Monday, December 31, 2007

Wicked Awesome Studio Portraits

Despite the hilarity, I do believe that my collection of awkward photos could give some of these a run for the money.

Did you click on that link? Because it you didn't, you owe it to yourself to go back and do so. I'm not kidding.

via Metafilter

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Stockbridge

I'm spending the extended New Years weekend in Stockbridge, MA with some friends. We have a fireplace, a lot of alcohol, and some fireworks.



For the record, throwing fireworks into the fireplace may be a stupid idea, but damn, it's fun.




We've been taking turns cooking dinner, and on my night, I made New Orleans Style Shrimp cooked in tinfoil packets. So easy! So delicious! Gaze upon the shrimpy goodness:

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Elementary school short stories

After the San Fransisco Zoo incident, I was thinking about tigers, and I suddenly recalled a short story I read as a child entitled "The Lady or the Tiger?" It then occurred to me that during elementary school, we read the same short stories over and over. I don't know if the repetition was due to the fact that the school only owned one set of short story books, or if there just aren't that many good ones appropriate for that age group in existence. Note to aspiring writers: the elementary school audience could be yours for the taking!

The one we read every single year, without fail, was "Charles" by Shirley Jackson. A young boy entertains his mother will daily accounts of his mischievous classmate, Charles. During the parent-teacher conference, she learns (SPOILER ALERT!) that there is no Charles, and the devious juvenile is none other than her own son.

In the aforementioned "The Lady of the Tiger?," a princess watches as her lover stands in an arena in front of two doors. He has been arrested by the king, and as punishment, is forced to choose between the two doors. Behind one stands a beautiful woman ready to become his bride, and behind the second lurks a vicious tiger. The princess knows the location of each, and signals to him which one to open. He opens the door. Is it the lady or the tiger?

Lastly, there was one story that we only read a couple of times, but I found it particularly haunting. It was a science fiction tale by Ray Bradbury (strangely enough, seeing as how I love fiction and am a scientist, I don't really like most science fiction.) about a group of schoolchildren on a colony on Venus. One of the girls was a social pariah, because she had actually grown up on Earth, a fact that made the other children envious. On rainy Venus, the sun only comes out once a decade, and none of them had ever seen it. The day the sun was scheduled to come out, they locked the Earth girl in the closet as a prank, but then forgot about her and left her trapped inside while they went out to frolic in the sunshine. What cruelty!

It's kind of funny how memory works. I can never seem recall where I left my keys, but as for something I read twenty years ago, I can remember it in vivid detail.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A toast to the happy couple


Last night, I hosted a dinner party in honor of my sister and her fiance, who are in town for the holidays. I made individual pork pies from a recipe on The Pink Shoe Cookbook, and they were meaty delicious. If the sign of a successful dinner party is multiple guests spending the night at your apartment, well, I guess you can mark this one down as a success. Maybe the double champagne course wasn't such a great idea, after all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

When tigers attack

Holy crap....a tiger escaped from her cage the San Fransisco Zoo and attacked three people, killing one of them.

I think the sheer insanity of the story precludes my need to make additional commentary.

Fantasy Wrap-Up

This fall, for the first time ever, I played fantasy football. And I almost won it all. My brother-in-law Adam organized a league of his friends, and Eri's fiance and I also joined (although neither of my sisters participated). We did the Yahoo version, which is pretty easy, and I signed up for the the automated draft because I was attending a wedding while it was scheduled. I did some manipulations- moved Randy Moss way up the list because I predicted he would have a great year with the Pats (and how right I was! That move certainly paid off.) and blacklisted a couple of my least favorite players: Terrell Owens and Peyton Manning. I know, I know; it's bad policy to ban good players from your fantasy team for personal reasons, but I'm too much of a sports fan to stomach rooting for someone who is a nemesis of the actual team I follow. I ended up with a solid squad- Moss, Chad Johnson, Joseph Addai- and later traded for Brett Favre and Dallas Clark. At the end of the regular season, I finished in first place. I had a bye for the first round of playoffs, and then lost in a close semi-final to none other than Ryan, Eri's fiance.

I enjoyed my first season as a fantasy football manager and will do it again. I'm a Patriots fan, but I like watching any decent NFL game (unlike baseball, where I will watch the Red Sox, but that's pretty much it), so it was fun keeping up with my players. Although it does change a little bit how you view the game- for example, I was at an airport bar watching a Giants game and my tight end Jeremy Shockey caught a long pass on the one yard line. The Giants fans cheered, whereas I shouted something akin to "Score the touchdown, you stupid motherf*&^r!" The other patrons were alarmed. I know some people get a little too obsessed with their fantasy teams, but it was a minor time commitment for me- just keep track of injuries and performance, and set the lineups the day before the first game of the week. Another positive is that it is really fun to talk to other fantasy owners about their teams, with the negative being that the non-fantasy owners listening will become bored to the point of tears.

Due to my success at NFL fantasy football, I joined and NBA fantasy league set run by commenters on Dan Shanoff's sports blog. Since I am a huge NBA fan and actually know a lot about basketball, having played it dreadfully for many years, I thought I would do well. I used my normal method of selection, barring players I can't stand (Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd...I have a strict No Rapists, No Wifebeaters policy.) and ended up with a talented team: LeBron, AI (I'm okay with weapons and marijuana charges), Tony Parker, Tracy McGrady. A formula for success? Not quite. In our league, points are tallied daily, so you have to adjust your lineup every day based upon who is playing that night. I just can't keep up, and end up resetting my lineup only two or three times a week. That, and the injuries can be killer. I'm currently in last place with little hope of climbing out of the hole.

I think I've learned my lesson- the NFL is made for fantasy football, but as for the NBA, I'm better off just watching the Celtics.

Holiday Weekend Report


Friday- Attended the 30th birthday party for my hometown friends Yuki and Kevin. We had a great time, although the celebration was quite different from the last they had a joint birthday party- that one was at age 21 and featured the near decapitation of Kevin due to the guillotine-like action of a minivan sliding door.

Saturday- Slept in, shopped, went for sushi at Zen in Beacon Hill, which has become one of my favorite sushi places.

Sunday- Yuki, Jonathan, and I went to the planetarium at the Museum of Science, which was more like a $9 nap for Yuki and me. Then, we headed to Framingham for dinner and visits with the high school gang. After dinner, we went out to Lucky's for Sinatra Sunday.

