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

Thursday, November 30, 2006

How Bizarre

today is one of those rare days when i wake up and remember my dreams in vivid detail. but i sort of wish i didn't. because they were bizarre, man. i either had two weird and unconnected dreams or one singularly peculiar and somewhat frightening dream. the first one was more relevant to my actual life than the second but wasn't as cohesive.

Part I (Dream I?):
i only remember bits of this one that don't really seem to make much sense, so it might be a tad hard to follow. at the beginning, or the first thing i remember anyway, i was on a boat with kate (DISL chick that went to maine and spain and took the motorboat operator's certification course with me). there may or may not have been an unidentified boy on board with us. i don't really know why we were on the boat, but we were in pretty shallow water and in the middle of nowhere. but there was a small, marshy island that for some reason reminded me of return to the blue lagoon. that in itself was odd because i had the distinct impression that we were somewhere close to dauphin island... and there is definitely no water that clear anywhere close to DISL. but at the same time the general landscape reminded me of maine.

but anyway. one second we were on the boat and the next we were on this deserted little island being chased by someone who wanted to do us bodily harm. and there was a boy there. it was kyle from that show on usa, the 4400, and he was wearing this huge black life jacket that looked like those bullet proof vest thingies worn by the SWAT team. but it was definitely a life jacket. so, the three of us climed into this shallow pool and were hiding underneath a ledge and some unidentified voice was making vague threats and slowly approaching our hiding place. then the owner of the voice was standing on top of the ledge we were hiding under, and suddenly there was a small opening in the rock behind the threatening person. so kate and i climed up through the hole and ran like hell, but kyle from the 4400 with his ridiculously huge life jacket couldn't fit. so kate and i were running (back to the boat, presumably, but i don't really know) when kyle and his giant SWAT vest/life jacket suddenly appeared beside me.

and that's all i remember.

Part II is a little more disturbing and a lot more graphic.
here the first thing i remember is walking to some sort of huge outdoor party, a la the town gatherings on gilmore girls. but this time i wasn't myself. i was that guy rick from 24 Season 1. you know, that guy who helped kidnap jack's daughter and then felt bad about it. this could be because chad and i just watched an episode of that show before bed.

anyway, i was walking to this party when a group of girls (presumably my friends) stopped by in a jeep and picked me up. when we arrived at the party, there were tons of animals there, and i was really confused. the setting sort of looked like a huge, old university campus. there was tons of grass (a lawn, i guess), some trees, and lots of old brick buildings. but everyone was outside, and there were all these animals. which were very attracted to me. and not in a good way. all these dogs and cats and birds started attacking me, and i was fighting them off but getting pretty scatched up in the process. then there was this black panther that came running at me, and i fought it off (apparently rick from 24 is like superman).

then things changed a little, and the animals were magically gone. and all the people were gone, too. but for some reason i was hiding in a closet. then i felt that something (one of the crazed animals, perhaps) was hunting for me. so i snuck out of the closet and was crawling around the outside of a building when i came up on another building that looked like a tropical resort. it was all lit up outside, with an oddly shaped pool and lots of palm trees. then i heard this pained groan and half a guy fell out of a tree on top of me. it was really disgusting. his insides were all oozing out and stuff. then this crazed maniac ran out of the resort-ish building, chasing me. i grabbed a fake plant out of the pool that for some reason had a heavy concrete base (you know, so i could use it as a weapon) and made a run for it. i climbed up one of the trees in the old university-ish place, hoping the maniac wouldn't see me ('cause it was dark in this dream, did i mention that?). but he did. and he had a weapon - something huge and sharp and scary, but i don't remember exactly what it was. he tried to climb up the tree, but i was way up at the top in the flimsy part (something i would never actually do, being terrified of heights), and i started moving around and shaking the tree so that he fell out. but the top of the tree bent way down, almost to the ground, and he was almost able to reach me with his unidentified sharp scary thing that could hurt me bad. and then the maniac climed onto the roof of a building next to the tree and was jumping into the tree with me when i woke up.

see? bizarre.

