Monday, February 27, 2006
on saturday at hockey, the ladies decided that they just wanted to scrimmage, so they picked up chris on one of the teams. he was the only guy out there, and i'm sure he had a blast. since they didn't need me to do stats, i took the ipod out once the ball was dropped. of course, it's always on shuffle, but what are the odds that the first sound that greeted me was "DAA! DAA! duuuuude looks like a laaaaady!" i cracked up. i told chris about it later, and he cracked up, too.
my english paper was due today. not only did i put it off until the last minute, but i didn't start reading the book (which was Twelfth Night, and it was awesome) until last night. i got really into it and ended up not getting any sleep at all. as you know, sleepless nights are no new thing for me, but here's the catch: i stayed in las cruces last night. so at six a.m., i headed back to socorro with a very large cup of coffee and two hours of abandoned freeway ahead of me.
at some point i made the unfortunate realization that it didn't matter how much coffee i had in my american flag travel mug, because i had grabbed the freakin' decaf. yup! so i spent a very long, long time consciously trying to keep myself awake on sheer willpower. by the time i got back to socorro, i was wired. and then i got some real coffee before class. yow.
i still haven't recovered. i feel very weird right now.
but anyway... back to the ride. of course i turned to my ipod for stimulation. during one particularly boring stretch of highway, i think i actually said out loud, "give me a good song so i don't die." and wouldn't you know it... "stayin alive." but immediately following was "another one bites the dust." thanks a lot, ipod. but then right away it threw me a bone with just what i needed. no really, "just what i needed", the cars song. tee hee.
but here's the really cool part.
earlier than that, before the sun had come up, before i realized my drink of choice was both disgusting and useless, the first song that came on was "the beautiful letdown," which is one of my very favorite switchfoot songs (i like "gone" a lot too, i use the lyrics for my away message pretty often ;) ). it's a lovely song that encourages christians to look forward to heaven, because lets face it, sometimes this world isn't so fun. it's chill, so it was the perfect song to listen to on an empty highway in the desert, when the mountains are still deep purple and the mesas are pinkish-orange and the sky is hazy blue. i love driving in the morning. i was just thinking about how pretty the song was and how pretty the desert was, when i came over a hill that looked down into a little valley that had canyon-looking walls that were all sorts of beautiful desert colors, and i gasped and thought, "i may just stay here forever."
and at that very moment, the chorus kicked in, and jon forman and his little brother started singing in their lovely voices, "i don't belong here."
and my tired little mind said, "whaaaaat? how come?"
because, of course, you're supposed to be in the world but not of the world. the song talks about how we try to fit it, but it doesn't work because this isn't our home. we're only here temporarily, for seventy or eighty years. only little kids think that's a long time. the rest of us know better. it took me about four seconds to think, "and if this is how gorgeous the desert is... just think."
so do that. just think.
but there's more. here's part of one verse:
We're still chasing our tails and the rising sun
And our dark water planet's still spinning in a race
Where no one wins and no one's one
lest i write all this off as a coincidence, can you guess what happened when ol' jon sang the words "rising sun?" at that exact second?!? well, the sun broke free of whatever purple mountain it was behind and suddenly flooded the whole road with gold. it was cool, guys. i could feel the change in temperature when the sunshine came in my windows, and suddenly everything looked and felt different. everything was so bright and warm. i couldn't see very well. considering my sleep deprivation, it was probably unsafe, but it was very, very pretty. and then the chorus came again...
i don't think it's blasphemous to say that my mp3 player was blessed with good timing, as long as i know who is doing the blessing.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
have you ever played that game, imagine if? people take turns being the subject of a silly pretend question. for example:
imagine if scuba steve were a local news celebrity! for what would he be famous?
