Thursday, August 31, 2006

What's your life path number? (no, I don't know what it means either)

I have no idea what a Life Path Number is, but apparently it is based on your birthdate. I stumbled across this quiz on Pipedreams while killing time waiting for a gel to run. I'm an 11. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but I was once told by a good friend that I have the personality of a cult leader (insult or compliment?), so maybe they're onto something with the "religious leader or prophet." Be afraid, my minions, lest I lead you down a path towards darkness. As for "sensitive and passionate" in love, um, not so much. And yes, I don't fit in, but I embraced my weirdness long ago.
Your Life Path Number is 11

Your purpose in life is to inspire others

Your amazing energy draws people to you, and you give them great insight in return.
You hold a great amount of power over others, without even trying.
You have the makings of an inventor, artist, religious leader, or prophet.

In love, you are sensitive and passionate. You connect with your partner on a very deep level.

You have great abilities, but you are often way too critical of yourself.
You don't fit in - and instead of celebrating your differences, you dwell on them.
You have high expectations of yourself. But sometimes you set them too high and don't achieve anything.

Are you ready for some (college) football?

I sure am, especially with the Sox tanking and all.

ND kicks off the season this weekend against Georgia Tech. Check out the Underground Notre Dame Glossary to get yourself in the mood.
via Lisa

The Scream recovered

Edward Munch's famous painting The Scream has been recovered by police in Norway, two years after it was stolen from the Munch Museum by armed gunmen.

I am fascinated by cases of stolen art. Who buys it? What do they do with it? If I were a eccentric, rich, and unethical person and I bought a stolen masterpiece, especially one whose theft was highly publicized, what would I do with it? Hang it in a secret room and only show it to my most trusted friends? Put it in a storage facility and never let anyone know I have it? Hang it in plain view and kill anyone who dared to gaze upon it?

Speaking of artwork, I think it would be quite fun to own this.

OK Go videos

I think I posted the fantastic treadmill video before, but I was unaware that a previous video existed. Watch OK Go dance to their song A Million Ways. I love it! It sort of reminds me of this old gem, which I loved then and still love now.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Not nearly exciting as it sounds

My imagination ran wild when I read this headline: Sweden's Pirate Party Presents Their Election Manifesto. A Pirate Party? Arrrgh! Rum for all! Tax breaks on peg legs and hooks! Invade Norway!

....then I read the manifesto. It's just some boring crap about copyright laws.

Exchange of the day

Ern, Maria, and I went out last night to the Playwright, played trivia, and met some interesting gentlemen. One took a shine to Ern, leading to the following exchange:

guy: What's your name?
Ern: Erin.
guy: Like Aryan Brotherhood?
Ern: No, not Aryan, Ern!
guy: Oh, I was going to ask if you have a spiderweb tattoo on your elbow.

Seriously, folks, who hasn't heard of the name Erin? Especially in South Boston, where approximately one out of ever four girls is named Erin.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Massachusetts: We're wicked smart

at least in math. See?

And do you know what's wicked awesome? This poster. (via RT)

Federer watch

Readers of this blog may be aware of my obsession with Roger Federer...apparently I'm not the only one dazzled by his play. Here's a lengthy article from the New York Times about the best (and best looking) tennis player in the world, Federer as a Religious Experience. He's also one of's eight reasons to watch the U.S. Open:

We've said it before and we'll say it again: You don't need an oversize racket in your closet to appreciate Roger Federer, any more than you need an art history degree to appreciate the Sistine Chapel. Like Tiger Woods -- the athlete he's most often compared to -- the Swiss star plays an aesthetically pleasing game that can be enjoyed by anyone with a passing interest in athletics; if Federer were a Radiohead album, he'd be "The Bends," not "Kid A."

and here's a gratuitous photo:

"Hey, Roger, that white blazer would look great on my bedroom floor."


This photo made me laugh.

but something about the candid shot of three confused-looking people seemed oddly familiar.

Oh yes, it reminded me of this:

With John Lithgow as myself, Heidi Klum as Jon, and the grandfather from Arrested Development playing the role of Mike. Except they're dressed up at the Emmys, whereas we were slightly intoxicated riding the London Underground.

Monday, August 28, 2006

And I thought these two were gonna make it

Looks like Bruce and Patti may have gone the way of Brenda and Eddie. Too bad; I always liked those two together. Stupid husband-stealing 9/11 widows!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Weekend Report

Despite the fact that I had absolutely zero plans come Friday afternoon, the weekend turned out to be quite eventful.

