November 24, 2014

Paris... Je ne te aime pas plus

Oh Paris, how I dreamed of walking your streets, eating your food and sucking up all the inherent coolness your people seem to have. Well, I have to tell you Paris, your food was tres mal except of course for your Crème Brulee and Macaroons. Your streets smelled quite bad and your people were comme ci comme ça.

My husband and I travelled across the channel on the Eurostar. It was my first time travelling to the continent by train and it was wonderful. I didn’t have to faff about with liquids or the weight of my luggage and security took five minutes.

It was really great to get to Paris and to not have to then travel into the city. We arrived smack dab in the middle at Gare du Nord and only had a few metro stops to our hotel in the heart of Montmartre just around the corner from the Moulin Rouge.

It was also right around the corner from the Amelie café where I had been in 2003 with my girl Jess and mistakenly ordered Steak Tartar thinking it would be- well, cooked. We went once for breakfast and had very bad service. The second time we went for afternoon dessert. I had the crème brulee and Billy had the cheese. There were so many tourists coming in and out the entire time. I went to use the bathroom, which was engaged so I looked at a collection of props from the movie. Then I noticed how disgusting the sink was and I decided to hold it and left.

We were only there for one full day and two half days so we tried to fit in as much as possible. We took a boat ride down the Seine and walked along it at the Ile de Cite. The only thing I insisted we queue for was to buy Laduree macaroons. They are seriously the best macaroons- ever! I had them for the first time at the Laduree in Miami’s South Beach earlier this year. MMM.

Inside were gorgeous art deco designs and the queue was out the door and around the block. I got frantic when it was finally my turn and I ordered eight macaroons as they were rather pricey and I knew they wouldn’t last to take back with me. I also bought a little box of chocolate for someone’s Christmas present (I really hope the chocolate is still good by then as it will have travelled to three countries!)

The best part of the trip was meeting the most amazing bulldog Bellush who roamed a bar in Montmartre where her owner was the bartender. Bellush was so sweet and kept coming up to us for a rub and then she crashed out in a chair. The bar got super busy and everyone kept going to sit in the chair and then realized it was already occupied.

This was my third time going to Paris and I have to say that, though I loved my time there, it is not a great as it was ten years ago. A man at Sacre Coeur who was trying to put his hand into my husband’s pockets pushed me. I pushed him away then he pushed me back and boy did I stare him down giving him the evil eye. I get crazy adrenaline in situations like that and I probably could lift a car or something so he’s lucky I didn’t go mental on his ass.


There were so many men selling cheap Eiffel Towers EVERY WHERE!  It made going to the actual Eiffel Tower a bit annoying as these guys approached us every two minutes. It was a nice trip, but I do think my love affair with Paris is over. Ce la vie.


















November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday- Paris!



My darling husband whisked me away to Paris this past weekend to celebrate my birthday. It was my third time in the city though the last time was eleven years ago. Its funny how different my life changed between each visit.

My first time was in 2001. My mother and I combined our tax returns and bought ourselves one week staying near the Opera. It was a couple of years after my dad died and I just graduated from junior college and had yet to receive my acceptance into Syracuse. I was very unsure of my future and myself and it was pretty scary. My mom and I were just beginning to travel and it was so incredibly exciting to be in Paris.

My second trip was in 2003 towards the end of my semester abroad in London. I went by myself during our November break and met up with my girl Jess and two other girls from my photo class and we stayed in a hostel in Montmartre. This time I was more confident about myself and I was having the time of my life. I remember sitting on the banks of the Seine at night smoking and thinking, “this is the life.”

This photo was taken during this trip, as I seem to remember my photo teacher giving us a challenge to take a “different” kind of photo of the Eiffel Tower. My husband cannot look at it though because it makes him nauseous. I still think its one of my favorite photos from that time.

This time I am a very happily married woman was a steady job in England. I am probably the most confident now than I ever was in my early 20’s. I will put together a post of my photos from the trip soon.

October 30, 2014

My Favourite Halloween Movies

I am the biggest wuss when it comes to scary movies. Let me tell you why. When I was six or seven I was laying on our pull out couch with my mom, my sister and her best friend who was there for a sleepover. I can't remember what we were watching, but it couldn't of been too scary because my mom is a bigger wuss than me.

Anyways there we were watching a movie eating popcorn when the door to the garage, which was next to the tv, slammed open and out came my father wearing a scary Halloween mask as he started up his chainsaw. Yeah. I know. I think we all peed our pants a little and to this day I get super jumpy if anyone sneaks up on me. Even if someone just comes up behind me at work and if I don't hear them I shriek. Thanks dad.

