Sharks N Stuff

This past weekend, Cobalt and I went to the Denver Aquarium with the Denver regional alumni club for my undergrad university. Knowing, as you do, about my love for sea creatures, you would think that the Denver Aquarium would be a place that I would frequently visit but actually, in my 4 years of living here, I had never once set foot in the building. So when I got the invitation for the regional club event, I pretty much instantly signed Cobalt and me up.

It was kind of a neat event (and three of us from my graduating year turned up!). We got to meet an African porcupine up close and personal (see below for pictures) and we got to go on a behind the scenes tour of the aquarium! On the tour, we met some of the sea turtles who are named after the ninja turtles (even the girls); we learned all about how the animals are trained, how their food is made, how their water is made, etc; and I pretty much decided that it is time for me to get dive certified so that I can volunteer in the shark tank! Anyway, after all of that, we got to go explore all the exhibits (it was really cool to look into the shark tank and be like “wow… we were standing right there!”) which is where I took this super awesome shark picture.

For those of you who are skeptical of aquariums in land locked states like I kind of am (having grown up in CA), I think this little aquarium actually does a pretty good job (and it is bigger than the one in Albuquerque!) though I was sad that they didn’t have an octopus…

Moving on…. porcupine! So this porcupine is like 6 months old and we got to meet her! A couple of pictures for you:

Here she is!!! She got really excited about being in a new room and shuffled off behind one of the tables before the trainer could get her leash on her. It was really neat to see how she is trained to follow a target and gets positively reinforced with food and a clicker when she goes to the target. The people in the room who have never heard of this training method before thought that she was making the clicker noise… Haha… Though she does ruffle her quills together to make this weird swishing sound if she thinks you are trying to eat her (this was her response to being put on a leash too…).

I just wanted to show you what her quills looked like in more detail. Apparently if she really wanted to quill you, she would back into you. Yikes! The trainer said that she is pretty much harmless and that she, the trainer, has only gotten quilled once – when she accidentally dropped the porcupine she was holding and then tried to catch it with her knee (>_<). She said that the only thing you really have to worry about is getting your shoes eaten. Apparently this little porcupine was on the news recently and the news anchor was freaking out because the porcupine was reallllly interested in her leather shoes… Hehe… aww porcupines…

Anyway, that pretty much concludes the aquarium summary. I will leave you with an Instagram of me and a shark at the gift shop…

What did you do this weekend? Cobalt and I also saw two movies, Moonrise Kingdom and Brave. Have you seen either of them? What do you think?

Just like brothers…

So some of you may not know this, but my first animal love was not the shark. It actually started out with whales and dolphins (and I still love whales and dolphins too… don’t let my shark filled blog lie to you). I always loved toothy, grumpy things too though so once I got my first stuffed shark as a present, it’s easy to see how I was soon obsessed with sharks. Anyway, because of how much I love sharks, I decided that what better present to throw to my girls than a shark (instead of a bouquet) at our wedding (and you were wondering how this was going to turn into a wedding Wednesday post…)! I mean, my first stuffed shark is still one of my absolute favorite stuffed animals today and he paved the way for sharks being my new favorite animal! Plus, my friends told me they would much rather catch a stuffed shark instead of a bouquet so I say it’s a win-win situation.

Because Scrarmpl (scr-ARM-pul) was my first stuffed shark, I decided to buy the same stuffed shark to throw at my wedding (the gateway shark… hahaha). He arrived Monday and I am a bit embarrassed to see how “loved” Scrarmpl is compared to his little brother. They barely even look like the same shark! In this picture, Scrarmpl and “new shark” are reading the most recent Entertainment Weekly together… As you can see, “new shark” is much bigger and fluffier than Scrarmpl…

Anyway, “new shark” is going to be totally decked out for the wedding. I know I have pretty much zero time right now, but I still would like to at least make him a bow tie or something to wear for the wedding. I can’t wait to see who catches him!

As for the garter… that’s just going to have to be a surprise. Though Cobalt and I are super excited about that too (it came this weekend… we giggled a lot…).

As for the rest of the bouquet, I haven’t decided what to do – if I want to hold long stemmed flowers during the ceremony and then just throw the shark during the reception or if I want to have long stemmed flowers surrounding the shark during the ceremony and then throw him? Who knows…

Your task for today – tell me what you think I should do about my bouquet. I don’t really have any specific flowers in mind (had planned on anemones but I don’t think they’re in season that late in the summer). Recently, someone suggested that I use dahlias. They seem really pretty… I’m actually not very picky about the bouquet. I think I should probably be holding something but I haven’t decided what. I like the idea of a simple bouquet (just a few long stemmed flowers would be fine with me) but otherwise I am drawing a blank. Ideas? What are your favorite flowers to see in bouquets?

