Tuesday, May 31, 2005

what it used to look like


WTC from ferry
Originally uploaded by erik jaeger.


WTC from ferry

Originally uploaded by erik jaeger.



Still can't believe how different the skyline looks. I had my only recurring dream on Saturday night - Isaac and I are walking down the street on the Upper West Side, and we see a plane come down low over us. I climb up on a bench and see the jet go down into the river, tipping to the right just before it hits the water. Then we run toward Central Park. Not a good dream to wake up to. But I suppose it's better buried in my subconscious than bothering me in my conscious time.

A picture I wish I had taken on our ferry ride.


Departure, Vol. 1
Originally uploaded by hbomb1947.


Departure, Vol 1.
Originally uploaded and taken by hbomb1947.

On Saturday, Isaac and I had a lovely day off from work. We decided to:

1. Sleep in (delicious)
2. Cook (grill the chicken I started marinating yesterday, and serve Vietnamese-bahn hoi style with rice noodles, nuoc cham sauce and mint leaves)
3. Do laundry (boring)
4. See Star Wars movie (mixed reviews-can you guess which one of us liked it more?)
5. Take the Staten Island Ferry (first time for both of us though we've lived here 7 years - not very adventurous are we?)
6. Eat Sri Lankan food at New Sunshine restaurant. (So yummy, never had Sri Lankan food before)

It was a great day.

After we came out of the movie, we were still debating various unbelievable plot elements. I shared Jen/BigLug's chalupa-invoking analogy of Anny's (has there been a more annoying nickname ever?) turn to the dark side. The things I hated most were all sorts of little details. Like I really hate that they call the young Jedis "younglings". It sounds so affected. Or when they say they are going to look at the "security holographs" or whatever, I just want to burst out laughing. Also, I really respect other directors a lot more after seeing the difference that a shitty director makes in the actor's performances. What good are Natalie, Ewan and Samuel when the director cares only about the computer-generated stuff? No good at all. :(

But Isaac really enjoyed it, even as he acknowledged the problems with it. Therefore I was really glad to be sitting between him and the teenage boy who had already seen the movie a few times and therefore had to repeat the last word of every line along with the cast. Isaac didn't hear anything, so his enjoyment was undiluted. Teenage boy followed my lead and plugged his ears during ultra-cheezwhizzy love talk between Padme and Anakin. I could tell when it was coming by looking at her frothy foo-foo hairdo. WTF.

night8

Anyway, after this, we took the train to the furthest south we'd ever been in Manhattan, and got on the free Staten Island ferry. Yay! It was rainy, but that's okay. We got to see the Statue of Liberty and some Navy guys in town for Fleet Week. On the ferry ride home the boat was all full of Canadian Navy guys, most of whom had a beer in their hands. (I'm saying guys because I guess it's not accurate to say officers, because lots of them weren't, but somehow sailors sounds wrong too). Everywhere we saw the military men, there were women who were either chatting them up or getting up the nerve in their group of girlfriends to go and chat up the men. They like a man in uniform. Growing up near Annapolis there were plenty of girls in my HS who felt that way, although the midshipmen who took advantage of the girls' starry eyes were probably not the cream of the crop. Ick.

Anyway, we walked to the restaurant, about 10 minutes from the ferry terminal. On our way we stopped in at the Golden Pastry Shop, and bought some goodies for later. They were yummy. A couple of twisty-bread pastries with a lemon stripe down the center turned out to have a very Challah-like texture. Although heated up in the microwave this morning, it was more like halfway between a croissant and a piece of challah. Y'all know what a Challah is right? Sorry i couldn't find a picture of someone wearing one. The other thing we got was some Pan Mexicano, and that was tasty too. There were a lot of different kinds but we got one of the more basic ones.

Right next door was the Sri Lankan place. There was another Sri Lankan restaurant nearby supposedly, and we passed a S.L. grocery on our walk. But the area was really diverse, on the same block there was a Polish cafe and grocery and two stores selling African stuff. I have to admit that my sense of geography is really really awful, and I didn't know exactly where Sri Lanka is before we ate at this place. (I looked it up later.) But based on the food I would have guessed that it is close to India and Malaysia, because it seemed most like a mix of those two things. It was spicy. The appetizer tasted like crushed papadoms breading some lentily cakes. Then we got a deliciously flavored beef curry (can't get beef at an Indian place, at least not one that I've been to) and it came with some really nice rice flour pancakey things. There were also string hoppers with chicken, which is kind of like a mound of thin rice noodles that seemed to be stir-fried. Kind of like Mai Fun or something, but the spices were really different from Indian or Chinese food.

