Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Glad Midsommar!

[note: so, I'm writing this at exactly 12:07 am on Tuesday morning, because this evening was spent first, making wedding cakes, second, frying up leftover meatballs --uh, 5 recipe's worth of leftover meatballs, finally finishing all of my dishes from Saturday, and then discovering, oh no WONDER it's hard to see...my glasses and an entire corner of my kitchen is covered in grease. The mark of a good night...until you remember it's the middle of summer and balls hot out. And then I tried my normally successful take-a-freezing-cold-shower-to-cool-down-trick, but I was so hot that even the coldest of the cold water did not help. Whoops. So now I'm sitting in a mostly dark living room with two fans blasting away, hoping that the heat will slowly melt away. Anyway, to Midsommar!]

Saturday, I celebrated Midsommar with many of my friends here in Boston...as Midsommar is a Swedish holiday that is typically celebrated outdoors, we ended up in the Penthouse with all the windows open, enjoying the Boston views and the breeze.


[Quiet before the storm.]

Each small vase on the table had seven flowers, the traditional number that girls put under their pillows on Midsommar...it's said that if you sleep above these seven flowers, you will dream about your future spouse. I remember the conversation I had with Birgit, my dad's cousin, when we visited Sweden:

scene: driving in a car and stopping in the middle of nowhere in a meadow. We get out of the car, Birgit grabs floral wire from her trunk and starts walking. I kind of stare after her. Should I follow?

Birgit: Come on! We have to make your crown!

(whoa. Crown?! I get a crown? Whoa squared. I was in seventh grade and wearing a colorful sack-y dress that my mom loved but kind of didn't do anything for me except make me look colorful, and goodness. A crown would make me feel like a princess! Incidentally, it's tradition for a Swedish bride to wear a crown on her wedding day. Some of them are a little odd, but others are quite pretty!)


Exhibit A: The crown that actually fits on your doll's head. (apparently most churches in Sweden have one that all the brides use. It's very Swedish to not spend much money on your wedding, and this is but one example)


Exhibit B: Much better! (from Crown Princess Victoria's recent wedding)

But she's a real princess. So I'll probably have to settle for DIY-ing a crown out of the wire from champagne bottles and using one of my diamond brooches.

Anyway, I waited patiently as Birgit slowly wove me the most beautiful flower crown, full of poppies, blåklint and blåeld...it was beautiful.

[I'm wearing white socks, white tennis shoes, a white scrunchie...thank you, 1996.]

Even then, in my most awkward of years, holy cow did I ever feel pretty. Indulged, even...I felt so special going to Visby to help with the Majstång (maypole), again with the flower wire (apparently flower wire is Swedish duct tape. Who knew?).

[these were sent to me by my brother this morning. I was rocking braces and everything, yikes.]

Later, after getting home and gorging on the Midsommar meal of sill (herring), potatoes, beets, and as much smultron as we could eat (wild strawberries), we played kubb with other relatives. I was terrible. But it was fun. That night, Birgit had me pick my seven flowers, and I looked at them doubtfully: but, really? You're making me do this?

"But what if they stain the pillowcases? I'd feel so bad!"

Birgit looked at me and laughed, "They're my pillowcases, and I have to clean them. And I say it's tradition, and that's how we do things here." (this was much the same laughing manner with which she approached my open-mouthed prudish horror at the poster in the bathroom with topless women with boobs of all shapes and sizes with names of vegetables and fruits underneath in Swedish. I'll never forget the radish woman. She looked like Madonna).

And so, under the pillows the flowers went. And I woke up the next morning.

Did I dream something?

Damn. No. But then reason crept in and said, well, you don't *remember* dreaming anything. Doesn't mean you didn't. Swedish tradition for the win...it means that I can now have this fond feeling for a dream I don't remember because I know it happened. Got to love that logic.

One of the things that Birgit did just for us guests was put on her Gotland costume. She made it herself (including the most exquisite embroidery on her vest. It's incredible). My mom found my costume at an antique store in Hixton, Wisconsin about two years ago on her way to visit IWU. I never knew it existed until she was cleaning out her closet two weekends ago. And what do you know? It fit perfectly.

[Don't you wish you could wear hats like this every day? I mean, seriously!]

