Monday, June 27, 2011

Vivacious Visuals :D

So I know that I've been promising and promising pictures, and just never presented you with them, but THEY HAVE FINALLY ARRIVED.  This is going to be a purely picture-oriented update. With maybe a little jig at the end about my weekend.

The girls :D Natasha, Amanda, Jami, and me. That dress is new!! I love it.
The boys & momma Laura!! T.J., Ian, Chris Catchapollywag, and Momma Laura!!

 This was our first family dinner potluck!  We went with thanksgiving for the first theme. DELISH.
 Amanda and I threw breakfast at our house!! It was excellent practice because later we had breakfast for dinner at one of our family dinners. How AWESOME do those icing turnovers look? And the pigs in a blanket were AWEEEESOME.
Dumplings are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE asian food.  And I MADE THEM.  Thanks to one miss Alison Rellinger!! :D
 Our collection of Asian food for our potluck family dinner. :D
HEYYYOOOOOO. We gathered those shrimp up after we went trawling on the Alabama Discovery.  Then we went home, peeled 'em, boiled 'em, AND ATE EM.

Below here you see the clothes from the aforementioned prank war. Yes, that's right, I got those clothes on the roof.
 BABY PELICANS!! Seriously, though. Can you not see the resemblance to dinosaurs? I officially believe they're related.
The lighthouse. :D  Just because its eassssy on the eyes.
These are my beautiful little dinos. Aren't they just darlin?


Anna Sent me this beautiful door decoration :D
In case you were wondering, I love packages.

This cute cute baby pecan pie that my roommates mom sent us!!

The last prank. And a great look at all my shoes :D

Fun. :D


Um, I want a parade at my wedding.

We look HOT in our goin out clothes!!
See my facebook for pictures in the masks we wore all night!!
And everyone thought it was awesome! I love new orleans!

See the new albums on my facebook for more!

<3 <3 Melissa!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blue Eyes Cryin in the Early Mornin Rain!

Okay, so I didn't actually cry in this morning's rain, but I really really REALLY didn't want to get up and go to lab. I really didn't. And so this lovely country song title seemed like an appropriate way to break my blogging abstinence.

Basically, once again, I've done so much since the last time I posted I seriously DON'T know where to begin.

Firstly, I'm exhausted today. My body hates me because I'm way too mean to it, and so it is striking back at me. Don't worry! I will not succumb.  I am, in fact, sitting at a high performance liquid chromatography machine at this very moment while I run my little guys through tests to see if they're making the mystery chemical, gonyauline.  I'm, quite honestly, not sure what I'm looking for just yet, but after I start collecting fractions of the stuff they are producing (a.k.a. once this little machine breaks up all their little chemicals, I will take each layer of chemical and test it to see if it is what I want it to be), I'll know what's going on!  Cool right?  I also have almost successfully completed my first growth curve, so the biologist in me is getting a little pruning, as well as the chemist.

Also can I just take a moment to say how thankful I am that for the first time in my life I'm legitimately supporting myself doing the job that makes me happy? Its such a wonderful experience. I could get up, and go to lab, and do projects for the rest of my life. Which is nice, because at least through my graduate degrees that is exactly what I will be doing! I'm so thankful God has shown me where my heart belongs!

I'm also getting new, non-chemistry experiences too!  I definitely went to play on jet skis for the first time IN MY LIFE yesterday, and it was AWESOME.  The inside of both my knees are now bruised, but that's the nature of the beast!!  I'm glad that there's an islander here who is willing to show me how to do fun things, like jet ski, fish, and dougie.

In other news we went to New Orleans last weekend!  And for those of you who are going to ask, NO I did not get "schwasty," as my fellow twenty year old Erin said, but I DID love it there.  The last thing we did was go to the aquarium, which was AMAZING.  There was a giant turtle there named Midas, and we got to help feed the fish, and just wander around all morning in the aquarium.  Then we drove around, looking at the garden district, Toulane, Loyola, and ALL the gorgeous houses.  That city really does have a classy side to it, and I think I'm in love.  In addition, when we were in the french quarter, everything was happy an exciting and full of life! I loved the color, and the street venders, and all the unique little shops. We even went into the voodoo museum, which was awesome!  I could just feel how everyone seemed so happy, like they were celebrating life. It reminded me a little of the movie moulin rouge!

Also, just a few days before my New Orleans experience, I went on a 24 hour boat trip for the first. time. ever. It was a research vessel, and we went with Renee's class, but Will and I had a different project, so it was fun to know that I was the same age/younger than these people, but I didn't have to listen to their instructions! Tee Hee! I win I win!  But it was cool to see my sister all in charge and to play on a boat all day. They said I slept a lot, but I think they're just jealous.  Also, if you every get a chance to be out on the ocean at night, do it. Because it was BEAUTIFUL.

