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  1. Come down with a cold immediately after turning in your thesis to the committee (two weeks before defense).
  2. Ignore cold, and/or assume it's allergies, as it's not too bad. Take the occasional allergy pill (week before defense).
  3. Do not use Afrin or other nasal spray before flying across country for thesis defense. Do not take ibuprofen because you're pregnant. Tell yourself that you're fine, the cold is improving, etc (four days before defense).
  4. Suddenly get much, much worse, and spend most of afternoon sleeping (three days before defense).
  5. Wake up feeling even worse, including a fever (two days before defense).
  6. Go to health services first thing in the morning, where the doctor confirms that yes, a viral infection went bacterial on you (two days before defense).

I feel better than I did this morning, which isn't hard. I'm kind of glad that I have a bacterial infection, because at least I can take antibiotics which will quickly clear it up. I just hope I can talk in 39 hours, because my throat is killing me now.

I do not recommend this.
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I've been watching the movie Rent in bits and pieces, and finally finished it. I found it sort of disappointing, and I'm not sure if it's because of the adaptation -- I saw it on stage in 1998 or '99, and it was awesome -- or because I'm older and more cynical. I was in high school when the musical came out, and at the time it felt really refreshing. Now I just roll my eyes at parts of it -- ooh, they're so bold and bohemian because they eat Indian food! Please.

More spoilery comments...  )

I did come away from the movie with a total crush on Idina Menzel, so there's always that.

And in other movie news, Cyd Charisse just died. I think I may need to watch Singin' in the Rain again to commemorate her, and at the very least, she is fabulous in this:
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I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last night.

WARNING. Big honking spoilers behind this lj cut. )

And while I'm complaining, I don't like the new favicon that Google is using -- that super-serif'd lowercase g. The capital G was so much cleaner!

On the plus side, I love Jim Broadbent! I hope that someone makes a movie of Connie Willis's Doomsday Book or To Say Nothing of the Dog, just so he can play Mr. Dunworthy.
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  1. I got an email today from the Body Shop with a free shipping code with a purchase of $29 or more. Great! I need more face wash, and . . . the code expires on February 29. Of 2008. Well done, Body Shop.

  2. This Mark Trail strip really pisses me off. Now, I only read it ironically, so I'm not entirely clear on this, but I thought that part of the goal of the strip was to teach the kiddies to respect animals and nature. Maybe I'm being bizarrely touchy about this, but pets are not interchangeable. Excuse me, I have to go hug Doc now.

  3. I'm giving a short talk on Friday, which is good because it's forcing me to put together stuff that's going into the short paper (Chapter 3 of the thesis!) that I'm writing right now.

  4. I have to submit the talk by 1 p.m. Thursday. This is sort of annoying, yes. But my students have an exam on Friday morning, meaning that my Thursday afternoon is free, free, free!* I'm going to get a pedicure, and we might finally make it down to First Thursday, which we always forget about until about the second week of the month.

  5. I've started using Twitter. I'm still not sure what to make of it, but there it is.

I hope the rest of my week makes a little more sense.

* It also meant that my week was very top-heavy -- I spent the weekend and yesterday writing lectures and a midterm and working on the talk and aaaaaah.


Mar. 3rd, 2008 10:18 am
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Today I went to buy a card for a friend who just had a baby. The front of the card is a drawing of the night sky, with the moon and some stars, and says "a thousand lullabies." The inside says "congratulations." See if you can guess what the card was filed under at the store.







"Baby boy."

Because the night sky is blue, and blue is for boys!


I'm sure that my friends and their newborn daughter will like the card just fine.

Oh no!

Feb. 16th, 2008 08:06 pm
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Just as I'm back to feeling like a normal human being again, the eeee! is sick! Alas. No surprise that he caught my bug from hell, although these things never strike him as hard as they strike me.

So we're not up to much this weekend. Other than corralling dogs, since on top of Doc we have his parents' dog this weekend while they're in San Francisco.

I did make hummus today, and it was awesome. (That is an excellent recipe, by the way -- all the proportions are just right.) It might be the only thing I've accomplished today, but it was definitely tasty!

Alright, now to curl up and watch some Arrested Development. Some three-day weekend we're having.
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I'm completely prepared for whatever medical calamity might befall me in Burma -- got my shots, I have a cipro prescription, you name it.

