turkey day

thanksgiving was pretty successful, i'd have to say.
gregg cleans up alright, it turns out... despite all my worrying, he managed to come through and not just survive my family but even managed to impress them. Macallan scotch and being a closet Coug for the win.
all in all not a bad turkey day.


giving thanks

it's that holiday again, the one on which we are supposed to reflect and give thanks for all that we have. i have plenty to be thankful for, to be sure, this year more than others, it seems. i'll spare you the list, but needless to say i do not live a life of need.

this year, thanksgiving is going to be an adventure; not only am i bringing the new boyfriend to meet my family, but we are having a huge dinner with 18 people. i've never had a thanksgiving that large, and i'm not sure i've ever seen 18 people crammed into my grandparents' house, but it'll be fun.

we're going to have:
my grandparents (all 3 surviving)
my parents, my brother, my sister
myself, the boy
aunt and uncle (mom's older sister and her husband)
aunt, uncle and cousin (mom's younger brother, his wife and their 6-year-old)
aunt (dad's younger sister), her 11-year-old daughter
aunt's fiancee and his 24-year-old son.

and that's just the people, that's not the food. there'll be more than enough food, i hope.

should be interesting.


early november

and we're a third of the way through november now. past the midpoint between the equinox and the solstice, so more than a quarter of the way through the dark part of the year, and coming into the darkest. i kind of enjoy it, though, when it's pitch black by 5:45. except for the whole commuting in the dark thing... makes me glad i have good lights on my bike. (thanks in no small part to a certain someone who makes sure i am well illuminated.)

i've never been particularly prone to seasonal affective disorder; in fact, some of the deepest depths of my depression were during the summer. the lack of light doesn't seem to affect much other than my sleep schedule; however, with other factors at work on my sleep schedule these days i have found myself out of bed by 7:30 and out the door before 8:30 most mornings, instead of ignoring the alarm clock through 10 snooze cycles and bombing down the hill at 9:00, then pretending to be on time to work. plus, the mornings are still nice and light right now, so it's like i'm wasting daylight if i'm not up and at 'em before 8.

grad school application deadlines are rapidly approaching; i'm trying not to panic. they'll get done, i'm sure, it's just a matter of sitting down and writing. and filling out damn online forms. harvard wants not only a transcript, but also a form-based enumeration of all the classes i took in my major field of study, in related fields of study, and in mathematics. plus $90, by credit card, for the privilege of applying to their university. it is where i want to go, though, and i'm really excited by the research going on there, so I'll buck up and pay the fees. I'll just bitch and moan about it in the process.

it's a three day weekend, which is awesome, and which also means that my new sweetie and i will have a day off in common this weekend. this has never happened before; it should be fun.

and, completely unrelated, here's a picture from the latest episode in bicycle hooliganery:


seasonal obscenities

my morning commute is fun, but it can be harrowing at times. today was no exception - i had no fewer than 4 close calls on my way in. one or two of them were my fault - i was not paying attention and was irritated at lights for being red - but the others were caused by drivers being inconsiderate. like when the bus decides to pass me just as the road narrows and cars are parked in my travel path, forcing me to move left. or the jackass whose boat was hanging out into the intersection long after the light had changed.

being that it's halloween, the phrase which popped into my head to yell (i usually don't actually yell, i just mutter, or think rude things at drivers) was not the usual "eat a dick!", but the more seasonal "eat a VAMPIRE dick!"

i don't know where i come up with these things. i think that riding with other aggressive riders makes me more inclined to ride like a bat out of hell, which will probably come up and bite me in the ass someday. until that day, though, i just keep in mind: rubber side down!


tessa says

i need to update my blog. so here it is, blog update. :p

she's probably referring to something specific that she wants me to post about, but i think i'm going to be oblique about it and not say anything direct. ha! take that, tessa.
in other news, life is good, the weather is getting cold but not too terribly rainy, and i have a shitload of work to get done in the next week. it's coming along, but essays refuse to write themselves. which is kinda frustrating, especially when there's other stuff i'd rather be doing.

also in other news, my cousin krissy got engaged over the weekend! congratulations to her and her fiance, corey. i think they'll probably make it. he is a great guy.


it's wet

and suddenly october is half over, and november is quickly approaching. it's been wet, warm and wet, the last few days, and we've had some decent winds too. this is what happens in seattle during la nina, evidently.

