Category Archives: news from the outside world

Haley’s Favorite Celebrities, Part II

Dear Readers,

It’s November. Actually, it’s November SIXTEENTH. How in the world did that happen? We’re halfway through the second to last month in 2009. I was just getting used to the idea that we were living in 2009 (yesterday I caught myself writing 11/15/06 on my notes. 2006! wtf.).

Anyways, back to what I was trying to say… It’s November. November means very little in Dallas aside from the end of the Ranger’s post-season, the beginning of the Cowboy’s season and the week-long break that the public schools get for Thanksgiving. Our weather is mild (this weekend, our high temperatures were in the 80s) and no one really cares about having to walk through a few extra leaves to get to their car. But aside from the holiday and sports schedules, one thing that Dallas does share with the rest of the world in terms of November experiences is daylight saving’s time. And here is where I begin to get to my point… Daylight saving’s time means that when I get off from work, the sun is already well into its trek across the other half of the world and my neighborhood is pitch black. A pitch black neighborhood means no neighborhood running for me (I’ve already had one too many encounters with pickup trucks idling creepily on the side of neighborhood pitch black streets) – which reminds me, I owe y’all an update on my Team in Training adventure. But anyways, and so, in response to the pitch black-ness of my neighborhood streets, I’ve started going to the gym! And the gym has treadmills with TV screens! And I get to watch whichever of the 10 channels they offer that suits my fancy. And one of those 10 channels is the Food Network!

Which brings me to the real reason for this post: Alton Brown. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this name, first – make yourself familiar. This man will bring joy to every nerdy fiber in your being, be they concealed or evident, even if you aren’t of the culinarily-inclined. Second – let me introduce you to him. Alton Brown is the bespectacled, oft-frazzle haired host of Good Eats and is the main commentator for Iron Chef America. Loved by many other Food Network chefs, he bring his particular brand of nerdiness and quirky charm to the dishes he prepares (which, more often than not, are just as quirky as he is). I’m a huge fan of Good Eats. Wikipedia calls describes it as “a mixture of Julia Child and Monty Python,” and I quite agree, except I would add the essence of Bill Nye the Science Guy to the mix. The show is Alton in his element. It’s science-oriented food and it’s brilliant. But more importantly, ALTON. He finds things like the thread-count of twine and partaking in the bulldozer-driving in a salt mine interesting and relevant to cooking. This guy is hilarious. I don’t think any description of him that I can produce will ever do him justice – y’all will just have to experience him for yourselves.

So, here’s to you, Alton Brown. I would name my first-born child after you.



P.S. The Team in Training update that I promised you: The bursitis is definitely on the mend. The drugs my doc gave me helped a little initially, but I think the best thing I did for it, surprisingly, was start running on it again. I’ve run 20 miles each of the last two weeks without any excruciating pain, so I think that’s a good thing. The bad news is: because I was out of commission and not training for nearly a month, I fell really behind on my training schedule. And because my joints are still not 100%, I’ve decided to scale back my goal and only run the half marathon. So, 13.1 miles on December 12th. Wish me luck. Oh! and I’m $730 away from reaching half of my fundraising goal – meaning, I’ve raised $1,270 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Not too shabby.


Taylor Swift rocks my socks

Hey all you dudes and dudettes,

I know this may be a shock for many of you, but yes, I am completely serious when I say this – Taylor Swift is awesome. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I was happily a member of that large group of Taylor Swift skeptics that quickly mobilized among the collegiate liberal arts community when she first gained popularity. I’ll even go so far as to admit that I took great amusement in the fact a certain friend told me of a particular RD’s love for Madame Swift (and quite a few text message jokes were made at this RD’s expense in regard to that little piece of information). But something happened this summer. I don’t know if it was hanging out with my sisters that injected extra happy-girly feelings into my head, or if it was the complete lack of variety on Dallas radio, or if it was the whole day I spent listening to the newest Taylor Swift CD while inhaling paint fumes when we painted our living room, but somehow I became a convert. Her songs are just so singable! And sweet! And…I won’t go into any more potentially embarrassing details, but really, you have to have one really cold heart to believe that the “You Belong With Me” music video is not adorable.

But anyways, the reason for this post is not just so I can gush about how much I like Taylor. Today my dear brother introduced me to the most hilarious thing I’ve seen since I watched Scrubs last night. Taylor Swift and T-Pain teamed up to make “Thug Story”. Awesome.

And with that, I leave you. I’m supposed to be writing 50,000 words right now.



In which I am an artist

Dear Readers,

I sincerely apologize for my¬†few postings over the last few weeks. I have been battling the treacherous foe of midterms (and have emerged victorious!). Though I realize such circumstances should have made me more susceptible to the lure of procrastination this blog holds, I have been oddly on-track and committed to my classes. Weird, I know. I’ve been studying during all my free time (I even brought my books to work and studied while I was waiting for my kids to arrive) and I only turned on the TV once this week (it was to watch Top Chef, and no amount of stress or academic commitment will force me to abandon that weekly hour of bliss…though I feel a smidgen – but only a smidgen – less devoted to the show since my favorite competitor was eliminated on Wednesday). In any case, after three more exams next week, the first semester of Anatomy and Physiology will be finished! Woohoo!

So, since nothing really exciting has happened in my life since my last post (besides the fair! but there will be more on that later), I thought I’d share my newly-discovered budding artistic talent (haha) with you. Yesterday in lab and in preparation for our practical next week, dear Dr. Su spent the entire two hours going over the very basics of everything we’ve done in lab so far. Though I love that man, I was just about ready to shoot myself by the time we finally finished. But out of that mind-numbing boredom doodles were born! (see below) And though you probably can’t read it, the best thing Dr. Su said during that whole class is recorded at the bottom right corner – “You will be the blind man touching the tail of the elephant and thinking the elephant looks like a rope”. Enjoy.