Damn Sea Wolf

so i am right in the middle of writing a post about my bizarre dreams, but chad just called me and i couldn't wait to share. he couldn't wait to share either, apparently. it's good stuff. he called to tell me that he just met a former mobile mystick. wait for it... chuck thuss. i was all like, "dude, i totally remeber him!" and then i was like, "i remember thinking 'what kind of hockey player name is chuck?'" you know why i rememeber him? 'cause back when he played hockey i saw a bunch of games against mobile... and the damn sea wolves, who he also played for. check him out. i sort of had to rememeber him, 'cause he was a freakin' goalie. goalies stick with you, man. c'mon if i remember him, someone else out there has to (*cough* nessa).

anyway, chad's new friend chuck liked mobile so much he moved here, i guess. i mean, i don't really like mobile, but to each his own. it's better than canada, i bet. weather-wise anyway. so, chuck thuss owns a sports supply store here in mobile that sells lots of hockey stuff. chad tells me it's really cool, and i told him that we have to go there. he agreed. and chuck thuss has promised to find chad the rare and elusive mobile myticks jersey he's been looking for since last year. he doesn't think he has any in the store, 'cause he thinks he took 'em all home. so chad might finally get his jersey. i say 'might' because former mayor mike dow (who now works at the same company as chad) promised to find him a mysticks jersey last year and failed to come through.

but anyway, chad met a former mystick (who has been signed as mississippi's emergency backup goalie over the last few years, you know, before katrina wiped them out). isn't that cool?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Procrastination Catches Up

so, i've been putting off this whole presentation/paper thing pretty much since i got back from spain way back in september. i can't really say that it snuck up on me, but really, where did the time go? my presentation about my maine project is friday! as in three days from now! and my paper is due in a week! and i haven't started it yet! like, i don't even have any references!

i did manage to get the backbone of my presentation done last night. it only took about an hour. it's only a 10(ish) minute presentation, after all. i have 17 slides. now i'm trying to compile some references and fill out all the parts where i just made notes for myself. like ADD REFERENCE or MAP or PHOTO or just random words to remind me what i wanted to put on that slide. so far, i've dug up three or four papers that i already had in the file boxes in my office at home.

i've also been hella pissed at my dsl modem, which keeps randomly crapping out on me. for the most part, i really love my dsl, but it's a good thing i can still use the dial-up when i need to. for the last few days, my dsl modem just refuses to work at the most random and inopportune moments. and no matter what troubleshooting techniques i try, it just refuses to be fixed... until i check again in a few hours and it's magically better for a couple of hours. then it craps out again. the little dsl light just flashes and the stupid thing keeps thinking the cables aren't connected, even though i know they are, 'cause i haven't changed anything in the three months since we got it. a technician is coming out tomorrow to check it out. but just you wait and see, it will work like a charm for the tech and he'll think i'm on crack. then as soon as he steps out the door and i try to check my email it will start that evil flashing again. stupid dsl light, why can't you just be solid green? why do you insist on flashing? at least it's working for now.

so, i cooked thanksgiving dinner for the very first time this year, and i have to say that it was a brilliant success. who knew i could cook? the turkey was lovely and brown and perfect, and i picked a really tasty (and easy) dressing recipe from the food network site, and i made mashed potatoes (like, a ton of 'em) and gravy (my 1st attempt at gravy - it probably could have been better) and green beans and apple pie and cranberry sauce from a can. i had tons of leftovers.

i didn't go shopping on black friday (does anyone know why they call it that, btw?), though i was tempted. then i decided that it wasn't worth waking up that early. the only thing i was really interested in was an mp3 player that was way cheap and a 1GB flash drive that was also way cheap from walmart. but walmart the day after thanksgiving is scary. and i ended up getting a flash drive for, like, 87 cents more than walmart's 5 am sale price at best buy on saturday. i was excited. it had a $35 instant rebate, so i was way excited. chad and i also bought a wireless router (so i'm not chained to the office when i wanna surf the net on my spiffy laptop), which i can't use until i figure what the hell is up with my frickin' modem.