After our new food exposure, we went back and waited for the ferry for a long time, then sat on the side that looked at the Statue of Liberty and felt happy for living in a special place. On the ferry, I overheard one of the Canadian Navy men talking to one of the American Navy guys from the USS Cape St. George. The Canadian guy had been to NYC only once before, at Fleet Week in 2003, and the American was here for the first time - they were both kind of overwhelmed by the size of the place. I wanted to buy them beers and welcome them to New York City! New York uncomfortable hugs all around!

Sunday and Monday we went to work, and I started my weight workouts again. Cross-training with the running program. Yay.

Friday, May 27, 2005

my little blog world powers down, it's friday night

just got paid, something something, feeling right... Well, that's not actually true. We're on the bimonthly (or biweekly, depending how you look at it) paycheck scheme. However, I did just have a lovely experience at the free beer happy hour in the "student-faculty" club attached to my workplace. It's kind of funny how I'm neither a student nor a faculty, but that's the only club I hold a membership in. The gym does not count, since it's too much of a dump for anyone to call it a club.

Things I learned today:

1. I can run faster, I am just lazy.

2. You should not listen to songs based on the story of Susan Smith murdering her children when you are hormonal and running on a treadmill in public in front of bulky weight-lifting med students. Tears and singing along are just further humiliation when you are already jiggling in front of a wall of mirrors.

3. Beer tastes better on an empty stomach. But the croutons you brought for the salad not eaten at lunch today at lunch taste even better after the beer. Ignore the salad.

4. Human stem cells normally die in a couple of hours i they are kept outside of a culture which includes some nasty animal products...or they differentiate into other kinds of cells. But they can be stablilized in the presence of a short, mulivalent peptidic ligand which has been polymerized by a ruthenium alkylidene metathesis catalyst, presented on a gold surface treated with monolayer forming thiols. (i went to a seminar today and that was me trying to prove i'm not tipsy).

5. The lab still can provide amusement after a really long week.

IMG_1080

I knew a guy briefly who had the structure of this molecule tatooed on his arm. Somehow I feel like he must have had a small penis.

Cheers and happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

pickle-mania

IMG_0679

In keeping with our tradition of sampling international flavors of doritos (see Ham 'Up), Isaac and I bought these Pickle-flavored Doritos at the Vancouver airport on our way back from China. As you can see, they are supposed to be Dill-icious! They were very dill-y. I like a pickle as much or more than the next girl, but not in corn chip form. Although how bad can a Dorito be?

This kind of reminds me of the time that we were in Paris and went to a bistro with Nick and his Dad and stepmom (all of whom are pictured on this blog). Isaac ordered some kind of terrine or pate for his appetizer, why I don't know because he really hates liver. The waitress brought a huge jar of cornichons for him to eat along with his pate. So Isaac proceeded to eat like a hundred of the little pickles along with minimal amounts of pate, until the waitress came and took away the jar because Isaac didn't understand that the whole jar wasn't for him, but was some kind of communal restaurant jar. Oops.

Monday, May 23, 2005

the bridal couple (outfit # 3)

IMG_1077

oops forgot to mention california

The time that we spent in california (approx. 39 hours) was indeed a lot of fun. We managed to have lunch on Friday and Saturday with our French friend Emmanuelle. She is the wife of one of Isaac's fellow Alaskans, and they usually live together in NY. But she is now at Stanford doing her PhD work in History. The couple will be reunited soon though, for a year in Paris. Are we going to try to visit them? Hell yes.

Then on Friday afternoon we meet up briefly with another Google friend. He and Isaac have been friends since sophomore year of college I think, and they traveled Europe together. This Google-working friend has been there from the very beginning. He was the sixth person to start working there. Can you freaking imagine how that worked out for him? We didn't really talk about it though. It just doesn't seem polite to say, so what are you, a KAJILLONAIRE? He bought our teas, which was sweet. :)

The wedding festivities were a lot of fun. The ceremony was at the Stanford campus Memorial Church, which everyone (at least Isaac and all his friends) call MemChu. Then we relaxed in the Stanford bookstore and drank tea while looking at books about frugal living and finishing rich. And Mario Batali's new cookbook, which has less tripe than the previous one I browsed, but not quite enough less. Eww, tripe.

