Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

I am excited today, not just because it is Halloween, but because there are lots of nice things to look forward to in the next couple of days.

1. Our lab's long weekly meeting was cancelled for tonight - which leaves the evening free for doing useful things like making and eating Minnesota-grown white popcorn (thanks Jen!) and finishing one of the books I'm (re)reading.

2. I'm hoping that there will be some little munchkins trick-or-treating in our building tonight. I bought some candy just in case, and hopefully a few pieces will survive for the kids. Most of the parents in our building weren't born in the USA - there is one little Italian girl who has a heart-squeezing headfull of light-brown curls, and I always see her pushing her little babydoll's stroller in the lobby, in the laundry room, down the street. I hope that she dresses up like a little lion. Even though she is a little shy of strangers.

3. Tomorrow is our 2nd wedding anniversary! And we have reservations at Babbo, which I've only heard good things about. Too bad we couldn't get a reservation until 9:45pm (a little past our usual dinner time!) but I guess we should be glad that it's a Tuesday night and not even harder to get reservations.

4. I can't think of anything else in the future, but in the past - Isaac and I enjoyed a very nice bottle of Minnesota wine over the weekend (thanks again Jen!!!) It was so fruity - it was like chomping into a big juicy bunch of grapes with the juice running all over your face, but you don't care because it is so tasty! We finished the bottle yesterday at lunch (at LUNCH!) right before we went to work (to WORK!) So decadent and delicious.

5. Also, my food life has been taken over completely by Jenny and Stacy. Over the weekend my food order contained things such as fat free coolwhip, frozen blueberries and cherries, and boca burgers. I had all of these things yesterday. Okay, there aren't any Jenny items in there, but did you read about the wine and popcorn previously? That popcorn is so much better than the organic yellow popcorn crap I have been popping! The new MN popcorn has shown me that the other stuff wasn't worth the brown paper bag or the staples I was popping it with.

6. Isaac is getting suspicious of my new food tastes and wants to know what all the cool whip is for.

7. Also, I've been going through Splenda like a madwoman.

8. Guess what, they actually do sell Honeycrisp apples here! But they are always always always unavailable, and I suspect they will continue to be unavailable the rest of my life.

9. I think that's enough Minnesota obsessing. We had a very NYC food experience on Friday night which was just totally ridiculous.

10. There was a happy hour on Friday, as you might remember there usually is. It was fun. The German labmates + one labmate's fiance contingent was in effect. They outlasted everyone else on the beer drinking (see: they're German), and were looking for some good food. I recommended our favorite Chinese place and told them the names of some good things. Then Isaac came back downstairs after doing something and we all decided to go along. (It's okay, they invited us.)

11. So we walk the 15 blocks to the restaurant and it's cold and windy, and we get there and they are closing in 20 minutes - do we really want to stay they ask? I kind of thought it might be the kitchen closing in 20 minutes, so whatever. They did seem to be in a hurry so we ordered really fast, and the food came like lightning. The Germans were hungry and ate. We were hungry and ate. Waitstaff started to leave. We paid our bill halfway through eating. They started to turn out the lights on us, and the whole meal was 25 minutes from when we got there to when we left. We were laughing and munching for the last 10 minutes straight. I felt bad that it ended up being so rushed, but we couldn't stand to turn around in the cold and find somewhere else to eat. Better luck next time.

12. There was really no point to the numbers here, good to know for future reference.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, going to be like an Indian movie!

"But you can't just give them story, you've got to give them decoration as well. It has to be kind of like an Indian movie where everything happens: it's a romance, a thriller, a variety show, an entertainment." - Mike Newell

This is what I like to hear! God I hope it's good, at least for Isaac's sake.

Oh, and I'm editing to add, the Fug Girls are absolutely right about Ron Weasley's hair. WTF. I cringe every time I see the preview. I really just don't understand what's going on with the stylists or whoever does the movie hair. I thought we'd gotten rid of the bad hair from the first couple of movies, after they tamed Hermione's bushy hair in #3. I know that it's referred to as bushy in every page of the books, but really, it's a movie, let's have some movie magic. This is a major step backward for the HP kids' hair. Just thought I'd let you know where I stand on this important issue.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

