Friday, May 30, 2008

Haiku Summer is Here Friday

Phils swept the Rockies
First sweep of the year. Go Phils!
Great start to summer.


Plans for the weekend?
Sex and the City with friends.
Spend some time outside.


People visiting
So great to catch up, meet new
friends. I love summer!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Random Schtuff

  • Randi's back! Welcome home, darlin'!
  • I have at least 5 weddings to attend in the next year. None of them are where I live. Niiiice. One's on Long Island. You'd think there might be something fun to do, since Long Island sounds like an island, meaning there should be beach there, and it's close to NYC, so there should be fun stuff to do, right? Nope, apparently the only thing to do is shop. Which I can do here. For cheaper. I am slowly learning what everyone else around me has been telling me for years. New Jersey and Long Island suck.
  • Headin' out to my first Phillies' game of the season tonight. They are playing the Rockies and the Phillies have so far scored 27 runs in two games to pretty much obliterate the Rockies. We shall see if that trend continues tonight...
  • The weather has not yet been real summer weather around here. Memorial Day weekend was gorgeous: warm, but not too humid, sunny, clear, nice. Today's a bit chilly, but still sunny. Here's hoping the rest of the week goes as well.
  • Prelim season here. I listened to folks give their practice talks last night until 9pm. Seriously a little drained right now.
  • A friend of my Dad's is coming to visit in June - should be fun to show him around and let him check out Philly. Always nice to see folks from home.
  • My favorite undergrad has her last day today - she's off to the Rockefeller for a summer research fellowship. I'm proud of her and so excited to see where she's headed. I feel like I've watched her grow up in the past 3 years while she's worked in the lab. She's such an awesome person. I wonder if this is a bit like parents feel when their kids fly the coop.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Haiku Friday

Crazy week for me!
Kitty has diabetes.
Lots of shots for her.
Too many vet trips;
surrounded by medical
devices and things.
No work this weekend!
Relaxing, taking easy.
Hope summer comes fast.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Movie Review Thursday

After a long day at work, I popped in this DVD that I had ordered on Netflix. All I can say about this film is watch it. Now. It is so poignant, amazing, unbelievable, shocking, endearing, incredible. I was riveted. The basic plot line follows two best friends in Nablus (Palestine, West Bank) named Said (pronounced Say-eed) and Khaled. They are young men, maybe in their 20s, working a job at a car repair shop in the city. They live with their families, and lead what you might find to be a regular "boring" life. They get the call to become suicide bombers together, and the movie basically starts the day they get the call. They are to leave the next day. The movie follows the two men as they embark on this journey together. I did not find his movie to be propaganda; I think the filmmakers took a fairly "balanced" (if you will) approach to this film in trying to describe the challenges the families in the West Bank face. The men are not overly religious, I think there are a few scenes of people praying, but there does not seem to be a religious undertone to the movie. It's basically the men facing their reality and the fact they cannot get jobs or support their families. They are angry and isolated and to a certain extent, defeated and fatalistic. By doing this bombing, they will be doing more good for their families than they would be doing if they are alive. It's a shocking and wonderful film, giving me a glimpse into what might be going on in the West Bank and all over the Middle East. I am in no way condoning what either side is doing in this war between religions and cultures, but I think it's an interesting film on things going on in parts of the world I am not exposed to on a regular basis. Makes you appreciate where you are. Watch it, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Book Review Wednesday

I recently finished the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. This is yet another bargain book I picked up. It came recommended by the "Today Book Club", and since I am such a big fan of the Today Show (I watch nearly every day) I figured I might give it a try. The back of the book describes the story as "slow burning", and I can't think of a better way to describe the book. Its the story of 4 children, including the narrator, who grow up in a small town called Crow Lake in way northeastern Canada. There is the oldest brother, Luke, the second oldest, Matt, the narrator, Kate and the youngest (merely a baby) Bo. The narrator is speaking from now, reflecting on her life and her childhood. She refers to things that had happened "long ago" and is trying to connect events together in her mind in order to deal with her family and try to reconcile her life now (as a quite successful scientist) and her life growing up in a small town. Very early in the book, her parents are killed in a horrible accident and the family tries to make decisions as to how to care for the young children (herself and Bo) since the boys are quite a bit older. Luke eventually decides, against the rest of the family's wishes, that he will keep the kids, him and Matt will work at odd jobs and they will raise the girls themselves. This is a painful decision (obviously) since Luke is merely 19 years old and Matt is about 17. Bo is just a toddler, so the care of the kids is a major commitment. The entire story does not unfold until the last few pages. The author refers to a series of tragedies that have occurred in Matt's life, but the reader doesn't find out what those are until the end of the novel. It's basically a classic tale of the narrator having a dream for her brother (that he is so smart and he should go to school and get out of Crow Lake) but Matt has other ideas and plans and his leaving Crow Lake ultimately doesn't work out. The narrator has a certain amount of guilt that she was able to escape and her brother did not. She is so disappointed that he is unable to fulfill the dreams she thought he had. The narrator, at times, was hard for me to identify with. She was very closed, not wanting to let anyone in, and not willing to budge from her ideas. At the end of the book, she kind of starts to understand that everyone chooses their own path, but not fully. It's not a "clean" book, that is, not all the loose ends are tied up, but I did enjoy it. I think I did identify with the narrator to a certain degree because it's very hard to reconcile your family lie with what you choose to do with your life, especially if they are very far apart, or very very different.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Reminiscin' Haiku Friday (extended version)

At the age of twelve,
I fell in love with a group
of guys the new kids.


I much outgrew the
love for you. Older and aged
Forgot my childhood.


Now thirty, turn on
TV. I am once again twelve.
Dancing and singing.


