Wednesday, November 30, 2005

oci.dll found!

Ok, so after the whole car experience I account for below, I did my errand, and returned to work. I tried to boot up a client I use for viewing tables in Oracle, and was given a message that the oci.dll could not be found. Sure enough, it was in the Oracle folder where it was supposed to be. I had recently uninstalled several apps, including older versions of many programs, so I had to open up the registry for windows to make sure the values were still as they should be. I was thinking it probably wasn't the best idea to be messing around with registry values if my brain was as sharp today as demonstrated earlier.

After about half an hour of checking logs and such, I went to look at the environment variables on my system. I had recently installed Ruby, and for some reason, it was put into my path without a semi-colon. I therefore had PATH c:\rubyc:\oracle\bin;etc..

What the...?? Weird.

Anyway, I put the semi-colon in, and it's fixed now...yay!

Mensa called...

...and they're revoking my membership.

I had a lunchtime appointment at Elizabeth Grady today. I went out to my car, and used my remote starter before ducking into it. However, it did not start up. So I used the key. All the lights and the radio came on, but it still didn't start. I tried starting about five times. Nothing. Then I went to remove the keys. They would not come out.

So at this point, I know there's enough juice to play the radio and turn on the lights. I figured the starter must be gone or something. I reached for my cellphone, and discovered I had of course forgotten it today. So I bolted back out into the rain and into MITRE, where I cancelled my appointment and told John about my car problems.

John figured it had to be my battery. So he grabbed his coat, and we ran for his car. He drove up to my car. Unfortunately, I was boxed in on all sides, so we figured we were going to have to put it in neutral and push it out for the jump. We parked his car and got into mine, with John in the driver's seat.

He looks down and asks, "Doesn't it have to be in park first?" Yes, it does. He put it in park and it started right up. Yay!

I wish I had done a complete Design on Experiments. Perhaps I would have found the flaw myself ;)

It's the little things in life...

After spending five years at, I have to admit I love it when other sports sites mess up. Today, Yahoo seems to think that all of the teams in my fantasy league have a bye. Not only that, but so do all the players, who are now referred to only by their first names. I guess that's normal for a team in the 41 week of the NFL season (according to Yahoo).

Of course, a bye would be a relief to the studmuffins, who have been struggling mightily as of late.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Class and hoops

Today I came closer than ever to having to leave class from laughing. We had a chat going, and I was bored. Someone suggested I go shopping. I told Yoav to go find me something on eBay. He told me I should go buy something pink.

In the meantime, I had added a powerpoint slide to the lecturer's presentation on my laptop that said in 96-point font,"Hi, Robbie! I'm bored" to try to get Robbie, who was sitting behind me, to laugh. Of course, it almost made me laugh, and he didn't see it at first. So I had to repeat my efforts, by which time I was on the border of really cracking up.

A link from Yoav flashed on my screen, suggesting I buy something pink, this:this.

I completely lost it. I couldn't stop laughing. Whenever I would regain control, I could hear friggin' Yoav laughing which made me start again. I tried the old standby of drinking water, but almost snarfed it, I was laughing so hard. I could hear others giggling behind me. SO BAD. I had to go to and read about a puppy being buried alive to make me stop. Tragic, I know. So, Biju, will you be returning to the chat anytime soon? =D

After class, Yoav, Robbie, Sam, Deming, Paul, and I went to play basketball. Again, it was so much fun. Not too many injuries today, though I have a huge black-and-blue mark on my elbow from bringing it down on Sam's head while fighting for a rebound. I thought I had sharp, hard elbows, but apparently Sam's skull is a lot harder.

Ilana-specific programming

The Onion has an article on ADHDTV. I think it should jump from satire to reality. =D

What is home?

Yesterday I received wonderful news from Yuliya; she and her long-time sweetie had eloped at the Grand Canyon. She asked me if I still missed Atlanta, and I told her, yes, I did. She asked if I would ever move back, and I said, yes, I would, though I'm not sure if I will. I'm not sure where I belong. She responded that once I buy a place in Boston, it will feel like home. I pointed out that I had owned a place in Atlanta and now owned in Boston; neither place had felt like home and both had felt like home. I started thinking about what makes a home.

I went to the gym this morning as I do nearly every day. I had the topical conversations I have every day with the regulars, some of whose names I know, some of whose names I don't know, all of whose lives I am familiar with in every other way. One asked me how much school I had left before the end of the term, another and I talked about Christmas shopping; in the locker room I spoke with a woman about gifts for her son and how her boss was treating her these days.

I showered and dressed, still chatting with others there. I then walked out to the energy drink bar they have at my gym, and plopped myself down. Lana, the lady who makes the drinks, got in for the day and set to making my drink. We talked about her grandkids, and she asked how Eve's pregnancy was going (of course she doesn't know Eve's name, but she knows she's my sister and that she is having a girl). I talked for a while, then walked out to head into work.

On the way in, I once again started thinking about the concept of home. I realized that home isn't a house or where family or friends are; it's where people know you. Services-type people. Small talk people. I'll explain:

When I made up my mind to move from Atlanta back to Boston, a few people warned me that "You can never go home." I thought they were being silly. My parents live in Boston, and I still knew people there. It was home, right?

So I left Atlanta and my job at the CNN Center--a place that holds offices for thousands of people, and a place where I could not go more than ten feet without bumping into people, saying hi, or stopping to chat. The security guards all knew me and would wave and smile as I walked in. The President of CNN would ask me about my Sox when I saw him.

