Friday, September 28, 2007
1. An art project that creatively displays all sorts of interesting (and depressing) statistics about American culture. It would be much more effective to see in person, but the numbers and pictures are still striking. In a related note, I've been on a mission to reduce my usage of plastic and paper bags. I bought one of those canvas grocery bags. The next step is actually remembering to take it to the store with me when I go grocery shopping.
2. The protests in Myanmar have been all over the news lately. Guess who had no idea where or what Myanmar was? Um, me. I had a vague notion that it was somewhere in Asia, but wasn't sure if it was a country, a Chinese province, or an island. Good thing we've got the Google to shed some light on my ignorance! Myanmar is indeed a country, in fact, it's the largest country in Southeast Asia (see map). And hey, it used to be called Burma, which I've heard of, so I feel a little better about myself. Even though the name change occurred in 1989.
3. Did you know that you can use text Google for free on your phone? It doesn't work for everything, but it does give weather, sports scores, local listings, and even some translations. All you have to do is send a text to GOOGL or 46645 (I hate phone numbers that are spelled out. Just give me the number, I don't want to have to look at the buttons and decipher it. Another pet peeve of mine is when you ask someone for the time, and the person shows you his or her watch. Especially if it's a dial face that only has like 4 or less numbers on it. I'm not asking for permission to look at your confusing watch, I'm asking for you to tell me the time!). For example, if you text "pizza" and your zip code, you'll received a text containing the names, addresses, and phone numbers of local pizza places. Cool, huh?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Another thing Chicago has in abundance is Evil Buildings. I've always found the Sears Tower rather malevolent-looking, the way it darkly looms over the city with its twin demon antennae.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Then, went out and met friend Kori for a drink downtown, then moved on to Lincoln Park and met my friend Raj and his bro for beers. here is wehen i stop correcteding typos. lot si of fuhn~! i forgot my camner A . stupic caps lock. i had a great mine with raj and comapry. he has a really retty girldfirend. i told them about my lvoe kive and they gave me bad avice. which i amy or amyno t heed.
pmh i need to leeok at scientific posterws tomoprrow. oi hope this post wasn;t annoying and i wish there wuch pictures; raj took one on his phone. i'm not that drunk,. i type bad nornally,
loved you all\.l besos.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
It should be a lot of fun; in addition to the conference, I'll be meeting up with some old friends and catching a Cubs game at Wrigley. I'm also extending my stay in the midwest to go to South Bend for the Notre Dame vs. Michigan State game. I haven't been back to my alma mater since 2002, so I'm really looking forward to a traditional football weekend full of college friends and tailgating.
The bad news? Apparently, I'm staying at the worst hotel in Chicago, the Congress Plaza. I should have suspected something when it was the only one of the thirty hotels the conference reserved that still had availability. I checked out their website, and it didn't seem so bad. Then, I stumbled across the customer reviews. Here are some highlights:
- "My stay there was a nightmare."
- " The room smelled of mold and mildew, the bedding looked as if it hadn't been washed in decades..."
- "DO NOT COME TO THIS HOTEL!!! It couldn't be worse, and this hotel is a terrible landmark for Chicago."
- "Stay away from this place."
- "This was absolutely the worst hotel I have ever stayed at."
- "Very dingy hotel. Almost like the Tower of Terror in Disney world!"
- " this is the weirdest hotel i ever stayed at. If you have ever seen the movie "The Shining" this hotel looked just like that hotel."
- "The hallways did remind me of the hotel in the Shining, so a little spooky!"
I tried to switch hotels, but I made my reservation through the conference and they said everything else was still booked. Well, I'll let you all know if it's really like The Shining.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Here's Whitey's page on the FBI Ten Most Wanted list.
Personally, I think Whitey's dead. And with all of the informing he did on the Italian mafia, I don't think he'd be in Sicily.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
The second book I read I liked a lot more. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See follows the lives of two girls growing up during the 1800s. Snow Flower and Lily are matched as laotong, or old sames, by a renown matchmaker, joining them in a bond of lifelong friendship considered more important than that or a marriage. They first meet as small girls and communicate by sending messages written in nu shu, women's secret language, on a fan. The novel follows them through footbinding, marriage, and motherhood, giving the reader an often unsettling glimpse at the lives of women in China during this era. I almost had to stop reading when the footbinding process is described. I always assumed that women's feet were bound and restrained from growing, which seems bad enough, but no, it turns out that the four small toes are broken and folded underneath the ball of the foot, where the bones eventually fuse curled underneath the foot, leaving only the big toe and the heel to walk on. It is estimated that 10% of girls died from infections during the process (it takes two years), and many more were left crippled. Yeah, DISTURBING. After that, their lives don't get much better- they are treated like servants by their in-laws, and their only value is to provide sons. Aside from all the depressing "thank goodness I live here and now rather than then and there" aspects of the book, it is a beautiful, captivating story of two friends whose entire lives are interwoven.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I haven't been to Dunkin Donuts in a few days (shocking, I know) but I am keeping my fingers crossed for the Triumphant Return of the Pumpkin Muffin.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Saturday- Tried to go for a run at midday, then realized that 95 degree heat with intense humidity were not ideal running conditions. Retreated, lounged on the couch for a few hours, then resumed the run. Saturday night I went to Woonsocket, RI, to visit a friend of mine. We ordered pizza and drank two bottles of red wine, and spent a lot of time catching up.
Sunday- I joined a women's soccer league and my new team had their first game. Since all of my teammates are suburban soccer moms in their 30s and 40s, and I've been playing co-ed for so long, I was under the assumption that I would be younger, bigger, faster, and therefore awesomer, than everyone. Not so. The ladies were tough, good players, and I had trouble keeping up. We won 3-2. After the game, spent some family time in Metrowest hanging out with the grandparents and the nieces. Then, for the second Sunday in a row, candlepin bowling! This time, I went to Sacco's Bowl Haven in Davis Square, whose motto is ""We've got small balls, but we're big on fun." Far less shady than Boston Bowl, but drawbacks include lack of beer sales and unexciting vending machines. The place itself is hilarious, though, and definitely has that weird time warp vibe small, old bowling alleys exude.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Roger Federer, dressed in all black, won his 4th consecutive U.S. Open. Hooray!
Patriots are looking good, folks. I, for one, am quite happy that Randy Moss is on both my favorite NFL team and my fantasy team. (Yes, I'm playing fantasy football for the first time ever this season. More on that some other time.) I especially love yelling "that's disgusting!" whenever he makes a nice play. Take that, Joe Buck.
As for that other football team I follow, things aren't looking so good this season. However, I am very excited for my trip to South Bend for the Michigan State game. Some friends and I planned to go, without making any real sort of plan at all, in terms of tickets, housing, and tailgating. To add insult to injury, there was recently a shooting outside of our old hangout. Last week, in a miraculous turn of events, we managed to acquire all three.
In other happy news, a friend and I split a 12 game pack of Celtics tickets. We did email draft to decide who gets which games, and I ended up with the Suns, Mavs, Pistons, Bobcats, Kings, and Nets. Not too shabby!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
"So I turned to him and apologised and said, 'This is a really weird
question. But are you around a lot of popcorn?' His jaw dropped, and he said,
'How did you know to ask me that? I am popcorn.' He described himself as a
two-pack-a-day user. Sometimes more."
Popcorn Lung had previously been observed only in popcorn factory workers.