Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa Claus is coming to toooooowwwwwnnnnnnn . . . .

I know it has been a really long time. But thank you to those who have submitted playlists. I expect to be hearing from the rest of you soon. But I thought I should write up a post before the holidays in case I do not have time later. I leave Friday for RI. My parents Christmas Party is Saturday. And I have been told that there is a rapidly expanding list of things for me to help with while I am home before Christmas. We are having 14 for Christmas Eve, then 11 stay for Christmas Day, and then I am expecting 16 for Christmas Night. Of course that is just at my house. Matty and I will be doing the annual Christmas relay again this year. Christmas Eve I have the 1st 2 courses (of 6) at my house, then Matty comes, says hello, picks me up and we do Christmas with his brother and sister-in-law and parents. Then back to my house and he does Christmas with my crazy Aunt and Uncle. Then he leaves and I finish dinner, dessert and presents at my house. Christmas morning we do presents and then crazy Aunt and Uncle come for breakfast. Then I go to Matty's for Christmas dinner with his aunt and uncle. Then back to my house for dinner and my great uncle and cousin come down for dinner. Then we have the cookies. Oh the cookies. And we have usually between 2 and 10 over for cookies and dessert. Then Matty comes back and does Christmas with my family. Then the next day my mother and I usually do crazy day after Christmas shopping. But instead, this year we are all (13 of us) going up to New Hampshire to go skiing. Matty's first time skiing! I am very excited and nervous for him. We will be up there until the 30th. On the 30th we will head back with a day of outlet shopping in the middle. Then bright and early (actually it will still be dark) on New Year's Eve we fly back to Philly. Matty and I go to work and then a whiskey tasting New Year's Party. Then on the 3rd Matty and I will do our Christmas. So yeah. A busy busy time ahead. Oh and then New Years Brunch on the 10th.

Last Saturday was our Holiday Fete. It went really well. 23 people. 29 food items (plus 2 brought by guests) including 20 new recipes and 8 cookies/candies that are sent home as favors (along with handmade holiday magnets by yours truly). We had 7 out of town guests. 5 stayed at Hostel SmithGallagher and 2 stayed with Dan. Like I said it all went really really well. I am kinda sad it is all over though. Sigh. Oh and Dan got my Guitar Hero! Yay! We have no played it nearly enough yet since we only have 1 guitar at the moment and we have been super busy Christmas shopping this week.

Ok, well I have PCRs to set up, but I thought I would start a regular item on Random Musings. The South Street Bridge Project. The bridge, which used to provide me quick and easy access to work, was closed last Monday to be torn down and replaced over the next 2 years. So I thought I would mark its transformation. So Week 1: Hmm. I guess I am going to have to bring a real camera with me in the future. But really, there is not much to report. There are construction vehicles on the west end, the on/off ramps are closed and empty and that is about it.

If I do not get a chance to write again before then (if you celebrate it) Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy New Year's, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, Happy Winter Solstice . . . I am sure I am forgetting something. But Happy Happy. Remember this is a time to be happy and relax and be thankful for what there is, not buy presents and not be miserable and mean and ruin other people's happiness. This is not a time to have nervous breakdowns or beat small children over the last copy of a DVD. Ok? So everyone take a moment to smile for me. K? Do you need some help? This seems to work for Matty.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Repost of Playlist Request

For those of you who do not read regularly and do not read old posts, I am requesting your 2008 playlists. The details are below:

I would like to collect the "Playlists of 2008." What were you listening to this year? Not necessarily music that came out this year or even that you discovered this year. But if you were to design the playlist for the last year in 10ish songs, what would be on there? Now most useful would be if you could actually send me the songs. I recommend or sendspace. You can just put the link in a comment. If you do not want to share with all of the readers of this blog, all 4 of them, get in touch with me with the link directly. If you do not actually have a way of getting in touch with me, you can send me a comment and tell me not to publish it and I won't. If you either do not have the songs in a shareable format or do not believe in sharing music, that is fine, just send me the list and I will find the songs myself. I would really like to have the lists by January 6th and actual songs by January 8th. I will be posting reminders (like this one). But start compiling and let me know. If anyone else is interested I will post my list when I actually complete it. Thanks!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Prohibition Repeal Day!

Today in 1933 the amendment to repeal prohibition was ratified. Yay! Perhaps we should celebrate with a Sacher Torte since it is also National Sacher Torte Day. What is a Sacher Torte you ask?
In the early 1800's, the Congress of Vienna ruled that a Sacher Torte was made of two chocolate cake layers separated by apricot jam with a chocolate glaze on the top and sides.
I think celebrating with booze would probably be easier. So go to it.

Some things that have come to mind today:

On wearing pants:
If you have to keep pulling up your pants, not because you recently (overnight) lost 200 lbs (and didnt have time to buy new ones), but because you intentionally bought pants designed to fit someone 200 lbs heavier - YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! Buy some pants that fit jackass.
If you have to keep pulling up your pants because you belted your pants halfway down your thighs and are now forced to waddle with 6 inches of underwear showing - YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! Pull up your goddamn pants asshole.
If you are a woman and you are bigger than say a size 6 (and I feel I being very generous here) and you are not living in 1980 and you needed either a hanger or friend to zip your jeans and you cant sit down due to extreme risk of severe internal injuries or actually splitting your pants - YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! Buy some pants that fit bitch. Rip out the tag if you cant handle the number, or find a company that will lie about their product sizes. Because just because you were technically capable of zipping them, that doesnt mean they fit!

On talking to me:
Generally, I am not a people person. I do not particularly like to talk to strangers. Or even acquaintances really. But I will if I have to. But if the first time we met, at a happy hour for a grad school position you were applying for and I already had, 15 minutes into the conversation you decided to tell me that you made money during college performing phone sex for an old guy who randomly called your dorm room, do not expect me to ever be able to hold on a normal conversation with you. Ever again. K?

Ok. That is all for that.

Matty is in Ireland. I am pretty pathetic without him. It is so sad. I do not like sleeping alone. I do not like cooking alone or for one. I do not like having no one to talk to when I get home. I have been watching a bunch of movies. Mists of Avalon (ehh, ok I guess, not well done). 27 Dresses (worth seeing as a chick flick). Sex and the City (actually cried. Pretty happy with it). And I have been listening to christmas music and lighting scented candles and have started decorating for the holiday fete. And I started cooking on Tuesday. He comes home Monday. I am very exicted but have so much I want to get done before he gets home. He called last night and we talked for about 4 minutes. He is having a good time. I still want him to come home. I know, I am awful.

Monday, the South St. bridge closes as of 9:30 am. It needs to be done. It is going to collapse or fall apart and people will get hurt. Matty and I have actively, seriously planned what to do in case it begins to collapse depending on where we are on the bridge. You know, besides pray. But it means that my 30 minute straight walk down South from apartment to work and back is now going to be a 45 minute-1 hour trek up to Walnut. Mostly because I am WAY too cheap to pay $14/week for some sort of public transit because my destination is RIGHT there. Plus, the Walnut bridge is icier and colder and they really had to start in December? Really? I took some pics on my walk over this morning.

Sigh. Sad. I will let you know how the new walk goes. Ok, go celebrate prohibition repellation now! (If someone know the real noun for repeal please let me know)!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Things that have made me laugh today

As a warning, I am alone in the lab, the day before Thanksgiving, having already accomplished my one goal for the day:

"A search of his car uncovered pornography, a home-made sex aid, women's stockings and a Jack Russell terrier." In a story about a dude being pulled over because they thought he had a weapon and then the police finding that in fact he was fucking a jar of pasta sauce.

