Pictured at 5 months old and 41 lbs.


Overheard walking across campus this morning, behind a group of incoming freshman Japanese students and a very blonde (read: not Japanese) campus representative:

Rep:  "Have you heard the new rap song from the artists who did the Soulja Boy song?"
Student:  "The one where he call himself a nee-ga?"
Rep:  "Well, uh, we have a large African American population on this campus, so the proper term is African American."
Student:  "Oh, so you have gangsta  here?"
Rep:  "Well...uhh...yeah, I guess you could say we have some gangstas here."
Student:  "Neega!  Neega!  Nee-ga gangsta."
Rep:  "No, I'm serious.  We don't say that in America.  It's wrong.  Luckily this is a pretty tolerant campus, but in some cities, you'd get shot."


On our recent trip to Oklahoma for my grandfather's funeral, we decided to visit the Oklahoma City Memorial.  I had visited the outside, but not the inside.  I don't believe they allow pictures inside; even if they did, I think it would be disrespectful.

I was actually living in Oklahoma at the time of the bombing.  I remember my mom watching the t.v. in horror as her hometown (and my birthplace) suffered an unprecedented tragedy.  If you are not familiar with the OKC bombing, this is from Wikipedia.org:

"The Oklahoma City bombing of April 19, 1995, carried out by American militia movement sympathizer Timothy McVeigh with the assistance of Terry Nichols, destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was the most significant act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11 attacks in 2001, claiming the lives of 168 victims and injuring more than 680. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a sixteen–block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings. The bomb was estimated to have caused at least $652 million worth of damage."

There were children in the building, as the Federal building had a daycare inside of it.  The Memorial is one of the most touching, heart-wrenching, peaceful, beautiful memorials I have visited.  The designers really did do a beautiful job. 

9:01 a.m.:  Innocence

9:02 a.m.:  The bomb inside the truck exploded, taking out more than a third of the Federal building.

9:03 a.m.:  The "moment we were changed forever, and the hope that came from the horror in the moments and days following the bombing."
Above:  The reflecting pool.
Below:  The Field of Empty Chairs.  The chairs reflect the 168 lives that were lost.  Each bears the name of a person.  The smaller chairs represent the children that died.
Below:  The Survivor Tree, an American Elm that withstood the astounding brutality of the explosion.  The tree is revered and continues to thrive to this day as a representation that life does indeed go on. 
To the innocent people who lost their lives, to their family, their friends, their coworkers; to the brave volunteers and rescue workers who risked life and limb in order to locate every missing person; to the courageous rescue dogs, including many Labrador retrievers who suffered burns, cut paws, and smoke inhalation, but served as tireless workers in the scope of the tragedy:  I'm so, so sorry. 

If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit to the Memorial. 
For more information:  Oklahoma City National Memorial

"We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity."

This is Cosette's best impression of the quintessential performer.  Be sure and watch the whole video.  :)  This was a one-time filming, so pull up a chair and watch the magic unfold.  (The sounds of whining belong to Trooper, who was crated right next to Cosette's dance floor.  He just wants in on the action.)


So, three awesome things that happened recently:

1)  I PASSED PRELIMS!  How awesomely fantastic is that?  I am now, officially, a doctoral candidate.  I wanted to have a moment where I went running from the building, skipping as I opened the door, and in slow motion, flinging my notes on statistics, research methods, computational modeling, organizational studies, all of it, up into the air while some rockin' music accompanied me.  Instead, I quietly spent an hour today tucking away all my notes back into their respective binders, shelving the binders, and returning borrowed books.  You never know when that one equation I wrote down that one day in multivariate statistics MIGHT come in handy.  It's the academic in me.  Otherwise, a person might say, "That's what Google is for."

2)  Trooper learned to retrieve!  Like, adequately!  When I was first teaching him, I relied on the treat method for the toy replacement, but he'd get so excited about the treat that he would just drop the toy on his way back.  This evening I absentmindedly grabbed one of the retrieving toys and brought it out to the front yard when I let him out after dinner.  I gave it a good throw, just to run some energy off of him, and BOOM! he took off like a shot.  There was a lot of bouncing involved, and Joel is convinced he's more Tigger than Lab, but, holy cow, he brought it right back to me!!  Fifteen times in a row!!  I was so impressed with my retriever that he had lived up to his name...finally.  He's not graceful or coordinated like Cosette is by any means, but he tries.  And, he Tigger bounces, so that's a bonus.  I think.

