American Rhapsody

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Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax

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Thursday, May 14 2015

The Three Things Your Pub Toilets Need

1. A variety of condom choices. P1020180a.JPG

2. A dementia-related ad. P1020182a.JPG

3. Carpet. P1020181a.JPG

Tuesday, July 1 2014

Life's Alright: A List.

Fifty things I did in June. In alphabetical order.

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Thursday, February 23 2012

Thursday Evening Conversation

I am chatting with a friend from graduate school, who is a few days away from his final defense and fretting a bit. We talk about someone I've met in Germany who now lives in the same Pacific Northwest city where he, his wife, and their five-month-old son are moving to very soon.

Him: "It's crazy to me, that you've been gone long enough to know people who are now themselves gone from your current place. Seems only yesterday that you were here, and all the whole crew was there, and I wasn't even contemplating ever finishing my PhD."

Me: "What's crazy to me is that I've been gone long enough that you and R made an entire five-month-old from scratch. You were barely starting to think about a family and now you've created a whole human being, happily chewing on nylon books and all."

Him: "Point."

Him: "Also the last time I saw you I was giving you a ride to the airport to catch a plane to the very same city we're moving to. How crazy is that?"

Me: "... Everything will be better after you defend, I promise."

Tuesday, January 24 2012


— So, isn't he a bit young?

— Who?

— Garrett[1].

— Young for what?

— For you.

— Well, it's not like if I was planning to date him.

— But you do have a date with him.

— I don't. What are you talking about?

— Guy stops by, chats a minute, puts up a bored face so as not to look too eager, asks whether you want to go for a beer sometime, you say yes and decide on a day and time, and you tell me you don't have a date. How clueless do you think I am?

— Oh. Maybe less than me?

(It's not a date. I think.)


[1] Not his real name, of course.

Tuesday, July 27 2010

Week 6 — Random Thoughts

Three weeks left before I hand in the dissertation. Wish I could spend more time typing at once and be done with it. Still wishing for it to be over much more than worrying about it. Still spending most of my non-working time either dancing or starting to pack. You know what's funny? I think I'm rather happy.

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Tuesday, July 13 2010

Week 8 — Random Thoughts

A lot of week 8 has been spent planning for my soon-to-happen move. I have probably found a company who will ship my boxes without flame throwing a hole in my bank account (will keep you updated), and as a slightly OCD person (cue in snickering from any person who ever shared a living space with me) I find a lot of soothing peace and, to be entirely honest, hints of pleasure, in cleaning out old boxes of stuff and piling books and planning out how many boxes of which dimensions I will need.

Speaking of books: stay tuned, as I might soon try to get rid of a few stack of them by offering them to you for nothing more than the shipping costs. Which might still be a steep price if you live overseas.

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Tuesday, July 6 2010

Week 9 — Random Thoughts

I wanted to try and do an audio recording for this week so as to spare my wrists.

But, I can't be arsed, because I sound whiny and tired, which I am, both, due to the goddamn effing pain and the fact that I want to get things done but everything (from brushing my teeth to washing the dishes to holy goodness, work, let's not even talk about work) takes so much more time and effort than usual that I bore myself halfway through, which is all very inefficient and therefore even more whine-inducing.

Although I must say that I am feeling better as of yesterday, which is good, but not enough. Try again, body.

Therefore, a list.

  • I'm delightfully pleasant, these days;
  • Hence it works out rather well that

- nobody's in lab;
- I have only one roommate left and she's not around much at all this summer;

  • July 4th was a lot of fun (friends, barbecue, kubb, fireworks) and would have been better without

- 2 young Mormons (males), rather reminiscent of whipped puppies, but with the Book of M. tucked under the arm, trying their shy, pitiful proselytism on my 30% amused, 40% irritated and 30% sorry person;
- hours and hours of work;
- inability to play kubb;

  • I know you'll find it hard to have sympathy, but SoCal didn't get the memo about summer and it's

- cold
- dreary
- humid
- even rainy, actually

As a conclusion: go watch a beautifully illustrated takedown of capitalism or a cat on a tortoise.

Tuesday, June 29 2010

Week 10 — Random Thoughts

Week 10 was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Week. Otherwise known as "your body is signaling to you that you are spending too much bloody time at the computer and will you stop using this right hand on a mouse and keyboard already? What is that you said about having a dissertation to write and three research projects to complete? I don't care! Go roll in the freshly cut grass! Chase after butterflies! Swing dance if you must!". I did none of that (except for swing dancing), kept working my ass off while designing ingenious ways of not using my right hand as much, and got myself an appointment with a doctor. Who confirmed the diagnosis, gave me a splint and told me to take ibuprofene and try to reduce my computer usage as much as possible. Excellent timing.

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Tuesday, June 22 2010

Week 11 — Random Thoughts

Week 11 mostly coincided with intermission. The spring quarter is over; undergrads are gone, and many grad students have already left for internships or research stays abroad. Summer session hadn't started yet, which makes it an ideal time for us to go away for a few days. Most eateries have reduced hours (my favorite coffee shop will be closed for the whole summer -- no more bagels for me, as the ones sold at the other places are disgusting). It is a bit hard to adjust to the lack of people, but I appreciate that the park is so much more quiet. So do bunnies, who are all over the freaking place, and dogs, who can now be walked on campus.

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Monday, June 14 2010

Week 12 — Random Thoughts

My final defense will take place 11 weeks from now.

Still I do, sometimes, by mistake, happen to think about other things. Even things that I feel like sharing! Sometimes I post them on Twitter. And sometimes I can't be bothered to make them fit in under 140 characters. So there.

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I read

Mostly detective stories. Occassionally, weird fantasy, theater, or Chinese literature in Italian (I have fantastic friends), real well-written books.

I listen to

Mof Montreal, Caravan Palace, the Ditty Bops, Dango Reinhardt, the National, Minor Majority, Léo Ferré, Beethoven, Sonny Rollins, Laura Marling, Erlend Øye, Hjaltalin, Sufjan Stevens, Yuri Bashmet. And others.

I am

late, I'm late, I'm late for a very important date, delighted by Oscar Wilde (One should always be a little improbable), a little improbable, still very much of a bloody leftist, heathen atheist, and a woman scientist.

Deep Thought

'To leave is to die a little. But to die is to leave a lot' (translated from French)
[Alphonse Allais]

(Almost) Legal Mentions

(Dammit this one joke only works in French. You're missing out.)
Not recommended for children under 36 months.
Please handle carefully.
Beware of the kitty.
Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.*
* Strike out if inapplicable