June 30, 2002

I'm disappointed in the festivities that went on after the SF Pride Parade. Unfortunately, I missed the parade. But I got there directly afterwards to participate in the (supposed) fun afterwards. Well, I paid a $3 "donation" to get in, and then was surprised to find....nothing. 

Hundreds and hundreds of booths selling trinkets and garbage. A few stages with people bumping and grinding to annoying diva house music. And....that's it. 

There was one live band (stuck way back in the corner), and they were pretty craptastic. Other than that it was just loads of shtick and stereotypes. I was looking hard, trying to find people that weren't actively trying to be *GAY!*, and were instead just being people that happened to be homosexual (see example to the left). And while they were present, they were certainly in short supply. It's possible that the *GAY!* people just overshadowed the gay people in presence, rather than in numbers, but it certainly felt like former were running the show.

I'm very much of the opinion that sexuality isn't what defines a person. I hate to see people that might otherwise get along divided into camps of gay, straight, bi, poly, and so on and so forth. Sure, a Pride Parade is a place where you can get together with hundreds of thousands of other people who happen to be LGBT or LGBT-friendly....but that's no excuse to have your sexuality suddenly become you, such that now you're just one more gay person among many.
And no, my feelings on this aren't just limited to sexuality. I don't like to see people that have turned themselves into caricatures of any single characteristic. It only turns themselves into fuel for stereotypes.

It saddens me to say this, San Francisco, but Seattle has a better Pride Parade than you do. Sure, it's smaller, but it feels like it actually means something.

Posted on 12:00 PM
June 27, 2002

Since most people have no idea what I do at work, I thought I'd present a quick list of Today. All this is supposed to do is let people know what I do for 8-10 hours each day. Temporally, that's a large part of my life, so I thought you guys might be entertained by the events that go on in a representatve day in the life of Jacob:

  • Cut 3 mouse brains into slices 1/25 the thickness of a piece of paper

  • Grow neurons in a petri dish and put some DNA into them so we can tell how a certain protein is affecting them

  • Lunch

  • Perform statistical tests on a large amount of data

  • Run an assay called "quantitative fluorometric reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction," (QFRT-PCR) which tells me precisely how much of a specific kind of RNA is present in a mouse brain at a certain time.

  • Stare into space for a about 15 minutes

  • Lab meeting

  • The Frenchman jokingly suggests that sexual harassment runs rampant in our lab

  • In response to his comment, we cause sexual harassment to run rampant in the lab

  • Eat a lot of mints

  • Time to go home

I hope that was interesting. I'm too tired to post anything insightful today. Which is ironic, because I just pointed people from IAM towards this page. Now they'll all be disappointed in the quality of these posts and beat the bejeezus out of me.

But they have to catch me, first.

Posted on 12:00 PM
June 26, 2002
The siren song of Communism

I decided to try vegetarianism. It's really not much of a reach, since chicken is just about the only meat I eat anymore. Of course, I love chicken so much that going to Pasta Pomodoro and seeing all those delicious chickeny entrees was quite the temptation. But I was strong. 
I hope I can be strong in the future, because I don't want this to be a short-lived thing.

I was debating not even talking about the following, but what the hell.
For the last few days I've found myself slipping into elaborate daydreams. I'll think and think and think and think and suddenly I have to come to the realization that none of it actually happened and that things might not work out that way when/if it actually occurs. Which is quite a harsh realization, because things play out oh-so-well in these daydreams. Of course, they'd be pretty worthless daydreams if everything was crappy. I just hope reality mirrors fantasy at least a little.

Posted on 12:00 PM
June 25, 2002

I've been feeling a little out of control lately. Oddly enough, though, it's not because of outside influences. I feel like I can't control myself in the ways I want to. There are things that I want to do, but I don't do them. There are things that I want to say, but I don't say them. This hasn't been much of a problem in the past....Why has it chosen to present itself? I'll have to think on this for a while, and then (hopefully) act. Maybe what I need is something drastic to break myself out of a rut.

On a completely different subject, I hope you all are happy. Cementhorizon and this bloggy little thing has drastically reduced my updating frequency on IAM.BMEZINE. I just can't keep two "diaries" going at the same time. Just in case you're wondering, you can't get to IAM unless you submit an "experience" regarding some sort of bodymod (piercing, tattoo, etc.). If you do have one of these things, I highly recommend submitting an experience and trying IAM out. It took a while, but I've met some amazing people through it. Plus, until Cement Horizon came around, it was my main place to rant n' rave. Now the diatribes have become a bit more diluted, but it's hard to keep these things going on two fronts at once.

