Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

Gosh, it is Friday already and time for Friday Cat Blogging again! With experimental work and grant writing, where does all the time go???

Anyhow, here is a video for your enjoyment. Yes, it is a little bit on the sappy side, but sappy is good.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

In honor of Friday Cat Blogging, check out this video. Hope it does not drive you bananas. I have to admit, a bit weird, but funny enough to post. Besides, I am in a weird mood today anyhow.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Karmic Justice

I have essentially been put in charge of various anaerobic equipment in the lab. People will need to come to me when then want something for their anaerobic experiments.

I can't wait to see the expression on his face when he comes back from Europe and I tell him that his personal anaerobic equipment is under my jurisdiction.

Sometimes there is justice in the life of a lowly graduate student.

Sometimes Karma will come back to bite you in the behind.

...and I will bite hard.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Present

A little known fact about me is that many many years ago I took classical voice training. I never pursued this route professionally because I thought that music would not be a "practical" career choice and I always struggled with anxiety and stage fright. No matter how good of a solo performance I gave, the price of anxiety was always too high for me.

A few weeks back this pastor decided to "collect" on a favor and asked me to stand in as part of this choir for a Christmas Candlelight service. He was desperate and heard through various people that I had a good voice. Quite honestly, I was in no mood to do this considering that I am in a "bah humbug" mood this Christmas considering that my mother passed away a few months ago. To say that I do not want to emotionally deal with this Christmas season is mildly putting it. But begrudgingly I agreed to do him this favor. I told him that if it was any other person, I would not agree to be doing this.

So, I go to this choir practice yesterday. I have not spent much time learning the pieces due to time and exhaustion. I also went to the practice completely exhausted from a long day at the lab. So exhausted that I could have easily fallen asleep driving there.

At the end of the practice, this musician/director takes me aside and asks me if this is my first time singing. I figured that he was asking me this because I was in such poor form. I started apologizing to him and telling him that I have taken lessons in the past, but I had not spent much time learning the pieces and that I am very tired today, and that I will learn the pieces by Sunday...

He stops me. Says to me that he is putting together this concert in Cleveland next year and does not want to bring in the operatic soloists from Europe that he brought in last year. He then drops the bomb on me...

...He wants me to be his soloist.


I have anxiety regarding performing, anxiety in terms of training after so many years of not training, anxiety in terms of preparing for this and trying to balance life as a graduate student, and anxiety in terms getting my voice back up to where it used to be many years ago.

But I am so honored by this request that I quite don't know how to float back down to planet Earth. Considering how crummy my experimental work has been going these past two weeks, I think I will leave my head in the clouds for a while and bask in the glory of this wonderful honor.

This honor has been sort of an early Christmas present for me. One that I am going to cherish. One that makes this season just a little more bearable for me.

Friday Cat Blogging

Living my life with cats has allowed me to learn the art of giving a cat a pill. Some cats were pretty good about it, and others, well not so good about it. My skills are pretty honed as far as giving pills to cats. But this funny tidbit has me amused and causes me to remember the days when my skills needed improvement! Enjoy!

How To Give Your Cat a Pill

1. Grasp cat firmly in your arms. Cradle its head on your elbow, just as if you were giving baby a bottle. Coo confidently, "Thats a nice kitty." Drop pill into its mouth.

2. Retrieve cat from top of lamp and pill from under sofa.

3. Follow same procedure as in 1, but hold cat's front paws down with left hand and back paws down with elbow of right arm. Poke pill into its mouth with right forefinger.

4. Retrieve cat from under bed. Get new pill from bottle. (Resist impulse to get new cat.)

5. Again proceed as in 1, except when you have cat firmly cradled in bottle-feeding position, sit down on edge of chair, fold your torso over cat, bring your right hand over your left elbow, open cat's mouth by lifting the upper jaw and pop the pill in - quickly. Since your head is down by your knees, you won't be able to see what you're doing. That's just as well.

6. Leave cat hanging on drapes. Leave pill in your hair.

7. If you're a woman, have a good cry. If you're a man, have a good cry.

8. Now pull yourself together. Who's the boss here anyway? Retrieve cat and pill. Assuming position 1, say sternly, "Who's the boss here, anyway?" Open cat's mouth, take pill and...Oooops!

9. This isn't working, is it? Collapse and think. Aha! Those flashing claws are causing the chaos.

10. Crawl to linen closet. Drag back large beach towel. Spread towel on floor.

11. Retrieve cat from kitchen counter and pill from potted plant.

12. Spread cat on towel near one end with its head over long edge.

13. Flatten cat's front and back legs over its stomach. (Resist impulse to flatten cat.)

14. Roll cat in towel. Work fast; time and tabbies wait for no man-or woman.

15. Resume position 1. Rotate your left hand to cat's head. Press it's mouth at the jaw hinges like opening the petals of a snapdragon.

16. Drop pill into cat's mouth and poke gently. Voila! It's done.

17. Vacuum up loose fur (cat's). Apply bandages to wounds (yours).

18. Take two aspirins and lie down.

by Peggy Althoff

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Inner Geek

Yes, I am a bit of a geek. For those that know me realize that I am a Star Trek fan.
Here is a funny video to share that satisfies my inner geek.

