Thursday, May 31, 2007
This morning, the area around the Broadway T stop was packed with fire trucks. Why? Because one of those former church condos was on fire! See what I'm talking about?
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Speaking of pop, here's the answer to the age-old Pop v. Soda controversy. Cartographers... is there anything they can't do?
I've actually heard older people in the Boston area refer to soda as "tonic," but that term must be used too infrequently to make the map.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
''What have we always said is the most important thing?'' Michael asks his son.
George Michael: ''Breakfast.''
"Family,'' corrects Michael.
George Michael: ''Family, right. I thought you meant of the things you eat."
My dad had an angiogram this morning, and although he seemed relatively unperturbed by the idea, my mother was FREAKING OUT, so I went to the hospital with them both. Everything turned out well- my dad did have blockage on an artery, but they put in a stent, so he does not require bypass surgery. Whew. After that, I had lunch with my sister and my nieces, and then visited my grandmother. She had a mild stroke last week, and since she was already suffering from hip problems, she is currently staying in a rehabilitation center until she gets moving again. I was totally unprepared for how depressing the center would be- most of the patients are their permanently, suffering from the last, cruel stages of cruel old age. At one point, an old woman called me over and started repeating "help me! help me!" in a raspy voice. I wanted to grab my grandmother and hightail it out of that place, but I tried to remain positive, lest she tell everyone else that I hate it, too, and I get in trouble with the fam for not being supportive. Seeing some of the residents of that place made me consider refusing to take any more medication if I live to the age of 80.
Once I returned to the city, I stopped by Home Depot on a whim and ended up spending over a hundred dollars on flowers, planters, and topsoil, then lugged it all home and set up a little garden on my deck. Because that's a totally normal thing to do on a Friday night of a three day weekend. I'll eventually post a before-and-after picture, provided that the crazy squirrels don't destroy my handiwork, and contigent on the acquisition of a metal bistro set to replace the plastic lawn chairs. Hey, I'm almost 30. Time for an upgrade.
Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend! I bought a poppy from an old VFW outside the grocery store, so I feel like I've already celebrated. Maybe I'll wear my white sandals on Monday.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Secondly, my older sister was about to throw away a childhood plaything until she found out that it is considered a collectors' item. Now, it's for sale on eBay. I am firmly in the anti-knickknack camp, so I can't imagine paying money for someone else's old junk, but hey, some people like this sort of thing.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
And now for something completely different...
Has anyone ever used one of those universal remotes? Do they work? The remote that goes with my DVD player disappeared in the midst of a St. Patrick's Day party. The machine itself has play and pause buttons, but ix-nay on the fast forward, rewind, and heaven help you if you want to turn the subtitles on or off.
UPDATE: Number 5? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Saturday- Recovered from aforementioned celebration, watched Y Tu Mamá Tambien (the 2001 film from Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón jammed packed with observations about friendship, life, and sex), played soccer, slept.
Sunday- Went to brunch with Ern's family at Brasserie Jo, which was delicious, but taught me once again that I am completely unable to pronounce anything in French. In less happy news, my grandmother is having some health trouble, so I went to visit her.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Me: I've made a decision. I'm going to stop wasting my time pursuing something that is never going to happen.
Carolina: Are you talking about love or ribosomes?
Me: I don't know. Both.
Funniest news story of the day:
Gorilla escapes from Netherlands zoo. My favorite line from the story: "Children cowered in their parents' arms as the gorilla loped past."
Reminds me a bit of when Little Joe escaped from the Franklin Park Zoo a couple of years ago.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Anyways, here’s the track list for my second mix CD, and I can send you a copy if you’re interested.