new possible reason for my downstairs neighbors to hate me

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This is kind of like when hotbabe got her tiara maybe? I'm totally tempted to get myself a $12 pair of tap dancing shoes. I know they are ugly and I have no reason for wanting them other than I'd like to make a little more clickety-clicking noise walking around in my apartment. Especially in the kitchen, that would be great. Isaac is the primary noise-maker in our place, what with the piano and violin playing. But maybe I could get into the shoes. They are renovating the apartment below us right now. How much would the people who move in hate me if I wore tap shoes all day and night?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

visit, history etc post #3

I'm sure the internet is waiting with bated breath for a breakdown of the 6 hours that Jenny and I have not yet covered in our trip summary posts! That would be Friday night. After saying goodbye to Jenny's friend ME in the shoe store, where I was almost thrown out for taking this very picture (you people can't stop me, I dream about soup, and if that doesn't make me a badass illicit picture taker, I don't know what does)

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Then we went to back to the East Side and my place of work, where we would, if necessary, deploy a carefully constructed cover story of our knowing each other because of nothing at all to do with the internet and blogs. This cover story was developed with frightening speed by hotbabe, who apparently lies quite naturally. We went straight up to the lab, where Isaac forced Jen to smell something truly nasty, while I stayed on the other side of the room. She confirmed, that's nasty. It did make Isaac awfully happy, so I hope she thought that was worth it.

Then we went down to the Happy Hour, staked out a couch, and waited for the other chemists to arrive. Here are Isaac and hotbabe happy houring.

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And arrive they did. And right when we were giving up hope and getting ready to leave for dinner - the model arrived. We debated leaving anyway, but instead I made Isaac buy us a round of drinks. Affirmation of hotness and cockiness was achieved, and flirting was avoided. Yay. We left him pining away for more of our company, and walked up to our dinner destination....Turkish food!

We walked past this place (Beyoglu) on a long walk the other weekend. It says Mediterranean on the awning, but we saw the waiters and thought - Turks! Swarthy Turks! And the menu definitely looks Turkish.

beyoglu

It's actually supposed to be some kind of "meze house" which is kind of like Turkish tapas, from what I understand. I got a vegetarian sampling of some mezes, and Isaac chose three for himself. Hotbabe consulted the waiter (not as swarthy as some others) and he recommended the doner kebab, which she liked. I was nervous about leading us astray, especially trying a new place, but it all turned out great - and I didn't have to worry about any food squeamishness. My vegetarian platter was super-duper garlicky by the way. It was so delicious. I wish I'd asked for a little more bread. That was really good too.

Then we went home and to bed to get ready for our big rainy day of fun with LN. The end!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

trip, history, etc, post #2

Look at these photogenic people, LN and Jen. Amazing. We had such a nice day together on Saturday.

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I will say though, it's too bad that from this picture you can't see the hard work that went into blowing dry my hair for two days in a row. That's because this is the third day when I thought, screw it, it's raining anyway... Gosh, it's really all about me and my hair huh?

So as I was saying, what a great day we had together. A visit from one blogger to another became a blogger union of three. With our paparazzo Isaac capturing our every move.

Early Saturday morning, I forced some Bollywood goodness on Jen. Okay, she sort of requested it, but I have been selling it pretty hard for the whole year we've 'known' each other. First we watched the song with Wonder Woman-ish backup dancers and the cheesy hero with a fan lovingly ruffling his hair, wearing an open-necked shirt with a foofy tie (wha?) and cocking the occasional eyebrow at the lovely singer, who seemed to be doing some version of the chicken dance as part of her routine. Classic. Then we watched the song where the hero and heroine go to a disco club, and change into their dancing clothes, and dance enthusiastically with the background dancers in a kind of turbaned, parachute-pantsed fantasia. Once again, wishing I knew how to do screen captures...

Ahh, after this magic, we got ourselves to the subway in some really nasty weather, cold windy and rainy. Then, Katz's deli. Unfortunately we gave some really terrible directions to LN, forcing her to walk in the wrong direction and delaying the moment of happy meeting. But soon all was well, and we all had large plates of meat in front of us. After a delicious lunch, I dragged everyone through the rain to the Doughnut Plant, where we bought doughnuts and then stood under the shelter of a bus stop to avoid umbrella juggling. Seconds were procured by some members of the party...including me of course.

Then we did a little shopping in Soho, once we finally got past the smelly fish markets of Chinatown. We stopped into the Pearl River Mart, which seemed to have something for everyone. Sephora, where Isaac got a tutorial from Jenny in all the makeup brushes. He was very interested in all of them, and lucky to have a real woman to ask these questions of. :)

Then we came back up to my place and enjoyed the shelter until it was time for Jen to go to the airport. Can you believe some New York driver tried to cut short our goodbyes by honking at her to get in the cab? Yeah, me neither...