Friday- After work, I went out to eat with Carolina, Jose, and Megan, and we stopped into a random Chinese restaurant to grab a drink. I don't even know the name of the place, because it was in Chinese, but the bartender was from Nicaragua and made us some kick-ass mixed drinks- potent and delicious but not too sweet. We then headed out to the movies, where we met up with Ern and saw Little Miss Sunshine. We got there just as the movie was starting and ended up sitting in the second row, which due to our inebriated state, was more amusing than annoying. Ern told us that we smelled like hobos, "loud hobos," and to STFU and watch the movie. We did, and it was great! Since it's an independent film, it's not playing in all theaters, but if you get a chance, go see it. The plot is simple enough: dysfunctional family goes on road trip, things go awry, and hilarity ensues. The ensemble cast, featuring Toni Collete as the mom, Steve Carell as the suicidal gay Proust scholar/uncle, and Alan Arkin as the heroin snorting grandfather, is a pleasure to watch on screen. Of all of the characters, the sullen teenage son who is in the midst of a year-long vow of silence was my favorite. And did I mention that it's hilarious? Oh my gosh, during the horn honking scene, I was laughing so hard that tears streamed down my face. So take my advice and go see it, you won't be disappointed. Unless you hate laughter.
We ran into some friends at the movie and all decided to go back to the Chinatown restaurant for some more fabulous drinks. Since our group had increased in size, they opened the second floor karaoke lounge for us, so we spend the next couple of hours enjoying hurricanes and butchering classic songs like "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Edelweiss". I sang solo on "More Than Words" by Extreme, and I was wicked pumped up about it. Later on, three guys from El Salvador showed up and sang La Bamba and a bunch of rancheras, (but sadly, no La Puerta Negra). At one point, Jose said to me "Come to the men's bathroom with me. I have to show you something." Heh- I've heard that one before. Curious, I followed him, and in the men's bathroom a trap door in the ceiling was partially opened, revealing a folding staircase. I pulled it down and climbed up, and it lead to an enormous, pitch-black attic/secret passageway. I was too scared to explore further, fearful that I would stumble upon some illegal gambling operation or human trafficking, but Jose climbed up and wandered around until he tripped on a can of paint and got a splinter. We all decided to high-tail it out of there before the night got even stranger (or we got even drunker).

Saturday- Ern and I had originally planned to drive out to Western Mass to hike Mt. Greylock, but since Friday's Chinatown adventures left us a bit hungover, those plans were tossed out the window. Instead, we picked up our friend Mark in Worcester and climbed Mt. Wachusett. After an enjoyable 2 hour hike, we found the Wachusett Brewing Company and went on a brewery tour. Here are a couple of photos:

That night, I met up with some more Framingham natives. Brianna was in town, so I met up with her, her dad, Arturo, and Mulvey at a townie bar in Quincy. Good times were had by all. Here's a good picture of everyone else but a bad picture of me- I don't know why my mouth is open like that, but I promised everyone they'd have their day in the sun on DCoE.
Arturo also told me about a music video he appears in called Pervert in the Park. Quality entertainment...the hammers might recognize some of our classmates.

Sunday- Did some errands, played soccer in the rain, and had dinner at Kerry and Adam's house with an Irish friend- my name twin, Eileen- who is in town visiting her aunt and uncle.

Friday, August 25, 2006

On Notice

All of my most abhored things, watch your collective back. You're On Notice!

via 13dfm

Make your own Colbert On Notice board here

Train in Vain

Goldenfiddle has a bunch of songs about trains up for grabs; just right-click and save. Get 'em while they're hot!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Oh internet, I bow down in amazement to your powers

A couple of weeks ago the authors of Go Fug Yourself mentioned the fact that Courtney Cox was once the cover model on a pre-teen girly fiction novel during the 1980s. Lo and behold, one of their readers located the actual book, The Last Word.

Then, Sarah from Que Sera Sera drops some heavy allusions to the pinnacle of the pre-teen girly novel series, The Baby-sitters Club, into one of her posts. Yes, in addition to reading Roald Dahl and The Pushcart War, in my younger days I also pulled The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High off the shelves of the library's Young Adult section.

I started reminiscing about the babysitting adventures of Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and the diabetic one, and I suddenly recalled the fact that my best friend Kim, who modeled as a child, once appeared on the box of a Baby-Sitters Club board game. And I bet you all can guess what happened, it had nothing to do with a pterodactyl, guess again....yes, I found the game:

The green arrow is pointing to Kim. Such is the power of the internet.