i'm really falling in love with this city all over again this year. it makes me very sad that i will probably be leaving it in less than a year.

we've entered a season of lots of work, work and stress. it seems like it happens every fall, things just get busy and hard. but at the same time, i'm really enjoying life, and trying to live every moment of it. it's put me outside on my bike a lot, but at the same time it's keeping me from a lot of the work that i need to do.

but for now, i'm going to go enjoy the fact that i can sleep in tomorrow. one of my favorite things, sleeping.


reduce carbon!

so i just had an extremely nerdy revelation: all this talk of "reducing carbon" is, well, accurate.

we want to reduce carbon. as in, the opposite of oxidizing it.

now, i don't know how many of you remember high school chemistry and the concept of REDOX, but i'll try to make it simple. When we're talking about carbon (which cycles throughout the atmosphere, from plants photosynthesizing CO2 into sugars and other organisms breaking it back down), oxidation is the process that animals do (breaking it apart from other atoms and attaching it to oxygen), and reduction is the process that plants do. Anything that takes energy from carbon-based materials, be them hydrocarbons such as those found in gasoline, or simple sugars or even proteins that animals eat, is oxidizing the carbon. It's outputting CO2. Processes which remove CO2 from the atmosphere (which, last time I checked, all the environmentalists were advocating) are reducing carbon.

So Al Gore is right when he says that we need to reduce carbon. We need to reduce more carbon than we're reducing right now, that's for sure.



why is it that when i most need to write, i am least motivated and least able to focus on writing? i know it's not panic time yet (which may be why i'm not particularly focused yet), but i still know i should be working on many of the things i have due in the next couple of months. instead, i just sit here staring at my keyboard, noticing just how dirty it has become (designed by highly trained engineers at apple, it seems, specifically to collect dirt and crumbs and skin cells) and not allowing it to be a tool in the formation of my thoughts into words.



So I rode in my first cyclocross race today, and I have to say: it was EXTREMELY fun. Aside from the fact that I had to haul myself out of bed at 7:15 this Saturday morning, it was a good time. My friend Matthew races too, and was nice enough to give me and my bike a ride to the race (up in Kenmore) so I didn't have to leave hella early and ride my bike there.

Cyclocross is a different kind of bike racing: instead of riding on pavement, you're riding on grass, dirt, gravel and even occasionally sand. Plus there are barriers, where you have to dismount and jump over (with your bike) and get back on and ride, all without stopping. I'm not so good at this part yet, so I did end up kind of stopping a little on the remount a few times, but I am getting the hang of the dismount. Not that I'm fast, but it was mostly just hella fun. The barriers and the varied terrain of course make CX slower than road racing, but the top performers are often the same people and are by no means less fit than road racers. Also, at this one at least, there was a beer garden (bonus!) and Matt offered to buy the first beer for anyone in our bike club that rode and finished the race (double bonus!) So after my race (which was first) and the mens' equivalent race (in which a few of my friends were riding, and which was second) we all stood around in the beer garden heckling and cheering on the later, faster, better racers.

The best part about doing a CX race is that you can eat whatever you want afterwards. Because really, spending 40 minutes (which was how long my race was; i think i came in around 39:00) at or near your maximum heart rate, riding a bike up and down hills and running and jumping barriers is a good workout and burns hella calories.

I ended up finishing 8th out of 15 women in my category; not a bad showing for my first race. My average lap time was 9:35, while the women who won were closer to 7:30, but... like I said, being my first race and being as out of shape as I am (trip to HI, no bike...) I think I did pretty darn well.

After the race, Matt needed to stop at REI, so I tagged along and once again demonstrated my inability to enter that store and exit without spending over $100. OTOH, I picked up some much-needed gear (floor pump; front light; new tubes) and only one overpriced fun gadget - a heart rate monitor watch. So now, if I'm wearing the chest strap sensor, I can see what my heart is doing at all times, and make my workouts more efficient. Hopefully the fun gadgetry will make me more inclined to actually work out, rather than just riding with my beerbike club twice a week. I can see CX being a really fun way to keep in shape this winter... and who knows, after a few more races, I might actually get faster.


