Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Situation Shorts...

Paul and I were recently having a discussion about the Emergency Bra and the merits of buying undergarments for their capacity to double as viable filtration devices, should your immediate atmosphere become polluted with an overabundance of dangerous fumes or particulate material. I'm not a sexist though, like Dr. Bodnar, so I say, why should only women be marketed to for this class of potentially lifesaving unmentionables? Those of the male persuasion have just as much right to clamp smallclothes over their facial orifices in the incident of a disaster; am I right? That being the case, factories have already ground into action on my new line of Urgency Underwear, which will include such stylish options as the:
-Trauma Thong
-Bad News Brief
-God Save Us G-String
-Accident Athletic Supporter
-Big Trouble Boxers
-Sink or Swim Speedo
-Disaster Drawers
-Contingency Codpiece
-Predicament Panties
-Dire Straight Skivvies
and (best in focus group)
-Let The Looting Begin Long Johns

Available wherever fine dining wear is sold.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crazy Awesome Huge Book List Update...


Jan 15 - 'The Big Over Easy' - Jasper Fforde
Jan 25 - 'The Man From Beyond' - Gabriel Brownstein
Jan 27 - 'The First Men in the Moon' - H.G. Wells

Feb 4 - 'American on Purpose' - Craig Ferguson (BOT)
Feb 5 - 'Holidays on Ice' - David Sedaris (BOT)
Feb 12 - 'Wigfield: The Can-Do Town That Just May Not' - Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Amy Sedaris (BOT)
Feb 16 - 'The Book of Fate' - Brad Meltzer

Mar 1 - 'Naked' - David Sedaris (BOT)
Mar 8 - 'Gilgamesh' - Joan London
Mar 27 - 'The Liar' - Stephen Fry
Mar 28 - 'The Good Earth' - Pearl S. Buck

Apr 4 - 'Thursday Next: First Among Sequels' - Jasper Fforde
Apr 5 - 'The Borrowers' - Mary Norton
Apr 9 - 'The Borrowers Afield' - Mary Norton
Apr 17 - 'The Borrowers Aloft' - Mary Norton

May 7 - 'The Borrowers Avenged' - Mary Norton
May 22 - 'When Nietzsche Wept' - Irvin D. Yalom

Jun 3 - 'Good Omens' - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Jun 5 - 'Savages and Beasts: The Birth of the Modern Zoo' - Nigel Rothfels
Jun 8 - 'The White Queen' - Philippa Gregory
Jun 11 - 'The Law of Nines' - Terry Goodkind
Jun 20 - 'The Constant Princess' - Philippa Gregory
Jun 24 - 'The Other Boleyn Girl' - Philippa Gregory
Jun 26 - 'The Mistmantle Chronicles: Urchin and the Heartstone' - M. I. McAllister

July 2 - 'The Boleyn Inheritance' - Philippa Gregory
July 3 - 'Rain' - Kirsty Gunn
July 15 - 'Inside Animal Hoarding' -Arnold Arluke and Celeste Killeen
July 18 - 'Stealing Buddha's Dinner' - Bich Minh Nguyen
July 22 - 'The Virgin's Lover' - Philippa Gregory
July 25 - 'Going Postal' - Terry Pratchett

September 8 - 'Night Watch' - Terry Pratchett
September 12 - 'Another Gulmohar Tree' - Aamer Hussein
September 16 - 'I Know I Am, But What Are You?" - Samantha Bee (BOT)
September 20 - 'Coventry' - Helen Humphreys
September 21 - 'Sh*t My Dad Says' - Justin Halpern (BOT)
September 22 - 'I'll Mature When I'm Dead' - Dave Barry (BOT)

Currently reading: 'The Kite Runner' - Khaled Hosseini

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Things I Wanted To Do This Summer...

