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After watching all those cooking shows, I realized that there really are a large number of different types of animals that we can eat. So I've made a list and I'm curious as to which ones you've tried. The meats I've tried are in bold:

Cornish Hen
Sea Bass
Sea Urchin
Wild Boar
Other (describe in comments)


Nov. 17th, 2008 09:31 pm
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It's been being a tiring but productive Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in DC. There are over 31,000 attendees this year. My first student and my two collaborators had very successful posters and presentations. In fact, my collaborator who gave a presentation gave one of the best talks that I have ever heard her give. She was very nervous, because as an engineer, she doesn't really feel comfortable speaking to a group of biological scientists, but she did great. She also handled questions very well and even solicited my input on one of them. Several folks thought she was my student because of that, but I set them straight and it was all ok :-)

I had dinner and drinks with my old college friend Murray and some of his friends and that was fun. I had lunch with my old college roommate Will, who is a journalist and was covering the meeting. Several people who used to work with me stopped by to say hi (including Kyle who worked for me to six summers and Mark who worked for me before him) and it was great to catch up. There was a Drexel alumni social (to celebrate that it's been 10 years since the bankruptcy and that things really have recovered) and a Spinal Cord social, so I had to miss the LGBT Neuroscientist social which was scheduled against one of them this year. It's been nice being recognized by a number of spinal cord researchers whom I've been seeing at meetings for the last several years. I'm now high enough on the food chain that they seek out me and my work because they're interested in what I'm doing (just like I do for some of the bigwigs in the field).

My new shoes have been holding up well and my feet are not even too sore from breaking them in. I'm liking my new Ecco's!

I haven't really eaten at any place that has been exceptional on this trip. The food options have been ok, but not particularly memorable. Of course, having to eat dinner at 8:30 or later has been rough, but this year it's been more about the networking than the food.

Tomorrow is going to be very intense. Three of my students are presenting posters in the morning session, along with a number of my colleagues. There is also a busy afternoon session, including a talk by Brenda Milner, one of the people who worked with the famous amnesiac H.M. Actually, the large talks have been pretty good this year - I particularly enjoyed the one on Birdsong, by the woman whose 50 page review I use to teach that topic in one of my graduate course. However after tomorrow, I'm pretty much done so I've decided to take the train back tomorrow evening and miss the last day of events.


Aug. 2nd, 2008 04:27 pm
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I drove down to Alexandria, VA, yesterday with my parents for my cousin's wedding. We managed to survive the trip - they had me drive their car, and we alternated choosing the music. Thankfully, the directions were good and we did not get lost. We are staying at the Old City Hilton, which is quite nice. My cousin arranged for us to receive a goody bag of munchies upon check in, which was quite nice. We walked around Old City and had a yummy seafood dinner at The Wharf, which looked a lot less touristy than some of the other places and turned out to be pretty good. This morning we had brunch at the hotel with some old friends of my parents, whom I had never met. Then I went for a walk and found a comic shop and a used book store, both of which pleased me greatly. So I'm spending the afternoon relaxing, waiting to get ready for the wedding in the evening. Tomorrow there will be a brunch for the out of town guests and then we pack up and head home.

Day Tripper

Aug. 2nd, 2008 02:56 pm
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On Thursday, I went to NYC to spend the day with my friend [profile] moltvikh, who was visiting NYC on his own for a few days. I drove to Trenton and took NY Transit to Penn Station. Whoever thought that it was a good idea to name Newark's stop Penn Station, too, should have their head slapped. I almost got off there, but quickly realized that I was not in New York. I made it there by 1:00 and due to the magic of cell phones, [profile] moltvikh and I met at the station. If I remember correctly, in the days before cell phones, we would have specified a meeting place; but I admit, it was loads easier this way. We had lunch at a Jewish deli named Ben's. I had an authentic corned beef on rye with spicy mustard and it was wonderful ! (If anyone remembers, that was what Captain Sheridan was poisoned with in the torture episode of Babylon 5, and thinking of that makes me enjoy the sandwich all the more :-)

Since we were in the Fashion District, I decided that we should take an impromptu tour of the locations for Project Runway. So we walked by Parsons School of Fashion and Design, we stopped in Bryant Park, and we went to Mood, where they often buy their materials. Mood is located on the third floor of a large building, and access is by an old fashioned elevator, complete with an operator. There is a poster of Heidi Klum introducing the show on the door, but other than that, there were no other touches from the show. It turned out that the store has three floors and is basically wall to wall fabrics, with one floor dedicated to upholstery. The aisles were not wide, and it is hard to imagine how they maneuver the cameras and lights to film the designers selecting fabrics for the show. In any event, it was fun to see where the magic happens!

