Monday, May 26, 2008

Sesame Street!

Hmmm... I like Big Bird, but he was never my favorite. I also think the organization score is way high. I should post a picture of my desk!

Your Score: Big Bird

You scored 70% Organization, 58% abstract, and 67% extroverted!

This test measured 3 variables.

First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.

You are very organized, both concrete and abstract, and more extroverted.

Here is why are you Big Bird.

You are both very organized. You almost always know where your belongings are and you prefer things neat. You may even enjoy cleaning and find it therapeutic. Big Bird is never sloppy and always under control... pretty good for a 6 year old bird living without a family.

You both are sometimes concrete and sometimes abstract thinkers. Big Bird can be quite dreamy at times and has no problem using his imagination. At the same time he is also practical and can be methodical in his search for answers to questions. You have a good balance in your life. You know when to be logical at times, but you also aren't afraid to explore your dreams and desires... within limits of course.

You are both extroverts. Big Bird gets along with everyone. He makes friends easily and always has a positive attitude. You definitely enjoy the company of others, and you don't have problems meeting new people... in fact you probably look forward to it. You are willing to take charge when necessary or work as part of a team.

The other possible characters are

Oscar the Grouch





Kermit the Frog


Cookie Monster

Guy Smiley

The Count

I have written many many tests for fun on this site. Feel free to choose another one from my handy categories. If you liked a test, please rate it before continuing.

Intelligence tests (all with answer keys)

The are you Smarter Than a 1st Grader Test Test your school smarts against my 1st graders.

The Proper Urinal Etiquette Test

The State Locator Challenge I'll show you a picture of a state, you tell me which one it is.

The 10 Tricky Anagram Puzzles Test A fun quirky IQ test.

The Following Directions IQ Test The name says it all. Perhaps my trickiest IQ test.

The Take the Jeopardy Challenge Test A great tests for fans of jeopardy. Somewhat lengthy.

"Which character am I" tests

The Your Sesame Street Persona test By far, my most popular test.

The Smurf Personality Test 16 smurfy possibilities. Smurf facts included.

The Your Seinfeld Identity Test Surely the only test here that uses "Kavorka" as a variable.

The Life in Hell Test Which rabbit are you in this Matt Groening (The Simpsons) strip?.

Tests that are actually games

The Real Choose Your Own Adventure Test 29 possible endings. Uses internal links to navigate.

The Survivor Game Great fun for fans of the T.V. show. Complex scoring algorithm.

What will you do for a Klondike Bar? Life and death hangs on each choice you make.

The Morphed Faces (with a reward) test Quick. Kind of dumb but fun.

Let's Play Rocks Paper Scissors Takes less than a minute. Bet you can't win.?

The Murder Mystery Flash Game A dumb addictive flash game I did not create.

Death related test

The Wecome To Your Funeral Test Tells you who attends your funeral and when you'll die.

The Who's Dying First Test See if you are likely to outlast me on this planet.

Would Jesus Die For Your Sins? Short and sarcastic (like me!)

Bizarre compatability tests

The Choose Your Next Planet Test When ours becomes inhabitable, where should you go?

The Would Judge Judy Yell at YOU test? Can you escape her wrath? Probably not.

The If We Were Both Lesbians... Sure you dig my tests. But would you dig a woman?

The Would Zeppo Sleep with you test My very 1st test. Would my cat date you or more?

The Yankees or Red Sox fan test Which team SHOULD you root for. Fun questions.

The rest (or the "Could be deleted any day tests...")

The Do You Know the Muffin Man Test No clue how to describe this test.

The Let is snow? Let it snow test This test will tell you if you like snow. Seriously.

You too can get 10,000 takers The author reveals his secrets to creating popular tests.

The Smokey the Bear Forest Fire Test This test is really pathetic. Don't take it.

Link: The Your SESAME STREET Persona Test written by greencowsgomoo on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(greencowsgomoo)

Friday, May 23, 2008


Your Score: The Dork

You scored 34 anxiety, 57 awkwardness, and 39 neuroticism!