1) Sleep - check
2) Work - check
3) Write (KA, Aiden, Sci-Fi shorts, begin new serial?) - *sigh* I think I've written less this summer than perhaps ever before. Or at least since I was like 13.
4) Get back up to speed with Spanish - Resounding non-check. Really laid down on this one. Could really regret that. Definitely going to look really stupid in class come Monday.
5) Prep for GREs - Sort of check. And hey, I applied and got a 50% fee reduction for when I do take them. So yay.
6) Decide where my life should go from here - Nope.
7) Read (6+ books) - Double check. Read 14 books and am close to finishing 2 more.
8) Practice guitar - Not so much.
9) Play with cats/teach Jif to walk on a leash - check. Not to the point where Jif is heeling or anything, but he's well on the way.
10) Horticult - check. I nurtured many more plants than I killed. And my Japanese Maple seedling is like 6 inches tall now and seems to be doing well. So huzzah.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Old Man Man man cave...

So the other day I went to reset a password to an online account and I found out that what previously qualified as a very strong password is now only moderately strong. Allow me to wax nostalgic. When I set up my first Yahoo account back in the day, they required a four character password. Four. Ah the innocence of those times. So cute.
There's a car commercial (I think Ford) that's all like "We were making hybrids back when Facebook was run out of a dorm room." And I'm thinking, really? That wasn't that long ago... In real time that is. In internet time it's practically forever.
The internet has changed my life in many good ways. Honestly I don't know how people managed to do research before the dawning of the computer age (Answer: long and arduously), but it does have its down sides. I haven't written a real letter to anyone for like...a year. I love mail. I have always loved mail. I love stationary, and pens, and stamps, and writing boxes, and getting stuff that I wasn't really expecting. I've never had seals and sealing wax, but I want them. In short, I just love mail, and it makes me sad to see it going out of style.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I don't know about you guys, but here I am wondering where the summer went. Maybe it's not quite over yet, but still. Isn't it shocking how time flies when you're having fun? *Sarcasm*
Still, it hasn't been a bad summer by any stretch. Perhaps a bit on the short side, but really, how much can I ask for? A lot more? Undoubtedly, but I digress. Looking forward to some aspects of this fall though, so that's good.

Confidential to cryptologists: Yup, it's there. Can you see it?

Friday, July 16, 2010


This coming school year I will not be getting the work study that I have received since I started at Purdue. Which means that this coming year I will not be working the job that I got two weeks after I moved to Purdue. That's strange to me. Very strange. I would be leaving in a year anyway, but I rather expected to continue working here up til then.
I may try to take a more different part time job. Or I may take the loans they've offered me and say screw it for a few months. I probably won't do that.
In other news, I'm really, really not looking forward to hacking my way through the rest of my Spanish. *Sigh*

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Water damage...

A) Walking home from work the other day I was caught in a deluge which completely soaked my backpack and everything in it through, including my journal. Everything survived, but some pages look a little different.

B) I painted this coral snake for my brother. I think it turned out pretty darn good.

C) I saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie that came out last year. Now, let it be known that I have a pretty strong attachment to Holmes (One time I dreamed that I knew him and I'm pretty sure I was in love with him. Fun fact), and I am a pretty big stickler for keeping with the canon Sir Arthur. This new movie does not. That having been said, I did enjoy it. And quite a lot.
Recently I have seen Robert Downey, Jr in three things: Iron Man (1&2), The Soloist, and Sherlock Holmes, and I have a new respect for his acting abilities. Very diverse roles. He did a fantastic Holmes. Maybe not a canon Holmes, but a fantastic one. Lovely nuance.
This movie also gave quite a lot more dimension to the character of Watson (played rather nicely by Jude Law) who, let's be honest, rather got the short end of the characterization stick in the originals. The movie was more humanizing to both characters, and I can appreciate that. Great music too.

D) Current buzzword that should not be allowed on TV: "Bohemian chic".

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So um, yeah, just now finally got around to updating this template sooo, if there are any problems with viewing you let me know.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Crazy Awesome Huge Book List Update...


