Archive for the 'Iowa' Category

Joel McHale tweeted about Iowa today :-)

about our eating habits apparently… uummm, I don’t get the joke. Totally sounds like this person is getting his morning fix of dairy and caffeine, right?

Lets all start calling a meal of cheese & Mountain Dew the Iowan Latte!

-Amber

Ashton Kutcher is probably my cousin. He’s from Iowa, so how could he not be?

I bet you all thought I wasn’t going to post today.  WELL I AM!  So there!  The joke is on YOU!  I didn’t bring my laptop into work with me today, so I had to wait until I got home to write a post.

So recently I ran into a guy that I went to school with (elementary through high school).  I wouldn’t consider it a big deal if we were still in Iowa.  I would expect to run into my classmates if I were in Iowa.  But not in Nashville.  And not specifically at my neighborhood Bed, Bath & Beyond.  But I did.  And we ended up chatting for about 30 minutes about Big Ten Expansion (I could talk your ear off for hours about what I thought about expansion if you let me – to sum it up: SUCK IT NOTRE DAME!).  It was really nice and I learned that there were two other people that we graduated from high school with that are living down here!  What!?  

Why I mention this is not to relate the story of how I walked around BB&B exclaiming to Amber on the phone about how they didn’t have Britta pitchers (They do.  Very obviously displayed even.  I am just a moron).  No, I mention this because it totally ruins my argument to non-Iowans who always ask me if I know so and so from Iowa.  

When I lived in California for 4 months I was constantly being asked if I knew Ashton Kutcher.  It got to the point where I wanted to scream in frustration.  Granted I was being asked this question mostly by people from different countries who have no idea where Iowa is, but still.  There were some people who were not foreign and therefore have no excuse.  The reasoning behind asking me if I knew A+K was that he was from Iowa and so was I, so we must know each, right?  Because Iowa is just that small I guess.  

Iowa fits on a regular sized couch. WE COULD BE IN YOUR LIVING ROOM RIGHT NOW!

Fun fact: My mother in law and father in law went to high school with Ashton Kutcher’s mom.  We were looking through their high school yearbooks one night and they came upon her picture.  “Oh yeah, she married that one guy and then they had that idiot.  He’s not funny.  I don’t know why they keep putting him in those camera commercials.”  That’s what my father in law said.  I kept quiet because I actually really like Ashton Kutcher.  Or at least I will always love Michael Kelso.  I also love punk’d.  That show was genius.  Although my in-laws do have a point about the camera commercials.  They’re not funny and they make me feel slightly uncomfortable for some reason.  Maybe because I would never dare to steal a stranger’s camera and take a bunch of pictures on it?  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m just failing to see the humorous side of the commercial.

So next time someone asks me if I know Ashton Kutcher, I’m just going to say yes and make up outrageous lies about how we used to tip cows, play baseball, break dance, and compete in beauty pageants together.  All at the same time.

<3, lindsay

P.S.

But absolutely no Illinois or Nebraska. You guys are lame. *Exception = Jill. She can come.

Lots of Sports. And me being a lion car.

Howdy y’all (because I said y’all, you should automatically now know that this is Lindsay.  Because I live in the South.)!

I must first start this post off by commending the Iowa Hawkeyes Wrestling team for winning their 3rd straight NCAA championship.  The tournament is not even over as I write this and already there is no way that any other team can catch us.  I guess that’s what happens when you have a Hawkeye in 5 out of the 10 finals.  Good job guys!  

I don't know what year this is. But they are Champs regardless!

 

Now that I’ve congratulated our guys, I have to say.  Wrestling = the most confusing macho sport ever.  Macho because it’s all about strength and dominating your opponent.  Confusing because…. Well, have you ever watched wrestling?  Think about it.  You’ve got all these guys in these tiny spandex suits that cling to their bodies and show pretty much EVERYTHING.  Then they grab each other all over the place.  I have seen so many butt grabs and inner thigh grabs in the past few days that I can’t help feeling slightly uncomfortable for the guys.  Their junk is getting grabbed on ESPN.  I don’t care WHAT I’m doing, I don’t ever want someone to grab my boob and have it televised.  Even an accidental grab.  Just sayin’.