Christmas- Family, church, food, presents, friends, relaxation, the usual. It was great. Hope you all had a nice one, too.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!



And now, a holiday YouTube sensation: Indiana University Men's A Capella does the 12 Days of Christmas. The best part is near the end, so make sure you watch the whole thing.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Facebook: Yay or Nay?

I never really jumped on board the social media trend. I signed up for Friendster several years ago, but didn't put much time into it, and I don't think anyone uses it anymore. Myspace didn't pique my interest- primarily because of their terrible design- clashing colors, ugly fonts, business, ugh! It makes my eyes burn, and I'm not even that particular about layouts. That site must be like kryptonite for graphic designers. Plus, isn't it mostly for teenagers?

Last week, one of my coworkers showed me his Facebook page and I must admit, I was intrigued. The layout is rather serene, and people I know actually use it. A lot of them! I had fun perusing friends' pages, and I'm now considering setting up my own. However, a part of me feels that I spend enough time screwing around on the internet (namely, this blog and all the blogs I read), so do I really need another portal for procrastination? Probably not.

So, I'm asking for opinions and feedback. Do you use Facebook? Do you like it? Do annoying people from your past start contacting you, or is it a good way to reconnect with people you actually like?

Should I, or shouldn't I?

Related: a humorous essay from The Morning News about Facebook

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Post Buffet

Okay, there are several things I've been meaning to post about, but haven't had the time or been willing to put forth the effort into doing so. Hence, the Post Buffet:

- My friend Mulvey's band Muy Cansado is playing tonight at the Greatest Bar. All the cool people will be there. Will you?

- New Blog! Trend Vigil, by a friend of a friend with whom I am friendly.

- Attended the Celtics first home loss last night. Bummer. On a positive note, there's an interesting article on ESPN on the Celtics and the misconception that they are a historically white team.

- I watched the news the other night and finally saw some presidential candidates' commercials. Here's how they went:

Hillary Clinton- Worked to get health insurance for members of the National Guard. Okay, Hillary has been a proponent of health care reform for a long, long time, so she has some credibility there. The National Guard aspect was obviously intended to make her seem patriotic and whatnot, but such is the norm for these sorts of ads.

John McCain- Low taxes, cut wasteful spending, a man you can trust. I'm on board with that- fiscal conservatism isn't my cup of tea, but some people really go for that. And even we liberals dislike taxes.

Barack Obama- Change, hope, a better future. Okay, sounds nice.

Mitt Romney- Against giving drivers licences to illegal immigrants. Opposed granting children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition. Promotes English only in schools. That's it? That's his message? What a fucking asshole. Playing upon people's bigotries to garner votes is a despicable (and frankly, a bit racist) tactic. Not to mention hypocritical, given the source. What's his next ad going to be about, how much he hates gay people? Fuck you, Mitt. And you were a lousy governor. (Okay, I'm fired up right now. Apologies for the language.)

- Went to dinner at India Quality in Kenmore last week for the goodbye party of my coworker Vaishali. It was SO GOOD. I really do think I could live on naan alone. Then, we all went out to karaoke and I sang a duet of "A Whole New World" (from Aladdin) with my coworker Vibhu, and it was awful. Oh, did I say awful? Because I meant AWESOME. (all caps is the new black, btw.)







- A couple of years ago, some science friends formed a Spanish-speaking club called Spanish Table (a.k.a. mesa de espanol). The original goal was to help Americans interested in learning Spanish, but it morphed into a monthly (or so) get together of scientists from Spanish speaking countries living in the Boston area, with a couple of interlopers like myself. This week, we got together at a friend's house in Chestnut Hill and had such a great time- empanadas, wine, and champagne to celebrate the holiday season. Pictures below:

What the World Eats

I have a ton of things I've been meaning to post about, but haven't had the time. This, however, is fascinating:

One week's worth of food from around the planet.

Egypt's food looks pretty good to me.

Chad, however, is heartbreaking.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rodents of Unusual Size?


They exist! Several new species have been discovered in New Guinea, including a giant rat and a pygmy possum.

I must admit, though, the rat in the photo doesn't look that much bigger than the ones I've spotted lurking around the streets of Boston.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend Report

Friday- My cousin Myles came to visit and we went out to dinner with some friends and then saw The Golden Compass. I read the books last year and had been looking forward to seeing the movie, especially after I learned that Daniel Craig would be playing a lead role. In the first episode of the trilogy, the protagonist, a young girl named Lyra (living in a parallel universe with a strong resemblance to an English university) embarks on a mission to save her kidnapped playmate, encountering gypsies, witches, and polar bears along the way. Normally, I am not a big fan of the fantasy/sci-fi genre, and the movie on its own would not have won me over- low on character development, high on cheesiness. However, having read the books, it was fun to see how certain aspects were adapted for the big screen, especially the daemons (in Lyra's world, people's souls live outside their bodies in the form of an animal companion.) The acting was solid, especially Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra, and the clothes were fantastic, Nicole Kidman's in particular. All in all, I'd recommend The Golden Compass to fans of Pullman's books (even though they might be disappointed by certain plot alterations) and fantasy/sci-fi fans, but not to the general public.
After the movie, we stopped by a party, at which Myles was about 12 years younger than most of the attendees. One of the funniest moments was when Myles was subjected to some standard adult small talk: "So, what do you do?" His answer: "Um, I go to high school."

Saturday- Slept in, went out to lunch, tried unsuccessfully to purchase a shovel in not one, nor two, but three Boston locations (sold out everywhere! although you'd think I'd already own one.). Had dinner with the grandparents and finally completed the shovel quest at the Natick Home Depot. Then, soccer, pizza, and beer.

Sunday- Lounged around indoors for most of the day, then my roommate Ern and I went to watch football at The Junction. On our way home, we took a detour to the Black Thorn and stumbled upon Customer Appreciation Night. Next thing you know, our pictures ended up on the singer's website- apparently he took a shining towards Ern because she is up at the top of the page, whereas I am down below the guy pretending to use his pint glasses as eyeglasses. Guess what I didn't do? Shovel my car out, which lead to it being encased in a prison of frozen slush come Monday morning. I used my new shovel to hack away at it (good thing I bought the sturdy metal one) for about a hour, at which point a giant man who wanted my parking space got out of his truck and finished the job.