Let's just say that this makes me living the dream from the list of "20 Things I Wish I'd Known at 20" - number 10:

"10. You look good. There’s no such thing as the hottest person in the room. Everyone is attracted to something different, so just take those odds and run with them."

I ran with them. And really enjoyed myself. And all the ridiculousness that went with it.

One of the, er, miscalculations was how quickly I'd be able to cook different dishes, as well as the whole buying twenty new place-settings to have enough dinner plates and getting them washed in time. But my friends all came, ready and willing to work, and within an hour and the delegation of bringing up chairs, mixing meatballs in a plastic tub, quality control of the finished meatball product, dishing out jams and jellies, putting out the beer...we were set to serve.
[Noms]


The menu:

Drinks
Svarta vinbär saft (Black currant juice)
Hallon saft (Raspberry juice)
Lingonsylt saft (Lingonberry juice)
Blåbär saft (Blueberry juice)
Fläder saft (Elderflower juice - very good! would make wonderful sorbet, Bryan thinks)
Vatten med citron (Water with lemon)
Vatten med gurka och jordgubbar (Water with cucumbers and strawberries)
Öl (Beer)
Vodka

Meal
Köttbollar (Meatballs --- oh my gosh. Heaven on earth. Secret spice? Allspice. Ridiculous, right?)
Gräddsås (Cream sauce)
Gravad lax (Raw marinated salmon)
Gravlaxsås (Mustard sauce for salmon)
Potatis med gräslök (Potatoes with chives)
Rostade bettor salad (Roasted beet salad)
Gurka sallad (Cucumber salad - really good quick pickled salad from Melinda)
Sås pepparrot (Horseradish sauce)
Sill och potatis sallad med salladslök och brynt smör (Herring and Potato Salad with spring onions and brown butter)
Blomma ägg med söta tårta senap dillsås (Flower eggs with sweet tart mustard dill sauce - really good! kind of like salad with deviled eggs, except dillier)
Sill dill (Herring in dill marinade)
Sill gräddfil (Marinated herring in sour cream)
Senapssill (Herring in mustard sauce)
Sill vitlök (Marinated herring with garlic sauce)
Potatis sallad (Potato salad - Birgit's recipe. So delicious!)
Rökt kaviar med dill (Creamed smoked caviar with dill)
Knäckerbröd (Crispbread)
Jordbrukarens ost (Farmer's cheese)
Bröd (Bread and rolls)
Sylt lingon (Lingonberry preserves)
Sylt krusbär (Gooseberry preserves)
Sylt fläder och apelsin (Orange and elderflower marmalade)
Sylt hjortron (Cloudberry jam --the crowd favorite)
Ost flan (Cheese flan - made my Steve...extra incredible!)

Dessert
Frukt tårta (Fruit tarts - so good! Amneet and Tiffany did a wonderful job!)
Jordgubbar (Strawberries)
Söt grädde (Sweet cream)
Honung mandel grädde (Honey almond cream)
Saffranspankaka (Saffron pancake)
Bilar (Chewy candy cars -- so these are basically crack, what can I say?)


[My oh my is that table ever full of food!]



[Obligatory photo with the nutty-looking Swedish girl]



[The meatball suffering my labmate went through deserves special mention. Not everyone can withstand the gooeyness of 10 eggs, soupy breadcrumbs and half and half, plus not to mention the fact that he basically defrosted the pork by hand. Such a master, if you will]

We walked around the Penthouse, enjoying the view and the sunset, me dreaming of irrigation systems, and everyone else hoping I'd burst into Små Grodorna, the infamous song about why frogs are funny. Obviously, since they have no ears or tails. (nope...didn't do it!)

The evening ended with everyone absolutely stuffed, and then helping me out most generously to get things back to my room, dishes cleaned, and the Penthouse looking like there's no way 30 people just had a sit-down dinner there. It was wonderful to have my friends really step up and help...I feel very lucky.

[and now, to bed. Well, trying to, I guess. I kind of consumed an entire thing of Swedish bilar while writing this. And one sugar coma later...]

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Angry.



