Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ever wish you had a third arm?

A baby boy in China was born with two well-developed left arms, and doctors are currently deciding how to proceed, in terms of surgery options. You know, I thought this baby would look freaky, but it's actually pretty cute.

via Boing Boing

World Cup fever

The World Cup is coming! Let's put it in perspective: In 2005, 93 million viewers watched the Superbowl. 28 billion viewers are expected to tune in to the 2006 World Cup. The games begin on June 9, with the opening match between host Germany and Costa Rica. Here's the schedule.

To get yourself in the mood, here's some footage of Ronaldhino doing the same tricks as a kid as an adult.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Movie Review: X-Men 3: The Last Stand

Last night, I saw X Men 3. Although I am a huge nerd, I've never been into the comic book thing, except for a brief Archies phase during elementary school. My friend Aimee convinced me to see X-Men 2 when it came out, and I got hooked. I went back and rented the first movie, and enjoyed that one as well, so I have been looking forward to this newest iteration. I don't want to spoil it for any fans who haven't seen it, so I'll keep my commentary brief. It wasn't nearly as good as the second movie (my favorite of the three), and the dialogue suffered from some unimaginative writing (but was not nearly as painful as the recent Star Wars movies), but I still liked it. Highlights included, as always, Hugh Jackman as the Wolverine- seriously, so hott- and Patrick Stewart as Xavier. Of the new characters, I really enjoyed Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast. I think they tried to pack too much in to the movie, and I would have preferred fewer characters with a bit more plot depth.
One question for those of you who have seen it- the boy who is the "cure", what else has he been in? I couldn't figure it out and it was killing me. Also, for fans of the series, stay through the credits for a little treat at the end.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Weekend Report: the BRUUUCE edition

Friday: Went out for drinks, then visited friends to see their new baby and new apartment, and ended up playing drinking games with at a grad school friend's house party (sans Kid and Play).

Saturday: BRUUUUUCE! Lisa, Meg, their dad, and I headed down to Great Woods or Whateverthehellit'scalledthesedays to catch Bruce Springsteen playing with the Seeger Sessions Band. We arrived a couple of hours early for some good old fashioned tailgating, and enjoyed tasty food and beverages as well as the entertaining company of fellow tailgaters. Bruce fans are a devoted bunch: conversation topics included "how many times have you seen Bruce live?" and stories of face-to-face encounters with the man himself. My favorite tale came from a tough-looking guy who was parked to our left: "It was 1984, I was at a gym in Worcester, and there he was in the locker room, combing his hair in the mirror....I introduced myself, and then I watched him walk away, like he was a chick or something." We even had a little sing-a-long session with a couple musicians, and Lisa and I horrified Meg and Mr. Radden by adding our own voices (and borrowed tambourines) to the choir.

I've seen Bruce twice before, once at Fenway with the E Street Band, and once as a solo act during the Devils and Dust tour. This time, he was playing with a 17 piece band that included a banjo, tuba, washboard, and, as always, the luckiest woman in show business, Patty Scialfa. The music consisted of high-energy folk tunes, with elementary school favorites like "Pay me My Money Down" and "Erie Canal". The Boss also gave a touching tribute to New Orleans, performing a powerful version of "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live" as well as "When the Saints Go Marching In."

I had a great time and would recommend catching this tour if it comes to your city- even if you aren't a Bruce fan, I guarantee you'll be converted.
For more reviews, check out what Lisa and the Boston Globe had to say.

Sunday: Enjoyed a pancake breakfast courtesy of Chef Radden, did some errand running and some sunning, and ended up out of the town once again. I joined Lisa, Meg, and Liz for dinner at the Barking Crab, followed by a tour of Southie. Once we discovered that Latin Night at the Seaport did not actually exist, we stopped by Lucky's and caught some Sinatra music, hit the Irish scene at Shenanigan's, and ended up the Playwright, conveniently located right near my apartment.

Monday: I am repenting for my weekend gluttony and am actually at the lab, planning to work for a few hours. Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Look, I'm JFK!