Well that takes you back about a week, and before that probably the only fun things I did were getting a makeover for girls night, baking, family night dinners, labbing, and beaching.  SO I'm sorry that I do not have more information for you!  And I'm very sorry that I fail at keeping my blog regularly updated. :D

Mommy, Daddy, and Brother I miss you.
Grandma and Grandpa, too!
GLC I miss you and am thinking of you.
Friends (you know who are), I miss you too.
Enemies.... I don't think I have any, but in case someone has labelled me as an enemy, I HOPE YOU ARE DOING WELL :)
Shout-out Kyle, for coming this weekend!  You can't get here fast enough.

<3 <3 <3 Melissa

Sunday, June 5, 2011

So Much Nothing.

I seriously never thought there would be anything to do on this little island, but I have been SO busy.  There's so much nothing going on that people just create an excessive amount of fun things to fill it up!

First off, I've had lots more fun with my lab than I ever expected! We had an awesome dinner party because some people that are collaborating are here in the lab, and Ali made all kinds of wonderful food. Cedar paper trout (I think), with potatoes, salad, mushrooms, everything you could imagine! Mmmm.  Then there was a strawberry cake which I conveniently made accidentally on one of the Georgia guy's birthday! YAY!

Noah's Accidental Birthday Cake!

Then every other Sunday the REUs set up a themed dinner. Last Sunday was thanksgiving food, and it was deliciously fabulous.  The girls got all cute, there was soooo much food.

Then after a few other adventures, the boys got bored.  And how did they satiate their boredom? By placing 30 Hermit crabs in our bathroom.

War ensued.

First there were the hermit crabs, then all of our light bulbs (including the one in the fridge, which was a kind of dedication that I was impressed with) disappeared, along with buttered doorknobs, and switched off breakers.  We retaliated with a cup-move on one of their doors, and tied the other door shut (although the cups were rather unsuccessful, because we failed to account for their super-long legs).

Then, of course, things got serious.  With an handy accomplice, I climbed into a window (which broke in the process.... oops! :D) put all their dirty clothes on the roof, turned a doorknob inside out (which took them forever to notice), removed a few of their blinds, and hid a trash bag that used to hold a massive dead fish.

The next day my shoes were tied to my gutter, with several impressive knots, and recyclables were hidden all over my room, in addition to a bike locked to my bed.

Our T.A. called the whole thing off. Probably cause I broke the window. IT WAS 100% AN ACCIDENT.  Things just break around me.  I don't do it on PURPOSE.

Since then things have started to quiet down a little; I went to my first EVER crawfish boil, which made me feel very island-y, and then yesterday we had a grand old day with the REUs. There was a pancake breakfast, a bakery lunch, and a pizza dinner complete with ice cream, popcorn, and Tron.  I'm so happy with the friends I've made here! I've also had a wonderful time being with my sister and getting to know her boyfriend, J.D.  In exchange for ice cream he let me ride in the Wheel House (I think is what its called) of the Ferry that he drives!  It was fun and he answered all my annoying questions. It was Great.  Plus we have a little dinner together once a week, which is great fun. This week Renee made pork and mashed potatoes and it was delicious!  I have a great family.  It has been awesome to get to spend time with my long-lost sister.

Some of the other REU girls and I discovered the cutest little church here on the island. It's small, the chapel is probably about the size of 1.5 of my apartments at home, and there are stained glass windows all over, and its full of cute old people who refer to me and the other girls that come as "a breath of fresh air." I love it. Totally adorable.

Some interesting developments have occurred with my lab.  Unfortunately, during the last month of my stay, the only lab members that will be on the island at all are me and Ali.  BASICALLY my advisor won't even see my presentation, which is a total bummer. BUT that means that now he's focused on getting my project done and hopefully I'll have ample time to write in order to possibly publish.  We started growing the culture of my little dinoflagellates (actually compared to other dinos, they're massive). They swim around and you can see them with your eyes! They're super cute.  I love them. I lovingly refer to them as my little guys.  BUT occasionally I have to take some out and look at them under the microscope. So they die. BUT THE WEIRDEST THING EVER HAPPENS WHEN THEY DIE.  They literally spill their guts out of their shell.  Like... The guts just spill out.  Its SO BIZARRE.  Anyway, so I get to play with my little guys, and I'm starting to test their DMS production and its going to be a grand old time.  Thank goodness I have Ali to show me the ropes! :D

Okay Texas. There you go. Thats my update, complete with visual aids, and a run-down of my lab life and my social life.  Refer to my facebook at a later date in order to view more pictures of the prank war, thanksgiving dinner, and other awesome stuff. Love Love!!

<3 Melissa