Posted on 12:00 PM
June 23, 2002

Do you see that charismatic and hunky TV persona off to the right? He's my hero. And I've got episode after episode of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast being encoded to MPEG-2 and transferred to VCD even as we speak. My heart is all aflutter. If I had low blood pressure, I'd be swooning right now.

Nothing else to see here. I just wanted to tease all the other Space Ghost fans (I'm looking in your direction, Kris) with my plentiful bounty.

Update: I often joke about how old I feel at the ripe old age of 22. But tonight, while biking around the local community college, I actually did feel old. I ran across a bunch of kids that were jumping their skateboards down some flights of stairs. I stopped to watch, because it looked cool. However, when I stopped to watch, they stopped jumping and started sneaking fleeting glances at me out of the corner of their collective eye. That's when I realized how I must look to them: a tall older man with facial hair. Maybe they thought I was going to call the cops or something. I guess you can try to reclaim your youth, but most times the youth just won't have you.

Posted on 12:00 PM
June 20, 2002

I miss the stars.
It's been 5 years since I've been in a rural area for any appreciable amount of time. Don't get me wrong, I love living in/near cities. There's always so much to do, and so much to see. But I absolutely hate light pollution.

When I lived out in the country, I used to sneak out at night and lie on my back in a field in the middle of nowhere, staring up at the stars.
I never knew more than 3 constellations, and I really didn't care about them anyway, since they would have taken away from the picture as a whole. Lying there, with billions of brilliant pricks of white fire for company, I felt something indescribable. The chill breeze would wash over me, I'd listen to the chorus of far-off frogs, and stare up into space for hours. It was more cathartic than anything I've experienced since. 

I miss it.

Posted on 12:00 PM
June 19, 2002
Talk to the hand, Hitler.

There's talk among some people at work of going up to Seattle for Bumbershoot. Sonic Youth will be playing, so I'd definitely like to go. But while trying to figure out where we'd stay, I started thinking about how many people that I know have left the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, I realized that there isn't a single member of my immediate family living in Washington. Since I lived in said state for 21 years, that's kind of a strange concept for me to grasp. I guess you can never go back.

Hey, these updates can't be deep all the time. Here's some Photoshopped World War II posters to distract you, just in case you're unhappy with today's update. If they don't make you laugh, then I'm not your friend any more.

tanksandmummies.jpg talkto.jpg
Posted on 12:00 PM
June 18, 2002
Discipline and Punish

I've been rereading Discipline and Punish on the train to and from work these last few days. I know a lot of you are thinking, "Why the hell would anyone read Foucault when they didn't have to?" But I tend to get a lot more out of books when I read them of my own volition, rather than as part of an assignment. When some philosophy text is assigned I can sling all sorts of comments and questions back to the professor, but they're all just academic (no pun intended). I never really ask myself how I feel about what's being said. So now that I'm rereading this on my own time, I find myself slipping into the habit of detaching myself and coming up with various clinically interesting asides. But so far it's been impossible for me to discover my own feelings regarding these ideas. Does this mean that I've lost touch with myself? I have some pretty strong emotions about other things without even breaking a sweat, so why isn't a book discussing the takeover of the (for lack of a better word) soul by a society obsessed with power eliciting more of a response? Has my scientific education trapped me into holding anything intellectual at arms length for careful dissection and rebuttal?

Sadly, I've found myself doing this in conversations, as well. Someone will bring up Controversy A or Interesting Point B, and I'll find myself shuttling back and forth between various opposing viewpoints just to play Devil's Advocate. However, when someone says, "But do you really believe that?" I can't answer, because I don't really know. 

Being almost exclusively left-brained has had its advantages, but lately I've been wishing more and more for an intuitive outlook on life. Plus, being artistic would be a nice change. But that's a frustration for another diary entry.

Posted on 12:00 PM
June 17, 2002
Wherein Pigs Fly and The Devil Breaks Out the Ice Skates

Well, what do we have here? An update? On Avenue Canyons? Next thing you know, the sun will drop out of the sky with a wet thud.

So here's my plan:
I'm going to start updating Avenue Canyons on an irregular basis. The current layout is something of an experiment. It might work. It might not. I'm lazy and haven't written a master CSS yet, so this format is rather high-maintenance. Once I get off my tushy, things will be smoother.

At any rate things on my end are rather mixed. I'm about a month from my last day at the Institute of Neurological Disease, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. On one hand, it'll be great to start grad. school and try something new. On the other hand, I've become great friends with lots of the people I work with, so not seeing them every day will be a little weird. Plus, there's that whole $10k+ pay cut that's intrinsic to entering the poverty-stricken world of a graduate student. At least during my month of freedom I'll get to visit people that I should have been visiting all along.

Posted on 12:00 PM
June 01, 2002
Pardon Our Dust


Posted on 12:00 PM