You can't deny that it makes people feel weird.

 

Besides wrestling, there’s also been a little thing called March Madness that’s been going on.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it?  Unfortunately, the Iowa men’s basketball team is not in the tournament.  Actually, did you know that Iowa fired Coach Lickliter?  Did you know that typing Lickliter makes me giggle?  Because it does.  But back to the tournament.  I filled out a bracket haphazardly a couple of days ago and didn’t pay attention to who I picked for certain games.  Now I am really wanting to know who I picked to win in the Northern Iowa vs. Kansas game.  I hope Northern Iowa, because they totally just won!  I’m pretty sure only Northern Iowa fans must have had them winning that game, because Kansas was the overall Number 1 seed in the ENTIRE tournament.  So good job Panthers!  I will always root for an Iowa team that’s not named Iowa State.  

I found this on the first page of google image searching for Iowa State Sucks.
I don’t understand it, but I like it.

Sticking to March Madness, I am currently watching the Iowa women’s basketball team.  They’re winning by four against Rutgers.  I am actually a little ticked off right now, not because of anything Iowa or Rutgers is doing, but because of ESPN2.  I am pretty blind, so when they shrink the action screen, it is really hard for me to see what’s going on.  About 1/4 the screen is taken up by scores.  Well, actually more than 1/4, but i was talking about the vertical strip where they are broadcasting all the scores from other games (including the men’s tournament).  Can’t they just show the scores on the bottom only?  Along with the scores on the bottom and the scores on the vertical strip, there is also another score board thingy that keeps popping up near the top of the screen.  Why?  Does ESPN2 think that the only reason I’m watching their channel is to see the scores of other games?  Oh, but commercials are given the full screen (minus the bottom score bar that is always there).  I am seriously cheesed off.  

I can't see the score! ESPN2 you better watch out, because I'm a vampire and I am COMING FOR YOU.

 

In other “news” (I say this with quotation marks around it because it’s not really news) not related to sports, the other day I came to the conclusion that I must seem like a freak to a lot of people in my workplace.  And when I say workplace, I mainly mean people on my floor that are not in my lab.  So those people who see me 5 days a week and have never talked to me, but could probably pick me out of a line up (not a criminal line up, but a crazy line up).  Line up or lineup?  I am not sure.  Wordpress recognizes both as legit (but will not recognize wordpress.  Strange, I know).  

So anyways, the other day I was walking down the hall with one of the graduate students.  We walked past another graduate student from another lab and he said hello to my grad kid (what I like to call the graduate students in my lab).  When I was sure that this other graduate student had made it to the bathroom and closed the door, I remarked to my grad kid how cute the other graduate student was – mainly I really liked his hair.  (*Important note: in no way must you think that I was scoping out this guy.  I am happily married and only pay attention to guys’ hair.  Don’t judge me.  I just really like good hair.  

Several things about this picture are great, but I would marry the hair alone (IF I WERE SINGLE - I wouldn't divorce for hair reasons).

 

My grad kid then said she would introduce me next time we saw him.  Immediately I made her promise that she would not introduce us, or even tell him my name.

Here is where the crazy comes into the story.  I frequently like to skip and spin and twirl down the hallways.  I also tend to get cold in the lab, so I am usually dressed in jeans and a blue coat.  So almost everyday you could describe my outfit as jeans and that blue coat.  Add to this that I’ve inherited my mother’s tendency to make car noises when turning corners, etc.  Seriously, I will be walking down the hall, and randomly I will decide it is a good idea to put my hands on an invisible steering wheel and say vroom vroom!  Also, I will beep at people when I pass them, and make a backup noise when I walk backwards.  I will also make screeching noises when turning corners.  I swear – there is something wrong in my brain.  I also growl for no reason every now and then.  

It makes sense when you consider that I have a lion (Adan) as my daemon.