Friday, December 14, 2007

This just in.....

MY SISTER ERI AND HER BOYFRIEND RYAN GOT ENGAGED!!!!!

Hooray!





Friday link fun

The Boston Herald sure does try, but nobody does inappropriate headlines quite like the New York Post. Yikes!

Best/Worst title for a cookbook.

Awesome t-shirt that I just bought. (thanks, MJ!)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Restaurant Review: The Red Fez


Every December, the boss takes the lab out to dinner. Somehow, I always end up choosing the restaurant. It requires some thought: good food, good drinks, expensive enough so that it's a treat for the grad students, but not so expensive that the boss notices and gets annoyed, takes reservations, seating for bigger groups, vegetarian options, somewhere we haven't been before. In the past, we've done Tasca, The Black Rose, and Cottonwood Cafe.

This year, we stayed local and went to The Red Fez in the South End. It's listed as Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cuisine, but I believe that the owners are Turkish. When I called to make the reservation and said my name, the man on the phone got all excited and asked me if I was Turkish. Apparently something that sounds like Eileen is a Turkish name.

First off, the drinks. Amazing, delicious cocktails. They make a mean mojito, but I prefer the Brazilian version, the Caipirinha. They make it the right way, with a Brazilian rum called cacha├ža. I've been to places that try pawn off a vodka-based drink as a Caipirinha, and it angers me.

Now, onto the food, and, you guys, it was SO GOOD!

We started off with the Hot Mezzes combination appetizer platter, which made me think of Jenny and her use of the phrase "hot mess."

For an entree, I had an eggplant and tomato dish called mussakaa, and it was crazy delicious. I also tried some of the salad and tasted a couple of my co-workers meals (I'm an unabashed food sampler) and everything was very tasty.

I'd been to the Red Fez for drinks before, but never eaten there, and now I can't wait to go back.

On an unrelated note, there is a huge snowstorm in progress! Yay!

Phase I

I have entered the first phase of Christmas shopping, the one when you go shopping for other people but end up buying things for yourself.

Related: My new coat. (as worn by a model, outdoors)




(as worn by me, in a laboratory)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Neighbor Letdown

You know when you're a kid, and a "SOLD" sign replaces the "For Sale" sign in the neighbor's yard, and you get all excited imagining who is going to move in? Okay, maybe not all kids did this, but I sure did. Maybe they'll have kids my age to play with! Maybe we'll be allowed to sled in their backyard! Maybe they'll have an Atari and be allowed to eat sugary cereal and when I go over their house it will be awesome! Maybe they'll build a pool and let everyone in the neighborhood use it! Even if they don't have a kid, maybe they'll have a puppy that they'll let me watch when they go on vacation!

Inevitably, the new neighbors turned out to be childless, puppyless, and poolless retirees.

I feel a similar burst of anticipation when a new business moves into my neighborhood. Maybe it will be a delicious burrito place! Maybe a cute and affordable clothing boutique! Or a bookstore!

Over the past couple of years, not one, but two 7-11s have opened up on my street. (BO-ring. We already had a Store 24.) Last week, the signs for a new store went up....and.....it's.....Edible Arrangements. Maybe they should rename it Inevitable Sighs of Disappointment. Because when am I going to want to an purchase an expensive decorative container filled with fruit, cut into shapes and skewered? I'll tell you when. NEVER.

Song of the day

This morning, I was setting up for a rather tedious and dull experiment, and tuned in to KEXP online.

Suddenly, the sweet sounds of 80s retro pop emerged from my speakers, and made me oh so happy!

Mp3: Age of Consent, New Order

That and a second cup of coffee put me in a fantastic mood. No, it doesn't take much.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Weekend Report

Friday- Caught Cake at the Orpheum, which was a lot of fun. I had never seen them before, and it was especially fun to see them on a Friday night show with everyone in the audience in party mode. They were the last of four bands, so their set wasn't that long, but they did play several of my favorite songs: Stick Shifts and Safety Belts, Sheep Go To Heaven, and Short Skirt, Long Jacket. In addition to the music, lead singer John McCrea asked the audience trivia questions, taunting people for incorrect responses and giving away trees as prizes for correct answers. (example: What state has the highest percentage of people who walk to work? The answer may surprise you.) It would have been nice to hear a few more songs, but overall, they put on a very enjoyable performance. Here's the Herald review of the show.

mp3: Sheep Go To Heaven

Saturday- Busy day. Attended my niece Maggie's first birthday party, played soccer, and went to a Colombian holiday party at Carolina's.

Sunday- Lounged around in my bathrobe writing Christmas cards, then went over Phil and Sue's to watch the Pats game. Is there any greater man love than the one shared by Tom Brady and Randy Moss? I don't think so.

My Almost Accidental Cameo

The film Real Men Cry is currently being filmed in South Boston. Yesterday morning, I saw the crew, trucks, and lights on I St., around the corner from my apartment. I walked by to check it out, but it wasn't all that exciting, so I went back home. A few hours later, I was headed out the door, carrying my soccer gear and a giant present wrapped in pink paper for my niece's birthday. I opened the door and immediately froze: at the bottom of my front steps, there were about fifteen camera, lighting, and sound people, and they were rolling. One of them caught my eye and motioned for me to stay still. Turns out that they were filming a scene in which Mark Ruffalo walks down Broadway, past my front door, and I almost stumbled into the middle of it with my giant pink present. I watched for a little while- Mark Ruffalo seems just like a normal guy (Stars, They're Just Like Us!), albeit handsomer than most. Then, I had to ask everyone to move so I could get my car out, which was slightly embarassing because my vehicle is a ten year old minivan with a University of Notre Dame decal and faded Celtics and Red Sox bumper stickers (kinda oozes with local authenticity, though, so maybe it will make the final cut).

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Time Waster of the Day

In preparation for the upcoming Patriots vs. Steelers game, a Steelers fan created this game, in which Roethlisberger takes on an arsenal of Pats enemies. Even though the creator is clearly rooting for the wrong side, it's still pretty funny. For example, enemy Randy Moss shoots pot leaves.

via, quite surprisingly, metafilter

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From That Planet Where People Take Shirts off the Normal Way

In addition to the whole Y chromosome thing, I have discovered a key difference between men and women. This observation was first made while I was out at a bar with a male friend, and a guy standing near us pulled off his sweatshirt.

