Tuesday, March 30, 2010

VRA Atlanta

From March 17-19 I was in Atlanta, GA to attend the Visual Resources Association Annual Conference. I moderated a session this year called Transition to Learning Spaces, which went really well. I had plenty of chances for networking and socializing and had a little bit of time to get out and explore Atlanta. The weather was pretty crappy while I was in town, but I made the best of a free afternoon and headed over to Coke World with Shana, my former co-worker from Harvard. On the way over we walked through Olympic Park.

Coke World was like Disney meets High Fructose Corn Syrup. After forcing all guests to watch this extremely bizzaro movie we were released into the museum.

One of the first things Shana and I did was get our photo taken with the Coke polar bear. This, too, was creepy. As you can see this polar bear insisted on petting my head like I was one of it's freakishly red-eyed little cubs. We got this photo and then continued on.

The rest of the museum was more about the history of Coke and the pop culture related to it, which was actually quite interesting. We watched some old Coke ads, and ads from around the world for different coke products. One of the most interesting (and sticky) parts of the museum was the tasting room. Here you can actually sample different Coke products from around the world. Inca Kola is actually a banana flavored soda.

It was great to catch up with Shana, and also Allison who I went to school with at Simmons. Allison and I got to watch a little of the NCAA tournament, and sadly witnessed Georgetown losing while eating dinner at the hotel bar. Overall it was a worthwhile trip, although I don't see myself rushing back to Atlanta any time soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More crazy weather

This past weekend Princeton got hit pretty hard with amazing amounts of rain and 60-70 mph wind gusts. This resulted in a loss of power at my apartment for about 13 hours, a tree leaning on the house and water in the basement. Mac and I decided to spend the waking hours without power hanging out in his lab. We made some dinner in the microwave (baked potatoes with cheese), played some Bananagrams and got to hang out with some other folks who were also avoiding power outages by drawing Jackalopes on the huge white board and eating some pizza that was delivered to the lab. I think everyone was in a pretty silly mood. Here is a photo of me with an abundance of safety gear, just in case! Headlamp, safety goggles, ear protection and the most awesome, bright orange, super high-heat ove-gloves ever:

Sunday was quite a trip with the rain letting up a little bit, the realization that Daylight Savings Time happened and a plan to meet John and Jill and the kiddos in Brooklyn. I won't go into the details, but driving was a disaster on both ends of the trip with roads closed, etc and I ended up spending about 4 and half hours on the road. But I did get to see the everyone for a little bit...

Here is a view of the tree on the house and bright blue skies! Things are looking up here with bright sun today and a great forecast for the rest of the week.

Shame I'm heading to Atlanta where it's supposed to be chilly and raining...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscar Night!

Last night I had a few people over to watch the Oscars! It was a little bit of a tight squeeze to get everyone in a seat and able to see the TV, but I think it worked out well. Above are Eric, Amy, Bror, my empty seat, Karen and Mac. It was a late night full of stovetop popcorn, movie-sized candy (Twizzlers, Junior Mints and Reese's Pieces, of course), and some good crackers and chips and dips. I even had a red carpet (aka bath towel) out on the front porch as people walked up to the house.

I did a terrible job making guesses for the winners, but did pretty well with Oscar Night Bingo. I even had some prizes: dark chocolate movie tickets from Thomas Sweet.

I think we were all pretty tired by the end of the show, but it was a fun evening overall.

Lego Montclair

The Montclair Art Museum hosted an awesome event called Building Montclair in Lego. The idea was that 50 teams of 4 each got a photo of a building in downtown Montclair and had to build a lego likeness of that building in two hours. After the two hours the buildings were put down on a huge floor map of Montclair. It was really cool to see the finished products. Dad, John, Nathaniel and Sebastian were a team (seen above with their red-brick building) and Mom, Jill, Emerson and I showed up for the last 15 minutes or so just to see the finished product.

Above is the big floor map with all of the buildings in place. The event was a fundraiser and it looked like everyone had a really good time. I'm so glad we decided to stop by and see what they had worked on.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Attempted Curling

Two carloads of Princeton folks headed up Rt. 1 and North on 287 with high hopes of getting a chance to curl at Plainfield Curling Club's open house yesterday. By the time we got to Exit 4 on 287 there was a line onto the highway that stretched all the way from the Curling Club, and a line of people (visible from the highway) waiting outside the club to get a chance to curl. We decided to stick it out and see what was going on.

By the time we got to where a representative from the Curling Club was directing traffic he told us that it would be a 3 hour wait outside in the long line. He also told us that because of the unexpected massive turnout that they were planning another open house in April. We decided to turn around and headed home to watch the Canada/USA gold medal hockey game instead.

Who knew curling was so popular in NJ?