 

And then there’s my hair.  My bangs are at a weird place right now.  They’ve been in this place since probably January.  I really need to go get them trimmed, but I’m too lazy to go to a hairdresser.  Also, I’m too scared that I will make myself look even more like a huge dork if I try to trim them myself.  So to remedy the problem of having my bangs in my face, I will tie them up in a pony tail or try to bobbypin them back.  And let me tell you.  My bangs will stay out of my face, but they get all pouty and decide that if they can’t hang out with my forehead, they won’t hang out with the rest of my hair either.  So they stick out all weird.  So unless I do my hair in the morning before I go to work, I have bangs sticking up all weird everywhere.  I have to be to work at 9:00 in the morning.  I usually get up at 8:00.  We usually try to leave no later than 8:40 (because we have a 20 minute commute), and I move incredibly slowly.  Ideally I would get up at 6:00 and slowly get ready by 8:30ish.  But this rarely happens and often I am drying my hair in the warm air of the car heater.

So you see my predicament now.  I dress pretty much the same everyday.  And speaking of dressing the same, blue jeans and blue coat – I am pretty much dressed like a blueberry everyday.  My bangs look like I selectively stuck them in an outlet.  I make beep beep, vroom vroom, screeeeeeeeech noises in the hallway as I skip, spin, twirl and walk down the hallway.  And more importantly, in addition to doing all of this in front of the cute graduate student (c.g.s.) from the other lab, I have run into the wall numerous times (in front of c.g.s.), and I have fallen down at least twice (also in front of c.g.s.).  There was a third time I fell down in front of him, but I’m not 100% positive that he saw me, so I will err on the side of not being humiliated and say that he didn’t see it.  I admit though, I am somewhat impressed with my ability to fall down for pretty much no reason.  All the times I have fallen down at work have been because I dropped something, and when I went down to retrieve that thing, my glasses slipped off my face, and I used both my hands to grab them, thereby causing myself to tip forward and not have my hands to catch myself.  I really should file for workman’s comp or something.  Because they should really have someone following me around or something.  

Yay me!

 

So that’s all from Nashville for right now.  I promise that once I take a shower and remember, I’ll take a picture of me with my sonic screwdriver (it’s pretty epic).  Also, I’m moving (again)!  So that should provide for some entertaining stories.  Maybe I will meet my neighbors while moving in, and we will become BFFs and then because one of my neighbors (downstairs) is the American Idol Season Three (or Two…?  I think it’s three though – cause Clay Aiken was two…..right???  Yes, I remember because Kelly Clarkson was One, and Clay was after her) runnner up, we will go meet Paula Abdul, and we will all dance around with cartoon cats (the cats cannot be real, because it turns out I am ALLERGIC to real cats).

I imagine it will look pretty much exactly like this, but with more cats and less
stairs.

 

<3, ngtlindsay

Top 5 Things About the Iowa State Fair 2009

Sunday I went to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.  It was my 2nd time going, and it really solidified the fact that I’ve now established a tradition and that attending the Fair is quite an awesome adventure.  Here are my highlights from this year…

5.  THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE

2006_Iowa_State_Fair

This sounds like a cop out, but you’ve never experienced anything like the Iowa State Fair until you’ve been there.  So many people, rides, animals, etc.  Every year since 2002, more than 1 million people have attended.  (You should be one of them.)

4.  FREE SHOWS

There are countless competitions, shows, concerts, etc. at the Fair.  The big names cost money, but everything else is FREE!  This year I saw part of a great competition, which included two amazing Irish dancers, and heard a band called She Swings, She Sways.  Both were fabulous!  I highly recommend going to the band’s myspace to listen to their music.  The concert was even better because the weather was amazing (complete with a cool breeze) and there was an adorable kid who got very into the music.

3.  BUTTER COW

buttercow
I think I’m still understanding how important the butter cow is to the Iowa State Fair.  Apparently it’s a Very Big Deal, even outside of Iowa.  And every year, in addition to the cow, there’s another incredible scupture.  Last year was Shawn Johnson.  This year was not Michael Jackson but Neil Armstrong and his famous moonwalk.  (We concluded that the Fair missed out on a golden opportunity to feature 2 moonwalks by not having MJ there as well.)

EDIT:  Mental Floss has posted a list of 10 past/present butter sculptures at the fair!  See it here.