1. Mr. Blue Sky- Electric Light Orchestra
2. Whole Wide World- Wreckless Eric
3. Blame It On The Trains – Art Brut
4. Can’t Stand Me Now – The Libertines
5. My Coco- Stellastarr*
6. Oh, Susquehanna! – Defiance, Ohio
7. Hesitating Beauty – Billy Bragg with Wilco
8. When I Cross Over - Tift Merritt
9. Fraud in the 80s- Mates of State
10. Belinda - Mittens
11. Sister Kate – The Ditty Bops
12. Oh, You Pretty Things – David Bowie
13. Two Way Action – Andrew Bird
14. Down in the Valley- The Broken West
15. Me Gustas Tu – Manu Chao
16. La Flaca – Jarabe de Palo
17. Tamacun – Rodrigo Y Gabriela
18. Amor De Mi Tierra – Carlos Vives
19. Chipi Chipi - Maria Esther Zamora
20. Quedate Luna - Devendra Banhart
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
He is a leopard, whom I have had ever since I can remember. At one point, he was known only as Spotty. One day, when I was about six years old, Spotty vanished. I fell into a deep, dark depression for about six months, and my mother purchased a look-alike, whom I soon dubbed New Spotty, in an attempt to lift my spirits. Soon thereafter, the original Spotty was located (in a box that held my toy microscope) and renamed Old Spotty. He has been with me ever since. Yes, he's missing a nose, and one of his legs fell off and was reattached in a slightly akimbo fashion, but he's still the best.
Turns out my roommate Ern has her own Dirty Wow Wow, a penguin named Petey. Here he is:
And you know I couldn't resist this one- the newest interspecies friendship:
Sunday, May 13, 2007
"Only two monks have been entrusted by the Order with the secret of producing the liqueurs. Only these two know the ingredients. Only these two know how these ingredients are prepared for incorporation into the base of wine alcohol. What little is known is that some 130 herbs, plants, roots, leaves, and other natural bits of vegetation are soaked in alcohol for an unknown length of time, then distilled and mixed with distilled honey and sugar syrup before being put into large oaken casks and placed into the world's longest liqueur cellar for maturation."
Sunday- Went for a long run along the beach, then spent the rest of the day in the lab. I'm planning to cook a special Mother's Day dinner for my parents tonight.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Happy Friday, everyone!
Speaking of the NBA, Nowitzki is going to be named MVP. I guess they couldn't give it to Nash again, but considering that the Mavs didn't make it out of the first round of the playoffs (partly due to the lackluster play of the new MVP), I don't think he's the best choice.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Low: One of my coworkers caught me wrapping a muffin (leftover from someone else's breakfast meeting) in a paper napkin and stashing it in my purse. Because, apparently, I've turned into my grandmother.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
``We talked to the team,'' NBA spokesman Tim Frank said in an e-mail. ``It won't happen anymore.'' Nelson, 66, brought a can of Bud Light into the interview room on more than one occasion during his team's opening-round upset of the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks. After the series-clinching win on May 3, Nelson was watching the Turner Network Television broadcast while waiting to begin his press conference. Charles Barkley, a Turner analyst who had picked the Mavericks, was wearing a ``We Believe'' T- shirt worn by fans of the Warriors. According to a Sports Illustrated account, Nelson raised his beer and called out, ``The Chuckster,'' referring to Barkley. Warriors spokesman Raymond Ridder said the team received the league's directive.
Um, how much do I love Don Nelson after reading this? He drinks cans of Bud Light and gives shout-outs to "The Chuckster?" Go Warriors!
Speaking of Barkley, he's quoted in today's Metro as saying "Danny Ainge turned the Celtics into the Clippers." Times have been tough for C's fans, well, ever since Ainge took over.
