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“When men lose a sense of wonder, there will be disaster.”
—Laozi, 6th Century BC

Space and its vastness, its denizens of rock and ice and gas, its rings and spheres and smudges and wisps, have forever inhabited my mind, creating wonder, taunting, daring me to comprehend the impossible distances, sizes, existences of the universe.

I have not been awed by space much lately, meaning in the last decade or so. I have taken a moment or two here and there to marvel at the Hubble Ultra Deep Field snapshot, or look at the surface of Mars, but the luxury of time to spend imagining space has slipped away from me.

Thanks simultaneously to Sven and VSL, I have discovered The Big Picture, a part of The Boston Globe‘s website. Today, VSL sent a link to these pictures of the Sun. In the midst of a mind-numbing, boring work day, the pictures were a great surprise, and I pored over them for some time.

After subscribing to The Big Picture RSS feed, I saw another space-themed photo set, Enceladus Up Close.

Saturn's moon Enceladus in a false color image by NASA

This is a false color image of one of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, as captured by Cassini. (Click the pictures to see it in a larger size.)

When I was a kid and making up scenarios in my head about space, traveling there, and the adventures to be had, there were no pictures of this clarity. Well, okay, the moon was pretty well photographed, and we had some great shots from the Voyagers and Vikings, sure, but the most detail to be found of anything beyond this limited scope was in movies or paintings or our imaginations. The picture above? Reality! This is a real place. You can imagine actually setting foot onto that surface, exploring those ridges and craters.

In the last 8 years, people’s minds have gotten smaller, and their influence has stunted the imaginations of the world. To me, Enceladus as a creation of a God is such a let-down, a cop-out compared to the magnificent thought that this small world is a product of the universe itself. I think it’s time for me, and for everyone else, to turn out from themselves, shake off the selfishness of recent history, and wake up the boundless, infinite wonders of everything around us, from a micron off our own skins to billions of light years away.

The quote at the top of this post is something I wrote down from a bulletin board at Imagineering one lunch hour maybe 13 years ago, and have carried it in my wallet since. I never guessed it would resonate with me more now than it did then.

Permalink Comments Off on LFTI Blog: “Indie = Ingenuity”Comments Off on LFTI Blog: “Indie = Ingenuity” By

Ah, I love shooting! Specifically, I love how creative you have to be when you have no budget when you’re shooting.

Also, I have problems typing “would,” “could,” and “should.”

Read all about it at the LFTI blog!

Permalink Comments Off on SCREEEEECH! Ploop!Comments Off on SCREEEEECH! Ploop! By

There is so much to write about, yet here I am again writing about fluff. And this time almost literally.

I am loving this blog discovered through Very Short List. It’s…

Cake Wrecks.

Watch as Jen deconstructs poorly-realized “professional” cake creations! Did it look like this in the catalog…

…but end up looking like this in real life?

Then this is the blog for you!

And I thought good presentation designers were hard to find. I can’t imagine trying to staff the bazillion bakeries in America with talented, capable cake decorators. Impossible!

I am on my way to Australia later tonight. I’m flying first class. Yes, I used miles. To be honest, this has been one of the most exciting things about the trip… that I get to fly first class overseas! In the top of a 747! The 747 to me is the greatest passenger jet in the universe. It’s so iconic. Any other jet, you look at it and go, “It’s a jet.” A 747, you go, “It’s a 747!”

So I will be flying in the lap of luxury. I get to use the First Class International lounge before I board (I’m getting to the airport early so I can milk the hell out of that privilege); I’ll get a 47-course meal on the plane; my seat will lie flat for comfy comfy rest. Luxury, I tell you!

Here are two guys who are probably used to this kind of thing:

Click here for the high res version.

Now, you know I’m a fan of Apple and a huge UN-fan of Microsoft. Some of the Get a Mac ads are really great (for example). But I have to give props to Microsoft for this one. Well, not to Microsoft, but their ad agency. I was watching this on my iPhone, ironically, at the car wash this morning, and laughing out loud (LOL to you youngsters who can’t speak real English). There is a lot to like about this “ad.”

I’m not sure how effective these ads will be in making Microsoft appear less crappy a company with less crappy products, but at least it looks like we’re in for some really funny attempts at doing so.

