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elpf
An intellectual nomad.
Interests: running, weightlifting, taekwondo, snowshoeing, hiking, reading, biking, sewing, scrapbooking, science, gene therapy, drug development, fabric, american football, neuroscience, history of science
Recent Activity
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The child escaped the watchful eyes of his mother to sit still and calm, eyes closed. Today, his mother had shown him the world she had made and he almost understood. Eyes closed, he tried to remember that world, tried to remember each individual person he had seen. In his mind, he shaped them. He worked as if they were clay, building them one layer, one color upon another. He gave them emotions and thoughts. He gave them memories. He spoke to them and they spoke back. When he was done with them, he placed them carefully where he thought... Continue reading
Posted 16 hours ago at Evil Genius(es) in Training
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In my dream, I am dying. It is the death of a thousand tiny puncture wounds from which my life slowly releases, bloodlessly. There is something wrong with my mouth. For a while I think that my hand is inside of it, but then he points out that my hand is right there in front of me, where I can see it. I can't feel it. I can't feel anything. Then I realize it is my tongue which has grown awkward and large and fills my mouth and my throat. I can't help but bite it. I try to wake... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Evil Genius(es) in Training
I am continually amazed by Alden's resilience. I don't know what I was like before I became the person who expected to be good at everything. I don't remember that time. I suspect it existed because I sort of remember that when I was in elementary school I was only marginally aware of what other people thought of me. Alden though, he just has this faith in himself (at least when it comes to sports) and it doesn't matter what happens, he just doesn't take it personally. I was worried when he first started playing hockey. He joined the team... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Evil Genius(es) in Training
This is not the suit, and I was not yet comfortable in a swimsuit here, but I was getting there. The water was shockingly cold, this much I remember. I thought I was a good swimmer though and I remember it was important to me to show that, even though the point of the whole exercise was just to prove you wouldn't drown. I swam to the buoy and back as fast as I could. I reached the dock before the other swimmer. We had to buy a new swimsuit for the test. In retrospect, this seems odd. Why wouldn't... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
We can be anything we want to be, within the limited scope of what our parents have experienced. So it seems sometimes. I wonder at times about the fact that it seems that an inordinate number of players in the NFL seem to have parents or siblings or cousins or other close relatives who are also in the NFL (I wonder if this is true, statistically speaking, or just the result of my brain trying to find patterns where they aren't?). Olympic athletes breed more olympic athletes. Some of this is physical, of course, athletics at the very top level... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
My therapist says the same thing at the end of every session, something about a puzzle and putting together the pieces. Honestly, I'm not sure I care. I haven't really been converted to believing in therapy, I just do it because it is the thing I'm supposed to do. Today we talked about my search for meaning. I found it a few weeks ago and then it was gone. It isn't really that complicated. I search for meaning, I find it by telling stories. We all tell stories, it just turns out that my need to do so is very... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
Without ever realizing how it was happening, I became immersed in the culture of self-improvement, the culture of do better, be better tomorrow. I used to hate this shit. I tried not to say anything when a friend got excited. She would buy all the books and proceed to try to sell me on the concept. I'd nod and smile, all the while maintaining a background monologue, "sure, if it makes you happy. Just be sure it makes you happy. Be you." I'd always watch it fail. Just like New Year's resolutions, she would start out enthusiastic only to see... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
When I was about Alden's age, I told a woman she was beautiful. I remember this distinctly. She was beautiful. I don't remember much about her, but I remember she was blonde and that she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life. I had to tell her. I remember screwing up my courage. I knew that it was strange to feel this way, but I also knew that I had to tell her. Just as she was leaving my parent's house I walked up beside her and I said, "you are beautiful." I was in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
I recently read something that bothered me and it took me a while to figure out exactly why. Basically, the writer was listing various comments on his appearance that he had heard and encouraging people--adults--to shut up about other people's appearance. He said it more elegantly than I can. One of the comments he said he had heard was, "most people think child molesters look like you." Although I'm in complete agreement that we should just shut our mouths and not comment on others appearance, this bothered me more than the rest of it and in a different way. After... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
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Alden got in his first fight this week. It sounds like another boy told him they were "not friends anymore" and Alden punched him in the stomach. Then the other boy punched back. More punching ensued. I think we handled it OK. When he came home, we sat around the dining room table eating a snack and talked about using words instead of physical violence. We talked about how we take it seriously and that if it happened again, he'd lose privileges. The only thing I would do differently next time: when we asked him what the other boy said,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
I am steeped in the culture of achievement, I cut my teeth in the stew of meritocracy. I was always close to , but never actually at the top of my class, good at everything and nothing at the same time. Smart, but never quite working hard enough, or so they said. I absorbed the message all too well: never let them see you sweat, never show you care. Be cool. I played the part until I didn't know what it meant anymore. Try harder. If you are not suffering, you are not trying hard enough. But someone is always... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
Once we rented a house from a 95 year old woman and the septic system wasn't working. In fact, the septic hadn't been working for weeks and the previous renters had just called the septic people and had them pump it several times. Brian called the owner and then called the septic people, then called some other septic people, then talked to the owner on the phone for hours. I think she was a little bit lonely and frustrated that she no one was really telling her what was going on. She told him about her family and how they... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
