Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It's the small things

My quality of life would be greatly improved if we managed to make our bed before leaving the house every morning. I'm going to try to do this for the rest of the week. (Woa, that's commitment.)

Monday, February 26, 2007


Though it looks otherwise, this shot was not rigged. Sammy has always liked to nap with the pack.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Nada mas

I have today off for President's Day, which is lucky since I did absolutely no school work over the weekend. Cleaned the house, picked up Ray from the airport, went to a couple of fun shindigs, and got caught up on sleep, but nothing for school. I don't have this kind of time to kill, but bygones...

Last week I was anxious to pull together an abstract for my research project for the university-wide research symposium this spring. My professor is hard to track down, and we hadn't as a group discussed the results of the analysis fully. And this is analysis that I've been working on for, well, almost a year. Granted, I've not been going at it alone, but still.

I finally caught Dr. R. in the lab, and mentioned to her that I'd be submitting a
draft abstract for her after the weekend, with time to tweak it before the due date. "How about we work on it right now?" Excellent!

In about 20 minutes, we banged out the opening sentences, and she told me to finish up the results section and shoot it to her over email. The shocker: it took me all of 10 minutes to summarize the results, although in somewhat gobblety-gook fashion. All this time I've been waiting for a 2 hour meeting to pour over and finalize our findings, and lo, here they are! Without going into snoozable levels of detail (that's obviously not published yet anyway) the skinny is: we used fMRI (functional MRI for the brain) analysis tools to look at subjects' regional activiation (i.e. hemodynamic response) for spoken production of frequent and infrequent syllables w/i non-words. Aside from some predictable and not-so-predictable right and left hemisphere activations, there were some interesting patterns of deactivation in one condition.

Anyway, today I'll finish up this abstract and get some other school work done, and hopefully organize the monstrous stacks of paper of my desk that are taking over.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ironic Valentine

Why do I have Karen Carpenter's "Close to You" stuck in my head when my Valentine is thousands of miles away this week? I haven't heard this song in years...why is it stuck in my head now?

Well, Valentine, hope you're surviving the snow in Virginia. Me and Karen Carpenter will be here in Seattle, all mopey.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Favorite art, part 4

Shirin Neshat
Turbulent, 1998
Black-and-white video installation

Pulling together info for this post reminds me of how grateful I am to live in an age of easy access to information.

I saw this video/audio piece when I was in Chicago, during the same trip and visiting the same museum as the Westermann exhibit. I watched it three times, thought about it for weeks afterward, and assumed that I'd never know anything more about it than what I'd gleaned while I was there. A few weeks ago I decided to send the Museum of Contemporary Art an email with my rough description of the piece and see if they'd respond with any more information. They did within hours. And here's the official description so I won't botch it with my overused adjectives: provocative, compelling, mesmerizing...

"The video-installation Turbulent, presented in two parts projected simultaneously onto opposing walls, dramatically addresses the traditional segregation between men and women in Muslim culture, as well as the transcendent power of music. The laws of Shi'ite Islam forbid women to sing before a public audience. Here an opposing narrative is played out as a man sings a conventional love song (written by the 13th century mystic poet Rumi) before an audience of men, while the woman performs to an empty auditorium, using her voice soulfully, yet without words, in an act of rebellion, without breaking the rules."

Thank you to the kind folks at the Museum of Contemporary Art for responding to my vague inquiry. I'll be looking out for more of Neshat's work, and forward to another visit to Chicago.

Sunday, February 4, 2007


I loved Prince's blue suit with orange shirt.

I also like how the Colts lead at half-time after that morale-busting kick-off touchdown by Chicago.