Monday, December 31, 2007

Jessie and Christian's Wedding

It was a lot of work (especially for Mom), but Jessie's wedding/vow renewal went well. I have some pictures from the wedding. Hopefully, more are on their way.

I bought a different dress than the one I talked about on the blog. It's not the best picture of me, but I've seen worse too:

Mystery Solved

Until I caught it on camera, I didn't know what Sydney would bawl about or look at in corners of the room. But, here it is, sitting on the brown chair on Christmas Day:

Friday, December 28, 2007

Tomorrow is the Big Day

Which means that Mom is going nuts, stressing out over little and big things; Jessie is taking the Germans to Gettysburg for shopping and site seeing; I need to shop for items that go with my outfit; and, Dad makes jokes (some funny, some not) along the way.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

How Old We Are

I met with a bunch of my high school friends today. We reminisced and caught up with each other. Lisa commented that her son reprimands her for calling his Nintendo DS a "Gameboy". When did we become our parents?

Angie said that she is amazed by what she has to teach her kids. There are things that she doesn't think her parents taught her that she know needs to teach. Like, "Don't lick the door knob."

We reminisced about high school, which is getting harder to remember. I commented, "That was half my life ago." The others didn't believe me but, yeah, our sophomore year was half our life ago.

Sydney's Rough Life

We've taken to calling Sydney a "pissy" cat rather than a pussy cat.

A recap from Jessie: "I made Syd into a pissy cat again, but not on purpose. I gave her a hug, and that was fine, but when I put her down, we both got a big shock (not in the Grandma way). And then to calm her, I pet her some more, which led to more static. She hissed at me, but I felt that she was justified in her opinion."

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to All!

And to all a good night.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Dinner Conversation

The topic: what is your favorite alcohol?

The answers (sometimes brands, sometimes type):

Dad: Rum
Mom: Southern Comfort
Christian: Jim Beam
Jessie: Doesn't like to play favorites
Me: Raspberry Vodka or Kahlua

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Being a Bridesmaid

I'm the maid of honor in my sister's vow renewal on December 29. I have one responsibility: finding a gray suit or dress to wear. Of course, that's difficult for me. Finding something that fits, looks nice, and is appropriate is always a challenge. I found a dress, but I wasn't sure if it was too much (besides that the price really was too much, so I'm hoping it will be on sale before then). So, I sent Jessie a picture online of a similar dress, and she wrote back, "I think that's a pretty dress. It would also be something that you could wear to some other event later, like the divorce proceedings." Yeowsh. But still makes me laugh.

I'm not posting the dress because I don't know if that's what I'm wearing yet, and I don't want to get my ones of readers excited about nothing. I know how you all are about Fashion. And me modeling Fashion. (I liked the emphasis the capital 'f' gave fashion.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Public Service Announcement

As of last month, the complete series for Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist is available for purchase.

Gettysburg and the South

I met some new people at the school at a party last week. One couple I met has a daughter who is a junior at Gettysburg College. The wife mentioned that very few Southerners go to Gettysburg. There is one high school senior from Lexington who is going next year. Another person added, "And [General] Lee was there." (It took me a little bit to catch who he meant, so I clarified for you.) Then he proceeded to crack up for a while, nearly crying, while the rest of us just shook our heads.

What Kind of Dog Are You?

Take this survey to find out what kind of dog you are. It may be broken because, so far, my whole family is Siberian huskies, and I usually think of us as having different personalities.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Football-School Heritage

We watched Delaware play against Appalachian State in the Div 1-AA football championship. They got crushed. App State won for the third year in the row. The previous winner? Delaware.

The last few days, I've talked to several people who knew that UD's mascot was the blue hen. Then, I found out it was because the coverage of UD not playing the predominantly-black Delaware State in football.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Alternative Pay Models

Frank and I have noticed that in Lexington, pizza places have an alternative pay model. Instead of paying when you order, you pay after you eat. We're not sure why they all do this. We're not sure what the benefit of this model is. Any ideas?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Update on an Old Friend

One of today's headlines on CNN is Olga becomes a tropical storm. I wondered what happened to Olga.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Menu

Dad reports:

Grandma asked Mom, do you like deer liver? Gma has 6 deer livers. So now you know what we're having for Xmas dinner. In case anyone doesn't like deer liver, she also has deer hearts.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Drink

I came up with a great name for a new drink: The Harvey Muddslide. It's a combination of a Harvey Wallbanger and a Mudslide, yet named after Harvey Mudd College. Hey, I said it was a great name, not a great drink.

I refuse to Google to find out if someone thought of this first. Do not burst my bubble.

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Most Random Dream Yet?

I may have had my most random dream yet: I was a seat filler for the Golden Globes. My dreams usually have much more mundane locales--at school or at my parent's house or at a friend's house.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Just Another Thanksgiving

We're having leftover lasagna and pumpkin log for our Thanksgiving (not Thanksgiving Observed) meal. We didn't watch the parade today either. Or football. Just doing some grading, writing cover letters, and trying to find the cat, who did have enough sense to come home when it started to rain.

Still, this Thanksgiving is better than last year's when Dad had thyroid surgery and had to stay in the hospital an extra night because of complications.

And, it's better than Grandma's Thanksgiving. She was having squirrel. She had some bones she wanted to cook, but she thinks my cousin Jamie took them and gave them to the dogs. Imagine: someone thinking your Thanksgiving dinner was meant for the dogs.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Doesn't Feel Like Thanksgiving

Since Dad works on Thursday, we had our Thanksgiving meal yesterday. In the morning, Dad asked why we weren't watching the parade. We were surprised to see Brian Williams anchoring the Nightly News on Thanksgiving. There weren't any Wizard of Oz marathons on TV. Mom didn't make any special desserts either. Everything seemed just a bit off.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Cure for the Hiccups

Andy (and others) hate this, but when someone has the hiccups, I scare them out of it. Today, during my office hours, I was helping some students. While I helped one student, another kept hiccuping. So, I jumped at her (with my pen dangerously close to her eye) and said, "Boo!" Got rid of her hiccups. Might have scared a few of the other students in the process.

International Space Station Up Close

Pictures of the ISS

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

In Sweden

I'm in Sweden! I had a long layover in Heathrow Airport-my first time to England!

The trip was ever-so-exciting because on the plane I ran into Jason D, who graduated from Gettysburg a year ahead of me. It was one of those times where I kind of hovered for a little while as I walked back the airplane and then I tried, "Jason?" When he turned and looked, then I knew it was Jason. I love when those chance things happen. That's why I keep my eyes open for such opportunities.

So far, Jessie and I have mostly just done a lot of riding the bus. She made fun of me when I said, "I don't know where we are with respect to Sweden." She said, "In it. That's where we are." Turns out, we're in Southern Sweden (in Trollhattan), if you're wondering.

We ate at a nice little restaurant around the corner. We also found a candy/video store that had salted licorice and pastel Swedish fish.

We're watching a little Swedish TV. What's up with all the cooking shows? (hahahahahaha)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Dying to Belong is on tonight at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Our Dinner

Frank and I enjoyed ourselves at Maple Hall, courtesy of Emily and Jayson. We only ate half our entrees so that we could have dessert. The waiter put our boxes on a nearby table. (Great. We have enough trouble remembering them when they're on our table.) As we ate our desserts, an old woman grabbed our boxes and started to leave the room. (Maple Hall has a bunch of rooms.) I looked back and forth between Frank and the woman. Frank jumped up and ran after her, saying "Ma'am, ma'am. Those are ours." "Oh", she said. "I thought I had brought those in here... I'm Sue , one of the owners here." I couldn't figure out why she was telling us her name--except maybe to us find her owners.

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my birthday! I'm turning the corner. I'm now old enough to run for the Senate. (Now you'll have to review your Civics notes.) I've been preparing for my Senate campaign my whole life, so don't forget to vote.

Thank you for all the electronic well-wishes! Except those of you who are making fun of my age.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Birthday Present from CW

I just saw a commercial for Thursday's Smallville that features guest star (and former Superman) Dean Cain. Dean Cain and Tom Welling (current Superman) were wrestling. I'll admit: I got a little hot and bothered.

Sydney: The Eternal Optimist

Sydney is such a sweet cat in the morning. She purrs and is so happy to see us, jumping out of the window and running to meet us to get petted. Throughout the day, things piss her off (Frank? me? Rain? Phantoms?), and she ends up grumpy. She is quick to fight--us or her toys. But, the next day is a new day, and she is sure that today is going to be a great day.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What I Didn't See in Portland

I'm back from my conference trip. I didn't get to do much site seeing in Portland. I went for a walk on Friday night, looking for Portlandia. I didn't get great directions from the hotel clerk--just that it was near 4th street and it was the second largest pressed iron statue, after the Statue of Liberty. I figured I couldn't miss it, but somehow, I did.