Title of Article: Globs of Oil on Pensacola's Pristine White Sand Beaches (from here)

picture from here


How I feel: Angry. Especially to hear ranking House Republican Joe Barton say things like this:

“I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation (BP) can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case, a $20 billion shakedown, with the attorney general of the United States. But I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure..."

Uh...really? You want to apologize to BP for making them pay 20 billion dollars in damage to those that live on the Gulf Coast because they screwed up? Go for it. Between you, Tony Hayward, all the rest of the oil companies...you make me want to scream, and then go frantically clean oil globs off of the shores of Florida and Alabama. Fix this.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

getting back into the groove...

from here


In lieu of a more substantial post, I give you a baby chameleon. I positively squealed when I saw this cute little guy.

I promise I'll be back this weekend with pictures from the Midsummer dinner, garden updates (13 tomatoes! 13!), and other bits and pieces from my time in Minnesota ...but now, I've gotta unpack and sleep. Seriously...what is it about air travel that is so exhausting?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

loving these colors


The mustard, deep cerulean, cream and pale cornflower blue....they just go together.

the tube!


I've never seen or ridden on the tube in London, but after seeing these pictures of an old decommissioned hallway to a lift, I want to grab waders and a huge flashlight, plus an Airsoft rifle to scare off rats (!!) and explore! They're in Notting Hill. I mean, the real Notting Hill. So cool.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

big yellow taxi...



Go figure...they actually have opened a tree museum. (I'd link you to the actual creator's website, but it's one of those obnoxious and non-functional artisty websites where hey! you can't find anything. It's one of those things...if me, a child of the internets and their tubes, gets annoyed because I can't find anything and gives up, congrats, you've failed. I'm all about pretty, but please be useful).

Saturday garden update (a little late)





[The pretty begonias are taking over and doing wonderfully!]


The parsley is looking so much better! Very green, very happy, and it seems to know what's what and is growing out instead of up (where thar be wind). Cilantro is officially bolted and done. Apparently there's a chance it will reseed and keep growing later, but perhaps not.


[Mint is taking over, and I expect it will do quite
well through the course of the summer]


[Basil is having some...problems. They look better than they did on Saturday after I removed all of the brown bits and pinched off the flower buds to encourage outwards growth...there's this area in the tip of the stem called the apical meristem that contains the rapidly dividing cells that will result in upward growth of the plant. If you nip them off, the plant diverts nutrients to other meristems on other parts of the plant. Pretty cool!]


AND---I checked this morning, and there are THREE tomatoes growing. THREE. They're about the size of my pinky fingernail. But there are THREE of them. I am so excited.

I'm also starting to daydream about having rhubarb up in the Penthouse...I mean, there are so many more planters to play with! The possibilities are endless.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

iPhoto


The photos on my computer are a mess. Things from high school are mixed in with photos from my childhood (the few that I have scanned), Mostly, anything before 2010 is either misfiled, recopied about eight times with different time stamps (wtf, apple?) mislabeled...and frankly, I just plain miss out.

But, I've been making slow progress on merging photo albums, deleting things I don't need, sprucing it up, all with the goal of a shiny photo storage unit that has albums of my favorite pictures from every year of my life. Things that meant something. I have loved putting up my 2010 pictures on Flickr because they order it sequentially, and it shows my life happening, almost in real time. It's lovely.


So, early this morning, I turned on a podcast (NPR's Planet Money!), grabbed some Bilar (thanks Ikea!) picked a random place in my event history in iPhoto, and got to it. And then I found this:


This is me. In the Caprice. In the middle of jumping my car. In my concert dress for an orchestra concert my freshman year of college. That was happening in, oh, half and hour. My face is incredible...I do not remember this picture being taken. I feel like I've unearthed this great memory of me just bursting out laughing because hey---what else do you do?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Halloween plans

So - I know it's early. But yesterday in lab, Lady Gaga came up...and though she is pretty fly (we all agree she is an avant garde something-or-other, but we're not quite sure what). I mentioned that the nice thing is that pretty much anyone, guy or girl, could dress up as Lady Gaga...I mean, she's outrageous. And anyone can dress up and be outrageous, right? (and Corey Monteith did it, so it's obviously cool).

He replied, "She is on my short list. With Jareth from the Labyrinth."

