• Who am I?

    I am Qrystal; or at least, that's my dot-name! Har har. (My name is really Crystal, but that's not as internet-searchable; hence, switching the C for the little-used letter Q.)

    I am here because I enjoy writing. I do this mostly for myself, but I also have a passion for helping others learn things from the things I write. Now that I am done my Ph.D. in Physics, I am stepping away from academic research so that I can indulge in some creative ways to share my knowledge and inspire the appreciation of scientific thinking in others. I am also working as a tutor, which is one of the jobs I've most enjoyed doing in my life so far.

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  • More Creation, Less Consumption

    Posted by Qrystal on January 13, 2017 at 12:58.
    Category: Life. Tags: .

    I was just reading my twitter feed for the first time in a long time (weeks, at least, and the time before that was probably weeks before that, and so on, for years) and I got reminded of a few things.  It inspired me to come here and write, which I’m pretty sure is a Very Good Thing.

    One thing that occurred to me is how society can be quite amusing and interesting at times, and that I’d like to see this part of society more.  There are some great people out there, doing great things, and it can be inspiring to be aware of them.  I also remembered how nice it was to have conversations with people all over the world, from the hyper-local to the farthest reaches.  We all have things in common with everyone, and it’s wonderful to experience this.  When I think about this, I am swept away with the urge to reconnect to digital society.  It’s quite likely that I’m immensely lonely.

    Another, much more serious, thing I realized was that the internet is overloaded with depressing things. And I’m not just talking about the bad news and the fake science and people being awful to one another or bashing the great things some people have accomplished.  I even mean the same inspiring things that I mentioned as positive in the paragraph above!  How sad it makes me, to feel depressed by things that are clearly inspirational.

    More Fun, Less Stress? Not quite.

    Sometimes I feel I can’t take it anymore and so I retreat into pure entertainment and pretend that fun is all that matters.  It’s easy to think this way with a nearby four-year-old showing me how it’s done, but at the same time I know I need to teach him more “real-life stuff” by example, by… well, making a life out of my time, rather than merely filling my time with activities and arbitrary knowledge of miscellaneous things. Not to disparage knowledge or understanding, of course!  These are important supplements to what I’m talking about here.

    So I know I need to consume less from “out there” and create more from “in here” (picture me tapping my head, or even my heart).  But it’s so hard.  I think I have a huge burden of dismay weighing upon me and making everything harder than it actually would be if I just jumped in.

    Here, though, in this blog, I can practice jumping in!  I am already practicing calling myself a writer, but until I actually write more often, it’s basically a lie.  I don’t like lies.  Therefore– I must create more things, more often!  And in order to do this, I must reduce the amount of time I am spending consuming information/entertainment created by others.  I must also make sure to remember how much FUN I have with writing!  That’s why I want to do more of it!

    Less Congestion, More Flow

    It doesn’t help that I have other tasks weighing on me as well, but I know that getting through those will come in time, too.  Like any traffic jam, eventually the congestion will abate and everything will begin moving, with appropriate attention to safety and efficiency.

    Hmm.  I like this traffic analogy of why the things I want to do aren’t yet happening: there’s just too many things trying to merge together and so it’s hard to move anything forward.  Furthermore, I can now see that there is a lot of (emotional?) fog permeating the lanes, making it very difficult to coordinate an improved flow.

    I’ll have to let this thought percolate awhile, and see how I can shift things smoothly.  For now, though, posting this is going to be medicine for some of what is ailing me.

    More Appreciating, Less Pretending It’s All Me

    I’d like to thank Mike Mandel for creating his Navigator system, which I am currently employing to improve my life in literally every way I can think of.  (Yes, I really do mean literally, because it is so easy to apply to everything.)  This post’s headings are inspired by his system, which is why I feel I must mention it here, but that’s all I feel comfortable saying about it right now.  I don’t want to give anything away about it, because the brilliance of it is best appreciated direct from the source!

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    Posted by Qrystal on November 30, 2016 at 9:16.
    Category: Life. Tags: myself.


    I have so many partially written

    Having as many partially written things as I do is somewhat

    What I’ve decided to muse about today is: is there a way I can accept the incompleteness, as it is, without being harsh with myself, so I can simply

    And if I do start moving [...] Continue Reading…

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    Yearning for Returning

    Posted by Qrystal on October 11, 2016 at 13:38.
    Category: Life. Tags: blogging, future, goals, myself, nanowrimo, writing.


    I have come to the point where I want to say “out loud” that I want to get back here, and write more.  So here I am, doing exactly that.

    Will I post any of the things I’ve half-written over the past few years?  I don’t know.  Maybe.  I might [...] Continue Reading…

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    Where am I?

    Posted by Qrystal on August 26, 2014 at 12:03.
    Category: Life. Tags: myself, thesis.


    I’m about to attempt the shortest blog post I’ve ever written.  It shouldn’t be hard; I tend to write mini-novels, and enjoy the heck out of doing so.

    But, well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t have time for that, right now.  This time, however, I’m [...] Continue Reading…

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    New Year, New Life

    Posted by Qrystal on January 1, 2012 at 23:37.
    Category: Life. Tags: future, planning, thesis.

    Many things about my life will be changing this year.  And I’m not talking about New Year’s Resolutions… heck, I don’t know if I should even bother making any specific resolutions for the year, except perhaps to not go completely mad while I’m facing the madness that is to [...] Continue Reading…

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    “I Don’t Have Time”

    Posted by Qrystal on August 1, 2011 at 12:52.
    Category: Life. Tags: myself, procrastination, thesis, time.

    Recently, I’ve been noticing myself thinking that “I don’t have time” for this, that, or the other thing that I want to do. And this is despite knowing that it’s usually unhelpful to think such a thing, because “you’ve gotta make time”, blah blah blah.

    At the same time, I [...] Continue Reading…

    1 Comment »

    Our Northern Ontario Camping Destination

    Posted by Qrystal on June 9, 2011 at 7:40.
    Category: Life. Tags: fun, myself, recreation.

    I kinda wanted to share where we’re going camping, but at the same time, I also wanted to keep it secret… so I grabbed the Google Satellite imagery from the area just to give an idea of the terrain.

    I will say, though, that it’s deep in Northern Ontario, a [...] Continue Reading…

    1 Comment »

    Saying ‘Yes’ to Challenge

    Posted by Qrystal on November 28, 2010 at 23:33.
    Category: Life. Tags: shiva nata, thesis.

    The title of this post makes me feel yucky contemplating it, but I’m going to keep it as it is because it is an important lesson I learned recently.  I mean, I’ve known for quite some time that it’s not a good idea to let myself say ‘No’ to [...] Continue Reading…


    A Ghost of a Feeling

    Posted by Qrystal on November 2, 2010 at 12:45.
    Category: Life. Tags: myself, nanowrimo, thesis, writing.

    What I’m about to share may seem strange, but it really happened, and it was really just before Halloween, which may make it even more spooky.

    I was alone in my home office, writing Chapter 83 of The Girl Who Writes Her Thesis (where Chapters 1-30 are what I call [...] Continue Reading…

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    A Shivanaut’s Maiden Voyage

    Posted by Qrystal on October 22, 2010 at 11:22.
    Category: Tools. Tags: exercise, myself, patterns, shiva nata.

    “Pull tab to open,” suggests the label on the padded envelope containing the Shiva Nata DVD I’ve been so eagerly awaiting.  I’m so ready to crank this practice up, and lose myself in blessed befuddledness that is meant to challenge my mind into untangling itself.

    So why have I not [...] Continue Reading…

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