Just wondering

Did you ever have a sex dream about someone completely random who you've never consciously been attracted to, like someone from work, and then the next day you run into them and are completely mortified and paranoid that somehow they'll be able to tell that you had a sex dream about them, and your worrying about their possible mind-reading capabilities makes you act all strange and awkward?

No? Me neither. I was just wondering.

I'm secretly a fan of...

Joan Rivers. She's tacky and ridiculous and oh so hilarious. Don't believe me? Check out this clip of her presenting at an awards ceremony in Australia. My favorite part is when she tosses the award statue over her shoulder.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Internet round up

Here are some stories and posts of interest:

How to become a regular. The tips seem to be skewed towards becoming a regular at a fancy restaurant. If you want advice on how to become a regular at Dunkin Donuts or your neighborhood dive bar, I will gladly oblige. I can almost be considered a regular at the bar across the street from my apartment. I know the bartenders and the bouncers, and I get invited to the annual Christmas party (free booze!).
via Mike

Quiz: How Massachusetts are you? 100% Masshole, baby!
via Universal Hub

Top Ten Signs You're an Older Student. I can relate.
via Tricia

and lastly, throws it back to the 1950's with this article: Don't Marry Career Women. Most of their broad generalizations:
While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it.
about "career women" are probably also true about "career men." I bet everyone would be happier if they didn't have a stressful job to go to every day. I also believe that it's hard to ascertain anything from their statistics because, other than the fact that they don't provide any, they don't control for income. Any family where one parent can afford to stay at home, be it mom or dad, is probably wealthier than a family with two working parents. Hey, take your blatantly sexist article and go suck a dong.
via Boing Boing

Update: after Boing Boing made fun of the Forbes article, it was mocked so thouroghly on the internet that took it down. Then, after determining that that move made them look like wimps in addition to sexists, they put it back up along with a counterpoint article. However, the accompanying slide show that went with the original article was not reposted. Good thing Gawker used the slide show to come up with their own comical summary of the article.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Music Roundup

I just received two CDs I ordered from Amazon. The first was Z, by My Morning Jacket. Eri, Caro, and I listened to Eri's copy of the CD many times during our cross-country road trip and found it to be the perfect soundtrack through the long desert sections of our journey. Inspired by Mr. Jinxy's recent raves about the band, I decided to order my own copy, and it's great. The only drawback is that it's one of those protected CDs that aren't compatible with all computer music systems. Mine plays on the Windows Media Player but won't play on my iTunes. Boo.

Since I'm a sucker for the Amazon super shipping savings thing, I decided to spend an extra $13 to hit the $25 mark and save myself a whopping $5. I picked up Ghosts of the Great Highway, a 2003 release by Sun Kil Moon. This band was another road trip find for me, as Jon and I first heard them on a college radio station while driving down to the Jersey shore a couple of summers ago. Jon bought the CD and recommended it, although unfortunately for me, he is morally opposed to burning albums, so I finally got around to picking myself up a copy. I'm really enjoying it. Both My Morning Jacket and Sun Kil Moon are good, mellow rock bands. And I mean mellow in a bad-ass way, not in a pathetic whiny way like Barf Cab for Cutie or Barfboard Confessional, who I hope someday get in an emo band death match, although they probably wouldn't be able to kill each other and end up collaborating on a wussy song about the ordeal, with which will they will continue to torment me by its incessant playing on alternative radio. Ugh. Speaking of major suckage, do you know what else sucks? That new song by the Killers. I bought their last album, and although I liked a couple of the tracks, I wasn't overwhelmed. But the new song blows. The lyrics are ridiculous:
He doesn't look a thing like Jesus
But he talks like a gentlemen
Like you imagined when you were young

Um, right. Don't think I'll be buying the new album.

What right-wingers see when they read the New York Times

Tee hee!
My favorite altered headline is: Liberal Media Blasts Heartland with Deadly Heat Ray

via Freakgirl and GitM

Monday, August 21, 2006


FOUND is a magazine that compiles accidentally discovered items, such as notes and pictures tucked into library books. The FOUND website features a Found Item of the day, like this confession note. We had our own find of the day yesterday, when my cousin found a folded up sheet of paper tucked in the corner of the reception room at Anthony's Pier 4. It was someone's (the bride's?) typewritten toast from a rehearsal dinner. My scanner is broken, so I'll just transcribe it here:

Thank you all for coming we are so honored that you are here to join us.

Sharon and Jimmy- I wanted to say a special thank you for everything-this is such a memorable night! Everything looks fabulous and your support this year and always has been incredible.

And I just have a little something for you, Matthew.