1. incredible athletic ability
2. a political scandal
3. a brilliant invention
4. the latest best-seller
5. running for office
6. setting the record for a police chase
(in scuba's case, the answer would be a unanimous number three. what a nerd!) after the card is read, everybody votes, and whoever ends up in the majority gets to advance a square. it's interesting because it's not what you think about yourself that matters, it's what everybody else thinks about you. it's fun. try it out.
but one of the questions in this game got me to thinking.
imagine if *your name here* were a beatle. which beatle would he/she be?
this question stumps me. how can you just lump people into those categories? how do you know which beatle you are? and more importantly, how does everyone else know which beatle you are? how does everyone else even know which beatle the beatles are? not everyone is a beatlemaniac! this question borders on irresponsibility to me.
of course i shared these concerns with scuba steve. he suggested, since i am the resident beatlemaniac, that i write a quiz that would assign a member of the fab four to the reader. well.
a while back, kate and i wrote the disney princess and disney villian quizzes, which are both very fun, but this is different. i am not a princessmaniac. and they aren't real people. and, when i wrote the princess quiz, i subconsciously wrote it with a bias towards belle, who i am the most like. this will not do for a beatles quiz.
here's the thing. i don't like john. of course, i couldn't do without his music, but i wouldn't want to be him and i wouldn't really want to be his friend. cheating on your wife is one of those unforgivables in my book, even if you are very famous. so, subconsciously, i would write with a bias against john. i assume a lot about him.
if i wrote with a bias toward one of the four, i think it would be paul. as much as i like, no, love george harrison, i think i'm more like sir mccartney. it's the hopeless romantic thing. but then again, george was very religious, and i'm very religious... and george was a gardener, and i'm sort of a gardener...
see? this is hard!
now ringo, i like. a lot. love. if i saw him, i'd probably pee my pants. but the thing is, i like george and paul so much more that i know very little about ringo in comparison. part of that has to do with his low profile as well. at this point, disliking john, loving paul and george, and not knowing much about ringo, it would be irresponsible for me to write this quiz. unless i did my research. or wrote ringo a letter.
"dear mr. starsky,
i am currently writing the definitive beatles personality quiz, and i would like very much to not misrepresent you therein. if you could please respond to this letter with a brief statement summarizing your values, goals, political and religious beliefs, parenting creed, favorite color, and outlook on life, that would be greatly appreciated. thank you.
p.s. i love you! (sorry, i bet everyone does that. but i had to. you know...)
p.p.s. i really do love you. no joke! i admire you for being easygoing and a good sport. everyone should be a good sport like you, mr. starsky, that would make the world a better place.
p.p.p.s. i have a picture of you glued to my lamp. i'm looking at it right now. and my lamp is in the shape of a star. i call it my ringo star. because i love you!"
and it would go on (READ: digress) from there. i'd try to be professional but it would end up being just another slobbery piece of goofy fan mail. i'm so embarrassed.
okay! i'll just have to start reading that big beatles book that mike bought me last year instead of just looking at the pictures. oh, the lovely pictures! i think one of the questions in the quiz should be, "how handsome are you?" wait, no no no no!
this could take a while. i'll keep you posted, but don't hold your breath.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
so how cute is that?i really want a mouse. two, actually, because i've been doing my research and apparently they love company and i don't want my one little mouse to be sad. i will name them fishie and duckie. and i will love them forever. and they will love me. i would have them by now, but my dad has this "no creatures in the house" rule that is making things difficult.
"but," you say, "you don't live with your parents anymore. why is that a problem?"
and i say, that's a problem because i drive to las cruces every weekend to play hockey, and my extremely reliable mouse website says that i need to check on my mice every day and clean up after them. and how could i leave them alone? what if they were sad without me? what if they went into little mousie depression from not hearing me say cutesy things to them in a sugary voice?
what if i go into big person depression without little mice to say cutesy things to while i'm away?
no, leaving them behind will not do. so i have been trying to reason with my dad.
"that's not a good rule! jack lives in this house and he's a creature."
"yeah, and look how stupid he is!" (this is where my dad starts playing one of his favorite games, the "pretend to not like jack" game. he likes the dog a lot, and he would be very sad if anything happened to him. on the other hand, i am convinced that my mother really does hate poor jack. he's scared of her. but anyway, my dad never drops character, not even for a second, so i just have to play along.)
"but jack's a dog! a mouse would have it's own little box and you would never have to pet it or feed it or let it outside in the middle of the night! you don't even have to see it, if you don't want to."
"yeah right! i always end up having to take care of the animals! always!"
"come on dad, it's not like i'm seven. you won't ever have to even look at the mice. i could probably sneak them in and you wouldn't know."
"mice? you're getting two?!?"