Male Friend: Look! That guy just took his shirt off the girl way!
Me: The girl way?
Male Friend: You know, the sexy way!
Me: The sexy way? What are you talking about?
Male Friend: You know, grabbing it from the bottom front and flipping it up over your face.
Me: That's not the girl way; that's the normal way.
Male Friend: No, it's not. The normal way is grabbing the back of the collar and pulling it forward over your head.

Thus, I became aware of the gender differential involved in shirt removal. It seems to be fairly consistent: girls remove shirts from the front, pulling them backwards, whereas guys grab their shirts from the back and pull them forwards over their heads. Which seems like a very cumbersome way to remove a shirt, if you ask me.

Concert Review: Cold War Kids and Spoon

Last night, I attended the WFNX holiday concert at the Orpheum. The lineup included Spoon, Cold War Kids, Against Me!, and Mute Math. Feat was also listed on the ticket, however, I did eventually figure out that Feat is in fact short for featuring, and not a band. We arrived in time to catch the end of Against Me's set, and were perplexed by the refrain to their song The Ocean: "There is an ocean in my soul where the waters do not curve." What? Curve? That doesn't make any sense, and it doesn't even rhyme. It gets worse, folks, check out the full lyrics here. Sharks and dolphins? Estuaries? Really? Yes, I realize that I am a big jerk for making fun of a band's lyrics, but whatever. Your favorite band sucks.

Things took a turn for the better when Cold War Kids , an indie rock band from Long Beach, CA (birthplace of Snoop Dogg and yours truly) took the stage. I like their music but had never seen them live before, so I was really looking forward to their performance. They exceeded my expectations. I was most impressed by the musical talent and stage presence of lead singer Nathan Willett, who plays guitar and piano on several tracks. (piano + rock music = awesome) The songs with piano sounded excellent, especially my favorite, "We Used to Vacation." They ended the set with an chills-inducing version of "Saint John." So, yes, we went from a band that sings about dolphins to one who sings about death row and alcoholics destroying their families. Our seats were in the third row right in the middle of the stage, so I could have taken some good photos, except that flash photography was forbidden. I turned my flash off and took the photo that you see here, but when I tried to take another one, the flash went off, and not just a one-and-done; it was on some crazy red-eye setting that was all flash-flash-flash-flash-FLASH!, thus drawing the ire of not one, but two, angry security guards. I didn't want to get thrown out so I put my camera away. (The Spoon photo was taken by a friend with better camera etiquette.)

Lastly, Spoon took the stage. I saw them back in October and it was nice to see them up close once again. They performed most of the same songs, but this time had a horns section on stage with them, so that was fun. They played for about an hour, and by the end of their set, it was like a thousand degrees inside the Orpheum. Nevertheless, they sounded great, and seeing them and the Cold War Kids was well worth the price of admission.

Downloads (right click and "save as"):

Cold War Kids:

We Used to Vacation
Saint John

Spoon:

You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Weekend Report

Friday- Went out to dinner for a friend's birthday at Greek Corner, a Greek (duh) restaurant in Cambridge. It was great! We ordered some sampler plates of appetizers and they were delicioius, especially the spinach pie and the caviar. I had lamb kebabs for dinner (yum!) and tried Retsina, traditional Greek wine flavored with pine resin, which tastes much better than it sounds. The staff were all competent and friendly, and the fact that we were such a big group (about 14 people) didn't cause any problems. It's a little bit of a hike from downtown Boston, but I would definitely recommed it for anyone in the mood for some tasty Greek cuisine.

Saturday- My soccer team had our end of season party, with a pink holiday theme to match both our uniforms and the time of year. There were several spectacular pink outfits present: a pink blazer, a pink bathrobe, a pink velour jumpsuit...all worn by men. We also had a Yankee Swap that was a lot of fun. While I was in Mexico, I bought a pink lucha libre mask for the occasion, and it was a popular present. Not quite as popular was a decorative set of about 30 tiny dead birds, although by the end of the night, the majority of them were either hidden in the apartment or used to adorn partygoers. I ended up with a pink headband, pink wristbands, and pink shoelaces, and I was quite pleased. So pleased that I stayed up until 5AM drinking Pinkles Punch.

Sunday- When I finally arose, at noon, I felt like crap. One cup of coffee and shepherd's pie later, courtesy of the Playwright, I felt hells better. Spent the rest of the day in the lab, then had dinner in Framingham with my parents.

Math and Rap, Together at Last

Graphical interpretations of rap lyrics. This one was by far my favorite:

Friday, November 30, 2007

Scared by Santa


In the boston.com photo gallery of children with Santa, 50% of the kids look absolutely terrified. And those frightened little faces make me laugh and laugh. (apparently my heart is two sizes too small.)

Santa is a pretty freaky guy, though. I wouldn't want to sit on his lap, either.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A question for the ladies

(also applies to long-haired men who blow out their 'dos....I'm looking at you, Bronson Arroyo)

I need a new hairdryer. Mine sucks. It takes forever to dry my hair, which is why I always give up somewhere during the process and end up with damp hair that's destined to poof.

If you have fallen in love with a specific make or model of hairdryer, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!

We now return to regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Book Reviews

Well, I'm back from San Diego, and in addition to a lot of eating, drinking, and lounging, I also did a fair amount of reading.

1. Accordion Crimes, by E. Annie Proulx. Pulitzer-Prize winning author Proulx takes on the vast topic of immigration in America by tracing a little green accordion through a series of owners. In the 19th century, an Italian immigrant crafts the instrument and brings it with him to New Orleans, where he is soon murdered by an anti-Italian mob. Over time, the accordion changes hands, from Germans to Poles to Cajuns to Mexicans and even French-Canadians, travelling to Texas oilfields to Chicago to Maine, and each chapter tells the story of the current owners. The premise is simple and interesting enough, but the execution left much to be desired. This book was a bear to get through. Proulx's America is a harsh and brutal nation, rife with evil and devoid of beauty. Her writing is vivid and technically flawless, but I had trouble sticking with the book, and in the end, I wish I had abandoned it after the first chapter. It's page after page of cruelties, murder, violence, rape, incest, molestation, and tragic accidents. Do your psyche a favor and skip it.