Jan 15 - 'The Big Over Easy' - Jasper Fforde
Jan 25 - 'The Man From Beyond' - Gabriel Brownstein
Jan 27 - 'The First Men in the Moon' - H.G. Wells

Feb 4 - 'American on Purpose' - Craig Ferguson (BOT)
Feb 5 - 'Holidays on Ice' - David Sedaris (BOT)
Feb 12 - 'Wigfield: The Can-Do Town That Just May Not' - Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Amy Sedaris (BOT)
Feb 16 - 'The Book of Fate' - Brad Meltzer

Mar 1 - 'Naked' - David Sedaris (BOT)
Mar 8 - 'Gilgamesh' - Joan London
Mar 27 - 'The Liar' - Stephen Fry
Mar 28 - 'The Good Earth' - Pearl S. Buck

Apr 4 - 'Thursday Next: First Among Sequels' - Jasper Fforde
Apr 5 - 'The Borrowers' - Mary Norton
Apr 9 - 'The Borrowers Afield' - Mary Norton
Apr 17 - 'The Borrowers Aloft' - Mary Norton

May 7 - 'The Borrowers Avenged' - Mary Norton
May 22 - 'When Nietzsche Wept' - Irvin D. Yalom

Jun 3 - 'Good Omens' - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Jun 5 - 'Savages and Beasts: The Birth of the Modern Zoo' - Nigel Rothfels
Jun 8 - 'The White Queen' - Philippa Gregory
Jun 11 - 'The Law of Nines' - Terry Goodkind
Jun 20 - 'The Constant Princess' - Philippa Gregory
Jun 24 - 'The Other Boleyn Girl' - Philippa Gregory
Jun 26 - 'The Mistmantle Chronicles: Urchin and the Heartstone' - M. I. McAllister

Currently reading: 'The Boleyn Inheritance' - Philippa Gregory and 'Rain' - Kirsty Gunn

Thursday, June 24, 2010


-or - Sometimes I love spam...

Dear Friend,


This might startle you a little as you might have seen or read about me but really don’t know me in person. Well, I am Rt. Hon Margaret Hodge MP. A British politician and Labour Party Member of Parliament for Banking. I was the first Minister for Children appointed in a newly created post with the Department for Education and Skills and presently Minister of State in the Department for culture, Media and Sport under Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom.

I got your contact info via your country’s national directory and intend introducing a project concerning charity in your country and maybe neighboring countries around you.

A few months ago, I was compelled to make an over estimation during a budget and set aside the sum of Sixteen Million Great Britain Pounds (Ј16, 000,000.00GBP) with the sole intention of channeling it all into charity which I am delegating you to executed on my behalf with complete supervision of my Attorney as he will also be the one in charge of securing these funds into your custody.

This transaction will result to you being paid a commission of 11% of the investment capital and the balance, distributed to charity organizations of your choice or reinvested and the net income, used for rehabilitating charity organization in and around your country through you/your agency annually for the period of five years or a little more. The last time I orchestrated this sort of Grant, the individual in Australia succeeded in successfully setting up three standard orphanage homes in less than a year. I have never been so proud of such a noble individual. I hope we would have a re occurrence in your case. If you are willing to execute this Humanitarian Project, You must understand that I desire absolute confidentiality and professionalism on this issue.

For security reasons as regards my reputation, I will not be able to communicate regularly with you; but my Attorney will take up the processing on my behalf and get these funds processed and released to you without any delay.

I don’t plan on benefiting anything from this project, but will be absolutely fulfilled, if and only if you remain sincere to me on the handling of this project with utmost sincerity and confidentiality; and eventually utilize the funds for the purpose which I have explained to you above.

Kindly respond urgently if you are interested as the fund have been tied down for too long, so I can equip you with the necessary details, alongside my Attorney’s contact information, so as to commence the transaction properly; on the other hand, if you are not, please let your intentions be known or better still, Kindly relent from replying this email.

You could get personal info on me via my official website, but do not try contacting me via any personal information you may lay your hands upon on the internet as almost all my contact info are connected to the British House of Parliament data base except the ones I personally sent to you; as I don’t want our effort and my reputation, jeopardized.

Kindly send your response to this E-mail: honmargareth@gmail.com




You wanna know how I know it's not really Ms Hodge trying to reach me? She said "attorney" instead of "solicitor". I'm not falling for that again.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Cleanliness is next to godliness...