i did hit the mall on monday afternoon for a little christmas shopping. i had some coupons that needed to be used before december 4th ('cause they were for 30% off my entire purchase, and who wants to waste that? 30% off one item, i can let that go. but off everything? i can't pass it up, especially when everything is on sale anyway). first i hit up new york and co. (complete with giant mcdreamy and meredith in the window), where i scored HUGE. i bought 2 sweaters (BOGO 1/2 off), a pair of sweet gray cords ($10 off), and some earrings (50% off), then i got 15% off everything for opening a credit acct (i can't believe i didn't already have one there, actually. i shop there a lot), THEN i got my 30% off THAT. so i saved, like $35 just from the 15% and 30% off discounts, on top of the money the sales took off. all together, i think i saved about $68. i only spent $50. i went back later and bought some socks and a scarf and glove set for my granny.

after NY&Co. i spent quite a bit of $ in bath and body works. most of it was on christmas presents. i got $15 off in there, too, so i was happy. i bought four gift sets in there for my female family members (including the mother-in-law. chad thought it was sweet of me). i was tempted to buy some of the 3 for $10 soaps and lotions, but i didn't... mainly because i stocked up last week when they were 4 for $10.

finally, i went in victoria's secret (i got $10 off in there, plus everything i bought was on sale). i got another gift set... but it was for myself. dream angels desire. i like it a lot (i knew that already, 'cause i got a free teeny bottle of the perfume a couple of weeks ago). i also bought some lip gloss... which was of course on sale. ooh! and i got a free eye shadow! full sized, even! score!

deva and vanessa already know that i've done some online christmas shopping, as well (since i spilled the beans about ordering their gifts). pretty much the only people i don't have something for are damien and dylan. and i want to get something else for chad. plenty of time for that, though.

i put up my baby christmas tree yesterday. (see how much procrastinating i can do when i put my mind to it?) i intended to do actual work, but my dsl was having one of its bitchy moments, and downloading pdf's with dial-up is scary slow.

dudes! my internet light on my modem just went all devil red on me! that's a first. usually, the little dsl light just flashes and the internet light is off.

ok. all lights green and steady again. i better publish this thing while i still can.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Celebrating The Tina

i like birthdays. they're so much fun. it wasn't my birthday this past weekend, but my real birthday really sucked (you know, with my mom being in the hospital and all), so i didn't feel bad about pretending. i crashed at nessa's place this weekend, and she and deva treated me to an excellent weekend. we of course went to mcguires friday night for dinner (a birthday tradition in our group), and then we went to seville quarter (a really cool bar in pcola, for those who don't know what it is) for drinking and dancing. i had three drinks and was pretty sloshed (obviously, i'm a lightweight when it comes to the booze)... and as we all know, i'm a delightful drunk. so it was a blast. we took extra care getting dressed that night. we had to be sure to wear something kind of... scandalous. or slutty, if you prefer. i chose a (not at all slutty) knee length denim skirt, a top that showed a lot of skin and had strategically placed sparkles (i'll let your imagination figure out where they were), and the pride and joy of my shoe collection - my prostitute boots. they're dark brown suede with a wedge heel, and they hit just below my knees. i love them, slutty though they are.