Shark Photographs

So yeah…. I know I usually post a wedding Wednesday post today or actually on Wednesday but this week you are getting shark photos instead. Yeah… I know… not as cool… But I have been so busy helping pack/clean our lab for our big lab move next week that I haven’t even had time to think about a wedding Wednesday post or even think about our wedding. Craziness… All I know is that I have spent waaaaay too much time packing boxes of stuff/cleaning items in the lab with 10% bleach so the movers won’t be afraid to touch them (we have to decontaminate all our instruments and put a green sticker on them to prove their cleanliness before the movers will move things)… but at least the packing is going well. I think we’re ahead of schedule!
In slight wedding news, our invitations are coming along nicely. Our friend T has been making progress and the invitations look awesome so far!!! :D

Anyway, without further ado, sharks! I took these pictures with my new iPhone! First is Gustav and second is Scrarmpl:

Which is your favorite picture? I think Scrarmpl looks annoyed about being second… What is your favorite app for the iPhone if you have one? What is something that takes up all your time so you feel like you can’t focus on the stuff that you want to get done (*coughs* for me it’s cleaning/packing/lab in general getting in the way of wedding planning/sleeping/lurking *coughs*)

Antsy Questions

I am a girl of lists. At any given second of any given day, I have at least one list running through my head. Whether it’s the lab list (if I start my cells here then I can do this experiment here and then…) or the wedding list (why isn’t the registry done? We should order our rings… What song are we gonna play here?) or the Potassium list (pick up Mom from airport, text friends back, need… sleep….) or all of them at once, something is running through my head at all times. So for today’s wedding Wednesday post, I thought I would post some things going through my head about all of that. Ready? Let’s go!

  1. Tans
    So we live in Colorado. We are 5300 feet closer to the sun here than people who live at sea level. Basically, once spring hits, I can’t really go outside without getting tanned, burned, or both. So by the time we get to May, I am already sporting a pretty decent farmer’s tan just from walking to the bus stop/biking to work. Not to mention that I also look like a raccoon thanks to my sunglasses tan. Because we are getting married this summer, I am getting increasingly worried about having a farmer’s tan with my wedding dress. Sure, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world but I would really rather not see a fat farmer’s tan/raccoon eyes on me every time I see my wedding pictures. So it’s going to be an interesting next few months I think – full of sunscreen and maybe less sunglasses use. We’ll just have to see because I refuse to do any fake tanning. Thoughts?
  2. Dress!
    My mom was here visiting earlier this week and we made progress on fitting the bodice of my dress. I think the next time I head out to California for a long weekend we are going to go pick out fabric!!!! So speaking of fabric, we went and looked a little at my mom’s favorite fabric shop here in Boulder (you know you’ve lived somewhere too long when your mother has a favorite fabric shop there…). I want my dress to be white with just a HINT of blue. Something that you could really only see in the sunlight. Unfortunately, there were no bolts of fabric that came anywhere close. The only “light blue” they had looked silver or gray to me. It was if, in order to make things lighter, they just took out all the hue in the color, if that makes sense. So instead of just making it less saturated (so still sky blue or whatever but fainter), they just took out everything that made it blue so that it looked dull and gray. I think a dress made out of the fabric would look dull and lifeless so I dunno if that would make for a very good wedding dress. Do you have a favorite fabric shop? Have you ever seen anyone in a blue wedding dress?

In other wedding news, I ordered my necklace to wear with my dress. It’s a shark (duh)! Click the picture to go to the Etsy page it is from.

Taking our whales for a walk

Wow… it’s been a while since I’ve written. So much has been going on in lab recently that I have really only had time to eat, sleep, and think about science. Whew…. sometimes things get crazy with grad school.
Anyway, some of the craziness ended on Friday when we had a huge lab cleanup to prepare for the big lab move next month. It was ridiculously epic. I was sooooo busy taking care of all the old expired chemicals we found in the weirdest places (thanks to the student I inherited my workspace from… NOT happy with him right now). After all of that, A and I took our giant stuffed sharks on a walk. While we were out playing with my camera and the sharks, one lady walked past us and asked us if we were taking our whales for a walk. A and I just looked at each other for a second and nodded as we passed. Then we burst out laughing… they’re sharks, not whales! Geez! Anyway, we (and the sharks) had so much fun this past weekend so I thought I would share some pictures – up there they are both sitting in a pine tree (obviously). Down there, there’s Fernando trying to eat an out of focus Prius and Gustav and me doing a silly dance…

Did you guys do anything fun this weekend? Have you seen any fun sharks? (Thanks Natalie for the picture last week. Totally made my day!)

Shark Friday

These past few weeks have been super busy for me mostly due to things going on in lab. However, while I was away in lab, my sharks got to have a lot of fun this week. First Banana Shark got to have Orange Julius and pie on Pi Day and then yesterday five of my sharks had the pleasure of chasing me around the apartment complex when I got home early from lab. These pictures were super fun for Cobalt and me to take… I have been planning this shoot for a while now. Unfortunately the sun got in our way a little bit (hence all the crazy flares) but no worries. We just might have to do it again… I had originally planned the shoot to use three people and not just two so we’ll just have to try it again… perhaps we’ll take the sharks to the park! :) I love Banana Shark in this bottom picture…

I hope you have good weekends!