2. Can I Keep My Jersey?, by Paul Shirley. After the Debbie Downer of the Accordion Crimes, I was in the mood for something lighter. Fellow basketball fan Jason lent me a book by Shirley, a former college star at Iowa State attempting to make it in the NBA. I had read a couple of articles by Shirley in the past (he has written for ESPN and Slate) but didn't know that much about him. Shirley has been descibred as a basketball journeyman, and the book reads like a journal, following him in and out of the NBA, American minor leagues, and European league teams in Spain, Greece, and Russia. To the reader, it's immediately obvious that Shirley is both extremely intelligent and, at times, fairly humorous. However, I didn't like the book that much. I was hoping for more juicy insider gossip, but the few specific anecdotes doled out are not at all surprising (Shaq is friendly, Kobe is an asshole...who would have guessed?). And, man, does he WHINE!!! His litany of complaints never ceases- the food is terrible, the hotel sucks, NBA players are hypocritical idiots, the league is biased against white players, etc...I understand that it must be frustrating to have little to no job security, but it's hard to muster up sympathy for someone who does turns down a $200,000 offer to play in Barcelona for a year. Hell, I'd gladly clean toilets in Barcelona for a sum like that. Parts of the book were entertaining, but overall, I was left wondering why he still plays basketball, if he seems to hate everything about it so much.

3. A Model World and Other Stories, by Michael Chabon. The last book I read was a collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors. The first half of the book contains numerous individual stories, and the second part all feature the same protagonist, a suburban boy whose parents are in the process of divorce. Due to the format, the stories are nothing like the sprawling and meandering novels for which he is known. However, it's a quick and enjoyable read, filled with unique and believable characters. I preferred the second section of the book, which reads more like a novella than the occasionally curt tales of the first half.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekend Report: San Diego edition


Friday- Ate several Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches (yum!), then went to see I'm Not There, the new Bob Dylan movie. If you were to divide the Earth's population into two groups, People Obsessed With Bob Dylan and People Not Obsessed With Bob Dylan, I would fall firmly into the first category. So, yes, I was looking forward to seeing this movie. In a more creative interpretation of a singer's life than normally presented in such biopics, Bob Dylan is portrayed as five fictional characters: A young, itinerant, black boy, a folk singer turned born again Christian, a romantic and womanizing popular actor, a drugged-out singer rebelling against the "voice of a generation" tag, and a recluse living in a trippy, old West town. I'll spare you a full review of my own and direct you to Kevin's insightful commentary. Overall, I really liked the film. I much preferred the middle three Dylans and could have done without the boy or the Richard Gere cowboy segment (except for the awesome cameo by My Morning Jacket). Cate Blanchett gave an amazing performance (I was worried that her part would be too gimmicky- a la A Woman Plays Bob!, but it wasn't at all.), and I enjoyed Christian Bale, especially when he becomes a preacher at a suburban church. Heath Ledger's romantic segment is one of the most captivating portions of the film- young actor falls in love with a beautiful French artist, they wed, procreate, then he ruins everything with his womanizing. The supporting cast is also excellent, especially David Cross as Allen Ginsberg. Yes, the movie is replete with Dylan in-jokes and can get tediously arty at times, but it's a fresh way to look at complicated man. And, of course, the music is stellar.

After the movie, we went out for sushi and then drinks.

Saturday- Mexico! Eri, Ryan, their friend Mandy and I piled in the car and headed south to Baja California. We drove down the beautiful coastline until we reached Ensenada and walked around for a while. On the drive back, we stopped at a little town and drank margaritas on a patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, all of our goodwill towards our southern neighbor evaporated after we got stuck at the border for FOUR HOURS. Note to self: never again attempt to enter the United States from Tijuana on a Saturday night. We managed to get some sort of entertainment by watching the vendors weave in and out of the stopped line of cars, showing off their rather unusual wares. Now I wish I had taken a series of photos to document the items for sale, but they ranged from bizarre to spectacular: glittery Virgin Marys, children's desks, enormous ceramic turtles, live puppies, and (our favorite) a giant blanket emblazoned with Al Pacino from Scarface. I made one purchase that will serve as my entry into my soccer team's Yankee Swap, but I prefer to keep it a surprise for the time being.



Nothing says Mexico like a man in mariachi pants eating a taco.



Sunday- I met up with Peace Corps friends Dana and Natan for breakfast, then went to a bar to watch the various NFL games with Eri and Ryan. San Diegans are very serious about their Chargers and own the jerseys to prove it. Non-Bostonians are always struck by the omnipresent Red Sox apparel worn by the city's natives, and I was impressed by the number of San Diego citizens wearing Chargers jerseys. Not just on game days, either. Later on, I went to visit my college friend Kelli, who is doing her residency and is the mother of twin one-and-a-half year old boys. And she's pregnant. And she and her husband are both in the Navy (gotta pay for dual medical school somehow) and he's getting deployed. So they have a pretty busy year coming up.

I love this video

an interpretation of daft punk

Friday, November 23, 2007

Me and John Traveler

Thanksgiving morning, I arose early for my cross-country flight. While waiting to board the plane, I noticed a monitor that said "If you are flying standby, your name will appear on this list: Traveler, J." and thought to myself "Heh, that's funny. That guy (for some reason, I decided that the J stood for John) is flying standby and his last name is Traveler. And he's traveling! Get it?"
I got on the plane, and slept most of the way on the first leg of my journey. When I awoke, I immediately felt some hunger pangs and rued my decision not to load my bag with snacks. I was scheduled for a long layover, and as soon as I landed in Los Angeles, I made a bee-line to the first food establishment in sight: Chili's. I pulled up a seat at the bar and scanned the menu. Quesadilla. I looked around at the other patrons and took a quick survey of their beverages. The woman next to me was drinking a margarita. It looked good. The man next to her ordered a Bailey's and coffee, and the bartender offered to make it a double for two dollars more. He took the deal. An elderly couple sipped glasses of merlot. I opted for a margarita, and the woman next to me told me that she liked hers and we began chatting. She was friendly, around 40 with streaky blonde hair and lots of eyeliner. She had moved to LA from Missouri sixteen years ago and was headed back to visit her family. She asked me what I did and I told her, and when I asked her she told me that she worked in the entertainment industry. (My first thought: OMG, porn!) A man sat down on my other side and joined the conversation. He was a political science professor from Green Bay. We watched some of the Lions - Packers game, and I learned that it was only 10:45AM. So here I sat in the Chili's at the LA airport, drinking a margarita and watching football with a possible pornographer and a professor, and it was not yet 11AM. Happy Thanksgiving, America!

