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Cough, cough Dec. 3rd, 2007 @ 10:15 pm
I am *so* tired of being sick. This has now been going on for over a month. Every time I think I'm better I go off and do my normal level of overdoing it, and then end up losing my voice, *again*. Bah humbug. I'm done with it.

Other than the endless illness life is pretty good.

All grown up? Nov. 6th, 2007 @ 06:19 pm
Sometimes I hate being an adult. Today I want to go back to not having all these pesky responsibilities. I don't want to do the right thing. I want to do the wrong thing, because it will be great fun. But instead I will do what I think is right. I will take care of things. I won't run away. But I might whine about it.

Did I mention that dancing rocks? Oct. 16th, 2007 @ 02:43 am
Dancing rocks.

That is all.

Late night statements Oct. 13th, 2007 @ 03:04 am
Dancing rocks.
Friends are good.
Relationships are complicated.
Sleep is, apparently, overrated.
Cats are snuggly.
The house smells of gasoline.

Bicycling Mar. 12th, 2007 @ 08:52 am
Yesterday we bicycled up mount diablo. On a tandem. It was great fun, and today I am physically exhausted. For those of you not familiar with tandems, they don't climb worth a damn. Going downhill is very fast, but uphill... Not so much. I need to do more tandeming.

The weather was pretty much perfect. Sunny, but not too hot. The views were breathtaking (hey, look, we were down there). There was a bit more traffic than I would have liked. Next time earlier in the day, or on a weekday. Anyone wanna bike up a mountain?

Current Mood: refreshedrefreshed
Tags: ,

An update Sep. 12th, 2006 @ 01:49 pm
It has been a while since I wrote. I went to Burning Man for a week. It was mostly good, other than the day that everyone had a tantrum (myself included). I won't bore anyone with details (hot, dusty, cold, lots of shiny things). I am *still* not cleaned up from that. I made some progress, but I still have quite a bit to do on the vans.

I've been back for a week (after a 24 hour trip home), and I've spent a good chunk of that recovering and dealing with social issues. Life continues to be exciting. Now I really must start applying for jobs. I was going to start yesterday, but ran away to Santa Cruz instead. Bad Ruth, no biscuit. I have leads. I have a resume. Now I must write cover letters, and then actually apply for the jobs.

I haven't been reading lj, so if you want me to know about anything email me or call me.

I think I'm coming down with a cold.

"May you live in interesting times" has long been a tag line for my life.

That is all.

The lake- August 18 Aug. 23rd, 2006 @ 10:45 am
At the cabin we've had a lot of discussions of trimming, fluffing, and waxing. There has already been an accidental sighting of Chris naked, down at the dock. Embarrassment of each of the guys has been accomplished at least once. Last night we had alcoholic coffee and blueberry pie while we all sat around discussing foreign relations and telling stories.

We've seen a white tailed deer, a bald eagle eating, quite a lot of hummingbirds, and oodles of sparrows. Sitting in the living room I can watch 4 or 5 hummingbirds fight over the feeder. I wish I knew what type they were. There was a large seagull sitting on the lake, several crayfish down by the dock, and a wide selection of dragonflies and butterflies.

Breakfast today was pancakes with blueberries, peaches, and maple syrup. We also had coffee, orange juice, and bacon. Lunch was snacky, and cut short due to interruptions. Dinner was grilled salmon, sauteed mushrooms, baked potatoes, two kinds of salad, and red wine. For desert we get to have leftover pie. We eat well.

Most of the day was lovely. We went out for a short trip in the rowboat. None of us really knew what we were doing, so we spent a lot of time going round in circles. We watched Jeff douse Mark with a bucket of water, and then get chased up the hill. We all went for a swim. Chris and Tina and Ping went for a long swim while the rest of us sat around in the sun reading the paper and watching the animals in the shallows. We snacked on cheese and veggies until the rest of the folk came back, and then we started planning lunch.

Our plans were interrupted when someone noticed that zestyping was bleeding all down his leg. We all ran around getting supplies to fix him up, and clean the blood up off the deck. He had a couple of deep gashes in his left calf, which I eventually got covered with bandages. It was only after that was done that Tina noticed that he also had a gash in his toe. To be on the safe side Ping decided that he should go to the hospital to see if he needed stitches.

We waited an hour and a half and then went out to see if Jeff and Chris wanted to leave and come back when we were done. We got a quick estimate from a doctor that happened to be at the triage window, who said that he definitely needed stitches, and that it would be less than an hour more. So, we sent folks off, and they went to run errands. The entire time waiting we got to listen to an old, very cranky, racist woman complain about the fact that she and her husband had to wait to be seen.

