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

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Spilling the Beans

well, maybe not, exactly, since most people have found out my amazing and life-altering news. and as a warning, i am about to tell you, so if you would still rather give me a ring and find out more personally, i'll give you one last chance (even though you may have guessed it). otherwise, here it goes....

i'm not kidding. if you don't want to find out something like this from my blog, you'd better stop reading immediately.

last chance...

ok. i found out a few days ago that chad and i will soon have another use for our guest room. so i guess it won't really be a guest room anymore. around january 23rd (a date generated by webmd's due date predictor), our guest room will instead function as a nursery. we're going to be parents.

we're very excited about this news, and it's something that we've talked about before, but i'm still kind of nervous. i would be crazy not to be a little nervous, i guess. but overall, i feel good.

holy crap.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Big News

huge. ginormous. amazing. life-altering. but i don't really want to share it here just yet, so if you're just burning with the desire to find out what it is, call me and i'll give you the inside scoop. you know, before i spill the beans on here... and then probably on facebook, too.

Monday, May 21, 2007


so, i successfully made it to eleuthera and back, guys. overall, the trip was amazing, with just one annoyance (which unfortunately persisted the entire week). i posted two albums on facebook with pictures, and since most of the people who read my blog are also my friends on facebook, that should suffice, though i may post a few select photos here.

i don't really have a ton of time on my hands right now, so i'll keep it short. we pretty much went snorkeling all day every day for 7 days. there was one day when we were only in the water for an hour or so because it started lightning (which unfortunately was the day we went to see the sea turtles), and after that it was raining like crazy. the weather vastly improved the next day, though.

there were a few structured lab activities that the students had to do while we were there, but being the TA, i basically just got to snorkel around and enjoy myself. which was great.

believe it or not, there was one student in the class who paid the $100 a day for room and board plus airfare to go on this trip, and she couldn't even snorkel. she says that she swims great (which i doubt, considering just how uncomfortable she was in the water - she spent the day we went to the fire coral reef hanging onto the life raft attached to the boat). overall, she was generally obnoxious, and i'm incredibly glad to be away from her for a little while. also, she couldn't ride a bike. we were supposed to ride bikes over to one of the reefs (it was only a couple of miles away - about a 15 minute bike ride), and we had to take a van because she refused to get on a bike. she said it's been something like 10 years since she's ridden a bike, but she wouldn't even make an attempt. and she didn't listen. we had to tell her to do something at least three times before she would do anything, and it was a constant battle to get her in the water. so she pretty much paid $1300 to be hot and get eaten alive by no see-ums. and she complained the entire time. everyone else was having a great time and seeing all sorts of amazing fish and corals (nassau groupers, spotted moray eels, barracudas, scrawled filefish, all sorts of damselfish, parrotfish, wrasses, four different species of sea urchin, etc, etc), but this girl sort of made it a point to make everyone else miserable. which sucked. eventually, dr. v. and i just started ignoring her. i feel really sorry for the two girls who had to work in a group with her on the lab projects because she was absolutely no help - not even when what they were doing required very little snorkeling and was only in about two feet of water.

oh, and when i was snorkeling with one of the girls in the class, we got completely surrounded by 6 barracudas. that was a bit unnerving. they weren't huge, but they were close, and they were everywhere.

we only saw one shark, and it was before everyone was in the water, so no one really got a good look at it. one of the guys in the class hopped in with his mask on and scared it away before we could see what kind of shark it was. we also saw two spotted eagle rays that day, which was cool.

so, yeah, it was a pretty amazing trip, and i came back kind of tan even though i used up an entire bottle of sunscreen while we were there (i actually had to borrow sunscreen for the last day).

ok, back to work. check out my photos on facebook, and if you aren't on facebook, leave a comment, and i'll post a few on here when i get a chance.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

...And They Still Suck!

remember how i hate ups? and how when they FINALLY deigned to deliver my package i didn't stop thinking they suck? well, UPS STILL sucks. sometime last week i ordered some dive boots from for a truly excellent price (about half what i would have paid for the same thing in a local dive shop), and they were set to arrive today. i need these boots for the bahamas. where i am going a WEEK FROM TOMORROW. the UPS delivery around here is... unpredictable. some days, they come at noon, others 6 pm, others 4 pm, and today they came at 2 pm. of course, no one was home at 2 pm. so what did the UPS guy do? did he leave my package by the front door (my personal preference for packages that arrive when i'm not home)? leave a notice on the door? nope. the UPS guy decided it would be a good idea to DROP MY PACKAGE OVER THE FENCE onto the side porch. where my very curious dog can proceed to rip it to SHREDS. all over the yard. good idea, UPS man.

this is not the first time that the UPS man has made this rather unwise decision. but it is the first time that krull the warrior king noticed the package and chewed it to hell and back. see, around christmas time, i ordered something that was delivered via UPS, and the guy dropped the package over the fence onto the side porch. but that time he at least left a notice on the door so i knew to look on the side porch. and krull evidently didn't hear the guy coming that time. but did he ever hear him coming this time...

my dive boots are technically still usable. krull didn't do a lot of damage to the actual boots. there's just one little piece of neoprene ripped off the protective flap inside the zipper of one of them and some teeth marks on the side (but there aren't any actual holes. good thing i ordered thick boots). the package is another story. my back yard was absolutely littered with cardboard and plastic bubble wrap. krull has a thing for plastic things that could potentially suffocate him. we're lucky he didn't kill himself ripping apart the plastic bag and bubble wrap that my boots were packaged in. oh, and the invoice? i can read about 1/4 of it. i can't even find the rest of it.

