Strange Occurrences (21-30 Jun)

There’s a snowflake at the top of the tree…..

My $10 plate of tiny tacos. (Sorry for the lack of scale.)

Sunday, 21 Jun

Ugh…and thus begins the deathly humid summers of the Northeast. I’m not excited about it at all, but on the bright side there’s typically rain before the bouts of EXTREME humidity — and it fondly reminds me of my summers in Ithaca, New York. I sure do love my rain — it reminds me of my other home Dublin — but the humidity here might suffocate me one day.

On another note, I had tacos for the first time here in Boston at El Centro in Brookline Village. It made me sad and miss Southern California just a pinch. The tacos I had were okay, but they were $5 each for a tiny palm-sized — I have small hands — taco. In addition, the guacamole tasted heavily of lime! What?! I’m not sure that’s how guacamole is supposed to taste. Anyhow, everyone else I was eating out with thought this was the best Mexican food around — especially the particular dishes they ordered. It just made the Southern Californian in me sad they don’t know what GOOD Mexican food really tastes like. 

I decided to take a picture of the bus while I was sitting in the ‘dark’ because “WHY NOT?!”

Wednesday, 24 Jun

This morning was probably one of the weirdest I’ve had. I got on the late bus to work and the bus driver stops the bus at a gas station along the route. She just stops and says she’ll be right back and abandons me and this old lady for 2 minutes just to go pee! Strange stuff, but as my friends say “when you gotta go, you gotta go.” While she was gone, the old lady on the bus jokingly yells back at me, “Can you drive?” After the bus driver returned, she apologised for her sudden emergency to stop once again and continues along our route.

My bánh mì (Vietnamese sandwich) and summer/spring roll.

Friday, 26 Jun 

This summer at my research building has been quite interesting to say the least. Recently, we got a new summer student from Vancouver, Canada — among many others — studying under one of the researchers here. She’s this cute little 20-year old Chinese girl who grew up partially in Southern California. I’ve talked to her a few times, but until today I didn’t really get to hang out with her outside of work. During my lunch hour today, my belly began to poke and prod so I asked the girl if she wanted to come with me to grab a Vietnamese sandwich. She was ECSTATIC.  We had a lovely picnic lunch in front of a church — it was the only place with grass to sit on — and spoke of boys and botany, the two loves in both our lives. 

As for work, today was THE longest day I’ve ever had at work — and I hope it stays that way, but only time will tell. I was at work from about 10am until 11pm sectioning a LARGE sample. This particular sample I had been given required me to section it one slice at a time — no ribbons, unlike usual — as it was an awkward shape. In total, I did ~650 sections. It is by far the largest project I’ve had. I was so tired afterwards, I got home and just PASSED OUT after taking the second to last bus to the train station for the night.

My delicious bowl of Guinness beef stew.

Sunday, 28 Jun 

My girl friend is so silly. Her roommate has a checklist for keys, wallet, phone posted on their door right under the peephole. Yet despite this, she ran out the door and forgot her keys in her room, so she calls me up and FINALLY asks to see if we can hang out — SIMPLY because she’s locked out. So, she comes over and I fed her some delicious lunch I had just begun to make. Then, we entertained her a bit by going to some of the shops near her house so she could MAYBE find nicer clothes for her architectural internship for the summer, potential places where she could pick out furniture for her new apartment in September, and some secondhand shops nearby so I could search for a springform pan.

On another note, I went out to dinner with some friends at an “Irish bar & restaurant.” Everyone ordered what I would consider typical American food (e.g. chicken pot pie). I went straight for the Guinness beef stew. It was fairly delicious, but nothing like the ones I had in Ireland. The taste of Guinness wasn’t heavy enough though — funny I say that considering I don’t even drink Guinness.

Monday, 29 Jun 

I had another late night at work tonight. I’m there finishing up repotting our cute little water lilies. One of our postdoctoral researchers comes by look at me and says, “You probably can’t help me” and leaves. I was pretty confused so I peeked out of our potting room. It turned out, the liquid nitrogen tank was STUCK ON OPEN! It was just POURING out all over the floors and evaporating. It was quite a sight to the say the least.

When she noticed that I was staring at the situation she’s in, she asks me to run for help from a “big, strong guy.” So I run around upstairs and found no one as it was after work hours. I return to her shortly to find her still trying to close the faucet-like handle that had gotten stuck as it slowly began to freeze over. Then, I tried my hand at it — without luck — since I couldn’t find anyone upstairs. As I’m trying to close it, she runs for help downstairs. She finds a student in one of our classes and he tried his hand at it — to no avail. Meanwhile, I’m standing on various things trying to prevent my feet from freezing as I watched this student try to close it. After a few short moments, the lady goes down for more help. Then, the postdoctoral scholar I work for just happened to walk towards us. I beg for help and he comes and closes it rather quickly — though not very easily — and calmly. If I was a cartoon character, my jaws probably would’ve dropped right then and there. After discussing this strange incident, he went along his merry way to get his bike on the other side of the liquid nitrogen tank and biked home.

“Today” I Learned

  • The Hebrew Bible is organised thematically versus the (Christian) Bible is written chronologically — for the most part.
  • In Texas, “barbeque” refers to grilled steak. In Georgia, “barbeque” refers to pulled pork.
  • In the south, what’s called a “sunshower” here in New England is referred to as “The Devil Beating His Wife.” What is this madness of American idioms?!

Other Picture

One of the fruits (and a seed) of our Illicium species. ❤ So cute!


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