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scholar of vision, celebrant of light
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hawaii, beach, umbrella
Just now I was listening to Pandora, and a new song came on that I wasn't familiar with, just acoustic guitar, and I was thinking "Oh huh. That must be Dave Matthews. No one else does that with the guitar."

And then I thought back to how that always amazed me when my dad could do that. Now granted he'd be listening to some jazz CD from 1932 with 5 artists on it, pick out the cornet from the other brass and go "Oh wow, I didn't know Muggsy Spanier ever played with them." I'd ask how he knew and he'd go "Oh that's totally a Muggsy flourish." But even that I'm starting to be able to do. It's pretty cool.

I also had this friend in undergrad. He was so smart and I looked up to him a lot, and one of my favorite things about him was his love of words. He wouldn't settle for "I just couldn't believe how boring it was" when "I couldn't believe the banality" more precisely and concisely expressed what he was feeling and painted a better picture for whoever was listening. It didn't really pop out to me that I've started to do that, too, until I started hanging out with people who aren't overeducated academics. They were sort of taken aback by my frequent use of infrequent words but would also talk back about it, like "Yeah. Amble. That's a great word." I just hope I have some of my friend's gift for passing it off as a reflection of his earnest communication efforts rather than an excuse to sound like a brainiac.

*shrugs* back to comps reading...
14th-Oct-2009 04:26 pm - oh boulder..
hawaii, beach, umbrella
so i'm sitting at boulder, getting some work done, and the guy who works here comes by, i thought maybe to clear away my empty coffee cup. but no, he ignores the cup, and instead simply deposits a small skull on the table.

i 'm not sure but i think this beats the time i saw them going around to all the TVs and turning them on to display TV snow.
4th-Oct-2009 01:58 pm - just over a month...
hawaii, beach, umbrella
i'm supposed to take comps starting nov 9, and i'm getting a little bit terrified.
it's been better this week than it was maybe last week, since i have a more solid plan and a much better idea of what's going to be expected of me. and i really shouldn't stress about it, i should just do the work. but it's so hard and intimidating :(
i guess i should consider myself lucky, though, that in my department this isn't looked on as something you can really fail if you take it seriously and turn in your best effort. and i'll try to keep focusing on that when i get myself all keyed up.
17th-Mar-2009 10:31 am - a haiku
hawaii, beach, umbrella
i get what i want
because when i don't get it
i stop wanting it
12th-Feb-2009 10:29 am - my beloved ombrella :(
hawaii, beach, umbrella
this week.. has not gone very well.

i can't remember what happened tuesday at work, but i remember i had a bad stomach ache and i was grumpy about something. i came home and haiku had messed up with the toilet training. also, she had thrown up twice. the spots looked very different, which worried me a lot. she wasn't acting that different, though, so a few hours later i fed haiku at the normal time and went to my swing lesson.

i came back and she had thrown up again, which worried me intensely, because before tuesday i cannot remember the last time haiku vomited. it really does not happen often. i called the emergency vet and they recommended bringing her in and told me the exam fee was $90 which doesn't include anything else they might do or any medications they might give her. so i asked, how dangerous could it be to let it wait until i take her to the vet in the morning? they told me well, it could be ok but it's always risky.. if you see any of the warning signs, like a change in behavior, or if she vomits again, or isn't drinking water, take her in. so i decided to just wait it out and keep an eye on her, but then she vomited again and it looked like it was almost her whole dinner, and then her behavior seemed really off, so at 1 AM i took her in.

