Showing posts from December, 2015

The Light

"When you think all is forsaken Listen to me now You need never feel broken again Sometimes darkness can show you the light" - "The Light" by Disturbed Dear friends, it is December 18th, just days away from the darkest day of the year. I can't help but think of my friends at higher latitude in Europe and the Arctic, who have even less light than me right now. I think spending last winter in Norway has actually given me a bit of a different perspective - somehow, the days at 43 N don't seem so short this year. We're getting close to the winter solstice, but I'm finding ways to focus on the light. Christmas lights and a star from my friend in Germany adorn a doorway in my apartment. For starters, I received an early Christmas gift from a good friend in Germany this week. She sent me a string of lights and a paper lantern in the shape of a star, with a note saying "Friends are like stars - you don't always see them, but they're

The sound of silence

"In restless streets I walked alone Narrow streets of cobblestone 'Neath the halo of a street lamp I turned my collar to the cold and damp When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light That split the night And touched the sound of silence." - "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel The song quoted above has been on my mind for the past couple days, because it's shown up in my social media multiple times and in a few different forms. The lyrics themselves speak to the importance of music, and the haunting melody has a tendency to hang around in one's temporal lobes. If you're interested, I recommend the cover by Disturbed, found here . Besides just the song, I've been listening the sound of silence for much of the past few days. The Oregon coast is strangely quiet now that the torrential rains have stopped - no more raindrops pounding the window, no more wind shaking the walls. My fellow OIMBers are leaving campus one by


Ah, the life of the traveling scientist. What a crazy life it is. A couple months ago, my dear friend, Stefanie, announced to me that she had been accepted to present her research at a conference in San Francisco. Stefanie lives in the Netherlands, so the trip to San Francisco was already a long one, crossing an ocean and a whole continent. Since she was already flying halfway around the world for the conference, she decided to take advantage of the opportunity and hop across the Pacific to see Hawaii while she was at it. (Yes, this is how we crazy people think.) She started looking into plane tickets and asked if I wanted to meet up while she was on my side of the world. Um, yes. Stefanie and I on Waikiki Beach. I spent the last few days in Honolulu with Stefanie, and for the most part, we were proper tourists. We swam in the salty Pacific and dried out on the beach. We saw the Hawaii state capitol building, Iolani Palace, and Chinatown. We toured Pearl Harbor on the anniver


"Merciless though the wind takes hold with freezing cold Come, my friend, sit with me; take council in the warmth Torrents wash away everything Raindrops flowing all around" - "Torrents" by Asgeir I'm writing this post at my kitchen table in Coos Bay. I just finished editing a term paper for my brother (he's an undergrad), and I'm listening to the rain fall outside. Torrents of rain have been falling on the Oregon coast all week, turning my world into a dark, wet mess. An encrusting sponge on a dropstone I collected in 2012. This particular stone is about the size of the human hand. It's true what they say, you know: when it rains, it pours. As the world outside has tried to keep itself from drowning, I've been piled up with papers, projects, and plans. I set the shipwreck project aside for a while, mostly because I'm waiting on comments from my co-authors on my latest manuscript draft. In the meantime, I've turned my atten