"so they can be friends! besides, i bet two mice is a lot more fun and no more trouble."
and we went on like that. my sister wasn't helping at all, because she kept coming in and saying, "if she gets a mouse, then i want a snake!" and then my little brother would chime in with "and i want a porcupine!" or something outrageous, at which point my dad would throw up his hands and yell, "NO PETS!"
but i kept at it.
finally, he asked me how i was going to take care of them over spring break. hmm. he had a point there. i can't very well take them on a road trip to orlando and then to disneyworld, can i?
so i saw that i was beaten and took advantage. i struck a deal with my dad. if i wait until after spring break to buy the mice, can i bring them home?
he didn't quite say yes, but i'm hopeful. i can't wait! what cute little mousies!
steve and emily were at the table talking while all this went through my head. when the "duh" moment hit, i suddenly stopped touching the pretty paper and i think something dredful must have happened to my face. steve asked, "are those yours?" and i said no. then the "duh" clearly hit steve as well. he said, "oh... i think i know what these are." and he picked them up and said he'd get rid of them.
as far as i know, emily is blissfully unaware of the inter-house drama going on here. i guess that's a good thing. when people know what's going on and act like it's okay it really bothers me. i'm astonished that mike and i still have so many mutual friends. when i see them talking to him, i want to run up and yell, "do you NOT KNOW that kc is MY ROOMMATE?!?"
last night i had a dream that i was still living in the val verde house on sean, and rauni was engaged to mike. she was showing me her wedding dress and gushing about how great he was, and that he always gave her rides everywhere when her car wasn't working and always bought her stuff. i did the smile and nod thing, but i was thinking two things. first, "rauni's kind of a jerk for telling me all this. i wonder if she's trying to make me feel bad." and second, "wow, rauni's going to be really sad when mike tells her that he's actually going to marry kc. she's going to cry and cry and cry. and everybody already knows it but her. i hope she'll be okay."
so... just to clarify... that was a dream, rauni's not actually a jerk. but she is one of the people that is still friends with me and mike and kc, so who knows.
EDIT: but paul mccartney blew me a kiss!!! he did!!! he's a LOT more famous than mike, and a much cooler too, and his songs are a lot better. that's right, mike used to sing me songs. and paul's are way better. mike could never be paul. in fact, mike has also blown me kisses, and paul is better at that, too.
you know, this edit really isn't making me feel better at all. :(
Sunday, February 19, 2006
bad news: yesterday was miserable.
i thought las cruces was supposed to be warm, but it was freezing yesterday. how ironic is that? it's been gorgeous in las cruces and socorro for months, and the first day that it actually feels like winter is the day that i have to be outside for ten and a half hours. yep, from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. usually i don't mind this. but it was cold!
it was fun seeing the hockey crowd again, though i hardly saw sunshine at all and i had to give sparky a lecture about the unattractiveness of a twelve-year-old using the f-word. that was lame. seeing chris and tom and hugo sr. was fun, but hugo jr. has that bug that makes you loose your voice, so he wasn't around, and neither was ray. boo.
then there was this whole business with the scoreboard.
we've been using the same scoreboard for years and years, a big heavy awkward clumsy thing named baby, who was powered by a car battery and a controller that had to be just right to actually work. baby and her controller frequently had to be sweet-talked into functioning properly ("come on, baby.... you're pretty!"). my brother in particular was very good at this. once, he even sweet-talked baby over the phone for me.
last semester, baby got a little too high-maintenance for the league, and the board decided to spend $2300 on a new scoreboard. and it's really nice. so nice, in fact, that it's completely devoid of personality and you don't really notice it. it's boring. it works exactly like it's supposed to. and it's small. at the end of the day, tom carried it into the shed by himself.
how am i supposed to figure out what the new scoreboard's name is? how do you name something that has no personality and does what it's supposed to? my dad thought that it should be named "the count". that's funny.
and when did i discuss this with my dad? well, the count has a remote control. so i went and sat in the bleachers with my dad during andy's game and controlled the board from there. it works great.
so now i will not be confined to the tower any longer. weird! that's my tower! and in the bleachers, i can't talk schmack about the little kids or laugh at them when they dive and pretend to be hurt because i might be sitting next to their parents.
and another thing! this new scoreboard is user-friendly and actually works, and has no little quirks that you learn after years of working with it, like that the home score takes a few seconds to work, so don't press it twice right away. or that the clock gets stuck at twenty minutes and that you have to add a second just before the ref starts the game and then start the clock. anyone can use this thing! it's easy! my job security over the years has been that no one else wants to put up with the cranky scoreboard, what am i going to do now?