Six years ago today, a college sophomore left the golden state
He got to Emory and began to date the girl who tomorrow will become his mate

Now six wonderful years have past
With countless memories that will surely last

We now have a cozy one bedroom on the Upper East Side
With a flat screen television and a tv guide

We have a great time in New York City
Except for no Lakers, Raiders, and Dodgers- what a pity!

I know you are filled with California dreams
I present you this grooms cake to honor your favorite sports teams.

Okay, I realize that I am a bad person for making fun of some happy bride's attempt at poetry, but some of those rhymes were PAINFUL! Upper East Side, tv guide? New York City, what a pity? My cousins and I were cracking up. Note to self: in the future, when making a toast, avoid the temptation to use rhyming couplets.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Book Review: That book with a really long title

I finally finished reading the really long book with a really long title: No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew It Cauze Bill Bailey Ain't Never Coming Home Again, by Edgardo Vega Yunque. The book centers around the adventures of a young New Yorker, Vidamia Farrell, half Puerto Rican and half Irish-American, and the story begins when she decides to search for her birth father. She locates Bill Farrell and learns that he was a jazz prodigy who stopped playing piano after he lost two fingers in Vietnam, and is delighted to meet the tribe of vivacious, blonde, musical half-siblings. Although Vidamia is the protagonist, the novel often steers away from her, and each character who is introduced comes with 20 pages of family history and back stories ranging from Puerto Rico to the rural South. Some readers tire of such tactics, but I never got bored with the sidetracks. The first three quarters of the novel are a beautiful composition about family, identity, race, jazz, and New York City, and one can't help but adore the righteous Vidamia and the people she encounters, from her sweet Southern stepmother to her womanizing, bongo-playing grandfather. However, towards the end of the book a group of villains are introduced, and the tone darkens rapidly. Remember the shocking scene in American History X when Edward Norton stomps on that kid's head? Well, the worst scene is this book is about 100 times more graphic, disturbing, and violent. I bought a copy of the book as a birthday gift for a friend before I got to that section, and now I feel wary about giving it to her. Like, "here's this book that's wonderful and inspiring and lyrical, except for the brutal rape and murder scene that's so horrifying I almost threw up while I was reading it. Enjoy!"
In summary, I give this book a 9 out of 10 on the Eileen scale, but with two major caveats:
1. it's long and wanders off track a lot, and some people don't like that sort of storytelling
2. You might not be able to handle the bad parts- here's one of the reader comments from Amazon: "When I encountered the sexual violent scene I had to get up and walk away. As a vet I read through the Vietnam memories in a cathartic nod; but when the sexual violence was crammed into my face I put the book down. I no longer cared about the book's ending."

Weekend Report

Friday- Went out drinking at the local Southie bars with my sister Eri and friends- Yay! Ran into an ex- Boo! At least I didn't have a gigantic zit on my chin. Oh wait, I did had a gigantic zit on my chin. Double boo! Had fun anyways- Yay!


Eri and I ate lunch at New Ginza in Watertown. The sushi was excellent- my favorite roll had sweet potato tempura in the middle and fresh crabmeat on top. After lunch, we went to my grandparents' house and hung out with the family for a bit. That night, Eri, Jen, Mike, and I went to the Patriots preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. We tailgated, we cheered, we mocked Kurt Warner "I don't care if he used to work in a grocery store, I hate him!" and Matt Leinhart "How's Paris? Hope you didn't catch any STDs!", and the Patriots won soundly. Eri purchased a throwback "Squish the Fish" t-shirt at the Pro Shop, which quickly became a crowd pleaser among the Pats fans in our section. Some drunk, obnoxious middle-aged dude was sitting right behind us, in addition to leering at all the girls in the section, he started loudly complaining about Corey Dillon (I frickin hate fans that heckle guys on the team that they're supposedly supporting. And seriously, Corey Dillon? Dude's a big, bad NFL running back. Hey mister, why don't you go tell him he's over the hill to his face, and then see what happens.) I was contemplating turning around and telling him to STFU, but he distracted me by spontaneously bursting into song. The tune? Afternoon Delight. Which we had been inexplicably singing in the car ride down. Sky rockets in flight...