i love seattle

because only in seattle can four semi-randomly selected members of a given bike club, standing around enjoying tropical drinks in chilly weather, discuss the latest xkcd comic and not have to explain to a single party present either the nature of the webcomic (because everyone reads it) or the joke (because everyone has experienced the ballmer peak, firsthand).


it's fall in seattle

i left perpetual summer (albeit a slightly cloudy one) around 9:30 last night and arrived in wet, chilly autumn at 6:30 this morning. the sun has since come out, but it's very definitely the dark half of the year; yesterday at this time the sun was directly overhead and now it's clear over *there*.

the fact that the sun is out has made it harder for me to sleep as i was planning this morning; damn east-facing apartment. i did catch a few z's on the plane, but they were not peaceful cozy z's, they were uncomfortable and slightly paranoid. (i've been having wacky dreams the last few nights; wonder if it's the full moon.)

oh, and to add to the complaint pile: the one working USB port on my laptop seems to have given way, meaning all the pictures i haven't yet uploaded to flickr (and the rest of the 680someodd i took on the trip which i wasn't going to subject the entire world to) are in limbo on that computer. i guess i'll take it into a genius and see what they have to say... but according to brian it could be the motherboard, so it might just not be worth fixing. i'll have to get firewire devices or something.

anyway, i'm going to read now, in hopes that it'll eventually make me sleepy and i can get a nap in before critical mass this evening. it's been too long since i've ridden a bike; to get to go out and do it with a fuckton of people today is just too exciting to pass up.


it is a big island

so i'm here on the island of hawai'i, the big island, so big that all the other Hawaiian islands could fit on top of it. so far i've seen the town of kailua-kona, and the northern half of the island.
the sun is huge here, especially at sunset. (the zoom lens doesn't hurt either.)
so are the waves.
the landscapes are so varied, within a half hour drive you can go from completely barren desert to lush green rainforest...
there are so many microclimates on this island it's amazing. you can see many of them at once from some lookout points... and the sunsets over the ocean are always stunning.



so yesterday i hiked across the crater of haleakala, the volcano that makes up the east half of maui. it was a pretty awesome journey, 12 miles across the crater of a "dormant" (not technically, since it erupted in 1790, but dormant enough) volcano. "haleakala" means "house of the sun", and according to hawaiian legend, it was the place where maui, the demigod, went to lasso the sun so that his mother could have more daylight.

i'm in the process of uploading photos from the trip, but the internets are slow here at the hostel since it's free wifi, so it might take awhile. so for now, have a picture of the sunset on friday night, off my friend Cass's parents' lanai in napili, on the northwest coast of maui:



so i arrived here in maui about an hour ago, after a long damn plane ride and a quick trip from the airport to my hostel. it's a pretty sweet place here, i've got a bed in a room with 4 other women, and the common areas of the hostel are pretty well populated.

no time for photography tonight, unfortunately... we flew in at sunset, and being on the east side of the mountains it got dark pretty quickly. it's also cooled off; it was 90 and muggy when we landed, and the airport is pretty much all open air, which makes it a bit warm.

i'm probably going to crash out pretty early tomorrow, since i'm still on pacific time, rather than hawaii time. it's a 3 hour time difference, so it's like flying from new york to seattle. tired early, awake early (or so i'm hoping). maybe i'll be up in time to catch the sunrise? maybe not. we'll see.

anyway, i think i'm going to get a little reading or maybe some writing done, and then crash out pretty early. it'll take me a few days to get adjusted to island time...


bryce a. lewis, 19 years old

was the cyclist killed by the dump truck on friday. he had just moved here from colorado less than a month ago, and was in love with the city. he loved riding bikes, and fixing bikes, and was also an artist and a musician.

he was just a kid. this is so fucking tragic.

i spoke with his roommate last night, down at the crash site. she is also the girlfriend of caleb, the other cyclist. all i could do was reach out to her... i had no words. i cannot imagine the grief she must feel, and all of his family and friends. not having known him, grief is not part of my direct experience with this tragedy, though i do feel a sense of loss.

as i stood there and snapped pictures of the memorial, i couldn't help but feeling a bit guilty for capturing this moment of grief... as the young woman knelt to light candles next to a sign which read "BRYCE WE LOVE + MISS YOU SO MUCH", a tragic and painful smile on her face...


