Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Welcome Back!

Scientists believed these tiny primates, Tarsius pumilus (or Pygmy Tarsiers) weighing less than two ounces, were extinct until researchers recently found some in the mountaintop forests of Indonesia!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Want to Want

Nirvana is the supreme state free from suffering and individual existence, it is a state of wanting nothing. This is the ultimate goal for Buddhists, and I have finally made up my mind about what I think of this.

Have you ever wanted to be liberated from wanting something, either by getting it, or by just not wanting it anymore? and what about the four freedoms? what about freedom from want? I understand that the {freedom from want} is advantageous because the goal is to get.

But, I think wanting is action. Wanting is change. Wanting is innovation. Wanting is also the very first step in getting. In getting all sorts of good attainable things like grilled cheese and love.

So, I dont think you can reach enlightenment by not wanting. This is not to promote greed, you will probably never get all you want anyway. But I think that to want is to be alive. I want to want. Want is hope.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beginning to see the light

Last night I couldnt sleep and of course that led me to lying in bed thinking about everything, ever. I realized something big about my brain and how it works. This is one of the interesting parts about being a student again, I am revisiting all of my old academic weaknesses (and there are many) with an adult perspective and slightly less drama.

I have realized that things upstairs work a little different for me than for most. For example, when I read something it never really speaks loudly to me, its just an unconvincing whisper. But when I see something then it makes almost instant sense to me, and hearing it is an extra bonus.

All these years I knew I was a {visual person}, but I think there are different types of visual people. There are people who can picture something in their head and then either draw it, or just understand it in a three dimensional way. I cannot do this. I cannot draw something from my head. In fact, one of my problems with math is that there is no inner image in my head of the calculations, there is tumble-weed wobbling by, but no numbers interacting, no gears, just utter blankness. But if I draw it out (or count on my fingers without anyone noticing) I can understand it much, much better.

So, my conclusion is that the reason why I am a visual person is not because I have some advanced visual mind, its because I have a mind that cannot picture I need to see them. Shhhh.

Monday, November 10, 2008

{I am so glad that stupid ass is out the house} -spoken by a homeless man eating Chinese food on the 7 train tonight, regarding President Bush, of course. I chuckled on and off all the way home.

And above is a brilliant and beautiful illustration from the cover of The New Yorker, by Bob Staake.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stuffed Animals

Tomorrow I am going to the museum again. Its a certain natural history museum that I have spent hours dreaming in as a visitor with my torn admission ticket shoved in the pocket of my pilled green fleece jacket. Hours marveling at the hall of biodiversity in all of its successive pinned butterfly loveliness, hours trying to stare deeply into the stiff and creepy glass eyes of a stuffed mammal, hours being drowned by the natural world and loving it. But I am not a visitor anymore.

I was in the mammals collection last week. Big metal cabinets were unlocked for me and inside of them were shallow and wide flat file shelves with tiny manila boxes on them. On the boxes were tags that read: Museum of Natural History with the species name written on them in perfect pencil script, the date they were collected, and where. Inside of the boxes were bones, skulls of primates, teeth of primates, fingers and toes and you name it. Also on the shelves were the stuffed animals, many of them. There was absolutely no one around, just me, the metal cabinets, the bones, the dust and the furry adorable has-beens all lined up like dead soilders in the drawer.

There was natural light coming through the window and onto the wide marble sill just like you would expect it to look inside of that museum, it was around 11am and the room was romantically dim. I had a cold and I was hungry and didnt want to make too much noise rattling opening the cabinets, so I didnt really enjoy myself as much as I think I did. But I am going back tomorrow, without my admission ticket and with a clearer head.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More Marimekko LOVE

I LOVE this image. (via the blog This Is Love Forever (click on title for link) and also via the Marimekko website).

