Thursday, December 02, 2010

testing... again

So if all goes well, I will soon be released into the wild! As a result, it's time to get this blog fixed up and start using it web 2.0 style. That's right - with pictures. Go Harvard!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sasquatch 2010 - Day 3

Day 3, Mon May 31

Seattle Rock Orchestra - who knew there was an Arcade Fire cover band???
Drive By Truckers
Passion Pit
No Age
Band of Horses
New Pornographers
1. Sing Me Spanish Techno
2. Up in the Dark
3. Myriad Harbor
4. Use it
5. The Laws Have Changed
6. Crash Years
7. Silver Jenny Dollar
8. Jessica Numbers
9. Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk
10. Challengers
11. Testament to Youth in Verse
12. All Mine
13. Jackie Dressed in Cobras
14. The Moves
15. Mass Romantic
16. Slow Descent
17. Letter From an Occupant

Sasquatch 2010 -Day 2

Day 2, Sun May 30

Local Natives
The Long Winters
Rob Riggle
Cymbals Eat Guitars
Kid Cudi
Teagan + Sara
LCD Soundsystem
Public Enemy

Sasquatch Festival 2010 Day 1

Day 1, Sat May 29
Brother Ali
Minus the Bear
Portugal the Man
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (1st half)
OK Go (2nd half)
Broken Social Scene
1. World Sick
2. Stars and Sons
3. Texico Bitches
*This is when we were asked if we had any acid
4. 7/4 Shoreline
5. Fire Eyed Boy
6. Forced to Love
7. All to All
8. Sweetest Kill
9. Cause=Time
10. Meet Me in the Basement
1. These Hands
2. Vowels
3. These dead presidents
4. Against Me
5. January Twenty-Something
6. The Fall of Mr. Fifths
7. Fatalist Palmistry
8. A Sky to Shoe Horses Under
9. Into the Shadows of My Embrace
10. Hollows
The National
Vampire Weekend (1st half)
Nada Surf

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Amsterdam to Rome

It has been a busy couple of days. I got into Amsterdam on Sat. morning with no problems. Bright and early found the apartment aaron and his friend laurence were staying at. They dragged me around town for the whole day - lots of wandering plus the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House (I finally went in!) I was dragging at the end of the day though. Next day we slept in and then rented bikes for the afternoon. We rode down the Amstel to Oberkirk taking in all the families out on the river for the weekend, windmills, and then having a drink at a small town pretty much shut down for Sunday.

Monday we got started late as Aaron and I tried to investigate a mysterious bus to the way out of town Weeze airport. We had a little luck but we werent positive. To get it off our minds, we all took the train to the Hague and wandered for a few hours. It had some interesting narrow streets and we entertained ourselves in the parks until dinner time. Back in Amsterdam we started to get a little worried just because we couldnt find anyone around the train station who knew there was a bus to Weeze. We found where BBS buses normally leave, and prepared to show up before midnight to catch the 12:30... Even though the website said the bus existed, and we had called the company earlier and they said it existed, we were getting fairly uneasy just because there were no signs and no one around had any clue that there was a connection to this airport!! So we show up a bit before midnight, and glory be there is a bus sitting there. We check and sure enough itàs the right one. With that we sat by the canal to relax before getting on what ended up being a completely empty except for us bus. It was actually a little creepy as it was a 3 hr bus ride to the middle of no where in the netherlands. We pulled up around 4am, and Weeze is literally in the middle of fields. It reminded me of the size of Purdues airport honestly. There were two other guys asleep on benches inside but the rest of the place was empty... The bus pulled away and we went to try to nap. People started coming in for work around 5am and the place slowly woke up. Did I mention our flight was at 7:50? Yeah, plenty of time to kill.

The rest of the trip went of without a hitch. We made it to our wonderful B&B (Home) which is about a 14 min walk from the Vatican out in a very residential area around 11am. Since then weàve been wearing ourselves out walking around Rome! It s just incredible and will require a post at a later time. Tomorrow we are catching a bus to the Tuscan town of Siena...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Nassau, The Bahamas

So it's been ages since I posted, but I figure a trip to the Bahamas is worthy of at least a few paragraphs. First if you just want the overall trip summary: Nassau had some lovely beaches- I enjoyed the time in the sun and water- but it is definitely not my scene and I don't anticipate every going back.

