Friday, July 29, 2005

ooh... podcasts

I have not been living under a technological rock lately, so I was aware of the existance of podcasts, I had just never listened to any personally. But basically its like listening to radio programs on your iPod. Various people put together things to listen to, whether its music, talk, whatever. And then you can subscribe to these podcasts and download them. And generally, they're free. There's even a lot of NPR shows on podcast so that you can listen to your favorite shows wherever you are.
Someone emailed me about a podcast (Cycling Insight) where two Australian guys talk about the Tour de France. Which I did not watch nor have any interest in other than Lance Armstrong in tight pants. However, these two guys are pee-your-pants funny. so I've been listening to this one.
If you have the most recent version of iTunes, you can search for podcasts and subscribe to them, then listen to them at your leisure. Another thing about iPods that is totally awesome. Also, another reason why I am wishing I had a regular sized iPod in addition to the mini.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

1 month gym hiatus = big fat bastard

Last night was my first time back at step class after my defense/vacation gym hiatus. I'm so out of shape. Holy crap. I thought I might die. I had to take the risers out of the step about halfway through the class. Its amazing what one month can do to you.

Today was an exciting day. First, I made an exciting online purchase that I cannot disclose right now. Its a birthday present for my dad, who turns 60 in August. And I know he reads the blog sometimes. Second (and in fact, right when I was making the exciting purchase), my cell phone rang and it was Cooch and Little Joe, who are friends from college. I just saw Cooch when I was in Clevo for my defense, but I haven't seen Joe for several years. Anyhow. Cooch says "Hey, you live in Durham, right? We're on I-85 right now." Of course. I was worried that he had told me that he was driving through town when we were at the Barking Spider with everyone the night after my defense. I had drunk many beers, maybe I forgot. But no, this was in fact a spontaneous visit. Anyhow, they were driving down to Hotlanta, as Joe and family are relocating there from Rhode Island (State bird, the Rhode Island Red). So we went out for coffee.

Now that the court date for my airport-speeding-ticket is approaching, I have begun getting like five letters a day from local traffic court attorneys. It makes me feel popular. And, then I get to throw them away. Ambulance chasers of the traffic court world. There are also ambulance chasers of the real estate world, which I wasn't aware of. As soon as we took the house off the market we started getting phone calls from other realtors asking if we'd like to list our property with them. My popularity is apparently not limited to junk mail! It transcends many forms of junk communication.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Ok, we give up. No one is going to buy our house, so we give up. We took the house off the market and have bid a fond farewell to the new house. Our house has been on the market for 2 months now, and we're averaging like, 1 showing every 2 weeks. Its ridiculous. Our closing on the new house was suppossed to be on Aug 31, and we can't buy that one until someone closes on the current one. Given that Aug 31 is in a month, at our current rate we'd have only 1 or 2 more showings before the closing in order for SOMEONE to buy the place. There were still a lot of things that needed to be picked out on the new place, like light fixtures, paint, etc that would require a significant time/emotional investment, and I just don't have it in me to keep picking out beautiful new things for the house that it seemed someone else was going to live in anyhow. So, sniffle.

Instead, we'll have a little more disposable income (as the mortgage payment was higher in the new place) with which to purchase:
a) a second car!! hurrah!!
b) some bedroom furniture. Our current bedroom furniture, while nice, is the furniture that I got when I moved into a big girl bed.
c) assorted other furniture.
d) vacation for pleasure, rather than going to weddings or visiting family (not that those aren't a pleasure!). Do I hear New Orleans anyone?

So, there you go. In other news, I had jury duty yesterday. This is my second time doing jury duty, which is crazy because many other people I know have never been called. It was a thrill. I was picked as one of the initial 12 jurors for a civil trial (a personal injury case) but I got rejected by the lawyer for the guy who was suing the other person. When I did jury duty in Clevo, I was also on a personal injury case. It was interesting to see how the legal system works, and to see how a jury deliberates. But I really have no patience for the attitude of: "Well, X Company has lots of money so we should give this lady a huge reward, regardless of what their responsibility actually is." Because thats just ridiculous, but its exactly what happened on the last trial I was on.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Freaking Flip-flops!

We all know my stance on flip-flop sandals. Well, maybe we don't. Here it is:

I hate flip-flop sandals.