So me, the lap of luxury. These two, slumming it. My, how our world has changed!

Permalink Comments Off on What a Concept!Comments Off on What a Concept! By

This morning, I tweeted about Microsoft’s Surface showing up very select at Sheraton hotels. It was this video that made me comment:

Besides being a bit creepy—is that woman wanting to slap the little boy, or seduce him?—the video is humorous in showing how minimally useful the Surface concept even is. I can do the things that table does on my iPhone, and I have that with me all the time.

Expanding ever so slightly on my tweet, I ask you, how long until the majority of those things break? How often will they cease to function? When will I first be able to walk into a Sheraton hotel and see a $10,000 table crashed or dark?

When Microsoft first announced the Surface just before the iPhone’s release last year, I started to write a post about how Apple’s products are cool, and Microsoft’s, when they actually release them, are only faux cool. Microsoft wants you to like their products and tries to tell you how awesome they are, but they always suck. Apple strongly suggests that their products are cool, and often they really are. They certainly are well designed, well engineered, well built, and well well well.

I never finished the post because I got busy, and not in the cool sense. But the idea still holds. Microsoft, in a desperate attempt to steal some of the thunder from the upcoming iPhone, announced a fairly crappy product which introduced nothing terribly state-of-the-art, promised to deliver it by the end of the year, then failed to do so.

Well, guess I’m sorta wrong. A few Surfaces have surfaced, it seems. But look at the Sheraton announcement carefully. Notice there’s no date mentioned. When are these tables going to be installed? They aren’t installed already or the press release would have said so. To take one small detail into question, why, pray tell, would guests want to create playlists on the table? For what purpose? To play where? Certainly not their iPod! And so on and so on.

Lo, with perfect timing, here comes Kontra to muse on the concept of why other companies do concepts, but Apple does not. He or she or it or they or them are and/or is absolutely correct. While concept products are interesting, they are often amusingly, ridiculously out of touch with the universe. Every concept car I’ve seen at car shows is laughable in its ignorance. I would never deny anyone the right to create a concept. What gets me is when it is hinted that this thing you are seeing is potentially viable. That astounding future technologies will emerge from this thing at which you are marveling or laughing. (Turns out Steve Jobs brought up the concept car problem in this Time article from 2005.)

Kontra is correct. Apple does not need to release concepts. They are in the business of making concepts reality. When I saw Steve-o unveil the iPhone at Macworld in 2007, part of what made it such a thrilling spectacle is knowing that this thing, this amazing chiclet of technology, was going to be real. I would be holding one in my hand in six months. That never, ever happens with concept products.

* * * * * *

What follows are the videos I originally included in my un-posted post.

See all the the Steve Jobs/Bill Gates appearance videos here.

And here’s a video from D5 with Gates showing off the Surface.

Thanks as always to Daring Fireball for leading me to good material.

Permalink Comments Off on iPhone Post TestComments Off on iPhone Post Test By

Hello! I’m just testing posting from the iPhone. With a picture. How will it work?

photo

Ah, it works pretty damn well. As does editing after the fact. Sweet deal! Totally rad!

That picture, by the way, was taken yesterday on the way to Togo’s. It was a kinda nasty rear-ending accident, though you can’t see the cars from this vantage point. I wonder if I can post another picture?

photo

I can indeed! That one is of a few cars from The Haunted Mansion, taken “backstage” at Disneyland last week. They looked like they were in for repairs.

Here’s another shot from behind Disneyland:

photo

That is one ofnthe Mounties from It’s a Small World. The ride is currently under renovation.

Click any of those pics to see them larger.

Permalink Comments Off on For the RecordsComments Off on For the Records By

There’s this great site I’ve been fascinated with lately called Shorpy. It reproduces large-size pictures from the past, usually the late 1800s to the mid 1900s (though really, they’ll put up anything interesting).

I mention this today because I love this picture posted on Saturday:

Click it to see it larger.

I love this picture. Even record stores were full-service get-ups back then. And you can look at it now and see some of the Apple Store in it. (Yes, I bring absolutely everything back to Apple!)