Thursday, October 23, 2008


In a foul mood today and just surfing the internet and hoping to disappear into it. I found these cool posters though, they kind of make me happy:

Click on the word {Posters} above to see them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Frozen wispy crystals of water sometimes

I found this beautiful imagery in a scientific philosophy/opinion article I was reading today. I am always so inspired and relieved when I see this kind of writing in a reputable science journal. I know the person has finally become a respected enough scientist so now they can sneak in a little loveliness into their papers. There is hope for me yet:

{...Frozen wispy crystals of water sometimes fall to earth in great numbers and we identify them as snowflakes. The ‘snowflake’ category exists in our minds, but in some sense it is also a feature of the world outside ourselves, a world that is disposed to repeatedly generate individual falling wispy crystals of water.}-Jody Hey, 2001, The Mind of the Species Problem.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quote of the day

{a sound heart is a surer guide than an ill-trained conscience}-Mark Twain

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Space Cadets

We have a very small kitchen. Everything Joe does he does extremely.

We decided to buy a bench that was made out of teak. It was one of those gnarled raw wood pieces of furniture. Part furniture, part objet d’art. It looked almost like an antler on its right side and then it swooped down into a small seat, which was more cool looking than it was comfortable. When we purchased it, it was unfinished wood. Joe brought it to the shop and put a beautiful stain and finish on it until it was butter smooth and much more expensive looking than what we had paid for it. We brought it home in the van. Joe and I lifted it up 4 flights of stairs to our apartment, resting very frequently. Including one rest stop outside of the building before we even brought it in the door in which Joe invited our neighbor who was outside smoking a cigarette with her little husband, to sit on it. She touched it with her hands and made what I assume, by the smile on her face, complimentary remarks in her raspy voiced spanish.

When we finally got it in the apartment door, we rested in the kitchen in front of the stove. By this time it was midnight, I was tired and feeling weak from the heavy lifting. Then we proceeded to bring it into the living room. There was one snag. It would not fit through our hallway from the kitchen to the living room. We shifted and strategized, but to no avail. So there it sat. In our kitchen for over a month, in front of the stove. Each time I used the stove I had to move the bench and it made just the sound that evokes the downstairs neighbor to ask what the hell is going on upstairs.

Tonight I came home and it was gone. Joe had taken it back to the shop, we have decided that its just not for us. I felt sad for the bench that went through many hoops, but not hallways, to be in our home and I felt sad for us and for all the work Joe put into it and for my hopeful former self who bought it with stars in her eyes convinced that this was going to be the thing that pulled the room together, exotic, natural, dramatic. Now that its gone, my kitchen feels huge.

As I walked down the tiny hallway from the kitchen all the way to the back bedroom this evening, I thought how I missed the bench and how I should blog about it. And when I arrived in the bedroom what did I find, but a capacious piece of furniture that Joe made in which his eyes were bigger than his apartment. This one is a display cabinet that holds all of his karate gear as if it were hung up at the Hard Rock Cafe like Joey Ramone’s jacket or something.

Monday, October 6, 2008

So that is all there is...

The other day I was trying to explain to someone the epiphany that I had this summer about life and it came out sounding disjointed. So I thought Petri Dish could help me get my thoughts straight about it.

The basic idea is this: I have always thought that there was more to life than there actually is. Something has shifted in me and now I not only consciously think, but really truly feel that THIS IS JUST ALL THERE IS. This may sound like a grim realization but if I can explain to you, it has liberated me in some way.

I had already arrived at the party and I went around asking each person who was there if they thought I should go to the party and if I did decide to go, how best to get there and what would it be like there, what should I wear, what kind of food will they have, will I understand the conversations and jokes and am I even invited. It made no sense.

I always assume people are much more complex and intelligent than they actually are. I assume that they probably have some deep vast bank of organized knowledge and views about the world from all different perspectives. But actually, I am not sure that this is the case.

Everyone clings to a few things, repeats these ideas/concepts, understands new ideas only in relation to what they already know and just keeps floating along trying to stay living and endear themselves to people in some way or another. I think I can handle that.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Art, Life.

{Art is really appreciation of life, and appreciation of art is appreciation for the appreciation of life.}

Thursday, August 14, 2008

All of my daydreams are sleeping

There is something about biological anthropology that has crushed my spirit a little. There is no doubt about it. I am sure its a cliche that science and spirituality are strange bedfellows, but I dont only mean God here. I mean all of the things on the continuium of spirituality that are in between the idea of a monotheistic God and some vague lovely unexplainable thing that makes you feel good.

