Okay, don't tell anyone, okay?  My boyfriend is amazing.  Ah-mazing. 

In one of his acts of awesomeness today, he cooked a mexican buffet - yeah, not a meal, but a buffet - for my friend and I tonight.  Isn't he the sweetest?! 

I am amazed that every single day I get to call him "my own," and have to bite my tongue every time someone tells me their boyfriend is so great because they either...took out the trash, cooked them dinner, did the laundry, you know, a feat of epic proportions that occurs once a month...because he does that every day.  EVERY day.  I'm not even kidding.

Wait, why is he with me again?

Well.  I'm honored.  Truly.  Happy (almost) 18 months, hun.
Y'all need an update on Trooper, don't you?  Well, he's fine overall.  No flesh-eating bacteria.  I mean, obviously I do have photos and video to share, but it will have to wait.

Joel woke up to a sore throat and had a headache yesterday.  I hope he's not on his way to having the flu.  (Yuck!) 

Spin class was less than stellar today, simply because of the music.  The instructor picked a cd that I hadn't heard in over a year, and the last time I heard it, I almost boycotted the class.  It had three, count it, three, country songs on the CD.  Country songs do not belong in a spin class.  At least not in my spin class.  Now don't get me wrong -- deep inside, there is a Texas girl in my heart, but that Texas girl has to have her cowgirl boots on and be riding horses regularly to really appreciate country music.  When I am trying to keep up my rpms and focus on speed and power, riding a lovetraiiiiiiiiinnnnnnn does nothing for me in the morning, because me and my git-tar do not have a lot of leavin left to do.
I'm taking Trooper to the vet this afternoon. He has some sort of weird infected section on his cheek. I'm hoping it's the result of a spider bite or something, rather than flesh-eating bacteria (that's kinnnnnda what it looks like...yuck!). Hint: do not google image search 'flesh-eating bacteria'. I warned you. NO. DON'T DO IT! NOOOOO!!!
The Toronto Needle as seen from Centre Island.
Hello, start of a sinus infection.   :-(

Class is busy, school is busy, life is busy. 

Dogs are going nuts from lack of attention and exercise.

Trooper has a mysterious, large wound on his face.  It's oozing and a little bloody.  No idea where it come from or why it has stayed moist.  Am resorting to Neosporin and hugs until I see improvement, otherwise, hello vet!
They met on a wine trail trip; she, friends with us in the department, him, long-time friend of Joel.
She tried to claim academic obligations, but he pursued her.
Soon they were inseparable.
Standing together through it all.
Discovering their new lives together.
A sign of commitment.
My friends poked fun at me for taking this picture at a nearby winery, but dang, it just looked so scrumptious.  Don't you want to take a bite out of this?  Well, we did, and trust me, it was scrum-dilly-dilly-umptious.
Last night I turned in my draft of my pre-dissertation paper (don't ask, it's just another hurdle) to my chair.  This is the paper I've been working on since I submitted my final pre-dissertation plan (another hurdle) in December.  9 months.  NINE MONTHS!?  Well, for the first 5 months, I worked sporadically - like once a month I'd read an article for it, and half-heartedly write a paragraph.  It just sat at the back of my academic closet, not getting much use and not worn to all the glamorous parties.  I waved my hand at it occasionally, promising I'd fit back into it soon, but just never really had the energy for it.  I was in my last semester of classes.  Then the follow month (month 6) I was preparing for my preliminary examination to be admitted to doctoral candidacy.  After passing prelims, my life became a little chaotic.  I was teaching a 4-week class (2 hrs a day of lecturing, 5 days a week), and during that time, I lost a family member which required lengthy travel.  Then once I got back into the swing of things (month 7), my summer class had ended and I started traveling for various reasons (a conference, a wedding...).  Month 8, or August, rolled around, and I started paying attention to it again, and realized I wasn't that far from finishing my complete draft (not a final draft, mind you, just a full draft with no missing parts).  School started, and once again I put it on a hanger at the back of my academic closet and promised it I would see it soon.  Three weeks into the new semester, I pulled it out of my closet, tried it on (it fit), and then proceeded to party in it day and night, evenings and weekends.  Some sort of inspiration bug bit me.  I partied so hard in that paper that I wore out the zipper and compromised the seams, but dang, I got my money's worth.  Right?  Right.  Anyway, after many attempts to start and re-start working on it, I finally had my rear in gear and worked really hard on it.  I e-mailed it last night to my advisor, who will hopefully have mercy on the beautiful document and have only minor revisions.  Whatever revisions (be they many or few), I have resolved to not let the paper fester.  As soon as she returns the draft to me, I will sit down and crank out the changes for her approval.

I have less than a year to prospect, collect data, write the results, and defend my dissertation, and I have resolved that I WILL HAVE MY PH.D. BY MY NEXT BIRTHDAY (Sept 5).  Watch out, world!
What a life, right?  I saw this little one out at a winery.  I'm not sure why the person didn't bring them onto the patio, but maybe the dog just likes the good life.
Taken Sept 2009
These pretty babies are just hanging on to the last days of summer...