Next we went to the Whitney museum of contemporary art, where they had a display on Buckminster Fuller. They had is specially designed car in a showroom, and models of his ideas for houses and the geodesic dome. There was a whole display on how he developed the mercatur projection map. It was much more interesting than I would have expected. Also in the museum was a gallery of Maplethorpe's early Polaroid photos, where one could see that he was exploring elements of lighting, subject matter, and composition that appear in his later work. There was also a room of moving architectural art, the idea being that one expects architecture to be stable, so having it move challenges one's expectations in a disturbing manner. It certainly did. There was a floor platform with four walls that swung away from the base and each had a door that opened and shut with a bang! I felt sorry for the poor attendants who had to stand there all day listening to the commotion. The regular collection had some interesting pieces, including some paintings by Hopper, that I now recognized after having seen his exhibit in the National Gallery last Fall. This was all very cool to see with [profile] moltvikh, now that he has been studying art.

We walked through Central Park and had dinner at a Vietnamese/Thai/Asian fusion place, which was quite yummy, hung out for awhile more talking and catching up, and then I caught the train home. I had a fun time, and I'm delighted that the timing worked out so that we could both be there together.
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In honor of my brother's 40th birthday, we went to NYC to see the Broadway production of Young Frankenstein. We both enjoyed it. I thought the performances were good, especially Megan Mullally (Elizabeth), Andrea Martin (Frau Blucher), Fred Applegate (Inspector Kemp/Hermit), and Christopher Fitzgerald (Igor). Roger Bart (Dr. Frankenstein) tried to emulate Gene Wilder from the movie, and as such I felt his performance came off a bit restrained. Sutton Foster (Inga)'s understudy was performing for our Sat Matinee, and she was good, but not great. However, the scenery, lighting, and special effects were amazing and definitely worthy of Tony nominations. Unfortunately, the music was not memorable and the story was not too deep. Basically, they did a pretty faithful adaptation of the movie, and the movie wasn't that deep either. It just didn't work as well on stage. One of the best lines came at the end when the cast sang about wanting to perform Blazing Saddles next year (although I suspect that that show would not translate well either). Overall, I give it a B+ as a show, but as I said, we both had fun and were glad to have seen it.

We had taken the train up and had some time to walk around, so we stopped in Midtown Comics and Toys R Us (formerly FAO Schwartz). We ate lunch at a Subway on our way to the show and dinner at a nice upscale (but not pretentious) restaurant called Thalia on 8th at 50th. One of my friends recommended it and so did Rachel Ray (according to the clip on their website).


I had the prix fixe dinner of porcini encrusted tuna sashimi, roasted salmon, and carrot cake with cinnamon ice cream and a pear flavored cocktail. My less adventuresome brother had the shrimp cocktail and a beef fillet with a glass of red wine (shirrah/red zinfandel blend). Everything was delicious!!! The service was great and the atmosphere was just right. I would definitely eat there again.

On our way back to the train station, we bumped into one of my grad students on his way to see a show (when he should have been working on his prelims). I actually applauded his decision to take such a magnificent break. We got back to my brother's house and were glad to see that my sister-in-law had survived her day with the kids. The real present for my brother was for him to have a day away in order to relax and that worked just the way I had wanted.
logisticslad: (Default)
This morning, M. went for a run with his Frontrunners group and I joined him for coffee afterwards. I've been being good to my ankle and it has been feeling better, but I think it was wise that I declined the invitation for a morning run or stroll. Some more of his friends came for coffee and then he went off to the gym with one of them and I went wandering.

