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Mon, Jan. 29th, 2007, 02:44 pm
Back in Boston

I'm back in LAX airport, after a fantastic two weeks in Australia. I kept busy surfing, SCUBA diving, climbing mountains, playing videogames, swimming in the pool, eating good food and hanging out with the family. It's paradise there - warm weather, but with ocean breezes. I got dragon fruit and lychees at the market. The Byron area has several markets where vendors sell a variety of foods, clothes, trinkets, salves and plants. Usually there's some fun live music too. My dad's 70th birthday party was great too and everyone got along well. It was good to see Lucy and her kid, Cyrus. Also, Mimi who bought the farm came with her kid and I was glad to meet her. The whole trip went too quickly, but I'm ready to sleep in my own bed, get back to work, and see my friends in Boston again.

Tue, Jan. 16th, 2007, 05:33 pm
Stuck in LA

I'm sitting in the LA airport waiting for the next flights to Auckland and Sydney. I have standby tickets, so no guarantee I'll be there anytime soon. This is so frustrating.

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Thu, Jul. 27th, 2006, 02:51 pm
David's 25th, YAVApalooza

Originally uploaded by kslays.
The summer is strolling by and I can't tell if it's going too slow or too fast. My work has become more routine, but it's nice to be outside more with the longer days and warm evenings. Our garden has exploded with growth (photos forthcoming), and I arrive to and from work a sweaty mess. My co-workers started locking the bathroom across the hall from me because it's next door to the testing rooms they use. It's really frustrating, because 90% of the time they are empty, and my showers take 3 minutes and 45 seconds (I timed it on several occasions). So now I use the sink down the other hall which doesn't do a good job and takes more than 10 minutes. Grrrrr.

I still haven't found my niche in Boston. I hang out with Danielle and my housemates, but rarely go out or see other friends. Is this just the way it is after graduation? Forest's experience seems to say otherwise. I went to this volunteer group's festival, YAVApalooza, which was fun but I didn't make any friends. YAVA organizes with other groups to volunteer together and meet up at a cafe or bar afterwards on the weekends, which seems like a good way to make friends.

The picture of Basil spinning fire is from David's 25th birthday party (which was held at 25 Brahms St on July 25th, and had 25 guests who each brought 25 things - e.g. my 25 teabags). It was great to see all the familiar Oberlin faces, but was also depressing that I'm so out of the loop. I talked with Erica who told me about some Frisbee games though, so hopefully I'll start that. I also signed up for a climbing class this fall at the BU gym and found out about a badminton club there too!

Time to get back to cutting and pasting data in Excel.

Tue, Jun. 6th, 2006, 01:58 pm

I've got pride
Originally uploaded by kslays.
I'm starting to post my vast archive of photos on flickr. Most of them are on my old computer which I can't get to work (it's stuck on 640X480 16 colors), so post-college ones will come first.

I went to oberlin for commencement, and was pleasantly surprised to see how many people I knew there and how many alumni came back. I had an action-packed few days seeing concerts, swimming in the res, riding tall bikes, eating at barbeques, watching rugby, and most importantly reconnecting with friends (and trying to convince them to come out to Boston).

Now that I'm back here things are moving more slowly again. I saw X-men 3 with my housemates, make good food, and relax at work. I'm in the midst of doing a bunch of statistics for the old study that was finished collecting data before I started. There's one analysis I don't know: comparing two correlations to see if they are statistically different (e.g. males vs. females or alcs vs. controls).

It's fantastic riding my bike to work every day in the summer heat. And our garden is growing so quickly now!

Fri, Apr. 14th, 2006, 09:58 am

My housemates and I planted seeds on Sunday the 9th, and we got sprouts on Tuesday! Now most of the seeds we planted have sprouted. I'm surprised by the germination rate--we put three to ten seeds in each container, and almost all of them sprouted! The first to come up were the kale (which make good eating, btw) and the sunflowers. Tomorrow, Saturday, we're going to add our compost and some manure to the yard and create beds so we can direct seed some of the plants. Unfortunately, we just got a bird feeder that we put in a tree above our garden, so there are birds all over the ground looking for tasty seeds and worms.
I biked to work today and it was over 70F (20C) before I left the house! I arrived to work sweating even though I was just wearing a tank top and short shorts (but I was wearing my fleece uggs...I need new shoes). So I'm excited about this long weekend. I'm going to go to this new park (Middlesex Fells) I discovered that's less than ten miles from my house and is huge!

