Sunday, April 27, 2008

city garden

A loner tulip right in front of my house.

Monday, April 21, 2008

in praise of color

This weekend was gorgeous. Finally, spring is here! The weather was sunny, breezy, and not-yet-humid, and flowers were blooming everywhere! I love the yellow daffodils who open their faces to point at the sun, and the pink-and-white magnolias in the trees on Comm Ave, and the surprising dusty pink hyacinth loners, and the handful of bright orange-red tulips in the community garden across the street from my apartment. We wandered through this garden, although most plots were not tended in any way except for the tulip patch, which I was drawn to like a bumblebee. I am now infatuated with the idea of planting in one of those patches, either some colorful flowers and/or some vegetables that I can eat. I'm getting into the idea of eating local foods to avoid the carbon expenditure required to transport produce here from other places, but unfortunately all the local farmers' markets don't open until early June, and I don't have any land on which to grow my own food. So it would be more than awesome to get some space in this community garden and grow some produce! Besides the environmental benefits, I find it immensely satisfying to nurture a little plant and watch it grow. If anyone is doubting the green impact factor, I was wholly convinced and inspired by this piece by Michael Pollan in the NYT today. Now I want to read one of his books, because I like the way he thinks...

Work on my blue knit scarf is slowly coming along. I added maybe 1.5 inches to its length today. Sometimes I become so absorbed in knitting along each row that I can barely move my eyes away from the project. My mouth hangs open. I can hardly speak until I reach the end of a row. My love for hand-intensive activities (also including crochet, squash, hockey, rowing, and typing) are almost becoming threatened by an increasing ache in my right wrist. I know it originated in usage of the touchpad on my laptops, but for some reason I still use that stupid thing. The pressure builds up in my wrist and I have to crack it every 20 minutes or so. The other day it was so bad that I could hardly write with a pen. Sometimes it's not a problem, but I'm worried it's going to get worse! Do I really need to go to a doctor? :/

Monday, April 14, 2008

work out

Today was my day off. Not from work, but rather from workouts. I averaged 1.7 workouts per day over the past seven days, including rowing practices that occured at 6am. Apparently I have a problem with saying no to athletic activities, a problem I definitely had during my first year of grad school that has reappeared. I was pretty exhausted by the end of the week, but it was tons of fun. I played a couple days of basketball, bringing me back to my JV days in high school - so fun! And my new pilates class is a welcome change from all the adrenaline sports I usually partake in - it mostly consists of lying on the floor and doing various kinds of situps and leg-lifts in slow motion. I had a couple of decent rows as well, without major inclement weather. A couple hours of squash on Tuesday night definitely wore me out, but skills were matched well enough that I had a few really good games. Then this past weekend was our final ice hockey tournament in Falmouth! This is a really cute town at the base of Cape Cod where the Woods Hole program is situated, and I crashed with a teammate who's in the MIT-WHOI program for the 3-day tournament. Which we won! It was a lot of fun, and the town was sprinkled with spring's first blooms - yellow daffodils, purple crocuses, yellow forsythia, purple grape hyacinths. I love it! The main street was very touristy and cute, and I could tell it would be overrun with tourists in the summer. Maybe fortunately, it was a drizzly weekend, and the streets were uncrowded and quiet. I walked past one small Italian restaurant that smelled exactly like my grade-school friend Lauren's grandmother Nonnie's kitchen used to smell when she would cook dinner for us back in the day. Mmm.

Anyway, I'm rowing again tomorrow morning. Better get some sleep!

Monday, April 7, 2008

don't think too hard

I love watching tv shows on their websites, where commercials are only 30 seconds long, and you can pause whenever you want. But it drives me CRAZY CRAZE to hear the same exact 30-second commercial for each break! By the end of the show I can practically repeat it word for word! "Oh, my sinus pressure is really building up... blah blah blah!!" Who says that in real life?

This weekend was my second in a row up in NH with James. Sometimes the scheduling gets weird and we don't quite alternate weekends. This coming weekend I have a hockey tournament in Falmouth and the following weekend Rich will be in town. Anyway we just bummed around most of the weekend, cooking noodle soup and baking scones, shopping (without tax!) and eating fried seafood. So bad, but so good. We also spent a good amount of time feeling angry at the badly-behaved cat Easy, aka "Jabba the Cat", who would chomp off your finger to get at a treat. She even jumped up on the table and drank milk out of my mug when I turned my back! Bad kitty!

Anyway, this week I've decided to not think too much about the big picture of my research and just get my experiments and analysis done. I'm less likely to become depressed that way, if I don't start asking myself "where is this all going? what does it all mean? does my advisor hate me??" I started reading some PHD comics online and really felt like it described parts of my life. Like this one, or this one.