Having a conversation with a Chinese woman about the difference between the words "bacteria" and "bacterial." Go ahead, say them in your head with a Chinese accent.

Would of course be funnier if he wasn't OUR president. Who WE elected. Twice.

In other news:
We started watching Man Men, season 1. I see the potential, but I feel like it is starting a little slowly. Definitely going to watch through Season 2 though.
Has it been that long since I reviewed movies?!??!
Lars and the Real Girl: Incredibly well done. Just great all around. I cant give a synopsis because either you won't see it or you will see it for the wrong reasons. But you should see it.
Rome, Season 2: Bloodier, sexier, raunchier, more pornographic, more extravagance.
Breakfast at Tiffany's: Beautiful, classic Audrey. Does more need to be said?
Dreamgirls: Jennifer Hudson was great. overall the movie was very good, a little long it seemed, like Boogie Nights was long, because it covers so much time it seems to be very long, but probably isnt. I would recommend it if you are at all interested in musicals and it is kinda chicky.
Lolita: Kubrick's. I didnt really get it. I mean I got it, but not why it was such a big deal. I guess it exemplifies the difference between 1962 and now. It was REALLY long. I probably wouldnt recommend it to anyone because anyone who would really like it has probably seen it. It is not Kubrick in the way I think of Kubrick.
In The Bedroom: It was ok. It felt a little self important. Worth seeing but not moving to the top of your queue. Has at least one part I couldnt watch. Tom Wilkinson was great.
The History Boys: Very Dead Poets Society. A bit edgier. Feel like I would have liked some background on how the school system works in England. Richard Griffiths was fantastic.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix: I almost feel like maybe they should nto have made these movies. So much has to be cut that some of the feel and the wonder and awe gets lost. But I must admit, that after this one I felt once again that I wanted to be at Hogwarts. So badly. I know, big dork, right here.
Hell House: A documentary about the original Hell House put on by the Trinity Church Assemblies of God in Cedar Hill, Texas (I know shocker). A haunted house of sorts where the hauntings are sins like homosexuality, domestic violence and school shootings, re-enacted (with real guns even) by high school kids who are then dragged off to hell for not repenting. At the end you get to be saved. Gained notoriety for portraying the Columbine shootings 6 months after the fact. With real guns. Loaded with blanks. But still. Crazy fucking Christians. I would recommend it assuming you arent one of them. Was talked about on This American Life.
The Professional: Early Natalie Portman (she was 13). Jean Reno is absolutely fantastic. Creepy Gary Oldman. Had a bit of a late 80's, early 90's feel to it, but worth seeing despite that.
Cars: Ratatouille good, not Bugs Life good.

Made this last week:
Chipotle Pumpkin Black Bean Soup. Used lager instead of Mexican beer. Used yellow onion instead of red onion for the salsa. Didnt do the cranberry sauce thing. Just used sour cream. Fabulous. Really really good. Even though I am not a huge pumpkin fan. And not a bring sweet/savory mixing fan. So yeah. Highly recommend!!!! Would probably cut the chicken broth in half so it was a bit thicker. Good leftover too.

Also made this:
Italian Sausage Supper Stuffing. OH MY GOD! SOOOOO yummy. Really just so awesome. We used Italian long hots because they didnt have cubanelles. Seriously recommended. A bit on the complicated side, a lot going at once, so is easier with two people. The sauce itself is totally worth it.

Also made this:
Speedy Layered Chicken Enchilada Pie. I didnt cut the tortillas, I just used a round baking dish and used them whole. I am not really surea botu the whole half vs strips thing. Seems complicated. I used Trader Joe's enchilada sauce and chipotle salsa which I really like. Also, I left the corn fozen because I didnt notice it said thawed and that was totally fine. And I used colby jack. Really quick and easy and tasty. Would also recommend.

Have been listening to This American Life recently and have fallen in love. Oh Ira Glass. What is with guys named Ira and public radio huh?
Also still love Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me. Oh Peter!

Have fallen in love with and may possibly be a little obsessed with Guitar Hero World Tour. Sigh. I know. But it is so much fun! Dan has it for the PS3. And he has a guitar, bass, drumkit and microphone. And it is so much fun! I am getting near being a strong medium guitarist and bassist. I cant really drum and should never be allowed near a mic apparently. But even that doesnt bother me. So yeah. So much fun! Ok, I will stop.

Nina and I had a bit of an incident last week. She essentially told me that she donest want me here anymore. And maybe I should get a Masters. And I pretty much told her that that is too bad cuz it is her job to support me and I am getting my PhD. Out of spite if nothing else. So yeah, that didnt go well.

Matty leaves Friday for Ireland. He will be gone until the 8th. Without me. I will be all alone trying to get our apartment ready for our holiday party and doing the shopping and starting the cooking. I am not looking forward to it. I dont sleep well without him. And I have never actually lived alone. Soooo . . . yeah. We will see how that goes. But I am happy for him. He is going to have such a great time.

I would like to remind you to: Send me your unique, your guilty pleasures. Send me your playlists!

Have a great Thanksgiving! Leaving for RI in about an hour. Just one more hour to waste.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I know kung fu!

I know what you are saying. We do not nearly hear enough about Sara's life anymore! And what is worse, we do not hear nearly enough about Sara's distant in-laws to-be and what they are up to. And I know! So here is a tidbit. When you hear about Matty's aunt, the federal court judge, and her husband, the successful lawyer, and you hear that they have two sons you probably think that they graduated from William and Mary and live near DC and do accounting and drive a fancy two seat sports car. And you would half right. The other one graduated from URI with degrees in Chinese and Woman Studies and is now in China.

Doing kung fu.

Uh huh. Kung fu.

We think that is him around 1:17. He made the video. Well, the new program starts next September for foreigners and so if you or anyone else you know is interested . . . in learning kung fu from a Taoist master in China . . . contact me and I will get you in contact with him.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Send me your unique, your obscure, your guilty pleasures. Send me your playlists

Ok, so I started doing this last year with . . . . ok success. So this time I am widening my net and increasing the time frame. I would like to collect the "Playlists of 2008." What were you listening to this year? Not necessarily music that came out this year or even that you discovered this year. But if you were to design the playlist for the last year in 10ish songs, what would be on there? Now most useful would be if you could actually send me the songs. I recommend or You can just put the link in a comment. If you do not want to share with all of the readers of this blog, all 4 of them, get in touch with me with the link directly. If you do not actually have a way of getting in touch with me, which I do not think is the case with any of you, but if so, you can send me a comment and tell me not to publish it and I won't. If you either do not have the songs in a shareable format or do not believe in sharing music, that is fine, just send me the list and I will find the songs myself. I would really like to have the lists by January 6th and actual songs by January 8th. I will be posting reminders. But start compiling and let me know. If anyone else is interested I will post my list when I actually complete it. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

Have I mentioned I love Keith Olbermann? Because I really do.

I have been meaning to do a post about Prop 8 and simply have not had time. And so this will have to suffice for now. I found out a friend of ours voted for Prop 8 and I just don't get it. Apparently he voted for it because his wife told him to. But that isnt the worst part. The worst part is that she told him to vote for it because she had heard that some schools were allowing children with gender identity disorder to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify as opposed to that with which they were born. That is what he said to another friend who called us in disbelief. They did not vote because of the "sanctity of marriage." They did not do it for religious or political reasons. They voted flat out anti-gay. Because they are afraid that their one year old son might one day be in the same bathroom as another child with a vagina? (It seems to me if they are so afraid of gays that would be preferable to having two children with penises in there. No?) So in order to stop that from happening they must make sure that people who love one another do not have the same civil rights as they do? I do not get it. I just don't get it.