I'll have to visit Portland again sometime and get properly introduced to Portlandia.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Portland, OR, here I come

I'm going to a conference in Portland, OR. It's my first trip to that Portland. This is only the second conference that I'm going to all by myself. As much as I try to be a big girl, traveling still makes me anxious. I thought I would take public transportation from the airport to the hotel, but since my flight doesn't get in until 10:30 p.m. and I'm a spazz (extra z for extra spazziness), I'm taking a shuttle.

Fun with surveys

Mom went to an orientation for her new class today. One question was Marital Status. She had to raise her hand and say, "My marital status isn't listed." They had Married-Divorced, Married-Widowed, Single, Single-Pregnant, Single-Children, but they didn't have plain old "Married". She had to write it in.

Another one she had trouble with was Intelligence Level:
Below Average
Well Below Average
Pretty Butterflies!

Dad needs help with that joke. "Pretty Butterflies" was Mom's choice for the last category. Dad's was "I like bunnies". Other choices Dad came up with were "I like ice cream" and "Look! A fire truck!" What do you think?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gratuitous Puppy Video

Tom bought his wife Karen an Australian Shepherd puppy for her birthday. Suzie (the puppy) isn't helping me make my case that Frank can't get a dog. She is pretty cute.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Weakness

It was revealed tonight at the bar that I am a little jumpy at scary movies, so I should not go to next week's feature Pan's Labyrinth. While I should have seen this coming, I thought Jamey was changing the topic when he asked Paul what beer he was drinking. Paul answered, "Yingling", which made Jamey squeal and me to jump. Frank, who was sitting between us, jumped as well as a side effect of my jumping and Jamey's scream. All at the table cracked up, while I laughed so hard I cried. (Or, was I that ashamed and embarrassed?)

Jamey screamed awhile later. I was prepared that time, so I didn't jump nearly as much.

I remember a doctor being surprised at how much my leg reacted (my reflexes) when he hit my knee.

Jamey would like me to participate in some experiment to monitor my heart when such a thing happens. (His research involves heart monitoring of some sort.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Family Discussions

Dad: Last night at work, a woman said, "This isn't a come-on or anything. Did anyone ever tell you that you sound like that guy on Everybody Loves Raymond? When you started talking, I thought that's who it was." I told her that nobody ever told me that, but everybody does love me. (That's not what I really said, but if someone says that today, I will.)

Jessie: Which guy from Everybody Loves Raymond? If she meant Ray Romano, that definitely was not a come on.

Sara: But, if she meant Brad Garrett or Peter Boyle, it is a come-on?

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Yesterday, I asked my class if they knew any famous computer scientists, and the first response was Alan Turing and the second was Grace Hopper. I was floored.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mean Kitty Song

This song/kitty reminds me of a nicer-version of Sydney.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hey there, Delilah

Jessie wrote

Do you know the song "Hey there, Delilah" by the Plain White Teeth? What do you think of it? I think it's a sweet song. Makes me think of Dashboard Confessional.

I couldn't respond to her question because I was all LOL over the band name, which is actually Plain White Ts. We should form a tribute band called Plain White Teeth.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Story From Dad about Someone Neither of Us Knows

My Aunt Cinny told a story about someone she works with. This guy has older brothers. When he started to play baseball, his brothers told him to learn to bat left handed because he would have a better chance of "making it". Since he learned to bat lefthanded, he also plays golf lefthanded.

At their annual tournament last year, this guy finished last and won a prize of 4 golf lessons. He went to his 1st lesson, and the pro watched him for a bit. Then he said, "I'll be right back." And he returned with a set of righthanded clubs. The guy is now playing righthanded and playing much better.

The moral of the story: Batting lefthanded can help you "make it" if you can hit lefthanded.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Me, in 30 Years

Yesterday, I attended a reception for new faculty. I met a woman in the art history department who graduated from Gettysburg in 1968 and with a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in 1973. (We went to different places for our master's degrees.) Cool coincidence.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Beginning to Feel Like Christmas

Frank and I are still trying to find some good restaurants in Lexington. Today, we tried a Chinese buffet, which is like most other Chinese buffets you've been too--perhaps a little smaller. They were playing Christmas in My Heart. As soon as it starts getting a little cool, people start thinking about Christmas. (It was at least 95 degrees today.)

Frank explained that it wasn't really a Christmas song--it just felt like Christmas in her heart. Then, he noticed the Christmas tree with lights in the front of the restaurant. Hunh.

I am guessing it was Sarah Connor's song. I think Sarah Connor is popular in Germany, but I don't really know her.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Breaking My Promise

I left my camera in my parents' car, so I can't upload the photos from our adventure. How dippy yet totally predictable.

Some highlights:

Monday, we went to the Stonewall Jackson's house, take a horse carriage tour of Lexington, visit Lee Chapel, wander around W&L and VMI, and visit the VMI museum.

There were rugs in Jackson's house that weren't original. The guide told us that the rugs were woven in Red Lion, PA. Mom was all, "Dudette! We're from Dallastown!" The guide was impressed. Not really. I explained to the guide that we go to church in Red Lion, which is right next to Dallastown. I can't believe the guide didn't know the famous Dallastown/Red Lion rivalry.

The visit to the Lee Chapel would have been a bust because of a poor tour guide, but, luckily, the ghost of Lee was also on our tour. Actually, the "ghost" was a descendant of Lee who could probably make a lot of money pretending to be Lee or Lee's ghost. Lee's descendant told us a little more about Lee and the family's history than our tour guide had read about in his study materials.

Tuesday: Mom, Dad, and I tour the Natural Bridge. Thomas Jefferson said it best when he said, "The Natural Bridge, the most sublime of Nature's works." True dat. Dad said:

After Jefferson, I don't know why anyone bothered to say anything about
Natural Bridge. Noah Webster said, "If you look up 'sublime' in the dictionary, you will find a picture of Natural Bridge." And everyone was like, "What's the point, bro? Just stop talking."

I thought the Bridge was going to be a narrow, rickety thing that had the footsteps marked for where to step to get across. But, US-11 runs across it, so thousands of cars cross it every day. Not quite so fascinating. But, our pictures, whenever I get my camera back, will be fascinating.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Parents Come to Lexington, Part 1

My parents visited me this weekend. This first entry is about Sydney's journey with them. I need to buy myself some time to upload photos.

My parents had the unenviable job of driving Sydney 5 hours from Pennsylvania to my new diggs. Dad thought Sydney traveled surprising well, considering her previous longest car ride was 2 hours. She didn't seem too sedated by the time she got here. After the first two hours, she got into her litter box for protection from the big trucks that were passing by.

Sydney isn't sure what to make of the new place. We have mostly hardwood floors, which means she kind of slips across the floor with each step. Our apartment echoes too, so we can hear her walking down the hallway, as if she wears lead shoes. Our floors also creak, so she hears every movement from us or our neighbors. She is on high alert and needs to investigate every sound. She is suspicious of things like the kitchen door's hinge. She acts like it could attack her. She often looks behind her, to check that it's not coming after her.

Our apartment is on a busier street than she's used to. She doesn't like the noisy trucks that pass by. She sits in the office window, which looks out on a small parking lot and a grassy area. Last night, we heard a loud thud as she jumped out of the window. Then, there was another noise, and we saw her, with a huge tail, trying to round the corner and run to the back bedroom, to safety under the bed. We're not sure what happened--or if anything actually happened. Under the bed, Sydney is safe from everything except her imagination.

My parents were probably about ready for her to leave. She can only behave for so long. She caught her first bird and brought it into the house. Somehow, my parents were able to separate her from the bird and the bird was able to fly to freedom. We're not sure how she was able to catch the bird or if the bird could survive its injuries. Mom offered to bring me some of the feathers to put into Sydney's album.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Work Environment

I'm getting settled into my office digs. Derek, the administrative assistant, is a Yankees fan and had his Yankees hat on the hat rack. I politely explained to Derek that the hat creates a hostile work environment--it makes me angry. He shielded the logo from me on his way out at the end of the day.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hip-Hopopotamus vs. The Rhymenocerous

Courtesy of Andy, clips from Flight of the Conchords, sort of like a New Zealand Tenacious D:

Hip-Hopopotamus vs. Rhymenocerous


Mixin' Paint

In my most recent visit with my grandma, she told me that my cousin Jason has a girlfriend. She was sketchy on the details, but she knew that the girlfriend worked at Home Depot, was married before, and was from somewhere in the South, possibly North Carolina.

