February 27, 2008

Lemon Poop

I've railed before against restaurant waiters putting a lemon slice in my water when I did not request it. After all, had I wanted lemonade, I'd have ordered it. And I most certainly wouldn't order watered down lemonade - which is what it tastes like when my water is polluted with a lemon slice. Well it turns out, lemon may not be the only pollutant that comes with this slice. A health study recently came out (admittedly, by a researcher at a community college) which examined the rind and pulp of 76 lemons served on water glasses at various restaurants in New Jersey. Some of her findings....

A total of 25 different types of germs were found on 53 out of the 76 lemons that were sampled. Some were fecal in origin (either from dirty fingertips of the restaurant employees, or from meat-contaminated cutting boards and knives), while others were types commonly found in saliva, on the skin and in the environment.

One sample had six different microorganisms on it, three of which are found in fecal material. Although some lemon slices had germs either only on the rind or only on the pulp, 29 percent had germs on both sites. In 15 instances the germs on the pulp were completely different from those on the rind, indicating that the pulp had been in contact with a contaminated surface as or after it was sliced. Sometimes when more than one lemon was sampled during a single restaurant visit, different germs were found on each.

Perhaps I will admit defeat and begin requesting "water with no lemon" even though I'll know inside I should not have to utter the words "with no lemon". I'd rather speak up and have less poop in my water.

February 26, 2008

One time, OK, see, one time (part 8)

OK, this is scary. See, one time, Randy Beaman was asleep and he heard a "scratch scratch scratch" on the window and he woke up and nothing was there, so the next night he heard a "scratch scratch scratch" on the floor and he woke up and there was nothing there, and so the next night he heard "scratch scratch scratch" on his bed and he woke up and you know what it was? His mom's Lee Press-On Nails had come alive, and they were after Randy Beaman! Aaaaah!!!

'K, bye.


I have a confession to make:

Last night, I watched the last fifteen minutes of Deal or No Deal... and found it somewhat exiting.

I hope you won't think less of me for having admitted that.

February 25, 2008

What He Said / What He Meant

It's becoming clear that my advisor is either a very keen and sly man capable of manipulating graduate students in unthinkable ways, or he simply has a poor memory which allows him to continually contradict himself. Therefore, hoping he isn't reading this (even though he has a good enough sense of humor to know when I'm just blowing off steam), I offer a look back at some key moments in graduate school.

What He Said: Don't waste time getting your masters, you can skip it and work directly on your PhD.
What He Meant: If you get a masters, you'll most likely be content to leave it at that and get a job - meaning I won't get any publications out of you.

What He Said: You should be able to finish your PhD with only an extra year and a half or so.
What He Meant: I run out of funding for you after three and a half years, so you had better finish in four or be prepared to work for free.

What He Said: As soon as I'm finished with this other paper/research proposal/lecture preparation/meeting slides, you will be my first priority.
What He Meant: As soon as I'm finished with this other paper/research proposal/lecture preparation/meeting slides, I will have another paper/research proposal/lecture preparation/meeting slides to work on which will take precedence over your trivial work in which I am no longer interested.

What He Said: This is fantastic! You're going to be famous! (He actually said that...about a plot I showed him once.)
What He Meant: No one is famous for this type of work; and by the way, I'll find minor problems with the work 2 years from now right before you attempt to graduate.

What He Said: It's no problem if we have to push your graduation off until August.
What He Meant: You may not want to drag this out and work for free this summer, but it's no sweat off my back.

February 22, 2008


Two quick videos to share with you all today. The first is a recording of a solo I sang at church a few months ago. I just got around to posting it on YouTube the other day. The first half of the lyrics were written by Jars of Clay, the second half is my own personal addition. Following that, since I never posted about the Super Bowl (which was awesome by the way, though I hope Brownsox will get over it) or, more specifically, its commercials which I thought were relatively good this year (see: E-Trade baby and Doritos mouse), I wanted to share my favorite commercial of all time. Enjoy.

February 18, 2008

3 cities - 1 weekend

This was an exhausting weekend. Friday night, TinRoof drove here from Richmond after work so we could attend GCF together - after which Team Awesome dominated in some Trivial Pursuit. And I mean dominated. We filled half our pie on our first turn. I may have lost some friends during the game. Thankfully TinRoof - who was on the other team - quickly forgave me. After GCF, we turned around and headed back to Richmond (leaving TR's car in CVille).