The same doctor that had looked at Ping before was the one that eventually did his stitches. He apologized for the wait, and informed us that there had been a couple of car accidents. He was very charming, and chatted with us both the whole time he was working. We decided that Ping was just like a big hamster, only with less fur. Ping was given shots of local anesthetic directly into his gashes, which seemed to hurt him surprisingly little. He then was rinsed using a large syringe with a cup on the end. The cup worked to cause a vortex, which rinsed his injury very well. The doctor then put 4 stitches in Ping's large gash, 1 in the small gash, and used super glue to glue Ping's toe back together. It was really neat to watch. It's just like the hamsters. No more swimming for Ping, and I may be nominated to remove his stitches in 10 days (shh, don't tell).

Now folks are playing Wise and Otherwise, eating sweets, and still talking politics.

The lake- August 17 Aug. 21st, 2006 @ 11:59 am
We arrived at the lake a bit after 3. Everyone else was already here, and after greetings were exchanged we started to plan for the week's meals. Mark, Ping, and I ended up mostly taking over that task, and after figuring out what all we were going to make we conscripted Chris and Jeff into accompanying us to the grocery store.

The grocery trip was surprisingly fun. I ended up sending everyone else out on errands around the store, and we filled the entire shopping cart with food. There were plenty of smart aleck remarks, and monty python quotes. At the end Chris had to go find soap and such, so he gave us the keys to load up the car, and we just managed to start driving away by the time he came running up to the car.

Back at the cabin we decided that the lasagna dinner still sounded like a good idea for today, and I made nearly everyone else my sou chefs. Dinner was done in probably around an hour, despite plenty of distractions. We had a truly magnificent thunder storm that was right on top of us. A couple of the strikes were loud enough to be deafening. It even managed to knock out the power for a bit.

Dinner was vegetarian lasagna, caesar salad, and garlic bread. All of which was eaten. One of the best compliments a cook could get. There was also plenty of red wine and rum and coke. After dinner Chris went for a swim in the lake. I wasn't quite in the mood for cold, dark, and wet, so I stayed behind to write. It's now a quarter to 10, and folks are mostly sitting around quietly chatting. I think I'll go join them.

Naked women, dancing, and gambling- August 16 Aug. 20th, 2006 @ 10:56 pm
Tuesday we had leftovers for breakfast (around 11:30). This consisted of noodles with vegetables and fried rice. It was quite tasty, but it's not exactly what I usually think of as breakfast food. After breakfast we headed out for a walk in the park.

We drove to Assiniboine Park, and went for a walk through the english garden. Wide brick and grass paths between dense plantings. The plantings were heavy on the herbs, which made the whole garden smell lovely in the heat. At the far end of the english garden was naked ladies. Well, at least bronze sculptures of naked women. It's the Leo Mol sculpture garden.

Many of the sculptures in the garden were quite impressive. They are mostly life size of larger, and there are several of Taras Shevchenko, who apparently was a poet. zestyping figures he was just famous for being really dramatic, and having the largest forehead around. The sculptures of the men were quite detailed. A lot of attention was paid to faces and postures and even clothing. The women, on the other hand, were almost all nude, and almost all had very bland, unexpressive faces. Beautiful bodies, but no detail in the faces at all. The one exception was a bust of an exotic-looking woman. She looked haughty and proud, and had far more detail in the face than anywhere else. I liked that one.

After the park we decided to try to hunt down Ping's friend Christopher, and his wife Tina. We couldn't get ahold of them on the cell, but we knew that they were at the mall, so we figured we just walk through and see if we could spot them. Ping showed me a picture of them, and we wandered down the middle, peering into shops. After the initial pass I got Ping to call Christopher's parents, who informed him that they were probably clothes shopping. Armed with this new information we went into the nearest department store, and walked towards the men's clothing department. There I spotted two people standing at a checkout counter that at least looked somewhat like the picture I'd seen. I pointed them out to Ping, and indeed it was them.

After exuberant greetings we all went off to have coffee and chat. After a while Tina went off to buy "beaver jumpers" as gifts, and when she got back we all went off so that Christopher and Tina could buy iPods. That was a long, drawn-out process. They ended up buying a 60 gig black, and a 1 gig nano. And a lot of accessories. Too much shopping. Tina and Christopher had to go off for a family dinner, so we left them and went off to see what we could find at Folklorama.

Our first stop was the Indian pavilion. There was fairly good food- mediocre naan, but fairly good bean and vegetable dishes. The dancing and music was quite enjoyable. It was very high energy and bouncy. The costumes were very elaborate, and everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves. For dessert I introduced Ping to gulab jamens. Milk balls cooked in a honey syrup. I hardly ever eat them, since they're ridiculously sweet, but I felt compelled to get Ping to try them. After the dancing was over we went downstairs to look at the "cultural display". I got to learn about the area of India called Kerala, and about a new food called channa.

