Friday, July 28, 2006

Silly String

Albert Einstein died trying to figure out a unifying theory of everything. Problem is that some rules of physics work on a small subatomic scale, but not on a giant planetary scale, and vice versa. Some physicists think it may be solved using String Theory (Nova on PBS has a really interesting series on string theory I think it's all very interesting but it's impossible to understand without have a grip on all of the dimensions. Here's a link that helps. But I'm still not sure I fully understand. Wait, maybe, yes?, no I've lost it.

I once got in trouble for laughing too loud at an art museum

Here is a link to a page with a collection of strange statues from around the world.

I think the some of the strangest statues always involve children in some way. Like this one:

I know babies can be pretty sticky sometimes, but geez. Maybe this guy got his wish when he wanted to be a "babe magnet". He got all ready, worked out some, got naked and then POOF! Babe Magnet...."DAMMIT! Wrong kind of babe. Crazy genies taking everything so literally!"

It reminds of another statue, in Richmond on Monument where there are monuments (get it? huh? huh?!) of Civil war generals....and Arthur Ashe, the black tennis player.

It looks like the kids are in a hot tub reaching out to Mr. Ashe, as if to say, "Help, we're drowning! Save us from the hot tub of segregation!" But Arthur swings his tennis racket in defense and yells, "Hell no! Get away! I swear if you get any closer, I'll throw these books at you!"

No? ok, maybe not.

Oh, but here's a new favorite of mine. Sometimes I can be a feminist and I get tired of seeing one phallic statue after another. This giant vag is located outside of a German University's Institute of Microbiology (is it a statement on venereal disease?).

I just wonder if the university students rub it for good luck before an exam.

On the other hand, it also looks like a scary portal into the unknown. LOL. Kinda true, don't ya think? ONLY THE BRAVE MAY ENTER!!!!! LOL that would be such an awesome door.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rain, rain, fall on me

I'm not a granola head or a bible beater. I don't recycle enough and I eat non-organic animals. I don't go to church enough and I break commandments all the time.

But I like to stand out in the rain. Especially cold heavy downpours after days of sweltering heat. I completely recommend it, unless there is a lot of lightning. But next time it rains, stand outside. Get completely drenched. Look up to the sky and don't duck away. Don't mind the people who think you might be homeless or just plain nuts. Breathe. The air will smell surprisingly fresh, even in the city. Let it rain on you. It will feel like your soul is getting a bath.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Back from the surface of the sun

I'm back from Las Vegas. It was hot. But it was a dry heat. A burning, ferocious, searing, dry heat. I couldn't stop sneezing the first day because of the dryness. Going from 68% humidity in Houston to 9% in Las Vegas was a little much. After 6 liters of water, I felt OK. And if I had to choose, I'd choose a dry heat over humidity in a heartbeat.

But enough about the weather.

Alexis is just beyond wonderful. She is adorable and she likes me and she's not bad to take care of. She's pretty independent and doesn't wail when she wakes from a nap. She's totally content just playing in her crib by herself, as long as she isn't hungry or wet.

I needn't have worried that I wouldn't get much baby-holding time. I held her plenty and wished she wouldn't have to sleep so much. Despite not having changed a diaper in 20 years (Guboy's, ha ha), it was easy. Though, I was very lucky that I never had to change Alexis' poopy diaper. I gave Alexis a bath and fed her and burped her, no problem. It's reassuring to know that when I have babies, I won't be all thumbs. If I lived closer, I would be so happy to babysit Alexis. I did put on her onesie on backwards that one day, but now I know, lol. Edward and Rachel are really lucky to have such a good baby. Let's hope she stays that way.

I didn't get any pictures of Alexis in her baptismal clothes, but I'll be sure to get some and I'll make sure to post them asap. I didn't get the chance to get any pictures of me and Alexis on my camera which really sucks, but I do have the pictures I did take on my yahoo photos
page, including some where you can see how big she is. After cooking a lot of food for the reception into the wee hours of the night and eating a whole bunch, we were all sleepy. And running errands in 118 deg heat is pretty tiring, too. And taking care of a baby is pretty hard because you have to do the feed her-burp her-feed her-change her-clean her-put her to bed cycle every four hours. I loved meeting Alexis and I loved seeing the family, but I was pooped. I spent today in a coma, despite having good intentions to go to work. But when I fell asleep while eating lunch, I decided to call it a night.

I wouldn't say it's good to be back in Houston. But I will say, I can't wait to see my family again really soon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What exactly are they selling?

Representatives from laboratory supply companies often stop by the lab to inform the lab manager of sales and discounts for their products. And often they leave product samples and even little trinkets like pens or magnets or candy.

A rep from a small new local company selling plasticware, like tubes and pipette tips, stopped by today and left behind this:


Alexis is a Vegas baby, VEGAS!!

I'm going to Las Vegas for Alexis' baptism. Yay!

I'm the godmother/ninang. Yay!

I'll be gone from Thursday to Monday. Yay!


Monday, July 10, 2006

How to wrap a bowling pin

So I got a comment on my sea glass post asking how I made the necklace. Things are always better with pictures, so here ya go.

First you start with a piece of sea glass. Any will work, but something with curves and bumps will be more secure because the wire will won't slip off so easily.

