important information for everyone at uiuc

To: Faculty, Staff, Students
From: Robert D. Palinkas, M.D.
Director, McKinley Health Center
Subject: Handshaking at Commencement

Because of ongoing concerns about the possibility of spreading the flu virus, students receiving degrees and their families should not shake hands at Commencement if they have symptoms of an upper respiratory infection such as fever and cough.

McKinley Health Center will provide hand sanitizer on the platform at the Assembly Hall ceremonies so that graduates can, if they wish, use it before and/or after receiving their degrees. Members of the official platform party also are encouraged to use the hand sanitizer provided.

Everyone is encouraged to observe the other guidelines to reduce the risk of infection, such as covering coughs and sneezes; avoiding touching eyes, mouth and nose; and washing hands frequently.

Robert D. Palinkas, M.D.

This mailing approved by:
The Office of the Chancellor

30 things

When I was 24, I made a list of 30 things to do by age 30.  I turned 29 in January, so I have 8 months to go and quite a list up ahead of me.  Italicized items are the ones I’ve finished.

30 by 30

Travel:
1. spend a summer abroad.
2. go to morocco.
3. spend a week in paris in the springtime.
4. take a vacation on each coast
5. see a show on broadway.

Education:
6. finish (or start, for that matter) graduate school.
7. read don quixote.
8. learn spanish.
9. have something published.
10. learn arabic.

Goals with tangible results:
11. finish the quilt grandma and i started when i was 10.
12. have a successful vegetable garden.
13. knit socks.
14. paint a room red.
15. develop a “signature” dish or menu.

Fun:
16. go camping and keep my freaking out to a minimum.
17. follow a band on tour (again).
18. win at pub quiz.
19. stay out clubbing til the sun comes up.
20. attend a “black tie” event.

Personal ‘improvement’:
21. build a fun yet professional wardrobe.
22. get some sort of computer certification.
23. build credit.
24. learn to live on a budget.
25. join a gym (and go regularly).

Defying easy categorization:
26. fall in love.
27. win an award.
28. have a well-stocked wine cellar.
29. perform music in some sort of live setting (not karaoke).
30. have a child.

2009 Walk for the Animals

This Saturday, Shane and I will be walking in the 14th Annual Walk for the Animals in support of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.  We adopted Mina from the AWLA, and the AWLA was very kind to us when Sid was so very sick.

I had a bit of a moral dilemma in writing this post and asking for donations for one reason: the AWLA isn’t a “no-kill” shelter.  In addition to being an animal shelter, they are also animal control for the county, so they take in all animals – sick, healthy, abandoned, surrendered, etc.  Having been in the facility a number of times in the last year – with Sid when she was so sick, again to pick up her ashes, buying various supplies for the cats, donating household items, looking for a new kitty, adopting Mina, and visiting other kitties when we were in the neighborhood – I can echo the comments of the reviewers on Yelp.  The AWLA is clean, staffed by kind and caring doctors and volunteers, and provides services like microchipping to the community.  Animals are kept in clean and comfortable cages, and are given lots of love and attention.  There are quiet areas for play and cuddling.

If you have spent any time with Shane and I, you know that we love our cats to pieces, and that we did everything we could for Sid when she was sick.  We volunteer for a no-kill shelter, and I feel conflicted about the fact that the shelter spends thousands of dollars on surgeries for individual cats – when that same amount of money could provide for the spaying or neutering of 80 cats at the AWLA.

It makes me sad that not every animal can be saved.   I did some looking around for information about no-kill shelters, and PETA reports that no-kill isn’t always the best option.  From PETA’s website: “Open-admission shelters are committed to keeping animals safe and off the streets and do not have the option of turning their backs on the victims of the overpopulation crisis as “no-kill” shelters do. No one despises the ugly reality of euthanizing animals more than the people who hold the syringe, but euthanasia is often the most compassionate and dignified way for unwanted animals to leave the world.”  I worry about the quality of life for the animals in either situation – kill or no-kill.

I choose to support both organizations with my time and money, because I believe both are doing the best they can.  I believe in the work that both are doing, and I believe they are both good causes.  I know that many animals have gone to wonderful homes.  I didn’t intend for this post to be about kill or no-kill shelters – but I felt like if we were asking for money, we should be up front about an aspect of shelters that some may be concerned about.

If you have a couple of extra bucks for a good cause, please consider supporting our team – Team Pettu – in this year’s Walk.   If you’re in the area, think about joining our team!  It was a nice way to spend an hour or two, even in the rain.

Thank you for considering a donation – and for supporting us!

P.S. If you have a couple of extra bucks for a good cause but would prefer to support people, please consider supporting our team for the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure.  My friend Tina and I will be running as Team Helpful Paws.

Overheard in DC

From DCist:

Drinking and spelling: best time ever!!

On a corner in Penn Quarter:

Guy #1: “I guess we could walk this way and look for a bar, or we could get on the Metro and go to a different area…wait, did you bring a dictionary?!”
Guy #2: “Yeah, I did.”
Guy #1: “Good, I totally forgot mine. So I guess let’s starting walking this way.”

Kitchen Meme

From The Boastful Baker:

metal or non-stick?
– Depends on what we’re cooking.  The non-stick is in heavy rotation for breakfast items, but the cast iron grill pan does its fair share with the meats and quick dinner items.  We also have this workhorse of a pan that is excellent for stovetop-to-oven items, but I’m not sure its specific make-up.

cast iron or stainless?
– More cast iron than stainless of late.  We’re pretty inspired by all the things Kevin does with his.

cutting board: silicone or wood?
– We have both, and use whatever’s handiest.  Usually silicone for things that are going to be messy, wood for kneading bread and eating cheese.

knife: carbon steel or stainless?
– Wüsthof all the way, though we still have some dingy steak knives that need replacing.

KitchenAid or hand mixer?
– My KitchenAid is such a beast, but I love it.

cooktop: gas, electric, induction?
– Regrettably electric.  I really miss having a gas stove.

side-by-side, freezer on top, fridge on top?
– Freezer on top.  We had to buy a shelf for our freezer because it had no internal organization and was Out Of Control.  I wish I’d taken a picture of it when it was loaded down with the summer’s produce.

apron or whoops?
– I’m a fan of the dish towel over the shoulder approach, but I’ve been trying to wear an apron more.  SB’s good at the apron.

mashed potatoes: by hand, ricer, or mixer?
– When we make mashed potatoes for the holidays in my family, we usually make five pounds at a time.  There’s no way I’m doing all of that by hand.  Why else do I have a KitchenAid?

sandwich or wrap?
– Sandwiches please!

pb & _________ ?
– Celery or apples as a snack, please!

pancakes: syrup or applesauce?
– Syrup if they’re regular, lingonberries if they’re Swedish.

cake: scratch or mix?
– I can’t remember the last time I baked a cake.  It was probably from a mix, but I’d like to make ’em from scratch in the future.

chili: beans or no?
– Either way is fine by me!  As a former veg, it always seems a bit weird when chili doesn’t have beans; however, my favorite recipe doesn’t have any, so do with that what you will.

napkin: cloth or paper?
– Cloth.

BBQ: takes the whole weekend to make or take out?
– Take out.  We’re not Southern enough – or at all – to make true BBQ, and we don’t have a grill, so there’s only the occasional cook out in these parts.

chicken: white or dark?
– I prefer white, but Shane enjoys the dark.  We’ve been eating more chicken thighs lately, but I’m not sure if they’re white or dark.

ice cream: cone or dish?
– Cone if we’re out, dish if we’re home.  I would also like jimmies and a cherry on top.