Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Catching up: I live in Denver now!

I have been meaning to post for so long, and working (in occasional feverish, well-intentioned yet doomed bursts) on the next entry, that I was very surprised recently to look at my blog and realize that the last time I posted was almost 6 months ago.

The short version of the story is that I moved to Denver.  The medium version of the story is that I decided to try out Denver for the summer, and liked it so well that I am still here, and have moved at least enough of my warm clothes here to make it through the winter.  I guess the long version is something we'll have to hash out in person.  Want to meet for drinks?  I know the perfect place.


My previous attempts to sum up my Denver experience so far have been way too wordy.  I think what I'll try to do instead is mention a few things I'm enjoying so far and illustrate it with some of the pictures I've been taking.

I love being near the mountains again.

Rte70 LakeStandley Lake2 HillStream MountainsLake Path

The weather is spectacular...

Sunset1 BoulderGlower DowntownStorm

...and the seasonal changes are very exciting.

CherryCreek RedTree Colors2 YellowAndBare Colors1 CherryCreekFence

Denver has lots of cool little unique sub-communities.  More info here.

 MuseumEtc  PaintedBricks

Public transportation is always nice... so is public art.

LightrailStop1 LightRailBird

The arts are indeed alive and well here.

Cool digital installation at the Denver Art Museum
ArtMuseum AshPixels

 Playing at the Museum of Nature and Science ... singing Brahms Requiem at
                                                                        St. John's Episcopal
 MusNatSci StJohnsDenver

Singing with St. Martin's Chamber Choir at the Botanic Gardens

Returning from a recent trip to California, the pilot announced the weather over the intercom:  "It's 75 and sunny in Denver.  Welcome to Paradise!"  I laughed to myself.  He doesn't realize we've just escaped Paradise!  Or maybe the joke's on me... 

Monday, May 3, 2010

On the road

I've been shuttling back and forth between L.A. and San Diego a lot these days.  Last week I took the train (and the metro and the bus).  I decided to pass some time by trying out a drawing app I have on my iPhone.  Here are some sketches from my journey.

I drew this last one on the iPad... more screen real estate = more room for details.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Someday I will look back on myself at this moment with envy.  As I sit on the cliffs at Torrey Pines overlooking the vast ocean, I can't deny the beauty of my surroundings.  I can sense Spring waiting just beyond each bend in the path.  Like a child impatient to reveal the most exciting secret she's ever known, it quivers in the sleepy buds and crouches beneath each dusty bush.  The hillsides are poised to burst into color.  The air smells wild and spicy and free.

Spring is a moment of tension - a promise, but one filled with uncertainty.  Maybe there will still be storms and cold weather.  Maybe these first tender buds won't make it.  Maybe those baby robins will die in their nest in the next downpour.  When I was about 10 my family gathered in front of the big living room window to watch in awe as a vicious hail storm knocked all the new leaves off the trees and subjected the green shoots of the first brave bulbs to an unrelenting assault of ice pellets.  I doubted my parents' assurances that the leaves would grow back.  How could they be so sure?  Even the buds were gone - I couldn't imagine the trees and flowers recovering from such a setback.  Maybe we wouldn't have spring at all that year!

But the next season is inevitable, in spite of the struggles of this tenderest, most vulnerable time.  Sumer is i-cumin in, no matter what I do, and events will unfold and develop and change whether I will them to or not.  Maybe it's okay to release my grip a little bit and cast my fate to the wind.  This is not the last sunny day, and it won't be the end of the storms, either.  Might as well take a seat at the big window and enjoy the view.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Weighing the Options: An Interactive Infographic

I've read that most people already know the outcome of a decision they have to make before going through the laborious process of agonizing over the options, making lists of pros and cons, discussing it over coffee with friends, or spending sleepless nights in supposed indecision. If you were to ask someone what they think they might decide, they would probably say the same thing at the beginning of the process as they do at the end. There is certainly some truth to this theory. I often have a feeling what my choice will be, but feel the need at least to give a nod to the import of the decision by taking my time about weighing the options. But in some cases, I can remember having a feeling what my answer would be, but then ending up in a very different place entirely. For me this process is rarely scientific or conscientious. It mostly consists of putting the issue on the back burner while I go about the rest of my life, and then stepping out of the shower one day to discover that I know what I need to do. Realizing this has been a big relief to me, as it means I don't have to put a huge amount of physical effort into the enterprise; my brain will do the calculations automatically without me having to will it to do so.

Certain decisions, however, seem too big for that back burner. What to do next with my life, for example. I actually find myself with too many options, too much of a blank canvas. I could choose to move anywhere, do anything, be with anyone. The sheer breadth of my options is paralyzing. So I decided to numericize it.

This is going to look a bit obsessive, but I did it mostly on a lark, just to see what the results would be. I have taken six cities where I could imagine living, and rated them based on a series of criteria that I think would influence my enjoyment of life there. This is obviously a very subjective exercise (analytical as I attempted to make it), so I'm sure anyone reading it would disagree with many of my evaluations. Furthermore, it's bound to be unfair, since the graph includes cities I've only visited for a week as well as places I've lived longer than anywhere else in my life. But I had to start somewhere. So here it is. Click on the checkboxes to turn on or off each city's graph, and mouse over different areas on the graph to see my comments.

In some ways the results are surprising. I certainly never expected San Diego to come in last, and Salt Lake City was never a huge contender in my mind, yet it shows up in third place. Portland and Denver coming out at the top doesn't surprise me, though. I must admit I did a little fudging, trying to influence the outcome to more accurately reflect the preferences I hoped it would. So does that mean I've already made up my mind? I guess we'll have to wait and find out. Maybe I'll go take a shower.