Monday, June 30, 2008

Clouds like popcorn

These clouds over the Atlantic were pretty. I like them in this orientation, too -- they look like anything but what they are. Cotton. Popcorn. Pillows.

This post's theme song: "Flying Home" by Jason Robert Brown.

Self-portrait in CDG

Another self-portrait.

This terminal was very cool: a curved hallway approach to a big metal button (left, in the distance). An oblate spheriod. Again, I'm not sure about the practicality, but it was very pretty. And it gave me a feeling of the future, space travel, civilization. Hard to imagine that it's just a two-hour flight from dirt houses.

This post's theme word: marver, "a slab of polished stone or iron on which hot glass blown from a blowpipe is rolled and shaped."


We went carpet-shopping. Rather, R. went carpet-shopping. C. and I tagged along for dramatic effect during the bargaining phase. We walked out twice. C. pretended to be a native, then later recanted and admitted his American-ness.
R. exceeded his predetermined upper bargaining limit (not to mention his income). We spoke amongst ourselves in English, using words different from our tone so that the salesperson would think we were disparaging the carpets when we were praising them.

This post's theme word: operose, "made with, involving, or evidencing much effort or industry; laborious; tedious." Our expedition was operatic, as well... maybe the next project in the spirit of LBCotF will be an opera about R.'s several exotic carpets. Or perhaps all his condo furnishings.

Hotel window view

The view out our hotel window across nearby rooftops and into the courtyard. There were so many satellite dishes. So many.
This post's theme word: opherion, "a large instrument of the lute family."

Hotel Splendide, hotel of joy

After an air-conditioned night on a bus and then three hours on a train, we were overjoyed to arrive at a hotel in the city. Rabat, which had seemed kind of dirty and rural, was a welcome portal of civilization compared with what we fled. We celebrated by sleeping away the morning and afternoon.

I have no words for this picture.

This post's theme word: poliad, "a nymph who inhabits a city."

Fruit juices

Left, mango juice. Tasted like a mango after a blender encounter. This is what it was.

Right, jus d'avocat. Lawyers are deliciously green and creamy. I expected it to taste like guacamole, but it was much milder.

Below, kiwi juice. It was just kiwi, with no emulsifier, so it eventually separated into juice and seeds/fiber. Most delicious of the juices I tried, though it would have been better chilled.

This post's theme word: fample, "to put (food) into a child's mouth." Another obsolete rarity for E.

La gare de Fes

I shall always fondly remember the Fes train station as having both Western toilets and toilet paper.

This post's theme word: fanal, "a beacon; a lighthouse; a lantern."

Saharan self-portrait

I got up before dawn and wandered in the dunes, tracking my friends who had left on camels in the middle of the night. The sand was pleasantly cool. My feet were very dirty and blistered. Despite my repeated applications of SFP 70 sunscreen, a flip-flop tan is clearly visible here. I tracked down several dung beetles by following their footsteps. Here is a surviving picture of an insect I found:

This post's theme word: unured, "unfortunate, unhappy."

Camels in the desert

The view into "town" from the roof of our auberge in the Sahara. Camels. Palm trees. Lots of dry, open ground, covered in light-colored sand that will killingly reflect the sun during the day. This picture was taken after sunset, and lit only by sunlight still bouncing over the horizon and off of the reflective environment. Sorry for the strip at the bottom; it turns out that about 95% of my pictures are entirely composed of such blips. Sigh.

This post's theme word: funniment, "humor; a joke." Like a condiment for your funny bone.

Oasis of torture

During our unendurable car trip, the drivers pulled over and stopped at this oasis. It was full of boys swimming. Not only could we not swim, we were just standing around in the heat. Doesn't it look enticing? I dreamed of icebergs between hazy, sweaty naps/passing out from heat.

This post's theme word: maslin, "a shiny yellowish alloy of copper resembling brass."

Fractured view of the desert

This was my perception of driving towards the desert in the heat of midday: fractured. Scrubby. Dreaming of water (or file corruption) accounts for the totally inaccurate blue tinge.

This post's theme word: mamelon, "a rounded eminence or hillock."


They stopped to hand-feed monkeys.

This post's theme word: taaffeite, "a mauve gemstone similar to spinel" (see previous post).

Coca-Cola is universal

A man riding a donkey laden with red plastic crates of Coca-Cola, in Fes.

This post's theme word: spinel, "a gem or precious stone of a red or scarlet colour, closely resembling the true ruby."

White gaggle

Everywhere we went, we stood out like a sore thumb: the group of white women. Can you spot us?

This post's theme word is "homelet," which unfortunately does not mean "an omelette with ham" or "an omelette cooked on home appliances other than a griddle" or "a homily delivered while eating an omelette." It means "a tiny or diminutive home."

