Thursday, December 21, 2006

To complete my blogging for the day - LUCY!

A few of my favorite pictures of my niece Lucy - over the past few months. In reverse chronological order...


so cute with her pants all hiked up...

Happy Russell and Katie, Unhappy Lucy

Christening Day

Party at Tiffany's!

Tiffany's birthday was only three days before Isaac's, and she was truly generous to slave away cooking for a lot of invited guests on Sunday night. It was a major feast, and I heard from a reliable source that all the recipes came from a single cookbook. I forgot to ask which one, but whichever - everything was delicious. I knew I should have fasted better throughout the day, because the only problem was that I was full way too soon.

Then we got a little music - some Schubert piano for 4 hands and other musical better way to spend a Sunday night than staying up way too late with good company.

Here are some pictures from the night!






Happy Birthday Isaac!

It's Isaac's birthday again! And he is so very lucky that something he has been obsessing about for many many months, well it finally happened today. He called me this morning to make me guess what the good news was:

Christine: You got a job offer?
Isaac: No...
C: You got another interview?
I: No...
C: Someone else got a job?
I: What? NO. Something less serious, think entertainment...
C: Oh, JK Rowling finally announced the title for Harry Potter Book 7.

And JK did! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Considerable birthday time was then spent by Isaac, looking up all definitions of "hallow" in the OED. We will have to discuss further over dinner. Which will be at Rosa Mexicano - yum!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Feeling so pathetic I had to blog

just briefly.

Because I just heard that Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling are engaged and suddenly I had much fonder memories of that movie The Notebook. Swoon.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Us.

Well, Isaac and I finally made it to the 3 year mark! We are celebrating with a less extravagant dinner than in previous years and going to see Gidon Kremer play Brahms sonatas at Carnegie Hall. This should be a lot of fun. One of my very favorite classical music concert experiences was seeing Gidon (can i call you Gidon?) playing all the Bach sonatas and partitas at Columbia's St. Paul Chapel. I guess we will be missing the intimacy of that evening, but I'm still expecting Gidon to bring on the weirdness.

Going home this weekend for Lucy's baptism was a lot of fun - first of all, the girl is huge! And looks at you with these great big eyes. She did really well most all of the weekend and didn't fuss at all in the church, which is more than I can say for some of my relatives. I lit the baptism candle, which means I was the butch godmother I think. We had two godmothers you know, and basically the Church is this close to allowing same-sex marriage.

Then, the party was at my parents' new house - they moved to a 55+ neighborhood just 6 weeks ago, and this was my first time seeing it. It's lovely, and was broken in quite nicely with about 60 people at the party. I think that's the biggest party in our family's history, thanks to BIL Glenn's side of the family, composed of dedicated baby-lovers and party-goers. So fun - the crab balls were a huge hit.

Isaac spent almost all his baby-holding time making weird noises for Ana Lucia so that she will have good pronunciation of foreign languages when she learns them. It's a priority. For him. :) Anyway, we had a terrific time and now we are back in the babyless, siblingless, parentless north. It's kind of sad. But Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Though Lucy (and Beth and Glenn) are going to New Jersey for Thanksgiving. We are going to have to try to deal.

That's the update for now...

Friday, October 27, 2006

a return of sorts

The real world has been causing the blogworld to recede for a little while for me. So I'm back to report on what's been going on in the meantime...good things and not-so-good things.

Good: My lab finally moved to the new research building - we're on the top (21st) floor again, and the view is so nice. Well, nice for the East River. There are some gorgeous smokestacks in Queens and we see lots of boats going up and down the river.

Bad: Isaac is still in the old research building, so we are separated by a whole block for most of the workday (whine...ok i'm shutting up already).

Good: Did I mention that the view from my desk is to the West and I can see Central Park (ok it's really far away and I see just a few trees) and the Dakota (my second favorite residential building) and a really obnoxious Trump Tower (not the Columbus Circle one) .

Bad: As hotbabe noticed, I live and work two blocks from where I guess you can still just fly planes into buildings now and then. That old "XX days without a plane hitting a building" counter is back up to 15 days now I think. Aside from smelling smoke (I'm such an idiot I thought it was my freaking hot plate) and the fire alarm going off, we were pretty unaffected. That it was not b more serious should really go in the very very good and we are thankful column. I'm so sorry for the people who died, and by the way I saw Time Out NY refer to Corey Lidle as the Yankees catcher? WTF wasn't he was a pitcher? Even I picked up that much...and I'm far from a fan.

Geez I'm getting distracted...back to

Good: Isaac and I had dinner with Tiffany last weekend and I talked her ear off about my latest obSESSion, the new Justin Timberlake album.

Bad: Isaac was kind of left out because he was in the other room playing something on the piano, so slowly that it was unrecognizable, even to musicians.

Good: I did what any obSESSed person would do and sent Tiffany a copy of the album wrapped in tissue paper and she even listened to it and claimed to enjoy it more than Judith Butler. Not more than Judith Butler enjoyed FutureSex/LoveSound because honestly I have no idea what Judy's stance on that is...but more than seeing an overcrowded Judith Butler lecture.

Bad: I'm running out of bad things.

