Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nervous healing

It has been three years since I had full sensation in my knee, but the nerves continue their slow repair. One spot -- one corner -- of my knee itches. Just above one of my surgical scars. It is just one nerve, itching, terribly. Intensely. Scratching does not sate it. I'm hoping that, having now reconnected itself to my nervous system, this nerve will now tone it down; maybe the rest of my nerves ("my brain") will tune this one out.

So itchy.

This post's theme word: quiescent, "dormant."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bread booger

There was a slight overflowing issue with this bread.
It was still delicious. My test eaters A. and M. both said that the bread in the "booger" was the moistest and best part of the loaf.

This post's theme word: blain, "blister."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ada Lovelace Day

Tor.com has a fantastic animation up for Ada Lovelace Day:I don't have anything to add; honestly, my role models have been male. There are many technical women I admire, and they have been duly written-up elsewhere for this created holiday. See for example this, this, this, this, this, or this. Or this entire webcomic devoted to Ada Lovelace.

This post's featured comic is from A Softer World:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First rejection

I just received my first paper rejection. Ah, well. We pick ourselves up and move along.

This post's theme word: moirologist, "a hired mourner."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ozymandias jeans

I tore through the upper leg of my jeans while biking. My thighs are just so vigorous and powerful that no pants can contain them. A crotch-proximal patch attracts awkward attention, so I hereby lay to rest another pair of jeans, slain by the sheer muscle (and surrounding fat) of my legs.

I am Lila, Destroyer of Jeans;
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

(Apologies to Percy Bysshe Shelley.)

This post's theme word: eschatology, "the part of theology concerned with death, judgement, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chocolate week

"Did you know that the third week in March is chocolate week?" alerts an email from Finale. Consider yourself alerted. It seems strange to me that a week during Lent would be "chocolate week," given the common perception of chocolate as an indulgence.

This week's theme word: ort, "a scrap of food left over after a meal."

π day

J. and I baked for G.'s π day party.

This post's theme word: cwm, "a steep bowl-shaped mountain basin." Imagine if you filled a cwm with pie!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

First bread success

For the first time, my breadmaking attempts were successful!

Bread before baking:Bread after baking:Look at that deliciously browned crust! And the loaves are so round and leavened (unlike my previous bread bricks). The secret was that the bread had to rise for 12 hours overnight; the apartment was too cold for the bread to rise any faster, even wrapped in insulating dish towels.

Consumer feedback indicated success and recommended further bread research.

This post's theme word: perendinate, "to put off until the day after tomorrow," or "to stay at a college for an extended time."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New apartment

It's okay. The search was long and tiring. It's bigger than the old place, and quieter. A bit cold. The oven is broken. The water pressure and heat leave things to be desired. And I seem to be allergic either to the dirt the former tenants left behind, or the cleaning products we used to remove it. I'm getting moved in, getting used to the longer walk to work.

This post's theme word: columbarium, "a vault with niches for storing urns" or "a dovecote or pigeon house."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A black-and-white dream

I dreamed last night in stark black and white, in animations. It was a dream that could have been written by Edward Gorey or Neil Gaiman. My dream's protagonist, observed from mostly third person with some occasional first person, was a young girl, sent off for the first time to a British boarding school/castle/rich relative's house (think Secret Garden). The setting was full of twisty secret passages, tapestries on the walls, ancient furniture and servants invisibly coming and going.

There were adults (relatives, teachers) about whom she kept discovering shocking secrets (affairs, personal indulgences, superpowers [think Orphans of Chaos]). And at some point, a kindly matron with a bust like the prow of a ship pulled her off a corridor and said, "You know, you're getting older, and it's almost time for you to find a mask." -- everyone was wearing masks, big ornate costume-ball masks with feathers extending in a wide radius, fancy partial-face-covering masks, masks held up on sticks and masks subtly interwoven into triumphantly ornate and voluminous hairdos. The photos on this site will give you an idea.

Right at the end of the dream, she found her mask. It was a meter wide or more, in the style of some Venetian masks, covering the eyes and the nose with a smooth, extended beak (a bit like this). The sides tapered off in a Katamari-like way, long and thick points (not cylinders). The whole mask was made of material like a surgical cast, and in a dark grey that was almost black.

Aside from really enjoying this dream, I was surprised to find that the entire dream was black and white, and in a pencil or charcoal texture. Not real at all. I remember reading somewhere that people who had black and white TV as children are more likely to dream in black and white. I wonder what strange depths of my subconscious this arose from.

This post's theme word: manichean, "of or relating to a dualistic view of the world, dividing things into either good or evil, light or dark, black or white, involving no shades of gray."

Found poetry

The lack of capitalization and punctuation in internet communications (my previous comments) makes them read like poetry to me. Here is an unedited excerpt of a recent conversation I had with J. (It was actually more like a monologue that I witnessed.)
... in my world
where pi was modified
to terminate after 9 digits
it changed a lot of stuff
circles are kinda different
but it's okay
there's lots of meteor showers, though
and gravity doesn't work really well
maybe it wasn't a good idea
oh god, my hands are melting again

This post's theme word: tendentious, "expressing or intending to promote a particular cause or point of view, especially a controversial one." The view that pi terminates after 9 digits is not a tendentious one amongst mathematicians.