Sunday, July 31, 2005

top of the mornin'

It is 7:08 a.m. Sunday and already I have:
  • driven to BWI and back
  • bought lemons
  • finished the ginger beer I'd had steeping overnight (it's scary spicy...20 hours might be a little long)

I am going to cap this achievement by going back to bed.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

public radio

I'm still angry at my local public radio station for dropping classical music and going all-talk. (Which happened five months ago.) They do still play music Saturday afternoon, and right now I'm so pleased - there's a show on about Rokia Traore! She's a Malian singer, and apparently she's recorded with the Kronos Quartet. (I guess that's how you get on public radio - record with the Kronos Quartet.) But you're going to have to do more than this to win me back, WETA.

Friday, July 29, 2005

I suppose it was only a matter of time before I had a post about bestiality

I am *so* glad this is a situation I have never faced. Yknow, as a reporter.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

calling J.Po

Gee, I know a lot of people who have "art" like this: but never quite thought of putting it on the wall...can you imagine? You walk into your living room, and there's a dreadful reminder of the lab staring back at you?

another reason comes to mind

The post below raises another reason not to blog: I don't want to scoop myself. I am SO excited about the idea I just posted about. And yet I don't want to explain it to the online world. I know nobody who could scoop me reads this. (Unless you've started a freelance career in your freetime, Miss Shirley?) But still.

It's kind of dumb in this case, because this guy's latest news is all over the world today, and anyone who interviewed him probably got the same earful about all the implications and is working late tonight trying to put together the bigger story. But still.

My science writer buddy in Brazil (this is his newspaper) was writing the same story today. It was fun IMing with him about it while he crashed on deadline and I was having a long, leisurely chat with the researcher.

sometimes I love my job

This afternoon I did the most fascinating interview. It was with this guy who's got this super controversial new theory that could totally overturn his field. Seriously, it would pull the foundation out from decades of research. I don't know if he's right or not - that's for other scientists to figure out. But he has a couple of years of experimental data and a lot of opinions.

If he is right, the implications are just WILD. I mean, crazy. His theory would change how we think about a procedure that is done daily, in hospitals around the world, without a second thought. I mean, it saves lives, no doubt. I probably know people who have been saved by this. I'm sure I do, yeah. But golly, it could have huge unintended consequences.


I read The Washingtonienne yesterday. It's a novel. Here, I'll summarize for you: she has sex with lots of guys. They enjoy different kinds of sex. Some of them pay her. She gets in trouble. Her shrink tells her she's depressed. The end. Now you don't need to read it.

I would like to note that I borrowed the book from G-dog; I did not spend money on it. And, in fairness, Jessica Cutler is a perfectly good writer. Maybe next time she'll write something more interesting.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I need a haircut

More than a year ago, I was thinking, man, I should really get a haircut, it's been a long time. And then I didn't. It's gotten to where I entertain myself at my desk by searching for split ends and lopping them off with the office scissors. Not like it's difficult to find the split ends. They're on almost every hair, sometimes inches from the end.

The problem is, my hair genius is in San Francisco, and I just don't trust anyone else. My hair can do dull, ugly things when cut improperly. And good haircuts cost serious money here, not like Mr. $19 Genius in SF.

Also, I kind of want to donate my hair to one of those charities that makes wigs for kids, but (a) I'm not sure I'm ready to cut 10 inches off all at once, and (b) is it really that much of a gift if the ends are to-tal-ly nasty? I mean, do they even want my scraggly hair?

And, finally, I want long hair for this Christmas show I'm in so they don't make me wear a wig.

So here I am. Just me, the office scissors, and an incredibly stupid little dilemma.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

bill nighy is my hero

I just got back from an advance screening of The Constant Gardener. I went mainly because it was free (yeah, I'm a sucker), but it was really, really good. Not at all like when I went to see Raising Helen. Ralph Fiennes rocks his whole hot middle-aged British man thing (um - not that I would have any particular feelings about hot middle-aged British men) and Bill Nighy is a truly excellent slimy elder statesman.