Good: This weekend is my niece Lucy's christening and we are taking a road trip to MD (NOT on the bus, but with a car and everything)

Bad: now I remember a bad thing...I had to get an official form signed that I'm a Catholic in good standing and the priest at the church I've been attending gave me an unexpectedly hard time...I thought about writing him a letter I was so upset, or confessing my serious anger, or something, but then I just kind of got over it! That should go in the good column too!

Good: I think I'm in an irrationally good mood now that most of Isaac's university job applications are out and my meetings with the pharma recruiters are OVER! Yay.

Bad: Give me a minute

Good: I gave blood today and since it was my 3rd time now I'm qualified to go to the Blood Donor Thank You Reception. Thoughts of this reception have since taken over my mind...what will the food be like? Will there be lots of red meat for good Iron levels? What if the annual thank you reception was in September and I have to wait a whole nother year?

Bad: It kinda hurt. Also, the phlebotomist told me that I am never allowed to give platelets because my veins are "honestly not up for it". I feel sorry that my veins are inadequate...but also kind of off the hook because I usually feel guilty for not giving platelets. Back to good...

Good: Netflix is still awesome.

Good: Our lab got rearranged in the move and now I work across from a super-nice and perky girl from Minnesota. Her accent warms my heart and reminds me of my blogfriends.

Good: The fall weather is not too cold yet.

Good: Lynne is posting again!

Good: I got to see a Sufjan Steven's show when a friend had an extra ticket and let me tag along with his family outing. It was so so so great. I preordered my Sufjan Songs for Christmas the next day.

Good: I'm going to set a new policy of posting thoughts in progress instead of letting them sit in my drafts folder.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

vocab questions

I'm just wondering....I read the description of House Season 2 on my Netflix DVD sleeve, where it describes "Omar Epps, Jennifer Morrrison and Jesse Spencer costarring as House's crackpot team of physicians."

I thought "crackpot" was bad. On the other hand, if I read "crack team of physicians" I would think those were good doctors. Where the heck did these words come from anyway? Of course, it's not like these were on the SAT vocabulary lists, so maybe I don't know what they mean at all. Also, what about "crackerjack team of physicians"? Is that one positive or negative, I really can't remember based on my limited contextual exposure to that one.

Another question....what is that song "Crimson and Clover" about? Is it drugs? Is it sex? Is it completely innocent? If so, why the voice distortion? So many questions...

Also, what does trenchant mean?

Thanks, blogworld. I'm not actually expecting to get answers to these questions, but I feel better just having written them down.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

book review?

I don't know, I haven't been reading that much lately.

I got kind of stuck on this one book, called Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married. I guess that what got me to check this book out was this one sentence from someone who writes something called "Publishers Weekly". Fans of Bridget Jones will be delighted. Well, I'm a fan of Bridget Jones (mostly, until the second movie, which frankly, I'm sorry, was not very good, and I very much wanted to like it) and I was not delighted. You liars.

I mean come on already, I just can't believe that someone could be so freaking stupid for 600 pages, only to wise up in the last 40. Like how she can't figure how that her dad's an alcoholic. Or that her crappy crappy boyfriend Gus, who really doesn't deserve the name of boyfriend, is another alcoholic and mooch and complete sucker-drier-type. And I'm sorry, but it's totally unbelievable that her gorgeous friend Daniel (who sounds an awful lot like Hugh Grant with his floppy hair and dry wit and whatnot) would even like her. She's just not very likeable. He'd like Bridget Jones (maybe not the one in the second movie) but why should he like this ball of neurosis Lucy Sullivan? didn't realize my opinions would be so strong about this book, so apologies to anyone who really liked it.

My weekend...

I had a terrific Labor Day weekend thanks to my wonderful family. Friday night Isaac and I went out for Indian food at Bawarchi's (our closest Baluchi's changed their name to Bawarchi's, does anyone know why?) I was all worried about traveling on Saturday because we were supposed to get some weather from Ernesto, but it was barely drizzling when I woke up. So I got myself over to Koreatown, to wait for the Chinatown bus to Baltimore (I know that doesn't make any sense, but that's what you do).

Of course, the bus was kinda late, like 45 minutes, and we got stuck in awful traffic, but I found my mom waiting for me only 75 minutes after I told her I'd get there (Isaac did call Mom to relay the 45 minute delay at least). Yay Mom. Katie and her dog Baci met us at my parents' place, which is only going to be my parents' place for another two weeks because they are moving to a fabulous new house only 5 miles from Beth and Glenn and Lucy! We did some eating, some packing, and some gabbing. Then it was time to bring some food over to B, G, and L's as our admission fee for some serious baby fawning time. Little Ana Lucia is getting to be much bigger Ana Lucia! She's adorable. And such a good girl.

