Saturday, September 11, 2010


i'm officially on break, this last week and a half before school starts. at the moment, i'm sitting in seatac hoping that 80 minutes before flight feels shorter than it sounds. SO TIRED right now, going to take a nap in austin on a proper bed asap.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

school... sucks so hard!

perhaps this is a little simplistic, but it's also a nice summary of my feelings. an undergraduate degree (often plus masters or phd) is the stepping stone into a professional career, unless your desired career is not something that requires off-the-job training, and it also eats up about a third of your life, if you're done at 30. shocking, in my mind. a third! assuming that you're going to do the time at home as a dependent until roughly 18, plus or minus 2 or 3 years, that's an additional 12 years spent obtaining highly specialized training. let's round to 10, in case you're a genius and get your post doc work done super super fast. an entire decade spent immersed in academia, your head buried in the unique and strange universe of the university. what a mind fuck, huh? call me crazy, but it seems like that time might seriously warp your perspective on what the real world actually consists of, in a very permanent way. i know that when i'm actively involved in school, i read the paper less, i have far fewer non-school related conversations, my group of acquaintances narrows significantly, and in general my world shrinks down to a succession of classes, homework, grades, and school related drama and anxiety. i forget that this is not the majority of the world's experience, and that this isn't of penultimate importance.

what would i rather do with 10 years, if i could? go out and do some experiential learning. but, if i want the resources to have a nice house, a nice vehicle, a nice wardrobe, a nice retirement, then i need a nice job, and those all need that 10 year foundation. i'm too stubborn to lower my standards to just getting by, as that would certainly be possible for a high school graduate to do with the jobs they are qualified for, hell even if you dropped out of high school. just getting by doesn't interest me at all though, so i'll do my time, but be on the lookout for ways to reduce that without compromising on my passions.

yes, i am an introvert!

are you an introvert?, asks the very intelligent and totally awesome dr. emily nagoski.

go read this post immediately! if you are an introvert, you will have the sincere pleasure of having a complete stranger so eloquently describe the basis of your personality, and if you are an extrovert, you might gain a better understanding of the introverts in your life and will stop having all sorts of really unfortunate and unnecessary misunderstandings. once you're done reading it, link it to all of your friends, and let the world know that we aren't shy and anti-social, just wired a little bit differently. (also you should read everything else that's on the blog, especially if you are interested in learning more about female sexuality, relationship dynamics, and really fascinating science)

my first serious relationship crashed and burned in large part because he was an extrovert and for the life of him could not get why i felt hesitant to attend parties, outings, and other such events, and felt like it was a rejection of him. i would constantly tell him almost verbatim what the post so wonderfully, concisely, and clearly articulates: that social interaction is pleasant for me, but so, so, so exhausting (especially after a busy day of school and work), and definitely a tiring “physical experience”. he just didn’t get it, and much as my relationship with him deteriorated, so did the relationship with our mutual friends who didn’t understand why i disliked a constant stream of people in our shared living space. thankfully the situation has changed.

but i digress. go read it! now!

Sunday, August 8, 2010



my talisman of protection,
hanging heavy around my neck,
doesn’t do anything except:

fake me out,
fool me,
let me pretend.

but that’s good enough for me,
as long as i’m not musing
about my imminent fiery death.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

consumerism gush

carhartt waterproof jacket

3mm pink diamond nostril screw in rose gold by maria tash

catalina yacht, more sailing lessons...

many kinds of lovers

danae, klimt, 1907. from wiki: "danae was a popular subject in the early 1900’s for many artists; she was used as the quintessential symbol of divine love, and transcendence."


there once was a young woman
who thought that she was the One.
he thought she was Wrong.
she knew she was Right,
and became her own lover;
it was all much easier after that.


a common theme within the mystic traditions of many religions is finding the divine within yourself, the infinite and transcendent within the limited body and mind. these paradoxical qualities coexist within the soul, caught in sweet tension with each other. so maybe if we are loving ourselves, we are also loving beyond ourselves.