sigh. i miss baby. i take less pride in being the score/stat keeper when it's so bloody easy.
this would be the part of the post where i tell you about my new team, but... ha! they didn't show up, isn't that funny? ha, ha, ha... wait. that's not funny.
yesterday, my team consisted of me, gabe sanchez our goalie, and matt the new guy. for a new guy, matt was pretty good, and surprisingly, wasn't weirded out by me at all. he used to work with my brother, so he sort of knows me. but he wasn't enough to make up for the rest of the team not being there, especially since i haven't been feeling well and both of us are out of shape. since junior was sick, senior took his place, and we played the first half with no subs.
it was rough. the other team had a bench full of subs and was doing fine, but i was tired ten minutes into the game. matt said he was tired before we started. this wouldn't have been so bad, except i was playing my brother's team, and he and i have been hyping this up all week. ouch. needless to say, we lost. it wasn't a blowout, but... let's just say that the outcome of the game was never in question. some of the older players helped us out in the second half, but it was too late by then.
but i did manage to stuff my brother twice. take that! and i knocked him over twice, too. with twelve seconds left in the game, he and collin attacked me in a two-on-one. collin's pretty good at those. well, he passed to nick, who scored. he rubbed my face in it, which i would have done to him. he said, "that was for you, holly!" thanks.
just kidding, i love him.
at the end of that long, cold day, i was sore, sunburned, humbled, freezing, coughing, and probably well on my way to that bug that makes you loose your voice. but i played well, and danny, nick, and pete dinger scored goals for me. yay hockey!
next week will be better.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
on monday i made a bunch of valentines (which was really more like drawing pictures and writing letters) for all my friends, and i bought lots of candy to hand out as well (nerds and smarties, of course. you are what you eat!). on tuesday night, there were actually eleven people over at my house for dinner, and we had so much fun! carmen made the salad and the bread (and the bread looked beautiful, it was incredible), and i made the spaghetti.
i really pride myself on my spaghetti sauce. i know, i know, it's pretty easy to make, but i put green chile and other secret things into it, and most times, people can't tell exactly what makes it taste the way it does. i love showing it off. steve insisted that i make a batch with no olives or mushrooms, which i agreed to, grudgingly, but i told everybody that the veggie one was better. and it was.
dinner was a blast. we had our friends from church and their two little kids come over, and they were cracking everybody up with their little kid-ness. and then the whole leader's team was here (jesse, scuba, and chris), and scott and steve and carmen and me. we listened to elvis and frank and ate (a lot) and danced (a little) and threw spaghetti on the wall to see if it was done and had SO much fun.
after dinner, since valentine's day was a tuesday, we had an iv meeting. this one was special, because we put together a panel of four married couples (including carmen and steve!) to tell their love stories and give advice and answer a few questions. i was a little worried that it would be awkward, but it was great! it was the best large group meeting we've had in a long time. scuba did a great job being the mc and moving things along, and the couples all had drastically different love stories, so it was very interesting. and sweet. :)
i got two valentines, and they were both kinda dark. okay, really dark. hmm, what does that say about me? my friend peter drew me a picture of a zombie that said, "i love you for your braaaaaaaaaiiins!!!" that cracked me up. i'm sorry if that seems weird to you, but... it's so funny. and scott bought me the corpse bride. talk about a perfect valentine's day gift. i love that movie.
okay, go ahead and psychoanalyze. i don't care! i know, i'm a weird girl who likes creepy things, but i like cute things, too! i have a care bears calendar! look, it's right over there! and i like flowers! and puppies!
but to be honest, both those valentines were a lot better than the disney princess fruit snacks and hang 'em high that i got from mike last year. what a loser. i mean, fruit snacks? and hang 'em high?!? that's not romantic. not at all!