Things I love

In honor of Valentine’s Day being this week, I decided to make a list of things that I love. This is probably going to be part one in a series of posts because I love a lot of things but I just can’t think about them all right now. So part one goes like this:

  1. The obvious ones
    a) My family

    Every year we take a bunch of family portraits in front of the Christmas tree after Christmas eve mass. It used to be my dad’s job to take the pictures but since I got my happy DSLR with its fancy infrared remote (perfect for self portraits), now it’s my job. Yay! Anyway, love ma family. :)

    b) Cobalt

    This is one of our engagement pictures taken by Holly Carlyle. Love it. Love you too Cobalt. :)

    c) Cobalt’s family

    Yay I get double family now by marrying Cobalt! It is super exciting and happy. :) Now I get a niece, a nephew, a big sister, and another mom. Happy. Anyway, this pic is a pic of Cobalt and the previously mentioned niece and nephew with the crazy snowman we built. That’s right. He has 3 faces, two arms, 8 tentacle legs, and a pet penguin. We’re odd.

  2. Brushing my teeth
    I know this sounds weird but I really like it. I can feel my little teethys getting all clean and my mouth always feels so fresh afterwards.
  3. Going on adventures

    I love going on adventures – big and small. Sometimes Cobalt and I just roam around Boulder county with cameras to photograph anything interesting. We also like to explore the state of Colorado. I’d say we’re doing pretty good so far but I think the southwestern corner needs more adventures. Really, it doesn’t matter what state (or country hopefully someday) the adventure is in; as long as I am adventuring, everything is good. This picture is from when we went to an alligator farm in southern Colorado! Awwww… look at that little guy.
  4. Soft, fuzzy things

    So I like things that are soft. A lot. It helps if they’re fuzzy and warm too but really, give me something soft like a blanket, Cobalt’s hair, stuffed animals, clean sheets, and I’m happy. Basically if I’m sad, give me something soft to cheer me up. This picture on top is a pic of my oviraptor (I got him from the airport – definitely an impulse purchase) in this giant sweatshirt that I stole from Cobalt that I sleep in almost every night. The pic on the bottom is me cuddling with giant stuffed (and fuzzy) sharks – Gustav and Fernando (Fernando belongs to my friend A but I needed a double shark cuddle).
  5. Sports – soccer especially
    So I’ve played soccer since the youngest age I could possibly play (I think 4?). There is something about the feeling of my cleats digging into the grass that is incredibly satisfying to me (reason #1 why I hate indoor soccer – no cleats and no grass… booo). I also love the feeling of charging after the ball and how focused I get when I am trying to work out a play in my head. Yay soccer…
  6. Water
    I loooooove water. Swimming pools, showers, baths, hot springs, waterfalls, snowmelted freezing water, etc. Most of the time, I feel like I was born to be in the water. Funny story about that though, I don’t like being wet. So as soon as I get out of the water, I wish I was instantly dry.
  7. Food
    I love food. I could eat food all day. I more or less DO eat food all day. Your guess is as good as mine why I am not the size of an elephant by now… :-/
  8. Taking macro pictures of tiny things

    As you have probably figured out, I kind of love taking pictures of everything but taking pictures of tiny things (especially if they are fuzzy) is a particular habit of mine. The macro mode on my point and shoot is pretty much my favorite mode on that camera. Eventually I will buy a macro lens for my DSLR too. Watch out world… Macro everything!

This pretty much concludes the first “Things I love” list. Obviously there will be more later because I can already see some glaring holes in this list! What are some of the things you love?

Snow Day

Last Friday, we got a snow day! Turns out that between Thursday night and Saturday morning, we got about 23 inches of snow. Craziness… I haven’t seen this much snow since I was a little kid! Anyway, pictures…

To start things off, at the top is a picture of my friend A and me and our respective sharks (Fernando and Gustav) in the snow when it just started on Thursday night.

Fast forward to Friday morning when I decided it would be a fun idea to go cross country skiing through my neighborhood (why not?! There was snow everywhere…). So here are some more fun pictures:

First we have the picture of my faithful skiing shark companions: Shark Banana and Scrarmpl (Cobalt was there too but he was taking the picture… that is what he is not in it).

Then we discovered that Shark Banana has a loop on the end of his banana that was perfect for clipping him to one of my gloves. It was hilarious having Shark Banana on my glove, especially when I fell down (not shown!). I am pretty sure Shark Banana snuck a bite of snow while I was struggling to get up…

There we are trekkin’ through the neighborhood!

Thanks Cobalt for taking these pictures! :)