Saturday, October 28, 2006

PhD Possibility....

University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand
3 year fully paid scholarship
Applying as we speak
Need I say more?!?!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Rocky would be proud....

So here I am at the Rocky Balboa statue in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you will recall, in the movie he runs up the stairs and jumps around at the top of them. This statue is there to commemorate that. I walked, not ran, up the stairs but I did make it in one fell swoop without stopping so I figure it was my own version of running. I was a bit out of breath at the top but hey, it's okay.

The trip to Philly really revitalized me when it comes to my thesis for my Master's degree. To be honest, I've been tired too tired to think about getting my stuff done for my degree. This time in Philly gave me the light at the end of the tunnel. There's a reason behind finally seeing that light....I'll share that with you tomorrow.

But for now, I'll leave you with this quote from Rocky...Know that I, too, am ready to go the distance...

"Ah come on, Adrian, it's true. I was nobody. But that don't matter either, you know? 'Cause I was thinkin', it really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head, either. 'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Philly was AWESOME!

Mmmm...a real Philly Cheesesteak was delicious!! We ate at Rick's, a famous cheesesteak place and above is what an order looks like. It's traditional to have cheese-wiz as the cheese on the steak...did you know that? There was so much food I couldn't finish it off. My mouth is watering just thinking of it.

The conference went well and I took a lot of pictures that I will be posting over the next couple of days. At the conference I met some very important people. First, I met Bill Ausich, a professor from Ohio State University who is an echinoderm specialist (you know, sea stars, sea urchins, that kind of stuff). I spoke with him at length about graduate school and it sounds like he would definitely be willing to take me on for PhD. I also met with David Meyer from University of Cinncinatti. He, too, has some PhD projects he thinks I'd be suited well for. Lastly, I spoke with Liz Nesbitt from Washington State. She is involved with a project in New Zealand and has asked me to apply for the PhD program as I have a background in molluscs (clams). It would require that I live in New Zealand for 3 years minimum - something I could very easily do now that the boys are grown. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

I do love to travel, but I'll be honest, it's so nice to be home. I think I'm going to head to bed early tonight too. For now, I'm off to read a bit....

Stay tuned for more Philly updates/pictures (some QUITE hilarious!)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Getting Ready for Philly....

I leave for Philadelphia on Saturday morning and will be back Wednesday night. This is my first time to the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America and I'm very excited! I will be presenting research I did with my paleoecology class. My research focuses on the taphonomy of the shells. Taphonomy is "the laws of the burial" and it is a determination of how something has changed since it died, was buried and now exhumed. I've attached a picture of the 4 of us who worked hard getting two different posters done. From left to right is me, Michelle, Tricia (my graduate advisor and an all-around amazing person!) and Patti. We are the Ladies of Paleontology!!

The other great thing about going to this GSA meeting is that I'll be scoping out a new University for my PhD work. I'm very excited about this and have bought new clothes and accessories. I even made my own business cards!! (with purple on them, of course) I'm hoping to pass on a professional image so that people will want to work with me and think I am serious about my studies.

I'm also going to go see the Liberty Bell, the Natural History Museum and run up the stairs at the Art Museum that Rocky Balboa ran up (will probably even get my picture taken with his statue).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Guardian was fabulous and Kevin Costner looked amazing...I mean really amazing! I swear, the things I could do with him would boggle the mind!! Why is it that these men just get hotter and hotter as they get older? I've always had a thing for older men, especially those about 5+ years older than me.

Here's another gorgeous man for you at the top of the post....I just go weak when I see him.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

10 hours....

Yes, 10 hours - the amount of time it took me to complete the midterm exam for micropaleontology. My head hurts! But, I'm done and tomorrow I am going to scrapbook and go to the movies. I really think I'm going to go see The Guardian with Kevin Costner...I need to see a hunky man...rOwr baby...

Oh my goodness but I do love a man in uniform... Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is......

Friday, October 13, 2006

Brrrr Cold!

This morning I woke up and headed to work at Lowe's again....this 4:30am stuff is going to kill me! When I rounded the corner on my bicycle the wind gust nearly froze me to the bone. I am so NOT a cold-weather kind of girl.....I'm still freezing....

This weekend I have a take-home midterm to do. I'll be spending all day Saturday on campus working on it...I figure that's the best place because I won't be tempted by the TV, etc.

Above is a picture from this past weekend. The leaves were beginning to change color up the mountain. In some areas they were really at peak, but of course were in areas where I was unable to stop to take pictures.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

A piece of my world...