Immediately, he began quoting all of these great lines from the movie, one that apparently only he and I had seen...let's just say my other labmates were a little on the confused side...

He did an absolutely perfect Hoggle, and I was sold to the idea that Sarah from Labyrinth during the ballroom dancing scene is a possibility. I mean, I can't pull off stick straight hair (let's be serious, I'd probably burn half of my fingerprints with a flat-iron, if I actually owned one). But--the 80s fro? Oh, I can do that.



Baller. Now all I need is someone willing to grow a David Bowie mullet, wear lots of eyeliner and don reeeeeallly tight pants.


Anyone? No? Ah well. Sarah...she walks alone and independent. Except for the huge crowd of muppets.


But yes...what do you think? Possible?



Now, Sarah's dress is an 80s wedding gown, no doubt. Now, you may be surprised, but it's almost the carbon copy of Princess Di's gown.


And you didn't believe me...so true. (funny story---my mom and her friend were road-tripping across Canada, normally camping, seeing wilderness, all that...and they stayed at a hotel the night of Di's wedding so they could get up at 4 am and watch the festivities.)

So yes - I figure I scout out a crazy 80s dress from a thrift store, put on every piece of rhinestone jewelry I own, poof out my hair, and I am set. I am so ready for October.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Human Anatomy and Physiology

[Erin from aKNITomy's awesome knit head]

...so, I have never actually taken this class. But I'm going to teach it this summer. Cool, no?

HSSP, as I've mentioned, is an MIT program which has MIT affiliates (grad students, undergrad students, post-docs) teach a two hour long class every Sunday for seven weeks. The topics are varied and interesting:

MIT Hogwarts

Intro to the Solar System

Human Medical Genetics

The Chemistry of Toxins, Explosives, and Space

The Magic of Matrices

What are the Odds? A Practical Introduction to Statistics

Fashion in Revolution: Fashion History from Rococo to the Napoleonic Era

Shouting at the Top of Our Lungs: The Modern American Story

On Being a Writer

Juggling & Math: 3-ball beginner/advanced techniques

Model Rocketry and Related Topics

Introduction to Optoelectronics

Making Manga: Anime-Style Illustration and Comics

Rock Subgenres and You

Social Psychology: Why people do what they do, and how to outsmart them.


The best part? Students get to take three different classes, and the whole program costs $30. That's it. $30. Now, I don't get paid to teach, but $30. That is amazing. It makes me wonder why programs like this aren't going on all over the country...ESP is trying, but it takes time.

My class will focus on the basics of how we work, which is a pretty darn cool topic. I've started working on my powerpoints and outlines, but I'm really lamenting the loss of my anatomy/physiology notes from undergrad...I stored all my things in a friend's basement between junior and senior year, and it flooded. And they didn't figure it out until a couple weeks after the fact...I lost everything except my plastic shelving unit and dishes, which I bleached about eight times to ensure that all the mold was gone. It was a sad, sad day.

Luckily, I found a couple really good resources to help me out--and I ordered an anatomy/physiology coloring book for worksheets and study guides for them. Also, I'll be able to videotape my class session in order to see how I'm doing, gauge my progress as a teacher, see how I can change things up...part of me isn't sure it's worth it to do seven weeks of lecture in advance, because holy cow---I might completely need to change how I'm teaching! But the other part of me wants to be mostly prepared and then change little things. This part of me will win, I daresay. I have been reading up on the things I think students will have trouble with (action potentials, anyone? It took Dr. Hippensteele three weeks to get us through them, and I'm giving them about half an hour. Yikes).

But I am so excited. So excited. I cannot wait for July 11th.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Scooper Bowl 2010!

This year was my second visit to the Scooper Bowl, and it was just as epic. Basically, there are a bunch of ice cream companies that give you free samples. An infinity of free samples. All the money raised goes to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, which is pretty wonderful. I ended up trying 13 flavors and did not end up with a stomachache! I won the "highest ice cream to body weight ratio contest." It was epic.

[For the uninformed, the character in the middle is Coney.]

There was mango, lots of chocolate, a key lime gelato, cookie dough...if you have a yearly reason to binge on ice cream, I'd go for it. And it's for a good cause, right?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

my poor tree.

Before

[Right after I moved in (it looks so different now!)]

