Friday, May 28, 2004

You may have noticed the less than stellar typing as of late. Blame the dog hair.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Check out the pics of my new finchies in my moblog :)
I had zebra finches year ago and started with a pair and ended up with a flock - but one summer while I was at summer camp, they all died :(
This time I got some society finches. They're like the cheapest ones you can get at the pet store, but you can actually get them in all sorts of color combos. Unfortunately, Petco only had reessive pied ones, so I got a chocolate recessive pied and a fawn recessive pied one. The girl is cute though, she has little black circles around her eyes. I need to think of names.

Petco retard # 1: I had to return one of the first birds I got because it turned out to be a male. I had been watching them at petco for about 20 minutes and it was the only one that didn't sing, and another male had tried to mount it. I guess that male was just feeling sad that there were no girls around because well yeah. There was some gay society finch lovin going on. So I took him back this morning and the manager of the store opens the box in the middle of the store and the bird flies away. Yeah. She was that smart. Very nice though. And so long as he doesn't fly into the cage of one of the cats they have there, he should be okay. He'll hear the other birdschirping and get lonely and go visit them.

Peto retard #2. The other hick that was helping me - I told her I wanted to get a female; I'd been watching the birds a while and had found at least two that were females. So I went to go get her; she gave me some kind of 100% false spew about being able to tell them apart by color. We went into the bird room and she started going "That one is 100% female. That one is partly female."


did I miss something?

I didn't say anything. Should I have? I don't know...

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

I'm going to Costa Rica in two days.
I love last minut trips, they're the best!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


I didn't plant anything in my garden this year and yet I've got a patch of arugula and a way-healthier-than-last-year patch of lemon balm, a well a quite a bit of oregano growing.

How cute!!

Monday, May 17, 2004

All you retards who come here looking for pictures of shit like Lynn Koplitz...

Birds I saw at my backyard feeders this morning:

I hope all those photos I linked to work. Prize to anyone who gets them all without cheating and looking at URLs. There's at last on I had to look up in the bird book because I had never seen it before!
Saturday, Grant, my sister and I went to the Met to do one of Grant's Tufts alumni events. It was a sort of scavenger hunt (a bunch of questions along the lines of "Find the room with four paintings of Piazza San Marco in Venice. In each painting there is a pair in tan and grey. Who are they?" and you had to find the Canaletto (and assorted school of Canaletto paintings) in the Lehman collection and note that the two figures in grey and tan were a pair of (humping) dogs, etc.) and it was a ton of fun because we went all over the museum. I went to high school a couple of blocks away from the Met (I mean, my high school graduation was even at the Met) and still it took us to a lot of rooms I had never seen before. For example, keep an eye out for the Studiolo Gubbio because it's the coolest fucking room ever.

In any case, Grant and I were 45 minutes late because I spent the morning vomiting away a hangover from seeing Nancy open up Nick's on the Beach for th summer out in Montauk (yay for Nick's and yay for summer in Montauk!!) and almost didn't make it. Despite the handicap, we finshed all of our questions, got all the bonus questions and tied for first place (go us!).

Afterwards we grabbed my mom and went for dinner at Blue Hill, down off of Washington Square Park. They have the most romantic bathrooms ever! Go see for yourselfDan Barber, the owner/chef, went to my high school and Grant's college. We chatted with him a bit at one of my high school alumni events where he did a whole wine tasting food thing that was pretty phenomenal and he invited us down. Unfortunately he wasn't around Saturday night :(

Their focus is fresh local food (from their farm upstate), and well, it was pretty fresh, local food, and pretty fucking phenomenal. I think that for the money if I had to make a choice I would still prefer Clio in Boston, but perhaps that would only be for their sushi bar. Certainly Dan Barber seems a more down to earth sort of guy than Ken Oringer, who always gives me a sort of sleazy Bobby Flay (Mesa Grill is totally mediocre except the cornbread but jesus fucking christ I mean Bobby Flay doesn't really know how to make anything withOUT cornmeal so you'd hope that his fucking cornbread is good) Rocco Dispirito (heard nothing but bad reviews of Rocco's but I haven't been there yet) sort of vibe. My brother, who being a cook at No. 9 Park, is friends with all those Ming Tsai/hot young chef types up in Boston, confirms my suspicions that Ken Oringer does not want for the company of women.

So Blue Hill is really really excellent. I am not sure how to describe it; the food is not so surprising (tomato martinis anyone? Gin and tonic ice cream dessert?) or perhaps pretentious (although that has a negative connotation which I definitely don't want to imply) as it is at Clio - I guess that he best word would be "simple" but it's still very creative. I think the wackiest thing we had were blue point oysters (local, right??) with lime sorbet. Other than that, I don't know... there was a poached duck (poached duck? huh. weird right? but very simple and unpretentious, like everything else) that was absolutely phenomenal. Everything was absolutely great. Holy cow. And excellent dessert. Chocolate bread pudding mmmmmmm espresso & panna cotta mmmmmmmm passionfruit souffle mmmmmmmmmmmm

I don't know what the buzz is about Blue Hill (I don't really keep up with my NYC restaurants as much as my Boston restaurants, but I know that the buzz about Dan has been good) but if it's not on all the restaurant snobs' radars yet, it ought to be. Totally gets my hearty two thumbs up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

For the record, I am currently sitting outside, doing my work, with a huge pitcher of mint iced tea, a bucket of ice, two lazy dogs, a ton of birds at my 6 bird feeders and one bird bathm and despite the work and the anxiety from all the work that I HAVE to do this week, life's pretty good :)
The situation in King's Park - how they got 270 acres of land on the North Shore for 7.5 million dollars (albeit apparently without a subject-to, though the developer didn't seem to be able to answer that question) - is still questionable. the $40 million dollar environmental remediation bill makes it more plausible, except that it's a brownfields site so they can theoretically get a large grant from the state to pay for the cleanup. Don't really know much about it.

