Monday, January 31, 2005

Quickly, before class

I was reading Chang's blog, and saw this post, which cracked me up. I'm pasting it in whole (hope that's okay, Chang!)

A forward I received today...

Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably,and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?

Day One
These next two weeks of classes are going to be nothing less than hellacious. This week I have the dreaded presentation, a mid-term exam, and two homework assignments due. Next week: three mid-term exams, two on Monday. Dude!

The good thing is that I have little things to look forward to: a fun weekend when Anne is in town (yay!) for two full days, seeing Jenny at Second City tonight, and...that's all that I've got for now. In the meantime, I'm going to try to not freak out, get enough sleep, and lie in wait of it to all be over. Every time I run into someone in my program, though, we have a little therapy session/pity-party. I get an A++ for Complaining!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Bands, bands, bands..and books.
This weekend was spent studying and seeing lots and lots of bands play. Friday I went with Todd to the Empty Bottle to see The Life and Times, and in the meantime, saw two other bands play as well. The Empty Bottle is a cool little venue with super cheap drinks. Big thumbs up to that. Plus I got a cool new t-shirt, thanks to the Todd.

Last night we went to see two of his friends' bands play. First, Todd's friends For All I Care at this place called The Note. There were seven bands playing there that night (!), and we stuck around to see three others. One was this AWESOME band straight from 1985 called Darwin. I tried to find the web site, but no luck (although there is a band called the same thing in the UK, who knew). They rocked some serious power ballads and the pumped up guitarist did some windmills and Van Halen jumps. Another was this fun power-poppy band called Loomis which seemed to have a substantial following.

After Loomis' set, we went over to the Beat Kitchen to see his friend play in this band called Bear Claw which has garnered some local attention. They were the last band to play that night, so we saw two other bands as well. Bear Claw was impressive and loud. Very, very loud.

That, my friends, makes for a total of ten bands in two days. That's some serious dedication.

I also managed to spend some time studying as well, and making some chili, so a relatively productive weekend was had. I'm going to spend the rest of the day hitting the books and having various group meetings, so hopefully there's more productivity to come.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Hillary and I have a presentation next week on the exciting theory of Extended Optional Infinitive (a way of identifying kids with Specific Language Impairment by their use of infinitive). It's as scintillating as it sounds. We're using PowerPoint, and Todd obligingly created an introduction slide for us to use. I laughed for about twenty minutes when I pulled it up. Posted by Hello
When Audiology class brings me down...
...I need some food porn to lift me back up. Especially for all of you DC-folk, here's an web guide that includes lots of reviews of some stand out ethnic restaurants in the DC area. The author organizes it by ethnicity, and I was pleased to see that he included The Afghan Restaurant (my meter for excellence). Scrolling through, there's everything that you could possibly want!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Creepy, but kind of brilliant
Has anyone seen that new Starburst commerical where the dude has fashioned a bust of his lady out of Starburst and then proceeds to maul it? Lionel Richie's "Hello" is playing in the background, and the bust looks a lot like the scary LR bust that the blind woman made in the music video. It cracks me up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Tuesdays are hands down brutal. The good news is that we got our assisting assignments, though, so today I got to observe the client that I'll be "assisting" with this quarter. This is the second day of getting home at about 7, today about 12 hours after I left my place. The thought of reading information on the exciting topic of Extended Optional Infinitive is not very appealing, but it must be done at some point. God, I'm boring myself with this.

More good news, as well, is that it was warmer today and the snow was melting a bit.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Over on, he has a post about the density of Starbucks in various neighborhoods. Apparently the high that he's heard of it something like 143.

I went to the Starbucks page, and popped in my own zip code. In a five mile radius, it says that I have 97 Starbucks. Dude! I can only think of two right away, although I can think of three Caribou Coffees. What's everyone else's read?
Quickly, because I need to get going here soon...
How fast was this weekend? Too fast. Two things of note about this past weekend:

1. Sunday our little group spent four hours on this one articulation project, which was awesome. And we have tons more to do. Yay!

2. I watched Todd's favorite movie with him, "Malibooty." If you visit the IMDB website, you'll notice that it scored 2.6 stars out of 10, which is pretty generous, actually. The "plot" involves a few ne'er-do-wells leaving Arizona to find fame, fortune (a record contract), and, well, booty in Malibu. Bad Movie Night DC people take note: this is a MUST SEE.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Friday and Fishies
After what was an interminable week, I never greeted 11 a.m. on Friday afternoon with such enthusiasm. My schedule makes for long days on most of the days, but getting out at 11 on Friday makes it all worth it. I celebrated the end of the week by going with Lauren, Laura and Hillary to Argyle for Vietnamese food (lots of Vietnamese places there, and we also passed the famed Green Mill so at least I know where that is now). Then we headed over to the Shedd Aquarium, which was awesome indeed. Besides all of the trippy coral and sea horses and the Beluga whale show, my favorite might be Nickel, the sea turtle. It was a fun, Chicago-culture afternoon, and we were all done by 3 pm. Did I mention that I love Friday afternoons?