As always, we have trouble distinguishing fact from fiction in Grandma's story, but we believe that, since Jason and his dad are painters, he met her at Home Depot. Grandma said, "She knew what he wanted... She knew how to mix his paint." Mom and I howled with laughter. So that's what they are calling it these days. Grandma was being literal, but her phrasing made it seem like it was going to be dirty.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Settling into Lexington

Frank and I are slowly getting settled in to Lexington. The movers unloaded our stuff on Monday, and we've been unpacking since then (Frank only at night because he works during the day). The only room we have completely finished unpacking is the kitchen. We're getting closer on the other rooms, but we have a lot of crap.

Since we arrived in Lexington late on Sunday night, we've been to WalMart three times to pick up various supplies. We were advised that we'll have to do most of our "big" shopping about an hour away in Roanoke. This weekend, there is a reprieve on sales tax on clothing and school supplies. To start playing the part of professor, I'll buy some professorial apparel, like tweed jackets with arm patches.

On Monday, the cable guy set up our cable. While he was here, our pizza arrived. The cable guy and the pizza delivery guy knew each other. The cable guy advised us to be careful what we say about other people because the town is small and every one knows everyone else.

Our bathroom is really narrow. I bonked my head yesterday on the towel rod. I couldn't see the bump, but after I whined about it for the umpteenth time, Frank looked and saw that I had a bump and a bruise. When I hurt, I like having a bruise or some proof.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


My Transparent Language Word of the Day was

Spanish: fiesta
English: (a) party


Example Phrase Using Today's Word:

Spanish: MaƱana hay fiesta.
English: There is a party tomorrow.


So, that sentence wasn't quite as fitting. Today, there was a little party in my head from about 11:45 a.m. on. The constant partying is why I'm feeling pretty tired now.

Call Me Dr. Sprenkle

I did it! I passed my defense! Wow, that was a lot of work! I don't think I'll try to do that ever again.

Thank you, gentle readers, for your support through the process. The Sprenkliest may need to change after I become a professor, to keep up appearances. We'll play it by ear.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Countdown to Defense T - 25 hours

Tomorrow at 10 a.m. is my defense. I'm mostly feeling ready, but I'm still feeling nervous. I need to review my slides and bake cupcakes and muffins for tomorrow.

Until then, here's a bulldog eating a watermelon.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Brave Cat

I don't know if this is real. I'm not sure if I should worry more for the eagle or the cat.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Hooding Ceremony

I feel like Earl (from My Name is Earl) with my eyes closed in my picture from the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hitting the Big Time

I have earned my place in Lori's advising family tree. I'm one of the few from 2007 listed so far. Sorry but you'll have to search the page to find me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

That Thing You Do!

Two Sundays ago, I watched That Thing You Do!, one of my favorite movies, for the first time in a long time. This was the first time either Frank or his mom saw it. That is one of those movies that you have to watch a few times because there is always new stuff to it, layers that you didn't see before. Not another layer, but this time, I realized that Bryan Cranston (the dad from Malcolm in the Middle) was the astronaut interviewed on the show-within-the-movie Hollywood Showcase.

Last week, Steve Zahn, who played Lenny in TTYD, interviewed on Preston & Steve. Preston asked Steve Zahn about if he sang on TTYD. I thought I had heard that Tom Hanks (the writer, director, and supporting actor) wanted the movie to be very realistic, so the actors in the band did everything. Steve Zahn said that Fountains of Wayne actually performed the songs. They said that Steve Zahn could have performed the song, but they went through a lot in preproduction, so FoW stayed.

Dad investigated more:

I was checking around on the web and found that Adam Schlesinger, bassist of FoW, wrote the title song from TTYD. There was like a writing contest and his take on the song won over about 2000 other entries. He said that FoW has never done the song live because it doesn't have anything to do with FoW. I haven't seen any mention of FoW playing on the soundtrack.

I have the TTYD soundtrack. Now that I think about it, it does sound like FoW.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Thought I Knew Pop Culture

I'm making the revisions to my dissertation thesis (it gets shipped out tomorrow to my committee!) and watching the World Series of Pop Culture on VH1. I thought I knew pop culture, but I'd say I knew less than about 30% of the answers. Of course, I would study if I participated in that, but I still think I'd get smoked. I did better than the contestants on the SNL and Teen drama questions, though.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sliding Tackle

Today, ultimate was not very fun. People were snippy and the play wasn't great. When I was trying to catch a throw, Peter was guarding me closely to my left, but the disc was going right. We started heading right, but I heard someone coming at me to the right, so I stopped and braced myself. Ben, my ex-boyfriend who happens to hate me, knocked me over with a sliding tackle. He didn't apologize but instead said, "The disc was already past her." Maybe he couldn't have stopped himself, but the fact that he didn't apologize and that he admits that he wasn't going after the disc (because the disc was past me) is really bugging me. My team lost possession, and the other team eventually scored.

I'm sure that was a foul. I checked the rules:

Reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players or other dangerously aggressive behavior (such as significantly colliding into a stationary opponent), regardless of whether or when the disc arrives or when contact occurs is considered dangerous play and is treated as a foul. This rule is not superseded by any other rule.

I don't know if he did it on purpose. Earlier in the game, I told him to be careful about travelling (picking up the pivot foot). I'm sure he was mad about that because he hates when I talk to him. We had had a spat earlier in the week about lab machines. Anyway, I'm not confident that he wasn't retaliating.

Sorry, but, periodically, I need to use the blog to rant.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

So Badass

In my third trip to the Italian Festival, after getting a panzaratti (deep-fried pizza) the first time and pizza the second time, I got a gyro. The scandal!

I won three more frog stuffed animals (2 green and 1 blue), after winning three on Wednesday night (2 blue and 1 green). There are also red and dark green frogs, but for some reason, I'm not winning those. Frank played a game where you catapult frogs into a pond, and he won a stuffed gremlin. I made him hide the gremlin because it freaks me out.

Friday, June 15, 2007

My New Strategy

I have been known to forget my leftovers from restaurants. Even if you remember your leftovers after you left the restaurant, your leftovers may have already been tossed, depending on the busboys' efficiency, 'Tis a shame. I have a new strategy. Since I am going to focus on remembering my leftovers instead of my purse. Busboys need to toss out leftovers because of health regulations; however, they won't throw out my purse. As they say on the soaps, it's the only [strategy] that makes sense.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

This May Be My Favorite

But, I do love the kitteh ones too.

Where I'll Be on the Net

I Can Has Cheezburger?

Phillies Approaching Bad Milestone

Dad always said that the Phillies were Lovable Losers--except for the Lovable part. The Phillies are approaching a record of 10,000 losses in franchise history. They stink but real phans love their losers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Children's Sermon: Getting Ready

I decided to do something different this morning. I will put the Bible aside [I put the Bible aside] and teach you a math lesson [I showed them a math textbook].

But first I have to make sure you're ready for the math lesson. Can you count from 1 to 10? Good. Can you count from 1 to 100? Very good. Can you add numbers? Can you subtract numbers? Can you multiply numbers? Can you divide numbers? Can you figure out square roots? Can you do algebra? And can you read German, because this is a German textbook? Hmm, maybe you're not ready for this.

Does anyone here have a driver's license? Nobody? Good. We're going to practice driving this morning. So everybody, ask your parents for the car keys and meet me in the parking lot. Maybe you're not ready for that, either.

So that's two plans down the drain. So we can always go back to the Bible. That happens sometimes - you try to put the Bible aside and end up having to go back to it.

In today's scripture, Jesus tells his followers that he has told them many things, and he still has many things to tell them. But they aren't ready to hear those things. Not yet. What do we have to do to get ready? Sometimes we have to study and learn, like with the math lesson. When it comes to driving, we need to study, but we also need to do something else - we need to grow and experience life. Sometimes we get ourselves ready, and sometimes getting ready happens to us.

God has told us many things, but not everything that God has to tell us is in the Bible. This is what the United Church of Christ believes - God is still speaking. God is still speaking to many people and through many people. We need to get ourselves ready for the things God wants to tell us.

A Hodge Podge of Pictures

Dad sent me some pictures from Jessie's wedding and from my graduation, with a few pictures of Sydney thrown in. My favorite is the dangerous game Sydney likes to play on the "cat walk" with Frank at our house in Dallastown.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Happy Birthday Observed, Sydney!

Today is when we observe Sydney's birthday. She is seven observed.

Vanity Plate

When I move to VA and get a new license plate, if it's not already taken, I'm going to get


Monday, June 04, 2007

It's Not Easy Being Green

< Sara steps on her soap box >

Everyone who knows me knows that I try to do good by the environment. I recycle, I conserve, I reduce, I reuse. Of course, people can always nitpick and find ways that I can do more (ride my bike to school, for example, instead of driving), but I do what I can.

I finally read the March issue of Glamour, which had a green theme. They interviewed celebrities about what they do for the environment, and they get pretty extreme, doing things that us normal folks can't do, like turning off the lights when we leave a room or turning off the water while we brush our teeth. If I were a celebrity, I would be ashamed to cite these as examples. They couldn't talk about reducing the heat/cooling in the unused parts of their mansion or that their personal chef carries groceries in canvas---rather than plastic---bags?

