_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Monday, November 21, 2005


Hmm, that was a long blog hiatus. I've been busy -- there's been a lot of schoolwork as the end of the semester approaches, and I went away last weekend to visit Matt and Risa in North Carolina, and I went to New York Saturday.

It was great fun to visit Matt and Risa in Carrboro. The advantage of going down there to visit them (as opposed to them visiting me) is that I had no option but to forget about schoolwork, and it's nice to totally disengage for a change. We ate a lot, including an evening of dinner and games with some of their grad school friends.

The impetus for the trip, the Super Furry Animals concert, was quite enjoyable. The opening band (Caribou, formerly Manitoba) was really impressive. They play electronic-y music that has a lot of live instrumentation and an emphasis on drums -- there were two drummers on most songs, playing ferociously. It was good enough that I was moved to buy a t-shirt (well, they were also really cool) and pick up a used copy of one of their albums when I found it at a music store we went to the next day. I'd recommend you watch the videos for Yeti, Skunks and Jacknuggeted if you're interested.

Saturday I went to New York to see Amanda while she was there staying with her friend Tara. I took the train up, which I really love. The sun was coming up, I set myself a nice playlist on my iPod, and it was very pretty and relaxing. I got to the city rather early (before Amanda and Tara woke up) and went to Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side, which has by far the best doughnuts I have ever had. When I went there last year with Erin, they hadn't debuted their jelly doughnuts yet; I tried one (strawberry jam with vanilla bean glaze) and it was amazing. After meeting up with Amanda and Tara, we went for brunch near Gramercy Park, and then wandered around for most of the day, hitting Central Park, an Israeli coffee shop and a frenetic knitting store. I stuck around through dinner (Thai food) and then trained back to Baltimore. Despite the fact that this was another weekend day out of town during frenetic schoolwork, it was worth it to see Amanda while she was nearbyish and spend a day in a place more bustling and cosmopolitan than Baltimore.

Meanwhile, my dad's been ill. He lost sight in one eye a few weeks ago, and it turned out to be a stroke in the eye. He got a procedure that mostly restored it, but it's obviously still rather alarming. He hasn't been feeling well since shortly after that incident, and has been getting lots of tests to find out why -- hopefully it'll be something easily fixable. It will be good to see him this week at Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Songs of the Moment (An occasional feature)

Songs that I have (re)discovered a special fondness for recently:

Elf Power - The Winter Is Coming
Interpol - Public Pervert
Flaming Lips - The Spark
Built to Spill - Made-Up Dreams
The Weakerthans - Aside
Bright Eyes - The Center of the World

Monday, November 07, 2005


Despite all the schoolwork that's coming home to roost right now, I made the somewhat foolish decision to do almost no work Saturday. I spent the morning and early afternoon at a service project in Clifton Lake High School cleaning out their destitute vo-tech wing. It was good to feel like we were helping, but it was also depressing -- the school district is just completely overwhelmed by the demands on its limited resources. As I'm learning in our neighborhood project for class, the vast majority of people with the means to do so send their kids to private schools, of which Baltimore has an unusually large number. The resultant concentration of disadvantaged kids doesn't help the learning environment, and political support for the schools collapses among the civically engaged part of the public because they don't see themselves as having a stake in them.

Saturday evening was the IPS alumni reception in Washington. We all got dressed up and ate appetizers and consumed free drinks at a fancy restaurant called Blackie's. I talked to a very helpful and friendly alum who works at the GAO, where I would dearly like to intern/work.

A bunch of us went out to a bar after the reception. I had a long argument with a few of my (female) classmates about why Boy Scouts are better than Girl Scouts. As I recall, it all came down to their "pansy knots" (I was kidding). Rana was nice enough to let me and a couple others stay at her apartment in DC so we didn't have to come back to Baltimore last night. A good outing in all.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Econ exam

We had our second microecon exam on Wednesday, and I thought it was pretty easy. But the following exchange occurred in our living room this evening.

Jason: At least this econ exam was easier than the first one.

Sarah: Yeah, and only four problems.

Me: Four problems? You mean three. I did three.

Sarah: No, it was choose one from part A, two from part B, and one from part C.

Me (agitated): But it said "choose one" on the second page!

Sarah (sympathetic): It was a typo, the cover sheet said two and she wrote it on the board, too.

Me: Oh, fuck!

I emailed the professor...hopefully she takes pity on me in some way. But it's obviously way more my fault than her fault.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Do you think this headline and graphic currently topping the LA Times homepage (about our dear SCOTUS nominee Alito) is a little weird?

Scary welcome

Here are our pumpkins lit up this evening:

Perhaps it was our impressive pumpkins, but we had a lot of trick-or-treaters. I went through more than half the candy by the time I left at 6:00. One kid: "This bag is mine, this other one is my brother's." Very smooth. April said she later had to turn away a lot of kids after the candy ran out.