In the shower
the only thoughts of meaning occur --
and life slips away.
Neither poet, nor scientist, nor artist, nor carpenter, but possessing small amounts of each of these qualities, the traveler wandered on, ever restless, ever searching for the place within which he fit.
Is there such a thing as being too self-aware?

How do you stay in touch with your dreams?

When you’re bored with something, is it time to move on, or are you just lacking discipline?

If your work really is part of who you are, what do you do if it doesn’t make you happy any more?

Where is the line between being rigorous, and forcing yourself to do something you don’t like?

How much time should one spend in reflection?

What does an epiphany feel like?

I want to like the internet, I really do. I want to read all of the very witty personal websites out there on a regular basis, but every time I try, I fail. I just can’t pretend to be interested anymore. It’s a mortal wretched cacophony. Even the good stuff. Will someone please tell me why I can’t stay interested? It’s good stuff, isn’t it?
Scary northern NY stuff.Apportez Votre Vin

Oh, my goodness, it’s amazing what a little get-a-way will do for the soul. Equally powerful is the difficulty in resuming daily ordinariness when one returns. Rosie and I spent the last four days “carrying our wine” to the fantastic little French restaurants at which we dined each night of our stay in Montreal (roll down to #4 in the article).

After a job interview on Wednesday, we drove north from NYC along the eastern edge of New York State, along route 87 through the Adirondacks. Gorgeous—it’s one of the most peaceful, billboard-lacking stretches of road I’ve ever seen. Of course, it’s not lacking in upstate NY strangeness, as Betty Beaver here attests.

Notre Dame in Montreal.Pictured here is the interior of Notre Dame Cathedral, located in the lovely, although somewhat vacant, neighborhood called the Old City, from which the city grew. Also of interest is the near-1000-foot high “mountain” situated right in the middle of the city, just north of downtown. It’s for this, Mont Royale, that the city was named. The city has a great energy, dozens of great neighborhoods, and the friendly tension between Francophones and Anglophones makes things even more interesting. To the west of Rue St. Laurent (“The Main”), most people speak French, and to the east English has more of a stronghold. Unlike Paris, where you are made to feel guilty for not having perfected the language, simply start speaking English here and most of the bilingual locals will happily switch tongues.

Wonderful streets.We stayed at a B&B on Rue St. Hubert called Le Traversin. It’s run by two wonderful guys, Sylvain and Jean, who seem to understand exactly what people are looking for when they’re on vacation. The house is beautiful—each room is a different color, and the amenities are fantastic. Everything is in balance. It’s in a great neighborhood, with spiral staircases reaching down from second-story flats to embrace the street, and little restaurants around every corner.

Many things do not translate well from English.It seems like rural and suburban Quebec are much like the U.S., just in French. The built environment appears very similar, with similar patterns of growth and sprawl…and yes (unfortunately), all the old familiar faces. We found this PFK in a strip shopping center near the border between Quebec and Ontario. Like everything else, to the nasal American ear, sprawl is a bit more palatable in French. Yeesh.

Sigh…back to work. Send me an email if you want some restaurant suggestions when you visit.

Fun (and precise) German words:

Schadenfreude: Taking joy in another's misfortune.
Weltschmerz: Mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world to an ideal state.

On the sidewalks, encased in spotless plastic bags, the remains of yesterday’s Leonia await the garbage truck. Not only squeezed tubes of toothpaste, blown-out light bulbs, newspapers, containers, wrappings, but also boilers, encyclopedias, pianos, porcelain dinner services. It is not so much by the things that each day are manufactured, sold, bought that you can measure Leonia’s opulence, but rather by the things that each day are thrown out to make room for the new. So you begin to wonder if Leonia’s true passion is really, as they say, the enjoyment of new and different things, and not, instead, the joy of expelling, discarding, cleansing itself of a recurrent impurity.

—from Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities, 1972.

Tonight is one of those nights when a milestone was passed... X days is behind and only T-X days remain... Tonight was the "mid-term" presentation of the equivilent of my thesis. I can't say much about it, because it's "real," in a way, but the cat's out of the bag now, and I want to record something for posterity. Plus, I must admit that I'm proud of the work that my team has produced so far. They're great people: Jaekil, Chulhwan, Kooyoung and James. Behold:

R.O.E. 30%

Wish you could see the flyover animation...file's too big for the web.
Everybody in the Cornell class of '02 is lookin' for, as my friend says, a Phat job. P-H-A-T.
I love reading zoning ordinances at 1:30 AM.
Rose and I traveled in opposite directions this past Friday, which happened to be my birthday. Sometimes life just works that way. I went east, to Philadelphia, and she went west, to Cleveland. We each carried with us differing reasons for the journey—a mix of business and personal matters. Here’s what I have to say: it’s very nice to come home after a trip like that and see enthusiastic eyes greeting you. Happy.