Today I happened to have my camera at school taking pictures for the poster I'll be presenting at the Geological Society of America meeting in Philly next weekend. I thought I'd take a moment and share with you a bit of where I work when I'm at school on the main campus (I'll put up pictures another time of my lab-space at the Center for Marine Science). This, my dear friends and family, is my office! Notice as you look from the top down, there is the most perfect specimen of manhood (except of course you, Corey darling) that I have ever laid my eyes on. Yes, Mr. Johnny Depp graces the wall above my desk. Who better to look at when my eyes start to glaze over and I think "how in the heck do you do this?!?!" Below that is my memo board with cards that I love (that Deb sent me in field course!) along with a bumper sticker from the New Mexico balloon festival (thanks Casey!), a starfish given to me (thanks Devon!) and a few cartoons that I think are hilarious.

Below that you'll see pictures of the boys and I along with some fake flowers (I am a girl ya know) and my coffee cup (one of my most precious possessions). To the right is my bookcase filled with stuff I haven't looked at in ages. And, don't you just LOVE the makeshift handle on the desk? Thank goodness for learning knots in the Navy!! On my desk is my Micropaleontology book (in case Dr. Laws looks here so he thinks I'm really studying).

It's small, it's cramped (when I'm working on stuff) but it's a great place! Devon has the desk to the left of me and we love to cut up as much as we can to break up the monotony of grading papers and reading articles for class.

So, my dears, this is where I live when I'm not living at home.....


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Say hello to my little friend...

Yep, a line from "Scarface", which I guess in some ways almost seems appropriate. This weekend while I was visiting my family I went to a breakfast sponsored by my sister's church. The breakfast was wonderful - my favorite breakfast foods like biscuits and sausage gravy and country ham...nummies!! While we were eating, one of the church members came over and said to my sister "is this your mother?" while looking at me. WHAT?!?! Am I her MOTHER?!?! Quick calculation here: my sister is going to be 40 next month so in order to be her mother I would need to be at least 56 or so? WAIT A MINUTE!! HOLD THE BUS!! Do I really look like I'm 56+ years old?!?!

Well, needless to say this has been weighing on me, even though my sister tried to smooth it over by saying this woman is crazy, but that statement really shook me up. So, yesterday I went out and bought this new little microdermabrasion machine by Neutrogena. I also picked up some of the special moisturizing cream the dermatologist told me about that I've been out of. Vanity you say? Yes, I'm sure a part of it is.

Seriously - 56?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

#7 & #18 Done!

As an immediate follow-up to the original post about 42 things, I wanted everyone to know that I have already completed two of the items on my list.

The first was passing my oral exams (#7 on my list). I did that on September 1st. It was one of the most difficult things I'd ever done. I don't think my brain has ever hurt so much. But, pass I did and I'm thrilled to have it behind me. Of course, PhD orals and qualifying exams will be even harder, but we'll tackle that when we get to it.

The second was walking a part of the Appalachian Trail (#18 on my list). I did that this past weekend on October 7th. It was a cloudy, rainy day down in Lenoir where my parents live, but the mountains were just gorgeous!! The leaves are changing color and the sun was shining. I couldn't have asked for a better day. I walked a part of the trail outside of Hampton, Tennessee - a blue blaze trail called Laurel Falls. Below is a picture of me at the end of the day.

Forty-Two Things

Going to try to get this going again. I've had a couple of requests (hi Randy! hi Diane!), so let's see if I can keep it up....

For my 42nd birthday this year I came up with a list of 42 things I want to do in my life. I intend to get them all done and share the results, via pictures and blog entries, with you. Here is my list of things - and I highly encourage you to come up with a list of your own. They say that as long as we have goals we'll never slow here goes....

1. Climb Chitzen Itza
2. Go to Maccu Piccu
3. Ride a motorcycle cross country with the boys
4. Learn to ride a motorcycle
5. Buy a new jeep wrangler
6. Take another cruise
7. Pass my oral exams for my Master's degree
8. Earn my PhD
9. Win a blue ribbon in the fair
10. Live in a foreign country
11. Keep up with my scrapbooks better
12. Attend Creating Keepsakes University
13. Become a grandmother (after I finish college...haha)
14. Make a quilt for each of the boys
15. Write my autobiography
16. Get in shape!
17. Explore the western national parks
18. Walk at least one part of the Appalachian Trail
19. Times Square on New Years Eve
20. Swim with dolphins
21. Learn to scuba dive
22. Travel Europe by rail
23. Take a photography class
24. Get a really good camera
25. Learn how to clog
26. Pay off my student loans
27. Own my own house
28. Create my dream scrapbooking space
29. Find true love
30. Learn to speak spanish
31. Pamper myself more
32. Go to New Zealand and Australia
33. Walk through a rainforest
34. See Niagra Falls
35. Go to Hawaii again
36. Take the bike trip down Halekala in Hawaii
37. See the glaciers in Alaska
38. See the Northern Lights
39. Go to Greece
40. Return to live in California
41. See my boys very happy and settled in their lives
42. Continue to be happy with my life

And now, the journey begins....