I'll have to work backwards and talk about the other outings, and more importantly, meals that we indulged in - maybe later today.

Here we are at Katz's! Isaac made sure we had the attenion of the entire restaurant before taking the picture. I think that lady is trying to figure out whether we are famous or not. Oh, lady, only on the internet among a small circle of the best bloggers in the world.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

The visit that will go down in history...

Hotbabe arrived safely and we have had a lot of fun already! We talked about all of you bloggers - went out to dinner - talked about all the bloggers - came home - had margaritas made by Isaac and then listened to some of Isaac's stories. My favorite involves taquitos and a hairdryer. Jenny agrees that he is a fount of underutilized blog material.

In preparation for this first blogfriend visit, I had to take some drastic self-improvement measures. I went and got a haircut. Not that drastic you say? I haven't told Isaac how much it cost yet. But the really drastic thing was that I got my eyebrows threaded. I didn't even get my brows done when I got married. Yes, some days are more important than others, and meeting a blogfriend is one of those days! I knew that the MN girls have high standards for eyebrows, and once Jenny realized I had gone through so much pain, she agreed that they looked good. Yay.

I think that's it for now, I'm making breakfast. Stacy - thank you so much for the crumpets and apples! I've got your recipe magneted to my fridge and I've even got some frozen blueberries so that I can give it a go.

Tonight hotbabe is accompanying me to happy hour, and I think she almost promised not to flirt with the model. I think it will be a good time for sure!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The dreams, they are getting hotter

Last night I dreamed about soup. Not just any soup, but the best cup of minestrone soup in the entire world. I said out loud in the dream, "This must be the best cup of minestrone soup in the entire world."

I've never considered myself to be an exciting person. I'm a chemist which basically means I wear bad clothes, am pasty and don't go outside much, and have "fun" primarily in the carefully controlled environment of happy hour with other socially inept scientists.

But I really think that my dream life should be better than this. SOUP?!? That's what I've been reduced to? Minestrone? Not even clam chowder or something? This is messed up.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

song of the day

Represent Cuba!

more short observations

Since I can't commit to a whole post...

1. I recently figured out that the actress who plays Gwendolyn Harleth in Daniel Deronda also is the star of Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights.

2. I think this is kind of funny how getting great roles for the BBC means absolutely nada when it comes to Hollywood. Not that DD2: havana nights was all bad. Look how cute...

3. Now I'm listening to "Represent Cuba" from the soundtrack. Of Dirty Dancing 2, not Daniel Deronda. (Thanks Brian!)

4. Yeah it's on repeat...so what?

5. I just got new little speakers to plug into my computer and mp3 player.

6. I have already driven Isaac nuts by playing the nerdy "That Spells DNA" and other Jonathan Coulton songs.

7. Today we are having leftover Indian food for lunch, but I don't think any of it falls into the category of "curry".

8. I really should get to work.

9. I have trouble leaving the apartment if Isaac leaves before I do.

10. He has a doctor's appointment because his left tonsil hurts.

11. I find it amazing that he can tell that his tonsil is what hurts, much less left or right.

12. I'm not very body aware.

13. I have worked out 3 times in the last week!

14. All inspired by Stacy.

15. I've gone back to my old school exercise videos from the 80's.

16. The big hair, leotards, cleavage, and gold jewelry is almost enough to keep me distracted from the pain.

17. But mostly I like to watch the men in the videos doing the girliest moves.

18. Some of them really get into it, and that makes me love them.

19. Wish I knew how to make screenshots from my VHS tapes so that you could love them too.

20. Okay I'm really going now. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

the weather, it's gotten better

Hey y'all. The rain finally stopped! Saturday was a beautiful day, and Isaac and I took advantage of it for once instead of going to the lab. Well, not at first, because we were drowning in laundry. But then we left some of the laundry UNFOLDED (yes we are daring and adventurous people! You can't stop us. Or maybe we are just wrinkly people...) and we went out for a walk. We walked over to the park along the East River. After walking through the park, past the small dog park (cute cute cute), past the weird guy with no shirt who looked like the Native American on those old posters with the guy crying over litter (i know, i'm going to hell) causing me to crane my neck as we passed to see if it was really a topless woman (I did this in both directions, just to check if anything had changed), past the guy pretending to read his book about Asset Backed Securities, who was really looking at the assets of the guys running by him (oh yeah), we got up to 96th streetish, where it got kinda sketchy, and there is a green footbridge to cross.