Gave both my kitties a bath today, and even though in the end I wound up getting as wet as either of them did, they were still both very good, all things considered. The episode ended with two out of three individuals miserable, but nobody was injured, and the misery was largely due to the indignity of being doused and scrubbed.
Having given Kitty a bath before, I knew what to expect. She hates baths, but she is good about it and doesn't usually actively try to maim whoever happens to be giving one to her. Jif on the other hand, was a bit of a wild card, and I am pleased to say that even though he did hate it (a lot) he never tried to bite me, and even whilst climbing over my shoulder to try and escape the washing (multiple times), managed to not claw me. What a good boy.
That's not to say he's forgiven me yet. Kitty has bounced back surprisingly quickly though and even sat on my lap for a while.
And now I need to go clean a lot of hair out of my drain.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

On Horticulting...

The other day I got my first African Violet. Here's hoping I don't kill it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

On interest...

Perhaps I look exceedingly approachable and interested.
The other day while doing a shift at another library, I was approached separately by three of the full-time staff who engaged me in conversations about law school, Second Life, a son's search for an apartment to rent, utilities, FERPA certification, and the historical and modern stigmatization of birth mothers in adoption situations.
Fascinating, but why me? I don't know these people beyond their names (well, and now their Second Lives and FERPA certification and son's apartment search.) My theory is that you take someone who is already half willing to talk, show them the barest of interest, occasionally present a "Well you know you can call Duke Electric and they'll give you an average monthly bill for a given address.", and for the most part they are willing to share their life with you. Whether you like it or not.
And I'm not saying I don't like it. I do find it quite strange. But it can also prove a useful tool. But let's not forget strange...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Now on air...

Last year just when moving out of a dwelling shared with one of my favorite people we realized that with the running commentary that we kept up on the TV we watched, we probably should have started a blog. Well, I no longer watch quite as much television with Jenny, but I decided to go for it anyway, as I tend to keep up a running commentary even when there isn't someone to hear it. So here it is, the debut article of Currently Broadcasting: A Blog of TV Stuff.

Confidential to Jenny: Would you like to become a writer on said blog?

“I saw a product on late night tv. It said, you can water your hard-to-reach plants with this product. Who the fuck would make their plants hard to reach?! I know you need water, but I'm gonna make you hard to reach. I will throw water at you. Hopefully they invent a product before you shrivel and die. And they said, you can have this product for four easy payments of $19.95. I would like to see a product that was available for three easy payments, and one fuckin' complicated payment. We ain't gonna tell you which one it is, but one of these payments is gonna be a bitch: the mailman will get shot to death, the envelope will not seal, and the stamps will be in the wrong denomination...Good luck fucker! The last payment must be made in wompum!”
~ Mitch Hedberg

Friday, April 23, 2010

The end of day(s)...

Last night I watched Armageddon in preparation for my astronomy exam. For those of you who've not seen it, I don't want to give anything away, but at one point a member of the team of astronaut/drillers on the huge asteroid that is careening towards Earth and will surely destroy all life goes a little crazy and the commander gasps, "Oh no, he's got Space Dementia!"
Also, it was probably worth watching the movie just to see Ben Affleck on his knees screaming "No! I love you!" to a Bruce Willis who earlier in the movie tried to kill him. *shrug* Guess he just likes it rough.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Alternis sermonibus...

Had a girl come into work the other day and the first thing out of her mouth was "You have to help me," stated blandly, as an order.
"Ok...? What can I do for you?" I asked. Technically it is my job to assist people like her. Thus prompted, and without making eye contact, she continues.
"There's a journal article I need that apparently only you guys have."
"Alright?... ... ...What journal is it?"
"I don't remember the name. I have the author and the volume and page number." Well alrighty then, I guessed I'd do my best. Try to wheedle something else out of her to go on.
"Ok, can you remember anything of the name of the journal or the article?" I inquired, stepping up to the challenge.
"Can't you just look it up with what I gave you?" she demands, aimlessly fiddling with my pen.
"Well, no, not really. A bit more information would be good."
"I think it was "veterinary medical" something...", says she. Well yes, if I were cold reading you, that would have been my first guess as well...
"The Journal of Veterinary Medical Education?", says I.
"The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association?"
"The Journal of Veterinary Medical Sciences?"
"Yes. That's it."
"Good!" How I love success.
"That's what I was going to say but I thought it was wrong."
"Alright, well we do have that journal, and since you know the volume you need, it shouldn't be a problem to find."
"Well that's good because I'm just so sick of all the trouble I have to go through every time I need to find something in a journal!"
Yeah... That sure sucks.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Once there was a way...