Aaron and I got in Sunday afternoon and caught a cab to our hotel - Orange Hill Beach Inn. We chose this place because it seems as laid back as we were. It's fairly distant from downtown Nassau, small, and is family run. The Inn was definitely one of the best parts of our trip. The staff was extremely friendly/helpful and all the other guests (mostly older, some families) were there explicitly to relax and avoid the rest of Nassau. Outside our room, there was a nice covered porch witha view of the beach and ocean that we made use of when it started raining the second day we were there. After checking in, we wandered down the beach aways, looked at some maps and brochures about various snorkeling trips. Then we walked down the road to an outdoor type restuarant, Plantation Hill, and ate a great meal (with the best mojitos ever!!). After it got dark, we did the requisite walk along the beach, smoking a cuban cigar and drinking a local beer - not a bad start to a vacation!

Monday, we got up and caught a bus into Nassau. The city is an odd place - completely overrun with tourists, duty free liquor stores, and jewlery stores. As you can imagine, not our scene. We wandered for awhile, grabbed some food (expensive! but more on that later) and as it started sprinkling we started walking in the general direction of orange hill (12 miles away or so). We eventually caught a bus to Cable Beach which is one of the main resort areas between Nassau and orange hill, but as we got there it started POURING! We ran inside and passed some time in the casino watching old folks get drunk and loose money playing craps. The rain didn't let up though so we headed back to the hotel to attempt to relax. Neither of us are very good at it, but we tried admirably on this trip. Monday afternoon we both read and drank some of the incredibly cheap rum we bought. Dinner was just at the hotel followed by another evening walk and going to bed early to get up for our trip planned on Tuesday.

Tuesday we had arranged to go on an all day Powerboat Adventure. Our first plan - which was to go sailing, fell through since they predicted bad weather and we were the only ones signed up (we purposefully hit the low season before spring breaks and drunk 18 yr olds arrive). The powerboat thing ended up being our only option, but we got pumped since it would take us to some outer islands to snorkel and feed stingrays, iguanas, and sharks. Things did not start out well as somehow we managed to not be picked up. Fortunately, Aaron has some serious angry negotiating skills from his mother (and to be fair the tourist always has the upperhand in the bahamas - apparently a lesson taught at a seriously young age). So they held the boat and paid for a cab to get us there. We took off from paradise island (the resort/casino island just off Nassau) and spent an hour heading out to the Exumas on a powerboat! A gorgeous day, a fun ride, and our first stop was at an island crawling with iguanas. We walked to shore and they gave us grapes to put on sticks and feed the iguanas with. Nothing too crazy but it was still fun to get up close to the animals.

Back to the boat and we headed to Ship Channel Cay which this company has owned for about 15 years. It ends up being a private beach with a few structures on it (including the open bar that they highly touted on the travel brochure). After being encouraged to get a drink, we lined up on the beach to feed stingrays. Apparently they are well trained, and mostly show up for feeding time and take off when they've had enough of the humans. It was awesome to be able to touch them - slimy-er then you might think, and then feed them bits of raw fish - they suck it out of your hand as the pass over it.

Next, we got out fish, tied them to a long strong rope and started to feed sharks. They were mostly reef sharks, about 3-4 feet long. First they had us all get in the water with snorkels so we could really see them up close. Then, they backed us up and pulled them closer with the fish on a rope. Finally they had some of us take turns tossing the rope out and trying to reel them in as close to shore as possible. I was quickly picked for this (I got picked for a lot of things... not sure why - although I was possibly the youngest not a kid girl) Fighting the shark was AWESOME... plus mine really fought a lot, but I didn't let go. The videographer for the trip was ecstatic since I made for some really good footage (note - Aaron and I were still too cheap to pay $35 for the video).