The political aspect of Snow was the most interesting to me. I know almost nothing about Turkey and found the glimpses of history interesting. Overall, the book paints a very depressing picture. Islamic extremists want nothing more than to kill all of the non-believers, which is a difficult viewpoint for me to understand. Hate your oppressors, sure. Hate those who do you harm, understandable. But hating everyone who does not share your religious beliefs, to the extent that killing them is nothing to you? This I have trouble comprehending. The most poignant chapter in the book is a transcript of a conversation between the headmaster of a local school and his assassin, who kills him for enforcing a government policy that bans Muslim girls from wearing head scarves to school. The determination of the killer, his cold demeanor and lack of rationality as he questions and kills the old man are absolutely frightening. As a result of the militant Islamic threat, the secular government is backed into a corner, and adopts a “get them before they get us” mentality, and the ethical lines blur as they, in turn, resort to torture, spying, and murder of their enemies, both real and perceived. See what I mean about depressing? Another striking aspect of the book that is the massive inferiority complex all of the characters seem to have: they claim to hate the West (mostly referring to Europe), yet they all seem obsessed with what Europe thinks of them. At one point, Ka collects various statements to send to be published in Germany. “Tell them Turks are independent thinkers! Tell them we don’t want to be like them! We’re not stupid, we’re just poor,” they clamor. The thing is, the West doesn’t think they are poor or stupid, the West just doesn’t think about them.
So, here’s what I didn’t like about the book: The love story was distracting and ridiculous. Beautiful Ipek and her beautiful sister are never once described without mentioning their beauty (so beautiful that Ka sometimes can’t decide which one he’s in love with!) and come across as idealized male fantasies and not real people. In the past, I have been surprised by how well some male authors can craft their female characters (Memoirs of a Geisha and Never Let Me Go are two examples of novels that do this wonderfully), but Snow is perhaps the worst example of a male writing a female I have ever read. This could be a translation effect, since the book was originally written in Turkish. The plot gets jumbled in places- for example, Ka originally goes to Kars to report on a recent rash of suicides, and the early part of the novel (and the blurb on the back cover) devote a lot of page space to this phenomenon, but it is never really mentioned again.
Overall, Snow was thought-provoking and depressing, but not very well written or organized.
Anyone read anything good lately? I need a new book now that I’ve finally finished this one.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Oh, I finally joined Netflix. If you have an account and want to do be Netfilx friends, drop me a line in the comments. I'll show you my queue if you show me yours.
Saturday- Went to a Mexican-themed surprise party for Lori’s 30th birthday. Good times. Learned what happened when adults hit piñatas with baseball bats instead of whiffle bats- the excitement factor goes up exponentially. I continued on with the 5 de Mayo theme by having a delicious taco dinner, complete with muchas margaritas, at Lisa’s house.
Sunday- I attended the first birthday party for the son of my friends Carlos and Pilar. No piñata, but lots of food and booze. You know you’re getting older when there are children and babies at the same party as you. I ran some errands in Framingham and caught the Suns vs. Spurs (a.k.a The Real NBA Finals) game with my dad. I have complete point guard envy. Forget about Durant or Oden, the Celtics should trade whatever it takes to get a top-notch veteran point guard. Steve Nash certainly looked like an MVP, and I bet if his gushing nose wound hadn’t kept him on the bench, the Suns would have won. In other news, Roger Clemens signs with the Yanks. As if Red Sox Nation needed another reason to despise either of those two parties. I hope he comes to Fenway and serves up meatballs.
Friday, May 04, 2007
From the article:
"None is a front-runner but even so there will be American scientists who will feel deeply depressed that serious politicians in 2007 can be disputing the entire thrust of modern knowledge about how the world was formed and how it, well, evolved."
Count me as one of those depressed American scientists. Evolution is not a matter of opinion, it is a scientific fact. If you do not "believe" in it, you are STUPID and WRONG and should not be running for President of a modern nation.
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday I've never really gotten into (I don't need an excuse to drink margaritas and eat Mexican food), but nevertheless, here's some themed music for you all.
From Mexico: Se Me Olvido Otra Vez, by Maná. I've always thought the lead singer sounded like Sting, well, if Sting sang in Spanish, that is.
Not from Mexico, but about a Mexican: Pancho Villa, by Sun Kil Moon.
Happy weekend, everyone. I'll try to be a bit better about posting next week.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
"AMBER ALERT: Massachusetts State Police are looking for a 12-year-old Stoneham boy, Gary Michael Duff-Turcotte. Michael is believed to be with his mother, Samantha Bedley, possibly traveling in a 1998 White Dodge Ram, NH license plate TROUBL. Police said that the boy is in danger because he needs medication that he does not have with him. --Developing"