I'm tired of not sleeping. Or maybe I'm just tired.
"But Renee," says you. "You know it's your own damn fault if you don't go to bed when you should and/or don't practice effective time management."
"But shut up," says me, in a really grumpy tone of voice because, I don't know whether or not you got the memo, but I'm tired!

I am looking forward to summer like you wouldn't believe. I'll be working a lot, and it won't be fun work (maintenance, scanning...ugh), but I am still looking forward to summer like you wouldn't believe, even despite that.

In other news: Waiting impatiently for the things I planted to start coming up. Couldn't tell you why I feel the need to rush my seeds more this year as compared to other years, but I do. I want plants!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Things I would like to do this summer...

1) Sleep
2) Work
3) Write (KA, Aiden, Sci-Fi shorts, begin new serial?)
4) Get back up to speed with Spanish
5) Prep for GREs
6) Decide where my life should go from here
7) Read (6+ books)
8) Practice guitar
9) Play with cats/teach Jif to walk on a leash
10) Horticult

Thursday, April 08, 2010

And now for some culture...

I am having a love affair with this song. It's hilarious. I will tell you before you clickety-click the arrow that it is explicit in a variety of ways and will introduce images into your mind that you will never be able to expunge, so... Don't say I didn't warn you.

Julian Casablancas is kinda cute, and I like his clothes, and I think his voice is great; but if you see him without the glasses and from the side, he kinda looks like Zach Braff. Also, he's 31? What? Talk about well preserved. He looks like a kid for gosh sakes. But anyway, I have been listening to 'Out of the Blue' and '11th Dimension' all week, and I suggest you give them a try.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Spring Break Photo "Thursday" - Pt. 4

Another stereo of a USBG orchid. Love the delicate purple.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Spring Break Photo "Thursday" - Pt. 2

Stereographic set of one of the many orchids at the US Botanic Gardens
Aside: I'm getting a lot better at getting that angle of separation just right, and that really pleases me.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Friday, April 02, 2010


Last night on the bus to the observatory two girls were sitting behind me. They got to talking about the upcoming Astronomy exam and how hard the last one was, and one girl admitted that she never goes to the lecture. She then adds that it's all in the book anyway, so she'll just read that and she'll do fine on the test.
Ok, nothing wrong with that I guess, if that's how you roll.
About ten minutes later in a completely unrelated conversation about learning styles, the same girl tells her benchmate that "Yeah, like, I can't learn anything by reading a textbook. That just doesn't work for me at all. I'm an art major so I need to see and hear it..."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Greater expectations...

Merely one item in a long list of firsts this past week, I saw (and touched of course) the ocean!
It was amazing. The ocean! You all know how I feel about water in general; how could I not fall in love with the Atlantic? It was amazing. The entire island was amazing. Or at least that's what I extrapolated from the fair bit of it that I saw. I'll not pretend that we went over every inch of it, but what we did go over was awesome. And I mean that with the "awe inspiring" definition of the word, rather than the skaterboy "totally rad" definition. Though it was also totally rad.
I picked up a couple of shells, and that was totally rad too. Assateague has an open policy about shell collecting, which is nice, so long as you don't sell them or "take more than you need". How many is more than you need? According to their brochure, it's more than can comfortably fit in a gallon sized bucket. That may seem like a lot, but a gallon of shells go nowhere when you're trying to mosaic all your bathroom porcelain in them, let me tell you.