After this, we were given snorkeling equipment, walked down the beach and jumped in the water. I haven't mentioned this before but it was really kindof chilly with the breeze blowing. The water wasn't exactly balmy but we swam out into the current. Then we just let it take us across a fairly decent reef to the other end of the island. I didn't anticipate seeing too much beyond the normal coral and pretty fish, but there was actually a 4 ft long nurse shark and as we passed over this field of seaweed, I looked to my left and saw what seemed to be another HUGE shark of some kind (in retrospect it was maybe 6-7 feet long?) Still, it just made me feel like I was on a discovery channel show. We also got to see some stingrays, about 4 ft in diameter, hanging out on the bottom of the ocean.

They fed us lunch, which wasn't fabulous, but tasted great after all the activity. Time for a little sitting in the sun, and then a quick hike around the island. To prove it's a small world there was a couple from indiana there. Maybe in their 40s, larger, we picked them out because the man was wearing a colts superbowl shirt. This became a hilarious stereotype as we talked to them at lunch ("Boston, huh? Must be different out there" and "Going on the nature walk? treehuggers!") Ah the middle.... So anyway, around 4 we got on the boat to head back to Nassau - they told us to bundle up and prepare for a wet ride. We could hear thunder and see rain in the distance so we took them seriously. 20 minutes into the ride, we saw maybe the most impressive looking cold front ever.... seriously - clear blue skies just ENDED at this line of incredibly deep, dark clouds. Making it a bit troubling was the fact that the crew seemed mildly worried - told us to buckle down... and then the captain put on a motorcycle helmet... We crossed the line and the air pressure and temperature changed dramatically. At first it wasn't too bad, but then the rain started. You couldn't see more then 7 feet from the side of the boat. Aaron and I had somehow managed to pick one of the drier sections to sit in and we were still soaked. They sent the kids inside the cabin. The rain ended up letting up after a bit (probably helped that we were still powering through at 35mph). It was still cold and damp, but in true traveler fashion I almost fell asleep at the end.

Off the boat they loaded us into buses to return us to respective hotels. Problem is - and this was definitely a surprise - at 5pm, Nassau has traffic as bad as NYC. It took almost 45 minutes just to get out of the city (note, it's not a large city) and it was 6:30 before we were back at orange hill. We freshened up and went on what was supposed to be our one fancy meal of the trip to a restuarant that had gotten good reviews down a couple of beaches. We sat outside, as they played the terrible music that apparently everyone likes in the bahamas, and ate some really great seafood (although my mashed potatoes were definitely from a box!! they probably don't know the difference there). By the time we got back to orange hill we were so tired and full we just collapsed.

Check out on Wednesday was at 11am and our flight was scheduled for 3, so we got our things gathered up and laid out by the pool to read in the best sun of the trip. Around 1 we checked on our flight to find it had been cancelled! Well, it is a tough life afterall so since orange hill couldn't guarantee a room, we headed to the airport to take care of things. JetBlue was great - we were rebooked on the Thursday flight in about 10 minutes, and then went about finding someplace to stay. I was a bit grumpy and angry at the whole spending more money thing (hey, i'm cheap), but luckily aaron isn't quite as crazy and made us look for a place. As soon as flights started getting canceled, hotels around cable beach and paradise island immediately started raising there prices and the first few we called were totally trying to gouge us. We found an okay price at the Nassau Beach hotel, and a great entertaining taxi driver drove us the back way through the million dollar houses. There had a great view of cable beach, and after settling in, went down with snacks and drinks to hang out and read.

This was part of Nassau that we'd been avoiding, but it was enteresting to see for a day. Our beach wasn't too crowded, but the only people there were 30-60 yr olds, most of them WASTED. The best part was when we heard this terrible music which seemed to get louder and louder. Then, off the beach we saw a boat which was just blasting Gloria Estefan and "I like big butts" as it turned the corner we noted that it was actually called "Booze n Cruise" HAHAHA.... As it docked some people stumbled off, and eventually wandered past us. The first few groups were relatively harmless, just stumbling. Then a woman and the two guys she was with were splashing around/laughing down the beach. Next thing you know, she's got her head between her knees and her husband and friend are just as drunk laughing at her. Good lord. I WILL NOT do anything like that when I'm that age. Another group comes by, the woman actually calls one of the bahamanians "girlfriend" and then the large male from the south loudly states "honey, it's a dog eat dog world out there, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear" At this point aaron and i were only pretending to read (so that the drunks wouldn't make eye contact and come talk to us) and trying valiently not to roll over laughing. Anyway, the drama died down quickly.

