Wednesday, June 21, 2017



I'm a bit overloaded on traveling this month.

First Sioux Falls, SD, then a lovely trip to Livermore, CA, to attend my nephew Allen's high school graduation. On the way home, I stopped in Monterey to visit with the one and only Fr. Pat Dooling. Fr. Pat said 9 am Sunday Mass at the Carmelite Monastery after which we repaired to breakfast with Miss Anne Breiling, she of the soon-to-open Shrine Coffee in Santa Cruz.

I stayed for two nights at an airbnb in the Monterey-adjacent town of Seaside which not to put too fine of a point on it, is kind of a dump. The good news is that my room was in by far the most charming dwelling--most charming building, or really sight, of any kind--in the entire town. Very tasteful with sisal rugs, antiques, and delightful gardens.


Tomorrow I'm headed to South Bend, Indiana, and a Catholic literary conference at Notre Dame entitled "Trying to Say God." I get to give the keynote address Friday night at 8, which is kind of past my bedtime but maybe with the time change and lots of coffee I'll be okay.

Yesterday I had a visitor, Mr. Anthony Santella of NYC. Anthony helped me plant my two five-gallon Joseph's Coat climbing roses on either side of the sea-green paint-peeling vintage wrought iron trellis. We are enjoying a freakish heat wave in Pasadena and when we took the roses, which I'd been frantically watering lest they wilt, out of their black plastic pots, the soil literally steamed.

Anthony was a joy. Prior to planting, we sat at my dining room table and nibbled and yakked for several hours on a variety of subjects. He has a PhD in computer science and works at Sloan Kettering mapping the nervous system of worms.

Here's a little bio I just picked up online: "I am a post doctoral fellow at Sloan Kettering Institute working on image analysis and visualization of large in vivo microscopy data sets.  The first goal here is to reduce terabytes of images of embryonic development to the manageable form of segmented nuclei and cellular lineages. Then comes the harder problem of analyzing and understanding the result.  I am also interested in visualization methods that aid interpretation of these data sets by highlighting important developmental events."

"I graduated from the Computer Science Department in May 2005 with a certificate in Cognitive Science.  Broadly, my  areas of interest include: graphics, computer-human interaction, and computer and human vision.  My larger interests include the visual arts and the influence of technology on society, especially the underprivileged and marginalized." 

So you can imagine the conversation was lively.

One thing I learned is that you can store your urine in jars and after a while it makes good fertilizer for your garden.

I return home Sunday and am home till Saturday, when I leave for 10 days at the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in Temecula, CA.

Here I hope to see and talk to no-one--while I process June.



1 comment:

  1. I forgot to say that Anthony S is also AN INCREDIBLE ARTIST.


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