Sunday morning we went to Mass, and then Katie and I "dropped in" for hours more baby time. We generally made ourselves obnoxious and made Beth take the baby out for a walk, and made Beth strap on the Baby Bjorn, and made Glenn help us move the extra changing table downstairs, etc. Then we ate the food that Glenn and his super-nice cousins made (and btw Glenn's female cousins are seriously gorgeous, despite how shallow it is of me to comment on it) It was great fun. Then it was time to get back on the bus for New York. The trip that took 5.5 hours on the way down, less than 3 hours on the way back. I don't want to think about how fast that means we were driving. All I know is that it means I got to surprise Isaac and I didn't even take a taxi home from Koreatown. Then we watched TV (on DVD from netflix) and went to bed. And had a super-lazy Monday, not getting to work until 2:30pm. Oh yay. Come to think of it, I'm not sure what we did with all that time besides me making bran muffins, and us watching a little more TV, but maybe that's because it's not bloggable... :)

Now of course, it's time to pay for all that fun, with what I'm not exactly sure. So far, just with the heart palpitations of feeling generally stressed out, and a long group meeting tonight, making me extremely glad to get home to my medicinal glass of wine. Just let's hope I resist opening another bottle. I can't believe I offered Isaac a glass too, and he's not even drinking his, just letting it sit there while he works all diligently. Next time... 1.5 glasses for Christine, instead of 0.75 glasses for each of us. Look at him, working all hard, it's really quite inspiring. Inspiring me to wonder if I can distract him long enough to drink that glass. I hope he has to go to the bathroom soon.

Lucy pictures coming soon....

Thursday, August 17, 2006


A few years ago I was really into reading "gay mysteries". I always found it kind of fun to find one genre within a genre, and concentrate on those books for my leisure reading... I was reminded of this because I just saw a review in the NYT for a movie adaptation of one of the books I read, Shock to the System by Richard Stevenson.

Here are some examples of the kind of gay mystery cover I would feel comfortable checking out from the library...




Here are a couple of examples of the kind of cover that would deter me from the checkout encounter with the librarian.


In my mind, all librarians have the same ultra-judgmental tendencies as the one I grew up with in Maryland. I say one, because I remember one librarian in particular who I would do anything to avoid at checkout time. Oops, I remembered one more book that I just had to check out...I dreaded hearing a comment about my less-than-enriching reading material. I always had to have a couple of books from the "Classics" section to cover my trashy reading.

It's kind of funny, these days I'm using both my library account and Isaac's (pretty much like it's mine). The less shameful library material inevitably winds up getting checked out on Isaac's card, just because I certainly can't check out the trashy things on his card...that would be kind of mean to let the librarians judge him for my shame. So the last time I went to pick stuff up, here were the things I was getting for me:



Here are the things I was getting for "Isaac" (really me):


The librarian checked each set of items out separately, and when she saw what "my husband" was getting, she conspiratorially and sarcastically said, "Looks like some fun weekend reading." (Actually this book is not as dense as the cover would seem to indicate...which is not to say that I have gotten more than 15 pages in.)

So now I guess I have developed a split personality with the library accounts. In "Christine's" hold list, there is stuff like: Stick It, Gilmore Girls, What a Girl Wants, Power Yoga, and Sweet Nothings (this is part of my other genre within a genre reading - romance featuring heroines with disabilities). In "Isaac's" account, there are things like: Sontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me, Good Night and Good Luck, and James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon.

It really is crippling to spend so much time worrying what these people will think about me, but I know that if I were a librarian I would be constantly evaluating people based on what they were checking out. What amazingly good blog material that would make!

fun at work

Yesterday I mentioned to Isaac that this guy John had stopped by the lab.

He was like, who?

And I said, you know, John, the guy who works for the professor who just moved to NYC from the Midwest.

Isaac said, You mean Dave?*

I said, Oops, yes.

How can I keep all these ordinary names straight? Anyway, I helped the guy from the Midwest find a few chemicals to borrow and lent him some paper towels, because their stuff isn't all here yet. As he was leaving he said, "Thanks, you're a doll!" To which I responded with confused silence and then a "Take care!"

So I was telling Isaac about being called a doll, which I really think is sweet, but I was kind of wondering if this was a regional thing or something or if I've never heard it on the East Coast because people here are too afraid of anything that could ever possibly be construed as sexually harrassing coworkers...or maybe it's just this guy's thing. I mostly think it's sweet because my Italian grandma always always always called us doll. Actually for her it was gender-neutral, appropriate for all grandchildren.

PS did you know that the Japanese way of saying "sexual harrassment" is seku-hara? Leave it to the Japanese to come up with a cute way of saying it!

PPS No anti-Japanese sentiment meant...

*not his real name.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hello baby!

I had a great trip down to Maryland last weekend! I got to visit with the new parents and the new baby! And everyone else of course.


I think I was about to blink or something in this picture, but it's the only proof I have that Lucy and I were in the same room.


She's a good sleeper - at least during the day! At night, that's another story. Beth and Glenn were looking like the most zombie-like versions of themselves that I've yet seen. I hope it gets better soon!


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Baby Lucy is here!!!!!!!

Lucy (Analucia Frances) arrived last night at 10:09pm, not a minute too soon for my poor sister suffering through back labor! Everyone is smitten with her, including me, distance being no object with such a subject to love....I haven't seen her yet in person...

But I have seen some pictures! Courtesy of my dad!

sleepy lucy

After hearing my cousins call my dad Uncle Rich for all these years, it never really occured to me that one day we'd be calling my brother Uncle Rich. Here he is!

