Monday, May 23, 2011

Bones, Beaches, and Biochemical Cycling

Dear friends & family,

I'm currently sitting in the middle of a discussion about underwater basket-weaving by two science majors who are devoting their summer to research. Really guys? Underwater basket weaving?

I feel like not much has happened since the last time I updated, except a lot of visiting the beach. And watching Bones.

The Bones is pretty addicting and infectious.  I watched the latest episode with my sister, and FREAKED out realizing how much awesome stuff I've missed!  Then Chris & Ian invaded our house while I was catching up on my brother's netflix, and now we can't stop.  Soooo good. But I'm glad I have Amanda to watch with me too, not just boys. Because they think the things I think are sweet, are extremely cheesy.  Ugh, boys. Also, we have played clue more than you could possibly imagine. 

(By the way their basket-weaving conversation has evolved into that of propagating life on a new planet. THAT'S more like it. :D)

Other than watching Bones and playing at the beach not much has gone on.  I've only learned a little bit about the lab.  Mostly there is a dinoflagellate (a little underwater creature) that produces a precursor of DMS, a chemical that is very key in environmental cycling, and I'm going to study a specific dinoflagellate and its role in the DMS production.  In order to learn lab things I've gotten to use a Gas Chromatograph (which the referenced on Bones)! In the process of that I got to play with liquid nitrogen for the first time ever. Its super easy to use and I'm 100% bummed that Adam Haraburda and I never went through with our fro yo plan. :( After I figure out the Gas Chromatograph, I will get to used a HPLC, or high performance liquid chromatography machine, which is pretty exciting because I haven't gotten to work with a lot of technology.  I feel like I'm already widening my appeal for future employers!!

Also, who wants to hear about food? Everyone? That's what I thought! I love food!  I know you do too. 

My sister and I are planning family dinner this week! Last week she made mama's lasagna, so this week I'm going to make my second ever pot roast in my CROCK POT!! :D  

Then next sunday the REUs are doing potluck dinner. Pocahontas themed (a.k.a Thanksgiving food). We've dolled out turkey, stuffing, corn, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, bread, fruit salad, and pies. Mmmmm I'm SO excited. Then I'm also going to buy things to make minestrone soup again when we go into town so I can eat it for dinner for the rest of the week.  Yay!

Yesterday was a pretty fantastic day of the week, I went to church in a little white church with stained glass windows with Amanda, my roommate, and then we came back, I watched bones, had some bible time, got all my laundry done, AND cleaned my room.  Isn't that fabulous?

Okay. So Ian, Amanda & Chris want me to mad libs on my blog as a farewell. Here we go:

Mad Lib:

The Beach

Hooray! Summer is finally here, and that means we can go to the beach! Today, my family is going to Dauphin Island Beach, and I can bring a friend with me. I decide to invite my best friend Chris' Girlfriend. I know Chris' Girlfriend will want to go with us. She thinks going to the beach is porous!
We start our beach day by watching the sunrise, and then eating breakfast at UncleObama's Pancake Hut. I always get Potato flavored pancakes.
After breakfast we squirt the waves, go mashing for seashells, and secrete a sandcastle. Then we eat the lunch we packed for the beach. It's my favorite—olive sandwiches. The only time olive sandwiches are not so slimy is when you drop them in the sand.
By 2:23, everyone's had enough of the beach. But Dauphin Island Beach is fun at night, too! There is a really despicable boardwalk. It's always crowded with people. Would you believe we saw my teacher Laura Ellis there, eating a huge banana split?
There are a lot of cool shops on the boardwalk. You can get a little hermit Oyster, but make sure your mom and dad say it's okay! My favorite store is the jewelry store. Chris' Girlfriend and I each buy a rope bracelet that will shuck when it gets wet. Pretty shiny!
By 8:00, we're all ready to head home. I usually fall asleep on the ride home. I can't wait to go to Dauphin Island Beach again.

<3 Melissa

P.s. Are you happy Jacob?

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