Then the reception was at a Catholic college campus nearby. Isaac claimed to have never heard of it, but when we got there, he remembered playing numerous wedding reception string quartet gigs there. It was a historic house of some kind. The bride was absolutely gorgeous. Michelle is a friend of Isaac's from college - he even used to have a crush on her back then. But she managed to escape his datey intentions. She wore three (yes three) outfits on the big day, and they were all beautiful. When we got to the reception I was sad that she was no longer wearing the cream-colored bridal gown, though she looked lovely in the green-blue traditional Chinese outfit. But then she changed back into the bridal gown again for the first dance. Then late in the evening she was wearing this white shorter dress and looking stunning. I will have to post some pictures. I hate the dress that I have worn to the last two weddings we attended. I will go shopping if it kills me. I hate clothes shopping, especially without my sisters.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

back from our trip to MN, oh, and California too

You all were so nice in the comments about a potential airport rendevous. I really would have loved to meet up, and especially to introduce Isaac to my blog friends. He's still slightly confused by the whole situation. I am a little sorry that I didn't mention it sooner. I thought about it earlier, and went through various stages of:

1. It would be so great.
2. What if everyone is busy?
3. But it would be so cool.
4. What if Stacy is incapable of driving on that highway?
5. But maybe they could carpool.
6. I want our first time to be special. Like the girl says to her deflowerer. No one is going to stop me from coming to Minneapolis again, and next time I will inconvenience you mightily.

At any rate, our long layover evaporated when we asked to change to the flight that was too expensive to buy, but still had seats left. So we were only in the airport for long enough to get an A&W cheeseburger. Money lockdown foiled! Damn. By the way, can anyone enlighten me on the cheese curds that they are peddling at A&W? Is it fried cottage cheese or something? Is it good?

I'm supposed to be working on our budget oriented menu for next week while Isaac picks up ingredients for dinner.

PS I will not forgive you as I hope to be forgiven if any of you come to NY and avoid me. Free accomodations! Well, not for the people who found my blog by google searching for "kitten heel mocassins" or "rene pape gay". But you know who you are and you are welcome any time.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

more nuptials.

I didn't believe Isaac when he told me that nuptial is how it's spelled. I always thought it was nuptual.

Tomorrow we are leaving super early on a flight to San Francsico for another wedding! Now you are convinced that I have the best job ever, being able to take off so much time whenever I feel like it. It's true. It's so flexible. We just have to get a lot of work done, and when we do it doesn't matter so much. So we worked both days last weekend, and late a few nights this week to try to get ahead for our 3 day weekend. We'll be back on Sunday night.

And guess what? We're flying Northwest and going through Minneapolis/St. Paul airport in both directions. I'll be thinking all my Minnesota blog friends and waving from the airport. It's actually a longish layover on Sunday, and I fantasized about a beautiful meeting. But airports are just not suitable for that, especially not now with all the security. But I'll see if I can see a Cub or a Marshall Field's from the airplane. Or maybe I'll talk to some hot Minneapolitans in the airport. I hear people are really good looking there.

Have a great weekend! Isaac just put a fantastic margarita in my hand so our weekend has officially begun.

Happy Birthday Katie!

It's my sister's birthday! I was so lucky in life because when I was deciding on graduate schools it turned out that the best place for me was Columbia University, and that's where my little sister had her heart set on for undergrad. She fell in love with New York when she and Beth visited me in the summer of 1995 and I was doing an internship here.

I can't imagine what it would have been like to live in New York without her for those four years. She's a quarter century old today!!! When Beth and I used to share a bedroom (we were 7 and 8 maybe) and Katie was 5, she would sleep in a sleeping bag on our floor every night. She gave herself a concussion in college running downstairs to go out for ice cream. She was the captain of the swim team in college and deserved every award they could have thrown at her for hard work. Now she works on the Chesapeake Bay doing water testing, and they should really pay her a lot more. And maybe someone will when she gets an engineering degree like she wants to do. Happy birthday K-T!