In other news, I may have been the first (pfft), but I sure as heck wasn't the last person to begin singing Welcome To The Jungle upon entering the main atrium (the jungle room) at the US Botanic Gardens. That's right, Paul scoffed at me for singing it on the way in, and on the way out we met a group of three kids doing the exact same thing as they entered. So much for originality. I really need to go there later in the year sometime though, when the outside gardens have a better chance of being in bloom. Still, had a great time there, and got some shots that I'm pretty sure will make darn good stereos...once I get around to making time to tinker with them...

I'll probably post a couple of pictures and more Adventures of Spring Break later. Woo! Spring Break!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Idea: How about a co-quel?...

Has good ol' Sly Stallone been in anything that they didn't make umpteen sequels/prequels to? Now I'm not saying I don't find The Stallione very attractive, I don't, but you know, you have to end a series somewhere. Though I will admit that I am looking forward to 'Rocky 59 - Scrabble in the Old Folks Home'.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Waitin' for...anything that looks tasty...

My cat Jiffy is going after the big game these days. Sit down, I'll tell you all about it.
Last night during the twilighty period I was at my computer and Jif was out killing time on the balcony. Turns out time isn't the only thing Jif had a mind to kill...
Suddenly I heard a desperate scrabbling sound and look up just in the nick to see a common gray squirrel hotfooting it through my door with Jif hard on its tail. The two of them tore through my main living area and raced into the kitchen where the squirrel banked hard and high against the cabinets, luge style. He executed a quick about face in the entrance of the bathroom and somehow managed to squeak by Jif and make for the door, cat still only inches behind. Back on the balcony the squirrel dived to either his death or his safety. Turned out to be the latter.
What did Paul Kuliniewicz have to say about the matter?
"I think you were supposed to close the door before the squirrel could run back out... Way to be a team player."
I'll be sure to remember that for the next time Jif chases something half his size into my house.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Crazy Awesome Huge Book List Update...

Jan 15 - 'The Big Over Easy' - Jasper Fforde
Jan 25 - 'The Man From Beyond' - Gabriel Brownstein
Jan 27 - 'The First Men in the Moon' - H.G. Wells
Feb 4 - 'American on Purpose' - Craig Ferguson (BOT)
Feb 5 - 'Holidays on Ice' - David Sedaris (BOT)
Feb 12 - 'Wigfield: The Can-Do Town That Just May Not' - Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Amy Sedaris (BOT)
Feb 16 - 'The Book of Fate' - Brad Meltzer
Mar 1 - 'Naked' - David Sedaris (BOT)

Currently reading: 'Gilgamesh' - Joan London

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's Friday....

... Oh thank God, it's Friday.
I have an exam today, but I feel alright about it I guess. And when it's over, it's over, so there's that.
By Sunday I have to have final prep for a presentation on advertising done. On the plus side for that, I think we came up with some really awesome class activities to make our audience use what we're teaching.
Last night I had one of the more disturbing dreams possibly of my entire life. Not the most, but probably in the top 10 at the very least.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


This Friday we had a fantastic turnout at improv. I believe that the head count topped out somewhere in the 70-75 range. We've had callouts with much worse attendance than that, let alone regular meetings. I credit these new kids we've got coming that keep bringing their friends. Man I love that.
Know what else I love? Sitting out on my balcony when the weather is nice. The weather has not been traditionally "nice" for a very long time, and I miss it. I'm not saying that I don't like snow and ice rain as much as the next guy; I do. I'm just saying that sun and warm breezes also have their merits. And I believe that this year I'm going to plant butterfly attracting flowers. I do love me some butterflies.
On another note, I would not want to be the Queen of England.

"If BASIC is the pair of rounded blunt safety scissors you give a kindergartner, C++ is a chainsaw with no off switch where you've replaced each tooth with a smaller chainsaw."
~ Paul

Sunday, February 07, 2010

For balance...

Wrapped up inside
Pushing, welling, longing
Well, this is familiar
The old fixes only sometimes work
But then, did they ever
You can always get it wrong
Prayer to an unknown deity
Asking for help that may not be there
Maybe some lavender
Maybe some zen
Maybe that's best for now.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Sunny Madison...