The footbridge takes you to Ward's Island. One sketchy guy on the bridge, two sketchy guys when we got off the bridge, but then as we walked around the path, it seemed to become family territory. A bike riding family went by - white mom, Asian dad, their tweenish daughter and cute younger children being pulled by dad in a buggy. A couple fishing. Wife staying under the tarp set up at the back of their minivan, while the husband tended the rod. Right.

We walked past a pile of gravel, toward a parking lot...actually the island wasn't all that scenic. One end has some kind of building that I think used to be a mental hospital, and looks like a prison. Now they've made it into a shelter for homeless men. There was a nice view from the island though, sort of. As long as you didn't look too hard at the weird ugly public housing looking buildings at the top. Here's Isaac on the bridge.

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Then we got ice cream on the way back. Now I have shin splints - how pathetic. I'm blaming my clogs. After Isaac got back he had to go and play a wedding gig with Li-Ling and Mai. He just keeps bringing home the bacon. So I did the appropriate thing and made some risotto for dinner. I think it came out really well. I didn't have enough squash since I decided to double it at the last minute...but other than that it was tasty.

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After my previous confession that I was addicted to that folk booty song cover - I couldn't not post about this Boing Boing post.

This guy Jonathan (who seems like a real sweetheart somehow) made a folk cover of Baby Got Back. I thought this song only made people who are about my age get stupid from nostalgia. I was shocked to see the kids at Isaac's nephew's bar mitzvah party go nuts over the song. Now I can be embarrassed for myself and them too!

Edited to add: I just listened to the songs that Jonathan Coulton wrote for Popular Science and they are so much fun. I especially like "That Spells DNA".

Thursday, October 13, 2005

all those librarian fantasies might have some truth behind them

Please enlighten me if I'm wrong, but somehow I suspect that the NYPL is pretty rare in this. I was browsing through the new release DVDs and found "Better Sex Through Yoga". Not just one volume either, volumes 1-3. The fact that something like this exists is kind of funny, but I find it even more amusing that the library has purchased it.

By the way I just read the reviews on amazon for this and now I feel dirty.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

blog-attention defecit disorder

Among the posting ideas I had today, but didn't have the energy to develop into a real post:

1. Happy Birthday I-Chen! It was great be there to commemorate your aging with duck!

2. The good news: Two new non-smamming people commented on my blog today! The bad news: They really like the violinist that I used to make an unfavorable comparison when I wrote about that recital I went to.

3. My sister Katie is a vegetarian, but recently after a crazy week of graduate school nonsense, she broke down and spent a lot of money on a case of beef from a truck on her street. In her defense, they threw in a case of seafood too. Okay, and her Russell does eat meat. The whole family went over for flounder on Saturday! Wish I were there to eat a steak for you Kate!

4. I am really craving a BLT. (that would have been a short post)

5. Also, need chocolate. (could have gone on a bit longer with that one I suspect)

Monday, October 10, 2005

our weekend was just ducky

Most of this weekend was spent at work. :( We went in early on Saturday morning, got in a few hours, but then (!) took the train down to Chinatown to meet Li-Ling, I-C and Mai for some Peking Duck. That was some seriously delicious duck.

They brought the duck to our table, and showed it to us, then took it off to a carving station and sliced it up all nicely for us. Not like sometimes when you get duck in Chinatown and they just take a cleaver and hack the crap out of it bones and all. This place seemed to cater more to whiteys. Actually all the people there seemed to be European tourists - maybe the Peking Duck House is in one of the German guidebooks to NYC or something. So, they serve the sliced platter of duck you with some steamy pancakes, which look an awful lot like the tortillas you can buy from Goya or Mission. There are also little sticks of cucumber and scallion, and some delicious brown sauce. It looked an awful lot like this actually.

It's really not worth taking pictures almost, since someone on Flickr has already been there before you.

Then we had to leave the cozy restaurant and head out into the rain. We had really nasty weather on Saturday, and Isaac and I finally gave up on getting to the supermarket to get some Asian ingredients (and kimchi noodle bowls, yum). Next time!

