27 December 2008

Work? What's That About?

Yesterday was a pretty chill day at the lab. Only a handful of us were there, and we only did the most minimal amount of work that one could possibly do. Only the MUST DO'S were done. And unfortunately the work I do comprised most of the MUST DO list.

Here are some of the guys I work with in a nice panoramic view of the lab.
And here is a snippet of what we spent part of the day doing while waiting to pull things from the incubators.

They all might be in their 30's, but they sure can regress to their teens in the drop of a dime.
This is Quinton, who previously had a full, grizzly beard. He came in sporting a Merry Christmoustache.

My PIC, Ashley, left this in my locker just before she left for home in Texas.

She made a VTS doll and a Batman symbol out of masking tape. She's made these infamous "tape babies" for others in the lab over the last year. This is my first time receiving one. I feel so honored. Best Christmas present ever!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, surrounded with friends and family and good food!

23 December 2008

Welcome to Fight Club

"Welcome to fight club!" That's what Pedro says to me anytime I get hurt or am feeling tortured because I'm often contorted into positions that are super uncomfortable (that's an understatement). You want to know how many times I've been welcomed to fight club? Too many. I am very familiar with fight club, let me just say that. I've been training regularly for a whole year now. I can't believe it. It's had it's ups and downs. Overall I've enjoyed it immensely, but there are days (that sometimes stretch into weeks) that I ask myself why I subject myself to this. But something always brings me back. Sometimes it's the people that call me and and ask if I'm coming in that night, and tell me to bring my best moves because they're ready to put the squeeze on me. Sometimes it's just the overwhelming sense of accomplishment that I feel after I've done a hard workout. That feeling is addictive. But mostly it's because the sport is just so damn cool. I love how disciplined and focused that you have to be in order to really get it down. I love how technical it is. I just really love it. Not everyday, but the feeling always returns somehow.

I just got in one last jujitsu session before the gym closed for the holidays. We were working on the same takedowns that we were doing when I chipped my tooth last week. I forgot my mouthguard at home (I scrubbed it and left it on a towel to dry instead of putting it in my gym bag) and came down hard on my partner's head. "Welcome to fight club!" Shut up. I was a little tentative tonight when we started, but I got over it.

My pal, Riley, is fighting on January 3rd in Jeremy Horn's Elite Fight Night. He's looking really good! He always trains really hard and very regularly. This is his first fight and I'm really excited to see how it goes. I'm a huge fan of this guy. Here he is tonight getting some fluid from his ear drained by our coach, Rob. Such a pleasant experience.

Robert Densley is also fighting in the Elite Fight Night. He was there tonight doing rounds with Camran, Riley, Keith and Kyle. I love watching those guys. All very talented athletes!

Here are a couple of my other pals, Kyle and Keith. And yes, they're twins. Keith is out here in Utah for a few weeks/months visiting Kyle and training at Absolute with us. He came here from Virginia where he's been training in MMA regularly. It's nice to have him here. He taught me an extra cool half-guard sweep the other day. I tried using it tonight but it just got me in more trouble. That's the story of my training.
Come the the Fight Night on 03 January 2009. Oh, and don't forget to watch UFC 92 on 27 December 2008. The fight card looks AWESOME! I'm actually going to skip the wedding reception of a good friend of mine to watch these fights. It's going to be that good. Now I just need to find someplace to watch it. Hmmm? Any takers?

22 December 2008

Awesome Quote of the Week

Mark, my older brother, and I went to the Nickelcade a few days ago. I just knew that he'd love that Star Wars game that I've told you guys about numerous times before. Well, we were at the level where you deposit your missiles into the main reactor, but in order to get to the main reactor you have to defend against massive amounts of TIE fighters. You are playing the role of Luke Skywalker in this game, naturally, and therefore are in a X-wing fighter. Mark wasn't very good at knocking off the TIE fighters before they aimed their missiles at him. He died frequently. After a few attempts, he turns to me and with exasperation in his voice says, "Ness, I could totally take on these guys if I were in the Falcon." And you could tell that he really believed that.

