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Ice Cream Assassin

Nov. 9th, 2009

01:10 am - Engagement

As many of you have heard, Chris and I have recently become engaged, the prospect of which is frightening and exhilirating and not all that surprising. We formalized our engagement at the conclusion of a lovely camping trip at Deception Pass State Park by exchanging simple rings on a secluded beach the morning of October 25th. It was lovely, and simple, and very mutual. We celebrated in Seattle all that day: a tea service at Remedy teas; a lovely long wander through the rooms of the Elliott Bay Book Company; a visit to Discovery Park; a lovely quiet dinner at Brad's Swingside Cafe. It was the sort of giddy romantic mood that has one skipping down streets with hands entwined and stepping into fancy art studios where colorful windows display pretty things that one would never be able to afford. After dinner, we walked home and read by the warm fire. It was very cozy. Chris has posted some photos of our camping trip here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theazureshadow/sets/72157622766275224/

We have now been home to tell our families, and are getting used to referring to each other as fiance, and it's rather less scary. We're planning on a summer wedding in 2011 to give us plenty of time to plan without going insane, and so that we can honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies when the chances of inclement weather are low. While I don't believe that marriage needs to happen to validate a relationship, it can be a meaningful declaration of love and a symbol of the unification of two lives and the lives of their families and communities. I am very happy to call Chris my fiance, my lover, and my partner for life and am looking forward to taking this next step with him.

Oct. 27th, 2009

04:18 pm - Summer Dawn

Just as the day breaks, it may be time
To slip away on foot
Carrying no belongings,
Leaving even your shoes behind
In some rooming house,
Or wherever you've hidden yourself away,

To look for another refuge,
Preferring at the moment
The open country, the interstate highway
Empty at this hour,
Or small-town cemeteries, where the birds
In the trees have fallen silent,

The minister has left the church unlocked.
You could enter and rest in its pews,
Or you could wade into a cornfield,
Swap clothes with a scarecrow,
Stretch out on the grass and have a long talk
With the first cloud of the new day.

- Charles Simic

Sep. 16th, 2009

06:53 pm - Wild Geese

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

~Mary Oliver

Sep. 3rd, 2009

02:52 pm - Hooray!

I passed my defense! Woot!

Jul. 16th, 2009

07:32 am - Adopt a Highway

My favorite patrons of the adopt a highway litter control system, as seen on signs in Western Idaho:

The Lone Inventor

Llama Joy

Yahweh's 666 Warning Assembly (these guys took three consecutive highway segments)


*For those who are confused, adopting a highway means you get your name on a sign and you're supposed to regularly clean up litter along that stretch of road. My church youth group had one.

Jul. 4th, 2009

08:31 pm - update

Well, it's been a long time since I've posted. Probably all summer, actually. I broke my laptop a few days ago. Well, not really broke it, but it has lost its ability to recharge the battery or run off of outlet power (due to an unfortunate incident involving a universal adapter whose voltage setting slipped to the wrong place). It's going to cost $300-400 to fix it, which is half of what I paid for it... I thought about just getting a new one, but if I did it wouldn't be anything significantly different from what I have now, and I like my computer. I don't want to have to get used to a new one and redo all the settings and such yet. So, besides only working half the summer, that will deplete my bank account further. Bleh. Anger.

In other news, I'm finishing up my research. I took down the last experiment last Tuesday and have to extract chlorophyll and write. Hopefully my computer will be fixed soon, as I can't really put statistical software on a thumb drive along with all the other files I need. Due to my committee members traveling for months at a time, it looks like I have to suddenly switch one of them around, but I should be giving my thesis defense around the end of August/beginning of September. Took Smurf to the airport in Spokane this morning and he'll be gone for about a week. On the drive back to Pullman I saw three roadkill porcupines on a short stretch of highway. They must be really active this time of year.

Apr. 7th, 2009

10:29 pm - Government claims immunity from lawsuits

I just read this article and wanted to share my concern: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/06/obama/index.html

In summary, when Congress granted immunity to telecom companies for illegal wiretapping, they implied that if anyone was offended they were welcome to sue the government responsible for said wiretapping. The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) took them at their word and filed a lawsuit. Recently, they got this response from Obama's Department of Justice:

"the Obama DOJ demanded dismissal of the entire lawsuit based on (1) its Bush-mimicking claim that the "state secrets" privilege bars any lawsuits against the Bush administration for illegal spying, and (2) a brand new "sovereign immunity" claim of breathtaking scope -- never before advanced even by the Bush administration -- that the Patriot Act bars any lawsuits of any kind for illegal government surveillance unless there is "willful disclosure" of the illegally intercepted communications."

This is an insane new application of the Patriot Act that effectively legalizes massive government spying on U.S. citizens, since no one can hold the government accountable for these actions. This administration promised a new era of government transparency and accountability, and indeed they've made some bold moves in that direction. However, some of their actions make me wonder if those moves are merely symbolic, while government retains every ability to spy on and suppress anyone it might deem threatening. In my view, erosion of civil liberties was the worst excess of the previous administration and one of the major reasons I voted for this one. I've been e-mailing whitehouse.gov about these issues and encourage anyone else who feels strongly about them to do the same.

Apr. 3rd, 2009

08:28 am - A note on breakfast

I have discovered that regular oats taste better than quick oats, and they both take the exact same amount of time to cook.

Mar. 24th, 2009

08:25 pm

At the gym this evening I walked past a huge muscly guy, the sort whose shoulders are so big it looks like he has no neck. He was wearing a shirt that said "Hugs not drugs." Ehehe...

05:36 pm - Geekiness

Waves of rain and hail wash across the roof of the library, where I am working on my thesis. Water pours out of the downspout draining the gutters. I wonder about the possibility of measuring rates and amounts of precipitation using an auditory index. Could you make a regression to calibrate rainfall to the sound it makes on a particular surface, and thus turn an oscilloscope into a rain gauge? It's probably much more complicated than it's worth, but it would be so frickin' cool...

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