Sunday- The big 60th anniversary party for my grandparents. First, there was a special mass at St. Jude's church in Waltham, and the reception was held at Anthony's Pier 4 in Boston...yes, the same Anthony's Pier 4 that the Boston teenagers went to in a Saturday Night Live skit. The party was great: several of my grandparents friends were in attendance, including college classmates of my grandmother's and my grandfather's best friend, as well as all sorts of family, including three cousins from Ireland. Guests brought old photos and shared funny stories. I spoke about the time I went to Ireland with my grandparents when I was 12 years old and my grandfather ran over my foot with the rental car. My sister Kerry estimated that my grandparents have eaten breakfast at Friendly's 200 times, and have stolen approximately 5000 packets of jam in the process. For dessert, we ate a strawberry and vanilla ice cream cake on a graham cracker crust with real whipped cream on top. Although I had to pop 15 Lactaid pills, it was the most delicious thing I've eaten in years and was worth the risk. Here's a family photo from the party:

Friday, August 18, 2006

60th anniversary

This weekend, my family will be celebrating my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. Amazing, huh? Both children of Irish immigrants, they grew up in the Boston area and met around the time of WWII- my grandfather was in the Army and my grandmother was an elementary school teacher. She once told me that she always knew when he was back home because all of the children in her classroom would get restless and start asking "Who is that soldier at the door?" They have four children, eight grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, and one more on the way (not mine, don't get any ideas....). My grandfather worked as a forensic chemist for the Massachusetts State Police and also obtained a law degree by attending law school at night on the G.I. Bill. My grandmother was one of the first graduates of Framingham State Teachers' College and taught elementary school in Waltham for decades. They both love traveling and have been everywhere, including adventurous places like Haiti, Colombia, and Russia during the Cold War. They are two very inspiring people and have taught by example the values of hard work, education, and open-mindedness. Here is their wedding photo:

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mexican fishermen rescued

Three Mexican fishermen have been rescued by a Taiwanese ship after drifting in the Pacific Ocean for approximately nine months. No word on whether or not a tiger was with them (Life of Pi, anyone?)

Apparently two other fishermen, depressed by their situation, jumped off the boat months ago and presumably drowned, but I can't help but wonder if the survivors ate more than raw fish and sea birds...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Haircut photos

I give you the 50's housewife:

"Hello, darling. I made lasagna for dinner. How about a gin and tonic?"

and the consultant, circa 2001:

"I think we need to come up with a proposal to mitigate potential pitfalls of the system."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

College football preview

SI's Stewart Mandell to the anti-Notre Dame camp: Suck it, haters. Well, not exactly in those words.

Go Irish!

via Lis

Recipe- Mango Catfish Couscous

Despite my new 50s housewife hairdo (photos coming tomorrow, I promise), I abhor all household chores except for one- cooking. I love cooking, and have been on a recent kick to try new recipes, because normally I only make Mexican food, as my friend Phil once observed: "The Dunnes are the only Irish people I know who eat Mexican food every day." Last night, I made Mango Catfish Couscous. I found the recipe in a magazine for diabetics that I swiped from the Diabetes Research Unit on my floor at work. I've become a fan of the Diabetic Cooking magazine because most of the recipes are low sugar (obviously), low-fat, and only call for ingredients that A. I've heard of and B. are available at normal grocery stores. I was planning to switch the catfish for a different type of fish, because I've avoided catfish ever since the Great Catfish Food-Poisoning Incident of 1985, in which my father served the entire family undercooked fried catfish and we all got violently ill, with my mother ending up in the ER due to dehydration. Ah, good times.
Anyways, since then I've avoided the feline fish, and at the store I requested bluefish and they were all out, so I decided to give catfish the old college try. Without further ado, here's the recipe:

1 lb catfish fillet, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced
2 small zucchini, cubed
2 small yellow squash, cubed
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cubed
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup cooked couscous (I used a box of the instant stuff, which made about 2 cups)

1. Put all of the ingredients except for the couscous in a large pot and cook on medium-high heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
2. Cook couscous and place 1/4 cup on a plate or shallow bowl. Top with catfish mixture.
It was really good, and easy to make, although all the chopping took a while. It made five servings, with a little leftover couscous because I made the entire box.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Weekend Report

Friday- I got a new haircut: chopped off about six inches, with bangs. Straightened, it looks stylish and more "consultant" than "grad student." If I let the natural curls have their way, it's very 50s housewife. After the haircut, I had dinner with Caro and Oscar at Casa Romero, a Mexican restaurant right near Newbury Street. Although it's a bit pricey, the food was delicious, the sangria superb, and the service excellent, so I'd highly recommend it. After that, we had drinks at Flash's, one of my favorite places for cocktails in the city.

