Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This is why I love her

Because we can have fun doing almost nothing. In this case, all it took was a fan and a little inspiration from America's Next Top Model, or maybe more like a strip club.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day vaca

It wasn't technically a vacation, but it felt like it. Me, Abbey, Adam, Sarah and Matt decided to spend the long weekend together. We met up in Hoboken after work on Friday, and then took the train to the city to meet up with our friend, Skippy, from Michigan. We ate dinner at a nice Italian restaurant on the upper west side, grabbed a couple drinks at Blondies and then headed downtown to find Skippy and his friends. After a long work week, none of us were sure we could even make it to midnight without falling asleep. Somehow, though, we all perked up and didn't get back to Abbey and Adam's apartment until 5 a.m. the next morning -- a pretty amazing feat if you ask me.

We drove out east on Saturday and spent most of the day at a beach just down the road from my apartment. We checked out another local beach the next day, with the mission to get Sarah and myself some color. I don't think we were too successful in that respect, but it was still a beautiful weekend to just lay out by the water. We all hit up some bars down port on Sunday night and now I'm recovering on my couch from a little too much sun and vodka.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Elvis is in the buiding

In the Berkner Hall cafeteria, that is, for this year's NSLS/CFN Users' Meeting banquet. I learned that even the most hard-core scientists can loosen up a bit with an open bar, a big pair of shades and an Elvis impersonator canvassing the room.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I feel rustic

Actually, I think that's what Abbey said at one point on Sunday afternoon as we were hiking up one of the trails at the Delaware Water Gap. Well, she probably said it after we had already reached the top, because none of us were saying much of anything during the upward climb, unless you call "ugh" and "let's take a break" conversation.

I drove to Abbey and Adam's apartment on Saturday and then we all drove west to Fink and Sarah's house in Denville, a city in Jersey not too far from the Pennsylvania border. We ate a huge meal that night - corn on the cob, potatoes, pasta salad, regular salad, guacamole and chips, and some meat for the carnivores. Then we topped it off with some ice cream, which seemed to spiral us all into pretty serious food comas. We managed a couple rounds of Apples to Apples and glued ourselves to the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie on TV (the original and best ever) before heading to bed at 10:30. Are we really getting that old?

It turns out we needed that good night's sleep for Saturday's hike, a two-and-a-half hour climb up and down one of the Water Gap's hills. We were all huffing and puffing on the way up, but the view at the top was worth it. The climb down was a little treacherous, the path recommended by a group of older ladies who I think were either trying to kill us or steer us away from their group. (It might not have helped that Abbey was doing the "red rum" imitation from "The Shining," index finger and all, as we were walking behind them.) We made it down safely and marveled at a family with a small boy, and another with a dad carrying his baby strapped to his back who seemed to make it up the rocky terrain with no problem. We drove back with the windows down, sweaty and tired, but feeling accomplished. Rustic-like.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Three strikes you're out

I've had bad luck with baseball games so far this year. My first of the season was a Yankees game during opening week, during which it was freezing cold and actually started snowing before we couldn't stand shivering any longer and went home. The second was a Mets game last night, which was rain delayed for close to three hours. I think I'm due for some good baseball weather soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back to school

I'm in. I got my acceptance letter today for the public policy Master's program at Stony Brook University. Almost exactly two years ago, as I graduated from MSU, the thought of sitting in another class for even just a minute made me gag. While I considered myself a serious student, that last semester was just one too many. With each consecutive class it was harder to concentrate on the professor's droning voice, harder to pry my heavy eyelids open, and nearly impossible to keep my mind from thinking about what in the world I was going to do next. I started ditching my after-work, late-night cram sessions for the bar. Missing a Cell Bio class (fine, almost all of my Cell Bio classes) was OK if I didn't feel like walking across campus or taking a nap instead. I just wanted to pass, get my degree, and be done with it. Now, somehow, I'm ready to return. I actually miss it. At least I think I do. I've always missed parts of college, really all of the non-class parts: friends, freedom, parties, games, tailgates, and the newsroom where I spent almost my entire collegiate career. But I think I'm also starting to miss the actual academic part, that cheesy stuff that sounds like it belongs on a university's promotional brochure: exchanging ideas, challenging yourself, learning. Like I said, I THINK I miss this. Ask me that after a couple weeks of assignments and tests and I might have a different opinion.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A visit from the Treps

It's still strange to refer to them as that. But I was happy to play the hostess for Lindsay and Chris' first "personal" trip as a married couple. (I didn't come up with the "personal" term, by the way. Their parents did, who also escorted them to the airport like it was a second honeymoon. Very cute.) We had a really great, and exhausting, weekend. Lindsay was in NYC once before, with me and a bunch of other high school drama students about seven years ago. Trep has never been. So I took Friday off of work and we did the typical tourist loop: Battary Park, Times Square, the M&M and Hersey's store, Central Park, etc, etc. We woke up around 6 a.m. to make an early train and didn't get back to my apartment until after 2 a.m. the next morning. Whew. But I think we did a good job covering the major sights, and some not so major ones, like a really pathetic, but completely amuzing Spiderman impersonator in Times Square. Despite his unimpressive fake webshooter (really just a peice of string he'd have to roll back up after every attack) and creepy friends (Spongebob and Shrek), he still suckered a few people to shell out $10 for a picture with him. He autographed it, of course. We also ate at what is being a regular visit for me while in the city -- Burritoville. The weather was beautiful all day, in fact it was all weekend.

On Saturday, we headed out east. We stopped first at the "feed our animals" farm that Abbey had a ball at a few months ago. It was the perfect entertainment for Lindsay, who I sometimes tease as being a 10-year-old stuck in a 25-year-old's body. Seriously, she loves, loves, loves animals. So watching her feed the crowd of animals, screaming and running and making them follow her up and down the fence, was great fun. The we drove further east to Greenport, a small waterfront town where we ate lunch and viewed the streets through a camera obscura, a series of lenses and mirrors that projects a real-time picture of the surroundings onto a table in a dark, oddly shaped building. From there, we continued all the way east to Orient Point, walked the rocky beach, and then headed back, stopping at a couple wineries along the way. That night, we drank down Port, and played more games of naked photo hunt than any of us remember. (If you're not aware, it's a bar video game, probably one of the best ones in the world.) I drove them back to JFK on Sunday afternoon and I can't wait for them to return.