Uncle Rich

I'm so excited that I will be meeting Lucy in person this weekend...I've already started charging up the battery on my camera only 3 days ahead.

Best news in the world

Healthy baby news!

Ana Lucia Frances G. is here!

Born: 10:20pm 8/1/06

Congratulations Beth and Glenn!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Baby un-update!

Well, there's really not much news on the baby front so far. Stubborn little baby girl, just like her mom, not quite ready to face the world... The pitocin has been increased...and nothing else is happening yet. No water broken or anything. At least that's the 4th hand news. That's what I get for being 200 miles away from the action - I have the feeling that there are some more details in there that I'm missing. I wouldn't mind hearing what she had for lunch, whether the pain is already started or not, what Glenn had for lunch, etc...

I can't wait to hear all about it!

PS The airconditioning stopped working at our lab. Probably because of the insane power load here today. I'm glad that we are not having a blackout but everything is getting very slimy and moist. The floor is all slippery from water condensing on it. This is awful for doing chemistry...everything is water-sensitive, and when it's all wet like this...reactions don't work.

Baby countdown!

I'm going to be an aunt in a short time - at least I hope it's a short time for the sake of my dear sister!

Gosh if there's anything to make you feel lazy and worthless it's the knowledge that in 20 minutes or so, your sister will be injected with a hormone which will bring on labor, and you'll be sitting at home drinking tea and watching the new Justin Timberlake video. (again)

I should also be feeling lazy and worthless because right now Isaac is outside doing a SPEED workout, on the hottest day of the year. My mission (should I choose to accept it): To delay getting in the shower until he buzzes, so I can hear the buzzer and let him in. It feels good to be needed.

That's him now! Good luck Beth!

Monday, July 31, 2006


Guess who is having a baby tomorrow! My sister! Beth is getting induced tomorrow morning! Her blood pressure creeped up all of a sudden and they are getting that baby girl out one week early. Beth's birthday is August 2nd and our mom's is August 5th. Looks like it will be a busy birthday time from now on.

I can't wait to meet my sweet little niece!


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Thank God for John Denver (rest his soul)

Yesterday was a big day in the lab for Isaac, and so I offered to take over his coffee-making chore. But I couldn't find the coffee filters. Isaac says, "Oh, I used the last one yesterday." Crap. You know what this means. It means a trip to the ghetto Gristede's supermarket 1.5 blocks from work. It's the Upper East Side, how ghetto could it be?

I don't know, but there is just a nasty vibe when you go in there. First of all, it's always kinda dirty-looking. Just what I look for in a food purveyor. Today, there is only one person working, and some lady just got in front of me with a totally full cart. I am holding coffee filters and a ten dollar bill, all ready to go. The lady behind me also has a totally full cart, and some creepy old man asks if he can go in front of her since he only has a few items. I turn around to see that he has a totally chock full to the brim hand-carry basket. She says he can't go ahead of her since she has ice cream in her cart and has got to get home.

While my attention is distracted, the express line opens and "next" is called. My path is blocked by the empty and abandoned cart of the lady in front of me. Of course, some lady at the very back of the line runs over there anyway. The really mean homeless guy who hangs out in front of the church across the street comes in and harrasses everyone briefly.

And yet, a feeling of peace fills me...I get to read the headlines of some worthy periodicals (NICOLE COLLAPSES!) I realize that this supermarket is playing the Greatest Hits of John Denver, just like the last time I came in. It's so calming. By the time we get to the clapping part in Take me Home Country Roads, I've entered the same zen state that I can see on the faces of the cashiers. Nothing can touch us in this mountainy state of mind. Maybe this is like the technique of playing classical music to drive away loiterers in the Port Authority Bus Terminal. (I noticed that they also play classical music only in the Starbucks most susceptible to homeless loiterers.)

Anyway, THANKS John Denver.

PS what is this picture about?


Friday, July 14, 2006


A pictorial summary of the last month...

1. Nick and Gina came to town for a week. He defended his dissertation and we had a fun time hanging out. Here we are at Tiffany's, listening to music and looking a little overheated.


Eating Thai food in Queens with Cordy!


2. Isaac ran in a race and did great!


3. My sister had her baby shower at her mother-in-law's place in NJ. It was so much fun!


PS I'm really not pregnant though I look a little bit disturbingly so in this picture!


Would you believe I attempted to blowdry my hair straight twice on the morning of this party?


Here's a picture of me looking really ridiculous...apparently showing great joy at other people's gifts is very important to me.


More events to follow!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

christine is pathetic

But I'm just so excited about this that I had to post.

The BBC Office is going to meet the NBC Office. I'm so excited about this I can hardly think. Tim and Dawn and Gareth meeting Jim and Pam and Dwight? Oh, please let it be good and satisfying.

Friday, June 16, 2006

work turned against me.