I know I inflict it upon myself, no scientist inducted me into the club and shooed away all of my daydreams. But I guess what I am trying to say is that I used to embrace not knowing more. And sometimes what grows out of not knowing is wonder. Dont get me wrong, I dont know everything now, I dont even know the information I am supposed to at my stage of graduate school. And maybe that is why I cant embrace innocence as a source of inspiration, because I am feeling a little stupid so my guard is up and my metaphorical heart is down. But really I just want to blow on one of those orbs of dandelion seeds and make an honest wish.

And because there is not much difference between a prayer and a poem anyway. Here is one I have always loved:

{To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.}
—William Blake

Monday, August 11, 2008

Its Still the Same Old Story

I am back to thinking about variation. There are so many instances to think about variation in the field I am in. People are always comparing a human to a chimp, or a fossil to a living animal, or groups of living humans across the cultures. And it always seems like the conclusions are around about similar. There is a lot of variation and making sweeping generalities about groups of animals or humans should be made with extreme caution. There is always difference if you look hard enough, right down to the individual.

Also, there is a matter of relativity to consider: You are soooo different from your ugly sister I know, she likes to party and you are happy sitting at home reading Anna Karenina- but how different are both of you in comparison to a chimpanzee, not very I am sorry to say.

But today I got to thinking about similarity, not difference. And there are certainly instances where similariy is the case in anthropology too. For a rough example, we share the exact same gene with all primates because it is to beneficial to our survival, or all languages share certain fundamental properties. Also, there are cases called convergent evolution where a similar trait emerges in separete populations; for instance humans capacity to digest lactose emerged in Africa and in Europe separately but both in response to milk drinking. So, amazing things happen that either preserve or lead to similarity and sometimes unexpectedly.

But what about all those cliches like {people never change} and {history repeats itself} or {its always the same old story}. What about all those times in life, like in the lifetime of an individual, where sameness is really the key? What about the absolutes. There is something comforting about them certainly. Like these lyrics to {As Time Goes By}, from Casablanca, what would the anthropologists say about this I wonder, because I would hate to think that this is a sweeping generality. And I guess what I am asking is, what can we expect to always be true?

{Well, it's still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by
Oh yes, the world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.}

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Are there memories that you have of being completely humiliated as a child? Like peeing in your pants in school, humiliated? Like, the lunch you take out of your saggy brown bag is somehow the focus of a joke, then you dont want to eat it and you bat it around like a hockey puck, or a dead mouse, pretending you dont care that your dear sweet Mom took the time to make it and that you are still indeed hungry?

And when you think about those times, dont you just take a deep breath of complicated adult air and feel relieved that that intensity and style of problem probably wont happen again? Sure you have your own issues now, but you wont ever be that insecure or naive again.

Well last week it happened to me. I metaphorically peed in my pants in front of the whole class and you know what...I dont even want to blog about it. I just want to sing the song of adulthood, maybe have a glass of wine, hopefully a laugh someday and move the hell on.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Quote of the Day

{When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.} ~Chinese Proverb

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hot and Heavy

About 2 years ago I was in the laundromat across the stinky street from our apartment. This place is pretty close to hell, not to belittle all of the people who have legitimately suffered in this world, but suffice it to say that I hate it. They have no air conditioning and when I am by the dryers I am nervous something is going to go up in flames its so hot. There are little pieces of lint flying in the air, there is no room to move around, and people are ruthless with their clothes, they will remove your stuff in an instant if you are not there guarding it. The heat back there seems to amp up the tension too.

Also, they hate me there.

So 2 years ago, I tried to open the washer when my clothes were done. I pulled and I pulled on the rusty old crusty door, and then it broke. A little piece of metal went tumbling on to the tile floor and the woman who works there started telling me off in Spanish. Since then I have avoided the place. But its the closest one to our house, so I drop off my laundry instead. I just dont want to think about it, or look them in the eye.

Today I took the day off and decided to do a few loads, I was feeling domestic, productive and well adjusted. So I get in there, the woman who hates me is in there in full effect. I get some definite dirty looks, and then she starts speaking to her colleague about me in Spanish. I gingerly maneuver my way around the place, smiling awkwardly at everyone I look at, trying not to make a stir, trying to act repentant and reformed, knowing they have their eyes on me.

One of my washers was almost done, but there were no available dryers in sight, which reminded my why the logistics of laundry just really get to me, the whole production just sucks the goddamn life out of me. Then one of my washers finished, so I get the clothes out and someone offers me a dryer that already has money on it, I was so surprised and felt like well maybe this isnt so bad after all. Then I try to take my cart down this little ramp they have and there is a small boy of about 3 or 4 occupying it and rolling a little can of vienna franks down the ramp and enjoying himself immensely. I smile and say excuse me and feel almost charmed by the place.

Then my other load is done in the washer. I try to open the door and I pull and I pull and then I hear the man who works there say to me in broken english that I have to wait for the light to go off on the washer before I open the door. I didnt break anything this time, but I just feel so fucking defeated and stupid. I know they know I am the idiot who broke the door two years ago, then I had to go and confirm my identity by doing the same exact thing again after two years.

And as I sit here and write this I still have to go back and get my clothes out of the dryer...but after that...never, *ever* again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Palimpsest Oven

“And each time it heated up, it smelled of a thousand meals”, my brother said to describe his oven, which had not been cleaned in almost forever. He then went on to describe the lengths that he had gone to to clean it, resorting to a humble straight edged blade as the most effective tool. This got me thinking, and not about cleaning my oven, but about this concept of layers over time.

I learned this word Palimpsest, which describes a manuscript that is written on and then scraped away and then written on again. These manuscripts were often made of parchment and were used as far back as the sixth century. There is residue over time of the thousand words that it once said. I have never seen one of these in person, although I imagine them rich, muddled, and interesting.

I love this idea of layers, of re-use of the same surface, of accumulation, of transformation, of stories told.

This week I went to have a blood test and as they were taking my blood I wondered what story my blood would tell. It made me uneasy that my blood knows stories about me that I will never know. But then I felt comfort in this idea of it retaining information that it has gathered over time and I thought again of the oven, maybe he should not have cleaned it. Maybe the smells it emitted could have solved a mystery or something.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Something Cool

Today I had a doctors appointment and after I emerged from my visit I decided to get gelato, in a cone. Almost every time I came back from the doctors office when I was little, my Mom and I used to stop at Carvel for a small chocolate cone with rainbow sprinkles. It always made me feel good, even if I had asthma, and it was Mom approved, which made it even better.

It was hot out today. As I walked from the counter where I got my cone, over to pay, some coffee flavored gelato dripped onto my foot. I had sandals on. It was cool and strange and landed at the highest point on my foot and then quickly swooshed down to my sandal. I was helpless. Had a cone in one hand and my money in the other, looking sufficiently kid-like and awkward in the process.

Then I walked back to the bus and enjoyed my cone thouroughy as I walked down the street. But I forgot about my foot and never wiped it off.

Then I got to work and changed into my closed toed shoes for the lab and I noticed a wet patch on my sandal. I immediately thought I had had a blister that burst or that I was bleeding brown liquid or something. I frantically touched my foot and saw a dark mark on my foot where the sandal strap had been, which must indicate that I am dying of course. But, then I remembered the gelato on my foot and I felt silly for jumping to all of those wild conclusions. And it was nice to know that it was just something cool and a little bit sticky.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Expectations of Experience

We could not hear each other talk. I had to repeat myself at least three times which made what I had to say seem tedious and unimportant. We had wandered into a sushi place that had live music, a band called The Blues Buddha was playing. Now, dont get me wrong, they were pretty good, but I just wasnt in the mood.

I read a quote the other day that said something like {if the music is too loud, then you are too old}, and that is how I felt. My husband and I are not really that old, but in the last few months I have just felt like I am winding down. Cant stay up too late, dont enjoy loud music, Joe even called the police because of too many fireworks on the 4th of July. And as I lay in bed I heard him refer to them as {explosives}. I wasnt sure what had gotten into him, the man who asks in stores if they sell those sneakers with wheels on them for adults.