Last night the snow came down (and it's still coming down right now, Saturday morning, actually), so I stayed close to home. Todd came over and we walked a block to have Mexican food and margaritas and then conked out in front of "Lost in Translation." I also forced him to watch "Elimidate" at some point in the evening, causing him great pain which he bore rather stoically. I love my trashy tv on a snowy night.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Help me?
I'm dragging today and need a nap in the worst way, and sadly, that is all I have to share.
This man can take a picture
Check out this collection of photographs from Michael Wolf, this particular set I like on eating in China.

He's got a whole slew of China collections, including one set on architecture & density in Hong Kong (too cool), and the Shaolin Monastery, and 50 Years in the People's Republic of China. He's also got some non-China stuff in there as well.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Warning: extreme cuteness. Posted by Hello
More on Mzee and Owen
I stumbled across a BBC article on them as well. My favorite line:

"The hippo follows the tortoise around and licks his face," she said.

Check out the sweet new picture above.
I was wondering this myself.
How Embarrass, Minn., Got Its Name - And what lumber's got to do with it. By Brendan�I.�Koerner

Inauguration Craziness
I'm kind of sad to be missing the insanity in DC with the inauguration. It sounds like a circus. Clarence sent an email this morning detailing a run in with some of the people in town to celebrate:

Last night we are at a local burrito chain ("California Tortilla" in Chinatown) when two happy girls were asking for directions to the DC Armory. (The DC Armory was holding the "America's Future Rocks Today" inauguration youth concert hosted by the Bush twins. Barf.) Jonathan gave them elaborate but unfortunately correct directions on taking the Metro while I just had this surly look that I reserve for Chinese vendors trying to sell me unwanted knickknacks (it didn't help that I was still sick). I had this feeling of unwanted invaders taking over my home territory, as I'm sure they feel about immigrants in whatever red state they're from.

I had to find out who the hell was playing at this concert and found this info online:

Jenna and Barbara Bush will play host to teenage singers Hilary Duff and JoJo at this concert designed to appeal to young Americans. 'American Idol' winner Ruben Studdard, 3 Doors Down and Boxkar will also play. The night will include musical acts, video clips and guest speakers, including former football player Jason Sehorn. The message of the night will be community and public service. Jenna, who just signed on as a public school teacher in the District, makes an ideal example for the youth of America as they choose their career paths. Kid Rock, on the other hand, had been mentioned as a possible performer, but won't be playing. At his performance at the Republican National Convention, he said if he were president he wouldn't be caught having sex in the Oval Office but would install cameras in the Lincoln Bedroom -- maybe not as great a role model.

First of all, how bad does that line-up suck? Second of all, I didn't know that Kid Rock performed at the Republican National Convention...that's hilarious. Thirdly, I would almost be curious to have gone to this thing to have seen what the crowd was like and to take pictures. Also, I am dying to know what Jenna's experience will be like being a public school teacher in the District, a Democratic stronghold.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

For A Dose of Something Cool, click here.
A note book torn to look like a topographical map; it's actually quite beautiful.

Found Photos
Here's a cool web site called Look At Me that features of a collection of found photos.

Over break, my dad shared with me a bunch of photos that someone in our family had handed over to him. Most of the photos were old family pictures (very cool in their own right), but there were several that were of mysterious orgin. My dad had no idea who the people were or what their connection to the family was. Kind of haunting stuff, actually. There was one neat collection of Christmas photos that one Catholic family sent out every year--it seemed like with every new picture, there was another kid added. I'm trying to pressure/convince my dad to make up a website of some of the images, actually.
Patterned Responses
This morning in Audiology our professor lectured on hearing tests. She was giving guidelines on testing clients and talked about how we would need to make directions clear to clients that they would need to make some sort of response if they hear a tone during the hearing test. She said that any response would be acceptable as long as it was clear that that was how the client chose to communicate that they heard a tone.

Our professor elaborated with a story about how one of her colleagues was doing a hearing test on a kid, and she realized that his chosen patterned response was to flick her off every time he heard a tone. The audiologist just kind of shrugged at it, since--hey--patterned response. That story made my morning.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Dirty Signing
Okay, so first of was like ONE degree out today. On the way to the el some of my coffee spilled over onto my mittens and by the time I went to brush it off, it was already slush. What's up with that, dude? I bundled up like crazy today, though, so didn't really suffer all that much.