Let me clarify. I hate flip-flops when worn in inappropriate settings or with outfits that are not beach-wear. Flip-flops are also acceptable footwear when taking a shower somewhere where you want to avoid being barefoot. If you're me, thats practically anywhere, because I'm a little bit touchy about being barefoot. Okay, a LOT bit touchy.

Gawker linked to a story that demonstrates an inappropriate time/place to wear flip-flops. Like, oh... let me think... when you're meeting the President at the White House.

I love how the one girl decided that her flip-flops were okay because its not like they were "old beach flip-flops". Oh, no! They had RHINESTONES on them. Well. I stand corrected. After all, we all know that rhinestones instantly raise the 'dressiness' level of a garment. Just ask the inventors of the Bedazzler.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Musical Taste Project

First: Wow! Three posts in one day!! Its because I'm cleaning up and typing up protocols etc., so = easily distracted.

Second: Ok. So I remember when I was younger I couldn't understand why my parents listened to the 'Oldies' station (even though I know all the words to the Oldies - blame it on the many hours in the car with one of the parents en route to the many music lessons, rehersals, etc) when there was all this great music on the radio! In the last few years, I have realized that my taste in music (like many of my friends) has essentially not changed a bit since I was in college (which was what, 8 years ago?). It has evolved a little bit, but only when bands break up or people go solo. For example, love for Pavement in college has translated into love for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks now. Love for Blur has expanded into love for Gorillaz. Etc. etc. Brian and Martin injected a little more Brit-pop influence, but Brian doesn't listen to anything but NPR anymore, so there's nothing new. I haven't listened to the radio in eons, so I don't hear anything new that way. When I was in NH on vacay I listened to WFNX and that helped a little, but I don't remember what I heard. Ack.

Now with the advent of iTunes, I can download new stuff easily. Melissa made some suggestions when I was at home to start with. So now my request is that you all please leave me some suggestions in my comments. Please help me get my musical taste out of my early 20s.

Bachelor-stalking update!

The bachelor who I saw bartending at the restaurant in Nantucket? Went to Duke! What a coincidence. Not that I go to Duke. But close enough.
Becky noticed this article in the Duke Alumni Magazine she just got (which coincidentally has another article of interest in it, about my advisor. Another coincidence!). Dang. I wish I had had all this information when I actually saw the guy.

Jude Law falls off the list

Now Jude Law has skeeved me out to the point where he is no longer on my 'list' (of celebrities that I would fleetingly consider running off with if asked, and that Brian would have to forgive). Herryn and I spent hours devoted to creating and debating these lists on our marathon drive from Clevo -> NH, when we drove out together for my wedding.

I can't even remember who was on the original list anymore; its a revolving list. I'm pretty sure though that Anderson Cooper was there, unless the 'newsman' position was then occupied by Antonio Mora? Also Ewan McGregor would have been a sure thing (and remains on the list, 5 years later). Hm... I might have to give this some additional thought.

(Don't worry, Brian has a similar, however probably not as well-thought-out list, primarily made up of Jennifer Connelly and Catherine Zeta-Jones).

Well anyhow, Jude Law and his first wife got divorced. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He got engaged to Sienna Miller who otherwise would not be anywhere on my celebrity radar, except for the fact that she appears quite often on the Fug blog. And now, 6 months after getting engaged he's been forced to admit that he was having an affair with his nanny. Nice. I think celebrities must significantly decrease the average #-of-years-married for the US because they all suck so much at it.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Its not me, its you.

I found this post on another blog. I have heard so many similar reports of US Airways hatred today that I'm seriously not surprised that they're bankrupt. With the number of people who have just told me in one day that they will not fly US Air either, there must be a million other people who have decided similarly.

I am so never flying USAir again.