You aren't particularly anxious, and you don't count things--but you do notice sometimes that you don't exactly fit in. Polite people would call you an eccentric, but you truly are The Dork! And proud. Just because you feel a little awkward at parties doesn't mean you're not happy with yourself and fairly relaxed.

Your low anxiety score implies that you are able to relax, can enjoy the here and now, and have a healthy amount of self-confidence.

Your high awkwardness score implies that you are socially inept, probably stick out from the crowd, and perhaps feel uncomfortable in large groups of people, such as at parties.

Your low neuroticism score implies that you don't exhibit subtle neurotic behaviors--your nails are probably an acceptable length, your pencils aren't covered with bite marks, and your bookcase isn't arranged alphabetically by genre. Congrats!


See the other results!


The Neat Freak

The Dork

The Geek



The Subtle Neurotic

The True Neurotic

Link: The Neurotic Test written by littlelostsnail on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(littlelostsnail)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


45. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
This is one of the most thought provoking books I've read in a long time. I'll plagiarize my GoodReads review for you here, as I can't stop thinking about this book...
I found this book very thought provoking and troubling. Hirsi Ali gives voice to the many Muslim women who are beaten, raped, killed and mutilated and not allowed to live their own lives. She does this powerfully by taking us through her experiences growing up in Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Kenya. Eventually, she moves to Holland and gains refugee status, then becomes a Dutch citizen and gets to parliament as a critic of Islam and the Dutch policy of allowing Muslim immigrants to stay in their own enclaves and not be fully integrated into Dutch society.

There is a lot to agree with in this book. Countries should not allow women to abused and beaten in the name of religion. Crimes like these should not be overlooked in the name of tolerance. However, Hirsi Ali does not convince me that all these issues stem from Islam itself. I thought that in many of her statements you could replace "Islam" with "Fundamentalist Christianity" and they would still be true. She tries to say that Christianity and Judaism are essentially different from Islam, but I can't agree with this at all. I mean, there is no ideal "Islam" or any other religion. They are made of people and people's actions, and that is where change needs to happen. I agree with her that all people need to be able to understand they have individual choices and power, but I don't think a blanket criticism of Islam is necessarily the path to this.

Anyway, this is definitely worth a read as it is very thought provoking and it is important to know some of these stories of the oppressed Muslim women she discusses.


It has come to my attention that I am too old for grad school. Really, I think it is built for younger people who come right from undergrad. I only took 3 years off in between, but I still feel it has made me too old. I have been working until 10:00 or 10:30 pm lately in order to finish up this data analysis push. Basically, I am listening to tapes of tourist groups and figuring out how much time they are making noise. I can pretty much get one tape done a day. I really want to ramp it up because I have 11 tapes left, yet I will be going to grad school town in 8 days and I really really would prefer to have them done before that. But I am so tired and my back hurts from sitting at my desk too much and the cats are angry because I neglect them. I just keep thinking back to when I was young and spry and how I could have stayed up super late every night with no problems. That is why I am too old for grad school. Good thing I will have to graduate soon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Chariots of Fire

I signed up for a 5k! It is not until October, but I decided I needed the motivation of paying $25 to run in a race too keep me running through my weeks in the South, where the weather is so hot. I really hate the weather there. Heat and humidity are not my thing. Anyway, I am excited as it is a Halloween themed 5k with beer afterwards and hopefully my brother and his wife will run the race too. I have no doubt they are much faster than me, with their more running experience and their youth, but that is ok.

I am proud of my running lately. I pretty steadily go 3 days a week. I graduated myself from the Couch to 5k and now I have a 2 mile route that I can ALMOST run the whole of. I think I would be able to run the whole thing if I didn't happen to live at the highest point in Manhattan, thus causing me to have to run up some terrible hills. I am also working harder to change my outlook on my running. I have a history of not liking to do things I am not immediately good at. I don't know where I picked this up, but if I struggle with something the first time I do it it is hard for me to continue. Anyway, so instead of being sad I can not quite run 2 miles, I am now happy that I CAN run two miles, when just a few months ago I couldn't even run for 2 minutes. And lately my worst runs are still at least 15 minutes. So go me! And the benefit of all this is that my regular jeans fit again! And I just feel generally better about myself.

