Friday, September 30, 2011

the rainbow fish

When I was eight, I wanted to be a marine biologist. Isn't that funny? I was terrified of the ocean until I was 15. Every summer when we went to the beach on our California vacation, I would never venture deeper than ankle-high water, but I thought marine biology would be awesome. I had all of these books with pictures of tropical fish. I thought they were so beautiful, or fascinatingly ugly, like the ones that are only found super deep down. I remember trying to draw pictures of the fish, and my mom drew me a picture of a dolphin. I was so impressed by that dolphin picture! (Do you remember this, Mom?) I distinctly remember thinking my mom was such a good artist.

That is pretty much all I have to say about that. I'm trying to write a personal statement for a fellowship application essay, and I think I'm going to point back to that early career goal as my original love for science or something. Who knows. Too bad I don't have any dramatic deaths in my family or some compelling story about being the first college grad in my family of 10 children living below the poverty line with a sick mother dying of a disease I am now determined to cure as a grad student.

Dolphin pictures it is.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

lemon crinkle cookies

I think I am getting better at making cookies (but not better at taking pictures of them). I just have to go against every instinct screaming at me to leave the cookies in the oven for another 3 minutes. These were really delightful, super lemony and soft cookies. Yummmmm.

Since I'm getting over my cookie issues, and also my fear of making yeast bread (these french-like baguettes were super fast and really delicious), I think maybe I should work on my fear of meat. I pretty much only ever cook with chicken or ground turkey because large hunks of beef or pork or whole chickens (!!!) freak me out a bit. I'm going to work on that...starting with this pot roast a la Pioneer Woman.

Anyway, cookies!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Makes 2-3 dozen

½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest*
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Recipe from LDS Living

*I did not have any of those fancy fresh lemons sitting around, so I just used a lot of lemon juice. This led to some rather runny cookie batter, but it still worked and they were delicious. Imagine how great they'd be if you followed the recipe!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Here is a story about the time when I came home from school and Aaron was all, hey, you wanna go out to dinner or maybe go see "Contagion"? and I was like, hmmm, maybe? We all know I love new restaurants and movies about disease! But, I didn't really feel like walking anywhere since it was pouring rain outside, and then I fell asleep on the couch. (I fall asleep at the worst times!)

We had hamburger helper for dinner and watched hulu instead.
Date night fail.

Also, ever since Aaron started his anatomy class last weekend, he somehow ends up telling me about what he cut up on his cadaver during dinner. Two nicks in the colon today. You don't even want to know what is in the colon of a dead person. Especially while you're eating hamburger helper.

On that lovely thought, have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

called to serve

This weekend I flew home to visit my family and to see this guy for the last time for two whole years:

Isn't my brother so cute? He is going to be an awesome missionary out in France. It was so nice to be home and see everyone, both friends and family. The day before I left I was starting to get really...freaked out? I guess is the right word? The weight of the expectations of grad school have just started to sink in, and it's not that I have to do a lot of things, it's that I need to know/teach myself a lot of things. And guys, lemme tell you, teaching yourself how MRI works and trying to come up with an idea for an NSF fellowship application dealing with a protein and nanoparticles is not easy (not a biochemist). Anyway, it was just wonderful being home, a welcome relief from scary grad school and scary life.

Thanks for the plane ticket, Mom and Dad!

Monday, September 12, 2011

the saga continues!

I found a way to memorize the lanthanoids too! And Aaron is not nearly as impressed with this as I think he should be, so naturally, I'm blogging about it. (also, my pictures improved! look at that trembling yak!)

story one: LaCe (lanthanum and cerium) pros (praseodymium) need (neodymium) Prometheus (promethium) to save 'em (samarium, which is abbreviated Sm) in Europe (europium).

random interlude: MRI!!! (gadolinium...which is used in MRI contrast agents, and I couldn't fit it into either story well. It's sort of like an interjection in a Teen Girl Squad cartoon. MRI'ed!!!!!! DIED!!!!)

story two: In a turbulent (terbium), dystopian (dysprosium) society, ho hos (holmium) send people to the ER (erbium, abbreviated Er), where they tremor (thulium, or Tm) like yaks ( you know of any words that feature a y and a b? me neither.) at a luau (lutetium).