Katie!

chrisandkatie at beth's wedding

speaking of pop music - popstrology

Have you heard of this new science? It's like astrology, but based on the song that was at the
top of the charts on the day you were born. Then there is also the year that gives further popstrological information about you. For example, I was born on March 18, 1977. So that means I was born in the year of Debby Boone (her "You light up my life" was the top song of the year) and under the Birthsong of Barbra Streisand, for the Love Theme From "A Star Is Born".

Here is some of what popstrology might tell you about me based on this:

Barbra Streisand
You are the scared little bunny in the skin of a lion.

Whose icon is she anyway? Who can lay the greatest claim on the little girl from Brooklyn who grew up to become La Streisand? Jewish women? Gay men? Gay Jewish men who impersonate women? The real answer, of course, is everyone and no one, for hers is a star that shines brighter than a thousand points of light -- a star too Massive for the mere universe of pop to contain. And what should the rest of the world expect of the children born under your Birthstar's blinding glow? Great hair, great legs, and great voices? Personas for which the term "diva" seems a pale and inadequate description? No, popstrology rarely works so simply, and perhaps that's a good thing. What the science of the pop stars does tell us is that Barbra Streisand resides in one of the most interesting regions of the pop universe -- among the broken-mold originals of the constellation Sui Generis. She rose to greatness not on the strength of talent alone, but on the strength of a potent and idiosyncratic combination of talent, ego, and insecurity, and therein lies the lesson her popstrological children should heed: what we show on the outside is never quite what we are on the inside, but success for you may depend on showing more of the real you than the rest of us typically dare.

The meaning of this reading will have to come to me later in a burst of insight, because it's not really hitting me yet.

Here's where you can find out your own sign!

I heard about this on NPR - apparently they can't get enough of Ian Van Tuyl who wrote the book Popstrology. He was on All Things Considered and on Soundcheck (a NYC show about music).

I really like the story Ian tells on Soundcheck about how he discovered the science of Popstrology and what it meant to him. He discovered one day that the song at the top of the charts on the day he was born was The Monkees, I'm a Believer, and suddenly that made so much sense. The Monkees being a mass-marketed copy of something truly great (the Beatles) really clicked with him, and though he'd been trying so hard to be a Rolling Stone or a Beatle, he had to learn to accept and deal with his Monkee-ness. His inability to take serious things seriously, etc. I guess he also tells the story on his website.

Maybe I can find my inner Barbra someday!

I want to read all about your BirthSongs! I already looked up Stacy's. We are in the same constellation Stacy! I'll let you look it up yourself though...

watch out for some bollywood posts

I have about a million tapes of soundtracks for bollywood movies. I bought them all in Jackson Heights for about a dollar each. I finally accepted that I'm not getting a new mp3 player anytime soon, so I decided to bring some cassettes to the lab for walkman listening. I never play these out loud in the lab for fear of being labelled a complete freak. Playing Gaelic Storm on the weekends is about as far as I can push it.

Anyway, I'm listening to the cheesiest music and I just love it. I have been realizing for a while that this music is just fulfilling all of my pop music needs. The pointless but catchy music which I resist (for the most part) in English is completely irresistible once I can't understand any of the words. But the words are completely necessary too. If there were no words I couldn't sing along with the nonsense words that I am making up to sound like what they are singing. I know all the "words" to some of these songs. It's so silly.

Just thought I should prepare you for more thoughts on this amazing genre of fluff.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

p.s.

The new little yappy dog is still being very bad. And the owner persists with his ineffective verbal discipline. I think I should take Agnieszka up on her suggestion and leave a can with pennies in it outside their door. I'm not sure exactly which neighbors it is, but it might be the ones directly below us. At least I can't hear them from the bedroom.

Must. Not. Spend.

After 3 insanely high credit card bills in a row, Isaac and I are on money lockdown. We are getting a gold star on the calendar for every day that we don't spend money. The streak started yesterday will be broken today since we have friends coming to town for commencement at Columbia. But that's a special occasion to celebrate so it doesn't count. We are in fine shape really, but both of us like to save money, and don't like to look at our big credit card bill and think, why did we buy that when we were fine without it? I never think that about a gift that we bought for someone, only about meals out that we ate for no reason other than that we didn't feel like eating the mountain of relatively healthy food in our fridge.

