Monday, November 26, 2007

'Monty the Magically Malevolent Mantis Shrimp'

So we're a bit distracted and disturbed at my workplace... obviously so when we give some of our charges names like the title of this post. Check out the YouTube video below for a video I took of 'Monty' at mealtime. We have him trained to recognize the noise of the long tweezers tapping on glass as a signal that it is time to come get his food.

Video Caption on Youtube:
Young green mantis shrimp (Geonodactylaceus sp.) takes a piece of krill from long tweezers. Note the loud clicking noises as he violently whacks the tweezers with his claw in an attempt to take the food. This is why I do not feed him by hand. They are commonly known in the aquarium trade as "Thumb-splitters!" We named this one 'Monty'. He is currently about 2 inches long, was about three quarters of an inch when we originally acquired him by accident with a load of aquacultured live rock at my workplace. They are normally a pest organism in reef tanks but we didn't have the heart to euthanize him so we set up a mini-reef just for him. They are some of the most intelligent invertebrates in the ocean and they have the most complex eyes of all creatures, with the ability to see colors far outside the range of most mammals. Oh yeah, that's my coworker you hear calling me a dork in the beginning (she thinks it's abnormal that I am actually taking a video of this).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


The essay I mentioned in this previous post has finally gone online at, and can be viewed by following this link. For those of you who may not know what this is about, it is a narrative detailing the hardships and struggles I have been through as a result of the "Ex-Gay" movement as well as addressing the misinformation that this religious/political initiative has fed to some of my loved ones. I won't lie, it is a long read and some of it is depressing, much of it may also be edifying if you are seeking to learn more about the "Ex-gay" school of thought. I will return and post more afterthoughts concerning this at a later time.

I am currently between permanent living spaces and relying on local coffee shops with wireless internet access. The dial-up at my parents' home is so painfully slow that it takes me ten minutes just to access my e-mail, so long delays in response time and blog postings are to be expected until I am settled again.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Move Almost Complete

The moving is almost finished with. I am happy that it is almost over with but feeling ambivalent in other areas. Part of me feels defeated and shaken from having my life gutted and reduced like this. The other part of me feels relieved because it is another chapter of my life over with and it signals a new beginning.

One of the things that keeps me grounded right now is the remembrance of other people who have been forcibly uprooted in other parts of the world: families, towns, entire ethnic groups who are/were coerced into leaving their homes without any prior notice and no means of taking their possessions with them. There is no reason for me to whine about what I am going through. At least I had a couple weeks to haphazardly prepare for this and I still own most of what I have worked hard for. I am lucky by comparison.

This life has been long overdue for a serious shakeup. Traditionally, times of insecurity and fluctuation have been unpleasant and stressful, but they've also forced me to reevaluate my situation and turn the time of change into a turning point leading to deeper meaning and better things in life.
"A door closing frequently signals the opening of another." I mourn for my old life, the quiet predictability and security of being the king of my own domain, but I am relieved that I have less to maintain and worry about for the time being. I feel like it is time to focus on strengthening my existing talents as well as the connection with my family & friends. It also feels like the time for seeking out new skills and perspectives. I do not know what the future is bringing but I will accept it and take it as it comes, looking for the opportunity to create something good from it.