Sunday, June 1, 2008


So it occurs to me that there are some random details in my life that I've been remiss in passing on to people. Details that a random reader of my blog couldn't care less about (arguably, that encompasses my entire blog), but that my friends might be interested in.

Banal stuff: I've (almost) made it through my first year back in school. It's been a good year; I'm almost used to being a student again, although that took a surprisingly long time to adapt to. Classes have been hit and miss: some really interesting, challenging ones and some really boring, challenging ones. I've also (finally!) started working on a research project; my adviser tries not to just hand off projects on to his students, so finding something on my own has been a bit of a challenge. I'm pretty happy with that, though. So yeah, overall, I feel like I made the right choice in coming back to school.

I've developed a fledgling social group. Nowhere near as extensive or deep as the groups I've had in the past, but it's definitely a start. As you may have gathered from my recent posts, I've done a pretty good job at keeping my life full and busy (next post: Roller Derby!) -- thankfully, LA makes that easy.

But that's all stuff you could have intuited; or, at least, it's not surprising. On to the bigger news. There's one piece of news, of course, that a few of you have learned about recently -- a pretty big development in my life. So, for obvious reasons, I've been on a bit of a hiatus recently; I've been trying to steer clear of commitment for a bit, and I wanted to enjoy taking a break for a while. Last time was good -- really good -- and I wanted to make sure that the next time I didn't make a mistake, didn't rush back into things before I was ready. It seemed best to try and make an intentional effort to avoid a rush decision, so that when I made my choice to jump back into the fray, I knew I was doing the right thing and (hopefully) wouldn't have any regrets. Those first couple months in LA were good -- steering away from commitment was definitely the right thing to do. And after a couple months of thinking about it, I decided I really was ready to start things up again.

So I got a new piercing.

(It's the bar across the top of my left ear -- sorry it doesn't stand out -- my friend K has my good camera at the moment, so you have to make do with the crappy cell-phone pic).

Oh, and also, I have a new girlfriend. Friends, meet L. L, friends. Play nice.

Summer plans that may be of interest to some. Those of you who read K's blog should know that the two of us are soon to be taking a two-week bike trip in the Adirondacks. Should be fun! I've spent far too much money on gear for the event, so it damn well better work out.

Also in the works. If you will be somewhere along the I5 corridor near the end of July/beginning of August, there's a good chance I'll be paying you a visit. L and I are making a road-trip up to Seattle, and we'll be wanting to see friends on the way. I don't know the exact schedule yet, so no promises as to how much of me you'll get to see. But hey, some is better than none, right? I'll keep y'all posted.

And that's that. Back to the grind. Love to all of you, and keep the dream alive!


  1. Your piercing and girlfriend are hot, as are your girlfriend's piercings.

    The dream is so alive that I'm cutting constantly regenerating bits off of it and eating it as sashimi. Mmmmmm... dream sashimi...

  2. Heh. I didn't realize you could make out her piercings in that picture. But yes, I quite like them -- there are a bunch in the other ear, as well.

    Please don't abuse the Chicken Little of the mind, Llama -- I know it's tasty, but you have to share...

  3. Hey Joseph,

    Very cute picture of L. I agree with Llama, her piercings are awesome. Oh, btw, yours is pretty kick ass as well and I really like those prints in the background of that photo... hmm...wonder why. : ) Anyway, glad to hear you're doing well. A and I should be around in late July/early August, you should totally drop by for a visit. Awesome. Talk to you soon!

  4. Oh my God Joseph you're wasting away eat something for crying out loud what would your mother say??

    Yes. Seriously. That is the first thing that ran through my head when I saw you picture. I don't even have kids yet and I'm already a grandmother. (Evidently my subconscious thinks I'm your grandmother. ::sigh::)

    That is an awesome piercing! A+! And not only are we always happy to see you, but you're always welcome to crash on our air mattress.

  5. Of course I can share the Chicken Little of the mind, (thank you for catching the reference) especially if Grandma Sydney thinks that you're wasting away.

    Of course, Syd, maybe he's not wasting away. Maybe he's just becoming more concentrated.

  6. omg. I want all the specs on your bike gear! I just bought SPD petals and shoes and will soon put them on my bike and probably eat it bad... but as they say, "life is a cycle"

    Have a dorky bike post, pleazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzze.

