Weekend at Mushi’s

Posted by barb on Feb 19, 2007 in Pictures, Random Thoughts

Much of what we did and talked about this weekend is classified, but I can report that Mushi and I had a BIG TIME!

Our first order of business, after dropping a little cash in a local scrapbooking store, was to get ourselves inked. Mushi’s friend had recommended someone, Tony at No Regrets Tattoos, and had warned him that we would be coming by today. He had an artist coming in to interview, so when we stopped by the shop a bit before 1, he told us to come back around 2:30. That gave us a chance to hit B&N to look up animal tracks to help finalize Mushi’s tattoo design. We had to wait a bit after we got back, and got started around 3:30. I went first, cuz Mushi wanted to see the color he used on my vine (see pictures), which she was considering for her tat.

My last tat was done over 10 years ago, so I couldn’t remember how much it hurt, but I remember that it hurt. Also, the one I got today was on my ankle, which I was a bit worried about, since it’s less “fleshy” than my back/shoulder where I had my last one. So, yes, it does hurt. It feels a bit like someone taking an exacto knife and scraping up your skin. The ankle was definitely worse than the shoulder, since as he went around, he hit a bony spot and there seemed to be more nerves closer to the surface in places. I’d often get the “funny bone” weird, hurting as he was doing one bit or another.

I think that was a nerve! Almost there...

Read more…

Tags: , ,


On the tracks

Posted by barb on Feb 16, 2007 in Random Thoughts

Jo's ready to go!

I now have mixed feelings about taking trains. Many of you who know me remember the infamous train ride I took from New Mexico to Minnesota (with a stopover/change of train in Chicago). I refused to take the train for years after that incident. (Those of you who have not heard the story, speak up in the comments, and I’ll make a post about it later.)

Back in July/August, I took the Acela up to Boston – the Acela is all business class and even has a “quiet car” where cell phone conversations and loud conversations are banned. All rows have a plug-in so I could use my laptop for longer than the battery lifetime. Plus, the ride was relatively smooth, so I could get real work done. The ride was rather pleasant, and a nice change from wrestling the security-heavy airlines. Maybe I was ready to forgive the train.

Today, I took the Carolinian from Alexandria, VA to Cary, NC. Business class was relatively full, so I took the first available seat I found (there were maybe three other available seats). Turned out I was next to a very talkative man and across from another pair of talkative people. Actually, things started out alright. I pulled out my laptop and started working on my paper for ApJ. Unfortunately, each row of seats has only one plug, and the other guy was already using it. He offered to switch off when my battery got low, but I was finding it hard to work on my paper, and was feeling a bit shy about asking him to plug in so I could play my game. Instead, I packed up my laptop and worked on some sudoku puzzles.

The conversation started when he came back from the cafe car about an hour and a half into the trip. He started to tell me about the conversation he’d had in the cafe car about Iraq. Great. I should have had my headphones on by then, but I didn’t. Stupid me.

Read more…

Tags: ,



Posted by barb on Jan 9, 2007 in Random Thoughts

I am so cranky

  • Got back from Christmas at my parents
  • Had to throw together a poster for the AAS meeting using the results of my meeting with my thesis advisors the day before I left for Christmas. (A meeting which should have occured much, much, much earlier)
  • Also had to get Christmas out of our house before leaving for the meeting.
  • Left for Seattle Saturday (fortunately with poster in hand)
  • Had 3 inches of personal space on the plane after the woman in front of me decided to recline for the last 3 hours of the 6-hour flight.
  • Our booths had not arrived, so my planned trip to Archie McPhee after set-up on Saturday was canceled (we ended up having to wait around until after 5 PM to see if the booths would arrive).
  • First day of the meeting, I sat at the booth *all day*, 9 AM to 6:30 PM
  • The second day, I had a poster, so I decided that I would not sit behind the booth at all.
  • Today I had to listen to my boss bitch that she had to sit there from 11 AM to 4 PM yesterday. Oh boo-hoo. At the Atlanta, San Diego, and Denver meetings I had to sit behind the booth *every day*, *open to close*. Shut up about one f&^%ing day, not even open to close.
  • And my boss seems to think that things with the booth just magically happen. She’s asked me at nearly every meeting how the booths get set up. Oh, that would be me. And she’s asked how they get taken down. Duh. That would be me. And I’m expected to be the one to get things setup in the morning, and put away in the evening. And she’s bitching about 5 hours in a row at the booth? Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

I’ve nearly been in tears every day when I get back to my room. I hate my job. I hate work travel. I hate the West Coast. (No offense to the West Coast, it’s just way too hard to acclimate in the 5 nights I’m here, and way too hard to figure out a time to call my hubby.) I’m on the verge of quitting my job, and I’m about to tell my boss that even if we send the booth to the next meeting in Hawaii, I’m not going.

