Tuesday, May 30, 2006


ok, it's about time i wrote about this.
i've met six new lefties in as many days (uzbeki is one of them).
interesting facts about lefties:

-People who are left-handed are technically said to be sinistral, and left-handedness is sometimes referred to as sinistrality. Both words derive from sinister, the Latin word for “left”. This word in turn derives from sinus, the Latin word for “pocket” referring to the fact that the pocket in a Roman toga was on the left side, for the convenience of a right-handed wearer.

-about 10% of the human population is left-handed...

-more males are lefty than females (i'm even more rare!)

-left handed people are better at fighting without weapons because of the "surprise" factor. (i love it!)

-in many parts of the world, such as Indonesia, it is considered impolite to eat and accept gifts with the left hand. Romans also frowned upon lefties. (bastards!)

-Ciotog is an Irish language word used to describe left-handed people. It derives from the Irish word Ciotog which means 'Strange Person'. (awesome)

-there's a theory that lefties are more intelligent and creative (toldja so)

-Studies have shown that there is a correlation between committing sexual crimes against children and being left-handed (boo)

famous lefties:
-George W. H. Bush AND Bill Clinton AND Ross Perot! all three 1992 candidates!
-Ben Franklin
-Julius Caesar (ha, even tho it was frowned upon!)
-Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Osama Bin Laden (really, do we know that for sure?)
-Da Vinci and Escher and Michaelangelo
-50 cent! Bob Dylan, Art Garfunkel, Isaac Hayes (just to name a few, there are many, many more)
-Woody Allen, Matthew Broderick AND Sarah Jessica Parker, Charlie Chaplan, Robert DeNiro (i knew that, actually), Freddie Prinze Jr., Keanu Reeves, Jerry Seinfeld, Sylvester Stallone, Hillary Swank, Alan Thicke (i know his banker), Marky Mark, Oprah
-John McEnroe, Bill Gates, JFK, Jay Leno, Ken Jennings (jeopardy man)

so now you have something to talk about next time you see them. As for me, i'll be inviting them over for the biggest lefty bash ever. wow.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

bob dole is a lefty

so i partied it up with the honorable senator bob dole the other night, and his chauffeur, wilber.

don't they look so super psyched for this picture? (in reality, i said something very stupid and inappropriate).
so yeah, i guess he's pretty much the biggest celebrity i've actually had a chance to talk to, is that sad? though i did meet andy rooney when i was 12, and when i asked if i could get a picture with him he replied, "do i have a choice?" and i answered, "no." and that was that.

anyway, most of the stuff you've heard about bob dole is true. he's got a quick dry wit, he really does have a booming monotone voice, occasionally refers to himself in the third person, and clutches a pen in his right hand. except at the end of the night he was clutching a very large wad of cash. (?)

but in the brief time we hung out i found out that:

bob dole likes: vodka, sinatra
bob dole dislikes: cross-dressers, jay-z

but the moral of the story is that he's a lefty...sorta not by choice, but a lefty nonetheless.

Friday, May 26, 2006

you know you're in north virginia when...

-you are immersed in a sea of upturned collars
-you are deafened by the noise of FLIP FLOP FLIP FLOP
-manicured sidewalks punctuated by sod and flowers
-the trees that line the street are all skinny
-you have to park in a garage or a mall
-it looks like a brochure from an airplane magazine - like when they showcase some new town
-drinks are never an integer dollar value, it's always $5.73, $4.49 - evidence that you're drinking at a franchise, where they can't expect their employees or customers to be good at math
-guys think it's perfectly normal to ask about/guess the color of a woman's panties.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


so in my office, every thursday we sit around 5 pints of ben and jerry's and talk shit during something known as "the contractor meeting." every few meetings or so, larry, the contractor meeting organizer/ice cream purchaser brings in a cake for a special cake party. just like in that seinfeld episode, we celebrate someone's achievement: a new dog, an engagement, publishing a paper or a successful conference call. well in the five years i've been here, there's never been a single cake party for me, while some people are on their second or third cake celebration and so finally, larry comes over to my cube and says, tapping his chin, looking at the ceiling, "you know, i don't think we've ever had a cake party for you [aurelgrooves]"
(no shit, i'm thinking)
"and i'm sure you've had....some sort of achievement this fiscal year...haven't you?"
(2005 totally sucked ass, is that what you're getting at?)
"so go ahead and pick out a cake"
and he drops a cakelove pamphlet on my desk (they have a store in silver spring, btw).

now i've been waiting five years for this, i'm not going to get some overpriced, calorie-fileld repeat of jenny's summer vacation picture cake party. no way.

i will so show them.