Remembering the
moves I never forgot, words
burned into my brain


So funny to see
grown men dancing, fathers and
husbands hangin' tough.


Must say thank you to
the boys for bringing me back
to the summertime.


Laughing and dancing,
plastering my room with pics.
Singing at the top.


Only wish I lived
closer to attend concert
with friends long gone.


Don't forget your child
hood. Always remind yourself
to play with music.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Book Review Thursday

Last night, as I was awaiting a UPS truck that never came, I had the opportunity to finish Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh. Another bargain book, I got this at the local used book store and hate to admit that I bought it based on it's cover and some of the reviews written on the book itself. The book is essentially a bit of a character study about a man named Ken Kimble told through the stories of his three wives. It's an extraordinary yet ordinary tale about marriage, divorce, children, and life. Its begins with Birdie, Ken's first wife, right after Ken has left her with two young children. He left her for another, younger, woman and Birdie is languishing in her sorrow, drowning it in booze and not properly caring for her children. I know it sounds sad and depressing, but I was rooting for this character as I read about her situation. She was incredibly well constructed and very realistic. We next move on to Joan, a few years later, who meets Ken at a BBQ. Joan is a bit older, wiser, than Birdie. She's recently buried her father, has battled a bout of cancer and has moved to Florida to get away from it all. She and Ken marry and she realizes he has betrayed her in more than one way. We then move on to Dinah, Ken's third wife, who is significantly younger than Ken, yet falls prey to his wiles. They have the longest marriage, at 15 years, yet she seems to know or realize the least about her husband. The book was fascinating and I could not put it down. The characters are well constructed, well rounded, and realistic. The author does a wonderful job of showing this particular man through the eyes of his wives, and at some times, his children. The ending is neat, but not too neat. The characters drive the plot in unexpected ways. There were no twists or turns, just a fascinating portrayal of several characters, all of which I identified in some way. The author does a wonderful job of creating scenery, describing regions, sunsets, beaches, mountains, etc. I would highly recommend this book and this author to anyone interested.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Randi!

Acquainted at the wee age of two,
We've always made a hullabaloo.
You are quite dear to me,
You always will be
My bestest friend, Randi!

PS: Congrats on the whole engagement thing! LYLAS

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Scary Dream

Woke up this morning to a terrifying dream. I had been with my friend Randi, and for some reason a cop stopped her and gave her a ticket. Then we got in her gigantic SUV and drove away. She swerved to avoid some branches in the road and drove right off the edge of the bridge we were on. The car went into the river below and I was trying really hard to open the doors to the car, but they wouldn't budge. I couldn't get out and was starting to panic when I woke up. What does that one mean? Anyone interpret dreams?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Haiku Rainy Friday

The rain falls thickly
reflecting exactly my
feelings of sadness.


A final goodbye.
A family in mourning.
Life's circle completes.


Black or white, many
shades of gray. Water falling
like tears from the sky.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Random Thursday

I really have got nothing going on right now. Things are going OK in lab, I am slowly getting back to normal at home (although I still have to do that whole winter to summer clothes switch thing - seasons can be such a pain!). My parents are headed up north to go to the last of Dennis' memorials this weekend. I think they should have a nice time and I am actually kinda bummed I can't be there to see the family again. It's amazing what a death will do to you family - it has really brought mine together so much closer, which is really awesome. Can't wait to move a little bit closer home in a few years....
In other news, we found out my cat is diabetic. So we've switched her food around and she's on some pills, so things seem to be coming under control in that area. Looking forward to the weekend when I can relax a bit. And I absolutely cannot go to work this weekend because there's no water in my building (yay!). - wow could this get a little more boring?-
Last night we went out with a old friend (you know you've lived here a long time when you have old friends!) for some drinks and it turned into a marathon hang out session. I'm not sure when he left, but it was after I went to bed at 1am. Needless to say, I'm a bit tired today.
Well, clearly, I've got little to blog about. I am sure I will come up with something for tomorrow, tho. TGIF, bitches!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Friday, May 2, 2008

Haiku TGIF

Not much work today
Slowly getting back into
work school life things all.


Wedding dress shopping
tomorrow. Not for me tho!
Lisa, she crazy.


Can't wait to sleep in
late: my own bed, my own house.
Weekends are super!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Oh, Bucky!

Book Review Thursday

The book is Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane (daughter of Tina Louise - Ginger on Gilligan's Island - if you care). This book was recommended to me by my cousin and her husband. Apparently, she would laugh out loud while reading this book and read passages out loud to her husband (who normally doesn't like doing that). She ended up reading the entire book to him on a long drive down to Southern CA a few weeks ago. I must admit, this book has been designated as a "chick lit" type of novel. I don't normally like to use that terminology because I feel it degrades women novelists who write "romantic comedies" (for lack of a better description). This book, however, is your typical romantic comedy. Two people meet, drive each other mad, end up spending time together and falling in love but won't admit it, have a falling out, and eventually end up together at the end. Trust me, I didn't just ruin it for you; we all know the formula. What made this book unique and wonderful was the characters. I literally laughed out loud on several occasions, mostly because the characters were describing or experiencing something in life I have experienced. Although much funnier, obviously. The story is told from two points of view, a guy and a girl, Brady and Heaven (I kid you not). They start off as somewhat annoying characters, her being a little too whiny and him being a little too boring. But soon, things start to happen and the characters become a little larger than life, getting involved in antics that make you giggle. Although the author's observations about Los Angeles were way off base, in my opinion (and perhaps her observations about NYC are too, I just don't live there), it was a very enjoyable read. The book feels like an old pair of jeans, put on after a long day of wearing heels and pantyhose. It's always great to put on an old pair of jeans that fit you just right...