Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mara’s five fabulous facts

Yes, I am past the deadline. But I did comment on the original post asking for an extension, so I’m going to use that as my excuse. This blog is filled with some beautiful clip art as well as a few pictures that aren’t mine.

1) My professional life: I recently gave the monthly biology seminar at my alma mater, Luther College. I was planning on just driving down there on my own dime and staying at a friend’s place, but I got a taste of the perks a “real” speaker gets. They paid my mileage AND put me up at the campus guest house. I felt like such a star. It was so wonderful to be back at Luther (they have a brand new science building!) and being there on my own allowed me to visit people and do some exploring without worrying about others’ schedules. The town of Decorah is truly a gem and such a special place to me. Being there brought back so many wonderful memories and it was lovely to see many new businesses including a quilting shop, yarn shop, newly expanded food co-op, local brewery and delicious bar and grill. My dinner on Thursday evening included a pint of a great winter ale from the Summit Brewing Co. based out of St. Paul, MN. It set me back $1.50. That’s one dollar and fifty cents. For a pint of a good beer. People like to make fun of Iowa and its cornfields, but you know what I say to them? $1.50 pints, bitches!

Newly expanded co-op (

Science Building (

2) My everyday life: I got stuck in the snow last week while trying to drive into my development. They hadn’t plowed the road yet, so needless to say my little Ford Taurus was no match for 8 inches of heavy wet snow. Luckily it was President’s Day and many people stayed home, so I promptly trotted over to a neighbor’s house for help shoveling me out. Of course the snow plow came as we started in with the shovels. Five minutes and some pushing from 2 neighbors + snow-plow guy later, I was free! Since I was coming from the gym, I naturally had on my workout clothes, very much like the outfit you see below.

3) My health life: As an unemployed graduate, I have a lot of time on my hands. So I joined a gym and decided to actually watch/track what I eat. I’ve lost 7 pounds since the new year! That’s 3.18 kg repeating for you metric system-ers. Anyway, I’m feeling really healthy/good about myself and the gym has been a nice escape from home. It doesn’t hurt that there are some rather attractive patrons that just happen to be at the gym when I decide to work out. (Is it bad that I changed my gym schedule to be there when the cute guys are? Haha!) There is one particular guy that “seems” to have the same schedule as me, and I finally got the nerve up to talk to him. Of course it was just to ask him if he was done with a machine, but I made sure to ask in my sexiest voice. ;-)

Hm....what is that arrow reallllllly pointing at? (

4) My crafting life: Some of you know that I’ve joined a fabulous knitting group that meets on Fridays. These ladies have definitely been life-savers for me. Whenever I’m feeling down or frustrated about my job search, I just look forward to Friday, as I spend most of that time laughing, eating, and just being happy. I’m the youngest of the group (most are around/over 50) but they’ve really made me feel welcome and included. And let me tell you—there are no filters at the Silver Creek Cabin knitting shop. Dirty jokes are encouraged. ;-) My current project is not in a photographic state, but pictures are forthcoming…

Some of my knitting crew!

And #5—my social life: Another thing that’s going on in my life right now is that I miss you all very very much! I think of you often (i.e. every day) and hope you are doing well in your part of the world.

(p.s. Unrelated to the 5 things above, here is a little video of my niece I’d like to share. We discovered she was a bit wary of a gnome statue during Christmas, so what did we do? We made her crawl by it so we could video-tape her reaction. ;-) )


  1. Mara, you are a gem and I miss you terribly! But thankfully, you're a fantastic writer, which makes me really happy to read long updates :)

    ps. I love your workout clothes! I was just thinking that I could use some new ones. And that is the nicest Ford Taurus I have ever seen.


  2. You are a fucking hottie. How did I not notice your sky high gams in Edmonton? Ha!! Frick, this whole post had me dying. And, quite frankly, I'd like to see what that arrow was pointing to. Cartoon or not, I want to see.

    The video isn't working right now for me. It said to "try back later". I can't wait to watch it.

  3. This post made me happy! I love your knitting group - we haven't had one of those in a long time!!! My knitting has fallen to the wayside.

    Congrats on giving an invited talk - that's awesome! Was it one of those "OMG, I'm a real scientists moments"? (Side note: Aaron and I had a discussion about where to put the punctuation when using quotes - apparently it's American style to put it inside the quotation marks, and British to put it outside. Do all you American ladies put it on the inside?)

    The video of your niece is priceless. Also...where does one find such an awesome gnome!?

  4. Here is my thought on quotation marks. I usually put them on the outside of punctuation IF the punctuation is part of the phrase being quoted.

    Example: "Isn't it a beautiful day?" she asked.

    However, If a phrase is quoted in the context of additional written material and that additional written material affects the type of punctuation used, then I put the quotation marks on the inside. I realize this is an entirely confusing explanation, so I'll use Kim's example: "OMG, I'm a real scientist moments" is not a question, but the entire sentence is. Therefore, you should separate the quoted phrase from the punctuation, as the question mark has nothing to do with the phrase in quotes.

    I don't know if this is right and/or proper. It's just what my American self does.

  5. p.s. in response to your questions:
    1) Yes, I felt like a real scientist, especially because I was wearing a snappy new skirt and shirt when lecturing. Hopefully soon I'll be a real employed scientist.
    2) Said garden gnome was obtained from Target.

  6. I use the same rules you do, Mara :)

    Also, there were some other things I meant to address on in my first comment:

    1)My favourite line in this whole post is, "People like to make fun of Iowa and its cornfields, but you know what I say to them? $1.50 pints, bitches!"

    I almost peed my pants because firstly, it's hilarious, and secondly, I can't believe there is a place on earth - let along in NA - that sells $1.50 pints. Amazing.

    2) 3.18 kg?! Holy shit. From where?! I want to lose 3.18 kg. Or preferably 4.536 kg. Nice work lady! I'm sure you look incredible.

  7. Awesome Mara! That is one hot looking workout get up... hope you don't do rows!

    I too loved the $1.50 pints bitches comment. Awesome! I love your posts and your knitting crew! You should read "the friday night knitting club". Such a lovely little read once you get into it :)