Needless to say, I'm so not in to scary movies. I spent months recovering from seeing the Exorcist at a slumber party and It in my band class of all places (but only the first half as too many parents complained- if I had seen that the damned clown was only a spider than I probably would of been okay). I had to walk in middle of the street when walking home from the bus stop because the sewer drains scared the crap out of me.

Recently I decided to watch a scary movie called "Mama" by myself because it had Jessica Chastain and Jaime from Game of Thrones. Bad news. I couldn't shut stand in a room after shutting the lights of by myself for ages.

So when Halloween comes around, which is one of my favourite holidays, I opt for family friendly movies instead. Here is a list of my favourite films to watch at this time of year. There are some spoilers in there, but most of the films are at least a decade old.


The Worst Witch (1986)

I remember one Halloween I can home from school and was helping my mom put candy into Halloween bags (these made it so all the kids got the same amount so no one would complain- it was also my genius idea!). I kept waiting for my favourite movie to come on tv. Finally it was 6pm and I turned on the channel only to find it wasn't on! I was devastated (or as devastated a kid can be when their expectations are blown).

I learned a hard lesson that day. TV shows in the late 80's and early 90's would advertise their timings as 5pm/6pm. I found out that that meant the programme was on at 5pm Eastern Standard Time and 6pm central standard time that didn't apply to me in my family room in Florida. So I had missed the bloody thing.

I always think of that when I watch The Worst Witch and I think the deprivation may of caused it to become a favourite of mine. It really is a terrible 80's film but in a way it makes it better.

It stars Fairuza Balk (who went on to be the evil witch teen in The Craft) as Mildred Hubble, Mrs Garrett from The Facts of Life times 2 (she plays twins- one good, one evil) and best of all- Tim Curry as the Grand Wizard! Oh Tim Curry is awesome in it and the song he sings is perfection.

There is another later version of this film, which is based on a book series of the same name by Jill Murphy, but this one is by far the best. And even better, the full movie is on youtube.





I've watched this a million times, but I always get it mixed up with the Christmas special in my head. But needless to say, it’s not Halloween without “It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” I think my favourite is Snoopy as the World War I flying ace battling the Red Barron. Here are the first couple of minutes.


Hocus Pocus (1993)

Okay I'm going to admit that this is one of my favourite films- ever! I remember I went to the cinema to see it with my mom when it came out and boy did I have a crush on the kid that (spoilers) becomes the cat. That same kid is now a chubby cast member of NCIS and that crush is no more.

The movie stars Omri Katz from Eerie, Indiana fame (see the Eerie entry down below) as a city kid who moves to Salem Massachusetts just in time for Halloween. He sneaks into the house of witches, who cursed the town when they were hung in the 1700's, with his cute love interest and unknowingly unleashes the witches. Little Thora Burch adds the comic element (she's also in one of my favourite Christmas films ever) along with Kathy Najimi as the clumsy witch sister.

I think the worst part of the movie is when Carrie Bradshaw sings a song to lure out all the children. She totally needs to stick to dating Mr Big and away from Broadway like her husband. But seriously if you've never seen Hocus Pocus watch it now! Unfortunately I could only find the trailer on youtube.


Casper is the last movie I remember watching with my father. I don't know why we watched it, my dad wasn't really into films, but we had a nice father daughter moment. I always love seeing the young character's rooms the most and I can remember Christina Ricci's room in the haunted mansion being pretty awesome. 

This is just a cute film to watch that does have a Halloween seen towards the end when (*spoilers*) Casper comes down as a super hot kid that totally didn't match his personality at all. I found the whole movie but there are annoying subs.


The Lady in White  (1988)

This is the only scary movie on my list. And when you watch it to the end its actually not as scary as it seemed. Its kind of more like a thriller instead staring Lucas Haas as a kid who (*spoilers*) gets locked inside a closet in his school on Halloween when he sees the ghost of a little girl and then gets attacked by the girl's real life murderer. I remember watching this by myself when I was 11 or 12 and being a bit scared, but not too much so you should watch it if you want a good ghost story. And best of all the whole movie is on youtube.



Halloweentown (1998)

This movie came out around the time my dad died in September 1998. When Halloween came around I wasn't in the mood for Trick or Treaters as that was usually my dad's role so instead I sat in the family room and binge watched whatever I could find on tv.