Hmmm...but after I read the caption, I'm not so sure it's a compliment.

Evidence of an overactive imagination (mine)

Whenever I walk into the building where I work and the front desk is vacant, I always peer behind it to make sure that the security guard isn't lying on the floor in a pool of blood.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Evolution of Dance

Got 5 minutes? Watch this YouTube clip. I especially enjoyed the middle school dance section of the routine.

Bad news for Boston gals

Theo's off the market.

Pearl Jam

Last night, I saw Pearl Jam at the TD BankNorth Garden. When I was younger, I was never much of a Pearl Jam fan. I preferred Nirvana's music, and all of the popular jerkfaces in my high school just looooved Pearl Jam, so that gave them a negative connotation in my mind. Over time, PJ won me over. First, I met a couple of people in college who were big Pearl Jam fans and who weren't assholes. Then, I read a few interviews with Eddie Vedder and liked what he had to say. Next, PJ took on vile Ticketmaster (remember that?) and did some collaboration with Neil Young. So, they grew on me. The show last night was a lot of fun. The only complaint I had was with the sound quality- it was pretty muffled, and you could barely make out the vocals on several songs (good thing everyone in the crowd already knew all of the words). Then again, Pearl Jam always sounds like that. They played three sets and included many of their well known hits, like Alive and Can't Find a Better Man, and did a great job showcasing the guitarist on Evenflow. In honor of Bob Dylan's birthday, they covered Forever Young (not one of my Dylan faves) and Masters of War (that's more like it), and ended the night with Neil Young's Keep on Rockin in the Free World. Eddie Vedder kept talking about how great the crowd in Boston is ("I don't say this in any other city, I swear!") and congratulated the recent college graduates several times (apparently he didn't notice that the majority of the people in the crowd were in their late 20s and early 30s).

Here's the Boston Globe review of the show.

Some observations:
1. My Morning Jacket opened, and although I like their music, I felt sorry for them, as I always do for opening bands at big shows.
2. People still smoke pot in concerts, which I think is hilarious. I mean, in an indoor venue with no smoking, it's so obvious where it's coming from. I'm surpised people have the nerve.
2. For the first time in my life, there was a line out the door of the men's room, and the women's room was EMPTY.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The dark side of the mountain

An outraged Sir Edmund Hillary responds to the recent tragedies on Mt. Everest.

Mount Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary said Wednesday he was shocked that dozens of climbers left a British mountaineer to die during their own attempts on the world's tallest peak.

David Sharp, 34, died apparently of oxygen deficiency while descending from the summit during a solo climb last week.

More than 40 climbers are thought to have seen him as he lay dying, and almost all continued to the summit without offering assistance.

"Human life is far more important than just getting to the top of a mountain," Hillary was quoted as saying in an interview with New Zealand Press Association.

40 people saw this guy and NO ONE HELPED HIM? That's awful. Several years ago, I ran the last 20 miles of the Boston Marathon as a training run for the San Diego Marathon. It was the second worst running experience of my life (first worst? let's just say that "runner's runs" isn't a myth). It was a hot day, I started out way too fast, I was completely unprepared for the hills, and I hit the wall HARD. I felt miserable. About 16 miles in, I caught up to a wheelchair racer struggling with an uphill. The guy must have been in pretty bad shape, because the wheelchairs get a head start and we slow runners never even see them. I knew I should offer to push him up the hill to help him out, but did I? No. I honestly felt like I was going to collapse at any minute, and I didn't think I had the excess energy to expend pushing some dude I didn't know. Plus, I was afraid I might offend him by asking him if he needed help. And guess what? I've regretted it ever since. I should have asked. He could have said no if he didn't want the help, but I don't think he would have. So what if it wore me out and I was unable to finish my training run? It was just a training run. Don get me wrong, I don't feel that bad about it. I'm sure the guy ended up finishing, and it's not like he was DYING or anything. But it depresses me to think that 40 people ignored a man in mortal danger because they were so focused on their own personal goal of climbing Mt. Everest.

