Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Emergency Supplies

About five weeks ago, my computer crashed. I had sworn that I backed everything up, but I hadn't managed to find the most recent backed up files. Until this morning. They were on a thumb drive in the bottom of my backpack. This matters because my Cyberlama novel was missing. I wasn't exactly panicking that the last six months of drafts were gone, but I am happy to have found them again. And sometimes you forget about those cans in the back of the closet, and when you do find them they are swollen or have exploded.

What's Peanut eating? Desert critters. He just got back from a long weekend in Joshua Tree.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Somehow, the whimsical post of a cat on a Roomba in the dark has remained as the most prominent post on my blog for far too long. I just checked the date on it--I guess a month isn't too long, really, if you use an appropriate time scale like the age of the universe.

So, in August, I left my old job as Senior Writer at a university to become Director of External Affairs at a non-profit that is attempting to build a really big telescope. The transition was made over Labor Day Weekend. I didn't have the foresight to include time off in between, just as I didn't have the foresight to include even a day off between my Ph.D. and postdoc, and just as I didn't have the foresight to include time off between my postdoc and my writing job.

Something I noticed whilst ending my shower last night is that I no longer divide my life into a series of big events. Instead, experiences now flow one into another for me, almost in an unemotional way. I've been feeling unemotional lately. I can't quite figure out why. I'm not ambitious the way I was at, say, 25. I don't feel driven by any hidden forces. Life seems random, and that makes me random. I'm floating. Is it because I'm older and have a new view of the world? Why does so little excite me? Does that sadden you, reader?

Details of the new job: I have more responsibility and more fear and more money and more time, thanks to my commute time decreasing from 3 hours round trip to about 40 minutes. The extra time has meant that I come home before Peanut is fully awake form his nap after an afternoon with the dog walker. I get to open the door and catch him shaking himself out and sort of limp over to me instead of his usual race to greet me. I enjoy that. I've been working out. I've been cooking more. Now I'm trying to decide if I want to take French lessons, or ceramic classes, or cello lessons, or violin lessons, or piano lessons, or oboe lessons, or martial arts classes, which I started and then discontinued. Or I could focus on fiction again, which I'm sort of tempted to do. But really, my not writing had little to do with time availability and more to do with passion. In other words, I could take a class and also write.

Given my new job, I've been learning a lot more about telescopes and a little more about the universe. That is something that is exciting me. Really, I used to imagine space as nothing but blackness with little Christmas lights hanging about. I am looking forward to knowing much more about what's out there. And, hey, if we find an alien, I will be really proud.

I'm also amused by the idea that I came from a nanosystems institute looking at molecular switches to a telescope company looking at galaxies. If I survive this job, I should have a fine understanding of the scale of things, eh?

Look over to the right, I did finished reading two books, and they were thick books! I don't really promote either of them, but they also weren't bad.

What's Peanut eating? Lychee.