Rabat kasbah

A kasbah is a North African castle or fortress. C. lives inside this one, which was surreal for 15 minutes and then seemed totally normal.

This post's theme word: hochgeboren, "a high-born person."

The Sahara

Driving to/through the Sahara (in a car with 8 people and no air conditioning, in June!) reminded me of driving through upstate NY, if all the topsoil and vegetation had been stripped off. When I am truly miserable, apparently, I seek solace in Epizeuxis photography.

This post's theme word: grith, "to make peace."

Colorful, textured medina

The medina gave me the opportunity to take some eye-candy photos. Colors and textures, oh my!

This post's theme word: syzygy, "the conjunction or opposition of two heavenly bodies."

Rabat medina

I have a lot of photos of my friends' backs. I didn't want to make a big deal of stopping to pose. The medina was fun, an enormous walled-in open-air market.

This post's theme word: testudinarious, "having the character of a tortoise; marked or colored like tortoise-shell."

View of the street from above

The view of the street -- alley? -- from C.'s terrace. Buildings painted blue made for very lovely photos.

This is my 100th blog post. Congratulations to me!

This post's theme word: marotte, "a pet notion, a craze."

Sepia: serious, silly

Serious and silly sepia portraits on C.'s rooftop terrace.

This post's theme word: trackie dacks (Australian slang), "the bottom half of a tracksuit; tracksuit trousers."

No personal entertainment

These chairs were designed to have personal televisions. Then Air Canada put cushions there instead. I had to amuse myself across the Atlantic.

This post's theme word: bookling, "a little book."

Cats in a castle overlooking the beach

There were feral cats everywhere.

This post's theme word: hoti, "a statement introduced by ‘because’, or the fact denoted by such a statement."

Harem couch

I had a better picture, but the bits got eaten. I am going to try to recover my many (more than half) corrupted jpgs later today.

This post's featured word: spleet, "a small strip of split wood or willow," dialect. And rare. That one goes out to E.

Organized fields

I found these fields very pleasing. That was until I had spent some time in Morocco, of course, but from the airplane, where the exterior temperature was below freezing, they seemed nice.

This post's theme word: shebeen, "an unlicensed drinking establishment."

Cheese, Gromit!

A half-cup of water, sealed like a shot of jello. Camembert cheese wrapped in foil. And everything, everything pork-free.

This post's theme word: brummagem, "something that is counterfeit or of inferior quality."

Clouds over Africa

These clouds really pleased me. Like candy, somehow.

This post's featured word: balbriggan, "a knitted, unbleached cotton fabric, used in hosiery and underwear."


This terminal was beautiful. I imagine it must be very costly to heat and cool, though.

This post's featured word: costive, "slow to act or speak; stingy; constipated."

YYZ sculpture

This large sculpture in the international departures section of YYZ was kind of like large metal pieces of onion skin. Little kids were running laps inside it.

Also at YYZ, I saw Miss Teen Canada 2007. How did I know? Because she was walking through the airport in her sash (and an evening dress, followed by three people with her baggage).

This post's theme word: paraprosdokian, "a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe the first part." Like garden-path sentences.

Morocco pictures

I shall post some here shortly. Or maybe I'll drag it out. It seems that, either through a camera or [more likely] computer problem, some of the pictures were corrupted. That matches my feeling about the trip pretty accurately, so they might get posted anyway.

This post's featured word: acronymize, "to make into an acronym," as read here. Urban dictionary entry here.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


A. sent me an "ode" to welcome me home:





green green green green li...


feel better.

This post's theme symptom: vomiting.

Je suis retournée

Never before in my life have I been so glad to see [real, flushing!] airport toilets or hordes of obese English-speaking people. I love North America.

This post's theme word: fescennine, "obscene or scurrilous."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Air travel restrictions

Discovered in the course of pre-travel research (emphasis added):
American may refuse to transport you, or may remove you from your flight at any point, for one or several reasons, including but not limited to the following: ...Your conduct is disorderly, abusive or violent, or you... have an offensive odor not caused by a disability or illness, ... - American Airlines' "Conditions of Carriage"
Air Canada's website generously allows that "urns containing human remains... can be carried on and do not count towards your baggage allowance." No other airlines explicitly discuss the transport of human remains as carry-on. Does Air Canada see this a lot? Do Canadians fly with urns of human ashes more frequently than others?

This post's theme song is "Secret Asian Man" by Da Vinci's Notebook.

Mathematics: so true, so pure

I love the octopus (?) in this all-too-true comic:This post's theme word is dornick, "a piece of rock small enough to throw," as in "Mathematicians deign physicists too lowly to merit casting even a dornick in their direction."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Extreme... to the extreme!