Okay, back to John Traveler. I decided to try and hop an earlier flight to San Diego and went to check myself in as a standby passenger. The monitor said "If you are flying standby, your name will appear on this list: Traveler, J." Wow- John Traveler is on my flight again! What are the chances? That's hilarious! Suddenly, the monitor blinked and my name, along with the names of a couple other standby passengers, appeared on the screen. Turns out that J. Traveler is not a real person, just a name used as example. I'm blonde, by the way.

I made it to San Diego and enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, complete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and lots of pie. Mmm....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


I leave tomorrow for San Diego, where I'll be spending Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy your turkey, everybody!
And here's something for you bloggers out there:
Mine is College (Postgrad) cuz I'm like wicked eloquent and stuff. (via RT)
Windows Live Hotmail troubles continue....my account seems to be sending out multiple copies of emails. I sent one to myself on Sunday ("hi, self, how are you? I'm great, thanks!" No, really, I email myself boring data excel spreadsheets whenever I use other labs' computers.) and I've received multiple copies of it since then. Boooo. Hopefully I haven't been spamming anyone else.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Movie Review: No Country For Old Men

Last night, I went to see No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers' adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. I was looking forward to this movie for three reasons:


1. Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite authors, and although NCfOM is not among my favorite of his works, it's still a great book and probably the one best suited to serve as a template for a screenplay.

2. Coen brothers. I enjoy their movies, especially Fargo, Raising Arizona, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (yes, the exclusion of The Big Lebowski is deliberate...it just never did much for me.) I thought that they were an unusual choice to make this movie, seeing that they gravitate towards offbeat humor, and there's really nothing funny at all about the novel, so I was eager to see their take on it.
3. Javier Bardem. I first became a fan of his after seeing The Dancer Upstairs, and his incredible performance in The Sea Inside absolutely blew me away. Maybe incredible is the wrong adjective, I mean, it was incredible precisely because it was so credible. Okay, moving on, he's an amazing actor and I was excited to see him play the bad guy.


Overall, No Country For Old Men did not disappoint. The plot is simple: in rural Texas, Llewelyn Moss (played by Josh Brolin) is out hunting and stumbles upon the aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong- a pile of dead bodies and a briefcase containing two million dollars. He takes the cash and runs. On his trail is Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a remorseless killer hired to retrieve the money. Tommy Lee Jones is the local sheriff who hopes to find the outmatched Llewelyn before Chigurh does.

The casting, scenery, and slow pace, fraught with constant tension, perfectly captured the sentiment of McCarthy's novel. And Javier Bardem is one scary MF, even with that ridiculous haircut. I think it helped that I had read the book, because I knew right away who was who, although there was one part of the plot that I couldn't figure out (I'll try not to spoil it....but who was the Mexican guy in the suit at the bus station?). The Texan accents are laid on pretty thick, and my friends (two Colombians and a French guy) who went to see the movie with me had trouble understanding some of the dialogue, so if that is a potential problem for you, I'd recommend renting it when it comes out on DVD and watching with subtitles.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Linky time

Here's a quiz- find out what type of humor you have here. (Note: you don't have to enter your email to see the results, just click and bypass that part.)

I'm CLEAN/COMPLEX/DARK. Hmmm....pretty accurate.



Via my sister Kerry...The 25 Most Baffling Toys From Around the World. Hilarious, and quite bizarre. My favorite is the stuffed toy virus.

And now for something less funny: Kids these days don't read so good.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Report

Friday- Went to the Celtics vs. Heat game with AJ from Hoops Writers. He has great seats, and it was really fun to be so close to the action. I walked down to the edge of the court to snap some photos of the players warming up. Unfortunately, my camera has a fairly significant delay, so instead of capturing KG mid-shot, I ended up with a lot of photos of him turning away after releasing the ball. Seeing NBA players close up makes you appreciate how large they truly are- especially Shaq. He dwarfs everyone around him, including fellow NBA players. The Celtics won in an exciting finish- the Heat managed to whittle away at a Cetlics 15-point lead and went up by a point with less than a minute on the clock. Paul Pierce scored with 25 seconds remaining, and Dwayne Wade missed the final shot, resulting in a final score of 92-91 and the Celtics' eighth consecutive victory. One of the highlights of the game was watching KG post up on Shaq during the second half. In fact, there were several future hall-of-famers on the floor on Friday night: KG, Shaq, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and perhaps Alonzo Mourning. Oh, and Scalabrine, obviously.

Saturday- Maria and I attended an afternoon performance of the Moscow Cats Theater. Basically, it's a Russian circus act composed of several trained housecats, one dog, and a few clowns. And it was just as bizarre as it sounds. The cats performed tricks like walking across a tightrope, balancing on a rolling ball, or jumping from platform to platform. The felines were far more impressive than the Russian clowns, who did some juggling and dancing, all to a strange techno soundtrack. The show was definitely geared towards children, and the kids in the audience seemed to be having a great time. For me, it was rather entertaining but more odd than anything else, but unfortunately, flash photography was forbidden (it disrupts the cats' concentration), so you'll have to take my word for it. Saturday night, my roommate Ern and I met our friends Neal and Jess for dinner and drinks at Emmets. I had the shepherd's pie and it was warm and delightful.

Sunday- Woke up early and went for a run along the beach, and now I'm in the lab playing with radioactivity.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Complementary Pilaf

Test your vocabulary at FreeRice.com - ten grains of rice are donated to U.N. food programs for every correct word.

So addictive.

Friday, November 16, 2007

List #36....Things You Should Point Out To Strangers

Inspired by Sarah's "It's OK To Tell" campaign, I decided to make a list of things you should tell someone, anyone, even a complete stranger, to save them the anguish of discovering something is amiss, and then wondering for how long and how many people noticed but didn't say anything.

You should politely point out:

1. Food stuck in teeth.

2. Toilet paper on the bottom of the shoe.

3. A terrible sunburn, when in progress. (My sister hates my compulsion to tell strangers at the beach that they are getting sunburnt. But they'll thank me later, when they don't have melanoma.)