so i summoned my team of chefs to chief ike's and asked what the turn around could be on a special cake order. it just so happens my brother has a spongebob squarepants cake mold, and my other chef friend has an ice cream maker at the restaurant. we proceeded to devise the weirdest, strangest cake and ice cream combination we could come up with that people will just have to eat...and here it is: root beer and pomegranate ice cream (pom is still all the rage, yknow - then again rhubarb was all over the
food section today), served with some sort of savory cheese tart, and my crowning achievement whatever it is, written in none other than bacon bits on spongebob's square tummy. the only question that remains however, is, what is my big achievement? yeah, i did in fact release a data cd, lead a big workshop and published some papers but come on, that's boring. i want something both funny, uncomfortable and little unnerving for these geek i work with. so i polled my friends and here are the results:

congratulations aurelgrooves! for:

-finally dumping that lying cheating sleazeball boyfriend!
-you're NOT pregnant!
-4 months being cavity free!
-having such sublime joobs!
-dancing better than 100% of chief ike's patrons!
-seeing your roommate's boyfriend naked!
-doing that really good pterodactyl imitation!
-that your rash has stopped spreading!

or maybe just: congrats for getting your officemates to throw you a lame cake party!

heehee. the brainstorming will continue through memorial day.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

who needs glaciers anyway

i received this email from the people upstairs the other day:

"SILVER SPRING, Md (5/12/06) -- hundreds of concerned citizens and leaders from across the nation will join Hurricane Katrina survivors May 31st just outside of Washington, D.C. to denounce the Bush Administration's cover up of the growing scientific link between monstrous hurricanes and human-induced global warming. Despite a flurry of peer-reviewed scientific studies linking planetary warming to storms like Katrina, leaders at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Hurricane Center (a subset of NOAA) continue to claim with no supporting data -- that the recent hurricane devastation is part of a "natural cycle." Protesters will condemn these responses as an abdication of government responsibility when millions of Americans are increasingly vulnerable to violent storms in a warmer world.
Meanwhile, just since August 2005, no fewer than four major scientific studies; one conducted by NOAA itself have shown that warmer sea-surface temperatures created by atmospheric warming are increasing the frequency, power, and lifespan of major hurricanes. Yet there is no mention of these studies at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) web site despite the agency's official mission to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather, and by increasing understanding of these hazards. And NHC director Max Mayfield denied any substantive connection between global warming and hurricanes before a US Senate panel last fall. Meanwhile at NOAA, The Washington Post and other media have documented the ongoing campaign to cover up global warming data. Under the directorship of Bush's friend and political appointee, Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., NOAA climate scientists are being intimidated from talking to the press and their papers are being withheld from publication. These actions at NOAA and the NHC are part of an obvious political campaign orchestrated by the White House to avoid the serious cuts in fossil fuel use scientists say are needed to fight global warming. But by ignoring the science and denying the warming on behalf of Exxon Mobil, the Bush Administration is condemning millions more Americans to the suffering and loss seen throughout the Gulf Coast in 2005. The cover up must stop now! Please make plans to join the May 31st protest and vigil."

next wednesday will be an interesting workday indeed. now i'm not really privied to say if there has been a total 'cover-up' or not at NOAA - global warming climate change has always been a contentious issue in climate research, even before Dubya came to NOAA headquarters to trash the Kyoto protocol and deny our role in global CO2 emissions in front of the very people who struggle daily to prove the tenuous link between americans and the global environment with science. but i will say, hurricanes - all the crazy shit we saw last year - backed up highways, toppled houses, people hiding in astrodomes, stranded on rooftops - it all speaks a hell of a lot more to people than say, coral bleaching or the extinction of polar bears - both of which are pretty friggin' serious but it won't get Geraldo on-site live! or make the headlones for weeks.

i don't know really know what a protest at NOAA can achieve (to be frank, most people in my office are dems, speak ill of the repubs anyway, like how you see so many cartoons in the hallways, poking fun at the dubya and his cronies, always sorta odd to see in a government building), as i think many people within the administration (look at christie todd whitman and her resignation) have already been battling this issue politically for a long time.

so i guess i'll just say this: it's pretty important to scream this issue out loud, it's pretty timely, given the recent press and yeah!
al gore's new movie! (the music is scary enough) but let's also decry that we're pretty far from having any significant action to prevent climate change or hurricanes for that matter, for obvious reasons - we can't just change the climate from year to year, and $$$$$. and greed. just look at the inside page of the post today - we are some greedy, fucked up people!).

because in the end, despite all the news and publications, political struggle, what the repubs say in the end about climate change and all that - they spew what seems to come from some pamphlet written by karl rove, or even worse, the frightening, undeniably insane
complete lunatics that take the other side:
"Carbon Dioxide - they call it pollution, we call it life"
who are these people?

i'll tell you what tho, my softball team cum environmental aggressors wish more than anything that those nutso's had a team we could smash an ozone hole though:
"Cheap Beer, they call it pollution, we call it life"