Saturday- I took advantage of the beautiful weather and my proximity to the ocean by going for a run on the beach in the morning, then having a picnic lunch on Castle Island with a bunch of friends later on. We had a pleasant girly afternoon (nail salon + frozen yogurt) and then had pizza and beers at Phil and Sue's place. After that, I went to a crazy awesome party hosted by a French scientist. Approximately 100 people crammed into a tiny Beacon Hill apartment, about half of them French friends of the host and the other half international scientists working in Boston. I think there were only two other Americans at the party and I met both of them. The makeshift dance floor was packed all evening, with the music progressing from reggaeton to hip hop then French pop (a definite crowd-pleaser) followed by 80's, and finally salsa and merengue. I stayed until 4AM dancing with a cute Frenchman I met, but acted like a lady (ha) and took a taxi home alone at the end of the night.

Sunday- After sleeping in, I took advantage of tax free weekend and bought a new mop and cleaning supplies and put them to good use. Then, I relaxed at the beach for a couple of hours before heading into the lab, where I am right now, being entirely unproductive because my head is still a bit foggy from last night's revelry.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Freaky Friday links

Here are a couple of recent articles I found interesting:

Preserved prehistoric bodies found in Irish peat bogs. Cool! (via Frances)

Miniature cows! Don't get too excited; they're still pretty big.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Scientists gone wild

During college, several fellow biology majors and I formed a co-ed soccer team named Biohazard. Last night, four of us got together at The Sevens to share some food, drinks, and memories. It's funny to think that almost everyone who played on that team is now an M.D., a Ph.D. (or in the process), or went for the double whammy, the M.D./Ph.D. Justin thinks I should start a website called and post embarrassing photos from our old soccer parties. See that guy wearing a sundress and a bonnet drinking beer out of a scuba fin? He's performing your hip replacement surgery next week! Such a website might be a little too career-damaging for my tastes, so instead I'll post a photo from last night of Toshi, Jroo, Pags, and me:

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Second Grossest Thing That Ever Happened to Me

This afternoon, I heard a radio commercial for Water Country, the waterslide theme park located outside of Portsmouth, NH. It reminded me of a fateful trip I took to that same water park, back around 1993 or so. It was a hot, August day, and I was eagerly awaiting the annual trip to the water park. This year, I was determined to go down the Geronimo, the highest and steepest slide in the park. I have a mild fear of heights, which was much stronger when I was younger (for example, at my pre-school, there was a staircase like this that scared the bejeezus out of me, and I was so terrified of slipping and falling through the slats that the teacher would have to carry me to get me to go up or down it.) All day long, I frolicked in the wave pool and on the smaller slides until the time came to brave the Geronimo. I summoned my courage, and made my way through the line, slowly climbing up a three-story metal staircase not unlike the one that traumatized me as a toddler. Once at the top, I sat on the slide, folded my arms, crossed my legs at the ankles, leaned back, and down I went. Geronimo! It was thrilling. At the bottom of the slide, I stood up and picked my enormous wedgie. As the elation of the drop itself and the pride of my accomplishment wore off, I suddenly became aware of an uncomfortable sensation deep in my bowels, like I had to go number two. I hurried off to a restroom, sat down on the toilet, and pooed out about two liters of chlorinated pool water. Yes, I had conquered the almighty Geronimo, but I had also gotten a chlorine enema in the process.

And that’s the second grossest thing that ever happened to me.

(Reason #162 why I don’t have a boyfriend: I write about chlorine enemas on the internet.)

As for the first grossest thing that ever happened to me, I’ll never tell. Let’s just say it involved a latrine in Nicaragua, and leave it at that. And if you ever go down a really steep waterslide, in addition to crossing your legs, squeeze your buttcheeks together. Trust me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I saw this meme on Brigita's blog and just had to add my $0.02. I have always been an avid reader, aside from a few years of college when binge drinking replaced reading as my favorite hobby. So, here goes:

A book that changed your life:
Hmm.. The Hot Zone, by Richard Preston. I'm sure if I read it now, it would seem ridiculously sensationalistic, but at age 18, as a freshman biology major, it struck a chord with me and piqued my interest in infection disease and microbiology. That, and the fact that my student employment job in a Wetlands Ecology lab sucked big time, eventually caused to me drop my Environmental Sciences second major and decide that the nasty pathogens were my one true scientific love.

A book you've read more than once:
Trite, I know, but I think I've read The Catcher in the Rye four times. The very first time I read it, around age 14, I loved it so much I immediately went back to the first page read it a second time. It seemed so real and refreshing, and so different from all the Judy Blume and whatnot I read as an adolescent (not that I didn't love AYTGIMM).

A book that made you laugh: Maybe I have a strange sense of humor, but Slaughterhouse Five literally (bad pun alert!) made me laugh out loud.