One good thing to come out of this: I got to visit Archie McPhee. Yay for the small things. Now if I can just fight the urge to quit my job.

Tags: , ,


Downtown with the girls

Posted by barb on Dec 31, 2006 in Random Thoughts

After we went through the Mary Poppins exhibit, we stopped at the gift shop for some gingerbread cookies (which you can smell all the way through the exhibit). I sat down with Kira while Andrew went to tell Mom and Dad (who had Sofia) where we had gone. I gave Kira one of the gingerbread men, and she said to me, “He’s going to run away.” I replied, “Maybe you should eat his head off…that ought to do it. Or you could eat his feet, then he couldn’t run.” So she popped his head off, and then proceeded to tear him up into three strips – one with the feet, one with the arms, and a mid-section. She shared some of the strips with Jo, and nibbled happily at the cookie. Later, she gave the cookie’s head to my Dad, and said that the gingerbread man was going to run away, but she took his head off so he couldn’t. Oh great, I’m going to be blamed as the aunt who taught her niece to tear the heads off of cookies so they can’t run away.

Tags: , ,


Thar she blows…

Posted by barb on Aug 6, 2006 in Pictures, Travels

Boston skyline from the whale-watching boat

I’d heard from one of the locals that the whale watching was spectacular this year, so I talked Andrew into going on a whale watching trip today. We took one of the three-hour tours out from Long Wharf (yes, a three hour tour…I get it, okay?). The boat took an hour to get out to the whales’ feeding grounds. There was a group of four whales feeding there – three grown whales and a calf. The whales would stay at the surface for a few minutes, and then dive (showing their flukes on the way) for a few minutes, reappearing later at some random location not terribly far from where they’d dove.

The calf got curious about our boat, and one surfaced on one side of it, swam under, and surfaced on the other side. My pictures don’t really show a scale, but s/he was about half the size of the catamaran we were on.

Humpback calf surfacing near our boatMama and calf flukes

After we returned from the whale watching tour, we poked around Faneuil Hall, picking up a t-shirt for Felicia (she was here last November with us, but didn’t get a shirt because we couldn’t find a Build-a-Bear in a touristy area) and taking pictures of more of the Cow Parade cows. Finally we headed back to the hotel to rest and pack up for our trip home tomorrow.



Art Galore!

Posted by barb on Aug 5, 2006 in Pictures, Travels

We spent much of the day at the Museum of Fine Arts. Andrew had read that they have the largest collection of Monets outside of Europe. So, even though Andrew is not a huge fan of Impressionism, he took me there. Fear not, there was plenty there for Andrew, too.

The museum had a large collection of Egyptian, Greek and Roman art. (Sweetie, I took the hedgehog picture for you. It’s an Egyptian vessel of some sort.)

Egyptian Hedgehog vessleScarabs

Bass clarinet and alto sax

They also had a great collection of antique instruments (plan little bit ahead for this one &150; the instrument room opens an hour after the museum, and closes about an hour before). In addition to some impressive harpsichords and pianos, they had some highly decorated harps and stringed instruments. Of course, I homed in on the case with a saxophone, which is pictured to the right. The other instrument in that picture is actually clarinet.

La Japonaise by Monet

Of course, my favorite part was the Impressionism room. There were two of Monet’s Waterlilies and a slew of others. In the next room were a few Asian-inspired European pieces, including Monet’s La Japonaise, which I’m not sure I’ve seen before (in books or online, that is, since of course I haven ‘t seen it in person before). That’s the on pictured to the left.

After we left the Museum of Fine Arts, we poked around Boston Common for a while, seeking out some of the Cow Parade” cows.

Our final stop, for a busy, busy day, was a the Museum of Science for Body Worlds. Body Worlds is an exhibit of plastinized bodies. The exibition is touted as “educational”, though I might argue with that assessment. Certainly there was an educational aspect to the exhibit – there were rows of cases containing plastinized organs organized by the system they’re associated with (such as locmotion or digestion). These cases also showed some unhealthy examples of organs, such heart that had gone through a heart attack. And these cases were certainly educational.

