Sunday, September 28, 2008

paging sarah palin

I don't blog about politics. Thus, I am not currently blogging about politics. You may proceed safely.

9/26/08, 10 AM

Setting: I'm sitting quietly at work when I hear the receptionist page someone over the loudspeaker.

Loudspeaker: John McCain, please dial extension 3222.

(A John McCain really does work for my firm. I've seen him, but we've yet to speak. )

5 minutes pass.

Loudspeaker: Sarah Palin, please dial the operator.

And...a bunch of geologists erupt laughing from 100 feet away.

The last time this happened was a few months ago when someone got the receptionist to page Seymour Butts to a certain extension. I convinced my cube neighbor to dial the extension and say Seymour Butts was calling.

Our poor receptionist. She's not really up on politics.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

corn syrup

I had a friend in 4th grade who claimed to be allergic to corn syrup. She was from the South (Alabama maybe?) and had an accent. I even remember her name. Lets call her AC.

So, AC told me she was allergic to corn syrup, and then excitedly mentions that because of her allergy there is only one kind of ice cream she can have--the best (as she called it)--Dryers. I have never had Dryers before and have never checked the ingredients to double check that it does not contain corn syrup. Because as we all know, nothing is for sure unless I confirm it. Ahem.

I have often thought back on this conversation between myself and AC. Why should I retain such seemingly mundane and useless knowledge 15 years later? I know not. But whenever I read the ingredients on a box of cereal and see "corn syrup" listed, I think of her. AC. She may not even be AC anymore. She might be AZ or AF or--who knows, even FA. Most recently when I read on the box of cereal "corn syrup" and thought of good old AC, I wondered HOW she could possibly discover she was allergic to corn syrup. Everything has corn syrup, practically. How could she have isolated this single ingredient and figured out it was the one thing preventing her from meal time bliss? And by age 10?

I can only think of two possible explanations:
1) she ate corn syrup plain and had a reaction. (I dislike this idea. Who would eat corn syrup alone?)
2)Her mom made pecan pie and experimented replacing the corn syrup with honey at the advice of a cooking friend(as my lovely french friend told me to do). After witnessing the two reactions of AC to the seemingly similar pies, the verdict was out. AC must be allergic to corn syrup.

I put my money on #2.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I have made Ratatouille three times now.

1) Pre-movie. At least 4 years ago. I did not like it..and I don't recollect where I got the recipe.

2) Post-movie. 1 year ago. I used the Cooking for Engineers version. There is some debate that the "real" way to make Ratatouille involves cooking each vegetable by itself to preserve the individual flavors (as done in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1) before combining at the end. The Engineers recipe is not done this way. But I still recommend it. It was most delicious. DH thought so too.

3) Post-movie. 4 days ago. This time I tried Julia Child's version. It turned out really well. I can't remember how the one last year tasted in comparison, but DH claims that he does and that the French version is better. So, there you have it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Event Horizon: Do Not Cross

Beware of falling into black holes. Some critics say this is a dangerous pastime, since "what goes into a black hole, stays in a black hole."

Cern will be turning on the "Large Hadron Collider" tomorrow. But by the time you read this, it will have already happened. And you might just be reading this from inside a black hole.

Or not.

PS. My take on this matter, is that we should worry as much about being eaten up by a black hole as we should worry that the Yellowstone Caldera Supervolcano will erupt. And if any of you saw that movie, yeah. I don't think so.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Social Security & DMV

I officially changed my name. Yes, lr=lrh. This occurred one sunny day in July after waiting for an hour in the downtown San Jose social security office. While unusual for me to be in San Jose, it was even more unusual for me to find myself waiting at social security. I found out too late that you can make appointments. Alas. At least I had a book:) While I attempted to read I was distracted by a family that sat behind me. Every time a new number was called they would excitedly count how many numbers were left until their number. "C65! Our number is C95, that's only 30 more people!" They did this over and over...Meanwhile at least 25 numbers were called and none of them were even close to my number: B214. As time passed by, I began to worry and wondered why there were no other B numbers called. Finally they called my number, just before C95. I'd arrived before them, after all. Changing your name takes a whole 3 minutes. Make an appointment.

PS: The DMV is too horrifying to mention.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.