dchenes: (katana)
I am emotionally impossible, and that's all there is to it. I knew that, but this week it's amusing me. Or maybe the weather is making me more impossible than usual.

I got the $273 Apple Store gift card in exchange for my old laptop, and now I have to decide what to spend most of it on. I know I want a CD/DVD drive, and I want a sleeve that doesn't do double duty as a cat bed. But after that, what do I really need? I already have an external drive I use for backups, and I have more spare sets of earbuds than I have ears to put them in.

The fact that there are now three other people in our office who are fluent in French, and wander between French and English just because they can, is reminding me how much my fluency has slipped. I can still understand it, and I can still read it, but I have to think about verb tenses these days. I probably ought to do something about that. At least I can still understand the questions I get in French, although I mostly have to answer in English.

One of my great-grandfathers lived mostly on soup and pie. I wonder how long I could live on sushi and seltzer?
dchenes: (katana)
I still seem to want to wake up (the first time) between 3:00 and 4:00, but hopefully I can get over that by the end of this weekend. It did come in handy this morning, though, because I woke up and my alarm clock was blinking 2:30 at me. Apparently the power went out just enough to kill the alarm clock. So I reset it and went back to sleep. I have no idea when I would have woken up if the alarm hadn't gone off.

Besides that minor anomaly, I think things are back to mostly normal again, and the next thing on The List is the shoulder. It's getting better, but it's doing it very slowly, and there's a lot of range of motion I don't have that I think I could improve upon with different exercises. The general guidelines for healing time is 3-6 months, and six months would be the end of August. I don't want it to be that long.

Last weekend I bought a book in French, because I can still read French and because I was interested in the subject (and because, since I now have all the academic degrees in French I'm ever going to get, I'm allowed to read books by living authors who aren't Making A Statement About Something). The book is called HHhH and it's half about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in WWII and half about the process of writing the book. It isn't actually funny, but it's made me laugh twice so far: once when I discovered that "zoom" in French is a regular verb (je zoome, tu zoomes...), and once when the author described Himmler as a hamster with Hitler's mustache and then referred to him as "the hamster" two paragraphs later.

I can read French a lot faster when I read it in French, instead of trying to translate it as I read. Unfortunately, my brain defaults to translating it and I keep having to remind myself to stop doing that and just read it. It's comforting that I can do that when I remind myself, so I haven't lost all the skills I ever had. All the language skills I use these days are in English, and most of them are in scientific writing (which I never actually learned, and am picking up by exposure and osmosis). But at least three articles I've done heavy revisions on have been published, so I must be doing it reasonably well. I still am not a statistician, however, so the current article is giving me fits. I'm supposed to be writing the Results and Discussion sections, and while I can figure out what the data analysis says, there are so many variables that I haven't a clue what the analysis means. Maybe I need a Statistics for Dummies book.
dchenes: (katana)
So I can find it again when I want it: http://www.incrediblethings.com/art-design/how-to-sneeze-in-other-languages/

Yesterday should have been a snow day. 10" of snow qualifies. However, Harvard's only concession was to close the dental clinic at 3:00, so I got to sit around all day. Today the power went out for 20 minutes, for no reason that anybody can come up with. I observed that if they send us home for lack of fire alarms, the day after they should have sent us home for weather, I would be mildly amused. But here I sit.

The cooking bug has bitten me again. I want to make fennel-and-blood-orange salad, and I want to do something with farro and a pound or so of mushrooms, and...and then I get home at night and don't cook anything, because it's dark out and I'm tired and I'm cold and I want dinner fifteen minutes ago. Fortunately there's a weekend coming up one of these days.
dchenes: (katana)
There are, it seems, a ridiculous number of dental schools in Central and South America. I've got a list of 800 dental schools and it seems like most of them are in Brazil, Mexico, or some other place that means its web site will either be in Spanish or in Portuguese. Fortunately I can mostly figure out where to find contact information in those languages; I gave up on the German ones because they're all medical schools and I don't know the German for "dentistry". I think it's a multi-word term that's abbreviated ZMK, but I could be wrong about that. I was also wrong about the Indonesian sites; those were easy once I figured out that "Fakultas Kedokteran Gigi" means "Dental School". Generally speaking, if a language uses the alphabet I'm accustomed to, I can figure it out. Except for German.

The reason I got saddled with this list is so I can send them spam, pretty much. We're having a continuing education course in April and my boss wants an international audience. So I'm supposed to be finding contact info for all of these dental schools so I can send them the course brochure and registration form. I do NOT want to know what my inbox will look like when a third of the email addresses bounce (although 600 schools down the list I've only got 165 email addresses, so it could be worse).

In other news, last night I stayed up until 1:00 this morning. Overall that was a bad idea, but I was having fun. I was assembling my Lego Millennium Falcon (the reward for losing all that weight), up until I did something wrong and couldn't figure it out. When I looked at the clock I said "Oh, that's why." Hopefully when I get home tonight, I'll be able to fix whatever the problem is, and then I'll have an entire Lego Millennium Falcon. I can't remember the last time I bought myself a new toy and didn't mean that figuratively.
dchenes: (Default)
Hepatology != Hematology, and Hepatology != Herpetology

So yes, the person in question is a liver specialist, not a blood disease specialist or a reptile specialist.

And yes, it took me three tries to get it right. Must be Monday.
dchenes: (Default)
Given "carpenter bees" and "badminton racquet", I leave it to you all to figure out why I haven't been able to stop snickering for the last fifteen minutes.
dchenes: (Default)
I heard this from my father, but he got it from somewhere else.


Following her wedding, an old-fashioned girl crawled into bed for the first time beside her new husband. She snuggled up to him and was surprised at his lack of response. In fact, he rolled over and began to fall asleep.

“So why aren’t we going to make love on our wedding night?” she asked finally.

He replied, “Because it’s Lent."

“Lent!” she exclaimed, dismayed. “To whom? And for how long?”
dchenes: (Default)
I had an extremely weird dream last night involving a college class in Korean, 55 pages of Korean grammar exercises in English, and a Korean/French dictionary (which I used to fill out the grammar exercises, in French, since I didn't understand the Korean).

Speaking of things I don't understand, one of them is me. If I don't want to end up as a crazy cat lady, I had better sit down one of these days and figure out what exactly I want, anyway, and whether what I want is actually possible, or whether I'm happier not chasing something impossible and ending up as a crazy cat lady anyway.

(Wow. Run-on sentence, much?)

oh dear...

Jan. 14th, 2009 11:39 am
dchenes: (Default)
Given that:

- Arisia takes place in the winter, and
- A lot of people get sick in the winter anyway, and
- Particularly so after being in a hotel for a weekend with so many other people and their various grues,

Could any two people who get sick after Arisia be considered congruent?
dchenes: (Default)
Am I the only one who isn't having a rather severe case of Monday? My day so far has been downright pleasant. So much so that I'm considering braving the mall after work, because the second of my two old pairs of jeans is giving up its inseams in a rather dramatic fashion.

On a semi-related note, there's got to be something I can use the rest of that pair of jeans for. The fabric everywhere but the inseams is still perfectly fine.

The Kennebunkport Brewing Company should've called their darker beer Kennebunkporter. But they didn't, so I didn't buy any yesterday.
dchenes: (Default)
The reason Lily's favorite window is her favorite is because it looks out on a pine tree which is usually full of sparrows. It occurred to me today that she likes to look out at the smorgasbird.
dchenes: (Default)
(Why isn't productivity the opposite of conductivity?)

I've got to get back into the habit of wanting to cook things with more than three ingredients. I just threw together stirfry for lunch this week, and now I wish I hadn't eaten dinner, because it smells good and I've got leftovers. And I didn't adhere more than one layer of rice to the bottom of the rice cooker. I got this rice cooker secondhand, and I think I know why. Last time a good half-inch of rice stuck so hard I had to soak it off.

The other things I did today were: go to the Super 88 (sorry, [livejournal.com profile] quezz, I didn't see your reply until after I'd come back) and pick up the art I'd taken to be framed two weeks ago. Framing is still expensive, but I feel better having these two things framed, finally. Both are prints I got from various Arisias. Now I need somebody to come hold my hand while I hang pictures and remind me that the entire wall isn't going to fall down just because I'm putting a picture hanger in it. The hangup (pardon the pun) about that is yet another complex I got from living in Roxbury. I'm starting to really resent the number of bad habits I acquired from the second year of living there.

I was supposed to clean things today, but that got put off in favor of doing what I wanted to instead of what I should've done. That felt good, but I'll never get this place clean all at once that way.
dchenes: (Default)
Baseball: yay. (I’m largely indifferent to baseball results, which is practically a travesty in this city.)

Football: yay! (Enough with the perpetual hype about the invincible Peyton Manning.)

Weekend: Good weekend. On Saturday I found a really good pumpkin for carving next weekend and hung around with people and went on a minor expedition out Concord way for no particular reason, and came home and found My Fair Lady on one of the old-movie channels I seem to get these days, so stayed up late watching that. I hadn’t seen it in years, and I forgot the couple of places where they really hit you upside the head with Pygmalion references.

On Sunday I ended up back at Wilson Farms again for my semiannual overindulgence in vegetables, demonstrated what the big deal is about cider donuts (they’re best when they’re warm), discovered (a) that Penzey’s is open on Sundays and (b) that Penzey’s is a place I should remember, bought about six kinds of spices that inspired various thoughts about cooking, filled up my sinuses with one spice blend I really didn’t like (which then made everything after it smell funny), came home and found The King and I on a different old-movie channel and watched that (the other old-movie channel was playing From Here to Eternity; I guess it was a tribute weekend since Deborah Kerr died last week).

This morning I had a terrible time getting going. The bus waited for me to run down the block, partly due to the traffic light and partly due to the two other people who were also running for the bus from different directions than I was. Just after Washington Square, we hit the aftermath of a fire truck blocking traffic in Brookline Village, and it took 15 minutes longer than usual to get to work.

I’m starting my annual resentment of the fact that it gets dark at dinnertime. My natural inclination is to stay up late and sleep late, but I also like daylight.

Random thought: why isn’t “intensive” the opposite of “extensive”? [ETA: I suppose it is, if you think in terms of college courses. You can take an intensive course, or extensive regular courses.]
dchenes: (Default)
I have no idea what the answer to this question is, but it's been bugging me for ages now.

Which is correct:

1. "Proposal to appoint John Q. Public, M.D., as Professor of Medicine"
2. "Proposal to appoint John Q. Public, M.D. as Professor of Medicine"

If it were "proposal to appoint John Q. Public, superhero, as Professor of Medicine", it would need the comma. But since M.D. is a title, I don't know what to do with it.

Opinions?
dchenes: (Default)
This cracked me up all over the place:

"Everything in Canada is in Vancouver, except when it's in Toronto, in which case it's in Pittsburgh."

Yes, it does make sense... )

*crunch*

Nov. 29th, 2006 04:14 pm
dchenes: (Default)
I am an idiot. I should never have said I could get this translation done today, when today is the day after the SOP meeting.

I really hope R.A.F. stands for "rémunération annuelle forfaitaire", because if it doesn't, I have no idea what it does stand for (in French, at least. I knew, even before Google decided to tell me umpteen times, that it stands for Royal Air Force, but I don't care about the Royal Air Force right now.).

Just to add to the day, the powers that be have decided that the committee meeting about which I said "ain't no way it's gonna happen on Friday" is too gonna happen, so I had to send the packets out today. Good thing I had most of it assembled already and it was only a matter of making copies and re-assembling things in the right order. It still took me an hour, though.

At least I managed to call the dentist's office today. I've only been trying to do that for about three or four weeks now...
dchenes: (Default)
Gotta love the internet...

At the festive family event yesterday, there was a football game on. (There's always a football game on at this particular festive family event.) This led to a conversation between me and my father as to how you say "holding" in French, and that led me to the Canadian Football League web site, and lo and behold, they had a page in French that lists all the penalties and the silly gymnastics the referees do to indicate penalties.

Fall is all well and good in terms of not being humid any more, but I really don't like the period between now and November (when the heat finally gets turned on) when I get out of bed in the middle of the night and get back into bed in less than five minutes and the bed is cold already. And the bathroom floor is freezing, and the bathtub is freezing when I get in the shower in the morning. Wearing shoes in my own personal shower is just silly. (Yet another reason why I want to move next fall.)

I suppose I should make a token effort at doing something useful this morning. I am at work, after all.
dchenes: (Default)
In the process of researching potential evaluators' ranks for a committee, I ran across a Dr. Wah Chiu, professor of biochemistry, and haven't stopped snickering yet.

Yes, I admit it, I'm 12.

word games

Aug. 18th, 2006 09:52 am
dchenes: (Default)
All jokes about sick birds aside, what exactly is the difference between "unlawful" and "illegal"? I get the impression that for something to be illegal, there specifically has to be a law against it. "Unlawful" seems to have a moral or social, rather than legal, connotation to it. So the government wiretap program is unlawful to begin with and has just been found illegal besides. Am I right?
dchenes: (Default)
One of the things I have to keep track of for everybody who's getting promoted is a list of comparable people. Most of the time I get names, but not degrees or titles (it would help if the committee would actually send me the lists when I ask for them). I've spent a good chunk of this morning so far trying to track down degrees and titles for comparable people in Finland and Norway. It's all sorts of fun trying to figure out which link on a page in Norwegian might get you where you want to be going. I'm just linguistically competent enough to try it. I didn't try it in Finnish, but Finnish is incomprehensible, and their link to the English pages was easier to find, too.
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