Okay, so this was significantly harder than the actinoids and story two gets a little crazy at the end, but it totally worked.

F-block metals, you are memorized.

a list for your monday

Someday, I can't wait to be able to afford:

fresh berries
name brand bagels and bread (and whole wheat bread that hasn't been dyed with molasses)
dinner at El Vez
a garage
real parmesan cheese

Isn't it great to be young and poor?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

ten years later

HEAR America singing, the varied carols I hear; 
Those of mechanics—each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong; 
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam, 
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work; 
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat—the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;         5
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench—the hatter singing as he stands; 
The wood-cutter’s song—the ploughboy’s, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown; 
The delicious singing of the mother—or of the young wife at work—or of the girl sewing or washing—Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else; 
The day what belongs to the day—At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, 
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

-Walt Whitman

photo from Old City in Philly 

Saturday, September 10, 2011


This is what my first week of grad school looked like:

Diet Coke, gummy bears, too much o chem
This is what my surviving-first-week-of-grad-school and way-to-go-on-getting-that-cake-stand-today-at-Pier-1-with-wedding-gift-cards cake looks like: 

wilton skills = totally out the window
Aaron's first set of tests are next week, so we haven't been too exciting this weekend. But last weekend, what a thrill! We blew half of our budgeted fun money on a great Italian restaurant (Giorgio on Pine, if you're ever in the area) and going to lunch with Aaron's med school learning team at a delicious Indian restaurant (the name of which I sadly can't remember). We also watched the BYU game with some fellow alumni and then decided we need to get cable so that people can come over to our house and watch games and be our friends.

What's your weekend been like?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

turns out i have to memorize the f-block too.

Sometimes, this is how I study. I draw pich-AHS!

Everything is reversed in the photo, unfortunately, because the order is the whole point! This is how I have memorized the actinoids in two stories:

An actor (actinium) acting as Thor (thorium) is protecting (protactinium) his uranium (...uranium) from evil Neptune (neptunium). All of this happens on the planet Pluto (plutonium), which has a frowny face because it's not actually a planet anymore.

In America (americium), Marie Curie (curium) goes to Berkeley (berkelium) in California (californium). While there, she chats with Einstein (einsteinium), Enrico Fermi (fermium), and Mendeleev (mendelevium). She wins the Nobel prize (nobelium) and gives it to her dog, Lawrence (lawrencium).

Now I just need to come up with one for the lanthanoids and a better way to remember transition metals instead of trying to make sounds with their symbols (TiZr Huf Ruf, anyone?)

the world is a mess, and i just need to rule it.

Today I made a life goal to get together a group of people and dress up like the Evil League of Evil for Halloween. If that never pans out, well, I'll just be Dr. Horrible by myself.

Here are your costume choices!

Fake Thomas Jefferson, Professor Normal, Fury Leika, Snakebite, Dead Bowie, Tie-Die, and Bad Horse (who is not pictured, but is an actual dark brown horse).

What am I even talking about? Watch the videos.
(bad quality, if you have Hulu Plus, you can watch them all there high quality.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

do you know any jokes about sodium hypobromite?

Today was my very first day of grad school classes. I say classes, but I actually only had one today: organometallics (carbon bonding with metals). It wasn't too bad yet...but...we got a homework assignment. And I cannot do a single problem without pulling out my sophomore o chem textbook. BAh. Oh, and we have to memorize the periodic table. No big. There are only 118 elements. (Although there is a separate class dealing with the f-block metals, and no one really does anything with elements 109-118, so that gives us 81.)


famous last words.

But let's end on a happy note. How excited are you for this movie?!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

raised eyebrow

For some reason this is my post with the most views. More than twice the amount of page views as the next highest.

I am confused.

Who are you who loves this post so much?

Friday, September 2, 2011

we we we so excited. we so excited.

The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra trailer!!!
Still no release date.
But excited!