I went to the Renwick Gallery of American Crafts and saw a fascinating exhibit on quilting during the pioneer era. The detail, innovative fabric choices (one quilt was made out of neckties!), colors, themes, and craftsmanship were quite amazing. The blurbs talked about how quilting was one of the few means of artistic expression available to frontier women and how they formed community around the activity.

I met up with M. in Dupont Circle after pokng through Kramer Books, the CD/DVD store, and Lambda Rising. We had a late lunch of Mexican food and then M. and I went to the National Gallery to see the Edward Hopper special exhibit. It was incredible. Hopper is the American artist who among other things did Nighthawks (that's the one where several people are sitting at Phillies Diner late at night), Automat, and Chop Suey. He specialized in painting unusual views of cities and towns inhabited by individuals depicted as tense or lonely or engaged in their own thoughts. He masterfully rendered sunlight and shadow to create dramatic tension in depictions of lighthouses, rooftops, and windows. It was a full retrospective of many of his major works and very crowded. I was very glad to have seen it.

Next we went to the E Street cinema to see The Darjeeling Limited. We both really enjoyed it and spent most of our time talking about it over a yummy Ethiopian food dinner at Zeds. It is about a group of broken people's search for family. It's the sort of film that one should see twice to be sure to catch everything. Well acted and well directed, it also featured one of my favorite foreign songs Les Champs Elysee at the end. It's a cerebral comedy and I'd recommend it to those who like that sort of thing (If you liked I "Heart" Huckabees or The Royal Tannenbaums then you'd probably like this movie).

Tomorrow, I get up early in order to take the Metro to my friend's place, where I will ride up to Philly with them to play D&D and have wine and cheese all day. It's been being a very satisfying vacation!
logisticslad: (Default)
I've been enjoying my trip to DC. On Thursday, I went to the International Spy Museum. I did the interactive mission tour, where they have the group solve puzzles, search rooms, run surveillance, escape in a simulated truck, and direct the mission. That was a blast! The museum itself was pretty cool. They had lots of short films on lockpicking, sabotage, historical spies, etc and a wealth of display items. There were also computer terminals with exercises in code breaking and disguise spotting and other cool activities. One of the most interesting was about deciphering the Navaho code used by the US during WWII. They had displays on ancient spymastering in China, Japan, and Greece, as well as during Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Cold War, and Modern times. While there was a lot of balance between male and female spies, I found it interesting that there was very little regarding people of color, although they definitely highlighted what little there was. I spent over 5 hours there and thoroughly enjoyed it.

In the evening, I went to see the play that B. was performing in. It was an adaption of Camus' Caligula. I thought it was terrific and that B. did a great job. The lead was phenomenal and several of the other actors were able to match or reflect his intensity. It's a very disturbing nihilistic play, but I was quite entertained.

Today, I went to the American Indian Museum. They have an incredible cafe that showcases cooking from each different region. I went to the Pacific Northwest booth and had salmon that was roasted and glazed along with corn pone and mushrooms and a salad of wild rice and cranberries. Yum! The museum itself was fascinating. It was presented in a nonanthropological style, meaning that items made 10 years ago were beside items from 100 years ago and that there were no historical narrative blurbs. Instead there were videos of people telling stories about the things on display. It created a feeling of timelessness, which I suspect was the intent. While I was there, a dance troupe performed a set of tribal dances. The troupe consisted of almost two dozen men, women, and children (some carried in papoose type pouches) as well as drummers and singers. They created a real sense of community and at some points even had the audience join in. Very cool. There was a special exhibit on dressmaking and I now know how to tell the difference between a dress made from one hide, two hides, or three hides.

Next I went to see the Impressionism by the Sea exhibit at the Phillips Gallery. It was very impressive and featured an audio tour that you could take using your cel phone. The colors and textures they used to evoke sea and sky were simply breathtaking. I did the tour and enjoyed the exhibit and the rest of the museum. There was a Rothko room, which both amused and impressed me.