Sat, Mar. 25th, 2006, 01:45 pm

Spring has arrived, and I am SO ready. I still have my full winter beard (which, btw, is now haute couture according to the Thursday NYT style section), but I don't think I'll need the insulation much longer. All the buds on the bare trees have doubled in size. The crocuses are blooming and the tulips are pushing up through the semi-frozen dirt. My housemates and I are getting really excited about gardening this year.
Work is the same, not too busy. I'm posting flyers everywhere, organizing advertising in local papers, calling people and doing phone screens, analyzing stats from the last study, working on an antisocial personality disorder paper, and slacking off reading the news. We had a ridiculous St Patty's day party (Boston is very Irish) and hundreds of people came--well, at least one hundred. I'm still fighting the straggling bits of sinus infection that started March first, but have been over most of the cold since about the 15th. I got my test results back from my exam that I had to take with a fever, and it's a good thing I'm not actually in school anymore and my grades don't matter. And that if I do want to go to grad school, Marlene will hopefully shoehorn me into her Behavioral Neuroscience program.
Right now I'm waiting on the car inspection--Danielle and I finally switched the registration over to MA, long overdue. Now we can get a parking permit and I can drive to work sometimes. But now I won't have to 'cause I can bike! As of Monday, the average low temperature is just above freezing, so I won't have to worry about ice patches as much.

Fri, Mar. 3rd, 2006, 02:21 pm

I've had a fever for a few days now. Ugh. My neuropsychology exam was supposed to be yesterday, but I was way too sick to even leave the house. I've been having terrible insomnia lasting hours in the middle of the night and last night I had cold sweats. I woke up completely wet and all my muscles were rock hard. I couldn't tell if I was hot or cold so I took my temperature and it came out normal. I was covered in all my blankets which are usually just a little too hot. I haven't been this sick in a while, it's a weird feeling of dizziness and whatnot. Anyway, things are otherwise going well, not much new here. I went to see Max Lieberman at the Aquarium and checked out one of my favorite animals, the cuttlefish. Their skin is so amazing and we got to see them feed. They are the weirdest animals.

Thu, Feb. 9th, 2006, 02:56 pm

About an hour ago I was waiting for the T to take me to work, felt the cool February breeze fluttering my fur and thought, "I'm really enjoying my life." I feel very comfortable with what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. I had just come from an interesting ADHD lecture and had gone to my statistics class earlier. Too bad the statistics class is above my head--I'm going to have to drop it because it's very heavy on the matrices and linear algebra, less so on the concepts that the calculations represent. But I'm still happy I'm pushing myself. Then I came to work, photocopied some fliers, posted a craigslist ad, called some potential participants, listened to some music, organized my papers, responded to some emails, talked with co-workers, and ate a grapefruit. I took apart an excellently illustrated neuroanatomy pamphlet that Danielle's dad gave me and put it on the walls like posters. Also on the wall is the MRI of my brain, not to mention a model brain you can take apart on my desk. And I have such a beautiful south facing window that catches all the sun even in winter (I bought full spectrum tubes to compliment it).
My housemates have been aggravating me with their late-night noise lately, but that's part of group living. I've been slacking with the contact-keeping since I got back from Australia, so I'm going to make a renewed effort to start calling people again.

Mon, Jan. 23rd, 2006, 05:29 pm
Airplanes turn your brain into a used cottonball

My head feels like it is full of cotton. I arrived home last night after traveling over 25 hours. That's not including the 10 hours it took to get from Byron Bay to our hotel in Sydney, including delays. In my previous trips to Australia I'd been spoiled by Qantas and Air New Zealand's real glassware, ceramic plates, comfort kits, excellent food, and new airplanes with comfortable seats with screens in the backs that I control. United had disgusting food, shitty service, old hard seats, no view of the tv and non-working headset plugs, etc. At least we didn't have colds on the way back. Until I landed, anyway. Ich.

I got into work after two hours of fighting the snow and public transportation through a mix of waiting, driving, train, bus, and walking. And just as I was getting out of the elevator I bumped into a participant that Diane had scheduled for herself. I led him to her office, but she was nowhere to be found, so I just started in on the testing myself until she finally got here after fighting the snow and iced parking lot.

I'm still full of sun from Byron Bay. It's amazing how much energy sun, outdoors, and long days give me. I'll see how long I can keep up steam.

Wed, Jan. 11th, 2006, 01:09 pm

I've been having a blast in Australia.

I go surfing with Sol, swim in the pool, stroll around the hippy tourist town of byron bay, go to cafes and hear live music...eat exotic fruit...life is good.

The sun is insane here--it burns in under half an hour. Then without warning, it'll start raining. Danielle and I were just walking around town and this misty rain started floating through. It's so much fun to have her here in paradise.

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