Off to the Brazilian pavilion. We got there to see that there was a three block line. We decided to wait for a little and see how fast the line was moving. It soon became obvious that the performance was full, and the next performance wasn't until after we were supposed to be back at Ping's parents' house. No capoeira for us.

Back at the house Ping's mom taught us how to play mahjong. These lessons started with her telling me that I needed to learn the Chinese words for all the characters. So I spent the next half hour or so learning to recognize the symbols for the 4 directions (east, south, north, west), the names of the suits, the special symbols, and relearning the numbers. I probably butcher the pronunciation, but at least I can remember the words now. After that Ping's mom taught us how to set up the tiles, the elaborate rules for drawing, and some of the scoring rules. There are a lot of scoring rules, and I'm still not clear on most of them. We played for a couple hours, and by the end I was finally managing to win some. I have decided I need to own my own mahjong set.

After the game Ping checked his email, and discovered that he had work that had to be done right away. His laptop had been accidentally left in Christopher's car, so he borrowed mine, and I amused myself with puzzles, and then fell asleep. When Ping finished with programming he woke me up, and we got to talking about languages (I blame the earlier Chinese lesson). We started talking about Italian, and eventually we looked for Italian web pages. This brought us to the Rosetta Stone website, where we discovered that they have a free trial version. We were up ridiculously late playing with that. I may need to own that too. Sigh.

Today we left for the cabin. We've been on the road for the last 3 hours, including a stop at a roadside cafe where we had fries covered in cheese and gravy. We're almost to the cabin. Soon, soon, we will be lazy, go swimming, and eat too much. Oh, wait, I've been doing a lot of that this summer already.

I'm back Aug. 20th, 2006 @ 10:48 pm
I got back to California today. Most of my day was spent in various airports and on planes. Not very exciting. One of the few things I could write about is the horrible children that sat in front of me on the last plane home. But I won't.

I didn't have internet for the time I was at the lake, but I did write. I figure I'll do what I did with my Kenya trip, and post them over the next few days. They're long, and I don't want to inflict 3 of them on your unsuspecting friend's page all at once.

This week will be spent getting ready for Burning Man and trying to fit in more social things than there is really time for. Should be good.

Rats, rats, and sea cucumbers Aug. 15th, 2006 @ 11:16 am
The first night in Winnipeg we discovered that there was a bit of a rat problem. We discovered this by folding the sheet down and finding that the bed, under the blanket, was covered with rat droppings. Under the pillows. Between the comforter and the blanket. On the sheet beneath the blanket. Rat droppings. It's a good thing I don't gross out too easily. We put all fresh bedding on the bed, after horrified utterances from the mom, and protestations that it simply couldn't be happening from the dad.

We slept soundly, and late. We got up a bit after 11 am (9 at home). zestyping tried to take a shower, but there was no hot water. I gave up on the idea, but he tried again later, and eventually the water was at least warm enough to stand under. There was a cleaning lady here working on the house, and we apparently needed to wait for her to finish before we went off to dim sum. This meant we didn't leave for food until after 1 pm.

The dim sum was quite lovely, and it was great fun going with people that knew what they were ordering, and who could even order special dishes. I learned today that Chinese don't go out for "dim sum", instead they go for "yum ta". Yum ta means to drink tea, so the whole process is a Chinese tea. Dim sum means a small or light touch to the heart. So, the dishes are dim sum, small dishes that touch your heart, but the meal is yum ta, drinking tea.

After yum ta Ping and I went to the Forks. The Forks is the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. There are a bunch of interesting things there, including a children's museum, a children's theater, and a mall with local stuff. One of the stores even had a sign above some moccasins that read "Made by: Locals". We went for a walk on a path that ran along the edge of the Red river. This river clearly floods regularly. The bank next to the path is made up of dry caked mud, some of which has had folks' initials carved into it.

Our next stop was the Oak Hammock Marsh. I fell asleep on the drive there. Maybe some day I'll grow out of my habit of falling asleep in cars, but it hasn't happened yet. Oak Hammock Marsh is a lovely restored wetland and bird sanctuary. I wish I were better at identifying birds. If I'd had mdrohl with me I'd be better able to tell you what we saw. As it is I have a vague list of what there was. There were several species of grebes (least grebe, red necked, and probably others), american coots, many species of swallows and sparrows, a willow flycatcher or kingbird, yellow headed blackbirds, common juncoes, american white pelicans, lots of canadian geese, a warbler with a yellow breast, and a couple of sandpipers. There were lots of dragon flies and cabbage whites. We also saw a colony of ground squirrels (they gallop, it's great), and some muskrats swimming in the marsh. We got a guided tour of the marsh, and it really made me want to be doing field work again.