The picture is most likely from 1952. I started to try to figure this out myself when I went looking for that Bing Crosby Christmas album. I found this on eBay:

The seller said it was from 1949. Well, wouldn’t you know it, had I just read the comments on the Shorpy picture’s original post, I would have found all this out! When you think you’re onto something on the web, you’re probably not. Twenty dozen people have already beaten you to it.

I would recommend you spend some time browsing Shorpy. The older pictures of kids working in factories and things makes you realize how far we’ve come in this country regarding worker’s rights.

Permalink Comments Off on There are No WordsComments Off on There are No Words By

There really are no words for this:

I saw it on the 101 south on the way into work this morning. Eddie Murphy’s head just appeared from an on ramp, merging gently into traffic. It’s (obviously) a promotional… thing for Meet Dave.

Thoughts that went through my head: “Who sculpted this thing?” “Is it as top-heavy as I think it is?” “Who exactly pops out of that door in his ear? Certainly not Eddie Murphy himself!” “Does Eddie know this exists? If so, has he seen it?” “Who gets to keep it when the movie promotion is done?” “How many of these are out there?” “What if I rear-ended Eddie?” “If Eddie’s head fell onto my car, would the insurance company consider my car totaled?”

Coldplay Viva la Vida iTunes Ad Band

That new iTunes Coldplay ad is pretty damn great in just about every way. I think that should be their actual video. It’s beautiful and striking and an amazingly accomplished piece of animation.

Coldplay Viva la Vida iTunes Ad Bass

Coldplay Viva la Vida iTunes Ad Guitar

Coldplay Viva la Vida iTunes Ad Singer

It is finished. My 5,195-piece Millennium Falcon Lego set—which my friends bought me for my birthday in 2007, which I received in November, and which I started building in December—is finally all done. It sat there for months, mostly built, while I lived my life around it, feeling too guilty to spend my precious time finishing it.

Ah, but now it’s all done! I can use my dining room table again!

I took pictures of the whole process. I have a time-lapse movie of me building a small portion. I plan to post all of those in Steve’s Snapshots at some point.

While trying to get the blue “engines” to shine with a Maglight, I discovered some fun effects and got carried away taking lots of funky long-exposure pictures.

Whether I end up posting the rest of the pictures or not, thanks a ton to all the friends who pitched in to buy this ultimate set. You have to see it in person to appreciate its intricacy.

Permalink Comments Off on A Helicopter Comes to VisitComments Off on A Helicopter Comes to Visit By

I was awoken this morning around 8 by my dipshit upstairs neighbor, doing her usual banging and clomping and thumping. As I tried to get back to sleep, I realized I could not because there was a helicopter hovering outside, very near.

The sound was not the usual police-helicopter-circling noise. It was a loud, big chopper, something military-sounding.

I decided there must be something interesting to see, so I got out of bed, threw on clothes, grabbed my camera, and ventured into the gray spittle morning. When I rounded the corner down the block, this was going on:

 

I took all kinds of pictures and movies. The pics are up in my gallery.

The helicopter—a Sikorsky S-58T—was installing a new air conditioning unit at the top of a skyscraper. (It was, of course, also bringing down parts of the old unit.) The helicopter made trips back and forth, picking up and dropping off large parts connected to the chopper from a long cable. The pic above is during one of the helicopter’s refueling landings.

There were not many people around since it was early. We had to stay back, but I was amazed we were allowed to get as close as we did. I stayed around for almost an hour. At one point, as I was taking a movie, I wondered what would happen if the thing crashed there, in the middle of a major artery, between two skyscrapers and a high-rise apartment building. I don’t think the landing would have been this uneventful.

Nothing crashed, nothing came loose and plummeted to the ground. It was just your average, run-of-the-mill big-ass helicopter maintenance call.

My boss walked into my office today, saying, “I have a surprise for you!” “Are you being facetious?” I asked. “Maybe.”

He handed me this:

I think my reaction surprised him. “Oh, wow! This was my favorite mouse ever!” “Really?” I was not being facetious.

