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

Friday, December 22, 2006

'Tis the Season for Parties

so, i've been thinking about this a lot lately, and i really want to have my tapas party SOON (i've wanted to throw a tapas party ever since i got back from spain in septemeber). for new year's, perhaps? i don't know if that will work since all my peeps are out of town until next week, and i won't see them until next friday. and we haven't really discussed new year's plans. but anyway... i've already started planning the menu in my head. i'd like to try my hand at making a small paella (though i do not have the traditional paella pan), veggie paella i think. also, i really want to make russian salad (i ate SO MUCH russian salad in spain, and it was delicious). i bought a cookbook called 'the best 100 tapas' at the airport in madrid, and it has some great recipes in it. i also want to make croquetas (fried balls of spanish goodness!), which i tried out shortly after returning to the states, and they turned out pretty tasty. and churros! so yummy. oh, and i can't forget tortilla espaƱola. i’ll probably make some other stuff, too, but i’ll have to pore through my cookbook for more ideas.

some of the recipes in that book sound absolutely disgusting. like baby eel tartlets. gross! but most sound delicious.

since it’s a party, i’ll also need some drinks. sangria sounds perfect. and mojitos! jose luis made us paella and mojitos in spain. i was deathly sick at the time, and when he handed me a mojito, jose luis was like, “some vitamins for you. it will make you feel better.”

i’ll also have the bottle of wine that chad got to bring home from the ice pilots’ christmas party (we said we wouldn’t drink it without you, nessa).

on the topic of alcoholic beverages, i recently procured a delightful book of alcoholism-in-the-making, the complete bartender. it has recipes for sangria and mojitos, and any drink you could possibly dream of. including pensacolas and scooby snacks! and they both sound delicious! maybe i could also serve pensacolas at my tapas party. they aren’t spanish, but pensacola was the first north american city to be colonized by the spanish, so that counts for something, right? they sound delicious. here’s what’s in a pensacola:

1.5 oz rum
0.5 oz guava nectar
0.5 oz orange juice
0.5 oz lemon juice

you blend it up with ice.

and, just for fun, here’s the recipe for scooby snacks:

0.75 oz vodka
0.75 oz Midori melon liqueur

0.75 oz Malibu
1 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz cream

you blend that one up with ice, too.

i think i’ll share more festively named drink recipes with you when i don’t really have anything else to charm you with. we’ll all be raging alcoholics yet.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Finally, a Chemist I Can Connect With

i just spent half an hour on the phone with a chemist, and it actually didn't make me want to poke my eyes out. i won't lie. i made A's in chemistry, even the dreaded organic chemistry. but i hated every minute of it. plain old chemistry with the numbers wasn't so bad. neither was quantitative analysis. but i despised organic chemistry. it made my head hurt every day, with the crazy reactions and the concept of chirality, which eludes me to this very day.

and i just talked to an organic chemist for a half hour. and i'm not experiencing suicidal urges. weird. i guess i had to figure that working with chemical defenses in plants i'd encounter one sometime. anyway, i've kind of hit a wall in identifying some of the comounds in my seagrass tissue, and i needed help. because i have NO IDEA what i'm doing. i want to do GCMS (gas chromatography / mass spectroscopy), but there's one small problem. i've never done it before, and i don't know how.

the chemist i just talked to was very helpful. he's kind of goofy and very nice. plus, he's very patient with my lack of knowledge of organic chemistry. even though he knows i took it. and that i made an A in it. it didn't stick. it's nice to find someone who doesn't assume that we lowly students permanently absorb every absurd fact professors throw at us.

anyway, he emailed me a protocol for the GCMS thing and talked me out of ordering a $300 standard whose usefulness i was having doubts about anyway. hooray for dr. f.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


oh god. deep breaths, latina. i'm having severe flashbacks from last hockey season... only this year might be worse because the flyers suck, too. and i actually thought pensacola had a chance to be a decent hockey team at the start of the season. but things seem to be falling apart at the seams. first, mole gets called up. no big deal, we've got ayers to cover things in goal. but no. ayers wants to go play in denmark (not that i blame him). ok, we signed matt carmichael, and he was good the couple of games he played for pcola last season. but no, he was released. so who are we left with? ben gray, who apparently wasn't good enough to make the team in the first place! and another emergency backup goaltender (who is not chuck thuss. i just think it would be fun if chuck thuss would be our emergency backup for once).

on top of this, freakin' greg schuh is coaching this weekend... along with dwayne hay. hello! he can't play if he's coaching. but i guess he'd be better than greg schuh. no wonder they lost last night. i hate to say it, but they'll probably lose tonight, too, even though they're playing columbia, whose roster is, like, us from last season. maybe they'll kick ass and prove me wrong...

we've made so many roster moves this year... it's like a totally different team than the one we started with. but like last year, all these changes haven't really improved anything. and now we're getting players from the SPHL. geez. but i guess we did get that one guy with the weird name from augusta... he was #5 for them. i remember because i always made fun of his name. and you know, i've seen them, like, 4 times already.

