Thursday, December 29, 2005

That's just the kind of friend I am.

The Doktah was waxing sentimental one day, telling me how she appreciated my friendship. “You’re such a great friend to have,” she told me. “I know I can trust you, and that you’d always be willing to help me if I needed it.” She paused, searching for a way to explain what she meant. “You’re the kind of friend who, if I had a boil on my butt, would be willing to rub salve on it. You’d rub salve on my boil, wouldn’t you?” she asked.

“What, are your arms broken?” I said.

Friday, December 23, 2005

If you don’t get this, try reading it out loud

I had a long debate with myself about whether or not to post this, given that, being the youngest and all, I am trying to maintain a mantle of innocence among my family, and they read this blog. But I couldn’t resist. Below is a transcript of a recent conversation The Doktah had with the guy who was fixing her laminar flow hood.

GUY: There was a leak, so I just plugged it up with caulk.
DOKTAH: (thinks) Don't laugh, don't laugh…
DOKTAH: OK, so how long until I can run it?
GUY: You won’t have to worry about the caulk; it should be hard in a day at the most.
DOKTAH: (thinks) Are you kidding me? OK, don't laugh.
DOKTAH: But after that it should be OK, right?
GUY: Yeah, the hoods are in good shape and that caulk usually fixes the problem for a few years.
DOKTAH: Thanks.
Papers were signed and they went back in the room to take a final look.
GUY: Sorry about the smell. It's the caulk.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Important news bulletin

I think that I should warn the scientific community that The Doktah will be beginning her career as an actual professor at a real honest-to-God university in January. Yes, she of “I-bet-this-olive-pit-won’t-get-stuck-in-my-nose” fame will soon be responsible for molding fresh young minds of the next generation of scientists and/or engineers. God help us all.*

*All joking aside, The Doktah is going to make an excellent professor. Congratulations, Doktah! Just don’t expect me to take you seriously. Or anyone else who reads this blog. Because, c’mon.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Love is...

...when you spend the evening baking cookies and then tell your husband, "Ugh, I feel sick," and he responds with genuine sympathy instead of telling you it's your own damn fault and not to eat so much batter next time.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I’m sorry, I don’t know anything. I’m a grad student.

“Excuse me,” the woman asked. “Do you know where the campus tours start?”

I paused on my way from the lab to my Tae Kwon Do class. I pondered the question. Of course I know where the campus tours start. I mean, I must know. How could I not know where the campus tours start? I thought about it logically. They must start from the admissions building, right? But… which building is the admissions building?

Having searched my memory banks and come up dry, I had to tell the woman that I had could not tell her where the campus tours started from, and I could not even hazard a guess. I could have told her where to go for the campus tours at my undergraduate institution. I could have even told her what time they started. But at my grad school? No idea.

You see, grad students are different from undergrads. Undergrads get to know their campus inside out. They have at least one class in almost every building at some point in their time there. They know where all of the dining halls are and they root for the sports teams. Grad students, on the other hand, know their building inside out. We have at least one class in almost every room in our building at some point in our time there. We know where all of the Coke machines are, and we couldn’t care less about the sports teams. I was at my grad school for five long years, but I couldn’t tell you where the English department was located. Hell, I couldn’t tell you where the math department was located, and I was an engineer.

Yes, grad students are different from undergrads.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

You should hear him when his allergies act up

I was talking to The Doktah on the phone when The Husband walked into the room with a tissue in his hand. As he started to blow his nose, The Doktah was mid-sentence, and I heard, “…so then I HONNKKKKSCHHNOORRRRFFUURRRRRGLE on the kid.”

“Can you repeat that?” I asked her. “I missed some of that because The Husband was blowing his nose.”

“That was The Husband?” The Doktah gasped. It was so loud, she had assumed that I had rudely blown my nose right in her ear.

Yes, it’s when The Husband has a cold that I wish we had TiVo, if only for the rewinding-live-TV feature.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Motherly instinct

I work with tissue cells, and they require a lot of care and attention. I’ve often said that taking care of cells is almost like taking care of a baby. Except that when the cells die, you just say, “Oh, well,” and throw away the dish.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Naiveté, thy name is Mo (and The Husband)

A few years ago, The Husband and I went to Cancun for a vacation. While we were there, we decided to rent a car and take a day trip to Tulum. I highly recommend doing this if you are planning a trip, because Tulum is just gorgeous. We spent a few hours wandering around the ruins and then took an incredibly refreshing dip in the ocean. Well, I took a dip. The Husband just waded because he had a broken hand. Still, it was a great day.

On the way back, we realized we were out of cash. We figured we’d stop at an ATM before dropping the car off. Unfortunately, just a few short miles from town, we got pulled over for speeding. “Aw, man!” I said, as the cop approached the car. “I don’t even think you were driving that fast!”

“I wasn’t the fastest car on the road, that’s for sure,” The Husband replied, rolling down the window.

“Hola,” said the cop.

“Hola,” we replied. Then we spent a few minutes struggling to communicate. Although the cop’s English was weak, it was better than our nonexistent Spanish, and we eventually understood that he was telling us that we were speeding, and we would have to go down to city hall to pay a 300 peso fine. But, if we had the cash, we could just pay him 150 pesos right there and save a trip.

“That’s weird,” The Husband and I thought. “I guess things work differently in Mexico.” But, unfortunately, we were completely out of money. We tried to tell the cop this, and get him to just give us the ticket so we could move on with our lives. He, however, was very insistent that we should just pay him the 150 pesos. He didn’t seem to believe us when we said we had no money.

Finally, The Husband opened up his wallet and showed the gaping emptiness to the cop. The cop heaved a huge sigh, rolled his eyes, and gave up on us. “Just go ahead,” he said. I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist.

“Really?” said The Husband. “What about the ticket?” But the cop just waved us on and went back to his motorcycle, shaking his head.

The Husband and I were thrilled. “Wow!” we said to each other. “That was really weird! I wonder why he just let us go!”

Because, you see, we still didn’t get it. In fact, we didn’t get it until at least a year later when we were sharing this anecdote with some friends of ours.

“He was asking for a bribe,” our friend said.

The light dawned. “Oh my word, he was totally asking for a bribe,” I said.

“We’re complete idiots,” said The Husband.

But hey, we didn’t have to pay anything! So I guess ignorance is bliss.


Um, that entry down there should be entitled "I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille." Then again, maybe Cruella had a long-lost brother who directed. You never know.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeVille

Last Saturday, High School Tennis Partner was at my house for a dinner party. He was disappointed to find out that The Doktah lives far away from me, and wouldn’t be attending. When I told The Doktah that she’s famous, she said, “Yeah, but I’m not famous, famous. I’m famous like a… a circus freak.”

What could I do but agree?