The audience was mostly humorless human rights people, and their Q&A was, my friend "Martin" (who is female, but we're using her confirmation name for disguise here, since nothing else comes to mind immediately) said, like sitting in an American Studies seminar in college. E-e-e-verybody's got an opinion, nobody's got a question for the director. The funniest was a French woman who was like, I never heard of your earlier movie (City of God), and I never heard of this one, and the word's really not getting out, and you need to get the word out, because people need to see this, because the message is so important, blah blah blah. Which is, (1) kind of insulting, and anyway, City of God was kind of big, and (2) hilarious, because nobody's heard of this movie, because it doesn't open for a month, which is why you just saw it at an ADVANCE SCREENING, idiot. In his very polite response, the director pointed out that the company is making 1200 prints, so people will probably hear about it one way or the other.

When I got home, I had the gratifying experience of posting one of the first five IMDB votes on the film.


Hey! The space shuttle launched! Sure hope they don't need all their fuel gauges.

Do you ever wonder if caring about space is a generational thing? Like, if you weren't around for the moon landing, maybe bopping in and out of orbit just doesn't seem that momentous?

Monday, July 25, 2005

my hope for fame - dashed

I just got a call from a nice young man named Brian (or Bryan or, I suppose, Brighen) at Central Casting asking if I could work on a movie on August 8. A friend of mine knows someone knows someone who somehow got my name on a list. Which would all be pretty cool (Clint Eastwood is directing) except I forgot that's when I'm going to visit J.Vo and her baby in Ann Arbor. Sigh. I mean, don't get me wrong, seeing J.Vo and A.Vo is going to ROCK (REMfest 2005, here we come!) but it was my big chance to make it in the movies! And now I can't do it! Brian At Central Casting didn't seem quite as bummed as I was.

another reason not to have a blog

I could get bored with it and stop posting. I'll make an effort, but...I may give up.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


It turns out you can hear titanium heart valves working. How cool is that?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

spem in alium

Tonight I went to a free concert at the Cathedral (who can argue with a free concert?) - a bunch of really shockingly good local choirs performing works by Thomas Tallis, a 16th century English composer. The part I was most excited about hearing was the 40-part motet Spem in alium. Yes, that's 40 distinct parts.

It turned out not to be as good as when I heard it done a couple of years ago at Stanford. But then that was the Tallis Scholars, so you'd expect them to be good at singing Tallis.

What makes this piece work and not totally fall into disarray is that the 40 parts are divided into eight choirs of five. Most of the time only one or two choirs are singing at a time, and the sound moves back and forth across the group. But at a few points in the piece, everyone sings together, producing this unified mass of sound.

I recommend going to see it sometime. Sit up front.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

here I am again

An old friend had open heart surgery for infective endocarditis - say hello to two brand-spankin'-new mechanical valves - yesterday afternoon. Send your good thoughts to the Washington Hospital Center.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

See? obsessive.

I was reading Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Then I finished it. I totally cried at the end.

Good story, huh?

Not only was I reading Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, I was reading the movie tie-in edition. It had a color section in the middle with stills from the movie.

I would like to note that I picked it up at work for free. (What, did the publicist think we'd cover the new edition? Are our readers supposed to care?)

ok, fine, I give up

I came home early today because I was dizzy.

See, my life is dull. I suppose the dizziness could be something interesting. I looked at the big AMA guide to symptoms and I think the worst thing it could be is atrial fibrillation. That seems pretty unlikely, so I'm choosing not to worry about it.


I'm inclined toward getting obsessive about stuff and I think if I started blogging, I would never stop and hours would go into writing my random, dull thoughts for the world (by which I mean the two people I know to have read this blog) to see, and there I'd be, no farther along in my readings of essays about language and wondering if I'd have a more interesting life if I didn't spend it all typing to strangers and long-lost friends.

Monday, July 11, 2005

and anyway

I could never rise to the level of J.Po, with all her cute hockey players and worthy causes and musings and stuff. I'd read my own blog and just get depressed about how boring it is. Kind of like I'm doing now. Okay, this is just sad. I'm going to go read a book.

oh and

also, now that I write professionally, I'm used to having a copy desk clean up after me. So I get all self-conscious about my grammar when I know The Great JKB won't be fixing it.

another reason why I don't blog

See, I like having a record on paper. I think if I blogged what I'd done during the day, like my brother does, I would get bored when it came time to write it down at night, and forget to write down the good stuff because I'd already written it once. Ha! Like there is any good stuff! And how do I know that in five years blogspot won't go out of business and take my blog with it? Then it would be lost forever and my great-grandchildren would never know that, on Oct. 29, 2004, I drank five cups of tea.

I swear, my journal isn't all that boring. And it was topical. I was working on a story about tea.