The wonder of it all

I went to see the Boston Pops last night. The Pops are an orchestra for the masses, and are most famous for performing the works of former conductor John Williams, including the music from Star Wars, ET, and Indiana Jones. Last night's show was a jazz fest, featuring jazz guitarist and vocalist John Pizzarelli. Pizzarelli's set was part musical talent, part comedy show, and he even managed to out-ham the biggest ham in Boston, Keith Lockhart himself. The voice and the man seemed oddly familiar to me, but I couldn't figure out how I recognized him, until he announced that he was going to play the song that made him famous. Take a chance, make it happen... Pop the cork, fingers snappin? Oh yes, it's the Foxwoods theme song! He even changed one line to "Yes, I am that guy." I had a fun time at the Pops, but hearing the Foxwoods jingle performed live was definitely the highlight.

In a new country

Montenegro votes to split from Serbia and become an independent nation.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Good thing there's no category for hare-brained

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (64%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (38%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
personality tests by

Aren't you also supposed to be able to determine this by which thumb is on top when you clasp your hands together?

quiz via Robert

Monday, May 22, 2006

Congratulations, Finland!

Finnish heavy metal group Lordi won the Eurovision song contest with their hit Hard Rock Hallelujah. The group, whose four members hail from a small town north of the Arctic Circle, gave Finland their first win in over 40 years of competition, complete in insane latex zombie costumes. Previous Eurovision winners include ABBA and Celine Dion.

Weekend Report

Friday- Went to a bachelorette party at Faneuil Hall. Fun times.

Saturday- Moved furniture all morning, then attended a crawfish boil (hosted by MJ and her boyfriend) followed by a 30th birthday party in Portsmouth, NH. I decided once and for all that I do not like fancy restaurants. Well, it's not that I don't like them, it's that I don't like them any more than normal restaurants. Why pay $25 for an entree when I'd be just as satisfied with a $12 entree somewhere else?

Sunday- Went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum for the first time, and I enjoyed it. The lady herself was quite renown for her eccentricities and her wealth, and the museum certainly reflects both. The museum was targeted in 1990 in a famous art heist, which remains unsolved.

I'm really tired this morning, evidenced by the fact that about an hour into my weekday, I realized that my shirt was on inside out.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

How did I not hear about this until right now???

Axl Rose got into a fistfight with Tommy Hilfiger at an NYC club...and lost. Not kidding.


Friday, May 19, 2006


Does this piece of laboratory glassware make you laugh?

Good intentions diverted once again

Yesterday, I planned to go the gym after work, but my friend Nikki emailed me late in the afternoon to ask if I wanted to meet her for a glass of sangria after work. I opted to take advantage of the rare sunny afternoon and ditch out on my workout plans. We went to BarLola, a tapas bar in the Back Bay that opened last year. I liked it: great location, fun ambiance, friendly staff, and a lot cheaper than the other downtown tapas restaurants. We sat in the outdoor patio area and drank pitchers of sangria and I tried the old tapa standby, the tortilla espanola. The only downside is that it's definitely a chick restaurant- it was packed with tables of women and gay men, and the occasional straight guy dragged there by his girlfriend, which isn't a downside at all if you're just going to get some food and drinks and have a good time with your friends. BarLola, I'll be back.

Beer lovers explained

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thanks, but I really don't deserve it.

So, I just found out that I won an award from my department, in recognition of "scholarly and/or scientific achievement, values of collegiality and scientific integrity." It's very strange that I won it, because usually they give it to students close to finishing who already have a few publications under their belt. I am still a good two or three years away from finishing, and I have a big, fat ZERO publications (slams head repeatedly against desk). Basically, I won it due to my personality and not my performance. Not that my personality is all that winning, but you get the gist. It's a recurring theme with me- like, I was the one who made the sports team because I got along with everyone and tried hard, not because I had sufficient skill. Well, I suppose I should just be happy and not analyze it- because there's a $500 prize. I'm not sure yet if the money is for personal use or for laboratory supplies, but I'm going to use it for laboratory supplies regardless. Um, NOT.

Movie Review: Friends with Money

I watched Friends With Money last night, and was disappointed. It wasn't a bad movie or anything, it was just far more depressing and less funny than I had anticipated. With actresses such as Jennifer Aniston (hey, don't mock Rachel- she was great in The Good Girl), Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack, and my new woman crush Catherine Keener playing the lead roles, I was expecting something more substantial. Instead, I got two hours of watching three unhappy married couples and their lone single friend mope through their priviledged lives.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Not much to say today...

I've had a relaxing couple of days, doing things like going to the gym and cleaning my apartment. BO-ring.

Well, here's some newsy stuff:

NBA playoffs are going on. My prediction? The Pistons will lose in the finals. Before playoffs started, I would have picked the Spurs to win the title, because of all the teams I saw come to Boston this year, the Spurs were the only team who played with complete and utter domination. I was especially impressed with Tony Parker- what a difference a talented point guard makes. The NBA is saturated with phenomenal 2,3,and 4s, but good 1s and 5s are hard to find, and make all the difference in playoffs. However, the Spurs are on the verge of elimination to the Mavs. Phoenix is looking hot right now, too.

Oh, Paul McCartney and his wife Heather Mills are splitting up. Paul McCartney annoys me. "Freedom" is the second worst song ever written. What's the worst song ever written? "Daughters", by John Mayer. Blech!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

So much for the recent run of interspecies friendships

Bears 1, Monkey 0

my two questions:
1. Sloth bears? For real? Couldn't the monkey have outrun them?
2. Is it wrong if a tiny part of me finds this story comical?

Movie Review: Prefontaine

So, a friend of mine who is obsessed with Steve Prefontaine, the "James Dean of track" lent me the movie Prefontaine, which stars Jared Leto as the legendary distance runner from Oregon. About ten minutes into the movie, I was wondering if my friend truly likes this movie, or likes it due to the extremely high unintentional comedy factor. The fake-documentary film style didn't work at all, and came across as much more Best In Show than Hoop Dreams. Especially because many of the actors are recognizable sitcom stars, like Al Bundy as an assistant coach and the dad from That 70s Show as a track official. The dialogue, the horrible fake German accents, and the 70s clothing and hairstyles were all so over-the-top. I did learn that Nike was co-founded by Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman, who made specialized soles for his runners using a waffle iron. However, Breaking Away still holds its special place as my favorite sports movie set during the 1970s.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Rain, rain go away

Caption: Boston Police re-routed traffic on Albany Street after a vehicle got stuck in a giant sinkhole near Herald Street Sunday evening. has a photo gallery of the recent flooding, and I drove into that EXACT SAME sinkhole earlier that day. I was driving my parents' minivan and I saw what appeared to be a large rock sitting in a puddle. There wasn't enough room to maneuver around it, so I tried to straddle it. Little did I know that what looked like an innocent little puddle was actually a sinkhole that must have been a couple of feet deep, because all of the sudden, the car felt like it dropped out from under me. I accelerated and managed to get out of the hole, but with a horrible dragging sound. I stopped the car (backing up traffic) and Buddah got out to examine what the noise was, and it was a dead body! No, it was actually 40 pound boulder that the car had somehow picked up from the sinkhole. He extracted the boulder and then tossed it over the jersey barriers you can see in the picture, and we laughed like crazy about how ridiculous he must have looked doing so. Miraculously, the incident didn't seem to damage the car at all. Looks like the next driver who hit it wasn't so lucky.

Al Gore does funny

Here's his intro on SNL.

via Freakgirl

Weekend Report

This weekend was a hilarious one- my friend Buddah was in town for a wedding, and a couple friends of ours who live in New York ended up driving up and going to the wedding with us as the official Wedding Crashers...turns out the bride and groom had paid for more spots than there were people coming, so they had told us we could invite people. They're the kind of friends with whom you always have a blast, and even the most mundane activity turns into a comedy show. For example, here's a typical conversation.

Me (showing JR and Buddah my bright red nails): Do you guys like my hooker nail polish?

Buddah: Yeah, those nails will look great in my butt hair.

Friday- Buddah and I went to a pre-wedding cookout at the bride's brother's house. I'm a fan of those sorts of wedding weekend activities, because then you get to meet a lot of people before the reception, which makes the reception more fun. Especially if you're going to the wedding as the date of your married friend so you don't really know anyone.

Saturday- Went to Scott and Judy's wedding. It was absolutely pouring, and I felt bad for the bride. I don't buy into that whole "rain on your wedding day is good luck" thing. I believe it's a bad omen, so that's exactly what I told Judy. (no, not really, but I do think that it's just something someone made up so brides wouldn't feel bad about the rain) Since the ceremony and reception were both indoors, it didn't really matter. The reception was a lot of fun (translation: open bar). Scott played football at Harvard, so there were a ton of big, huge dudes, plus all of his hometown friends who were very backwoods Wisconsin. I haven't hung out with big packs of midwesterners since college, so I was getting a kick out of their accents and sheer midwestern-ness. When the reception ended, everyone headed over to an Irish bar for drinks and dancing, and then when the bar closed, we all headed back to the Holiday Inn where somehow we ended up hosting the afterparty in our room, drinking cans of beer and jamming to the clock radio. We then discovered and subsequently invaded the recreation room, and partied there until the night manager threatened to call the cops on us. The Holiday Inn Dedham staff hated us like Osama bin Laden hates freedom. With reason, if I wasn't one of the 30 drunken buffoons loudly traipsing through the hotel at 4AM, I would have hated them, too. I finally went to bed around 4:30AM, at which time the groom's dad was still up partying with some of the guests.

Sunday- We decided to get some culture and went to the Museum of Fine Arts, (for free!) I really enjoyed (and I really need to stop saying really) the photography exhibit on Idaho by Laura McPhee and recommend it to anyone who lives in the area. After that, I had my parents over for a Mother's Day dinner, and Buddah and I went to the Publick House to visit our friend who works there.

Friday, May 12, 2006


I had a wild night on the town last night due to the arrival of Buddah and our subsequent semi-crashing of a rehearsal dinner, followed by many beers and shots of whiskey. (Since when do I do shots of whiskey? Since yesterday, it seems. ugh.) I had to get up early to attend the graduation of a student I mentor through City Lab Academy, a job training program for high school graduates interested in biotechnology. It was a really sweet ceremony- a lot of the families came and everyone was so proud of the graduates, many of whom have GEDs and struggled with the coursework. I displayed my joy by huddling in the corner sipping on a Gatorade.

The madness will continue through the weekend, as we head to a cookout today and a wedding tomorrow.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Science in the news

Lions and tigers and hybrid bears, oh my!

A scientific study demonstrates evidence that women can innately identify men who would make good fathers by analyzing their faces. Not all women, apparently. Oh, poor Brit-Brit.

My letter to Iran

Iran's been all over the news lately, with a controversial nuclear weapons program and an 18-page letter sent by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to our own GW Bush.

But do you know what really bothers me about Iran? Not the potential nuclear threat, but stuff like this: Iran bars women from attending soccer matches. Oh, and what else? Since 1979:

"Iran's Islamic law imposes stringent restrictions on women. They need a male guardian's permission to work or travel, and have rarely been allowed to attend public sports events."

Maybe I'll write a little letter of my own.

Dear Iran,
Fuck off. Stop using religion as an excuse to oppress 51% of your population.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Bored at work?

Saw this over on Robert's blog and decided to try it out.
Put your media player onto shuffle, and let it answer the following questions for you:

How does the world see me?
Burning Down the House, the Talking Heads. Heh.

Will I have a happy life?
You Are My Sunshine, Robert Blake. Misleadingly happy title- have you ever paid attention to the lyrics? Doesn't bode well for me.