I really didn't mean to be gone for so long! A few things came up at work. I am now in charge of an undergraduate chemistry researcher. No offense to my particular undergraduate, who seems really bright and like a cool guy, but undergrads in the lab are babes in the woods. Like babes in the woods with grenades actually. It's a full time job to keep them from hurting themselves and those around them. But that only lasts about two weeks before they graduate to being like 12 year olds in the woods with a BB gun. Definitely not so bad. Hopefully we are into this phase, but I'm not sure because my undergraduate just went away to some concert in Tennessee for a four day weekend. Can I tell you how old and uncool I feel that he didn't even tell me what the concert is? I guess if I were in the know I wouldn't have to wonder. I totally just googled it and it looks really fun. Now I have to hold myself back from playing my "i'm cool, i'm hip" cds to prove that I have heard of the bands that he went to see. I am such a retard.

In other work news, we have a new postdoc and he is sharing space with me that I got used to having to myself. Oh, and also sharing the computer. This makes me much more productive at my workbench, since I have no place to sit, and cuts my computer/blogreading/blogwriting/emailing time to like 5% of normal. Luckily, he's gone for the weekend now too. Oh, sweet Friday.

The other work thing that has kind of knocked the blogging spirit out of me was an email I got from our department secretary. She innocuously reminded us about upcoming visits by recruiters from pharmaceutical companies. This makes me feel very sick and icky inside. If I think about the interviews with these recruiters within 2 hours of bedtime I have nightmares and wake up feeling awful. I don't think this is a normal response, but I'm having a little trouble positive-self-talking my way out of this one. Besides the horror of talking to these people, even with the best possible outcome from that process (ie they give me a job), I just don't think I would be all that happy with a traditional job at a pharmaceutical company.

I have been worrying about this a lot and going around sighing all the time. Isaac snapped me out of this yesterday as he often does by saying something true to put things in perspective. He pointed out that even with all this worrying, the possibilities ahead of us are a good solid life together, or a somewhat wealthier solid life together. I wouldn't pray to God for more than a good solid life and it's pretty insane to worry so much about the difference between these two possibilities.

I meant to wish a happy birthday to Stacy (blogfriend) and Brian (superfriend) and Russell (sister Katie's boyfriend) in a little more depth. They were all born on June 3rd in different years and can I just say I'm hoping to time the birth of all my future children to this day because i think it's produced a lot of outstanding people. Really amazingly outstanding. I actually jotted down lists of all the things I love about each of these people in preparation for the birthday post that never happened, but i don't think I'll post them because of pathetic sappiness. Okay, here's the least sappy from each:

1. I love Stacy because she has impeccable taste in movies, meaning that it matches mine almost exactly.

2. I love Brian because when he drinks too much sometimes he gets crabby and I couldn't love anyone who wasn't a little bit imperfect.

3. I love Russell because he actually listened to the weird CDs I made for him and Katie for Christmas. I think even the Bollywood one.

I think of you guys all the time, not just on your birthday. Hope it was a good one.

Friday, June 02, 2006

movie reviews and a slew of birthday joy coming our way

So! I guess things have been busy! Isaac and I felt like we needed a little vacation of our own after the visit from his dad and dad's new girlfriend. It's not like we are strangers to awkward social interactions, since as a couple we are pretty much equal to one infant when it comes to making small talk. But this visit was up there in awkwardness even for least nobody cried or anything. Enough said about that.

Isaac's dad had asked him to do a little reasearch about concerts and events and cats and whatever, but it turned out they only wanted to actually go out if tickets happened to fall into our laps. Since the New York City Ticket Fairy is a myth...we stayed home. And watched movies! And went out...but only for eating. That actually worked out great.

We saw two terrific movies and one awful one. Match Point - Terrific. I know it was kind of like Crimes and Misdemeanors but I think I liked Match Point better. Woody Allen is to Match Point as Pedro Almodovar is to Bad Education. Sort of. It's a little noir-ish. I did have slightly lower expectations too, since Match Point would seem to fall into my avoided category of A Simple Plan-type of movie where seemingly normal people do awful things to each other out of greed. But actually, there was a lot of emotional distance from the characters all along (every one of the characters, come to think of it) that allowed the movie to be quite enjoyable.

The other terrific movie was
, a movie about German Turks, and it is fabulous, the best foreign movie I've seen in ages. It is probably the best movie I've seen in months period. I recommend it highly to anyone who can handle subtitles. Over the age of 21. I think I have been avoiding "heavy" movies lately, but this one reminded me how rewarding a really gripping (if tragic) story can be. The story is that these two ethnic Turks meet in a German asylum after their suicide attempts. I know, it sounds like it would be really PERKY. The woman, Sibel, begs the guy, Cacik -- wait, was that his name, or is that a Turkish yogurt dish? Oh crap, his name is Cahit, and cacik is the garlicky yogurt. Anyway, Sibel begs Cahit to marry her so that she can get away from her oppressive (and violent) family. Her dad will let her marry a Turkish guy. She offers to be his roommate in a sexless marriage so that she can have some freedom to go out and screw other guys and party. Cahit is a terribly messed up alcoholic and widower....Sibel screws some men....touching and darkly funny story ensues. And the soundtrack is great. Best use of Depeche Mode in a movie ever.