they did the exam, i waited a while, vet said it's still ambiguous, i'd like to do x-rays to see if there's a foreign object she might have swallowed. i OKed that. waited a while longer. they showed me the x-rays and said it was still inconclusive... no foreign objects appeared but that didn't mean there wasn't one... her intestines were starting to bunch up in a way that was consistent with having swallowed something. i asked, but isn't it also consistent with any other problem that could cause her to start vomiting, and she said yes. i was starting to think we had very different priors.. she sees animals who swallow weird things all the time.. i have had haiku for a year and a half and when she plays with things she has never swallowed them or acted like she was going to. the vet suggested "investigative surgery" which she quoted at $2,000 to $3,000. i kind of flipped out. i decided that was way overboard, but had this nagging worry that she had some piece of string sawing its way through her intestines. but then again, the likelihood of that was so low, and the likelihood of complications from surgery was probably almost as significant. so i decided against it and hoped being a good statistician would make me a good pet-owner. vet offered another option of keeping her there for monitoring, for $600 and up, or getting anti-nausea meds and fluids and i take her home for monitoring, for $350. i opted to take her home, worried that i was being a terrible kitty-mommy.

so the next day, i had to make sure she wasn't alone for very long so she could be brought in if things got any worse. i had to cancel a ton of meetings which sucked a lot. i felt like i couldn't miss lunch with this visitor, though, because his work is so similar to our lab's, and i felt like i really needed to meet him. lizzybeth529 came to my rescue and volunteered to read papers at my house and watch haiku while i went to that meeting. i decided i could probably skip the talk since i'd read so many of his papers, but then at the last minute my advisor sent an e-mail about how relevant the talk was going to be and how we should all try to make it if at all possible. so i decided i kind of had to go and since haiku was looking better and had kept down the small amount of food i gave her, she'd probably be ok for an hour until liz could come by.

haiku is back to normal and now i wonder if i was stupid for taking her to the emergency vet after all.

then. this morning i looked at the forecast and saw that today was supposed to be one of those days zigeunerweisen and i agree should not be allowed, where the weather is cold enough to need a scarf, rainy enough to need an umbrella, and windy enough to turn said umbrella inside-out. so i layered all my outerwear, grabbed my sturdiest umbrella, my beloved polka-dotted italian "ombrella" that i bought in florence, and went out to catch the bus.

because i was having such a hard time managing the umbrella without holding it straight in front of me, it wasn't until i actually got to the bus stop that i noticed nobody was there. i had no idea when the bus had left, but it was at least a minute before it usually came by. i kind of tucked the umbrella under my chin in a position that is usually quite sturdy enough, to thumb through my bag for the bus schedule to see if there was a special t/th bus coming anytime soon. as i was doing this, the umbrella FLEW AWAY. it was airborne for what felt like several minutes and i watched it go from my bus stop between east and park, all the way down to park, then back up toward east, where it then fell to the opposite side of the street not far from me. i waited for a gap in traffic to go over and rescue it, but then the bus came in the opposite direction and RAN IT OVER! i was like, ok well, that answers my question about whether there's another bus coming back around soon, and checked and indeed it was about 15 minutes away from swing back around to pick me up.

a couple more cars ran over my umbrella and then i decided to go rescue it to see if it could be repaired. umm, it could not. but i'm glad i fetched it bc it's a very good visual for how my week has gone. i sought shelter in the doorway of a restaurant but 5 minutes before the bus was supposed to stop, i figured i should get out there so it didn't pass me by. i was able to open my sad umbrella up just enough that i could get some shelter from the rain, and when i boarded the bus, the driver said "hey! isn't that the umbrella that i ran over!?" in a tone that said "girl you shouldn't be leavin' no umbrella in the middle of the street like that." i answered "YES" and was about to start tearing up and was saved by the fact that the story was so absurd and my umbrella looked so ridiculous that i couldn't help but find the humor in it, even right in that moment. meredith happened to be on the bus and was very sympathetic to my tale of woe, and helped me laugh about it.

but i still need a wind-sturdy replacement for my dearly departed ombrella. any suggestions?

update: as i was running errands, i parked in the lot on park and berkeley next to rite-aid. as i was pulling out and turning my wheel to get out of my spot and avoid hitting the cars parked behind me, i heard a crunch, and noticed the inexplicably placed pole right next to my parking spot. i got out and there is definitely some damage, scratches and dents. fan-freakin-tastic.
8th-Feb-2009 10:32 pm - digital converter box?
hawaii, beach, umbrella
has anyone gotten their digital converter box for their tv to work? i cannot figure mine out :(
6th-Jan-2009 01:48 pm - Writer's Block: Prepared Answer
hawaii, beach, umbrella
What is the one question you've always wanted someone to ask you?