Monday, February 13, 2006
but that's not what this post is about.
so here's the scene. this morning i had a meeting with ghosh and nat. i had emailed dr. ghosh earlier today with all the research i did this weekend. when i got to the meeting, he printed a copy of the email and asked me to read it out loud to him. of course, i sent him the email so he could read it himself, but after the initial puzzlement, wondering if he was really serious, i humored him. the meeting went downhill from there.
soon i was off the hook and ghosh was badgering nat about the pump apparatus. the following conversation/mental dialog was the result. (note: of course, i took some liberties with what ghosh and nat were thinking, but i'd be willing to bet it's pretty close.)
ghosh says: how are you going to control the flowrate?
i think: we already talked about this.
nat thinks: we already talked about this.
nat says: well, like i said befo-
ghosh says: what about using a... a... sal-LINE? like for sal-LINE? like the bag? yes?
i think: i think he means saline.
nat says: you mean like an iv bag?
nat thinks: are you insane?!? that's the worst idea ever!
ghosh thinks: this is the best idea ever!
ghosh says: that would be good, because it can work with very very small flowrates. and you can set it at the top!
i think: okay, come on, no laughing. you will not laugh! yeah, screw your mouth around, they won't see.
nat doesn't even know where to start thinking about all the reasons that an iv bag wouldn't work.
nat says: i'm pretty sure that won't work...
ghosh says: well, you can look into it. you can research it and do a websearch. and you can go to the hospital in socorro and ask if you can look at the bags to see if they will work. i think they will be very very useful.
i think: has ghosh ever BEEN to a hospital?
nat thinks: this is just great. my future is in your hands. why oh why oh WHY didn't i go to NMSU for grad school?!?
ghosh thinks: why is he not getting this?
ghosh says: you understand? the sa-LINE bag? yes?
nat says: i really don't think that will work, because those bags aren't very big, and they are sealed, so you can't refill them. the experiment will need much more fluid than is in the bag.
ghosh says: well perhaps there are many sizes. perhaps there is a much larger size. you'll look into it.
nat thinks: where? at the HOSPITAL FOR GIANTS?!?
i think: chew on that pen. chew it! you WILL NOT LAUGH!
ghosh says: you'll look into it. they can be very very useful.
ghosh thinks: what is his problem?
nat envisions beating his own head against the wall.
nat says: right.
ghosh says: now, i think you can get this done by... let's see, today is monday... tuesday?
i think: as in tomorrow? are you nuts?
nat thinks: as in tomorrow? are you nuts? are you?!? NUTS?!? oh, my head... whatever.
nat says: right.
ghosh thinks: hey, i forgot to do something.
ghosh says: i have to go talk to rosemary and sign something! discuss this problem!
and then he got up and ran off.
i couldn't hold it in anymore, i cracked up, and nat did something between cracking up and yelling with frustration. we spent the next several minutes swapping "this one time with ghosh" stories. he told me that he and ghosh have two entirely different plans for this project, and that ghosh's "grand scheme" (his words, not mine) involves calibrating several of these sensors and putting them in the stupid, stupid foam. you know, the foam that pablo and i spent half the summer filling with water. ghosh thinks this will make a pseudo-brain that will tell us all kinds of things about head injuries.
nat just wants to do his thesis on carbon nanotubes.
it's completely unrealistic. kind of like using an iv bag to control the flowrate of a system involving over ten gallons of --not saline-- but hydrochloric acid!
so yes. nat talked to me. we bonded over the absurdities of ghosh's highly motivated, but badly-overdue-for-a-reality-check brain. go figure.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
today i was randomly assigned to a discussion group including stach, pablo (my co-worker from this summer who is suddenly taking the course), and a rather unfortunate boy whom i will call lumberjack man due to the unflattering things i plan to say about him later.
stach was being his regular know-it-all self, talking too loud, cracking bad jokes, and pulling things out of the air and passing them off as facts. my favorite was the comment that there were no STDs in olde england. what an idiot. but i had to set him straight when he proved that he really hadn't read the material for that day.
"no stach," i said, "that bull was the re-incarnation of a bitter pig-keeper." (which, though less believable than stach's theory, was actually the right answer.)
"oh, i must have missed that." he replied lamely.
then pablo chimed in, "well, it was a pretty big part of the story..." and caught my eye with a look that clearly said, is this guy serious?
enter lumberjack man. very impressive beard. he would have the look down if he didn't wear flip flops all the time. carmelita can't stand this kid, mostly because he gave her a good deal of extra work to do while she was an RA. despite being fiercely loyal to my friends, i didn't really care about him one way or the other. but a flicker of "oh, he's not so bad" entered my heart when lumberjack man, in turn, put stach in his place.
he's no dummy, got to give him that.
mott ordered that we all form a big circle for group discussion. is it me, or do humanities classes double as group psycho-therapy?