But thats not the story I want to tell. As we ate sushi and yelled across the table we were talking about New York City and how if I leave in the next few years, I will not ever have felt that I truly experienced it. In New York there is an underground to the underground and I know I have not even scratched the damn surface. I am not amazingly wealthy and seeing that New York, or very poor and experiencing it that way. I am not very old, or young, I dont like things too harsh or too cushy. Which brought me to my next idea.

What truly constitutes experiencing something? seeing it? feeling it? When you experience the Grand Canyon, for example, although I have never been, don’t you just drive for miles and then get out of the car and take pictures and talk about how it looks like a painting? and is that experiencing it? and, as for New York, is riding the subway, walking around with your ipod, gawking at the prices of everything, sitting in dirty parks, hearing loud noises, walking and walking, carrying heavy awkward packages for blocks, having a chatty cab driver, seeing a rat or a roach, smelling garbage, is that expereincing it? Have I really experienced it? There is more to it I think, Joe says there is not, and I am not sure where that leaves me. All of my senses have been bombarded by New York, but I still feel as though I have lived as a ghost here, but maybe thats just what this city wants you to feel.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Coca Cola Ad

This is a Coke advertisement that ran in movie theatres a few years ago.

I have always loved it.

Click on title above for link and Happy 4th of July.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You are invited.

With the exception of my brother Dan, everyone in my family hates parties, no matter what the occasion. A baby's first birthday, a graduation party, heaven help us if its a wedding, an engagement party, family reunion, 70th Birthday, you name it. When an invitation arrives in the mail at my parents house, its treated like a jury duty summons, a letter from the IRS or a stink bomb. Sighs are heard for miles around, how-can-we-get-out-of-this schemes start percolating immediately, dread builds. I have grown to accept and mimic this party hating mentality, to the point where I thought it was only right to dread my own wedding, to a man I am wildly in love with, because that is just what you do.

The other evening we were at a friends wedding and the father of the bride was giving his speech. I don't know these people all that well and I would imagine that my distance encouraged my ephipany along. As the sea of "your so specials", "I love yous" and "were just so happy for yous" rose around us, it finally hit me. Like a brick of RSVP cards falling from the sky. It had been a coping mechanism of all of us, to sit in the corner making snide comments about the lack of eloquence in a wedding speech, or laugh at an awkward dancer. But not this time.

This time was different, because I realized that this was a very important day in the lives of everyone around us and even though they were giving in to the wedding machine, saying the same hackneyed phrases over and over, that this was it. It was like some mystery to life had been finally been revealed to me, I felt a lightness and then an uncharateristic warmth in the place where my heart should be located. Now maybe I am just growing soft in my old age, but I'll take it.

Life should be a series of celebrations for things, no matter how insignificant and this, my friends, is all there really is. Because what else do you really have to do that day, because you will never fondly remember sifting through the pile of junk mail, or channel surfing, or making a ham sandwich with swiss, like you did instead of going to the party. If you cant celebrate with others, even if it involves cake thats too sweet, weak paper plates, terrible wine in plastic cups, bad jokes and a few awkward moments, you are just really missing out.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Our family dog died last week and I just wanted to pay homage to her on my blog because we miss her so much already and everyone is really sad.

She was one of those dogs who always looked perky and inquisitive, because of the way her large years always stood straight up and because of her shining personality. she looked a little like a small german shephard, but she was a mutt, she was all blonde with a black face. She was nothing like anyone else in my family because she seemed permanently happy, eternally faithful and always gave a fine warm hello.

in every picture taken of her there is a blur where her tail is, because it was always wagging. every morning she presented my brother with a sock as a suggestion to play. She never really jumped inappropriately, but you knew she was extatic to see you. She had the bounding energy of a child, up until about a month ago.

if we could all be a little more like Penny the world would be a much better place.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lab Lessons

Doing experiments in a genetics laboratory really has the ability to teach not only lessons about science, but also lessons about life. I am completly convinced of it. Now, maybe this is just because I choose to see it this way, and maybe I am forcing this, but these ideas speak loudly to me.