I managed to stay awake almost the entire drive back. We stopped at a charming gas station in a tiny town near Stony Mountain. The only person there looked like a boy of 15. He pumped the gas and sold me juice, and I wandered around the market looking at packaging that is just slightly different than what I see in the states. We almost stopped at a farm to get saskatoons, which we learned are berries, and which neither of us have ever had, but we were running late for dinner. Maybe we can find some more tomorrow.

Ping's mom made us dinner. It was a 5 course Chinese dinner. We started with sea cucumber soup, and then had marinated tofu with yow muk choy stems, sea cucumber served on yow muk choy leaves, eggs with tomatoes, and garlic stems with mushrooms, carrots, and some pickled vegetable. It was all delicious. I think she appreciated the fact that I was really interested in how she made everything. For dessert we had cantaloupe and papaya.

We had planned on learning/relearning mahjong tonight, but folks are a bit tired for that, so I'm writing. Maybe we'll even get to sleep early-ish. Over dinner folks found out about my sculpting, so tomorrow I may get to see bronze sculptures. We will probably also go to Folklorama tomorrow. Anything else will be a surprise. Then off to the lake. Woot!
Current Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Hmmph. Aug. 10th, 2006 @ 09:14 am
Well, at least I agree with parts of it...

ESTP-The Promoter
You scored 81% I to E, 52% N to S, 66% F to T, and 52% J to P!
Your type is known as the promoter, because you have no trouble approaching strangers and you are so charismatic that you are good at pursuading people to do your bidding. Your type is a subgroup of the experiencers group, also called artisans. You are a person of action - when you are around, things happen. Resourceful with people is a good way to describe you. Life is never dull around you. You are witty, clever, and fun. You are socially suave and know just the right thing to say to everyone you meet. You share your personality type with 10% of the population.

As a romantic partner, you are usually exciting and willing to try anything once. You are often much more responsive to your partner's physical needs, rather than their emotional ones. You tend to communicate at what other types tend to think of as a superficial level, as you don't see a big need for heart-to-heart talks. You want to be appreciated for the fun-loving responsive problem solver you are. You are happiest when your partner respects your need for freedom to be spontaneous and to enjoy life's many pleasures.

Your group summary: Experiencers (sp)<

Your Type Summary: ESTP

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 81% on I to E
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 69% on N to S
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 85% on F to T
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 61% on J to P
Link: The LONG Scientific Personality Test written by unpretentious2 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Sticky paint Aug. 1st, 2006 @ 07:04 pm
Last night was spent working on a friend's monster bike. It's convertible from a 3-wheel 3-person bike to a 5-wheel 5-person bike. Mmm, welding in poorly ventilated spaces. It's an awesome project, and if he has time to work on it today it should be rideable today.

Today I spent painting. I painted all 6 cacti with rustoleum. It's sticky and gross, and I have it in strange places since one of the saguaros fell while I was painting. The cacti are now all shiny and black. Very nice. The plan is to get enough cool neon to do one of the cacti tonight to see how it'll look. Next- wire 'em all, and make bugs. Woo!

Jul. 24th, 2006 @ 10:50 pm
Last night I made cheese blitzes with strawberries for dinner. I suppose this is understandable, seeing as I had Thai food for breakfast. The blintzes were really good. How can you go wrong with massive quantities of butter fat and a bit of sugar?

Today was a day of shopping. Managed to buy almost all of the things on the list for Burning Man. I now have a ridiculously comprehensive first aid kit. I'm currently running on the assumption that the van will get fixed in time for Burning Man. If, somehow, this turns out not to be the case I'll get to throw more money at the problem. Sigh. Most of what still needs to be bought is food. Maybe we're being a bit over-ambitious, but I and my two kitchen bitches, zestyping and eeyore_grrl, are making a 6 course italian dinner.

The menu:
*appetizer- mushroom pate on crusty bread (or cheese for those heathens that don't like mushrooms)
*pasta- spaghetti al limone (lemon spaghetti- very light and yummy)
*veggies- Panzenella (bread salad- it's like bruschetta, only more so)
*beans- garbanzos with spinach
*side dish- grilled polenta with asparagus and parmesan
*dessert- berries in berry sauce

Tomorrow I'm going to a concert with my friend that owns Cool Neon, so I'll get to discuss my cacti plans with him, and hopefully come up with a plan for the EL wire.

Wednesday I'm going to go down to San Jose to watch Blues Brothers at a free outdoor showing. You should come join us.

Why not? Jul. 21st, 2006 @ 02:27 pm

Reveler Undertaking Touches and Hugs

entertainment Jul. 12th, 2006 @ 01:33 am
I'm feeling much better. Still a slight cough, but I blame that on postnasal drip.
I took zestyping to the airport.
I finally wrote the letters of recommendation that I'd promised my students.
I got very little sleep last night.
I hadn't had caffeine for weeks until today. Wow did that get me wired.

xthread and I went to the Stanford theater and watched "The Story of Mankind" and "Raffles" today. The first was melodramatic with a heavy dose of overacting. The second was fun and irreverent, and I'd recommend it as a fun afternoon flick.