What do my friends really think of me?
The Name of the Game, ABBA. I have no idea how to interpret this. Swedish?

Do people secretly lust after me?
Original Sin, INXS. Dirty!

How can I make myself happy?
Spirits in the Night, Bruce Springsteen. Get drunk with friends by a lake, and end up makin' love in the dirt? Interesting...

What should I do with my life?
Hung Up, Madonna. Fun song, but doesn't really answer the question.

Will I ever have children?
My City of Ruins, Bruce Springsteen. Depressing title, uplifting lyrics. Hmmmm.

What is some good advice for me?
Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key, Billy Bragg and Wilco. I should sing! Yeah, that's it.

How will I be remembered?
I Don't Know, Beastie Boys. That's a very Magic 8 Ball response. Ask again later.

What is my signature song?
You Sexy Thing, Hot Chocolate. Snort!

What type of men/women do I like?
Around the World in Day, Prince. I like my men international, and dressed in purple.

What is my day going to be like?
More Love, Dixie Chicks. Awww....

What do I think my current theme song is?
Be Here to Love Me, Norah Jones. I'm not feeling it.

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Steal My Kisses, Ben Harper. What everyone else really thinks is that I have too many sappy love songs on my iTunes.

What song will play at my funeral?
Emotion, the Bee Gees. I could come up with something better. One of my all time favorite movie scenes is then they play You Can't Always Get What You Want at the funeral in the Big Chill.

Stars...they're just like us!

They get drunk and take their pants off in public! Drunk and pantsless Jack Bauer? HOT.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Wayne Brady's got nothin on this girl

Improv comedienne, friend, and blogger Tara D has been featured in an article on her Chicago improv group. Yay for her!

Reviews: Intuition (book) and Fight Club (movie)

Intuition, by Allegra Goodman is a fictional drama set in a laboratory at a research institute in Cambridge, MA. In a lab run by two PIs (Principal Investigators, a.k.a bosses) with contrasting styles, post-doc Cliff has some exciting new results: a recombinant virus he created has been curing tumors in cancerous mice. The ambitious and political boss, Sandy Glass, convinces his normally more cautious and meticulous co-director, Marion Mendelssohn, to publicize the results before they have been rigorously tested and confirmed. Robin, Cliff's ex-girlfriend and a fellow post-doc, suspects that Cliff's data are too good to be true, and her intuition eventually spirals into a full-fledged fraud investigation. I enjoyed reading this book, particularly because the author accurately captures the trials and tribulations of academic research: high stress, long hours, and low pay. The story reminds me of one of my boss' favorite, albeit very cynical, jokes.

Q. Why do academics fight so bitterly?
A. Because the stakes are so low.

It's funny because it's true. Science life ain't all that bad, though, and Intuition definitely focuses on the negative.

Fight Club. I have this strange two year gap in my knowledge of popular culture that coincides with the time I spent in Nicaragua. When I came back in late 2001, I was all "Why do all my friends have cell phones now?" and "Who's Moby?" I also missed the boat on some major motion pictures, like The Matrix and Fight Club. Last night, I watched Fight Club for the first time, and I must be one of the few people left didn't know about the trick ending (which I won't reveal here in case there are more of you out there). So, what did I think? Overrated. First of all, it broke my cardinal rule of movies: they should not be over two hours long (the two worst culprits include The Aviator and Snore of the Rings). Secondly, it was too gimmicky- once the plot twist is revealed, it made the whole film seem sort of pointless. The acting was well done, but the plot didn't enthrall me, and neither did the characters (except for Brad Pitt during shirtless scenes). I'm normally all for gratuitous violence (a la Kill Bill), but here it was neither funny nor shocking, and therefore not particularly interesting. The solo fighting scenes with Edward Norton were a little ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, Fight Club wasn't that bad of a movie, but it just wasn't as good as it was hyped up to be.