i'm starting to lose hope here, people. will this team ever be decent again?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sidney Crosby Is Better Than Jarome Iginla?!?

wtf? what were you thinking, pierre mcguire? you had me on your side when you sided with us flyer fans and admitted that one interference call on todd fedoruk was totally bogus. i believe you called it a 'homer call'... and it resulted in a power play goal for pittsburgh, which made the situation worse. i was all like, "aww, i like you, pierre mcguire!"

but then you had to go and call sidney crosby the best player in the NHL right now. and then you revised that, saying that's he's not just the best right now. he's the best. blah. then i was all like, "i take it back!" one of the guys in the studio with pierre brought up jarome iginla (apparently, HE doesn't think sidney crosby is the best player in the league), and pierre mcguire insisted that sidney crosby is better. this may come as a shock to all sid the kid's fans out there, but i think he's overrated. i've said that before, although not in those exact words. he is a talented player, but he is not anywhere near the best player in the NHL. he certainly is not better than jarome iginla. i don't care what pierre mcguire says.

for one, jarome iginla does not whine anywhere near as often as sidney crosby... and he's putting up great numbers for calgary without getting to play a truly atrocious team 8 times. damn, i bet i could have 47 points by now, too if i was racking up 6 points a game when i played the flyers. geez. i love the flyers, but let's face it, they SUCK this season... and they play pittsburgh 8 times a year.

well, in the middle of my rant, i was rudely interrupted by the fire alarm, and now i'm afraid i've completely lost my train of thought. i'm at USA right now, analyzing some of my seagrass tissue for condensed tannins (a potential chemical defense). between assays, i decided to vent some of my feelings about pierre mcguire and last night's flyers/penguins game, and then the stupid fire alarm went off. if you're wondering, no, the building is not on fire. i did pack up my stuff (i.e., i shoved my computer into my bag and grabbed my notebook and data printouts. hey! that stuff is important! without that stuff, all those days i spent in port st. joe were for nothing!), before fleeing the life sciences building, even though i know you're just supposed to run out of the building, belongings be damned. i had a nice talk with a few profs and the marine sciences secretary while waiting for the police and fire dept to show up. then i hung out downstairs in the marine sciences office for a little while, upon determining that there is no fire. actually, i don't think the fire marshall ever did show, but we got police. last time the fire alarm went off when i was in here working (yes, this happens relatively often, and there has never been an actual fire), the fire marshall showed up and yelled at everyone for not waiting for him before re-entering the building. oh well.

anyway, back to the original point. i really did lose my train of thought, so i'll just start a list of players who are better than sidney crosby. feel free to add to this list... or tell me i'm off my rocker and that sidney crosby is the best player in the NHL.

Jarome Iginla (obviously)
Teemu Selanne
Chris Pronger
Peter Forsberg (when he's healthy)
Alexander Ovechkin (i say this because he embraces the physical part of the game AND makes great plays and scores amazing goals)
Daniel Briere (even though he pisses me off)

there are others. i know there are others. these are the 6 that jump to mind. i'm tempted to add a few more, but the other players who come to mind all have terrible +/- numbers, so i don't feel right about saying publicly that they're better than sidney crosby, who has a good +/- rating.

Friday, December 08, 2006


people say fantasies are harmless, but they can be dangerous. a lot of things have led up to these thoughts, some of which i'm not going to mention. two television programs in particular led me to write this. first, i was watching the lightning/thrashers game last night (tampa bay won 8-0!), and they did a segment during one of the intermissions on a children's book written by head coach john tortorella's wife. it's about the team and the lessons they've learned from the coach. during the segment, they showed footage of a bunch of kids that they brought into the lightning locker room to promote the book, and i started to think about what i would have felt when i was 12 if i were one of those kids. i realized that every single one of them walked into that locker room and immediately started to fantasize about something - being on the team, being friends with the players, something. i could see it in their faces. even though it was a long time ago, i clearly remember being 12, and i can imagine what i would have felt going into that situation.

the second show that led me here is last week's episode of the king of queens (oh, the magic of tivo). in it, carrie has to play the mom in a fake family that has been staged to help sell a model home. at first she hates the whole thing and can't imagine herself in the role of mommy, but as she pretends day after day, she completely loses herself in this fantasy family. and it makes her unhappy with her actual life.

and therein, my friends, lies the danger of the fantasy. if you let yourself get lost in the idea of the (non-existent) perfect life, you can become supremely disappointed with the life you're actually living. sure, a fantasy may drive you to make your own life better, but it could accomplish the exact opposite as well. indulging in a fantasy every now and then is fine, but it's a good idea not to let it go too far. take a step back, realize that a fantasy is not real and likely will never be real, and be happy with the life you've made for yourself instead.