Now I'm watching "The Tenth Kingdom". Wow. Weird. Surreal. I like it.

I've got a cold in my nose Jul. 10th, 2006 @ 01:57 pm
It used to be in my throat. I spent all day Friday sleeping, except for brief forays to the bathroom, and forcing myself to eat dinner. Saturday I was in bed till after noon, and then awake but immobile. Yesterday I was well enough to get well and truly stir crazy, but not well enough to do much of anything. Same thing for today. Now it's all in my sinuses. Time for decongestant.

I'm really bad at getting enough rest when I'm sick. I don't want to miss out on anything just because I feel like death warmed over. I suppose I could look at it as an accomplishment that this time I've actually rested.

I'm thinking I should be well tomorrow, and I was thinking of going to the South bay to see folks down there that I haven't seen for a while. Anyone interested? Lunch, dinner, maybe a movie?

Birthday! Jul. 8th, 2006 @ 12:44 am
Happy birthday pixie_paige!

I'm a flirt... Who knew? Jul. 6th, 2006 @ 03:39 pm
You Are a Natural Flirt

Believe it or not, you're a really effective flirt.
And you're so good, you hardly notice that you're flirting.
Your attitude and confidence make you a natural flirt.
And the fact that you don't know it is just that more attractive!

The barrel cactus isn't working so well, but I have a saguaro done, and I'm working on another prickly pear. Posting pictures would require me to have a camera somewhere near my cactuses.

Cactus! Jul. 5th, 2006 @ 04:37 pm
I just completed my very first metal cactus. It's a 3 foot tall prickly pear, and it looks great, if I do say so myself. Okay, it's technically not done, since it does not yet have glowy wire on it, but all the bending and cutting and welding is done. I'm so excited! Maybe I'll do a barrel cactus next, or work on designing my saguaros.

Dancing goood... Jun. 22nd, 2006 @ 03:14 pm
Last night I went dancing with a horde of people. Yay! I love dancing with large groups of friends. Three of my friends had never been before, so I got to be a bad influence on them. It was pirate night at BaGG, and it was one of the most crowded nights I've ever seen. It was great. I danced lots, flirted lots, talked lots, and generally got high off of everyone's energy. Woo!

We had sushi before dancing, at a rather shi-shi place in the Metreon, called Sanraku. It was good sushi, and good service, but I think it's the only sushi place I've ever been to without pictures on the table (an observation also made by one of my friends).

We were out late, and traffic on the bridge sucked, but I had company for the drive, so it wasn't too bad. One of my friends crashed at my place, and this morning I made us breakfast. We chatted a bunch, went off to find caffine, and then picked up my new glasses. It's very exciting having glasses that aren't scratched. We even managed to pick out sunglasses for me today.

Owie Jun. 7th, 2006 @ 01:22 pm
An endodontist spent the last hour doing horrible things to my teeth. He stuck terribly cold things against my cold-sensitive tooth, causing enough pain to make me jump. He made me chew on plastic with my pressure-sensitive tooth. The worst part of it all is that he *still* isn't sure what is going on. 14 is sensitive to cold. 15 is sensitive to pressure. 14 has a semi-recent filling. 15 has some new decay, and may have a (very small) crack. 14 may not need anything. Or it may need a root canal. 15 may need a filling, or a crown, or a crown and a root canal.

Bugger. I'm going to go take pain killers now.

Quizzy bits from gomijacogeo Jun. 5th, 2006 @ 04:13 pm

What type of Fae are you?

The perfect day May. 31st, 2006 @ 11:22 pm
I just had a perfect day.

I slept about 10 hours, and then lay around in bed for another hour. I got up around 10:30, and had breakfast while reading email. I then poked at lj, went for a walk and coffee. Spent some time lying in the sun at a park, reading a book. Walked back home. Played games. Went out with zestyping. Lost track of time. Watched Over the Hedge with eviladmin (thank you again for being so understanding of my tardiness). It was cute and funny, and just what I was in the mood for. Now I'm back home with the cats. Next I will get ready for bed and putter around the apartment (probably play more games).

The only way this day could possibly have been better is if the little fairies had come and cleaned my apartment while I was away.

Girly? May. 22nd, 2006 @ 02:54 pm

You Are 8% Girly

Um... you're a guy, right? If not, you're the most boyish girl in the world.

And for you, that's probably the ultimate compliment.

Today I took care of a 2 1/2 year old for a few hours, went for a ride in my convertable (top down), ran a couple errands, and spent 1 1/2 hours in a park reading and spinning poi. Now I'm home poking at the computer. It's weird not having deadlines hanging over me.

