This is sunrise from my apartment balcony. I am going to miss living here.


Here is the latest addition to my photo collection of nasty bugs that live near my apartment. I had never heard of an assasin bug before I moved to Austin. Now, I am all too familiar with them. In case you are not aware of these creatures, they are big - measured in inches. And they fly. And the tips of their feelers and pincers are "don't fuck with me" red.


This is B and my grandpa, bonding over the grill last summer. Here is the conversation I overheard as I took this picture:

B: how do you know when they're done?
Grandpa: hell if I know.


These are people I work with. No, it's not unusual for them to be dressed like that.

OCD and Me

I obsessively carry my digital camera around and document everything (whether it needs documenting or not), but I am really bad about actually moving the pictures to my computer. This morning, I finally ran out of space on my 1/2 gb memory card, so I am emptying several months worth of pictures onto my hard-drive. That means you will probably get to see all kinds of things that amuse me and no one else over the next day or two.

This is my nemesis, Rupert. You may think he is just a squirrel, but he's actually the physical incarnation of pure evil. He and I have been in an epic struggle for three years now. In this picture, he has captured a dog Kong and is sucking all of the good peanut butter out and injecting it with his smelly little devil-squirrel germs in a blatant attempt to poison my dogs.

Remind me to tell you the story about the squirrel-flinger some day.


Strange confession

I like to browse random Amazon wishlists. It's very voyeuristic - you can tell a lot about a person from a list of things they want. Some make me sad, some make me laugh, some hint at an interesting life, and some make me roll my eyes. Once, I found someone with a wishlist that looked a lot like mine - overly long and broad, and with no sense of direction or taste whatsoever. I liked it so much that I bought one of her items for her. How cool would it be to get a random present from someone you've never heard of? Or maybe that's just me. Now that I stop to think about it, I hope she didn't think she was being stalked or anything. Anyway, if you're feeling in a holiday mood, I encourage you to go look up a random name and send someone an unexpected Christmas present.



As of last Tuesday, B and I have been married for two years. I don't really have much to say about that, except that I never knew it was possible to be so happy and to love someone so much. I'm a very lucky person.


Fun at Zilker

Last night, I went to the Austin Trail of Lights for the first time. I am very ashamed of this, because I live is such a cool city, and I should take advantage of more of its attractions. The fact that it took me over five years is pretty sad.

Every year, I enjoy the Zilker christmas tree - it can be seen from all over the city.

But this year, for the first time, I participated in the long-standing tradition of standing under it, looking up, and spinning around. This is what it looks like from the bottom:

There's something incredibly uplifting about watching tons of kids and adults alike spinning around, bumping into each other, giggling, and celebrating. One guy made me particularly happy. He didn't seem to be with any group of people, but was spinning around with abandon saying "this is good, this is good."


Thank you, Anonymous!

I have found Edna St. Vincent Millay's translation of L'Invitation au Voyage, and it's beautiful!

Think, would it not be
Sweet to live with me
All alone, my child, my love? —
Sleep together, share
All things, in that fair
Country you remind me of?
Charming in the dawn
There, the half-withdrawn
Drenched, mysterious sun appears
In the curdled skies,
Treacherous as your eyes
Shining from behind their tears.

There, restraint and order bless
Luxury and voluptuousness.

We should have a room
Never out of bloom:
Tables polished by the palm
Of the vanished hours
Should reflect rare flowers
In that amber-scented calm;
Ceilings richly wrought,
Mirrors deep as thought,
Walls with eastern splendor hung,
All should speak apart
To the homesick heart
In its own dear native tongue.

There, restraint and order bless
Luxury and voluptuousness.

See, their voyage past,
To their moorings fast,
On the still canals asleep,
These big ships; to bring
You some trifling thing
They have braved the furious deep.
— Now the sun goes down,
Tinting dyke and town,
Field, canal, all things in sight,
Hyacinth and gold;
All that we behold
Slumbers in its ruddy light.

There, restraint and order bless
Luxury and voluptuousness.

Jill always has the coolest quizzes.

Your results:
You are Spider-Man
Iron Man
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...


Get Drunk

Always be drunk.
That's it!
The great imperative!
In order not to feel
Time's horrid fardel
bruise your shoulders,
grinding you into the earth,
get drunk and stay that way.
On what?
On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.
But get drunk.
And if you sometimes happen to wake up
on the porches of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dismal loneliness
of your own room,
your drunkenness gone or disappearing,
ask the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock,
ask everything that flees,
everything that groans
or rolls
or sings,
everything that speaks,
ask what time it is;
and the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock
will answer you:
"Time to get drunk!
Don't be martyred slaves of Time,
Get drunk!
Stay drunk!
On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!"

-Charles Baudelaire

In two languages
I wish I was a glow worm
A glow worm's never glum
'Cause how can you be grumpy
When the sun shines out your bum?

Happy Saturday.


Today I got my nose pierced. It hurt, but not nearly as much as I had anticipated. I've been wanting to do this for over five years now, so I'm glad I finally had to courage to go through with it. I'm also glad I work at such a liberal place where this kind of thing is completely normal and unremarkable. The strange thing is that I already have two tattoos, so it shouldn't be such a big deal to get a (removable) piercing, but it is. I think it's because my tattoos are both on my back, so people don't ever see them unless I want them to be seen. This is on my face, and there's no hiding it. I also deliberately did it right before the holidays so that I can get the family reactions over with and out of the way.

In other news, my house is being worked on! The last owners had installed some truly horrific dark blue plush carpet in almost every room in the house. Then, in a frenzy of bad taste, they painted most of the walls the exact color of raw salmon. We are having most of the floors replaced with either tile or wood, and re-doing the master shower and kitchen counter-tops. Unfortunately, this means the house is not in a livable condition right now. It's really driving me insane to own a house (!) and not be able to move in.