Would I ever call any of these people to go to dinner? Or just to chat? No. That's what makes them special. My analogy here is to a house. The strongest part of a house is the foundation. You never really notice your foundation. You just build on it, designing your house the way you like. You then fill it with what you love. However, without this strong foundation, all of your beloved items and people are not secure or really stable.

Acquaintances and service-providers are this foundation. They are taken for granted. If a piece chips off, it can be replaced with concrete, though will make the house owner nervous for a while. When I moved from the North End, my dry cleaner took me to lunch to say good-bye. I also had numerous parties and dinners thrown and taken to by friends. For some reason, the dry cleaner always stood out to me. I knew my friends would stay in touch and that I would always be able to call them. However, the dry cleaner was strictly tied to the North End; she would never come to Atlanta to visit me as my friends would. It was like moving from a house, taking all my possessions, and leaving a strong foundation I had taken for granted all along.

I lived in New York City for three months while doing an internship in college. I was scared to live there; it was big, loud, and full of way too many people. However, it quickly shrunk as I inadvertantly created a circle. I had the guy I bought my fro-yo from and his daily greeting which always made me laugh ("Hello, Beauty Queen!"), I had the guy I bought my daily mini peppermint patty from ("Got one here waiting for you!"), and the guys who I bought my coffee and bagel from each morning (never a word, just a sesame bagel with cream cheese and coffee ready for me by the time I got to the front of the line). By the middle of the summer, I was calling three places home: Sharon (where I lived full time), Dartmouth, and New York.

I need to go get some work done, but wanted to capture these thoughts. Charlestown is my home for now, but that will probably change. For now, I have my gym, the Warren Tavern (where I just order "the usual"), and the security folks at MITRE. Of course, I have my family right here as well. I always feel like I am home when I am in my parents' house; it's like a community unto itself. Of course, someday I'll convince them to leave it and start a home somewhere where it is warm. =)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Just because I love you....

I have two blog entries in the making, one on my iPod's idea of a joke today and the other on a speaker at MIT, but am trying to finish up my Project Management homework first.

In the meantime, this has been cracking me up. Don't kill me! Go here. =)

My iPod is Messing with Me

I just drove from MITRE to MIT for a talk about Air Force system challenges. On the way, I had my iPod on shuffle. Unlike Ed's iPod, mine is not racist, though it certainly has a weird sense of humor. Here is the listing of today's mix:
  • Dartmouth Alma Mater (I, of course, sang along, and it got me all misty)

  • Jump Around (it was a freshman year song...all of a sudden, I'm back in college, dancing around like a mad woman at Chi Gam)

  • Frank Sinatra's Luck be a Lady (skipped most of it--didn't like Sinatra until after Dartmouth so it was ruining my misty, nostalgic mood)

  • It's Getting Hot in Here (song whose related choreography got me cut from the Atlanta Hawks Dance team auditions. It's like my iPod was saying, see where bad dancing gets you? Luck has nothing to do with it!)

  • Ballad of the Red Sox (written and sung when Carl Everett was on the team. Great song)

  • New York Statement of Mind (dude! Why go and ruin the mood?)

  • Hello Mr Heartache (Hmm...when the Dixie Chicks come on, you abandon all hope of meaning)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

My fame grows!

Can y'all tell I am procrastinating? =D

Look! In addition to the Sloan paper last month, I'm in here, too. Or at least my fat cousin is (awful picture).

Who cares about the Pats with this breaking news...

The formula for what causes the beer goggle effect has been solved!

Okay, fine, I'm still upset about the Pats and studmuffins (Branch, Brady, Vinateiri), but at least we know scientists are putting their skills to good use somewhere.

Brady Interception

Holy crap. Brady's second interception. It's only the 2nd quarter with 12:53 to go. Dammit! Yes, he's playing for the 'muffins this week.

Okay, I am going to stop making blog entries every time something happens in this game.

Another Peyton Manning commercial

Ohmigod...the new Peyton Manning commercial is as funny as the first. Makes it tough to severely dislike the guy. Well, at least until he points to every man on defense before starting each play.

Saturday night at Sanctuary

Last night I ventured out to Sanctuary for Samantha's birthday. It was a gorgeous night, so I walked the 1.5 miles there. It was a great walk; I was walking alone, and came up with some interesting thoughts about missing people and places which I will blog about when I'm not trying to distract myself from a Chiefs scoring drive.

Dude, I have Tony Gonzalez playing for the studmuffins this week. We know the Chiefs are going to score. Couldn't he have caught the damn ball?

While on the topic of football, I must note that I was quite frustrated with the fact that Georgia-Georgia Tech was not shown here. We got to watch Stanford-Notre Dame, which actually ended up being an excellent game. Still, it's just weird to go to a bar during rivalry weekend and not see one of the major rivalries.

So anyway, I get to the bar, and saw fellow Warren Tavern softball players Rooney and Phil. I had one of Sanctuary's excellent martinits, but then switched over to beers for the duration. I met a lot of very cool people, got to talk to some I hadn't seen for a while, and was out quite late. Happy birthday, Sam, and thanks for organizing!

Oh, and I was wrong about the Chiefs. They just got a field goal.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Yay, weekend!

Last night I went to Matt L.'s house to meet up for dinner. He made us two each of his famous margaritas (which were soooo good), then we walked to a sushi place. Excellent sushi, excellent sake, excellent company. Thanks, Matt!

Today Eve and Jeff came into town. We went to the S&S Restaurant for brunch which was delish. From there, we drove to Harvard Square, where we wandered around for two hours, scaring children in the Curious George bookstore and getting makeovers in the make-up store there (well, Jeff skipped the makeover =D)

They left, but are now on the way back, as both Eve and I managed to grab the wrong bag at the make-up store =). I'll be sitting here, doing homework, and waiting for the Florida-Florida State game to come on at 3:30.