Resourcefulness Is His Game

Remember the guy wearing this shirt? Well, he came in wearing another classic:

A MacGyver shirt! I used to LOVE that show as a kid. We weren't allowed to watch TV during the school week, except when we displayed exceptional behavior and finished our homework. My brothers and I would always choose an episode of MacGyver. I recently saw a re-run and am baffled as to why I thought this show was so spectacular.
It must have been the mullet.

20 December 2008

Getting Festive

My mother travels to Germany almost every year to see her friends and family. Two years ago she brought back a "Raucher Manchen" (a little smoking man) and gave it to me for Christmas. The torso comes off, you light incense cones and replace the top. The smoke from the incense comes out of its mouthhole, resembling him smoking a pipe. I was thrilled to have one. It was made out of wood from the Black Forrest in the southeastern part of Germany.

Last year she brought back a three story "Weihnacht's Pyramide" (Christmas Pyramid). It's a traditional German nativity. My dad purchased one on his mission to Germany in nineteen seventy something, and we displayed it in the dining room as the centerpiece every Christmas. I always wished that I had one. It wasn't until I was at home last Christmas that I made it known to my mother. I asked her if I could inherit dad's. She just smiled and said that perhaps one day I might get one. I was beyond happy when I opened my present a few days later and it was a Weihnacht's Pyramide. Mom said that she was so surprised when I mentioned how badly I wanted one. She thought that I may have peeked at the presents. Nope. She just picked the perfect present.

Isn't it beautiful?

I wonder if I'm going to get something from Erzgebirge this year. No pressure though.

I Know Her! We're Total Pals!

You know those extra awesome people that make you feel like a rock star because somehow they want to be your friend? And you are automatically exponentially cooler just because of your association with them? Well, that's how I feel about my friend, Tiffany. Tragically, she moved to Delaware last August and now I can only recommend getting to know her through her blog. The woman is unmatched in sassiness and wit. Prior to reading her latest post, I didn't know that I could laugh as loud as I did and for as long as I did. The giveaway she recently had was unlike any other. I was digging back into the archives and want to suggest that you read this and this and this. You won't be disappointed. Man, don't you just think I'm infinitely cooler now?

10 December 2008

Who Peed In My Panties?

That's a great question, Liesl. How about you try to figure that one out yourself.

She's Crafty

You bet your boots I made it all by myself! Best snowflake this side of the Mississippi.
I love those Homer's! This was our post Sunday dinner activity. Thanks for the invite!

08 December 2008

Awesome Quote of The Day

"Dude, if Zac Efron were in detention, I would punch a teacher in the face to get in there."

-Lucy B. (15)

04 December 2008

JT Just Made VTS' Awesome List

Have you guys seen this? I'm erupting into fits of giggles.

If you don't know what that parody is based off of, watch the following video:

Uhm, could someone please explain to me what is on her left hand. It looks like a mechanical appendage that both Luke and Anakin have in the Star Wars movies (almost anything can be given a Star Wars reference).

I'm actually digging Beyonce's moves. I was surprised by how many girls filmed themselves in their living rooms doing this dance and put it on You Tube . Why would you do that? Or rather, why would you post it on You Tube where everyone is inevitably going to laugh at you? It baffles me.

Also, on an unrelated note, you have got to check out Jessi's most recent post. I didn't realize that I could laugh that hard. Mercy! Check out her whole blog. She's an absolute riot!

01 December 2008

Holy Hot Dang!

I'm sad that it's already December. Mainly because the proceeding picture was the car displayed for the month of November on my calendar.
It's really hard to move onto the next month and have to cover up such a beauty. The 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo just doesn't do it for me.
I hope my dad remembers to give me a Snap-On calendar for Christmas. I highly anticipate it every year.
I love my dad's catch phrase. He's such a rock star.
Note: "The Rev" is short for The Reverend, because he is The Reverend of Chrome. Oh man, the guy is awesome.

30 November 2008

The Value Of The Week #1

My assignment from the young women's lesson today is to each week randomly yoink a value from the grab bag that you see below and demonstrate it diligently. I thought that you may want to join me. I knew it! I just knew that you would! Man, I have the greatest e-friends EVER!
The value of the week is...................................being
I'll give you an e-high five for every courteous thing that you do. How you like them apples! This isn't a game. You're either in or you're out. You can't be going after this halfway. Let's go team! This is going to be the most courteous week that the world has ever seen!

