Saturday, January 10, 2009

A post about Vyedka

Yesterday I was talking to an undergrad who was having some relationship problems. She asked me how I knew that my wife Vyedka was "the one". I gave her a quick watered down version of our story. I don't know if this information helped this colleague of mine or not. Later during the night I laid awake with insomnia, and I began to really think about my Vyedka and what an amazing person she is. I felt inspired to blog about her, and share with everyone who follows my silly blog, why I first fell in love, and why my passion for Vyedka has grown exponentially in the last 7 years.
The first time my future brother-in-law Matt mentioned Vyedka to me, I was privileged to catch a small glimpse into my eternity. Even though I had not talked to Vye yet or even looked at a photo, I felt quite strongly that I would marry her. It was just a small premonition at the time, and I read little into it, however, I do still remember the feeling and experience with fervent detail. Dating Vye was an absolute joy. She was so simple to please, and every date or experience we shared together seemed to be a first with her. Many of these firsts ignited passions and interests in her that she had never considered before. We had a brilliant courtship lasting almost a year. Every day with her was a blessing in my eyes. I never could figure out what this amazing and beautiful girl saw in a little nerdy weirdo like myself, and I still do. Pushing 7 years now, our marriage has truly been a joy, for me anyways, and I hope the feeling is mutual. My experiences with Vye can be likened unto an observer watching a tiny beautiful little flower bud over the course of a year. When we first met it was quite obvious to me that there was so many more layers and beauty to Vye, and that her potential had not even begun to unfold. I have had the honor of watching her open up and reveal layer upon layer of beauty, strength, and talents. Now in the late spring of our lives together, I have been surprised by each new layer of "petals" that unravel their mysteries from time to time. Just when I think she has reached her zenith with inner and outer beauty, and personal potential, she surprises me and reveals a new layer, only more beautiful and intricate than the previous. Ours has truly been a journey or eternal progression towards higher love and joy. We journey hand-in-hand with a single purpose or goal, complete and sincere happiness, in every sense of the word.

I thought of some characteristics and observations that I admire in her and would love to share them.
Adventurous: This is the first word that comes to mind. Vye was not adventurous when we first met. Since then she has come to surprise me in her willingness to explore the unknown, both literally and metaphorically. Some of my fondest moments with Vye occurred while exploring the mountains, valleys, deserts and forests of Utah's wilderness together. We have had some outstanding trips and were able to communicate and bond to a level that normal circumstances do not allow. She now follows me to the ends of the Earth as I strive to meet my academic and professional goals. I can just say "Saddle up partner" and she simply responds "where to". She puts up endlessly with an extremely difficult husband who can be considered a wanderer and adventurer.
Strength: The next quality I admire is Vye's strength. Marrying an athlete, I knew that she was physically strong. Her physical strength has been proven through many hikes, and various birthing experiences. Vye is also extremely emotionally strong. She has weathered immense storms that have pounded down on us over the years. Whether it was caring for a sick husband who was knocking at the pearly gates, or dealing with professional, academic, financial and interpersonal strife, Vye has proven she has a strength and faith that is unshakable.
Simple pleasures: Vye has an amazing talent for finding pleasure in simplicity. She pays attention to the little details, most of us take for granted, and she finds joy in them. A walk to the beach, a trip to the forest, or just life's little mundane moments are all things Vye revels in. She is extremely low maintenance and easy to please. A small "I love you" goes a long way with her. This is a very good thing for me, because I am no grand schemer and I am unable to pull off extravagant gifts and surprises.
Self Sacrificing: My wife puts herself second continually. She will go out of her way to ensure our families needs are met long before she considers her own. This really ties into her charity and service that she renders everyday. I notice each and every sacrifice and am truly in debt to her for her complete selflessness.
Understanding: Let's face it, for the most part I am crazy. I have many ideas and passions and believe that if it is worth doing than it is worth doing to our individual maximum potential. I also have many OCD behaviours that must get annoying. I often send contradictory signals, like wanting space in one breath but needing to be pampered in the next. It must feel like she is playing second fiddle to some of my passions at times. Vye has a way of understanding me and reading my weird moods, and compulsive tangents. She supports me and gives me room to explore, question and grow, but she is always there to bring me back to earth when I loose my head. She understands me better than I understand myself.
Co-pilot: Often times as we have gone on long drives to various places around the country or world, I peek over at Vye sitting next to me quietly slumbering on some bumpy road. I always smile and think to myself that I would not want anyone else for a co-pilot. We spend hours communicating about and planning our future each day. She is by my side lending advise and choosing a course that meets our families goals. She is the ultimate example of a help meet.
Innocent: Vye has a fantastic innocence and old fashion value sense about her. She sees things very black and white, and abhors anything unwholesome. She somehow was able to make it to adulthood untouched by the desensitizing effect of the world we live in. She is a moral breath of fresh air, in a quagmire of carnal pleasure and immoral justification.
Humility: I will end this list with this simple phrase. I have never observed someone so willing to learn. She learns from others examples, and from surrounding friends and families. She learns from experience and from life. She is child like in her thirst to learn more about any subject at all. This humility has been a huge factor in the fantastic atmosphere around our home.