I can think of a million reasons to say yes and only one to say no. I always say no. She approaches me with a smile, "Will you sit with me for a while? We don't have to talk." She offers me her hand. I try to pretend I know what to do with the offer, but somehow end up with my back against the wall as if the overture was foreboding, not friendly. I say no again. Hours later, I will replay the scene in my head. Only then will I realize there was no threat. Only then will... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
When my sister went crazy, I learned to question everything. I learned to argue. I argued incessantly about normal, about the nature of love, about the universe. My universe contracted to the size of a room and expanded to fill all time. She smashed my favorite lamp, tore the roses from the crystal vase and slammed it against the floor. Years later, I could still find the depression in the wood. The vessel was too strong, it could not break. When the anger was spent, I was left alone at the top of the stairs holding on to the flowers... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
I took one of those online quizzes the other day, you know the kind, it asks you 2o questions and then claims to come up with some deep insightful answer to who you are, what matters to you. The result is always the same; If the answer matches your perception of yourself, you are surprised at its accuracy and you incorporate it into your self-description, if the answer is incongruous well, it was just an internet quiz and you didn't expect it to be accurate anyway. It said I was a storyteller. I decided it was accurate (I probably wouldn't... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
I carry the image of you thus in my mind. I carry the image of you not as you were, or as you became, but as you -- no, we -- might have become. You were the most brilliant mind I'd ever known. You were childlike fascination in things beyond your years. I was nothing but unformed promise. We were nothing and everything together. Remember that time when we hid in the bushes at the top of the hill, throwing snowballs at passing cars? With wild abandon, you jumped in the air, did a backflip into a snowdrift and then... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
And now, a story which you should remember if you ever have kids. When my daughter was an infant she cried ALL THE TIME. Seriously. You hear about people shaking their babies and you don't understand how it could happen until you have a kid like that and you have to put them down in the crib and walk away because you get SO ANGRY at this little person. Except if you took her outside she would just STOP. It was like flipping a switch. She wouldn't sleep, she'd just get quiet. You didn't have to do anything either. You... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
When I got sick a couple weeks ago and couldn't eat, I found it really hard to start again. My brain immediately kicked into that mode, the one tricks you into thinking you don't need food, that you can survive on 12 calorie servings of chicken broth and diet coke and coffee. Its too easy, when I have an internal list of foods I'm not going to allow myself, to let it spiral out of control. An out of control need to control, I guess. A need to prove something to myself. I'm hungry, but I don't want to eat... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
When my ex and I argued, it was neverending. I didn't realize it until after I left, but the problem was that neither of us could walk away without having the last word. I got really good at backing him into a corner, trapping him in contradiction or getting him to say something that agreed with me when he didn't want to. In fact, I got good at winning. It's a cheap thrill though, winning. It is hollow. There is a momentary feeling of satisfaction and then the realization that it doesn't matter. I'd built a spider's web and trapped... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
My sister B posted a picture of herself with President Obama the other day. My other sister, M, said the following, This is my sister, who has been working at the UN and then UNICEF in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past four years. She is now the Chief of Child Protection Services in Iraq and works to help alleviate the suffering of refugees and IDPs there. More than almost anyone I know personally, she lives her values. For me, this isn't about politics. I don't care if you agree or disagree with Obama. I don't care what your politics... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
We were playing a game over New Year's. It was one of those word-guessing games. My partner gave me a clue and I became convinced that it was inside knowlege and that the three other people in the room knew the answer and I did not. Once I was convinced of this, I became completely incapable of thinking of any other possibilities. I mean, my mind went blank. This got me thinking about all those times when I sit down and think about how I have to be creative, I have to come up with a good idea. When the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
We remember things differently. My parents never came to my field hockey games. Field hockey was really the only sport I cared about growing up. To be honest, I still love it. A couple years I played on an adult league. I was still no good at it, but I loved it nonetheless. Anyway, my parents never came to my games. I never really questioned that and suppose I thought it was because they were busy. The way my mother remembers it, I told them not to come. That seems reasonable enough too. I was probably self-conscious about it. I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
I keep telling myself this, but it is true. My faith in this surprises me, because I spend a lot of time thinking I'm not good enough (working on it), but I'm really good at big goals and terrible at small ones. Ask me to do something every day for two weeks and I'll probably fail. What the heck, write me a list of things to do today and I'll probably fail. In the short term, I'm easily distracted. On the other hand, when I decide to change my life, I usually succeed. Ask me where I am in one... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
I think, to be honest, that I am not the courageous type. I like to climb mountains and I like to be alone, but I'm too afraid to climb mountains alone. I like to travel and I don't really have much use for talking, but I don't like to go places where I don't speak the language. I like to read books. Sometimes I wish I'd been born in another time, but I'd probably just have been unhappily married, angry and bored. I like to read about what science was like before it was really science, when it was every... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training
Lets just suppose for a moment that you can be really and truly self-sufficient. You create a world where you have all the answers and you go through life taking care of your own problems. You don't really need anyone else. For a while that feels good, no one ever lets you down and you never have to bother anyone. You are a ghost in the world, or everyone else is a ghost in yours. I had this idea a long time ago for a story about memory. You see, memory isn't really like a video recording, every time you... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2017 at Evil Genius(es) in Training