Ooo...also, this is a very touching article about a reunion between a Holocaust survivor and the woman who protected her (go here. They also mention a charity I did not know about but will now donate to in which those who protected Jews during the Holocaust are provided for.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving Review

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving again this year. I drove out to my parents' house, arriving shortly before Jeff and Eve. It being noon and dinner not planned to be served until 4:00, my mom set out an incredible assortment of food on the table for us to eat while watching the National Dog Show and football. So we started out with corn chowder, corned beef, shrimp, cheese and crackers, and cashews and almonds. Yum. Those of us that aren't pregnant also enjoyed a pumpkin beer.

My aunt and cousin Lew arrived around 1:30, and joined the party in the family room. More eating and football. Jeff, Eve, and I took a brief break from stuffing our faces and watching football to set up their new carriage for my unborn niece. We then headed to the dinner table to eat a delicious meal. Thanks mom!!

Afterwards, it was back to the TV for more snacking and football. Then back to the table for the official dessert. Is this not a disgusting display of gluttony or what??

I drove home around 9:00pm, so I'd be able to get sleep before the gym and work today. For the first year in about six or so, and probably only the 4th or 5th time in my life from infancy, I did not attend a day-after-Thanksgiving sale. Do ya see the will power?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Macy's Parade on TV: Stream of Consciousness

My family used to always go to the Macy's Parade on Thanksgiving when we were younger. We re-established the tradition by going the previous two years, though this time we could sit in Eve's neighbor's office. Much nicer.

Today I am watching it on TV, trying to stay behind on my TiVo so I can fast forward through the commentary by Katie Couric.

So far I've seen the Ohio marching band and the Rockettes. Whenever I see

Holy crap! Gordon's still on Sesame Street???

Anyway, sorry, they're on now. So I always watch the Rockettes for a woman I used to dance with when I took lessons in Atlanta. She was an amazing dancer, though was cut from both the Rockettes and Atlanta Hawks dancers in the final round in the same year. (OO! Weebles!) She'll make it someday, so I always keep an eye out.

I love watching the bands because they all wear the same uniforms, but you can always see the token fat guy, token mini guy, and token "I have way too much energy" guy. Hysterical.

What the hell is a Puffy YamiUmi?

Okay, there was just a float that was an ad for Royal Carribean. Pretty tacky, but I guess thanks to people like me with TiVo, advertisers need to do all different kinds of advertising now.

Hula dancers....dude...they must be freezing.

Okay, time to head to Sharon. Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Fun with spell check

My spell checker just tried to replace "ringtones" with "ringbones." Uh...yeah! Needless to say, I added "ringtones" to the dictionary.

It is amazing how lazy a spell checker can make me. I mistype "software" probably 4 out of 5 times in my haste. Usually "softare." I also tend to butcher "programming," "while," and "judgment."


Can anybody recommend a good vet in the Boston area? It's time to take Scully for her yearly checkup, and I wasn't thrilled with the place I went last year.

Back Update

My back is hurting today, though it's actually not as bad as I had feared! Yay! I am working from home to avoid sitting in the car. I am very happy that I am not traveling for the holiday this year!!! I can't remember the last time I didn't go somewhere for Thanksgiving...

Be safe in your travels!

Yeah, I'm not so good with the Photoshop =)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Basketball and Owwwwie

I played basketball after class today with Yoav, Sam, Robbie, Deming, Paul B., John W., and a random guy who was playing before we got there.

It was fun as always. However, at one point, a rebound got batted away and was headed right toward my face. Like Neo avoiding bullets in The Matrix I leaned all the way back to avoid the oncoming weapon. It really didn't hurt at the time, but now it is kiling me, dude! I already sat in the jacuzzi for a bit and took some Advil. Hopefully, it will be better by gym time tomorrow. (Of course, last time I had a major back injury--the car accident in 2001 when the dude ran a stop sign into me--I was back at the gym the next morning, exacerbating my whiplash and probably extending my subsequent physical therapy. Silly.)

Anyhoo, after that incident, I didn't duck the next time and got hit square in the forehead by Sam. I'll get you for this, ShotBoy!

On a different note, I was really sad driving home, and not just because my back was killing me. I realized that everybody that played today will be gone next term other than Sam and me. Of course, Sam throws enough elbows to make up for the rest being gone, but it will be so sad once everybody graduates or moves back home after their term on campus.

System Engineer Your Love Life

HAHAHA! This is too funny. (Well, only ultra-nerds might understand the humor...)

Josh Beckett is Hot

And he's ours! All ours!! Bwah ha ha!

World's Ugliest Dog is Dead =(

This poor pup died today. It's a sad story, but the picture is pretty funny.

On a related note, I have realized that I always vote for cats that are in bowls, pots, or sinks on kitten war.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Software Engineering Reading

I am working to get some of the software engineering readings and critiques out of the way, mostly because I enjoy it and it serves as an excellent means of procrastination from System Architecture.

I just finished an article by Stuart Shapiro that detailed the history of software. It was very interesting stuff, written over 15 pages in Times New Roman 8 or something.

Hmm, that's it. Truth be told I'm just procrastinating from starting the next article =)

studmuffins Win!

The studmuffins beat Dubya's Crusaders this week to go to 6-5 thanks to outstanding play (well, fantasy-wise at least) by Tom Brady, Keenan McCardell, Larry Fitzgerald(!), and LaDainian Tomlinson. Go, 'muffins!