2.  FOOD

food

I think last year I did better (or worse?) in the food area.  This year I didn’t eat as much, which leaves me a little disappointed now, but I think my body thanks me for it.  I had fries, a donut, a cinnamon roll, fried green beans, and the most amazing chocolate chip cookies.  All were delicious – esp. the cookies, green beans, and donuts.  However, I did not get any cheese curds, funnel cake, or anything on a stick.  I just realized that the official Iowa State Fair website has a list of all the foods at the fair.   Holy crap, I wish I had seen this sooner.  Next year, it is ON!  I’m going to start saving my money now.  (Jen, did you find that ice cream place?  If not, next year!)

1.  FRIENDS

Last year I was introduced to the Fair by my friend Sarah and her family and friends, who have a tradition of attending together every year.  (Sarah has only missed one fair in her entire life so far!)  This year the group included about 15 people, including……JEN!  It’s so much fun to go with friends, friends of friends, parents of friends, kids of friends, and friends who were in the same SLIS class but haven’t seen each other in ages.  🙂  So to everyone I went to my 2nd Iowa State Fair with, thanks for making it a blast!  I’m ready for next year!

– Jill

The Best Farm to Live On?

I have been doing a lot of driving around the Midwest over the last two weeks on my way to interviews, which I may or may not blog about soon.  My favorite thing to look at while driving (ooh wait, sorry, SECOND favorite after lakes!) is wind farms!  They are so pretty!  I know some people complain about them and actually think they are ugly because they seem so strange in the farmland, but I think they’re great.

Did you know that Iowa is #2 for having the most wind power installed in a state?  I haven’t seen any wind farms in Iowa; I think maybe they’re in the N/NW part of the state.

windfarm_iowa

Wind farm in Iowa. Pretty, no?

Wind farm in Hancock County

Wind farm in Hancock County

I did see wind farms in Illinois on my trip.  Illinois is ranked #10 in most wind power.

wind_farm

Wind farm in Illinois

windfarm

Another wind farm in IL

What a good, CLEAN way to get energy!  Way to go, Midwest!  It’s nice to know your boring flatness is good for something.  🙂

– Jill

Project Lincoln Log

Like Amber mentioned in a previous post, a few weeks ago we competed in the Iowa City Public Library’s Project Lincoln Log with our friend Emma, one of our teen podcasters.  It was AWESOME!  Here’s the deal:  We had one hour to construct something using two boxes of Lincoln Logs.  We could do things to prep them ahead of time, paint our base, and practice, but the actual structure had to be re-created in that hour.

We built a replica of the 100 Acre Wood from Winnie the Pooh.  I have to give Amber all the credit for coming up with the idea.  It was a huge hit!  I hadn’t realized how many people would love it.  (Apparently I didn’t read much Winnie the Pooh when I was younger.)  And now, the photos…

p2060387Pre-game (Emma’s friend Emma, team member
Emma, and Amber with her gameface ON)

p2060391Working hard during our one hour

100acrewood3-lgAll done!

p2060392Aerial view of most of the Wood, complete with hand-painted characters!!!
Seriously, the people LOVED them.  Woo, go Amber’s creativity!


p2060393Lower-left corner

p2060394Lower-right corner

p2060395Rabbit’s garden

100acrewood2-lgWe won BEST IN SHOW!!!  (and met Abraham Lincoln!)

100acrewood1-lgHooray!

— jill

OMG, Miss Piggy is from IOWA

miss-piggy

Maybe you already knew this, but I certainly did not.  According to an article I read on CNN (which apparently originated on Mental Floss), “Frank Oz once said that Miss Piggy grew up in Iowa; her dad died when she was young and her mother was mean. She had to enter beauty contests to make money.”  Wow, I had no idea.

A few other interesting things about some Muppets:

  • Count von Count once dated Countess von Backward, who loved to count backwardcount-von-count
  • Oscar the Grouch’s voice is based on a NYC cab driver and was originally orange
    oscar
  • Waldorf (of Statler and Waldorf, the old hecklers) has a wife named Astoria
    statler-waldorf
  • Beaker does a Little Richard impression and has mad beatbox skills
    (Unfortunately I cannot find a clip of the impression or his beatbox skills, but here’s his rendition of “Ode to Joy.”  Enjoy!)

Mine might be Beaker…who is YOUR favorite Muppet?

jill