anyway, i spent the night shutting down guys. it was kind of fun. see, i'm apparently a man magnet (i blame it on being married. i give off that 'you can't have me' vibe, and it drives the boys wild. or maybe it was my slutty boots). i'd told nessa and deva that if there was skeezy guy within 100 yards he'd come running for me, but i don't think they realized how true this was until they saw it first hand. i don't know, a couple of those guys weren't actually all that skeezy. like the first guy, zack. i thought he was checking out my girls (my back was to him, after all). i'd seen him in a few different rooms, and then the three of us decided to hang at a table for a while and people watch. every time i turned around to see if anyone interesting was coming through the door, this guy was looking over at our table, and i was like, "guys! the blond guy by the door is TOTALLY checking you out!" and about that time, he walks over, puts his hand on my back (why do they always wanna touch me?) and introduces himself. then he asks my name and i tell him, and he's like, "you're lying." which i wasn't. but i was sort of trying to draw attention to my left hand (and my wedding ring). finally, he looks down and sees it and goes "oh! you're married! sorry." then his friend walks over and goes, "hi. i'm the wingman. i'm just supposed to come over and talk." and zack's like, "dude. i'm bailing." it was pretty funny, and he was sort of cute. he should have stuck around and gotten to know my two amazing single girl pals, but alas, he did not. but he did hit on vanessa later on that night. too bad he missed his chance. you snooze, you lose, buddy.

and then there was the guy who was, like, the WORST pick-up artist EVER. he pretty much was a skeeze ball. he put his fist on the table and said, "what does this make you think of?" or something like that. i'm like, "rock!" and vanessa said that's what she thought, too. then he goes on this whole thing, playing rock paper scissors with us, and it was so WEIRD. and he kept asking what i was feeling when i was playing rock paper scissors. i was like, "like i was playing rock paper scissors." and he thought i was lying. so i said, "and like i was a little drunk." then he's like, "i'm a doctor. thanks for participating in my study." that guy asked deva to dance later on. she refused. 'cause he was a freak, man.

and then there was david, the boy i scored for nessa. we were dancing in our little girl group (but there was no ass slapping), and deva had seen this boy who was hot, and i was trying to get his attention and get him to dance with her. instead, i accidentally made eyes at the boy standing in front of him. good thing he was cute. anyway, he came over, and deva said 'hi', and he danced with us and asked me lots of questions (he liked my slutty boots), and i subtly tried to steer him toward vanessa. eventually, it worked, and they danced and talked, and at the end of the night she gave him her number. and they have a date tonight. we'll see how it goes. i'm so proud of me, hookin' up my girl (with a little help from deva).

then this other guy came over and started dancing with us, but he never said anything. his friend came over later and was trying to get the boy who didn't talk to ask me questions, and at the end of the night he was like, "i think you're the most intelligent woman i've ever met in a bar. can i have your number?" then i told him i'm married (which i told his friend, so i thought he knew that already), and he was like, "oh. sorry."

and then we were leaving, and nessa was going to give david her digits, so deva and i were waiting for her outside. there were all these people in animal suits (like mascot suits, but i don't really know who they were or why they were there) running around the bar all night, and one of them was a moose. while deva and i were standing outside, the moose came and put its arms around us (i actually suspect that the moose was a girl). then this guy came over and said something like, "these pretty girls don't want the moose touching them" or something. and he pointed at deva and said, "and this mean pretty girl's gonna kick the moose in the nuts." then the moose went away and the guy was just talking to us. i was all like, "why can't i be the mean one?" and he was making fun of how fast and excited i talk. he was like, "are you always like this?" yeah, pretty much. then nessa came out, and we were just gonna leave, and then that guy asked for my number. i said i don't think my husband would like that too much. geez. do guys not even check for rings these days?

so, that's how that night ended. the next day, we went to seaside (the SMALL town where the movie the truman show was filmed) for sight seeing and shopping. it was SO CUTE. we ate lunch at this really cute place called roly poly. it was bascially a wrap sandwich place, and it was quite tasty. after walking all over town and visiting their shops and cooing over how cute the whole place was, we headed for destin for some real shopping. i bought so much stuff... we hit the outlet mall first and spent a long time there. nessa and i bought matching dresses. they're so cute. it seems like we always end up buying something the same. 'cause we both have such good taste. deva and i bought the same clinique makeup/skincare kit. it was in such a cute bag. i am quite happy with all of my purchases, and i came away with lots of good stuff.