One Less Guilty Little Pleasure

--Stop reading if you watch "Desperate Housewives" and have not yet seen it--

"Desperate Housewives" lost me last night. Last season was wonderful and creative. This season makes "Melrose Place" look realistic. In last week's episode, Gabi is confronted by what she believes to be a burglar in her home, falls down, and loses her baby. A week or so later, some scary looking guy shows up who says Carlos sent him, and Gabi does not confirm with her husband nor call the police. Then she gets in the car with this guy? Doesn't start screaming when she notices no window or door handles on the passenger's side of the car? Whatever.

Not only was the character's action unrealistic, but the writers made the situation appear worse than it was, framing what would be a balloon release as a potential kidnapping or murder. SO stupid.

And that's only the one character...the whole show was so unrealistic that I just can't see spending 40 minutes (thank you, TiVo) a week watching it anymore. Bummer.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Girl Talk at Dinner

Tonight Elizabeth and Corey came up to Charlestown to hit Figs for dinner. We had so much fun....1.5 straight hours of nothing but girl talk. I'm not sure the couple to our right enjoyed it quite as much, but we had a blast! It's so nice to hang out just with girls once in a while...the whole near all-male workplace and classes thing is great, but I really miss talking with people exclusively of my own gender. Thanks, girls!

More search fun

Okay, when you search on "ew what is that smell ! Did someone fart!?", I am the second listing. Seriously, check the Google search.

I don't know what is more disturbing...that someone searched on that phrase or that my place is the anals--ahem, I mean annals--of history is being thus established. (Oh, god, that pun is awful, even for me...yes, I'm cracking myself up).

Quick weekend recap

Just realized I hadn't blogged:

Friday: I had a presentation for Business of Software. Usually I love doing presentations, but on Friday I was just off. I'd say in 98% of presentations I stay calm and do a good job, but I just flubbed in on friday. Bummer.

Luckily, I was able to perk right up by traveling to Town Spa in Stoughton to have dinner with Brian, a son of a friend of Suzanne's. Excellent company and food...thanks Brian!

Saturday: Sam's friend Brian was in town with his friend Nathan. I met up with them at Harvard Square, then Brian and I wandered around and shopped for birthday gifts for Eimear (sorry about the spelling!) before meeting up with Sam and Nathan for dinner at an Ethiopian place. The food was very good, though the service was slow...for good reason, as there was only one cook and one waiter.

After that, we went to Eimear's house for a birthday party for Brian and Eimear. It was a great crowd and lots of fun. Much of the crowd was from Analog Devices, though a few were from MIT.

Sunday: T-minus 1:45 to Pats!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Programming langauges software engineering class

Today in Software Engineering Professor Leveson told a story from when she taught at UCLA. She told her students they needed to have meaningful variable names, and would get a good grade only for this type of name. One of her students therefore used variables such as JesusDiedForOurSins. When she did not give him full credit, he complained because these names were certainly meaningful to him.

(For those that don't do software, you should have names like bankAccountId, withdrawalAmount, etc.)

Only two more classes left =(

Yoav and I just ran through our presentation on software in Israel for our Business of Software class. I will be very happy when this presentation is over: I love working with Yoav and Paul, but a last-minute addition of a non-attention to detail person made the project less fun. Rather than having no effect on the presentation, this dude actually made it worse.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ilana goes to the bank!

I went into a bank today! It was very exciting. I have not been inside a bank in years other than to open or close an account. However, my ATM card expired, and--me being me--I lost the replacement they sent. They are sending another, but in the meantime, I needed cash.

It was actually very nice. Seemed like a soothing place, nice and quiet. Very different from the beeping of an ATM. Not that I plan to go back inside a bank for a while, but it was a fun excursion (And one I greatly overestimated time-wise--I gave myself half an hour, and was only inside about four minutes.)

Study Break: Warren Tavern

Last night, I went to the Warren Tavern around 8pm. It was really empty for a Wednesday night, but I saw John, one of the locals, at the bar, so I plopped myself down at the bar for a quick drink. Of course, the Warren Tavern crew was all there: Gregg, Shannon, and John.

The place quickly filled up. By the end of the night, I had seen Donnie, Rooney, Brie, and Sam. Justin was singing, sounding great as always. The highlight was seeing Todd, a man who lives in Charlestown but grew up in Sharon; I have pictures of him at my third birthday party. It's always great to run into him. Ooo! And I met some cool new people, like Rebecca, a fellow curly-haired girl who got her PhD from MIT in 2000. Yay!

With all the talking and seeing folks, I didn't notice the time slipping by, though I did notice that my drink would get mysteriously refilled without my asking (thanks, Gregg =D). Eventually, midnight came, the lights went on, and Brie, John, and I went to Sully's to finish off the night. Sully was working the bar, which was nice, as I hadn't seen him for quite some time. We stayed for about an hour, then went our separate ways.

I miss Wednesdays at the Tavern and need to go more often. I mean, really, how many places can you go to by yourself and just know you will run into folks?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


This: Airtoons

and this:

Pats' Injuries

Here is my new analogy:

test pilots:"The Right Stuff"::football players:Patriots

What is happening to our team? Losing Koppen and Gay?? Our offensive line is hurting enough without the loss of our three-year center. Of course, we have plenty of D-backs...hey...wait a second...