[Another shot right after I moved in last August...excuse the crappy camera reflection. But I wanted to show that this tree went to the top of Ashdown...it's over 6 stories high]



[Winter]


[Early spring]



During




After

[This morning]


I will miss you, tree.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

rhurbarb crisp!

What a day...I presented at lab meeting (which means working my way through stupid stupid organic chemistry questions that I cannot remember for the life of me! ...a psa for those that end up in the labs of PIs who did chemistry for their PhD...review your basic organic chemistry notes before every presentation you give. I'm pretty sure I've had one question every single time I've presented that involved the phrase "nucleophilic attack." Ugh)

Also, remember those awesome jokes that you'd play on people by putting something on top of a door and when someone would open the door, things would fall on them? Yeah---a stack of ice buckets fell right into my face. Bent my glasses, even. Yowch.

Now---to get to rhubarb. It's mah favorite.



Rhubarb Crunch


Originally from my grandma


Ingredients


4 cups diced rhubarb


----Topping

1 cup flour

¾ cup uncooked oatmeal

1 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup melted butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon


----Center

1 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons cornstarch or other thickener

1 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. Mix together topping ingredients and press half into a 9x9x2 pan.

3. Cover with diced rhubarb.

4. In a frying pan combine center ingredients and stir until thick and almost clear.

5. Pour over rhubarb and top with the other half of the topping. Bake 1 hour.



If you like really tart rhubarb things, this isn't for you...although I'm sure you could reduce the sugar content if you'd like. Unlike, say, strawberry pie, where you can taste the filling and add more sugar if you need it, I would highly recommend against eating raw rhubarb (while the levels of oxalic acid may be low enough to stomach, I wouldn't risk it. And I'm a raw-cookie-dough-eating risk-taker. So yes. Don't eat the rhubarb).

All right--time for bed. The flan for tomorrow's Mexican food documentary night is out of the oven (I think we're watching either Blazing Saddles or The Magnificent Seven, both ...uh...documentaries?) The dishes are done. And I? I am ready to sleep.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Farmer's market 6.7.10

I nearly jumped with joy when I saw kohlrabi at the farmer's market today. I mean, strawberries do make me very excited....but nothing beats a crisp kohlrabi with a bit of salt and pepper on a hot day. The little boy at the next stand over was also selling veg-eh-tah-bllls. He did not agree with my pronouncement that kohlrabi were delicious.

"But, have you ever tried one? You can't say you don't like something if you haven't tried it!"

"Nuh-uh. I don't like it."

His father looked at me, and I know this argument had been tried before. Too bad. Cause he is missing out.

The tally:

-Kohlrabi (raw. Although apparently you can cook it? I don't think I'll ever gravitate away from just cutting it up and mixing a bit of salt and pepper on a plate and dipping)

-Golden beets (to practice savory and sweet beet salad recipes for Midsommar)

-Rhubarb (my grandma's famous rhubarb dessert! recipe to be posted tomorrow...with a picture!)

-Strawberries (breakfast tomorrow. All one quart that I bought. Because I can.)

-Lettuce (the first bit eaten tonight with cucumbers and a peanut noodle dressing I make up with peanut butter, plum vinegar, powdered sugar and soy sauce. Oh--and scallions. Can't forget the scallions!)


This morning was a bit sad, though...I came home from the gym to see the giant tree in my window being cut down. I used to have a beautiful view of the brick of Ashdown seen the very green branches of a tree....now I just have brick and construction. They tore down all three trees in the courtyard---and I'm just sad about it. I mean, I'm sure they have plans to plant new trees once Ashdown construction is over, but I'm quite sure I won't be living here by the time another tree is four stories tall, happily giving me some green to look at.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

hurricane?



You know that scene in the beginning of the animated "Little Mermaid"---the one where they're having a jolly good time and suddenly the sky opens up, and a sailor shouts, "The hurricane's a'comin'!" Remember that?

That was today. I'm sitting at my computer, dutifully working on my powerpoint, thinking about sciencey things, and it's gotten a bit dark. I mean, not surprising for an overcast day around 4 pm with my not-very-light-giving windows.

