Felling a life

7 10 2010

I hate the roaring sound of a chainsaw. It is the sound of a life being felled.


A Birthday Greeting 14.5.2010

1 06 2010

It was like when Gumby had his Pokey
We heard the songs of the world,
And saw the moon rise
With all the love for coffee and chocolate
For when ocelots (or leopard cats) purr…
We’ll sleep like a grocery bag.

One day, we’ll sip our fresh mango daiquiri on a beach.
Maligayang bati sa iyong kaarawan!

From your a-cephalic vertebrate-mammalogist.

Aging and Strength

19 05 2010

I took the campus connector earlier today to get to the Minneapolis campus (UMN). I would usually watch the scenery outside the window during the 20-minute or so ride, but I noticed two old men who were sitting opposite me, one was apparently a doctor and the other, a writer. The latter had a sweet face; he seemed to me like a grandfather who’d take you to his knees when you were a kid, and tell you wonderful stories.

They were talking about aging. I caught only snippets of their interesting conversation but one of them said something that stuck with me. “Aging is not for the faint-hearted.”

I remember a scene a few years back; it is still vivid in my mind. My grandmother was lying motionless in her bed; in her state of coma, all she was able to manage were raspy breaths. My grandfather was sitting on a hard chair across her bed, staring at her. He would do that everyday, for the last few weeks of her life. I learned from my mother that it was my grandfather who requested her burial dress made; who supervised the construction of what was to be her resting place; he made sure everything was ready… for her.

The old man from the bus was right, getting old is not for the weak-kneed.

Mark Twain on Statistics

9 05 2010

In an attempt to ease my panic in the upcoming final exams in my statistics class, I’d like to put out something Mark Twain wrote in his “Chapters from My Autobiography”, published in 5 July 1907, in the North American Review:

“Figures often beguile me,” he wrote, “particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'”

It didn’t work.