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Writings

Vaccination

In two days, on April 1, I receive my second vaccination shot at the massive and efficiently run Moscone Convention Center in downtown San Francisco to which I take my afternoon walk down decrepit Market Street. My company joined the rest of Bay Area biotech to call me a lab …

The Way I Once Was

For most of March, I budget thirty minutes each day to organize and clean another section of my little apartment. I tackled a bedroom closet yesterday and today move on to the entrance hallway and its floor. Wrestling a bulky mattress off the frame, I pulled out a gray dirt …

Decrepitude

Stephanie wonders whether I have a degenerative neuromuscular disease. Coming from a practicing neurologist, her prognosis spirals me into days of reflection. I’ve never had a body similar to anyone else. So scrawny as a kid, my elbows and knees were oddly double-joined. My toes are not independently flexible, more …

My Poor Mom

My poor Mom has Alzheimer’s. I have not been home in over a year due to Covid and growing distance from my aging parents. At the end of February, during my weekly weekend calls home, I could tell that Mom was getting both increasingly confused and delusional. She mixed up …

Spring Cleaning

March lingers with a cold spring, signifying a year now of pandemic So many Marches indoors, alone, surviving, but existentially bored. My social proclivities have diminished even further. Going outside seems a struggle. I fear crossing the street to shop at Whole Foods. I’m grateful when friends cancel plans and …

Faire du Ski

Friend AJ departs California in May to move with his wife and son back to Massachusetts and away from Silicon Valley craziness. I will miss our weekly lunches, occasional San Francisco jaunts, and winter skiing. For decades, he and I would try to ski together around Lake Tahoe. If I …

Research Group

Ages ago, after two post-doctoral stints—one in Austin and the following in The Netherlands—I needed to make a choice between a science career as an academic or head into industrial chemistry at a company. For better work-life balance and a shyness in my thirties to lead, I choose the company …

Do Something Else

I dread looking at the Islamic pattern I selected for my next LED piece. I don’t want to cut plastic no more. After building last year 4 Squares, 3 Hexes, 3 Turtle Shells, 4 small Pentagons, 1 large Pentagon, 1 small Mandala, and 1 large Mandala, I’m burnt out on …

Art 201x

I dump another heap of phone photos, these from 2012-2019 exclusively of things I built. At its heart, all Art is a risk to engineer something new. Some of these costume pieces never got worn: a duck (!), a first attempt at an owl hat, a feather headdress. So ridiculous. …

David Copperfield

Pandemic allows time and space for unnecessarily-long projects. I slog through Charles Dickens’s novel David Copperfield, much, much longer than anticipated. He writes somewhat well, focusing on characters at the expense of brevity and craftsmanship. The San Francisco library recalled in December my copy of Copperfield, which I renew in …