This, friends, is the Apple Desktop Bus Mouse II. According to Mactracker—an awesome, comprehensive app that gives info on every Apple product ever made—this mouse was included on all Macs from 1993 to 1998. It was only the third mouse design since the Mac’s introduction in 1984. My boss found this one locked in a cabinet in some conference room. It cleaned up really nice, and I plan to keep it.

I began using Macs when they showed up in my junior high school, though it took a long time for me to have one of my very own. Macs were too expensive, so my folks bought a IIe while I was in high school. (I first used a IIe and learned Apple Basic when I was in 4th grade.) I used my Apple IIe to write all my papers in college, but I loved every moment using the Macs at school to create flyers or newsletters or graphics.

I got my very own Mac, an LC III, in 1993. It had the new Apple Mouse II. When I started doing scientific illustration and page layout for books at Birkhäuser, the LC III was quickly replaced with a faster mac, a Quadra 610, that could better handle Illustrator and Aldus PageMaker. (Here’s one of the books I typeset. For some reason, I thought I had put my name on the copyright page. I usually did. Anyway, I want to go on record saying that nowadays, I would never stretch a font like I did in those black boxes!)

I did not upgrade my Mac until 1999, when I got a blue and white G3. I had already been living in L.A. and working for Disney for five years. I got the G3 literally weeks before the brand new G4 towers came out. It was my first introduction to immediate obsolescence.

I got my G3 less than a year after Apple had introduced the bondi blue iMac, the machine that began the rebirth of Apple and the Mac. Perhaps the most maligned thing about the new iMac was the mouse: it was round, which meant you could never tell, by feel alone, if you were holding it upright or not. My G3 came with one of these horrible mice, but I did not mind, because the machine still had an ADB port, which meant I could use my old Apple Mouse II. (I think this was the last Mac to have an ADB port. It was the first pro-level Mac to have USB.)

When I got my 12″ PowerBook in 2003, I could no longer use my Apple Mouse II. I still have not found a mouse I love as much.

The Apple Mouse II was perfect. That seems like a silly thing to say, because it had only one button, used a physical roller ball, and had no scroll wheel or scroll ball. But I consider it perfect anyway.

The mouse was low profile, which meant it sat in the curve of my hand without me having to bend my wrist backward to accommodate its bulk. The button end of the mouse was very shallow, down close to the desk surface, so I never had to strain my fingers up to rest on the button. My hand could relax comfortably. Most mice, especially today, have unnecessary bulk. They force the hand to arch up to unnatural heights, and the buttons are far off the desk, which pushes the fingers higher than is normal. The Apple Mouse II was shaped so that you could plonk your hand down, relaxed, on the desk, and the mouse would just happen to be there, in the cavity, ready to go.

The button had perfect tactility, which meant you could rest your finger(s) on the button comfortably without the button accidentally clicking. It also clicked at just the right pressure, so I never had to strain my fingers to press down. If a button clicks too easily, finger muscles get strained as you hold them aloft, trying not to click. When a button mechanism is too strong, the muscles have to strain harder to click.

The single button that covered the entire front of the mouse meant I could relax my hand in a natural position, even to the very right edge of the mouse, and still move and click with ease. A two-button mouse where the left button is the default button forces your wrist to rotate farther left and your index finger to angle more than is natural, then hold the pose the entire time you use the mouse. Most mice are designed with the buttons inset from the sides of the mouse, so even if you can rest your hand at the very edge, you have to move your finger to click. On the Apple II Mouse, you could just click any part of the front, and you were okay.

All these tiny little alterations, muscle movements, and position-holdings add up over the hours, and, in my experience, at the end of a long mousing day, they hurt. My right hand is sore every day using “better” mice. For sure, hands of different sizes and shapes may require different shapes of mice. A large hand still rests its fingers at the surface of a desk, so the low mouse button works well there. Perhaps stronger fingers would need stronger button clicking, and a wider hand a wider mouse to more comfortably grip, but overall, I posit that the Apple Mouse II was a perfect, average shape.

My current favorite mouse is the Wireless Mighty Mouse. Yes, also by Apple. I have used a number of other brands of mice, and none of them works as well (though the Logitech MX 300, now impossible to find, was pretty decent). With the Mighty Mouse, I get back the low profile and the low, borderless button. I swap my left and right clicking, so the right side of the mouse is my “left” click. This way, I only have to strain my hand or fingers occasionally to execute a “right” click. My hand can rest as it did using an Apple Mouse II. (I tried swapping button mapping on other mice, but for some reason, it didn’t work so well, mostly because the unclickable side border made it pointless.)