This movie is bad. It really is, but I think it came at a time when I wanted harmless, non-gory films. Now I think about it fondly and will make an effort to watch it every couple of years. There were several sequels to this movie, which are even worse than the original, but if you want a simple tween kind of film, then this is your movie.



The Monster Squad (1987)

Unlike the other movies in my list, this one isn't about Halloween. But it does contain all of the characters to make the ultimate monster movie. Dracula leads this rag tag gang of monsters like the mummy, Frankenstein's monster and the swamp thing that terrorises this small town. Luckily there is another rag tag group of misfit Tweens chock-a-block full of monster facts that are the only ones who see whats going and fight to take back their town.

The heart warming turn by Frankenstein's monster will warm your heart just long enough for the creepy as hell Dracula to tear it out of you. This movie is the perfect amount of scary for a 13 year-old kid and has loads of 80's nostalgia for us 30-somethings. Here's the full movie:



Fun Size (2012)

This is a fun little movie starring Victoria Justice and Tessa from Suburgatory, who are trying to get to a party but lose a little brother in the process. Said little brother teams up with the guy from Silicon Valley and shenanigans ensue. Here's the trailer:



HALLOWEEN TV SHOWS

Eerie Indiana- America’s Scariest HomeVideos (1991)

Eerie, Indiana was one of my favourite tv shows. I'm pretty sure it was on Saturday mornings, once Saturday started being less about cartoons (I really mourned the loss of Saturday morning cartoons). In this episode Marshall Teller and his best friend, and the only other normal person in town, Simon are heading out to hunt monsters when Marshall's mother tells them to watch Simon's little brother as she has to go rescue Mr Teller who's car broke down.

While watching a monster programme on tv Simon's brother gets sucked into the show and if he's in there, where did the mummy go? I loved this show and was really bummed it only lasted a couple of seasons.



Sabrina the Teenage Witch Season 1Halloween Episode (1996)

Melissa Joan Hart starred as two of my favourite 90's tv characters- Clarissa Darling from Clarissa Explains it All (my ultimate style icon) and Sabrina from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The latter is a perfect addition to my list. The show was on for years taking Sabrina from High School to the College years, which are never as good. So I picked the Halloween episode from the first season where Sabrina is fawning over Harvey much to Libby's chagrin.


Recess- Terrifying Tales of Recess (2001)

Oh Recess. This is where everyone finds out what a nerd I really am. Recess came out years after my prime cartoon watching age, but that didn't stop me from watching it every week. When it was in its hey day I was the manager of a fireworks store and when its the middle of March there really wasn't much to do on the Saturday morning so I would switch on the old tv in my office that got two channels and watch Recess along with the other awesome shows that were on at that time like Pepper Ann (that was the best). So I can't really exclude the Recess Halloween show that follows TJ and the gang through three tales of terror.

1/2


2/2


I love this tv show so much and I'm super bummed it got cancelled. This is a great Halloween episode where Tessa and the gang dress up as Scooby Doo characters. Me and my friend Meg did that our senior year of uni- I was Velma- so it makes me nostalgic. I can't find the whole episode on youtube, but its totally worth downloading all the episodes and have a binge.


October 22, 2014

Chilli Peanut & Coconut Soup



My adventures in vegan cooking continued last night with a concoction from The Vegan Cookbook by Adele McConnell. This is the third recipe I’ve tried from this book. The last one was the ill-fated TofuUdon Bowl.

I made Chilli Peanut and Coconut Soup featuring tempeh (pronounced tem-pay), which is a fermented soya product. It’s really nothing like tofu as it was really textured and the flavor was overwhelming. I have to admit, even though I was really excited to try it, I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t like the taste, which despite soaking in soy sauce with chilli flakes, wasn’t good. My husband really liked it though.

I spent about an hour shelling peanuts when I got home from work, as I couldn’t find shelled roasted and unsalted peanuts anywhere. Doing so made me really crazy hot boiled peanuts, a southern roadside delicacy, so that may be on my blog in the near future.

The soup itself was goodish. I really thought it was going to taste more Thai as the smells emanating from the wok smelled like a Thai curry. Instead it was coconut infused soup that was a bit too bland.

The seasoning really came from the tempeh and even though I used a hand blender to whaz it all up, the peanut were still there giving it a nice crunch and with raw spring onions, purple mange tout and coriander leaves there was a lovely crispness to the soup.


This recipe wasn’t an epic fail but I don’t think it will be making it again. I am a bit disappointed that my tempeh hopes have been dashed. Oh well.