i moved quickly so i wouldn't have to sit next to stach, and ended up sitting between pablo and lumberjack man. that's when i noticed that he's disgusting. i mean, really. very very dirty. i was totally grossed out. so much that when he began to vigorously scratch his head, i couldn't help but lean away from him. and then he proceeded to... how shall i put this delicately.... well, if bertie botts needed a man to test his bogey-flavored beans, lumberjack man would be the person to speak to. yes, i'm sure.
so i had lumberjack man on my right, stach still saying ridiculous things somewhere to my left, and some goofball across the circle who's favorite answer was "coco butter." which the teacher bought, oddly enough.
after class mott came up to me and said, "i noticed that you had a skeptical look on your face for most of the discussion. you should speak up more!"
if he only knew...
i saw the reincarnation of james dean today. no kidding, he goes to my school now. we're talkin' red jacket, white t-shirt, ripped jeans, the sideburns, the cigarette, the thick-rimmed glasses... this guy even had the attitude down. i don't know what it is about the james dean attitude that people normally can't imitate, but whatever it was, this guy had it. it's not just the tough guy edge.... i think you also have to be mildly interested and willing to crack a few jokes to really nail the 'tude.
well done, strange techie. well done.
Monday, February 06, 2006
anyway, a deck is just the board. no wheels, no chassis, just very expensive wood and paint. the best decks, if you're a snobby skateboarder like my bro, are zero, element, and girl. he picked out a zero one. okay.
the prices on these things are amazing. i'm not complaining, because i like spending money on my little brother, snob skateboarder that he is, but what about the kids with no doting big sisters? just buying the deck, two chassis (can i make that word plural?), and four wheels, according to my calculations on saturday, cost about $140. that's without the screws and bolts and tools to put the things together. and since andy's old element board is only about six months old and needs replacing, apparently they don't last very long.
how do kids afford these things?
though it's expensive and i think the skateboard execs are making a killing, i support this hobby of my brother's. other than skating, he's into video games, hockey, school, and the saxophone. apparently he's unusually talented at the sax, but he doesn't really care. he's fine with being "just okay." same with video games and school. and hockey, much to the frustration of his former-coach brother and sister.
but skateboarding he loves. he tries. he practices for hours and hours, despite his ADD tendencies. it's something that he wants to be better at, and he's improving! my parents aren't as enthusiastic, since they thing skating somehow makes his grades worse, but i'm excited that he's actually trying to be better at something. i'm excited that he's excited.
hence the overpriced pinkish zero deck. i hope it lasts longer than the greenish element.
honorable mentions: the "quit smoking" commercial with all the people picking their noses. funny but sad. the fedex cavemen were also pretty good.
third place: the "don't judge too quickly" ameriquest commercials. ha, ha! they were great.
second place: macgyver's mastercard commercial. that was brilliant. richard dean anderson looks awful, but the commercial was pure marketing genius.
first place: hummer. okay, maybe i'm biased because i love those old goofy monster movies, but come on! it was great!
it starts out as a corny "big lizard vs. robot" scam, but instead of destroying each other, the two menaces fall in love. lizard (who of course is a girl) gets knocked up and gives birth to a hummer, who is .... wait for it... a little monster.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
we will be researching the much-celebrated geek buzzword, single-walled carbon nanotubes. very hot right now. the main thing we are doing is trying to reproduce the results of an experiment that correlates the velocity of fluid flow over the nanotubes to a voltage that the tubes produce. and when i say "we," i mean me, ghosh, two very important (and also very nice) ladies in the chemistry department, and ghosh's grad student, nat*.
meet nat. nat is the punchline to every engineer and grad student joke i've ever heard. i've been working with him for almost two weeks, and he has yet to say my name or make eye contact. in fact, until yesterday he hadn't really even spoken to me, but when i asked him if he had my email address he had to say "no" and hand me his pen so i could write it down.
you'd think this would be awkward, but it's so amusing. between him and ghosh i am constantly bombarded by quirky techno-weenie social graces. the hardest, i think, to not laugh at is when ghosh asks nat a rediculous question, and nat just stares at him. i can almost see his brain thinking furiously, "what are you talking about?!? are you insane?!? how did you get your phD?!?" but all that eventually comes out is, "what do you mean?"
this is high-quality humore, friends. and i get paid for it.
*and yeah, i changed his name.