Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ye Olde Gastronomic Adventure

Today's CU Sighting is located just north of campus at the crossroads of Green Street and First Street. Ye Olde Donut Shop and Hickory Pit Barbecue is sure to satisfy even the most insatiable appetite. Nowhere else but right here in Champaign-Urbana can the gastronomic adventurer be favored with the distinctive fusion of sugared pastries and spit-fired meat. Don't let the Old English deceive you; you won't find Grendel quaffing a cup of mead or a dress code calling for chain-
mail armor
, but shoes and shirts are a must. Zoe's first trip didn't turn out so well. We didn't make it in time to eat, but at least the parking lot was empty.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

meggan in bunnaland

This weekend we played host to Meggan. She got a brief respite from supervising those tiresome octogenarians and Zoe got to meet another aunt. So it was a pretty good deal for all of us. Zoe took to Meggan right away and we assume vice-versa.

We had beautiful fall weather today, which made the tour of campus both fun and, I might add, historically accurate!

It also provided us the opportunity to tour another of Champaign- Urbana's numberless places of interest. Tucked away in a quiet corner of campus, the grounds of The Institute for Genomic Biology feature a rather singular spectacle which represents today's CU Sighting. An undergraduate experiment in biomass conversion gone terribly wrong, these fellows stand as constant reminders of the frequent underestimation of the instability and biocomplexity of plant genomes and proteomics. You can also play a little game of "where's bunna?"

This one is for the grandparents.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

milk or beer? why choose one when you can have both?

Many of you have scoffed at us because of our faith in alternative medicine. We've heard the laughter as we administer our tinctured treatments from those tiny droppers; we've remained undeterred by the jibes about apple cider vinegar baths or avoiding red and yellow food dyes; and endured the countless jokes about a squirrel and a metal rod. Our homeopath's latest prescription for Jenny is by far my favorite. There's no telling what a bottle of beer before each feeding will do for milk production, but you can't beat the beer breath! Since Zoe gets what mom eats in one form or another, I suggested we dispense with a few steps of the process and try a more direct approach. She's had a steady diet of non- alcoholic beer today and things seem better, but we're out of pretzels.

Monday, November 12, 2007

bunna a fraud, mustache not real!

Ever since the second annual white trash party, I have been carrying an enormous burden. The only way to redeem myself and pay complete restitution to the deceived is to share the trade secrets of fake mustache application and grooming - an art revealed to me by one Captain Potassium. Here is a list of the supplies you'll need:

hair clippers
your wife's toothbrush
a paper towel (you may substitute a kleenex or toilet paper)
lotion or moisturizer

The first step in applying any type of fake facial hair, as any professional in the counterfeit whiskers industry will tell you, is to guarantee an exact color match. This can be achieved only by using your own hair. There are many ways to harvest the hair you'll need. Some collect stray clippings in the sink after shaving (though this can take weeks and you never know just when you'll need a fake mustache) and some swear by a product I'd rather not endorse: the Mangroomer. In the case at hand, after shaving my head in the shower, the stray hairs were carefully gathered with the toothbrush and swept onto a paper towel. The next step is more difficult and may require years of practice before your fake mustache goes undetected. Apply the lotion in the desired shape of your handsome new handlebars and press the trimmings to your face until you achieve the coverage you fancy. Here is where most impostors go wrong. Be careful not to over apply as excessively thick or patchy mustaches are easily recognized. Then, remove excess whiskers with the toothbrush until the Keiser Wilhelm inside you shines through. Oh, don't forget to rinse out your wife's toothbrush when you're done.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me; or, yer books are overdue, matey!

Today's CU Sighting is the monocular guardian of the library's main stacks. Strategically placed at the entrance to the university's enormous collection, this book-loving buccaneer gazes down at would-be library patrons in what could be considered the current library administration's version of Big Brother. Hugh C. Atkinson, University Librarian from 1976-1986, suffered a tragic reading accident in which he lost the use of his right eye and left hand. Atkinson was always fond of the hook prosthetic attachment, which he sheepishly concealed behind his back, yet preferred the freebooter fashion so accurately depicted in his portrait to other methods of ocular re-presentation. Atkinson, who strove tirelessly for tighter book binding regulations including blunt cover corners and edgeless paper, found his place recently in that Library of Congress in the sky. So, Bunna and Biff salute you, Captain Hugh C. Atkinson, (Arrrrrrgh!) for keeping reading safety your administration's first priority.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

the perfect storm, too!

While two of our best friends were enjoying the breathtaking views of Canyonlands (a backpacking trip one of them called "The Perfect Storm"), we were busy stuffing 8 adults, 3 kids, and a newborn baby into our tiny house for Zoe's baby blessing. It was, you might say, a perfect storm. Really though, it was great to have everyone here for the special occasion and fun for Zoe to meet grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins for the first time.

Grandma and Zoe in her beanie
Grandpa holding Zoe for the first time
Grandma and Grandpa spending a little time with Zoe
Garth, Ane, Gallagher, Atticus, and Eleanor pose for a picture with Zoe
Mom and Dad finally get to hold her!
Rico and Erin came all the way from Pittsburgh - thanks ya yinzers!
Gallagher and Zoe
All the cousins

Friday, November 2, 2007

another item for my cv

Today the university conferred on me a very prestigious award. Granted every university and state employee received the same honor, but after I failed the ethics course last year for completing the rather fatuous quiz too quickly (and was, furthermore, reprimanded by the Illinois State Ethics Committee and required to complete remedial ethics training), today's receipt is monumental. I think I'll frame it and hang it next to the certificate I received for my hole in one at the put-put course - the one I lied about. [Note: I have removed my last name from the certificate to protect my anonymity. If you would like to certify its authenticity, I welcome your perusal of said document.]

I don't want to feed her. You feed her!

We just found out Jenny's milk supply is running low. So when it comes to feeding Zoe, we've all had to help out a little. Since we couldn't miss the new episode of The Office, Zoe had to get her own food tonight. Lucky for us she's pretty good at feeding herself. The lactation consultant recommended an herbal supplement called Fenugreek that makes Jenny smell like maple syrup. Now I call her Aunt Jemima. I tossed and turned all night dreaming about sausages and silver dollar pancakes covered in maple syrup. I was as "a hungry man that dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty" (Isaiah 29:8). I'll have to make my way over to the IHOP tomorrow before I teach.