This week feels busy already with school work, but what else is new? Since I don't have much of my own to report, I figured that I would post an email that I got from my dad today that I liked and wish that I could have been around to witness:

Last night your mom and I went to see B.B. King (absolutely not to be missed, by the way) at The D.A.R. Constitution Hall. The first warm up act was an old guy named Clarence Carter whose repertoire consisted almost entirely of raunchy blues and soul numbers. Most of his stuff was suggestive, but some was so graphic that your mother understood it.

This is all rolling on when I noticed that in the balcony there was a guy, with his own spotlight, signing the lyrics to a bunch of people that I couldn't see. This guy was really into it, basically dancing ( when I was in high school, we used to call it the "dirty dig") while he signed. Very cool - putting on a better show that the performer - and during a number called "Strokin' ", he was especially blissed out. The signing had a certain rythmic style all its own. That was when I realized that this guy was getting off on having a excuse to talk dirty in sign to all the deaf folk. He was replaced at the beginning of the next set.

At the end of the show, B.B. was doing the obligatory recognition of people for applause. "Mayor" Barry got a big hand. B.B. noted that the were people from the White Hose in attendance and there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm in the response.


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Lazy weekend
Since it was cold this weekend, I did NOTHING. Okay, I did some studying (midterm tomorrow) and some reading, but mostly I just lay around on the couch watching tv and listening to music. Not too bad an experience overall, and I feel remarkably non-guilty over it.

I tagged along with Todd when he went grocery shopping. I wish I had brought along my camera to take a picture of his cart, because it is totally the cart of my id: four frozen pizzas, six boxes of hot pockets, chewy chips ahoy, a container of candy hearts, 12 brown sugar iced pop tarts, four cases of soda, and one lone package of caesar salad. It slays me. Ahh, to have a fast metabolism.

In the meantime, I'm a bit alarmed because I can't find one of my binders. It's only a couple of weeks into class so it's not the end of the world if I have to make another set of copies for the class, but what a pain in the arse. Not a good way to start off the week either. Gah!

Friday, January 14, 2005

The cold has arrived. It was five degrees this morning, and below zero with the wind chill. Awesome! My commute to school wasn't quite as painful as I feared that it would be, although the purple line to Evanston was running late, so there was much grousing on the platform as we waited for it. The good news is that the sky is blue and the sun is out again; I can't remember the last time I saw it here. I'm sitting inside my warm apartment typing this, and it's flooded with sunlight, and it's kinda pleasant actually. So, things are that shabby, actually.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Cabbage Speaks
Dad left a comment and a link to the post about The Onion's article on Zambian presidency, noting that The Onion can't match up to reality. Indeed, that is the truth.

The Telegraph's article to which Dad linked is about the current Zambian president, Levy Mwanawasa:

Levy Mwanawasa, known as the "cabbage", said: "Unfortunately, if Zambians made a mistake to elect me as president, they are stuck with me. "

That is hilarious. But interestingly, as the article notes, Mwanawasa has gained popularity over these admissions!

Another good part of the article:

Mr Mwanawasa won office three years ago despite a debate over his mental health following head injuries sustained in a car accident.

During the last election campaign, he described the outgoing president, Frederick Chiluba, as "my elder sister".

At election rallies, opponents threw cabbages at him but Mr Mwanawasa defiantly declared: "I am not a cabbage!"

I also like the link to another article on the Telegraph's site, with the title: "President 'can't stand job anymore.'"

That is so what kind of president I would be as well: I'd have no shame admitting that the job totally sucks and we all should be really bummed that I got elected. I'd also totally want to be nicknamed after a vegetable. Anyway, thanks, Dad, for the link and the info on "the cabbage."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Dirty Laundry
I did four loads of it this morning. So far my Wednesday mornings work out so that I don't have class till three, which gives me all morning to do the life-maintenance stuff that I haven't had time to get done this week so far. It's been nice, but I know it's only a matter of time before the last remaining lab that is to be scheduled comes around to screw things up. Yesterday was a truly marathon day, with twelve hours spent on campus. It was particularly brutal, but I was very, very pleased when it was over. Things are heating up this quarter faster than I expected, and the panic is setting in to get on top of things and organized. It's only the second week too! That does not bode well.
Close to my heart
The Onion | Zambia Elects Black President

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

More New Things Learned
Did you know that there was such a thing as the Home School Digest?

Did you know that they sell something called "The Rod" for $5?

