually said something. sorry about that. i've been earning myself an olympic gold medal in the sport of procrastination. i don't know why it seemed so much harder to revise my prospectus than it did to write it in the first place, but it took a whole lot more will power.

i was tempted to shirk responsibility again today and go swimming instead of revising. that's what i did yesterday. it was nice, hanging out at the pool with a couple of old ladies, swimming away. i really wanted to spend this afternoon doing more of the same, but i somehow managed to rope myself into doing actual work, and then i couldn't tear myself away until it was done. it's been two weeks since i met with dr. v. about my prospectus, and yes, i just now finished the revisions. i pruned my prospectus, rearranged a bunch of it, put it back the way it was originally, rearranged it differently, eliminated six references, added a little more info, rewrote the same paragraph about eight times, made frustrated, guttural sounds deep in my throat when i came across sentence after sentence that dr. v. rewrote, about half of which ended up saying something completely different than i'd intended, so i had to change them again so that they said the right thing. it was a grueling process, but draft no. 2 is finally finished. it's been broken down into so many electrons and sent through my phone line to eventually find its way to dr. v.'s computer. here's hoping that draft no. 3 doesn't suck this much out of me.

to more exciting news, spain is a go! all seven students who were interested are getting funded for the trip, so no one has to worry about who won't get to go. i just emailed the prof today to let him know i'm in. the bad news is that the field marine science class is going to maine right before the spain trip. and, yes, i'm also going to maine. it kind of sucks that i'll be gone so much in august, but it's kind of exciting. i'll have one day of rest and packing after i get back from maine and before i leave for spain. so much traveling... chad is going to forget what i look like, only seeing me one day in four weeks. yikes. oh well. those 5 credit hours will fulfill my remaining required course credit hours. yay! no more classes after fall semester! i can't wait.

ok. i'm still a little... woozy, from all the focusing and staring at a computer screen for the past seven hours, so i'm going to tear myself away now so my eyes will stop retaliating. ta ta.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Since I'm Thinking European Thoughts...

You Belong in Paris

You enjoy all that life has to offer, and you can appreciate the fine tastes and sites of Paris.
You're the perfect person to wander the streets of Paris aimlessly, enjoying architecture and a crepe.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


who doesn't love to hear the sound of random pounding while showering at 7:30 am? i certainly don't. i can be a little jumpy, hearing unidentified sounds like that above my head. at first i thought it was the old guy who lives upstairs, but when i got out of the shower, i realized that it was the roofers, finally come to repair the roofs on all of our 50 or so apartment buildings after all these months since they were damaged during hurricane katrina. that's right, folks. our roofs have been blue-tarped for 7 months, and actual repairs are just now being made. and almost two whole months before hurricane season!

there was a notice on our door the other day informing us that the repair work was about to begin and also warning us that the roofers would be starting work very early in the morning every day of the week. even saturday. i so hope that my building is finished by then. i do not look forward to this horrid pounding and banging at 7:30 on a saturday morning, when all normal people are sleeping.

oh, yeah. and who knew that reading two hellalong scientific papers while people are banging away on the roof would be all but impossible? well, now i know.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lazy Girl

have you ever noticed that when you have a big pile of things that need to be done (that you really have no desire to do), adding something else on top that you want to do even less makes the original pile seem less vile and daunting? i don't blame you. i just realized this myself. none of you have ventured into the dungeon that my apartment has become over the last few weeks, so you have no idea (*random giggle that only one of you gets*) just what a biohazard my living arrangements were until yesterday. trust me, it was truly disgusting.

so, cleaning was part of the original pile-o-stuff, as was studying (which i did, but only because it was either study or bomb, which i refuse to do), doing research for the review paper i'm working on with anne, cleaning the aquarium, and finding more time to exercise (because i am a lazy girl who is gaining weight, which makes me upset). the only task in that pile that was actually completed was studying, 'cause my hands were tied. the solution to my procrastination turned out to be heavy pressure from my inner good grad student to revise my prospectus. hey, i did tell dr. v. i would work on it this week and get it back to him. thus (i like that word, don't you?), prospectus revisions were the task that i least wanted to tackle, which motivated me to do the other things in the pile. well, one thing. clean. thoroughly - something that i haven't done in a really long time. i had this gi-freakin-gantic stack of papers/research articles on, under, and around my coffee table from when i first wrote my prospectus, way back during spring break (ok, that was only a couple of weeks ago), and i don't remember the last time i actually saw my kitchen table... or my desk. so i was a busy little bee, throwing away lots of random old crap (including about 6 pairs of old, worn out flip-flops), organizing, dusting, vacuuming (even the vent thing in front of the closet with the AC unit!), cleaning the bathroom and kitchen floors (even the pantry!) with my nifty new Scotch Brite bathroom floor cleaner thingy, making my desk suitable for work (although i never actually did any work). then i plugged in my new glade plug-ins fan thingy, and now my apartment smells yummy.