October 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday- Zombie Walk


A few years ago when I lived in Edinburgh, Billy and I were heading up to the Royal Mile to meet some of his co-workers. The Royal Mile is the mega touristy spot usually filled buskers, street performers and well, tourists as it is the main road leading to Edinburgh Castle.

But in the middle of the week in October it was totally dead. I mean it was empty at first and then it quickly filled with the dead. Billy and I had unknowingly came upon a Zombie Walk.

It was crazy seeing the Royal Mile with some of the Scotland’s oldest architecture fill with the undead as bus drivers where waylaid by fairly convincing zombies. I luckily had my camera as we were going to see the Beltane Fire Festival, which also took place on the Royal Mile and is a Gaelic festival that has fire breathers and crazy puppeteering by dred-locked guys.


When the zombies attacked I got in front of a zombie nun trying to frame the cathedral into the shot and then the zombie got really close and actually freaked me out!

October 11, 2014

My Pick of Podcasts

Eighty percent of my workday is spent driving my car around sleepy English towns through winding country roads. Yes, I know it sounds quaint and if you love Jane Austen novels you would find this place captivating. I felt this too but after three years the English countryside has lost most of its charm.

To battle boredom while driving to my assignments I listen to podcasts. I used to only listen to music but after awhile I just needed some human interaction and I exhausted all the audio books at my library that weren’t Nora Roberts novels. I have a few podcast standards that I listen to regularly and there are a lot that I’ve vetoed for one reason or another.

I have loved listening to dramatisations on tape when I was a kid. My uber religious grandmother gave me a book of tapes called “Adventures in Odyssey” that were set in the fictional town called Odyssey and the stories are about the residents with a Christian theme.

I remember laying on my waterbed (whatever happened to waterbeds?) on my stomach and getting lost in the stories. I remember being surprised that I liked it, as I was such a TV kid.

Here are the podcasts I listen to regularly:


Comedy Podcast

Answer Me This! is a comedy podcast that comes out fortnightly. The hosts are Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann. They are both thirty-something Oxford grads working in broadcasting in London. The third co-host is Martin Austwick aka Martin the Sound Man who is married to Helen.

The show, which they record in Helen and Martin’s Crystal Palace flat, has Helen and Olly answering questions from listeners that range from sweet (How can I ask my friend out?) to mundane (Why are juice glasses at buffets so small?) to just crazy/gross (Do vegans spit or swallow?).

Whatever the question you can be sure the answer will be a) witty b) informative c) thought provoking d) snort out loud funny. I love this podcast and I was really bummed when it went to fortnightly instead of weekly when Olly got a job at London’s LBC radio in the 1am -4am time slot.

The show really benefits from really catchy bumpers thanks to Martin who, besides being a physicist, is a musician that utilizes his skills to make jingles in the styles of The Pixies, Elliot Smith and Bob Dylan to name a few.

I highly recommend this podcast and lucky for you there is a huge back catalog to keep you busy for months (the really old stuff isn’t free).

BEST BITS- Helen and Olly have such good chemistry that when they get on a roll (which is basically all the time) it can be hilarious.
WORST BITS- It’s only put out every two weeks now (even though it is longer than the weekly shows, it’s just not enough).


Trivia Podcast

Good Job Brain calls themselves an “offbeat trivia podcast” where the host Karen quizzes the players/other hosts Colin, Dana and Chris each week. They start out with general trivia round “Pop Quiz Hot Shot” where Karen uses a Trivial Pursuit card.

The rest of show has the players taking turns to quiz each other on whatever that week’s theme is. Every fifth show is an “All Quiz Bonanza” where the players come up with random quizzes without an unifying theme.

I have learned loads of fun trivia from this show despite the host’s obsessions with poo. I love when they tell fun stories while giving background to their quizzes. I remember one story about Prince using NBA player Carlos Boozer’s house for a music video. Prince, among many other alterations, painted Boozer’s house purple and is now being sued.

The show was a Kickstarter initiative in 2011 and has been rather successful in its first few years. The group met doing pub quizzes together in San Francisco and they work really well off each other with their own specialist subjects (aka Colin is the sports guy, Chris is the video game nerd…). They are around the same age as me so luckily I get their cultural references but younger listeners might not.

There are a few regular-ish features – “Brad Pitt or Lasers,” “Belgium or not Belgium,” “Umm Actually” and the Carmen San Diego parody “Where in the World is Carmen San Mateo.”