3)  Strike the third thing.  I originally had something here, published it, then changed my mind.  Basically, to sum up:  I do not like Person A, and Person A is generally liked by others, which is infuriating because it's all a show.  There are a few who dislike Person A, but not many.  The people who do dislike Person A can usually be found after Person A insults them in a deranged manner, becomes rip-roaringingly drunk, screams at them, asking themselves, "What did I do?  I was just trying to be nice!"  Person A recently had a social opportunity with many supporters, and revealed their true colors to everyone they were with.  Person A is no longer liked by the rest of my social circle.  This is awesome because they no longer want to hang out with Person A, and I'm just glad I don't have to worry about being in the same zip code as the person anymore. 

To reiterate, I PASSED PRELIMS!!!, my retriever retrieves, and karma is excellent. 



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This is a horse that was out by a neighboring winery.  He turned back around to look and it was like he was saying, "Sup, yo!  Why are you taking a picture of my behind?


Cosette and her friend and fellow Black Lab Barnaby (now in Boston, MA with his owner) running the hills.  Barnaby is the one with the stick in his mouth.
Taken July 21, 2008.


Okay, wait, so I have to tell you about this one before I leave today.

So last night, I went into the kitchen to take some medication, and I had many, many things on my mind.  I retrieved a cup from the cabinet, poured a glass of water and even filled up the Brita filter, and then put the Brita back into the refrigerator.  I opened another cabinet and pulled out the medicine bottle, uncapped it, took one out, threw it into my mouth and swallowed it with some water.  I was mid-way through another gulp of water when it suddenly struck me:


My mouth still full of water, I looked down at the bottle I held in my hand.  It was green, and not what I was intending to take.  I read the label in horror:
Patient Name:  Trooper
Drug:  Cephalexin

OH.  MY.  GOD.  I just took my dog's medicine!!

I raced past Joel into my office, and sat down at the computer immediately.  "What's wrong?" he asked, perplexed.  "Uh, I just swallowed Trooper's medicine.  Don't ask me why, because I don't have a good answer."

I Googled "Cephalexin" and the second hit on the list read "Cephalexin (Keflex)."  I shot straight up out of my chair and shouted, "KEFLEX!!  KEFLEX??  I TOOK KEFLEX?!?!  I'M ALLERGIC TO KEFLEX!!"  I shakily ran to my files and dragged out a copy of my medical records.  "Known allergies...Keflex."  SHIT! 

I brushed past Joel and said, "I've got to throw it up.  I'm allergic to Keflex."  A slight look of horror came across his face, and I reassured him that the last time I had taken Keflex had resulted in a rash and hives, nothing life-threatening.  But still.  I didn't want any of it in my system.

I marched into the bathroom, got down on my knees, and pried open the toilet seat.  I looked down at the water and thought, "Really?  I have to do this?  It's not fair!  I'm SOBER!"  The next few minutes were not pleasant, and I'll just say this:  I'm not sure I'll be able to eat Tom Kar soup at my favorite Thai restaurant anymore, and I would be a horrible bulimic.  I couldn't hardly get anything up.  Maybe I wasn't trying hard enough, but I thought to myself, "You know, this is not a good time to not have high self-efficacy about your ability to gag yourself."  I finally managed to get something up that resembled a capsule, and I flushed the toilet and washed my hands.  I came out of the bathroom, and said to Joel, "I don't know what the hell that was about, but, I'm going to make sure I'm a little more cognitively present the next time I attempt to take medication.  RIDICULOUS."


I have a family emergency that has come up, and I have to be out of state for a few days.  I expect to return to regular posting in the middle of next week.

My grandfather is passing away.  He's been in critical condition for a few weeks now, but unexpectedly last night he had to be put on morphine and is under home hospice care.  Morphine, as I'm sure you know, relaxes the body but it also derails the nervous and respiratory system very quickly, so he is expected to pass away within the next few days.  If he does pass away tonight or tomorrow, the funeral will be held early in the week and I will stay for that.


This is another friend's dog, Mars.  He's a rescue and they think he has some Shepherd, some Lab, and definitely some Chow in him (check out the tongue). 

Mars is a pretty good dog, as far as dogs go.  He's friendly, will sit for treats, and generally likes other dogs.  Especially ones he can hump.  And he passes the lovin' all around --- girl dog, boy dog, baby Dane dog -- whatever, man.  Free lovin' to all, he doesn't have any boundaries of love.