From the article in The Boston Globe about this:

''Spoons are for cooking, belts are for holding up pants, hands are for loving, and rods are for chastening," read the advertisement she saw nearly two years ago for the 22-inch nylon rod. It also cited a biblical passage, which instructs parents not to spare the ''rod of correction."

My question is, where do I get my hands on a Home School Digest?

(via tos)
I Learn New Things About this Area Everyday
So, Todd was telling me about how he has to go to Romeoville, IL today for his work. I was all excited over the idea of a town being called Romeoville, and said so. Here's his response:

Romeoville was basically named that because it is next to Joliet. Romeo and Juliet...romeoville and joliet...Seriously, I am not making this shit up.That should tell you how smart the populace of this town is. Parts are turning into a poor man's/wal-mart version of naperville because of the whole suburban sprawl around the area, but for the most part, it's pretty shitty, and there are lots of trailer parks.

I love, love, love the idea that someone named the town Romeoville because it was close to Joliet.

Monday, January 10, 2005

"Yo, Ol Dirty?"
There's a piece in The New Yorker about some dude named Russell Jones who kept on getting phone calls for Old Dirty Bastard before his passing. Awesome stuff.

The conversations often unfolded this way:
“Yo, Ol’ Dirty?”
“No, this is not Ol’ Dirty, but you have reached Russell Jones.”
“Oh, are you going to see him later?”
The callers always assumed that Jones would somehow run into O.D.B., even after he said he couldn’t rap. Most refused to believe him. “Where you at? I’m gonna come over and hang out with you,” they’d say. “Trust me, you’ll be very disappointed when you see me,” Jones would reply.

(via tmn)
Pummeled by a Lab Schedule
My labs are still being scheduled and they are kicking my ass something good. Seriously, I had all of these nice open spaces before where I could go home and not stick around campus all day, but my labs are making nice work of those open spaces. Tuesday? My lab was scheduled at four, so now I have a six hour break before it. Before that lab was scheduled, I could have gone home at 10. Yikes. The worst thing is that labs are still going to be scheduled.

Also, it's been weird trying to get back into school mode again. It's almost like culture-shock. I just got out of a three hour class on acoustic phonetics and it was a little short of torture. But, don't worry, because I just got that class's lab scheduled for five today! sweet!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Owen and Mzee: BFF Posted by Hello
Yahoo news reports that Owen, the orphaned baby hippo, has been adopted by a 120-year old giant tortoise named Mzee at a Kenyan sanctuary. I am happy.

(via tmn)
McSweeney's Internet Tendency: George W. Bush Quotations in Which the Words "God" or "The Almighty" or "The Almighty God" Are Replaced by Famous Names Chosen at Random From the '80s Edition of Trivial Pursuit.

Government can write checks, but it can't put hope in people's hearts, or a sense of purpose in people's lives. That is done by people who have heard a call and who act on faith and are willing to share in that faith. And I'm not talking about a particular religion—I'm talking about all religions under Willard Scott. April 11, 2002
SCORE: New Year's Resolution to "Be Organized": 0; Laziness: 1
What I did not do today: I did not do the reading for this past week and next week that I vowed (vowed!) would get done today.

What I did do today: Watch the entire season 2 of "The Office" again, complete with extras. It was funny, though.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Scary Left-Handers
Here's an article in The Economist that states that societies that have more left-handed people correlate with a larger amount of violence.

While there is no suggestion that left-handed people are more violent than the right-handed, it looks as though they are more successfully violent. Perhaps that helps to explain the double meaning of the word “sinister”.


Starbucks Drink Names Explained
I actually treated myself to a cafe au lait on the way to school this morning and had a conversation with the guy behind the counter as to what they called them there...the "misto." Please. Just save the confusion and call it cafe au lait like everyone else does! That should be pretentious-enough sounding for you.
The Asshole Effect
I walked from the el this morning with Lauren and Hillary. Lauren told me about "the Asshole Effect" and how it was, well, in effect this morning. What is it? It's the idea that when it's cold, "there's always some asshole wearing shorts outside." This is endlessly amusing to me. Both Lauren and Hillary spotted an asshole this morning doing just this. Hillary even noted that he was standing on the el platform in his shorts, not even under the heatlamps. It's not absolutely frigid outside, but it's not warm enough for shorts.
Dude, I've got a minor cold right now, and am traveling around campus in a drugged-out haze. It's snowy and clear outside and actually not all that cold. Little did I know that when I bundled up in about three hundred layers this morning. I am happy to report that the long underwears keeps you very warm, though.
Check out this online tour of Richard Avedon's apartment. Too cool.