Who decided on the name "brownfields", anyway?

In any case, the plan the developers presented was actually very nice and seemed like quite a nice compromise between what the town wants (who the fuck knows what they want; they certainly don't), and what is economically reasonable for the developers. (you can see it, as I mentioned earlier, on their website.

Sure, they were parading around crap like "Look, we're going to build you a beautiful new fire station!" when you know that the town board probably told them "Liste, you're not going to get the zoning you want unless you build us a new station", but hey, whatever.

The guy doing the presentation was a little condescending, and quite politically incorrect ("We don't do senior housing because it's depressing. Who wants an entire cohort of 55 year olds growing old together?" or "We're going to move the psychiatric center out of the way to here, in the woods. It will be more peaceful for the committed people. I'm sure they'll appreciate it") but for the most part, I thought he explained things fairly well (like why the increased population wouldn't mak traffic worse on 25A - because traffic is as bad as it can possibly be on 25A already).

On the other hand, the townsfolk against the plan (the ones who were at this meeting and being quite vocal about their displeasure - and so entirely rude! There is no excuse for interrupting and screaming during a meeting that a potential developer is holding out of courtesy to you - this was, after all, NOT a town hearing. It was a prsentation by the developer that they did just for the townsfolk) handed out a flyer with all kinds of points made against the project. It was the most horrendously written piece of garbage I've ever seen.

I will copy the most confusing one below. If anyone can decipher and translate into coherent english what they;'re trying to say, please let me know.

11. The architect said there would be a jitney to drive residents to the LIRR station, implying that would result in less impact on traffic than would conventional development. However, less than 10% of the work force takes the train. Optimistically assuming that this project would attract more LIRR users than the town as a whole, the project would still generate far more traffic. Say 15% of the residents would use the LIRR (not realistic considering the current and likely future service). That would mean roughly 500 LIRR commuters, and 3000 vehicle trips each peak hour. Development under existing zoning would be about 160 trips. Even if the nw urbanism village numbers were lowered by 50% to account for retirees, low income and traffic are called for by zoning plans.

HUH???!! What?

Furthermore, here is point #8:

8. A second premise is not correct. The architect said the jitneys would take rsidents to the Rail Road station. This was to imply that the high density would not cause much traffic congestion. However, only 5 to 10% of Kings Park residents use the LIRR.

Is that fundamentally different from 11? Have I lost my brain???
Sometimes, you might THINK that you don't want bacon, but all you have to do is start making some and you will realize how very wrong you were.

In related news, I forgot about my bacon this morning, so it was crispy. YUCK.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The situation in Kings Park is highly questionable.
We're going to a public hearing tonight because it's all so questionable. (community website) (developer's website)

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Oh my!

Oh my is right!!

Oh man is anyone else disgusted by the current administration??

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

I love my students. Here's a lttle emal exchange I recently had with one of them:

From: -student-

hey sorry to bug ya i know u are busy. i visisted the museam in the earth sciences center like -lowercased last name of instructor- said we could do for extra credit. i wrote a page and some. but there is no proof that i was there, there are no pamphlets or anyone even in the museam. do i need proof that i went cuz thats what i heard? thanks for ur time, respond only at ur convenice

(note, that the syllabus is very explicit in that you need proof of your visit, similarly it's been mentioned just about every single class)

From : -me-

I know that there often are not people there, so it is okay that you do not have any proof of your visit. Just hand in your one page summary that talks about an exhibit you saw illustrating an ecological principle relevant to class as Professor -prof's last name- outlined in the syllabus. Also, please proofread and spellcheck your paper to make sure that the spelling and grammar are better than that in the email you sent to me.

(I don't think that was terribly rude given the disrespectful nature of her initial email, do you? I mean I casually added in the PROFESSOR, and since many students DO hand in papers that say "thru" instead of "through", "u" instead of "you" etc., well, if she's going to send me an email with the spelling and grammar or a third grader, I'll treat her like one and remind her to use spellcheck and grammarcheck, right?

From : -student-

well sorry about my grammar in my email, i work full time and still get a's and b's in everything, so i dont have time to write you a perfect email, so try to have some respect for people, even if they are just " the students".

Is it me, or is it retarded of her to say something like that, particularly when I know exactly who she is? And is it me, or is her logic... illogical? And is it me, or does respect go both ways? And.. well I could go on and on. I'm just baffled by these SUNY "college" students. It just makes me totally sad to look at them and then think about the sad state of the public school system on Long ISland... and then I think abut hwo the NYC public school systm must be even worse... and then it makes me feel bad for feeling sorry for myself that I'm making $12,000/year in graduate school and having to deal with these lazy, whiny brats.

I mean, at least I have a brain.