4. Skirt tucked into pantyhose.

5. Shirt is inside out (although I might be the only person on Earth who frequently wears clothing inside out, entirely by accident. It happened again last week, and I didn't notice until late afternoon. Throw me a frickin' bone, people!)

6. Smeared makeup/ lipstick on teeth.

For the next two, you may be more selective of whom you tell.

7. Unzipped fly. No need to tell the creepy stranger of opposite sex on the bus, or your boss, because that's just awkward.

8. Booger in nose (or elsewhere). Reserved for good friends only.

Anything I'm forgetting?

Concert Review: Yo La Tengo

Last night, I saw Yo La Tengo perform at the Museum of Fine Arts. For those of you unfamiliar with them, do not be fooled by the Spanish name (which actually hails from a baseball anecdote- read the story here); they're an American trio who have been on the indie rock scene since 1984. On their current "Freewheelin" tour, they are playing interactive sets in small venues, taking questions and requests from the audience. The small auditorium at the MFA was the perfect spot for such and event- people were close enough to ask questions and be heard, and the sound is fantastic. I caught the second of two shows and was very impressed by the band- the have a unique, ethereal sound, and handled the spontaneity of the setting adeptly. Occasionally, someone would request a song they hadn't played in years, or a cover of another group's work, and after a brief consultation with each other ("hey, this one's in G, right? No, it goes like this, in C."), they would play it perfectly. Ira Kaplan fielded most of the questions, with humor and a natural rapport with the audience.

Honestly, it's hard not to admire talented musicians who have been at it for over 20 years, despite a relative lack of mainstream success. Especially when give their albums titles like I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ch-ch-changes

First Boston.com, now Hotmail? What is up with the web redesigns?

I hate the new Hotmail! One of the reasons why I never switched to gmail is that I didn't want to have to get used to a new inbox set-up, and Hotmail is forcing me to do so, regardless.

Lazy people dislike change.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

'Tis the season....

...for dangerous toys!



Some people look forward to candy canes, snowfall, and Santa. I, on the other hand, eagerly await the announcement of the annual 10 Worst Toys list published by W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm, that's right!) When it comes to identifying potential hazards, their vigilance is unrelenting! For example, take a look at #4, a Dora the Explorer lamp.....cute, but comes with POTENTIAL FOR ELECTRIC SHOCK AND BURN INJURIES!

The Rubber Band Shooter (#10) looks pretty fun, but W.A.T.C.H. reminds us that "Rubber bands should never be sold as toys, and have the potential to cause serious eye injuries."

Weekend Report

So I'm a little delayed on the posting, but I spent the holiday weekend in Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania, with a group of my college friends. My friend Teri's family owns a vacation house there, and we went together for the first time in 1998, during our senior year in college. We went again in 2005 for Teri and Dan's joint bachelor/bachelorette party. On this visit, we talked about what had changed and what had remained the same since the our first trip there, nine years ago. Of the various facts, we were most impressed when we realized that all of our parents are still alive and still married to each other.

Friday- Drove in from Boston, arriving very late because of the snow (!) we encountered in upstate NY and PA.

Saturday- Slept in, walked around for a bit, then started in on the wine. We played Cranium, which is, first of all, not named Brainiac (which I kept calling it for some unknown reason). I had never played it before and it was a lot of fun- sort of a combination of Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, charades, and a crossword puzzle. I did learn that it is best to diversify the talent of your team; Teri's husband Dan and I were partners and were both good at the word games and trivia, but absolutely terrible at the "Star Performer" category. Well, part of it was bad luck, like my having to act out the word "magnetism" and Dan guessing "magnet." After the board games, we had pork loin for dinner and celebrated Mary Laf's birthday at midnight, with more wine and chocolate chip cookies.


This is what 31 looks like:










Sunday- Slept in again, went for a walk around the lake, and then took a trip to Nacho Island.















Maria had brought a sewing project for us and taught us all how to make lavender eye pillows. The photos show us hard at work, wearing our crafting hats, then relaxing with the finished project.


















The evening events included chili and beer, timer photos, and another board game: Apples to Apples.
















Monday- Said goodbye to Eagles Mere and each other and drove back to Boston. Overall, it was a great weekend.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

No, not on strike

I realize that the posting has been rather sparse around these parts, but I've had sort of a rough grad student week. I gave my annual departmental seminar on my research on Monday, and it went really well. So, I was completely unprepared for the massive intellectual beat-down my thesis committee gave me at our meeting on Tuesday. I won't bore you all with the details (and I try to avoid blogging about work), but I'm coming to terms with the fact that it looks like I have another full year to go.

Tomorrow, I'm headed to rural Pennsylvania to meet up with college friends for a relaxing weekend filled with food, wine, board games, and conversation. It couldn't have come at a better time.

Celtic Pride

Last night, I attended the Celtics thrashing of the Denver Nuggets. Pierce, KG, and Ray Allen looked fantastic, and it was an absolute domination- the score was 77-38 at halftime, and the bench guys saw a lot of action in the second half.

Some notes from the game:

The Garden was quieter than I expected. I think fans are still unused to watching a good team, so everyone is more awed than anything else.

When Carmelo decided to wear an arm sleeve and headband, do you think he ran it by AI first, like "Hey, Allen, is it cool if I get a matching arm sleeve?" or do you think he just showed up one day sporting matching accessories?
Kevin Youkilis and Mike Vrabel were both at the game. Neither one was wearing any Nuggets apparel (*cough* LeBron).

At one point, Ray Allen, Tony Allen, and Allen Iverson were all on the court at the same time.

We did stay for the Elliot Yamin concert held immediately after the game, and I was highly amused that the American Idol R and B star bears a striking resemblance to my friend JR. Seriously.

