Friday, October 28, 2005

New Things

Wow, time flies. I can't believe it's Friday already, although I'm grateful.

This week flew by in part because last weekend was full of fun. Greg and I joined Kirsten, Aaron and two other couples for a trip to Catalina Island to celebrate Kirsten's birthday. This was my first trip to Catalina, and it was wonderful. The trip involved eating seafood, seeing dolphins, and dancing all night! It was so much fun. And many congrats to Kirsten's sister and her new fiance!

Heard a new one this week. I received a message from a parent saying that her son, one of my students, had suffered memory loss in a pole vault accident and that he wouldn't be in class the rest of the week. Here's to hoping he recovers quickly!

Another new thing - word verification for comments. Hopefully it isn't too annoying for my gentle readers and commenters.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Noisy Daze

Last night, I could hear U2 being blasted from one of the chemistry lab rooms. Not quite sure why, but it's true. And earlier in the day, someone was making Chewbacca noises in the halls.

I ran into my favorite student from last semester yesterday. He's excited to be moving on to a major university next semester. Of course, he greeted me by asking me if I used my Jedi sense to note his presence and told me he'd seen Revenge of the Sith at the dollar theater the night before. My geekiness is known far and wide.

So is my reputation as being the prof who got a substitute so that she could see Nine Inch Nails. Students who weren't even in those particular classes give me grief about this. Such is my teaching legacy - I cut out for NIN. I wonder when that will show up on

My random student stories for the week - I had a young woman stop working in lab for about 20 minutes while she had the hiccups. Just completely debilitated her. These seemed like ordinary enough hiccups to me, but I guess she seldom has them and she freaked out on me. So odd. And then there's the young woman in my lab on Wednesday nights who always leaves really early. I figured that it was due to work obligations or being tired from a long day. No. She goes home early to watch "Lost". Sigh.

This semester is wearing me down, between working long hours and getting up early to go to the gym. Yesterday I was almost crying in my office, I was so tired. But I got a lot of grading done - I'm caught up or ahead in all my labs! I'm on schedule in all my classes. My students are doing well. Another of my favorite students from last spring will be taking a class with me next semester. And last night, Mars and the Moon were a pretty sight in the sky on the way home, and I had a mug of hot chocolate before going to bed, so I guess it's all worth the effort.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


It's just hard to believe that views like this could exist - Dione and Saturn, from Cassini

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I'm in a lab room near some chemistry labs, and one of the chem labs is performing a stinky experiment. Blah!

One of the geology classes brought back a bunch of halite samples from a field trip, lending a rather sulfurous aroma to the stockroom. The samples sure are pretty, though.

One of my students asked me the name of my perfume. He says he can always tell when I'm around due to my scent. I'm hoping it's at least a good scent.

During the physics exam I gave yesterday, one of my students was sniffing her wristband. She said it had a nice associative scent - reminded her of Christmas - to keep her positive during the exam.

Bread and chocolate chip cookies. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Mmm...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Cozying Up

Spent a big chunk of my weekend cozying up to The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. It is beautiful. All of the strips are produced larger than they were originally and on high quality paper. The color is gorgeous. The books themselves are huge, but you get the sense of reading an important tome while flipping through the pages.

I remember reading the first strip in the newspaper, after my brother pointed it out to me. I was immediately hooked. Calvin and Hobbes has helped me through many rough days, and I typically reread the entire collection once each year. I was ready for this new edition, and I'm enjoying it very much.

Friday, October 07, 2005


The Solar System continues to laugh at us - Saturn's moon Hyperion, from Cassini

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Anger Management Therapy

I drove out to Los Angeles last Friday afternoon. It was mostly an uneventful drive, but the fires in L.A. made the Sun an amazing blood red as it set. It was one of those times that I had to chant "don't look at the Sun" over and over, because I really wanted to look for sunspots. Then I arrived at my beloved Kirsten and Aaron's abode, where they took good care of me all weekend.

One of the highlights of the weekend was meeting the new twins! Brian and Amy welcomed twins into the world a few weeks ago. I spent a pleasant hour holding Tristan and Kirsten held Gwendolyn and we had a pleasant conversation with Amy. Tristan was so strong! Babies are so much fun to watch, especially at that early stage. They make little cooing noises and I like to cuddle and coo back - so soothing. I was so happy to meet the new kids and look forward to seeing them again.

But the most glorious part of the weekend was the Nine Inch Nails concert at the Hollywood Bowl with Kirsten and Aaron. Yes, I know, it was the third time this year I've seen them in concert (and it should have been the fourth!). It just gets better and better. Mars rose over the trees during "Only" and from our seats I could see thousands of people responding to the music. I could dance and scream and sing at the top of my lungs - so therapeutic. I don't have any more NIN concerts planned - what will I do now to channel all my rage?