Flying on USAir was a complete and utter disaster from start to finish. The trip from CLE-MHT? Disaster involving not arriving at MHT until after midnight. The trip from MHT-RDU? Two disaster-filled days of disaster. Yesterday I went back to MHT to try to fly out again. The flight to DC was delayed. They said our connections would be fine though. Well, not so much. When I got inside I had missed the flight by like half an hour. Brian of course did not get my messages and went to the airport to pick me up at 3:30. The man does not turn his cell phone on, EVER. He got the science geek gene, thats for sure. But obviously missed the tech-geek gene. Sooo. When was the next connecting flight? Oh... 5 and a half hours later. Of course. So at this point I was exhausted and moody and went up to the USAir club to see if they would be nice and offer me a more comfortable place to wait my seccond day of 5+ hours due to their apparent scheduling incompetance (no other airlines going to the same airports were delayed, just USAir!). No. They would not. They wanted me to pay 25 bucks for a day pass. She said (rather snottily) that their MEMBERS pay $375 a year for the privledge. I was like, I paid over 200 bucks for this plane ticket and I've had close to 15 hours of extra waiting in the airport as a result. I could have DRIVEN. To NEW HAMPSHIRE. So at this point I start sobbing. Remember, very tired. And wanting to get home. Also, who knows. Maybe I have PMS. Anyhow. Sobbing. In the airport, like a fool. Then I started reading to get my mind off it, but I kept thinking about the whole scene in the Club and start crying again. It was great. Then I was sitting there and I heard them announcing the final boarding call for another flight to Raleigh, which they had not even MENTIONED to me. Perhaps it was booked, but I would have tried to get on standby. I was REALLY annoyed about that. After three hours (and a little bit calmer) I decided to go to the bar, where I drank a beer and ate cheesesticks and read my book (now reading "The Broker" by John Grisham, which is actually interesting and readable, unlike "The Last Juror" which I read on the way out. The Worst Book EVAH!). A girl was waiting for a table and I asked if she wanted to join me, which she did. So we had fun chatting. Like me, she was also a poser punk/goth chick while in middle school. Wanting to be punk/goth but not able to commit to the black outfits and pale skin. Hee. Luckily this took my mind off of my misery so I didn't even start sobbing again when they FURTHER DELAYED my flight for an hour and a half. Finally I got home at 11:30 last night. Blah.

USAir was terrible though. Every flight delayed. I used to fly Continental all the time (in the mice in Cleveland, Lisa in NC days) and had no problems. Not one. USAir? Every single flight. Misery. You would think that customer service would dictate that you are at least polite to the customers you screw. But not even a teeny bit. Don't even bother to tell me about earlier flights so I can just GET HOME. I hated them.

Although, we had a flight attendant on the MHT-DC leg that was absolutely hilarious and I loved him. So very funny and nice and helpful. So evidence that not all USAir employees suck. Oh wait. That was operated by one of those other regional airlines. So he probably WASN'T a USAir employee. I see. It all makes sense now.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Remember how I was suppossed to be home yesterday?

Yeah, not so much. My trip has been filled with bad travel experiences. On the way out here our flight from Cleveland to Phila. was delayed for several hours (including 2 just sitting on the tarmac in Phila, thus I missed my connection to Manch-vegas, thus my new connecting flight arrived to Manchester at just after midnight. Thus, I didn't get home until 1 am.
Yesterday my flight from MHT-LaGuardia was suppossed to leave at 2:10, but by 6:15 we were still on the ground and expecting another 'update' at 7:15. I would have safely missed my connection in LGA if it had not already been cancelled. I was booked on a later flight to Raleigh, but it was looking like I wasn't going to make that one either. So I got rebooked on a flight this morning and came back to my parents. We have a wedding to attend on Saturday; lucky I left myself a travel mishap cushion of a few days. My mom picked me up in my dad's toy car (Corvette) because the real car was in the shop. We couldn't get the trunk open so we had to hoist my suitcase over the front seat into the very small trunk.

The rest of my trip was fun. I went to Boston to visit Matt and Melissa. Much gin was drunk. We went to Southie to visit her brother (also Matt. Matt II) and his wife Alicia. We walked all around Boston that day. Of course, I was not prepared for this and was wearing heels. So... a little painful. By the end of the day each step felt like knives were being stabbed into the balls of my feet. Mel was also wearing heels so we were unhappy. Matt and Alicia? Flipflops. We walked all the way to Charlestown (from the North End, not from Southie) to go to Coldstone Creamery. I'm sorry. Bayly, I know you love this place. But I'm not that enthused. I've tried it twice. I think my tastebuds are spoiled because I grew up on Kopp's frozen custard. Mmm. Macadamia nut day. My mom and I would drive up specifically for Macadamia nut custard day.

