Monday, July 28, 2008


The alarm is set to 4 am. Suitcases are packed. Roxy has been banished to solitary confinement for the duration at the local vet. I've asked DH about 20 times whether the Red Sox tickets are in his bag. (I'm well beyond merely annoying him.) We're off for Beantown in the morning.

I've got my fabulous new camera and DH's laptop so I'll post photos along the way. In the meantime, look for us in the bleacher seats on Wednesday night. I'll be wearing the 25 Lowell jersey.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I hereby officially apologize to Adam Levine of Maroon 5 for the low expectations I had going into the concert last night. He/they were something like a hundred million times better than I had expected. His voice was truly awesome - something I never expected to say. Actually, Maroon 5 blew me away.

Counting Crows were also amazing, but I knew they would be so wasn't surprised. Adam Duritz was energetic and emotional. Unfortunately, they had to cut their set short because the whole concert ended up being a bit late (this was the first stop on their tour, so I guess the stage guys are still working out the kinks for set changes).

Anyway, just had to get that apology out there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Friday night plans

Coming up on Friday night (two more days):

and then this take on it:
(skip over to time 2:20 if you don't want to listen to him talk beforehand)

I've heard him do the whole song like the beginning of this version - very slow and introspective with the accordian. Next time I heard them, it was like the released recording.
This is why I love the Counting Crows. You never know what version Adam is going to feel like going with on any given night. I've seen him in somber moods and freakishly upbeat moods. Every take of every song is awesome.

Same night:

I've never heard them live, so don't know how it'll be. I've heard some live recordings of them that were atrocious, but this one isn't so bad. I like them in smallish doses. His voice would get on my nerves if they were the only act. They're not, though, so should be fine. (I sound a little nervous about this part, don't I?)

Also that night:

The fates added her on for E. E LOVES Sarah Barellies and this song.

The weather channel gives us a prediction of sunny and a high of 87 for show night.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

From Alberta to Virginia

I'm home from Alberta. It was an interesting trip - I'm glad I went.

On the work side of things: it was successful. The goal was to sample boreal fire plumes and we got them. (Holy moly! There are a lot of stories about this mission out there on the internet! I knew Jim and Daniel seemed to be called away for a lot of interviews, but jeez. Funny side-story on that note. Daniel is a Hvd professor and he had a couple of his grad students there. One of them came into work all freaked out one day because her radio alarm went off right during the middle of an interview with Daniel, her advisor. Can you imagine being woken from sleep with the voice of your advisor? She thought she was in the middle of a nightmare. Daniel had a good laugh out of it.)
There were some frantic days out there - some low-on-fuel-driven last-minute flight planning sessions, extra (unplanned) days in Thule, Greenland for the instrument guys, a broken DC-8 windshield, and some close calls weather-wise. But overall, we got what we needed to.

Other side of things: I learned that nice things happen when instrumentalists and theoreticians are essentially held prisoner together at an isolated military base in the middle of nowhere. They begin to talk. And play pool. And snooker. And shuffleboard. And foozball and crud and darts. (and drink- errr- network, too).

Here's a photo of our loverly pool hall, which closed at 8 pm UNLESS there were 10 people there, in which case she kept it open until around midnight. The bartender hated us. She obviously did not like her job and was anxious to leave. We had several tight moments of pulling unsuspecting scientists who were simply strolling along the sidewalk into the pool hall at 7:59 in order to meet the quorum. Invariably, we'd have huge numbers of folks there at 9:30 or 10. 8:00 was just slightly too early to get the 10 quota. We gave her big tips, but she was still grumpy. Oh well.

I like this photo mainly because you can't see any faces so I don't have to worry about folks getting mad at me for putting them on the internet. We really had a nice time hanging out. More than one scientist commented to me that it was like being back in grad school, but better (no one ever articulated why, but I'm thinking that we're just all older and that's why it's better). I had some nice bike rides down to Cold Lake, through fragrant clover and prairiedog towns. Don't romanticize it, though. It really isn't very pretty out there - though the lake was nice.

Here I am playing shuffleboard. Who knew I'd actually be pretty OK at it? And at darts, too? I guess I shouldn't have given up on "sports" when I realized I sucked at softball and basketball.

Here's a rainbow I saw on the bus ride back to Edmonton yesterday. Texas family/friends - see what I mean? It's Texas up there!!!!
(Actually, I had a Canadian friend tell me that that part of Alberta is called "Texas north" so I wasn't making it up. They even have oil wells out there.

Anyway - all done. I'm back home with my hubby and kids (heart, heart, heart). We went and picked blueberries today, grilled chicken and eggplant and onions for dinner, and are watching the Red Sox play tonight. Life is good. Abundance.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


What a nice week I've had!
The kids' babysitter is on vacation so I stayed home all week. I leave for Cold Lake tomorrow, so the extra play-time with them was well enjoyed.

It's been simply me and Q and E cocooning all week. We did Water Country together, went to the movies, went out for lunch several times, spent an afternoon at the Air and Space museum, and topped it off with a carousel ride and ice cream. We've watched TV together at night and tried a few board games. They are making me dinner tonight for my birthday, and made a wonderful and perfect homemade triple-chocolate fudge birthday cake with chocolate chip icing for dessert. As for the dinner, it's stir-fry and baked potatoes and smells fantastic...very possibly the best thing I've ever smelled...largely because it is nearly 8 pm.) I'm having to keep DH on a tight reign so he doesn't blow from the food deprivation, but he is controlling himself well.) The kids are so proud of themselves and I feel very pampered.

Speaking of my trip, this part of ARCTAS (based out of Cold Lake Alberta, Canada) is focused on the impact of biomass burning emissions on the Arctic. So far, it's been a lucrative campaign - fires are quite active and it's been fairly easy for the aircraft to find them and follow the plumes to get measurements of the chemical evolution. I'm not nearly as excited about the trip out there this time as I was for the spring portion in Fairbanks.

May be I'm not prepared for barracks living or cafeteria food (poor, poor me, eh?).

Mostly, I'm not done cocooning with my "babies", I think. I'm in mom mode and not ready to shift focus.