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home again, toodly pip - helen-louise
baratron
baratron
home again, toodly pip
Back home now. Haven't exactly been keeping up either with livejournal or the real-world news. (American news is full of people I've never heard of and very little about the world outside the US).

Tuesday night dinner was at Blockheads, a typical American Tex-Mex, but one that knew what vegans are. I get Mexican food when I'm in Seattle at the lovely Taco Del Mar, but they do vegan by simply leaving out the dairy. Blockheads do vegan by substituting tofu sour cream and vegan soy cheese. Food was rich, but tasty: OM NOM NOM NOM NOM! I also appreciated their minimalist approach to onions - none visible in the black beans or rice, only a couple of small soft pieces in the salsa, which was otherwise full of plump tomato flesh. Why does salsa at so many places mean tomato skin and onion? I don't understand how anyone would want to eat that.

Literature report got emailed about 2.30am on Tuesday, which was Late according to my deadline, but there really wasn't anything I could do about it. Got back from dinner ready to finish it off, but there's an annoying bug in Mac OpenOffice whereby if you try copy & pasting from a PDF that doesn't let you copy & paste for copyright reasons, you get a massive object in the middle of the document that then crashes OpenOffice. Due to excessive panic, my brain fell out of my head when this happened at 11.50pm, and I hit "save"... meaning that I corrupted the file. Normally I have compulsive backups of everything but for some reason (as I got more panicked about getting it done) I forgot to keep resaving with new names, and my more recent backup was apparently 6 hours old... argh! We had to download the newest version of Windows OpenOffice over the hotel network (which took over an hour!), install it on Richard's PC, put the corrupted file on a USB stick and open it on the PC to clean it up so I could finish formatting the references. Ewww. Haven't completely finished the lit report - I sent what I had so that something got submitted. Will finish it off over the next few days.

We went to bed about 3am on Tuesday and got up again about 11 in time to pack our bags and check out of the hotel. We went for lunch at Fresh & Co which had vegan soup, pasta and falafel sandwiches, as well as the New York-style baked cheesecake that my Mum had spent three days moaning about the lack of. Spent the afternoon shopping, which was what I'd planned to do this trip anyway. Just... I'd planned to do MORE of it than I got to do. Bought everything I wanted from the Hot Topic in Queens Center, not that there was very much there :/ (I'm sure it used to be in a bigger shop within the mall). Haven't bought anything for the few people that I am buying Christmas presents for, yet. Principally because I have no money, and I can't borrow money from Richard for his own Christmas present! I need to claim back my money from Student Finance England, and hope that my two old students who bugged me with phone calls while I was away want to have lots of lessons. But not so many that they get in the way of finishing my literature report. Ugh.

Trip back was uneventful. Watched Harry Potter 6, which is awesome, the first two episodes of Glee, and the pilot of My Name is Earl - all good inflight, brain-isn't-working entertainment. Richard and I failed to get any sleep at all, my mum managed about an hour. Got back about 12 noon today and promptly crashed out the whole day. Woke up about 1.30am and now wondering how on earth to get myself back onto UK time. Also desperate for a holiday. We'll be going to Boston at the end of the month, but not for very long, and I'm wondering if I can rearrange my flight home so I can get a bit more time in the US. Anyone want a visiting h-l? Of course, I don't actually have any money right now, so this may be completely impossible.

Things I need to write about: travelling whilst disabled, and the approaches of various airlines and airports to "special" meals. Might leave that until after my trip to Boston, depending on spoons and how much else I need to say.

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Comments
nitoda From: nitoda Date: 16th December 2010 09:54 (UTC) (Link)
Welcome home! This clarifies and answers the question I asked in my previous comment to you this morning. :-)
trinker From: trinker Date: 16th December 2010 10:14 (UTC) (Link)
Cooked salsa, or pico de gallo?

Pico de gallo is made by chopping up all sorts of stuff, and is peasant food, so no fussy skinning tomatoes, normally. And is full of onions.

Glad you had a good time in NY.
baratron From: baratron Date: 20th December 2010 16:54 (UTC) (Link)
I am not sure that people in this country are insufficiently educated to know the difference. That may be my problem :)
trinker From: trinker Date: 20th December 2010 18:53 (UTC) (Link)
Ah. I have some horror stories about the Tahitian attempt at Mexican.
bitty From: bitty Date: 16th December 2010 11:40 (UTC) (Link)
We have a spare room in the front if you need to save on hotel. Of course, it gets cold enough in the winter to turn you bisexual (just ask lcohen), but that shouldn't be a problem.

(Actually, we have a space heater for that room now, so it's much better, really.)
veryfineredwine From: veryfineredwine Date: 19th December 2010 02:34 (UTC) (Link)
How late does the MBTA run on New Year's Eve?
bitty From: bitty Date: 19th December 2010 15:20 (UTC) (Link)

arfur here

they haven't officially announced service modifications for this year, but last year it was free service from 8pm, and service extended until about 2am. (Meaning, if you get on the T by 1:30, you should be able to take any combination of subway or major bus lines to get where you need to go.)
veryfineredwine From: veryfineredwine Date: 19th December 2010 16:37 (UTC) (Link)

Re: arfur here

Thanks! We shall keep that in mind.
From: ext_221050 Date: 18th December 2010 16:14 (UTC) (Link)
Peeling tomatoes is actually somewhat annoying, although if you have a lot of them and can get into the rhythm, it is surprisingly fun...

Turns out I've also been battling OpenOffice. Microsoft Word (which I use in the labs) has been complicating things too, but fortunately, I have the Word problem isolated down to some minor issue involving templates, styles, equations, embedded objects, tables, or borders on headers and footers, or perhaps incompatibilities between Word 2007 and Word 2010. The OpenOffice problems are simply because all open source software is unsupported crap and full of bugs.

Speaking of embedded objects, we happen to be driving from Boston to Rochester roughly when you're planning to leave Boston. Amazing, that. :-)
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