Isaac actually had a bad dream last night that he discovered I had already spent a big sum of money on something. He's a little bit obsessive sometimes. Unfortunately, he might be proven right because I finally investigated this medical bill that I keep getting and they might actually have to get paid. I assumed that because my insurance seemed to be awesome, working for a research hospital and all, that it would eventually get straightened out. The bill is for the hideous huge black boot that I had to wear for most of last summer after I broke my damn foot. Though I thought that I was getting this boot from the doctor's office, I guess I actually got it from the medical supplies company that is on the same floor but totally separate and what do you know, doesn't participate with my fabu insurance. So now I look at the insurance plan, and sure enough out of plan orthotics and med supplies are NOT COVERED. Geez. So I might have to spend $450 on this stupid boot. I wonder if they would give me a discount if I return the stupid thing to them. It still sitting in my closet with the crutches. Just in case... The woman at the medical supplies company seemed unconcerned for the moment, she just kept repeating that she submitted a claim to my insurance. I guess they'll figure it out sometime, and until then I will get 3% interest on my $450 in my ingdirect account. I love that thing.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

secret sharing

I looked at this website yesterday and found it really touching. You can write a secret on a postcard and send it to an address and have it posted on this blog. Some of the secrets really resonate and I'm not saying which ones... Today I went back and found this list of comments that other people sent in about the website, and felt even more like this was a really powerful concept.

but WHY?

I have just come back from an extremely disturbing visit to "the club" (that was for you Stacy). Actually, there is no way that this gym could be called a club, It's such a dump. I should take a picture. But the good news is that there are now 3 working treadmills there, among a sea of discarded and apparently useless 80-100 lb dumbbells. So Isaac and I went together (it's nice to have a workout partner) and did what must be done. There were these three guys that were already there, doing some kind of very inefficient circuit workout. One of them would jump do situps on the little sit-up incline thingy while the other two watched, with much gabbing in between sets. It sounded like Italian at first from across the room, but I later concluded it was Spanish with Mexican accent. After they all finished with the situp incline, they moved on to the handlebars for reverse crunch, etc.

One of them was wearing the most disgusting workout shorts I have ever seen. They were like bike shorts in shape, but two-toned, as in a speedo-shaped inset in some kind of animal print, not unlike what a member of Poison might have worn, and then the surrounding material was white mesh. White mesh. Animal print speedo. This combination proved to be irresistible, and I could not stop staring at these shorts, just trying to understand why. WHY?

Also, I realized that I have no filter between my brain and the expression on my face. I can only hope that this filter is in better shape when I'm not exerting myself on a treadmill. Since I was running facing a huge mirrored wall (this sucks in general by the way) I could see out of the corner of my eye the disgusted and confused look on my own face as I took in the shorts.

On the upside, my 20 minutes went by a lot faster with the distraction.

Friday, May 13, 2005

canadian I forgot about

I forgot how much I like this guy Hayden. My friend Kieran gave me a tape with the album Everything I Long For and some Catherine Wheel and live Radiohead squeezed on. I listened to it over and over again. I wore out part of the song I liked the best which was "Skates" even though I think Kieran said that was not one of his favorites. It was too obvious, and trying too hard. But I didn't mind, and I was 8 years younger then too. Maybe trying too hard would have less appeal now. Anyway, the song got all crackly in the middle. It still made me tear up every time. I should find my tape.

What made me think of it was seeing this post with a couple of m p 3 s.

We're Going to be Friends

Last Monday we went out for Chinese food with some college friends of Isaac's. One was visiting from Japan and the other was visiting from Geneva and then there was the NY group. It was a nice little reunion for all of these friends, even if I only knew a couple of the people there. But this was kind of funny - there was another tag-a-long friend who didn't know anyone. But you could tell he was really liking one of the women there, who, it's true, was absolutely beautiful. She had perfect pale skin and green eyes. They bonded over the their hatred of cars and love of hippie bus tours where you go skinnydipping with the bus drivers. She is trying to find a publishing job, and what do you know, he rides the elevator with people from a publishing company in his place of employment every day. Every day! Anyway, at the end of the dinner, he pulled this trick which I have experienced a few times - he had us all write down our email addresses, when of course there was only one person whose address he gave a flying frick about.