So on this day that we honor those who have risked their lives so that we may be free, I write this post about how some are less free than others. Because today while thinking of all those people who thought this country was worth giving their lives for, we must think about all the reasons and ways it should be more worthy of that sacrifice.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A quick update

So Tuesday was fabulous.

A President who represents hope and not fear. Change and not stagnation. Dreams and not nightmares. And he has already gone to work. He has a lot of work to do.

A majority in both Houses.

Philly wasn't destroyed or even seriously damaged in the impromptu celebrations on Broad (as opposed to the celebrations for the Phillies).

It wasnt perfect.

We didnt get the magic 60 in the Senate, but what are the odds that all Dems would vote the same way anyway.

Prop 8 was passed.

Wednesday was my thesis committee meeting. Fabulous and perfect are pretty much opposites of how that went.

I will not be graduating in May. I might be able to graduate in August. Partly this means that the next few months will be hellish, but not as hellish as they could have been. It also means that if I need to be looking for a teaching job in the spring for the fall, I might not know by then that I could graduate in the fall. So I cant really look for a job in the spring. Which means I cant get a job for the fall. It also means that my hope for a June 2010 wedding is pretty much out the window. Which shouldnt even upset me since until September I wasnt planning on graduating until early 2010 anyway. But since September I have had this idea in my mind that I could be out of here in May. And I could have a summer "off" before starting the new part of my life. And I would be done with this. And I want to get married. I want to plan a wedding. Because I can honestly say that I dont want to be here anymore. Case in point to why I dont want to be here anymore. My meeting, this most important of meetings was Wednesday at 3. Last Thursday Nina informed me that the earliest she could meet with me to discuss it was Friday. At noon. After what we thought was a root canal but turned out to be a simple dental appointment. The problem being that the Phillies World Series parade was Friday. At noon. So I went to the parade and then walked back to work to meet with her. She came in and told me that due to Septa ridiculousness, she was going to leave and try to get a train. So instead of being able to work over the weekend on my presentation (the way that she wanted it) I made a presentation the way I wanted it. Knowing it would be changed. But at least it was a groundwork. Monday she came in and told me that she was too busy to meet with me but would meet with me Tuesday to discuss my slides and what we were going to say to the committee. Tuesday her door was closed when I arrived and the whole day until she left. At noon. Without telling anyone. Without coming to find me. Without even emailing me. I finally heard from her by email at 3:30 telling me she would meet me at 10 on Wednesday. Wednesday we met from 10:15-11:30. She changed every single one of my slides except the title slide. Which gave me 3 hours to completely change my entire fucking presentation. Not that a better presentation would have made then decide I could graduate. But I would have at least known what to say for each slide. I would have had time to relax and eat lunch before giving my talk. I would have in better control and I would have been able to answer questions better. And at least if it didnt go well I could say I did my best. I dont want to deal with this anymore. It is one thing that my experiments dont work and I dont know why. It is one thing that am alone and isolated in the lab and some days do not say a single word to anyone until I get home and see Matty. It is one thing that I have no help from anyone, no one to discuss problems or experiments or data with except my boss who is too busy to meet with me, or anyone else. We havent had a meeting the two of us to discuss my work in over a month and a half. We havent had an actual planned lab meeting since . . . . . . . . . May? Maybe March? But if at least my boss was supportive. If at least when it cames to things like that if she could not wait to change EVERYTHING until 5 hours before a meeting. At least it would be something.

Ok. Back to work.

My mom is coming this weekend. I can look forward to that at least.

Friday, October 31, 2008 pics

Some better pics of the parade from the Inq. Including this one:

And of Wednesday night.

Happy Halloween!

Way too much to talk about and deal with. I will try this weekend. But I posted pics from the Wednesday night mayhem that was this city after winning the World Series (yes we are idiots and yes we went to Broad, but we left before the fires!) and from the parade this afternoon on my flickr. So here you go! Oh and here is a pic of my little superstition. He watched every game that we saw that they won from start to finish. Rally Lambie.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Navy Day!

Yesterday Matty and I did some fun cooking. We made homemade gnocchis, chicken parmesan and mixed-berry cheesecake bars. So yummy! First we had to buy a food mill for the potatoes since we didnt have one. First we went to William Sonoma and the only one they had with a price tag on it was $120. So we went to Kitchen Kapers and got one for $15.

We used Mario Batali's basic gnocchi recipe. Which uses 3lbs or potatoes. Which makes about 300 gnocchi. So we have lots in the freezer. I never think of buying the liquid egg stuff to cut recipes like that. I am always like, well this is for one egg, I cant use half an egg. But we cooked up some last night and they were awesome! Light and fluffy and yummy. I also made a marinara. I used some Classico Cabernet Marinara with Herbs as a base since we had it. Then added onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes and some 2002 Blue Mountain Chambourcin, DiBruno's pepperoni and sopressata. Then we made chicken parm with a panko breading (with garlic, onion, basil and parmesan). Matty was mostly responsible for this. It was perfect. Pan fried then baked with fresh mozzarella, freshly grated peccorino romano and some sauce. For dessert Matty made mixed-berry topped cheesecake bars that are simply out of this world. I can get the recipe if anyone wants.

I will post pics, I promise.

You cant make this shit up

Slide show of Sarah Palin (Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, let's remember) wearing a Vote Democrat scarf at a Republican rally in Nevada.

Sarah Palin describes herself as an "intellectual." And declares that if she had another son, she would name him Zamboni.

The Sarah Palin pregnancy decision chart. Based on actual events. So maybe she isn't actually fit to be a mother . . . again.

The ever popular "Backwards B girl," Ashley Todd, who carved a B into her cheek, backwards, in an attempt to blame Obama supporters of thug-like anti-McCain scare tactics. And the right just eats it up.

Can't make it up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Pumpkin Cheesecake Day!

Hello and welcome to this edition of "What have Matty and Sara been up to?"

I feel like I have no reviewed many movies recently. But I cant really remember, so if some of these are repeats, sorry.
The Simpsons Movie: Everyone who I have heard talk about this movie has said that same thing. It seems like a long episode from one of there good but not great seasons. We had to see it, we did, there ya go. Do you like the Simpsons? Go see it. If you dont, dont.
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone: The first of the Harry Potters. It is pretty good, it had a lot to do and it did it. But again, if you like or think you might like Harry Potter, see it, otherwise, dont.
A History of Violence: I liked it. There were scenes I didnt watch but over all, not too gratuitously gory. I would say it is gratuitously violent though. Including a very violent sex scene not for the faint of heart. Viggo Mortensen is pretty hot. I would recommend it to fans of violent dramas or David Cronenberg.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Better than the first. Still though, if you dont like Harry Potter, why see it?
Harry Potter and the Prsioner of Azkaban: Better than the first, starting to diverge a bit from the books (by necessity due to length).
Maxed Out: A pretty good documentary about predatory lending and our obsession with credit. Worth seeing, interesting to note things they warn about vs what is happening.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Favorite so far. Does what it absolutely needs to do in a decent amount of time, but things were left out that I am curious about how they will be addressed in future movies. If Matty would just finish the next one!
Charlie Wilson's War: Really really good. Highly recommend! Great look at a very interesting and often overlooked peice of history. Speaks volumes about our current foreign policy and military issues. Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are fantastic.
Rocky Balboa: It is a Rocky movie. Dont really expect more than that. Not as bad as some, not as god as the first.
Cloverfield: Was talked into this for our biweekly Blu-Ray movie night at Dan's. I dont like scary movies so I was against seeing it. But it isnt really a scary movie. It is a monster movie. It was ok. Not outstanding. Better than a lot of monster movies (I am looking at you Godzilla). Worth seeing if you are interested in monster movies. Saw a lot more of the monster than I thought. I refuse to start looking stuff up about it on the internet. So not going there.
Iron Man: Was totally impressed. Seeing it on a big-ass TV on Blu-Ray didnt hurt. Disclaimer: it is a comic book movie. If you thought that Spiderman and Xmen are too hokey and comic booky, you should probably stay away. But it is actually good. Good actors (Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow), pretty good effects (though there were some scenes where the cgi didnt quite match). And Jon Favreau! Who knew? My one problem: Jeff Bridges should stick to good guys. The Dude should not be a bad guy. I was totally humming Iron Man all last night (Matty wasnt happy).

Heroes, current season: I have missed the last 3 episodes. Which makes Matty happy. But makes me sad, because I thought this season was going pretty good.
The Wire, Season 1: Recently finished this. I am pretty interested to see what happens in later episodes. A bit on the scary side I have to say though. Makes me happy I didnt go to Hopkins.
The Office, current season: Funniest show on TV. Hands down. Enough said.
Rome, Season 2: Wow. I thought the first one was overly expensive, lavish, violent and had a bit too much violent Roman sex. But no, I was wrong. That is season 2. I cant belive all that happened in one season. Worth seeing. I totally see why HBO cant afford another season though.
House, current season: So happy about the end of last episode!

Cant even really remember. But last night we made "Barbecue chicken salad" from my Southern Heritage cookbook. First whisk together 2 Tbsp cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp sugar, 4 tsp worcestershire (or soy if you are out like us) sauce, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp hot sauce. In a skillet, cook 2 slices bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and all but 1 Tbsp fat from skillet. In bacon fat, saute 1 small onion, chopped and 2 cloves garlic, minced until softened. Add 1 lb chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch x 1 inch strips. Cook until cooked through. Add sauce to pan and 1 cup frozen corn. Cook for 2 minutes. Make salad of lettuce, 1 red bell pepper cut into strips, 1 green bell pepper cut into strips, 2 green onions, chopped and bacon, chopped. Serve chicken mixture over salad.

Other things:
2 weeks ago was me and Matty's 10 year anniversary. We went to Annapolis for the weekend with my parents, godparents and family friends for the International Boat Show. It was a gorgeous weekend and we had a good time at the show, especially with the free Pusser's painkillers in the mugs after hours.

Last week was my Genetics department talk which went really well. Trying to schedule the big thesis committee meeting now.

Sunday Matty and I did the Philly AIDS Walk 15000 people raised $450,000 for the 12K walk or 10K run. We walked :-). It was really chilly though! But a beautiful walk up from the Art Museum to East Falls and back.

Ok, you are kinda up to date. Maybe. Well, that is all I have time for.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Palin quotes Anti-Semite

Yup. Another partisan blog post from me.

Associations are everything, or would be is the McCain campaign had their way. ACORN, William Ayers, Reverend Wright.

ACORN did bad things. And they also supported Obama. And Obama paid them to help with voter registration. However, Obama did not pay ACORN to do bad things. And there havent been any reports that Obama knew that ACORN did bad things.

William Ayers worked with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley reforming the city school program, and for his work was awarded an Annenberg grant. (By the way, the Annenbergs are conservative Republicans.) He also won the Chicago Citizen of the Year award for his work. He has served on the board of directors of an anti-poverty, philanthropic foundation. Ayers is currently a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Education teaching for social justice, urban educational reform, narrative and interpretive research, children in trouble with the law, and related issues. Oh and when Barack Obama was 6, he was a terrorist. And later, when he became a well-known educational reformer, Barack Obama was on the boards (with other people, including Ayers, Democrats and Republicans) of the Annenberg grant and the Wood Fund (the anti-poverty, philanthropic foundation.) Ayers has contributed to Obama's Congressional campaigns.

I am so not going into the Reverend Wright thing.

But the worse you can say, honestly, is that he has associated himself with people who have done bad things. But he is not alone. He has not put terrorists on his staff. He has not bombed any buildings. He was not alone during those sermons. And not many people stand up to their reverends or their elders or other respected people. Which is not to say that I agree with that. I would love to have the balls and for my elected officials to have the balls to stand up to everyone who does wrong.

But here is an interesting tidbit that is missing in most news sources nowadays. During Sarah Palin's speech at the GOP Convention she quoted this: "We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity." That was written by Westbrook Pegler, a Hearst era fascist, pro-Nazi, and antisemitic journalist. He has said some other interesting tidbits, about some interesting things, other than his love of small town America (from the NY Times):
After an assassin tried to kill F.D.R. at a Florida rally and murdered Chicago's mayor instead in 1933, Pegler wrote that it was "regrettable that Giuseppe Zangara shot the wrong man." In the '60s, Pegler had a wish for Bobby Kennedy: "Some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow falls."
Nice guy. And Sarah Palin (or more likely her handler) CHOSE this quote. I think there is a difference there. What would be said if Obama quoted Hitler? Or Louis Farrakhan? Or William Ayers?

Oh and since the debate is on and Matty wont talk to me:
- Palin's son has Down syndrome, not autism. He may develop autism. But he doesnt have autism yet. Stop throwing around autism and Sarah Palin. He is a special needs child. But not necessarily autistic.
- And her expertise with special needs kids is 6 months old.
- Canadian oil is NOT ok! Oil is NOT OK!
- And Bill Ayers did not say he should have bombed more, he said he should have done more. There is a difference.
- I swear I heard McCain snicker when Obama said tit-for-tat.

Ok, I need to stop before I start yelling.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Palin pro-rape?

So I feel like perhaps some anti-Palin fervor has been dwindling after generally ridiculous antic-less debate with Biden and we just can't have that now can we? So here we go with another story about why this mindless moose-eating robot should not have the second highest office in the land. (Though not as she believes the most important).

Apparently, while Sarah-dearest was mayor of Wasilla, the town, under the direction of her police chief began charging rape victims or their insurance companies for rape-kits and post-assault examinations. Now this was not something that she was directly in charge of (at least on paper) or that some could argue that she might even have known about. Except that because this practice was occuring in rural Alaska, in 2000 the state legislature tried to pass a bill preventing sexual assault victims from being charged for forensic tests. Which led to an outcry from the police chief who said in print:
Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (May 23, 2000): "In the past we've charged the cost of exams to the victim's insurance company when possible. I just don't want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer," Fannon said.