If you enjoy the video and are begging for more, then click on to this site.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Men and Toys

What is it with men and their toys?

Today I asked someone in the lab who is leaving today for vacation for a month to borrow an anaerobic cuvette for an experiment I need to do next week. I need more than one since I want to run more than one sample.

He told me that no, he will not let me borrow it, because it is his own personal anaerobic cuvette. There is nothing in the lab that is of one's own personal property. We share and share alike. Just last week this same person took my cuvettes without asking and had them in his possession for three whole days while I looked everywhere for them. He finally handed them over and gave them back to me dirty.

I think I realized the error of my ways. I should have worn my black leather mini-skirt, fishnet stockings, and four inch stiletto heels when asking him for the anaerobic cuvette.

I was told by my fellow labmates when relaying this that if I wear that outfit to the lab, I can have anything and everything I want in the lab. Even experiments done for me. Anything for my asking!


If only I had known...

Well, there is after all next time...

Friday Cat Blogging

This was sent to me and it is too funny not to share:

A cat died and went to Heaven. God met her at the gates and said, "You have been a good cat all these years. Anything you want is yours for the asking."

The cat thought for a minute and then said, "All my life I lived on a farm and slept on hard wooden floors. I would like a real fluffy pillow to sleep on."

God said, "Say no more." Instantly the cat had a huge fluffy pillow.

A few days later, six mice were killed in an accident and they all went to Heaven together. God met the mice at the gates with the same offer that He made to the cat.

The mice said, "Well, we have had to run all of our lives: from cats, dogs, and even people with brooms! If we could just have some little roller skates, we would not have to run again."

God answered, "It is done." All the mice had beautiful little roller skates.

About a week later, God decided to check on the cat. He found her sound asleep on her fluffy pillow. God gently awakened the cat and asked, "Is everything okay? How have you been doing? Are you happy?"

The cat replied, "Oh, it is WONDERFUL. I have never been so happy in my life. The pillow is so fluffy, and those little Meals on Wheels you have been sending over are delicious!"

Thanks, Jim!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy St. Nicholas' Day!

Today is a special holiday for those of Hungarian heritage. It is St. Nicholas' Day!

A brief description:
Mikulás Nap - St. Nicholas’ Day

December 6th is the name day of Miklós, and children especially love this day
because for them it is “Mikulás Nap.” The Hungarian Santa, called Mikulás,
(Me-ku-lash) visits children on December 6th, St. Nicholas' Day. Children shine
their shoes or boots then put them outside. If the child has been good, Mikulás
leaves the boot filled with goodies - traditionally with candies, tangerines,
walnuts, apples, dates and chocolate figurines. Most children get small toys
and books. If the child has been a little bad, the boot will contain a bundle
of twigs (like a “switch”). If the child has been naughty, then they get lumps
of coal or potatoes. Since no child is all good or all bad, most get the
switch and the treat. There is no Mrs. Santa in Hungary, but Mikulás often
travels with one or two small evil goblins, called "krampusz (kromm-puhs)."

I have to confess, I have only gotten goodies in my boots growing up. Even as an adult, my parents would still continue to celebrate this tradition with me. It was wondeful to come home from school or the lab and find goodies in my boots. This holiday is a bit bittersweet for me right now...

But I wish everyone out there a Happy St. Nicholas' Day!

Favorite typos

I have to confess that spelling is not my strongest skill. Never was. I like to blame it on the fact that I am bilingual and that I have two languages floating around in my brain. I don't know if there is any basis for that, but I still need something to blame it on.

Anyhow, this other graduate student in my lab and I are currently writing grants and a oral candidacy proposal. We are both under a lot of stress right now. To compound matters, we are both still trying to do experimental work as well. Not an easy thing to balance.

However, it would seem that in the midst of writing, certain typos are emerging over and over.

For me, it is conversation for conversion.

For him, it is incest for insert.

Neither words are caught by conventional spell checker, so we have to both be careful not to let those words slip by, or it could make for interesting reading by our reviewers.

Monday, December 04, 2006


If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called Research.
--A. Einstein

Friday, December 01, 2006


I finally got something I have been lusting for:

The Manfrotto 3021PRO Convertible Tripod with 804RC2 Pan Tilt Head.

Oh Baby! The things I am going to be able to do!

Friday Cat Blogging

This was sent to me and has me amused:

A man absolutely hated his wife's cat and decided to get rid of him one day by driving him 20 blocks from his home and leaving him at the park.

As he was getting home, the cat was walking up the driveway.

The next day he decided to drive the cat 40 blocks away. He put the beast out and headed home.

Driving back up his driveway, there was the cat!

He kept taking the cat further and further and the cat would always beat him home. At last he decided to drive a few miles away, turn right, then left, past the bridge, then right again and another right until he reached what he thought was a safe distance from his home and left the cat there.

Hours later the man calls home to his wife: "Jen, is the cat there?"

"Yes," the wife answers, "why do you ask?"

Frustrated, the man answered, "Put that son of a ***** on the phone, I'm lost! And need directions!"

Thanks Jim!
my pet! Locations of visitors to this page