Sunday, May 25, 2008

clams wear sweaters, barnacles are well endowed, and lots of other random learnings

Mark and I are up in Carlisle, MA, visiting my brother in law, Chris, my sister-in-law, Sandy, my niece, Natalie and my nephews, Zach and Jon. I flew up to Rhode Island for work last Monday (5/19) and then Mark flew up on Thursday to spend the long weekend with me and his brother and family. We fly home tomorrow after a long fun weekend. Here are some random musings from my trip:

1. Clams wear sweaters. Soft-shelled clams, also known as long neck clams or pisser (pronounced pissah) clams are steamed and then the clam meat must be pulled from the shell. With other clams I have eaten, this is all you have to do before dipping the clams in butter and popping them in your mouth. With these though, you then use your fingernails to carefully peel the dark rubbery nubby casing off of the long neck, much the way you would peel off a turtleneck sweater. This may not seem exciting to you, but after a very full day in which I gave TWO successful presentations (Woohoo!!), and a couple of beers, I was quite giddy over the concept of clam sweaters and peeling them off to eat yummy steamers. The wikipedia link doesn't show or mention the clam sweater, but a local New Englander described it as that and showed me what to do, so I trust her.

2. Barnacles have sex and are well endowed. If you don't believe me, you can watch this hilarious video on YouTube. I have met the guy in the baseball cap who is up for tenure at Northeastern U. this year and I am working with one of his colleagues on some park service research. We had a field visit to discuss sampling rocky intertidal areas and discussed various plants and animals including snails and barnacles which is when the subject of barnacle sex came up. Here's a pic of the type of habitat we spent the morning looking at:
After 3 days of intense all day indoor meetings in Rhode Island, this was a great place to work for the day. I can totally see why Rocky Intertidal researchers like what they do, even if it is hard work. Here's kind of a cool pic of snails predating on barnacles for the ecology nerds:
3. While I was out at this field visit, I got to peek at part of a set for Leonardo Dicaprio's upcoming movie, Ashecliffe which will be filming some scenes there. They built the bottom part of lighthouse,
and will probably use CGI for the rest. No Leo when I was there, which was probably a good thing because the movie people would have made it difficult for us to do our field work, but it coulda been cool to sneak a peek at him too :)

4. Despite all of my travels, I have shown a lot of restraint in the yarn shopping department. Ok, I haven't shown any restraint with respect to online shopping, but I haven't gone into any yarn stores in NYC, or Duluth, or Rhode Island or any of the other places I've been to recently. Yesterday, however, my very cool sister-in-law and I spent the morning out with Natalie. Among other errands, we casually stopped by 'Wild & Wooly' yarn shop in Lexington...where I couldn't resist this HUGE beautiful skein:
We're talking 800 freakin' meters of yarn awesomeness!

5. So far, Mark's sock is cruising along and I love the Misti Alpaca sock yarn:
6. Katherine commented that she wants me to make her socks, but she doesn't want to pick out the yarn herself...sorry Katherine, I'm drawing a line in the sand (or in the fiber?). Mark and I are coming up for Maggie-Fest (which I've been meaning to email you about), and we'll probably come up a few days early (which I really have to email Liz about to ask if we can stay with her). When we do, you and me and Liz and Jess (and whoever else wants to) are going to Mosaic Yarn Shop where you will inhale yarn fumes and look at pretty colors and pick out exactly what you want. You might ask why I'm insisting on this. Well, it's because I really think that at some point you will break down and start playing with yarn like the rest of us, and if inhaling the yarn fumes helps move that process along, then it is worth all of the harassment. As an aside, even Mark has gone into yarn shops with me to pick out the yarn for his socks...if he can do it, so can you :)

7. Last, but certainly not least, I am usually not good about taking pics of family, but my niece Natalie is a complete ham so I have some great pics of her. Here is a great hammy Nat pic:


  1. We definitely need to get K knitting! I think once she starts she'll be even more hooked than the rest of us. It just feels right to me.

  2. ug. you guys do not understand me.