Also my dad and I flew out to Nantucket for the afternoon. I've never been there. Its cute. Lots of shops. We had lunch at this place on the water. The Rope Hook? I don't remember. Anyhow. The bartender looked so familiar but I couldn't place him. I was like, did we go to school together? Hm. So I finally asked the waitress his name, and she said he was Ben Sands, and that he had been on The Bachelorette. Aha!!! I remember I liked him. It was the Jen Schefft version. She's also an Alpha Xi Delta by the way. TFJ Jen! So I took some stalker-type photos of him with my new digital camera (graduation gift from wonderful husband!!) to send to Becky.
Flight was fun too. On the way out we flew over Boston, on the way back we were diverted over to Bedford out of the major traffic zone for BOS. I took some decent pics from the air, perhaps will post them when i get back. If I ever get back.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Oh also...

Amish posted this story on his blog and I thought it was funny.
Last few days of vacation have been spent in a whirlwind of shopping. Melissa came up from Boston and stayed overnight. We have an H&M at the mall here, which I don't have anywhere else and thus have only been in once. Love it! Although I am looking for a wedding outfit, I bought a denim skirt instead. Close. Also we hit the SUPER MARSHALLS. Which is super. Yesterday Mel and my mom and I went up to Londonderry where there is both a TJ Maxx and a Marshalls in close proximity. Although I must have tried on 30+ items I left only with a box of notecards. Thats the thing about these stores. You have to try on in volume to get anywhere.

I'll be heading down to Boston on Saturday to stay with Matt and Mel for the night which will be fun. I haven't been to Boston forever. My dad and I are hoping to fly down to Nantucket early next week before I return to NC. If the weather cooperates. I have never been to Nantucket.

Not much else to report. Brian is experiencing the all-Milo-all-the-time that I would get when I was staying at home working. Milo wants your attention at every moment, so you cannot go anywhere without him following you like a shadow. Since I am gone, Brian is also eating lots of meat. He's had burgers practically every night from the sound of it. I don't prohibit him from eating meat or anything, so its not like he couldn't have real burgers normally. I guess when I'm around though he doesn't mind eating vegetarian.

Oh also. Beauty and the Geek finale was a travesty. I hate Chuck. Arrogant Chuck. I also was not too much of a fan of irritating Richard. I guess this is why they are considered "Geeks" - no social skills whatsoever. Only Chuck thought he had them. Anyhow. I liked Richard's teammate so I wanted them to win when faced with this choice between my two least favorite Geeks. Alas, no.
And, Dancing with the Stars finale was good. Kelly did a great job so go her. I wish that Kelly/John O'Hurley/Joey MacIntyre/Rachel Hunter could have all won, because all four were good. John O'Hurley's freestyle dance was boring though, so I thought given that Kelly deserved to win. He could have done so much better.
Also caught Mel up on Lost so hopefully I have made a convert. Its such a good show.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


The vacation has begun. First, some blog about the defense and fabulous Clevo trip.
As mentioned earlier, the defense was fine. Julie/Brian organized a party for me at which the following AWESOME cake made an appearance:

Love the mice. love love love. Also, Katie sent me these pretty gerbera daisies.

On Friday night we went to Marotta's with Amy and Lisa P. and then to the Barking Spider, where others joined us, including college friends Amish and Larry:

The requisite drunken phonecalls to other college friends were made. Today I had a message from Amee that began, "Sorry I missed all your very late night phone calls..."
I know Katie reads this, so I also have to put this picture up:

We left this graffiti in the bathroom when we were out for the lab move. Hee.
On Saturday Brian drove home very early. I woke up late, and walked around campus. I saw the new CWRU dorms:

which I am very jealous of.
I went to the Botanical Gardens:

Which were beautiful. They had a Costa Rica exhibit where there were HUNDREDS of butterflies flying around. I like this picture:

Then Lisa P took me to the airport where I had an adventure including missing my connecting flight. I didn't get into Manch-vegas until 12 am.
Early the next morning I found out we were going up to the lake. I went kayaking, jet-skiing, boating, drinking. The neighbor's dog MacGyver went on an inflatable raft in the water:

Lots of relaxation packed into two days already.

Friday, July 01, 2005

I'm done!!

Quick post, I am borrowing Rebeccah's computer while she is at someone elses thesis defense.
But I finished yesterday! No changes to be made! Turned in all forms today!! The talk went well. The defense was no problem.
Party was great, Julie/Brian/Rebeccah/Other people but I don't know who did a nice job, I'll posst pictures when I get to NH.
We went to the Baricelli Inn for dinner which was great.
Today my parents left and Brian and I are going around Cleveland, going to see our old house, say goodbye to Clevo.
Going to NH on Sat, will post more then.