By the way, I love public transportation as much as the next person, but I've never been among such radicals. Some of them were promoting FREE public transportation. One friend in attendance works for the MTA and she did say that this could actually cut some of their costs, because of course you have to spend money to sell tickets and enforce the ticketing. But I can only imagine how horribly crowded the subways and buses would be if people could just take them for free instead of walking or biking short distances.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

yeasty success

Here's a confession: I've struggled with making a yeast bread for a long time now. I really wanted to learn how to make a good loaf of bread or piece of Indian naan. Unfortunately there seems to be some non-verbal component to every recipe that I read. They all seem to say, knead the bread until it is smooth. Smooth? That's not a good descriptor. It looks pretty smooth to me before I start kneading. I guess it's one of those things you should learn from your mom.

Still, I'm no quitter, and I came across this recipe I printed out last year for soft pretzels. I love soft pretzels, especially that kind of acidic/sour taste on the outside. So I went for it, and they actually came out decent. I wish I had taken a picture before eating the last one. I cheated and used my Kitchenaid with dough hook to do some kneading for me. Then you let the dough rise. Then you divide the dough into 12 pieces, then you shape them into pretzels. I had to look at this diagram for 20 minutes before I figured it out. I made a few totally wrong before I figured it out. They still tasted good.

Then you put them on the baking sheet and let rise for another while. Then the part the chemist likes - you boil the raw pretzels in a solution of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in water before baking them. The solution got all foamy, and I realized why they wanted you to do this in a really big pot. And I guess that's why the outside of the pretzels taste the way they do. Kind of acidic in the way that carbonated beverages are. Bicarbonate, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, it's a family thing.

In moderation. Pretzels. Yum.

devil in the details

Last night we went to the opera and saw Faust, which I loved. Rene Pape sounded so so good as Mephistopheles, even from the back row of the theater. The rubberized naked bodysuit came with a tail, and looked a little silly - I must admit. And the slinking which the suit seemed to require of its wearer was kind of painful to behold. He looked much more powerful and Satan-like and hot as hell, pardon the pun, in a plain gray shirt and black pants in the last scene. What kind of man has a stage presence that can be felt at 1000 feet? That's something.
Today I continued with my fitness efforts, even remembering to wear my pedometer while I ran at a pathetically slow pace for 20 minutes. Then I went home. Isaac got in touch to arrange a dinner meeting, since he's working late tonight. On my way to meet him, I was actually a little happy because I would be upping my steps for today. Then I realized I was walking to meet him at McDonald's. Not a net gain in health.

Tomorrow I'm having a sex-segregated girls' lunch with four other female chemists. Does anyone have some tips for girly conversation to make? I am not good at female bonding for the sake of female bonding, which is kind of what I think this is supposed to be.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

the joys of the pedometer

When I visited my Mom for Mother's day she gave me a hot new accessory, at least in my family. I guess that Maryland has some kind of program to help people get in shape - Get Fit Maryland. There are probably a lot of programs like this across the country. This one involves giving out pedometers and setting a goal of walking 10,000 steps a day. My mom gave me an extra one that they had lying around. So I was kind of interested to see how much walking I do in a typical day. Yesterday wasn't exactly typical - we rode a bus for 3 1/2 hours, and then we walked to a place kind of far away to meet friends out for dinner. Also, I ran 2 miles to fulfill my beginner's 5K training program. I forgot to wear the pedometer for the run. But I racked up 18,300 something steps on the pedometer. Not including the run. Supposedly 2,000 steps equal a mile, so I could tack on another 4,000. So I apparently walked/ran 11 miles yesterday??

The good news: I'm active.
The bad news: I'm going to gain at least 200 lbs when I leave New York City.

Now on our way to the opera with the guy in the naked bodysuit.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Happy Mother's Day!

We are going to Maryland tomorrow to see my mom (and dad and siblings and etc). I'm very happy that we will be able to go. My sister Katie is making brunch, so we are going to go straight there from the bus stop. It's not really a bus stop actually. It's a McDonald's next to the bus station. That's where the "Chinatown bus" drops us off.

But I wanted to wish a Happy Mother's Day to Stacy, and any other mothers who pass through this blog looking for information about whether Donnie Osmond or Rene Pape are gay, or about six-fingered Bollywood actors (more Google traffic from these things than anything else).

