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Various Enthusiasms

Published: 2011-09-19T22:15:47-08:00


Breakthrough Pain


On September 3rd, my dad died due to a very agressive and rare cancer of the kidney called collecting-duct carcinoma just six weeks after first experiencing symptoms. This was nine months to the day after my mom died from metastasized breast cancer two years after her initial diagnosis. I've learned a lot from witnessing their deaths. I learned that when...

Reading: January & February 2011


Rather than a ridiculous year-end summary as I did for 2010, I'm going to try and do one every couple months. On to the books! Accelerando by Charles Stross I described this to someone as a pretty boingboingy book, and I stand by that description. There's lots of gee-whiz stuff about uploading and replicating your consciousness and it gets a...

Year In Reading 2010 (non-fiction)


As promised! I read a lot less non-fiction than fiction this year, but I seem to have made up for it by highlighting favorite passages a lot more. Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself by David Lipsky A road trip with David Foster Wallace in 1996. Essential if you’re a DFW fan. how other people regard you does...

Year in Reading 2010 (Fiction)


One of the really nice things about the Kindle is that it's a lot easier to know what books I've read this year. While it's not exhaustive, as I still have a hardcopy book habit going on, the Kindle took over a lot of my reading. The kindle website also makes it pretty easy to pull out a list...

A Farewell


There's a species of cat owner that is convinced that their own personal feline is pretty much the best on the planet. For the past eight years I've been that kind of cat owner, as I shared my life with Mrrt, who joined us as Felicia from my sister, but quickly found a new onomatopoeic name thanks to her...

So very sorry


It's true, I have removed my copy of the beloved DFW commencment speech. As I thought might be obvious, the recent publication of the text in book form brought a stern copyright enforcement letter to my door. I lack the time and money necessary to fight such a thing, so, as much as it meant to me to play a...

Weschler on Trevor and Ryan Oakes


Lawrence Weschler, who is pretty much my favorite writer of non-fiction at the moment, has an article in the latest issue of Virginia Quarterly Review. It examines the art of Ryan & Trevor Oakes, who are doing some really fascinating work with perspective. You should read it. There were the conversations as well in which they began to take note...

Captured Time


This bit from the film Spectre of Hope has been on my mind recently: This notion of capturing the world in what is cumulatively a very small amount of time is interesting to me, and I realized that, given that all of my digital photos record the exposure for each frame, I could calculate exactly how much actual time I...

Things To Read and A Thing To Possibly Use


Item the first: Popular article where you should absolutely read the whole thing: Wall Street on the Tundra. Walking into the P.M.’s minute headquarters, I expect to be stopped and searched, or at least asked for photo identification. Instead I find a single policeman sitting behind a reception desk, feet up on the table, reading a newspaper. He glances up,...



I took both of these shots in London last year. Even though the focus is better in the first shot, I like the second shot a lot more: no other people, better composition, and a more intimate pose. It's the one I ended up posting to flickr. I felt more comfortable taking shots like this in London than I...

Snow Storm


Sunday was a day of micro-climates, we drove from sunny to this to sunny again. This was shot with my relatively new Flip Mino HD, which so far I'm enjoying shooting with, but is giving me that babe in the woods feeling whenever I'm editing/outputting. The provided software is great if you just want to slap titles on something...

Let's do this more often


For a long time I've been telling people "I dunno, maybe someday" when they ask if I'll ever start posting regularly here again. And there's all kinds of things I was telling myself I'd like to do to the site to make writing on it more appealing, like maybe erasing all the archives and just starting fresh with a completely...

Can't Not Say Something


It seemed kind of weird to have that damn picture of skulls at the top of the page on a day when I'm probably getting more visits than I have in years, all due to hosting David Foster Wallace's commencement speech, which people are reading in a new way today as news of his suicide spreads. I've read many heartfelt...

Trip Report IV - Phnom Penh


As we drove away from the Choeung Ex Genocidal Center, my driver asked me if I was interested in going to a shooting range. While I turned down the offer, I couldn't help but wonder if a common reaction to visiting the Killing Fields was wanting to go do something pointlessly violent. It's an entirely helpless feeling, wandering about...

Trip Report III - Chiang Mai


While there are some not-to-be-missed tourist highlights in Chiang Mai - the night market, Doi Suthep - for me, it was mostly just a great place to walk around. It's a city I felt I could grasp in my head, which is pretty much impossible in Bangkok. More laid-back than Bangkok, and way less seedy than Pattaya, it was...