The terrible terrible terrible movie was Russian Ark. I'm pretty sure I would have hated this movie under any circumstances. But in the interest of full disclosure, I did come home from work and throw up a mere 3 hours before watching this piece of crap. Russian Ark has a couple of claims to fame - it was all shot in a single take (like that Hitchcock movie Rope) and it is filmed completely in The Hermitage, a beautiful and enormous museum in St. Petersburg. Isaac has been dying to see this movie because he lived about 5 minutes from the Hermitage for 6 months when he went to the USSR with his dad in 1989. He spent a LOT of time in this museum, and was interested in seeing it again. My problem with the movie was its complete lack of a comprehensible storyline or plot or allegory or interesting characters or anything but nice paintings on the wall and pretty costumes. Ick.

It's raining buckets here in New York, but we are excited to be going to LL's place tonight to celebrate her birthday! We're bringing guacamole makings and a master margarita maker (that would be isaac).

Also... Happy birthday to my Dad today! And I'm not forgetting about all the June 3rd birthdays either...someone has shown remarkable restraint in not reminding her blogfans about her birthday!

kittens are cute. who knew?

via You Can't Make It Up

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

identity theft might be important too

But all I could think when I saw this article in the NY Times was, is this an official USPS uniform? What is that, a mini-skort?


Thursday, May 18, 2006

by the way you are totally going to get sick of me talking about this, if you aren't already

I saw TWO heinous bubble skirts on the street, just on the 5 minute walk from lunch. One was on a tween...the horror of the mini-bubble. Oh Lord, she looked like she knew she shouldn't be wearing it, she was trying to smooth it down. But the bubble will not be tamed, it will not be smoothed away. Please, tween girl, get out of bubble hell while you still can.

Then I saw an older woman getting into a taxi, and she was wearing another hugely unflattering style, combined with the bubble skirt. The DROP WAIST bubble skirt. Oh yes. I'm not sure who the drop waist is supposed to look good on, maybe people who don't have hips? Definitely not me, and I'm sorry Ms. Silver Hair, (your hair looked terrific by the way) it doesn't look good on you either.

It just occured to me that the mini-bubble skirt technically also has a drop waist, so maybe you are wondering why I am making a big deal about it on a longer skirt. But I think on a skirt that short no one is looking at the waist, they are looking at the vast expanse of your legs and wondering if you are in imminent danger of flashing something you shouldn't. Especially if you are only 12. I don't mean people are especially looking for the flashing if you are 12 but you especially shouldn't be flashing it if you are 12. Oh, nevermind. At the risk of sounding like my mother, what are these girls' parents thinking?

Happy Mothers-to-Be Day!

I know that I'm a little bit late on the Mother's Day front, but I have big unblogged mother-related news. Not related to me....but to my sister. My sister Beth is going to be a mom! Everyone is extremely excited to welcome this new member of the family. Especially since she (she seems to be a she!) will be the first grandbaby on both sides of the family! I wanted to be a little jealous that Beth beat me to it, but I really can't be, because I know she is going to be the very best Mom. She's due in August, and in the meantime, baby items are being gathered from family members up and down the eastern seaboard. Beth's husband Glenn has a huge family and lots of baby-making cousins! And of course I spend plenty of time looking at Beth's baby registry and other baby stuff online. Whee!

So happy Mother's day to my mom and to Beth!

In other news, we thought that Isaac's dad was coming tomorrow, but he called this morning from Seattle, halfway here already! Wow. So we had to take quite a long lunch to do a lot of cleaning that was supposed to happen tonight. Hopefully the apartment will not smell too pinesol-y or bleach-y. Oh well. Also, Isaac's dad is bringing his new girlfriend...which should be...interesting. He's been a widower for 2.5 years now. I feel weird cleaning the apartment for someone other than my mother-in-law, who actually passed away 6 weeks before she would have become my mother-in-law. But I know that Jane would have wanted us to seem like clean people in front of any new girlfriend. Isaac's actually handling the whole thing in a much more mature manner than I am. On the bright side, guess who's gettting treated to a dinner out tonight!

In other other news, I'm leaving for my 36 hour work retreat tomorrow morning at an early early hour. I can never decide whether this will be fun or not, but i'm thinking it will be fun. I was supposed to be sharing a room with a stranger (not so fun) but as it turn out, my friendly labmate offered to share with me. She was supposed to be sharing with her husband, but he can't go. She could have had a room all to herself, but she took pity on me and offered to share. Isn't that nice?

I had a bizarre dream about my other female labmate last night that she was best friends with Jessica and Ashley Simpson. I was so surprised, because my labmate is a very quiet girl, and when I'm conscious I think of her as kind of Quaker-like actually, but in the dream she asked me to take a picture of her with the Simpsons, and then they were best friends.

On that note, I wish you all a great weekend and many pleasant dreams of celebrities. Or guys who you see at the gym. Or guys who work in your husbands' labs.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

fashion opinions from the unfashionable

I would like to make my position on the bubble skirt known once again:

Bubble skirts are ugly and bad. Thank you for your attention.

The first hint of impending bubble skirt was at last year's fancy Waldorf dinner event, where we observed a woman in a gold metallic bubble skirt chowing down on the crudite. I had never seen one of these items before, and quickly learned the name of the atrocity, just so I could describe it in all its horror to someone, anyone. Seriously, I think these skirts make guachos and the skinny bermuda shorts look good. Good on someone else who isn't my friend, that is.

