I deleted a post. I didn't want to, but I couldn't find a way to get rid of the spam comments on it. I will fix this once I work for Google (if I remember)... and by fix, I mean file a bug so that somebody else fixes it, most likely.

Merry Christmas! I'll see you all in California, and post more from there I promise.


Day 28

I just realized that the yoga has made me far more in tune with my body over the past four weeks. This holds especially true for my diet. I feel completely different--and better--when I eat lettuce and fish before class (and I'm talking 3 or so hours before) than when I eat a mozzarella, tomato, and basil sandwich. More and more, my body craves lean proteins and leafy greens. I haven't reached the point of not wanting the simple carbs at all, but they don't satisfy me the way they used to.

I was also just noticing today that my back feels strong. Really strong. Solid. It's a pretty great feeling.

I'm not sure how much I'll do the yoga past day 30. Part of me imagines 3-4 times per week. It would be really good for me. But then another part keeps thinking about all the other things I want to do more--rock climbing, maybe some dancing, maybe even see if I can learn to enjoy running. I do hope to keep this new appreciation for healthy eating. I just wish salad greens weren't on their way out of season in this area.


Halfway! Also, climate change

This evening I attended my 16th class of 30, so I'm a bit more than halfway. Apparently it's normal that I'm sweating way more than I used to: my body is getting better at cooling itself off. I think today I also was still digesting lunch, creating more heat inside my body. I just wish it didn't make me slide around on the rug so much.

So there's been a lot of talk about the Global Warming/Global Cooling section of the Super Freakonomics. Most recently, Jon Stewart completely botched an interview with him. Thanks, bsom, for pointing this out first.

A summary: Super Freakonomics takes the fact of global warming--that the Earth is getting warmer. It doesn't question that this is due to human actions, like burning coal for power. But what the book does then is propose that rather than cutting carbon emissions, we could--and even should--just do things like make clouds to block the sun and thus cool down the earth. He then implies that this will get us over the hump until we figure out some other cool science-y way to fix the climate! Cool! (No pun intended.)

Levitt's first mistake is to jump to the most talked-about conclusion of the majority of climatologists: the world is getting warmer due to carbon output. He doesn't question this. But this focus on the single fact of global warming, with no regard for the other pieces of out of control carbon and methane emissions, is a wholly irresponsible way to approach the problem.

Imagine global warming as the Earth's fever in response to the disease of human industry digging up all of its stored carbon and spewing it back into the atmosphere. Now, if a person has a fever, two things are true: something is causing the fever (the fever does not cause itself), and the fever is probably not the entire problem.

In the case of the Earth, the warming atmosphere is not the only problem. The increased carbon levels are causing a whole host of problems. Scary, awful problems. For one, the ocean is absorbing some of this carbon from the atmosphere. This is causing the oceans to go acidic. Acidic oceans eat away at exo- and endo-skeletons of fish. Lobster shells will get softer, eventually becoming useless. The same will happen to tuna skeletons. With enough carbon in the oceans, we'll have nothing left but jellyfish. For another, once the atmospheric carbon levels reach a certain point (I think it's carbon, and not temperature), trees will start being carbon-positive instead of carbon-negative, and no longer be helpful.

So Levitt is looking at one specific problem, and essentially treating that one symptom. Going back to my metaphor, it's like having tuberculosis and treating it with cough syrup. It's not just Steven Levitt, and now Jon Stewart, who don't get it. Many, many people would love to—and many, many do—believe that technology will save us. Well, some technologies can help, but those include things like fluorescent lights and wind turbines that will help us reduce our emissions.

When it comes to the Earth, it's possible that we will have to turn to massive geo-engineering projects to cope. But we still need to cut down on the root problem—greenhouse gas emissions—if we're ever going to survive this with any semblance of the life we know now. And most people, and even more corporations (percentage-wise at least), won't do it unless forced.


Day 5-13

As Doyle pointed out, it's been a while since an update.

I just finished my lucky-number-13th class, and first back in the studio in NY where I go. Yesterday and the day before were up in Boston area studios, including one that my old yoga, and before that dance, teacher came to with me.