Each experiment we do is aimed at providing information about the existing biological state of something. But each little experiment is also a micro scale view of the much larger lessons in trial, error, error and error, in tenacity, in not taking it personally, in thinking critically, in failure and in luke warm achievements.

Right now in our lab we are doing a project that is completely new to all who are involved, even the head scientist. We are getting results, but we dont really know how to interpret them. So, each time we do our experiment we get the result .04, for example, which is a low number. Some people say this is a reflection of some biological condition that we are measuring, while others say that the experiment is messed up somehow.

In the beginning of this project we envisioned it working super well once all the correct factors were in place. We envisioned getting a 100 and not a .04, followed by some kind of dorky but satisfying high-five and maybe a celebratory drink when it all made sense. Now, after doing it time and time and time again, and learning bit by ever-loving bit how to do it correctly, I realized today that there is just not ever going to be a high-five moment. There is not going to be a time when it all makes sense. Things progress too gradually and never really get all that much better. And I hate to take a life lesson from this, but I am afraid I have to, ouch.

Friday, May 30, 2008

3 Statements

A few statements that have come to mind lately:

{Fear is stupid}

{Nothing is homogenous, mostly everything has some underlying variation}

{Now that school is out for the summer, I am reminded that I dont know how to relax and have a day well spent}

Friday, May 16, 2008

Two Trains

Picture it: Two trains travelling at the same speed, in the same direction, towards the same target.

The target is {Knowing Something Really Well Station}.

As train 1 progresses on its journey to the station, passengers board and bring little bits of information with them. They have a lovely ride and stay on the train the entire way to the final station.

As train 2 progresses it gets more and more tired of its journey, again and again, the same thing. It contemplates stalling or jumping the tracks, anything to get off its narrow limited path through the countryside. As this train approaches its target station-it is completely run down and sick of the journey and the countryside and all of its passengers.

The two trains pull into the station at exactly the same time.

I realized the other day that these two trains, are actually the same train.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Here is New York

This is an excerpt from E.B. Whites book, {Here is New York}, 1948: I am going to get this book and read it.

There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter--the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last--the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh yes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company. . . .

Sunday, May 11, 2008


When you are so crippled by anxiety and you let it overwhelm you to the point that you completely ditch out on the lecture you have to give- tears mixing with beads of sweat- then you realize that your problem needs to be addressed. You feel sorry for yourself and people treat you with the kid gloves of pity. You are ill and a loser.

But when you are crippled by anxiety and you dont let it own you and you walk through the door and you do give your lecture. No one cares that you are battling a demon, they just judge you on your lecture: that your voice was not loud enough, or that you overstated or understated something.

Not sure what I want, but it just occurred to me the other day that once you actually do something people never assume that it was the hardest thing that you have ever done. They just know that you did it and now you join the ranks of all the others who have done it and you are judged against them.

Maybe this is my secret reason of wanting to just opt out of things, then I wont be able to be judged against others and they will never know how good (or bad) I could have been.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

All The Places I am Not

and before I resume writing my paper for school, because I am sitting at home and have been all day struggling, because I am restless and bored, because I cant concentrate or appreciate the cup of tea beside me, the absolute quiet in my apartment right now, the view of the newly painted manhattan mini storage sign or the sun sort of coming through the window in my kitchen.

Because no one can truly appreciate where they are, I wanted to write an homage to all the places I am not:

Not in an office, all stuffy and gray, struggling to tell a client why they cant have their way.

Not on the street, roaming and sad, with nothing to do but get into something bad.

Not about to give a lecture to a room full of people, all nervous and sick, watching the clock for each ugly tick.

Not in a factory, all stripped of my individuality.

Not in a hospital starting at the ceiling, wondering why I have this terrible feeling.

Not too cold or too warm, or too bold or too forlorn.

Just sitting here, sipping my tea, not in need or absurd or a black eyed me.

Sip, type, sip, type, type, sip.