So I hope I can keep up the exercise even though I am exiled to the hot weather for awhile. I will keep that 5k in my sights as my motivator. Can't waste the $25, right?

Monday, May 19, 2008


I was all set to have a super tasty dinner of Morningstar fake chicken, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, green garlic and roasted asparagus all sauteed up together and served over spaghetti squash. I cooked my spaghetti squash whole, as I am not to be trusted with knives and hard to cut produce such as squash. I took my perfectly baked squash out of the oven and cut it up, only to find it was all sprouted inside. And then, I tasted some and it was sooooo bitter. Gross. So I had to have my topping just in a bowl with nothing to put it over. It was tasty, but would have been better with the squash. That is my dinner tragedy.


I have been really stressed out lately, so I have turned to some serious escapism reading. This post is about two books I loved as a child, and two I would have loved as a teenager, had then been written then. I still loved them now, but my love would have been more immense back in high school.

41. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
42. The Story of the Amulet by E. Nesbit
These are the old favorites. Everything Roald Dahl has written is genius. I love the irreverence and the strange situations that are just accepted as normal. In this one, James lives with his terrible aunts until a peach in the garden grows to huge proportions, then he and some giant insect friends have adventures.

E. Nesbit is another old favorite. This book is part of a series that also includes Five Children and It and The Phoenix and the Carpet. This book was written in 1906, but I think it still holds up today. Great, magical story about siblings adventuring through time together.

43. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
44. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Sweet Far Thing is the last in Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy. In this one, Gemma and her friends are in their last year of school and about to make their debuts. They start to wrap up their adventures in the magical realms, and learn how to make their real lives what they want of them. This was the best of the three books -- I really think each one was better than the one before. This is a good coming of age story, with plenty of drama, some scary scenes and some romance.

Cassandra Clare's book is also fantasy, but based in modern day New York. My GoodReads friend who I heard about it from described it as Harry Potter meets Star Wars and I would agree and throw in some Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well. Basically, Clary, a 15 year old girl, runs into some demonhunters and realizes nothing about her life was as she thought it was. Again, plenty of drama, teen angst, witty remarks during battle scenes and a twisty plot. Very good and fun. I am looking forward to the rest of this series.


Mmm...These are some cupcakes I made a few weeks ago. One of my favorite food blogs is the Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit. These are the Sweet and Salty Honey Peanut Cupcakes. They were very tasty, but I think the cake could be a little more moist and I would add more peanuts to the inside. And salt. But still, they were super good. If you want an amazing cupcake, though, make the ricotta raspberry almond cupcakes. I didn't do the burnt almond layer and just used store bought vanilla frosting but they were sooooo good. Seriously, I was shocked they came out of my kitchen.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

So cute!

Originally uploaded by mnkgrl

Look how they love each other! Sometimes at least.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Since Ellen told me to, I joined Twitter. If you are on, let me know so I can have more people to follow so it will be more fun.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

No coffee for you!

I know you are all dying to know about my afternoon coffee habits. Yesterday I went to Dunkin Donuts and got a French Vanilla iced coffee. It was tasty.

Then today, as it is indeed free iced coffee day, I went again. But, our Dunkin Donuts is out of small cups, so they will not give us free iced coffee! Bastards! I think it is really bad planning -- shouldn't they have know zillions of people would come to the stores for free iced coffee? Wasn't that part of the plan? So I am coffee-less this afternoon. So sad.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Should I give in?

Only 4 papers left to grade! woo! The papers are actually all pretty good and it is not an onerous task. I have actually learned some stuff from some of them. I was struck last semester with how many of my students obviously wrote their entire final paper the night before it was due, including research. I don't necessarily have a problem with this, if you can pull it off, but they could not. The papers read like papers written the night before. This semester I made each student choose a focus country on which to write their final paper. Then they had to write about the country for each of their response papers and they had an abstract and outline which are both part of the final paper grade. I think this has definitely improved the level of papers I am getting, as at the very least they mildly thought about their country a little bit before the paper was due.