and stenciled on the street, in the bike lane on eastlake and the right lane on fuhrman:

my conversation with lauren did make me feel better about the slightly activist nature of the response to his death: his family and his friends are 100% behind our efforts to raise the visibility of this horrible tragedy. the more people know about what happened here, the less likely it is to happen again.

ride safe, boys and girls. cyclists and drivers.


overwhelmed. a strange, crushing emptiness pressing me into my chair.

cyclist killed by dump truck at an intersection I cross every single morning.

an intersection I can't reasonably avoid crossing. every day. a cyclist, riding in the bike lane, obliterated by a dump truck making a right turn.

what's the answer? what could have been done? do we need a special bike signal at that bridge, like there is by the fremont bridge? no right turns allowed from eastlake to fuhrman?

a dedicated right turn lane, with a dashed stripe and an arrow? (hey, now there's an idea!)

stupid fucking trucks to use their damn turn signals, and be aware of the fact that there's a bike lane?

or stupid fucking cyclists to slow down, ride more carefully and for fuck's sake don't ride without a front brake* in this city FTLOG!!??!11? (this is seattle, we have hills. this isn't a fucking velodrome.)

(*edit: he did have a front brake. he was not wearing a helmet, but it's unlikely a helmet would have helped in this situation.)

this hurts me. physically. fresh from my first major crash (bike vs. pavement, no other vehicles involved, thankfully), recovering from the inevitable loss of confidence brought on by some minor road rash and a bit of a bonk, only to have this happen. on a route i take every single day.

did i know him? have i ever seen someone on that bike at a ride?

how many more senseless deaths will it take?

christfuck. words cannot express.

it's friday

it was brought to my attention last night that I haven't been blogging with much regularity recently. As I explained (and as my archives will attest), i tend to go through phases as far as blogging is concerned, and i've learned the hard way about divulging too much in this seemingly protected forum. When I'm blogging less, it generally means that I'm living more, and the past few weeks have been no exception.

August was a busy month, and the first few days of September have offered little reprieve from the insanity. Between putting together a show of my photography (all month at the copper vine, 1315 E Pine, check it out if you're in seattle! better yet, come to my opening, 6-9pm, next Tues. the 11th), taking pictures with my bike for the bike girls' calendar, taking the damn GRE, and work, I've been booked. Solid.

It's not goign to get better over the next few months, but it will be slightly less insane for a few weeks. I leave in less than a week for more than 2 weeks on islands far from any continent, during which time I hope to work on my tan and write my grad school application statements.

today, however, is no reprieve: I've got 17 batches of fish in the incubator, at various stages of treatment. If all goes well I should get a good dose-response curve from one of the mutants we've been working with, and possibly find a few heterozygous pairs of another. then I have to take down other fish for a screening run I'm doing next week, take pictures of fish slices so that the EM guy knows what he's looking at, scan negatives from this week's EM runs... oh, and see if the agarose I need came in, and if it did, run out on a gel the products from yesterday's PCR.



someone needs to tell people to stop making webcomics. i do need to get things done besides read webcomics...

it was inevitable

so this morning, for the first time ever, i made the classic molecular biology mistake: mixing up the leads on the gel box.



i heart auditory neuroscience

i've been on a bit of a brian eno kick the last week or so. i just impulse-bought another of his albums: nerve net, from 1992. it's really interesting music. as you should expect from mr. eno. he's better than anyone at creating aural landscapes: check out his "music for airports". it is absolutely just that - listening to it you feel as if you're waiting for a flight or changing planes. "nerve net" is a bit less ambient and a bit more upbeat, but it's still very richly-textured, slowly-evolving ear candy. i'm a fan. more than that, i think that he's probably got a decent grasp on how auditory cortex works and how music really is formulas, and you can use these formulas to create a predictable outcome in the listener's experience.

i've been reading jeff hawkins' on intelligence, and i'm not quite far enough in to do much in-depth analysis, except to say that i think he's missing a huge point, but i will withhold final judgement until i'm finished with the book. but it's got me thinking about computational models of cortex, and ways to simulate how our brain works, or at least to understand it. hawkins holds to the theory that there's a common cortical algorithm; that is to say, all parts of cortex, whether auditory, visual, etc. use the same fundamental method to find patterns in the environment. it's an interesting idea, and i definitely think there's probably some truth to it. but to say that in an adult human, visual cortex is the same as auditory cortex is the same as prefrontal cortex isn't exactly going to be accurate. though it's been shown that developmentally, they are interchangeable. anyway... too soon to know for sure, i'll have to finish the book and then wait 20 years before i can really know whether or not he's right.