If you want funny and often useful trivia this is the podcast for you. It is pretty clean so therefore it is child friendly, except for all the poo talk.

BEST BITS- It is really entertaining and I learn loads of funny and interesting facts.
WORST BITS- They don’t always publish regularly on the same day- it went from Tuesdays to Thursdays; Karen annoyingly makes lots of “Ooooh” and “Ohhhh” noises throughout; The ‘fun size” episodes are really annoying short minisodes. It would be much better if they just recorded two shows at once when they know they can’t do a full-length show.


Culture & Knowledge

I tell my husband often “Josh and Chuck say…” or “Did you know… Yeah Josh and Chuck told me.” Needless to say my husband is sick of hearing about Josh and Chuck. The duo are the hosts of Discovery’s Stuff You Should Know podcast. The third, silent member of the team in Jeri, the producer.

The podcast has been around for years and is part of How Stuff Works, which puts out several other podcasts. Basically the writers and editors from How Stuff Works teamed up and started podcasts about a bunch of different subjects.

Stuff You Should Know started out with Josh and some other co-hosts but it didn’t actually pick up traction until Chuck joined the team. Josh and Chuck have amazing chemistry together and I think that is the real reason why the podcast has been so successful.

The dynamic duo have hundreds of episodes and they put out two podcasts a week about varied topics from ‘How the sun works’ to ‘How marijuana works.’ Recurring elements include “The Way Back Machine,” “Grabster,” “Hippie Rob,” and “Lou Vega selling ice cream or working at a petrol station.”

One of the best episodes I remember is when they dramatized the experiences of victims from the 1916 Jersey Shore shark attacks.

BEST BITS- A varied choice of topics each week.
WORST BITS- They have to do adverts in the middle of podcasts for businesses like Graze boxes and –the worst- Stamps.com. I really hate the Stamps.com adverts as they are annoying and as I don’t live in the US they are completely moot for me.


History

Stuff You Missed in History Class is another podcast from the How Stuff Works people. Its been going since 2008 and has gone through a series of different hosts (one of the first hosts was Josh from SYSK). I have listened to every single podcast they have done in the last six years.

The current hosts are Holly and Tracey and they podcast about historical subjects- there really isn’t much more to describe what they do. The hosts that I thought worked the best were Katie and Sarah, but they both moved on to other jobs.

I think this is a problem when companies rather than individuals produce podcasts because they don’t seem passionate about the subjects at all and I have to rewind so often because I zone out.  

Holly and Tracey have zero chemistry and are seriously dull and monotone. This is really disappointing because I love the premise of this show. Tracey (who is the boss at How Stuff Works) has a really bad case of vocal frys that really does my head in.

I have probably just put you off listening to this podcast but I highly recommend listening to the older podcasts with better hosts.

BEST BITS- The podcast covers some really interesting subjects and a lot that I had never heard of.
WORST BITS- They have really annoying adverts selling razors and stamps.


Trivia

Atomic Trivia War 9000 isn’t a great podcast really. It’s a trivia podcast hosted by Jason Hawk, a reporter in Ohio with a gaggle of kids, and the players are Kevin, the Canadian father figure of the group, Rochelle, the only other American and the only female, and Omar, the Costa Rican obsessed with breasts.

Jason puts together questions from a slew of nerdy topics like gaming, comics, movies etc. The others answer the questions and Jason keeps score- sometimes.

The sound quality is meh and the structure isn’t well thought out. So why do I listen to it? I’m not quite sure myself. I try out every trivia podcast that comes out and I had it on my iphone. I ran out of my usuals and put ATW9K on and thought it was crap, but then I listened to the next one, then the next and now its one of my usual podcasts.

Obviously there is something to the podcast or else I wouldn’t keep listening, but I’m not quite sure what it is.

BEST BITS- The end theme is really catchy and I find myself singing it often.
WORST BITS- They don’t publish podcasts on a regular basis. It’s been two weeks since the last podcast.


Drama

The Archers target audience are old age pensioners, farmers and me. This is actually a show on BBC Radio 4 that airs 15 minute-long shows six days a week. It follows the residents of Ambridge, a fictional English town, where farming is the main industry. It’s been on the air since the 50’s.

At first this was a programme that I listened to occasionally on Radio 4 when I had run out of podcasts. Then I decided to try out the podcast and now I am thoroughly hooked. Even now I went on their website fact checking and spent half an hour looking at the character’s bios. I like it because they use the real people behind the voices as the characters.

There are a lot of issues that I completely disagree with when it comes to farming and the culling of animals. But I think the personal relationships are what keep me listening.