after the outlets, we hit destin commons for a while. i actually didn't buy anything there, but i love that place. it's so pretty. we saw a girl there who really did look slutty. her boots were much sluttier than mine. or maybe it's just that she was wearing hers with a short, slutty red dress... and it was cold. after a long day of shopping, we ate dinner at tony's ristorante, an italian place in destin commons. we ate outside. good thing they have heaters outdoors. it was delicious... i ended up taking most of my penne mediterranean home, and chad and i ate it for lunch sunday.

after dinner, we were gonna go party some more on pensacola beach, but it was pretty dead. we were all pretty tired after our late night friday anyway. i went home sunday morning with all my loot (plus all the cool stuff deva and nessa gave me).

all in all, it was a pretty great weekend.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Cute Baby

my bro just sent me some new pics of my cute baby nephew. he's coming down for thanksgiving, and my bro and nephew will be spending a night at my house (yay for guests in the spiffy guest room!).

my bro and dylan. he's 18 months old now... just old enough to say, "hi!" and then "bye!" and hang up the phone on me.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Coneheads Controversy

the title sounds weird, i know, but it will make so much sense once you've read this post. oh, and it doesn't have anything to do with aliens. it has to do with that blue-on-the-outside-pepto-bismol-pink on the inside restaurant just outside the park where i do research. as i'm sure i've mentioned, i went back to port st. joe on monday to take down the two experiments i had there. well, while i was freezing my ass off in the choppy water, one of the park rangers came and left a note on the DISL truck that i took on my trip (it was the monstrous ford f250 super duty that i hate for its hugeness but kind of like for its relative newness). the note was pretty vague. it just said "please stop by the office on your way out. thanks -- *** ******, park ranger." those ***s stand for a name, btw. i had no idea what it was about. i was thinking something along the lines of "hmm... maybe they want to search my coolers for the first time EVER." you know, to make sure i'm not collecting any critters that aren't on my permit(s).

anyway, that's not what the note was about. when i stopped at the office, i basically got accused of stealing food from coneheads... a restaurant in which i have not stepped foot since june. the ranger guy was like, "did you eat at coneheads? and did you pay?" and i was like, "i've been there before, but not today. i brought a sandwich" and he just said, "ok. that's all i wanted." but he was giving me that "i think you're lying but i just can't prove it" look. i thought the whole thing was supremely odd. i mean, why would a park ranger be trying to find someone who walked out on a check at a local restaurant? and what led him to think that i was the culprit?

well, my answers came a bit later when dottie called me. i got all excited when i heard 'the danger zone' ('cause that's my ringtone, remember?), and i just let it ring for a bit, but then i answered and it was dottie. she was calling to ask me about the whole coneheads situation... because the crazy bitch from the restaurant called DISL. how she got the number and why she would call a lab 5 hours away from her restaurant remain a mystery. the only plausible explanation is the she called the park and they told her that someone from DISL was working there that day (me) and that the helpful ranger dug up the number for ken's lab, because he's the one to call on all our permits. and that's when she called dottie and got all bitchy.

anyway, dottie said that the chick said the culprit was a small 27 year old girl with curly brown hair, wearing a brown uniform, driving a white truck with state tags on the front, who claimed to be heading to the park to collect endangered species. oh, and she then said something like, "i don't want the money. i just want you to let whoever did it know that they were caught." i imagine that this was followed by a witchy cackle. i guess it could be said that i am small (but i'm not freakishly small or anything... 5' 3.25" is a respectable height!); i am 24, not 27; i do have brown hair, but it is quite straight; i was not wearing anything brown (i was wearing blue jeans and a black t-shirt from the aquarium in valencia over a striped purple bikini); i was driving a white truck with state tags on the back like a normal vehicle and it has a bright red fish on both front doors surrounded by the words "Dauphin Island Sea Lab"; and i would never have said that i was going to collect endangered species. i would have said something like, "i'm going to freeze my ass off taking down my grazing experiments in the seagrass beds." dottie specifically asked about the logo on the truck, because it is quite obvious. the chick replied, "i didn't pay that much attention to the truck." anyway, after talking with me dottie reached the conclusion that the chick from coneheads was smoking crack, and i thought the whole deal was done. but this story has spread through the entire lab like wildfire, and apparently some people acutally believe that i walked out on a check at coneheads. which i did not.