29 November 2008

What Every Gingerbread House Needs...

...is its own octagon. Just in case Santa has any cage-fighting urges. It has been known for an Elf to get out of line every now and then. I hear that Santa can really throwdown.
What you don't realize is that after he makes his opponent tap out, he eats them. That's the tragic truth behind the fatness. What a jolly old fellow.
Please don't show this post to your children. They most likely won't take it well.

27 November 2008

The Most Uplifting Thanksgiving Post Of All Time


Happy Thanksgiving!

Have you been to Hogle Zoo for the Feast of the Beasts? An 800 pound pumpkin was put into the elephant area and the elephants went to town on it. They stomped it and then gorged themselves. I've never seen an elephant eat before. It was incredible to see how they use the end of their trunk to pinch of a piece of pumpkin and shovel in in their mouths. I didn't realize how strong those trunks can be. Fascinating.

Raw meat was put into a big pumpkin shell and then the tiger was released. He was seriously mad because a leopard was in that same habitat for its feast an hour before. He wandered around marking his territory for quite a while. He then rushed the pumpkin. I don't think I would get between a tiger and his food anytime soon. I'll need a bit more ninja skills before I'd attempt that.

I'm a zoo-aholic. I go multiple times a month. I have a membership. So if you want to go, you just let me know. You could name an animal, any animal, and I can take you right to it. Probably with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back while hopping on one foot. I'm pretty talented.

I went last weekend with my 3 year old niece (Liesl) and 1 year old nephew (Algy). Algy likes to ride the train, so we went on the train tour of the park. As we approached the turkey vultures the narrator was telling us that they are also called "The Wieners of the West". I was laughing my can off and the guy sitting in front of me turned around and gave me that quizzical "what's so funny" look. I told him and then he clarified that the narrator actually said that they are called "The Cleaners of the West". I was embarrassed.
Also, have you ever seen an elephant take a tinkle? I liken it to an open fire hydrant. It was incredible. Simply fascinating. I hope you get to have that experience sometime. I really do.

Look at this guy. He obviously is experiencing the joy that is contained in naked hammock sleeping. Not a care in the world.

So after the zoo I went to my brother's house and for The Big Thanksgiving Dinner. We're not big turkey eaters so we went with Thanksgiving Burgers! Beef, not turkey. They were insanely delicious. That's our tradition. Don't hate.

After dinner I was playing with my niece and she kept telling me that her stomach hurt. I didn't know what to do so I just rubbed her tummy for a little while and told her that I was using my magic powers to make her bellyache go away. Right then she hurled all over me. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this was pipeline throwup. Her entire mouth-hole was was expelling the nastiness. This was a massive pukage. A pukage that could go down in history. I just stared at her in horror as I fought the down the urge to puke at the sight and smell of her puke. I kept telling myself that it's mind over matter. As soon as the urge passed and I was ok, she puked all over me again. The same volume of the pink, stringy, chunky mess! I was going to lose it. I turned my head and stared at the opposite wall until I could contain myself again. My brother grabbed her and carried her to the kitchen. Just before they reached the sink she hurled one more time. It was so incredibly disgusting. I'm sorry for telling you but I just really felt the need to have you know.

Fine, He Dazzles Me Too

I know, I know. I'm the one female who wasn't waiting on baited breath for Edward to make his on-screen appearance, yet I've seen the movie TWICE already and it hasn't even been out a week! I'm embarrassed. I went to an anti-Twilight party on Friday night at my friend Thor's house. He invited me up with a couple other co-workers to watch a real vampire movie, The Lost Boys. Have you seen that flick recently? Please do. Go to your online rental site and put it in your queue right now. Seriously. I'll wait. Done? Ok. It's nothing like you remember. I reminisce back to when I was 11 or 12 and had to sneak to a friend's house to watch it because my parents wouldn't let me see rated R stuff. Why was I such a rotten kid? I hope I never have a child like myself. But I digress. I recall being scared to death and absolutely SWOONING over Corey Feldman and Corey Haim. Now I find it to be highly comical. The music, the outfits, the dialogue...everything is hilarious! I can't wait to discuss it with you after it arrives in your mailbox.