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Weird searches

If you google "blog 40 dates smells like an ashtray," my blog is second on the list. Weird. Someboy else googled "green m&ms home run" and got me. =)

Laughing til my hair hurts

After class today, I played basketball with Robbie, Deming, Yoav, Sam, Paul, and Spiros. It was so much fun. I don't think I stopped laughing the entire time; not even when Sam or Paul were ripping my arms off (either in payment for something I did, or as something that would earn my wrath) =D (Yes, I'm laughing at that even now)

Deming, Robbie, and I beat combinations of the other three dudes three times. Then they left. Paul and I went against Yoav and Spiros. The two of us both like to pass and hack, but not shoot. Yoav and Spiros are the opposite. Seriously, I laughed so hard that it felt like the roots of my hair were hurting.

Thanks guys!

Third grade rules!

Yoav and I have decided to celebrate having a guest professor by switching our name signs. Remember? Like kids used to do when they had a sub in like, third grade?

Of course, I can't stop giggling.

studmuffins win!

We beat Lance's B4U team, anchored by Peyton Manning, by two points. And this is without our ringers of Ladainian and McCardell. Go, 'muffins!

Tim Berners-Lee at MITRE

Today I was very excited to hear Tim Berners-Lee speak at MITRE. I have heard many excellent speakers at MIT and Sloan, and was excited to have the true inventor of the World Wide Web at MITRE.

However, MITRE severely limited Berners-Lee's topics. They asked only that he discuss history; nothing too technical and nothing from the future. For the techies out there, he had only one line devoted to RDP and the Semantic Web.

Here is my metaphor: MITRE has God come to speak to the company. They ask Him not to talk about why He created the world or how He did it. He should definitely steer clear of why we are here, or what will happen in the future. He should only read from Genesis.

I know I do not blog about work, but I felt this incident merited comment. Here we have one of the most amazing innovators and most-forward thinking people in the world, and we ask him for a history lesson. What a waste.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Parcells and girl talk

Bill Parcells looks so sad tonight. He attended his brother's funeral hours before the game. I really think the cameras should steer clear of his face out of respect for the guy; emotion is written all over it. Makes me sad every time they show him, and it takes a lot to make me feel sad for Parcells. =(

On a happier note, I've caught up with several girlfriends the past couple of nights. I've had great talks with Katie, Eve, and Kellie tonight, and Sharleene last night. Life is good. I need to give Suzanne a call and catch up on Mathew's college choices (and put in a renewed effort to steer him back to Dartmouth).

Totally obsessing about fantasy football

I am down by 15 points in my league. I have Brian Westbrook and the Philly defense playing tonight. Westbrook already has a touchdown, giving me 6. ARGH. I should be sleeping, but I'm way too competitive. Oh, and the guy I'm playing has no one in tonight.

A-Rod? MVP?

A-Rod as MVP? Are you kidding me? Yes, he plays defense. Yes, he bats well.

Question: What pitcher would rather see David Ortiz than A-Rod with the game on the line?
Answer: Only the really stupid ones.

Big Papi deserved this award.

OOo! I almost forgot...

Another of my favorite points during the Pats game yesterday was when one of the commentators remarked on how much weight Ricky Williams had lost since his return this year, and what good shape he'd been in all year.

Did anyone else laugh out loud at this comment? Dude, it's amazing what not having a constant case of the munchies will do for one's physique....'s been confirmed.

I'm a nerd! Not quite as nerdy as Matti though. We high-nerds must still defer to the Supreme ones. =)

I am nerdier than 87% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

The survey comment said I am definitely MIT material and should apply. Hmmm...sounds like an excellent idea...

Business model reply from Blogniscient

Last week, I wrote about attending a Web 2.0 gathering. I was very impressed by the technology, but the business models left me wondering about how the sites would make money.

Ben Ruedlinger, president of Blogniscient, posted a very good comment in response to my question of how the businesses would make money. You can read it here.

For my non-techie readers who may not read the post, one point he makes is that they had to pitch the concept, demo, and business model in five minutes. I always forget that not everybody speaks as quickly as I do. =) Techies, go read the comments for yourselves.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

From the Department of Redundancy Department

One of the few highlights of this game thus far came when one of the announcers said, "And that is Brady's [interception] career high of his career."

Of course, nothing will ever beat "The University of Maryland University College."

What's with Deion?

I love Deion Branch, and have had him on my fantasy team since about the 8th week of his rookie year.

Today, I have seen two instances already in which he has packed it in. The first was when Evans had an excellent run. When he got brought down, Branch was just standing there watching, rather than trying to block for his teammate.

Next, on third and long, Deion caught the ball, and instead of turning up the field, ran out of bounds with about five yards to go.

What is going on here?

Accomplished so far today

1. Got out of bed (Eve, had to throw that in for you)
2. Ate oatmeal
3. Went to gym; ran on elliptical and lifted lower body
4. Drove home
5. Showered (losing delightful campfire smell from hair)
6. Got dressed (okay, put on bathrobe)
7. Started laundry
8. Started Business of Software homework on Open Source
9. Surfed StumbleUpon
10. Switched wash from washer to dryer; put more stuff in washer
11. Worked on Web 2.0 intro for Business of Software project
12. Realized StumbleUpon slacking could actually be considered Web 2.0 research
13. Surfed StumbleUpon
14. Cut and pasted final versions of System Architecture lecture review notes

I think the above accomplishments definitely give me permission to do nothing but watch the Pats game for the next 3-3.5 hours. So nyah.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My hair smells like a campfire

Tonight I forewent a night in NYC with my sis to go to the Cambridge Brewing Company's semi-annual brewer's dinner with John H. and Biju. We had an absolutely outstanding meal: soup, appetizer, salad, main course, and dessert, each accented with a beer. YUM. We were chatting over desserts and the last of our beers when my parents walked in for their 8:30 reservation.

One of the funniest parts of the meal was when the brewer came around to introduce himself, and started telling us about the brewery. He stopped, and said, "Wait. You guys look familiar." Weekly Fridays at Cambridge Brewery have finally paid off! ;)

After about 2.5 hours, one of the hosts asked us very nicely if we would mind taking our drinks to the bar so they could fold our table in for a table for 11. We took our remaining beers, and sat at the bar. We were there about an hour or so, then said good-bye to my parents. We were walking out, but the brewery had a fire pit going, with a wood fire. It smelled like camping in South Carolina =)

We stayed and talked by the fire for a while. I then dropped Biju at his car at the Stata center, while John insisted on walking off his creme brulee.

On the car ride home, I realized my hair smelled like campfire, and my new gloves smelled strongly of leather. Two of the best non-floral smells in the world. Every breath was glorious =D

Thanks to John and Biju for a great night of food and conversation, and to my parents for trekking in to enjoy the beer =)

I love college football

Such a good Saturday (following an excellent night out on Friday). College football and long talks with Evie about a wide variety of subjects. That plus a little surfing on StumbleUpon makes for a very good day ;)

I honestly think that even if I had the drive to sit down and do homework, my brain would be too lazy to output anything of quality. Best to stay away from it all =D

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wednesday Television

I stayed home from Warren Tavern last night, which is unfortunately becoming increasingly common for me on a night when I always used to find myself at the bar (Wednesday is their big night, with Justin singing and Gregg bartending).

I finished my "small" project for System Architecture last night (18 pages with diagrams on multi-tiered architectures in J2EE), and--rather than venture out in the rain to the Tavern--rewarded myself with a lazy, lazy night on the couch with my TiVo.

"Lost" was excellent. (STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED IT YET) I felt that it pulled itself out of a run of boring episodes with the reappearance of Will. I do wonder if Shannon is truly dead, though. In the previews, they said that one survivor is lost forever. However, during the trek through the jungle, one of the tail-enders vanished. I wonder if she is the one who will be lost and if Shannon will pull through. I actually hope not; that actress is most certainly the least talented of the bunch. She is like Tori Spelling on 90210 in that she only has one expression: sneeringly disgusted.

"South Park" was good. Not great, but good. I think the writers have played out the whole "people blindly following the rants of Eric Cartman" thing. Time for a new theme. There were some laugh-out-loud parts, though.

And, of course, "Drawn Together." Always cute. Always mindless. Always a wonderful, guilty waste of time.

And now it's almost time to head to Project Management, in which we will have a guest lecturer.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Forgotten article

I read a really good article earlier this week. It explained a lot about why certain people are good at articulating specifics in technology, while others can speak of concepts, but not get deep into the details. Those in the latter category tend to be the "absent-minded professor" type and are often more cerebral or some such thing.

Of course, since I fall into this latter category, I cannot remember the author, title, publication, or location of this article. Ah, thou mockst me!

Web 2.0 Meeting

Last night, Robbie and I went to a Web 2.0 meeting at Tommy Doyle's in Cambridge. We wandered over there after partaking in the delicious beer and cheese plates and pumpkin beer at Cambridge Brewing Company...yummm....

Dharmesh had told us about the meeting, and we were really looking forward to it. It had an interesting format: half an hour of mingling, half an hour of presentations, and then more mingling. The room was absolutely packed. I was very impressed by the size of the crowd.

Before the presentation, we spoke a little with Derek (sorry if the name is wrong) of Element55, a company that tracks billing for lawyers. It sounded like a very interesting project with technology that incorporated phone call length and destination into an automated biling system.

The three presenters were Reddit, Blogniscient and Kiko. All three presentations were well done, and the technologies and ideas were forward-thinking.

However, they reminded me a little too much of the late nineties, when many companies had great products, great presentations, and no business models. None of the companies mentioned business models in their presentations. One responded they were hoping to fund through advertising when asked by someone in the audience. Robbie and I assumed the other two companies were looking to do the same.

Until someone comes up with a viable strategy for actually making money in Web 2.0, a lot of these brilliant ideas and hard work may end up having been wasted.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Excellent Project Management Class

I really enjoyed today's System Project Management class. Instead of concentrating on the use of tools involving DSM or PERT, we looked at the traits of project managers based on surveys distributed to the class.

Prof de Weck started off by listing some of the information on qualities needed in PM's, such as leadership, planning, and politicking. We then discussed Briggs-Myers personalities (I'm ENTJ / ENFJ). I like learning that pertains to actual student experiences, seeing what people think works and doesn't work. Class flew by.

Towards the end I saw the letters DSM flash up on the PowerPoint and started to get a bit nervous, but de Weck flew through those slides.

As an aside, I realized today again how much I miss managing large-scale projects like I did at SI. Hmm..

Pats outplayed

Sigh....the Pats were outplayed. Indy looked like an excellent team. Stupidheads.

The one thing about last night's game I haven't found anything about is the flag that Belichick through in the 4th. I guessed that it was out of frustration for not being able to really throw it for the blatant hold on McGinest that led to the Colts' touchdown on the play.

Has anybody found anything on this?