According to Fannon, the new law will cost the Wasilla Police Department approximately $5,000 to $14,000 a year to collect evidence for sexual assault cases.
Now if I was the mayor of a small town and I found out, in a newspaper (which of course she read all of) that my police chief was promoting the practice of charging rape victims to collect evidence of a criminal act, I would be pretty pissed. And that he was leading a fight against state legislation preventing this for 6 months?! But is there any record that Palin did anything about it? Nope. When it was first brought to national attention (of which there has been very little but some) did she rush forth with an explanation of what she did about it? Nope. And keep in mind that the Alaska rape rate (as of 2005) is 2.5 times the national average. And that is the number of reported rapes. It is believed that the rate of actually reporting rape is only 16% (as of 1992, in Utah [highest rape rates in the country] this year it was reported that only 12% of rape victims report their crimes to police). And as late as 2005 30% of victims in Alaska who tried to reach victim support services couldnt because there were none available. So in that sort of atmosphere, is it really a good idea to decrease the likelihood of reporting sexual assault because their insurance company (if they are insured and it is covered) or they will get charged for it?

So let's say for the benefit of the doubt, best case scenario, that Sarah Palin had absoutely no idea that this was happening in her fair town of Wasilla. Is that good? That in a town of just over 5000 people (in 2000) you do not know about an outrage suck as this? And that when you did find out about it you did nothing publicly? I think that is simply beyond awful. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tattooed pig ears?

I feel like I need to say something about all this talk about earmarks and pork. The definition of earmarks is:
congressional provisions that direct approved funds to be spent on specific projects, or that direct specific exemptions from taxes or mandated fees.
And pork:
appropriation of government spending for projects that are intended primarily to benefit particular constituents or campaign contributors.
This sounds hard. But from what I understand (and I would love to discuss this with someone who actually knows something) these are moneys attached to pieces of legislation or committee reports that go to specific projects (usually pet projects) that are used in order to get people to vote for things. This obviously sounds bad. But I dont understand how it can be so legal and so accepted for so long if there was a better way to do it. And by better I mean a way that actually works. And obviously gross spending needs to be looked at. Federal bureaucracy and things that dont work need to go. But according to Citizens Against Government Waste $18 billion was spent in pork last year. Do you know how much we spent in Iraq last month? $12 billion. (Off topic - that is almost $5000 a second!) So maybe pork is not the thing we need to worry about so much. Maybe we need to prioritize.

A little old bloggy blog

So I have gotten off the daily update thing since I heard from people that it was boring. Which I of course said it was going to be. But whatever. And I so dont have time at work anymore. But I would still like to discuss movies and recipes when I can. So while I wait for the debate to start in like 30 seconds . . .

We just finished watching Lars and the Real Girl. And it was awesome. It really was. Now the basic plot - Man falls in love with sex doll - does not at all describe this movie or do it justice. It exemplifies what is good, really good, about small town America. And of course Ryan Gosling is so hot. But see this movie if you get a chance. Really. I laughed, I cried, I cringed and I smiled despite myself.

For dinner this evening we had Warm Snow Pea and Chicken Salad. It is one of my faves. It is pretty easy and so tasty. We actually follow this recipe . . . ok, close anyway. Used half vegetable stock and half chicken broth. And I used tahini and tamari since I had it. Could easily veganize with tofu or tempeh.

Ok, that is all. Debate time.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy Virus Appreciation Day!

Soooo . . . how does everyone think last night went? I think that Palin was going to have to fuck up pretty badly to lose. Or that it was going to be near impossible for her to lose. Expectations were SO low. And after the Katie Couric debacle of last week she was going to be coached to within an inch of her life. Not to say that she was going to win per se, but that she couldnt really hurt anything. Or she was going to have to try really hard. And I have to say, because it is only fair, she is VERY good at what they want her to do:
She can learn her lines.
She knows the soundbites.
She knows how to speak in broad generalities.
She knows how to spout the party lines and the party lies.
She knows how to appeal to the apparently ignorant "joe-sixpack" and his wife "hockey mom." I would love to meet this couple one day.

However, she does not:
Know how to answer a question directly. (Though neither does Biden)
Know how to stay on topic. (Again, an issue for Biden)
Know that the lead NATO general in Afghanistan is David McKiernan not McClellan. Or what he has said about an Iraq-style surge in Afghanistan.
Know how to pronounce the word nuclear. Everyone with me now, NU-CLE-AR. Not NU-CU-LAR.
Know how to answer a question she isnt ready for. For instance, what has she had to change about herself? She didnt veto some budgets. Soooo, her stance was to veto all budgets no matter what?
Know how many troops we have in Iraq. 15,000 more than pre-surge.
Know that Obama has said that there were some successes from the surge. "The surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated . . . I've always said it's succeeded beyond our wildest dream."
Know that natural gas is not "clean" or "green."
Know that cooperating and getting along with other Republicans (once they turn republican), no matter their background (Lieberman and Romney formerly being Dems) doesnt actually make you a Maverick.
And of course she may in fact know that lies she spouts about Obama's voting record (tax cuts, tax increases, military funding), and McCain's voting record are lies, but I will put that under party lines and lies.

I thought Biden did an ok job considering he isnt really a debater. I loved his point about McCain being a Maverick at the end, but I think it got a bit lost. He did mess up saying that France and the US kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon since that was actually Syria, and maybe Israel, and Hezbollah is still strong in Lebanon (which he did say). He got a little weird on the judge thing, not quite sure what his idea there was. I guess to show that he isnt a flip-flopper on pertinent (to the campaign) issues? But he didnt "attack" her. He attacked McCain and McCain's record and policies. And he defended. But he didnt attack her (even when she attacked him) which is good because it would have turned him into a chauvinist picking on the girl. Which fucking sucks. She should be able to take whatever anyone throws at her. But of course that isnt going to happen.

So I dont personally think there was a winner or a loser. I dont think Biden hurt or helped anything. Unfortunately I think that Palin may have helped McCain by staying largely coherent (though entirely scripted). I still do not understand how anyone can vote for them. How anyone can not see that they are not different enough from the last 8 years. I know that one big argument is that Obama doesnt have experience and that he is largely just an idea of hope and change. But he has proven that he will surround himself with people who do have the experience necessary (and not just lobbyists). That he will listen to those people (something McCain doesnt seem to do). And isnt an idea of hope and change better than no hope and no change at all? Dont we have the right to hope and dream anymore? Palin keeps calling her and McCain an "i-dill" partnership (which I assume means ideal). But then tells us that we are being too idealistic when we want what Obama says we deserve and that he will try to fight for it. I know McCain is a war hero. I get it. Prisoner of war, torture, hero. I get it. I do. Believe it or not, I do come from a military family. And he should be respected and honored for those sacrifices that he made and the hope that he provided for the other POWs he was with. But that doesnt mean he should be respected for bad policies, faulty thinking and stubbroness when it comes to our future on the global and local stage. And Obama was a draft dodger or anything. He just wasnt old enough to fight and when he was old enough he probably thought that he was doing things as important to the future of the people he was helping. Because yeah, my grandfather was in the Army and he was stationed in Germany but he also graduated from Harvard Law. And I respect him for that too. And I respect Obama for doing what he has done. Maybe he doesnt come across as a guy you want to have a beer with at the Sidecar. But is that really a valid reason why he shouldnt be president?

Ok. That is all. I am just disheartened and a bit scared. Las tnight Matty said that it would be ok. Because the last two elections were such disappointments and slaps in the face to us. But in 2000 when we were upset and confused, we never thought that we would be where we would be in 2004. But at least we said to ourselves "There is no way that it can happen again, people have to see." And they didnt and it did. But even then we had no idea where we would be now. And now we are here and part of me is screaming. "It cant happen again. It just cant. How can this be? Who are these people? What are they thinking? What do they see that I just dont see? What do I see that they just cant see." But I feel like I have learned better and so who, in my heart and nightmares, do think is going to be president this time next year? John McCain.