In other news, here’s a taste of what’s been on the news in D-town lately. I laughed so hard when I heard about this. It sounds like a fairytale gone very wrong, or something along the lines of the tooth fairy or baby-delivery storks… except not cute or magical or kid-friendly. I swear the news guy who reported this last night was nearly crying from trying so hard to not laugh.

In other other news… Tom Miner is coming to visit me for four-day weekend! I AM SO EXCITED!!



“Laura” inspired

Dear Readers,

This post is a gift to all of my friends who are fans of “unnecessary” quotation marks

Image023I found this in the North Lake computer lab when I got my photo ID made, but didn’t have my phone with me at the time. So, I had to go back (obviously) and capture the proof that you now see above. Stupid me hasn’t figured out how to turn off the oh-so loud fake camera noise that my phone makes when I take a picture (and stupid people at the Nokia company didn’t think to disable the camera sound when the phone is put in silent mode), so everyone in that computer lab peered over at me and saw me standing guiltily, holding my phone in picture-taking stance. It was very awkward, but so worth it.

Also, I wanted to alert all of you out there to the blog I happened upon yesterday…Newspaper Mishaps! (unfortunately, that’s not the name of the blog, but I feel like it’s an appropriate description – and the blog is definitely worthy of that exclamation point).

Tomorrow I am going to the fair with my mom!! I’m so excited! It’s state fair season!

Love, love, love


Here’s to stereotypes

Dear Readers,

This post is written in celebration! The newspaper reported today that a Clydesdale in Collin County (just outside of Dallas) was recently awarded the Guinness World Record for tallest horse, reaffirming to the world that everything really IS bigger down here in cowboy country. At a staggering 80 inches, Remington beat out – you guessed it – another Texas horse for the title.

So, on behalf of our great state, congratulations Remington! We are so proud of you. All 80 inches of you.


P.S. Thanks to the THIRD anonymous donor!

Bones on the brain

Dear Friends,

Today I had my first experience with mind-numbing information inundation in Anatomy and Physiology. I guess I haven’t mentioned yet that I am taking the accelerated version of the class. This means that the normal two semester-long course is smushed into one, apparently very overwhelming semester. This also means that I took my first exam (of eight) last week, finished the material for the second exam (which I will take this weekend) and started the material for the third exam today. Today we learned all of the bones and all of the grooves, bumps and irregular processes of all those bones of the appendicular skeleton. And by the time we were done, my brain was so numb that all I could manage to recall during the half-hour break between lab and lecture was that “Some Lovers Tried Positions That They Can’t Handle” was the mnemonic device I was supposed to use to remember the names of the carpals.

And now for an update on the classroom lives of my much-adored slew of community college students…

-Today was the first day in four weeks that Scrubs has appeared in class without her namesake. That is, today is the first day they weren’t visible. Much to my disappointment, she was wearing a sweater, though I am certain that had further investigation taken place, we would have found a brightly-colored, cartoon-cheery shirt of the medical type covering that woman who loves them so well. Up to today, we have seen Kermit the Frog, Dr. Suess, Winnie the Pooh in addition to the patterns I listed in her initial character sketch.

-An unexpected relationship has developed between my dear Mrs. Criswell/Griffin and The Returner. It started off as Nancy not-so-innocently wanting to get on The Returner’s good side in hopes that she might share her Returner’s wisdom. But after Nancy bought her a pack of lifesavers (because The Returner was our “life saver” in helping us in lab), I became more suspicious. Since then, it has only escalated. Though she constantly denies it when I bring up the subject in our car-rides, I swear I sometimes catch Nancy sending The Returner a loving gaze. And last class, The Returner ventured over to our side of the classroom and knealt down and talked to Nancy for an entire five minutes about things completely unrelated to Anatomy and Physiology. Scandalous!

– A piece of little-known fact, courtesy of Dr. Kelly Sexton: “If you heat up a baby, it will sweat.”

And finally, I leave you with the following thought:

What the fuck is up with our professional athletes?!*

Good night and good luck,


*if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check here and here.

What would you do?

Dear Readers,

Today I lazily woke up around 11:15 and, just like every morning, moseyed into the kitchen and read the paper over a breakfast of cinnamon toast and OJ. I’m really sorry to admit that most days, my concern with the world’s events stops there. I get up from the table, put away my dishes and go on to start the day rather unconcerned with whatever I just read. But today I haven’t been able to shake the front page story. Today, the Dallas Morning News printed the second of a two-part story (I hadn’t read the first part from last week) about a couple who find out that their unborn son had trisomy 13. You can watch a short video about their experience and read both parts of the DMN article here.

Though I think it goes without saying that this family’s story is incredibly moving, I can’t stop questioning the decision they made. Please don’t misunderstand me – I give this family my full support and am amazed by the grace and love with which they handled their situation. A big knot keeps forming in my throat whenever I think about what they had to go through. I just don’t know what I would have done in their situation. I want to think that I would give that precious child the chance to live and I have no doubt that Thomas’ 5 days of life were a blessing to his parents. I also know that I would have an impossible time making the decision to proactively let go (no matter how much future suffering I knew I was avoiding) and abort the child. But I also have a hard time believing that I would still agree with my decision to give him a chance at life while watching that little boy struggle to breathe as his life slowly slipped from him.

I don’t know why this story has had such an effect on me, but I’ve been troubled by it all day. I’d love to hear your opinions.