Sometimes at work, I’m working hard writing something, maybe chewing a pencil or tapping along to my music, and then I print it, scoot back in my wheeley chair and reach behind my head to grab the paper off the printer. And every time I do that, I feel like I work in an office in a movie. Because no one actually does that, right? (Except, I do it on the regular.)
Many women are certain they want kids someday. A smaller number are positive they don’t. But there’s another group that isn’t the subject of many hand-wringing studies or best-selling books: the ambivalent. The ones who vacillate between “I don’t feel compelled to have children” and “What if I regret not having had children?” […]
A reader of Cheryl Strayed’s “Dear Sugar” advice column once wrote in to ask whether he and his wife should have kids. They were happy already, he wrote, and didn’t feel anything was missing. But they didn’t want to regret never having kids. She advised him to try and visualize two lives, one with children and one without: “One is the life you’ll have, the other is the one you won’t. Switch them around in your head and see how it feels. Which affects you on a visceral level? Which won’t let you go? Which is ruled by fear? Which is ruled by desire? Which makes you want to close your eyes and jump and which makes you want to turn and run?”
I just found out that Long Island has something called the Walt Whitman Mall, and I have never heard anything more indicative of the absolute lack of culture around here.
One of our most beloved writers, a great humanist and naturalist, is memorialized with one of the grossest experiences of consumerism our society has ever devised. I’ve never been there, but if I find out there’s a Leaves of Grass food court, I move to burn Long Island. The whole thing. Set it on fire.
Basically every day at my job, this is what I'm thinking
It has been one hundred and forty one years since James Clerk Maxwell proposed the idea of the electromagnetic spectrum in his 1873 Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism and still — still! — there is not ONE non-ugly, completely understandable visualization of the spectrum and its wavelengths. Either it’s gorgeous and too full of information, or it’s simple and hideous. We live in the era of visual communication. SOMEONE OUT THERE: PLEASE FIX THIS.
(If I have somehow missed a lovely and clear electromagnetic spectrum graphic, please point me to it. I’m looking at you, jtotheizzoe.)
Nicole, as she pushed play on Paula Poundstone’s 1990 San Francisco show. I haven’t smiled so big in a while. I remember so many of the bits: the Whole Box of Pop Tarts, the Left Side of the Plane, and of course, the Snickers routine. “Along about noon, when your appetite’s, uh, pokin’ atcha, pokin’ atcha…” Also, her crowd work is some of the funniest I’ve ever seen.
Also also, can we have a year in the fashion industry where we celebrate Paula Poundstone? Poofy sleeves and oversized ties and vests and mom jeans? Because it’s hilarious and perfect. I declare 2015 the year of the Poundstone look. Get Armani on the phone.
Cool things I learned while I toured our Light Source this morning
The source of electrons for the crazy bright x-rays we’re gonna make is just a lightbulb filament. Same basic size, same basic technology. That’s crazy to me, when you think about how this will be the brightest x-ray synchrotron in the world!
Some of the beamlines have to be stabilized in vibration-free areas so we can look at materials on the scale of one nanometer (which is absolutely insane, in and of itself), and one of the biggest sources of vibrations we’re battling is the waves of the Atlantic hitting the south shore of Long Island. They’re low frequency so they spread really wide and far, which means they make it up to our light source at Brookhaven. Nutso!
Internet remedies I have tried for the jalapeno burns on my hand:
None of these has worked. Initially, they all stop the pain for a few seconds, but nothing lasts. It just reignites the fire a minute later. I am still in so much pain. It’s like that sensation when you accidentally touch the oven rack, but all over my hand and underneath my thumbnail, too. I stood in the kitchen just now, slathering a spoonful of mustard over my hand as a last resort, and almost burst into tears when it didn’t work. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight.
We were cutting up lots of peppers tonight for tacos and tomatillo salsa. Nicole cut into the craziest jalapeno I’ve ever experienced. This was not like a usual fairly mild jalapeno. This thing was toxic.
Nicole went to put the seeds in the garbage can and the juice squirted on both of us. She got it in her eye, I got it on my lip. I didn’t know, and I licked it away, and suddenly my mouth was on fire. We were both coughing because the air was thick with the peppery heat. This lasted at least 10 minutes, with us just coughing and crying and squirming. I got some on my hand and it burned me, like bright red.
Justin heard us both hacking and freaking out from the other room and asked what happened. “The ghost of a jalapeno just passed through us. We’ve both been possessed,” I said.
I tried everything to get it to stop burning. I was putting ice all over my face and trying to drink cool water. Nicole told me to get milk, but we’re vegan, so all we had was flax milk, which I later learned does not work to stop pepper burns. I was trying to drink it and get it all over both my lips and I told Nicole I couldn’t figure out how to get it on my face where I needed it. She was chopping a tomato and said, “Wait, not yet! I want to watch you try!”
I doubled over laughing, but honestly, my hand is still burning and it’s been maybe an hour. We tried dish soap and rubbing alcohol and all the other internet solutions, and basically, this pepper from the devil is just going to burn me until it eats through my skin.