June 23

If on a summer afternoon a man should find himself
in love with only one woman
in a sea of women, all the others mere half-naked
swimmers and floaters, and if that one woman
therefore is clad in radiance
while the mere others are burdened by their bikinis,
then what does he do with a world
suddenly so small, the once unbiased sun
shining solely on her? And if that afternoon
turns dark, fat clouds like critics dampening
the already wet sea, does the man run—
he normally would—for cover, or does he dive
deeper in, get so wet he is beyond wetness
in all underworld utterly hers? And when
he comes up for air, as he must,
when he dries off and dresses up, as he must,
how will the pedestrian streets feel?
What will the street lamps illuminate? How exactly
will he hold her so that everyone can see
she doesn't belong to him, and he won't let go?

-mr. stephen dunn


Detroit is Really Beautiful

This past weekend I spent a good amount of time in Detroit. It was really exciting to go there and even more exciting to really feel happy there. I haven't had too many experiences there prior to this year that made me feel really interested and impressed with the city. Especially this past spring, I've come to really appreciate the place and the work and dedication that people pour into living there. I told a friend that the city breaks my heart. This is particularly true as I prepare to leave Michigan. I believe this past weekend really helped me appreciate what I will be leaving behind. Ann Arbor included, the people I've met, things I've missed out on, having no idea about them in the first place. I hope to return at least once more to the city before I go, it really is a beautiful place.

I have a lot of things to show from the trip. Lets see... Friday a number of us drove out to the city to watch the Red Wings play in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals (at a bar, not actually at the stadium). This involved a walk through Corktown.

Some pals, Matt, Geoff and Matt

About to walk across the highway

We got to see the old Tiger Stadium being torn down. Controversial because of the amount of effort put into trying to save it.

My favorite picture of the day.



On Saturday I took the train back to the city to spend time with Matt Lewis. I was nervous about the really different kind of weekend, about not staying in Ann Arbor and about doing something new, but it ended up being really incredible. Matt picked me up from the station and we walked to his house, walking past the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Public Library. Matt works at the public library.

That night we went to Lafeyette Coney Island, which is a hot dog stand, and ate some really good dogs, fries, pie, coffee and beer. Traveling around the city was by bicycle, which was one of the most exhilarating experiences I've had in a while. The streets are so flat and riding fast is a breeze, and the city is also really large, so any bike traveling takes a long time compared with Ann Arbor, I loved it! It made so much more sense to have a bicycle, and I look forward to my bicycling days in Boston. We went to the Majestic Theater just to check out a band that I got free tickets for from WCBN (thanks Geoff!). After a little bit of that, we met up with Matt's friends at his neighborhood bar and I spent a long time talking with some French filmmakers about Ghostbusters and art, it was really fun to listen to them. Seemed like very well-rounded people!

The next morning Matt's mom was selling some perfume at Macy's in Eastland, and the perfume company financed the publication of an EP by Matt's cousin, a singer songwriter. We went to this mall to help sell perfume, but ended up just hanging out in our nice suits.
Matt looked awesome


The artist


Matt's Mom sellin' 'fumes




It was a pretty spontaneous experience, but really worth the trip out to the city. The end of the trip was spent eating big burgers and drinkin' beer in the afternoon, a slow walk to the train station by myself and a doze on the train on my way back to Ann Arbor. Not many more "back to Ann Arbor"'s left, you know. When asked for some post-graduate tips, a Resident Detroiter told me to take advantage of opportunities where having an open mind will be beneficial. I liked that advice, I liked my weekend.


and an interesting clipping.

When you get to the fork in the road, take it.



I recently finished a book that I thought was very interesting. It is called Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.


The book is pretty much just a conversation between a man and a gorilla. It discusses this idea that western cultures have significantly diverged from the laws that all other creatures (and indigenous human cultures) follow. Since the agricultural revolution, humans have not only diverged, but altogether rejected the laws of competition that make the planet ecologically sound. Learning to plant food for ourselves instead of living the hunter-gatherer lifestyle has allowed our populations to grow beyond carrying capacities of our local regions. This forces us to expand cultivation. We exterminate other species that get in the way of this. The decrease in diversity that has occurred in recent times is limiting competition with us, but also that decrease in competitive adaptations that normally exist in ecosystems will affect the rate of evolution and the development of other complex creatures. Our culture assumes that man is the pinnacle of evolution, that now we are the greatest creature. We have removed ourselves (we think) from the competitive laws that affect all creatures. How do we expect to continue evolving if we have no competitors? We exterminate and kill and assume we have the power to decide what dies and what lives. How did native americans live? Accepting of their place in nature, reaping the fruits of their own garden of eden, allowing for change and for the need to adapt to a climate or a landscape. We force the earth to adapt to us. It is quite scary, the modes of thinking I've gained since finishing this book, and there are so many layers to it too. There is a choice humanity can make, to invite other creatures in instead of forcing them out. As the first complex, self-aware organism on the planet, we are stewards of the idea that we don't have to destroy everything. If we didn't come about, other creatures would have fulfilled this role themselves, we are not hte end of evolution. This story made me think about this:

Return of the Once-Rare Beaver? Not in My Yard.

While on a run a red-winged blackbird attacked me, chiding me for coming close to its nest, a quick snap and impact with its claws on the back of my head. I'm sorry, blackbird, you do have a point.


Can you believe it, I took a day off from work. On Wednesday a friend of mine had planned a bicycle trip north to swim in a lake, and I planned accordingly to not be at work that day. Since I now have 4 undergraduates working for me at the lab, and they are supposed to be replacing me when I leave forever next month, I decided it would be a good exercise for them to do a day on their own. I typed up instructions for each group, was very deliberate, strict and precise with what I wanted done, and closed up Tuesday afternoon.