Bank of America scores some brownie points

Along with thousands of other Massachusetts natives, I've ridden the BayBank to BankBoston to Fleet to Bank of America train, in which whatever bank I'm using gets bought up by a bigger bank every couple of years, and my account automatically switches over. I'm not a fan of Bank of America due to their lousy customer service and mysterious fees that occasionally appear, but since they have ATMs everywhere, that convenience makes up for their flaws. Anyways, here are a couple of programs B of A customers can take advantage of:

1. Museums on Us. During the month of May, show your B of A ATM or credit card and receive free admission for you and one guest at many nearby museums. Maybe I'll actually go to the Isabella Stuart Gardener museum for the first time.

2. Keep the Change. Sign up for this free service and every time you use your debit card, the amount you spend will be rounded to a dollar and the change deposited into your savings account. Those little increments can add up to significant savings, provided that you don't dip into your savings account during the last week of every month, like some people I know (i.e. ME).

Monday, May 08, 2006


You may have heard about Stephen Colbert's controversial speech at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner last week. Essentially, he openly mocked the President, right to his face, in front of a hall filled with stunned journalists. Here's the video. I don't know exactly how I feel about it. Even though I can't stand Bush and think he's a terrible president, he is The President and therefore perhaps deserves some respect, for the position and what it represents if not for the man himself. And I can't stand awkward silences, and this video is so chock full of them, it's almost painful to watch. Colbert may have taken his satirical diatribe a little too far, but he did get some good lines in, like this one:

The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on matter what happened Tuesday.

Well, I can say one thing about Stephen Colbert-the guy's definitely got cojones.

Weekend Report

Friday- Had some friends over for a Cinco De Mayo celebration. Mexican food and margaritas are two of my favorite entities, so I could not let the day pass uncelebrated. Mmmmmm.

Saturday- Went to a wedding reception for one of my sister's close friends and her husband. He's French and they were officially married last fall in France...twice: one functional (Visa paperwork), one ceremonial. They decided to have a third celebration stateside because so many of their friends and family were unable to make it to their first two weddings. It was a great time- a fun reception without all of the hullabaloo of an elaborate ceremony. No bridesmaids, no stuffy traditions, just a big old party with family, friends, food and drink in a beautiful location right on the waterfront in Boston. Jenny and her siblings got their parents a hotel room and took over the family's house in Framingham for the after-party. We had a blast, and the crowd was an eclectic mix of Framingham natives, Wake Forest alumni, Baptists, and French. I felt like I was seventeen again, staying up until the wee hours playing drinking games, and sleeping in my clothes on the living room floor, packed in a row with several other partygoers. And I ended up with two new pets, when, after a few glasses of wine, I decided to adopt the centerpieces. I give you Jenny and Nico (the humans), and Jenny and Nico (the fish):

Friday, May 05, 2006

Scary photo of the day

So, I go to the website of a company that manufactures products for scientific research, and what awaits me? An enormous picture of a bug-eyed child with a dirty face eating a watermelon. WTF? All I want to do is buy a kit to test bacterial membrane permeability. I have no desire to look at stock imagery of a cute kid, who isn't really cute, but creepily frightening. Also, this photo has nothing to do with the products sold by the company, unless they have some weird Children of the Watermelon thing going on. Promega, why can't you just put a double helix on your website like all of the other vendors?

In the news

Nerd alert! (via Freakgirl)

Vomit alert! Well, now if Leinart doesn't live up to the hype in the NFL, he can always blame it on a nasty case of herpes. (via Meg and sure to check out Lisa's new blog redesign.)

Corruption in the Big Dig. Six men have been arrested on charges that they sold faulty cement to the city and then falsified documents to cover it up. Hmmm...think this could have anything to do with the leaks in the tunnel?

Beloved children's book Where the Wild Things Are is being made into a movie. (via GitM)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Pet Peeve of the Day

People who don't believe you when you tell them that they called the wrong number.

Act I. My lab. The phone rings. Ring, ring!

Me: Hello?
Caller: Jocelyn Spagno, please.
Me: Wrong number.
Caller (huffily): How can this be the wrong number? They just told me this was her direct line! J-O-C-E-L
Me (interrupting): Sorry, definitely the wrong number.