(side note: watch hawkins give a talk on how brain science is going to change computing. he's a big-picture thinker, that's for sure.)

the question that remains, of course, is what that cortical algorithm is, how it works. and, of course, whether it's still too early to understand the cortex fully, because we don't completely understand all the underlying structures, and since the cortex is like built on top of and inextricably intertwined with the "lower" brain structures, without a bottom-up understanding our top-down knowledge will be incomplete.

post-gre post

(aww, hell. this is post #1134 to this blog. reminds me of the days of spelling out bad words on old one-line calculators.)

so... i basically took the GRE yesterday and told it where to stick it. i am the boss of that test. i pwned it, even. it's over now, which is awesome.

so it's time to shift my thinking away from the highly specific reality of the GRE and towards the much more nebulous world of science. in which i do PCR and occasionally write some stuff. yay, science. more later, on science, most likely.


pre-gre post

so t -13 hours until i go take the damn GRE. i really can't wait until i'm done with it; at the same time i wish i'd taken preparation a bit more seriously... though i don't think i'm at risk of really sucking. whatever; it'll all be over soon, and like hell i'm going to pay another $150 to take the test again, no matter how poorly i do.

it'll be one more hoop down, i guess... and how many yet to jump through? i made a list today of the ETS codes for schools i'm thinking of applying to; i haven't really done much thinking or paring down of lists, or even writing emails to professors or anything. once the gre is done, i have to get started on that.

i've whittled it down to a list of 6 7 schools and 89 programs...
UW (2 programs?)
U of Oregon
Stanford (?)
Berkeley (??)

i've also been weighing relative merits of different schools and their respective environments. the west coast has the benefit of being close to home, as well as a much more moderate climate. the east coast has the benefit of being in the center of everything, but has disadvantages in being so far away and having so much weather.

in terms of ranking, or probability of me deciding to go there, assuming i get in everywhere on my list, right now the list stands at: UW, Oregon/UCSD (tie), UCSF/Stanford/Berkeley(tie), Harvard/Columbia. and since i'm not likely to get into harvard and noplace else... i'm not so sure why i'm applying to so damn many programs.





please stop loving me
please stop loving me
i am none of these things

-the cure

trying to curate a show of my own photography is a good way to ensure that i decide my camera sucks, my pictures suck, my eye sucks, my light sucks, and my show is going to suck.

i think i have the pictures picked out, but i'm panicking about resolution. i want to print at least 1 at like 12x16, but due to memory restrictions i shoot at 3MP, which means 2048x1536 pixels. when the shot is perfectly in focus that is ok, but. my shots are not always in perfect focus.

gah. i really overcommitted myself for this month. i'll be glad when it's over, when i have everything done. then next month - hey, i haven't mentioned this here yet! - i'm going to hawaii. fuck yes.


monday monday monday

wow, that didn't feel like a weekend at all. flying out to spokane on friday night, wedding saturday, hangover and drive home sunday, not exactly relaxing and chillaxing. it was fun though, and it was great to see everyone on that side of the family - don't get to do that much.

and now it's monday morning, and i have to figure out what all i'm doing this week. besides riding bikes/buying bike parts/playing with bikes/fixing bikes. because i have to pay the bills... you know, that work thing.

contemplating entering a cyclocross race or two this fall, as if i didn't already have enough to do.

OK! time to work on writing. grant proposal + personal statements for grad school apps. whee!


the fun(ding) game

So i'm in the beginning phases of writing my first major grant - an NSF graduate student research fellowship. It's basically about $120,000 over 3 years, most of which is stipend but also includes $10K for research costs and a fund for international travel for the purposes of research. So far, it's just a few ideas floating around in my head, and a bunch of brainstorm notes in a notebook. Hopefully before Nov. 7 it will be a fully-formed, scientifically sound, and relevant question.

Obvs I'm not going to talk about the scientific details of my proposal, at least until it's turned in, but suffice it to say it is generally about vertebrate nervous system development. And that it should be good. We'll see though.

Between now and the new year, I have 2 GRE exams, 5 to 8 grad school applications, and 1 NSF grant proposal to finish. And that's just stuff for work/school.