Wed night we got dressed up and made a reservation at one of the nicer hotel restaurants. It was incredibly busy (valentines day, i know, but it was an accident that we were in the bahamas for valentines day! we really aren't that ridiculous) Since we had awhile, we did another beach walk. The place was desserted as I can only assume everyone was in gambling. Dinner was great - wine, crabcakes, i had shrimp and tuna skewers and aaron had a surprisingly tasty steak. We were so lucky to be stuck on Wednesday - we had the most relaxing day of the whole trip!

Thursday was uneventful. Got to the airport on time, the flight was delayed about 2-3 hrs, but we made it back! At boston logan, we felt even more fortunate as the C terminal was PACKED with people. JetBlue had there snack trays out and everyone involved looked miserable.

So there you have it. I took a vacation! I figure it's one of my first independent ones, and in the end, I actually prefer taking trips. Relaxing is sometimes too much work.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


A Sat-Mon long weekend acting as my spring break in New York City! Headed out with Tania (flew - JetBlue rocks my world) on Sat. night and her parents picked us up and drove us to their place in Flushing, Queens. Did the parent thing where they fed us sandwiches and crepes before I took the train into downtown to meet the college friends. Sooooo wonderful to see everyone in symphonic band!! I tend to forget that I have changed a bit and don't relax in quite the same way I did in college. But with them, I get to let my hair down and pretend I'm still a carefree college kid ;) Their hotel was very close to Times square, so after I got there we just started wandering around looking for places to drink. First found 'Havana Central' which actually had a really cool live salsa band going till about midnight. I tried to catch everyone up on east coast culture (well namely having beer choices on tap). Then we wandered a bit more, marveled for a while at the shiny lights, and drank/caught up at another bar. Everyone was ready to crash by 2 or 3, so we headed back to the hotel. D, Hannah and Vanessa let me crash in their room although I felt sorry for the poor sophomore girl who woke up to find a stranger sleeping on the floor of her hotel room!

Sunday they had to get up early to unload the percussion equipment from the truck - apparently some guy managed to drop one set of marimba resonators and left a huge mark.....glad i wont be around for pam to see that! After they came back we did some serious tourism in the region of the hotel. Then I caught back up with Tania as all the band folk went to an afternoon musical. It was Tania's moms birthday so her mom, dad, and little sis were going to her favorite restaurant. Near Washington Sq. Park, it is a really cute Spanish place called Sevilla. Absolutely fabulous spanish food and (a first for a while) great sangria!!!! Enjoyed the time with la familia and got to remember what its like to be around a 13 yr old. But I must have behaved alright even after a glass or two of sangria since they (not tania mind you!) invited me to easter when they come to visit her up in boston. Good folk for sure, and crazy new york italian to match.

But a long weekend in new york is not complete until you have eaten a ridiculous ridiculous amount of food. So immediately following lunch with Tania and fam, I met up with cousins Lisa, Lon, and Loren at an Italian restaurant near the theatre district called Maria Pia. Once again, incredible food! Plus it was really great to catch up, we estimated it's been at least 5 yrs since I had last seen them. Lon is still really busy with Hairspray but is exploring future options including being musical director for the movie which is supposed to be re-made soon. Lisa is working at Cornell now and told me all about Lisbeth's choosing Skidmore adventure. Loren is 16 amazingly enough and seems to be doing pretty well. Interested in science too - physics or bio perhaps, and shockingly enough he's taller then me! Always plenty of surprises when the last time you saw someone they were 8 or so..... At any rate, a very nice, leisurely meal before Lon had to run back to the evening show. I definitely invited them to visit if they ever make it up to Boston, and hopefully I'll see them more often since Tania and I plan to make another trip to NYC in may or june to hang out and shop.

