Sunday, August 29, 2010

mouse lemur

I wish I was a mouse lemur, living in a hole in a tree. Twelve of us living together in one little niche because we're so small, coming out at night to eat nectar from giant tropical flowers. Not a care in the world. I imagine there are lots of things that might eat me in the nocturnal tree-tops, but I'm not worried about that. I'm focused on licking nectar off this pretty flower and getting a big sugar rush. Oh, and crunching on the occasional night moth for added protein.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I'm going to savor every last bit of this experience.

getty goggles

It seems like only yesterday I was getting my first tour of the "new" Getty Villa, where I'd just accepted my dream job as Villa Exhibitions Coordinator. I was barely 30, eager to make a change professionally, and hardly able to believe my luck at getting a sweet job at the Villa right before it reopened to the public after years of renovation! I'd only visited once before, when I was eighteen, but it had always been my fantasy to work there one day, and then suddenly, this job basically fell in my lap, and it was the perfect example of that expression: luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

I was on cloud nine. Everyone was so impressed. Ooo, the Getty! That's really a step up. That's the kind of place everyone in the museum world aspires to be. Ooo, the Villa! It's so beautiful out there in Malibu. It's all antiquities all the time. You can see dolphins on the way to work! And it turned out to be just as dreamy as I'd imagined. Probably even better. I made many, many wonderful friends and colleagues. I worked on many, many wonderful exhibitions. I became part of a close-knit family of Villa people, sharing good times and bad, triumphs and controversy.

And now I'm leaving. Can it really be time to walk away from the dream so soon? The Villa is still wonderful, but some of the glory is gone, and that in itself is a hard thing to admit. Maybe the glory isn't gone so much as it's just changed. And that's a natural thing. Perhaps my Villa era has passed, and now it's time for something completely different. It better be, because I just jumped off the deep end and there's no turning back now!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ducks in a row

Line up, damn ducks!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I've been lucky not to have many bug problems in my life (knock on wood). But since I've moved into this wonderful apartment -- and it IS wonderful in almost every way -- I've had serious fruit flies, a major flea infestation, and now apparently a termite situation. What the hell? I guess I can count myself lucky that these infestations haven't overlapped. One bug at a time, please. I'm reluctant to tell the landlord because I don't want to have to evacuate myself and the cats if he has to fumigate or some horrible thing, but clearly I'll have to do something if this goes on much longer. I'll give it a couple more days and see if maybe it was just a fluke episode . . .

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I wish I could clone myself so I could get more done in a single lifetime. I may have some ambition, but I'm not one of those hyper ambitious people who pursues multiple advanced degrees, while traveling the world and raising a family. Mostly, I want to be mellow, and allow time to savor the experiences that really make me happy.

But, if I could clone myself (or get cloned, I don't care who does it really, as long as it's done well), I could keep my wonderful job at the beautiful Getty Villa, take the exciting new job at LACMA, get another job at the Natural History Museum, and maybe another one at the zoo, and also do field research like Jane Goodall and David Attenborough, and be a wildlife photographer. Funny how all of these involve "working," though. If I really had the power to clone myself, I guess I should think bigger. Some clones could work -- because I really do love the work I do, or imagine myself doing in these various scenarios; and it's good to have the structure and community that a working environment or professional field offers -- but other clones could travel the world simultaneously, visiting the pyramids of Egypt, the ruins of Petra, the wildlife and cultures of the African savanna, the antiquity of Greece, the tropics of Hawaii or Costa Rica. And yet other clones could just live a life of leisure, lying around sipping fancy drinks in exotic locations -- but I think these last clones would eventually get very bored and commit suicide.

Cloning is all well and good, but I presume you don't get to actually experience all those lives yourself. You're just one of the many versions of yourself. You still only get to live your one life, and you can just be proud of the others, or make them report back to you monthly with tales of their adventures. Maybe a better solution is time travel. Then you could try out one career or path for as long as you like, and then when you're ready to try something different, just turn back the clock to age 20 or something, and set out down a different path. But again, would you be able to remember each of your various lives? I guess you'd need to be immortal really, and then you wouldn't need cloning or time travel; you'd have all the time in the world to try out everything that catches your fancy. But I suppose there are drawbacks to that too . . . or so they say. (Immortality: It's all fun and games until your sun supernovas. But wouldn't that be a quick death anyway? And come on, immortality lasts forever, even if you don't have a physical realm in which to exist, right?)


Ambition a: an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power b: desire to achieve a particular end. Applies to the desire for personal advancement or preferment and may suggest equally a praiseworthy or an inordinate desire.