And I do not have any hope of any change. And I am scared.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another shared thing

Cuz they told me to.

And for you to use tonight:

But you should read my previous post too. Cuz it is a good example of a princess rant.

Me? Partisan?

So I just wanted to set the record straight. I bet some of you out there, (the 4 of you who read this) based upon recent posts, think that perhaps I am one of those dirty "liberals." Yes! I said it, the L word. You probably think that I am simply a McCain-Palin-hating Obama-Biden-loving tree-hugging liberals. One of those people who think that their government should provide services to its people and that we should (gasp) pay taxes for those services. One of those people who believe that a strong middle class is the way to a strong economy. One of those people who believe that EVERY person in this country deserves GOOD health care and GOOD education. One of those people who believes that our forefathers did not have automatic handguns in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment. One of those people who thinks that two people who love each other and want to devote their lives to one another should be allowed to get married. One of those people who thinks that I deserve to get paid the same amount of money for the same job as someone who happens to have a penis. One of those people who thinks that we should raise up the standard of living of those people in our own country and abroad (when we can afford it) who actually WANT and NEED our help. Not those who we will simply make a better profit or a better headline. One of those people who remembers that this country was built by immigrants. And who thinks that we need a valid and enforceable immigration policy (and foreign relations and assistance policy) instead of a fence surrounded by guys with guns. One of those people who believe that we elect people to office who are there to represent US. One of those people who do not think that Ronald Reagan was the second coming of Christ. One of those people who think that we have a responsibility to our children and our grandchildren and your children and your grandchildren to not completely destroy the one earth that we have. And that we should listen to experts and scientists and give them money so that they can do what needs to be done to cure our diseases and help prevent them from happening, to do what needs to be done to rid of us of our addiction to oil (not just foreign oil, all oil) and to find efficient and environmentally friendly and sustainable ways to live our lives. One of those people who think that our president SHOULD be better than your average Joe. And SHOULD know it and act it, be educated and erudite and be able to negotiate and listen to people saying that he or SHE is wrong and that a different course of action needs to be taken. One of those people that thinks the patriotic thing is to only fight the wars to need to be fought and let our servicemen and women survive to raise their families and work their jobs and live to fight another day if that need should arise. You probably think I am one of those people right? Well here you go:
Biden, a six-term senator from Delaware, said that Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation on television after the 1929 stock market crash. (FDR wasn't president yet and commercial TV didn't exist at the time.) He told a TV interviewer that paying higher taxes was "patriotic." And he called an Obama campaign ad ridiculing Republican presidential nominee John McCain's computer skills "terrible."
Ok, are we done yet? Of course I am all of those things. And I think that that makes me very patriotic. And I am embarrassed and ashamed that the guy who I think should be second in command of our country said those things. So just in case you dont get sarcasm and think that I am actually not a liberal. From the Sarah Palin hall of fame:

I love Jack Cafferty. Almost as much as I hate Lou Dobbs. And John McCain. And Sarah Palin. And George W. Bush. And Dick Cheney. And Joe Lieberman. And . . . this could go on and on . . .

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Can I just say Oh My God?!

People actually think this should be a 72-year old cancer survivor's heartbeat away from the presidency?!

She can't name a Supreme Court case other than Roe v Wade.
If you havent seen the rest of the Couric-Palin interview do yourself a favor and youtube it. Really. It is a bit terrifying, so you might want to make sure the lights are on.

Though it does make great comedy.

Thanks to Jawnny and Ciggitycite for keeping up on the Palin watch while I have been too busy and so making it easy to find these clips and links. I cant wait for the debate on Thursday. Biden makes me a little nervous since he tends to not think before speaking, but I am hoping for some damn good Palin moments.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


No visibility on jersey turnpike

Friday, September 26, 2008

No really, she sounds better this time . . . really and such as

Happy Johnny Appleseed Day!

Right, so I am still sick. Or rather, I am sick and have been all week. A fantastic combination of stomach issues, head and back pain, sore throat and stuffy nose. Fabulous, oh and we are driving to RI tonight. Which I was kinda excited about cuz it is something different. A roadtrip. It is actually cheaper for us to get a car for the weekend and pay for gas than to fly this time. So driving it is. Which would be fun. Except that now I am sick and cranky.

But more importantly, on October 17th Matty and I are doing the AIDS Walk here in Philly as part of the UBH team (read: as the UBH team). So if you are in a giving mood and want to support me:

So that is my little spiel. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy National Comic Book Day!

So I realized today in my sickness-induced-staring-at-my-laptop-instead-of-working stupor that I post a lot of things on twitter that I find around that I think are interesting and are probably blog-worthy but people who only read this (all 4 of you) and do not follow me on twitter (2 of you) miss out. So here is a compendium of recently tweeted items that I can think of/find before my gel is done running.

1) Apparently,
The English language makes a distinction between blue and green but some languages do not.
More information about Distinguishing blue from green in language can be found there. This was brought to my attention via ciggitycite (as many things are) and adds itself to the immensely enormous numbers of things that I never would have even thought needed to be thought about but apparently are. In detail.

2) An economy comic. No really, it is actually kinda funny. Also courtesy of ciggitycite.

3) A little bit of geek humor. The Thirteen Greatest Error Messages of All Time. My faves are 8 and of course 9. This was courtesy of Slashdot.

4) This (presumed) idiot was again found via ciggitycite. I mean really, right? C'mon, go to the library. It is free for Christ sakes. And good for civic . . something. But then, after twittering, it was brought to my attention that this service actually fucking exists. So there ya go.

5) This was a retweet from Jawnny and was subsequently added to my facebook page and so that probably covers pretty much all of my readership. But in case you missed it - The Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator. Apparently I would be Log Justice Palin.

Ok, well that is all for now. I hope that you enjoy. i will try to be more fair to the blog vs twitter-nesses or something.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Homemade double mint cookie ice cream + homemade chocolate chip cookies equals deliciousness.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Video Game Day!

Matty and I went on like a date thingy last night. First we went to Sonny's for cheesesteaks. I really just do not like Old City. Besides Sonny's. And Nicks. And Cuba Libre. Ok, I dont mind Old City in restaurants. I just dont like the people who are at most of the places in Old City. I also dont like riding the El. There are a lot of people. And they smell. Badly. So yeah. Not a fan. But anyway, back to my date. So after dinner we went to National Mechanics for a drink. We hadnt been and I wanted to check it out. Besides the thing on the wall (se previous post) it was fine. The food looked good and the drink menu was reasonable. $2 Lager, $2 PBR, $1 off drafts for happy hour. The crowd was generally older than I expected and louder than people that age should be. In my opinion. And then a tour came in? It was like a Once Upon a Nation tour? It was strange. And loud. And they kicked the keg on my snake bite, so it didnt taste right. But I would go back I think. After our drink we headed to Ritz 5 for a free screening of Burn After Reading, the Coen brothers' new film. The screening was apparently sponsored by WMMR, 950am ESPN and BEN FM. I dont know, I got the tickets via CNN. Sooo . . . yeah. Maybe Time Warner owns them? I dont know, whatever, the people they had working it sucked. They had this pre-show trivia contest with awful prizes, it was just bad. But the movie, once we finally got to see it, was good. I like Fargo better and it is hard to compare comedy to No Country for Old Men. But it was good. I would even go so far to say that it had great moments. Lots of great moments and the rest was really good. So I would recommend it. After the movie we took a bus home and I realized that it isnt really the El, it is public transit in Philly. I just wish it was less public :-). Oh and this is somehting I hadnt seen before but maybe you have. This guy on the bus had a travel chess set and it was just sitting in his lap so everyone could see it. And then this guy got on the bus and saw it and was like, hey you wanna play? And so they did. My first question is 1) Where were they going on the 21 that they were going to beable to play a game of chess. and 2) Is this a thing? LIke do chess players just meet up on buses, like in parks and play?