Speaking of Google, we had lunch today at Chola, a really delicious Indian restaurant, with our friend Max who used to work at Google. He joined up with them at the right time, I'll tell you what. Man. We had a few laughs about the days when he used to stay with us when he came to NYC on Google business. We saved Google some money back in the day. Of course, they eventually started putting him up in real hotels and then next thing you know, Max is staying in New York, not on Google business because he's not even working there anymore (and will not have to work for money ever again) and he's not having any trouble paying for his own hotel. Ha ha ha. That's the sound of my jealous laughter.

Anyway, it was so nice to see him again, and hopefully we will see him again next week after we get back from MD.

Friday, May 06, 2005

time travelers' convention makes the times!

They made the big time! Good for them. Why the HELL would they make this a booze-free party. That is just silly. Other than that the organizer and his buds sound fun. If your idea of fun is: "Mr. Dorai and fellow organizers are the kind of people who transplant a snowblower engine into a sleeper sofa and drive the couch around Cambridge."

Right. Actually I've got nothing but love for these people, being a total nerd myself. I didn't even post my nerdiness rating back when you other bloggers were scoring 4's and stuff on that. 4 out of a 100? How is that even possible to be so un-nerdy. I thought nerds were the silent majority or something.

via Gawker.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

you are dorky and blog-obsessed and no Christine you do not know any of these people

Title addressing myself in the 3rd person - so THAT's what kind of post it's going to be?

So since I discovered what a "blog" is, I have been reading some blogs which keep an eye on the media, especially NY media like the Times, the New Yorker, etc. Should I be saying print media, since blogs are media too? Whatever, I've been reading media obsessed with other media. And all the journalists/bloggers seem to know each other, and they are all either patting each others backs and linking to each other (fine by me) or making fun of each other (also fine with me). And now I read them, and have the illusion of being in the club! It's great.

Anyway, I read this article in the NYT yesterday morning, and about halfway
through the article I was like, this writing is kind of familiar. And back up to the byline and it turned out to be Frank Bruni. Which made me very happy because I could look forward to funny comments on this article by some of my favorite media-watching bloggers. Frank Bruni is a very frequent target of the media blogs. Kind of like other Times journalists like Jennifer 8. Lee (well, she was kind of asking for it with that name thing, even though it sounds like she throws a great party) and Amanda Hesser. Actually it's the newish food critics that seem to piss bloggers off the most. Personally, I'm very angry at anyone who gets to eat free meals at restaurant for a living. Then the bad writing! That's just icing.

So, when I read the most recent Bruni article, which happens to be about the fancy potties in NYC restaurants (potties so fancy they are hard to figure out), I knew I could count on some commentary from the blog world. Who could resist?

Not Gawker.

Pretty half-hearted Bruni-bashing from TMFTML (Desn't really even count as bashing in fact. Just more of a pointing out. Not what I had come to expect of the man who produced this previous gem.)

But my favorite notice of Bruni's article was from the Amateur Gourmet who wrote a song! It's awesome. I should go and comment and let him know I think it's awesome. Not that he needs my validation. Because I don't know any of these famous bloggers, nor do I know any of the other famous media types they are making fun of. YAY me!

Oh, and by the way, Frank Bruni is getting a big thumbs down from me because he's apparently friends with Ann Coulter. Whaaa? She makes me nuts. But that's because she's really trying to make people nuts. I don't think she believes 1/2 of what she says, but it's a great way to get rich and famous.

Excerpted from a blog called "Ann Coulter's Slander: An Analysis"

"These distortions of New York Times columns by Coulter are all the more incredible because listed in the Acknowledgements section, in her list of 'long-suffering friends who give me ideas and editing advice, which I habitually ignore,' Coulter includes Frank Bruni, New York Times writer. It made me wonder: why didn't Bruni catch the way in which Coulter blatantly misrepresents two columns that appear in his own newspaper?"

Anyway, segueing (is that a word you can type or only say out loud? It doesn't seem that there is a good way to spell it. Probably a sign that I shouldn't be using it either...) into an Ann Coulter topic. I'll keep it brief. This was a hilarious account of a student confronting Coulter in a question and answer session at UT Austin. They actually arrested the kid for disorderly conduct when he said "You say that you believe in the sanctity of marriage," said Ajai Raj, an English sophomore. "How do you feel about marriages where the man does nothing but fuck his wife up the ass?" Ha HA HA HA HA. Oh Ann. How do you feel about that? via TMFTML

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

It's. A. Dog.