I have talked about many things I find attractive about Vye inwardly and now I would like to say a few words about my physical attraction for her. The first thing I noticed about Vye and still one of her most striking features is her eyes. To look into Vye's eyes is to swim in pristine pools of cool blue water. They are large round windows into which you can catch a small glimpse into her inner-workings and see her inner beauty. I am thankful that her eyes were a dominant gene.
Vye has an amazing stomach and back. Her athletics sculpted her torso into a sexy landscape of delicate white skin draped over a chiseled mid-section. Also Vye's neck is a thing of absolute beauty. It is dainty and slender, and I feel her neck is often the part of her physical body that makes others compare her to Audrey Hepburn. Physically my wife is simply beautiful.
Tidbits and Factoids about Vye:
Choco-haulic: Vye is an absolute choco-haulic. She would eat it every meal if she could. She has a taste for the good stuff and only prefers the most expensive and pure chocolates. I have known her to consume enormous amounts of the brown gold on many occasions.
Snacker: She loves to snack and her favorites include chips (any flavor really but she loves salt and vinegar), pickles, cheese, cookies (hob-nobs), cottage cheese, and fruit the list goes on and on, she loves her snacks.
Italian Food: If given a choice for a restaurant Vye would prefer high-end Italian. She loves simple yet sophisticated pasta dishes. She is adventurous with her food as she is with everything else, and loves to explore new flavors and recipes.
Chef: My wife is a great cook. I couldn't always say that with a straight face, but she has learned how to cook in the last 7 years. She has made some fantastic meals over the years. She is a sucker for cooking shows, and gleans info from the pros.
Photographer: Anyone can buy a $2000.00 camera and snap shots, but that doesn't mean you take great photos. Vye has an eye for capturing the world through her lens in new and intriguing ways. This talent has really bloomed since moving to Victoria. It is such a photogenic place to live, and Vye continues to awe me with her use of color, light, and her ability to focus on detail that others would miss.
Creative: Along with photography Vye is quite crafty and has the talent for making her photo albums a work of art. She puts interesting colors, textures and embellishments together to extenuate the photos on the page.
Favorite movies and shows: She loves the X-Files, they scare her death but she loves them. She is obsessed with Lost and has followed it since season two. Her favorite movie is probably the Trueman show or Pride and Prejudice (BBC version).
Fears: Spiders, driving in snow, lightning (my fault), bad guys, and monsters like the "Fluke Man" or the "Pale Man".
Music: Vye is not quite as passionate about her music and typically likes anything she can sing to. Agnes Poetry has always been a favorite, she loves Enya (not the easiest to sing along with), Color Theory, and lots of random songs that are upbeat and she can belt out the lyrics. She also has a great Opera Voice and can hit some serious high notes.
I could keep going on forever. There is so much more I would love to share. I feel I did not do this post justice, and I am fully to blame because of my weaknesses in writing and expressing myself. I wish there is something more I can say to fully illustrate my absolute adoration, and passion that I have for this remarkable woman. She is truly my greatest passion, my true love, my most precious and sacred friend. Vyedka has propelled me towards higher goals, and has lead many aspects of my life by example. I am a better person everyday because of her expectations. Life without Vye would seem meaningless, boring, and lame in comparison to the joy, love, and passion we currently share. We have an absolute brilliant marriage; physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I look forward to walking hand-in-hand with this purely beautiful woman, towards our unwritten and bright future. Life with Vye is an adventure, but most of all a complete joy. I have more hope for where we are heading, and I am happier now than I have ever been, and Vyedka is fully responsible. I passionately love you with the most tender feelings and utmost respect I can offer. Thanks for giving yourself so freely. Indeed I am truly in debt.
With all my love -S -