The next morning was cloudy as Geoff and I rode down to meet our group at Wheeler Park. I packed the remains of my Cheese Beer bread in my pack, brought a bathing suit, a change of socks and some flip-flops, ready for an afternoon at the lake. No one was there at the meeting spot. Geoff and I call the organizer of the trip who told us he decided that it wasn't the kind of weather he was looking for, and we would reschedule. What are two boys to do in this situation? True, it was cloudy, but no where near cold or rainy. We decided to go on our own trip, to go find a place to swim ourselves! Yea! Off to Sparrow for some fruit to bring with us (I sat outside until the coast was clear) and we departed to Dexter with some bananas, nut mix, peaches and of course my bread! It was quite a great ride, the wind, running into great great smooth pavement that made our thin, high-pressure tires sing with pleasant vibrations, nice conversation interjected with periods of focused silent exertion up hills and along side passing cars.

After lunch by the river, we reached Dexter and turned around on Joy road, which is a beautiful lane arched over by tree branches and framed by green farmland and big red barns. This was followed by a ride through a sub development devoid of trees and any life in the large houses. We stood on the hill overlooking the valley, and descended for our final trip home down Huron River Drive. Towards town, the road was seriously closed, completely closed with paving equipment and tar, so we circumvented that obstacle on some dirt roads, ending up at the end of the paved trail that runs along the Huron from the dam near Main Street. Coming out of the woods on my road bike, I slipped and fell. A bloody knee was exactly the kind of trophy I wanted for that day, I thought, as I brushed myself off and looked to my right. A small rail-road bridge. I had hung out there with some older kids when I was a sophomore once, and we walked out over it to check out the view. We hadn't gone swimming yet, we realized as we looked at the water from the iron bridge. To our right, someone had painted the word "Jump" on the edge, with arrows pointing out into the open air. So we stared at the word, then back at the water, back to the word, then finally at each other. We had to. As far as I was concerned, I was still in College, being in this town.

Stripping out of our clothes and throwing our shoes down to the bank, we stood on the edge of the bridge. The sun had long come out and the gravel was hot beneath our feet, sweat dried in our hair, my knee oozed blood. We knew that life was here, life was in that free fall that awaited us, accompanied by a yelp of glee and surprise at just how high up and overwhelming our push out into freedom really was. GASP! I jump in first, the feeling of my stomach in my throat so familiar and yet so welcome, so so wonderful. The water amazing, refreshing, the current gentle yet noticeable, Geoff following in after me we yelled in echoing triumph under the steel bridge, climbing out of the water and feeling pretty happy with ourselves. How adventurous, how stimulated our friendship, how wonderful that the sun did end up coming out. The ride home slow and reflecting. A simultaneous feeling of satisfaction and excitement, youth and independence.

I told this story to my mother who howled with laughter at the fact that not only were we told to jump in, it was actually written there! Those words were there at the beginning of our ride, waiting. She also said it was a pretty big deal that we didn't let anyone impede our desire of wanting to swim or go for a bike ride. We created an event ourselves after almost being denied.

Haha as we rode towards Dexter we celebrated the bicycle, the machine of one man, powering himself towards his future, towards the moment of weightlessness that is and remains to become his lost little life.


In Boston Harbor, but a World Away



Beginning of June, 2009!

The summer progresses. Spring impacted and, its drama receding, has left us with a thick canopy in each tree above the 504 Catherine St. residence of yours truly and his friends. Been spending more and more time at the laboratory, finishing my responsibilities to the best of my abilities, learning to balance obligations, learning to work with people that need my help, instead of acting resentful. My time may be precious, but I can certainly help someone for a little bit. Here is an image representing the work that I've been doing for the past 6 months at least. Probably more like since September. This is a mouse muscle cut in cross-section, and each circle is a muscle cell. Muscle cells are pretty neat. They are very long and contract, each one creating a tiny little bit of force, each one pulling on another, each one additively contributing to the force the entire muscle creates. Fascinating. This muscle is the Soleus, the muscle that lets your foot pronate, so it pulls the arch toward the ground. Each red cell is a slow twitch muscle cell and each blue one is a fast twitch muscle cell. This muscle is more of a posture supporting muscle and therefore it has more slow-twitch cells, because these kinds of cells fatigue less easily...


the green is collagen in between cells. I developed this type of stain, its never been seen in publication, so my images are quite exciting, and I may get an image in a paper sometime soon.

Aside from work, I am riding my road bike a little more frequently and also playing kickball once a week.




I also made bread following a recipe donated by Kenley Jackson, of Sitka Alaska. Beer Cheddar Cheese.



355ml = 12 oz. of beer.


it tasted super good, everyone! To recommend some artists to listen to, please enjoy Abner Jay and Edith Piaf. Please enjoy http://www.ted.com/talks


To travelers

To travelers, those speeding into the next,
Where did everything begin?
Meeting during simple lives, middle school,
high, college summer camps,
now there is no structure like them, right?

I've never known anyone close
that died in a young age. Today I am still
sore because of my health, and the rain helps
support my sagging spirits, I feel like it is
still possible to get myself up.

What kind of death occurs in youth?
Departure, sadness, maturity, adulthood,
yea, I can only deal with a few right now.
You, traveler, how I know you are embracing
all possible. I sit for you today.


I bought a large New England sweater and some paintbrushes. A whole set for me now. I can't wait to use them both.


Good luck, traveler.