When I'm out and about, listening to my iPod, I always kind of want someone, even a stranger, to ask me what I'm listening to.
But I feel like I'm odd in that respect so I never ask anyone else what they're listening to.
30th-Nov-2008 10:49 am - don't mock my optimism
hawaii, beach, umbrella
"...a sanguine temper, though forever expecting more good than occurs, does not always pay for its hopes by any proportionate depression. It soon flies over the present failure, and begins to hope again." ~Jane Austen, Emma

i know that i don't know exactly what i want to do with my life, or how i'm going to get there. no, i don't think i'll ever find a way to get paid to do what i love, because i just don't like work.

but i do have plans. and even if someone thinks they're fanciful, and even if i seem to change my plans more often than most people, that doesn't mean they're stupid plans. advice is welcome, but prodding and exposing potential pitfalls without solutions is hurtful. of course i've had these doubts too. why would i need them coming from other people?

so. i am shaken now but i will soon begin to hope again. thank heavens for a sanguine temper.
5th-Nov-2008 10:26 am - making glittens
hawaii, beach, umbrella
given that this is my first knitting project for which i am supposed to make two identical things, i am making notes to myself about how i did it.

cast on 48 stitches, distribute to 12 stitches on each of 4 needles.
k2p2, add a stitch marker to mark the inside and outside of the first stitch, when you free up a needle, borrow a stitch from the next needle to the needle you've been knitting from, then knit onto the free needle.
do the ribbing for 30 rows, so that you knit up to the first marker, and the marker on the other side should have 6 borrowed stitches to the left of it.
move the marker over, increase by doing the gap-twist-knit thing, knit first stitch, increase again, then knit all the way.
knit 2 more rows, then do increases again, 2 more rows, increase row, etc.
hawaii, beach, umbrella
10 am, i'm in bed, phone rings. i let it ring until i get the "missed call" beep. (no "voice mail" beep.) then it starts ringing again and i begrudgingly go to pick up the phone. the caller id says "unknown/restricted"
me: hello?
dude: heyyy what's going on?
me: who is this?
dude: guess!
me: i can't guess
dude: it's one of your cousins! guess!
me: i don't like guessing, just tell me who this is
dude: it's one of your cousiiiiiinnnnsssss
me: are you sure you have the right number?
dude: yeah, it's on that website you gave us.
me: what?
dude: your phone number, it's on that website you gave us
me: no, i don't think i have my phone number on a website
*awkward pause*
me: just tell me who you are
dude: sighs heavily and hangs up

?!?!??!?!?!

ok if it IS one of my cousins, why would he be so vague and so reluctant to tell me who he was? and why would he lie about where my phone number came from? i am CERTAIN i did not post it on any website. i may have at some point put it up on facebook for friends only but it would be weird to refer to that as "that website you gave us."

some of you may also recall that maybe a year ago i got a phone call from someone claiming to be one of my cousins and making me guess who it was, i guessed jimmy and he said yes, then he mumbled some stuff which sounded like he was going to be a daddy, which as far as i know did not turn out to be true. very odd.

that's not the one that made me call 911 though, that one was when i first moved here and it was two phone calls in a row (the first i ignored) at 1:30 in the morning from someone who already knew all this stuff about me, like where i went to school and where i had just moved from. creepyyyyy!

so now this one is worrying me too. i guess there's not much i can do about it though. i didn't give him any information. i worry that it may have been one of my cousins that maybe i offended, but hopefully if that's the case he'll try again when he's not being so stubborn and will just tell me who he is!
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