The down side of the Mighty Mouse is that I have to be very careful, and therefore strain my hand, to do a “click and pick up the mouse to move it before you unclick” maneuver. This is easy on most mice, but because the whole top of the Mighty Mouse is mostly one piece, the only place to grab and hold is the side-click buttons. I have to move my thumb up to the left side click button (because it does not naturally rest there), then sort of do a squeeze–hold while I click the main button, then do a cumbersome lift… Do you know how many times I accidentally squeeze too hard and bring up Exposé? And then suddenly I’m stuck, hand aloft, mid-click, with all my windows shrunken, and everything has to come to a halt while I repair the mess.

Another issue is the touch-sensitive button. I love the idea in theory, but you have to lift your fingers off the “left” click “button” to make the “right” click “button” work properly. If the mouse senses a touch on both sides, it does not execute a “right” click. This strain does get to my hand by the end of the day.

I could get into my issues with tracking sensitivity, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that the Apple mice have the best tracking algorithmicity thingy I’ve used. Other mice are too sensitive and don’t get the acceleration right.

One could say that I simply like the Apple Mouse II because that’s what I got used to using. It seems a fair argument, but it doesn’t work here because I can just lay my hand down on my desk, let it relax, and see how it comes to rest. The Apple Mouse II fit right into that relaxed posture. I do not imagine other people’s hands lie in completely different ways than mine, all twisted to the left with fingers naturally hovering in the air and wrists bent backwards. Maybe I’m ignorant, or a fool. Or maybe it’s approaching 8:00 on a Friday night, and I’m here in my office writing a blog post about mice.

I have spent a lot of time at work testing mice, trying to find decent ones that haven’t been bastardized by forced progress and redesigned for redesign’s sake. It’s a constant battle. So seeing an old friend walk in the door was a great surprise and, perhaps pathetically, a happy one.

No, that is not me making fun of Japanese. On the contrary! It’s… well, not on the contrary. I’m not even sure why I used that phrase. I just know I’m not making fun of the Japanese language or people. I wear a Chococat bracelet, for God’s sake!

All I want to say is that there’s a lot of talk going on about the fonts Obama and Clinton and McCain are using in their political campaigns. I don’t have the energy to post all the links here (see previous post regarding not getting things done), mostly because there are so very many. But here’s the one that got me started on this post in the first place (via Daring Fireball, of course).

What I thought might be both fun and helpful was posting snapshots of the three main candidates’ websites here for easy comparison. So I did. This is what their homepages look like today. Click on any of the images to see them full-size. (They are large PNGs, so they may load slowly.)

Let’s start with McCain.

John McCain\'s Website on April 22, 2008

Boy, that’s a fun site! All the wonderful colors! The cheer! The optimism! The Optima! (And the Gill Sans and the Myriad and the Futura and the Trajan and… ACK!) If John McCain were an investment firm, this would be a great website design. Or, perhaps, a great start to a website design.

How does Hillary’s look?

Hillary Clinton\'s Website on April 22, 2008

Hmm. How… cute. Is she running for district council? And I hear she just recently put a new font on her site. Is that… Gotham? Copycat! Charlatan! Lemming! Oh, wait, it’s Avenir? Well, then, she’s definitely not copying what’s-his-face. The guy with the funny name. What is it again?

Barack Obama\'s Website on April 22, 2008

Ah, yes, that’s right. Obama. Well, now, this is a site! Look at the airiness! The beauty! The hope! The change! The fonts! Gotham! And I can not for the life of me find the name of the serif and script fonts, but they are fantastic. Look how well the script and Gotham work together! Now if only HTML 5 were in effect, we wouldn’t have to put up with Helvetica and Georgia in the text boxes.

Most pundits have agreed that Obama’s branding team knows what it’s doing. I have to agree. That is one professional, good-looking, and effective site. It’s yummy. I’ll take a double scoop in a waffle cone, please.