I offer some examples which range from No to GOD NO!

Not cute with those cute, if painful looking espadrilles (those are espadrilles right?)


Definitely not cute with pleats:


Reconfirmed, not cute in eveningwear:


And finally, Dear God Please Save the Children from the horrors of this skirt. Right now. I'm going to write to my congressional representatives if I have to.


If my opinion doesn't coincide with your own, remember that I regularly wear hand-me-downs from all manner of elderly relatives and clothes that I bought on ebay or found in the laundry room trashcan (kidding about that last one, haven't found anything in the trash worth keeping...yet). So there's really no reason to be upset because I don't know what I'm talking about.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

My Saturday so far...

I'm tallying up the good and bad of my day so far, which is only 3.5 hours long.

1. Good: Got to sleep in after our gorgefest at Dallas BBQ last night (i got the potato, and therefore had to finish all of the baby back ribs)

2. Bad: Plugged in the TV for some Saturday morning Bollywood action, only to find that they cancelled my favorite show - V Desi. It had this great request segment, called U2U, hosted by a kind of scary raspy voiced woman with a line of exercise videos (Masala Bhangra). Sad.

3. Good: I fixed the internet when Isaac and Nick were both stumped and had restarted every device in the apartment 3 times each.

4. Bad: I thought the grocery deliveryman was here and got dressed superfast out of the shower but it was just Isaac needing to use the bathroom. He didn't get too far on his run this morning.

5. REALLY bad: He came out of the bathroom claiming that something "funny, but also kind of awful" had happened. He knocked my mp3 player into the toilet. God damn. He borrowed it for his run and apparently it HAD to come into the bathroom with him.

6. Whatever: He's in the lab right now putting it into a flask he can attach a vacuum pump to, I wonder if that will work. Of course, for the rest of the player's life it will still be toilety. I know it was an accident though...he's pretty much forgiven.

Friday, May 12, 2006


1.. Nick has been in town for a week! He wrote his dissertation and is handing it in to committee members today. Pretty awesome.

2. Tonight we are having happy hour...which makes me...happy.

3. Then we are having dinner at Dallas BBQ, home of the Texas-sized margarita. And huge plates of food. I have been thinking all day about whether I'm going to get french fries or not...or a baked potato. i mean, is a baked potato that much more virtuous? I don't really like baked potatoes. What i'd really like is to substitute a salad, but is that even possible? If I can't have real vegetables shouldn't I just eat the pound of delicious french fries? (they are really good french fries)

4. I've watched 18 episodes of Six Feet Under in the last 2 weeks. We got the first two seasons from the library...

5. Also, we might watch Shopgirl this week (also from the library), but i don't want to see it if i'm going to have to be embarrassed for Steve Martin. I don't have the energy for that crap.

6. Haven't done a real workout for almost two months!

7. But we walked all the way to Chinatown last weekend via central park (about 5.5 miles)

8. then proceeded to eat a huge and delicious Vietnamese dinner. I think Pho Viet Huong is better than it's ever been. Or maybe the good cook only comes in on Saturday night....

9. Hell YES I love The Office. And I'm so glad that nbc-office watchers are finally getting to have the screaming fits that I had when I watched the Office special last Christmas. (via lindsayism, via Jane magazine)

10. Time for me to get a snack.

Friday, May 05, 2006

viva visitors!

We got an email from Nick yesterday saying that he is coming to New York on Sunday! This Sunday, for a week. Very exciting. Even more exciting is that this means his thesis is all written and everything. We haven't heard yet whether Gina is coming too...

Then, in another two weeks, Isaac's dad is coming to New York. We have been looking for all sorts of stuff to do with him...should we go to see a 6 hour play (Faust) or a violin recital (Maxim Vengerov) or some old Soviet films (please God no I do like the groovy hat though).

Another option which was well received was the Moscow Cats Theatre.

I think it's awesome that this cat looks freaking bored out of its mind.


Also, Russian clowns are scarier than other kinds.


Looks like we will be having a fun time with people coming through town though... having guests always means better food and funner activities.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

scientists are hot...

I thought this was too funny not to mention, although I'm afraid to actually link to this website for fear of people somehow finding their way back to here is something you could cut and paste and remove parentheses and add dots. Or you don't have too look at it at all...but it's kind of like a Random Hotness for chemists.


Do you think I'm a little paranoid? Maybe I am, but I'm kind of freaked out by the idea of commenting on the hotness of fellow chemists and having real life people actually read about it. This field feels awfully small.

That said, I think this website is hilarious. Knowing who some of these people are might make it funnier to me. Also, that last picture which is referred to as a "myspace" photo, how dead on is that? I get a kick out of the "action shots" in front of the graduate students' workspace too. The graduate student edition is probably my favorite.

can't sleep...

I know that plenty of people get up even earlier than 5am, but not me. I couldn't get back to sleep this morning. On the bright side, I have a great song in my head right now.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

dissecting a song I like

One of those songs that changes the way you think about the world

I'm being a little melodramatic, but for the last three weeks, I have been listening to this song by The Long Winters. Listening to it kind of a lot. Then I tried to figure out why I think it's so great. Mostly I think it resonates with some of my song-loving triggers...of which there are many.