2 Full Years and We've Never Had a Fight

Thank you to commenter {phalanges} for noting that petri dish is 2 years old!

I didn't realize it myself. April 9, 2006 is when it all began its growth, its amazing. Same Birthday as my brother-in-law on one side and my sister-in-law on the other, its a magical date, there is no doubt.

I had a thought today about something: You know when someone has done a lot for you, like too much for you to ever be able to properly thank them for? Well, how do you balance expressing thanks and praise without it turning into you be indebted to them forever, no matter how much they decide to treat you like crap?

Its a reason to never let anyone do anything for you, really, because you dont want that indebted feeling to weigh on you. And you certainly dont want to let anyone do anything for you who has some weird control issues, or just weird issues that would give them potential to make you feel small. No, you wouldn't do that.

Some people only want to do things for others, so they have the power over them. This is totally foreign to me, because I never really do anything for anyone, but I see it all around me.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Everyone, everyone, everyone, everyone

Everyone is superficial. If you act like you know what you are saying, most people will think that you do. But if you act like you are not sure of what you are saying, most people are not going to pluck your insecure voice out of a crowd and say {I think you have got something there!}

Weak and feeble minded people dont take risks on other people. Most people are weak and feeble minded. They only like people who are already obviously good. They never like someone who is undiscovered. Its smart people who find the value in the words and not only in how they are said. These people are rare, and precious.

But really, really you never know who someone is going to be some day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Our deepest fear...

I have this habit of trying to make people like me by being so humble that it burns, with loads of self depricating humor and discouting all of my talents, but I am realizing that it does not work. I need the speech below to sink in, its so great:

{Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.}

The above speech by Nelson Mandela was orignally written by Marianne Williamson who is the author of other similar material.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Invincible Summer

I found this quote and loved it:

{In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.}
-Albert Camus

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fast Creative Logic

Tonight I watched a documentary about human intelligence on the BBC. They were trying to figure out what makes up intelligence. They began with 8 people who excelled greatly at vastly different things: a physicist, an artist, a musician, a pilot etc. They were given the traditional paper IQ test and then they were given a host of other tasks that evaluated different aspects of their intelligence. One involved a wine cork all the way inside of an empty wine bottle: how do you get it out? That type of thing.

It was interesting and I think I finally have distilled down what I think intelligence is. I think it is brain plasticity. I think it is the ability that some people have, not to get stuck in intellectual dead ends, but to try other options exhaustively. I also think that speed of plasticity is involved. How fast can you think of options? You will be closer to the solution if you are faster than someone else.

All different types of tasks can be excelled at with this trait I think. It is about fast creative logic. With this you can solve crossword puzzles and find the secrets of the universe.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


What is it with those people who insist on moving between cars while the subway is moving? Its like they have this itch, this urge to travel even when they are already traveling. It like the earth when it travels around the sun, it cant just travel around the sun, it has to also spin on its axis. There are a high percentage of homeless people who do this subway car roving, looking for a fresh audience for their story, or itinerant musicians. So I think there is something to this traveling bug. This unrest.

Joe and I are traveling tomorrow and I am so happy to leave the city and all that goes with it, but I always get a little sad and scared when I leave-even if its just out the door to work in the morning in fact. Like I have lost a little something or that I will miss all the dear creaks, stomps and shifts the apartment makes when I am gone. So I just dont identify with people who have wanderlust, I am the opposite, philopatric, or {home-loving} in Greek.

When I think about other parts of the world, I find it intellectually interesting but I dont have the same desire to actually go there as other people seem to. I know I will be jet lagged and the bed wont be as comfortable as my own and I wont know how to get around and I wont know how to say it the way the locals do. So I will just stay here and think about all the wonderful places out there and nod my head and say {Oh yes, I’ve heard its supposed to be beautiful there.} But we leave tomorrow.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Daffodils are Yellow

The hiatus is over. I am back to blogging. My mind feels pensive and wondering again. I spent the last month in a daze, in a haze, I could not concentrate and was just not up to anything. But now that the time has changed and there is sun streaming in my apartment, I am back and my brain is too. Depression is an amazing transformation, and only in its absence do you realize its dreadful power to make all things turn to a grey tasteless liquid. The color has returned to everything and I know that there are interesting things out there to study, investigate and experience.