(via tmn)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Pam, Jenny, Amie and me. Check out all of the wine glasses. Posted by Hello

Kevin! Posted by Hello

With Brendan at Jenny's birthday party. Check out the sweeet t-shirt that I got from (the) Todd for Christmas as well. Posted by Hello
And so it is
The snow has arrived! It arrived last night, actually. This morning there wasn't too much on the ground, although walking through the wind tunnel that is on my way to my building here on wasn't pretty. But it was amusing. The snow's still coming down, and apparently is going to accumulate a lot through the evening and night. Chicago is so unphased by this; in DC everything would have shut down at 3pm yesterday. I kind of like that.

I'm dreadfully sleepy right now. This is partly since I just wolfed down lunch and partly because I had a good bit of fun at Jenny's birthday party at this place called Webster's Wine Bar. Very atmospheric and quite nice. I took some pictures which I'll post when I get home, so hold on to your hats!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Pure Evil
I can't even imagine the sort of people who would do this, but apparently they're out there. Jesus.

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Thieves, rapists, kidnappers and hoaxers are preying on tsunami survivors and families of victims in Asian refugee camps, hospitals and in the home countries of European tourists hit by the wave.
Jonathan, the scribe
Clarence alerted us to the fact that Jonathan has a story in this week's issue of PR Weekly (page 3). You go on, boy!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Back in the Midwest
I got back yesterday safe and sound. The trip went well, except I had to haul back my fricking enormous suitcase through the el and a bus journey and then a walk back to my apartment (I think my stuff must have multiplied) and pulling that mofo up the el steps? No fun. I had the suitcase, my overpacked messenger bag, and my heavy, heavy laptop bag. It was not the most graceful of trips. I woke up this morning wondering why my shoulders are sore, and then it came to baggage. Next time: I pack light.

Today I had my first day of classes. My morning class was canceled, so it was an easy day. I even got dropped off at school by The (generous) Todd so didn't have to trek to and from the el in the rain! I'm enjoying what may be one of my last nights of nothing to do, but it's nice to dive back into classes again. Chicago's not freezing either (yet). I'm still waiting to experience the pure pain of the cold.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Last night in DC
I'm busy packing, cleaning, dotting all of my i's and crossing my t's before I leave again for Chicago. It was a perfect three weeks and I will miss everyone here more succinctly again. Thanks to everyone here for making my time here so vunderful.

My favorite ladies. Seriously. Posted by Hello

Anne and me Posted by Hello

Sandy, Bryan, Matt, and me. Posted by Hello

Des, so cute in her red top. Posted by Hello

Anne, D, and me Posted by Hello

Christie and me Posted by Hello

Robin and me. Posted by Hello

Christina, Matt and myself at Des and Bry's pre-party Posted by Hello
Happy, Happy New Year!
New Year 2005 was a total and complete blast, I am happy to report. We went again to Chadwick's in Oldtown this year with a group of at least 15: the entire Martin clan came down from Conneticut, Christie and Stefan came from Rochester, Grace managed to scrounge a cab in from DC, and Robin and his friends were there to add to masses. I like Chadwicks because they put out a huge, good dinner spread, open bar with top shelf stuff if you ask, and a lack of crowds. This year apparently they sold fewer tickets than last year to cut down on the crowds. Many thanks to Bryan for doing the massive ticket purchase.

Additional thanks to Des and Bryan for opening up their place for the before and after party. Chadwicks is fun, but short (10 to 1:30, and they are quick to boot people out), so we were lucky to continue the festivities at Des and Bryan's place...particularly since at some point they both went to bed while everyone was still loitering. We ended up trickling out at about 4, when Christie, Stefan, Anne, and I went back to Anne's. Big old kisses to the ADD who hosted *three* people in her cozy nest. We had some much needed snacks and then hit the hay at around 5:30. I honestly can not recall the last time I stayed up till then, but it was all totally worth it. We all slept today till about noon when Anne whipped up some breakfast/lunch, and I had to big my farewells before heading home.

An excellent time all around, and 2005 has got to be one of my favorite new years. Favorite moments of the night included Des barking at her 21-year old brother from the floor above while he gyrated with some woman on the dance floor: "Aaron! Stop it!" Sadly, neither he nor his companion heard. I also liked "the butt dance" perfected by someone in our group, a friend of Robin's ("it's how I got my girlfriend" he told me in earnest). I liked my brief conversation with Todd during the night while he was in New Orleans. All I could hear was a huge pumping base and him screaming: "I AM IN HELL!" Finally, I also liked the sassy political statement/defacement performed by a nameless person in our group during the walk out of Chadwicks. The entire collection of photos from the night can be found here.