Before the 1st of September, I have 1 GRE exam, 5 photos to take (with me as model, not photographer), a show of my own photography to curate (all September at the Copper Vine), and a wedding to attend. And that's not counting all the data I need to collect on the fishies.

Fun stuff...


now with words

Nothing more depressing than having 2 digits worth of money in my checking account. Paycheck should be coming through within a day or two, but in the meantime I can't really afford to buy food (or anything for that matter). Always fun.

Random thoughts: someone (someone we'll call M for blog-sakes) has been trying to convince me to get into cyclocross racing. I do have the bike for it, and evidently I have the body as well. It'd take some training (and it's too late for this season and so I would have to wait until next year) but it could be fun. After my top-7 (out of ~30-40) finish at Greenlake last month and my top-20 (out of 200+) finish at the Dead Baby Downhill this past weekend, I'm starting to think that he might be right; this could be something I could do. Ability and motivation are entirely different things though; I need the latter much more than the former. What I really need is to develop a little M-voice in my head, much like the old mom-voice, that says "hey! get off your ass and go _______!"

Wish I could leave work yet, but I have to go set up fish and I haven't found out yet how many I need to set. Fucking work. Oh wait, I get a paycheck for this stuff. Cool.


dead baby downhill



fry day

another week down, wtf? my second week of full-time work, y'know, like with a paycheck and everything. i'm pretty excited about that; cash flow is always a good thing. things are still a little slow as i'm trying to get into the swing of things. there's not a lot to do when you don't have fish; i have to come in on saturday to set some up. there's a 6-day turnaround between setting up breeding pairs and having larvae to screen, so it'll be next friday before the fish from tomorrow's cross are ready to be experimented with. but once i get into the pattern, figure out what days i'm doing what with which fish, my productivity should skyrocket. crank out that data left and right.

what else? lots of riding bikes. yesterday was a very decent ride, put in significant mileage and had a good time while doing it. went and visited mobius cycles downtown, and had fun riding around their lounge/art gallery space:
that's me on a fixie, trying to trackstand. the picture makes me look a lot better at it than i really am; i think i held that for about a second before falling out of it. oh well; once my old sekai is converted i'll be able to practice a lot more. :D


good morning sunshine

it was a slow wakeup this morning, and i'm still running about half-speed. not good for a day i have to leave work early... oh well. i'm planning on coming back in for another few hours after dinner to get some things fully done before meeting tomorrow. but this afternoon is the bike protest to tell the city how we feel about their decision to not stripe bike lanes down stone way. we're anticipating a pretty huge turnout. should be good.

ok, time to work.


harry potter

ok, you've had a week, so i'm going to write now about how i felt about the harry potter book.

my initial reaction to finishing was anger and disappointment. i felt cheated by some cheap plot tricks that were just too convenient, and i hated the epilogue.

that said, overall, i guess it's exactly what we should have expected from the end of harry potter. and i did like it, i really did. i ate that book up like candy, finishing it probably 28 hours after i bought it. it was satisfying, since who doesn't love an epic that ends well, but... and I guess I have had these feelings throughout the series... but I thought the end was a little too traditional-values. be a hero, grow up, marry a nice girl and have a flock of children. meh.




dreaming in stereo

i had a dream about bikes last night.

it's not particularly surprising, since i spent all last night riding bikes.

i dreamed about the fixie conversion i am going to embark on with my old sekai frame. i dreamed that it had been turned into a singlespeed (not a fixie) and i remember being highly annoyed at the ability to coast.

critical mass/greenlake madness

there were a lot of people at critical mass tonight.
it was my first time, and it was definitely interesting... it's the one night a month when we just really fuck up traffic.
and then there was... shenaniganery.
and imagery.
and this was how i ended the night: up the fucking stairs. with my bike. cyclocross boot camp, hell yeah!


great new music

(not even a harry potter related post here. enjoy, those of you who haven't finished the book, and read faster, dammit!)

in our bedroom after the war, stars

i bought this album last night off of itunes on a kind of an impulse. i'd logged onto itunes with the intent of buying the new polyphonic spree, but after listening to a few clips and reading a few reviews, i decided that i was not, in fact, in the mood for that exact album (though i will probably grab it eventually), and clicked, based solely on the name of the album, on this one. i'd heard of the band stars before, maybe even heard a track, enough to know that i liked their stuff, but i'd never really listened.

