Friday, November 30, 2012


This is too thought-provoking to not post.

city lights

I've felt like I've had this sign hanging 
over my head this past week (source)

Side tidbit about me: It continues to flabbergast (and frustrate) me how much I like people in general, but how little I feel likeable. I'm positive it's a total headgame, but recent events have made it more clear to me how important, oddly, it is for me to have some sort of communion with others... and to feel loved in that. Ugh. I'm just turning into some sort of odd static-cling sort of person, which I usually find very alarming and aim to avoid. It frustrates me, I guess, that I'm not as independent as I would like myself to be.

But, in times such as these, I tell myself to take a big breath, be quiet for a moment, and remind myself that I am not irreparably broken. I am not perfect, and I never will be, but I am enough. I am enough. And I am friggin' awesome. Just sayin'.
So, enough of that, people!

Science-wise, I've hung onto this post for a while. It's about grasshoppers in urban areas changing their mating call to overcome the anthropogenic noise of their "new" setting. It's pretty cool and Breanna Draxler does a really nice job giving the highlights of the full paper (which is also a good read).

In other science news, I've been giving intermittent fasting a try in my personal life. It's a little odd, and I'm not sure I'm 100% on board because of the odd timing of calories consumed, but we'll see how it goes. I'm a little wobbly overall on it (IF one day, not IF the next, IF for 2 days, etc.) We shall see. After this CFit competition next week, though, I'm getting on board with "gotta lose 10 lb, now." It's getting irritating, honestly, and I know I'm better than this. That shit happens in the kitchen, right? I guess I just need to eat less. The horrors! Heh!

Anyhow. Hope all is well. Everyone hang tight and enjoy each other.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday; a bit of a holiday roundup!

Sorry, I was MIA for the past 5 days or so -- driving a lot'll do that to ya. I listened to Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis' Heist CD more times than is logical for one person to do on a cumulative 25 hour drive. It was awesome. I also ate a ton of delicious turkey, hit up CrossFit 616 on Friday and Saturday (did "Murph" for the first time [banded pullups] in 48:08!) and drank far too much Nos on my drive home.

Today I'm starting my no-caffeine protocol, as well as getting off sugar pretty strictly, barring a few pre-planned things (Christmas party this Friday, for example). So, this week is going to sort of suck for me, but I'm going to try and remain cheerful throughout.

Here is a little poem by William Stafford.

Any Morning

Just lying on the couch and being happy.
Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head.
Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has
so much to do in the world.

People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can't
monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget.
When dawn flows over the hedge you can
get up and act busy.

Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven
left lying around, can be picked up and saved.
People won't even see that you have them,
they are so light and easy to hide.

Later in the day you can act like the others.
You can shake your head. You can frown.

And here's a fun animation/song. The song is sung by a friend of a friend, Kim, which somehow that means you should like it even more than you otherwise might.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mackelmore for Monday

Here it is! I've been rocking to this song all weekend.

Sometimes you have a weekend where things don't go exactly as you think they should, but it's still awesome... which was my experience. Life can't get me down. People are beautiful in the most unexpected moments, and I am working on not being startled into silence when I realize this. People are dope.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Release of unpublished data for public perusal

One of the many, many reasons I love Rob Dunn is that he's such a social scientist - outreach and Rob appear to go hand in hand, and he seems like a really fun, genial type of guy.

He (and his collaborators) are releasing the data they have on the microbes of the human belly-button... for analysis by YOU! (and you and you and you!). He explains it better, of course, but read it, do it (or not), but love Dunn regardless.

I, personally, am hyped that Thanksgiving break is right around the corner, because part of my sleepy Friday will be spent playing a bit with the dataset.

Friday, November 16, 2012


So, because I posted a little bit about science earlier in the week, I'm going a little bit of a different route for today's Science-y Friday post.

I've been reading a book called Generosity: an Enhancement by Richard Powers. I picked it up at the public library because I wanted to join a book club and, erroneously, believed that the books stacked on a display with "Book Club Reads" emblazoned across it would be books that were going to be read. I was, sadly, incorrect, but it turned out okay.