Last week I was weary. Just really worn out. But I think I've gotten over it, and yesterday's class was especially good. It was also with an especially experienced, respected teacher. And I was right in front so I got lots of helpful comments and corrections. After a really rough 6:30am class on Thursday, it was nice to have such a rewarding class on Saturday.


Day 2, 3, 4

So I've been doing fine with the yoga, but not with the blogging about it. No worries, y'all would be bored with daily "today I got a really deep camel" or whatever. The second class was a bit tougher, but part of that was mental because I knew I had swim class afterward. Day three was great--I thought I'd be tired, because my legs were feeling weary after two days in a row plus painting plus swimming, but then it was great. I balanced better than most days and felt really good. Yesterday, day 4, I both sweat way more than usual--there was literally a puddle on my mat; I was worried I would drown during the posture that involves putting your face flat down on the mat--and I also had to pee a lot. Could I have drunk too much water? Doubtful, but oh man it was hard work.

About to head off to Day 5. Already looking forward to eating dinner afterward =)


Day 1

First class! 9am this morning. I'm always a bit stiffer for the morning classes. Maybe that'll get better after 30 days in a row--probably majority morning classes no less. I'll see how the long-term goes as it becomes long. For now, I'm just getting used to planning my days around the classes, and vice versa.


Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday!

After years of my on-again off-again relationship with Bikram Yoga (I'm sorry yoga, I didn't mean to be distant, life just got in the way, y'know?), I've decided I'm going to suck it up and do the 30 day challenge already. 30 classes, 30 days.

Tomorrow is my day to get some healthy food back in my body after PPP, and mentally prepare and all that. Then Tuesday is Day One. I'm also going to blog about it. I'll try to keep the posts interesting to non-Bikramophiles, as that's my main audience. But I can't do all the classes in one studio, so I probably won't even be eligible for the free month you usually get for completing the challenge.

I just went to my first class back after about three months away from it. It felt amazing, and I had one of those stellar first-day-back-in-a-while classes (no idea why that happens). And now I'm all kinds of sore, but I always liked that weary soreness that comes from a really good workout. By the end of the month, I won't be feeling that at all! But I'll hopefully be feeling all kinds of energy and health and good nights' sleeps.



With apologies to bsom.

I like fall. The air is clean and crisp; there's still that association left over from the school calendar of new beginnings (new classes, new notebooks, etc.); the colors and clothes are by far the most awesome. There is also, of course, PPP, but that'll have to wait for another post. This one is about autumn in general, and specifically my last one.

I spent the past week riding my bike around New England. The region is, of course, known for its fall foliage. Only the very first few trees have started changing, but the air is already cool and school has begun (between snow and swine flu, they need to make sure they'll have enough time next spring to extend the school year if needed). The riding weather was perfect for all but one day, and that one day happened at just the right time, as it persuaded me to spend an extra day in North Adams and really look around at Mass MoCA.

This year has been pretty cool throughout. We've had very little unbearably hot weather in NYC. The same went for New England (though apparently the ocean up and down the eastern seaboard has had very high temperatures this summer). So despite the trip finishing before Labor Day, it felt like early fall.

And now Labor Day has passed and even NYU has begun again. I only have one class this year, and this fall is one of preparing to move to a new city. It's also one of saying goodbye to the northeastern four-season climate. San Francisco Bay is more of a wet/dry season place, and certainly has nothing resembling a New England fall. Lucky for me, it's the perfect weather for fall clothes and layering.

I'll be doing various things with the rest of my time--visiting people I haven't seen in too long; taking this last opportunity I'll have for a good long while to do something unrelated to my career (I'm currently thinking farming); thinking about and planning for the move. I should apply for some jobs too.


Get Better Gabe!

Author's Note: I usually try to keep things light on here, but something sad and important happened and I have to tell the Internet about it.

As a cyclist, one is reminded every day that the streets can be hazardous. Pot-holes threaten to do anything from jar your wrists a bit to untrue your wheel to cause a bone-breaking crash. Drivers are often rude and/or clueless. It's just part of riding on top of a two-wheeled device in a country build around four-wheeled, walled vehicles. But it keeps us in shape and gets us sunlight and endorphins and is overall worth whatever risks and annoyances we may face.

