Archive for October, 2013

Thank You Cards are Ordered!

October 27 2013

They say that you have one year to get a wedding gift.  I took that very seriously when my friend April married her husband Steve.  So, Dave and I decided to design a fabric in honor of their wedding and then make them various things for the house in that pattern.  We designed and ordered the fabric, and I decided on the items that we were to make.  Unfortunately, this was while we were in graduate school … and I was living in Austria.  Even though we didn’t have it complete by the wedding, we figured that we could finish the project in one year.  Three years later, I still haven’t completed the wonderful gift that I was going to make them.  Fortunately, April is still my friend.  I will finish this project.  Better late than never, right?

For other weddings, we decided that we would not bank on me making a gift if it was not ready by the wedding date.  We learned our lesson.

Our wedding has come and gone, and now we need to write thank-you cards.  With me moving and traveling often, it took us a while to get the photos from the photographer, design the card, and order it.  And, finally, as of today, the thank you cards are ordered.  I hope this is still within an acceptable time-frame.  I feel a bit of relieve that it is no longer hanging over my head that I need to order the cards; however, when they arrive, that relieve will come to an end.


Bacon Makes Everything Better

October 25 2013

When I saw a recipe for panchetta wrapped shrimp in the Rachel Ray Magazine, I fell in love and had to make it.  As usual, I made a few modifications.  And, I will share my modifications:

  • Instead of pancetta, I used thin-sliced bacon.  I am partial to bacon-wrapped anything.  I prefer my panchetta with a nice baguette.
  • Since I love celery, I doubled the amount of celery in the recipe (I had salad for days afterwards).
  • Instead of grilling, I cooked the bacon wrapped shrimp in a pan on the stove-top.  I cooked them until the bacon was nice and crispy.
  • In the lemon juice for the shrimp marinade, I added a little lemon zest.
  • As usual, I added some sea salt and coarse ground pepper to finish the dish.

Surprisingly, I followed the rest of the recipe.  It is not usual for me to stick that close to a recipe.

I tried to serve this to David since it was so delicious, but he hates fennel.  He made faces when I made him try the fennel fronds, which I find barely taste like anything.  However, a well-balanced bite of 30% bacon, 50% shrimp, 10% celery, and 10% fennel tasted delicious to him.  Bacon does make everything taste better (although, I think fennel tastes good to begin with!)  Ok, I am hungry now.


Nail Polish

October 24 2013


Last weekend, I went to a high school friend’s wedding in Philly.  Before the wedding (well, actually, during the ceremony), I stopped at my parents house to say hello to the family.  This is the first time I skipped the ceremony and went to the reception.  I felt like a rebel.  But, I got to see my family — so, it was worth it.

My niece was home, and had a bag full of nail polish.  She demanded (she knows what she wants) that I paint her nails, and I obliged.  I painted all 10 fingers and toes.  She carefully watched as I delicately painted her miniature nails.  As I was painting one of her toe nails, the paint came on thick … it was hard to avoid this on such tiny nails.  At this point, she warns me “not too much.”  I laughed, so she continued to warn me with each brush stroke until I finished the task.

Then, it was my turn.  She was to paint my nails.  Since I was going to a wedding, I wouldn’t let her do my fingernails but allowed her to paint my toes, thinking that it would be covered by my shoes.  On one of the toes, she managed to get the entire toe minus the nail.  Perhaps she was studying set complements that day.  As Dave and I started our drive downtown, I remembered that my shoes were strappy shoes, not closed toe shoes!  Whoops.

Race for the Cure

October 23 2013

On Saturday, I will be running in the New Orleans Race for the Cure.  Since my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in the mid-90s, this cause has been something important to me for a while.  I’ve never actually participated in a race for the cure though, and I’m not sure why.  But, I am excited for this new experience (and, maybe I’ll meet another friend there … as my friends in New Orleans total about one at the moment).

If you are interested, please feel free to make a Donation on My Behalf.  If you’re not interested, no hard feelings.

Herbert’s Students

October 2 2013

When I was in Russia last week, I saw my academic brother Dmitriy.  There, we met Herbert’s new student and postdoc.

When I met the new student, Mabel, at the hotel, I said: “you must be Mabel, nice to finally meet you.”  I say this because Herbert told me about his new student from Cuba last time I saw him.  Her response was, “we’ve met before, at CTIC 2009, remember?  We even shared a bed together.”  And yes, she was correct … she was at the conference and shared a bed with me.  How embarrassing.  She was kind enough not to hate me for forgetting her though.

On the way to lunch one day, Stefan (Herbert’s new postdoc) asks Dmitriy who his adviser was.  We didn’t believe that he did not know, until we realized that he did not know who my adviser was either.  Then, we ask Stefan which of Herbert’s former students he actually knew.  The only two he could list were Olga and Michael (current / former postdocs of Herbert).  This explains why Stefan thought I did not know what a Möbius strip was when he made a bad joke the first day.  [[ The joke was: “Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?” I thought, how do you CROSS a Möbius strip?  I didn’t even listen to his answer, as I knew it would be “to get to the same side”.  I was pondering the logistics of crossing a Möbius strip.  Then, I figured out that it must be embedded on a Klein bottle.  I did not find it funny, especially since it took me so long to make sense of, but he started to tell me where I can read about Möbius strips since I was not laughing. Later, we disagreed on my interpretation of the joke. ]]


October 1 2013


A pie chart explaining my expenses for the past 6 months. It is quite amazing, although not surprising, how travel takes up 68% of my spending.