Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rupa & The April Fishes

On Wednesday evening I went to Yoshi's for an absolutely fantastic concert of the band called Rupa & The April Fishes. They were recommended to me by Shiva, the Wonder Woman with the Lasso of Truth, whose recommendations are always worth following - thank you darling :)

It is really difficult for me to describe what kind of music they play as almost each single one of their songs is in different style, so I recommend that you go to their webpage and check them out for yourself. And if you like them, go to one of their concerts! Rupa has an absolutely mesmerizing stage personality and she will make you fall in love with her music in a split second. The band will be touring through US and Canada this fall and they will also have a serious of concerts in Germany in March next year. They will be back in SF on December, 6th, and if I have nothing better to do then, I think I will go for their concert again. And if I ever have a wedding party, they will be playing there :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Minds are like parachutes...

That is just too beautiful not to share: Minds are like parachutes—not much good unless they are open. Taken from here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Dresden Dolls - "Shores of California"

he's been trying with limited success
to get this girl to let him get into her pants
but every time he thinks he's getting close
she threatens death before he gets a chance

and that's the way it is in minnesota
and that's the way it is in oklahoma
that's the way it's been since protozoa
first climbed onto the shores of california

and she's been trying with limited success
to get him to turn out the lights and dance
cause like any girl all she really wants
that fickle little bitch romance
that fickle little bitch romance

and that is why a girl is called a tease
and that is why a guy is called a sleaze
and that's why god made escort agencies
one life to live and mace and GHB

and that's the way it is in minnesota
and that's the way it is in oklahoma
that's the way since the animals and noah
first climbed onto the shores of california

must not be too kind
stop thinking love is blind
clench your fists yeah write
“she's just not my type...”

why all these conflicting specifications
maybe to prevent overpopulation
all I know is that all around the nation
the girls are crying and the boys are masturbating

and that's the way it is in minnesota
and that's the way it is in oklahoma
that's the way Aristophanes and homer
wrote the iliad and lysistrata (not in that order...)

and that's the way it is in minnesota
and that's the way it is in oklahoma
that's the way it's been since protozoa
first climbed onto the shores of california

copyright 2005 amanda palmer

secret of happiness

As long as there is five times as much positive feeling and interaction between husband and wife as there is negative, the marriage was likely to be stable over time. In contrast, those couples who were heading for divorce were doing far too little on the positive side to compensate for the growing negativity between them.

One of my favorite scenes in Friends deals with similar issue (it only starts at 5'00 in the movie below). The scene shows very interesting approach towards conflicts' avoidance in a relationship. I am not saying that I agree with it, but I do have to agree that it works very well (at least for me):

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I am incredibly happy and I want you to be happy with me :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lizards of canyons and deserts

As some of you know, I have a weakness for amphibians and reptiles. I find it absolutely impressive how their body color can so well adapt to the color of their surroundings.

Here are few lizards we met during the recent ("Grand Circle") trip:

Lizards of Grand Canyon NP:

Whiptail lizard of Arches NP:

Capitol Reef NP inhabitant:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ig Nobel 2008

As always, pick your favorite from this year's winners. I can not decide if I am more intrigued by the study that showed that Coca-cola negatively affects sperm motility and hence can be used as contraceptive, or by the study that showed that the fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than the fleas that live on a cat.

Grand Circle 2008 - photos only

I have just finished going through all photos that Agnieszka and I took during two weeks of our holidays. Out of 3'000 I decided that 230 are of reasonable content and quality to be shared with the wider audience. I am going to use those photos in the subsequent posts to illustrate our adventures.

If you would like to get a preview of what will be posted here in the nearby future click here. Almost all of those photos were taken by me with my Nikon D40 (except for the ones on which I appear, of course). I will acknowledge the photos that were taken by Agnieszka once I start using them in my upcoming posts.

Friday, October 3, 2008

CA driver's license

Yesterday, I attempted again to obtain CA driver's license. And this time, finally, I managed. But not without problems of course :)

This time around I decided to use Marta's (a friend from the lab) car, as other girl from my lab had already used her car for the same purpose and she had had no problems with it. Based on that, I assumed that Marta's car fulfills all the requirements that DMV has towards the vehicle.

But with all my luck, there was a problem with the car and I was almost sure that because of it I would be send home again without a license. When one of the examiners was doing the "safety inspection" of the car, she noticed that the back stop light at the passenger's side did not work... When she told me that, my heart stopped, and in my mind's eyes I already saw myself going through the ordeal of making another appointment for the exam... Luckily, the woman was nice enough to suggest that I go and fix the light and come back for the exam later that same day. I immediately drove to the nearest gas station and found somebody who replaced the light bulb for me. 20 minutes later I was back in the line waiting for the exam.

The exam itself went very well and I was very happy with its outcome. Not only I did not make a single mistake, but also after we were back at the DMV office, my examiner repeated at least three times that I am a very good driver :) Maybe that does not mean so much from the mouth of somebody who has to deal all the time with the beginning drivers, but still it made me very happy and at least it partly compensated for my previous misfortunes with the exam.

Bonus story:
Earlier that same morning, when I arrived at the DMV office, something ironically funny happened to me. I was driving around their parking lot looking for a free parking space when I finally spotted a car about to pull out and free one of the spots. I stopped, switched on my indicator and patiently waited for the car to pull out. In meantime, another car appeared from the opposite direction blocking the exit way of the car whose spot I was planning on taking. There would be nothing wrong with that, if the other car had not attempt to enter the parking lot in the OPPOSITE direction to the traffic signs and if that wouldn't have led to blocking of 5 cars (my car, the car that wanted to leave the parking space and two other cars that wanted to drive out of the parking lot following the traffic rules). Somehow I am still able to understand that somebody might make mistake like this and turn into the wrong traffic lane, but I have very little understanding (and patience) for people who do something like this, see that they block several other cars, but just decide to do nothing and wait for others to solve the situation. So I think to myself "who is the idiot driving this car?" and I start to stare through the car's window to see who is causing all that mess. And now, surprise, surprise (here the irony comes), who do I see? The driver is my friend Ania, with whom I initially planned to travel for the past two weeks when also my friend Agnieszka was visiting. About a month ago, I had decided not to travel with Ania anymore as a series of very peculiar events (that I might describe here later on) made me question her intelligence and/or sanity. Well, she did prove me wrong again, didn't she? ;)