That morning I'd walked from the farmer's market down to the library with a paper bag of roasted chestnuts in my hand. The only sort of chestnuts I'd ever eaten previously were water chestnuts (which, I guess are actually invasive in the U.S. and not a nut at all, but a marsh tuber), which are okay, for a crunchy flavorless sort of thing.  But these little things smelled like autumn and could be cupped cozily in my two hands. So, I purchased some. And they were so warm and perfectly sweet. I ate my first one, peeling off the leathery outer layer, and the sweet nuttiness on my tongue reminded me of all the sweet melancholic things I love about autumn. And I felt so content and alone, but also full to overflowing at how precious my friendships are to me.

The moment was very emo and Portlandish. Don't judge, yet, 'cause it's gonna get worse.

It actually reminded me of one of my favorite poems by William Carlos Williams,

"This is just to say"
I have eaten
the plums
that were
in the icebox

and which
you were
probably saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

I was so overjoyed that I, too, jotted off a few phrases while I sat, eating chestnuts, thinking of William Carlos Williams, and reading Generosity. I haven't gotten too far in the novel yet, just about a quarter of the way through, but so far, I like it. The premise relates to Science finding a genetic basis for happiness and the (I assume) exploitation that goes along with it, and the genetic anomaly found in one of the protagonist's writing students. I'm bummed that I missed a book club discussion on it, but am hopeful that I'll be able to get in on the book club when it starts up again in January.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

how I, too, live my life

I believe in everything by Ethan Ryan on Thoughtcatalog. I love it! And I believe too, Ethan.
Except in metametafiction. That can get too complicated and self-righteous to be any real good to anyone.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Think Harder

Definitely interesting. Thinking about fitness results in fitness gains.

Today, this poem

I wrote a bumbling little poem this morning about the radiator. I have to turn it a bit more, I think, but it isn't too terrible.

Each morning, in from the chill,
putting my mitten-clad hands directly on the radiator.
the metal curves, chipping upteen coats of reapplied beige,
are hot under my palms. Cold fingertips push
against it, stiff and warm. I enjoy it like a lover.
and it sighs me into pleasure
before I must climb the stairs, continuing upwards with Life. 

And then this poem arrived in my inbox via The Writer's Almanac, and I thought how perfect. I try to live my life in a way where I can turn moments just slightly to the left and see new things, and feel desperately in love, which I think is encompassed perfectly in the following Hirshfield poem.

 Meeting the Light Completely
by Jane Hirshfield

Even the long-beloved
was once
an unrecognized stranger.

Just so,
the chipped lip
of a blue-glazed cup,
blown field
of a yellow curtain,
might also,
flooding and falling,
ruin your heart.

A table painted with roses.
An empty clothesline.

Each time,
the found world surprises—
that is its nature.

And then
what is said by all lovers:
"What fools we were, not to have seen."


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


“I promise to make you more alive than you’ve ever been. For the first time you’ll see your pores opening like the gills of fish and you’ll hear the noise of blood in galleries and feel light gliding on your corneas like the dragging of a dress across the floor.

For the first time, you’ll note gravity’s prick like a thorn in your heel, and our shoulder blades will hurt with the imperative of wings.

I promise to make you so alive that the fall of dust on furniture will deafen you, and you’ll feel your eyebrows like two wounds forming and your memories will seem to begin with the creation of the world.”

-Nina Cassian

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sail, Little Dragon.

Little Dragon is a band I really really want to like... which sounds incredibly odd, even to me. But it's a band I revisit every 2 weeks or so and listen to a few of their songs. Perhaps my revisits mean I like them? There's just something missing to in all of their songs. Like the meat is all there, but the flavors are off. Here's a favorite of mine, regardless.

As a bonus, here is a video (and a song) that I like quite a bit:
It's a cover video, but the girls in it are beautiful and, somehow, a bit majestic... and then it all disintegrates into tomfoolery and a muddle that delights me. And I laugh. Every. Time. I just hear it and laugh. I suppose that probably means I should purchase it and listen to it more often, because everyone needs a bit more pleasure.

My weekend was relaxing; I actually did lay in the grass for ~4 hours on Saturday, I cooked a lot, hung out with some chums, and, because it was raining on Sunday, drank a lot of Chai tea frothed with almond milk. It could have been better in very few ways. 
Enjoy the day, friends.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Password protected nests and space travel

I'm so hyped it's nearly the weekend. Tomorrow I am going to go to the gym, get my work-on, and then lay in the grass and do nothing for a good hour. Maybe even two.