and now i've had 24 hours straight of listening, and i am in love. it's the best album i've heard since the crane wife, and though it's not quite as literary as the decemberists, or quite as amazingly catchy as the postal service, it comes close on both. and it stands up to repeated (at least up to 5) listenings in close succession, a definite sign of a good album (in my opinion).

best. impulse. album. purchase. EVER.

and now, more long-exposure madness:


plant photo geek

and, one that should only be experienced in the largest size possible: the new frond unfurls

a sunday post

I'm posting again this morning because I want to put a post between my last one and the top. It's not really a spoiler, but it's just my initial emotional reaction to the end of the book, and so if you don't want to know ANYTHING AT ALL don't read it.

OK. now that's done, and I need to think of something other than HPatDH to write about.

Today is the end of my un(der)employment streak... I start at the lab full-time tomorrow. Getting paid pretty decently too, evidently. Pretty stoked about that. I have enjoyed having a break from science, but I'm really looking forward to getting back in the lab and cranking out data. Butt? Time to get in gear. OK.

My job for today is to get my apartment clean. Or at least semi-clean. Or at least fight the tide of entropy. Damn that law of thermodynamics, stating that things always have to get messier unless you expend energy to tidy them. Why can't it be the opposite? Oh wait, because that would indicate a contracting universe, and no one wants to head back towards the singularity that preceded the big bang just yet...

One more thing. Check out the world sunlight map, complete with real-time (updated every 3 hours) cloud cover data, for the entire planet. WAY cool. While you're there, note the huge low-pressure system hanging out in the northeast Pacific, right off the coast of WA/BC/AK. It's been raining here for days, and that system doesn't look like it's going anywhere. Dammit.

deathly hallows

just finished.

will repress commentary for a few days, but it's going up by tuesday. be warned & read fast.

in a word:



long-exposure madness



i just want back in your head

tegan and sara at the triple door, seattle, tonight


eleven hundred and eleven posts to this blog. holy crap.

it's been a good week. i found out today that i for sure have a job, with a high likelihood of it turning into a full year-long appointment with benefits and a salary and all that good stuff. :D

and then today i got a text from a friend i haven't heard from since january, saying she had a sick friend and an extra ticket to tegan and sara at the triple door tonight! woohoo! it is my lucky dayweek.

other really good things have been happening to me recently, but i'm not going to go into much detail here. suffice it to say i have met a number of amazing individuals over the past few weeks and have been having a blast. it's almost like a summer vacation should be.

on monday, it's back to work, back to science, but with a completely refreshed perspective. these past few weeks have done wonders for my mental health.

and now, have some pretty pictures:


slow sunday


too true

change "mario kart" to "mario party", and "segfaults" to "pcr" (because i'm a different kind of nerd)


it's sunday.

it's weird, days of the week have so little meaning to me these days... i love it. but it's sunday, which means another weekend is over, and perhaps another shot at full-time employment this week. cross your fingers.

oh man. approaching full-on geekitude with the harry potter book release this friday. i will be there, and i will have a book at midnight. i should probably pre-order, huh. i'm more than a little stoked that the parselmouths will be there... i'm a little blown away by the sheer volume of wizard rock. really, some of it is quite good. and fun.

let's see... other things. i've really been enjoying this summer vacation i'm having here, for the first time in awhile. i feel like i'm finally hitting my stride with this city, after only 3 years here... today, i think i might have to stay at UW for grad school. we'll see, of course. the beaches of san diego sound mighty nice during the winter months here... eh. it'll figure itself out.


blog entry

so i still haven't gotten the ultimate thumbs-up from the Powers that Be on the job situation, so i've been basking in the glow of unemployment for the last few weeks. OK, more accurately, part-time employment. but today was an Unemployed day, and also the hottest day so far of the year (it hit 95!) so I hit the beach. Madison park was (predictably) packed, but lying in the shade of a huge tree near the water and occasionally dipping in the lake made the day much more bearable than sitting in my sweltering apartment. (I need to get a fan.)

kitty is stretched out to her fullest length (she can actually be quite long when she tries) and is so lethargic she barely bats an eye at things that would usually cause her to jump up and run off.

the mountain was out at the beach.

and so were the butterflies.