BEST BITS- Really good characters with plot lines that keep me wanting more.
WORST BITS- Susan, the village shop worker and gossip monger who I really want to get her comeuppance, Jolene, the landlord of The Bull pub who really gets on my nerves, Rob, Helen, Lynda and Edd… I must like the show if I get so angry at the characters.


Public Radio

Lucky you if you’ve never heard “This American Life” before. It means you have years of old episodes to binge listen to while you fall secretly in love with Ira Glass.

This American Life is the combination of every good element in a radio drama, a documentary and a quirky, off beat programme. I love TAL so much that I gladly re-listen to episodes that are re-aired when someone goes on holiday.

Each week they pick a theme and do different stories in three acts about the theme. Sometimes the stories relevancy to the theme is a bit tenuous, but the stories are almost always compelling. I could listen to TAL everyday.

Sometimes they devote entire episodes to one story like the episode about Dr Gilmer taking over a murderer’s practice. This murderer is also a Dr Gilmer and surprisingly they are not related. The episode is so interesting with twists and turns and a surprise ending. Have I enticed you? Good.

BEST BITS- Compelling stories and interesting characters
WORST BITS- When they repeat shows that they aired within the last year. I also don’t like when they use fiction during a theme- I prefer real stories instead.


Drama & Documentary

Serial is new. It’s a spin-off of This American Life that takes a typical story they’d cover and get stuck in airing an episode each week about the story. The story is about a murder in 1999 where a high school senior is charge with the murder of his ex-girlfriend. Here’s the premise:

“It's Baltimore, 1999. Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. Six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. He says he's innocent - though he can't exactly remember what he was doing on that January afternoon. But someone can. A classmate at Woodlawn High School says she knows where Adnan was. The trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found.”

I just listened to the third episode today and I can’t decide if Adnan is innocent or not. Every time I think yes he isn’t guilty, the narrative changes and then I’m not so sure.

What I am sure about is that I am eager to hear the next episode. But I knew that if this podcast was by the team behind TAL then it was going to be good.

BEST BITS- It’s like getting a double dose of TAL every week.
WORST BITS- I want to find out what happens… now. I’m really hoping there is a good resolution at the end of this.


Culture & Knowlegdge

Along with Serial, Radio Lab is the newest edition to my podcast repertoire.

I listened to the Galapagos episode today and I seriously think my dream of going to the islands was completely dashed. This isn’t because of the quality of the podcast, but rather it was story of 200,000 goats being murdered in cold blood by snipers in helicopters. This was done with full knowledge and at the behest of the naturalists in Galapagos.

The story went on to cover a lot of other atrocities on the islands that make me really sad. I grew up seeing the results of scientific exploration of the Galapagos thanks to the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce, FL- my hometown. Harbor Branch made many expeditions to the islands and we’d go to the institute on field trips.

Anyways, there aren’t any specific topics they talk about. There was a heart-breaking story on autism called “Juicervoce” and a story about a dolphin being taught English while living with a woman in “Hello.”

I’m so happy I’ve found Radio Lab because now I can explore their archives. It’s like finding a great TV show and finding out there are five seasons you can binge watch.

BEST BITS- I’ve liked what I’ve hear thus far and they definitely have me hooked.
WORST BITS- Not sure yet. Hopefully none.

October 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday- Graduation Day


I love this photo. It’s my graduation day in 2005. I had been through two ceremonies the day before for Newhouse, where I got my photoj degree, and arts and science, for my anthropology degree. This day was the graduation ceremony with the entire graduating class and our speaker began by speaking in chimpanzee.

Yep, it’s the awesome Jane Goodall. When she looked down on the sea of cap and gowns she would have seen inflatable apes being tossed around and monkeys hanging from nearly every student’s mortarboard. My biological anthropology professor must have been going mental since neither or those are Chimpanzees!

After the ceremony I took my family (my mom, sister and my niece and nephew) to our photo studio to take a family portrait and then we headed over to the Schine Student Centre (I totally had to Google that because I couldn’t remember the name) and we queued up to have books signed by Goodall.

When it was our turn I asked if I could have a photo taken with her and she agreed. You can see how thrilled she is to have her photo taken with me! I still love this photo because it was the first time I’d met someone famous who I actually admired and I had just spent the last four years studying her work.

I found a video of her commencement speech but you have to fast forward through the rest of the ceremony so it may not be worth it unless you really have an interest in Syracuse University’s graduating class of 2005.