In other news, I have Project Management this afternoon, and will head to a meeting on Web 2.0 in Kendall Square as recommended by Dharmesh. I also hope to get some work done on my System Architecture small project in which I am looking at multi-tiered software architectures using J2EE (now don't look so excited! Really, calm down....y'all can have autographed copies once I finish...)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Game update

9:19: It took Indy two minutes to score, and it took me under three minutes to hit mute to block out John Madden. Can't stand listening to that guy.
9:22: Had to turn the volume back on to hear the crowd for 4th-and-2.
9:26: Pats score! 12 points for the 'muffins on Brady-Branch. Then Branch does some awful little touchdown dance, seeming to completely negate the props I gave to the NFL earlier. He's lucky he was the MVP of the Superbowl--and, more importantly, a star on the studmuffins--or else I'd be going down to Foxboro to kick his butt right now.
9:39: John Madden showed true insight in his call, "[Manning] doesn't want to hear, 'why don't you win?'"
9:44: Al Michaels just called Peyton "the most cerebral quarterback." Has he heard this guy talk?
9:45: I wonder if it is worth it to give up on the TiVo replay capability in order to listen to the game on the radio and have it sync up. Hmm...
9:50: I love watching Bethel Johnson.
10:01: Unfortunately, Edge is at least as much fun to watch, as long as he isn't playing against your team. This guy is amazing.
Okay, I am stepping away from the laptop to concentrate sending positive energy to the Pats ;)

Web 2.0 Meeting

Tonight I met with Yoav, Robbie, and Dharmesh to work on our Software Business project which focuses on Web 2.0. We had a very quick and productive meeting to divvy up work. Yoav then left for his own dinner plans, and I was going to be a good girl and go home and eat well. However, the convincing of Dharmesh and Robbie proved to be too strong ("Hey you want to do dinner?"), and I ended up going out to the Kebab factory with them for Indian food. I even broke my no-take-home-leftovers rule in which I allow only good food and chocolate within my home.

We had interesting conversations, ranging from team compositions to entrepreneurship to how we chose to go to school at MIT. I was very interested to hear about Dharmesh's Improv Comedy class at Sloan, which sounded like a lot of fun. I'm happy I was "coerced" into going. =)

Buh-bye, TO

Terrell Owens will be deactivated for the remainder of the season after serving his current three-game suspension. And throughout the land, a cry of desperation is heard from fantasy football owners. I mean, really, the dude is ranked 20th in Yahoo standings after going 5th overall. I had him on my team two years ago and he kicked butt for me. Luckily, he's not this year. I heart LaDainian.

Actually, the whole TO thing shows one of the reasons that football can replace baseball as the American pastime. The NFL is the only league which--in my humble opinion--is run well. NBA is taking a step in the correct direction by making its players dress professionally. I guess the NHL is going in the right direction by actually playing this year.

MLB continues to flounder. One can actually observe the difference between the two leagues based on the attire of the players: MLB players (e.g. Manny) dress sloppily in their uniforms, with shirts untucked, pants un-stirrupped, and in the case of Trox Nixon, shirt buttons undone. Any of these infractions can result in a fine in football (well, except the buttons. Football players are too manly for buttons! =D). Yes, it's strict, but it sets a precedent for the entire league.

In an age when a positive steroid test in MLB can yield only a ten-day suspension, it is good to see a league that takes a stand on outrageous behavior, even when it's exhibited by a star player.

Amusing day

Today has been quite an exciting day.

My sister was on TV this morning on a local New York news station. They profiled pregnant women who do pilates to stay in shape. Apparently, she and another woman were the two in the class being profiled. I can't wait to see the video.

Shortly thereafter, Matt L pinged me to let me know I was in the Sloan magazine. Yoav, Robbie, and I had our blogs profiled in this week's Sloan Review. Very exciting =)

Next, my mom had jury duty (okay not so thrilling). However, I went to high school with the plaintiff's lawyer, and my mother made our Halloween costumes senior year. She couldn't wait to be called and tell the judge she had once tranformed the counsel into Fred Flinstone, but she was dismissed without needing an excuse. Funny nonetheless.

OOo! And the studmuffins, my fantasy football team, look like they are going to win this week. I am up by 20 points (63-43) going into tonight. I have Tom Brady and Deion Branch. Dead Larvae (our opponent) has the Indy defense and Patrick Pass, who most likely will not play. Go, 'muffins!

Of course, no matter how exciting today has been for us, it can't possibly compare with the Carolina Panthers cheerleaders. The Daily Quickie has the funniest coverage I have seen yet.

Google Local Maps for Cell

Has anybody tried this?
Google maps for cell

System Architecture on Friday

I was trying to wait until I had my notes written up, but I'll just give a brief overview of Sys Arch on Friday.

We had our best speaker yet: Daniel McCue of Xerox. He was a very friendly and open person and gave a good lecture that encompassed both hardware and software. It is rare to see such a successful intertwining here at MIT; most applications are addressed as being one or the other.

I'll post my notes as soon as I get them organized.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Yesterday Software Engineering and Business of Software were excellent as usual. In SE, we discussed testing. Definitely a wide range of experience in the room in that field. In BS, we discussed Open Source, which is of great interest to me as that is the focus of my team at work.

However, I have to say that the highlight of the entire day was Calfboy. 's presentation which pertained to venture capitalists and open source. During this presentation, he used the term incestuous to refer to the VC's. If it wasn't for having a friend on the team and for them not having a proper Q&A session, I had a question all prepared about exactly why the VC's would be incestuous with their cohorts

This same "person" likes to speak about the 90's as though he is of a ripe old age; a tired, wise old man who survived the dotcom bubble--poor, yet maintaining a subtle dignity (yes, let's all cough "bullsh*t" right now). He made several comments about "when he was in Silicon Valley" and all the startups he joined. Hysterical. I could hear numerous giggles from behind me, so of course was laughing myself.