Thesis May. 18th, 2006 @ 12:47 pm
My thesis is done. Done. Done! DONE!

Ahem. Scuze' me. I got a little carried away there.

I just bought $35 worth of thesis paper, and put all my various word files together into one beautiful pdf. The margins are right (damn you, ruler lady), the pages are correctly numbered, and now I need 3 signatures.

Have you ever tried to wrangle 3 professors? Trying to get them all together at the same time is worse than herding cats. Instead of continuing to attempt to push water up-hill with a fork I'm meeting with them all at different times. The first one at 3 (2 hours), the second at 5:30, and the third at 11 tomorrow morning.

After this I will be trying to get to the Oakland airport by noon to pick up my dad and Donna, then meet up with my sister and Jay, then wrangle too many people toward a restaurant in Oakland.

Saturday won't be any more relaxing, but it will all be good, and then it will all be over. Wow.
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Tags: ,

Mornin' May. 12th, 2006 @ 09:29 am
It's morning. I'm absolutely certain of this. Last night I went out dancing with K and T at Die Maschinen at the Glas Kat. Loud, thumpy, angsty music. It was great. K was wearing my tiny blue and green plaid skirt. Nice legs. Damn.

We were out until after 2, so I probably wasn't asleep until 3. Then I had to get up at 6:45 to get to campus to proctor an exam at 8am. Who thinks exams at 8am are a good idea? It's a 3 hour exam, so guess where I'm posting from. So sleepy. Must drink more caffeine. It's just me and the students, so I definitely can't nap.

1.5 more hours. Then I can go home and fall down for a few more hours.
Tags: ,

Surreal Morning May. 6th, 2006 @ 11:14 am
I was fast asleep, having still been awake when the sun started coming up, when my doorbell rang. It's a very loud doorbell, and I can't think of anything more effective in waking me up and getting me moving. I think I levitated out of bed. Then the doorbell rang again. What on Earth? Who? Clothes. Must wear clothes. It took less than 30 seconds for me to pull on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and head down the stairs to find out who had decided to wake me on a Saturday.

I take two steps out and look down the stairs, and I can see three people standing there- 2 outside the door, and the other one is my upstairs neighbor. My first thought is, "solicitors, bastards woke me up on a Saturday." But I'm not quite awake enough to turn that into going back inside. In the next second I hear that they are talking about disaster preparedness, which is at least a bit more interesting than what I thought it was a second earlier, so I hesitate.

The woman outside has by this time made it inside, and the man outside spots me and waves me down the stairs. Again, I'm not exactly what you might call awake, so I actually go down the stairs. I then find out that the woman is a volunteer going door-to-door, handing out pamphlets and refrigerator magnets on disaster preparedness- what to do in an earthquake. That's when the man starts taking our pictures. I think to myself "I've been awake less than a minute and now someone is taking my picture. How unusual." My neighbor starts to protest, as she doesn't look like she's been awake much longer than I have, but we're reassured "Don't worry, it's just going to be in the paper, so you'll only see general details." Even on too little sleep, with too little time to wake up this fails to be comforting to me, but I also failed to truly care, so I smiled, took a pamphlet, and gave them my name.

I'm awake now. Very awake. It's amazing what having three people talking animatedly will do towards making you alert. Now I'm going to finish getting dressed, go for a walk, and find some coffee.

Here's wishing all of you surreal mornings too.

Piled Higher and Deeper May. 4th, 2006 @ 01:20 pm
The guy who draws Piled Higher and Deeper will be at Berkeley tonight. In Sibley auditorium, at 6pm. I teach too late, and have other plans for the evening, but if you like the comic you should go. PhD

Cookies May. 2nd, 2006 @ 06:20 pm
You Are a Jam Cookie

On the outside, you project a straight-laced, innocent vibe.
But on the inside, you're complex, exotic, and full of flavor.

It's summer May. 1st, 2006 @ 03:26 pm
Even if it's not officially summer, today it is summer. It's 85 degrees outside, and I spent an hour this afternoon driving around with the top down on my car. It wouldn't surprise me if I came out of this sunburned.

I have decided that I should surround myself with more people who love life. More people that are willing to grab hold and take big juicy bites without letting the fear of getting rotten bits keep them from trying. Yea friends, yea sunshine, yea brilliant wonderful children. Oh, and yea weekends spent being distracted from the wonderful things you planned on doing by other wonderful things.
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Time of day quiz stolen from chalepa_ta_kala Apr. 28th, 2006 @ 02:16 pm
You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

Rant #37 Apr. 28th, 2006 @ 11:42 am
If you are looking for a well reasoned, well thought-out argument go read something else. This is a rant.