Oh and watch this. Because it is funny. And a friend of a friend made it and so I am helping to disseminate.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not a fan of this at all

reading reading reading

So if you guessed our ages based on the books we have been reading recently you would probably be off by a decade or 2. Matty is working his way through the Harry Potters. He is currently on Goblet of Fire. We have also started watching the movies. I saw the first three before I read the books but he hadn't. We watched Sorceror's Stone Tuesday night. NO idea how to spell that. We should be getting Chamber of Secrets tomorrow. He seems to be enjoying them. But not loving them. Which is unfortunate. I was hoping he would love them. Though I didnt love the first 2 myself. We will see what happens.

I have been reading the His Dark Materials trilogy. Golden Compass, Subtle Knife, Amber Spyglass. We had seen Golden Compass, I got interested and then started reading about all the controversy surrounding them. About how they were anti-Church atheist propaganda blah blah blah and I assumed that it was simply religious crackpots looking for some new book to burn since Harry Potter hadnt really gotten them much of anywhere. After reading the first one I got a feeling of anti-establishment but not so much anti-church necessarily. Or not so much that I thought a child would really get it. But then I read the second one and I totally saw the issue. And then I just finished the last one. And . . . well I kinda see their point. I am of course not for sensorship or book burnings or anything. But I can see why the religious are pissed the fuck off. Because it isnt like there is a theme of atheism or anti-religion in the books. That is the fucking plot. I mean if you can read, you know what he is getting at. Because he isnt just getting at it, he is saying it. And I dont necessarily think that it is something that a lot of kids would understand. I think they are books that should be read and then discussed. But I do not see a whole lot of discussion in this country between kids and their parents over the books they are reading. Especially books that deal with this sort of heavy god stuff. Which isnt the author's fault. It is the parents fault. But maybe I can see the parents' point of not wanting their young kids exposed to it. Maybe. Now the recommended ages appear to be 10-12 and up. And maybe at that age it would be cool. Though I think I would have been pretty confused at that age.

Now for movie adaptations . . . Golden Compass was a decent movie. Great special effects, interesting story. Left me watning more. And apparently the second and third were officially going to be made into movies as well. However New Line says that due to the disappointing box offce from the first, the sequels are being held back at least. My biggest question to New Line is, did you actually read these books? Because I cant imagine the studio exec who decided that the second two books should be made into major release movies. I just dont see it. I mean the technical difficulties alone would make it hard to imagine anyone trying to do them justice. But the plot, the themes? I mean I have had the same discussion about the later Narnia books. The first ones stand as stories and kids will see them as stories. The last ones are pretty preachy and if the religion is removed from the plot, the plot gets pretty weak. But weak is not non-existant. And the Narnia books are pretty Christian. These books, the religion is the plot, and it is very anti-Christian, anti-established religion, anti-God. With the big G.

Sooo . . . yeah. If anyone else has read these I would love to hear comments. I tried not to tell about the actual plot, and would definitely recommend them as interesting material. Not fantastic in the story department, but certainly ballsy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Well this doesn't look nice

Monday, September 8, 2008

A few things

Ok let me see.

Miami was great. Hot and humid and gross, but otherwise great. Especially since we spent most of our time inside. We got in very late Friday night/early Saturday morning. Saturday we helped prepare for the birthday party. Saturday afternoon/evening was the party. Almost everyone except us and Nicole speaks Spanish so Matty got to practice a little and I got to feel like I was in another country. Nicole was sick for most of the day unfortunately. But EJ enjoyed himself it seemed. He got a lot of toys and a few books and some clothes from me. Sunday we got a bit of a tour of Miami. Neither of us had been there before so Nicole and E droe us around and showed us Miami Beach, South Beach, downtown Miami and Coral Gables. It was nice to get a feel for the city a little bit. It is ENORMOUS! I much more enjoy cities like Philly that a more condensed and where people live, work and play in the same place. Monday we took a drive through the Everglades to hunt for gators. We saw a few but the recent rain from Hannah and Gustav flooded a bunch of the road and the swamp and we were there pretty late in the day so most of them were hiding and the drive took several hours longer than expected. That was the only time EJ got cranky at all and really cried. But honestly I think we were all pretty cranky by that point. He is so cute. He looks a lot more like Nicole now. He used to look like a little version of E. He is walking all by himself and can get up from the floor by himself. He still falls when making turns but otherwise is totally on the go. He talks to himself but no one else can understand him. I think he will be talking soon. It will be interesting to see what combination of English and Spanish he speaks first. He also learned "clap" while we were there. So you can tell him to clap and he does. I hope we get down there to see him more often now and at some point maybe see the beach.

Work is a bit on the ridiculous side. One major reasons being that Nina thinks I should graduate in May. Of 2009. Which is a full year earlier than I was hoping for. And she thinks I can have 3 papers done by then. Plus my thesis. I currently have 0. So things are ridiculous and I dont want to talk about it.

I installed 32-bit Vista on my laptop so now I can sync my phone with my computer. Yay!

We have watched recently . . . 4th season of The Office which is fantastic, just finished episode 7. The Namesake which was very good and I was totally able to not think about Harold and Kumar the whole time. Knocked Up which I liked except that she is totally a whiny bitch for most of the movie and not at all happy about having a kid. I still think 40-year Old Virgin is funnier. Son of Rambow, VERY good, highly recommend. Zodiac, also enjoyed but found a bit on the confusing side sometimes. Like they cut scenes to make it shorter but there was necessary information in those scenes that was lost or something. But Jake Gyllenhaal is SO hot it doesnt really matter.

Random things - tried Loie Saturday. Good burgers, totally empty for lunch at 1 on a Saturday. Went to Greenfest yesterday. Was very surprised how extensive it was. Bought a bunch of ChicoBags as presents because I LOVE mine and carry it EVERYWHERE. Thanks Beth! For brunch tried Cantina Dos Segundos in Northern Liberties. Very good, pretty much exactly like the first one. For dinner made the bestest sandwiches on earth. Paninis on Le Bec Fin foccacia with rustico red pepper (a young semi-firm pecorino), black forest smoked turkey, carmelized onions and fresh tomato from the garden. Oh my god! With pepper shooters and garlic stuffed green olives on the side.

My parents are in Greece. They left at 6:30 last night from Boston -> Madrid -> Athens. Then they are leaving in an hour for Kerkyra Island, Corfu. They are going to sail around the Greek Isles for a week with the people whose boat my dad sailed across the Atlantic. Then they have 2 weeks to travel around Greece themselves and they will be back on the 27th. So fucking jealous.

Right, will post more later. I promise!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Miami pics

I posted some of the pictures we took while we were in Miami for EJ (my godson)'s first birthday party over Labor Day on flickr. We are asking for a new camera for Christmas because this one is starting to die. So I apologize for the poor quality (and lack of zoom) of many of the pictures. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 31, 2008


In Miami for EJs (my godson) birthday. Here he is, a bit wiped out.

