_a shelf of leatherbound books_

I read a lot (when I have time). On Monday and Tuesday, I consumed Scott Westerfeld's The Risen Empire and The Killing of Worlds. Yesterday, I started K. J. Parker's Devices and Desires. Tomorrow... well, I keep this lengthy list of books I want to read. I also keep a list of books I've already read (it comes in handy when people ask me for recommendations, or, as was the case nearly four years ago, when a college application asks me to provide a list of all the books I've read in the past year). Add these lists together: The result is a page full of great books.

Next time you're perusing the shelves, stumped on which pages to turn next, look at a few of my favorites. Maybe you'll be inspired! I'll update the list periodically, so be sure to check back!


_Close-up of steel puzzle piece frames connected end-to-end_

"What the work of art looks like isn't too important. It has to look like something if it has physical form. No matter what form it may finally have it must begin with an idea." -- Sol LeWitt

I took a sculpture class this semester on a whim. I enjoy art, but I've never done much sculpture, and I haven't taken an art class in years--so why not?

The first project I did was an exploration of mass. I sculpted a head from clay (the professor modeled, because he couldn't get an actual model), made a plaster waste-mold from it, then did a plaster casting. Everyone else in the class did essentially the same thing--sure, there were variations in the way the heads were sculpted, but we all made heads.

The second project, however, was open-ended. We were given an introduction to a selection of sheet metals, wire, and tools; we were told to think about space rather than mass, and that we should include repetition and variation in the work. And that was it.

Do you want to know what I created? Take a look! I titled it "Selves." I think it turned out pretty darn cool. (But I wouldn't have created it if I thought otherwise.)


Every so often, I am struck with a notion for a new project. It may be a concept for a series of sketches, the first line of a short story, a card game to convert to code so I can play it on my computer, or perhaps I just want to learn an entertaining skill such as juggling or typing on a Dvorak keyboard. My current and most recent project is this: the website formerly known as Agent Plus Environment.

Why a website?

I took a web production class recently. In the class, we talked about the history of the Internet. We looked at issues raised by technology and new ways of approaching technology. We analyzed design elements, functionality, and the structure of websites. We touched, briefly, on how to build websites. But I wasn't content with this basic introduction to Dreamweaver. I decided I'd like to actually learn HTML, CSS, and PHP, along with whatever else goes on behind the scenes. What better way to learn than to build my own website?

With great ideas comes great research

I toyed with the idea for a while. If I were to have a website, what would I put on it? What would I write about? More importantly, what would I call it? Names are important, folks! Whatever pattern of neurons firing brought me the idea Agent Plus Environment made this all happen. Suffice to say, the name says a lot about my view of the world--check out my note about it (there'll be more detail later; that's just the teaser version). The name gave me ideas. So I researched domain registrars and web hosts. I considered content management systems and color schemes. I brainstormed topics for later blog posts. I began delving into the HTML, CSS, and PHP of Wordpress themes. I felt I might be in over my head, but I'm learning fast.

Look, no hands!

Slowly but surely, the pieces are coming together. In no way is this website done--this is the bare minimum I can stand to let you see. It'll get better. You'll notice that most pages currently have filler content. I'm not set on the colors or layout. There are bugs. There are inconsistencies. If you notice anything drastic, let me know. In the meantime, I'll be over here, continuing to figure out how to make the web do what I want.