Tuesday, June 28, 2011


What an implausible summer we're having! First a rainstorm, than triple digit heat, and now I wake up and find it raining again. It's beautiful, though. It's been keeping up all morning, and there was a peal of thunder just now. Kita does not approve. We're even starting to get our "moat", the persistent puddle that forms at the base of our stairway making it inconvenient to get to our car. We were thinking of going out on a breakfast date, too, but that got canceled, so instead we're staying in, and talking to friends on the internet, and so far it is a pretty nice rainy day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back to School!

After a rather short break, my summer quarter classes begin this week. I'm just taking two classes; one is an elective, a literature course on minority ethnic writers. The other will be a sociology course, the first I've ever taken in that discipline, on the causes of social inequality. So, a summer filled with a lot of reading and socioeconomic injustice. I'm looking forward to it! And since the one class is online and the other meets at the satellite campus nearer to my house, I won't have to be commuting nearly as much for the next few months. It's looking like a golden summer, and the first summer I've ever spent the majority of somewhere other than my hometown. It's good to be here, and good to be busy. As I commented to Zeo earlier, I really am happiest when I am in a class or two; undirected relaxation just makes me listless.

Meanwhile, still trying to make things happen on my thesis. I have a professor who has expressed willingness to consider my topic, but we've had trouble actually getting the ball rolling, which concerns me a bit since I'm still hoping to graduate next Spring, but also really want to go for the thesis option if I can. If I cannot, there is plenty of time to throw the comprehensive exam side of things together if necessary, so I'm not concerned about that. I'm more worried that the thesis topic will be approved, but not in time to graduate on schedule. In debt up to my ears, and looking to sign on for several years of a PhD program, that would not be an optimal situation.

But hopefully all that will work out. Meanwhile, I've been plunging into the primary research, and boy is it fun! Stumbled across the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, which has a mostly sociological focus but is topically right up my alley and publishes what looks like a fantastic academic journal. They were offering a two-year student membership for less than thirty dollars, so I signed up. Would not mind going to their annual conference in October, and it would be a good way to network with some of the people I might need to know to make the PhD thing fly, but I'm not seeing a trip to Milwaukee in my future. Old story!

That's all for today! Happy Midsummer everyone!

Monday, June 20, 2011


(Sorry for the meh quality)

I've been getting really big into crochet. It was something I've always wanted to learn how to do since I love colors and I love afghans. Well, I finally sat down and learned the basics, and now I'm going kind of crazy with it.

I made this lovely scarf which most of you have seen by now. I made Politesse a matching scarf and hat (pictures coming soon!). I've been making loads of bags and little things as well. 

I love doing it because the activity itself is gratifying, and when you are done you have something you can use! Everything a Virgo likes. :)

I'll keep you posted on further projects, and if you'd like a scarf or something made let me know!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I love to cook, and so does Zeo, though she didn't realize it yet when we first got married; it takes having someone to cook for to really make cooking fun. These days, we split the kitchen duties about evenly, which works out really well! And we're eating well, even through the recession. There's always enough for the things you really want. Especially if the things you want are really want are mushrooms and weird new animal species, and you're lucky enough to live in a town with cheap Asian supermarkets.

I'll cook with or without a recipe, and I'm not sure which I enjoy more. I love to try a new dish, especially one with a fancy pedigree and a back story. But I like making things up, too. We're near the end of our fresh vegetable cycle, so dinner tonight was more on the improvisational side. I started by sauteing oil, chopped onions and garlic, which became the base for a soup. Cubed daikon root and chicken bouillon followed, then a cup of button mushrooms. Finally, duo yuo lang noodles to bulk it up a bit. Pretty simple set-up, but for a experiment with limited materials, it came out really good! Wasn't sure whether to eat it with a fork or a spoon, and settled on both. But it tasted fine.

Hello from Zeo

Politesse and I have discussed this quite a bit and decided that leaving facebook is for the best, though we have to admit we were hesitant to leave a number of people we only have contact with through there. Truthfully, I am a reserved person and facebook's ethos never suited me. I've loved the chance to find old friends and hope they will continue to keep in touch, though, so welcome to our family blog!

The focus of this blog is to keep our family, friends, and those who are interested connected to our life in our small tree house in the bay area. We have our cat who we will be posting loads of pictures of, our crafts and various artistic works, our projects, jobs, studies, and so on to talk about. We have more mundane things to share, like awesome dinners and hikes and trips. We both like photography (although Politesse is actually good at it!) so there will be loads of photos.

In the interest of keeping this blog accessible to all, we will not be using a lot of personally identifying information as it is technically public. If you know us, though, this should be no problem since you already know these things. :)

Quitting Facebook

I've decided I'm going to close out my Facebook account, due to the company's ongoing culture war against privacy. If you've been watching the news, you've probably noticed the trend; Facebook seems to be determined to destroy the concept of privacy in America, something Zuckerberg (the CEO) is apparently unashamed of. He seems to think he has the right to invade anyone's privacy just because they dare to want the service he provides. Well, I'm not happy about that, and I think it's time to stop giving Facebook that tacit permission, even if it turns out to be a futile gesture in the broader scope of the decision they are pushing us to make as a culture.

I'm not happy about possibly losing contact with some people there, but I'm even more unhappy about being asked to willingly sign on to the sale and distribution of my personal information, and if Facebook continues as it has been doing, there's not amount of "opting out" that will prevent that from happening. Not even leaving the site, of course, but hopefully it will at least stem the tide a little, and I can sleep easier knowing I'm not actively contributing.

And really... though I hate to admit it... is someone who is only a friend through a click of a button really that close of a friend? But I will miss the folks who regularly posted on my Wall and whatnot. Sorry guys! Nevertheless, I feel this decision was overdue. Maybe its an echo of our primeval Pongidian past rooted in a corner of my psyche, or perhaps just my oft-neglected Scorpio side, but when someone tells me "Submit to my uncontested dominance or I'll stop giving you x", my natural inclination is to toss x out the window, and walk away.


Hello, I started this blog basically as a replacement for Facebook, which I just quit with fervor. Zeo caught on to what I was doing and we decided to make it kind of a family affair, which I am a lot more excited about than I was about the original idea. I'm envisioning occasional posts updating whoever happens to be interested on what's going on in our life, perhaps with occasional essays/rants on things that are on my mind. You know, like a blog. With pictures. Of Nikita. Who is precious.