Since the University of Delaware only recycles paper, I recycle our lab's cans and plastic bottles. Sometimes, Housekeeping throws out our recyclables, but usually, they leave them for me to recycle. The 2007 Senior Class gift was $62K to support a recycling program. I am totally psyched by that gift. That is just awesome. After I start my job and start getting paychecks again, I'll see if I can support that fund.

I have been printing out lots of drafts of my thesis, so I print with 4 pages to a sheet of paper. In part, I do that to save paper and to make up for the dumb things I do--like printing out postscript or printing multiple copies of a paper to Lori's printer before I realize that I'm printing to the wrong printer. I try to build up a little environmental "credit" so when I screw up, I don't completely ruin the environment.

Wilmington has started a recycling program recently. I had read that Delaware only recycles about 10% of their garbage, where as neighboring PA and NJ recycle around 30%. Residents get credit for their recycling in the form of coupons for places like Happy Harry's (a local pharmacy chain). Frank's parents are trying to recycle, which I am very excited about, but they don't know what can and can't be recycled. Larry (Frank's brother), April (Larry's wife), and I all took turns going through their recycling and telling them what can't be recycled in Wilmington (paper towels, plastic bags, plastic wrapping). If they're representative of the people recycling, I hope this program doesn't fail. I think I finally got them to understand the difference between "can be recycled" and "recycled in Wilmington".

Today's environmentalism is yesterday's common sense. My grandma would tell you to turn out the lights and turn off the water. She unplugs appliances when they aren't in use. (Glamour said that 75% of an appliance's energy consumption happens when it isn't in use so you should unplug appliances. I need to look into that a little bit more to see how much extra energy they use--if it's just that these appliances use so little energy when they're used or what.)

< Sara steps off the soap box and finally goes to bed, content in having completed her blogging for June. >

Congrats, Dr. Shepherd

My buddy Dave passed his defense last Wednesday. It was probably the easiest defense I've ever attended. Everything--the talk, the questions, the closed-door questions, the committee discussion--took about 90 minutes.

Dave posted a great picture of his committee on his photoblog.

At ultimate the next day, some people congratulated Dave for becoming "Dr. Shepherd". I didn't hear that part of the conversation--just Anthony announcing, "It burns when I pee." Anthony explained that Dave was now a doctor and should be able to help with such things.

Disappointing Warning Labels

I admit, I am a little disappointed when I misuse a product and the ramifications aren't as bad as the product's warning. Today, I used a sugar scrub, and it warned that the bathtub may be slippery, and it wasn't. It made me feel overly cautious, a little wimpy.

Of course, other warning labels that I read after I misused the product were dead on---like the time that I got my thumb stuck in the Lysol wipes dispenser lid. That required Andy to perform MacGyver-style minor extraction surgery with pliers and a plastic spoon.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Karl's Profile Picture

Karl posted a very cute picture as his Facebook picture, which makes me wonder what part of the joke I'm missing because I don't think he likes cats:

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Friday and Saturday, I went through the graduation ceremonies. Friday was the hoodingn ceremony--where your advisor gives you your pretty hood that I will wear to the W&L graduations and events. Saturday was convocation and commencement. (I need to look up what the differences are between convocation and commencement.) It was a lot of fun and I got pretty emotional, but it's kind of awkward because I know that I haven't finished writing my dissertation yet and I have another month until I defend. I don't have a sense of closure. So, maybe I should have waited until next year to participate in the ceremonies. Or, maybe, the defense will be closure enough.

I'm not completely ungrateful. In fact, I'm mostly very happy:

Lori has three students graduating this year: Mike, Dave, and me. Kiera (Mike's daughter) won't graduate for another 25 years or so. (I liked this unposed shot better than the posed ones.)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Burning Questions

Is one of the things that men can do better than women making that "uhn-tiz" sound of dance music? I can't do it. The Raisin Bran Crunch commercial cracks me up with the guy making that noise. I vaguely remember Frank telling me the name of some album (Bloodhound Gang?) that was dance music. Maybe it's like bomb sounds. Girls can't make bomb sounds, unless some guy had explained how to make the sound correctly.

My Super Powers

My super powers only seem to work when no one is around. This problem started when I was a kid. I remember when I was about 6, I could move the moon and my cousin Amy (7) could move the sun. I totally believed I could move the moon, and I saw the moon move. Then, a neighbor kid stopped by, and I tried to demonstrate, and I was shocked that it didn't work. I think my cousin Amy knew that we didn't have super powers, but I had to contemplate why my super powers weren't working.

More recently, I have bragged to Frank about my ability to call my cat. When I call for Sydney from another room, she comes running in to the room I'm in. She does not come obediently when Frank is around. Again, my super powers do not work for other people to witness. It seems that my superhero alter ego will never be revealed, and I can continue saving the world without worry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Trying Out a New Saying

Peter complained that he found gum under his chair in the lab. I wanted to say something along the lines of "He who smelt it, dealt it" and "The faker is the maker," but I couldn't come up with anything. I thought long and hard about it, but I had been focusing on ending it with "stuck it". One lazy weekend morning, I came up with "He who ewwwwed it, glued it." Frank doesn't approve, but Peter liked it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Show Time!

Frank and I saw Spiderman 3 at the movie theater in Lexington. The theater only has 3 screens and is pretty small but it was nice--nice, comfortable stadium seating. The movie started at 7, we got there at 6:20. We got there way early because on Friday night, there was line for tickets before the theater even opened (probably for Shrek). I periodically gave Frank updates about the time. The times I gave and the actual times are below:

6:24 6:24
6:28 6:28
6:32 6:27
6:35 6:27
6:38 6:27
6:42 6:27

On the last one, he realized something wasn't right. I was cracking up
in my head the whole time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Strong and Dangerous

Emily: The storms aren't supposed to get strong and dangerous until 7 p.m.
Sara: That's funny; that's when I'm supposed to get strong and dangerous too.

I'm not sure if I'll tie this characteristic into Victoria Bodyworks.

Another Bad Pet Owner

Jessie allowed her cats Pauline and Eva to list to Kanye West's "Golddigger" today, and ever since then, Pauline has been raising the roof, yelling, "We want pre-nup! We want pre-nup! Yeah!" Yet, she judged me for not giving my cat water. People in glass houses.

Speaking of Kanye West, if you haven't seen the Daily Show's "n-word" expose, you should. I haven't found an easy way to link it. Go to Comedy Central and click on videos and look for Contributor Larry Wilmore. The video is about a NYC councilman who wants to ban the n-word. There is a part in the expose that features "Golddigger".

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Why My Mom Is Better Than Your Mom

I don't want to make this a competition, but my mom rocks.

I sent her a Mother's Day card, like a good daughter that I pretend to be around Mother's Day, her birthday, my birthday, and Christmas. When I was home at Easter, I stashed her Mother's Day present in the desk drawer in Dad's "satellite" office in my old room. In the card I wrote where she could find her present. I added, "I poked holes, so it should still be alive."

Today, we had our weekly phone call. She said, "Sara... It's dead." She had me for a second because I couldn't know what she was talking about. She continued, "And starting to smell." Oh, right. "Like cucumber melon?" I asked. I had given her cucumber melon lotion and soap and some toiletry freebies I had picked up while on the interview circuit.

That's a good mom: one who can one-up your jokes.

The card--a good card, not a great card--featured a mama kangaroo looking in her pouch, saying "Don't _make_ me come in there". I didn't know kangaroos could look in their pouches.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Stack of Frogs

Patrick didn't have anything to do with this picture, as far as I know, but I suspect some graphics software may have. I like it anyway.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Feeling Safe

Ellen, one of Dad's coworkers, asked Dad to walk her out to her car late at night after work. He wasn't her first choice. She asked the other two men but they were watching the fight. On the way out to the car, she asked, "Were you really a Navy Seal?" Dad said, "I was more of a walrus." Dad was in the Navy, just not a Seal. To help assuage her fears, when she asked, "What would you do if someone attacked?", Dad replied, "I would ask them to stop."

There are a bunch of furballs around the apartment. Sydney is shedding, and when she scratches, she kicks off chunks of fur. I was a little wary of the fuzzballs, but I saw Syd fight one and win (which is rare; she often loses fights), so I'm feeling much better.

Monday, May 07, 2007

My Hero! (in progress)

I'm working on a new superhero character. She's loosely based on my superhero talent. I render men defenseless by spritzing them with women's fragrance. Have you ever had a guy complain about the body washes available in your shower? ("Don't have any regular soap?" "Nope, just 'Love Spell' and 'Pretty in Pink'... Oh, wait, I just found some 'Exotic Coconut'.") Or, a guy run when you spritz on your body spray, in case some of the cloud would touch him? Or, someone cringes when they catch a whiff of your wallet that accidentally got doused with 'Moonlit Path' when your bottle spilled? (No on the last one?) It's a great power.

