Friday, August 09, 2002

summary of my year 8/2001-8/2002

as i finish my faculty fellowship - some time to reflect on the past year
8/01-10/01 - Worked on an extremely demanding project. if memory serves, several 60+ hour weeks and perhaps even some 70+ - reward for the effort - a day off
11/01 - laid off
12/01 - made final decision to switch careers and teach - was toying with it for a while - now - why not!
1/02-5/02 - first semester full time teaching
6/02-8/02 - summer faculty fellowship at a major govt research institute
6/2002 - start grad school
8/12/2002 - start new faculty orientation and will begin first full year with the faculty...

not to mention the collective trauma of 9/11 and the scary realization that there are some living among us who hate us enough to die trying to kill us...not to mention anthrax scare, smallpox/dirty bomb/etc threats, and the endless stream of kidnappings, west nile virus, strife in the middle east etc which has become the daily news

not to mention the normal, every day stresses everyone feels in a different way depending on what there current place is in life

not to mention a much greater awareness of my own mortality

i hope this doesn't come across as self-pity. i am and have been a very lucky person. how many go from being laid off to their dream job (although a suprising number of people i've talked to have found being laid off as a blessing in disguise) overall, the net change in my life has clearly been positive over this time frame...

still, when i wonder sometimes, how, despite everything going my way, i still feel stressed and depressed, i guess realizing all that has happened and remembering even positive change is stressful, goes a long way to explain it...

anyhow, tomorrow off to see sheryl crow, ziggy marley, train, etc,,, and some outdoor sports at the jeep world/outside festival in detroit...


Thursday, August 08, 2002

after a bit of internet surfing, i came upstairs. my wife was watching, on tlc, i believe, a show that described the medical use of maggots - in this case eating off the dead tissue off of a person's foot. i have


seen anything grosser in my life. my wife warned me as came into the room, but it was too late, i saw the ugly details. as god is my witness, i think i might throw up...

for those of you wondering what the hell the previous three posts are about, go back 4 posts and read about the blog degrees of separation

he shoots;he scores

redd hott to
JillMatrix to
JadedJu to
Pulp Friction (featuring a lovely new logo, btw) to


it's fun when you win!

ok - take 2 didn't work either...

hmmm - first attempt started at a brazilian page. my portuguese is, shall we say, not up to the task...gave up - not off to a good start...

dan talks about blog degrees of separation...i.e. start at a random blog and see if you can make it back home. this seems so completely useless that i find it irresistable and have to try it. i'll post any notable results...

tell me something good

(not quoting the rufus song)

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

oh - forgot about this, cause it happened kind of late a few nights ago, but a toenail either mostly or completely fell off...remembering now cause it started HURTING!

a few months back, for the queen's jubilee, bbc6 had a poll of the best recordings of the past 50 years. the stone roses' debut topped the list. i was only kind of familiar with them and while i knew they were popular in the uk, i was still suprised.

yesterday, i bought myself the cd as a birthday present for myself. it is a real, real, real, real good cd. very consistent and "i am the resurrection" is as good of a song as any rock band will ever perform. i still am a bit suprised it topped the list though. even forgetting many of the records i might pick that would not have the widespread acclaim of rock fans (hejira, aja, kind of blue), there are a number of certified classics i would have expected: revolver, are you experienced?, blonde on blonde, born to run, exile on mainstreet, london calling, my aim is true, even ok, computer etc... while stone roses is a great record - i don't get the groundbreaking sense i do from many of these other classics. i know these polls aren't to be taken too seriously -and that the uk audience is different than the us audience - and i should be grateful as without it i don't think i'd have discovered this record. it is a shame this band is not very well known in the US.

don't get me wrong. this is a great record. but i hear it as a solid record with a few flashes of brilliance. great, to be sure, but greatest of the past 50 years? perhaps i need more listens to it or perhaps the expectations created by such a lofty title is too much for any record to bear.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

five things you might think about me from reading my blog, but are not true

1. i am an animal lover. - uh - not particulary - just don't want to eat them.
2. i am some kind of fitness/health nut. - ANY interest i have in fitness is a VERY new thing for me, and i sometimes have the zeal of a newbie, but i am still taking baby steps in this area. "exercise" for me is as much about mental well being as physical - and despite being a vegetarian, i still hit the junk food and beer a bit too often
3. i only like obscure music. - i actually listen to TONS of music - some obscure, some not - it's kind of an obsession - hey, i like my trash 80's pop as much as anyone
4. i am an only child - i have 2 brothers and a sister which i love very much - but choose not to write about them much
5. i am obsessed about my age. - uh, only partly true - joking about it in an exaggerated way is a way to deal with it - owning it, as it were

got my haircut today - crikey - caught myself in the middle of a haircut blog karen, forgive me...actually i always get a kick when the haircutter asks me how i like it - as though i can see how it looks without my glasses - i always say fine, then hustle out of the store to see the damage - this one is kinda bad - but it'll grow back. there is only one guy who cuts my hair well, but he's hard to get an appt with and i always wait until the last moment and have a screwy schedule, so....