Cap: 2009 Garden Tour with Pap

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

At least the trains are on time...

So I've decided to keep a record of all the books I read so that in forty years I can have a list like Art Garfunkel's. He averages more than two books a month and reads everything from 16th century philosophy to just released mystery novels. I appreciate his taste. He's got to be a fascinating man to talk with.
Anyway, so far this year I've read:
Jasper Fforde's 'The Big Over Easy'
Gabriel Brownstein's 'The Man From Beyond'
And I'm halfway through H.G. Wells' 'The First Men in the Moon'.
Generally during the school year I don't read anything that's not a text, but making a point of sticking a book into my backpack means that I'm grabbing a few minutes here and there throughout the day, and that adds up. Now to just get back into the rhythm of writing a couple times a week too...

Fun fact of the day: Sugar, flour, etc plants can be dangerous because all the crystalline dust in the air builds up a ton of static charge and is actually very flammable. Proper ventilation and machine care mitigates some of the risk, but there have been plant explosions because of the dust build up. I had no idea. Cool huh?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Running Start...

This semester I have one instructor with a touch of a deep southern drawl, one that looks like the Disney conductor, one that is fidgety and restless, and one that waltzed into the room on the first day saying "Hello everyone! Sorry I'm late!" in a pretty dang good English accent. Could be a good year!

"There are no makeup labs in Astronomy."

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Cap: Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, VA

Thursday, January 07, 2010


God it’s cold. Why is it so cold?

Crippling confusion swirls like thick fog in my mind. Like wraiths and demons, choking out logical cognition.

Synapses reconnect, neurons fire, the fog thins slightly.

“Can you hear and understand me?” asks a voice from the void above.

Yes, yes I can hear. I can understand; but how? I try to raise my head, open my eyes, voice my epiphany of consciousness, all to no avail. All that I manage is to crack open what I believe to be my lips and with tremendous effort vibrate my vocal cords in a tremulous and primal groan.

“Very good, Ms. Leyburn. You’re doing fine.”

Leyburn? Who is Ms. Leyburn? Where am I?

“You’ve suffered quite a lot of damage from the cryonic process that was used on you.”

Damage? What the hell is she talking about? Slowly memories begin to filter back in; small, disjointed, episodic visions of a life. My life? I try hard to make my eyes work, but the blackness persists.

“Unfortunately it is not damage that we can repair at this time.”

A brief image of an animal drifts through my mind. It is accompanied by the feeling of sunlight, soft golden-red fur against my face, the smell of leather and hay. A feeling of happiness. Contentment. I try to grasp the sensations but they fade all the faster for it, leaving a feeling of loss so intense that for a moment I forget my confusion.

So much grief. So much pain.

“What we have decided to do with cases such as yours, since we cannot viably re-freeze you without causing further damage, is to place you in suspended animation. You will have some level of consciousness, though for the purpose of preserving as much brain function as possible, we will stall the thawing process where it is at the moment and, as a consequence of that, consciousness of yourself and your surroundings will be limited to approximately what you are experiencing right now.”

Re-freeze me? I was frozen? That explains the cold. Why was I frozen?

“In case you are wondering, it is April eighth, 2541. Welcome back to life, Ms. Leyburn. Rest assured that we here at Burns and Levy CryoniTech Incorporated will do all that we can to ensure that your body and mind get the premier care that you paid for when you signed with us.”

I’m dead. I was dead anyway.

I don’t understand what the voice means by “damage”, but the fog seems to be lifting ever so slowly. There are memories there; I can feel them on the edges, just out of reach. With just a bit more time I’m sure that I’ll be able to see and understand them. They will fall into proper order and I will know who I was. Who I am. I just need to know, to think, to feel. Just need time, a little bit more time. My lips open, I strain to speak.

“Alright Ms. Leyburn, I’m putting you into stasis now. Sweet dreams.”


But for some bread a sandwich...

Cap: Some kind of Jelly - Newport Aquarium