Sent from my Centro

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Race Your Mouse Day

So I know if have been incredibly lax about posting since I got back from vacation. And I promise it is imply because I have been too damn busy at week and too damn lazy at home. Things are getting a bit more under control at work, so hopefully soon you will get to read more about what we have been reading, watching, eating and doing.

But while popping onto amazon to add something to my wish list I noticed this and it bothered me enough to post this. So if you are an amazon regular you probably know about the gold box. If not, it used to be an area where a few specific things were on special sale for a short period of time in limited quantities and you could buy them but there were restrictions. Like you had to buy within an hour of adding to your cart and you could only access the gold box once in 24 hours and stuff like that. Now it is more complicated: There is a Deal of the Day which is available all day until they run out. There are the Lightning Deals which tend to be very discounted but there are only a very limited quantity and these are released at specific times and available for a few hours. Then there are Best Deals, the "best deals" on the site. Then there are Quick Picks which are deals specifically for you based on your recommendations, purchase history, etc. And then there is Customer Discussions: Gold Box Forum. The point of this post. Now I understnad the idea of being allowed to comment on news stories and post product reviews etc. But does EVERYTHING need to have forum opportunities now? And if so, why do people feel the need to use them inappropriately? For instance. Right now in the Gold Box Forum these are the current discussion threads:
Holiday Recipes..........and Beyond 6: 8179 replies, the most recent 8 sec ago.
~*~*~*~Thursday Lightning Deals~*~*~*~: 228 replies, most recently 27 seconds ago.
Scrabble Challenge: 1055 replies, most recently 35 seconds ago
I am living a soap opera and i want out: 228 replies, 38 seconds ago
Kids Say The Darnedest Things...: 33 replies, 52 seconds ago
Fake Reviews: 2 replies, 1 minute ago
Middle School Angst - looking for input/advice: 27 replies, 1 minute ago
E-Bay: 1 reply, 3 minutes ago
Mispronounced that REALLY bug you when heard: 54 replies, 5 minutes ago
Dear Sick Daddy: 337 replies, 7 minutes ago
What's the funniest thing you've heard mispronounced: 183 replies, 7 minutes ago
What is right in your life and do you acknowledge/appreciate it?: 47 replies, 8 minutes ago.

So the only things that seem to actually be relevant are Thursday Lightning Deals (a guy who knows what all the days lightning deals are ahead of the fact) and Fake Reviews. Holiday recipes and beyond 6? Kids Say the Darnedest Things? Honestly? And "I am living a soap opera and i want out", "Middle school angst - looking for input/advice", and "What is right in your life and do you acknowledge/appreciate it?": These people need friends. Or shrinks. Not random amazon customers. I was curious about Scrabble Challenge.
1. Create a word from the chosen letters.
2. Replace the used letters with random new ones. (* may be used for a blank tile)
3. The next person uses the new set of letters

sowntos ( Chosen letters to start the game )

towns - sobntau
And Ask Sick Daddy:
ask away and I will do my best to offer advice on your situation. I take questions seriously, if you post a serious question. I'll probably skip silly posts for the purpose of this advice thread. Sorry. :) I like silliness, but I am taking Dear Sick Daddy on a serious side. :)

I work during the day, and I also sleep from time to time, but I will get back to any questions as soon as I can :)
And finally, "Mispronounced that REALLY bug you when heard"? That would really bug me if someone said it out loud.

Ok, I am done. I just dont get it. Maybe it is just me.

Friday, August 22, 2008

so sorry

I know I have been absent for an awfully long time. But I usually blog during my downtime at work. And I simplyhavent had any downtime since I got back from vacation. I promise to do better though. Hopefully this weekend I will sit down and write a nice long update and some puzzles. As a quickie:

We have seen:
American Gangster - very good. Nothing truly spectacular. But good acting all around, interesting story, good piece of history.
Michael Clayton - also very good. A bit confusing. You have to pay pretty good attention. Tilda Swinton is not nearly as creepy-looking as she is in real life.
When We Were Kings - documentary about Muhammad Ali and George Foreman's Rumble in the Jungle. Interesting. Again, nothing spectacular but an interesting closer look than Ali did. Interestingly, in some post-movie researching I came across these two things in Wikipedia. From the article about Ali himself:
In the early 1980s, Ali learned he had Parkinsonism, or "Parkinson's syndrome"—which is not the same complaint as Parkinson's disease—following which his motor functions began a slow decline. Although Ali's doctors disagreed about whether his symptoms were caused by boxing and whether or not his condition was degenerative,[14] he was ultimately diagnosed with Pugilistic Parkinson's syndrome.
And in the linked article about Pugilistic Parkinson's syndrome (dementia pugilistica):

Muhammad Ali is often mistaken as a sufferer of dementia pugilistica, when in fact the main cause of his condition is diagnosed as Parkinson's disease.[15][16][17][18]

I thought it was interesting anyway.

We have been watching:
The Office Season 3 - which has definitely come into its own. After it stopped being a direct mimic of the British Office it slowed a bit. But has come back full force in my opinion.
The Wire - we have only seen episodes. But I am interested enough to keep watching at least. The acting isnt superb but it is certainly interesting. Reminds me of American Gangster.
The Olympics. There will be more about this.

We have been eating:
Trader Joe's Korma Simmer Sauce - we made a saute of chicken, chick peas, peas, spinach and mushrooms and served it over Trader Joe's Thai Style Lime Rice. Excellent, will definitely have again. Will probably add less water as it was a bit dilute.
Spanikopita Chicken Meatballs with Spicy Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce. Awesome! Will definitely make again, probably for a party too. We used turkey instead of chicken and added 4 cloves of garlic instead of 3 since we didnt read the "divided" part. I also used a whole cucumber from our garden since we are trying to get rid of them which made it a bit watery. And instead of dill I used a mix of basil, thai basil, oregano and chives.
Carrot and Cucumber "Fettuccine" Salad. It was ok. A lot of carrot. I dont really like carrots. Nothing awesome. But it used two cucumbers!

Other things:
Still like the new laptop except: Vista is kinda annoying. Vista 64bit is really obnoxious since I am never going to put 32 gig of ram in this thing and it means that I cant sync my phone to my laptop without getting a bluetooth dongle. Sigh. I bought Office 2007 today because I found it for $85. But I have been using OpenOffice and I am a huge fan.

Tomorrow is Joey's birthday. Happy Birthday Joey! It also marks his last Saturday in Philly as he is leaving us for the great big world out there . . . or Hazelton. One of those. We are sure he will be back to visit. But we will miss him.

My mice and awful! They rip out their eartags and eat their young. They are so nice and friendly as compared to other strains. But now this! ARRRGGGGHHHH!

Ok, you will have to wait for more. Have a good weekend all!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

i know i know

I am back and I havent really posted. I have been really busy at work, what with taking over someone elses job, on top of my own.

But I have important news so I figured I would post.

Tonight, I bought myself a new laptop. Yay! I am the proud owner of a Gateway T-6836. I am pretty excited. Best of all we walked into Best Buy and walked out 20 minutes later with a laptop, a new printer and no service plan or extended bullshit plan or anything. 20 minutes! And it only cost me $660. After taxes! For a laptop and a printer/copier/scanner. Which is pretty cool no?

So I am learning Vista, so far unimpressed but not at tears yet.

I promise to post more soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sailing pics

Our pictures are posted on flickr. So you can check them all out.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Have I mentioned . . .

the bathrooms at my work and the responses to it?

Sent from my Centro