April 2007


Hey y’all…thanks for checking in on me! Yep, I’m back from fieldwork…sunburnt, and with ridiculously itchy ankles, and utterly exhausted (I’m telling myself it’s exhaustion, and not that I picked up a bug somewhere. Speaking of bugs? I found THREE FREAKING SCORPIONS under my tent as I was taking it down yesterday. I know, camping = bugs, right? But I draw the line at scorpions. Fortunately, my awesome sister-in-law rescued me from them…uh, every time. I am lame and bug-phobic.)

Anyway–good trip. Good for fieldwork, and good for hanging out: my nieces are getting cooler every time I see them; my sister-in-law is, as you might have guessed from the saving-me-from-bugs comment, awesomer every time I see her; my brother and I got drunk and had both cathartic and very fun talks; and their friends are just about as cool as my friends. A good time was had.

Sunburn and bug bites aside.

And now I have to write up fieldnotes….which is so daunting that I hesitate to begin. And those papers I was going to grade for tomorrow? Yeah, I’m thinking it won’t kill the students to wait until next week on their papers. Not the best practice, but I think that’s just How It Has To Be.

I’m trying to catch up with y’all…but there’s no telling how long it’ll take me. Feel free to give me highlights of your weekend in the comments.  Oh–and Happy Beltane to all my bloggy friends! Here’s wishing you a fire to jump, a field to fornicate in, and a fertile spring (however that works for you).

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Hey y’all–I’m off for more fieldwork. I leave at an obscenely early hour (6:30am takeoff. WTF??? I will be bringing my pilot a giant latte, because who can drive at that hour?), and I’m back to the Actual Field Fieldwork. Yes, I said I wouldn’t do this again. But this is the last time, I think, and I think it’ll be helpful….yeah. That’s what I’m telling myself. Wish me luck.

Anyway–I’ll try to catch up with y’all on Monday when I’m back. Have good weekends and try not to do too many exciting and bloggable things. Thanks.

I love when science works for me.

Fruity cocktails count as health food, study finds

Fri Apr 20, 8:50 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fruity cocktail may not only be fun to drink but may count as health food, U.S. and Thai researchers said on Thursday.

Adding ethanol — the type of alcohol found in rum, vodka, tequila and other spirits — boosted the antioxidant nutrients in strawberries and blackberries, the researchers found.

Any colored fruit might be made even more healthful with the addition of a splash of alcohol, they report in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Dr. Korakot Chanjirakul and colleagues at Kasetsart University in Thailand and scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture stumbled upon their finding unexpectedly.

They were exploring ways to help keep strawberries fresh during storage. Treating the berries with alcohol increased in antioxidant capacity and free radical scavenging activity, they found.

Any colored fruit or vegetable is rich in antioxidants, which are chemicals that can cancel out the cell-damaging effects of compounds called free radicals.

Berries, for instance, contain compounds known as polyphenols and anthocyanins. People who eat more of these fruits and vegetables have a documented lower risk of cancer, heart disease and some neurological diseases.

The study did not address whether adding a little cocktail umbrella enhanced the effects.

Way too much fun at Jason’s first barbecue of the year last night. A partial list of the elements of a successful First BBQ:

  • baseball
  • snack food
  • really freaking good grilled chicken
  • beer
  • good tequila

  • bumper pool

(I think that picture *might* have a limited lifespan. That’s the Squirrel in the far left back, in the white shirt. Jason is about to take a shot; he’s directly in the middle back, holding a cue stick. Bad Idea is on the right, in the ubiquitous bandana. And that’s GB with his back to the camera; he’s wearing the awesome “I Buy Vinyl” shirt that IB/DM bought him awhile back. It’s nice that the low light in the basement makes many shots bloggable just by their blurriness.)