I was not prepared to get food poisoning after the party I went to last night. (Or maybe it's a horrible allergic reaction to the cinnamon in the mulled wine.) I've never had food poisoning, at least not like this before. Oh god.

I've moved from watered-down ginger ale to gatorade, so that's progress. But our flight is in eleven hours. Fuck.

Edited to note: I'm up to Cheerios now, with 9 1/2 hours to go! Woo!
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Things here are going well! I feel so much better today, so I can stop diagnosing myself with pneumonia and bronchitis and whooping cough and tuberculosis. I do still sound like crap, though. Which was entertaining, because I had the following exchange about a dozen times today:

Random Person: Oh my god, you sound awful! Are you okay?
Me: I feel great! You should have heard me yesterday . . . why are you slowly backing away from me?

Ah, good times. I will be taking it easy this weekend, to make sure I fully recover. (I can't remember the last time I had to stay home from work for three days, egad.) I am still going to hockey games, and the eeee! has asked me to please not yell. I will try! I can't promise anything, though.

It is really bizarre that on Sunday, when I was last, you know, with it, it was 50 F and sunny. It was a beautiful fall day! Today, I leave the apartment again, and it's snowing! WTF? It was just very odd for the seasons to practically change while I was sick.

I also talked to my dad tonight, which is always fun. And he confirmed the statistic that we know only five other Democratic families in my hometown (and it's not like we don't know lots of people). You all probably thought I was exaggerating, but I can list them.

Now I'm going to have some wine and cheese with The Office, and enjoy an evening that's devoid of violent coughing fits. Hooray! And I'm going to stop editing this entry now, really.


Jul. 2nd, 2007 07:55 pm
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Things that have frustrated me lately:

1. I broke the carafe to my 4-cup coffeemaker last week, and haven't found a replacement yet. Mr. Coffee carries the replacement online, but shipping is $10. For $20 I could buy a new 4-cup coffeemaker! I can't find a replacement in the stores (mine is apparently an older model), and it's not much cheaper on eBay. Do I pay the $20 for the new carafe? Do I get a new coffeemaker (if I can find a 4-cup coffeemaker, because apparently nowadays you can only buy a coffeemaker the size of your house)? Do I spend the $20 on a stovetop espresso maker? Or do I just drink tea for the next six months? I'm just so annoyed by this stupid disposable culture. Argh!

2. I was taking some pictures today outside, and got home to discover that they were ruined by a few strands of my hair in the picture. They're blurred across the entire frame, so I can't exactly crop or clone them out. I guess now I know to always wear my hair back when taking pictures. (Hopefully the sign I was taking the pictures of will still be there tomorrow!)

2.5 Oh man, do I need a haircut.

3. Bush commuted Libby's sentence. DAMMIT.

Life is otherwise good; these three things are just really driving me mad.
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For various reasons, I was reading up on the Christian-themed distribution of Ubuntu someone put together, and it is honest-to-God hosted at What Would Jesus Download?. Awesome.

I'm not going to knock the Christian Ubuntu, which has all sorts of Bible-related software (okay, I don't know why they can't just package the Christian-related software, instead of putting together the entire Ubuntu distribution, but whatever). And I give the site some props for having Catholic-related links, instead of using the word "Christian" to mean "evangelical Protestant".

But I can't make heads or tails of this cartoon:

WTF? The eeee! thinks they're supposed to be condoms. Are they gay condoms? Are they supposed to be a gay stereotype? I'm not entirely sure what's going on in that cartoon, but I don't like it.
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Right now it's 9 F (-13 C) out, with a wind chill of -13 F (-25 C). And guess who has to take Doc out in the cold because the eeee! is on his way to L.A.? And who will have to do it tomorrow with the predicted high of 5 F (-15 C)?

I don't know how he does it. Sure, next winter we'll probably be living in California, but that doesn't help me now.

Meanwhile, this has me in the mood to read The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, or maybe Servants of the Map, by Andrea Barrett. I don't know why I want to curl up inside, safe from the frigid winter, and read about frigid winters. Maybe because I'm already halfway to the setting, and I'll be able to dive right in and lose myself in the book.
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I woke up yesterday morning with a raging sore throat, and I've been miserable ever since -- I went into work today to give my practice AAS talk, but that was it. It's frustrating, because there's so much stuff I wanted to get done before leaving for break, and if I'd just held out for TWO MORE DAYS . . . sigh. At least this way maybe I'll feel better by Christmas.

Meanwhile, at least it's cozy inside. And I like that we have excuses to light an Advent wreath at dinner and light Hannukah candles -- it's nice to be part of old traditions of celebrating light this time of year. (Maybe we could have a Yule log if we ever got the damn chimney cleaned!)

So I'm drinking lots of tea, and the eeee! and I are watching Elf, which so far is pretty cute. ("The gnomes drank too much . . .") There are worse ways to spend the first evening of winter.
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I put the pictures of my comments on the Physics Today letters on Flickr, starting here. Enjoy, I suppose!

Right now I'm avoiding writing Christmas cards while watching A Muppet Christmas Carol. Whee!

The eeee! gets back in 48 hours. Yay! I'm really happy about this, and not just because in the past two weeks I've set a potholder on fire and melted a spatula to a frying pan.

Tomorrow night is the grad student holiday party, and then on Saturday I'm going down to my parents' for the day for our family Christmas party. That is a looong round trip for one day, but luckily I'm carpooling with a few cousins. But before tomorrow night I have to buy crackers and cheese (family party) and wine (grad party) and a general gift-exchange gift (grad party) and a fruit basket gift (family party) and a birthday card (family party). Ack!

Oh well. Some hot chocolate will probably hit the spot right now.
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I just spent about half an hour editing the letters in the Dec. 06 issues of Physics Today. With a motherfucking red sharpie. And hung it up on my office door.

Damn, that felt good.

And now, back to work, which I will clearly fail at because I'm not a math genius! And because I'm genetically predisposed to a more people-oriented career! And because my biological rhythm doesn't match my career and I'm going to go extinct anyways! (. . . what?)
rms10: (seaurchin)
I'm in a bit of a reading funk right now. I've finished three books recently:

  • Queen of Babble, by Meg Cabot. This worked perfectly as a fun, escapist read. (It was perhaps easy for me, living in the town where the main character is from.) There were some very funny lines in it, but the main character annoyed me. She was just incredibly un-trustworthy! Why were people friends with her? Otherwise, a perfect beach read.

  • Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer. I loved this book, much more than I expected to. Krakauer has excellent pacing in his writing, and I could not put this book down. I'm also a sucker for the behind-the-scenes logistics of big operations like climbing Everest, so I enjoyed the book for that, too. But damn, climbing Everest is only the craziest thing on this planet.

  • Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell. I really enjoyed this -- it was a pleasant read that I could dip into every once in a while. As I mentioned over on Chicklit, I was really fascinated by the relationship between Cynthia and her mother. Cynthia could be so cruel to her mother -- although I could never tell if Mrs Gibson caught some of those barbs -- but she was also so desperate for love. (And I confess that I told the eeee! one night that I was reading "the Victorian version of Gilmore Girls".)

And that's it, in the past month. I've started Howards End, and I like it so far, but for whatever reason I'm not in the mood to decipher class issues, so it just makes me cranky. I also started Shoal of Time: a history of the Hawaiian Islands, by Gavan Daws, but it's more detailed than what I wanted -- I'm just skimming it, really.

That leaves me with rereading Eats, Shoots and Leaves, which I adore, but there's not much left of it. I suppose that I can play around on Flickr with all the time that I'm not spending reading. (And if any of you can recommend some cool Flickr groups, I wouldn't complain!)
rms10: (boggle)
[personal profile] starfishchick gave me the letter D, and I'm finally posting about 10 things that begin with the letter D. If you want a letter, just leave a comment!

D is for . . .  )
rms10: (boggle)
I just finished The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro, and it was wonderful. It's beautifully written, and the unreliable narration was perfect. I really can't say anything about this book that will do it justice, but I highly, highly recommend it.

I've stalled on the last two books I've started -- Cat's Eye, by Margaret Atwood, and Half-Asleep in Frog Pajamas, by Tom Robbins. I'm reading the Atwood for the Chicklit book club, and although I usually love Atwood, I just don't care about this book at all. I'm halfway through it, and I probably wouldn't be reading it if I weren't 2500 miles away from all my other books. The Robbins book was a Christmas present from the eeee!, who gave it to me mainly because of the title -- I have a pair of Kermit the Frog pajama pants, and apparently I'm often half-asleep in them. Anyway, it's okay so far, but not great. Again, I wouldn't be reading it if I weren't in Berkeley right now.

I'm not sure if I'm in a bit of a reading funk, or if I just haven't been choosing my books carefully. I think it's the latter.

You'd think that with my limited reading material I'd have finished my stats homework by now. Ha! No. I hope to do that tonight, though, even though I'm very tempted by the prospect of re-reading The Remains of the Day. The beauty of an unreliable narrator is that you then have to read the book twice!

Meanwhile, debugging serial code is a walk in the park compared to debugging parallel code. Argh.

Hot jello!

Jan. 8th, 2006 08:04 pm
rms10: (lava)
Transitional paragraphs, don't talk to me about transitional paragraphs.

  1. I have the fluuuuuuuuuuu. Bleargh. Today's the first day since Thursday that I've been able to eat solid food. Today is also the first day I've been able to handle anything more intellectually stimulating than Project Runway or What Not to Wear. Seriously, I tried to flip through a Lucky magazine yesterday and couldn't do it.

  2. Go Steelers! During the first half, I was mentally composing a post berating the Steelers' offense for not learning how to deal with a loud crowd from the debacle at Indianapolis, and berating the Steelers' secondary defense for generally sucking.

  3. My mom and I are going to a bridal show in Cleveland next Sunday, and are making plans to get there right at 10 so we can catch as much of the game as possible. We had a serious discussion about whether to wear our Steelers' gear to the bridal show, but concluded that we could change in the car afterwards.

  4. The eeee! leaves tomorrow for D.C.

  5. Tomorrow, I will still have the flu. But at least I've been improving since Friday.

  6. My teeth hurt. I don't have a sweet tooth, but I've been eating jello and drinking apple juice and putting lots of honey in my tea for the last four days. Brushing my teeth is seriously not enough here.

  7. Are my dad and I the only people who drink hot jello when we're sick? You know, you mix up the jello, and then take a mug-full of it before sticking the bowl in the fridge to set. It's tasty! And sometimes easier to keep down than solid jello, if you're that sick. I thought everyone did this, but the eeee! was thoroughly disgusted to see me grab a mug of hot jello when he made some this afternoon.

  8. Blah.
rms10: (seaurchin)
Right now, I have water heating up in the microwave for tea, and then I have to rush out the door to cover a friend's lab. Of all the nights to cover a lab, it just had to be tonight.

I am freezing. 33 F is not normally a temperature that I consider cold, but it is also damp out there. Ugh. It didn't help that I had to wait 20 minutes for the bus on the way home, so my feet got cold, and then I took Doc for a brisk walk, so my feet then got sweaty. I'm sure you all can imagine exactly how delightful that was. My toenails were purple when I changed my socks.

Then, after dinner, I noticed that I was still cold. It was fairly warm this morning, so I never turned up the heat. And I'm all for conserving energy, but 65 F is too low when it's only 33 F outside. Oh, to stay at home tonight in the finally-warm house and curl up with Doc and a cup of tea, or take a bubble bath . . . or, hell, even work on my comp sci homework and burn with frustration.

But, no, the microwave just beeped, so now it's off for the rotation of spiral galaxies lab! Sigh.
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I never paid attention to the people bemoaning how the Internet has killed the art of letter-writing, but after an unsuccessful search for stationery (NOT NOTE CARDS) I am ready to kill my router. I went to Border's and Barnes & Noble, and all the stationery was excessively frilly and frou-frouy. The only stuff that was clean and classic was way out of my price range. The note cards weren't much better, either, so I left without getting anything. Any recommendations for stationery (or, alright, note cards) that's nice, not too plain, but still appropriate for writing to grandparents? (I scanned the Levenger site, because it's my porn, but all they have nowadays are personalized index cards! If Levenger has given up on the fine art of letter-writing, we might all be screwed.)

I must admit that my trip out wasn't entirely unsuccessful, as the people at Border's deactivated my coat! I'd noticed that I kept setting off the beeper in Kroger when I left, but I assumed it was because I was lazy when I used the self-checkout and didn't swipe my groceries on the rubber pad thingy after scanning them. Then I set the beeper off when I entered Border's, and as I was leaving I went to the cashiers to apologize. I've had my coat since November, but they thought it might be due to a magnetic strip in the lining which hadn't been properly deactivated. Sending just the coat through the scanner did set it off, so they deactivated my coat at the counter. Hooray! Especially considering I didn't even buy anything at the store.

March 2013



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