And yet, every once in a while, something devastating happens. A week ago, my friend Gabe, a fellow NYC cyclist, was in a pretty serious collision with a car out in San Francisco. Details of the accident are still on their way through the SFPD bureaucracy, but they're less important at this stage. What we do know is that Gabe took a pretty bad hit. He's in the hospital now, in the capable hands of many doctors, family by his side. And he's got over a hundred people back in NYC pulling for him and waiting for scraps of good news to come in. The news is slow, as is typical with these sorts of injuries.

News like this does not make me fear cycling. It makes me angry, and sad, and more likely to tell friends to wear their helmets (Gabe was wearing his). But it does not make me afraid to ride around the city. If anything, it reminds me how important it is to do what I love, and to enjoy the sunshine—even in muggy New York August afternoons. We're all pulling for Gabe. And we're all out on our bikes, reminding cars with our very presence to share the road.

To follow Gabe's progress, go to GetBetterGabe.com. To make a donation to help Gabe's family cover medical expenses, rent on the room they've sublet in SF, and plane tickets, use this PayPal link: http://bit.ly/qs555.



Hm, didn't realize the translator dealie would try to auto-translate my title into... um... Urdu? Well, hopefully it won't do that all the time.

Check me out, I'm on the internets!

from Bike Commuters set.



Summer has finally... um... sprummered in New York. It's warm enough to wear a t-shirt and the weather is now a pretty constant chance of thunderstorms (rather than constant it's-absolutely-going-to-rain-don't-even-bother-drying-off-after-you-shower-this-morning, like it was for all of June). With this comes... the beach! This may be my most beachy summer yet—between Long Beach LI for the 4th of July, Cape May for Girls' Weekend, and Cape Cod for A's family reunion, I'll have hit the trifecta of weekend getaways in the Northeast. Too bad I'm a wimp about water and it's not yet September, and thus I have yet to get wet past my knees. But I've gotten plenty of sand and sun, so I'd say it's been a success.

Besides the beach, the summer has held a lot of computering. It's been good, especially with the nice window at my desk and the balcony outside the cafeteria so I don't become a pasty shut-in during the week.

Also, some things have happened in the world. I'm not sure what to make of Cheney's secret knowledge yet, and I'm still waiting for whatever dirt made Palin resign to come to light. There had better be some, and at this point it had better be good.


It's that time again...

bsom has once again removed me from his blog links, meaning it's been far too long since I posted. I guess lots of big serious life stuff has been happening, which seems a bit too heavy for a blog. Also I forget a lot.

So here's my shoddy attempt at summarizing, somewhat sarcastically and/or sardonically, these big serious life! things that have distracted me. As per usual, I'll use my acclaimed bullet-point style.

  • Getting a Master's Degree!
    I've certainly posted since starting my Master's, but I'm not sure if I've talked about it. Rather than getting really fascinated by the plethora of fascinating but ultimately economically useless subject matter (Politics of Food in Film!), I went to school with a career in mind. It just sort of happened. So I'm learning how to be a computer scientist. It is the family trade, after all.
  • Getting an internship!
    I'm working at Google for the summer. I have a magnetic ID badge and everthing. It even came with a leash! They feed us and provide infinite snacks (well, they never have the yogurt I like... I know I know, first world problemz). The toilets even flush themselves--and not while I'm still sitting on them! It's pretty much insane. And it's halfway over.
  • Moving in with my boyfriend!
    In the proud tradition begun by KPd and TtQ, this actually happened somewhat gradually, as I decided that I liked his place better than mine. And then my lease ran out and I failed to find a sublet, and here I am. He's already packing to leave, as this only bought me a month and a half before his lease is up too.
  • Moving across the country!
    Also with my boyfriend. He's going in August to start a degree; I'm joining him in January after I finish mine. It's big, and exciting, and a little scary. If I'm really lucky, this internship will turn into a job. If it doesn't, I'll still have all of Silicon Valley to look around for one. We hope to have a garden and a garage full of bikes somewhere in the East Bay. After sharing a studio for the past two weeks, I'm also hoping to have at least 1.5 bathrooms, but that somehow still sounds way too grown-up for me.

Hoping at least somebody subsrcribes to this on an RSS reader so it isn't doomed to oblivion,