Across the river, Manhattan shimmered in the moonlight — miles of white buildings sparkling like a forest of fireflies.... Manhattan, a cage of white ribs and a mass of glowing crystal, seemed nearly alive. The beauty in it lifted them far above their enemies and their troubles in the world, as if they were looking at life from the vantage point of the dead. Suddenly overcome with affection for the people they loved, they saw before them the city of sunshine and shadow, now covered in moonlight, and they loved it so much that they wanted to hold it in their arms. (520)It goes on, but you get the idea. Really, the author had me from "...the whole world has poured its heart into the city by the Palisades, and made it far better than it ever had any right to be." That's the third sentence of the Prologue. This book, it does not pull any punches. I am loving it. And life is pretty okay, too.
( These are the top 106 books most often marked as 'unread' by LibraryThing's users (as of whatever day this meme got started because I sure didn't double-check LibraryThing today). Bold indicates what I've read, italics what I started but couldn't finish, and strike through what I couldn't stand. )
In other news, Iggy Pop just jumped up on a wheeled chair such that it slid about a yard into the wall. He was most perplexed, and very cute. Yay my cat!
After much drawing things out as long as possible, mostly by getting stuff from the library and all the sporadic availability that implies, I finally finished watching Angel yesterday, when Netflix brought me the last disc of season 5 (I'd been doing pretty well holding out, but so much cliffhanger!) I may have cried like a little girl here and there, but not as much as Iggy Pop, who canNOT believe all this white stuff that comes out of the sky, but I digress. Today I've been watching special features, and I started writing this entry when the commentary track to season 5 episode 17 ("Underneath") made me laugh out loud. Adam Baldwin of course managed to get everybody (the director, and the writers, one of whom was some kind of producer, and of course I'm too lazy to look up names) talking about Firefly, but when he said "I'm not bitter" it damn near killed me.
Yeah, I'm a dork.
And now I should probably return these overdue DVDs to the library so the next drooling fan can get them.
What's the latest on Wonder Woman again?
Dang! Saudi Arabia just put one in! At half time, it was Tunisia 1, Saudi Arabia 0, and more importantly it was Tunisia's first World Cup goal since their 3-0 victory over Mexico in Argentina 1978, which made them the first African team ever to win a World Cup game. So go them. If I knew how to say "Go Team!" in Arabic, I would. Especially now that it's tied and the U.S. commentators are still a bunch of dickheads, as always. As much as I enjoy disagreeing with them, they're also frequently annoying enough to make me switch to Univision.
In other news, German police have already started arresting Polish soccer hooligans, and I just saw a report that said two rival groups of Polish Hooligans arranged a practice fight before today's match against Germany, which I'll be missing because of work. I have yet to call in late to work on account of the World Cup, but I've been plenty late a few times already. Today I might've been on time except for that last goal, dangit. I should probably just tell work to not expect me in before 11 any time next week.
Ok, really going now.
In case there was any doubt in your mind as to whether I'm a giant dork, the fact that I'm spending my day off organizing our bookshelves ought to help with that indecision problem of yours. The object of the game is to eventually dedicate a shelf to books I haven't finished reading yet, so it'll stare at me when I'm on the couch wasting time online or whatever. (ideath gave me the idea; I'm curious to see how it works out, and I do like that turn of phrase since I've definitely got my work cut out for me with this project.) In the meantime, I've put our two copies of Gödel, Escher, Bach up side by side (Peter found a copy at a used bookstore in Saranac Lake, which of course prompted nedthealpaca to rediscover and return the copy we'd lent him years ago) and it's making me wonder what happened to my other Hofstadter book, Le Ton Beau de Marot. I mean, I'm pretty sure I lent it out to someone at some point, but that's all I've got. So LiveJournal, have you seen my book? It's for the "books I should finish reading at some point" shelf, which may or may not be a good cause...
From springbok1 via her friends list:
"Were there monkeys? Terrifying space monkeys?"