Anyway, I saw Twilight on Saturday night with my PIC. We went to the 10:45pm showing and I almost fell asleep numerous times. Not only was it getting way past my normal bedtime, but I was so bored with the pace of the movie. Edward looked like he was constantly constipated and in total agony. Every word that him and Bella spoke was so deliberate and filled with angst, it was so hard not to yell and the screen and implore them to just spit it out! Argh! And what is with way he sparkled? Honestly, he looked like one of those fuzzy My Little Ponies that have that bit of iridescent shimmer. It was tragic. I will give credit where credit is due though..........Edward was smoking HOT. His angular features were making me all tingly. The baseball scene was awesome - the music was good and the power that they possessed as they were swinging the bat was extremely sexy. James, a real vampire, was awesomely bad. Also, when Edward took Bella to his house for the first time and then carried her on his back through the forest, she had over/under hooks with her hands and heel hooks in his thighs.....(are you wondering the relevance of this bit of information?)......which is the best way to stay on someone's back when you're doing jujitsu! If he changed his mind and wanted to take her away to drink her blood in private, then she would have been in the most optimal position to choke him out, rendering him unconscious and giving her time to go and whittle a wooden stake out of a tree branch and stab it through his perfectly chiseled chest. But as it turns out, Edward is a model of self-control and discipline that no other man could ever match, which is why all of our "necks belong to Edward".

We weren't having a young women's activity this week because it was the day before Thanksgiving. I was talking to a few of the girls after church and they asked me if I wanted to hang out Wednesday night in place of the activity. I want you to know that none of the girls actually consider me their leader, I'm just their 30 year old friend. I was trying to get them to think that going to one of their houses to play Guitar Hero was a good idea. They were dead set on going to see Twilight and I am so glad that they were so persistent - I HAD THE BEST TIME EVER! The best way to see this movie is with giggly, twitterpated, young girls. Actually, it's seeing it with Lucy (15), Madeline (15), Tessa (13), and little Hannah (11). Everytime Edward made an appearance Lucy would start breathing very rapidly, practically hyperventilating. Tessa was pointing out cool observations that she made, such as whenever Victoria (in James' coven) made a kill she would wear that person's clothes and that there is a naked barbie doll in Bella's room. They giggled and clapped through the whole movie. I was loving every second.

Team Edward!

24 November 2008


Lab 101: Do not drop a test tube rack containing 32 cultures of different organisms. Seriously, not a good idea. Clench onto the rack with all the focus and strength that you can muster. Do not turn your head to stare at the eye candy walking further down the hall. Look straight ahead so that you can see the giant rack of media that is right in front of you. If accidental droppage does occur, be aware that you will not only have to talk to the dreaded safety officer, but you will also spend more time than you wanted on writing down the names of the 32 organisms on a spill record form and coming up with reasons on how the accident could have been prevented in the first place.

And now you know.

Today was an interesting day at work. We have some construction going on next to our lab (big expansion project) and the construction crew supposedly hit our main water line causing a big leak. The water was then shut off in the whole lab. It was only 1pm and we were told that we all could leave. I promptly found my awesome friend Ashley and invited myself to her house to play Guitar Hero World Tour. Have you seen the commercial for it? It's awesome. Check this out:

I totally unleash my inner rock star. You don't even know.
Kobe, Tony Hawk, and Phelps in their underwear and wearing pink? Awesome. Not a big fan of A-Rod though. You know why. Stupid Yankee. I actually read Tony Hawk's biography last year and it was surprisingly good. It's called Tony Hawk Occupation: Pro Skater. He has this amazing never quit attitude. He will never give up. That just might be the quality that I admire most in someone.

Anyhoodle, I think that I should never own a gaming system that supports Guitar Hero or Rock Band or anything like that. I would waste unimaginable amounts of time playing it. It is so blasted addicting!

