Thursday, December 31, 2009


I love this quote from the short story “Monday” by Mark Helprin:

“I’m fifty-three,” he answered with analytical detachment. “My father died at fifty nine. What good is money? If I have six years left or thirty, it makes no difference. My life will be buoyant, and my death will be tranquil, only if I can rest upon a store of honor.”

Friday, December 18, 2009

More holidays

I love that around this time of year everyone celebrates. People bring free food into work. People take days off to go places and see family. People give gifts to each other. We get paid time off work. It’s rad. So I’m wondering, why do we only do this once a year? Would it kill us to have a similar holiday during the summer when it’s warm outside?

Monday, December 7, 2009


Part of a good college education includes learning to hate Walmart. In more than one of my college classes we had lengthy discussions on the evils of The Superstore and how it makes rich people richer and poor people poorer. I blame Walmart for higher health care costs (I once heard that they hire senior citizens to be greeters for 39 hours per week so that they don’t have to pay them benefits), messing up the economy by manipulating suppliers, eliminating small businesses, over-filling landfills by selling junk, and making people feel like they need things they don’t. I once read a statistic that the average Walmart shopper visits the store four times per week. So, I feel like I should be part of the solution, not the problem—I never shop there. I don’t care if I can save money or if it’s the only place to get rice-crispy treat cereal, I refuse to be swayed.

Last weekend I was swayed. But it wasn’t my fault. I got a $25 gift card for volunteering at the hospital. Why the University of Utah Hospital is choosing to cooperate with the devil of the business world is beyond me. Maybe we really are classless. So, at the prospect of $25 of free junk, I went. But I had a plan. First, I parked as far away from the entrance as possible (because don’t all Walmart shoppers drive around for ten minutes until they get a front row spot?). Already feeling like I was sticking it to Sam Walton, I made the trek across the parking lot. Then, as I entered the store I kept my eyes to the ceiling, knowing perfectly well that situated between me and my goal (the DVD section) were countless stands strategically placed to hypnotize me into buying products I didn’t come for. After arriving at my destination I quickly searched until I found Star Trek (one of the best movies of 2009, by the way), when, to my dismay, Walmart threw me a curve I wasn’t expecting: regular DVD or blu-ray. My hands got a little sweaty as I tried to weigh out the options—they were both the same price, which didn’t help.

“But I don’t own a blu-ray player, or an HDTV,” I thought.

“But you might someday,” said Walmart.

“Well, I guess that’s true.”

“It comes with a digital copy, you can watch it on your computer until you get a blu-ray, which you can buy here only for $147.99.”

What can you say to that? So I got the blu-ray version and got out of there as fast as I could (didn't want anyone to see me). It wasn’t until I got home that I fully came to realize the extent of my failure. Walmart had won. I bought something that I can’t even use, with the hopes that someday I will have the means. I hate that place. On an unrelated note, does anybody have a blu-ray player that’s interested in watching a movie?

Friday, December 4, 2009

"What is it you do do?"

I have a very different job. Different from any of my friends, anyway. I work in a lab. It’s a great job but it’s difficult to explain to people. When they ask what I do I usually try to give as little information as possible because the longer I go on the more weird I sound. Telling someone “I study iron metabolism in yeast” puts me a step below accountants on the nerd scale. Writing this on the internet isn’t exactly a good way to keep it a secret, but here I can include some pictures that make it look more interesting, maybe. So, for those who are interested, here is what I do on a day-to-day basis.

Macrophages with dyed lysosomes. (These are cells.)

Eppendorph tubes. This is where most of the reactions happen. Boom.

My bench. Very exciting.

This is Jeremy, my fish. He loves sunshine and food.

So, there you have it--a small taste of the daily routine of the yeast geneticist. Cool...right?

Friday, November 20, 2009

chicken marsala

Yesterday I ate at the hospital cafeteria. Got chicken marsala. It looked delicious: buttery sauce, pasta, breaded chicken, and mushrooms. It was not delicious. You’d think that at 26 years old I’d have learned by now that just because something looks good doesn’t mean it tastes good. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’ve bought the sushi at Costco like a dozen times. Anyway, apparently cheap marsala is like cheap sushi—possibly a distant relative to the more pricy version that tastes like it’s from an entirely different food group. A food group they don’t bother to include it in the pyramid because nobody should ever eat it. If I were expensive marsala I’d be ticked because my second cousin once removed was leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths with my name attached.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Facebook

There are two kinds of facebookers. The reluctants and the obsessed. There really isn’t much middle ground. The reluctants are those who log on occasionally and always have an excuse for not deleting their account (“I would, but I like to keep in touch with my friends in…”). I am a reluctant, with only a couple of excuses keeping me from deleting my seldom-used account and disappearing from online social networking forever. The obsessed are those who are constantly taking all sorts of quizzes and inviting all their “friends” to play “games” with them so that no one ever has an empty news feed. I think I’d like to see approximately how much time gets wasted on those dumb quizzes each month, mainly so I can feel good about never having filled one out.

Another truth about the two different kinds of facebookers: they don’t understand each other. I don’t believe I’ll ever see the appeal of spending hours on the facebook every day, but a friend of mine once told me “facebook is like crack, once you start you can’t stop”. I suppose I don’t have the same facebook receptors in my brain that make so many other people (like my friend) feel happy while wasting time pimping out their profiles. For years I thought that it was just part of wanting others to think that they were funnier, better looking, and generally cooler than they really are. But that would be too simple an explanation, and it doesn’t account for why the addicts insist on communicating over the facebook when they have each other’s phone numbers. It never ceases to shock me when a husband and wife write love notes on each other’s walls (if you’re one of those people and you’re reading this, please stop—you’re not going to like it). Do you not know that we can all read what you write up there? And if you do know that everyone can see, do you really think we want to know how excited you are for your husband to get home from work today? “So, just don’t read it,” you say. Well, I wish that were an option, but I can’t help it—your comments are stuffed between quiz results about which “Friends” character you are and someone else’s status update: “waiting in the line at Walmart” in my “news” feed. A tip: for private conversations (or any conversations, for that matter) on the facebook, use the little “message” feature. It’s kind of like a text message or an email—the only people who see it are those who actually care. Novel, I know, but it gets the job done without so much publicity. Don’t get me wrong, I love to catch up with my friends, on the facebook or in real life, I’d like to know what you’re up to but please, send me a message and spare some of the details.

The "blogging world?"

I never thought I'd start a blog. I've read blogs before and most of them don't really interest me. I'm not sure that I believe that this blog will be any different, but a good friend of mine has been suggesting it to me lately and I'm caving. It seems to me that most people write blogs kind of like columns in a newspaper--telling stories and commenting on the oddities society. To be perfectly candid, some people can do this and make it funny/interesting while others just can't. Do I think that I am the former? I don't know. But this will be my approach until I can think of something else to do on here.

One other thing I feel like I should mention: I've always considered blogging to be kind of a girl thing--mainly because 90% of the blogs I've ever seen have been made by girls. While I will be doing some occasional writing here, don't look for posts about quilting or Martha Stewart. Just so you know. Also, I'm thinking that this might make a perfect place to document the up-and-coming "homemade race series" which will be put on by a few friends and me during the upcoming months. Those interested in participating in our races (free races, just to get the blood moving beginning with a 5k this Saturday at 8am at Sugarhouse park) will be able to find details here.

That out of the way, time for a formal introduction: Um, hello. My name is Dave and I like to party.