However, the crux of the exhibit were the full bodies that were on display. They started innocently enough with just a full body, then one with a man leaning back with his hands behind his head, and one with his arm extended for a handshake. But then they started getting weird. There was a woman in a diving position, but her front and back had been split with her organs standing up in the middle. But that was mild compared to what was to come. In the next room, there was “drawer man”, with random squares cut from his body and then pulled forward or pushed back to expose his insides. The most disturbing one, to me, was “ring man” who was displayed holding onto altheletic rings. He had rings of skin removed from his body and extremities.

I wasn’t creeped out by the exhibit, as I thought I might be (which might be surprising, since it was completely my idea to go, while Andrew wasn’t sure about it). I would quibble with calling it a primarily educational exhibit, though. In fact, I’d call art, albeit with a questionable medium.



Play time!

Posted by barb on Aug 4, 2006 in Pictures, Travels
Circuit-board light outside our door

Groovy Equation Throw!

The meeting ended today, and so-as not to waste my free ticket to Boston, Andrew came up today so we could play this weekend. We had made reservations at the Hotel@MIT. Yup, I went from Harvard to MIT. I must be smart.

I have to say that any crappy hotel would have been welcome after the Harvard dorms (no offense to Harvard or my suite-mate, but I just hate dorms), but this was no crappy hotel. The Hotel@MIT was beautiful and geeky all rolled into one. What more could a geek like me want?

There are patent pages behind the front desk, robots in cases in the lobby, and classic pictures of MIT around the whole hotel. Just outside each room, there are sconces that look like circuit boards. The best part? The throw blanket on the bed is full of equations (see picture at the right – click to see a larger view)! Oh, and in the hotel information booklet in the room, the first tab is connectivity! Finally, a hotel that understands what is most important!



A visit to Lexington

Posted by barb on Aug 3, 2006 in Pictures, Travels
Minuteman Statue at Lexington Green

Buckman Tavern off the Lexington Green

Hancock-Adams house

Sundial outside the Hancock-Adams house

One of the guys helping with the meeting I’m attending lives in Lexington and volunteered to give us a tour. Most of the meeting participants (18 out of 25) signed up to go along on the tour. We met at Lexington Green, the site of a skirmish between the British and Rebels. (Though, Bruce, our native guide, was quick to point out that everyone was British at that time.)

After Bruce gave us a great telling of the history, we walked around the square for about 45 minutes. Sara and I went to see Buckman Tavern and then walked the couple of blocks to the Hancock-Clarke house, where John Hancock and John Adams were sleeping when Paul Revere rode into town to warn them of the coming British troups.

We capped the evening with dinner at Not Your Average Joe’s. Good food, and I sat at the fun table, so a good time. (Except for the “bug incident” – one of the women at our table had a salad, and pulled something out of her mouth when it tasted oddly spicy. It was a shield bug. Eeew! But, the manager made things right, and we didn’t have any complaints…well the soman with the bug might have, but she seemed to take it well with a little humor.)



Having fun in Boston

Posted by barb on Aug 2, 2006 in Pictures, Travels

I don’t have time for a detailed entry right now, but thought I’d drop a quick note. First of all, I’ve posted some of my pictures from our adventures yesterday to Harvard’s historic scientific instruments collection: check them out on my Flickr stream. We also took a tour of the Great Refractor, and I have just a couple pictures on Flickr.

Wondering what else I’ve been up to? Check out the pics below:
Views from the trainTrojan Cow

More later.



The Train has Grown Up

Posted by barb on Jul 30, 2006 in Pictures, Random Thoughts

Views from the train

Many of you who’ve known me for more than a few years have heard about my fun experiences on the train while I lived in New Mexico. I only took the train once from New Mexico to Minnesota, but that was enough. The trip consisted of two legs – a 24-hour trip from Albuquerque to Chicago, and an 8-hour trip from Chicago to Minneapolis. On both my outgoing long trip and home-bound long trip creepy men hounded me…for the whole 24-hour trip.

This is why I felt very brave of me to take the train to Boston. However, if things did go badly, the trip was only 7 hours, so I had some hope that it wouldn’t be too bad. (That, and Andrew will be joining me for the return trip, so he can protect me then.)

As it turned out, though, my fears were unfounded. I don’t know if that’s because I was on the Acela Express (translation: business class), or because I was on the quiet car (no cell phones, no loud conversations), or because the train has just become a better experience. Either way, I’ll be happy to take the train again…at least in business class, and for relatively short trips.

Tonight I’m staying at the Sharaton Commander Hotel. Tomorrow? Off to the Harvard dorms. Ick. I didn’t like dorms as a “young college student”…I’m not expecting to like it much as an old grad student.


Copyright © 2024 My Silly Life All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek.