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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 03:58pm on 13/12/2008
It is so cold in this office that my toes are numb, and have been for hours.

It is so cold in this office that I have not actually undressed after coming in from outside-- my scarf is still on and, though unbuttoned, my coat is still on.

It is so cold in this office that the above is the case even with the space heater on full-blast and the door closed to help conserve heat.

It is so cold in this office that I occasionally like to regain limberness in my fingers, and so take apart the toner printer in order to cradle the parts closest to where, at 180ºF, the toner particles get fused to paper. Mmm, warm plastic, dusty pieces of printer.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 05:35pm on 08/12/2008
Frogs (the play I have translated in part over the course of this semester) is named thus because it features a chorus of frogs. These frogs, like all choruses, speak inscrutably, sometimes with four lines comprised of nothing but nouns. It's a headache--

And that whole headache business becomes vaguely meta when, at some point, they went on about an ὄχλος κραιπαλόκωμος (very roughly, OCH-los kry-pah-LOW-koh-mos) wandering past their "sacred precinct" during some festival or other. An ὄχλος is a crowd or mob, and κραιπαλόκωμος is an adjective meaning approximately "rambling in hung-overishly-drunk revelry", derived from κῶμος (KOH-mos), meaning a reveling crowd à la Ste-Catherine's when the bars close, and κραιπάλη (kry-PAH-lay), meaning the headache one gets from being drunk, otherwise known as a hang-over.

From κραιπάλη, through the Latin cognate crapula, we get the English word "crapulous".

So, for the record, "crapulous" isn't just the product of somebody having been ingenious with the word "crap". It's a bona fide example of the nefarious effects of Dionysian shenanigans. Now you know.
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It has improved my mood quite a bit!

This park compound in Tasmania might take the cake.

Oh, how I laughed. It's just so bombastically threatening. (Sometimes, it's the unfortunate translations into English that make a sign pure gold. Other times, it's the nature of that which gets printed on the sign.) For those who do not read French, that last third on the bottom reads: If you have any ideas about blocking this gate... Forget it...!!! Our elephants will come flatten your rental car like the crêpes which we serve !! Thank you !!

I'd be interested to know how the German varies from the English, too.

And one can only wonder about the bizarre codified accent on the bottom. Is it calling us a hick? Is it vaguely offensive? Who knows?
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 04:18pm on 02/12/2008
I am not sure what is signalled by the fact that I find going on howstuffworks.com and looking at all the videos of ways the world probably won't end to be very soothing.

Antimatter bomb? At a couple trillion dollars to produce an ounce of the stuff, not likely.

A black hole? Theoretically yes, but we'd have centuries of warning of a roaming black hole, and the one closest to us (1400 lightyears away) seems quite content to stay put.

A massive solar flare? Theoretically yes, but more likely an X-class flare will just set shit on fire, as they have in the past.

Sometimes it feels good to rule out these extravagant extraterrestrial doomsday scenarios, if only to momentarily alleviate how awfully one feels about the fact that humans can reliably be counted on to destroy the world.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 11:14am on 22/11/2008
Some of us cook ducks for American Thanksgiving.

Some of us are girlfriends to people who amass 15 friends and host the first annual "Thanks-Springsteen" Americana-themed vegan potluck. Complete with strict dress code of white t-shirts and blue jeans.

I bought a mass of red curled ribbon from the dollar store (originally destined to have adorned a Christmas gift). I will attempt to affix it to my pony tail for maximum faux-cum-cheesy patriotism.

Did you know that Hamburger Helper comes in TWO perfectly vegan varieties? Now you do. Italian Herb and Chili Macaroni. I'm opting for the Chili Macaroni; it has OLD EL PASO SPICES.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 09:46pm on 13/11/2008
Point the First: I concede that Twitter MAY have some utility. The Prime Minister of Australia is on it. If he actually pays attention to replies and real-time feedback to current events/the workings of government/etc., it would prove to be a very fantastic move on his part.

Point the Second: I have managed to somehow nick a very small piece of skin off my chin. (It was an accident; I barely know how I managed it; don't ask.) It is now bleeding non-stop. Gone is one of the few perks of being female, as I stick a piece of toilet paper to my face. (Kidding about the 'few' part. Of course.)

Point the Third: As I finally gave up hope of finding reasonable riding-ish boots at a reasonable price (i.e., less than $485, which was how much the top competitors were), on Wednesday afternoon after several hours of trudging about downtown Edmonton, I went to catch my bus home and, on the sign of the church across the street, read the words: 'WELL DONE, GOOD AND TRUSTWORTHY SLAVE...' Now, it is no secret that the Koine uses the words for 'master' (δεσπότης [desPOtehs], "master" or "lord" or "owner", or, as in this particular passage, Matthew 25:23, κύριος [KOUrios], the adjective "having power or authority over" used substantively) in lieu of God/some permutation of God. But all modern (and not-so-modern) English Bibles I know of use the nearly euphemistic "servant" instead of "slave" (the latter being what the Koine says; δοῦλος [DOOlohs], translating literally as "one who is born into slavery, a born bondsman"-- there is a separate word for those who are taken slaves instead of being born slaves), and "faithful" instead "trustworthy", so I can say honestly that I haven't a clue where they got this translation. But, even for me, who at least understands the literal origin of this phrasing, it was quite... curious to read on a church sign. And not without a wee cynical smile on my part, I admit.

Point the Fourth: I decided the use the money I didn't spent on boots to put towards a leather jacket, as mine retired at the end of last winter after 5 years of excellent service. I figured it was a wiser use of my funds, since it's something of which I will get both long-lasting and rigourous use. Also it's sexay, which is a nice bonus. And will look killer with the boots I ALREADY have, namely my Fryes. ;)
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 02:13pm on 09/11/2008
In light of having dress pants and skirts and other work-stuff to wear all winter, none of which works at all with my Fryes (awkward pants-half-in-pants-half-out-of-boot-ness), I have been casually looking for knee-high boots. Simple, vaguely riding-inspired knee-high boots.

Found the perfect embodiment of what I wanted.

They happen to cost ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. This is a recurring theme in my life, as you all are well aware-- this whole "I really just want a basic idea for my shoes, just this really simple and nice idea, so explain to me why putting this simple idea to leather ends up costing mind-boggling amounts of money" business. This society sometimes unveils its rabbit-hole character and, for me, it just so happens that it mostly does it when I'm trying to find footwear.

I will now go start re-reading Germinal and attempt to get sane-feeling again.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 07:56pm on 05/11/2008
This week has been shit. Skipped all classes today for this term paper o' mine, which I bitterly regret. Only the 2nd time I've missed Greek/Latin (1st time was for uterus woes, which both teachers know about, so this is the 1st unwarranted/unexplained missed class), and I have no doubt in my mind that I won't end up missing any more (I am plague-resistant now that I'm on my current "diet"-- in quotes to denote I don't imply anything weight-loss-ey about it). But this whole week still feels like everything is sliding downhill.

I hate downhill-sliding. Downhill-sliding is not my friend.

Seriously, I feel like a lumpy toad in a miring marsh of feeling discontent. (That was inelegant.)

ETA: I appear to be taking my discontent out on this term paper. It is now at nearly 2400 words out of 1500, and I still have a last big topic/conclusion to cover. My poor professor.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 07:43am on 03/11/2008
So it looks like cats are kept with an actual purpose, in Edmonton.

That purpose woke me up with plastic chewing noises, then darted under the fridge, then ran from under the fridge to under the radiator in the corner. And may or may not still be there.

Now, I'm not afraid of this purpose, per se-- it is small and brownish-grey and altogether rather cute. But it is probably not the cleanest thing in the world and, frankly, facing down something skittish and scurrying like that is fucking nerve-wracking at 7:30 in the morning.

I suppose it was only a matter of time after the apartment adjacent mine reported a similar issue. Now my unsubstantiated fears of decomposing matter in the poison traps in my apartment (there are 3, I think; maybe 4) might end up being substantiated. :( This makes me very unhappy. About as unhappy as the idea of mice pillaging my food.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 02:49pm on 01/11/2008
Thank heavens this week is done. Now onto next week: term paper ahoy. It will be a dicey few days.

I am older now. Still not as old as people assume I am. I am also a year into a wonderful relationship. Still not as long into it as people assume. What's up with people? Who knows.

All the red-copper eyeshadow I used around my zombie eyes got into my eyes and now they are red and generally unhappy. I look like a cross between a stoner and a mole.

Roland and I finished watching Prairie Giant today (it's long, had to divide it up into parts). Tommy Douglas has this peculiar ability to make me cry out of gratitude. Seriously. Just thinking about him makes me weepy. Hehe.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 12:02pm on 25/10/2008
So, in light of my inability to wake up in the morning for 100-level courses, I get to teach myself half of the EAS 100 course over the next two days. I will no doubt not fail, but this is science after all, and I am not a science student for a reason.

(I hate rocks.)

(No, that isn't why I'm not a science student, but it IS a true and situationally pertinent statement.)

ETA: And I quote: [...] James Hutton (1726-1797), a Scottish physician and "gentleman farmer". A what now?

ETA 2 (TOTALLY UNRELATED): Alberta, I'm told, has more "biggest in the world" things per capita than any other place in, at the very least, North America. Which makes one wonder. Edmonton has proudly inherited this trait, and continues to this day to commission public "art" projects that are horrifying and, in the case of a massive wind chime that never even worked, complete wastes of time. And now look what they want to do to my bus stop. JESUS CHRIST. I cannot stand this place sometimes.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 11:28am on 18/10/2008
Archaeologists discover the tomb of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, believed to be the inspiration for the movie Gladiator, in the residential area of Saxa Rubra, Rome, after the initial construction of a complex brought to light marble structures.

This is neat. Like, really neat. Everything seems so extraordinarily well-preserved, which the article mentions is thanks to the sealing properties of mud due to a catastrophic flood. M. Nonius Macrinus was a pretty important dude in a lot of ways.

BUT CHECK OUT THIS INSCRIPTION. God, it gives me tingles. New inscriptions are the best. Bless the Romans and their predisposition towards writing shit down for their own posterity at pretty much every available chance.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 10:23am on 18/10/2008
This one is just plain fucking creepy, though. )

I'm told it belongs to the genus Magnapinna and is therefore the third longest cephalopod, tentacle-wise, known to man.

Alas, the camera was no doubt not meant for filming stuff like this, as its panning movements are actually massive jumps, so it can't follow the drifting squid very well. But you still get a good sense of how WTF this critter is.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 10:00am on 11/10/2008
Today I came across, quite randomly and while trying to figure out what happened to the Timeline feature on Facebook (you know, you clicked it and it gave you a year-by-year breakdown of your social life in year-sized chunks?), three words (plus a preposition) that alarmed me:

"Twitter Hall of Fame"

What? The source of the above (the description for an application) also mentioned "Twitter celebrities". Is this for real? I don't have a Twitter and I generally ignore its existence because it holds no appeal for me, so I don't know first-hand what the state of things are, but if so...

How has this even come about? How have we, as a species, degenerated ourselves to the point where we're fetishizing people's ability to blurt out whatever inane or not-so-inane thought happens to occur to them at any given time (and, frankly, too often at "any and all given times")? Why are we at the point at which we are rewarding not intellectual exertion, but intellectual lassitude and verbal diarrhea made virtual?

Man, Web 2.0 has so much creative, stimulating potential. It really has the ability to network people's creatives selves, which I feel exist and need to be nurtured, and which are generally stifled by Life and Responsibilities (including work). And sometimes it feels that all we're doing with this potential is telling people what we had for breakfast and commenting on YouTube videos thousands of times over with the same direct quotes from said videos.

/old-person-rant
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 09:23pm on 06/10/2008
Ever wanted to see My Little Pony reengineered as a Stormtrooper? As Edward Scissorhands? As Cthulhu?

Here y'go.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 11:59am on 04/10/2008
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 10:14am on 27/09/2008
Courtesy of Cato the Elder:

"This corn is well grown and Carthage must be destroyed."

Man, I would love to know what the hell context begged that one.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 12:59pm on 21/09/2008
On the heels of all sorts of brouhaha about sex ed in the States and how it allegedly produces the likes of Sarah Palin's daughter (I'm inclined to think it does, but that isn't the point of this post), an entry in the Edmonton community has drawn my attention:

Reiterating would be pointless, so it is here.

If you know of Scarleteen and you love it and consider it an important resource, please consider doing a little something about it. (I only wish I were aware of its existence when I was in high school. I feel I'd have my head on better, currently, than I do.) I hope to plop some coin down over there in the month of October, when my finances loosen up a wee bit. :)
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 04:18pm on 11/09/2008
I really like my new place. It's very homey. I will hopefully post photos soon.

On a related note, the lack of Internet will drive me bonkers pretty soon. We'll see if I can tough it out. ;)
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 07:19pm on 02/09/2008
Missing lots of little and not-so-little things. Big stuff mostly taken care of (minus washing all the dishes; just got a dish rack, so that will happen tonight). Have blisters on the thumb and index finger of my right hand from assembling furniture.

School starts tomorrow. The less said about that, the better.

Cumulative stress and anxiety saw my body break down yesterday (i.e. Moving Day) in spite of good sleeping habits and good-ish eating habits; unshakable headache, general nausea, sharp pain in left side of neck, articular fatigue, &c. I feel oodles better today, but yesterday was definitely a big ol' red flag.

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