So from that convenient location I walked over to Times sq where the band was catching some dinner. Hannah and D both had parents along so I bothered them for a bit and helped take band pictures in the square. Then they all had an evening rehearsal so I wandered for awhile and then headed back to the hotel to relax. Of course we went out again, this time just off the square at a place with good martini drink specials. That kept us entertained for quite awhile, but we eventually headed over to an irish pub that some people said they were going to visit. By the time we got there it was almost empty, but it was near the hotels that both the band and the parents group were staying at and one of the few people left in the bar was a clarinets mom who insisted on buying us all a round! Thanks allie's mom!!

On Monday they all had to get up early and take things over to Carnagie hall. D. and Hannah did the tourism thing with their parents, so after everybody else came back and took a short nap I went off with Vanessa, Jon, David (jr. piano guy who I just met this trip), Jack and Kelly. First headed up to julliard school of music to be nosy tourists. Gorgeous day for walking though! Then, we went down to ground zero, a bit different then my last trip to NYC back in high school. Walked from there up to chinatown via battery park and had the best chinese food i'd had in awhile at shanghai cuisine.... yumyumyum. They had to head back to get ready for sound check and the concert so I went back to the hotel with them. Walked over for their soundcheck and finally bought a ticket like a good alumni. I am the best groupie in the world by the way. The concert was wonderful! I caught to live vicariously through them and it was great. Bill got to play a solo on one of the songs and I don't think you could pick a better way to end your career at purdue. two standing ovations no less! The high schoolers behind me commented: "man that guy was really good, but old" hahaha... It was good to see both Bill and Jay and I caught up with them a little after the performance. After the band played them came out to sit in the hall and I moved over to congratulate and then sit with them like the quality groupy i am! Old Dominion played well, but I think their music was a little on the boring side. Passed out high schoolers lined the aisles. Then at the end a random trombone only band played a few jazz tunes...... odd indeed. But I helped the percussionists tear things down and load afterwards (again fallback career=groupie) so I've been on the stage in carnagie hall! mwhahaha....

Finally finished at 12:30 or so, and caught up with the rest of the band well into their drinks at a nearby irish pub (different from the night before). I'm sure we were a bit more then they expected on a monday night, but we hung about and partied till nearly 4, got pizza, and didnt crash at the hotel until after 5..... and they had to get up at 6:30 to load the buses!!!! I got up long enough to stand in the lobby and attempt to get in goodbyes to all the disoriented half-drunk bandos and then headed back up to their room to crash until the maids came around at 10am. ahhhh sheraton sleepers..... if you read this i will totally do an add to get a free bed!! So to wrap up my last day I walked all over central park and headed to the airport. Made it back to boston without event (please add indy as a destination jetblue!!!). Stopped by the lab long enough to realize that I was going to pass out if I sat down and headed home to shower and sleep. Quite a good spring break for a grad student. I wish I could steal my friends from purdue and bring them here, but such is life. I'll have to hope I get lucky and some of them actually decide to visit (HINT HINT HINT!)

Just to add a bit more entertainment, today I went with some of the women in chemistry to the pfizer plant in groton, CT. A 2.5 hr drive, but a pretty good day actually getting shown around the labs and given free food. People seem to be pretty happy there and there are a lot of options open in your career path once you get a job in industry. It was really interesting that they found all the women in the building to speak with us and show us around - didn't talk to a single male!!! hehehe. Definitely an interesting look into a real world situation. Only 15% of the phd chemists are women. Very nice folks it seems like, and they were having a launch party for a new cancer drug which was cool to see. But really - Groton, CT???? blah.

Alright, time to finally get back to work in the lab starting tomorrow - hope nobody noticed I havent done anything since Sat morning. Also - new pics up


Thursday, January 26, 2006

skip to cambridge, MA

So obviously I have not been in Cambodia for the past 5 months. I actually survived that nasty case of water? poisoning. I went with Vern in a tuktuk out to see the killing fields and S-21 prison. Depressing stuff, made harder to deal with by the involvement of the US more or less using Cambodia as a pawn to get into Vietnam.

But on a lighter note, I spent a week at home in september and got to hang out with all my wonderfull peeps at purdue! love ya guys! then I shipped most of my stuff out here and arrived just a day before orientation began at Harvard.

