July 8, 2011

Zoo in my Backyard

The National Zoo is only about 3 blocks from where I live. When I went in the first time, it was so hot most of the animals were inside in the shade, but I did enjoy watching the River Otters. Interesting to see these more amphibian versions (that is, they're more terrestrial than the nearly marine-exclusive Southern Sea Otter that I've become familiar with in Monterey).
I also liked the Zoo In Your Backyard exhibit which talks about all the native flora and fauna in the area, the importance of it, and how to encourage it's existence.

Double Nose Pierce

I got another hole put in my head a few weeks ago. I've been wanting a second nose piercing for a while...lessee...since 2003? I figured internship time was a great time to do it since it will heal before I return home. The first one hurt so terribly--a major reason I put off doing the second one for so long--but this one was virtually pain free. In fact, I really didn't feel the first needle (that's right...the placing was just slightly off, and since it was painless, I opted for a do-over. So, I had 2 needles go through my nose to get the perfect placement.) Of course it was tender the second time around. Still I'm pleased. I'm looking forward to when the redness goes down. It's not really very red, but it will be good when it's completely healed.
Right after I had it done

Paired with my tiny more flat-laying stud.

Paired with a larger Indian nose stud.

Animals in Harnesses in DC

I've seen several seeing-eye dogs.

I also saw some mules pulling a barge down a canal down behind M street.

July 6, 2011

Definition of an Artist

“I am an artist. It’s self-evident that what that word implies is looking for something all the time without ever finding it in full. It is the opposite of saying, “I know all about it. I’ve already found it.” As far as I’m concerned, the word means, “I am looking. I am hunting for it, I am deeply involved.”--Vincent Van Gogh

Don't judge a book...

I don't like Lady Gaga's music. I think its gauche. Therefore it was easy for me to criticize her without knowing anything else about her. I described her fashion sense to my stepmother as looking like she rolled in glue and then a glitter/junk yard stuff. As you might guess, I have no problem with glitter and/or junk yard stuff. However, I had the impression that, like her music, her fashion sense is over the top loud and in your face. Perhaps if it were one and not the other I would not have been so offended.

I adore Stephen Fry. His wit, his intelligence, his ability to connect.

So when I saw this picture of the two of them together in a hotel hallway, I was struck by how much they clash. What were they doing together in the same space, I wondered?
Eventually curiosity overcame me and I googled their names in a single search. And, lo, I found that Stephen Fry had actually interviewed her in this case. And, lo, I found that as I listened to it, I had to admit that I really liked what she was saying. She sounded intelligent too. She sounds sincere and generous. She's someone who stands up for the underdog. I was, astonishingly, impressed. My favorite part is when she says,

"I live halfway between reality and fantasy at all times because I choose to, and anyone can choose that, and I believe everybody has something so magical about themselves and why, as a society, are we so afraid of magic? Why is magic synonymous with artifice? Why is the fantastic synonymous with a lie? If art is a lie, then I will tell that lie every day until it’s f****** true’

She also eloquently busted me (and many others out there too, I'm sure) when she said,

"You all have an opinion about pop singers or public figures, that ... we only care about ourselves, and how could it be possible that a woman like me who loves theatre and loves fantasy and loves magic, how could it be possible that I could really mean what I’m saying? I would say that’s quite anti-feminism, isn’t it, to say that a woman based on the way that she wears her hair and her shoes would not be sincere."

So there you have it, I admit my fault at jumping to conclusions and making judgements. And I encourage you to listen to the interview in full, here.

July 3, 2011

In the past 5 weeks, I have deepened my knowledge about the technical aspects of aquaculture via the projects I’ve worked on. I created short documents for the Steering Committees of the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue (SAD) and the Freshwater Trout Aquaculture Dialogue (FTAD), including “Relevancy of using Daphnia as an aquatic surrogate toxicity species,” “Species Threatened by Freshwater Aquaculture, by Region” using IUCN Red List data, a global list of banned chemicals, and persistence data on known toxins. On a grander scale, I collated and summarized 100s of pages of public comments for both SAD and FTAD, so that the Steering Committees will have an organized overview of the opinions of groups and individuals as they meet to discuss the final drafts for the aquaculture certification standards for salmon and freshwater trout.

What am I talking about? Well here's a video that describes the Tilapia Aquaculture Dialogues (TAD). Aaron McNevin, one of the participants in the TAD was my boss for the FTAD.

Reaching out

There's a tree that apparantly lives on a deck in the middle of the office building behind ours. More than leaning out for optimal sunlight, I can't help but feel like it's reaching out to be happily planted on the ground, in the earth, with the other trees behind our building.

July 1, 2011


I love my lunchtime routine. At the beginning of the week, I head to Trader Joe's just a block from my office, and buy a bag of arugula, and some salad fixin's. I cringe at how over-packaged things at TJs are....and yet....the convenience factor plays a major part in my corroboration in this case. One package of pre-cooked lentils, one package mini mozarella balls, one package cherry heirloom tomatoes and a bag of arugula last exactly a week. I can put them in the fridge at work, and don't need to worry about packing a lunch each day. When the fridge is emptied at the end of the week, the food's gone anyway. It's delicious, colorful, nutritious...and a delight to eat outside on the back porch, even in the heat.