Suddenly, downpour. And the wind picks up and funnels through the courtyard between Ashdown and McCormick. Normally, I can leave my windows when it rains...it's not a big deal. There's a sort of sash above the windows, and they're inset into the building, anyway. Unless it is raining sideways. Then I'm done for. Suddenly, I realize the the windows are open in the kitchens around the floor, and I go to shut them, frantically almost slipping and falling on the puddles of water already on the linoleum floor. The Charles River looks like Lake Mille Lacs on a stormy day, and cars taking the underpass on Memorial Drive are nearly bottoming out.

Finally satisfied that the windows are closed and everything is as safe as I can make it (guess I don't have to water the plants tonight), I check the weather channel:


Sweet.

Then, because I wanted to document my tree (no shirking violet, a tree that's been here for a long, long time) nearly be bent over 90 degrees, I shot a video on my camera...not that blogger will cooperate and upload it, but I promise it happened.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday Garden Update! (plus a thunderstorm story)

There was incredible crack of thunder last night at 3:16 am...it was almost comical how cartoony it sounded. And how terrified I was as it nearly catapulted me off of my bed. The flashes and pounding rain and incredibly loud thunder kept me up for about an hour...it was beautiful.

The east coast isn't really known for thunderstorms...at all. When I went home the first summer after quals, the last real thunderstorm I had heard was the summer before. But in the last three weeks, if it has rained here in Boston, it has thundered. Very odd.

"Some of the most powerful thunderstorms over the United States occur in the Midwest and the Southern United States. These storms can produce large hail and powerful tornadoes. Thunderstorms are relatively uncommon along much of the West Coast of the United States, but they occur with greater frequency in the inland areas, particularly the Sacramento Valley San Joaquin Valley in California. In spring and summer, they occur nearly daily in certain areas of the Rocky Mountains as part of the North American Monsoon. In the Northeastern United States, storms take on similar characteristics and patterns as the Midwest, only less frequently and severely. During the summer, air-mass thunderstorms are an almost daily occurrence over central and southern parts of Florida."

from Wikipedia (unfortunately, even by using "climate" in the search, I had a hard time finding anything about the historical presence of thunderstorms here)

So it seems like thunder can certainly happen here (I attest to that!) but it is much rarer than it is in the Midwest.

I went up to the garden around noon, checking to see if there was any damage (nope! plants...they're resilient!) and trying to come up with a brilliant way to stake my tomatoes. You see, I have no idea how to stake a tomato beyond finding a stick and tying the stem to it with a twist tie. And then I read gardening blogs and get scared because the instructions for staking tomatoes are PAGES long. These are patio tomatoes, so they aren't going to get very big...but still...with the wind, apparently stakes are a good idea.

[there's a bud! It's kind of hard to see, but you'll be able to see it next week, I think!]


[Pesky cilantro, keen on bolting (sending up flowers)]


[Parsley, finally looking greener than yellow!]


All the girls moved out today...it feels oddly quiet yet still full of lots going on (the redcoats! they're here!) I'm stuck inside for most of the day due to the rain and the having to read a zillion million papers for my lab meeting on Tuesday, but maybe I'll get some time to take a break soon. I'm still waiting on the outlet to be installed in my closet so I can plug in my chest freezer (freezing as many summer fruits as I can!) so everything I own is kind of...everywhere. Messy. Ugh. Hate that.

Friday, June 4, 2010

it's a zoo!

Also known as graduation...


My dorm is decorated with lots of balloons...



There are cones everywhere...



Big fluffy white tents everywhere...



And people. Everywhere.




This is where I'll graduate in 2013. Pretty cool...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

breaking my heart.




No, this is not creepy Star Wars Sebulba.



This would be a bird. Covered in oil. I'm not sure which emotion wins in this situation: anger at the greed of oil companies, disappointment that no one really has their act together, or just so sad that there's so little I can do. To all affected, I am so sorry.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mixtape: June MMX

[hack in one of the stairwells at MIT]


I have to warn you...my taste in mixtapes has always been a little odd. As in, really odd.

I'm not one of those cool music geeks who knows his stuff like the back of his hand, nor one of those great curators of legit music that actually kind of goes together, unlike mine, which can be likened to oxidized guacamole that is that lovely brown color on top. Gross looking in a superficial sense (Jim Hensen? And wait...is that part of an opera in Mandarin? And then there's Royksopp? You've gotta be kidding me!) but if stick with them...they make some sort of sense. Or something. Or they only make sense to me.