0:09 - the piano starts, playing the same 3 chords over and over.

0:22 - singing starts "boys and girls..." we like that.

0:28 - percussion please...especially if it will seem to be lethargic and holding the song back like the piano chords I love that.

1:06 - tropic of capricorn...i love geographic references

1:34 - weird synthetic string breakthrough, I'm with you.

1:53 harmony vocal overdub in the right ear I am so with you...

2:10 - just keep layering that stuff on...

2:15 - horses?

2:50 - mention the radio...i love that

2:56 - oh, and Houston, we're talking about astronauts I LOVE that! Major Tom anyone?

3:08 Astronauts going home...major tom...yeah...oh no.

3:32 break into the stripped down piano only repetitive phrase....this will get me every single time, especially if it has to do with Astronauts! best part of the song...and the saddest.

3:45 - start layering it back on....and the drums...

4:00 - and then we're into a nice round of overlapping vocals...

4:25 - synthetic strings come back in...

Oh, what a nice song.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

i love lindsay robertson, and movie reviews...

I'm a fan of and Lindsay has been guest blogging at Jane magazine this month. Also, I hated Crash. More specifically I hated the fact that Crash won Best Picture and I will never understand why Brokeback Mountain didn't win. Don't try to explain it to me, I don't want to hear it.

So I loved this Lindsay post.

In other movie review news...since not everyone is my Netflix friend like Stacy and BigLugJen...and now Lubna (!!! so excited to have a new Netflix friend)

We recently watched:

Troy - 3/5 stars - I'm sorry, but does anyone think Brad Pitt is a good actor? Nice legs Brad, but I could hardly stand to look into his dead eyes. Also, please don't beat us over the head about your eternal glory and name living on and all that crap. I guess it didn't help that the last time I heard someone talk about Achilles, it was the author of that book Manliness in an interview on the radio. The predominant feeling I came away with is that men are really fucked up. What's with all the pride in killing? Loved the fight scenes though...I guess i'm an awful hypocrite.

The Last King - 4/5 stars - Rufus Sewell, love him, and I will definitely see Tristan and Isolde now that I realized Rufus is in it. I took away the fifth star because I was really grossed out by Helen McCrory playing the super-depraved mistress. Ick. Stop licking people already. Also, how awkward would it be around the movie set, I mean she really did everyone in the movie. The king, the king's teenage son, the king's best friend, who happened to be her cousin...

The Island - 4/5 stars - So much better than expected! I missed the non-ObiWan Ewan McGregor. Lots of fun high-speed chasing and a premise that if not totally original, was at least well executed. Also, nice idea to make the main characters have no knowledge of sex or love, it really simplified what might have been a tricky character development for most of the movie!

The Squid and the Whale - 5/5 stars - Jeff Daniels did a great job as a completely obnoxious conceited jerk who completely screwed up his kid who tried to be like him. Also, I would watch Laura Linney read the phone book. I watched that awful movie about the possessed girl just for her.

NBC's The Office - 5/5 stars - I'm a huge fan of the BBC Office and I was scared to watch the American one. But oh my God, Steve Carrell did such a good job of making me cringe. The Chris Rock routine...I don't mind at all that it is the exact same show. I'm looking forward to seeing many many more episodes! Except when the hell is the second season going to be on DVD? It's not even over yet is it? Oh darn.

Gangs of New York - 2/5 stars - Recently rewatched this at my parents' place. I really didn't like it. And I'm going to ask once again, what happened to Leonardo DiCaprio? I thought he was good in the Gilbert Grape movie and even in (i'll admit it) Titanic. But he just looks like he has no neck in this and no brain either. I just don't get the whole point of the stupid movie, but I have a feeling it has something to do with Achilles and stupid men again.

That's just the most recent things we've seen - I realized that I should really attempt to review movies on my blog instead of the "two cents" review space at Netflix. They limit you to 250 characters or something, which might be enough for some people, but I am always putting in filler expressions like "all in all" or "if you ask me" or "really, though". So I get to the end of my two cents much more quickly than I would like. Then I am forced to go back into 250 characters and make my opinion sound much more decisive and forceful than I would like. (it strikes me as really masculinizing somehow) The whole point of doing the two cents review and not a regular review is so that I don't have to edit it, since Stacy and Jen (and Lubna!) are the only people who can see it. But it's really not working out that way since I have to take out all my favorite expressions to soften my opinionatedness.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Pictures from our trip to Seattle

I just got these off my camera...

We took a trip to the Arboretum in Seattle - it was sad that the Japanese Garden was closed (stupid Mondays) but we had a nice time walking around these other non Japanese trees.


Me and Isaac's Dad...


Isaac's dad taking time to smell the....something.


I thought I was being all smart and artsy.


Obligatory glasses swapping...


Isaac's Dad and Herschel, a much less neurotic terrier than he used to be!


Isaac's sister and K.C., the adorable (and slightly neurotic) fluffball...


Me and K.C....and my huge thigh.


And Petunia! She's totally unneurotic, breaking the trend when it comes to Seattle pets.