Yesterday I had a day full of classes and after class was over I went to have a drink with my colleagues. The neighborhood of my school is very close to my old office. The one I worked in for 6 years as a graphic designer. So I walked down the avenue that I had walked on almost every day for 6 years, but I was walking by the office with a group of people who could not have been more oblivious to what was around them. I pointed out the building to a friend and she noted that it looked charming, which it was-on its good days. I felt sad for a moment. I always get nostalgic for things that weren't that great, thats just how I do it.

But then I felt a wave of hopefulness and progress, one could not get more literal than actually walking by your old office and not stopping in, but just continuing on and even though I looked back, I really haven't.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

If I were a Cupcake

We made cupcakes this weekend from scratch and they were not as light and fluffy as they should have been. They were the consistency of muffins instead. When they were done we didnt even want to eat them. Then I realized that they were a perfect representation of how I have been feeling lately about things, heavy hearted and not as good as I should be.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I love little notebooks

This is my first full week of school and I am most excited about my notebooks I bought for this semester. They are little. They all fit inside my purse and they dont flip around, there are no spirals to catch on things and unwind at the end and they will not weigh me down on shoulder or in spirit.

And in not being quite as excited for actual classes as the rest of the people seem to be, I am holding on tight to my little notebooks. I have reverence for these little notebooks and hope to write nicely and well considered thoughts in them.

I love little notebooks.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I am having that feeling again. The one that there are endless possibilities. But in a good way, not in an overwhelmed way. Maybe it is because I have started to cook and cooking is a way of testing possibilites in a low risk way, the very worst that happens is a ruined meal and a few laughs about it now or in a couple of days.

or maybe it is New York doing this to me, afterall, aside from all the horrors of the city, it has this way about it, this encouragement of all things, like a parent who lets you do anything you want- and you are free to eat candy until you are sick, wear a ridiclous outfit or make something of yourself. your choice.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

We Have Been Shot

{I am so sick of looking at myself in that dress, in those terrible pictures}, I said to a friend on Friday afternoon.

Then that evening we learned that I probably would never see those wedding pictures again. The company that we hired to take our wedding photographs was involved in a several year long scam, taking peoples money and not producing photos or the albums that they promised.

We called the phone number of the company and it was disconnected, then we called the photographer (who we always got a creepy feeling from) and he was trying to build a scam on top of the scam, trying to get money from us to fix his supposedly broken harddrive where our wedding pictures lived, but then offering to give us the pictures for free, how sweet.

We had seen the wedding pictures online a few months ago and we pretty much hated them. If I had a lot more money we would have hired a better company, but I was so beat by the whole wedding process and the fact the the florist could not get me peonies that I just thought these people would do.

To make ourselves feel better after this debacle we took our gift certificate to Lumas, a photography gallery, and went down to Soho and bought the most beautiful piece in there. It is a circular print, that is in a circular mat and is a sepia toned landscape that just took our breath away as the bubble wrap was peeled away from it.

We carried it down the street together and we felt a little less broken.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Think Therefore I Am

There is not one correct way to write an essay, or cook a meal or knit a sweater. There are several correct ways. This limitless quality of creating or producing things can be exhilarating (I often felt this way about painting, because if feels like there are no rules), however it can also be overwhelming and lead to an unstructured mess that makes no sense, or tastes terrible or has three arms.

What I realized today is that, in school, when learning new things, people often want a pat answer and attempting to unearth the true ambiguity of a concept is unproductive and not what anyone wants to hear. What needs to be done is to learn what people think about things and learn to speak their language. I am feeling lately like I have thought about things to the point that deconstructs them into a meaningless mess, but I am thinking too much about the wrong things.

Sometimes you just have to accept a concept or a theory for what it is, learn the crap out of it and move on and even though the temptation for infinite questioning is standing over you and breathing down your neck, you must ignore it, especially if you want your PHD someday.

{for I saw that to know is a greater perfection than to doubt-Descartes}