I must have done something to my ankle, because it began hurting while I was walking. Combined with the intermittent rain, this was enough to convince me to return to M. and B.'s house to rest for awhile. M. and I then met some of his friends for a drink and then went out to dinner at a Middle Eastern place called Skewers. We shared Hummus and Baba Ganoosh appetizers and I had Beef Biryani which was very tasty. M. and I were too tired to go out clubbing, so we came home and met B. who had just returned from his Friday night performance. After a nice chat, and some computer typing, everyone is now off to bed.


Dec. 31st, 2006 05:43 pm
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I spent today unpacking many of the boxes of books and papers that have been sitting in my library since I moved in. I put up some shelves and tried to sort all my books by category: Texts, F&SF, D&D, Humor, To Be Read, and Erotica (most of these I moved to the bedroom). I went through several boxes of old papers and threw out a lot of old receipts and class notes that I no longer need. I made places for the things that I still want to keep. Then I broke down the empty boxes and moved them downstairs so that I will remember to put them out for recycling. The cats were very interested in all the changes to the room and kept trying to be helpful by sitting on things or investigating boxes to see if I missed anything :-) It felt very liberating to make this a more useable room by making places for the things I still wanted and getting rid of the things I don't.

Tonight I'm having dinner with my foodie friends at Zocalo, a yummy Northern Mexican place in University City. Happy New Year to those who count this day as their new year and to those who simply enjoy the night of revelry!
logisticslad: (Default)
Actually, I'm feeling much better following my unpleasant bout with food poisoning or whatever. It is my backyard that has been diagnosed with the dreaded LEAF ROT!!! My friends, D. and E. came down to look at it and noted that the grass blades in the shade had fungal spots on them, while the ones in the sun had all gone brown. They noticed that the roots still held firm and that there were some new green shoots, so they don't think it is too far gone. Apparently, leaf rot is most common in hot humid weather and it prefers healthy new grass (like in my yard) as opposed to crab grass (which is in most of my neighbors' yards). So this explains why my yard has turned brown and everyone else's is still green. E. recommended that I water the grass in the mornings and see what happens. In the worst case, we will reseed, but he thinks that it will recover with a little care. In the meantime, he identified a number of fast growing plants as weeds or tree saplings! and we worked hard at cutting them out (some had reached 6 feet in just 3 weeks). In thanks, I took them to lunch at the Italian place in Manayunk and then we walked around a bit and had dessert at Ben&Jerry's. I had a "Jamaican Me Crazy" which is a pineapple sorbet with passionfruit swirls. I asked for a chocolate cone, which gave the clerk pause until I explained that I was the sort who would dip pineapple into chocolate fondue :-)


Feb. 3rd, 2006 05:30 pm
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Well, my first grant is done and in the mail to NIH and I'm hard at work on my second one, due in two weeks. I just came from a late Friday meeting where I was specifically invited by my Dept Chair about doing another one soon. The funding crunch is really causing a panic amongst us academics! I have many exam essays to start grading this weekend, and I was able to bring in my laptop to have work fix my broken dial up connection so I can keep working this weekend. Yay?!?

My cat is being worrisome - he has lost some weight (he's a small cat to begin with so it's particularly noticeable) and has not eaten for a few days. I've begun treating him for his UTI, so hopefully the drugs will help him get back on his feed soon. He has been interactive with me, but it's clear he doesn't feel well. Poor kitty.

The high point of the week was my Beloved taking me out for my birthday dinner at Pod (postponed because of my Oct surgery) which also celebrated my grant submission Everything we had was delicious!!! The decor was very modern/futuristic with plastic tables, colored lighting, and a motorized food belt on the sushi bar. We had mint flavored saki and vanilla vodka with lychee and ginger drinks. We had wonderful chicken and shrimp eggrolls with excellent dipping sauces and a hot wild mushroom platter for appetizers. We had sushi that had been dipped in tempura sauce, which turned out to be excellent. Then we had game hen with potatoes and edamame and slices of duck with raspberry sauce and mashed blue potatoes. Then for dessert, we had a chocolate mousse napoleon with carmelized bananas. Yum!!! Thanks again, Hon!


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