When you see this on your Friends page, quote Firefly in your journal.
P.S. We have our tickets to the midnight opening of Serenity on pre-order; are you all ready for Friday's awesomeness? Extra bonus: Mirrormask! (It looks like it won't get to Oregon until October 14, and then at only one theater in Portland, so all you Los Angeles and Bay Area and Cambridge and DC and NYC people are going to have to go see it for me this weekend so it gets into wider release, mmmkay?)
Behold my rockingness:
| Outcast Genius |
73 % Nerd, 60% Geek, 60% Dork
|For The Record: A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia. A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one. A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions. You scored better than half in all three, earning you the title of: Outcast Genius. Outcast geniuses usually are bright enough to understand what society wants of them, and they just don't care! They are highly intelligent and passionate about the things they know are *truly* important in the world. Typically, this does not include sports, cars or make-up, but it can on occassion (and if it does then they know more than all of their friends combined in that subject). Outcast geniuses can be very lonely, due to their being outcast from most normal groups and too smart for the room among many other types of dorks and geeks, but they can also be the types to eventually rule the world, ala Bill Gates, the prototypical Outcast Genius. Congratulations!|
|My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on Ok Cupid|
I maintain that should be "nerdiness, geekery, and dorkitude", but hey. World domination will still be mine.
Ami and Amie (the masculine and feminine words for "friend", respectively) seem to me to come from the verm aimer, which is "to like/to love". So I can, if I choose to, literally translate "friend" as "beloved (one)" or at least "beliked (one)". Or am I just making shit up with my non-native-speaker weirdness? Similarly, famille (the word for "family", and pretty clearly the source of the English word or at least a cognate or whatever; I'm probably misusing the jargon but I'm tired, okay?) seems to have a form of aimer built in as well? All this comes up because I was trying to translate the phrase "friends and family" into French, and the asinine wordplay part of my brain started taking over, and I figured better to go all hyperanalytical than try to make puns in a language I'm really only barely conversant in... but I could be wrong or maybe not even wrong, on many levels. Must. Sleep.
The anal-retentive English teacher who lives in my forebrain is still in fine form, I see:
You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 83% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!
You too can try The Commonly Confused Words Test; if you're like me, you'll probably find yourself thinking, "That's a change in progress! I'm going to get this wrong, but in 20 more years I bet this'll be common usage!" Usually my inner linguist can shut up during grammar tests; her domain is spoken language, not the written stuff. Oh geez.
And those of you who are language nerds enough to have read this far might be interested in The Eggcorn Database, which takes the "commonly confused words" idea and runs with it in a way that I find truly wonderful.
So um, who's read The Dispossessed and wants to geek out about it lit nerd style? Extra bonus points if you find a copy of Samuel R. Delany's Jewel-Hinged Jaw and read his essay about The Dispossessed first. Right now I'm at the stage where I'm taking notes on the novel and getting myself psyched up to read the essay before it tells me I'm all wrong and a grotesquely ugly freak, so you've got time to get your reading on and catch up with me, especially if you've already read The Dispossessed, which I hadn't until earlier this month because I'm defective or something.
Oh, man. Guess what came in the mail today?
That's right, the Sharper Image catalog.
They've got the Lord of the Rings pinball machine.
Order before December 9, and they can deliver it in time for Christmas!
No. Must be strong. Must conserve financial resources for mortgage and piano funds.
But maybe, just maybe, I tried to find the pinball machine on Amazon.com, so I could add it to my wish list....
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 15:03:01 -0700 From: Independent Study/Onlinecourse <email@example.com> To: A.T. van Cort <email address excised> Subject: RE: question for Mary Greer Tracy, You found an error in my answer key and I appreciate you pointing this out. the correct answer: D, should read: Both A and C are possible, even though one or both are not realistic". This was a typo and I wonder why it hasn't been found earlier. Thanks so much Mary Greer
I win! Unfortunately the student affected by this isn't coming to tutoring today, but still, woohoo! The evil problem of suckitude is explained! Hurray!
Okay, so one of my students is a high school sophomore taking algebra and geometry in one year to catch up with her class. We're about halfway through the algebra course and she's got a quiz due tomorrow that she's going to submit online. One of the questions, though, has us both stumped --- mostly because it's so poorly worded. So here's the question, and a poll so you can tell me what you think the answer is/should be. ( I thought about adding a fifth possible answer, 'This is a really stupidly vague question, and all of these answers might be right since the wording of the problem is so bad', but I decided to give you guys the option of choosing multiple possible correct answers instead. ) I just emailed the independent study people to say "What the fuck?" and ask if answer D is a typo and it's meant to say "Both A and C are possible..." although that's not very satisfying, either.
Argle-bargle. She's hoping to submit this quiz tomorrow. Hopefully I hear back from somebody in independent-study land before then. Sigh.
So help me, I cannot remember figuring out the concept of mathematical inverses (multiplicative and additive), let alone when they were first introduced to me. I guess at the time I didn't even think it was cool, probably because it was only explained to me in terms of how to solve simple algebra problems, and not in terms of "ok, so this is one of those basic recurring concepts that'll keep turning up to interconnect all the math you know". Which is a shame. I'm trying to explain to my pre-algebra student about addition and subtraction are kind of the same, only opposite, and multiplication and division are the same, only opposite, and I don't know if I'm getting through at all. I'm trying to put it in terms of turning math problems inside out so they look prettier and easier to solve, but I don't know if that's the right thing to do. Part of the problem, I think, is that he's still struggling with complicated multiplication and division. Part of me wants to stop and work on those, but mostly I want to give him a calculator for the arithmetic and work on the concepts, since they're ever so much cooler. What I remember most about pre-algebra is Mr. Gelfand, who taught it: I swear, the man had a different suit for every day of the month, but he seemed particularly fond of a burgundy-red number that he wore with a yellow shirt. Also he apparently had a really bad toupee, but I never noticed. I'm kind of unobservant about that kind of thing; hairpieces have to be really, blatantly fake (like a different color from the rest of the person's hair), or else on someone I know to be bald, for me to pick up on them. But I digress. I digress so much, in fact, that I just took time out to write one of the few people I knew in middle school who might remember Mr. Gelfand and/or even be able to tell me when we learned inverses. I'm dork-tacular.
In other news, I still need a haircut, and Mother Kali's Books is probably going out of business, which means it's time for me to buy a copy of all the Alix Olson CDs they have in stock, because ack! Nowhere else has them in stock! I might complete my Dar Williams collection and finally get me some Toshi Reagon, while I'm at it. Did I mention waaaah? I knew Mother Kali's hadn't been doing well for some time, and that they'd gone through a horrific traumatic reorganization last fall, but wah!
Um, what else? Contact improv tonight (yay hippie dance!) and I should probably go get myself some binders and stuff to better organize my tutoring course materials and suchforth (plus, any excuse to go play in office-supplies land! Woo!) Maybe a trip to the library as well. Also food. Yes. Food would be good.
Well, I finished it. That went faster than expected, so I think I must've started skimming pretty hard in there somewhere. Peter was right; I'm going to have to reread it, if only because towards the end I was reading so fast that I must have missed some stuff. I saw one plot twist coming, but the whole story strikes me as so carefully constructed that I'm wondering if I was supposed to guess the twist in question... it's that kind of book. Anyway, for my own reference mostly, here are some passages I marked while reading because they struck me as interesting, or entertaining, or important: ( Quotes )
There could be lots more, but I'm cutting myself off. Also I'm a big dork for marking a few typos. Lunchtime now, I think.
...is a very, very good breakfast. It's also incredibly hippy and D-I-Y, but really, that's what makes it so good for me. I can't believe I went for so long thinking applesauce involved some kind of long, complicated process. But no! Apples, water, rice cooker, potato masher... and like an hour later I'm all set! Woo! Anyway, I got up this morning and tried to work on the rental application for the place we looked at on Wednesday, but I got all freaky-stressed out about it (that'll teach me to try to be productive before breakfast). I'm feeling much better (although still a little nervous) now that I've showered and had my tasty, tasty breakfast treat. Mmmm. All I need now is a pot of tea and I'll be ready to give the paperwork another shot.
In other news, I got paid yesterday! Woo! This tutoring thing is, like, a real job! Woo! My second student (the one I accidentally ditched on Tuesday) was totally cool about the fact that I stood her up, but I apologized about a million times anyway. And conic sections are my bitch. So if/when I get sick of working on the rental application or my renter's resume or the cover letter (we really like this place we're applying for, so we're going kind of buck wild trying to impress the landlord and lady) I might switch to working on business cards and/or posters advertising my tutoring services. Anything to distract me from stressing about my first day at the Glenwood tomorrow. I'm so nervous... ack! Must stop thinking about it! I know, I'll go make some tea...
Or at least, I totally rock the house at playing with matrices, which is what my new student is doing in her high school pre-algebra class. Also, there was a beautiful, brief shining moment where I got to explain exactly what she was creating by computing the (multiplicative) inverse of a matrix, and how A-1(A) = I = A(A-1) is just like x-1(x) = 1 = x(x-1) where x-1 = 1/x, and both A-1 and x-1 are unique for A and x respectively. "Really?" she said, and damned if I didn't feel like the coolest thing since ice cream sandwiches, just for a second. Wooo!
Yep, I'm a dork. A big dork. But right now, I'm really proud of that fact.
But I'm not alone, oh no. There's plenty of discussion on the InterWeb of, by, and for people similarly afflicted, and it's curing me of my obsession quickly enough, mostly because hot diggety people can't spell or punctuate worth a damn! Ack!
So far I've read through entirely too much of IMDB 's message boards on the movie (this was because I read in an AlterNet article that Cornel West has a part in Reloaded, which I had to verify, and sonofagun he does!) and wow. It makes me feel incredibly literate, really it does. Sigh. Anyway, I'm just about done rotting my brain on that, although I'll probably have to give in and download me the Animatrix episodes I've missed. And then maybe I'll be able to do some dishes and get to the library and generally approximate having a life. Maybe.
Edited to add: I'm still sorting out the plot of Reloaded at this point, since I think at times I got too distracted by the shiny to actually catch what the hell was going on. Of course, "what the hell happened?" blurs into "what the hell did that mean?" in my brain entirely too easily. Sigh. One thing is clear, though: Hugo Weaving rocks so HARD! Mitzi the Malevolent --- I mean, Agent Smith --- was one of my favorite things about the first movie, and in Matrix Reloaded he just looks like he's having all the fun! Yay actors looking like they're having a good time! Yay! Ok, done now.
In non-Matrix-related news, I might have another student soon --- this time, high-school pre-calc stuff. Whee!
And finally, a big LiveJournal welcome to poppydos.
Yep, I'm a dork and I can't help taking notes on stuff that interests me. (I submit, as further evidence, Exhibit B: The Langoliers, based on a recent rereading of that Stephen King novella (Four Past Midnight was just sitting there in the laundry room, ripe for the borrowing!)
Anyway, I'll just put these behind cut tags, since they're mostly for my own reference.( '10 Questions for Joss Whedon', 16 May 2003 ) ( 'Must-See Metaphysics', 22 February 2003 ) ( 'A Weekend With Buffy, Vampire Slayer and Seminar Topic' by Charles Taylor, 24 November 2002 ) ( 'A Vampire With Soul, and Cheekbones' by Joyce Millman, 12 January 2003 ) ( 'Getting Buffy's Last Rites Right' )
Oh, and while I'm being amused by the New York Times, here's a link I could not resist checking out: Big Hot Blurry Painterly Nudes! (Yes, that's the actual title of the article.)