i do, however, have a theory. The Whore from the DEP (i'm not going to mention her actual name, lest she google herself and find out what i call her behind her back and smite any future attempts that i might make at getting a resesarch permit from her) was probably the culprit. and it's just my luck (or perhaps bad karma, you know, for referring to her as The Whore, and spreading that nickname around the entirety of DISL) that instead of pursuing her, everyone seems to think that i did it. which, once again, just for clarification, i DID NOT. you see, i think The Whore is pissed that i managed to go over her head and get not a permit but a deminimus exemption (lower on the totem pole than a permit) from my new buddy andy k when she tried so very hard to prevent me from collecting any seagrass in bay county. so she's trying to get back at me... by stealing food from coneheads and throwing all the suspicion onto innocent little me. she must be an evil genius, i tell you, to pull it off. but it kind of fits. the park service folks do wear brown uniforms and drive white trucks with state tags... and they even put tags on the front of their vehicles. sure, i don't know if The Whore is small or if she has curly brown hair ('cause i've never actually met her in person, just talked to her on the phone), but i'm nearly positive that it must have been her.

it's the only explanation.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Cute Optometrists: Way Less Weird Than Cute OB/GYNs

what is with all my doctors getting switched around on me this year? first my gyencologist, now my optometrist. last year (and the couple of years prior to that) i had this really bitchy female optometrist whom i wasn't at all fond of. this year, i get a young hot guy. when i first saw him, i was reminded of the hot gynecologist to whom i exposed all my most intimate parts a few months ago. thankfully, i was fully clothed (more heavily clothed than usual, actually, since it was freakin' freezing this morning - well, it was 42 degrees, close enough) this time instead of stark naked under a flimsy hospital gown. and it's a hell of a lot less intimidating to have a cute boy looking deep into your eyes than to have one poking around your nether regions. well, perhaps not looking deep into your eyes. more like scrutinizing the surface of your cornea. but still.

obviously, i had my yearly eye exam today. it went well. for the first time since i first got my contacts five years ago, my vision has not gotten worse since my last exam. yay! and the guy wasn't bitchy and didn't yell at me for sleeping in my contact lenses... maybe because i stopped doing it after the bitchy lady chastised me for it. anyway... the verdict: my eyes look very healthy. the cute optometrist said so. and now i have a fresh supply of contacts, which was the reason for the visit in the first place. i went digging around my bathroom the other day, looking for a new box, and i discovered that i ran out. it's a good thing i had today free to make an appointment, because i'm heading back to port st. joe on monday, and doing field work (in the water) in glasses just seems like a huge pain in the ass. not to mention that wearing glasses all day makes my head hurt. i think it's just the presence of something behind my ears for long periods of time. headbands have the same result.

anyway, let's talk about a different kind of doctor for a bit. i am reviewing a journal article for marine biology, and i am really digging the feeling of power that i have right now. i mean, i hold in my hands the power to influence an editor's decision to publish (or not to publish) someone's work. it's weird to be reviewing and criticizing the work of an author whom i have cited many, many times. i kind of like it.

i met with dr. v. yesterday and told him a couple of concerns that i have about the article and my thoughts in general. then he told me to go ahead and write the review, then he'll look it over before we submit it (and he'll be sure to give me credit for writing it). i've written lots of these things for classes, but this is my first real one, and i totally love it. it turns out that i'm pretty awesome at giving constructive criticism. see? and i bet you all thought that i could only give the scathing, obscenity-ridden variety of criticism.

i know you're dying for more, but that's all i've got for right now. i'm in a pretty delightful mood today, and i have no desire to ruin with the bubbling anger over hockey that is buried deep inside me (for now).