see those rocks up there?  see how they balance in strikingly improbable columns?  that’s my metaphor for the moment.  bit of a stretch, but it seems appropriate… one unlikely thing stacked on top of another, in a way that looks like it should fall over but somehow manages to stay standing against gravity and all odds.  i saw these stone stacks in vancouver in 2008, by the way, on a bike ride around the perimeter of gorgeous stanley park — a rather talented man was piling them up just as you see, searching out the ones he wanted and positioning them just so.

so, things being balanced.

the university semester has started and i’m heading up a course with 1100 students in it.  this requires continuous juggling of lectures, tutorials (32 2-hour tutes per week, spread among 7 staff), and sometimes hundreds of emails per day.  let’s not dwell on it.

grant application.  going for a bit of funding for some squid projects, that would support preparation of some new papers and some museum visits at the end of this year.  fingers crossed.

new kitten!  we kept one of the most recent batch — the tabby — and have been settling her in, training her (mostly to keep off certain things), and keeping an eye on the irritation levels of our senior cat.  in the space of typing that sentence, the little one dodged close enough to him for a hiss and a swat, climbed the screen door, and knocked some things off the couch.

new grad students.  two master’s and one phd student have arrived from canada to study — guess! — squid systematics! i’m co-supervising, and it’s very cool to have them here.  we’re planning a few lab sessions and field trips to visit local collections.

upcoming trip.  bestema turns 100 in april!  this does not require much attention at the moment, but its impendingness (i made that up) does mean that things have to be organized to run smoothly in my absence.

couple those things with the fact that BOTH my cameras are in the shop (and it’s kind of killing me), and that makes for a quiet inkspot.  but i hope to be back to the regular hijinks soon!