Because if I’m Going to Sneak Into a Hotel to Creepily Wait for a Celebrity, It’s Going to be an Astrophysicist

Lecturing for well over three hours, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson covered topics ranging from Dave Brubeck to the US Congress to Pluto (“Still not a planet.  Get over it.”) to how to be better humans.

Upon noticing the absence of the usual limo outside the stage door, I wagered a guess he was staying at the hotel attached to the performance hall.  Having been a dancer at said hall, I knew of the secret tunnel which connects the two buildings.  Sneaking through a restaurant and up an enormous staircase, we waited.  Our gamble was worth it.

He was exhausted, but kind, humorous and friendly.  He dropped to one knee and took his time discussing books, college and Cosmos with a young girl while her astounded and proud father watched with misty eyes.  When The Husband’s iPhone camera refused to cooperate, Dr. Tyson snatched it.

“Trust me, I’m a professional.”

A schedule of his upcoming appearances are here.  If he’s anywhere in your timezone, go.


Posted by on 17 September 2014 in Uncategorized



Where I’ve Been (the just a few months late edition)




Posted by on 6 September 2014 in Photographs, Trains


Where I’ve Been (the 8 months overdue edition)


Posted by on 26 August 2014 in Travel


Is This Thing On?

Hello.  It’s been some time, yes?

Since I’ve last been here, I’ve had a birthday, lost a cat, took a trip around the world and survived my first round of final exams in over a decade.

Where to begin?  Well, I’m organizing some posts and they’ll be up this week.

A question for you: what do you want to see.  I’m leaning towards a blog redesign to better catalog what I’m doing, probably with a greater focus on cooking.  Thoughts?


Posted by on 9 February 2014 in Uncategorized



This week brought us in the Northern Hemisphere the first day of Autumn.  It also brought Smedette her first day of school.

After being away from the world of academia for a decade, I have ventured back into its seemingly inviting embrace.

I’m looking to upgrade a current credential/degree and set myself on a path for even more education (and debt).  I’ve missed using my brain.

I admit, I feel overwhelmed right now.  I have forgotten how to be a student, how to appropriately manage my time, but maybe that is just seeing a stack of syllabi and realizing this is for real now.

So, I did what any reasonable adult would do and baked.  Sure, I probably should have been reading, but I really feel my nerves were but to better use by peeling and chopping fruit.

Mixed Fruit Crumble

  • In a mixing bowl, peel and chop enough fruit to fill the entire bottom and half the volume of baking dish of your choice.  Stick with pears, apples and stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, etc).
  • Sprinkle the chopped fruit with lemon juice (like from half a lemon, more if you want…as you can tell, this is going to be very free-form) and freshly grated ginger (how much?  I don’t know, use your nose.  You will know when it’s enough).  Drizzle a bunch of honey over everything, mix and pour into your baking dish.
  • In the same bowl, add some quick-cooking oats (for a 9×13 baking dish, I probably used two cups), healthy sprinkle of cinnamon, handful or so of chopped nuts; mix well.  Feel free to toss in any other spices: nutmeg, cloves, additional ginger, etc.  Add a few tablespoons of melted butter and mix.  There will be dry bits and wet clumps; this is fine.  Do not drown the thing in butter.  Pour over the fruit.
  • Bake at 375F until golden brown; this could be 30+ minutes.
  • Eat to avoid math homework.

Posted by on 24 September 2013 in Baking, Cooking, Food, Fruit, Recipes


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I drove across town upon learning my emotionally, mentally and physically unstable mother was selling the family china and her jewelry to pay for food and medication.

So, listening to you whine about your enormous 1.2 million dollar home that is somehow in need of a “massive and complete” remodel is not on my agenda today.  At all.


Posted by on 19 September 2013 in Broken Stuff, Lost in Translation


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Life List #109: Try 1,000 Different Fruits & Berries

Yes, this was originally “Try 1,000 Different Fruits”, but my list, my rules.

#4 – Kiwi

#5 – Starkrimson Pear

#6 – Black Cherries

#7 – White Nectarine

#8 – Champagne Grapes


Posted by on 27 August 2013 in Uncategorized


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