(who can name these skylines?)

into the great blue yonder

when i was a teenager, and embarking upon my first ventures out of the great northern state i call home, i was absolutely terrified. terrified and convinced that leaving was the right thing to do, provided that i could always come back.

starting roughly a year ago, i set in motion a chain of events that would see me traveling many more air miles than i ever had in the past. between breaking up with a boyfriend, visiting my family, landing a kickass internship, meeting another boy and plunging into a long distance relationship, more visits to family and boy, and plans for trips across the globe, i'm experiencing a lot more travel than i thought i ever would (willingly). now, i'm getting on planes happily, looking forward to voyages that i know will end with myself and someone(s) i care about deeply wrapped up in an embrace. it's a good feeling.

guess it's all in perspective.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

how old am i again?


technically, i have arrived,
i am a grownup and need to act my age.
but i still stress like
i was 14 again.
oh my gawd, this life business…
it’s hard.

summer angst (yes, even more)

whenever summer rolls around, there seems to be a new crisis. it’s weird, because during the much busier school year, i typically don’t go through these periods of drama and angst. perhaps it’s because i’m doing so much that i don’t have time to think, just go go go. but during the summer, when things slow down and i can focus, i always manage to unearth something momentous from my subconscious.

last summer the task was to come to terms with an extended or permanent absence from the place i call home. it took about 6 months and several cross country trips, but i’ve reconciled myself to it. visiting will satisfy.

this summer, i’m stressing about school. specifically, about transferring to another one.

my small, liberal arts school has served me pretty well, considering that i never wanted to go here. i’ve had the opportunity to build some solid relationships with professors and have never lacked for attention in classes. however, as someone who wants to get into the biomedical research industry, it’s the undergraduate research experience (both quantity and quality) that really matters to me. sadly, my current school is lacking in both. sure, there’s 1 or 2 professors who have done some recognized work, but overall the research endeavors here are underfunded and lack organization. so far i’ve spent 1.5 summers in a lab where nothing gets done. it looks good on my resume, but really, that’s all that i’m getting out of it.

so, i decided to transfer, mid year, to the R1 university in the city. i think i have a decent chance of getting in, and if i do, i’ll go. i haven’t told my research lead, my academic advisor, or any of the professors i count as mentors. how am i supposed to tell them? the big shiny rival university just stole one of their most promising students, one that they’ve put a significant amount of time and resources into. (of course, this doesn’t factor in the outrageous tuition, which pays for a completely underwhelming education without even a name attached to it, so really, their resources aren’t what’s important here) but it’s my time, my money, my future career, my life, and i don’t think i can stay here any longer.

i want to be pushed, i want to compete, i want to be in an environment with an actual scientific community. i’m not going to find that here, and i don’t think i can wait until grad school. so if i get in to the Big U, i’m going, and i won’t be sorry that i did.

the wave

On Tuesday morning, the air was filled with the scent of roses in full bloom. Every vertical surface was covered with them, wild pink and red climbers with fuzzy yellow centers scaling any wall they encountered. The growth had sprung up overnight, covering the walls of our house with a carpet of flowers, thick enough to completely obscure the peeling paint beneath. In the August sunlight, they seemed to effervesce with velvety luminosity. If it had been dark outside, they would have shone as stars, surrounded by a haze of their brilliance. The entire city was covered, according to the reports of neighbors and friends who had driven through the city in bewilderment, seeking the reason why they had been transported into some version of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. The air was moist, as if rain had come and gone and threatened to come again, causing instant perspiration and an acute sense of continually being stifled beneath layers and layers of warm blankets.