Luckily, the rest of the class was really excellent. We had a guest lecturer who led us through a discussion of the Red Hat case study. Prof C then closed with some final words about Open Source. Good stuff.

Today, my parents came into town, and we walked over to Filene's Basement with a quick stop at Boston Beerworks for lunch. At the Basement, we picked up lots of cool Pats gear, as well as a sweater and purse for me (yes, I have shopping issues. We all know this).

It was lucky we bought so much clothes. On the way home, we put on pretty much everything we got as the weather got colder. We went through Haymarket, the North End, then home. Yay!

Now I am watching NC State-FSU (go, State!), blogging, and getting ready for a night on the town =)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Lead by example

We have a professor who really does not like when students are late to his class or leave early. For example, his class ends at the same time many of us have a class that is starting about a mile away. He has scolded us for leaving his class early to go there, calling it "a disruption."

However, he does not set a very good example for us. He arrives late to his own class when he has guest speakers taking his place.

I think a way to gain a lot of respect in this world is to practice what you preach.

Accurate depiction of Peyton Manning

Accurate (and therefore very funny) description of the Nomar side to Peyton Manning on today.

Is it wrong to wish that all of the Mannings would just go away? Between Peyton's fidgeting and dorky image and Archie and Eli whining about going to San Diego, I think these boys deserve way less camera time. Not to sound like a Yankee fan, but dudes...count the rings. Brady's be-ringed hand can be used to reflect light all over Boston when the gas-shortage-induced power outages start up this winter.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I had tofu for dinner. It was smushy and covered in soy sauce.

Yeah, not much to write, but blogging beats doing homework. =D

Not a good day for the Browns

Neither Larry Brown of NBA coaching fame nor Mike Brown of FEMA can be particuarly happy today.

Some of Mike Brown's emails were leaked. We knew this guy was in the top 2% of the country in the moron category (kind of the anti-MENSA if you will), but these emails are shocking, even considering the source.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sports Guy's Take

Interesting article from the (Boston) Sports Guy about Theo's departure.

It's interesting for two reasons. First, it details some of the reasons he thinks Theo may have left. Second, it provides an explanation for why blogs are needed today. In short, the Red Sox ownership has too many ties to the Boston Globe and other local media outlets. They are able to manipulate stories to suit their needs. Or are they?

Regardless, blogs offer a good forum for discussion by real people who are not getting paid by anyone for their work.

(If anybody from the Red Sox is reading this, please disregard...I can be bought!) (kidding.... =D)

Ilana breaking silence on Schilling

Is anybody else tired of the phrase "Schilling breaks silence?" As in, "Schilling breaks silence on clubhouse tension," "Schilling breaks silence on possible Manny trade," and "Schilling breaks silence on Theo departure."

All this guy does is yap.

Here is my analogy:
Schilling: waiting to break silence::Person with incredibly small bladder who has been drinking cheap beer for three straight hours:waiting to break seal

Both are inevitable and therefore neither's occurrence is particularly shocking.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happiest Moments of our Lives (Ramble warning)

In Real Simple magazine this month, the authors suggest that we might not know as much about those close to us as we think, and that this type of history should be written down. Questions to ask family include how parents met, where they grew up, what they did for fun, etc.

One question to which I was surprised not to know the answer is "What were the best times of your parents' (or family members') lives?" I honestly have no idea what the answer would be. I would guess that it was the blissful four years between when my parents had me and when they had Eve. =D Haha. Kidding! Mom and Dad, unless you want me spreading this rumor, you will have to think about and answer that question for me, please.

It also got me thinking about the happiest times in my life. It is a really hard question to quantify. I had some wonderfully happy months, days, moments...what is the length of the happiest time considered? Guessing that it is an extended period, these would be my answers (in order from oldest to most recent)
* Freshman year of college
* Backpacking through Europe in college for three months
* Senior year of college after getting my job at Fusion in February
* My second year in Atlanta

I've been thinking all day what was the singular most happy moment of my life. There are certain times in my life that I can remember feeling my heart filling so much I thought it would burst. They still have the same effect today:
* Surprising my family on Thanksgiving by returning home the first year I was in Atlanta...everything went right that day, from flying standby on an earlier flight, to Eve getting me at the Logan Express terminal, to getting my parents flowers, to seeing the happiness on their faces when I surprised them, to eating, to sleeping in my childhood bedroom with the window open to feel the crisp New England air
* Running through Boston screaming "The Red Sox won the World Series!" until getting to Fanueil Hall and feeling the energy there
* Watching the Braves Fourth of July game in 2000 with friends
* Camping with friends in South Carolina when Kellie and I could not stop giggling
* Reading my acceptance letter from Dartmouth

Then there are the memories of times so happy their memory and longing to return to that time can hurt:
* Radio saying that in Atlanta I was "The center of the universe" when it came to socializing
* My arrival on Grayton Beach after driving through Alabama in the middle of the night and my subsequent 8am swim

And, of course, the happiest I have ever been for another person:
* When Eve told me Jeff proposed to her

Then there are the happiest moments tempered by sadness, those memories that are wonderful but we were too young to remember accurately, and more. However, I should probably end this blog entry soon =) (Of course, now that it's published, I keep remembering more stuff...I'll probably have to write a follow-up entry)

My friend Kellie filmed an interview with her grandparents so she would always have their images and voices to share with family. I know her grandfather has Alzheimer's now, so his memory is not as clear, and these tapes are therefore quite valuable. My dad also did a similar capture for me, making a videotape of interviews with my friends from high school as a graduation gift for me. Even if people are still around you, there are moments in time that, if not captured, can fade or be altered in your memory.

I think I need to get a video camera.