  • Purple Rain on the giant projection screen
  • the Squirrel’s escalating horror upon re-watching the movie and realizing he’d seen it in the theater for the first time with his grandmother
  • Bad Idea’s escalating compulsion to narrate the plot (as it happened) and his increasing confusion about the difference between a documentary and a music video/movie (not to mention his almost-embarathetic* and increasingly vocal admissions of Prince-infatuation)
  • Our Host’s utter collapse (and attempted nap) on the basement stairs
  • GB’s ability to maintain the good sense and sobriety to drive the Squirrel and Bad Idea’s sorry drunk asses home at the end of the night

Yeah. Good times. First barbecue of the spring. A little bittersweet, because the boys are already starting to drink to our imminent departure (well, to our being here now despite our imminent departure…which is sad. But I’m hoping for a fun spring, anyway.)

*(ETA): I forgot to add the clarifying footnote! “Embarathetic” is a word coined (I’m pretty damn sure) by an SF friend of mine to describe those times when you’re mortifyingly embarrassed for someone else. I think it’s brilliant and I want to see it enter everyday universal usage.

So, yesterday I spent about six hours in a car with Bad Idea. Sadly, not *once* did anyone’s pants fall off.

He’d been looking for a truck for his new business, so I offered (drunkenly, the other night) to drive him to go look at one. Turns out it was a little bit farther than I thought (about an hour each way). Turns out, also, that leaving home at 3:30 on a Friday means it will not be a smooth drive (nor will you drive over 25mph at any point). Turns out, too, that what you *really* don’t want to do is be getting back into town right as this is about to start. Exhausting, I tells ya.

On the good side: the truck was awesome, and Bad Idea is now the proud owner of a Badass Red Truck. And I let him buy me dinner (at a cool townie 1930s steakhouse, no less), and two small alcoholic beverages. At which point I think we were both more than happy to part ways and tumble into our respective beds.

And I had the iPod in the car,* so I put on the “dangerous mood” playlist,** and we listened to that all the way back into town. And I found it entirely too entertaining that Bad Idea believed the iPod was just on the regular shuffle as we listened to song after song about drinking, screwing, cheating, and hair-pulling. Hee. At least I entertain myself.

*Hey, friends, I need advice. I got a super-cheap FM transmitter for the iPod (for the car–I don’t have a cassette player to use an adapter for that), and it’s really staticky and kind of a pain in my ass. It’s, like, the Best Buy brand or something. Does anyone have an FM transmitter that works well in cities? Can you advise?

**I know I never sent out the second Dangerous Mood mixes. My computer’s CD burner quit working, so I have to use an external one…which is really not a problem, but I just made it into a playlist for the iPod and forgot all about CDs. Sorry. I think it’s a work-in-progress, anyway.

Bad Idea: most perfect pseudonym ever. I might still be drunk, but fun like that is worth it.

Yeah, did you like how I slipped that news in there with the fellowship crap?

(And I do appreciate all the fellowship-committee-hating on my behalf. I really didn’t think that my project would be right for this fellowship–I’m still grumpier about not getting the other one. But whatever. I’m trying to be over it. But y’all feel free to continue committee-hating for me.)

Yeah, so, I think we’re moving back to California. I need to be closer to the BPAL lab.

Okay, there are other reasons, too. But we’re thinking probably SoCal right now, for the family and jobs…then maybe SF sometime in the future. Yeah. We relocate a lot. It’s what we do.

Well, GB is about to graduate from law school, and we started talking the other day about how he really, really doesn’t want to get a job here…..we’ve both always said we’d love to be back in California someday. So we figured…well, technically I’ll just be writing and trying to finish the dissertation next year. Yeah, I have no funding, but it’s not like I have jobs lined up here, either….so I can write pretty much anywhere, and either take out another buttload of loans or pick up some other kind of teaching somewhere (though I’m leaning toward the ever-increasing-debt). And that way GB can try to find his job out there, and then….well, we’ll figure out my job search as we go.

That’s the plan. Yeah. It is *TOO* a plan, it just doesn’t sound like one yet. It will. At some point, this will all start to be more plan-like and less terrifying. This’ll be my third move across the country, and I’m pretty sure they all started out this terrifying, before they turned into plans. Or so I keep telling myself…

(Hey Trixie and G-Love: y’all have any vacancies in your building?)

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