26 8 / 2014

I’ve developed a bad habit of lunching (and breakfasting) at my desk at work. Everyone does it, for one thing, and of course it seems inefficient, or just too painful, to consider going outside if it doesn’t mean going home. But today I had to go to the post office, and I got myself to walk around a bit in the glare of the sun. I stared at street vendors, sweaty passers-by, and the alabaster wings and breasts of a flock of pigeons heading uptown.

Heading up or downtown, high and low, you might spot these little birds at the Canal Street A/C/E station, peering and pecking and silently prattling, going nowhere, forevermore. 

25 8 / 2014

People and things have been taking up my brain time, and I’ve been skimping on the blob, y’all. But that’s about to change. I’m getting settled in the sunny new apartment, and I’m reading a book I really like: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson. You can expect me to quote it here soon. 

I am cold by day and warm at night. The air conditioning in the place where I’m working caused me to write *FINGERLESS GLOVES* on a scrap of paper and put it in my pocket. Which box are they in? Time will tell.

24 8 / 2014

This Just In: Moon Proximity May Affect Cherry Deliciousness

This Just In: Moon Proximity May Affect Cherry Deliciousness

24 8 / 2014

Red-shod friends came to visit yesterday, and laughed with us and painted watercolors. Things are getting unpacked and tucked away here in the yellow-brick home, and I can hear church bells ding-donging from my position on the couch. 

Red-shod friends came to visit yesterday, and laughed with us and painted watercolors. Things are getting unpacked and tucked away here in the yellow-brick home, and I can hear church bells ding-donging from my position on the couch. 

22 8 / 2014

From my speeding F train this afternoon, I saw this phrase artfully graffitied on a tank of some sort near the Gowanus Canal.

For this blessed weekend, and always, may all your donuts (or other chosen breakfast foods) be not bogus, but bona fide.

21 8 / 2014

I am too tired and brain-frazzled to write, and I have agreed with Mr. Z to make popcorn in five minutes. I asked him to guest-blob for me in exchange, but he’s refused (for now).

I will get him to do it someday, and I think you will like the results. He’s funnier than me, he thinks good thoughts and reads good books, and he knows about all the internet doings before even the internet knows.

20 8 / 2014

medicalschool:

A macrophage (pale brown) interacts with Borrelia cells (blue), the spirochete bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Although the outer membrane of Borrelia contains a strong antigen, the OspC protein, the bacterium successfully evades the human immune system by hiding out in places less accessible to immune cells, such as the central nervous system.

Neat, right? I’ve been reading about the intricate business of immunity lately, and much of it is difficult to visualize. 

medicalschool:

A macrophage (pale brown) interacts with Borrelia cells (blue), the spirochete bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Although the outer membrane of Borrelia contains a strong antigen, the OspC protein, the bacterium successfully evades the human immune system by hiding out in places less accessible to immune cells, such as the central nervous system.

Neat, right? I’ve been reading about the intricate business of immunity lately, and much of it is difficult to visualize. 

(Source: download.cell.com)

19 8 / 2014

Today I finally watched the first episode of Going Deep with David Rees (Twas wonderful, just precisely what I want from TV), and started reading the book Becoming Animal by David Abram, which gave me much pause at first but which has become quite meditative, which I gather is the point.

Toward noon, I notice that my shadow seems to be seeping into my flesh; by midday it has been almost entirely absorbed through the pores of my skin, and—apart from a smidgen of shade on my northern flank—is nowhere to be seen. The winged insects in the bright air lose nothing of their sunlit radiance as they hum or flutter past. The shadow, my personal night, has been enfolded within me, become indistinguishable from me. 

Do we notice this? Do we feel somehow different at high noon, when the darkness has seeped into us? Do we feel the weight of our won shadow, the press of its difficult knowledge against the middle of our torso and skull?

18 8 / 2014

…we’ve trained Internet users to expect that everything they say and do online will be aggregated into profiles (which they cannot review, challenge, or change) that shape both what ads and what content they see….

Some new media empires…are giving writers days off from “traffic whoring” duty to allow them to produce content that has greater social and informational value…. 

…personalized sites may lead us into echo chambers, filter bubbles, or other forms of ideological isolation that divide us…

I’m catching up a bit on my internet reading, and “The Internet’s Original Sin" made me think. Creating narrowly targeted promotional internet content is a significant part of my job, and of course I feel weird about it (tho not weird enough to stop).

The “original sin” piece reminded me of George Saunders’ grim depiction of all-pervasive advertising in a story (“my flamboyant grandson”) that really affected me (so much that I’m sure I’ve blobbed about it before) in In Persuasion Nation

But it’s not all dystopia. On vacation I read a few great pieces on The Big Roundtable, a new (to me) nonfiction publishing platform.

(thanks, theatlantic)

17 8 / 2014

After a week of traveling, I slept again in a new bed last night, this time at home. We moved all day into an apartment with a yellow brick wall, and as night fell we were serenaded by a big and wild and cheery band. Tonight it’s just leaves rustling and a gentle city hum, the echo of horns and piccolos dancing in my head.