A book that made you cry:
The Junk-Drawer Corner-Store Front-Porch Blues, by John R. Powers. It's not a well-known book at all (the author's The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice-Cream God is much better) but features one of the two saddest occurrences in literature: 1. dead sibling 2. dead dog.

A book that you wish had been written and a book you wish had never been written: I've always wished for a modern, landmark coming of age novel with a female protagonist. You know, something along the lines of Catcher in the Rye, or A Separate Peace, or The Outsiders, but starring a girl. Everyone loves Jo from Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, but you have to admit, they're a bit behind the times.
As for a book that I wish had never been written, I'll go with Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, because if the book were never written, the wretched movie would never have been made, and I would never have had to suffer through it.

Books you're currently reading:
No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew It Cauze Bill Bailey Ain't Never Coming Home Again. It's fantastic. I'll write a review when I finish it.

A book you've been meaning to read:
The Count of Monte Cristo. Has it ever happened to you that all of the sudden, the same thing keeps popping up all over the place? For example, I had never heard of Kawasaki Disease, until last Friday, when a classmate of mine told me that she wrote her grad school personal statement on it because she had it as a child. The next day, I was at a cookout and another friend of mine mentioned that she and her brother both had Kawasaki disease as children and were the examples in some medical textbook. Anyways, The Count of Monte Cristo has randomly come up in conversation several times over the past few months, and I keep meaning to check it out.

Oh yeah, I'm supposed to tag someone now....maybe some fellow bloggers who enjoy reading (Tricia? RT?) will volunteer.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fashion tip for tall girls

I have a whole bunch of cute t-shirts I can't wear because they shrunk just enough to expose my midriff and reveal the dreaded muffin top syndrome. I don't know why I kept them, but now I'm glad I did, because I have discovered a remedy: buy a long tank top, wifebeater style (you can get them on the cheap at Target or Old Navy), and layer it under your t-shirt. Instant solution to the shrinkage problem!

Can you ever hear the word shrinkage and not think of George Castanza? Similarily, I can never say Milwuakee without pronouncing it Mil-eh-wah-kay, Alice Cooper style.

Monday, August 07, 2006

This is what happens when I don't have my morning coffee

At 12:14PM, I suddenly noticed that my shirt was on inside-out, and has been all day. It's a collared polo shirt, with buttons. I am an idiot. I wonder is everyone at work noticed and didn't say anything, or if they are just as oblivious as I am this morning. For future reference, if any of you ever see me wearing something inside-out or backwards, please tell me. It is not a deliberate fashion statement, it is the outcome of morning stupor plus general spaciness.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Weekend Report

Friday- Chowed down at my new favorite cheap Mexican joint, a tiny little shop called El Triunfo in the South End. I believe that the owners are actual from El Salavdor, due to the presence of pupusas on the menu. After that, I joined my fellow grad students for a Nerds Gone Wild night of celebration, as one of our brethren successfully defended his thesis that afternoon. Such occasions are joyous for two reasons: 1. you feel happy for your friend and 2. Participating in a 5, 6, or dear-God-no 7 year program with no finite ending can get depressing at times, and when someone you know actually finishes, it provides hope that yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and someday, you too may finish. We started out sipping cocktails at the Red Fez and ended up playing drinking games into the wee hours at a friend's apartment. Specifically, I ended the night falling down in the street (because getting drunk, wearing high heels, and falling down is the new black) and passing out the in back of a taxi. Sweet.

- Did some shopping (new running shoes!) and went to Mike's 30th birthday party in the Ham. I partied like an eight-year old, stuffing my face with chips and cake and candy and hot dogs, and best of all, Framingham Bakery Pizza. Anyone from the Ham instantly recognizes the square, bready slices, ubiquitous at graduation parties and birthdays, and absolutely delicious. Then I told inappropriate jokes and we all made fun of a certain someone for owning a framed map of Mordor (if you don't know what that is, congratulations, you are not a nerd). I won't name names, but his first initial is M and he just turned 30. Later on, I watched Match Point, a Woody Allen movie that is different from most because it's not set in NYC, not a comedy, and not starring him. It's all about infidelity and murder in upper-class England, kind of like Gosford Park meets Closer, but not as good as either of those films. On thing in the movie's favor is that it stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who some of you may recall as the hot Irish coach in Bend it Like Beckham. Personally, I've never understood the attraction to Colin Farrell. I'd take Jonathan Rhys Meyers or Cillian Murphy over him anyday. I prefer my Irish heartthrobs with prominent cheekbones and good personal hygiene.

