Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fact about the closet

I apologize for giving the impression that my office is now in a small closet with a skinny door with no windows. I do, in fact, have a window. Proof is this photo I took with my computer.

Stay tuned tomorrow to find out what is on the other side of the window. For reference, the bottom ledge of the window is higher than my height. I have to stand on my guest stool in order to take a picture of the other side.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting in touch with my inner Harry Potter

You know.
Harry Potter, Privet Dr., closet under the stairs.
Me, Wilder Hall, closet with a skinny door.

Here are some photos of my new digs. 

The above photo was taken inside the closet. It has a little bit of length to it, which is where I'm standing while taking this photo.  I moved in here at the beginning of the week in an attempt to find a quiet space with no people, so that I can concentrate on writing my thesis. Recently I have learned that I get so much more work done when I am away from all people. This is an important thing to know about oneself. Hence, the closet.

The sign outside the door says "rocket lab" but do not be fooled. It is a storage closet. Lucky for me, it came with a table. I don't know if you can see it in the photo, but there is some good nerd humor going on here. Some clever physicist put a point in the room number. I'm in the 'pi' closet.

I still have my permanent desk in a real office, where the majority of my stuff is. My plan is to use this table as a temporary work space. So far I am really pleased with my new "office" though, so I think I might manage to stay in here until I finish this thesis.

I told Greg I was going to paint a large window on the wall, with a nice outdoor scene, but he said no. Being all reasonable he pointed out that I moved in here to write my thesis, not to paint windows on walls.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Latte Heart

This heart is my best latte art ever.

It may be the easiest kind of latte art one could make, but I'm still proud of my accomplishments.

Monday, February 20, 2012

little chocolate snacks

Lately I have developed a keen appreciate for my stash of little chocolate snacks. For several weeks I've been carrying around some Taza chocolate discs, which I recently started taking more note of.

This Guajillo chili flavor was particularly delicious. A primary reason this chocolate is so super special and delicious is the process by which it is made. They use a unique method so that very dark chocolate actually gets a fruity flavor, instead of becoming very bitter. This chocolate will make you believe that "darker chocolate is more bitter" is a total hoax. I first heard this amazing piece of info when Greg won and read the book American Terroir from 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Nobody tells people who are beginners..."

I had seen this little typography video a little while ago. I can understand why people get really inspired by it. Today I saw it posted on an email list for contra dance callers, with the comment that "He's talking in particular about storytelling, but his comments apply to any creative endeavor, such as calling dances." 

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

I like the line about your taste being killer. Once I get back into calling, that will be the one going through my head, I'm sure.

P.S. I also have a new appreciation for this video, because I'm kind of getting into all things letterpress related, typography included. Yeah Caslon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


It took until February, but I have finally put on my ice skates this season. Just over a week ago was my first time out this year, and it was a beautiful day on Occom Pond. The temperature was perfectly warm for skating, but plenty cold to keep the ice solid. And the sun was shining so I got to wear my amazing pink sunglasses. What more could I have asked for?

Greg and I had been planning to go skating, mainly so I could get my ice-legs back, but we found out a visiting priest had brought his skates along, so we headed to the pond with him. I borrowed a stick, and we ended up playing a game against two kids.

They were basically skating circles around me, but I got a breakaway once and scored a goal. Take that kids.

Last weekend we were at Lake Morey for a pond hockey tournament that Greg was playing in. The ice was in beautiful condition, but I never really got inspired to put my skates on for that one. I did get some amazing pictures though!

The "pond" is huge and has a 4.5 mile skating loop around the perimeter.

So I skipped the good pond ice, but last night I got to skate again, this time at the fabulous Thompsen Arena. Our intramural hockey team had a game, and we were very short-handed, and no one wanted to be the goalie, so I got to have my first experience with that. In case you were wondering, it is not possible to obtain goalie skills by osmosis. That would have been really nice though.

It was kind of a scramble to get the gear on before the game started, so it ended up that I only saw one shot for warmup, which mostly was a test of whether or not I could stand back up after falling down while wearing gear. Luckily I could. It just took awhile. Then the game started, and the first two shots I saw made me feel invisible. I couldn't even move with all the padding I was wearing, and yet somehow, it was not enough to keep the puck from going right through me! After the second goal Sam advised me to keep my stick out in front of me a little further to "cut down on the angle". Oh yeah! I know all about angles! And for that matter, why was I standing as close to the goal as possible? At this point in the game I started to make more of an effort to keep my whole body a little further in front of the net to cut down on that angle too. Shots number 3 and 4 I blocked and it was amazing! In my head, the quintessential hockey goal song was playing, in celebration:

Unfortunately on the fourth shot that was a block, I also gave up a rebound, which was another goal. We ended up losing the game, and I ended up letting in more shots than I blocked. But the fact that I blocked any shots at all was a victory in my mind. I also felt accomplished once when the other team's good skater had a breakaway, but his shot was just outside of the net. I'm pretty sure that happened because I was playing so good positionally, I didn't give him any open net :)

And I was so wired after the game that I basically did not sleep at all last night.

And because I see them all over and finally took a picture, a gratuitous photo of a dog running on ice:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

An analogy

In physics classes, if there is a scenario where you have two people, person A and person B, it is often the case that we will talk of Alice and Bob. I had the lucky experience to have a college professor talk about MaryKate and Ashley, which I thought was pretty hilarious, so I will follow suit.

So let's say that MaryKate and Ashley decide that they have some spare income, and they each decide that giving money to feed the poor is what they would like to do. They both have good intentions. Feeding the poor is a good cause. So they find two charities, and both of the charities give chickens to feed the poor. MaryKate and Ashley do a little research on the charities, and they find out that Charity A donates chickens from a chicken farm where the chickens never see the light of day and eat a lot of corn. Charity B only donates free range, grass fed, vegetarian (they have really good technology to keep bugs out of the free range grassy area) chickens. Ashley realizes that Charity A can donate more chickens because of their operations, so she decides to give her money to Charity A. MaryKate is morally opposed to the poor treatment of animals, so she donates to Charity B.

Is it okay for Ashley to be mad at MaryKate and yell at MaryKate for choosing the charity that is in agreement with her morals? Should MaryKate be made to feel like she is doing something wrong by donating to Charity B over Charity A? Is not MaryKate still contributing to good (feeding the poor) while still being conscientious?

A facebook friend posted that he donated some money to the Komen foundation, following this whole thing. One of his friends, who is a person I do not know and have never heard of, commented that she was "disappointed he felt this way" among other things. I just think it is the most ridiculous thing that someone would try to make a person feel bad for donating to a charity that has a mission in accordance with one's sense of morality.

I understand that there will forever be a debate as to whether abortion is a women's issue or a life issue.

I really hope I am not guilty of this in this post, but people need to take the time to think through what they are about to say before saying it, lest it be deemed illogical, rude, and unfair.

Also, please don't be "disappointed in me" if I choose those vegetarian chickens, because they are just so cute running around in their fresh green grass.

A tiny sneak preview of what has been happening at the letterpress studio lately