Friday, December 30, 2011

Well played, Houston

Looks like Houston's PR department was ahead of the game.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This is Texas

Prettttty sure I got free jalapenos on my chupacabra goat burger at the jackalope, a sucker for stringing together nonsense as always.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Very Austin

Especially avoid messing with their Gulf of Mexico.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Mexican food restaurant! Makes everybody happy, hubcap-ceiling or no. Especially with the unlimited free fancy salsa.

At least one creature stirring

When Simon woke up on boxing day, he found that someone else had been stealing his candy. The hard way.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


... And we watched a new episode of Doctor Who! ON TELEVISION!! The day it came out! As if that were a possible thing!

Happy Christmas

I was too slow to get Ziv's reaction, but I don't think hers was the one I needed.

Oh! And I finally got one of Simon's prints! AS A TAPESTRY!
And too much other sweet stuff to mention. Magic!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The grumps

Here I demonstrate the opposite of how it feels to wear a feather boa in a craft store.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I keep getting older.... they stay the Saaaame aaaaaaaaaage


The new normal

This is pretty much how it goes at Christmas with an adorable 10-month old - a room full of people watching the baby intently.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Living the Dream

Here I am about to swing on a trapeze hung upside-down by my knees BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yeah Yeah, I'm supposed to blog

What's a blogging again? Here is a rental house in Austin big enough for many Diltses.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Austin: World of Fantasy

Austin Texas! I went to Joanna and Toshia's apartment, a 3-minute walk away from this:
Inside they had Japanese Batman t-shirts, santa-hatted Hulk, and the stop-motion Ben Franklin special that they don't show in Canada for some reason:
We went out for Tex Mex right quick, as one should in Texas. I'm surprised it took me this long to take my first picture of this little darling:
We couldn't finish our meals, which is also pretty America. But Freebirds' takeout boxes reminded me that I was in a safe and supportive city:
It wasn't enough Tex-Mex, of course, so we went to Baby A's for dinner and Everclear purple margaritas. I agree with Rockin' Spanish Santa:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Uncertain Origin

Bengali woman on the plane: "This is a nice pen! Where is it from?"
Me: ... [don't say Gallifrey don't say Gallifrey don't say Gallifrey]

Travel Day

Travel days used to mean waking up at god-awful o'clock, until I just stopped sleeping. The day wasn't bad, though, and I ran into a couple of Facebook friends of mine on the sky shuttle:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Metro

I always think "aw man! The Metro always play the movies I want to see when I'm out of town." Then I remember that they always play the movies I want to see all the time.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Almost Home

Neil, Nijmegen's tour guide extraordinaire, also pointed me to the best place to layover in O'Hare:
He was right, of course, a byproduct of the fact that he appears to know everything. The beer was tasty, and the bar was a good place to stage this photo depicting le chat losing one of his last legs:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Silly Things in Amsterdam

Here's how Madame Tussaud thinks of our President - not far off?
Here is what, for the love of God, a SHOPPING MALL looks like in Europe.
Finally, we have found it:
This is not the steepest staircase I saw, nor the steepest staircase at a place of intoxication:
Here's one of Holland's pervasive bicycle attack zones:
If it takes you fewer than three days of almost getting hit to remember how to pick these out, you're a better traveler than I am.

Amsterdam Picnic

My plan was to spend my last 28 hours in Holland awake and wandering the streets of Amsterdam. Luckily, Pud could spend the first 7 or so hanging out in Amsterdam with me. We managed to do everything we wanted, including grocery-store cheese and The Other Heineken, which we enjoyed at a canal-side picnic:
Where we managed to fend off a concerted attack by the local pigeons:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Research Party!

I gave my talk yesterday (comments: "That was the fastest talk I've ever seen"; "You've reached the point where you don't know what you're doing any more") which meant today I could just chill like Broca and Wernicke over here:
I also got to explore the posters at leisure, and they were mostly delightful:Afterwards we headed downtown, spotting our only Dutch windmill from afar:
APhL closed out our journey together with a putative lab tradition (and longstanding Pud tradition), special tasty pizzas.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Our hosts took us out for a night on the Nijmegen, where we got to see what I want all of my walls to look like:
...while visiting the museum built around Nijmegen's oldest wall-slash-cesspit:
They had pretty scary monster statues, too, except they turn out to be plague-doctor statues:
Then it was off to dinner at the armory, where everything comes with goat cheese and every beer is Belgian:
Then a few of us went out to chase bikes to a 600 year old pub. I can think of few better descriptions of Holland.

The Hajj

Today we made our first pilgrimage to one of Psycholinguistics' holiest sites. I can only barely believe that it's real: A federal-level research institute in my subfield. Hosting a conference on my thesis topic. It's hard not to think of it as research paradise.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Favourable Exchange Rates

If somebody on the street asks to buy a cigarette off me, I usually just give them a cigarette. If some people on the street offer to give me a beer for a cigarette, well....


Charlotte and Tyler are here! I showed them the winter wonderland/nightclub district near the hostel, where all the bars were packed. And all the chairs on the street were packed:
... because it turns out that the soccer game the high Australians invited me to watch was kind of a big deal. Fortunately Tyler and Charlotte passed a nice quiet street-corner cafe on the way to find me, so we went there to catch the rest of the game. And to have smoooooooth Belgian beers. Yes indeed.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Leaving the World

Amsterdam! Which I've been left to explore on my own for 36 hours. Few photos of this period have turned out to be postable. But here's one of the surprising store names:

And here's a store that I've seen _as often as McDonald's_ in the entertainment districts:And here's the bar-hotel-coffeeshop I wound up at later in the evening. Someone from Amsterdam, tell me this is a place where the hipsters go. I walked by not thinking about it, and suddenly it was like an alarm went off. A hipster alarm. I went in. To investigate.