Regardless, they're made with lots of love.

download here

1--Monkey Bee, from the Mandarin opera Journey to the West, by Chen Shi-Zheng, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett
2--Light of, by Flogging Molly (coincidentally the only concert where I've been trampled by a mixture of heavily tattooed drunk Irishmen and Gothpunk teenagers. Pain never smelled quite so like Guinness and dirt)
3--Happy Up Here, by Royksopp
4--Say Yes, by Langhorne Slim
5--Movin' Right Along, featuring Fozzie Bear and Kermit the Frog
6--Single Ladies, performed by Pomplamoose (originally by Beyoncé)
7--Burn Again, by Kubb (also the name of a wicked awesome lawn game that you play in Gotland)
8--False Alarm, by the Wooden Birds
9--You Can't Always Get What You Want, by the Rolling Stones
10--Barbara Ann, by the Beach Boys
11--Karma Slave, by Splashdown (name that movie! come on! I know someone is enough of a dork to have seen it!)
12--Fiber Optic Paramour, by the Honeydogs
13--Good Times Gonna Come, by Aqualung
14--Mardy Bum, by Arctic Monkeys

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 2010


When in the world did it become June? Oh my oh my.



Inspiration

from here - make your own tartan!



from Oddly Glam's Etsy shop




A woman researching the oldest living things in the world...so cool!



One of my girls, who wrote the above limerick on the whiteboard outside my door.

To hear the limerick, in actual speech you say:

Integral z-squared dz
from 1 to the cube root of 3
times the cosine
of three pi over 9
equals log of the cube root of 'e'

And the math works out. She derived it on the board for me, as well. Ridiculous. And I love it.



Things to look forward to:


--the photo box WILL be finished this month if it kills me. Seriously. Tape is coming from Amazon.com (bless that wonderful heir to the Sears and Roebuck Catalog tradition) along with a sangria pitcher, an anatomy coloring book, and two of these beauties for the Midsummer party come late June.




--speaking of that....a Midsummer dinner party! On the condition that I can get permission, of course. There will be meatballs, and fruit tarts, and beets, plus a whole stash of things that I buy from Inglebretson's at home in Minnesota.


--enjoying my garden...I don't think there is anything I'd rather do after a long day in lab then come home, change into flip flops, and drag a hose around, watering all my herbs.

See that smile? Not gonna go away, even with the forest fires!


--weddings!

[the three of us back in high school---Scottie took us both to our proms our junior year. What a guy.]

[can't believe I'm posting this...yay high school? actually, the best part of this whole thing was his mom yelling out the front door "Scottie, get the door for her!" Ha. It was hilarious.]

I'm the only one of the set that's not getting married + buying a house this summer. Feeling left out? I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel just a tidge behind in life events, but as my mom reminded me, "You chose this because it was best for you, just like they chose what was best for them. So stop your complaining." Right-o, mum. Now to find a dress to wear! (well, I have one. But I need a saffron/mustard-colored cardigan to wear with it. Any ideas?)


--Mentally prepare for jury duty. I just got reminded of it today. Oh boy, Lowell...here I come.


--Preparing powerpoints, lectures, and packets for my HSSP class! There are currently 29 students signed up. Twenty. Nine. Students. I am over the moon. I cannot wait to talk about epithelial cells, atria of the heart, and nerve cells. I cannot even tell you how excited I am.


--I will be home in June for the above wedding, and I'll get to see a whole ton of people! As well as spend time cleaning out our attic, closets, basement, garage...it's gonna be swell. I'm so excited to be home to help the process...and yes, I am a contributor to the amount of stuff we have at home---and I aim to help reduce that clutter. And hopefully get to visit this gentleman:

[that's me on his right side]


Our family used to rent a cabin up on Farm Island Lake in northern Minnesota. He was a great man...and I enjoyed the lemon drops, the sand pit in the giant tire, the pontoon boat, and watching him fry up sunnies for dinner. I haven't seen him in ages, and we're going to try and visit him in his nursing home...I only wish we had gotten back up there before now.