The question in the title refers to my great craving for a sweet ice coffee confection from Starbucks (or maybe Dunkin Donuts?) I try not to patronize Starbucks that much, but I still have booooring data analysis to do, and the caffeine/sugar might help me get through it. I am about to go to the library and do some other errands, so I will probably get something on the way back.

I am very stressed as I travel to grad school town in 15 days. I had dreams of having a whole (albeit rough) draft of my diss by then. Alas, this data analysis is sucking my soul and is taking soooo long. I hope I will have it done in 15 days. If it takes me all 15 days I will not have time to write anything new, which means I will show up in grad school town with only a bit more written than when I was last there. Oh well. I really am working a ton, even into the night, and I do not believe I can physically work more. So what will be done will be done and I will just have to live with it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


38. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I did not like this book. I read it because it was so lauded and so many people said it was life changing. I just didn't get it. Basically, as far as I could tell, it was about a dad and his son wandering through post-Apocalyptic America, speaking in very short sentences without quotation marks. My review to R sums my feelings on this book up very well: "I think it is supposed to be about the human spirit or some crap but I don't get it." Anyway, for me this book was just depressing with no purpose.

39. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Luckily, the next book I read was this awesome fantasy/fairy tale by Shannon Hale. It is one of the best books I have read in a while. This is the story of Miri, a small (in stature) girl living on top of a mountain in a small village that makes their living working a quarry. One day a messenger from the King comes saying all the girls need to go to a "Princess Academy" from which the prince will choose a wife. The Princess Academy is not what you might expect it to be and all the girls really learn about themselves. This is an awesome coming of age story with one of the best young woman protagonists I have come across. Seriously, if you are at all interested in kick-ass young women in a slightly fantastical setting, you should read this book.

40. My Life in France by Julia Child
Another excellent book. This is mostly the story of Julia and her husband Paul as they go to France and learn about food and cooking. I have always enjoyed watching Julia Child on TV, but I didn't know a lot about her. There were so many interesting tidbits in this book, and she sounded like such an awesome person. I really enjoyed this, and Julia Child has been catapulted into my personal pantheon of heroes, right next to Madeline Albright.

my one problem with Mother's Day

I was thinking about this post before, but didn't want to be a curmudgeon on the actual Mother's Day. This post by StyleyGeek inspired me, though.

Here is my problem with Mother's Day. People seeing me, noting I am a woman, asking if I have kids, me saying I don't and them say "Happy future Mother's Day then!" ??? There are a lot of big assumptions here. I am a female and therefore automatically going to be a mom? What if I have decided not to? What if I were struggling with infertility? It just seems a big can of worms to get into and basically nobody's business. This has happened enough to me the last few years that I actually thought twice about going out somewhere on Sunday because it annoys me so much. How about wishing Happy Mother's Day to people you know are mothers and leaving the rest of us alone?

Monday, May 12, 2008


This is a great blog I have discovered recently: Indexed. Graphic representations of all kinds of ideas.

I really like today's.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


So one of the things I accomplished this week was pulling together my summer travel. Here is where I need to go: GradSchoolTown, Virginia to see Christopher and Corbett, Southern City Where I Teach Genius Children, back to NYC for a wedding, back to Southern City, back to NYC . I do not necessarily NEED to visit C&C (even though I wanted to) so I first looked for 3 round trip tickets for the other parts of the travel. This was $$$. Then I looked at flying from place to place. This was also $$$, although less $$. Finally, I looked at renting a car and driving part of it (from GradSchoolTown to Virginia) and this was the cheapest, even allowing for gas! AND I am even getting the car the whole time in GradSchoolTown which has crappy public transportation and getting around it without a car has been a huge pain the last few times I visited (although props to my friends for arranging to loan me a car last December. you rule!). So I get to go everywhere I need to and have more convenience than I would otherwise. I still think it is crazy I basically now HAVE to go to Virginia because it saves me money, even if I didn't want the immense fun I will have there anyway. :)