Saturday morning we had our first pre-marriage counseling session with a couple from our church in Richmond. It was our first time meeting them, but we had a great time. Hopefully it will be helpful meeting with and talking to them about what's ahead of us. As soon as they were out the door, we cleaned up and headed up to DC. For lunch we met up with The Expert's sister, husband, and their kids for some pizza. They're a friendly couple with super cute kids. We even got one of them to sing for us. And though she made us close our eyes, she must have known we were peeking since as she sang, she slowly moved to the corner behind a big chair to hide. I have to admit, it was also funnier than it should have been when the 1 year old slammed the kitchen door on the 3 year old like he was a tiny mobster and she owed him milk money.

Leaving the family, we headed to our next rendezvous. After chilling at Bridesmaid#1's apt for a while, we headed to dinner where Bridesmaid#2 met up with us at a great Italian place. (Note, the numbers are not ranking but rather are listed in order of appearance.) I decided to make use of the birthday money donated by my parents (I turned 26 last Tuesday) to enjoy a braised lamb shank with saffron risotto. Good lord. I hardly said a word during dinner. I let the girls talk as I lost myself in a world of deliciousness. The wine wasn't bad either.

After dinner we headed our separate ways. TinRoof and I began the uber long journey to the house of Bourbon Samurai. The stupid DC Metro was running very late due to repairs and greatly slowed us. Further, once we got off, there was a good 25 minute walk ahead of us in search of Bourbon's house. Finally, we arrived and the reunion commenced. If memory serves, it had been nearly 2 years since I last saw Bourbon and Quantum. True to form, I had yet to sit down before I was handed a glass and a bottle of Jameson. The NYC crew was relaxing after a long day of script-editing. As the evening wore on, random movies played (some involving a creepy young Natalie Portman), the whiskey flowed, and Quantum regaled my fiance with tales of old NU. (If she has a favorite, perhaps she'll add it to the comment section.) As he did so, I was reminded how awesome and unique a man is Quantum. Truly a friend I have missed. The evening came to a close with the grilling of ground chuck in Worcestershire. Delicious.

By this time it's probably 2:30 in the am. And unfortunately TinRoof and I have to haul ourselves back to the Metro. In retrospect, the walk was much more pleasant than the Metro ride. My distaste for the Metro primarily stems from its idiotic and non-intuitive ticket process. It is not - as most subways - a flat fare, but is dependent upon the distance one travels. To further complicate the process, you not only have to swipe your fare card before getting on the train - but after getting off. This way, if you put the wrong amount on your card (very easy to do as the rates are also dependent on the time of day), you have a chance to rectify the situation by paying more money (often being forced to pay more than what you owe due to the machine's retardedness). However my tango with the Metro this evening had as much to do with the driver - who seemed intent on not only swaying side to side more than any mass transit system I've ridden (this truth can be corroborated by others - such as TinRoof - who were not under the influence of Jameson and Old Crow) but also continually speeding up and slowing down causing me to pitch backward and forward. Not an enjoyable ride in the slightest.

We made it back to Bmaid1's apt by around 4am (after another long walk) and enjoyed the hard earned sleep. Sunday consisted of a brunch in the city (following another dizzying ride on the Metro) at a place that offered one of the best breakfast burritos I've ever tasted (and I know the inventor of the breakfast burrito). TinRoof and I spent the late afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery which was actually quite enjoyable. I was especially excited to see the Colbert Exhibit near the bathrooms. Finally, it was time to make the long drive back to Cville. TinRoof had today off and hung around for the day so we could have dinner together. It's nights like tonight that make me happy to be a grad student who can show up at the office whenever he pleases.

Now playing: John Coltrane - Giant Steps
via FoxyTunes

Whiskey Math

Yes, yes, I've neglected my blog. Attempting to write a dissertation tends to suck the life out of a person - not to mention, provides no fodder for a blog entry. This weekend, however, was different. Will write more later - but for now, here's what you should know...

Jameson Irish Whiskey = delicious.
Jameson + Old Crow Kentucky bourbon whisky = delicious + inebriating.
Jameson + Old Crow + DC Metro = bad idea.