Ashley is my PIC - Partner In Crime. We are two little peas in a pod. She always is game to accompany me in my tomfoolery. A few weeks ago the roof hatch on the east side of the lab was open to air out some fumes due to the remodeling of some offices. I grabbed Ashley and told her that we were going on a secret field trip. And she came, no questions asked! It was really fun to see everything from up there. I got some good pictures of the construction. Wanna see them? I thought so.

A couple of weeks ago, Ashley and I grabbed some hamburgers at Five Guys Burgers and Fries and then went to the Nickelcade and played video games for 2 and a half hours. That's what we do. We felt like a couple of 16 year old boys. We are total nerds together. Friends like that are few and far between.

16 November 2008

Submission Only Grappling Tournament

Yesterday was the Champion's Challenge Submission Only Grappling Tournament down at the Throwdown ETC in Orem. A bunch of the guys from Absolute were competing in this so I went down to watch. I was going to compete and then backed down due to sickness and just not feeling as prepared as I wanted to be. I was at the tournament from 11am until past 6pm. Alot of the team arrived at the center at 8am for weigh-ins and such. It was a long day. All of our guys did so well. Most of them placed, if not first in their weight class and division. Toward the end of the tournament, when alot of the final fights were going on, someone from Absolute was in every one of those matches. There were 4 fights going on at the same time on the big mat. At one point we had a guy in every one of the matches.

I learned so much by just showing up and watching. Takedown techniques, being patient with a submission and sticking with it until it takes, set-up strategies, preparation for a match, etc...it was making all excited for the next tournament.

Denver getting his opponent in his guard. He got a wicked omo plata submission in an earlier round. It was amazingly cool.
Camrann in a flash of pink.
Ben Garner on the left in the green shorts was the master of his division and weight class. Undefeated. Tough as friggin' nails. Harold "The Constrictor" is on the right hand side of this pic and worked for over half and hour to get that submission. Harold is also very tough to beat. He entered the Absolute Pro Division (all weight classes combined) and took third. He grappled with Court McGee for almost 50 minutes. Court ended up winning the Absolute Division and received the $1,000 cash prize.
This is Denver on top working for the rear naked choke. He got it.
This is the other Cam that we have at our gym (in the blue). He won his division as well. He actually was up against another Absolute guy, Riley. Riley was matched up with all guys from our own team. We were joking that this tournament was pretty much like him just showing up for practice.
This is Chris (white pants) in the clinch. He also won his division. I don't think that he lost even one of his matches.
There was an injury toward the end of the day. People were getting tired and this guy wasn't protecting himself and was spiked on his neck. He was knocked unconscious but woke after a few seconds. We could see him move his arms and legs so I don't think there was any permanent damage. They did take every precaution and took him to the hospital immobilized on a stretcher.
This is my awesome coach, Rob Handley. He calls me VTD (Vanessa the Destroyer), because that's what I do. I cause wreckage! It was his birthday this last week. If you see him on the street, wish him a belated happy birthday!
Pedro and Shawn, coaching and watching.
Ben "Mr. Awesome" Garner preparing for his time to get on the mats.
Harold had a snake buzzed into his cranium. It looked extra cool. See part of its head there above his ear?
Harold and Camrann

Next tournament is on March 7th, and VTD will be in it - Do or Die!

13 November 2008

Pink in the Rink

I think I could set the world record right now for the most mucus contained in one persons head. I'm horribly congested. ARGH.

Anyway, I forgot to mention the highlight of my weekend...the Grizzlies game! Did you know that Grizzlies hockey started back up? The game on Friday night was for breast cancer awareness and they dyed the ice PINK. And the players wore pink jerseys that they auctioned off at the end of the night. But that's not the best part. The game was INCREDIBLE. They were playing The Reign from Ontario, California. The Reign scored 2 goals in the first period and maintained that lead late into the third period. The Reign goal tender was insanely good. We took three times as many shots on goal as the opposing team did and we didn't score. Two and a half minutes left of the third and we put one in the net. The crowd is one their feet and rallying for the home team at the this point. Eighteen seconds left and we score another! The game is tied. The third period ends and we go into overtime. Five minutes are put on the clock. No goals are scored in overtime. It goes to a shootout. Five players from each team each take a turn for a one-on-one with the opposite teams goalie. One by one they try for a goal and each one fails. Second to last dude on The Grizz gets up there and knocks one in. People are ripping off their shirts in swinging them over their heads at this point ( I was like one milimeter away from such a display). The last player from The Reign shoots wide and we win the game!!! My friends, that was a GREAT game.

I'm surprised that more people don't advantage of watching an ECHL hockey team here in Utah. In my personal opinion there are far more exciting sports to watch than U of U/BYU football and The Jazz. I've got a hook-up to get me into the games for free, so if you want to go just give me a call. Check out the schedule here. And if the only hockey knowledge you have is from watching The Mighty Ducks movies, then I'll sit next to you and explain this amazing game.

The A Fam

Hey Miyo, does this pic look familiar? I think you might be the stellar photographer that took this photo many moons ago. And now we're great friends! Small world, huh?
Seriously, you should have told me to take out the shoulder pads. As if I wasn't broad enough. Sheesh.

Check out some of Miyo Strong's amazing work here (including the Absolute team photos ). She works for Busath Photography and I think there's a link to the Busath site from her blog. I will shamelessly tell you to hire her for all your photography needs! She's good at what she does and she's ADORABLE!

09 November 2008

You're Awful, I Love You

It's late and not only am I totally tanked on cold medicine, but I think I'm a teensy bit looney from some strong glue that I used in the Volvo yesterday to hold up some paneling under the glove box. The following post may or may not make sense. I thank you for your patience in advance.

First things first.....................I won Mindi's superfantastic giveaway! I can't possibly convey how excited I was and how much I adore the Cherella purse that was sent. The day I received it in the mail I emptied out my other purse and transferred the vast contents into my new beauty. I went to the grocery store and I got THREE compliments on it immediately. I kid you not. It's that stunning. See...................

Guess what else she sent with the purse................
A turkey to go with my toilet paper pumpkin! You can now see what size it is in relation to a toilet paper roll. Isn't that what you wanted to know? Isn't it a regal turkey, perched there all proud on top of a pumpkin half? That's a really good looking turkey there.

So thanks a billion, Mindi! I adore you and your blog of hilarious awesomeness! For VTS's next giveaway I'll rig it so that you win. And it'll be something awesome, like swim goggles or a V8 (not the engine, the juice).

Go check out her blog. You'll never regret that you did.

On Wednesday, I got a call from a new friend at work inviting me to the Ludo concert. If you've never heard of Ludo, you should go check them out. I wasn't too familiar with the band but accepted the invitation anyway because I wanted to get to know these people better. We had wicked fun time. I did see more men in skinny jeans than I ever have seen at one gathering before. Damn those skinny jeans. The bitterness that you detect in that statement probably stems from the fact that I will never, ever in my entire life look good in a pair of skinny jeans. It just won't happen.

The opening bands were really good also. The Graduate was first, followed by Eye Alaska, and then The Higher come on right before Ludo. Eye Alaska did a really great punk version of Kanye West's Love Lockdown. I enjoyed The Higher the most, even though the lead singer could've been mistaken for a 12 year old girl. I have a couple of their songs at the bottom of the playlist to the right that you can peruse at your leisure. Oh, and Ludo gave us Kazoos! I forgot how fun those were.

I have a new name for The Ex Boss. I'm going to refer to him as ODB from now on. ODB's birthday is right around this time (not sure on the exact date, but the event takes place right around when I started at the lab on Nov. 6th). I put LOG in the back of his truck on Friday with a single balloon tied around it. That's all. Just to acknowledge his birthday. But this guy won't give you a reaction at all. Nothing. Once I took his lab coat and traded it for a small size and sewed the larger size tag in it. He didn't even notice that his lab coat was 2 sizes too small. Another time I purchased a Hello Kitty calculator and switched it with his regular calculator (he has an unnatural preference to this one specific calculator). I even had it maintained and calibrated by the metrology department. I got no reaction. None.

It could be that I personally feel that I'm funnier than I actually am. That's probably it. But wait, I pulled the same stunts on others in my current section and they think it hilarious (I tend to recycle jokes). Oh well.