I'm tentatively calling my superhero character "Victoria Bodyworks". We'll see how that plays with various demographics.

I imagine various scenarios where I fight bad guys, and they say, "Egads! Not the 'Whispering Mist'!" "The floral scents! They're too powerful! Must return to the Hall of Evil to clear my sinuses!"

Of course, Victoria Bodyworks would need something to fight to counter the women archnemeses as well. The only weapon I have come up with so far is a combination of fragrances. "No, not 'Cucumber Melon' and 'Sweet Temptation'!"

I wonder if the author of those Swedish Comics is available for drawing life into my creation...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Last Name Conundrum

I know I've talked with some of you about this: the debate over what a woman should do with her last name when she gets married. I've always thought I would stick with Sprenkle. What choice did I have? So many people comment on my name--they call me by both first and last name, or they say it sounds like a fairytale character (like Rumpelstiltskin?). Kids love my last name because it's like "Sparkle" or "Sprinkle". "Sprinkle" really annoyed me as a kid, and still even a bit now when I get mail with my last name misspelled.

On the otherhand, my cousin Amy (also a Sprenkle) knew that she would take her future husband's last name at an early age because she didn't like the last name. I remember throwing her all sorts of awful last names, and she claimed she would take them over Sprenkle. Now her last name is Rocco. Serves her right.

Jessie hyphenated her last name to Sprenkle-Weitzer -- I couldn't hope to get married to a guy who has a last name that fits so well with mine.

Dad claims that when he and Mom got married, they considered combining their last names: Sprenkle and Stine. I thought he meant hyphenating as "Sprenkle-Stine". He claims that they were going to combine them into "Stinkle". I asked about "Sprine" or hyphenating. He conceded that those would have better solutions.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, Drew!

Andy turns, um, well... Andy turns a year older today. We don't need to mention the milestone. But he was born in 1977. He's much, much older than I am.

We will mention, though, that it's easy to remember Andy's birthday: "May the Fourth be with you."

Happy Birthday, Drew!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Why Did the Turtle Cross 896?

Now it's time for my animal story...

When I was making my u-turn on US-896 (a 4-lane highway), I saw a turtle in the middle of the inner lane. I missed him, and the car behind me missed him, but I'm not sure after that. I thought about helping him across, but I thought I' probably cause a worse traffic accident and I wasn't sure how skittish I'd be with a turtle I don't know. Poor turtle. I hope someone was able to help him.

And, to answer the above question, I don't know. I worry the answer is that the turtle had a death wish.

Dad's Animal Stories

I saw a commercial on TV for a product described as "rabbit repellent". How bizarre! I would much rather have rabbit attractant. What is the matter with adults that such a product would even be on the market? OTOH, I may get some rabbit repellent and put it in Harry's and Amspachers' [the neighbors'] yards.

We have always been a very bunny friendly household--except for the cats, who killed a couple bunnies when they were trying to be good cats. Dad named one of the bunnies who frequented our yard as "Bun-Bun" and his brother "Luigi". Collectively, they were the Bun-Bun Brothers.

A bird tried to come in the basement today. He failed loudly. There's a small patch of feathers on the door. If I see a bird with a bald spot, I'll know it was him.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mormons Saved My Cat!

On Saturday, I got a visit from some nice, young Mormon missionaries. Frank doesn't know why I talked to them for so long, but I didn't mind a little spirituality. While I talked to them (in my PJs), I had the door open, just enough for Sydney to run out the door. They were very nice and corralled her back to my apartment. I opened the door and let her run back inside and closed the door.

I told my parents about the visit. Dad asked, "They didn't baptize her, did they?" Nope.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dad's Children's sermon: Jesus says ...

Happy Easter! When I drove past Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Dallastown on my way to church today, I saw their sign which said, "Easter Never Ends". And that's true. So, Happy Easter!

Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm a cowboy. And when I'm a cowboy, I use the wisdom of Texas Bix Bender. He said, "If you think you're a person of some influence, try to order somebody else's dog around." Did you ever try to order around one of your friend's dogs? The dogs may do what their owner tells them to do, but they won't do what other people tell them to do.

It's like a game you may have played. The leader tells you to do things, but you don't do those things unless he says a certain phrase first. [Simon Says] Let's try this:
Simon says, Raise your right hand
Simon says, Touch your nose
Simon says, Pat your head and rub your belly
Simon says, Stick out your tongue and touch your nose [the trick is that you don't need to touch your nose with your tongue]
Jump up and touch the lights
Good - nobody did that

Sometimes we do that in real life, too - we will do something or not do something only if the right person says it. Suppose you're playing in the mud, and your brother or sister says, "Don't play in the mud." You might think - or even say - "You're not the boss of me." But if your mother says, "Don't play in the mud," you stop playing in the mud.

Why do you do what your mother (or father) tells you? Because your parents take care of you. They love you. They want what's best for you.

And those are the same reasons we do what Jesus tells us to do. Jesus says, Don't steal. Jesus says, Don't tell lies. Jesus says, Honor your father and mother. Jesus says, Love your neighbor. We do all these things because Jesus tells us to, and Jesus loves us, Jesus takes care of us, Jesus wants what's best for us. We may not hear his voice, but we read about what he wants us to do in the Bible.

Let's close with a prayer...
Our Savior Jesus,
We love you and follow your teaching because you first loved us. Amen.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Crayola Blues

My dad writes songs in his free time. When he was younger, he tried to become a professional songwriter. He even had an agent (or something), who said he just had to keep writing more songs, like the ones he had given to the agent. After that, Dad had a loooong writing block. He mentioned in his email today that he was going to do "Crayola Blues" in this week's children's sermon. Here's what I remember of this song, which he wrote about 15 years ago. Maybe I'll post some other of his song lyrics because they're fun.

Crayola Blues
I lost my Crayolas
I wish I had them back.
I lost my reds, my yellows,
my oranges, my black.
The pinks and the purples,
the green ones I did lose.
Now all that I have left
are the blues.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Check This Out!

W&L is admitting it now!

I should probably mention it on my web page too!

Update: Okay, I actually added the link (instead of the blank link), and I also updated my web page. I don't need any more hits to my blog! I got one, maybe two a day.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Calls from the Comcast Call Center

Dad has finished his training and started his job, answering calls and helping people. He reports:

I had a call the other night from a lady who has been trying to order adult entertainment. She's been told that it's not available in her area, but she can order a movie, and then it starts, and then it gets scrambled. It should be working, so I had to send a technician. She tried to order a movie while she was online with me to see if it still wasn't working. I asked her to pick a movie that I hadn't seen. There were some titles which she wouldn't tell me. She said that when she finally gets to see a movie, she will call me with a review.

Those poor, unsuspecting customers who are mad and then get Dad who says something bizarre and possibly creepy if you don't know him.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Law: My Legacy

Patrick reports

You'll be pleased to know I just had the opportunity to declare, "See this? I take this now." to rowdy grad students, who were throwing around a poster tube, of all things. Your legacy of stern discipline lives on, as does my legacy of rowdy grad students.

Yes, that's one of the reasons that they call me "The Law."

Patrick didn't report it in purple, but I'd like to pretend it is.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Jessie and Christian, featured in a German magazine

Frank scanned in this story about Jessie and Christian. Their story is one of a two-page spread about trusting your instincts. For those of you who don't read German, the title is something like "She said, 'Christian is my absolute dream man,'" which Jessie doesn't remember saying. Dad claims that Jessie's shoes were PhotoShopped in.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Deep Thoughts

People in Michigan use their hand as a map to describe where they live within Michigan. Do Italians use their shoes to do the same? (Kristina is investigating this question as I write.)

Question from the Radio: Who hosted the SNL Weekend Update the Longest?

After I heard a lot of the wrong guesses, I figured out the correct answer. Make your guess before checking the answer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Earl's List

I am a fan of My Name is Earl and all of NBC's Thursday night comedies. Frank found out that Earl's complete list is on Wikipedia. Some people put a lot of work into that list.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sayings by Mom

Mom used some of her best sayings over the weekend.

An old favorite: You're going to hell in a speedboat. Clearly, a speedboat is faster than a handbasket. I like the imagery that that saying evokes.

A new one: Grandma was belching like a plow horse. I'm guesing that is bad, but I'm not sure that horses--even plow horses--belch.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Ramones Tribute Concert

Last night I went to a Ramones tribute concert at Mojo 13 in Wilmington, DE. Frank's brother Larry was playing bass guitar in The Havana Affair (that's a band, silly!). It was really good! The waiting for two hours for it to start drove me nuts (even in the small-time, musicians are not punctual), but the actually playing was good.

