Sunday, February 1, 2009

25 things

here's a narcissistic indulgence spiraling its way around facebook. thought i'd participate and share it here too.

1. i have 55 (plus or minus 2) *first* cousins. all of them currently live within a few hour drive of cincinnati, ohio, USA.

2. at the start of each year in elementary school, i looked around the class to see who i would have a crush on. who knew i'd be facebook friends with some of my crushes 20 years later?!

3. i first left my country at the age of 15 to visit my aunt in south korea. the experience changed me completely... the world beyond suburban america became an attainable reality. thank you, amy! i hope i can share such an awakening adventure with my niece and nephew when they are old enough.

4. i went thru a strong christian phase when i was a teenager. the judgmental attitudes of some of my christian friends instigated my questioning of religion.

5. during my first year in college, i fell in love, smoked cigarettes, discovered the grateful dead, got a tattoo, tried some drugs, learned how to knit, and changed my major to physics - not necessarily in that order.

6. i was in a rock band called perelandra for a couple years in college. i often asked myself "should i be a rock star or a physicist?" then the band decided for me by breaking up one summer while i was in chicagoland working at fermilab, being an astrophysicist.

7. i once met jeff tweedy (of the band wilco) and told him that his austin city limits festival set was really great, but not quite as rockin' as the pixies.

8. i started school at the age of 4 and finally finished, after taking no breaks, at 28. i began to question my sanity near the end; they gave me a Ph.D.

9. i've spent about 90 nights awake on mountain tops around the world playing with big huge telescopes and admiring the sky!

10. one of my proudest moments was when the chilenos i played with soccer with in chile started calling me "ronaldinha!"

11. i've kept personal journals since i was 8 years old. maybe thats why i took to blogging so naturally.

12. i enjoy writing a blog. i started about ten years ago in order to learn html and update my family while i traveled (see #6). then i decided to use the venue as a way to practice writing about science to a popular audience. i'm constantly entertained by the personal online community astropixie has developed. i'm constantly intrigued, and sometimes creeped out, by the communication existing between people from all over the world, and by the feedback i receive.

13. i finish reading a novel every month or two and give my books to people i think might enjoy them. book recommendations always welcome.

14. i think video conferences are both wonderful and horrible. creating and maintaining worldwide astronomical collaborations is now easier, and i love seeing my family while i live so far away! but the moment i end a conversation with my niece and nephew is the moment i miss them the absolute most, because i cant give them hugs.

15. i'm a big fan of the original star wars movies, bananas, art parties, orgasms, honesty, singing around campfires, family dinners, explorative discussions, skinny dipping, seeing the milky way in the sky, reading to kids, and baking bread. (yes, i'm counting this as one item in the whole list!)

16. i feel like i really experience a culture when i stay long enough to watch how the people change with the seasons. i'm thrilled to have experienced this in ohio, austin, germany, chile, and england... so far.

17. my great-grandmother's name was ida dora doll.

18. i like learning other languages. how else can you haggle when you travel? also, there are beautiful phrases in each language that do not translate properly, yet reveal interesting cultural details about the people that speak the language.

19. the sight of blood makes me queazy, and probably explains why i dont like horror films.

22. i'm a cat lover without a cat to love.... i travel too much to have a pet right now :( when i was very young, i had a kitten named sock. sock died and i was sad, so i named my next kitten two socks.

21. few things please me more than being so absorbed in playing the piano that i lose awareness of everything else.

22. i think we are all ultimately trying to figure out how to deal with our undeniably finite existences. to me, the idea of a god provides no confidence, although i recognize that the possibility consoles many. i derive comfort from contemplating how the universe works, appreciating my unexplainable human consciousness, and knowing that my being will eventually be recycled back into the cycle of star dust that i so much admire.

23. i'm happy for my health, and make an effort to maintain it.

24. i'm looking forward to turning 30. only 4 months left! i wonder what shade of gray my hair will eventually turn.

25. i'm proud of what i've accomplished in my life and have absolutely no idea where i'll be, or what i'll be doing in a few years. for now i am happy anticipating the unknown adventures, but maybe i won't always feel comfortable with such uncertainty.

ps. i'm thru with through.


Big Mike said...

Being one of those people whose strange connection to you arose 'thru' the blogosphere, I'm glad you published this. I feel like I know you better than before.

You're even more interesting and funny than I thought, in spite of being less enigmatic now.

C W Magee said...

13: Reading or writing?

Unknown said...

chuck - i hadnt noticed the ambiguity before! ha! definitely reading. i've never attempted to write a novel, and actually, i find it difficult to create stories. its a different beast to create something fictional than it is to adapt a personal experience into a blog-length anecdote.