Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wofford Football Game

Who has ever heard of Wofford College? We sure hadn't! But Dan's boss actually claimed to have gone to this school, and low and behold our football team was playing his team! So Dan's boss was coming down to Madison to see a football game, and Dan decided to come to the football game, and he brought with him Sarah, Katie, Beth, Brad, Ben, and Alex! Tim and I had not yet been to a football game since the season started, but Tim had the entire weekend off and we planned on spending that drinking with good company and watching our Badgers! Luckily we won, but not by much. It was a great weekend, and it was great to see so many of our college friends. Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

The girls posing with a cutout of Bucky Badger.

We played a lot of baseball and beanbags.

Katie kept score because she broke her wrist and throwing was tough with a cast on (but still managed to help us win in beanbags!).

One of my friends from gradschool game with us too. She asked me to share half a brat with her, and I took my half... in one bite (my hands were full maybe?). Didn't quite think that one through!

Sarah with her stellar beer... mmmm Miller Lite!

Without a mouth full of brat, but confused?

Part of our group at the game!

Tim and myself!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hilarious Letter!

This letter has been circulating through emails, read on radio shows, and passed around among friends, but for those who have not yet seen it, please enjoy yourself!

This is an actual letter from an Austin woman sent to American company Proctor and Gamble regarding their feminine products. It's PC Magazine's 2007 editors' choice for best webmail-award-winning letter.

Dear Mr.. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core or Dri-Weave absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call 'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.' Isn't the human body amazing?

As Brand Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customer's monthly visits from 'Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women. The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants... Which brings me to the reason for my letter. Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: 'Have a Happy Period.' Are you kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness - actual smiling, laughing happiness - is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick freak, there will never be anything 'happy' about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.

For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong'.

Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending crap.

And that's a promise I will keep.



Wendi Aarons
Austin , TX

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Long time, no posts!

Yeah, it's been along time since I posted. Call it 8 months. Sorry. Things got a bit crazy. The quick update, but I will go into more detail in subsequent posts, is I got accepted into grad school, Tim and I got married, we went on our honeymoon, Tim got promoted at Dick's Sporting Goods, high school sports have started again and he's writing more, I have started graduate school, and overall things are going great!

Ok, I'm going to try and back up 8 months and get you caught up on some of the highlights. Read below for all of the posts that I've caught up on so far, going all the way back to January of this year! Hopefully I won't fall this far behind again!

First Week of Graduate School

Classes started on Wednesday and so far my first week was fairly uneventful. I am taking a bunch of classes, because at the recommendation of several experienced graduate students, this will be the easiest semester so I might as well take a lot now. So I am taking:
- Introduction to Major Human Diseases
- Virology
- Ethics (required)
- Professional Development (required)
- Student Seminar
- Pathology Seminar
I'm really excited about my new classes, the courses sound really neat and it really is what I'm excited to do and learn about!

So the way that graduate school works at Wisconsin is that the first semester I choose 3 labs to rotate in for one month each. These are 3 labs that I really like and am really interested in, and from these 3 I will pick one to spend my graduate school years doing research in. I will have enough classes for roughly the first 2 years, and after that I will present my thesis to a committee that I select and if I pass, I will be a dissertator. I will then spend another 3-4 years completing my PhD. I have set up my first 2 rotations so far, and I will be doing work in an Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) lab, and multiple sclerosis (MS) lab, and possibly a tuberculosis lab (although I have not confirmed my 3rd rotation). I'm very excited to start! The first rotation begins on Tuesday, so I will be working there full time while taking classes. Stay tuned for more updates!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Last Day, Triathlon, New Table, Noah's Ark, Cooper gets coned!

My last day of work was August 7, and I took almost 4 weeks off before starting graduate school on September 2. I was really sad to leave my job at the AIDS Vaccine Lab :o( I really enjoyed working there, I had made some great friendships, and I hope that my new lab is as fun as this one. I'm going to miss you guys! Luckily I'm still going to be in Madison, so I can always meet up with them sometime!

After my last day, the first thing Tim and I did was take a long 4-day weekend up at his parents place in Spicer, MN, 2 hours west of the Twin Cities. It had been quite some time since we had visiting their house on the lake, but the main reason we made the 7-hour drive was to compete in the Green Lake Triathlon with Tim's Dad John, Tim's mom Jennifer, Tim's brother Dan, Dan's girlfriend Sarah, myself, two of our friends from college Ben and Alex, and several of John's friends from Spicer. Two of our other friends came to cheer us on, thanks Brad and Katie! The triathlon was fun because it was in a small town, so most of the people doing it were doing it for fun, and in our group John and I were the only 2 who had ever done a triathlon before! It was a blast doing the race with so many friends. I was secretly hoping to win out of our group (not the entire race), since I'm a good swimmer and a decent cyclist, but I'm a terrible runner and wasn't able to catch Dan (who completed his first marathon last year). We all finished in a great time and had a blast! Then we sat by the lake for the next 3 days and played on the jet ski! Rough life. Cooper even became more adventurous and waded deeper into the water than ever before!

Our group getting ready for the big race!

Our cheering squad wasted no time getting their drinks, and Dan was excited to cross the finish line!

Jennifer did the relay, and she did both the swim and the run! Ben was kind enough to let me run with him most of the way back in the run. Thanks Ben!

Now that I had so much time on my hands, I decided I would use it to organize the apartment and cleanup. We've been living here for over a year, and I still can't get Tim to unpack some of his stupid boxes, so I'm going to start throwing things since he clearly doesn't need them. I also decided I couldn't handle our Walmart kitchen table anymore! So Tim and I finally bought a grown-up puppy-resistant table from Steinhafels, and sold our current table for $10! Our current table was so unstable that when you used a knife and fork to cut a piece of food, the whole table rocked back and forth with each cut! I couldn't take it anymore! So here is our brand new, beautiful table!

Our old table compared to our beautiful new, counter-height table!

It has stone pieces on top, which gives it character, and the counter-height level means that the dog can't jump into our labs and put his head on the table! However I did discover that 2-year old can still climb onto the chairs. So it is not child-proof.

I also wanted to use my time off as a chance to do some Wisconsin activities that I had not done before. One of the biggest one on my list was going to Noah's Ark, America's largest waterpark!! Tim and I finally found a day when he wasn't working and the weather was fantastic, and we drove up to the Wisconsin Dells and spent a day splashing on the slides and in the wave pool! It was sooooo much fun! Luckily it was close enough to home too so that we could leave Cooper for the day, but he wasn't alone for an unreasonable amount of time! It was so much fun! Now I need to get to Six Flags sometime!

And next on my little update, it Cooper got coned! We're still not sure what happened, but we started noticing a few lumps on his neck and he wouldn't stop scratching them. We took him to the vet, and she shaved down the spot to get a better look (and charged up $10 to do so, what?!). Looks like he got bitten or stung by something, and had kept scratching at it until it made more scratches and got even worse! We tried to be vigilant about keeping him from scratching, but it wasn't doing the trick. First we tried putting a sock on his foot, but we eventually decided he needed to be coned. He's getting used to the cone now, but it's super traumatic putting the cone on and taking it off, it totally freaks him out! He looks pretty sad in it, but again he is getting used to it so it's not so bad!

He looks so sad, but it's for his own good! Hopefully he won't need to cone for very long!