 

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These days, I seem to only find inspiration to post about useless things. Or do I? Is good design useless? Of course not. But I had to call this post useless because it’s not about the trials and tribulations of my life. Like breaking up and having car crashes. It’s not about the great and wonderful things about my life. Like Life from the Inside gathering a growing audience.

No, this post is about coins. Behold The Royal Mint’s new coin designs:

Coins of the Realm

Aren’t these gorgeous? Fantastic? Or, as the Brits might say, brilliant? If you visit The Royal Mint’s site, you can read about the design and see how the coins fit together. Yes, fit together. That’s right, fit together. You heard me right, fit together. Your ears ain’t lyin’, I said “fit together.”

I got wind of this through Daring Fireball, who linked to a post at Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Visit the H&FJ link for a brief but humorous comparison with the US’s new $5 bill.

Permalink Comments Off on Garfield Minus GarfieldComments Off on Garfield Minus Garfield By

I loved “Garfield” when it first came out. My friends and I would laugh and laugh reading those first three books. (It was also the beginning of me wishing for comprehensive comic strip collections; it wasn’t until a few years ago that “Peanuts” finally got the treatment it deserves.)

“Garfield” rapidly became useless and unfunny. But along comes Garfield Minus Garfield. Take Garfield out of “Garfield” and what do you get? Pure existential hilarity. I hope it’s okay for me to reprint the sample below. If not, I’m sure I’ll be hearing from someone.

Garfield Minus Garfield: Pants

I was looking at the card of an acquaintance today, where her contact info was set in a font called Trajan. I thought to myself, “My God. There it is again. Trajan.” It is, literally, everywhere. It’s even used on our new logo at work:

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

And I thought Neutraface was overused! Trajan has it beat, for sure. I love Neutraface. Love it. And yet, now that every ad agency and design studio is using it for just about everything, I’m getting tired of it. Trajan, which is a caps-only font, is elegant in its own way, but it has been overused for years. Yet no one’s picking up on how overused it is. Oh, except this guy:

I think I can blame a few things for this kind of font overuse. One is designers who don’t know what they are doing. These are the people who use the fonts that come with Windows, don’t know that “The 90’s” is wrong (it should be “The ’90s”), and can’t kern to save the planet. Another is designers who do know what they’re doing, but have to design for people who are blind to anything new or creative. “I love that new font Wendy’s is using! Can we use that?” Worse of all is a combination of the two: clueless designer and clueless client.

Permalink Comments Off on O Little Tree, O Little TreeComments Off on O Little Tree, O Little Tree By

I got to stop by Trader Joe’s yesterday on the way back from getting my hair cut. (It’s short. I should post a picture!) On the way in, I was stopped by these cute little trees outside the store.

I love trees. I have a ficus in my office that has flourished since I bought it at Ikea years ago. I wish I could have one in my apartment, but it’s too dark. These little Trader Joe’s pine trees were so cute, and I wanted to have some kind of Christmas cheer in my office, and I knew what was going to happen later that night, so I bought one to brighten my pre-Christmas days. Today, I bought little glass ornaments and decorated the tree.

A Little Christmas Tree

How Charlie Brown Christmas is that? It’s so cute. I makes me smile. And since it’s alive, I can keep it in my office year-round. I lived in Boston last time I bought a tiny live pine tree like this, also around Christmas time. I had it for a quite a while. Sadly, it died when I took a trip. Must have been a long trip. This tree, I feel, will be my little Christmas tree for years to come. When it’s the off-season, I won’t even have to disguise the pot; I’ll tell everyone it’s my barber tree.

Wow. From this to this: Fuz and I are no more.

I was going to type, “How does this happen?” But I know all too well how it happens. I’m part of the process when it does happen, and so I have a very keen insight—an insider’s point of view, you might say—into how this happens.

Fuz has been maintaining for months that we have nothing in common. I have maintained that that’s true in certain aspects, but not in others, and that we can end up finding our very own “in common” things. Somehow, this lack of things in common became a seed.

The core issue for me was communication. We didn’t have communication in common. That includes talking about our relationship and our problems, as well as how we act in social situations. On the relationship side of that, I thought he was terrible at communication, he thought I was terrible at communication, both while we each thought of ourselves as being good at communication. We could not even communicate about our communication without messing up the communication.