I had a meeting today, and the topic of brain size, body size, and intelligence came up. There is heated debate in the scientific community about how brain size relates to intelligence, and whether absolute brain size should be used or if it should be adjusted for body size. This topic has implications in gender issues, as well as a wide range of other topics. If you look at absolute brain size, men on average have larger brains. If you adjust for body size, women have relatively larger brains.

This issue can be picked apart on many levels. For starters, does brain size actually reflect intelligence? Do smarter people really have larger brains? Do less smart people have smaller brains? Is absolute size a good measure of brain function or should we be looking at something more detailed, like neuron number or dendritic spines? How does body size affect brain function, if at all?

I've calmed down some since I started writing this, so you'll be spared the full-blown rant, but suffice it to say science can be used to justify a lot of screwed up things, including our prejudices.

I don't sleep anymore Apr. 14th, 2006 @ 05:19 am
Wednesday night I finally fell asleep around 4. I woke up at 7. I didn't need to be awake, but I was. Last night I got to bed around 1, and I'm up already. I decided lying around in bed wide awake wasn't any fun. Who needs sleep anyway?

Quirky Apr. 10th, 2006 @ 01:11 pm
Your Quirk Factor: 54%

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.
Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!

Who knew? Apr. 4th, 2006 @ 12:14 am
Apparently I'm not autistic. I'm shocked I tell you, shocked.

I got a 9 on this test Autism quiz, which is even less autistic than average. I have no idea how accurate it is, but I'm amused.

My life Apr. 2nd, 2006 @ 11:20 pm
Is not always easy, not always good, and almost never simple. Several things are likely to go away, change, or be taken away in the near future. A lot of things are *still* in limbo. But I love my life. I really do. A wonderful person pointed out to me today that although I experience a lot of pain I also can have more joy in a year than many people do in a decade or more. I just have to keep deciding if the pain is outweighed by the joy, and right now I think it does. Despite everything.

Yes/No Quiz Mar. 31st, 2006 @ 10:38 pm
1. You can only say YES or NO.
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages you / comments and asks!

Yes/No quizCollapse )

Back Mar. 31st, 2006 @ 10:17 pm
I'm back in Berkeley. I'm not dead. I didn't kill anyone. The cats are fine.

That is all for now.

Life expectancy toys Mar. 21st, 2006 @ 02:35 am
memegarden posted these, and I decided they looked interesting.
Life expectancy
Age calculator

According to the first I should live to be at least 102. According to the second I'm a little more than 3 years less than my chronological age. Apparently I should eat more nuts, do strength training, and drive slower. Oh, and avoid stress.

Dream Job Mar. 16th, 2006 @ 05:48 pm
This morning one of my students asked me what I would do for work, in a perfect world. I thought about it for a little while, and my response was "pretty much what I do now". I really love my work. I love research, teaching, and being able to travel to amazing places. Not to mention the flexibility inherent in what I do. Now, if only I could have all of that without the bits I don't like.
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Mikhail Baryshnikov Mar. 15th, 2006 @ 05:02 pm
I just found out that Mikhail Baryshnikov is going to have performances in Berkeley June 15-18. I will probably (and hopefully) be in Papua New Guinea during that time, but some of you should go. I'm sad I'm going to miss it, but I could live vicariously through you.

Silly test stolen from madhobbit Mar. 8th, 2006 @ 06:55 pm
The Peach
Random Gentle Love Master (RGLMf)

Playful, kind, and well-loved, you are The Peach.

For such a warm-hearted, generous person, you're surprisingly experienced in both love and sex. We credit your spontaneous side; you tend to live in the moment, and you don't get bogged down by inhibitions like most women your age. If you see something wonderful, you confidently embrace it.

Your exact opposite:
The Nymph

Deliberate Brutal Sex Dreamer
You are a fun flirt and an instant sweetheart, but our guess is you're becoming more selective about long-term love. It's getting tougher for you to become permanently attached; and a girl who's in a different place emotionally might misunderstand your early enthusiasm. You can wreck someone simply by enjoying her.

Your ideal mate is adventurous and giving, like you. But not overly intense.

DREAD: The Battleaxe

CONSIDER: The Peach, The Playstation, or The Window Shopper

Link: The 32-Type Dating Test by OkCupid - Free Online Dating.
My profile name: theonlyruth

A Movie, Hiking, and Writing Mar. 5th, 2006 @ 11:41 pm
Friday night I drove all the way down to the South bay to see Ultraviolet with d3l1r1um, xthread, gomijacogeo, and a couple other folks whose lj names I don't know (or who don't have them). It was eye candy. Now plot-free and less filling. It was, in fact, pretty much what I was in the mood for.