For the past hour I have heard my neighbors yelling "NO!" every minute or two at their little dog who has a little yapping problem. I think it must be a new dog or something, because I think I would have known if there was such an undisciplined dog in the building before this.

Anyway, dear neighbors, I would like to say, maybe something different? Or just get used to the fact that it's a dog, and maybe doesn't understand this concept of NO. Thanks.

states i've visited.

Jumping on the mini-bandwagon of Hotbabe/Jennifer and Kiddo/Reid. Are they measuring our percentage by the number of states or by the area of the states covered? Just wondering. I didn't count places that I have only stopped in for a layover on an airplane, but did count all the states that I drove through on my family's vacation to Disneyworld in 1990. Yippee! Also, I only went to the east-most part of West Virginia, and minimal time was spent in Maine (outlet shopping?). But that sure makes it look like I DID the east coast in a big way. Anyway, looks like I've been neglecting the middle of the country very badly! Hopefully I will change that in the future.



create your own visited states map

paula will have time for rehab?

I have been hearing on the radio about some American Idol developments. That the sister-beating contestant who was saying he slept with Paula Abdul has some answering machine tapes backing up his story, and that Paula will be stepping down as a judge after a meeting of lawyers on all sides? I have only watched the show a couple of times, but it really seemed like she needed some help with a substance-abuse problem. It seems like it can only be good for ratings at Fox, though I guess they might have to shell out some big money for lawsuits and stuff.

So Idol fans - who is going to replace her as a judge? Do you think they will televise some group therapy among the other contestants? It seems like they enjoy hugging each other, so maybe they will do more of that?

Monday, May 02, 2005

Time Travelers' Convention

Someone came up with the idea of having a time traveler convention and they are trying to get people to publicize it. Since it's only 5 days away, I'm not sure what can be done in that time.

My brain can not quite understand why all the publicizing needs to happen though if people will eventually make repeat trips back to this convention. Also, how could you make repeat trips back, would there be multiple copies of the same person at the same event? It makes my head hurt a little.

Time for bed and dreams of time travel!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

is that even possible?

that I haven't written anything since Tuesday? I guess I got busy or something...No who am I kidding I was just a lazy wench. And I have noticed a slight deterioration in the liveability of our apartment, possibly due to internet distractions. I used to clean up and do leftover dishes every morning while Isaac brushed teeth, showered shaved (this whole ritual takes him 30 minutes minimum, which seems really slow to me.) But now I've been sneaking onto the computer to read blogs etc. Bad girl. Those dishes aren't doing themselves.

But I guess I was a little busy, I had a fun time at the fundraising party on Thursday night. My friend Brian came too, and I finally managed to capture photographic evidence of his existence. I love hanging out with Brian. We had a great evening.

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I also had an interesting conversation (was it interesting, really? I hope you think so) with this guy who graduated a couple of years after me. He was claiming to hate being be photographed which is funny because his picture was just in the glossy alumni magazine. I said how I had seen the picture and said how very New York he and his friend seemed wearing these black wool winter coats. But apparently he thought that I was trying to be obnoxious and made some kind of confusing witty comeback. Wha? Brian had to translate for me and say that I meant it as a compliment. Anyway, when Isaac took a picture of the two of us together, I said, this is totally going on my blog. And then he called me pathetic for having a blog. I don't think he meant it as a compliment.

Here's the picture. He later complimented me on my dress, so all was forgiven? He might have even been looking at my boobs while he said it, so I'll take it as a double compliment! Just kidding. Cheers Charlie.

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Anyway, it was a fun evening. This year, alumni of the program had pretty much the worst seats in the whole house. Well, every year we have the worst seats, and that is fine, because we aren't paying the $500-1000/ticket that everyone else has to pay. But this year, they almost ran out of places to put us (good for the fundraising, bad for the alums). Here is a picture of the ballroom, and you can see in the upper right hand corner that 3rd tier is where we were sitting. All the better for not paying attention to the various speeches.

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There was also another interesting experience with an alumnus (same class as Charlie). I totally didn't recognize this guy, even though he looked exactly the same, just because he was wearing a priest's collar. He's a first year novice on the road to being a Jesuit. I knew he had joined up, but my brain was not connecting. Very nice person and answered all of our questions about what it takes to get through the 9 (holy crap) years of Jesuit training - best of luck to him!

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Not much of a post - I guess I am still trying to figure out what to do with my pathetic blogging self.