26 January 2009

Legal Amusement

Today the U.S. Supreme Court decided an immunity case involving a plaintiff who was convicted under the false testimony of a jailhouse informant. The informant's name was Fink.

Just thought you ought to know that. :-)

The case, for those legally inclined, is Van v. Goldstein.

23 January 2009


One of my tasks as department chair is to read the teaching evaluations of the faculty in my department. They're often pretty amusing, and today I came across one that's a new favorite:
Professor X is very organized, but only in his head.

Ha ha!
One year, when I was pregnant with Thing 1, an entire class of mine conspired, and every one of them wrote:
She's a great professor. Give her a raise because she needs more money to buy

My number one choice of all time, though, is a comment a student in my Psychology of Criminal Behavior class once wrote:
It's an interesting course, but there's too much psychology.

20 January 2009

Toothless Annie

Looks like the Tooth Fairy will pay us another visit tonight. Mommy the Dentist pried this one out with an ice chip. Oh, and don't blame me for the terrible bangs--those were self-inflicted.

19 January 2009

Home again

I'm back home. :-) I can definitely recommend the Sofitel at Terminal 5 at Heathrow. There was a tv in the bathroom. I got to watch a documentary on Robert the Bruce on BBC-2 while I took a bath. :-) My flight home was great because the plane was only about 2/3 full and I had empty seats around me. That certainly makes all the difference in a 10 hour flight.

My camera decided that Polish winter weather doesn't agree with it, and a lot of my pictures turned out like this, or worse:

Oh well. At least some did turn out. Here's the mermaid statue in Old Town in Warsaw:

Old Town isn't really old, because it was completely demolished during the war. They rebuilt it to look like the original, though, and it's very pretty. And here's the main square in Cracow:

Cracow wasn't as badly damaged, so the square, one of the largest in Europe, is authentic. That pretty building on the right sits dead center, so this pic shows only half of the square. We had a wonderful dinner on the square at a place that's been a restaurant since the 1790's.
This is a pretty town I saw from the train. I have no idea what it's called:

And this is Nowa Huta, which is just outside Cracow, and which we visited with the Crazy Communism tour:

It was built by the Communists as a steel mill town, and intended as a centerpiece of Communism. It ended up becoming the site of protests and an active location for the Solidarity movement. The square to the left is Ronald Reagan Square. Really:

Here's the view from my friend's apartment in Warsaw:

It's a great place in a perfect location. Thanks for letting me stay with you, Agnes! :-)
And finally, a sad picture:

This wall is outside a 17th century synagogue in Cracow. Another part of the wall had graffiti which said (in German, interestingly) "Jews out of Palestine." Some things never change.

17 January 2009

I've left Poland and travelled westward--I'm now all cozied up in my hotel in London. Tomorrow morning I head home. Yesterday I was sick and didn't do anything, which is disappointing, but at least I feel better today! And I had a great time the rest of my time there. It was snowing this morning, which of course is no big deal to Poles, but was a bit of a treat to me. I like snow I can visit for a while. :-)

15 January 2009

Back in Warsaw

Cracow was great. We toured the old Jewish quarter, took the Crazy Communist tour, drank vodka, saw a da Vinci that I like better than Mona Lisa, and ate very well. And the train ride from Warsaw to Cracow, about 3 hours, is quite nice, too. They have really wonderful drinking chocolate here. I will be forever spoiled. I can say a couple words in Polish--at least enough to order tea. But when the train conductor came around and asked us to close the window in the overheated car (I think that's what he wanted, anyway), I was ignorantly monoligual enough for him to give up and go away. Overall, most Poles seem to speak at least a little English, and they're very tolerant of those of us who don't speak Polish.

12 January 2009


I love my clapotis scarf. Perfect for walking around Warsaw in January. :-) And I like Warsaw a lot. Today I ate potato pancakes and bliny and I learned to say thank you, and I gave a lecture to my friend's students. And I bought a Polish punk CD, by a band named Dezerter. It was sunny and maybe 30-ish outside today. Right now at 11pm it's 9 degrees.

11 January 2009

Just a quick post from chilly Warsaw. Heathrow is not my favorite airport today, but I made it. Haven't seen much yet, but I like it so far. And we decided to spend a night or two in Krakow this week, too! :-)

09 January 2009


I'm off to Warsaw tomorrow. Think warm thoughts for me! :-)

06 January 2009

Furgood Marshall

Sad post today. This morning I had to send Furgie the cat to the Bridge. She would have been 20 (!) in March. She'd been doing quite well, but over the weekend she had an abrupt decline. Do cats get strokes? She was very confused and unhappy and not eating. And this is the first time in nearly two decades she didn't want to eat, so I knew it was time. She went very quickly and peacefully.
Furg's full name was Furgood Marshall; like my other pets, she was named after a Supreme Court Justice. She was born sometime in March in Lincoln, Nebraska, and I adopted her from the humane society there in March 1989. She was older than some of my students. She was a smart cat who learned to open our French doors and loved to play fetch with plastic milk rings. She put up with 3 huge dogs and 2 unruly children.

05 January 2009

02 January 2009

Science Friday

We took the Things to Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley today. We met up with some friends there, too. A fun time was had by all. Here's the Things with Zee and Zee's Dad, Hu:

Thing 2 helped build an archway. Or supervised, anyway:

And Thing 1 learned about tectonic plates while holding a paper airplane:

And this is the view, once the fog cleared. You can see SF, the Golden Gate, and a good part of the Bay from up there:

01 January 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all!

Had a quiet night last night. Hubby went to his friend's house for a poker game, Thing 2 turned in early, and T1 and I stayed up and watched the Twilight Zone marathon.

I'm leaving for Warsaw in a little over a week. I'm pretty excited about it! Have to dig up some of my warmest clothes, though.

Anyone know any good recipes for lemons? I have a good crop of Meyers this year. If you've never tried them, they're much better than the Eurekas you get in the store. Bigger and sweeter, with a bit of a floral taste to them, almost. Last year I made a nummy lemon custard cake, the year before that I mixed up some limoncello. Need ideas for this year!