- Went for a run and laid out just long enough to get a sunburn (approximately 30 minutes). Then, I spent all day in the lab, which, although productive, was kind of a drag. My spirits were lifted when I received a phone call from Aimee D, who moved to San Francisco a year ago. She was in town for a wedding, so we met up for beers at the Publick House (no, not the Pubic House, as Aimee kept calling it) where are friend JR was working. Here's a goofy photo of us holding up Aimee's business card:

Friday, August 04, 2006

Three Things I'm in love with right now

1. The book I'm reading: No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew It Cauze Bill Bailey Ain't Never Coming Home Again, by Edgardo Vega Yunque. I'm only about a third of the way in, but I'm hooked. The novel is about a 12 year old girl, Vidamia Farrell, half-Puerto Rican, half Irish, full New Yorker, who decides that she wants to meet and get to know her father, a jazz pianist who sunk into depression after leaving two fingers behind in a rice patty in Vietnam. The only drawback to the novel is its absurdly long title, because it leads to conversations like these:
Me: I really like the book I'm reading.
Other person: What's it called?
Me: It has a really long title.
Other person: Well, what is it?
Me: It's like, really long, and now I can't remember all of it.
Other person (annoyed): Now I want to know. Go get the book and tell me what the title is.
Me: No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew It Cauze Bill Bailey Ain't Never Coming Home Again. Satisfied?
Other person (now understanding the dilemma): That is a really long title.

2. Newman's Own Virgin Limeade. So refreshing! Finally, another beverage to add to myrepertoiree of coffee, beer, diet Coke, and the occasional glass of water. Paul Newman, my kidneys thank you. Although I do believe that the "virgin" in the name of your product is completely unnecessary.

3. This video of a Norwegian band covering Total Eclipse of the Heart, with kitchen appliances substituting for percussion. (via Boing Boing)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Bad idea of the week

Guard dog chews up stuffed animals:
"He just went berserk," said Daniel Medley, general manager of the Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, England, where hundreds of bears were chewed up Tuesday night by the 6-year-old Doberman pinscher named Barney.

Barney ripped the head off a brown stuffed bear once owned by the young Presley during the attack, leaving fluffy stuffing and bits of bears' limbs and heads on the museum floor. The bear, named Mabel, was made in 1909 by the German manufacturer Steiff.

I'm sorry that Elvis' bear got ripped up, but don't you think asking a dog to guard a bunch of plush, fluffy toys is kind of dumb? What's next? Guard koala eats priceless eucalyptus? Guard cat destroys rare ball of catnip?

One year later

Today is a very special day: DCoE is officially one year old. Happy 1st birthday to my blog! Here's my very first post. Over the past year, I've learned that I am not a good a writer as I had previously believed (but I make myself feel better by telling myself that I deliberately use a "conversational" writing style), I read a lot of books and watch a lot of movies, I have a bizarre fascination with interspecies friendships, and try as I may, I just can't rise above indulging in celebrity gossip. Thanks to all five or six of you who read this thing, and especially to those of you who leave comments. Comments are like crack to me- they make me feel oh so popular and interesting. So far, I've enjoyed working on the blog, although lately things have been picking up at work, which means more science and less screwing around on the internet. Speaking of which, off I go- I will try to post a longer summary about the first year later on this week.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Shameless plug for my friend's band

Last night, I went to see the fabulous Muy Cansado at Bill's Bar. I ended up going by myself, which wasn't a big deal because I knew some people who were going to be there, but considering that the people I knew were the three younger siblings of my friend from the band, the rock star MULVEY,(who is also younger than me), I was definitely the geeky old person at a rock show. The youngest of the clan had my older sister as a teacher in high school, so she introduced me to her friends as "Ms. Dunne's sister."

Anyways, Muy Cansado is really good and you should check them out if you get a chance.

Hot enough for ya?

How hot is it?

So hot that ascending each floor to my third floor apartment is the climactic (and moral, perhaps) equivalent of descending to a lower level of Hades.

So hot that people aren't even using the vile cliche "It's not the heat, it's the humidity" because when it's 100 degrees, it is the damn heat.

So hot that the Red Sox are issuing warnings to fans after a pregnant lady died at the game over the weekend (although her death was probably due to a heart condition). Yikes.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Simpsonize yourself

You can create your own Simpsons character using The Simpsons Maker. I tried to design one that looked like me, but this was the best that I could come up with:

The setting and the hair aren't a bad match, but that outfit is definitely not me.
Hint: to save your cartoon, here's how to do a screen capture.

link via Max