And now skip to almost February where I've finally completed my first semester (damn east coast schedules). Survived Chem 206, advanced organic chemistry mechanisms, and chem 285, a great course about human disease. Also managed 3.5 rotations still without choosing my life partner (ie lab and advisor), a serious decision which hopefully I won't stall on too much longer. On the bright side cambridge/boston is a great place to be, I've been able to go to tons of live shows which i would never have seen in indiana, and my roomie emily is fantastic. I mean really, she even cooks! (lots of credit to ryan a. for the introduction)

The long winter break was great despite the specter of the chem 206 final hanging over my head. spent some quality time at home, at purdue, and with little sis and bro out in colorado. time really is flying by, which is good since this isn't supposed to be too painful until my 3rd year.

I'm planning on wrapping up my 4th and hopefully last rotation pretty soon. Then taking chemical biology and drug design/discovery as my last 2 classes ever! Also this semester will be my first time teaching - org. chem for majors! ah, the poor harvard undergrads who have me as a TF. I've also resolved to make myself make time for shows/fun times, these are my twenties afterall!

At any rate, I love you all and hope many will take the time to stop by in the next 4.5-6 yrs (really it's not a prison sentence i promise....)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

welcome to cambodia!

So if you were wondering, i am indeed still alive and currently in phnom penh.

Left Bangkok with Kirk last friday on the 5:55am train to aranyaprathet. quite a lovely journey really, very scenic - and only 48baht! arrived there about 11:20 and took a saengtaew to the border for 10baht. there you get to wait in line to get stamped out of thailand and then walk across a 50 or 100m wide strip of land where all the casinos are, then pay a bundle for your cambodian visa and get stamped into their country. we were hassled much less then anticipated. just kept walking in the same direction that elliott did when he got his pickup. hooked up with this couple - Vern from S africa and Telli from canada and eventually a lone japanese kid looking for company who we just called 'Tokyo' never really found a proper pickup but one did eventually stop and say they'd drive us to sisophet for 50 baht each. however, i may not have mentioned this but cambodia is pretty corrupt place and the 'officials' at poipet had decided to make it illegal for foreigners to travel via pickup - only taxi or their crappy buses. so just on the edge of town at the police checkpoint, the correct amount of money didn't change hands. our truck turned around and drove us into town, but when it stopped it was at a motorbike stand. there they had us each get on a moto and get driven out of town past the checkpoint to meet the truck down the road. jumped in and we were off! sat in the back, very bumpy, the road probably hasn't been paved since wwI. lots of pothole dodging. but good company at least. our real problem came in sisophet where elliott said he didn't have to wait too long for a truck but for us there were very few. after waiting nearly 2.5 hrs for the truck we chose to keep finding stuff to load in the back we caved in and decided to pay $5 each for a taxi the rest of the way. all squished in, we decided that it had been a good decision as soon as it started storming. plus the road the rest of the way to siem reap was even worse - just dirt track really. for another 2.5 hrs or so. but we made it!

sat morning then kirk and i met up with the guide recommended by Alan and Joyce Welch. Ban Chantla did an excellent job - knew about everything and him driving us around kept us motivated to see all the main temples. Long days in the sun but Angkor Wat really is amazing! too bad tourism is really picking up. in a few years there will no doubt be regualations/limitations all over the place. Went all over the place, covered a lot of ground and learned a lot of history. on the 3rd day we spent half of it visiting the vietnamese floating village on the lake. interesting, but also a rip off. really most of cambodia is just trying to separate you from as much money as possible. the worst is that you have to work in 3 currencies - the us dollar, thai baht, and cambodian real (which is play money really) ah well.

so our last night in siem reap was monday. unfortunately i started feeling a bit under the weather but am recovering quickly. on tuesday, i set off on a bus to phnom penh with vern and telli while kirk flew back to bangkok to catch his flight home. its just been ridiculously hot and dusty here, so i admit i haven't moved much from the fans in the guesthouse. tomorrow i'm forcing myself out though to see the killing fields and the prison s-21. not exactly real positive but thats kindof how cambodia is. a bit depressing. a bit corrupt. thailand definitely wins in my opinion and hopefully not just cause i'm a bit sick (i was due - we figured out that every other american in our group had had something to take them out for a couple of days!) at any rate, i fly to bangkok on friday and home on saturday! see you all soon!!