anyhow, had a fire alarm go off at my summer faculty fellowship research facility - a little startling - doubly so in this post 9/11 world - but was a beautiful day and after 10 min or so we could go back in and the day continued normally (after a quick stop in the bathroom for a pants check)

happy birthday!!!

may i be the first in the edt zone to wish the lovely and talented michelle yeoh a happy 40th birthday!

Monday, August 05, 2002

my template is much like my hair. i want it to look different, but i am not sure how i want to change it...hey, now that my template has a lot of grey in it, it's even more like my hair...

can't blog tonight;i have a headache.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

perhaps i overexerted myself today. my knee was sore, so i iced it, but worse than that, our microwave's timer went off and i answered the phone...

had a touch of cognitive dissonance today, as i was walking out to my car norah jones cd in my hand. starting up the car, without putting the cd in, i heard the first track on the cd. freaky deaky. actually, it was on the radio. this is much like how my daughter once noted every day for a week, standing still by jewel was on the radio as i was driving her to the bus stop. of course, in that case i was just playing the cd over and over...

in other news, i'm kinda doing the spacemonk triathalon ® today, trailrunning, swimming and yoga...add into that cutting the lawn and i doubt i'll have trouble sleeping - esp. if i cap off the eve with a well-deserved brew or three...

tv ramblings

great interview on bet with jazz legend sonny rollins. besides sporting one of the coolest beards ever, mr. rollins is still going strong at 72. i've seen him several times and each one he has been transcendant - elevating the music beyond. i remember one time in particular, he played a long solo on stevie wonder's ISN"T SHE LOVELY - a good pop tune, but not really a musically challenging one - rollins took it to unseen levels - just looking at him and hearing him you can see he was in the zone.

also, a new favorite show of mine is beat the geeks. a trivia show where contestants go agains "TV geek", "music geek", "movie geek" and special guest geek (star wars, bond, etc...). i always thought i knew trivia - but these guys are ridiculous. i am to them re:trivia as i am to catriona lemay doan in skating. i mean, in a very narrow, literal sense, we can be said to do the same things, but that is only because of the inadequacy of the language. and they are invariably guys. i say this with no "male pride" as i am sure this does not indicate any differences in intelligence based on gender, but surely is an indication that females have better things to do than to remember that "metachlorine" (or something like that) is the chemical in the blood that anakin skywalker has such high levels of in his blood. and that was an easy question for the star wars geek. when asked it he answered with smugness and disdain, like if you asked a normal movie viewer to name one of the two robots. although i am clearly not in their league, i do wonder how much more important stuff i would know, learn, remember, if the song rico suave was not in my head

just for fun, i complained to our waitress that my gazpacho soup was cold. she knew right away that i was joking as it is supposed to be served chilled. my complaint, and even that i ordered it was in honor of red dwarf character, arnold rimmer, who suffered substantial embarrasment at the hands of gazpacho soup, so much so, "gazpacho soup" were his last words and he commemorated the event every year (hey, this is sci-fi, being dead doesn't mean leaving the show)

went trail running and while i am sure it would have made for a more interesting entry, i did not get lost. partly, i think, because i remembered basic topology - i.e. if you cross a stream, it better be some multiple of two number of times, if you expect to find your car. heraclitus famous' quote "you can never step in the same river twice" might be true on a deep level, however, i doubt mr. heraclitus did any trail running else he'd know you need to step in it twice (or four times, six times, etc...) to end up on the same side you started! anyhow, since i've returned to participating in, as it were, "athletics", i completely see competition in a different way. for me, it is about pushing myself beyond whatever limits i imagined existed for myself. granted, those more seriously involved in athletics need a different attitude - need to prove themselves the best - whether it be on a world-wide level, or a national or state or city level. that is fine, if that's how they see athletics. for many, after all, it is their life. for many, perhaps my "goals" ould be laughable - learning to swim, running a bit - making it up that last hill without stopping, skating in a race. for me, however, these activities have helped show me that i face no bigger opponent than myself. i have come to see that the limits i place on myself because of fear or doubt or lack of confidence are what hold me back, in terms of athletics and other things, far more than any "external" conditions - genetics, responsibilities,etc...

i've noticed whenever i spill my heart out in entries i get little or no comments, yet when i make trivial entries i get many. wonder why this is? guess i have a couple thoughts...

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