Then it was a nice lazy Saturday afternoon at home. At least for me. While I putted around, avoiding laundry, drinking herbal tea and reading Judy Blume (in honor of banned book week even though it's over now), Isaac put together our new desk. In my defense, he really REALLY wanted to do it himself. He only had me "help" when his hand hurt so much that he could hardly hold the screwdriver, and even then it was only to "tighten" screws that were already completely in. That nut job... Here are the fruits of his labor!

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So that was our fun one day weekend. Yesterday was a full work day! Yay!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

my blog's birthday?

After seeing the happy birthday post for No One's Home, I should have figured out that my own blog was approaching one year of existence too...and so it was. I looked back to see that my first post was on October 5th, 2004.

Fall is a great time for taking up new hobbies, isn't it? I guess that it doesn't really matter that I have no "mission" for my blog. The best thing about it has been making new friends, and all I really care about is amusing myself and the few people who are reading this thing. Among the other benefits of blogging:

1. Now anyone can know how much I like Mark Ruffalo with a simple google search. He'll find me someday and take me away from all this. (yes I realize he'll go through 1,137,284 other hits first, but still)

2. Place to post embarrassing pictures of friends and relatives.

3. Get excellent movie, music and book recommendations from blogfriends.

4. Increasing interaction with random people who want me to know about their mexican food website, nascar website, financial independence website and my personal favorite...penis enlargement website. The penis enlargement people really love my blog. Did you know that I'm in "the Top 3 of [his] list of favorites"

5. Exposure to new MN blogger foods and vocabulary: Cheese curds, hotdishes, cheeseburger wontons, crummpetz (am I spelling that right?), and "The Club".

6. And I got a great muffin recipe from my favorite stay at home domestic goddess Stacy. They are really tasty and I had one for breakfast this morning. Yesterday morning I had two. Bad...

Six is a good round number for a list isn't it?

Friday, October 07, 2005

worst mixtape ever.

I ran across a link to this video on Lindsayism - it's hilarious. Two guys competed to make the worst mixtape ever, and the loser had to walk around downtown with a boombox playing the tapes. The looks that they caught on observers' faces are priceless...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Good news

Hello Blogfriends, I have some wonderful news. On Tuesday afternoon my friend Brian became Dr. Brian! Professor Brian. It's very exciting. Brian had already started his new job corru... um, molding young minds in Chicago, and came back for a triumphant dissertation defense, dinner and night out in the meatpacking district (where else?) Then he had to fly back Wednesday morning to get some PhD-worthy respect from the young minds.

It was so great to see Brian back in town if only for a few hours. I miss him very much. And did you know that when you tell people about your blog they suddenly stop emailing you? It's true...

Anyway, congratulations Brian! We had a great time on Tuesday night at this very cute bar. It's kind of uncute from the outside. But on the inside it has a disco floor that with squares that light up. Most of all it was so nice to see all of Brian's people. They are all just lovely. And I also mean that literally. Very physically attractive people. Brian, Darby is so lovely I can never think of a word to say to her. So intimidating! And perfect eyebrows too.

Brian also practiced some of his hosting magic on me and Isaac as soon as we arrived. We congratulated him, and he promptly handed us off to a couple of new people saying, "Nathan, tell Christine what you do, she's going to be so excited about it!" as he backed away to the other side of the room. So of course Nathan has to tell me what he's doing which turns out to be "writing a book for teenagers." Then he's like, so why would that interest you so much??? I said, well, I love to read, ever since I was a teenager??? Dead stop in conversation. But somehow we got through that. I think he even told me what the book was about, but I can't really remember. Isaac asked, "so do you ever have huge bouts of writer's block when you just can't think of what to write at all?" I think the answer was yes? I wish Nathan had been writing a gay mystery, that would be a real "Christine" topic. But I forgive you Brian, and I don't mind taking one for the team on your special night!

Also, I was left wondering if I will ever meet another person who could put together the perfect Tuesday outfit - suitable for defending a dissertation and a night out at the same time. It was tremendous. Sadly, I didn't manage to take a picture. So I'll leave you with this fuzzy scanned picture of us from 1999 or so in our predoctoral days... Congratulations again Brian!!!

chris isaac brian at tomo

Monday, October 03, 2005

ads that really work!

I am very seriously considering buying some Brawny paper towels. I got such a good laugh out of these ads. Oh, and for dialup people.

I love the picture with the little horse!