I distract myself, I go out with people, I laugh, and yet...
When I'm home alone again, with the silence, the tears come again.
The sadness just won't leave.
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This was going to be a post about Inception, but something actually managed to push it out of my mind. A dear friend of mine, full of life, Dan Schreiber, has passed away. I can't even comprehend it. As I write this, I think the emotions are churning, I actually feel like something just took the breath out of me. I think this may actually be my first friend who's died. It's part of life right? We all die eventually. Last summer I had my first friend get married, but this is part of life too. I'm not even sure if this post makes sense or if I'm just rambling, I just know that I have to deal with all of this emotion. Dan was a fellow graduate student and an aspiring chocolate maker. He was brilliant, top of the math department during his undergrad at the U of I, and chose to do a PhD in computer science. Last summer he started experimenting with chocolate making, from the cacao beans, and he got quite good at it. ..

I just had to take a walk. The silence is deafening. I walked in a daze, listening to Here Comes The Sun and Because. There was something very melancholy about the department when I walked in. Maybe I was just projecting my emotions, I just don't know...

From Drop Box

You know, any time you see someone young died, they always say how full of life they were, how nice they were to everyone. It's so cliche but it's completely true about Dan. Why do the nice ones go first? I never told Dan this, but he really inspired me. He was brilliant enough to get a PhD with ease but chose to do what he loved instead, make chocolate. It's so funny, the other day I was cleaning my fridge and came across one of his earlier chocolate wrappers. I'm a packrat, so instead of throwing it away, I tucked it beside the jam bottles. I look at it now kind of in shock. When I started experimenting with baking this past semester, I wanted to try baking this scone recipe I found that called for chocolate chunks and dried cranberries. I described the recipe to Dan, and he instantly knew what chocolate I'd need to go with the cranberries. I've never known anyone so enthusiastic about chocolate. That's the wrapper I unintentionally saved and now have. I won't be throwing it away.
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Now I haven't stopped cooking just because it's summer, I just haven't been sharing as regularly. I didn't realize NYTimes had cooking videos, here's a vegetable torte recipe that I'm dying to try.

Do you have any good vegetable recipes? I made a salad (not a vegetarian one) last night that was amazing, and it's really made me appreciate how good a salad can be.
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...apparently I'm a modern cool nerd! It has the word cool in there so it must be cool right? I had no clue I was that dorky though!

Your result for The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test...

Modern, Cool Nerd

83 % Nerd, 57% Geek, 22% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!

Take The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test at OkCupid

One more thing: I really liked the graphs. The vertical line = average.
Nerdiness (83%, higher than 93% of my peers) :

Geekosity (57%, higher than 82% of my peers):

Dork points (22%, higher than 21% of my peers):

What do Janelle Monáe and Sesame Street have in common?

If you follow me on twitter, you'll know that I've been gushing all week about Janelle Monáe, enough to share some notes while I wrap up thesis writing.

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With the recent Arizona illegal immigration law, Capitol Steps was bound to have some interesting commentary. Sure enough, it may have been my favorite part of the show.

Capitol Steps is political satire group (see the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_Steps) that releases a new show four times a year: New Year's Eve, April Fool's Day, Fourth of July and Halloween. Interestingly, they started off as being a group of senate staffers, but now the group is made up of professionals. I have many fond memories of listening to them in the car on the radio, and with the passage of time, on iTunes and on my iPod. I admit I was worried they'd be scraping the barrel for material after George Bush, but then there's always a humorous side to politics isn't there?

I enjoyed the Arizona song so much I decided to post the lyrics, especially since a quick search revealed that I couldn't find them online.

On a dark desert highway, staying just out of sight.
Just like white house crashes, I don't have an invite.
Up ahead in the distance, just past the cactus and sage,
I know I can find a brand new job and I'll make minimum wage.
Walking inside the border, a million stars out tonight, and
I was thinking to myself this place is heaven if you were just white.
Then I saw a big searchlight, it was heading my way.
I was spotted by a border guard, and then I heard him say,
"Welcome to the state of Arizona.
Have your papers please, or you'll have to leave.
There isn't much room in the state of Arizona if you're darker than George Hamilton."
Would you stop Obama, say his race isn't pure?
"Last week I stopped someone named Sonia Sotomayor"
Let me check my pockets, I belong here of course.
I will show you my proof now if you will show me yours.
Welcome to my homeland I was born here.
Yes we've been here 5000 years.
I'm Navaho, we own the land you're on here,
We fought illegals too since 1492.