Overheard in NY

If you are down and need to laugh a bit, check out Overheard in NY. I could read it all day… Here’s one from today’s batch of things overheard in NYC…

Hang On, Eggs Come from Animals?

Girl #1: Is egg dairy? Is that what they’re discussing?
Girl #2: Are they saying egg is meat?
Girl #1: I think it’s in the meat category.
Girl #2: Nooo.
Girl #1: I’m looking for a pyramid… Eggs are in the meat category, and it comes from an animal.
Girl #2: So does milk, though.
Girl #1: An egg can turn into a meat. Milk cannot.
Girl #2: Okay, I’m not discussing this anymore.

–44th & Broadway

Cheap Sex! Cupcakes! The Guillotine!

Lady: What are you all waiting for?
26th guy in line for iPhone: The new Harry Potter book.
27th guy in line: Shrek 4.
28th guy in line: Free crack. [Lady walks away.]

–AT&T store, Union Square

Especially Since They Had to Keep Pausing to Fight the Dinosaurs

Bimbette #1: … And the pyramids! It’s like, you know, a total miracle! They’re huge! How did they build them without modern day cranes and stuff?
Bimbette #2: Yeah, I know, it’s… mystical! And the same thing with Eiffel Tower. I went to Paris last year, and that thing is just so high! Really, how did they manage to build something like that without equipment?!

–Museum of Natural History





Busy day ahead

I’ve been so uninspired this past week. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m a bit stressed about the next phase of my program – you know, writing thesis, designing and teaching courses, presenting papers, writing articles… – and I’m a bit disappointed at myself. I feel I could be doing much more than I actually manage week in and week out. It’s the old I’m-such-a-fraud-when-will-they-find-out syndrome that affects 9 out 10 graduate students.  Poor Alan doesn’t know what to do. Plus, the fact that my scholarship has run out and I won’t have any more money until september doesn’t exactly cheer me up.

But today they have Pedestrian Sunday at Kensington Market and hopefully that will cheer me up. We’ll then go for dinner at a friend’s place near High Park and hopefully catch Shakespeare in the Park afterwards. Continue reading “Busy day ahead”

Little things that can make a difference

A few months ago, I discovered Kiva through the Wandering Woman’s blog. Based on the principles of microfinance, Kiva allows you to loan money to entrepreneurs in the developing world, helping them get out of poverty. I wrote about it here a little while ago. Earlier this week, WW wrote another really nice post about the institution, as well as her work as a volunteer translator for Kiva. Since I couldn’t put it in better words, here’s the plug from WW’s blog:

If you have the ability to translate from a language of the developing world to English, stop by the Kiva volunteer page to see if you can help out. The site lists Spanish, French, Khmer, Russian and Ukranian as the languages most needed at the moment. You’ll find non-translating volunteer opportunities posted, as well.

I led Ann to Kiva, and Alex, too, as I recall, and Laura, all by simply yapping here and pasting a banner in the sidebar. You’ll also find banners, email footers, links to Kiva groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and all kinds of neat ways you can help out just by spreading the word at the Kiva Get Involved

I promise you’ll be helping motivated, hard working people change their lives for the better. That’s a good thing, but I tell you, you’ll also taste this magic rush Ann and I share – this simple but rockin’ rush at knowing you stopped simply caring, and did something to make a tangible difference.

I’ll definitely stop by the Kiva site and see if I can help with translation work.

Montreal: Marché Jean-Talon

The market par excellence of the immigrant community of Montreal, Jean-Talon is known as one of the largest outdoors public markets of North America. Despite living in the suburbs, Alan and I would shop there every Saturday morning when we lived in Montreal. We just loved the atmosphere. The shopkeepers and merchants enthusiastically offering their ware in rapid French made us feel like we were in Europe. I love markets and try to visit them wherever I go. Markets are places full of energy, tradition, colour, enthusiasm… An experience that can’t be replicated at the local Loblaws or Carrefour. When we lived in Barcelona there were about four large grocery stores within two blocks from where we lived as well as a couple of fruit & vegetable shops. Yet, I preferred to walk 10-15 minutes to the Mercat de l’Abaceria Central in Gràcia to shop. People ask me if it was cheaper. I honestly don’t know. That was never the reason I shop in markets… but that’s another story. I just wanted to share Jean-Talon with you. We went there during our recent visit to Montreal and had a great time. It was berry season and all the stalls were packed with inexpensive Quebec strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. We had great crêpes for lunch at the creperie, watching the dashing French (from France) chef/owner coring and slicing apples. The seasonal fruits and vegetables were nice and tasty – most stands have chopped fruits & veggies for the patrons to try before they buy – and I felt that pang of longing that we, portuguese-speakers, call saudade…. Here are some pictures…


Speaking of food and markets, this left me salivating….

HP 7

The wait is finally over. I finished re-reading HP 6 a little after 1 AM, Saturday morning and after a few hours of sleep and a whole morning of pacing up and down the apartment, I finally received my copy of HP 7 around noon on Saturday. I read avidly all afternoon, stopping only for dinner and to go to a party on Saturday night. If the party hadn’t been for my good friend Dana, I don’t think I would have gone. I finished the book this morning and won’t make any comments on the grand finale so not to spoil it for anybody else out there. All I can say is that it was VERY good, a little different from the other books since Harry wasn’t at Hogwarts for most of the book, and the end left me craving for more… It’s hard to believe it’s over. I hope J. K. Rowling doesn’t stop writing about wizards & muggles…
There were a few good articles at the CBC website about the book…

A personal reflection on reading the Harry Potter series

 So long Harry

Saturday can’t come too soon!

HP 5Alan and I just came back from watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Of course there was a lot cut out from the original book – after all, you can’t fit 766 pages in 2 hours – but I think it conveyed the story effectively. It certainly got me all excited about the last book, due this saturday. I’m even foregoing our Kensington ritual this saturday to wait for the book… Now, that’s something I didn’t do even for my comprehensive exams!

On another note, I’m finally making some headway into organizing my research. Today I bought some folders and a couple boxes that work as filing cabinets and proceeded to organize the thousands of photocopies I brought back from Spain. Despite being quite large, the boxes were soon filled. I’ll have to buy another one tomorrow and some more folders (100 weren’t quite enough) but it looks like my carrel will be finally ready by the end of the week. I’m finally feeling productive!

HP 5