Larry had the best part. Some background: Larry never has a mike, never sings. He had a mike last night, which made me ask, "Mike, why do you have that ... I mean, Larry, why do you have that mike?" (Yeah, I'm not always smooth.) Larry said into the mike, "It's purely for decoration. But, after the band started, I found out why: Larry had Dee Dee's role of saying "1-2-3-4" in the very brief interlude between songs. It was great! The funny part was that he told us, in practice, the drummer got screwed up because he thought that was the actual tempo. Nope, it's a countoff that has nothing to do with the tempo. (Kind of like Dad's bandmate in Destiny Bill's countoff--I didn't realize one of his influences was the Ramones.)

I thought I knew Ramones songs, but they didn't play any I knew. Originally, the tribute concert was supposed to be 10 bands, so I think no one wanted to play the huge hits because everyone would play them. Since it ended up being only two bands, I didn't get to sing along with "I wanna be sedated", "Rock'n' Roll High School", "Blitzkrieg Bop", and others. The two bands played 14 songs total, so total playing time was maybe 20 minutes. The audience included a wide age range--from early 20s to late 50s. There were two Ramones shirts and one CBGB shirt in the crowd.

While we waited nearly 2 hours for the bands to start playing (at least we arrived before the cover was imposed), I saw someone walk past and I thought, why is that guy wearing a horrible wig? Then, I realized it was Joey Ramone! Mighty Joe Castro (the lead guitarist in the Havana Affair) said, "It's not every day you get to see Joey Ramone." "Joey Ramone" was in the first band, which played the four Ramones songs they knew.

There was a third band last night too. They had an acoustic guitar and a Little Tykes xylophone. It was approaching midnight, so we didn't stick around to hear what they were playing. I can't imagine that they would be playing Ramones songs.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Movie Pyramid

Part of Dad's "work" is to play team-building games, like Movie Pyramid, which is similar to $25,000 Pyramid (or however they're up to now). His team has been doing pretty well--except when there actual prizes.

Recently, his team couldn't get Logan's Run. The clue he was given for Logan was "a boy's name that starts with the letter after K".

Jessie responded:

And you guessed "Lorenzo's Oil"?

I would've gone with a more obvious clue, like "Wolverine's real name on the X-Men" or "Chris Noth's character on Law & Order" or "A boy's name that's also a shade of green".

Dad said that those were good clues but only the L&O one would help him.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Delivering a Message

My advisor Lori is going to give a presentation at Swarthmore next week. I think it would be fun to give her a message to give to Andy. However, in my head, all of the messages get unnecessarily violent. I blame cartoons, Frank's Italian influence, and Lori's easy-going personality and 5'2" stature on the violent images because I don't really have any violent messages to send him.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Battle of the Unliked

I'm watching the NCAA men's basketball championship. I don't want Florida to repeat and I don't want Ohio State to win, so I'm rooting for some official to interrupt that there was major drug and/or academic violations and both teams are disqualified. Frank thinks that's a stretch, but I'll keep rooting for it anyway.

To top it off, the signal from CBS isn't good (or something), and I can't see the score at the bottom of the screen. I'm not sure if it's a high-def problem (my TV isn't) or what. I'm not that good at remembering scores and arithmetic.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

What Does Chinese Food Stink?

Last week, Frank and I brought Chinese food home. (Well, it was actually Thai food but because it was "no spicy", it's basically Chinese food.) Wow, that food stunk! Enough to make me reconsider eating it. It was good food, as usual, but the smell made me think twice, and I had never noticed that before.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Religious Joke for Lent

Pastor David told this joke at the Lenten service:

A town in Texas featured 3 churches: Presbyterian, Methodist, and Catholic. All 3 churches were infested with squirrels. The Presbyterians had a meeting and decided that the squirrels were predestined to be there and did nothing. The Methodists decided they couldn't hurt the squirrels. So they humanely trapped them and moved them a few miles out of town. In 3 days, they were back. The Catholics had the best solution. They baptized and registered every one of those squirrels - and now they only see them on Easter and Christmas.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Male Answer Syndrome

I read a fun little article from the early 90s on the wall of one of the schools where I interviewed about Male Answer Syndrome: Why Men Always Have Opinions, Even on Subjects They Know Nothing About by Jane Campbell. (I found the citation on another site.) Of course, this is a bit of a stereotype. It doesn't apply to all men, just all Italian men.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Germans Pick Their Favorite Episodes of The Simpsons

Jessie reports from Germany:

10. Marge and Homer and the fear of getting caught

9. The Simpsons go to Japan (I had never seen that one before, but I don't think it would make it into my top ten)

8. The Bushes move in to Evergreen Terrace

7. Homer the restaurant critic (again, I hadn't seen that one, but it wasn't my favorite)

6. The Screamerpillar/Frame Up with Carmen Electra

5. Springfield allows gay marriage

4. Homer goes to rock n roll camp

3. Simpsons go to New York (because Barney left their car there)

2. Mr. Burns is an alien (guest appearances by David Dukovny and Gillian Anderson)

1. Homer joins the Navy

The Sprenkles would disagree with this list. On Dad's and Jessie's list would be Homer gets a gun. On my list would be the episode in the future where Lisa almost marries the Brit and where the kids figure out that Sideshow Bob framed Krusty.

What can I say, Germans haven't been known for their taste in pop culture. Remember: they love David Hasselhoff.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My BIG News

Today, I formally accepted an offer from Washington & Lee University to be an assistant professor of computer science! I formally start July 1, but I probably won't move until the middle of July. It was months of hard work, but it finally paid off! Now, I just need to focus on completing my dissertation!

Some important information about W&L:

  • Mascot: Generals
  • School Colors: Royal Blue, White

W&L will be my fifth school (Dallastown, Gettysburg, Duke, UD, and W&L), the 5th time with dark blue as the school color, and the third time with dark blue and white. That's awesome.

Mom wasn't as thrilled: "I was totally bummed that your colors are not teal and eggplant or mint green and silver. But---" She cracks me up.

My Brackets

I am doing ridiculously badly in my brackets. On ESPN, all 5 of my brackets are in the lowest quarter, and 3 of my brackets are in the lowest 10 percent. It's like I don't know basketball at all. I had a bit too much faith in the ACC.

Friday, March 16, 2007

More Pictures

I stayed at a bed and breakfast in historic St. Mary's City, MD. It was an amazing room (a shame to have it all to myself), and the innkeeper was so nice. My photos don't do the inn justice.

Here is Brome Howard Inn, out my car's back window:

Here are a few pictures of my private room:

Sydney has gotten a little more adventurous in the bathroom. I keep finding her in there by herself. She checked out the tub after I had let the water run until it was hot and then stopped to go get my pajamas:

She also has spent some time sitting in the sink. Whenever I try to take her picture, though, she comes to investigate the camera.

Catching up on my digital pictures

I haven't been good about keeping up with the photos and movies on my camera. We had some crappy weather, so I'm at home by myself. I already did 3 loads of laundry and cleaned up a bunch of crap and caught up on some magazines, so now it's time to catch up on my digital pictures. Unfortunately for Karl, a bunch of these are cat pictures (because my family likes them).

I'm not sure why anyone would have named this cat "Pollyanna", unless it was meant to be ironic.

Oh, no, Blogger or Firefox died on me, so I'll have to add more photos later...

Bracket Busters

Stupid Duke lost in the first round. That's bad, but I had a bet with Dave (whose alma mater is VCU), so now I need to give him a 12-pack of Dr. Pepper. (I would have won two days of Dave not audibly burping.) Stupid Duke.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"Talk Nerdy To Me"

That bumper sticker made me laugh--and reminded me of Frank. He doesn't always appreciate what reminds me of him.

Additions to "The Big Book of Oxymorons"

Families need fun projects to keep them connected. One of my family's many projects is our "Big Book of Oxymorons". I have two additions to our book:

- Unsung Hero Award (the award is sung)
- All-butter Croissant (I tasted some flour in it)

Ironically (or fittingly?), our book is actually kind of small...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Last week's Horrorscope from TV Guide

You'll be on the go constantly this week, especially on the work front, where you seem determined to get noticed. Those who feel threatened by your ambitions may not like it but, unlike them, you're going places.

How true that was! More on this later!

Monday, March 12, 2007

NCAA Basketball Bracket Time!

I am so excited: it's March Madness! Time for me to pick my winning bracket! I need to read all the literature, but Sydney already made her picks.

Happy Belated Birthday, KK!

Kristina turned ________(number) on Saturday, which is a very ____________(adjective) birthday. Still, she acts like she's about ___________(number). I didn't post this on her actual birthday because I was worried that she might be _____________(adjective) about birthdays at her age. And because I am too _________(adjective) to think of other people.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mushy Wedding Invitation

Frank's parents received a wedding invitation that opened with
Because we get along so well,
we're getting married.