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back on track

The holidays are over and now it is time to get back to work. First and foremost I had a great time visiting friends and family over Christmas. Our flights were crazy, and we just snuck through the bad weather, so I think we were meant to visit. I am afraid that I really over-ate, and I am feeling it on my runs. All I got for Christmas is 5 extra pounds of the good stuff (fat). I am going to have to work extra hard to get back in shape. The trails are definately water logged. There is a good 10 cm of water on a good portion of my run. It makes it interesting though. The snow and wind really did a number on the trees as well. There are many logs laying over my routes, but I just treat them like hurdles, I actually prefer the dead-fall. So I have high hopes for my next four months of training. If I can stay healthy, I hope to start getting into the 30-50 km range for my long runs by the end of April.

I have had a tradition of snow shoeing New Year's Day for almost five years now, and I was able to do it again this year. Me and a friend drove up-island near Port Renfrew to try and shoe the San Juan Ridge. It was a great time. It happens to be the first time I ever snow shoed in rain. There was a good 30 cm of snow on the ground, but it was just soaking us with rain. As we climbed elevation, the temps dropped and it turned to snow. It is really interesting seeing a rainforest covered in snow. Seeing the contrast between the greens of the needles, moss and the stark snow is really awesome. The snow deepened with every 100 metres until it was easily 100 cm +. We didn't make our goal of intercepting the ridge, but there wasn't any where to park nearer to our objective. I look forward to going back in the summer and running a good portion of the 37 Km trail.Just a shot of me towards the end of our snow shoe tour.My friend Nels demonstrating one of the disadvantages of being over 6 feet tall. Moss and snow is a pretty sweet contrast.
This is just a shot of the trail we were hiking. It is an awesome spot and I can't wait to return.

I have also started up with my studies. I have the task of creating an operations manual for each piece of equipment in the experimental petrology lab. It will be challenging but Exciting to make the project my own. It would also be cool to have the knowledge to build my own experimental high temperature igneous petrology lab if the opportunity arrises in the future. I also recieved the thin sections I had made of the rocks that were collected from Mount Shasta. Thin sections are ultra thin slabs of rock (thinner than paper) adheared to a glass slide. The sections allow you to use the optical properties of minerals in polarized light to make important observations. I have included a photo or two I took under the microscope while first looking at the rocks. They kind of look like a kaleidascope. It will be a lot of fun to start analyzing them under the Laser Ablation Induced Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (LA ICPMS). I am also anxious to start melting some rocks and doping my samples with ore elements, to see how the metals behave in various temperature, pressure, and oxygen fugacity conditions. This semester will be pretty intense, and I have a huge learning curve to overcome but I love a good challenge and I look forward to each task. I will also be teaching an Earth systems lab section so that will be fun as well. I love being busy and having tons of items to accomplish each day. I am also preparing to look for huge ore deposits (Elephants) this summer. I have allready targeted several areas around the world. I have some exciting opportunities and partnerships set up and I am really anxious to start my hunt for these giant ore deposits.
This is a 40 X zoom of an andesite sample from mount Shasta under plane polarized light and the same slide viewed under cross polarized light below.These two slides are a different power and sample.