Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Christmas Song

Boston had its first snow of the season on Sunday! Yuval and I woke up to big, fat flakes falling from the sky. Needless to say, he was overjoyed and promptly started acting like a kid on Christmas morning: grinning nonstop and laughing for no reason. Have I mentioned how much I love this guy?

We went to Harvard last Thursday night to hear Shai Agassi, CEO and founder of Better Place, speak about how he and his company are working to end our addiction to oil. How? Electric cars. But for real, not in the pipe-dream sense. Israel's his first testing ground, and they're rolling out the electrical network there sometime next year. Denmark is following, and then Hawaii and San Fransisco. And Australia. Basically, you buy a car, but you don't buy the battery. Better Place supplies the batteries. Sort of like when you buy a phone, Verizon supplies the network it runs on. Your car charges in its parking place by literally plugging into the electric network. And if you need a full battery right away, you can swap it out for a new one at a changing station (like Valvoline oil changes). Oh, and all Better Place electricity will come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar. There are some definite flaws and problems with it--will we become just as dependent on electricity as we are on oil? will electricity prices see price gouging just like gas? will the network function in bigger places like the US?--but all in all I think it's a brilliant solution.

I wasn't so fond of Mr. Agassi himself. He was clearly convinced he is one of the most brilliant men of our time, and he never actually directly answered any of the audience's questions. It was like watching PR acrobatics worthy of the White House. Also, this is a man who made a fortune as the next-in-line CEO of SAP, the largest business software company in the world. He is an entreprenuer first and foremost, and it became evident to Yuval and me that his interest in this "electric car business" is, above all, about money. I read an article about him in Wired a couple months back, and I learned a lot more about his mission and the company in that article than I did hearing him speak.

Dylan and I got to have some play time on Friday night, which was an absolute riot. He's almost 1 1/2, and knows lots of words and can understand most everything that's said to him. He also loves dancing, especially to "Supercalafragilisticexpialadocious." Kid loves his Mary Poppins music, even though he's never seen the movie. He's also very fond of taking things apart and putting them back together--I see a future in engineering.

Saturday was the Immunology Division's holiday party, which was held at the Belmont Hill Club (the country club Dr. Geha belongs to). There was delicious Lebanese food, karaoke, and dancing. Yuval and I had a good time. The highlight was definitely getting to see my 63-year old Lebanese boss sing "Oops...I Did It Again" while adding in some dance moves. It was a performance for the ages.

Yesterday was a strange day for me. I guess I was sick? But I didn't really feel very sick. My legs felt really weak all day long, my brain felt like it was detached from my body, headaches came and went, it hurt to turn my neck, and I never got hungry. At all. I ate some yogurt right before I left because I was going swimming, but I had to force it down. However, my swim lasted only 15 minutes before I had to stop--I felt like my head was going to explode it hurt so bad. I promptly headed over to Yuval's, where he greeted my frozen and hurting body with pizza naan and spaghetti with sausage meat sauce. He even ran to the market next door to buy me a Coke. Full of yummy food, we watched some of Season 2 of Arrested Development on Hulu, then went to bed early. Just what I needed.

I feel better today, although I still feel a little sensitive about my head and neck. I'm hoping to get my hair trimmed this week, as I realized I haven't been to a stylist since I chopped off 8 inches for charity back in April. E-gads!

Congrats to Nathaniel, Luca, and David Tyler for finishing NaNoWriMo! Quite the feat. So when should I look for these novels at my local bookstore? ;o)

Mothstorm by Philip Reeve

Arrested Development: Season One

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