when i discovered this gigantic mess in the yard, i was understandably pissed off. and while i was still seeing red i decided to call UPS and bitch them out (which i did the first time they left a package on the side porch, but apparently it didn't stick). last time i called, i had the benefit of a notice with a phone number on my door. this time, no such luck. so, when i called 1-800-PICK-UPS, i was greeted by an automated menu with absolutely no option to talk to an actual person. so i called the UPS store to see if they knew who i should call, and the (very helpful and sympathetic) girl told me to call the 800 number again and press 0 a bunch of times, which finally got me through to a person.

so i explained the situation to the lady who finally answered. she was also sympathetic and said that by filing a damage claim, there would be a note for my address telling them not to leave packages at the side door (which they have to drop packages over a 6 ft privacy fence to do in the first place. why would anyone think that's a good idea?). i'm not sure what exactly they plan to do about this. refund my money? that's what i would like. get diveusa to send me new boots? that's fine, too, but i need to use the ones i have because i know new ones won't arrive before i leave for 8 days. she said to keep the damaged materials (packing materials, invoice, and all - basically, just scraps of paper, cardboard, and plastic) for 5 business days in case they require an inspection of the damaged items. if i don't hear from them in 5 days, i can throw everything out.

what can i say? UPS has pissed me off so many times, it's ridiculous. why don't more businesses ship with FedEx? the FedEx guy has never done anything this stupid.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Busiest Weekend Since the Pilots' Season Ended

so this might seem kind of sad and finally reveal to the entire world that my life really is as boring as it seems, but this past weekend was the busiest weekend i've had since the ice pilots' season ended a few weeks ago. chad and i usually just bum around the house and watch movies or something (last weekend, the 'or something' was painting baseboards), but this past weekend two events collided and kept us busy. i know, we actually went out in mobile. where we live. our going out usually involves a drive over to pensacola, so this is really rare, folks.

remember how i told you about hamelin, the band that two of chad's coworkers are members of? well, they played at the blue gill (a restaurant on mobile bay, for those who don't know the area) saturday night, and chad wanted to go. so we went. and they were good. they played a bunch of '90s covers, which chad was excited about, and they interspersed some of their songs in the mix, too. there were also a couple of covers that weren't from the '90s (jet's "are you gonna be my girl" and coldplay's "yellow"), which was ok, since i like the songs they chose. and while i still dont' think their original music sounds at all like either coldplay or the black crowes, i can sort of see now why they said they were like those two bands. they played some coldplay and some black crowes, and sounded surprisingly like a reproduction of the originals. i don't know how, but they did. they also played sublime's "what i got", and when it came time for him to sing "i can play the guitar like a mf-ing riot" ross said "sorry guys, my mom's here" instead. which was funny. and at the end of the song, he looked over at his mom and said, "and my mom doesn't smoke pot." which wasn't as funny but was still amusing.

during one of their breaks, ross (who chad works with quite a bit and who is the lead singer of hamelin) came over and talked to chad for a while and introduced us to his girlfriend, kristen. chad and i had talked about how the band was doing '90s covers, and i wanted to know if they would take requests. specifically, i wanted to know if they could play "buddy holly." i don't know what my recent obsession with that song is all about, but i always want to hear it. so during a lull in the conversation (which i might have created) i asked ross if they knew buddy holly. after confirming that i meant the weezer song and not songs by the actual buddy holly, ross sadly (i imagine) informed me that no, they do not know "buddy holly." but he said he wished he did. those of you who know me shouldn't be surprised that my quick reply was, "well, you should learn it!" and if they learn it, it will of course be dedicated to yours truly (an idea that you might be surprised to learn i did NOT put in ross's head. that was all his. even though i'm sure he was just feeding my ego, which you should know is considerable). so they may or may not bother learning "buddy holly" to appease the wife of the boss of half the band.

i also met the drummer, jonathan. he didn't talk a heck of a lot, but he was pretty wrapped up with his little girl (she's so cute!) most of the night. so it was cool.

i didn't meet anymore band members because chad doesn't know the other two.

also, i tossed out the idea (to chad) that we should get hamelin to play at our high school reunion, seeing as how they do so many '90s covers (and we went to high school in the '90s). he then pointed out that their high school reunions will be going on at the same time, since we all graduated in 2000. oh well. it was an idea.

so that was saturday night. sunday night, we went to wings for katy's birthday (which was yesterday). we had originally planned to go back to katy's house afterward for cake, but then i realized that we still had a ton of laundry to do, so we just went home after wings. while at wings, we played their trivia game thingy, at which i sucked. particularly when the topic turned to sports. the only question i could answer without the clues was "which nhl goalie was suspended for 5 games during the 2007 stanley cup playoffs?" the answer to which is of course jamie mclennan. he had just entered the game to give miikka kiprusoff a break (since the game was lost anyway, no sense letting kiprusoff risk injury), and he took his stick and swung it like a baseball bat right into johan franzen's midsection. it was pretty vicious. so kiprusoff had to come right back in, defeating the purpose of giving mclennan some playing time.

so that's pretty much it. now imagine what my weekends are like without this kind of stimulation. boring, you think? maybe, but also kind of relaxing after spending so much time at the lab (USA or DISL).