On our way out, we snuck in an Employees Only door and made our way towards the locker rooms (hey, if a priest can stalk Conan O'Brien, I can stalk Allen Iverson). A cop finally noticed us and directed us to the waiting area, where friends and family, as well as few fans, were congregated. We said hi to ML Carr and chatted for a bit the father of Glen Davis (aka Big Baby's Daddy). We saw all of the Celtics players come out but weren't feeling quite obnoxious enough to talk to them. Plus, my camera had run out of batteries. I did manage to get a photo of MJ, Nikki, and myself, though.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Book release

Last year, my photographer friend Jorg participated in an exhibit on American POWs in World War II entitled Journey Out of Darkness. (Here's a Boston Globe article about Jorg and the project). I went to the opening at the National Heritage Museum and was very moved by the pictures as well as the stories, and especially by the presence of several of the featured veterans who were also in attendance. Following the success of the exhibition, Jorg and writer Hal LaCroix were given a book deal, and their book Journey Out of Darkness: The Real Story of American Heroes in Hitler's POW Camps--An Oral History has just been published.

There are a couple of upcoming events for the book.

Tuesday, November 6th at the Harvard Coop in Harvard Square. 7PM.

Tuesday, November 13th at Newbury College in Brookline. 7PM.

Movie Review: Gone Baby Gone

Last night, I saw Gone Baby Gone, the new Boston crime drama directed by Ben Affleck. The plot, based upon the novel by Mystic River author Dennis Lehane, begins with the kidnapping of a little girl from a grimy Dorchester neighborhood. Although the police are working on the case, the aunt and uncle of the missing girl hire local private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro to "augment the investigation" using their neighborhood contacts. The story becomes more complicated when they learn that missing girl's mother, a low-life cokehead brilliantly portrayed by Amy Ryan, recently ripped off a Haitian gang leader. I don't want to give away more of the plot, but it does take Patrick and Angela on a ride through the seediest parts of Boston and culminates in an ethical dilemma that will leave you pondering.

Overall, it's a captivating and gritty film. Although Gone Baby Gone lacks the smoothness and flash of The Departed and Mystic River, it exceeds both of those films in subtlety and authenticity. Affleck knew what he was doing when he cast his younger brother Casey in the lead role and chose locals like Jill Quigg for smaller parts. Most of the movie was filmed locally, including a scene set around the corner from my apartment at Murphy's Law. You can even see my house in the background of a rooftop scene. Unfortunately for the film, it was released the same weekend in which the Red Sox were playing in the World Series, so the opening didn't generate much buzz locally. However, it did receive excellent reviews (Boston Globe review here) and may end up with a couple of Oscar nominations.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Opening Night!


Of the many sports and teams I follow and enjoy, I only have one true love:
The Boston Celtics.

KG has long been one of my favorite NBA players, and it really is a joyful sight to see him in the green.
The Celtics start tonight at home against the Wizards.

The only downside is that for the first time in years, I won't be attending the opening night game, because I wasn't able to get tickets. However, I will be at Game 2 (vs. Denver...and AI) next week.

This could be your lawyer



Congratulations to my roommate Ern (esq.), who passed the Massachusetts bar!

I've also hear a rumor that friend and DCoE reader Beth gave birth to a baby girl named Whitney, but am eagerly awaiting confirmation and photos.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A test of my skills

This morning, I received an email from someone, unknown to me, who had read my Good at, Bad at post where I bragged about my cryptoquote deciphering ability.

It was a plea for help with the following cryptoquote:

BDF VID'L RBOT NL DB VID'L RBOT; RF LABSQT ZSNFYQX AFIO CBYA LNTFL. - UBFYAF

Of course, my first thought was "Oh my gosh....what if I can't solve it? Then I'll be a braggart and a liar! I haven't done one of these in a long time. What if my powers have faded?"

My fears were unwarranted. It took about ten minutes, but I cracked it.

In case anyone else wants to give it a go, I'll post the answer later today in the comments.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!


The tiger and pumpkin are my nieces, Nora and Maggie.
In other news.....
Congratulations to Lori and Rob on the birth of their daughter, Julia Rose!
I cooked a real meal for the first time in ages...I really enjoy cooking, but for the past few months, I've been getting home so late that I'm living off microwaved tortillas with cheese. And beer.
I tried out one of Sarah's recipes from The Pink Shoe Cookbook: Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing. Delicious and very tasty!
Some recent statistics.....
Number of times I've almost burned down my apartment over the past week = 3
(1. left the iron on overnight. and it's one of those old ones that doesn't turn off automatically. 2. left a candle burning. 3. this morning, I put a kettle on the stove to boil water for tea and oatmeal. I waited, and waited, and still, no whistle. After about twenty minutes, I realized something strange was going on, and went to check the kettle. Turns out I never put any water in it, so now the empty kettle was burning hot and starting to warp and turn black. Awesome. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?)
Number of people who have made a "happy ending" comment after I mention that I'm getting a massage today (for the pinched nerve, which is much better but still smarting a bit) = 2
Percentage of times that I've laughed at happy ending comments = 100

Monday, October 29, 2007

Champions!


Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, the 2007 World Series Champions! Boston.com has some great photo galleries posted.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend Report


The Good- Attended a Halloween party at Maria's. A surprising percentage of people had no idea who I was supposed to be. C'mon, DCOE readers, isn't it obvious? Maria's sister Carmen was in town with her baby Jason, who is adorable and very good natured- the scary costumes didn't even make him cry.
My favorite costumes were Maria and Carmen's second outfits, masked and caped Mexican wrestlers.
The Bad: I was house-sitting for my parents so I spent most of the weekend camped out on the sofa in the suburbs and taking care of the elderly family dog.
The Ugly: OhmyGodyouguys.....I have a pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder and it hurts SO FUCKING BAD. The problem started earlier this week- I've been feeling pretty stressed lately (departmental seminar and thesis committee coming up), and I have the tendency to clench up and draw in my shoulders when I'm anxious. I was doing it in my sleep and all week, and my shoulders, neck, and collarbone have been sore. Last night, I fell asleep on the couch while watching the Sox and I must have exacerbated it, because it has been extremely painful all day. I sat out the second half of my soccer game, not because the soccer was making it worse (it didn't hurt any more than when I was standing still, so I figured that I might as well play), but because I was so distracted by the pain that I was playing like crap. I've been taking ibuprofen all day and it's feeling a little bit better. Does anyone have any advice? As far as I know, there's not much one can do and it should resolve on its own. I'm thinking about getting a massage or going to a physical therapist or something to see if they can loosen it up at all. I'm also considering popping a few of the family dog's prescription painkillers, but haven't stooped that low. Yet.
Anyways, fingers crossed for tonight, Sox fans!