  7. :-) I can make a nerdy post, Kori, but it won't be interesting, even for you. I essentially bought racks (front and back), panniers, random repair stuff (CO2 canisters! brilliant!), and clothing. I toyed with the idea of buying clip-on shoes, but decided against it. I want to be able to ride my bike without bringing along special shoes. I am very proud of the jerry-rigging job I did to fit the front pannier on my bike, though. :-)

    Sydney: this is the second time you've told me I need to put on weight. What gives? You can't even see my body in that picture! As it is, I /am/ eating more now that I'm down here -- I actually find it hard to stop. And I've only lost about five pounds -- according to my BMI, I'm still overweight...

    Thanks all for your thoughts and compliments. I'm sure life will be wonderful with L's now increasingly inflated head. And I look forward to seeing all of you when I swing through Oregon (except you guys, Llama and Kori -- you guys suck).

  8. Glad to hear life is rolling along for you. The piercing will take a little getting used to, but thats cool. I will try to avoid gripping about you favoring the I-5 corrider rather than beatiful US 101. Let me know when you are in the Portland area and I will try to make a trip in at least.

    PS> I am calling BS on anyone saying they can see L's piercings. I am not going blind yet!!

  9. Okay, it's not that I actually think that you're wasting away. That's just the turn of phrase my brain shouts whenever I see a picture of you because my mental image is of the round-of-cheeck, square-of-jaw Joseph who used to hang out at The Cube. But I'll try to reign in my auto-comment relex because I'm sure you're growing weary of people telling you how thin you look. ;) I'll come up with something new, but equally obvious. "OMG Joseph, your shirt is so green!" "Wow - that hat is totally on your head!" ;D

  10. Beau: Who knows? We may take the 101 up, I don't know. We're taking a road-trip up to Seattle, so maybe we'll take the scenic route. And also, look at the larger picture. Three piercings, left ear. :-)

    Sydney: No worries. No one down here tells me I'm looking thin, since I've always looked like this to them. :-) But thanks!

  11. Well, it sounds like you're keeping yourself plenty busy. Cool piercing, but are you getting any ink?

  12. Tramp stamp! TRAMP STAAAAAAAAMP!

  13. Eric: I really, really want to get a tattoo, but as yet have not found a design that interests me enough. It's not even a "Will I regret this when I'm older" thing -- I just don't have any images that stick with me enough to etch on my body. Any suggestions?

    Sydney: No. And don't you have Kanji on your lower back?

  14. I just assume that she meant to remind us all of her own Tramp Stamp, what with the tramp that she is. I've always wanted a famous equation on my right bicep. It's like the physics equivalent of barbed wire or something like that. It will look cool and tough to all the other physicists.

  15. Well, e^{pi*i}+1 would be an obvious choice...

  16. You're missing the point: I have a kanji on my lower back that I got on a whim, on Christmas Break Freshman year, when I was 19... and I don't even speak Japanese!

    But then I met Pete and we all know how that turned out.

    If anyone can suggest an ill-conceived tramp stamp with impunity, it's me. So...



  17. Also, Eric, TOTALLY GET THAT TATTOO. That is the awesomest idea ever. Maybe that's what you should do, Joe. You should get some kind of programmer/theoretical computer-stuff-good-at-guy thingy on your abdomen.

  18. On the topic of geek ink: I have to say I am a fan of the idea. The right equation or image could be awesome. But some of them are as dumb as normal tattoos.

    In case you want to see what other science geeks have done, I found a site for you: (still can't figure out how to link in a comment...)

  19. I don't think I have it in me to get an equation tattooed on my arm I'm just not that hardcore. But if you get one, Eric, I expect pictures. Lots and lots of embarrassing pictures.

  20. Eric definitely needs to get a physics tatoo. It would be oh so right.


    Sydney's whim-ful tat does indeed mean "luck." However, there's another character that's much more commonly used for luck, and luckiness and fortune is only a secondary meaning of Syd's ink.

    The primary meaning of what Syd has on her back is "transport" or "move." If a Japanese person were to see it, they'd probably think something like "That means 'transportation.' Oh, I guess it can also mean 'luck,' too."

    But, there are worse things than "movement/luck" to have sitting directly over your ass. I guess Syd could say that she's got lucky moves or something. That works.

    I'd also love to get a tatoo. Haven't settled on an idea yet, though.

  21. My, you look like an Irish tough with the hat and beard. Very delicious! I want to eat you like a cannibal!
    I bet you've gained weight. In da pants!

  22. An Irish tough huh? Thanks?