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.