Gag me with a spoon!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Affecting Evolution

Report from Dad:

I think I am affecting evolution. I am helping to create a smarter mouse. Somebody broke into the [catch-and-release] mousetrap and stole the peanuts. [No mouse was inside.] Maybe the lock is broken.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Happy Birthday, Frank!

I'm too ________(adjective) to ___________(verb) a(n) __________(adjective) __________(noun).

Happy Birthday, anyway, Frank!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

What's in a Name?

The discussion of the Fratellis lead Frank to comment on the creation of their band name sounding like the creation of the Ramones. His mother's family is the Ramones, and when Frank was growing up, some people asked if he was related to the band the Ramones.

Turns out, none of them was actually a Ramone. No one in the band had the last name "Ramone". And, Frank's family's last name was shortened from something longer when they came to America. (Frank doesn't know the longer version.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It's Karl's Birthday!

It's Karl's birthday and not yours. Unless you were born on March 1. But, really, when you think about it--it's really more Karl's birthday than yours anyway.

When Karl wears his ________ (noun), he takes on a(n) ___________(adjective) __________(noun), named ____________ (proper noun). Don't tell anyone else, but ___________(same proper noun) has been known to _______(verb) for _________(noun).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'm a Bad Pet Owner!

Sydney is back in Newark, after nearly three weeks in Dallastown. The blizzard postponed when I could pick her up. I brought her back Sunday early afternoon, just before our next winter storm picked up. The long absence made me forget basic pet needs.

Tonight, I was getting ready for bed in the bathroom. As you know, Syd has been my bathroom buddy recently. This time, Sydney was hanging out by the toilet while I was using the sink. I laughed, but then I watched what she was doing. She stood up at the toilet. Well, that's new. And, she started cleaning her paw. Huh? Then, I watched her repeatedly put her paw in the water and lick off her paw.

Suddenly, it dawned on me: I hadn't given her water yet. It's been over 48 hours! I had remembered to feed her and to clean her litter box. I also had given her wet food and added water to it (because the vet had recommended that for Syd's sensitive stomach). Still, the kitty needed more water. She had been spending a lot of time in the bathroom, even when I wasn't there. She may have been getting water from the sink and bathtub.

I don't know why she didn't just say something instead of being all passive-aggressive. "Oh, that's okay. I don't neeee-eeed water. I can just slowly paw it out of the toilet."

Monday, February 26, 2007

Duke Women's Basketball Goes Undefeated!

Last night, in the comfort of my warm apartment as it snowed and sleeted, etc., I watched the Duke women's basketball team barely out a win over UNC and maintain their undefeated record this season. Pretty amazing!

Car Deco Idea

On the way into school today, in the slushy mess that the winter storm left (it could have been much worse!), there were some balloons in the middle of the road. Someone didn't avoid them, and the balloons got attached underneath their car. I was a little jealous because it really fancied up their white sedan.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

My Band

At the gym, they show MTV-U. MTV-U donated the large, flat-screen TVs. There was a story about the Fratellis--you may recognize their song "Flathead" from the recent iPod commercials:

and she said the boy's not right in the head
and you stood and said oh my god til she said...
bara bap bara ra ra ra bara bap bara ra ra ra...

They seem like a fun Scottish band. When they introduced themselves, each said that they were the drummer or "the third drummer". And, MTV-U had to put subtitles in for Ami's like me, who can't understand their accents.

There is some speculation that the band's name comes from the bad guys in The Goonies. (I really didn't like that movie, but that's what I get for watching it for the first time when I was in college.) But, in this interview, the bassist said that his last name is Fratelli. The other two's last names were Mac[Something] (typical Scotsmen), and The Fratellis was the best band name. The other two bandmates took his last name as pseudonyms.

If I was in a band, the band would have to be The Sprenkles because I have the best last name--ever. I'm sure Frank would push for The Zappaterrinis, but people would think we had some connection to Frank Zappa. I guess the Killgroves may be in contention, but I like mine better.

My Submissions to The Office

When someone tells me their baby's name and I don't approve of the name, I'll say, "Oh, is (s)he named after someone?", while nodding sympathetically.

If someone plays me in a sport using their lefthand, I'll say, "Oh, no--you don't need to humor me. You can play with your dominant hand."

I think I'll send these to The Office because they are similar to awkward things Michael (Steve Carrell) would say.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dave's Interview

I helped Dave with a mock interview yesterday before his phone interview with two professors from another university. I mocked him superbly, if I do say so myself.

I followed up with Dave about the interview. He claimed, "The guy with Tourette's kept saying 'You're hired!' and 'You got the job!' It was a real confidence booster."

I wonder what it's like to live in Dave's brain.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Cat's Second Winter Vacation

Sydney is in Dallastown for an extra week because the roads that I need to travel weren't cleaned off enough to go get her. Plus, Dallastown got more snow over the weekend, so it wasn't in the cards.

Dad says that they've started to call Sydney "Isabella". And, that he's had her birth certificate changed to say that he's the father. And, that he has had me declared incompetent because I parked on ice. (That was part of my misadventure returning from Albany last week after the blizzard.)

Anyway, I think we need to decrease the amount of time that Dad can watch "Days".

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Unlucky Boyfriend

Poor Frank. He's very unlucky. Or stupid, depending on how you look at the glass.

Last year, he was getting a large tax refund because he was only employed for 4 months. Then, he rearended me and spent the tax refund on fixing our cars.

This year, he's getting a nice tax refund (got a major raise around September), so broke his friend's sunroof while attempting to break up the ice off the roof of his car. We're not sure how much of his tax refund will be spent on fixing the sunroof.

Frank estimates that he is completely stupid a good 75% of the time. I think he spends more than 25% of his time sleeping, so that gives you a good picture of what Frank is like. Frank thinks that I'm completely stupid about 30% of the time, so there are some times where we're both "sitting around, drooling."

I've told you of my mishaps. Yesterday, I posted my "Square" post on the UD CISters blog, not the Sprenkliest blog. I recognized the problem quickly and fixed it, but I'll need to be more careful when using Blogger's Dashboard.

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Square Under 'I', Please

Mom and Dad have been cat-sitting for me while I've been traveling the world--er, PA and NY. Sydney does enjoy her vacation home, which is much larger than the apartment we share. She also likes all the new enemies--plastic bags, hanging strings, Mom and Dad. Sydney has attacked Mom and Dad, on separate occasions, Godzilla-style. Another time, as Dad walked up the stairs in our split-level house, he dragged his hand along the paneling while Syd was on the next set of stairs. Sydney reached down to bat at his hand. He told her that they weren't playing that game right then.

Then, Mom reports, "Despite what Syd may have told you, I did not deliberately drop the book on her head when she was sitting on my lap. My fingers just gave out. However she did feel it necessary to severely chastise the plastic bag that was near her cat food. And I do mean severely."

My comment: Sydney is always ready for a fight. She might be part Irish. I may need to add that part of her persona into her name (Sydney Evander).

P.S. If you don't get the title, I don't want to explain it to you.

Baby Kitty Eva is Growing Up

This blog entry is courtesy of Jessie:

I just found something on the couch. At first I thought it was a crumb, but it was hard. Upon closer inspection I realized it was a tooth. I remember the vet asking me if Eva had lost her baby teeth. That's something you don't always notice. This seems to be proof, however, that she has lost at least a few teeth. I tried prying her mouth open, but she was resistent. She'll have to put her tooth under her pillow tonight and see if the tooth fairy comes. I doubt it.

Last night in class one of my students was saying that she got some teeth pulled. She was disgusted because the dentist asked her if she wanted to have them. I said that she could put them under her pillow for the tooth fairy. Maybe she would get a quarter. My students gave me some very strange looks. Turns out, they don't have the tooth fairy here. My comment: It must really suck growing up in Germany.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Boston Legal Stole My Idea

In high school, I had the idea that we should leverage Americans' body fat from liposuctions and use it as fuel. Specifically, I thought maybe we could inject it into malnourished kids. My idea wasn't well-received. I'm only half-listening to the show, but there was similar discussion, but to use the fat more for electic fuel. I was ahead of my time for a TV writer.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Club

Marc brought up a good point. I'm starting a club for people whose name has a common alternate spelling. You know: Sara/Sarah, Mark/Marc, Karl/Carl, Kristina/Kristine/Christina/Christine, Brian/Bryan, Darrell/Daryl. Andrew/Andruw doesn't count because I only know one of the second kind. I'm not counting nicknames for entry into my club. Even so, my club will have a lot of members. I may have to start charging dues. Twice as much for the incorrect spellings (Sarah, I'm looking at you...).