so, after my day of cleaning instead of working, what did i find creeping around my bathroom? the biggest freakin' roach i have ever laid eyes on. i swear, it was twice the size of my big toe, and it was actually clicking as it skittered around my nice, freshly cleaned bathroom floor! gross! this was right before i went to bed, and i made chad go kill it. then he kept freaking me out, saying that it was probably trying to swim back up the toilet. so i was a little paranoid about bugs crawling on me, and it took me a while to fall asleep. where does an insect that freakishly humongous come from? i swear, it must have crawled up out of the sewer. ewww.

but there have been no bugs today, and my apartment is clean, and my class today was cancelled, and i really don't have an excuse not to revise the ol' prospectus. but i think i'll go for a walk. then i'll work...

Monday, April 03, 2006

2nd Best Game of the Season

since nessa and deva missed the pilots game saturday night, i've decided to post a nice little game summary for them. as i'm sure they discovered from the echl site, the game was freakin' awesome. i still say that the shootout win against gwinnett earlier in the season was the pilots' best game of the year, but saturday night against columbia was a close second. surprised much? i was. i went into this weekend thinking that the pilots would manage to lose their remaining 4 games. they pulled out one last good effort for me, though.

i'll start out by saying that the pilots actually put the puck in the net 8 times, even though the final score was 6-1. i guess that means that brown is, like, the worst goalie ever. anyway, two pensacola goals were disallowed, both times because the ref said he blew the whistle before the puck crossed the goal line. i was ok with it the 1st time - it did look like brown had the puck covered before a pilot (sorry don't remember who) forced it in the net. but the second time a goal was disallowed was total b.s. there was absolutely no reason for a whistle then, and no one in the building heard one. it was a beautiful goal from steven later, and everyone was hellapissed that it didn't count. we were trying to figure out why the ref would have blown the whistle then, but we couldn't come up with a reason. it wasn't a hand pass, not hit with a high stick, no penalty was called, the puck didn't go anywhere near brown before it went in (so there is no way the ref could have thought he had it covered), as far as we could tell, there was no reason to stop play. but all the same, the goal didn't count. it didn't matter, though. the scoring was plenty abundant all night long. oh, and traylen played his best game since he's been with the team. he only allowed 1 goal on 26 shots, and he made some really great saves. it got him 3rd star credit.

the other guy who had a really big night saturday was little dallas steward. he had two goals, an assist, he punched a guy in the face (took a roughing call for it), and he had the most beautiful open ice hit... and he didn't fall down, but the inferno guy did. after he scored his 1st goal and made that hit at center ice, i pegged him as 1st star of the game. then he scored his second goal to clinch 1st star credit. after stewie scored the 2nd time, they played "all the small things," and chad and i cracked up. he was like, "i can't believe they played that." it was fantastic.

oh, and jacquo finally scored another goal at home. it was the 6th goal, so it was just, like, icing on the cake, but i was still happy. he also had the hardest check of the game... of course. who else hits? well, i guess stewie did that game. but anyway...

sunday's game wasn't nearly as good. it started off ok, but the guys looked tired and slow. the pilots took a 2 goal lead, but it was pretty obvious from the way they were playing that it wasn't going to last. so, late in the 3rd period when they were down 3-2 and on a power play, dupont decided to pull traylen (it seemed like a good idea at the time), and columbia scored a short-handed empty netter. then they put traylen back in, and rankin scored his 2nd goal of the game. maybe if they hadn't pulled the goalie, things could have been different. as they were, the pilots lost 4-3 in regulation. oh, yeah. busniuk got in a fight. not only that, busniuk started the fight (and who could blame him? that guy kept holding him, kept holding his stick, pushed him down, never got called, so buzzy felt he needed to take matters into his own hands). he got his ass kicked, but who would've thought that busniuk would fight? it was entertaining, in any case.