I have decided to not go to ESA this next week, which is both disappointing and also a huge weight off my shoulders. I actually didn't realize how stressed out I'd been in regards to ESA until I canceled all my plans and felt a thousand pounds lighter and slept like a baby that night. So, I'm bummed I won't be hanging with my cohort and kicking it in Knoxville, but I'm so glad I will be in Fville and be able to work on things without distractions and get a ton of shit done and can hit up long-delayed manuscript edits and... just chill.

On that note, of being chillaxed, here's a cool story about some evolutionary adaptations by a little wren to prevent cuckoos from successfully parasitizing their nests. Check it out here: Fairy wrens teach chicks a password.

Also, while I'm laying in the grass tomorrow, if I'm thinking about anything, it will be this:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How I feel today.

                                           sometimes, like today, this is me. source

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


A personal-type of rambling post today, so skip this indulgence if you're not in the mood.

It's November... and I've entered that dull, apathetic state where school is overwhelming, I'm missing my family, I'm not as productive as I think I should be, and I'm eating too much and sleeping too little. I've been making these pumpkin smoothies in the morning the past two days and this morning, as I was drinking it and walking to my car I said to myself "why the fuck am I even drinking this?!" Ingredients: pumpkin, coffee, almond milk, ice, 1/3 a frozen banana, pumpkin pie spice... hypothetically, this would be a protein shake if I wasn't on the Paleo challenge now, but as of the moment it's just a bit of a carbohydrate bomb that does nothing for me. Hopefully I can shake myself out of autopilot mode for the next little bit, because it makes me feel gross, to be stumbling through the world in a fog. I need to re-dedicate myself to eating to try and feel healthy and strong these last two weeks of the Paleo challenge... and maybe lose a couple of pounds? That said, if my body composition has changed at all, I'll be game. If it's remained the same, I'll be frustrated.

 The ESA (Entomological Society of America) meeting is coming up -- we leave this Saturday -- and all I can think of is how little I really want to go; how much a waste of time it's going to be. Blah blah blah, whine.

I need to struggle through some papers on hybridization.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A bit of music for Monday

Busy weekend - supporting CFit Fayetteville at the Heart of America 4 competition (bully to all of you awesome people for a great showing). I had fun, though it was truly exhausting... and makes me a bit nervous for my own endeavors at Ozark Shredfest in December. But, these things will be happening, regardless of my own personal feelings... so I might as well do my best to prepare well.

Here's a bit of music, suitably mellow, for my lack-of-sleep-hungover state.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday! Fun science!

So hyped today is Friday! I'm super excited to head to Springfield tomorrow, early, to support Crossfit Fayetteville in the Heart of America.

So, in the spirit of life being AWESOME, and science being fun, here's a link to Isabella Rossellini's series Green Porno - the honey bee version.  I tried to embed the video, but it wouldn't work, alas.

Also, Science failed me a bit this week re: awesomeness to blog about. Still good stuff, (especially if you want to read a bit about the bird/dinosaur flight theory [which I do. I always do]).

Stay safe and live well this weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Derrick Brown @ UArk!

I know this is the second day that there's a post about poetry, but Derrick Brown is coming! I'm exited. Technically, I suppose, he's a slam poet, but, because I don't really know exactly what that means, I think he's a poet who writes fun, excellent stuff, and his stage presence seems to be awesome. I am hyped as hell to see him. It's Wednesday 11.7.12 @ 7pm in the Union.

A fun reading:

One of my favorites of his:

Grocery List
Be more forgiving.
Substitute, “goodbye” for “I like your face.”
Spend two nights a week not drinking to forget.
Listen to your body.
Listen to someone else’s body.
Get limber, Don’t dog yourself to feel humble.
It never works.
Lift others up onto your back until you are sore.
Write for yourself a movie that doesn’t end.
Eat a churro slowly.
Kiss your mother on the cheek and don’t miss.
Remember that now is barely now.
It will soon be back then.
Don’t text anyone while talking with anyone.
Finish everything.
Get milk.