Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today is John and my second wedding anniversary. So far, the most extraordinary thing that's happened is that I'm sick with a lower respiratory infection AGAIN, for the second year in a row! I never thought I'd be so sick on our anniversary twice in a row. Maybe this is payback for getting away with beautiful weather, superb health, and very little stress on our actual wedding day?

That aside, it's been a fairly pleasant day (aside from the incessant coughing). Hubby left me a card and a Snickers bar on my computer this morning before he left for work, and came home to enjoy some Pad Thai with me for lunch. We had planned on going to Maggiano's for dinner today, both for deliciousness and sentimental reasons. We went there the day after we married, and it was just one of those calm, blissful, perfect dinners that you dream about having as a little girl. Since I'm busy hacking up a lung today though, we've put those plans off until we can fully enjoy the evening, and are going to Panera for some soup and sandwiches instead. Hey, after four months without Panera, I'll take it! If I'm up to it, we'll go to Wegmans after dinner to pick up a baked good. They have the best and most diverse fruit tarts I've ever tasted, and a bakery section larger than most Whole Foods, if you can imagine that!

Happy anniversary, Sweetheart! <3

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I have the sense of humor of a five year old.

I was watching the Saturday evening news when the anchorwoman said that there has been a sharp decline in travelers for the Memorial Day weekend. The reason? "Gas pains."


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Beautiful boy

Today was full of baby hugs and kisses, as my mother and I babysat my four week old nephew while my sister took her five year old ice skating. John and I finally met him for the first time yesterday, and we hadn't seen our older nephew since December. I just want to say that my sister did a wonderful job with her two beautiful boys. <3

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

...to the place, where I belong

We've arrived safely in Herndon, VA and already miss all those in Baton Rouge! We're eager to see everyone again in August. One thing I was not able to capture were all the beautiful wildflowers that greeted us along the way, most notably the happy little daisies that dotted the countryside--it's hard enough taking pictures of landscape when you're barreling down the road at 70 miles an hour, let alone a small patch of flowers. Sorry for all the hillside pictures, folks. I actually cut out over half of the ones I had taken originally. I just can't ever get enough of that green grass on blue sky. :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Country road, take me home...

Delayed a day because of a faulty AC we needed to have fixed, we finally left Baton Rouge Sunday morning for a 10 hour trek to Knoxville, TN. The first part of the trip was filled with blue skies, but by the time we reached Georgia, we entered a heavy fog (I could not take any photos of the state signs of Georgia or Tennessee because of the darkness and fog). Tomorrow, we are on the road for another 8 hours, but we'll finally be home! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A continuation of today's earlier blog entry....

Right after I posted the comic below, John and I went to the Baton Rouge Clinic because I needed to get some lab work done. I stood in line to sign in at the lab, and my conversation with the receptionist went like this:

Receptionist: Boomaroom? What a neat name. How do you pronounce it? Boomaroom?
Me: Um, sure.
[receptionist proceeds to write my name down on a label]
Me: Uh, my last name ends in M, not N.
Receptionist: Yeah, I got the N for your name.
Me: No, that's my first name.
Receptionist: So it's R-O-N?
Me: No, R-O-M.

I don't really understand why people like to pronounce it "boomaroom" or "boomarahm" (it's actually pronounced more like boom-a-rome) with the M ending yet nearly always spell it with an N ending. I can't even tell you how many prescriptions, debit cards, certificates, and even my driver's license for a time are misspelled with the N ending.

So I go to sit down in the waiting area after I finished checking in. A phlebotomist came in with a sheet of labels and looked at it. Hard. I know this look well, and knew that she was about to call me. She scanned the room (filled with middle aged Caucasians) and stares at me for a second before handing me the labels and saying, "Are you this person?" I nodded. "'Cause you're the only one here who looks...." Pause. I'm waiting for her to say "Asian" or "different", like so many others (Louisianans seem to have less of a problem saying it than people in Virginia, I've noticed), but she goes on, "...who looks 24 in this room." Nice save.

I'm not really offended by things like this; I usually find it highly amusing. Still, I'm looking forward to officially changing my name to the hyphenated form (which I haven't done yet for various reasons), so I can help cut the discomfort and people can refer to me simply as "Mrs. Gilbert."

It's B-H-U-M......

I swear, the guy who writes PhD Comics spies on my life or something...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!!

To all the mothers out there, (and especially my own) Happy Mother's Day! None of us could be here without your love and support.

After John finishes singing in choir today, we're off to Metairie and New Orleans to celebrate Mother's Day with John's grandmother, aunt, and uncle. Coincidentally, John's grandmother and aunt both have birthdays within the next week and a half, so we'll be celebrating that too, as well as dropping off our potted plants so they can be cared for while we are in Virginia. Plans for today include eating at one of our favorite restaurants, Mandina's, gift-giving to two very wonderful women, and enjoying each other's company. Ever since finals ended, I've worked on making paper roses and daffodils this week so we can each present each mom with a bouquet of flowers. It took longer than I thought--a whopping 11 hours of tracing and cutting out approximately 200 petals, shaping them, and gluing and taping them to wire stems. It's definitely the most I've ever done for people who aren't actually my mother on Mother's Day!

Of course, it's all worth it, because they have been such good family to us I since we've moved here. So, three cheers for mothers everywhere!

(And, in case you were wondering about my last blog entry--my cookies never made it past their prototype stage. I was feeling horrendously ill when the time came, but never fear--the cookie prototypes were still devoured through the week.)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

à la bibliothèque

It's a beautiful Sunday and John and I have spent most of it toiling away at the library. Well, I worked on my cookies for Martha Stewart's Favorite Cookie Contest (I reeeaaallllly want to be one of the 10 that wins a free Cookies cookbook, but I doubt I'll win with my limited time and resources, and relative inexperience making pretty things....if you wanted an "ugliest yet still tasty cookie" contest winner, then I'm it!) for most of the early afternoon, but they're still in their "prototype" stage. More on that tomorrow, when I actually have to submit my photos. Anyway, it's that time again--you guessed it: FINALS WEEK! :O

I have to quote the lovely JG here...she summed up the entire finals week experience in a most apt fashion:

I'm sitting in the library, and it's amazing how the shared experience of having to write rediculous amounts of papers before the final week of classes brings people together. People you don't know actually say "bless you" when you sneeze. People smile. We're all drowning under an extrodinary amount of dull white paper and faded computer screens, but we know that--and we appreciate human contact, even if it's with strangers, now more than ever.

Though we've been here for the past few hours, I still don't feel like I've done much--or maybe it's just because I haven't met my slightly over-ambitious goals for the evening? Of course, it probably doesn't help that I've taken a blogging break, but a girl can only look at articles for so long. Sometimes I wish I could go back and warn my bright-eyed undergraduate self: Scholarly articles aren't always as riveting as you think! In fact, they can be as dry and burnt as that first batch of ill-conceived cookies I pulled out of the oven last night.....

But I digress. While finals week is dreaded by all, I don't think I would really feel like things will have come to a close without it. Sure, I will experience a semester next year where I will take no classes, but I'll still have my comprehensive exams and thesis defense. There's still torture ahead of me--I guess it's all part of the end-of-semester rite of passage.

Grasshopper parrot

Every Saturday or Sunday, I go to Petco to take pictures of rescue animals for the Ascension Animal Advocates animal rescue. On these days, I also go visit a little pineapple green-cheeked conure that's been at Petco since January (as any self-respecting parrot lover would). When I went to visit him today, he started doing something new--he hopped! Thankfully, I had my camera with me from the animal rescue picture taking, and was able to take a video: