January 2006 Archives
'Cause everyone loves a meme.
Four jobs I've had
Bookseller at Waldenbooks
Maid at a hotel
Four movies I can watch over and over
The English Patient
The Princess Bride
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Lion in Winter
Four places I've lived
Sandy Hook, CT
Ann Arbor, MI
Four TV shows I love
The Muppet Show
Four places I've vacationed
Lake District, England
Puerto Vallerta, Mexico
British Virgin Islands
Four of my favorite dishes
Gnocchi with peas and a pink sauce
My Nana's zitis and sauce
French toast at La Note
Four sites I visit daily
BBC News World Edition
Four places I would rather be now
A villa in Italy
In my sweetie's arms
A beach in BVI
Curled up in bed with lots of pillows
Four things in my pocket right now
That's about it
I've decided to try and knit myself a sweater. I went to Skeinlane in El Cerrito last night and the wonderful women there helped me find a pattern and pick out some yarn that will work. I chose a heathered wool that is kinda wine colored. I think it will look really pretty.
I will be doing a fair amount of traveling for work soon, so I figured a good knitting project would work well for the time on the plane. Of course, I don't know how to increase or decrease on purpose yet. But hey, there's only one way to learn, right?
My family's cat Maggie, who is 15 going on 16, has been very ill. She's been living at the vet for the past 2 weeks, trying to figure out what is wrong with her and to get her eating again.
Yesterday my mother told me that Maggie had stopped producing red blood cells and her kidneys were starting to fail. At 11:30 EST today my mom and Burt had Maggie put to sleep.
Maggie and her brother were found on the side of the road in CT in 1990. She was a rescue kitten, as all of my family's cats are. She was gray and white and had thick, soft short hair - like moleskin. We used to call her the "blonde" of the cat world. When she was younger she'd walk into a room and look around as if she had never been in that room before (even though she had just left it 15 minutes before).
As she got older, Maggie got more mouthy. She'd squawk rather than meow and her purr could be easily heard over the telephone wires from CT to CA. When you pet her, she'd get excited and the base of her tail would puff up - that's how you knew she was really happy. She loved to pound/knead/pump her paws/whatever you call it to my mom. If my mom wasn't in bed by a certain time, Maggie would come find her and squawk at her until she got into bed and Maggie could pound her.
As she got even older, and her arthritis got worse, Burt built a wooden staircase so Maggie could walk up and down from the bed. Maggie got fatter and fatter the older she got. At one point she looked like someone had taken an air pump and filled her up like a basketball. She even singed herself once while standing on a table because her sides stuck out so far her fur hung over a candle flame.
Maggie was the matriarch of the cattery at my mom's house (she has 8, well, now 7 cats). She knew her place and never got involved with the kittenish playing of the younger ones. They were beneath her and she was okay with that.
Maggie was the best. I love my two cats dearly, but Maggie will always have a special place in my heart. She was so loving, so quirky. Part of going home to CT was the joy of seeing her again and hearing her squawk.
We will always love you and miss you Maggie.
We are kicking off a big project at work next week. This week is all about preparing for the project, getting up to speed on the phase 1 work we did, that kind of stuff. In reading through the documentation I came across the name of a key team member, who happens to have the same name as someone I went to high school with.
It turns out that they are not one and the same (I Googled and checked). But it makes me wonder where folks have ended up. There are so many people I knew from CT out here in CA. I remember being surprised by the number at my 10 year reunion. And what about the folks I knew in CO in elementary school? The internet has made the world so small - it's easy to find folks that in years past would have been lost to you forever (LiveJournal anyone?).
I haven't had it happen where I end up working with someone I used to know. But I have a feeling that it's just a matter of time. I think it would be really cool. Of course, I suppose the coolness factor would greatly depend upon who it was.
I saw this in a newsletter I received recently. Thought I would pass it along.
This little treatise on the lovely language we share is only for the brave. It was passed on by a linguist, original author unknown. Peruse at your leisure.
Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn:
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend. If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, why don't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Park in the driveway and drive on the parkway? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.
That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
Being the "veg-head" that I am, I love beans. I especially love black beans. And I super especially love the black bean soup that Atticus Books and Cafe in New Haven, CT makes. I love this soup so much that I still eat it even though there is ham (or at least a hambone) in it. Shhhhh. Don't tell anyone. But really, it's THAT GOOD.
Well, today I met that soup's match. Caffe Centro in San Francisco makes a veggie friendly black bean soup that is to die for. It doesn't have chunks of beans like Atticus' does, but the flavor more than makes up for it. You just want to keep on eating it. FOREVER.
There was a woman on the BART train home tonight who was ill. I assume she was homeless from her unkempt hair, unwashed clothes, tattered bag, and the smell that hung around her like a cloud. It was a smell that filled the train car, a smell that I still find hard to get out of my nose.
But it wasn't her smell or her appearance that unsettled me. It was her behavior. I believe she was suffering a psychotic episode. And I don't mean that in the way that behavior is often called crazy or psychotic. She appeared to have lost touch with reality. And was suffering from what sounded like delusions.
She was having an argument with someone sitting next to her, but there was no one in the seat. She kept yelling that she wanted to be free. That this woman she was argueing with was stupid, and from dust and would return to dust, and she wished she would just die. She was God, she made all the money, she was why the money was there. Arrrrrgh.
Everyone on the train, myself included, were stuck in that awkward silence. People pretended to read their books or paper, but if they were at all like me they just read the same sentence over and over. Her screams were too loud to carry on a conversation or listen to headphones.
I hate when I get stuck in situations like this. Not because they make me feel uncomfortable. Not because I have something against the homeless or mentally ill. But because I don't know what to do to help. Here was a woman who obviously needed help, yet no one stepped forward to offer assistance. We all turned a blind eye and pretended that we were not listening to her accusations or watching from the corner of our eye.
What is there to do? I'm not a trained psychiatrist. I don't know how to "talk" someone like that "down." Do you call the police? I'd hate for her to end up in jail when what she needs is a hospital. Especially how she went on and on about how she wanted to be free. What is the best course of action? I just don't know.
The Scent of Green Papaya
Slackers is back up and running, and I hope feeling better. Mucho thanks to E and S for working their magical computer-foo on the system.
Personally I'm trying to get back into the groove of working. I had a nasty flu of Christmas, which meant I didn't get to take my nephew into New York. I was so bummed. Oh well, there is always next year.
Otherwise, not much to report.