I’m tired of that word. After this post, I’m retiring it for a year.

And so now, right before the holidays, another relationship ends. I was so excited for this season. Fuz was flying to Denver after Christmas to meet up with me. He was going to spend New Year’s Eve with me. He was going to be part of one of my favorite things to do ever, stay at the house at Grand Lake. He was going to meet my Colorado friends and hopefully find out why they are some of the most important people in my life. And then he was going to drive back with me to L.A., stopping in Grand Junction for the night and meeting my parents. Was. Was, was, was.

I did a quick tally, and Fuz was my 9th relationship. That includes people I dated seriously for any length of time. Some of those relationships were immediately doomed, and I knew from the start. Some of them became doomed over time. Bryon (here and here) didn’t work as a matter of geography. From each relationship, I’ve learned something and I’ve grown. I think I’m better at relationships now than ever. (Fuz would politely disagree.)

Now here was someone smart, funny, cute, sexy, sociable, free of the usual vices (drugs and overdrinking), and I loved him. Somehow, still, despite even wanting it to work, it did not. You’ll have to forgive me if I spend a few weeks pondering the possibility that I’ll never find someone. That’s normal behavior. What does it take? Why hasn’t it worked yet? Is it L.A.? Gay guys in L.A.? It must be L.A. And so on.

One unfortunate side effect of having had “so many” relationships is that, as time goes on, I grow more wary of the “publication” of that new relationship. Though he and I hit it off so quickly, Fuz was someone I didn’t announce to everyone with grand fanfare. News of him trickled out. You see, I have this idea—all in my head, I’m sure—that when I say, “Oh, I’m dating someone and he’s great!” my friends all go, “Uh, right. Okay. You mean, like the last half-dozen times. Call us when it works out.” My friends aren’t so callous. In fact, they loved Fuz. As I said, this is all in my head. I simply don’t want to come off as the blonde bimbo who is in love every fourth week and who falls for everyone she (she???) meets. I know I take every relationship I have very seriously, but, come on, #10? Who is that gonna be? Another mad crush? Another deep love? Another person to ease into my world? Why am I up to #10 in the first place?

I have learned from all of my relationships that staying together out of convenience is the worst thing to do. So is staying together out of embarrassment, or because of travel plans, or out of habit. Fuz’s issues with us are valid, and I hope he thinks mine are, too. When I take into account what we’ve talked about and argued about and gotten moody about, this is the best choice.

I have also learned across the years that making the best choice doesn’t make it hurt any less.

Fuz and Map

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Anyone who can look at pictures like this and not feel there’s something truly evil in those sulfur-colored plumes should have their soul checked. They might not even have one installed! The poison just one test puts into the environment… It’s horrifying to ponder.

Licorne Mushroom Cloud

From Pierre J.’s Flickr stream.

Tripping the Bridge Fantastic

Yes, this is Fuz. While it would be unfair for me to partially blame him for my lack of posts lately, it’s true. Which, I suppose, means that it would not be unfair at all.Every single time I’ve started a new romance, I’ve forgotten what happens: you lose time! In this case, as I grow to love Fuz more each day, I am losing more time than usual. We are together often, ever since we met in February, and when I’m with him, the last thing I want to be doing is posting to my blog. It simply means that I need to blog more at work. I’m sure they will be amenable to this arrangement.

Fuzzy Hugg

One thing I like about Fuz is he’s capable of socializing and being fun and silly. It’s hard to find someone like that whom you don’t also want to strangle out of annoyance.

Robb and Fuz and Me and Strangulation

Fuz and I just got back from a weekend in Palm Springs. It was wonderful. I’m used to going away with boyfriends for a weekend and fighting most of the time. This was the complete opposite of that, whatever that means. Oh, I think I know what that means. Er, never mind. None of your business.

Reservoir Puppies

These pictures are from a trip we took to Disneyland with friends from Life from the Inside. (What’s Life from the Inside? Oh, you’re just being funny. Ha ha ha.) David Beall is the magnificent picturographer. Thanks to him for letting me steal them!

Golden Hour