It is sad though that all this money saving travel will make R and I be apart more. He is going to Chile for work (so jealous!) for a week and I leave for my adventures a few days after his return. Then I am gone in June and then it is July and we need to panic!!! and move. There will be definitely be panicking during the moving. And we have to drug the big cat. But I am not going to think about that now, I'm just glad my movements through June are set.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


So somehow through my grad school experience I have gotten into the habitat of looking at all the things I don't get done each day, as opposed to what I do get done. It is a distressing habit because every day I feel like I am failing because I don't have all kinds of things done. Yesterday, however, I took stock of what I had done, and realized I do actually work a lot. So, here is what I have done so far this week:
*ran/walked 2 miles
*analyzed boring data many times
*commented on 4 student paper drafts (I am the nicest prof ever)
*called my advisor
*applied for four jobs in Chicago
*held office hours (no one came)
*did dishes
*bought mangoes for a future ice cream
*graded a bunch o' response papers
*set up gradebook so it only awaits students' paper grades before spitting out the final grade
*researched teaching philosophies
*wrote a rough draft of my teaching philosophy
*hung out with R
*bought a million tickets for some upcoming travel (I will tell you about this soon. It is kinda crazy.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


34. Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
This is a really great book that follows a group of young people over about 10 years as the grow up in the Bronx. The author is a journalist and does an amazing job of leaving herself out of the book, and presenting the people as people. The subjects of the book deal with poverty, drugs, jail and teenage pregnancies, but the book is so close to their point of view that you can understand why they make the choices they do. Very good book.

35. Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
This is the story of a regular vacuum cleaner salesman in Havana (before the revolution) recruited to be a spy for the British. It was fun, and I liked the 2nd half better than the first. This book was written in the 50's (I think) and I had some trouble with the dated-ness of it, although I did want to drink daquiris. :)

36. Bones: A Forensic Detective's Case Book by Douglas Ubelaker
This book is by the curator of Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian. It is an older book, from 1991, and I guess was recently re-printed. Anyway, I am a physical anthropologist, but not of dead things and skeletons, so I read this book as part of my plan to improve my knowledge of that part of my field. A lot of the cases in this book are very interesting, and you learn amazing things that can be figured out from bones. However, the writing is a little strange. It is not super-well organized, and almost stream of consciousness as it flits from subject to subject. If you are interested in forensic anthropology you might like this book, otherwise I am not sure it would hold a lot of interest for most people.

37. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
The second book in Scalzi's series. I did not like this as much as "Old Man's War" but it was pretty good escapism still. The first part of the book had too much description of science and space battles for me, and I liked the second part more where it was more about the people. I really like how this series deals with the ethical issues in humanity's genetically engineering people to fight aliens in space (and should we be fighting the aliens at all?) and I look forward to reading the third book in the series.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

No noise in Illinois

For now, that is....

My people! I can now officially announce to you that come August, R and I and the cats shall pack up and return to the midwest, from whence we both emerged. That is right, we are moving to Chicago! Rock on! R will pursue a PhD (I have confidence he will catch it) and I will hopefully find some sort of job in some sort of academia vaguely related to what I do.

I am excited for the move, I like Chicago and it has always been on my list of places I would like to live. Both of our families will be much closer, and we have like a million friends in the general area. But it is still bittersweet. We've both really loved living in New York, and we don't feel like we're done with it yet. While we will have a cheaper rent and be able to afford a two bedroom (woo! office!) apartment, we will also have to buy a car (sad. car insurance, gas, repairs). But it will be good overall.

I wish I could say I was off now to enjoy New York while we have it, but I am actually going to get back to my super boring data analysis.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

My new favorite thing

Originally uploaded by mnkgrl

Look at this awesome necklace I got from this Etsy shop. I love it so much! I am wearing it today as I do super boring data analysis. It is totally helping me get through it.

Can you tell I just freed some photos from my camera? But this is the last of them, so no more photo posts for a bit.