The End.

P.S. I have Jocelyn Spagno locked in the closet and now no one will ever find her. Muwhahahaha.

List #25...Best Gym Class Games

1. Bean bags- playing with bean bags was kind of dull, but that bean bag song is oddly infectious..put it on your head and walk around the room...
2. Cargo net- loved it! Easy to climb, as opposed to the rope. I sucked at climbing the rope, and dreaded it.
3. Kickball
4. Whiffle ball
5. Capture the flag
6. Newcomb - I always thought it was spelled nucumb, or nuke 'em.
7. Floor hockey- The sticks we used had giant styrofoam heads on them. I was inexplicably good at gym floor hockey.
8. Dodgeball
9. The parachute. I FUCKING LOVED THE PARACHUTE. Everyone did. Kids went bananas for the parachute. They only brought it out like once a year, but it was the Best Day Ever.

Wicked good

Maria and I saw Wicked last night at the Opera House. Wicked is a musical based on the Gregory Maguire novel, which tells the story of what happened in Oz before the Dorothy arrived. Galinda, a ditzy and popular blonde, and Elphaba, an intelligent misfit with green skin, are college roommates who form an unlikely friendship. Over time, Elphaba becomes an activist against the Wizard's corrupt government and is therefore villified as the Wicked Witch of the West, whereas Galinda becomes Glinda the Good Witch, belevolent ambassador. Although the production is based on the novel, several changes were made in the plot and characters in order to better suit the story to the stage. Nessarose, Elphaba's sister, still plays a major role, but she is in a wheelchair instead of missing arms. Fiyero, the love interest, is a charming rich boy and not a mysterious tribal prince, but this change works well for the musical. One of the fun things about both the novel and the musical are the subtle but frequent allusions to the movie the Wizard of Oz. It's an interesting concept- taking a story so familiar to the audience and presenting it in an entirely different light. I can see why the musical has done so well: the characters were endearing, the music catchy, the lyrics witty, and the ending happy.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Here's what I've done so far this week

1. Spoke to one of my sister Kerry's classes about my Peace Corps experience. Kerry is a teacher at Framingham High School, our alma mater, and I go once a year to talk to her International Relations class. It's trippy to walk those same halls again, although most of my former teachers have retired- when I was in high school, almost all of our teachers were in their 50s and 60s, and there's been a ton of turnover since I graduated. I wonder how different the experience is for students who are taught primarily by teachers in their 20s and 30s. Probably not that different. High schoolers seem a lot younger and nicer than I remember them. I had a good time talking to Kerry's class- they acted like they were interested (the only thing better than a guest speaker is a movie, as far as I can remember) and asked lots of questions, my favorites being "So, what is the standard of living like in Nicaragua? Is it almost the same as in the US? Do people have computers in their homes and stuff?" (Ummm...not even close. Dirt floors, no indoor plumbing, etc) I also liked "Did you get hit on a lot?" (yes) and "What did you do for fun?" (I had to think for a minute to come up with a more appropriate answer than drank a lot of rum, partied at the disco, and smoked too many cigarettes).
2. Went to the Sox-Yankees game on Monday night. Johnny Damon was vehemently booed, the Sox won, and I had a blast, even though it was FREEZING. Damn this New England weather.
3. Got a cortisone injection in my heel. Didn't hurt nearly as bad as I had imagined that it would.
4. Attended a Boston Symphony Orchestra concert. My parents had a pair of tickets they weren't able to use, so Carolina and I pretended to be cultured for a night. They played a three part series: Schubert, Henze (a modern composer we hadn't heard of), and Brahms. We were proud of the fact that we were able to differentiate the three sections on sound alone.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Busy, busy, busy

I have a really busy week ahead of me, so posting may be a bit more sporadic than normal. On tap for tonight, Red Sox vs Yankees at Fenway park, and I'll be there, boooooooooing Johnny Damon and cheering for the return of catcher Doug Mirabelli.