Friday, February 02, 2007

Why I'm a Horrible Person

My friend Mike went on a ski trip and sprained his knee. Bad timing because he had a bunch of interviews and he had to hobble around on crutches.

That's not why I'm a horrible person.

This made me think of Andy's ski trip where he got hit on the back of the head by the ski lift. And, it made me laugh a lot. That's so much funnier than a sprained knee. It's only funny because in my brain, the scene plays like a cartoon and because Andy is okay now. Just the mental scars of my laughing at him linger.

I like this quote

When The Gettysburgian would create our April Fool's issue, we'd make up stories and sometimes have quotes that had stuff in brackets. We thought this was funny because you never knew what the person actually saying that had to be replaced by bracketed text. I recently read a story with a quote that I thought might be from our April Fool's issue.

"You will always make more [money] from [selling vulnerabilities or malicious code to] bad guys than from a company like 3Com," says eEye Digital Security co-founder Mark Maiffret.

Friday, January 26, 2007

An Honest Man

Dad's proof that he's an honest man:

I got gas while I was at the Giant. The attendant sits behind bulletproof (and knifeproof) glass, and you have to slide your money in to him. As I was trying to put my $50 under the rock they provide, the wind ripped the sucker (the bill, not the rock) from my hand and started blowing it around the parking lot. I finally corralled it and got it to the attendant. He checked to see if it was real. Yeah, right. Like I'm gonna chase a counterfeit bill around the lot.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pop Culture Quiz

I took the Gilmore Girls Pop Culture Quiz. I did pretty well, but I could use a little improvement. I didn't know who was named People's Sexiest Man Twice or the member of the rat pack in From Here To Eternity (that's before my time).

Lordy, Lordy

Look who's finally 29

Will _______ (proper name) be ________ (adjective) if ________ (pronoun) does not create a ______ (adjective) ___________ (noun) in honor of ________ (pronoun matching earlier proper name) _________ (holiday)? I don't want to know...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

During my undergraduate days, Andy had a good-natured "rivalry" with one of the CS professors, Rod Tosten. Rod referred to Andy as "Tech-Geeker" because of, well, I guess that's obvious. Andy didn't call Rod names, but he did have this little Jeff-Foxworthy-ish quote, "If your program is named, you might be a redneck." Since Rod was an undergraduate at Gettysburg and is now a faculty member, the library has a special page about him. The page cracks me up. Rod is now VP of Information Technology at Gettysburg.

Dad's children's sermon: Don't stand when you can sit

I'm going to sit down for the children's sermon today. I might get tired of standing and forget some of the things I wanted to tell you.

When I was reading the scripture this week, I started to think about baseball. Does that ever happen to you - you're supposed to think about one thing, but you begin to think about something else? It happens to me a lot. I thought about Satchel Paige, who was a great baseball pitcher [show picture].

When Satchel Paige was in his prime, professional baseball was segregated. That meant that only white people could play in the major leagues, and Satchel Paige was black. This reminds me of what Martin Luther King said (you probably heard about Martin Luther King last week, when we celebrated his birthday). He said that he had a dream of all people living and working and playing together. It's too bad that Satchel Paige could not play in the majors until he was old in baseball years. It's too bad not just for him, but for all baseball fans that few people got to see him when he was at his best.

Satchel Paige wasn't just a pitcher. He was also a philosopher. One thing he said was "Don't stand when you can sit. Don't sit when you can lie down." Satchel believed in being comfortable.

Which brings me back to this week's scripture. Jesus went to the Temple in Nazareth where he grew up. He read from a scroll. And then he sat down. And the people gave him one of these [a wide-eyed, open-mouth stare]. I think it's the only time in the Bible that the term "slack-jawed" is used.

Imagine this. We are having our church service, and it's time for the sermon. And someone like me - well, let's say me - someone you've known all your life and you know is not a preacher - goes up to the pulpit. And instead of standing, I sit down so I can talk for a long time. Everybody would think, "There goes lunch".

Do you know what Jesus had to say that was so important? He told them, "You have been waiting hundreds of years for the Messiah - since the time of Isaiah and before. Well, the wait is over. The Messiah is here. I am the Messiah. Today, you have seen the Messiah." And that was the beginning of Jesus' ministry.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

That's What She Said

Frank found a new blog, Things My Boyfriend Says that he thinks is funny and reminds him of us. I'm not sure what exactly reminds him of us--e (the boyfriend) or the girlfriend. For everyone's benefit, I censor what he says before I put it on here. That's why you don't hear much from him.

Here's a snippet of tonight's conversation that he thought was hilarious.

F: Did you see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailor?
S: I don't think so.
F: I thought I made you watch it.
S: Oh... ... I didn't remember. Was that the one with the turtles?
F <laughs>

I was making a joke...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Deal?

Frank spent $200 on a quarter. I think he overpaid.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"Days' Digest" by Dad

I read that the guy who plays Shawn on Days has a background in improv. The writers don't always write out his part. They just write things like "Shawn does something illogical" or "Shawn is enraged by nothing" or "Shawn does something utterly irrational and incredibly stupid." They count on the actor to pull it off.

True item: This was in Entertainment Weekly. Someone broke into the house of the guy who plays John on Days. He was going to perform an exorcism. I don't know how he avoided that. The exorcist is in jail.

Evolving Relationship

You'd think after being together for 2.5 years, Sydney's and my relationship would get stale. You don't know Sydney. She keeps changing and does different things to keep our relationship fresh. One of her recent new things is spending time with me in the bathroom. She loves to sit on the bathroom counter while I brush my teeth. Sometimes, her tail flops into the sink, into the toothpaste spit, which would leave her fur a little white and crusty. I saw her cleaning it up later, and she seemed a little disgusted by the minty taste. But, her breath smelled a little better.

And, since she is a cat, Sydney has started to bawl outside the bathroom while I'm in the shower. I don't know if she bawls the whole time or just after the shower ends. Mostly, I think she doesn't like being on the other side of the door. She sometimes has that problem with the front and back doors. She wants to be on the other side. But, after she gets there and the door is closed, she wants to return.

We're a little staticky today, now that it's colder and drier. She is flopping her tail and shocking me when it taps me.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Acme Cashews

I am keeping a can of cashews in the car as a snack after my workouts, when I am very hungry. Frank looked at the can suspiciously and asked what they were. "Cashews." Duh. He said, "Cashews? Right... It says 'Acme' on them." Assuming that the can contained stuff that would pop out (what's that called?), he held it close to me as he opened it. "Ooh, Cashews!"

Football Playoffs: Brought to You by Kickers

I picked the winning teams in this round exactly: Saints, Colts, Patriots, and Bears. The Saints pick upset Frank--even more so when I got it right. I have been predicting since last season that the Saints would win the Superbowl. Yeah, there was no chance last season, but this season, it looks possible.

What amazed me most, though, was how big of a role the kickers played. Baltimore and Indianapolis scored no touchdowns. Kickers won three of the four games.

In some sports, I don't cheer for teams--I cheer for positions. In football, I cheer for kickers. Most of football is a team sport--until you get to the field goals and extra points. Then, the kicker becomes the hero or is blamed. I felt bad for San Diego's kicker, who missed a 54-yard field goal, which would have sent the game into overtime.

I cheer for the goalies in sports like hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. I root for a 1-0 game so that the losing goalie can't kick himself too much because he only gave up one goal.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Back in Stride

Many people were shocked by Ohio State's loss to Florida on Monday. Not me. I had some inside scoop: Andy was rooting for Ohio State and Andy has the worst sports luck I have ever seen. When he roots for a team, they lose. If he switches the team that he's rooting for (e.g., rooting for the current leader), the tables turn.

You may say, "But, the Steelers won the Super Bowl last year." Yes, that is difficult to explain, especially because Andy won one million dollars on that bet with his sister. There are two theories:

(1) Jerome Bettis' good luck is more powerful than Andy's bad luck.

(2) Winning one million dollars and knowing that you'll never get it: isn't that worse than actually winning the money?

So, all you Buckeye and Florida fans: blame/thank Andy.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Real Life Bambi and Thumper

Warning: this is too cute.

A link to more pictures of Bambi and Thumper.

Stupidity vs. Love

Frank and I were talking about the facial expressions of cats and dogs. I gave a point to cats because they have more expressions than dogs. Dogs mostly just look stupid. Frank said that I'm mistaking unconditional love for stupidity.

I started thinking more about that and how true that may be. But, this is the Sprenkliest, not the sappiest, so I'll leave it at that.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A little from Jessie's wedding

I didn't take too many pictures at Jessie's wedding. There were two other cameras. I was in charge of moooovies.

The wedding was in the minister's parsonage. It was really pretty.

Of course, the star of the ceremony was Joe, the minister's cat, who showed Jessie and Christian where they should stand.