Yesterday was again hothothot and humid. The afternoon featured intermittent outbursts of water pouring from the sky, with no discernible individual drops. While I was waiting at a crosswalk, it started to rain visibly on the other side of the intersection; the wall of precipitation visibly advancing across the street. It reminded me of the slightly broken rain in The Truman Show.

Last night I was awoken by the brightness of the lightning during the storm. Not the thunder. It was like a strobe every few minutes. I had to close the curtains to get back to sleep.

Today I pulled an Aeon Flux and trapped a fly in my eyelashes. Killer reflexes.

I received a copy of the "operative note" from my surgery. Highlights: "We started with the anterolateral portal, vizualized the patellofemoral joint. This was pristine." and "We irrigated copiously." The idea of "copiously irrigating" the interior of my knee is amusing. And, with retrospective wisdom, painful.

This post's theme word: quisquillian, "worthless or trifling."

Sunday, June 8, 2008

FREE time machine

From here:
Price: $0.00
Quantity: 1

Free glossy, sleek time machine made out of an old dumpster and a gyroscope. Unfortunately, due to a glitch it can only take you back to plague-infested 14th century France or the 1970s. This is a great item and I'm really sorry to part with it. Transportation not provided.
(Thanks to C. on postpostpre for pointing this out!)

This post's theme word: praetorian, "corruptible or fraudulent."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's too darned hot

So hot today that my chapsticks melted and separated. The brief reprieve provided by my massive mane of wet post-shower hair evaporated too quickly, turning it into a curly, unremovable scarf covering half of my back. If I put it up, the unrelenting sun beat down on my skin; if I put it down, it was a thick, warm layer of insulation. No wind. I was sweating the moment I left the gym's air-conditioning.

I spent a good part of the day doing things that required minimal movement, to prevent myself from overheating. Also minimum contact. Standing is cooler than sitting; more air can circulate. Don't turn on any electronics or lights! -- in this respect, fanless Epizeuxis crushes its helpless, heat-generating competition from Quine. I waited until 8pm to haul my laundry the two blocks to the laundromat, since any earlier attempt would have seen me perish of heat stroke en route.

And despite this weather-induced sluggishness, I feel good. Vitamin D. The sun came out, and I walked on my feet. Who could ask for anything more?

This post's theme word is Canadian: deke (from "decoy"), "a quick fake by a puck carrier intended to trick an opponent out of position."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My unbounded sin

My name is Lila, and I introduce unbounded quantifiers. ("Hi, Lila!")

Guilty as charged. I'm getting better at noticing and fixing this mistake, though.

This post's featured quantifier: ∀.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Electronic plants III

I could set up a whole garden, with several of these powering all the others.
Thanks, Engadget!

This post's theme word: scrannel, "thin or unmelodious."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Electronic plants II

Here is yet another desktop decoration that looks plantlike:

Each speaker shouts a different audio reminder at you, for a confusing array much more distracting than a normal plant.

This post's theme song: "A Boat Like Gideon Brown" by Great Big Sea. I've started to listen to Canadian music!

Monday, June 2, 2008

SLYT: "Lila"

Throwing Toasters' "Lila" (original site).

This post has a theme song.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Yet another "Modern Major General" parody

This one comes from Ask a Ninja:

My favorite is still the G&S-style remix of "Baby Got Back" (video).

This post's theme word: nacre, mother-of-pearl.


Welcome to June. I'm sweeping up little bits of things I've been saving for a rainy day. (Yesterday was very wet, but it hasn't rained yet today... blog weather delay.)

A bit of wit from Penny Arcade:

One of the many, many frustrating things about Gabriel is that any excess calories he consumes are converted directly into scorn. They do not linger, they do not collect, he is never physically altered by them... His exercise regimen usually consists of yelling at his monitor...

Several stunningly sharp sentences from this Dvorak typing tutorial (I'm up around 30 wpm):
I did not design this gadget that ignites potatoes.
"Hallelujah," wailed the janitor as he jettisoned the typewriter out the window. The projectile majestically landed at the junction of Jefferson and Winslow streets, just jolting, not injuring, a jogging tourist.
I recently discovered that Epizeuxis' spellchecker is set to find at most 500 misspelled words per line. No more. I guess if I made that many, my self-monitoring sanity hackles would be raised. I am pretty sure that there is no font size small enough to fit 500 words on a single line, though -- the screen is not wide enough.

From The Onion, as always a good source of silly material, an article entitled "National Science Foundation: Science Hard" (how surprising!):
This... may one day lead to a new understanding of physics as a way to confuse and bore people.
Scientists have also confirmed what I knew all along: parents treat older siblings much more strictly than younger ones.
I figure the weirder your life is, the more fun you're having... until [you] get devoured by interdimensional hyenas or pressganged into service on a gnome submarine. (Questionable Content)

This post's theme word: disintermediator. It means exactly what it says.