Saturday I went hiking in Redwood Park with Ken, and his 2 1/2 year old, Saryn. Very muddy, much longer than we had planned (~4 hours), and absolutely fabulous. It was an adventure. No trail map. Little idea where we were. Beautiful. Wonderful company. That evening we watched the first 3 episodes of Six Feet Under. I think I'm hooked.

Today Ken and I cleaned up around the house in preparation for the Academy Awards, and then I ran off home. I managed to get my results section rewritten, and my graphs reworked. That was all I'd planned on getting done this weekend, and I managed to do it. Go me! This evening I watched the Academy Awards (who are all those people, and why do so many people care?), drank beer, ate cheese, and sat in a hot-tub in the rain. Oh, and spent a bunch of time with more wonderful people.

Good weekend.

Love Language quiz - from xthread Feb. 17th, 2006 @ 02:13 pm
Score Love Language
7 Words of Affirmation
11 Quality Time
1 Receiving of Gifts
4 Acts of Service
7 Physical Touch

Hmm... Sounds about right, but I think I would put touch a bit higher.

Love Languages Quiz

Paper progress Feb. 13th, 2006 @ 11:39 pm
Today I finally worked on my paper again. I've opened it and stared at it a few times, but I hadn't made much progress, do mostly to my hatred of statistics. akaba gave me moral support a few days ago, which seems to have spurred this current round of productivity. I think I have now done most of my statistics. byronium and eviladmin if either one of you is still willing to go over that stuff with me that would be great. You could help me be sure I actually understand what the results mean.

Tomorrow I see a career counselor, and I have a meeting with Irv about this paper. Maybe I'll get grading done tomorrow too.

Avian Flu Feb. 8th, 2006 @ 12:34 pm
I don't usually do posts like this, but I've seen enough posts about this subject to become convinced that there is a whole lot of unnecessary panic over the avian flu.

Reasons to be worried:
1. this strain of avian flu is found in long-distance migratory birds, making world-wide transmission easy, and almost impossible to prevent.
2. the flu is easily transmissible from bird to bird, including to poultry
3. the flu has a high mortality rate in poultry

Reasons to not be worried:
1. it's not easily transmissible to humans
2. there have been no confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission, and only 3 suspected cases (things like mothers taking care of children)
3. unless you are a poultry farmer or bird smuggler you are highly unlikely to get this flu
4. a mutation that caused higher infectiousness would likely decrease lethality

Okay, that said, I'm not in suggesting that we should ignore this subject entirely. Just that it shouldn't be causing the levels of panic it seems to be causing. There is a chance that it will mutate and become more easily transmissible either to or among mammals, and if that happens we might have a problem. Just don't worry so much now.

Doerr HW, Varwig D, Allwinn R, Cinatl J., Med Microbiol Immunol (Berl). 2006 Jan 13;:1-3 [Epub ahead of print] Will the next human influenza pandemic be caused by the virus of the avian flu A/H5N1? Arguments pro and counter.

Crack Monkeys! Feb. 6th, 2006 @ 06:30 pm
Hairless apes. Crack-smoking monkeys. Think they're so smart with their opposable thumbs. Tool using crack monkeys.

Stolen from eeyore_grrl Feb. 4th, 2006 @ 12:38 pm
Apparently I'm far more pink than I had ever imagined.

Get your own spectral analysis from Area 23®

Overview Feb. 4th, 2006 @ 12:13 pm
Because I know that I won't write entries for everything that has happened lately, here's a brief recap of the last couple weeks.

ratontheroad took me up to Seattle for 3 days. It was wonderful seeing folk again after so long (I hadn't been there since October). The first night there we managed to get a dozen people together for dinner with very little notice, and went to Bengal Tiger, my favorite Indian restaurant. The rest of the time there was spent playing tourist, and socializing with friends. You are all wonderful people, and you made me feel wanted and missed. Hopefully I'll make it up there again soon.

At the end of that I came back to Berkeley for a day (yes, just one day), and taught. Teaching the same class for the third time certainly does make it easy.

Friday I was off again. This time for a roadtrip SE. First stop was my father's house, who didn't know we were coming, despite me telling him twice, and sending him an email. We got in around 4am Arizona time, and I left a note on the coffee machine. It was surpisingly pleasant seeing my dad. Very little in the way of guilt or lecturing, and they were very understanding of everything I've been going through. We left that night, and drove most of the way to the grand canyon before falling asleep in the car (yes, we parked the car first). We woke up super early, and managed to get to the grand canyon around sunrise. Utterly beautiful.

More driving. All the way to Colorado Springs. I got to see the Air Force Academy, and the Garden of the Gods, among many other places that I will never forget. I even went to my first strip club, and had a blast there. After 2 1/2 days there I had to get back to California to teach again. As of now I don't have any plans to leave again in the near future, but the last two weeks certainly went a long way towards improving my mood.
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