This glass was rather small so I took about 7 inches of 22 gauge sterling silver wire (though 24 would be easier) and made a loop in the middle . Hold the loop tight against the back of the glass and do not let go until you're sure the loop won't move. Wrap the ends around the front. Try to lay the ends side by side and flat against the glass in the front for a neater look. The ends can crisscross in the back and look all lumpy since you won't see that as much. Once you have the loop in place and you know it won't move, you can use flat nosed pliers (preferrably nylon tipped to avoid scratches) to complete the wrapping around the pendant to ensure a tight fit.

Using wire cutters, cut one wire (blue) so that the end lies in the back of the glass. Smooth the sharp tip with a metal file.

With the remaining long end of wire (red), wrap it around the body of the glass so that the last couple of inches are toward the front. Using the smallest round nose pliers, start a coil with the end. Take the very tip of the wire and make the tiniest, and most circular loop you can. If the loop is crooked, you'll end up with a very noticeable off-shaped coil. Then use flat nosed pliers to hold the edge of the loop and coil the wire around the loop.

To make the leather necklace, take an 18 inch piece of deerskin leather. Attach a fold crimp to each end. You can use a dot of glue to hold the leather in place as you use your flat nose pliers to fold the crimp closed. Attach your clasp of choice; here, I used a lobster claw.

Then attach a jump ring (jewelry term for a circle of wire with a cut at one point so that it can be opened) to the loop and the leather necklace so that the pendant dangles properly and faces front.

Ta-da! A necklace!

I hope this makes some sense. Fine materials, such as sterling silver, are available online or at beading shops. Crafting tools and cheaper, base metal materials are available at craft stores like Michael's.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Another museum party

Last night I went to another museum party, only this time at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. $5 for students, $10 for everybody else, free for members. A really good deal. It's sponsored by Starbucks, so there were girls with green aprons handing out the newest frap. Unfortunately by the time we got there they were running out of drinks and handed out coupons for a free tangerine frap. My friend didn't want hers so now I have 5 free fraps! I hope they're good. There were a LOT of people there in the main lobby and the ajoining patio. Almost everyone looked to be part of the hip 20-something midtown crowd. Good people-watching. They had a number of musicians and DJs thoughout the night. I didn't like the music, so I it was a little boring for me. It was just like being in a club.

Unlike the science museum, the art museum didn't have the whole museum open. But the one art exhibit we could see was the Quilts of Gee's Bend. It was SO cool. I saw the documentary on PBS (of course) a while ago and it's a really neat story. So, there is tiny tiny tiny town called Gee's Bend. It is made up of the decendants of slaves on former plantation land. At one point in time, around the depression, Gee's Bend was the poorest town in the whole country. It's still very poor. Before some of the women were "found" they had no electricity or running water. Now, as the quilts they used to cover their beds are selling for thousands of dollars, they are proud owners of refrigerators and washers. But she still hangs on to her old washboard, just in case. So, what happened was, an artfully minded outsider came across the town and saw these quilts hanging on the clotheslines and was just taken aback by the color and modern art-like design of these quilts. The most amazing thing is that all of the women in the town who make these quilts and have been making them for generations, don't know a thing about modern art. They took inspiration from their surroundings. It's all a priori. For example, a common pattern is called "housetop" and is taken from what you see when you look up to the underside of a roof.

I haven't been to an art museum in a long time and I forgot how much I LOVE it. I was with someone who doesn't get modern art, so I kind of felt like a giddy nerd, especially gushing over any quilt with red cloth (I love red, lol). But the colors were so vivid and the patterns and different pieces of cloth were so varied, it can take a long time to look at one piece. You can get lost in staring at patterns and colors (well, at least I can). But I think the best part of this exhibit, or really any art exhibit - classical or contemporary, is the story behind the art. The quilts of Gee's Bend are more engaging when you realize where they came from. But quilts, in general, kind of take it one more level further, because each piece of fabric has a story. You can see it in the blue quilts- the strips of fabric have a soft color gradation from dark blue to white. None of it's intentional. The strips of blue were made from well worn denim pants or workshirts. You can just imagine how hard these people worked. Everything was spared, nothing thrown away, just transformed into what would become internationally acclaimed modern art.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

And the winner is...


He beat Chestnut by 2!!! 54 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

That's consecutive win No. 6 for Kobayashi.

Ah, well good try Chestnut. You beat your own record. Just keep on gobbling those wieners!

Happy Independence Day everybody!

P.S. Did you all SEE that Italy-Germany match??? GOD!! 118 minutes of my life wasted on NOTHING but completely saved by the most shocking two minutes of soccer I've ever seen. Granted, I haven't seen that much soccer. But WOW!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ultimate Showdown!!!!

The date: July 4th, 2006
The place: Coney Island
The event: Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest
5 time Nathan's champion from Japan, TAKERU KOBAYASHI
(I have no idea why he looks like a scary buff albino clown)
("Gee whiz, Beav, I sure like to gobble down wieners!")
WHO WILL WIN!!!?!?!?!?
read the buzz here
Oohhh I'm so excited and kind of grossed out! But who am I to wag my finger at gluttony? Tomorrow I am planning to eat beer soaked brats, cheese stuffed burgers, potato salad, chips and salsa, fresh squeezed lemon-limade with strawberries, and butter pecan ice cream with marshmallow fluff, hot fudge, chopped nuts, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry (or two...or three). If you hear an explosion tomorrow, those aren't fireworks! (it's me)
LOLOL those sentences rhymed. LOL. Am I drunk?