Radio and television had both gone dead by about noon, but it was for a different reason than the roses. The sky was achingly blue, the type of blue that picture postcards of tropical islands have in abundance, and there were no clouds. Cumulus, nimbus, stratus, and their myriad other cousins were gone, leaving almost nothing to shield the eyes from the blinding blue that arched overhead like an enormous cathedral. The almost part was striking: a golden wave that hung in the sky like a prop for an elementary school play. It stretched up almost to the height where human eyesight failed, then curved downwards like it was about to break upon us.
The great curve inspired breathlessness in all that gazed upon it, and stuck them to the sticky black streets.

In order to escape, we drove. It was a stolen red convertible. We drove with the top down, away from the city and the shimmer of baking asphalt and the smell of roses. Even though we must have driven near to a hundred miles, the golden wave never seemed to move and remained suspended over us. I still could not breath. Eventually, the paved roads ended and we plunged into dirt roads that wound through the forest. The tall pines obscured the sky somewhat, and the sharp scent of their needles cut through the scent of the roses, which climbed around their trunks. It was cooler, although no less humid under the shade of the great trees, which comforted with their solid trunks and whispering boughs. But the forest ended.

After the forest ended, the gas tank ran empty. So we walked across a plain covered with waving grass, hand in hand, under the golden wave, breathing short, fast, breaths of hot, wet air and saying absolutely nothing. Although it must have been many hours since we had last left the city, the light had not changed and the wave still swept up above us. Roses crept along the ground, peeking out from the thick grass like jewels, their petals offering us a scented carpet. It was the end of the world. The plains ended, and out of nowhere appeared a stream, its waters as blue as the sky. A raft bobbed upon its surface, and we climbed aboard, leaving our shoes on the bank to be swallowed by roses. We drifted down the stream for many hours, days, weeks, months, years, and it turned into a wide river under the golden wave. And at last, the sky darkened. In the twilight, the far away banks gleamed with the roses and the stars were obscured by a veil of gold.

We were approaching a great waterfall. Then everything happened. The sky darkened completely, and in that moment our senses were assailed with the sweet smell of roses, the sight of a black and gold sky, and the sound of water falling, from before and above us. We smiled at each other in the darkness. We plunged over the rim as the wave fell, still holding hands. It was the end of the world, and it was more beauty than we could stand.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



there are these sorts of events
that put deep scars in your heart,
among other places.
i am so puzzled that they call this
like it can be shed at some point?
i don’t travel light.
but when the sun is exactly right,
these remnants of old wounds
shine silver across my skin.

he says they’re beautiful,
and i can’t help but believe him.

endothermic and exothermic relationships

(explosive reaction of aluminum and bromide, an example of an exothermic reaction)

ever since i took general chemistry my first year of college and got an extremely thorough lesson on entropy, it has established a very stubborn foothold in my brain. i tend to draw parallels between the basic tenants of entropy and all sorts of very complex, decidedly unchemical events. on my mind right now is the idea of relationships being either endothermic or exothermic.

endothermic reactions are chemical reactions in which entropy is reduced; that is, the chaos in the universe has been slightly diminished. chemical a meets chemical b, and they make compound c. the price to pay when entropy is decreased is that stability is also decreased. that is, compound c is less stable than either parent chemical because, simplistically speaking, is that the entropy is being bottled up as energy within the compound. endothermic reactions require energy in order to proceed.

exothermic reactions, on the other hand, result in an increase in the total amount of entropy in the system (that is, the universe). once again, chemical a meets chemical b, but this time, compound c is actually more stable than either parent compound, because energy has been released. exothermic reactions are spontaneous, and occasionally violent and destructive if not properly controlled.

so do your relationships follow a typically endothermic or exothermic pattern? does the chaos in your life typically decrease or increase? are you more or less stable at the end of the day? how much energy does it take to make your relationship work?

although this is certainly an imperfect analogy, it's interesting to apply these very basic scientific principles to the situations we often find ourselves wrapped up in daily life.



i put bright color in my hair but,
it does not put the color back in my cheeks.

for all my preening, i am still the flightless kind of bird.