"Ambition makes you look pretty ugly.
Kicking, squealing, gucci little piggy." Paranoid Android, Radiohead

Can you read this graphic? Ambition: Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. Or the unimaginable hideous gaping void of space. One of the two.

Several people have called me "ambitious" recently. It sure beats "passive-aggressive," but it's not a term I would ever have used to describe myself before. These people have meant it as a compliment, but I've always thought it had kind of a negative tinge to it, implying that you're motivated by money, greed, power, and/or that you're willing to get ahead at any cost, even if it means stepping on others along the way.

That's not me. I'm just a girl trying to get ahead in this world. I would love to make more money, sure, but what I really want is to not be bored. I want to stay stimulated, and I want to feel like I'm moving forward in my life. I'm very comfortable in my current job, and I think that alone makes me feel uncomfortable. So perhaps it's time to move on, especially when opportunity knocks so loudly.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


We are overdue for another Tycho magnetic anomaly appearance. I just finished reading 2001: A Space Odyssey, and now I'm re-watching the movie. Arthur C. Clarke is a genius. Kubrick's pretty damn cool too. I did an image search for "2001 monolith," and found a variety of images like this, and also several of the World Trade Center. Was that it? Did 2001 come and go, and the bombing of two giant monoliths that symbolize all that's wrong with the world (in the eyes of some people) was meant to be our spiritual awakening? I feel gypped.

That first monolith 3,000,000 years ago certainly put things on a bad track. Couldn't there be some happy medium where we developed a certain level of cognition and power over our environment without shooting it all to hell? I guess there was for a while . . . and there still is in certain isolated parts of the world, but that doesn't really matter in comparison to the large-scale destruction and chaos that the majority of us are contributing to.

The book is of course fantastic, to the extent that I actually got goose bumps several times while reading it. The movie is of course equally fantastic in its wonderful retro-modern imagery, and its uncanny musical score which can make even a simple black obelisk appear instilled with mind-boggling, otherworldly significance. Look at the cool furniture in the space lounge; the cool rotating rooms that defy (or rather create) gravity; and of course poor Hal, who seems much more devious in the movie.

And what does it all mean in the end, anyway? Arthur C. Clarke is a genius. Did I say that already? His books are completely mind altering. They should be required reading. They're fantastic science fiction, but they transcend the genre, and explore the most profound spiritual and philosophical avenues. Almost too profound -- they force you to question the fundamentals of what it might mean to be human, to even exist at all, yet offer no real answers. It's impossible to articulate really, which is what makes him so genius. Is this baby going to destroy the earth thus initiating an entire new era of existence in the cosmos?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

fine, be that way

I've been described as passive-aggressive by co-workers twice in the past month. Granted, one of these people is considered loopy at best, and the other one psychotic at worst, but still. I don't think I'm passive-aggressive (generally-speaking), but I hate to think that my actions are being perceived this way. Does that statement sound passive-aggressive? Maybe if I said it really sarcastically with an annoyed look on my face. But I'm being sincere! Aren't I?

No one has ever described me as passive-aggressive in my personal life (I don't think . . .), but apparently the fact that I get things done with a smile is unsettling to certain people. Today it was used because person A asked her colleagues to help with a certain simple task, and had apparently been faced with resistance, so I was asked to solve the problem. I (and others) felt that her colleagues should help if at all possible, and that perhaps they just weren't being responsive to person A (for various and sundry reasons), so I asked them very nicely, but firmly, to please help us out with this request. They both immediately complied, and person A said, "Did you do your passive-aggressive thing?" I think SHE was being passive-aggressive by implying such a thing!

I like this puzzle-piece photograph: a very neutral, yet pseudo-provocative image to accompany a discussion of psychological issues. Passive-aggressive behavior is a clinically described personality disorder characterized by habitual passive resistance to demands for adequate performance in occupational or social situations, via procrastination, stubbornness, sullenness, and inefficiency. It is a form of covert abuse that is subtle, and veiled or disguised by actions that appear to be normal, at times loving and caring. It is said to stem from an inability to express anger in a healthy way. None of that sounds like me, except the last sentence. I do have some anger issues, but I try to keep that to myself (ha-ha).

When I did an image search for "passive-aggressive," lots of images came up of notes people had left in office kitchenettes complaining about people eating food that wasn't theirs. I have never done this, but I did post a note on the office microwave asking people to please be considerate of others when heating up stinky food in a shared workspace. Yes, it really annoys me when people heat up faux barbecue or some weird fish dish, and stink up the entire office suite. It's inconsiderate! Is it passive-aggressive of me to nicely ask them to think twice next time? Should I instead confront them with fists raised? Maybe. You think I'm passive-aggressive? Fine. I'll just be plain aggressive from now on (and I mean that without an ounce of sarcasm).